Our Struggles

By Steven

TIME: Morning. Fall. Rainy.

PLACE: Misty, cold, morning dew. In the forest. Dark and calm and

AT RISE: GOOCH, an old mushroom, is on the stump at his house. PINKY, a green bouncing ball, is in the dirt below the stump.

PINKY: Gooch, I need your help. I need to know my way around the forest, and you’ve lived here your whole life.

GOOCH: I can’t help you right now. I have my own things to deal with. I’m kind of in a hurry.

PINKY: Come on, what about that time I saved your life? GOOCH: I know, I know, I just really have to…

PINKY: I really need your guidance. You’re the only one I know in this forest.
(GOOCH is thinking to himself—taking everything in—confused, how am I going to do this—I can’t do this right now)
(PINKY starts crying)

GOOCH: (Wants to hold PINKY, but can’t—mad at himself again—walks away and speaks to audience/himself:) I can’t believe I’m doing this. I need to help. I need to figure out how…I feel so bad. I’m supposed to help, that’s what I’m supposed to do is help others but I need to help myself right now. If I wasn’t poison I could just go give him a hug. I wish I didn’t have this terrible secret. I wish I could just tell him to chill out. But now he thinks I’m just a terrible friend. If I don’t help him, he’ll remember me as the backstabbing friend, but if I do help him, how can I ever get my family to take me seriously?

PINKY: (Feels hopeless; yells out) Fine. I’ll do it myself. I don’t need your help. I should’ve known you would have done this to me. (Giving up on herself) I don’t know why I came to this stupid forest in the first place.

GOOCH: (Turns around, mad) Listen you’re not the only one with problems. I got my own stuff to deal with right now. It’s not all about you, Pinky. I have to go explain to my family that I’m not crazy, that I’m not just a crazy old man that thinks he’s better than them. Right now my family thinks that I’m a nobody. I need to be close to them. I need to explain to them that I’m not crazy. That I’m just the same as them.
(Odd silence between them. PINKY feels bad.)

PINKY: What are you talking about? GOOCH: (Takes a deep breath—exhales) You wouldn’t understand what
it’s like to be me. (Puts head down) PINKY: (Bounces away a little bit. To himself:) No, you don’t understand
what it’s like to be me. (Turns around) Gooch.


PINKY: I… I’m…

GOOCH: What?

PINKY: ...

GOOCH: What? What were you gonna say?

PINKY: Never mind.

GOOCH: Just tell me!

PINKY: Have you ever had a secret that’s always kept you down and you never wanted to tell anyone?

GOOCH: Yeah, so?

PINKY: I’m really a girl.

GOOCH: What??? (Feels like he’s being lied to) Are you messing with me? Listen, I really gotta go.

PINKY: Wait, no really, I really am. I’m not lying to you. Wait, Gooch.

GOOCH: Well, why would you tell me something like that? Why didn’t you tell me before?

PINKY: I didn’t tell you before because I thought you’d think I was a freak, because I’m green and girl balls are supposed to be pink, yellow, or purple.

GOOCH: Why would you want to tell me?

PINKY: Cause I was looking to start over new in the forest and not have this secret so I don’t feel so ashamed of myself all the time.

GOOCH: (Confused) So why did you tell me?

PINKY: Because you’re the only friend I know that lives in the forest.
(GOOCH is silent—thinking to himself)
(PINKY bounces away and starts crying again because she thinks that he thinks she is a freak)

GOOCH: Why are you crying?
(PINKY doesn’t answer—she is so sad that she doesn’t want to answer)

GOOCH: I’m glad you told me this. I understand what it’s like to have a secret that’s held in and you’re terrified to tell anyone cause you think that they’ll look at you different.

PINKY: You do?

GOOCH: Yes. So don’t cry. You should feel better because I don’t look at you any different. I have great respect for you.

PINKY: Thank you.

GOOCH: No, thank you.