"Duet For One"
written by Tom Kempinski
(from the play, "Duet For One" about a world-famous violinist suddenly afflicted with crippling Multiple Sclerosis. She is forced to watch as her life slips away, and seeks the help of a psychiatrist.)
Stephanie: My grandfather gave me my first violin when I was four years old. Can you believe it? Four years old. It burned in the blitz of '44. It burst into flames right in front of my eyes, and I literally had to be dragged out of the house. The whole things came tumbling down about me. My mother was in it. I cried more about the violin than I did about her. Can you believe that? Anyway, when I recovered enough to feel anything at all, I realized it wasn't the violin that I needed, but the music itself. And I hadn't lost that. At least not yet.
Last week I was in the kitchen, chopping of something for a stew or something, and I looked down and saw myself chopping up my fingers instead. I mean, it was really quite ridiculous. I was chopping them up into neat little piles, blood pouring out of the ends, and I just went on chopping methodically. Doctor I want you to make it stop. I mean, my hands, any day now it all could stop. I don't know when. How could I possibly know when? But there's got to be some method, some trick. Otherwise this concert, any concert...how could I possibly get up on stage...I...it would be impossible. (pause) Succumb to our fear or confront it directly. Brilliant. Where did you learn that Doctor. Did they teach you to say it in medical school?
Kudos and much thanks go to Meredith for this monologue, it is very much appreciated.
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