Mama why’s the lady wearing a crown?

Published August 20, 2012 by Sandee

“Mona, don’t, worry about your work,” says Vincent, the Director of Visitor Services.

Mona screams, “But Bobbi will be upset!”  Vincent stands a foot away from Mona’s desk with the blanket from the nurse’s office.  He steps toward her slowly.  His eyes narrow.  He imagines approaching a wild animal and calms himself.  Wild animals smell fear.

“Please Mona!”  He says.  The Personal Director, Maria, finally comes.

“Maybe it would be better if you…”  He thrusts the blanket at her.  Mona is partially obscured by the desk, which has a high shelf extending vertically from the edge.

Museum visitors swarm, whispering, peering around him, looking at Mona.  He radios back-up security.  People herd their children away.  Maria index fingers him over as she backs away Mona.

“Let’s wait.  We don’t want to make this worse,” she said, thinking of course it would be Mona.

She was drunk Tuesday, and had a fight with Winston on Thursday.  They should have sent her somewhere then.  There would have to be from this point on, some written protocol.  She’s a good employee, but, too many problems — that guy who left, the cancer scare, her mother dying…  Two years ago they took a collection to pay her rent.  Poor thing – how much could one person take.  But Maria thinks, She’s a mess, spilling her guts all over the place – really!  A person needs to take control of their own life. 

“You’re right.  We should wait,” says Vincent, looking at Mona behind the reception desk, which functions as a customer service desk at the museum.

Mona staples papers, placing them in the stapler on the desk and banging the top.  It echos like gunshots.  She does this several times then adjusts the tiara on her head.

A boy says, “Mama why’s the lady wearing a crown?  She looks like that statue we saw at the other museum.  But the statue wasn’t wearing a crown.”

“Well…she’s a performance artist.”

“What’s that?”

“Artists who perform — artistically — c’mon honey let’s go see the paintings upstairs.”

“No mama I wanna watch the lady.”

Mona stands up and grabs a pink file at the end of the desk.  A cluster of well-dressed middle-aged women gasp.  Mona addresses them.

“Hope you enjoy your visit.  Let me know if I can help you in any way.”  The women waddle quickly to the elevator bank.  Shrugging, Mona sits behind the desk again.

Sirens wail outside.  Vincent and Maria jog to the entrance of the museum.  They address the three EMT workers entering the museum.

“She’s over there,” says Vincent sadly.

“Is she on drugs?  Is she trying to hurt herself or anyone else,” says the taller one.

“No she’s just naked,” Maria says nearly whispering.

47 comments on “Mama why’s the lady wearing a crown?

  • Grand finale! Well done! You surprised me. I didn’t know what the hell was happening – I thought maybe Mona would turn out to be an animal or a homeless person who’d been wandering in and out. Gret.

  • Poor Mona! It’s a pity she won’t get to enjoy the infamy of being known as The Lady Who Came To Work Naked. That’s even better than being The Cross Dressing Professor. (We had one of those at CSULB when I was there. He taught history, and always wore a nice floral dress, sensibly low-heeled boots with a matching handbag. The long beard was a little jarring, but otherwise very well put together.)

  • Haha!! Oh Sandee, that was awesome! I did not see that coming! But why was she wearing a tiara?

    Oh hey, I think you might get a kick out of this. So I was Googling you with voice control on my phone (darn thing never picks up my voice). I say Sandee Harris as clearly as I can, and it gives me ‘sending her ass’ instead

    • I threw the tiara in for that extra touch of insanity. Plus I wrote something else a bit back about a woman at work naked with a tiara, attempting to channel the theater of the ridiculous — ‘Desperate Living,’ one of John Waters’ movies.

      The word is out — Sandee and her ass cakes saturate the cyber sphere! That’s very interesting that this happened — a coincidence? I think not! Hahaha!

  • This is my world, I’m the person who shows up to assess and take her away — The world of mental health, good times. This was well written, Sandee. It felt incredibly real.

    • Aw thank you Mme. W! I’m glad you liked it because this was one of those stories I wasn’t too sure about. Glad I put it out there.

      Yeah I could see that about Kyle and my writing — he’s overt sexual tension, mine is subtler. I think sexual energy drives a lot of what I do even when sex isn’t the subject.

    • Thank so much VS! Before writing this I imagined something like this really happening. And I’ve joked around about coming to work naked, or just sitting at my desk naked so, voila! I created this scenario — I wanted it to be sad though, like someone having a nervous breakdown — hopefully this never happens to me!

    • I’m glad you had that reaction. I wasn’t sure how it would work. I wrote it a long time ago and didn’t have anything else to post so I used it. I’m glad you thought it was funny and that you were surprised at the end.

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