A monologue from the play by Winsome Pinnock
You’re selfish, do you know that? Do you think that you’re the only one who doesn’t get a visit? The only one who doesn’t get phone calls?
At least you get letters. Home is a long way away for all of us. I know what you’re doing. You’re sucking all my energy up in your silence.
You can’t do that. The rules are different here. Don’t you understand? There isn’t enough pity to go round.
(She turns away from Lou.)
When I was ten I started getting sharp pains in my side and had to be taken to the doctors. Where does it hurt?
Here, here, or here? His fingers were cold where they touched-no, prodded-me. His pokes left little indentations all over my body because there was no life in my skin.
His touch felt like love or as close to it as I could imagine. His touch stayed with me long after the pain had gone and I longed for it.
If I concentrated long enough I could make the pain appear by an effort of will. It became the mystery of our street.
I was obviously not faking it and yet no one could find the reason for the pain. It was the first time I’d got one over on them.
They wanted me to hurt because healing me gave them a reason to live, a reason to continue to believe in themselves.
Sometimes when the doctor was examining me I felt our roles were reversed and that I was prodding his tummy,
listening for his irregular heartbeat and when our gazes met – one cold stare meeting another – I could see that he was aware that I knew.