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.
TRISH, who speaks with a weird accent.
A therapist’s office. Two chairs. A globe. A phone.
GIMPLE: Captain Clopper sent you here.
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.
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.
GIMPLE: It’s an egg all right. You must have seen him coming.
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.
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?
GIMPLE: Hmm. Whacked on the head at the opera. You like opera?
GIMPLE: You’re not sure.
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.
GIMPLE: Any childhood memories?
TRISH: At one point, I studied abroad, but I don’t know
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.
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.
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?
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.
TRISH: It’s a blank.
GIMPLE: Any partners?
GIMPLE: Specific ones?
GIMPLE: Let’s back up a second. Are you sure you work in the
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?
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: 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.
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?
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.
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.