Maura Nolan

Insert Her Name Here

She might be among the worst kind of people.
She’s cold.
She’s sarcastic and biting.
She will tell you exactly what she thinks of all your insecurities and imperfections.
She’ll pierce your heart with her words then rip it out with her actions and shove it back down your throat.
She has the capacity to feel everything at once then nothing at all.

But from time to time she’ll show you the slightest stream of light that she forever keeps shaded from the world.
And that will be enough to make you fall in love with her.
Madly, unabashedly in love with her so that no semblance of sanity is worth as much as the mania of her.
Your day will begin and end with her.
She’ll give money to a homeless man knowing full well that he intends to use it to buy booze. She wears the wrong shoes in the middle of winter, and girlish pigtails despite her age.
She’ll read to you and challenge you.
She’ll smoke like a fucking chimney while drinking too much red wine and laugh drunkenly at you when you declare that you’ve “quit”...again.

Her laugh.
You’d do anything to make her laugh.
Loud, throaty and raucous.
The most unfeminine, boisterous, charming sound you’ve ever heard coming from a tiny girl.
Her eyes will widen and she’ll throw her head back.
You will see every bit of light she hides through her eyes, but also her darkness, her deep intense darkness.

She will trust you and allow you to see how frail she actually is.
She’ll confess to you all of her irrational worries and anxieties.
She will cry to you and for you and in spite of you.
You will want to save her.
You will protect her and hold her close and attempt to dry her tears.
She won’t let you.
She’ll swat your hand away in protest and push and push and push until you want to leave, just to see if you’ll stay.

If she tries to hit you, let her.
It means you’ve affected her.
You’ve gotten under her skin and she hates feeling that vulnerable.
She will tell you she loves you, and believe with every fiber of her being that she does.
You will believe her.
In every kiss, in every touch, in every look you will believe her.
She will force you to reconsider your entire life and everything you thought you once knew.

You’ll want to marry her.
You’d walk to the ends of the earth for a blade of grass if she insisted she needed it.
You will rearrange your mind just to make sure there is room for her to stay.
And you will want to kill her when she leaves you.

And she will.
She will leave you because even though you know it’s her, that she’s it, she won’t.
She’ll spit some bullshit at you about getting her life wrong or not experiencing enough or finding you the most annoying person imaginable.

She will sabotage her own happiness and you will hate her for sabotaging yours.
You will hate her because you love her in spite of yourself.
You will hate her because hating her is less painful than loving her anymore.

Excerpts from The She Series


I saw her through the glass pane. She sat alone gently smoking a cigarette. There was something deep about her gaze. It seemed to hold something that wasn't visible to the naked eye. She was lost. Her expression was sad and overwhelmed with concern. Something kept me from comforting her. Her sadness was real, but it was not to be tampered with. It was meant to endure. Her sadness was meant to be still. There was something so deftly dramatic about her face. She would subtly scowl at sounds that displeased her. But she would stare at the world that bustled about her with such dark curiosity. She needed to know that everything fit. That each thing had a story. However enveloped she was in her own, yes reader I knew her that well, she would inhale the energy of the world around her. As I watched her as she sat there with her concern and her cigarette I knew she was searching for a deeper purpose.


She was comfortable with her anger and annoyance.
It was a still state of being that she found peaceful.
Her creativity was at its peak when she was unhappy.
She needed to be lonely.
She needed to dwell in her self imposed bitterness to articulate her thoughts on the human condition.
The happiness and care people wanted to bestow on her never sat well.
It disrupted her process and made her mind feel blank.
She enjoyed other storms.
She liked being around others who were too painfully aware of what was happening around them.
Like herself.
Though she appreciated those that wanted to bring her joy, she didn't know how to live without disdain.


At that moment I realized how strong my desire to take care of this woman was.
There is that flustered tizzy, I wanted to ease her chaos.
She folded in frustration laughing pathetically at her mishap.
She was a mess, glistening from the heat, with her bobbed wave of curls falling in her eyes.
She was beautiful.
Her defeat never became heavy, though.
She continued to move with an agile propriety.
Her turns were deliberate as though she had to pirouette to move.
Pointing her toes to indicate where things were when her hands were full.
She never lost her balance, only her sanity.
When asked if she was a dancer, she would scoff and deny any claim that she resembled a ballerina.
She was like a live wire.
Animated and vigorous.
I wanted to protect her electric grace.


She is Mother Earth,
with this unquenchable desire to tangle you in her willowy web.
She never thought she'd go crazy.
To allow her mind to bend reality.
Mental photographs that wither in time.
Straying further and further from the edge of existence.
Improbable images of what could have been.
They become her stories.
She will immortalize you if you are brave enough to destroy her.

Maura Nolan is a Buffalo based actor, director and writer. Her short play Cyclical Trouble was first produced at The American Repertory Theater of Western New York in 2014. Her writing circles around the existential crisis and self-discovery through behavioral patterns and relationships in your twenties. She is an active member of the Buffalo Theater community and living the cliché of an artist who waits tables to pay the bills. She often flaunts her yoga stomach in midriff shirts and Annie Hall style line pants.