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and a small volcano

Delphine:

Yes I thought you might ask about that...it's so long ago now, and it's not something I like to think about.

I grew up in a very strict Catholic family, you understand, on the east coast in a very small town I was very sheltered I didn't know what an erection was until I was 16; truly, imagine me, Delphine Moth, 14 years old, I hadn't ever had a period, I was a really late bloomer...

I had about two days of pains so I thought I was finally going to menstruate like my friends, but then I was in Geography class giving a little talk on volcanoes, I remember exactly what I was saying:

"...the island of Krakatoa, the volcano erupted in 1867 killing 36,000 souls." ...and suddenly I felt this terrific pain and I said, 'Excuse me, I am not feeling well at all if you don't mind may I be excused Sister Barney?' That was her name.  And so I ran down the hallway to the washroom and I went into the stall and well I'm sure you've heard what labour is like.

I felt I became a Krakatoa I felt like I was a mountain in a very cold freezing country a tall pink and red mountain and I thought I heard drums and the drums were drumming louder and louder and the people the women were singing the air was darkening the pressure in my head the pain the pure horror of pain.

I couldn't scream, the janitor Bill would hear me.  I bit on my arm and it was as if the volcano exploded and the people ran ran in their bare feet the hot hot lava catching them, drowning them, she was drowning in the lava she had to get away get away from the lava, she she pulled herself away, looked into the white round  pool and there was a bloody creamy the lava had killed a child she bit she bit off the vine that had strangled the child she picked the child up she would save the child she she heard a mewling a crying run run away they are coming after the baby they want to sacrifice the baby running down the hall 'Miss Moth Miss Moth may I ask where you might be?'

Catch the bus the bus goes way way out only two of us on the bus  blood running down my legs feeling dizzy very dizzy okay, down my legs all over the ground saw the rusitng Ferris wheel and I saved the baby I put her on the Ferris wheel away from harm away from the hot hot lava sliding sliding for a typing test.

Mother said I had to do well in typing if I wanted to be a doctor.  Mr Hale the typing teacher with the goatee and the white shoes, he noticed that blood was dripping down onto the floor below me. 'O no that's just lava' said I, 'I was just in a volcano explosion you know, over the island on the island.'  All the kids were talking behind their hands, and Sister Johnny she put her hands on my shoulders and I blacked out right out and I didn't come to light until I was in the hospital.

In mental hospital there was a horse in my room and a small volcano.

My older cousin Shelley she sat there with me for weeks; she held my hand, she helped me breathe and said 'Never never feel guilty, you did nothing wrong.' I did nothing wrong.  I did nothing wrong.  I am not responsible for you.

pause.

I'm sorry.

======

"Write a monologue: Give voice to the silent, and make the invisible visible."

:Judith Thompson, excerpt from Capture Me,  Tarragon Theater, Ontario, 2002.   From Introduction, She Speaks: Monologues For Women, Playwrights Canada Press, 2004.

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