First draft - the introduction to my Project Mundane performance: To be performed in front of a group of human mammals. I'll be wearing an exaggerated version of a power suit and sipping on bottled water to stay hydrated. Monologue will be accompanied by a Power Point presentation including charts, graphs, statistics, and colorful imagery.
Hi, I'm Felicity Marie Fenton, mammal, mother, worker, slacker, loser, lover, dreamer, hoper, taker, wanter, needer, screamer (scream), singer (sing), leaper (leap), somersaulter (somersault), kisser (kiss someone on the cheek), clapper (clap), kneeler (kneel), shaker (shake), hopper (hop), tip toer (tip toe), high fiver (give someone a high five), flopper (flop), squatter (squat) jogger (jog), and a bunch of other verbs my grandmother's grandfather passed down to me.
What do all these titles mean anyway? (Show a series of images that relate to each title).
Mammal (show an image of a variety of mammals with dictionary definition), a warm-blooded vertebrate animal of a class that is distinguished by the possession of hair or fur, the secretion of milk by females for the nourishment of the young, and (typically) the birth of live young. As you see, I am with hair (point to hair). I am with teats (grab teats), which are at the moment primarily used to feed a child I birthed from my vagina just 6 months ago. Which brings me to my next title.
Mother. This is a hefty one for there is so much involved in the mothering process. Being a mother involves partaking in a combination of actions that are both invigorating (an image of a woman giving birth, a child smiling, a child learning to ride a bike, etc.) and downright exhausting (an image of a woman asleep with her boob out, pulling her hair out while a child screams in the grocery store, etc.)
Then I am a worker. I work on many things. I work for money by sitting at a desk, typing a few things onto the keyboard and moving a mouse around with an often cramped hand. I listen to the opinions of my colleagues and employer - sometimes with spite and sometimes with interest. I have a one hour lunch break designated for the consumption of Vietnamese soup and Jasmine tea. And I work on other things as well. I make sounds with my hands and vocal chords. Sounds that I only occasionally refer to as music. I write stories involving female protagonists with some sort of handicap. I plant vegetables to eat throughout the year. The worker title seems to consume a bulk of my time. It’s the title I both loathe and love equally. It’s also the title that conjures up the most questions. What am I doing? Who am I? The questions that I’ve been asking in one fashion or another since I was a toddler, hover around the worker title like a pesky fly on ham.
Slacker. The title I use when I’m rebelling against my “worker” title. I take naps. I putz around on social networking sites. I sweep dust into the corner of a room rather than into the trash. I don’t wash thoroughly. I only partially cook my food. I half- assedly pet the cats. I procrastinate. I take longer pauses than necessary when partaking in aerobic activity. It’s the slacker title that keeps me from doing all the things I long to do, yet at the same time, enables my brain to take a break from all the hubub its bombarded with on a daily basis.
Loser. I’m not finding the cure for cancer or saving wild tigers from slaughter in Asia. I’m not creating a robust agricultural system that will help feed the world without the use of GMO’s. I’m not running for senate or even following a fraction of what our current US administration is doing to potentially ruin the world. I have no idea what the Nobel Peace Prize says about anything. I have absolutely no desire to become a climatologist in Antarctica to help stop global warming. And, I don’t bake bread from scratch.
Lover. I love people. Some more than others. I love sunny days especially the sunny days when my “worker” title doesn’t permit me to experience them. I love dark chocolate, cheddar cheese, and avocados plucked from the tree with my own hands. I love animals - especially animals that love me back. I love reading a good book on the couch. I love the color red. I love warming my hands with a piping hot cup of tea. I love watching my child sleep. I love listening to Neil Young’s Everybody Knows This is Nowhere several times per year (play a bit of the song). I love cooking a delicious meal for my fellow human mammals - and sometimes dogs. I love the satisfaction of making and finishing things. I love flowers. I love too much. I love not enough.
Dreamer. In my waking and sleeping life, I dream. At night I dream of tiny men stampeding along my spine with sharp hockey pucks. I dream of trying to scream and nothing coming out. I dream of past lovers and how they won’t ever forgive me. I dream of walt disney baby creatures bouncing up and down in the roiling waves. And during the day, when I’m consumed by my “worker” title, I dream of fleeing the country. I dream of buying a donkey and turning it into a library (picture of such a thing). I dream of sleeping for days ad days without interruption. I dream of all the things I should be doing outside of whatever it is I’m doing at the time.
Hoper. Some pray. Some wish. I hope. I hope for the world to one day become a more peaceful place. I hope for rain to fall in drought stricken lands. I hope for lecherous men to stop touching young girls who have been forced from their families at a young age to work as sex slaves. I hope for my family’s happiness. I hope for your happiness. I hope that the earth doesn’t explode. I hope the disparity between the rich and poor goes away forever. I hope my cats don’t resent me for domesticating them.
Taker. More often than not, I’m a taker of things. I take food. I take water. I take clothing. I take shelter. I take gasoline for my car. I take music from the internet. I take color copies from work. I take the attention of others.
Wanter. I want things. Too many things. I want a vast collection of red shoes. I want ridiculously expensive skin cream. I want a bigger studio. I want a drum kit. I want a farm with chickens, goats, two cows, a potbellied pig, a peacock, and lots of land for growing edible things. I want a cute disabled pug. I want less floppy tits. I want more time to read the classics. I want to record and master an album in my own recording studio. I want to open a restaurant dedicated to the many curries of the world. I want to live in China. I want to travel all over the world. I want more money. I want a better looking ass. I want good conversation at least three times a day. I want boundless energy to do the things I need to get done. I want a personal assistant. I want to spend more time doing nothing at all. I want to experience what it’s like to be a man, then a sloth, then a bird, maybe an eagle or glossy ibis.
Needer. I need to eat vegetables at least three times a day. I need to move my bones. I need to breathe. I occasionally need to stick my husband’s penis into my vagina. I need to expose my skin to the sun. I need to see my family. I need to be nice to people I don’t know. I need to sleep deeply. I need to drink lots of water. I need to talk to my friends. I need to inhale various smells both good and bad. I need to clean. I need to walk amongst trees. I need silence.
Where do these titles take me in life? Where have they taken me today? Where will they take me tomorrow? Who the hell do I think I am? Who the hell do you think you are? Where are we going? Where have we been? How many fingers am I holding up? Are you hungry (hand someone a banana)? Are you thirsty (pour someone a glass of water)? What did I eat for breakfast this morning? Did I eat any fruit? Will I be constipated tomorrow and the next day? Will I be fatigued and on the verge of sleep for the bulk of the afternoon? Will you care? Probably not.