Peter and the Starcatcher Monologues
Tell you what: You say ”sorry” so easy, like the rough patch’s smoothed over, no hard feelings and everything’s fixed. Well, no. There’s dark … a mass of darkness in the world, and if you get trapped in the cave like us, it beats you down. “Sorry” can’t fix it. Better to say nothing than sorry. (hearing his mother’s song, far away) When it’s night, and I’m too scared to sleep, I look through the cracks – y’know? – between the wood nailed over the window, and I see all those little stars that I can’t reach, and I think that in a hundred years, or two or three hundred maybe, boys’ll be free and life’ll be so beautiful that nobody’ll ever say “sorry” again – ‘cuz nobody’ll have to. I think about that a lot.
First class ain’t what it used to be. ’Course, back in my salad days, I was a green girl bringing up brats in a big, breezy brownstone in Brighton. That was a tight spot, too, and hell on the household help. Especially the kitchen boy – a lovely island lad who worked
wonders with a cannelloni, plus a pasta fazool to make you drool. But oh, it made the master mad how the mistress moaned fer’is manicotti. He beat the boy something brutal, but the boy didn’t say boo. Point is – we must button our beaks and be brave like that
boy, or my name’s not Betty Bumbrake. Now, you might well be afraid you’ll never clap eyes on your father again, and it cuts me to the core, but never show that sorry Slank the slightest sniff of fear. There are men who can smell it on you, Molly, and they make you pay…(breaks down blubbering)
I’m a romantic! There’s a poet in these pirate veins, and so
I plug into the muse. (holds his hand out to Smee for a manicure) But what to do? Which style to use? Iambic? Box office poison. Haiku? Over my dead granny. (suddenly vicious
to Smee) Mind the cuticle, Smee! (Eureka!) Hoopah! Got it! (a steely glare at Aster) A pirate with scads of panache Wants the key to the trunk with the cash. Now, here’s some advice: Tho’ I seem to be nice – I’LL CUT YOU!!! Slit you up one side ‘n’ down the
other so ye can watch yer own stomach flop around on the deck. (Aster doesn’t flinch) I say, Smee-you did explain to my lord that I’m a bloodthirsty outlaw?
You stop that right now. I won’t answer any such question. You’re leaning toward the sentimental and that’s all well and good for a boy, but the fact is we girls can’t afford to be sentimental. We must instead be strong. And when I marry, I shall make it very clear
to this person – that sentimentality is not on the calendar. He will have to lump it or leave it. And if he should leave, I’ll stay a spinster and pin my hair back and volunteer weekends at the hospital. And I will love words for their own sake, like “hyacinth” and “Piccadilly” and “onyx.” And I’ll have a good old dog, and think what I like, and be a part of a different sort of family, with friends, you know? – who understand that things are only worth what you’re willing to give up for them.
Well, well…nice of you to drop in. I’m Teacher—that’s what I’m called. And yes, I speak English. I know your name is Peter. I know a lot of things. You don’t need a raft to get home, and you don’t need the Wasp. All you need is starstuff. Listen to Teacher.
When you rode the trunk to this island, seawater seeped inside. Then the starstuff in the trunk enchanted the water. The water enchanted the fish in the wake of the trunk. Then the waves washed the water right into this grotto, where I was swimmin’. The starstuff’ll change you, too. It makes you what you want to be. Sky’s the limit. You could even fly yourself home maybe, just like you dreamed. See? You’re changing already, Peter Pan. Shouldn’t you be on your way? Molly’s going to beat you to that trunk.
Wait a minute, wait a minute, I’m the leader, and I say we got some things. The leader has to be boy. It doesn’t matter how old you are! This is Ted, but I call him Tubby, ‘cuz he’s food obsessed. (to Ted) Yeah, you are! D’you write poems about pie? Hide beans in
your blanket? Faint at the merest whisper of — (to Molly) get this — (back to Ted) sticky pudding? (watches Ted faint at the sound) Like I said, food obsessed. I’m Prentiss. I’m in charge here. Don’t take him (about boy) personally. He’s rude to everybody. It’s why he
gets beatings and why he’s gotno friends. He doesn’t have a name. Been orphan’d too long to remember. Grempkin calls him. . . mule!(laughs cruelly then grabs his stomach in hunger) (to Molly) Ok, You can be like temporary leader — but only ‘til we eat.
(to Stache) Rest yerself a while. Smee’ll track yer treasure solo. Hmm. We could lure‘em Cap’n! Lure ‘em yes, down here to the beach. In which case, we shall need — A magnet! A really big one. That’ll attract ‘em! (Smacks himself on the head) Stupid
idea, Smee. Stupid, stupid!(A distant ROAR. Smee looks down at his stomach) Tweren’t I, Cap’n. (See giant Croc) Oh Captain? Captain Stache!!???!! Aghhh! He’s chewing all the scenery, sir. Abandon Scene! Abandon Scene! (runs off)
We Mollusks are no savages. I know where savagery is, boy. When I was young man, English landed here, took me to your island in chains. Many long years I serve as kitchen slave in Not-So-Great
Britain. Until by kindness of fate a shipwreck brought me back to Mollusk Island. In your language, my name is Fighting Prawn. This is my son, Hawking Clam.
My son shall one day wear this hat
Once worn by British phony.
I beat his eggs while he beat me.
I stole his hat and walked out free
The day I served him smilingly
A poisoned cannelloni.