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Who Am I?

Copyright 2001, by Samuel M. Post.
Note: If you’d like to produce this play, on stage or in a class — please email me and ask permission. It will be granted, but I’d really like to know about it.

Characters

TRISH, who speaks with a weird accent.

DR. GIMPLE

A therapist’s office. Two chairs. A globe. A phone.
An interview.

GIMPLE: Captain Clopper sent you here.

TRISH: Yes.

GIMPLE: Amnesia.

TRISH: Yes.

GIMPLE: What’s the problem?

TRISH: I don’t know who I am.

GIMPLE: Clopper says you were hit in the head with a…telephone.

TRISH: There were witnesses, but they aren’t sure. They think it was a phone. The perpetrator is at large.

GIMPLE: We know it was a phone. He dropped it. This is it.

GIMPLE shows her a phone.

TRISH: Nokia.

GIMPLE: Not a great phone.

TRISH: A little big.

GIMPLE: He got you in the front of the head.

TRISH: Yes. There’s a knot.

GIMPLE: Let me have a look at that.

He goes to her and holds the phone to her head, studying the angle at which it must have delivered the blow. He touches her head.

TRISH: Ouch.

GIMPLE: It’s an egg all right. You must have seen him coming.

TRISH: No.

GIMPLE: No idea who did this?

TRISH: I don’t remember a thing.

GIMPLE: Your accent is…somewhere different. Do you know where you’re from?

TRISH: We can’t seem to pin it down.

GIMPLE: I’m guessing you’ve traveled.

TRISH: That would explain my manners and speech.

GIMPLE: It could.

TRISH: I’m sophisticated, you think?

GIMPLE: You appear to be. You sound it. This is good information.

TRISH: I’m mysterious.

GIMPLE: Very. Captain Clopper says this happened in front of the theatre.

TRISH: In the lobby, after the opera. So I’m told.

GIMPLE: That’s a clue.

frustrated

TRISH: But it’s so vague. Isn’t there something you can do? I’ve probably got a million things to do.

GIMPLE: Can you remember just one of them?

TRISH: No!

GIMPLE: Hmm. Whacked on the head at the opera. You like opera?

TRISH: Perhaps.

GIMPLE: You’re not sure.

TRISH: No.

GIMPLE: Can you think of an opera’s you’ve seen?

TRISH: Il Rigoletto, I think – but I couldn’t tell you a thing about it.

GIMPLE: Can you remember anything about yourself?

TRISH: I think I’m an executive, maybe in the fashion industry. I’m pretty sure I’m rich. I just have that feeling. I spend time in Rome, Paris, places like that, I think – but I don’t know where I live.

GIMPLE: Well, we know you speak English, anyway. But that accent. Curious.

TRISH: It’s nice, isn’t it?

GIMPLE: Well, yeah – but where could you be from? Not America.

TRISH: I don’t think so either. I also speak French and Italian. I’m comfortable with Japanese, and not too bad with Russian.

GIMPLE: You know those languages, and remember them?

TRISH: Yes I do, thank God.

GIMPLE: produces a globe of the world.

GIMPLE: Does this trigger anything?

She takes a look.

TRISH: Nothing.

GIMPLE: Any childhood memories?

TRISH: At one point, I studied abroad, but I don’t know
where.

GIMPLE: What do you remember about that?

TRISH: A boy. That’s all.

GIMPLE: Nothing but the boy.

TRISH: That’s it.

GIMPLE: What language did he speak?

TRISH: I don’t remember the things he said.

GIMPLE: If you don’t remember anything about something, how do you know it’s real?

TRISH: It’s there, in my head. Just that. Study abroad. Boy abroad. It’s a concept internalized, but I don’t see it.

GIMPLE: No clue as to what you studied?

TRISH: Wasn’t art. Wasn’t history. I believe it was art history

GIMPLE: Then you went to college.

TRISH: Pretty sure.

GIMPLE: Major?

TRISH: Liberal arts of some kind. Don’t know what.

GIMPLE: Perhaps languages?

TRISH: Could be.

GIMPLE: Any other memories, from childhood.

TRISH: I’m almost certain I’ve lived in a two story house with a finished basement.

GIMPLE: Visualize that house. What do you see?

TRISH: There’s a kitchen. A stairway, obviously. My bedroom is there. Some living spaces. A dog, I think. Perhaps a cat. Maybe both.

GIMPLE: More specific.

TRISH: Little dog, I think. About the size of that phone.

GIMPLE: That’s a little dog.

TRISH: Big phone.

thinking

That’s all I’m getting.

GIMPLE: Any thoughts about your name?

TRISH: No idea and no ID.

GIMPLE: Your purse was snatched.

TRISH: So they say.

GIMPLE: Do you think you could be married?

She shrugs.

TRISH: I don’t seem to have a ring.

GIMPLE: That would be a strong association. Even if you had been married in the past. You could have a sense of something like that. Any hunch?

TRISH: Not the faintest.

GIMPLE: Sex? That’s a strong memory.

TRISH: I’m in favor of it, just like everybody else.

GIMPLE: Specifically?

TRISH: It’s a blank.

GIMPLE: Any partners?

TRISH: Men.

GIMPLE: Specific ones?

TRISH: No.

GIMPLE: Let’s back up a second. Are you sure you work in the
fashion industry?

TRISH: Yes.

GIMPLE: As an executive.

TRISH: Something very, very…well, even if it’s not the fashion industry…there are lots of people who work for me. I’m the owner, I feel sure. The key is that I’m rich. I’m almost positive of that.

GIMPLE: If that’s the case, then somebody will want to find you and we’ll have you identified in no time. Until then, do any people, individuals, come to mind?

TRISH: No.

GIMPLE: Any distinctive traits of anyone in your life? Anything?

TRISH: A few faces, vague… you know how faces are. Very, very vague. Nothing uncommon. No names.

GIMPLE: Do you find this frustrating?

TRISH: No, because this is new. I haven’t been working to remember. You’re doing the work. I’m just letting it flood back.

GIMPLE: That’s a sensible approach. What kinds of things have flooded in?

TRISH: It happened mostly when I first woke up. It’s more of a trickle, now. If I could get home, I think the flooding would begin again.

GIMPLE: Are you a Democrat or a Republican?

TRISH: Neither, but I feel sure I’m in the center, in terms of world politics. On the American scale I’m far to the left.

GIMPLE: Phone number?

TRISH: Not a clue.

GIMPLE: Shoe size?

TRISH: Seven and a half B.

GIMPLE: Parents?

TRISH: Two.

GIMPLE: Any memories of them?

TRISH: Vague memory of the womb, my birth, seeing my mother just afterwards. She looked like she was crying.

GIMPLE: Extraordinary. What was it like?

TRISH: Like being in the shower, soapy all over, and suddenly running out of hot water.

GIMPLE: Then perhaps you remember your birthday.

TRISH: No.

GIMPLE: Your age?

TRISH: Twenty-five, thiry? What do you think?

GIMPLE: Plausible. Religion?

TRISH: Confirmed agnostic.

GIMPLE: So you’ve given some thought to this.

TRISH: How can one avoid it?

GIMPLE: There’s a wide range of agnostic thought. It can be painfully reasoned, and it can be flippant.

TRISH: I don’t let these things overpower me.

GIMPLE: Often, with agnosticism, there’s angst. Yet, you’re comfortable with it?

TRISH: I’d go further than that. I enjoy it.

GIMPLE: Good for you. What about your sense of time?

TRISH: I have no problem with it.

GIMPLE: You’re not losing track of the days? You’re sleeping at night?

TRISH: I feel perfectly normal, except that I don’t know who I am. There is one thing. I remember something about a dictionary. I had one.

GIMPLE: Your very own dictionary, eh?

TRISH: Yes – could that be anything?

GIMPLE: We’re on a fishing expedition here. Suppose we meet again Tuesday and poke it around again, wait for things to return?

TRISH: Fine.

GIMPLE: I think you’ll be fine. It may take a few days, weeks, even years – but you’ll get there.

TRISH: I hope so.

GIMPLE: Wanna a little homework?

TRISH: I love homework.

GIMPLE: Write down everything you know about yourself.

TRISH: I’ll try.

GIMPLE: Don’t make it a burden. But if you think of something, like that dictionary…if you remember where you were with the dictionary…just jot it down.

TRISH: I’ll keep a pad.

GIMPLE: See you Tuesday.

She begins to leave. The cell phone rings.

Ah hah! Now we’ve got something. Mind if I answer it?

TRISH: Go ahead.

GIMPLE: Gimple.

He listens.

Uh huh.

He listens.

Uh huh.

He listens.

No kidding.

He listens.

Uh huh.

He listens.

That’s wild.

He hangs up.

TRISH: Who was it?

GIMPLE: He didn’t say, but he’s crazy about you.

TRISH: We can trace that.

GIMPLE: Doubtful. He isn’t up for it. But he said that this is your phone.

TRISH: Then why did you answer?

GIMPLE: You told me to.

TRISH: The call was for me!

GIMPLE: Here, take the phone. If you get another call, find out who you are.

TRISH: I’ll do that.

GIMPLE: Feel free to call me.

TRISH: I will.

She exits.

curtain

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