ALAYA by Paula Zimmerman-Taylor is a semi-finalist for NYCPlaywrights project "Women in the Age of Trump."PAULA ZIMMERMAN-TAYLOR is a playwright, lyricist, and video producer, whose work has been published in “The Comic Bible”, “American Anthology of Poetry”, and in “Beyond Film School.” Her plays have been produced at the Pulse Theater, La Mama La Galleria, and The Triad Theater, all in NYC. She wrote the book and lyrics for the musical SISTERS OF THE FLAMING SPIRIT.
Thanks to Paula Zimmerman-Taylor for allowing NYCPlaywrights to publish this excerpt from her monologue ALAYA.
You don’t want a b.j.? You just want to talk? Psssh, that’s a new one. I see you staring… Yeah, I’m not body perfect OK, but you friggin’ paid for me anyway. You want to hear how I got here? Well guess what, only a year ago I was studying computer coding and eyeing some big suit job like you probably have.
Living in Trenton, digging the single life. One night I hooked up with a junior from my Psych. class and we were both pretty drunk, didn’t use birth control and ended up three weeks later with a positive pregnancy test. No big deal, I have insurance, I just figured I would abort the baby; I hadn’t been following the news, so when I went to Planned Parenthood in Columbus, they told me that abortion had been outlawed in Ohio! By some law that had quickly passed through Congress allowing the states to decide if abortions were illegal; apparently Ohio was a lot less liberal than I thought. Then, my rent went up, and I couldn’t afford to travel to another state to have it done.
My family was pressuring me to have the baby, said they would help me with care. I really didn’t want to, but I gave in. A year later, I haven’t re-enrolled in school, I can’t get any kind of welfare benefits, and I’m working for $7.00 an hour at the local MacDonald’s just to keep food on the table. My parents’ taxes increased so much (more Trump legislation) that they couldn’t provide financial help, and I really wanted to go back to school, but with the baby and working unpredictable shifts, having to hire a sitter, and every month my rent being late, the pressure got too much.
A friend of mine who quit her job because the boss was hitting on her and couldn’t get unemployment since that program has also been defunded told me about doing this. At first I balked at the idea, but when she said I could walk away with $500 a night, hell, I gave in.