Instant Monologues
Crust Instant Monologue



Eileen, a young Irish-American girl reflects on her life in the early 20th century.


Sean wants me to marry him and I haven't given him an answer yet. My Da's words are always in my mouth: "We're too young," I've told him, and "We don't even know who we're going to be." It's true. He wants to travel and to teach in Greece, Italy, and Spain. I want to…well, I want to stay here at the bakery and work for Da and the rest of the family.

I should tell him no. It's like Da says, the things that make your heart hammer in your throat only last a few good years if you're lucky, and a lot of bad years if you're unlucky. Marriage is for the settled, not for the growing and the changing and the young. There are so many ways to be ruined by love.

But today…oh, I don't know why it had me thinking, but I put the loaves of bread into the oven this morning and I must've done it wrong. Bread needs room to expand while it's still young. The dough has to rise and form a hard, crispy layer to protect it, anyone knows that. But I put the loaves too close to each other, and as they swelled in the heat they came together, rising and forming one crust, baking evenly across each other's warm, brown skin.

Da removed the loaves from the oven together, fused in the middle. When he pulled them gently apart, the crust of one was ripped away in places, revealing the soft, white insides. "It's called a kissing crust," he told me easily. "Nothing to worry about. All it does is show you where it's been touching another loaf. It's still good inside, where it counts."

Maybe I'll tell Sean no. But then, maybe…oh, maybe I'll tell him yes.

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