THE INITIAL IDEA for the play came when I was reading about all the bygone swimming pools of San Francisco and stumbled on a picture of people gazing from across the street at a meat market and an indoor pool called the Crystal Plunge. I just wanted to be there. I wanted to be with those people, cross the street and go for a swim. So I started writing a script and years later, this radio play is the result.
When I shared the script with potential actors they all asked the same question, Why did you write this? I forgot all about the photo that led to it and did what I usually do when people ask me questions. I froze, like it was some kind of test, then I gave an answer I’ve heard myself give before: if I’m not busy with a writing project I become pathetic in a way that is very much not charming. Which is true. But there’s another reason.
When I was something like four the police came to get my mother and my sister and me because we were spending the night in a Bart station somewhere east of San Francisco. My mom ended up being put in a mental ward and my sister and I got adopted, moved hundreds of miles away and our names were changed. The last anyone knows is, my mom got out, stole a car, loaded the back with blankets and started looking for us. I blocked my memories of her for about 25 years until my own kid was born and then I started to wonder, and to look back.
I never found her. It’s a long story, but I’m just trying to say that this radio play, Four Mondays, is about that, even though on the surface it’s not about that at all. It’s my way of dealing with the fact that not all mysteries can be solved. I’m trying to get over it but then I start writing something again and realize I probably never will.
That all sounds much heavier than I want it to. So I’ll add this: Four Mondays is actually quite funny. There are jokes! You will laugh.