The Soliloquy: WEEK-LONG WRITING CHALLENGE, part one

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Better late than never. After a sick day yesterday, here’s my try at the soliloquy.

Once again, the definition: The soliloquy (from the Latin “talking by oneself) is a dramatic element where a character talks to himself, expressing his feelings aloud. Other characters who may be present, however, are not aware of what the character is saying. The character literally talks to only himself. The audience reaps the benefits, gaining insight into the character’s fears, hopes, regrets.

There it sits. Still.

I don’t want to make a big deal.
I don’t want to seem hysterical.
Everyone will think I’m bored.
Well it’s true, I am.

But I’ve been standing in this same stale spot,
greeting people all day.
“Good afternoon, and welcome to . . .”
Fake smile stuck on my face,
fake lilt stuck in my voice.
I really just want to be home,
but social security alone won’t put food on my table.
Retirement’s not all it’s cracked up to be.
My medicines total $400 per month,
and that’s just the prescriptions.
Can’t even touch the supplements.

Gotta keep this body going.
So I can work.
To keep this body going.

There it sits. Still.

But I don’t want to make a big deal.
And I don’t want to seem hysterical.
But I don’t want to leave my post
to get my vapid young manager.
And little missy will throw a hissy if there’s no one here to say . . .
“Good afternoon, and welcome to . . .”

As if those five little words make people more apt to part with the money in their wallets.
As if those five little words make people feel truly welcome and less like cattle heading to economic  slaughter.
As if those five little words block out the glare of the flourescent lighting,
the monotony of beeping registers,
the squeaking wheels of overloaded carts.

There it sits. Still.

I can’t help but think of the Boston Marathon.
Images seared into my conscience.

Did someone see it and wonder?
Did someone have the very same thoughts I’m having right now?
Did they not want to make a big deal?
Did they not want to seem hysterical?
If they had said something, would people still have all their limbs, their lives?
How can there be such a fine line between courage and hysteria?
Which am I?
Courageous?
Hysterical?
Somewhere in between?

They’ll just think I’m a crazy old woman.
Or making up stories just to get out of work.
I know how they see me everyday.
Working as a greeter.
At my age.

What to do? What to say?

“Good afternoon, and welcome to . . . ”

And there it sits. Still.

Innocuous little bag.

Or is it?

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