A monologue from the play by Monica Raymond
MIZ BEE (elderly, African American)
Of course, here I am testifying to you, but am I following my own advice? No, I’m drinking. In fact, I think I’ll have another one of those rum ‘n cokes.
Thinking about Jerome. Seems like liquor takes the edge off till Jesus can come round ‘n take the pain.
I don’t believe in those pills they give you for your feelings. A prescription on white paper for white pills from a nurse in a white uniform.
This here’s brown. It’s my home medicine. Barack, now—that’s like a miracle. I never thought to see this day.
When we used to go down in the summer to see my mother’s people in Carolina—the things I seen—
And they don’t tell you none of that in Eyes on the Prize\
They say there was separate water fountains and bathrooms, but they don’t tell you a lot of the stops there were no colored restrooms.
And my big brother would say “Don’t drink, don’t drink,” but I couldn’t help it, I got so thirsty! And we’d be doing the bee dance, hopping from foot to foot.
And at each station “is there a colored restroom?” and “No—dang it!” and the train’d just go on and on. We had to go so bad!
One time I wet myself, and I was just sitting there on that hard train seat all stinky, and my mother said “Aren’t you ashamed of yourself?”
But I couldn’t help it. Must’ve been five, six hundred miles without a rest stop. Or felt like it, anyway. And now this!
Barack. That is God’s grace that I would live to see the day. Everybody so happy. And I’m the bad fairy at the picnic.
On account of Jerome. Shot in the back. Just playing in the street. Five years old. My godson. Cutest thing. Just out playing, never did harm to nobody.
Just caught in the crossfire. I been thinking about your brother even beforeI run into you, Zafiya. Tyrone. Jerome.
Even the names sound the same. They say he’s gonna be all right. Well, not all right, he’s shot in the spine. Maybe he’ll walk.
Maybe he’ll be some kind of plegic—paraplegic, quadriplegic. But they got metal now, they’ve got medical wonders—I’ve been reading.
They implant a circuit and you spark yourself into life just by flicking your tongue. He’s gonna live by God’s grace,
and it’s God’s grace you and I met here tonight, Zafiya…(She breaks down.) A black man in the White House!
Black slaves built that house. Five hundred miles and never a place to stop and rest. God’s grace. And Jerome … I need another drink.