Skeleton Crew – Monologue (Shanita)

A monologue from the play by Dominique Morisseau

SHANITA (twenties, African American)

Got offered a job over at the Copy Center on 8 mile. My cousin used to be the manager, but she movin’ offices.

Said I could come take over. Doesn’t sound good. Not to me. What I’m gonna do at a copy center? 

Day in and day out, runnin’ paper through these simple machines—for what? Don’t got the same kind of pride this work got.

Here, I feel like I’m building somethin’ important. Love the way the line needs me. Like if I step away for even a second and don’t ask somebody to mind my post,

the whole operation has to stop. Like my touch…my special care….it matter. And I’m building something that you can see come to life at the end. 

Got a motor in it and it’s gonna take somebody somewhere. Gonna maybe drive some important businessman to work.

Gonna get some single mama to her son’s football practice. Gonna take a family on they first trip to Cedar Point. 

Gonna even maybe be somebody’s first time. Who knows? ButI like knowing I had a hand in it, you know? That’s why I’m gonna turn her down.

Don’t wanna work at no copy center. What’s life at a copy center? But it’s like–cover my ass for what? Do somethin’ I don’t believe in?

I figure ya’ll is right. Time to stop worryin’ about something that may not happen. Workin’ in this industry is what I do. 

Uncertainty is always there. But it’s the work I’m made of. In me from my daddy. Wanted a son, but got me instead.

Always been good with my hands, and this somethin’ that makes him proud of me. Not bein’ pregnant before I’m married.

Not being over twenty-five and building a family by myself. But this? Being a skilled trades worker….that’s something I can stand on.

Everybody can’t say that. Everybody can’t do what I do. I belong here. Ride it til’ the wheels fall off. Right?

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