A monologue from the play by David Lindsay-Abaire
Pattie is convinced she’s going to die soon, and is here breaking the news to her sister, Debra,
and her teenaged daughter, Kimberly, who has a disease that causes premature aging.
. . . I’m sorry I forgot, honey. I think the cancer’s spread to my memory cells. . . . I’m gonna die, Kim. It’s sad, but you need to be prepared.
People pass away, you know. Suddenly they’re gone forever. Look at Mr. Hicks. One day he’s bringing me cabbages from his garden, the next day he drops dead.
(To Debra who passes from basement to exit house.) Remember when Mr. Hicks dropped dead, Debra? . . .
(To Kimberly.) You’ll miss me, too. Because I’m a fixture in your life. You’ll have to actually remind yourself I’m gone.
That’s how it was when your Nana died. I kept forgetting she was dead. I’d see a sale at the supermarket and think,
“Oh Ma should get down there for those pork chops.” And then I’d remember, “Oh yeah, she’s dead.”
You get so used to someone being there, it takes your body a long time to adjust.
(Kimberly continues to clear the table.) Like when you move a lamp, and you keep going to the same place to turn it on in the dark, even though you moved it across the room weeks ago.
Or do you remember when Cinnamon died, and we still kept going to put the table scraps into his dog bowl?
We were just so used to it? That’s how it’s gonna be when I’m gone. You’ll have to keep reminding yourself that I’m not here anymore.