SCUBA LESSONS

A monologue from the play by Joseph Zeccola


  • NOTE: This monologue is reprinted with the author's permission. All inquiries should be directed to the author at: Rights@JosephZeccola.com
  • KELLY: So I go out to the lake. They had the final at Lake Mead so we could get a feel for the real thing. A genuine scuba experience if you will. Of course I get there late--which I never do. I have friends who are late, but I’m never late. And because I’m late, all the good equipment is taken. And let me tell you, I’m not exactly Jasques Cousteau to begin with. So I put on the equipment and I plod down to the boat and get in. We go out a little ways and then we stop. And then all the members of the Las Vegas Junior Frogman’s Society start flipping off the boat backwards into the lake. So I’m sitting there feeling sucky and stupid when it occurs to me that I’m the only one left on the boat. So I finally get up the nerve and jump in. And this humongous cloud of dirt and mud comes up. You’re supposed to take off your mask and clear it as soon as you jump in-- which I forget to do--probably because I can’t see with the mud cloud around me. And, of course, the mask starts to fill with muddy water. You’re also supposed to clear your mouthpiece. You’re supposed to take it out of your mouth and throw it over your shoulder and then put it back in your mouth and blow or something. I’m about to do that when I realize that I’m floating back to the top. I don’t have enough weight on my belt. The instructor grabs me and pulls me back down. And I’m thinking, I paid for this? As soon as he lets go I, of course, start floating back up again and I decide to start kicking and swim myself back down to the bottom, which kicks up even more dirt and mud then before. Then I decide to try and clear my mouthpiece. I throw it over my shoulder and reach back for it, and I can’t find it--because my mask has now filled with muddy water. So there I am like Pigpen kicking up a giant mudcloud around me, blind, frantically searching for my mouthpiece while floating slowly to back the top. Then I broke another important rule of scuba diving. I panicked. So I swam to the top, and then I swam back to shore and went home. The absolute worst experience of my life--couldn’t breathe, couldn’t see--one big, giant, muddy mess! And to top it off I got a speeding ticket on the way home.

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