A monologue from the play by Eugene O'Neill

NOTE: Thirst was first published in 1914. It is now a public domain work and may be performed without royalties.

GENTLEMAN: It was in the salon. You were singing. You were very beautiful. I remember a woman on my right saying: "How pretty she is! I wonder if she is married?" Strange how some idiotic remark like that will stick in one's brain when all else is vague and confused. I was looking at you and wondering what kind of woman you were. You know I had never met you personally--only seen you in my walks around the deck. Then came the crash--that horrible dull crash. We were all thrown forward on the floor of the salon; then screams, oaths, fainting women, the hollow boom of a bulkhead giving way. I vaguely remember rushing to my stateroom and picking up my wallet. It must have been that menu I took instead. Then I was on deck fighting in the midst of the crowd. Somehow I got into a boat--but it was overloaded and was swamped immediately. I swam to another boat. They beat me off with the oars. That boat too was swamped a moment later. And then the gurgling, choking cries of the drowning! Something huge rushed by me in the water, leaving a gleaming trail of phosphorescence. A woman near me with a life belt around her gave a cry of agony and disappeared--then I realized--sharks! I became frenzied with terror. I swam. I beat the water with my hands. The ship had gone down. I swam and swam with but one idea--to put all that horror behind me. I saw something white on the water before me. I clutched it--climbed on it. It was this raft. You and he were on it. I fainted. The whole thing is a horrible nightmare in my brain--but I remember clearly that idiotic remark of the woman in the salon. What pitiful creatures we are!