Arlie…from Getting Out
Modern – Women
By Marsha Norman (Avon Books: pp.51-52)
(Beginning of Act 2: Arlie is locked in a maximum security cell. We do not see the officer she is speaking to.)
ARLIE: No, I don’t have to shut up, neither. You already got me in seg-re-ga-tion, what else you gonna do? I got all day to sleep, while everybody else is out bustin ass in the laundry. [laughs] Hey! I know…you ain’t gotta go do no dorm count, I’ll just tell you and you just sit. Huh? You preciate that? Ease them corns you been moanin about……Yeah …OK. Write this down. [pride mixed with alternating contempt and amusement] Startin down by the john on the backside, we got Mary Alice. Sleeps with her pillow stuffed in her mouth. Says her mom says it’d keep her from grindin her teeth or somethin. She be suckin that pillow like she gettin paid for it. [laughs] Next, it’s Betty the Frog. Got her legs all opened up like some fuckin…… [Makes croaking noises] Then it’s Doris eatin pork rinds. Thinks somebody gonna grab em out of her mouth if she eats em during the day. Doris ain’t dumb. She fat, but she ain’t dumb. Hey! You notice how many girls is fat here? Then it be Rhoda, snorin, Marvene, wheezin and Suzanne, coughin. Then Clara and Ellie be still whisperin. Family shit, who’s gettin outta line, which girls is gittin a new work ‘signment, an who kin git extra desserts an for how much. Them’s the two really runs this place. My bed right next to Ellie, for sure it got some of her shit hid in it by now. Crackers or some crap gonna leak out all over my sheets. Last time I found a fuckin grilled cheese in my pillow. Even had two of them little warty pickles. Christ! O.K. Linda and Lucille. They be real quiet but they ain’t sleepin. Prayin, that’s them. Linda be sayin them “Hail Mary’s” til you kin just about scream. An Lucille, she tol me once she didn’t believe in no God, jus some stupid spirits swooshin around everywhere makin people do stuff. Weird. Now I’m goin back down the other side, there’s….[screams] I’d like to see you try it! I been listenin at you for the last three hours. Your husband’s gettin laid off an your lettuce is gettin eat by rabbits. Crap City. You shut up! Whadda I care if I wake everybody up? I want the nurse….I’m gettin sick in here…an there’s bugs in here!