Abby Digging a Grave
SCENE: Nighttime. A field.
AT RISE: ABBY, early 30’s, thirty pounds overweight and sweaty, is standing by a grave with her foot propped on a shovel, her arms crossed over the top of the handle, and her head lying on her arms. There is a flashlight sitting on the lip of the grave; the only other light visible is starlight. In shadow, we can see the lump of a body in a trash bag near the grave. ABBY lifts her head and wipes her brow. She is chewing gum.
I know what you're thinkin', cause I'm thinkin' the same thing; Abby, girl, you have messed up. You have gone and murdered your husband.
(Gestures towards the trash bag)
But you have to understand some things. First off...
he was a snorer.
Waves hand as if to quell an eruption of argument.
I mean, I know...that’s no justification for murder, but look, we’d been married for ten years, we lived together for a year before that; do you have any idea when the last time I had a good night’s sleep was? I don’t. Plus –
Takes her foot off the shovel and continues to hold it.
He farted in his sleep. I mean, not every night, but enough. I would tell him:
Don’t eat the chili, don’t eat the onions, I’ll regret it. But he wouldn’t listen. He’d eat anything. I mean just anything. And that's a respect issue...And he was getting fat, which isn’t so bad, I guess, but he’d drag me to all those lousy places too, and what was I gonna do? I’d eat. So he was making me fat, too.
ABBY pops HER gum, swats at a bug, glances around boredly.
And he was so argumentative. About every. little. thing. It didn’t matter that he knew nothing about what he was talking about, he’d still argue. He’d be watching TV, which is how he got the majority of his exercise, and I’d hear him arguing. I’d say, “Bill, who’re you talking to?” He’d say,
(imitating a gruff male voice)
“They got a guy here says Duke has a chance this year.”
Holds hands up in a "so what" gesture.
So what? It’s some guy’s opinion, who cares. It’s just a ball game, right?
Don’t get me started on sports. When he was watching a game, he would get right up in front of the TV and yell at it, really yell at it, like they could hear him in there. And he’d refer to the team as ‘us’, like he had anything to do with it.
(Imitating gruff male voice)
“We played a good game today,” or “We’re making a comeback,” like his fat, bald ass was going anywhere near a real game, like the physical exertion of going to the bathroom without making a mess wasn’t too much for him, much less playing in a ball game. I mean I’m not talking about little things like leaving the seat up or anything like that, I’m talking about getting it IN the toilet. I’m talking about not leaving a puddle in front of the toilet so that when I sat down to use the bathroom, I stepped in it. For the first six months we lived together, I thought the toilet had a leak in front, then I figured out what was really happening.
I mean, I was glad when I saw the seat was up, at least that meant he hadn’t pissed ON the seat, at least he lifted it, not that it really matters. I swear to God, if it wasn’t for the sake of pure principle, I’d have had a urinal installed, but he’d have never agreed to pay for the Plummer.
Winds down, pauses looking at the bag.
Anyway, I guess I’m not doing a very good job explaining myself. Wish I could say something really validating, like that he’d cheated on me or something, but frankly I can’t see how anyone would’ve wanted him. Not after they’d lived with him, anyway. The thing was...That he smelled. I mean, not just like he hadn’t showered, or he wore too much cologne, I mean he smelled. The way he smelled got to me, finally, because I started smelling like it too. I’d be in the car, and I’d smell him, but he wasn’t there. Or I’d be at work and smell him, but it was just me. It really weirded me out...So I killed him. I mean, I’m not as young as I used to be. I can not afford to be fat and smelly at this point in my life. I mean after all, the way he ate, he was probably going to have heart disease, or cancer or something anyway. Really, I probably did him a favor.
Smiles at the audience.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Abby, why didn't you just leave him?” Well...
Aside from the insurance of course, basically, I just didn’t want to hurt his feelings. I mean if I’d left him, it would’ve broken his fat, bald little heart. And I didn’t wanna be mean,
there’s no reason for that.
ABBY snaps HER gum, picks HER shovel back up, and continues shoveling. After a moment, SHE begins whistling tunelessly.