Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Bathroom Monologue: Be Both, My Son

Today's Bathroom Monologue comes with a performance. You can download or listen to John Wiswell's "Be Both, My Son" here. Just click on the arrow to stream the monologue.

Am I deep or shallow? A silly question. I have my profound regrets and trivial pleasures, my deep loves and petty grievances. What is a man without all of these ingredients? Deep or shallow? Do you mistake the sea for a thing only deep? What sea lacks shallows can never come ashore, and what use would be in a sea that never bordered land? No ships could dock it, no men jump into it – no way to wade, dive or plunge into the dark depths, if not by a shallow purchase from which to begin. No different than the ocean of love I once had for your mother, which toppled out of simple lust for her bosom. Fair dame, she wore a corset and deceived even that. Is one better, the trivial or the profound? Is one a superior state? Is one a minor manifestation? Is one a mistaken magnification? I suppose you could have a preference, over whether you dampen or drown those who fall into you. Yet never will I make the choice, to be only a wading pool, or only an implausible sea. Be both, my son. Both the trivial and the profound have their charms, their merits and beauty, their vast utilities, in their own times.

If you like this, please give it a tweet/Stumble/Digg. John's away this week and can't promote it himself. A bunch of comments would probably make his day when he gets back.


  1. Why are there no comments? I think you have stumped them all, Mr Wiswell.

    Philosophically sound, and well written. The wit, the words and the rhythym reminded me very strongly of Mark Twain, like some of the brief philosophical monologues in Tom Sawyer. I hope you won't take that as an insult.

  2. Thanks, Bernard! Since Twain is one of my favorite authors I can only take that as a compliment. Tom Sawyer is actually one of the first books I ever read cover-to-cover (barring those with twelve pages and illustrations). I do wonder if this monologue some readers off, though. I'd hoped people would enjoy the performance.


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