Excerpt of Circles (formatted for web viewing)

From beginning of Act II: Front room and kitchen. Sunday morning. Gertie does yoga to a video yoga tape. We can hear Richard Hittleman's calming voice in the background. Jo darts in and out, a little hung over, tidying from the previous night and setting things on the table for breakfast. Mona and Em enter from the beach, vibrant and refreshed. We hear their voices as they enter from the balcony.)

EM: We had the same thing happen at home one time. If there are still scouts going out, it means they're looking for a place to make a hive. They probably won't settle on that branch. They'd never make it through the winter.

MONA: There's so many. If they do settle in, Mari'll have quite a honey farm.

EM: "We could dream, and keep bees, and live on Honey Street." Oh, I love Richard Hittleman’s voice. And Mr. Rogers. I mean if I started my day with one of them each day, I—

JO: There's something wrong with that man.

EM: Who?

JO: Mr. Rogers. He is not normal.

EM: Mr. Rogers is wonderful. If I could just take things at his pace all day, I wouldn't have to worry about dying of a heart attack. Right now, I could use that kind of calming presence. (Singing) "I like to take my time, oh yes, I like to take my time..."

JO: You always have taken your time!

GERTIE: (Laughing.) Stop! Stop! I declare this a Sister-Bashing Free Zone.

JO: (Reminiscing.) The Little Princess cannot clean house today; she is composing a poem.

CASS: (Descending, disheveled from upstairs.) Arrggh! Have we started already? (She crosses to kitchen for her Inka.In the kitchen, Cass talks to herself.)

GERTIE: My dear, women are always busy. It's how we survive in a patriarchal society. And your sister is the most energetic woman I have ever known.

EM: I wish I felt a little more energetic right now.

MONA: Everything will be fine.

GERTIE: (To Mona and Em.) Did you find it?

JO: What?

GERTIE: The fire circle.

MONA: The energy is so high all over.

EM: (Laughs.) It gives us an incentive for our hikes though.

JO: What?

EM: Seeking the sacred.

JO: Ah, the story of my life. Who will help me bake this bread? Not I said the cow. Not I said the goat. Not I said the sister. I am exploring the depths of human understanding. I am seeking God. Then I will do it myself.

GERTIE: You see? We make the coffee. We go out to work. We prepare the meals. We raise the children. We search for God. We walk the picket line. We make love to our men. Our energies are constantly flowing out from us. That's why we can't be available to one another.

CASS: I left the Inka right here. Why did someone move it?

EM: (To Jo.) I thought you liked doing all this.

(Em puts on an eclectic tape of semi-sacred music.)

JO: I do.

EM: It can be a way of centering yourself. That's how the Amish see it, as centering. Sweep the hearth. Water the lawn. Wash the dishes. They're Zen meditations. We should each do one seven minutes a day.

JO: Oh it can be a meditation if you only have to do it when you feel like it!

CASS: Why would someone move my Inka. No one else even drinks it.

MONA: Do you do that every day?

EM: No. I just keep telling myself I should.

MONA: You need to do that though Em. It will center you.

CASS: Damn. I left my hormones upstairs.

MONA: How do you center yourself?

EM: I make cappuccinos. That's my Japanese tea ceremony. The coffee is nice, but it's the process that really matters.

CASS: Coffee everywhere, but where's my goddamn Inka?

JO: (Continuing to tidy up and prepare for breakfast.) Wipe the table. Arrange the placemats. Set out the forks.

GERTIE: If you don't like it, don't do it!

JO: (Crossing to kitchen.) I do like it.

CASS: (To Jo, in kitchen.) I thought he was dead.

JO: Who?

CASS: Mr. Rogers.

JO: (Handing Cass a mug of Inka.) Here.

CASS: Thanks.

(…continued…)

© All text copyright 2018 by Micki Shelton