Four Cycle: pt 5, the Neighbors on the Porch Swing
by Drake Iowa
[LIGHTS UP. OLD MAN is onstage. He makes this monologue come out.]
Yeah that's my tractor. You're new here, huh. When I was young, I fell in love and had a farm with a tractor and a wife and a little baby. I get real bad asthma though, around diesel especially, so I can't drive most tractors. The wife said it was just fine if she did all the tractor things and I did all the woman's work, so that's what we did. One day the two of us got pregnant, and I swelled up big as a house.
Looking back seems she was a mite resentful I was the one pregnant. But I couldn't tell then. She saw me through the pregnancy and we had a beautiful baby girl. Now it showed right away that our daughter couldn't really grow up to be much more than a groupie and a coke fiend. But as a baby she was beautiful regardless. I suppose all babies are like that.
Years passed and we caught her turning tricks for coke. She was eight, so coke meant coca-cola, and turning tricks meant doing magic with a pack of cards, but it showed she was pointed down the wrong path.
Well, I guess it was too much for the old woman, and she started driving into town. I guessed what was on her mind, and I took our daughter, put her on my shoulders and chased after her all the way to this here diner. By the time we got here, the old lady was in the passenger seat of an eighteen wheeler, and the driver was taking off his pants. That big rig sped away quick. Now it turns out, and I didn't learn this til later, that the reason that trucker took off his pants was because his clothes stank of diesel so bad my wife couldn't be indoors with him unless he was naked. Mind you, at the time I assumed the worst, and I broke down and cried on that doorstep for a good ten years.
I would have dehydrated the first day if the manager hadn't brought me pitchers of water. I couldn't find the motivation to walk home. The manager was nice though, and my daugter was sending me an allowance. She was making fairly good money. We always knew she would.
Now one day the manager brought me a glass of water. I stopped crying to take a sip, and when I did there was this tractor parked not an arm's length away. This was June and the pollen was thick. And here was this tractor in breathing distance and I'm feeling just fine. It ran on gasoline. I walked into the diner, found out whose tractor it was and gave him $20,000 cash for it. That's it out there now.
I took that tractor straight home and started my fallow field with crops again. I had a great yield. Every year was better, and in a while, my little field was outperforming all the big acreages in the county. Now maybe you know about the Taj Mahal. Those crops were my Taj Mahal. Now that I finally could, I was farming; that was my testament - to show the world I missed my wife something awful.
So that's my tractor out there. Still runs just as good as ever, and on gas. I know my wife and I can't ever get back together now. All the same, I drive past this diner every day, hoping she'll be here and see me on my tractor. Then she'd know right off if she'd only take me back, then I would be the farmer, and she could be the wife.
[LIGHTS DOWN]"Four Cycle: pt 5, the Neighbors on the Porch Swing" IS COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL AND MAY NOT BE DOWNLOADED, TRANSMITTED, PRINTED OR PERFORMED WITHOUT THE EXPRESS PERMISSION OF THE AUTHOR
"Four Cycle: pt 5, the Neighbors on the Porch Swing" debuted October 4, 2002, performed by James Erwin.
Performed at No Shame / Verona on March 22, 2003, by Trent Westbrook.