True West By Sam Shepard – Austin

This is an Austin monologue however we have also left the Lee dialogue in between for context. You can edit this however you choose when presenting it.

AUSTIN: You wanna’ drink?

(AUSTIN offers bottle to LEE, LEE takes it, sits down on kitchen floor With AUSTIN, they share the bottle)

Yeah, he lost his real teeth one at a time. Woke up every morning with another tooth lying on the mattress. Finally, he decides he’s gotta’ get ’em all pulled out but he doesn’t have any money. Middle of Arizona with no money and no insurance and every morning another tooth is lying on the mattress. (takes a drink) So what does he do?

LEE: I dunno’. I never knew about that.

AUSTIN: He begs the government. G.I. Bill or some damn thing. Some pension plan he remembers in the back of his head. And they send him out the money.

LEE: They did?

(they keep trading the bottle between them, taking drinks)

AUSTIN: Yeah. They send him the money but it’s not enough money. Costs a lot to have all yer teeth yanked. They charge by the individual tooth, ya’ know. I mean one tooth isn’t equal to another tooth. Some are more expensive. Like the big ones in the back–

LEE: So what happened?

AUSTIN: So he locates a Mexican dentist in Juarez who’ll do the whole thing for a song. And he takes off hitchhiking to the border.

LEE: Hitchhiking?

AUSTIN: Yeah. So how long you think it takes him to get to the border? A man his age.

LEE: I dunno.

AUSTIN: Eight days it takes him. Eight days in the rain and the sun and every day he’s droppin’ teeth on the blacktop and nobody’ll pick him up ’cause his mouth’s full a’ blood. (pause, they drink) So finally he stumbles into the dentist. Dentist takes all his money and all his teeth. And there he is, in Mexico, with his gums sewed up and his pockets empty.

(long silence, AUSTIN drinks)

LEE: That’s it?

AUSTIN: Then I go out to see him, see. I go out there and I take him out for a nice Chinese dinner. But he doesn’t eat. All he wants to do is drink Martinis outa’ plastic cups. And he takes his teeth out and lays ’em on the table ’cause he can’t stand the feel of ’em. And we ask the waitress for one a’ those doggie bags to take the Chop Suey home in. So he drops his teeth in the doggie bag along with the Chop Suey. And then we go out to hit all the bars up and down the highway. Says he wants to introduce me to all his buddies. And in one a’ those bars, in one a’ those bars up and down the highway, he left that doggie bag with his teeth laying in the Chop Suey.

LEE: You never found it?

AUSTIN: We went back but we never did find it. (pause) Now that’s a true story. True to life.

(they drink as lights fade to black)

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