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I go off to glory

A Little Girl wearing a dress with pockets. She is tap dancing. She is bright and filled with energy and enthusiasm. She speaks in a voice that is loud and strong—vibrant—almost like a stage actor with no recognition that she is in a small room—too much projecting. The girl will periodically stop talking and just tap—tap in place, tap in a circle, etc. At start, she is tapping and humming. She stops and stares.


Oh! Hello! One thousand sincere pardons. Didn’t see you there. But…

[She taps]

I sure am glad you stopped by.


Molly’s my name and…

[She taps]

fortune telling’s my game. [Beat] My ma’ got me started on it. Before she died. Said I had a gift.

[She taps after each boast that follows]

Can predict the future.

[Da da da]

Can see into the past.

[Ta ta ta]

Can talk with the dead.

[She stops all activity]

Talk to my ma all the time.

[She resumes tapping]

When I was a girl. [Laughs] Well, younger than I am right now. I woke up screaming.

[She taps]

I said, I woke up screaming from my sleep.

[She screams the words:]

Fire! Fire! Fire!

[She taps]

Bet you can’t guess what I saw!

[She taps]

Bet you can’t guess.

[She taps with increasing fury]

I was sweating. I was breathing. I was sweating and breathing hard. And then…

[She stops cold]

well… I was right.


[Almost to her self]

Poor mama.

[She reaches into her dress pocket and pulls out a scarf and soft hat. She taps in a circle as she puts on the scarf. She continues as she puts on the hat. She stops when done, facing the person/enquirer, and with a flourish throws the end of the scarf around her neck.]

I go off to glory!

[She taps]

I go off to glory.

[She taps and stops]

You know who said that?


Isadora Duncan


Right before her scarf got tangled ‘round the axle of the car she was riding in.

[Motions with the scarf as though hanged.]

[She smiles and then taps in a circle]

Glory! Destiny! I pulled on my hat and scarf after my mama died and I hit the street.

[She taps]

Much like you see me now.

[She taps]

Stayed with my aunt for a while.

[She taps]

But that was a bust.


Wanna see a picture of her?


My mama?

[She takes out the picture from another dress pocket. It is wrapped. She shows it. She looks at it. She carefully re-wraps it and puts it away. She takes a small flask from the same pocket and hits it. She puts it away. She taps quickly.]

Gotta keep the cold out. Gotta keep it out. Keep that cold cold out. [Stops] Oh, I know what you’re thinking. No…not that. That’s obvious. You’re thinkin’ ‘what does she mean—cold?’ Right? Its summer. July. It’s hot.

[She screams]

Well not here.

[Pounds her chest]

Not here it ain’t.

[Pounds her chest]

Not here.


[She taps wildly. She screams. She falls to the ground. She writhes.]

I want my mama, mama, mama.


There’s gonna be a fire, mama. Gonna be a fire. He’s gonna light a match, mama. I seen it. I seen him. Plain as day, Mama. He’s gonna do it. A fire. Can’t stand us. Can’t stand any of us. Not even little Joe. He’s got matches. Mama?

[Stands up. To the enquirer.]

Say, “Shut up, girl.”

[She taps]

[She stops]

[To the enquirer]

Say, “Shut up, girl.”

[With more urgency]

Say it. [Beat] Say it. [Beat] Say it. [Beat] Say, “Shut up, girl.”

[She repeats this until the enquirer complies.]

That’s what Mama said.

[Reaches in her dress and pulls out a spatula]

She hit me with this.

[She taps]

I’m going off to glory.

[She taps]


Oh. Do you want your fortune?

[She spits]

Companion to the earlier entry.

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