Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Gazebo Dreams: A Monologue by Debbie L. Miller

Lily Jones is talking with a Kansas City reporter the day before the 2013 Ozark Wilderness Challenge.

            Yep, I got two kids and never been married. I got two sons, six and eight. We live in a trailer park in Sedalia. Last winter, we didn’t have much heat. I washed clothes by hand and hung ‘em inside to dry and they froze on the line. Kinda like campin.’

            Here’s the thing. I know people think I’m a hillbilly, white trash, and such, ‘cuz I live in a trailer park. And, they assume I’m on welfare. But I ain’t. I never been on welfare. I work. Always have, since I was 12, and I’m 28 now. I’m a receptionist. In a doctor office.

            I wanted to have my kids.  I didn’t get pregnant by bein’ careless. Didn’t figure I needed the guy after he done his part. It’s like there was this little one up in heaven, just waitin’ for me to claim ‘em. Always knew I’d have me a boy. After I got Jake, I loved him so much, I decided to have me another. My boys, Jess ‘n Jake’s gonna be nice grown ups, ‘cuz they’s nice kids. I brung ‘em up good. Taught ‘em right from wrong.

            As far as my life goes, see, I got a plan. I been savin’ for a down payment on my own house. No more mobile homes! I’m tired ‘a bein’ called “Trailer Park Trash.” Heard it all my life. Don’t want my kids goin’ through that. I want my own house. Not a big one, mind you, just somethin’ all mine. My boys are gonna know what it’s like to grow up in a real house. Gonna build me a gazebo so I can sit and watch ‘em play in the yard. Gonna have me a big garden, too. Vegetables, flowers, herbs. Lots ‘a butterflies and hummingbirds, too.

            I’m a serious saver. Learned that from my mother. See, I just need a coupla thousand more for the down payment. I’m a big believer in positive thinkin.’ Oh, it works. You just gotta have faith. This is America and I believe despite all the politics and inflation and stuff, my boys and I can have a good life. I don’t watch tv, so I’m not influenced by all that advertisin’, telling me I need this ‘n that – all that stuff.  I know what me and my kids need. Waste not, want not, I always say. That works for me. If people don’t understand, I don’t care.

            I want to sit in my rockin’ chair on my very own front porch, in my home. I lead a simple life. I would like to have a washing machine, though, when I get my house. A new one. The ones in the trailer park, they’re old and don’t work right.

            That’s why I want to be in this competition. I want to win the prize money, for my down payment. Winnin’ this contest is gonna put me over the top.  It’s why I took a week off work for a vacation, left Jake and Jess with my mom, and came here to the Ozarks. Would you believe I never had a vacation?  I know this is a wilderness contest, but I’m good at that. I can start a fire without matches; I know how to can my own food, make my own bread. I cut my own hair and my kids’, too. I’m from good country stock and I’m self-sufficient. Wilderness don’t scare me. I could live off the land if I had to and live high on the hog, too.

            I love contests. I’m lucky. I’m always winnin’ stuff. Last year, I won a bike for Jake and a commercial hair dryer for Mamma. The year before, I won a cell phone and a year’s supply of Tide detergent. Positive thinkin’, like I said.

            After I win this contest, I’m gonna finish my high school equivalency and enroll in college. I’m studyin’ on how to get me some scholarships and grants to pay for the schoolin.’ Then, I’ll know how to do it when Jake ‘n Jess go to college. Like I said, I got a plan. You got to.


About Debbie: I'm Debbie L. Miller, Freelance Writer and Journalist in Brooklyn, New York. I've written feature articles, newspaper articles, profiles, advertorials, and Web content. My skills include interviewing, research, fact-checking, and curriculum writing. I've written curriculum for English as a Second Language and Citizenship Exam Preparation classes and dialogues to use as teaching tools.
I've written for Corporate Secretary, Every Second Counts, Family Safety & Health, The Knoxville News-Sentinel, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, CATS Magazine, Safeworker, Safedriver, GEICO Direct, and UT Agriculture, among others.
I've written playwright profiles for The Newsletter of The International Centre for Women Playwrights. As a fiction writer, I've written plays, monologues, short stories, and flash fiction. I also write memoir and personal essays. 
Be sure to check out my writing samples and list of publications.
If you'd like to contact me, I'm at

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