Gas / by Jeffrey Lo

GAS BY JEFFREY LO (DOWNLOAD PDF HERE)

MELVIN, a Filipino-American guy in his 20’s and his buddy ROGER, a Caucasian-American guy in his 20’s at a gas station. They are pumping gas into MELVIN’s car. They both lean on the back of the car, sharing a pack of skittles, waiting for the tank to fill. 

We hear the gas siphoning into the car.

Beat.

ROGER: Hey Mel.

MELVIN: Mm?

ROGER: I was thinking.

MELVIN: Yeah?

ROGER: Do you ever think about what it’s like to be Filipino-American.

Pause.

MELVIN: What?

ROGER: Do you ever think about it? Like, what it’s like to be Filipino.

Pause.

MELVIN: What are you talking about?

ROGER: Cause I think about it. Like all the time.

MELVIN: Why?

ROGER: Because you’re my friend.

MELVIN: That doesn’t make sense.

ROGER: Of course it makes sense. You are my friend. You are Filipino so I think about what it’s like to be Filipino.

Pause.

MELVIN: Ok.

ROGER: What?

MELVIN: Nothing. I didn’t say anything.

ROGER: You said Ok.

MELVIN: Ok!

ROGER: Don’t you think about what it’s like to be white?

MELVIN: Jesus, Rog.

ROGER: When we became friends you never thought about what it what must be like to be white?

MELVIN: No Roger, because you are not the first white person I’ve ever met.

ROGER: There are Filipinos all around here too!

MELVIN: Yeah, now that you moved to Milpitas, but when you were in Texas?

Pause.

ROGER: Fine.

Pause.

MELVIN: And I already know what it’s like to be white. It’s all money and neutral and privilege. 

ROGER: Hey! That’s not nice.

Beat.

MELVIN: You’re right that wasn’t nice.

Pause.

MELVIN: My bad.

Pause.

ROGER: I mean I am privileged but what am I supposed to do about it? I try to be good but sometimes cops just pass me by. Should I waive my weed in their face?

MELVIN: Hell no!

ROGER: Exactly.

Pause.

Beat.

The gas pump pops. The tank is full. 

MELVIN and ROGER look at the pump.

MELVIN: I don’t have to think about what it’s like to be Filipino-American. Just like you don’t have to think about what it’s like to be white. We just are.

MELVIN puts back the pump and closes his gas tank.

MELVIN heads opens the door to the car.

MELVIN: You coming?

ROGER: Oh, Yeah!

ROGER jumps into the car with MELVIN.

END OF PLAY.