Is There Life After High School – Monologue (Jim)

A monologue from the book by Jeff Kindley

The setting is a high school gymnasium and the plot revolves around the lives of people who are ten years older than they were in high school, but not so very much older at all in terms of their emotional lives.

Jim Wanamaker

I had a dream last night where someone found out I never took these courses that were necessary for graduation, and I had to go back to school to make up the work. 

I sat down at a desk which was way too small for me, but nobody else in the classroom seemed to notice that I was any different from them.

Then Mrs. Delaney—my American Problems teacher—hands out these test booklets, and I look at the cover and someone has drawn obscene pictures all over it. 

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I don’t know what to do. Should I tell Mrs. Delaney, and call attention to myself, or should I just ignore the pictures?—

in which case she’ll probably think I drew them. The pictures are in pencil, see, so I start to erase them. 

All of these little breasts and penises and stick people doing horrible things to each other. But as soon as I get one part erased, I notice another one—and another.

Finally the bell rings and Mrs. Delaney starts collecting the book lets, and I realize I never even opened mine. 

I don’t even know what the test was about. And what’s worse, all the pictures are still there.

I start tearing up the booklet like crazy and sticking pieces of it in my mouth, trying to chew it all up and swallow it before she gets to me. 

Then she’s standing over me and she says, “Where’s your booklet, James? What have you done with it?” That’s as far as it went.

I woke up in a cold sweat. I’d wanted to say, “I ate it, you bitch! I ate it!”—but I never talked back to Mrs. Delaney in my life.

Read the play here