‘Fat Pig’ (Tom): “I guess I do care what my peers feel about me”

'Fat Pig' by Neil LaBute

From: Play

Type: Dramedy

Character: Tom, the stereotypical man for his age group, until he meets Helen, who he subsequently falls in love with.

Gender: Male

Age Range: 20's | 30's

Summary: Tom finally breaks down and confesses everything to Helen

More: Buy the Play

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TOM: Listen . . . If we were in some other time or a land that nobody else was around on . . . like that island from the movie, the Sinatra film — None but the Brave — then everything might be okay, I wouldn’t be so f— paranoid about what the people around me were saying. Or even thinking. Then it could just be you and me, and that’d be so great. Perfect. But . . . I guess I do care what my peers feel about me. Or how they view my choices, and yes, maybe that makes me not very deep or petty or some other word, hell, I dunno! It’s my Achilles flaw or something. I’m . . .

TOM stops for a moment, regrouping.

No, I need to . . . if I stop now I’m not gonna be able to . . . finish, so I’m . . . (Beat) Helen . . . things are so tricky, life is. I know now I’m not really deserving of you, of all you have to offer me. I can see that now. I want to be better, to do good and better things and to make a proper sort of decision here, but I . . . I can’t I cannot do it. I mean, I could barely drive here today because of . . . my hands were shaking the whole time. They were. Jumping up and down on the wheel there. And these are all people that I know! That I . . . I’m just not gonna be able to do this, on like, a daily basis. (Starts to cry) God . . . look at me! It’s . . . I’m sorry about this and I wish that I was saying what you wanna hear. I do. That would make me really happy, to please another person right now. I mean, a person that I’m feeling this . . . love for. Yeah, love. But sometimes it just isn’t enough to get around the s— that people heave at you . . . I feel like I’m drowning in it —s— –and I don’t think I can . . . I don’t wanna fight it anymore. I am just not strong enough for that, so I’m gonna lie on my back for a while and float. See if I can keep my head above the surface. (Beat) I guess that’s what I needed to say to you. That I’m not brave. I’m not. I know you want me to be . . . always believed that I can be, but I’m a weak and fearful person, Helen, and I’m not gonna get any better. Not any time soon, at least . . .

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