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Living at Home Monologue

Living at Home by Anthony Giardina
Character: John
Gender: Male
Age (range): 20
Style: Drama
Length: 3 minutes


You want to know why I left? Okay, you got it. One night last January, I'm sitting in this bar in Amherst, talking to some girl. I started telling her this story. When my brother and I were little, we used to play this game: Robert the Robot. One of us had to be Robert the Robot, and Robert, see, Robert had to climb down the steps leading to he basement and catch the other one. You had to walk like a robot. You had to be -- very mechanical. Mostly I had to be Robert because David was better at hiding. So I'd hunch my shoulders up and climb down the stairs, chasing David. Only he was nowhere to be found. I'd do my mechanical walk pretending to look for him, but, see, I had no idea. And pretty soon I'd scare myself. Being Robert the Robot, having to go through the motions, scared me. So I'd sit down, I'd stop being Robert, and David would come out all pissed off and say What's the matter? The only thing I could ever say was, I don't like being Robert. I don't want to be Robert anymore.

A hush falls over the bar. I realize everybody's been listening. I looked around, saw all these college heads nodding sagely at the profoundness of my Robert story, and had a revelation. I realized that in all this time, I hadn't succeeded in shaking myself free of this family, but only tied myself tighter, that my friends were not gods, not the golden generation that was going to change the world, but simply the sons of the lower middle class, playing at getting an education, that we would take our lower-middle-class attitudes with us wherever we went because you can t shake loose of them, you can t just say, I don't want to be Robert anymore and make it work. You ve got your roots in a bowling alley and in the streets of some town like Watertown. You are Eddie Bogle's son, and you carry him inside you, and try as you might to suppress that part to be something else, sooner or later you find yourself in a bar telling a story you thought happened in another life, and suddenly the jig is up. You can't fool yourself any longer.