No one ever says it. The only way you would ever know it is if you read it in the script or the program before the show. She is referred to by other characters in the play as “that hooker,” “the whore.” “a prostitute,” and conversely, “a nice woman.” She is all of those things. The story doesn’t tell you much else. Everything we know about it her is contained in the interactions she has with Kyle, a man taking comfort in her body while mourning his dearly loved, dead wife. Getting to know another person intimately is not why he’s seeing her. So we are left with what he shows us – brief snapshots into her life in the hotel room where he visits her for loveless sex. Narrow windows into knowing what she is beyond a woman who sells her body for money.
All of my friends that have seen the show have a comment on what kind of whore they expected to see. They joke about it, partially I think to dissipate the residue from the grief still palpable in the air after the show – you were “classy,” you were “dirty” you were “nice for a whore.” Joking aside, I’m finding it fascinating that there are so many assumptions that come to mind when thinking of these women, but that no actually knows anything about them really. Or I didn’t anyway. Still don’t. But I came to admire Kathleen for her curiosity. Her sensitivity. Her toughness. And her heart.