A monologue from the play by Susan Miller
He is twirling a strand of hair around his finger. We’re in the Brandeis parking area, waiting to take our children to their dorms.
It’s an oppressive August day. Everyone has gotten out of his car, but Jeremy won’t move. He’s in the back seat, regretting his decision.
There are no pretty girls. The guys are all losers. This was a big mistake. Suddenly I’m in another August day. I’ve just put my eight year old on a bus to day camp.
He looks out at me from the window. A pale reed, he is twirling his hair around his finger. I watch him do this until the bus pulls away.
What have I done? I go home and fall onto my bed. I lie there and mourn all the lost Jeremys. My three year old, my infant boy.
I lie on my bed and have grim notions. What if something happened to me and he came home from camp and I wasn’t there to pick him up?
What if I had an accident? Who would take care of him? What happens to the child of a single parent who is kidnapped by a madman?
Then I imagine him lost. I see him twirling his hair as it grows dark in some abandoned warehouse.
He walks the streets of a strange neighborhood. I know that he is crying in the woods. He has gotten himself into an old refrigerator.
He falls into a well. He is in the danger zone. He has wandered too far from me. I have cancer and what if I never see him grown.
“I’ll go and get it back for you, Mom.” By the time I have to pick him up from camp, I’m frantic. Somehow, we survived.
Until now. We get to his dorm and unload. His room is in the basement. It is moldy and I feel homesick. This isn’t right.
Parents move toward their cars dazed and fighting every urge to run back and save their young from this new danger – independence.
(Beat.) When I get home, the sound of Jeremy not in his room is deafening.