Who Is Harriet Mayfield?

Sometimes you’re in grad school, writing two plays a week and a short story. Sometimes you also assist the director for a show. And then sometimes you agree to act in two different one-act plays. In other words, my best this semester may not be on the A level.

I am performing Harriet in Thornton Wilder’s play Pullman Car Hiawatha. I like to choose one day before the performance, living as though I really am the character in question. Today I was Harriet Mayfield.

My husband is on a business trip so I got to wake up a little later than normal since I didn’t have to cook him any breakfast. He likes to eat fried potatoes every morning. But by the time 9:30 rolled around, I missed him so terribly I ate two fried potatoes myself to make up for his absence.

I car pulled with a friend from church. Philip and I are very religious, even if I’m not quite ready to dive whole-heartedly into the church group. I’m wary of people. It’s no secret that I never used to have the courage to talk because I was so homely. I spent a great deal of time choosing my outfit. I didn’t want my nose to get the better of me. When Philip’s home, he’s my protector and shield. I’m not afraid of people when I’m with him because I know he loves me.

Although Philip and I met at Cambridge, I was only studying to be a typist. I’m really not a scholar. I wished he had been in Sunday school with me. I was quite lost. The teacher was talking about the difference between Jews and Christians, and he was mumbling quite a lot so I couldn’t understand most of what he said.

After church I went to my parents’ house to eat the noon meal. Philip and I usually go together. He’s very much a part of my family. My brothers love him. I don’t feel like a part of his family, which is why I’m so terrified of visiting his parents in Chicago this Christmas. I feel as though they’ve always considered me beneath him. I’ve already packed and repacked three times. I just want to make sure everything is perfect when we go. I don’t want his mother to be disappointed in me. I am well aware that I’m not good enough for him.

I had originally planned to get a lot done around our house today, but I got depressed after lunch, missing him so terribly. We haven’t been apart for more than twenty-four hours since we were married three years ago. I mostly sat on our couch and looked out the window. I didn’t even eat supper.

But he comes home tomorrow night at 6:15. I’ll be waiting in my green lace dress.


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