The Man I was Before by Venus Ashu

“The man i was BEFORE, MONOLOGUE”


Venus Ashu







[It has been two weeks since Eric returned from fighting in war. His wife suggested therapy for him to deal with the constant nightmares, so he typically lies on the couch, facing the ceiling, and pours out his feelings]



How am I? You tell me, doctor. My mind is like a heart, constantly working involuntary. I don’t sleep because all I play at night is a slideshow of the horrors I saw. But I’m guessing you know all about how the brain works. and as you sit there taking notes you probably already know how to diagnose my ‘condition’, don’t you? You studied some book, so you must know all about PTSD.

Well let me tell you something you don’t know. He was a newbie. Fresh in the camp, always making me and the other guys laugh, and had all these adventurous dreams for the future. One night he showed me a crumpled photograph of his son back home and he told me that if that night that he needed to get back to his son in time for his poet recital in a show. His son was going to move to New York with his mother and he wanted to see him one last time.  Two days before he was due back home… [His fists clench] TWO DAYS! We came across a village and as we entered a bloody German threw a grenade at our feet. He jumped over it to protect us, knowing he had two days to go back and see his son. How the hell do you diagnose that, huh?

All you have to do is tell me why my scars hurt my soul more than my body. Tell me so I don’t need to be here lying on this stupid couch, listening to your stupid voice asking me how I am. All I need you to do is fix me.

I know I’m broken and so does my wife. She says my name, and I hear nothing. That name was meant for a man of honor, not for a man who thinks the only way to end his nightmares is by pulling the trigger. Nowadays, the only thing I truly hear, are her soft whimpers, as she cries herself to sleep.

So please, I beg you. [He says staring into her eyes as tears fall down his cheeks] I want to be the man I was before.