Hey, everyone… I’m Lana. My parents named me Lana. No, not after Lana Turner, though that would have helped a wee bit in the self esteem department. After Lana Lang…hello, Superman’s ex-girlfriend. I mean they could’ve gone for Lois, at least she sleeps with the man of steel, but no, they had to go for the ex. Imagine going through your entire life knowing that you’re destined for rejection. I was an ex, twice. It would have been three times…if Roger hadn’t been driving so fucking fast…Sorry, I tend to say ‘fuck’ a lot… Actually, I don’t know why I just said that. I’m not sorry. I like meaty words. Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. Ha. Words hurt. They inflict pain. Pierce the protective armor. I mean, take the whole Lana thing. Now, that hurt. So did being called plump. Chunky. Rotund. Rubenesque. FAT. Words don’t just hurt, they leave bruises and scars. Not just the obvious ones like plump, but the more insidious ones, the suggestive, manipulative ones that gradually imprint themselves deeply on your psyche and fester and marinate until they mar every idea, crush every instinct, suffocate every hope… Before we hit the tree, Roger had said to me,
“Lana, you know all them fat ladies on that Jenny Craig commercial don’t look so half ugly.”
(She closes her eyes)
I took a moment, as I usually do. Most of the time just to digest his ugly words and smile my stupid smile. It looks like this.
(She demonstrates)
But something happened at that moment and my fist… suddenly landed square on the right side of his jaw. The car swerved and my brains landed all over a ficus. Roger broke his left tibia. Poetic justice. Right?

©Colette Freedman

Note: Lana is in her 20’s. The monologue is from the play THE LAST FORTUNE COOKIE