Back To Rockaway

In the drama monologue Back To Rockaway, Lenny shares a story to his girlfriend about losing one of his closest friends during war.

LENNY:  Some days you just feel like it’s your turn to die.  Nothing you can do about it but wait.  And when you don’t die that day, you think God forgot and that he will remember tomorrow.  But then you realize you were lucky the next day, too.  Suddenly, you are secretly wishing you would die just from the anxiety of all that damn waiting.  So, your mind plays tricks on you.

I had this one friend.  John.  Great guy.  We were from the same neighborhood.  Rockaway.  Not too many people from Rockaway.  We became friends real quick.  We even knew some of the same people back home.  Make a long story short.  John and I were walking down a long dirt road.  The suns reflection was beaming bright off the ground and it was difficult to see all the way up the road.  But we had visibility about two hundred yards or so.

We were just making the rounds.  Nothing special.  Just walking through the streets, keeping an eye on things.  Seeing if anything was out of the ordinary.  John asks me for a cigarette.  Just as I pull out my pack of cigarettes, I accidentally drop the pack on the ground.  As I bend down to pick it up, I hear a faint whistle type noise.  I stand back up not thinking anything of it and I see John staring at me with this blank look.  Then blood trickles out of his forehead.  Turns out he was shot smack in the forehead.  John topples over and I screamed.

All of a sudden, open fire everywhere.  I get shot up real good.  I hid behind a car that was blown up a few days before.  And bullets are whizzing by me like crazy.  Worst sounds ever.  I’m shooting back but I’m not even worried about me.  I was in shock that my pal John was dead.  If he didn’t ask me for a smoke, I might not be here.  So, in a way, he saved my life.

I will always be indebted to him for that.

Joseph Arnone


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