I was standing at the side of the house.



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Monologue Context

Finally talking more than 1 or 2 word responses for the first time in the play, the nephew relates

Monologue Text

I was standing at the side of the house. I don’t remember what I had been doing. I don’t remember anything before, immediately before, or immediately after. I stood for a while and then I went inside. I was standing at the side of the house. I had come from around behind in the shade and was standing in the sun; not doing anything, not going anywhere, just standing at the side of the house in the sun. And the hand of God reached out and touched me. That doesn’t mean anything. It’s abstract, isn’t it? But it’s the easiest way of explaining the feeling. I was standing there, not thinking anything that I would remember. There was a bush on my left and the corner of the house on my right. Instead of just stopping for a while and then moving on, while I was stopped I became aware that my body was changing, or something was happening, physically happening, inside my body. As if all my cells were changing at the same time. Some vibrating sensation through my body that raised me or made me feel like I was physically growing, like a – perhaps a chemical change was occurring. And I started to get scared, but instead of that happening it was gradually like I wasn’t standing there anymore. For a moment it was like I had changed into a gas. I felt I was spreading, thinning out, being led over the world or shown the world. Thinning out to take it all in, to absorb it. Or I was shown what I was. I heard people speaking in languages that I understood but had never heard before, I heard bells – no, I didn’t actually hear anything, but I seemed to know about bells in church towns, in the farm country around small towns where they make wine, in France; and people getting up where it was just beginning to be light, to go to work; people walking on streets, shopping, and small things growing in the wet and shade in rain forests. I didn’t see them, I wasn’t shown them, I Just knew them. Because thinning out, or whatever it was, I became them. An old lady who thought in a language different from the one she spoke, dying in terrible pain in the geriatric ward of a very efficient hospital; twins just being born in the Orient; a boy my age, in India, whose job was to carry the censer with incense, swinging it, in a Catholic church: I didn’t know them, I was them. I was they. They were me. We were all the same stuff, the same regenerating impulse. I just thinned out to mix with it all or to realize what I was, what I had come from, and gradually came back to my own design, my own body. But, of course, I thought about it differently, because it wasn’t mine. I wasn’t me. I was them. I was they. Which is grammatically correct? . . . I’ve not tried to explain the experience before, but you asked -