The Call – Monologue (Peter)

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A monologue from the play by Tanya Barfield

PETER

. . . One time, I remember, out of nowhere, we got invited to this family’s house for dinner. David made friends with everyone—and somehow through hand signals, we get invited. But then, we don’t go. 

We’re both sick, heat stroke, and we’re chugging Pepto-Bismol, so we don’t go. A couple of days later, we go. The directions are: “Such and such village. The house near Kafele’s house,” but nobody knows who Kafele is! 

We wander around calling out, “Kafele? Kafele?” Seems like Kafele isn’t actually important; he’s just some guy. Eventually, we get there, apologize for not coming when we were supposed to; the wife’s crying. 

Her eyes are puffy and the husband looks like he’s been crying, too. And their daughter is so frail, she looks like she hasn’t eaten in weeks. 

It turns out—now these people are very poor, they have nothing, their farm is barren—it turns out they slaughtered their last goat for our dinner. And we didn’t show up. It was. Awful. 

But they forgive us; they’re so nice we feel like they’re our long-lost family but nobody really says anything because we don’t speak the same language; we just use hand signals. 

We stay until it’s late, then we leave their straw hut, go back to our hotel room, slip into our cozy beds and go to sleep. After a month —no, actually more—we’re still talking about it, so we decide to buy them a goat. 

We try to push the goat up the hill but we fail. Goats are very stubborn. So we hire a goat herder. We finally get there, they are so appreciative, they start to cry. (Beat, remembering) 

And . . . their daughter is missing, and . . . we ask where she is. She died. (Beat. Trying to uplift the mood) Well. That wasn’t a very uplifting . . .