A monologue from the play by Jeff Augustin
Sula is speaking to Joel. Joel has just expressed his love for her. Sula has feelings for him, but cannot allow herself to act on her feelings.
She has come to America to escape her dark past with her newborn son Toussaint. This is the first revelation of her past.
You’ve heard stories of Houngans? Some are born into it. I was. My mom was a houngan. She died when I was three years old.
She’s nothing but a voice on grainy cassette strings, a scent from an old bottle of perfume. The features of her face, I don’t remember, but her beauty I do.
I can still see it. It’s the kind of beauty myths are made of. A beauty that connects you to the deities, that make you a perfect houngan.
My great great aunt said she was cursed with it. Said I’m cursed with it. Many men wanted my mom and many men had her.
They came from all over searching not just for legs to rest between, but for somewhere to purge all their unwanted memories.
Their wives and girlfriends couldn’t endure it, but my mom she could. She welcomed it. I was born from one of those men.
My father was the worst and she loved him the most. He emptied himself in her daily. She died from carrying him inside of her.
My aunt feared that I would have the same longing and for a while I fought it.
But then I met Toussaint’s father, a man who tortures the president’s political opponents until they agree to disappear or die.
A man so bitter and broken, he cried during sex. He fought his battles inside of my body and it made me feel whole.
I would have done anything for him.
Including calling the spirits, the deities, allowing them to possess my body and give him the instructions, the magic to torture people.
If it weren’t for Toussaint, I’d still be there, with him, doing that. So you see I’m not who you wish I were. I’m not pure and I’m not good.