Trish Ayers

LUMPs (Act 1, Scene 4)

(A bit later, MEN are in the larger waiting room watching game. WOMEN are in smaller waiting room.)

JOHN: It's quiet.

ROBERT: Always is after the ladies leave. Would anyone like a cup of coffee?

STEVE: I would love one.

ROBERT: Me too.

LARS: Does it have caffeine?

ROBERT: Usually.

LARS: I haven't had caffeinated coffee for years.

ROBERT: Would you like a cup?

LARS: Sure, Katie will never know.

(ROBERT fixes two cups of coffee. ROBERT hands one to JOHN.)

ROBERT: Here you are.

JOHN: Thank you. (beat) I'm sorry I don't remember hearing your name.

ROBERT: Sorry, I'm Robert. And you're?

JOHN: John.

(ROBERT hands STEVE a cup.)

STEVE: Steve.

(MEN drink coffee as they flip magazine pages out of sync. Lights fade on MEN and up on WOMEN. LORI enters and points out the gowns and the changing area. Each WOMAN enters and exits dressing area as soon as she is changed.)

LINDA: I'm glad I got a blue gown. It reminds me of baby boys.

PAMELA: Blue is my favorite color. It always feels so soothing. My husband John and I just painted our kitchen cabinets blue. They were old and now they look so much better, I smile when I walk into the kitch—

VANESSA: Please!

PAMELA: Sorry, I've always been a talker.

ALLISON: We look so ridiculous. This gown does nothing to enhance my figure.

ERIKA: We all know how important that is to you.

(Lights up on MEN, speed of the pages turning has increased slightly.)

MEN: Wait, wait, wait.
Worry, pray, worry.

(Lights up on WOMEN.)

PAMELA: I'm glad they didn't let my husband back—

KATIE: Why? Because these gowns show off your boobs!

WOMEN: (except KATIE) Shhh!

(KATIE turns toward WOMEN and opens front of her gown.)

WOMEN: Oh my!

VANESSA: It's already 11.

PAMELA: (to JOYCE) Her watch must be wrong, I've got 11:15, do you think I should tell her? It sounds like she has something real important to do today. I've always wanted to go to a cocktail party—

JOYCE: Dear, I think we shouldn't say anything. There must be a reason she's here.

VANESSA: Excuse me, how much longer?

NORA: A few more minutes.

PAMELA: You know so much about all of this. How many times have you been here?

NORA: (starts out talking to WOMEN and then addresses audience) I can't count the number of mammograms I've had. I remember my first, fifteen years ago. My doctor had to argue with the insurance company for almost a month to get them to agree to pay for it, they didn't think it was needed, (beat) They didn't have any problems agreeing to chop off my breast once they found the cancer, (beat) Another month of fighting and they would have been burying both of my breasts. Now I have to come here every year and wait. Wait to hear the word cancer once again. I think I'll almost be relieved when they find it in here, (points to her breast) so they'll cut if off and I won't have to worry, (beat) Well, not as much. I used to be proud of my nicely formed breasts, the ideal size . . . now I look at this and it feels like it's the enemy's camp, just waiting to invade my life with cancer, again—

(NORA pulls out breast prosthesis.)

NORA: (speaks to WOMEN) Look at this. My own portable breast. Doesn't it look natural? That's what all the ads sayl (beat) I'm a bit lopsided.

VANESSA: That's really crass. Like I want to see it.

(LORI crosses to VANESSA.)

LORI: Vanessa.

VANESSA: It's about time.

(Lights up on MEN in large waiting room.)

MEN: Wait, wait, wait.

STEVE: Please, let her be okay.

MEN: Wait, worry.

STEVE: Pray.

(Lights down on MEN and up on VANESSA and LORI as they cross to mammogram area.)

LORI: You seem a bit nervous, that's natural—

VANESSA: Look, I'm really not in a mood to chit chat. I have a party to host tonight.

LORI: I have to squeeze, try not to breathe.


LORI: Sorry, the more flattened I can get you the clearer the image. I'm almost done. Can you stand it if I flatten you a bit more? It's really important so we get a good image.

VANESSA: Whatever, (beat) Ouch!

LORI: Sorry. There, I think I got it.

VANESSA: Thank God.

LORI: We'll need you to wait a few more minutes, until the films are developed. If there are any questions we'll do more, so you don't have to go through this again.

VANESSA: I don't have time. I've got more important things to do—

LORI: Ma'am the radiologist wants you to have an ultra-sound.

VANESSA: Not today, I don't have time.

LORI: Ma'am the radiologist really wants you to have an ultra sound. She's in the back waiting for you. She's going to do the ultra sound herself.

(VANESSA crosses to dressing area and changes.)

PAMELA: She's really in a hurry. Pretty little thing like her needs to slow down, (beat) Does the radiologist do everyone's? I'm starting to get nervous. Do you think we should try to convince her to stay—?

JOYCE: Dear, I'm not sure there is anything we can do, except maybe say a prayer.

(Lights up on MEN.)

JOHN: How much longer is this going to take? It's a nice day and I've got to get some work done on the farm.

ROBERT: It will take awhile. Would you like another cup of coffee?

(JOYCE bows head as VANESSA crosses to STEVE.)

STEVE: That was fast. Is everything okay?

VANESSA: Fine for today.

STEVE: Are you sure?

ROBERT: (under breath but loud enough for STEVE to hear) She got done pretty fast.

STEVE: Vanessa?

VANESSA: I'm not spending anymore time there today. I'll get the rest of the tests done next week, (beat) no, it'll have to be the first of the month because I've got that conference I'm going to—

STEVE: You promised.

VANESSA: I got the mammogram. (beat) Come on, it's almost noon—

(VANESSA and STEVE exit as lights go to black.)


Trish Ayers' plays have had readings or have been produced across the US and Japan including at Iowa State University, Western Illinois University, The Kentucky Women's Playwright Festival, Quilt Extravaganza Ten Minute Play Festival, Live Girls!, Berea College, Iida and Biwa, Japan. Recognition for Ayers' plays includes the Thornton Wilder Playwriting Award (for a collaborative piece) and The Josefina Niggli Award for Playwriting for the past four years. Ayers is also an essayist and award winning poet. Her poems have been published in Poetry as Prayer, Appalachian Women Speak, Appalachian Women's Journal, The Appalachian Connection and are part of the theatrical piece, Mountain Women Rising and were in the 2007 New Mummer's Exchange program in NYC.