Monologues for Women (or Men)
(free for students & auditions)


By G. L. Horton
copyright © 2000 Geralyn Horton

In 1977, the MBTA put in place an Affirmative Action program, and hired Lady Operators for the first time in the transit company's 100 year history. Some of these monologues are reactions of the workers and passengers tto the presence of women on the job. Others are the stories that are part of the "T Culture", regularly passed on to rookies. Note that the "T" circa 1970's models its uniform-wearing ethos on that of the military or the police, rather than the civilian codes of school bus drivers or EMTs.


A LEGEND in his own time
One time Dimmie's shifting a car from the B.C. house down the hill, three in a row, he's bringing up the rear. All day he's been doing trailers, so he forgets he's the one driving and starts reading the paper! Wham! he hits the second car and then wham! slams the second car into his leader. After that one they made him a collector. But all alone in the booth makes him nervous, so like the Dimwit he is, he trips the ADT alarm. Got the starter, Inspector, T cops, Boston's finast, guns drawn, sirens... All Dimmie wanted was to make sure the alarm is working, yuk yuk. Another time a women turned him in for exposing himself. She said he was sitting there in the booth with his penis in a paper cup. The office called Dimmie in to hear his side of the story, and he said, sure, he had his penis in a paper cup. He's got an infection, the doctor told him "soak it morning, noon and night." and it's noon, so he's soaking.

There's one man still on the property who ran down a work crew. They were using a jackhammer, no flagman, never heard him coming. Killed three of em. Don't you think he'd get away if he could afford it? But he's gonna hang on until he can get the pension. Dimmie, now? He's a different story. I used to wonder how a driver could get back in a bus after he ran over an old lady. But you think that bothered him? While he was waiting for the ambulance he sat on the curb and ate an ice-cream cone! What can you say? This a guy who could run over a man three times! Three times! This man threw himself in front of Dimmie's train at Fenway, right about dusk. A woman saw it and screamed for him to stop, but Dimmie tells her he can't hold up the line, and he keeps right on going. There's blood on his car, blood on the tracks, and the snow at the stop is turning pink. He has to see it, he has to know it's there, but he keeps right on-- he makes two more trips! On the third go-round his follower notices something looks like a bundle of trash, and he gets out to move it off the track. What he finds is a torso.The head's over there, the legs are on the other side, blood's all over. They call in the Dimwit, and he tells them he doesn't know anything-- saw nothing, heard nothing....and they never tried to hang him on it because the police found the guy's suicide note. But Jesus, Dimmie went over that man three times!

They ought to cut out that Walcott-over-the-hill run, at least at night they should. Those kids up there , they're cops' sons, lawyers' sons, politicians', nobody can touch them. After they've been hanging around drinking awhile, one of 'em'll stand out on the corner and when the bus slows down for him the rest of em run out of the bushes. If the driver's black, they throw rocks and beer cans: if it's a white girl they line up in front of the bus with their pants down and wave their peckers at her.

The Blizzard of 1978 -WOMAN OR MAN
I loved it after the blizzard of '78 It was like back in my old home town. Whole streets getting together to dig out. Nobody seemed to be in a hurry: - there wasn't any work to go to! I did worry a bit about getting food, but my neighbor came over and offered me some of hers, and by the time that was gone some of the busses were running. I walked very carefully along the edge of the road. While we were waiting at the stop one of the college kids started singing a Christmas carol, just joking... "Deck us all with Boston Charlie Walla Walla Wash and Kallamazoo" Pretty soon the others join in "Nora's trailing on the Trolley.. fa la la la la la la la la" And there were Skiers. Did you ever think in the middle of town there'd be skiers? Skiers and busses, that's all there was. In the center of town it's winter wonderland. Trees like Xmas cards, just big sculpture mounds where are the cars are buried. People laughing and rolling snowballs, pulling their little kids on sleds down the middle of Boylston St! Where'd the sleds come from? Where'd the kids come from? Downtown, frowntown, hundreds of strangers talking and smiling and celebrating--- they'd survived. When I walked out to get a paper, it wasn't headlines of war and robberies, but pictures of people like me walking out though towering tunnels of snow, to get a paper. In the Back Bay it was like a different century. So peaceful. On Newbury St. the shopwindows glittered like jewels. The blue blue sky, the Statehouse's golden dome...Amazing what a little clean air and some time off will do! It was like I was seeing Boston for the first time. It's a small town! You can walk across it in less than an hour. With the traffic all still, the Esplanade's pure Currier and Ives. You say to yourself, I won't forget this. When the noise and the rush and the garbage in the gutter is back again, I'll travel through my city like a tourist. Give the old girl Boston the attention she deserves.

So, and what do they think of this, the men? They are always convinced, they are always out to make us inferior. It is always the same: but it is not so. I have lived in many places; I am fluent in six languages, and I understand three more. In Egypt I went to school, a good school, French, like the Sorbonne... history, philosophy, mathematics, languages. What do they learn in the schools, now, here? To hit you over the head for the price of a package of cigarettes! You must travel, you must see the world. The world was made for you. Why else are we here? Now I must struggle to cross the street: you would laugh to see me. But once I thought it nothing to cross the ocean. Now it is, my ankle, my hip - so much, if they can, they will keep you from living! Now, while you are young, you must do what you can, so that when you are like me you will have memories. Soon enough that will be all that is left. You see this leg? How it is swollen? In three places it was fractured: but they would not believe me. They left me for hours, where I could not move myself. In three places they find when finally they give to me the X-ray. So. Now I am getting off, you will wait for me, please. I must go very slowly, the hip too is very bad. No, no. I rest the cane here,on the step, then I can reach it. Please do not close the door until I have got it, please. I am very slow.

Eighty-five cents?! From Dedham? Are you shitting me? I've been riding this bus for a year and a half, and I always throw in a quarter. There must be something wrong with your head, lady: Cause you sure got it upyour ass. Making a scene over a lousy fare! We're only going another couple stops. Don't give me no shit about smoking joints, neither. We don't bother nobody. You got no business embarrassing me, or hasseling my friends. You better start going to sleep up there, or you're going to be in a lot of trouble, bitch.

BAGS MARY (in overcoats, three hats, scarf, with a bag in either hand.)
Have you got the key for the escalator, dear? Turn it on for me, will you? I'm a senior citizen, I've got bad legs. I can't climb those stairs. I waited here two hours last week. When I asked that other starter to turn it on, he told me to go "F" myself! An old lady like me! Accused me of turning it off meself! I think HE turns it, to spite me. I've called and reported him, more than once. I don't want to get anybody in trouble now,----- not unless I have to.
Thank you. That's real sweet dear. Would you like a piece of cheesecake? (offers grubby green cheesecakefrom one of her bags.)
It's good cheesecake. The woman in the restaurant upstairs gave it to me. I took it so's not to hurt her feelings, but I can't eat it because of my legs. They're all swoll up and clogged with chlorestoral. No eggs, no chese, no cream, no sweets. I ask you-- is that any life for an old lady like me?
At least now I have an escalator.


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