an original monologue; written by Jeanna Graves
She doesn't think I heard her but I did. Her cruel remark raised up over the beeps and zings of the grocery store scanner and loomed over me like a black cloud. Food Stamps. Beep. Zing. Zing. Those people. Beep. Beep. Standing there in her pressed linen jacket and skirt, toten her $50 Duckhead handbag, she don't know shit about those people, especially this person. She probably thinks I don't have a job. Probably thinks I got three kids by three different daddies. I work. I work damn hard. I got a job down at the co-op working 40--sometimes 48 hours a week. I do, however, have a child. One child. And I do know who the father is. The problem is that I don't know where he is. But I guess that ain't really a problem seein as how he was and probably still is a worthless lump of a man.
Funny how I couldn't see that at 18. At 24 I can pick out the worthless lumps at 20 paces, usually in time to holler back at Wyatt - who sits in the stockroom waiting on a moments notice to jump up and bring to the counter a sack of hog feed -- "Remind me to call and check on Sam Houston!" I look back at the lump standing in front of me and say, "Sam Houston is my 6 year old son. I just love being a momma." That usually takes care of the lump. What was I saying? Oh yea, food stamps...
I only use them every once in a while when things get a little tight. Like this month when I had to use my grocery money to fix the alternator on my car. I never buy steak or boxed cereal, but I did purchase a box of red coconut Zingers and a pack of Ding Dongs for Sam Houston. I have a hard time believin that that frivolous purchase is going to break the United States Welfare Department. (beat) To tell you the truth...I don't like haven to use them. They don't look like real money, or feel like real money, because they ain't real money. And every time I tear them out of their brown cover a tiny piece of me recoils at being one of those people. (beat) But tonight when me and Sam Houston are watching America's Funniest Home Videos and munching on Zingers.....I will be appropriately grateful.....and little Miss Linen Suit will be a distant memory.
Kudos and much thanks go to Jeanna for this monologue, it is very much appreciated.