Enemy under the blanket
This is a series of monologs and dialogs about romantic relationships. I wrote them for a multi-
media show which was performed at the UK Brighton Festival some years ago, and repeated
the following year at the Lewes Literary Festival. Since then they’ve been performed a number
of times in both UK and USA.
Each monolog or dialog stands by itself, and can be performed as a solo or duo item. Some are
tender, some raw, some (I hope) funny. They come with no stage directions, so performers can
add their own activity. A couple performed one of the dialogs while sharing a bag of potato
crisps, for example. A number or reader/performers have told me that quite intimate aspects of
their own relationships are echoed or reflected in “Enemy under the blanket.”
Here’s a sample:
She said: So you're taking the car?
He said: Is that OK?
She said: Yes that's fine
He said: Because I can take the train if you'd rather....
She said: No that's silly. You take the car.
You need to feel free don't you?
He said: Yes. I need to feel free.
She said: How long will you be gone?
He said: Don't ask.
She said: And you don't want me to ask where you're going.
He said: I'd rather you didn't.
She said: Or who you're going to visit.
He said: Right.
She said: And you don't want me to ask
why you don't want me to ask any of these questions.
He said: Go ahead. You can ask me that.
She said: Why don't you want me to ask any of these questions?
He said: Because I need a break. Because I need some space.
I want to find out what's left of the me
that's nothing to do with us, with you. That's all I want.
Some time for me.
I was hoping you'd understand and accept it
without me having to explain.
I was hoping you'd have the sense to let me go
without having to ask a whole bunch of questions.
She said: So if any of your friends call up
to invite you out to the pub or how about a sauna next Saturday
I'm to tell them that you've gone off on a quest
to rediscover the part of you that isn't anything to do with me
and I don't know when you'll be back. Right?
He said: Tell them what you like.
She said: It may take months
He said: I doubt it.
She said: Years even.
He said: Come on!
She said: Which raises the question:
How long am I prepared to wait
while you rediscover that part of you that isn't anything to do with me?
And what if, while I'm waiting for you to rediscover that part of you
that isn't anything to do with me
I rediscover that part of me that isn't anything to do with you?
What if we meet some time in early November
and discover that the parts of us that we've rediscovered
that aren't anything to do with each other
have grown so big and so strong
that the parts of us that have to do with us
have dwindled to nothing?
He said: Well, that's what happens. So be it. It's no good...
She said: I might have become a Buddhist.
I might have silicon implants, or someone else's baby.
I might have put your stuff into storage and flown to Seattle.
I mean, I think it's only fair, if you do your quest then I do mine.
Otherwise, my sense of who I am that isn't anything to do with you
will be less developed than your sense of who you are
that isn't anything to do with me.
Which will be bad for our relationship. Lack of balance.
And anyway I'm not one of your passive ladies from the myths
waiting at home for her man to come back with the Golden Fleece
or some equally useless article
keeping horny young men at bay with her knitting needles.
He said: Why do you have to turn everything
into a bloody competition? I just want a bit of time for myself. That's all.
She said: Fine. Feel free. Good luck to you.
He said: Thank you.
She said: So you're taking the car?
He said: Is that ok?
She said: Yes that's fine.
I'll take the train.
He said: Where?
She said: Don't ask.