The Electronic Lover

an audio opera by Lisa Mezzacappa & Beth Lisick

Episode 4:  Talkin’ Lady Drops a Bomb

Narrator: You are listening to episode 5 of The Electronic Lover. If you haven’t heard episodes 1-4 we recommend catching up first. 

In the last episode, Talkin’ Lady told Margot she has been saving everyone’s conversations onto a floppy, prompting Margot to think about how to protect privacy in the chatrooms. Always an instigator, Talkin’ Lady now gets the group going on the subject of their current relationships.

Joan: Do. Tell. All.

Margot: Just a friendly reminder

That everything said in the chat

Should remain in the chat

Theresa: We’re definitely dating

Trying not to move too fast 

Voice: Committed to keeping it casual…

Theresa: Seriously connected though

Voice: …with eventual cohabitation

Voices: It’s complicated

Frankie: Now that I’m in school

I can’t start anything serious

But I could be open to

Shall we say 

An amicus brief

Garrison: You may have heard

My wife and I have separated

But we remain on good terms


Voices: So sorry, sorry to hear that

Margot: Aw, Buck

Buck, I am here 

if you need an ear

Garrison: A comfort

That you’re near, dear

Voices: Playing the field

Taking a swing, Switch hitting
It’s complicated!

Voice: It’s a work in progress

But we’re having the conversation….

Voice: His mother really likes me

She bought me a scented candle…

Voice: We opened a joint checking account

But we still do separate vacations

Voice: We might adopt a dog?

Susan: I’m unattached and quite relieved

To be an independent entity

Though flirtation can be fun

I’ve demarcated a boundary 

Drawn a line!

Joan: Oh, have you now?

Susan: Self-preservation, dear

You stood me up

In Manhattan

I bought new pumps for our big night out on the town

Joan: I apologized, Stacks

Susan: No hard feelings

No big deal

Joan: I’ll make it up to you

Susan: I’m Just going to keep on truckin’

Voices: Playing the field, taking a swing

Keeping it casual

Having the conversation

Keeping it light

Looking to settle down

Seeing other people

Considering committing soon

Playing it safe

Keeping my options open

Waiting for true love

Looking for good times

Putting myself out there

Margot: I’m married to the job 

Not currently on the prowl

You guys keep me pretty busy

Joan: Maybe it’s like art

You’ll know it when you see it

Frankie: Or when she feels it

Joan: Well I am feeling it!

Voices: Oh? What? Do tell! Really?

Joan: All women

To our forum, stat!

I’ve got quite a story for you…

Narrator:  The women hightail it over to their private forum to hear what Joan has to say.

Joan: Late night


Down Broadway

In the back of a cruiser

With the long arm of the law

Voices: What???

Joan: In order to start my new foundation

Helping other victims of hit and run felonies

I’ve been going on ridealongs

With the 20th precinct

Theresa: What a thrill!

Susan:  Your sense of adventure!

Joan: The most thrilling part of all is

Officer Westmoreland

Officer Alex Westmoreland

He says to call him Alex 

But only when we’re alone

And reader 

We have been


Theresa: Joan!

No moss growing

On that rolling stone

Frankie: You like it

When you see it

And you’ll take it

When you can get it

Joan: Damn straight!

And I have another surprise

For you gals

Susan: Always keeping us on our toes

Joan: I would like to bring him in

And introduce you all

To him

Theresa: Right now?

Susan: To the woman’s forum?

Frankie: But I haven’t combed my hair

Margot: Is he a member? What’s his handle?

Can we take a vote? 

Should we do this elsewhere?


Alex: Hi, everyone!

Everyone: Oh hey, howdy, hello

Alex: Talkin’ Lady has spoken so highly of you

You are like members of her family

I want to thank you all

For taking such good care of her

Theresa: We love her

Frankie: She’s our fairy godmother

Margot: I think we need to bring this to another forum

Alex: I’ll see myself out

Bye for now!

Joan: Well, what do you all think?

Frankie: Is he there with you?

Theresa: On his own terminal?

Margot: So many questions!

Joan: I will be back

With an exciting update 

Bye for now!

Narrator: And Joan is OUT, leaving them all reeling.

Frankie: Wow. 

Theresa: That was really something. 

Still here, Stacks?

You have been so quiet

Narrator: Margot goes private to Stacks.

Choir: Forward slash!

Margot: Are you okay?

Susan: I think so.

I just feel so silly

For pinning my hopes on her

Margot: Don’t feel silly

For having an open heart

Susan: You can’t see me

But I am picking myself up

Brushing myself off

I have been here before

Margot: And I am here for you

Susan: You told Garrison the same

Now that he is single

Dot dot dot…

Are you interested?

Margot: Me, what?

Susan: In rekindling

Margot: Me? No! 


It’s just that so much time has passed.

Narrator: Hmm. Really.


[ gossip-ey chatter]


It’s late on a Tuesday night and the forum is speculating about Talkin’ Lady’s new romance.

And then Margot goes private to Buck. 

Choir: Forward slash!

Margot: Still at the office?

Garrison: Won’t be long, now

Just about to switch off this infernal machine

Margot: Ah, nevermind then

Garrison: I always have a minute for you

What’s up?

Margot: Advice time

I need your infinite wisdom, Garrison

Garrison: Shoot, I’m all ears

Margot: Talkin’ Lady

Wields a lot of power

Garrison: Yes

Margot: It’s mostly for the greater good

Garrison: Seems so

Margot: Thanks to her,

Friday is pursuing a college degree

T-Rex has more self-esteem

Garrison: I feel a “but” coming on….

Margot: But there also seems to be…

Garrison: Yes?

Margot: Manipulation

Garrison: Yes

Margot: What do I do? 

Garrison: I chose you for this job

Because I trust you

Trust yourself

Margot: But people are fragile

I want to protect them, Buck

How will I know when 

To step up and step in?

Garrison: You will know how to handle it

When the time comes

Margot: I have been so profoundly affected 

By all these glorious strangers

Garrison: I am no stranger

And what we all love about you

Is something I knew from the start

All those years ago in high school

You’re so perfectly 

and essentially… 

Just so wonderfully


Margot: Aw shucks

Garrison: And now with my divorce…

Margot: …well I should finish this and get out of here…

Garrison: I don’t want to keep you…

Margot: …what were you saying?

Garrison: Thank you

For everything

So far…

Margot: You’re welcome

And thank you…

Garrison: You’re welcome

Thank you…

Margot: …if you ever want to talk…

Garrison: Yes. Goodnight.

Margot: Goodnight

Garrison: Goodbye

Margot: Bye

Narrator: Hmm. That was. Kind of cute. Meanwhile, Joan does something she hasn’t done since she’s become Talkin’ Lady: She goes radio silent for three whole days and no one knows why. So unlike her to disappear without a word.

Friday misses her the most. It’s a big secret that Talkin’ Lady is footing the bill for Friday’s tuition. No one knows, so shhhhh. Don’t tell anyone. 

Frankie: I know I look

A little out of step with the rest

Pencils always sharpened

Sitting up straight in the front row

Hungry and eager to learn

Making up for lost time

This gift I’ve been given

This vote of confidence

It means the world to me

No concealing that

I lucked out this time

Last night I heard Geraldine Ferraro

Speak at the Convention

A woman VP! That’s no joke.

I am inspired to be bold

No choice but to succeed 

On my own

Take no prisoners

And yet: what do I owe Joan?

How do I repay her?

Narrator: And look here. Almost as if she heard her name being dropped, Talkin’ Lady is back in the chat with some big news.  

Susan: She’s back!

Theresa: Where have you been?

Joan: Listen, ladies. I live out loud

And I have manifested something

Don’t tell me to look before I leap

I’ve done more than leap this time

I have longed this into being 

Are you all ready?

Margot: Ready and waiting

All ears

Theresa: And eyes

Don’t be all talk

Susan: And no action

Frankie: Hit us with your rhythm stick

Joan: Alex and I are tying the knot!

We’re getting hitched


Narrator: All the air was sucked out of the chat. No one knew quite how to respond.

 The screen was silent, blank. So Joan kept going.

Joan: The best part is

You are all invited

You are all my guests for the wedding

My witnesses!

Theresa: But we are spread out all over the country

Frankie: I don’t want to miss it, but I can’t take off from work

Can’t miss school

Susan: This is all happening so fast

Margot: Where will the wedding take place?


How could we possibly?

Joan: Hold on, ladies

Think about us

Think about where we have all bonded

The ceremony will take place right here!

Margot: What do you mean?

In the chatroom?

Theresa: On the board?

Frankie: On our computers?

Susan: Virtually? Cybernetically?

Narrator: This sounds crazy. Are you getting this? It does sound crazy, right? 

Joan: Prepare to attend the first


Online matrimony

Right here on the board

We will all make history!


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