The Characters: Suffering: Shape-shifter; sometimes monolithic, other times miniscule; as Elizabeth Elliot sees it, “having what you don’t want; wanting what you don’t have.”
Human Girl: Easily distracted, often self-absorbed; fighter, lover; bone, muscle, synapse; spirit, soul; philosopher, pilgrim.
Human Girl (dejected, impassioned, staring out her second story window)
Oh, Suffering! House Guest, arriving unannounced and staying longer than propriety and good society would allow. Stubborn, you linger.
(Pause. Sternly,) Do you think you own this House?
(Pause. Voice rising,) Who invited you?
(Pause. Voice falling,) Are you welcome nowhere else?
I have other goals, but your presence here engulfs me. You occupy my time; you distract my thoughts; you exhaust my emotions.
(Contemplative,) This is why I quarrel with you, Suffering.
This is why I sometimes wrestle you, though you bloody my nose and bruise my arms and still I am the loser:
(Pause. Whispers,) I never invited you.
(Pause.) You’ve stayed too long.
(Pause. Aside,) I cannot be a gracious hostess or a friend to you, Suffering, because, (pause, sighs) as yet, I have no idea how much I need you.