Do you want to submit a monologue that challenges the status quo, or deals with an abuse of privilege/power? Are you craving some inspiration? Laughing Pig Theatre has your back! Check out this awesome monologue by LPT’s own Taylor Moschetti. She wrote this for a character named Sam, and generously agreed to let us share it.
SAM: So, I just got a gym membership, finally! I mean, I had one for a while, but with work, and the move, and things starting to go downhill with Rich and I, it was just the last thing on my mind. So I was just paying for it for no reason because obviously I wasn’t going—so I cancelled it. But now, I’m settled in the new place, I’m getting into more of a routine at work, and I don’t have a boyfriend to worry about anymore, so I figured what the hell! I found this really cool place, kind of expensive but it’s because they have everything you could ever put in a gym. And you know, talking with the membership guy, and touring the gym, it was actually super exciting. I started planning what workout classes I was going to try, and thinking about what kind of protein shakes I could make at home, and how I was going to take pictures of myself every day and post them online so people could see me losing weight. I was going to be a brand new person.
So, I signed up, but on that first day of working out… I decided to hop on an elliptical, which was a bold choice, I know. Look at me, you can imagine how much of “this” body would move on every stroke, so I tried to take it slow—but even through my headphones I could hear the machine creak because I’m a 300 lbs. woman essentially riding a standing up bicycle. … and of course I’m walking while everyone around me is fucking running. I’d love to run. I used to run. But right now I’m walking. Just doing what I can do because that’s what you do when you work out, right? And this random guy spots me across the room on an elliptical just like mine a couple rows away. He was an older guy, like probably in his 50s, but, obviously in good shape. Everyone there is fucking incredible shape because it’s a fancy gym for people who want to show off their body and compare their gun sizes with other beautiful like-minded people. I digress, this guy uses his index finger to gesture me over to him on his machine, god forbid he interrupts his own workout because obviously I needed the steps, but he pulls me aside, says he wants to tell me something…I know what it sounds like, that he’s going to say some awful thing about how I don’t belong there, and my machine is making ungodly noises because I am too fat for it. But no. What he says instead is how proud he is of me for coming to the gym. He tells me, he knows that I have a long, tough road ahead of me, but he thinks it’s so great that I’m trying to get better and become the beautiful self I deserve to be, rather than being this fat masked person I am now—and to keep up the great work because he saw me really struggling today, but if I keep working at it, I will be like him and all the other beautiful people who belong in this gym in no time.
I get it. I know he was trying to do something positive. I know he felt like it was important to encourage me. But you know, it felt like the same shit. The words might be nicer, but he was still going out of his way to remind me that I was different, that I didn’t belong, and that I needed to change. I mean, would you ever say something like that to a skinny person? Would he have said it if I were just 20 lbs. overweight, instead of…you know, whatever I am. Would he have said it if I were a man? I don’t know why people feel the need to constantly remind me that I’m not like everyone else. As if I’m not reminded a thousand times a day already. Whenever I pick a chair to sit in, I have to choose wisely because certain arm rests don’t fit my current body shape like I wish they did. Whenever I travel and have to fly anywhere, as soon as I board the plane, I can see everyone’s eyes looking at my body shape and hoping that I am not sitting near them because I will clearly take up more space than I am worth. And even before that, when I book the plane ticket, I contemplate buying two seats on an airline where I can reserve them together, so I don’t inconvenience anyone and don’t have to have that awkward conversation with another passenger asking me to scoot over that, I know, is inevitably going to happen. Or even whenever I talk to my family on the phone, they ask me how my weight is and how I am working on it, and what crazy diet or fad they think I should try because I am not normal or healthy even though my doctor says I am healthy and my vitals look great for being the fat piece of shit I apparently am… I know that I could go on and on with other colorful examples of how my weight affects my relationship with everyone in our community, but that is not the point. I know I’m different. I don’t want to be. I’m trying not to be; don’t they see that?
Well, after that chat with that guy, I worked out for as long as I could, then went home. All I had the rest of the day was water. I think that guy would’ve been proud of me.