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When you are growing up, you are an egg wishing to be a cake. It hurts to be so small. You have this horrible shell. You live in a dark carton. No one notices how different you’re from the other eggs. Then one day you are a cake. You are sweet. You are decorated. People celebrate with you. Nevertheless, you wish you could go back to being an egg.
This is life. I have lived for 160, 170 years. I was an egg for 15 years. I was a cake for a little while after that. Mostly I have been digested material and that’s become my field of expertise. But people keep asking me about being an egg. “What was it like when you were young, Grandma?” “What were you like as a child?”
I tell them it doesn’t matter. Eggs are not very interesting until you break them, and even then, they’re nothing special until you eat them, and even then they are still just eggs, no matter how much sugar you add. It’s all eggs. What’s to say?
Even so, I talk about eggs too much. Here’s why: Now that I’m old, and I’ve made sense of almost everything, I’m left with this one mysterious image in my mind. It’s all I see so it’s all I talk about. I see an egg, beside a round cake, beside a woman.
When I stare at them long enough they begin to roll. The egg rolls easily, but unevenly. The cake rolls like a tire, and leaves a trail of frosting. The woman rolls with great feeling, passionately flipping her body, straining, sweating, urging herself awkwardly forward.
You have to be digested to become a woman, over and over, by anything with a mouth.
But how can you tell this to an egg?
The above was contributed by our friend Andrea Consuela Suma Bonelli, a non-monkey. We hoped it would make her feel better to be featured in our column. It sounds as though she doesn’t want to be a woman, so we wanted her to be a monkey with us, if only for today.
Andrea is somehow related to our other friend, Ed, whom we interviewed last month. As you’ll recall, Ed told us all about being a character in a play titled “Watching Vera Date.” He doesn’t exist in what most people consider “reality,” although we have trouble grasping where he could exist instead.
We think some people exist in checkout lines, some people in running clothes, others in online chat rooms. Plays are as real as anything else.
Anyhow, Andrea, the old lady, is also related to Jack, Ed’s unforthcoming brother, whom we tried to schedule for this month. We really wanted his take on life in a play (is life in a box better than no life at all?) but unfortunately, we have only this transcript of our conversation to offer you:
Monkeys: Jack, how would you like to appear in our newspaper column?
Jack: Nope. Gotta work.
This explained nothing.
However, he did arrange for us to speak with Vera, the title character from Ed and Jack’s play, and we offer this brief interview for your consumption.
Monkeys: Vera, tell us about living in a play.
Vera: What about it?
Monkeys: How does it compare with real life?
Vera: How should I know?
Monkeys: Fair point. Well, tell us what it’s like.
Vera: Why don’t you tell me what real life is like?
Monkeys: Our friend Andrea says it’s like being digested.
Vera: Is she right?
Monkeys: Probably not. We think she spends too much time in the kitchen. If she spent all her time in a bowling alley, she’d probably say life is like paying by the hour instead of by the game. But seriously, how could there really be a big enough simile to describe what’s going on here?
Vera: You know, I have a date tonight, and I still have to get ready. Is this going to take long?
Monkeys: No, we’re done. We have a date tonight, too – with a zookeeper.
Vera: Hey, mine’s a zookeeper, too. I guess that’s a very popular profession.
Vera stuck around long enough to add that the Los Alamos Playwrights Group will present “Remote Control,” an excerpt from “Watching Vera Date,” at 7 p.m. Friday, April 24, at the Los Alamos Little Theatre’s Performing Arts Center. Tess Light’s “Foursome,” an excerpt from “The Supper Hour in Hell,” and Robert Benjamin’s “Plots” will also be performed.
The free show, which stars a barrel of local actors and directors, is an opportunity for up-and-coming playwrights to gain audience feedback and to further develop their work.
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.