Wild Animal You Should Know – Monologue (Jacob)

A monologue from the play by Thomas Higgins

Jacob is a gay kid in love with Matthew, who is straight. Here he tells Matthew’s father about how the two became friends.


Some of the older boys at school, they used to, um . . . they used to tie me to this tree. Hey that’s the bargain.

You wanna do certain stuff, you wanna stay in the boy scouts? You gotta endure other stuff too. (beat) 

But this tree, it’s, um, it’s actually how Matthew and I became friends again. There was kind of a massive, collective turning on me that took place when we all started middle school and everyone sort of dropped me. 

And because your son, at the time, didn’t know any better . . . he did too. Hey: builds character, right? Can’t wait to find out! (beat)

You never noticed that I, like, suddenly wasn’t around? Anyway, it just sort of became this ritual, this . . . thing.

Like once a week or so: I’d get tied up. And it wasn’t all that bad, actually. I mean, there were a few times when they’d put lipstick on my face, or something like that, but—I know, right? 

Some asshole’s bringing cosmetics to school and I’m the f*g that gets tied to a tree? But one day, Matthew—who’d sort of always been there, but, like, in the back of the crowd, sort of unsure at first of what to do, 

you could see it, on his face—Matthew, one day, he walks to the front of this little . . . gaggle of boys, and he says: I’ll tie him up today! Let me do it! (beat) 

And at first I’m sort of horrified, because, you know, this feels like it will kind of complete the, um . . . the total hiatus our friendship had taken from like 5th to 7th grade, but I stay still, and he walks over, 

and then he leans into me, and he says: over the fence, around the tree, and into the rabbit hole, three times. (beat) And after a moment of being kind of like, um: what? 

I look down and he’s saying it again, as he’s tying me to the tree: over the fence, around the tree, and into the rabbit hole, three times. (beat)

He’d invented this knot, see? It’s a variation on a ‘sheet knot’ and another kind of . . . um . . . well, it’s a messy looking thing, is what it is.

Which is probably why the boys always wondered how I ever managed to get out. But it was this thing, this knot, that only he and I knew how to undo. (beat)

And so every time after that, Matthew would tie the knots, and I’d know how to get out of them, and . . . and it was our thing. 

Which was, like, this gift. This weird kind of . . . I don’t know, compassion? And . . . we became friends again. (beat)

But I guess I’m sort of wondering, now: what kind of person comes up with stuff like that, you know? 

And what happens when it’s, I don’t know . . . used for something else?

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