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Crab Woman

Updated: May 7

A surrealist story about the deeper meanings behind the eccentricities of a New York city drug addict


A disheveled woman wanders down the streets of New York City. Her pants are down. Her hair in all directions. She carries a plastic bag with live crabs inside.

Crab Woman:

(Talking to the crabs)

Hmm-hmm, I got you.

Almost there… 


A stranger laughs at her loudly. She keeps walking down the street.

Crab Woman:

Nobody’s gonna tell me nothing!

I see you. I see you!

All of you! Peasants!

You run around like rats

You think you’re all fancy

But you’re fake, you’re disgusting!

She picks up a chocolate bar that someone dropped.

Chorus of locals:

She comes here every day down Elm Place

She didn’t come for the money

Crab Woman

Man 1:

Says her crabs need to breathe

They need to be free

Woman 1:

Says the crabs told her

“Danger is coming! Death is coming!”

Woman 2:

She wants to keep them safe

She has to keep them safe

Man 2:

She can’t lose another


Singing loudly as she arrives at a small corner park. She takes the crabs out of the bag one by one and places them on the grass in the park

Crab Woman:

Here you go my baby, be free

Look at the beautiful flowers, it’s Spring

We’re one year older now

One year wiser

Yeah go, go! Run! Be free!

You're alive! You're alive!

Look at your smile warming up my world

Your little feet kissing the earth

It’s a beautiful day

Today is a beautiful day


They’re already dead

They die, slowly

It’s been a week this time

She carries the dead until-

Two teenagers grab the crabs and run away laughing


Uggh eww! This is disgusting!

Crab Woman:

No! No!

She tries to run after the kids, until eventually she’s running after what she sees in her mind. 

Crab Woman:

Where are you taking him?

Where are you taking my baby? 

She puts on a good fight

Crab Woman:

I don’t care, I just want my baby!

My baby!

By the spirit in her mind she gets shoved down onto the concrete. In the background Z slowly walks into the park, watching Crab Woman. 


You've gotta stop doing this

Crab Woman:



(helping her up)

This is embarrassing

Crab Woman:

Where have you been?


(looking at the crabs)

Nah man that's…

Why do they keep giving you these crabs?

Crab Woman: 

You! You left him out to die!


Here we go again.

Crab Woman:

I knew! I. KNEW.

But you wouldn’t listen. No one listened!


Even the doctors said there was no way of knowing.

Crab Woman:

He'll never forgive you


He’s dead! Dead!

You have to move on!

Crab Woman: What are you talking about?

He was just here


You were talking to crabs. CRABS.

Crab Woman: 


His favorite.


God, I’ve tried to help you.

I have tried.

But you just don’t want to get better!

Crab Woman:

Better? Today is a beautiful day


You’re broken.

You’re sick.

Crab Woman:

You're the broken one.

Look at you.

I bet you never even feel a thing.

Think you know everything.

You barely ever shed a tear!


You can’t bring him back

He’s not gonna come back

Crab Woman:

I just talked to him


It wasn’t real

Crab Woman:

It's real, he's alive.

He's alive!

He needs you!


He died three years ago. Today.

Three years ago.

Crab Woman:



Stop it! Just STOP!

Do you know what it’s like?

I lost a son. I lost a wife

And every day of my lifeI have to get up and face the world

I have to explain to everyone

That I’m still married to a nut job

Who wanders the streets half naked talking to crabs

They always blame me,

I didn’t take care of youI didn’t get you the kind of help you need

But what about me?

When do I get to grieve?

Who will take care of me?

Till death do us part?

Well he’s dead. And you’re crazy.

I’m done. I’m done.

Z hands her a divorce paper and a pen.


Just sign the fucking paper.

Crab Woman:

What is this?


Please just sign it. Actually sign it.

We're not even together anymore

Crab Woman:

You're breaking his heart


If you sign it the crabs will be very happy!

She takes the paper with a trembling hand and looks at it. She takes the pen slowly.

Crab Woman: 

(with a haunting voice)

You don’t love me anymore. It’s okay.

She signs the paper

Crab Woman: 

Here you go.

She stands up and for a moment. They stand and stare into each other’s eyes.


I’m sorry.

Crab Woman: 


Crab Woman:

He said he needed to breathe

He said danger was coming

I could see it in his eyes, that look of death

I tried to stop it! I tried everything!

The doctors said there was nothing anyone could have done

But they lie! They lie!

My baby is gone

His eyes did not close

He did not fall into a peaceful sleep

He stared at me with empty eyes, those empty eyes

Why can’t he have peace? Why can’t I have peace?

What did I do wrong?

God, are you out there?! What did I do wrong?

She walks off. 


Crab Woman walks down the streets. At first she’s sobbing, then she wipes off the tears and stands up straight. She pulls up her pants. She walks as if she owns the street. 

Crab Woman:

You are nothing!

(pointing at others)

You are NOTHING! 

She’s about to cross the road

Crab Woman:

Hey look it’s the cleaning liquid coming through!

Fucking peasants!

(walking confidently into oncoming traffic)

I’m royalty, you fucking peasants!

She gets hit by a car.


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