The House of Women
By Sharon E.Simone
Global good Voice: You
are Woman. Your breath and blood the moon and stars, your soul
the salty sea. It is Dark in this house. There can be no singing,
no candles lit in celebration.
Woman: I've lost myself.
Man: This is love. You
belong to me.
Woman: He HITS ME HARD
and breaks my bones and says I make him mad. If I am TIRED
he hits me. When I am SICK he YELLS. If I am LATE he SLAPS
my face and then gets DRUNK.
Woman: He hates my friends
and family. I stay home.
Man: What have you been
doing all day?
Woman: Taking care of
Man: Don't lie to me.
I called. You didn't answer.
Woman: I was taking a
nap with the baby. SLAP.
Man: You lazy bitch. PUNCH,
KICK, YELL, SPIT, TWIST, RAPE. You drive me to DRINK.
Woman: I am so sorry.
I will do better.
Friend: You have black
eyes, a swollen face. Did he do this again?
Woman: It's not his fault.
I am stupid and lazy and get him mad. Don't tell my family,
please. Give him another chance. He loves me.
Man: I'm sorry I hit you,
baby. You get me so worked up. It will never happen again.
Woman: I love you. I want
to make you happy.
Man: You are the only
one who knows how to love me.
Woman's Internal dialogue: Over
and over he is sorry. Over and over I believe him. Bruises
everywhere too hard to hide. No friends. To punish me for going
out he KILLED MY DOG then bought me roses. I am confused. The
neighbors called the COPS one night. They told him to settle
down and went away. They didnšt write the visit down. He loves
me and breaks my ribs. I am crazy. He smells of booze and wakes
me up for SEX. FOR HIM. I LOVE HIM and HATE HIM. WHIRLING,
SPINNING, CRAZY THOUGHTS FLOODING ME.
Friend: I saw him twist
your wrist. You need help to get away. EVERYONE KNOWS he tortures
you and killed your dog. We see you TORN and SAD and SCARED.
LEAVE, PLEASE LEAVE.
Woman: I told my priest.
He says to WAIT, give him another chance. TURN MY OTHER CHEEK.
See a therapist.
FRIEND: What about your
cheek, your ribs, your soul, your life, your kids, your peace,
your home, your SAFETY. (WHO THE BATTERER IS) THE MAN IS A
JUDGE, A BRICKLAYER, A DOCTOR, A COP, A SOLDIER, AN ARTIST,
AN ENGINEER, A TEACHER, A MAYOR, AN ATHLETE, A MINISTER, A
BROKER, BUS DRIVER, SECURITY GUARD, POLITICIAN.
Woman: I read a sign on
a bus that said to go to court and get a paper to keep him
away. They must be CRAZY to think he will stay away. READ THE
NEWSPAPERS. No one stops them. The police told him to “settle
down” and drove away. Woman: My bed is bleeding. My head
is spinning. I sleep and wake to IMPOSSIBLE DARKNESS all arounda
black snap fastened over everything. Tight clasp, ungiving.
Woman: I AM MISSING in
the Dark. I don't know what to hope. Dead, I would be out of
reach. Missing. Woman quivering in the Dark. Under him. Held
fast to him. Stopped. Missing people in the house, the ring
and hum of another's voice. EVERYONE'S VOICE missing in the
Dark. Angry man rising over mesoft sounds of spirit rustling
in my chest. DON'T UNZIP ME, man. There is no one to hear my
river go out. No places to tear open this Dark can I find.
Friend: Why don't you
Woman: It is NOT SIMPLE
like you think.
Man: I will kill your
family if you leave.
Woman: He will kill them
and my kids. I don't care about me. I am dead inside.
Friend: You are not dead.
You don't belong to him. Friend: Come to our house: The HOUSE
Woman: Anywhere I go,
he will find me. He will STALK and find me. Friend: WE ARE
MANY WHERE YOU WILL GO. WHERE YOU GO HE CANNOT COME.
Global Good Voice: You
are Woman, beautiful...your breath and blood the moon and stars,
your soul the salty sea.