I’m a Matriarch in a Play, and I’m Sure Nothing Bad Will Happen at My Family Gathering

Well, hello there, ladies and gentlemen. Awfully hot day, isn’t it? It’s always hot here in the summers, but we make do. That’s what the Edgar family does. We make do.

Yes, I may be the matriarch in a classic American play, but I’m sure that nothing bad will happen at the upcoming family gathering.

Now, I understand why some people might worry about it. After all, Daddy Edgar hasn’t been the same ever since… well, we won’t talk about that. Sometimes he gets a confused. He thinks it’s the old days again, back when things simpler. When we all knew what America was and where our place in it was. Oh, but I’m sure that won’t become slowly more and more horrible until it ends in a tragic symbol for the ways of past being eaten giving way to the modern age. It will actually be okay, I think.

And then of course, there’s little Susan. A wonderful girl, that Susan. Always putting others ahead of herself. And so quiet and soft-spoken. Susan couldn’t possibly bring any drama to our little family gathering. She certainly doesn’t bear a world of hidden pain that she’s never shared with anyone, and even if she did, that pain wouldn’t come out in an act two show-stopping monologue. No, I don’t see any possibility of anything like that occurring. No need to worry or think about her, ever.

Then there’s Jed. Poor Jed. He seemed like he had everything going for him. But that was in the other America. The simpler America. Of course, he still holds onto his dreams. And isn’t that all we have, really? Our dreams? Oh, but he’ll only be a problem if he shows up drunk, which he’d never do. Or, of course, if someone made an oblique reference to one of his many emotional hang-ups. But what are the chances of that happening anyway?

Hot day, isn’t it. Out in the distance, you can see the sun setting. It reminds me of… nothing at all. Because everything’s going great and will continue to go great. Like the opposite of a sun setting. A sun… having a nice dinner with family.

Ah, but the real joy of this family gathering will be Hank. Yes, that’s right. Hank is coming. The one we haven’t talked to for fifteen years, after… oh, well, let’s not dwell on the past. I’m just so happy that he’s finally coming back to the family. I’m sure that he’ll fit right back in, without causing any conflicts or frictions for anybody. After all, it’s not like he’s gone to the cities where he’s become part of the new America, the one that we Edgars deny the existence of. He’s probably gone to the cities and then stayed like he was before, for fifteen years. I’ll just treat him like that’s the case and it will turn out great.

Oh, would you look at that? It’s the old Edgar family loaded gun! Why, this has been with us for generations! I’ll just put it here, in this drawer, at the beginning of Act One, where we’ll never have to think about it again.

Yes, I have a feeling that things are about to turn around for the Edgar family. Our clan’s fortunes may have steadily decayed, much like the America we grew up in, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a pleasant, two-act family reunion, where everything goes completely fine and no fundamental failings of our society get demonstrated. I’m not even worried about any of it. Why would I be?

Just a few more minutes until everybody arrives! Nothing to do but languidly smoke a cigarette, mourn my lost beauty, and maybe yell at Susan a little. Ah, that’s the life!

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