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How I Learned To Drive Monologue

How I Learned To Drive by Paula Vogel
Character: Li'l Bit
Gender: Female
Age (range): 11-40
Style: Drama
Length: 2 minutes

 


I never saw him again. I stayed away from Christmas and Thanksgiving for years after.

It took my uncle seven years to drink himself to death. First he lost his job, then his wife and finally his drivers license. He retreated to his house and had his bottles delivered. One night he tried to go downstairs to the basement--and he flew down the steep basement stairs. My aunt came by weekly to put food on the porch-and she noticed the mail and the papers stacked up, uncollected. They found him at the bottom of the stairs. Just steps away from his dark room.

Now that I'm old enough, there are some questions I would have liked to have asked him. Who did it to you, Uncle Peck? How old were you? Were you eleven?

Sometimes I think of my uncle as a kind of Flying Dutchman. In the opera, the Dutchman is doomed to wander the sea; but every seven years he can come ashore--and if he finds a maiden who will love him of her own free will--he will be released. And I see Uncle Peck in my mind, in his Chevy '56, a spirit driving up and down the roads of Carolina--looking for a young girl who, of her own free will, will love him. Release him.