My Life As Interpreted By 1980s Soap Operas

Our kitchen wall phone rings, I pick it up and a single teardrop falls down my face. Putting on a brave expression, I crouch down next to an adorable, if overly pretty child and tell him that “Mommy lost her job.”.

I walk my son out the lightweight plywood door with a ripped paper bag, “Mommy just has an apple for you today, son.”

After a commercial break my son rushes back in the kitchen.”How was school?” I ask. He replies: “I told my teacher “Mommy’s homeless.”” Pan into my face, which I hold with a panicked and stricken expression for a full 5 seconds.

That night, on a very clean corner in front of a store, I have a well-placed streak of dirt on my face as I hold a sign saying, “Any change helps!” I tip the can over and one dollar falls out.

Another homeless woman approaches, she is just like me but wears glasses, and a hot-pink mini skirt. She grabs my dollar, and I see, it’s my long lost sister! My son and his father walk by, see us panhandling. Zoom into son who says, “Please dad, let’s take Mommy and her friend home.” My twin quickly hides the drugs and bats her eyelashes, jutting out a hip, towards my ex. I overcome shame and desperately hug my child.

Commercial break over, interior to our house. My sister and I are both cleaned up (no more dirt streak, hot pink mini skirt) and our hand are around large painted mugs. My ex tells my sister, “You have a striking resemblance to Marcia (my name). But, you’re so much warmer.” I look away as they kiss. He presents her with a ring, and they are engaged.

Scene changes. The interior of the local cafe, the entire cast from the last few years, with small outtakes for each few members to express their excitement at “the wedding,” but take me aside to ask with long pauses to ask “If I’m OK.”

Change scene to nighttime interior of school event, a carnival sign hanging in the back and two games setup, horseshoes and dunk tank. My son and I are standing near the dunk tank, where my ex husband is waiting for my final throw. I trip on a loose power cord. I am rushed offstage to Pine Valley Salem General Hospital. My ex rushes back to the carnival and announces that I am in a coma.

In a large hospital room, I lay with my hair fanned out and beautiful. I have one small surgical tape holding a tiny tube to my nose. At my bedside, my son starts to talk to an invisible friend Dory. He tells me that Dory is from the planet Nefurituto. A young, muscly man with grey paint in his streaked black hair enters, with a doctor’s coat. My twin sister walks up to him closely and asks if he can “check her out.” The son asks when I will wake up and the doctor announces that, “We’ll just have to see,”

My ex-hsuband moves to sit next to me and remarks that I’ve never looked more beautiful. He lovingly asks if I want water, or if he can read me a card from our son. My son says he no longer recognizes me since he has been trapped on Dory’s home planet in a trance. My ex holds my hands for a pensive 10 seconds.

A beautiful nurse wheels in another patient and remarks: “You may know him, he’s the new AI businessman Sam Altsdatter.” He is awake and wearing a button down shirt in his hospital bed. After the nurse leaves, we introduce each other. He said he heard some of the card from my son, and manages to convinces my ex to steal a secret from Dory’s home planet. This will free our son from Dory’s grasp. We express amazement and the camera holds our expression on our faces for 7 seconds as the outro music plays.

Back from commercial break, our son runs into the room talking quickly about Dory, but then sees us, and finally recognizes us. My ex-husband manages to hold me with one arm in a loving embrace with our cheeks together, in the hospital bed. We hold this for 10 seconds.

The next scene is the hospital room where I am dressed and fully made up. I express releief and love in my husband and we have a recommitment ceremony with hot nurse and hot doctor. In the hallway after the wedding, my twin sister is dumped by the doctor who “needs to focus on his family.” She walks up to my now husband and tells him she is pregnant. I fall back into a coma.

1980s Soap Opera Plotlines