So, I’ve been doing a few courses to keep me going with the pandemic and to keep my mental health in check. I’ve just completed a 6 week drama course and for the final week we had to perform a monologue that started out as a few questions about our favourite scripts, actors, the masks we wear in real life. The course is an online one and its free to enrol – it is called ‘Being Different Together. Last week we had to read out our drafted monologues. I was so inspired by my fellow peers work that I decided to push myself -creatively and have my character speak more colloquial. I found my character from my initial draft spoke too eloquent. This monologue is based on true events. It has helped me come to terms with an experience I had in May 2020.
Thanks for reading, take care.
CAST MO – Maya’s husband and daughter to MIA
MAYA – mid 30/40’s mother and wife to Mo
MIA -young child-daughter
(MO lying on what could be a sunbed /hospital bed. Spotlight -Bright lights -glaring down on her. Darkness all around her)
MO: There’re so many ways I could start what happened that day, so many ways… Sometimes, I think the best way to start is at the end -the tubes down my throat, the experiments, the torture (beat) or at the middle: You’re mad in the head, you are. Summit wrong ya. We filmed it. Caught ya red-handed, silly bint. (beat)
What happened? She didn’t! I’m calling the coppers. Then I think to start at the beginning but my mind -it struggles- it’s addled -it struggles to find an entry point that can start linearly if ya know what I mean. … A beginning that will justify, lend a decorum of (hesitates) credibility for all those who was involved in a moment that changed me Mo and Mia’s lives for… at least a few weeks.
I’ve never claimed I was perfect or do I wanna be. Always say..Well- not always, Its not summit I say. Its a motto -like something I’ve adopted as my own. Who doesn’t know the lyrics to Bob Marley’s Tune? (sings) I shot the sheriff but I didn’t shoot no deputy -ooooh ooooh ooooh. To get back to what I was on about. I’m not perfect, yeah. Mo mask ever is. I stick my hand up whenever I (have gone) wrong in my life. And I sure as hell will say when I’m not.
Them lot. Them next door- Neighbours supposed to friendly like – not mine. They refused to take responsibility for the barrage of abuse on their part. Harassing me like I was the only one in the estate doing cuckoo shit, man.
They didn’t see me get abducted by them aliens -Truth: Illegal aliens. They weren’t imprisoned by our laws. These lot they didn’t want me to come to this world even when I begged them. Well, I could only blink. They could hear my thoughts. They knew I had been tossing a coin over the worth of my own life for many a year. The day it all kicked I was trying to be on my best behaviour- not screw things like I usually do. It was a proper sunny day, I had my bikini on, Mo blew up the pool. We sitting in the garden. I had a few drinks and summit snapped in my head. I thought right I’m gonna get on the phone to my regular geezer and score me a hit. Mo comes into the kitchen knowing full well summin was up, so I just said my usual spiel and before he could answer I flew out the door and ran over to his car. I turned around to go back to my house and there she was. Number 1 -Miss neighbourhood watch or should I say miss curtain twitcher filming me. Things had been building up in my head for a while, the pressure, my mind felt full of cottonwool most days.
I wasn’t happy. I didn’t think about it and before I knew it: boom, the glass window -her glass window shattered and…I was holding this great big hunk of Yorkshire stone in my hand. It took both hands to hold it. Shit hit the fan and police sirens were whirring, Mo said summit about getting Mia up to my mom’s house. They arrest me in front of her. She was crying. I was begging them to give Mo a chance to take her around the corner. Cos of Corona like we had to wait for 5 hours to get me booked in. My brain snapped in that cell. The police thought I had ADHD. I screamed for 4 hours. I was restrained by 5 police officers. I screamed until blood was coming out of my mouth.
The crisis team was called and they said it wasn’t there are. I’m well known to them -my social worker said -Well, I can’t remember but everyone was passing the buck from one Flippin pole to the next. I got cautioned and was told by the copper to come back in a week. The next day Mo went to work on the day shift, Mia well. she was staying with my mom and I knew I had enough to do it. Do it properly. I had read the manual, it might as well have been titled ‘How to escapy Plent Earth’. It was informative. I bought it online.
I bought myself a one-way ticket to another realm. that was it for me. I followed t every step of the manual and then I blacked. Found myself strapped to a bed with aliens looking down on me wearing spacesuits. It didn’t stop. The torture didn’t stop. I even started to pray to a God I don’t even believe in. It was hell.
I thought to myself. This is it. I screwed up again. Its never going to end. The strangest thing was I kept on seeing this image of my mom. I tried hard to keep the image of Mia and Mo in view but it was my Mom’s face that I could focus on.
One minute I was trapped in this spaceship and the next I opened my eyes and I saw all white, even the people and no they weren’t aliens with big eyes and scary faces, they were smiling and perfectly human just like you and me. I tried to move my head to the left and there on a table, I saw a picture of Mo, Mia and.. my mom. 11 days later Mo was allowed to check me back into a familiar place: Earth.
He was mad at me for disappearing like I did but soon after he hugged me and we had a right giggle about me trying to convince him I’d been abducted by Aliens. Cos of Corona it turns out that the aliens with their headgear and silver suits on were people. They weren’t aliens, I mean they were strangers to me but… they weren’t trying to suck out my brain: my thoughts, my feelings, you know? They weren’t trying to take my life
They were trying to save me.
It’s a funny life, innit?
If there was ever a time to put your words on display
National Poetry Day is the time to use your voice to say
What is in your heart
What do you feel
Reveal the emotions -at inner play.
Don’t admonish your words merely to paper
Don’t admonish your words merely to your mind
Shout out: I’m worthy. What I’ve to say is enough for today and another and another and ..
National poetry is for more than one day
Make each one count
Not merely the words you deem fit to convey
Your worth is more than hiding away behind myriad of masks to please those who get in your way
Your words are worth more than those whom you justify your truth without causing affray.
Your life story : Not merely poignant
Make your impression
Make your mark
I’m here to stay for more than a moment
more than a hashtag.
Use your words
Use your voice
To guide you to a better life -your way
For better or for worse
You are brave
So, seize your day
I suppose I, as a writer can be ignorant and forget how empowering and therapeutic being able to write is and how creative it is. This is is something that every woman should be able to access. I saw the results of the works of creativity in every face at ‘Behind the mask’ exhibition this today.
The exhibition was led by a passionate presentation by the highly charismatic Sharon Marsden from verd de gris
I spent most of my time in tears. All masks shed to connect with British white and British Muslim woman through the medium of poetry, their personal words and singing. Yes, what a strange bonding power it is to want to join in and sing with strangers.
All connected by our desire to be unburdened, it released even me from my cage. Today, I flew high and found my voice intermingled amongst a collective . I didn’t need to say a word. Someone already had and I identified completely. I had a taste of the 12-week journey these highly courageous women have been through. It reminds me of my own journey in life as a woman. I’m not alone. We are not alone. As painful as some of these emotions were to witness and experience the exhibition left on a high – I was carried away with a powerful gust of optimism and newfound courage to carry on in my own journey in life.
All faiths, all ages, all complex woman with the desire to be free from pain and to be free to show their real face and not wait for the words of acceptance . The message I took away is this:
This is me! take me or leave. I will not hide behind any more masks for you or anyone.
Here is my crane symbol to remind me that I too can be that bird that ‘flies to the heavens’
The crane is a popular symbol in Asian culture, and the practice of folding paper cranes for good fortune, healing, happiness, and success was popularized by Sadako Sasaki, a young victim of the radiation from the Hiroshima disaster. Chains of paper cranes, often numbering a thousand in total, are given as offerings at temples and shrines. The crane is also perceived as a bird capable of flying to the very heavens, and is said to have borne spirits of the deceased there upon its back. In ancient China, the crane was used as the symbol of highest-ranking officials.
Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/Wellness/Environment/Galleries/A-Spiritual-Field-Guide-to-Birds.aspx?p=6#JvmBs22BfFs8PL8B.99
Caged Bird Excerpt
The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.
Female empowerment is continuing well into 2016. NEW RECRUITS NEEDED FOR THE NEXT BEHIND THE MASK COMING SOON!
I have also been moved to boldly upload my first video blog. What better inspiration than to speak with female empowerment. Seven minutes long but no apologies for what comes from the heart.
Pancakes share a growling affair
To boost the morale of the monster with
inside a despairing mind of an almost self redundant writer
groans unable to fit into an unremarkable, once favoured racy red garter.
This poem is quite silly
I could throw a goat in here and call him
Because he had a penchant for consuming plenty pancakes with half fat cream cheese
Sell them on the hillside,
Not far from
With a spring in his hooves,
a dapper smile,
a shimmy in his groove.
Singing through a mouthful of home made shove
This isn’t a poem!
These are words to be damned to the books of ,’oh, Crikey’!