Charlotte’s Shorts will be back at the Actor’s Company for 2 ENCORE performances on July 30th & 31st!
Charlotte’s Shorts will be back at the Actor’s Company for 2 ENCORE performances on July 30th & 31st!
Lorelai was the most beautiful undergroundhog in all the underground. She had big puffy lips and her hair was so long she almost tripped on it all the time. She had no muffin tops or pimples at all. Not even one.
All the hot undergroundhog guys were totally into her. They carried her books and gave her gum. Everyone wanted to date her because she looked so much like Beyonce. That is everyone except for Pretzel.
Pretzel was Lorelai’s best friend. She really tried to like Lorelai, but like all best friends, she secretly hated her. Pretzel’s hair was chunky and short and she barely had any lips at all. No one ever gave Pretzel any gum. She wanted Lorelai gone.
One day, Prezel convinced Lorelai that she could be a model, but in order to do so, she’d have to run away and leave the underground.
Pretzel and Lorelai came out of the underground and walked over to the main road to New York City. Lorelai hugged Pretzel goodbye and started off down the road. A few seconds later, a big 18 wheeler truck came by and squashed Lorelai into the ground.
Pretzel cut the long hair from Lorelai’s smushed up body and made herself some realistic looking extensions. That night, she got pregnant for the first time.
Kids: If you want to be happy, you have to work for it. No one will love you for who you are unless you’re better than you are.
And remember, if you’re pretty, don’t ever leave your hole.
My best friend is Oscar Taladopia because his house has a swimming pool covered with leaves and sometimes even floating cockroaches. Crunch! Sometimes we play shipwreck and dive for treasure at the bottom of the pool. Oscar’s dad throws in all sorts of great stuff for us to find. Yesterday we found 3 bottles from alcohol, some DVDs and a book. He said if we could find his hunting knife he would give us each a dollar. We are still looking. I love swimming at Oscar’s- we don’t even have to get out to pee.
Oscar’s dad is totally cool. He never makes us stop playing to eat dinner. He doesn’t even care if we eat! He wears a moustache and a bathrobe and he never makes us wash our hands. One time, we found a dead rat in Oscar’s kitchen and his dad let him keep it! My dad would never let me have a rat. Not even a dead one.
There is so much fun stuff to do at Oscar’s. Our favorite game is peeling the yellow paint off all the walls in Oscar’s room. Under the yellow it is blue and then under the blue it’s yellow again. My favorites are the big pieces of paint. I’m saving them to throw into the fire. Oscar’s dad makes giant fires in the backyard and we get to throw stuff inside of it. Last time we threw in a photo album and some lady clothes and Oscar’s dad cried. It was fun, but my favorite is when we throw popcorn seeds into the fire and popcorn flies out. Oscar’s dad says, “If you can catch ‘em you can eat ‘em!” I love that game.
Oscar’s house also has my favorite food. Spam. We eat it every time I come over. Oscar’s dad puts it on sticks for us to roast over the fire. It is the best food I have ever eaten. Sometimes when I am at school I think about eating Spam. I wish my mom knew how to make it. She just makes regular food. Oscar loves it. It’s funny because Oscar really likes coming to my house and I really like his. He says he likes that we have blankets and toilet paper and doors. He is my best friend but really, sometimes he is so weird.
Ryan Reynolds, a male lion, and eight dogs (all different kinds) were lying out on the lawn in front of my dad’s house. Ryan was trying to take a selfie with his phone to put on facebook, but he couldn’t get enough of the animals in the picture. He asked me to take a picture of them. I tried, but he was moving around too much so it was hard to get a good shot. He kept fake-fighting the lion and then the lion really started mauling him. Ryan kept laughing like everything was fine. I felt bad because I knew he wasn’t going to like how the shots were coming out. They were all blurry and he was getting mauled for no reason. I gave him his phone back. Then he and all the animals went inside to help my dad get ready for his audition. There were so many of them and they really wanted to help my dad. It was a sweet gesture, but all I could think about was that my dad was not going to be happy about all those dogs in his house.
Then I am lying in bed and my mom is rubbing some white goo on my cuticles. She says its good stuff she stole from the hospital, but she only has enough for one of my hands. She then tells me I should think about getting out of bed and giving Ryan his phone back. His lawyers are calling. They want to delete all of the pictures. I told her I had given the phone back, but she was right, I had it in my hand. We decided to look through his contacts to see if there was anyone cool we wanted to talk to before we gave the phone back. We tried a few numbers, but all of Ryan’s friends had really bad speech impediments. We couldn’t understand any of them. Then my mom said, “ I don’t understand why Ryan Gosling is friends with these people.” I said, “he’s not. These are Ryan Reynolds’s friends.” “Oh,” she said looking relieved, “Okay. Well, make sure you give the phone back.”
Today I figured out why I’m not a drug addict. It’s because I associate all the best highs of my life with being at the dentist. I went back today for part two of my cleaning. Part one consisted mostly of me laughing uncontrollably due to the Nitrus gas. So naturally when the hygienist asked me if I would be needing the Nitrus again today, I said yes. There was no laughing today- I came prepared. I decided earlier in the day that I would take the opportunity to just relax and let myself fall into it.
Within minutes, my mind was flooded with memories. I remembered playing at my friend Rachel’s house, on the floor next to her bed. I remembered her flowered bedspread with matching pillowcases and the bed skirt that would brush up against my leg as we played with our Barbies. My bed at home didn’t have a bed skirt and I was fascinated by it. I wondered if I put one of Rachel’s Barbies under her bed if she would ever find it.
I remembered swimming in her pool and how the water seemed darker than the water in our pool. Somehow it seemed much deeper and almost like an adventure to swim at her house. I remembered getting out of the water and the feeling of my swimsuit slowly drying on my skin, lightly scratching me as it returned to its original shape. I thought I looked better in my swimsuit than I did in my clothes. I wished I could wear it to school. I felt that the people who weren’t nice to me would be nicer if they saw me in my swimsuit. A voice called me out of my memory and asked me to open my mouth a little wider.
As I drifted away again, I thought about how I ended up at this dentist in the first place. I was eating popcorn and it pulled out my crown. I then remembered being very small and watching movies with my parents. I worried that we would run out of popcorn. I wished there was infinite popcorn. I would watch my parents almost as much as I watched the movie- to make sure I laughed when they laughed. I remembered my dad noticing this and telling me to enjoy the movie and to laugh at what I thought was funny. I said I understood, but I lied. It was so important to me to laugh when he laughed.
This happens to me at the daycare all the time. If I laugh, even if it is at something I have just read on my phone, at least one kid near me will catch my eye and laugh too. I think it’s about feeling like they are part of something with me. Maybe it makes them feel closer to me. Or maybe they just like to laugh.
The chair moved me into a more upright position. She started cleaning my lower teeth. There was more poking and scraping, but not enough to keep me out of my memories. I remembered lying on my bed, drawing with my mom. I wanted her to be there and watch me. I remember needing help drawing the arms of a girl, but not wanting to need help. I remember getting angry with my mom for how she drew the arms. She added the crease of the girl’s elbows, and I didn’t want it there. I erased it furiously and shook off all the eraser bits. My mom asked me if I knew where all those bits went when I blew them. I looked up at her in wonder, and asked “where?”- Anticipating some magical answer. “The floor,” she said, smiling.
Remembering this made me laugh out loud, startling the dental hygienist. I had been so quiet up until that point. She asked how I was doing and told me it was time for my polish. She said I could pick my flavor. I had the choice of mint or a whole bunch of disgusting flavors, so I chose mint. Because of the noise, I couldn’t really escape. When she finished, she went to find out if my insurance covered fluoride treatments and she left me alone with my gas. I started to miss Rodrigo. I wished he were in the chair next to me with a gas mask on as well. I imagined us holding hands and talking about how each of our days had gone. I told Rodrigo I had to pee and asked him if I should even bother getting up and going to the bathroom or if I should just go in the chair. He said he wouldn’t judge me if I went in the chair, but I’d probably be happier if I went to the bathroom. I was smiling when the hygienist came back and told me my insurance did not cover fluoride treatments. She turned off the gas and turned up the oxygen. Within moments I was completely clear and back in the present.
There was a new girl in my art class today. I think she is about three. She is funny and sweet and had no problems with the other kids. She had so much fun in art and participated the whole time. We made temporary sculptures from objects we found around the room. We stacked them up, taped them together, and then took them apart and did it again. This new girl made a particularly successful sculpture of a small boy doll taped between two pieces of plastic bread.
After art class and lunch, most of the kids take naps. A few kids go home early. This girl was one of the kids leaving early. Her mom would be arriving in a few minutes. Seemingly out of the blue, she starts crying out that she misses her mom and she wants her mom to hold her. I tell her that she is in luck because her mom will be coming in a few minutes and she will give her a big hug. Still crying, she looks me in the eye, and very clearly, like she is explaining something to a one or two year old says: “I know but I want her to hold me right now,” and then starts crying even harder. I rubbed her back and told her I knew how hard it was to miss your mom and then I told her that when she saw her mom she could tell her about all the fun things she had done. She looked up at me hopelessly, so clearly thinking: “you just don’t get it.”
She was really suffering. She wasn’t scared that her mom had forgotten her, or that she wouldn’t show up. She was just expressing with absolutely no shame at all, how much it hurt her that she couldn’t have what she wanted most at that moment. It was heartbreaking, but also so beautiful. She hasn’t yet learned to hide her feelings because they don’t make sense to other people.
I picked up a book and started reading it to her. Still whimpering, she climbed in my lap and listened. I had just about finished the book when her mom showed up. At the sound of her mom’s voice, a huge smile broke out across the girls face. She jumped out of my lap, sprinted towards her mother, and leapt up into her arms. Her mom asked her if she had fun and she said “yes, but I was very sad because I needed you to hold me and you weren’t here. Then she sighed and said “I’m better now, but I’m still a little sad.”
Here is the sculpture she made:
It was lunchtime at the daycare and I was trying to get the kids into the dining room. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed one of the girls fascinated by something on the floor. She was poking at it and squishing it in her fingers. I asked her what it was and she said, “Chicken poop.” I told her it looked a little bit too big to be chicken poop. “Oh,” she said holding it closer to her face, “then it’s kid poop.” It sure was.
I picked her up fast and washed her hands before she could stick her fingers in her mouth. As I was washing her hands for the third time, she told me whose poop she thought it was and then she said “its okay. He’s like me. I poop too.” Inspired by her inclusive and non-judgmental attitude I said, “that’s right, everyone poops. I poop too.” She stared at me for a second and asked “But do you poop on the floor?” No. I guess I don’t.
After she was clean, I decided to go check on the possible culprit. He was sitting on the floor smashing two tractors into each other. I asked him if he had poop in his diaper. He nodded his head and kept on smashing. He seemed pretty indifferent about his poo filled diaper. I took this as a good sign. If he didn’t care, then maybe it wasn’t that bad. I was wrong.
There was so much poop in that diaper that for a moment I just stood there staring at it. I looked at the boy and then at the poop and then back at the boy. It just didn’t seem possible. I finally snapped out of it, and began to change my first diaper ever. I didn’t really know what I was doing. I mean, I got it in theory – take off the dirty diaper, clean the kid off, put on a clean diaper. It’s just that there are some in between steps that are not explained in that theory. I had seen regular pee diapers changed on the changing table, but this was a whole different story. I’m not even sure where I went wrong. I think it might have been how I grabbed the diaper. I underestimated its weight and it kind of flopped the other way. Poop fell all over the place. My forearms, the table, the floor. Again, I just stared at it.
Luckily the kid was in a really good mood. He was smiling at me and saying poop a lot. I cant imagine what it would have been like if he were crying.
I finally cleaned everything up and we made it to lunch. To my surprise, I had not lost my appetite. In fact, I was starving. Apparently so was the boy. He made his way through three bowls of rice and peas. I looked up at the clock and smiled. I only had five more minutes of work. He could eat as much as he wanted. The next diaper he filled would be for someone else.