So a couple months ago my school did a 24 theater event. Writers came in and wrote short plays for 12 hours and then actors learned the scripts for 12 hours. I wrote two things, one was a short play about vampire (which I may or may not upload at some point) and the other was this! It’s a semi-autobiographical monologue about growing up queer in the church. Enjoy!
INT. NONDESCRIPT ROOM
A spotlight comes up and we see a young woman sitting on a stool.
I remember everything about Sundays. My sister and I in our shared bedroom changing from our pajamas to those itchy stockings and patent leather shoes my mother bought us. My father downstairs yelling for us to hurry up. We couldn’t be late for church. God can forgive most things, but lateness? Not a chance. The years passed as I sat in that same wooden pew, probably getting permanent nerve damage from those hours of sitting. We were all forced to listen to the same recycled sermons and homilies. The same monotone songs and prayers. I mean, would it kill them to spice it up a little? Maybe throw in something jazzy? I tried to listen closely, looking for the bits of wisdom or revelation that I was supposed to get, but never found them. I tried to immerse myself in Him. I joined the youth group in what little free time I had, helped to force flyers onto unsuspecting people and beg strangers for money. I thought if I did this I would be saved, I was never exactly sure what I was supposed to be saved from, but I was told I needed it, so I must’ve needed it. The deacon visited often and stood tall on the alter. Everything about him screamed drama, the elaborate robe, the burning incense rising around him, he looked like he was gonna whip out a guitar at any minute and start playing classic rock. The constant praying was the worst, you would never think that praying would involve some much exercise but trust me, it does. The kneeling, the standing, the up and down again and again and again, it really does a number on the joints. After our mandatory praying sessions my fellow devoted youth would talk about how they felt the holy spirit fill them up and it made them feel divine. They walked around with an arrogant glow around them. I felt nothing, I was always furious, I’d been robbed. I wasn’t left with a feeling of divinity, I was just left with sore knees and clothes smelling like incense. The only time I was left with a feeling of divinity was when I would kiss Katie behind the church. We would routinely sneak away from the rest of the group and explore each other, over our clothes of course, we weren’t heathens. We were awkward and we fumbled but, in those moments, I always felt the holy spirit fill me up. When Katie and I saw each other on Sundays she looked right through me, but I watched her when she prayed. That glow was around her, that arrogant glow. I knew she was praying about me because when we were done kissing behind the church she always looked me dead in the eyes and told me she could feel the sin rushing through her and it made her feel sick. But I knew she was lying. I could see it on her face, because it was the same way she looked when she was praying.