Old Michael

In this dramatic male monologue OLD MICHAEL, MICHAEL recounts a story to his friend that brought him back to his dark past.

MICHAEL:  On the bus today, coming home from work and there’s this guy who decides to turn on his music from his phone and basically blast it out.

I had one of those crappy ass days at work, the weather was drizzling and cold and he’s sitting two seats over from me.  I am usually way more tolerable of people when I travel but this was making my blood rise.

I waited for the song to finish and figured he would cut it off but he didn’t.  He played a second song and then a third and then I stood up and asked him kindly to shut off or lower the music.  He looked at me and called me a faggot.  Can you believe that?

Now look, I’ve worked so hard and for many many years on my temper and handling situations like this in a real diplomatic manner.  My heart started pounding in my chest and that’s usually the first sign for me that I’m about to lose it.  I found myself frozen, I literally stood there staring at this man…frozen between attacking him and smiling calmly and being polite about his response.

So I took a deep breath and said, “Listen, sir, I understand where you are coming from, you have every right to play your music and I’m not trying to get in your way or be rude to you, truly, I’m not looking for any trouble either, honestly, but if you can be so kind as to be a little more considerate and be friendly about how loud you’re playing your music, I would greatly appreciate it, if you can do so.  Please.”

The man looked at me and laughed and then he said, “Faggot.”

Now, if this were ten years ago, I’m ashamed to say that I think the guy would have had a large dent in his head from my knuckle.  But on this very day and in this very moment I realized a different kind of inner power I had.  I smiled back at the man and simply said, “Sir, do as you wish, I’m sorry if I upset you.”

And with that I sat back down.  He continued to play his music and I would say about 5 bus stops later, when I had to get off, he followed me off the bus.

Now maybe it was a coincidence, maybe it wasn’t.  When I stepped off the bus and started walking my way home he was about ten feet or so behind me and said, “What you gonna do now punk bitch?”

I ignored him…I kept walking as if I didn’t hear him and then he shouted,”Yo!  Faggot bitch!  What you gonna do now, bitch?!”

And I’m sorry.  I’m really sorry but that was all I could stand at that point.

The old Michael came back inside of me.  I felt myself become who I used to be and I turned around and looked at this guy and said,”I’m so happy you came off the bus my friend.”

He looked at me and said, “Oh yeah?  Why’s that?

And I sad, “Because now we get to play.”

And he said, “Play?  Play what…you crazy yo?”

And I walked towards him and said, “Play yo music yo.  Play it.  Play your music.  I want to hear it.  We can listen together.”

“Whaaaat?”  he said.

“PLAY IT!  PLAY IT!  PLAY IT!!!!!!”  I said.

The guy looked at me and turned red in the face and started back peddling.

I continued, “You want this?  You want this right now?  Hmm?  Come and take it?  TAKE IT!  PLAY IT AND TAKE IT!!

And the guy took off running.  Thank God.  Thank God he did because it was all I had in me left to do before I took the next step. I let it come out through my voice first as a last ditched effort because I think what would have happened next…would have been really bad for both of us.

Joseph Arnone


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