Dog gone it
A Park Bench Monologue.
(Kara, a woman in her mid-30s, sits on a park bench with her dog.)
I know you’re on a mission to pee on every bush in the park, but we need to sit down here and have a talk. There is something I have to tell you. You will never, never ever see Kurt again. I know you liked him, but that’s too bad. He is gone, gone forever, gone out of your life.
I always thought Kurt had an attraction to Tiffany, but I just told myself I was being insecure and jealous. But that’s not what happened. What happened is he’s a dick and she’s a bitch—sorry, make that slut. I know the word bitch is perfectly acceptable in your world…
I know you don’t give a shit, but I am sorry for all those micro-aggressions out there you have to hear. Dog day afternoon, in the doghouse, put on a short leash, three-dog night, junkyard dog, you ain’t nothing but a hound dog, dog gone it…
Anyway, back to Kurt. Sometimes we have to give up the things we love. Oh, don’t worry, not you. I wasn’t referring to you. I’ll never re-home you. I lied to you when I told you last week that Kurt went on a business trip. Actually, Kurt has re-homed himself—he’s moved in with Tiffany.
I wish I could tell you that things won’t change. You’ll still get lots of milk bones and peanut butter treats, but I’m gonna be depressed. I’ll cry a lot. I’ll even eat a pint of ice cream every night. Probably chocolate chip. Oops, I know you can’t eat chocolate so I’ll try to remember to get a flavor I can share with you.
I need us to re-envision our lives together without Kurt. No more 6:00am walks for you with him. I don’t get up till 9:00 at the earliest, then two cups of coffee, then your morning walk.
I know this upsets your routine but look at it this way. You no longer have to fight Kurt for space on the couch. I know he always made you get off when he wanted to lay down. I know the words that burned through your heart: why does this damned dog always have to be on the couch when I’m watching the TV? And I promise once a week you’ll get to watch the first 30 minutes of Star Wars: The Force Awakens to see the little squeaky droid BB8.
Change is good. But so is revenge. Big bag of dog poop on her front steps? You up for that? Sorry, but there’s no way I’m going to walk away with my tail between my legs. Oops. Sorry again, micro-aggression. Anyway, we’ll have to work on this revenge thing. Remember revenge is a dish best served cold.
Back to Kurt. He’s a mouth breather. Oh, God, sorry, I really stepped in it… Oops, sorry… again… I know there are times when you only breathe through your mouth. Back to Kurt. As some philosopher said: Men invented love so they wouldn’t have to do their own laundry. Okay, okay, maybe not a philosopher, but it was some author in some book I read.
You dogs just have more options than us humans. You know for me it’s flight or fight, but you have the options flight, fight or freeze. You live in my world; I don’t live in yours. I know you’ll chase anything that moves. I know that even though you have a keen sense of smell you don’t always make good digestive decisions. Remember that dead… sorry, I know, I told you I’d never bring it up again. I know you don’t agree with me, but I don’t think a bird in hand is better than two in the bush. I want the two in the bush… along with the bush.
And I want Kurt back. I’m gonna miss having someone to go to the movies with. I’m gonna miss having someone take care of my car when it needs an oil change. I’m gonna miss someone to show me how to move the pictures I’ve taken on my iPhone to my computer.
I never told you Kurt and I decided to get you rather than have a kid. Kurt said you’d be easier to train than a kid and normally you’d come when called. I pointed out you’d cost a lot less money, you’d eat less, and we wouldn’t have to buy you clothes. Kurt noted that if you got pregnant, we could sell your children. The only major drawback was that you aren’t a tax deduction.
I’ll never know if you like your name or if you would have preferred Lamp Chop or Chewy or Razzy. I kind of liked Corky, but Kurt nixed that. Kurt named you Biscuit. I have no idea why.
This morning when I opened your drawer in the laundry room, I saw the little Fourth of July bandanna you wore in the parade last year. I threw it in the garbage. I don’t know if you thought you looked cute in it or if you felt like a dork, but I promise you, you’ll never have to wear a bandana again. And always remember, I’m the one who nixed the pink tutu for Halloween.
You know sometimes we don’t learn from our mistakes. We just make really shitty decisions and have to live with the consequences. Not you. I hope you will forgive me the initial misconceptions I had about you. I’m talking about Kurt. People will never let you down in their ability to let you down. People will never disappoint you in their ability to disappoint you.
Shit, I’m not fooling you. I don’t know why I’m telling you all this. Maybe I feel a little lost. Life is a narration. Life is the story you tell yourself. Life is not linear. Things come at you out of order. You and I have to decide how this transition is going to change our narrative. And remember what I always tell you: if it has tires or testicles, it's gonna give you trouble. Okay, come on, let’s walk.
Maria has been a choreographer, theater director, filmmaker, playwright, and professor but now due to the pandemic she is becoming an expert on Rom-Coms from the 1970's.
About: My BARN Writing for Stage and Screen group is working on a project called "The Park Bench Plays" which we hope eventually to be able to videotape given that live theater is on hold at the moment. My first Park Bench Play "Residues" had three elderly women talking on a park bench. My next one had three men in their 50s. Since my writing group is trying to cover many situations and age groups within this very limiting situation (people on a park bench) I challenged myself to next write a monologue for a younger character. "Dog Gone It" is a monologue by a young woman to her dog.