NIGHTTIME IN DELANO BY Jeffrey Lo (DOWNLOAD PDF HERE)
In darkness, the sound of crickets, a fire and tired Filipino men unable to sleep.
As lights rise we see two Filipino men, PHILIP and LARRY.
All around them are picket signs fighting for the rights of the Delano farmworkers.
PHILIP stands looking off into the distance.
LARRY sits on the ground, cigar in mouth, head leaning against a tree.
LARRY: Sit down Philip.
LARRY: Sit down. Please.
LARRY: Because you’re tired.
PHILIP: I’m not tired.
LARRY: Well good for you…
PHILIP: How are you feeling?
LARRY: Tired! And you walking around on your feet while I sit on my ass is making me feel –
LARRY: Fuck you.
PHILIP: Love you too, pal.
LARRY: Sit down!
PHILIP: But –
LARRY: Nothing is going to happen at this hour, Philip. We’re done for the night. The landowners are too lazy to do anything at this hour.
PHILIP: That’s the truth.
LARRY: They’re too lazy to do anything. That’s what got us into this mess in the first place.
PHILIP: No, not their laziness.
PHILIP: They’re too lazy to work. We’re not asking them to work. We’re happy to work. We just want to be paid fairly for our work.
LARRY nods his head.
LARRY: That’s right.
LARRY lights his cigar and cracks his neck.
LARRY: But goddamn…
LARRY: Can you imagine someday… a time when we don’t have to work anymore?
LARRY laughs, then coughs.
LARRY: Yeah. Me either.. Putang ina.
PHILIP: Why did we come here?
LARRY: To America?
PHILIP: To find work.
LARRY: Yes. But to find good work. To find enough good work so eventually we did not have to work at all. Diba? To rest?
PHILIP: I guess so…
PHILIP: What’s on your mind.
LARRY: Sometimes I just feel like we were fooled.
PHILIP: Fooled how?
LARRY: We were told we would come here to find better work than we could find back home. But here, the work is the same. But instead of working for our own people, we are working for these mother fuckers who don’t care about us. Instead of working and going home to our families, we are alone. Stuck in this country…
PHILIP: Are you ok, Larry?
LARRY stands up.
LARRY: I will be… I’m just… talking. I’ll be fine.
LARRY puts his hand on PHILIP’s shoulder.
LARRY: We better get some rest.
PHILIP: I thought you haven’t been getting any sleep.
LARRY: I haven’t… but I have to try.
PHILIP nods his head as LARRY exits.
LARRY: Another day tomorrow.
PHILIP: Another day.
LARRY: We’ll figure out what to do about those guys crossing the picket…
PHILIP: Will we?
LARRY: We’ll think of something.
PHILIP stands back at his spot and looks out on the land.
END OF PLAY.