Tigers Be Still – Monologue (Zach)

A monologue from the play by Kim Rosenstock

Zach has been very disturbed since his mother died. He has decided to leave home and here,

in direct address to the audience, he tells us what he was thinking when he made that decision.

Zach (late teens)

This is how it happens . I wait until my dad has gone into his room for the night and then I grab the suitcase that’s been sitting under my bed, packed, for months. 

Then I go to the kitchen to grab a box of cookies and leaning up against the leg of the table I see the rifle. And for the first time it hits me:

My dad has a rifle. And that’s not ok. He needs someone to take it away. So I do that.

I walk out of the house I’ve lived in my whole life with a rifle, most of my belongings and a box of cookies and I have no idea if I have the courage to go any further than the town pond, 

which is where I’m standing, looking at the ducks when I hear it: a soft rumbling, a growling. And I turn around.

And there it is . The tiger. At the town pond. And I’m, like, armed, you know. And I think—I can be the guy who defended the town from the tiger.

And I’m about to pull the trigger when everything just becomes really, really still . I stare into the tiger’s big, yellow eyes and I swear it’s like he wants me to shoot him. 

He’s tired . And alone . And lost . And I think: yeah, sure this tiger’s dangerous—but like if you really think about it, who isn’t?

And he squints and stares at me in this sad, broken way and in that moment, for him, I choose life. 

I slowly lower the gun and as I do the tiger glares at me like “Oh great. Thanks for nothing, asshole.”

And he just turns around and walks away. So then I’m just standing there, thinking to myself, “Now what?” 

When suddenly I drop the rifle and it goes off at my feet and at the sound of the gunshot I run—I run as fast I can, suitcase and everything.

I run until I’m at the bus station and then I get on a bus and then I get on another bus. And that’s how I escape.