Artwork: JSR '22

Oliver Twist

Author: RYSL
As seen in: The Proper Bostonians #

Ladies and gentlemen, tonight I have the honor of performing the annual orphan monologue for this year’s fundraising gala. May it move you to tears and to open your checkbooks. 

Ahem. Pennies, oh how I lust for yummy pennies. Each bite shatters the pernicious veil of pauperism as well as my malnourished teeth. The crude, metallic texture blesses my poor, mangled hands, and its nutrients sustain me. 

I envy the parent-having boys, who shower me with leftover hors d'oeuvres when I do tricks. But alas, I’m forced to spend my days asking “please sir, may I have some more,” to which the public groundskeeper always replies, “the water in the lake is free, but unsafe to drink.” 

The groundskeeper is somewhat of an alive father figure to me. Because of him, I bathe luxuriously in the swamp from which I drink. He even allows me to sleep in the garden if I scare away all the other vagrants. When I’m triumphant, I relish in the spoils of their rubbish. 

Life is pain, and when the groundskeeper forces me to play hide-and-go-kill with the raccoons, it remains pain. But as he always implies through the tasks he gives me, anything is better than loneliness. 

At the end of the day, I lack parents. Nevertheless, due to the endless generosity of this foundation’s scholarships, I live with the hope that one day I will drain this fine nation’s welfare system.