Tone .Are

The Organic Cuchifrito (Act I)

In Uncategorized on January 10, 2011 at 7:49 pm

THE ORGANIC CUCHIFRITO

by
Tony Rivera

Photobucket
{Act I of -The Organic Cuchifrito- was written some 3 yrs ago. There are people in my community whom have already read it. Some of them happen to be lawyers. All rights reserved. On the name, on the dialogue, and here’s a stretch but I will defend it: On the idea. …That being said I invite you to talk to me if you think this is a beautiful piece and would like to produce it, or use it as inspiration to recreate it. Thank You}

.

INT. BODEGA

Hector is coming towards the front flipping a roll of toilet paper in his hand, with a loaf of Italian bread under the other arm. A shelf (at the head of which are the chips, cookies, cake, etc…) divides him from Papo, who is looking down over a newspaper flat on the counter.
He stops and stuffs the roll together with the bread under his arm before sliding the refrigerator glass open. He takes out a skinny carton of orange juice and pins it to his chest before reaching back in slowly with an inquisitive look on his face. Joey walks in (the bell jingles).

JOEY
Oye Papo!

PAPO
(without ever looking up)
Di me!


Joey passes a glance over at Hector and hollers his name out on his way to the counter to play the numbers.

JOEY
Amigo, juega me estos numero fifty/fifty: …925, 19, 1230, 1027, 824, 218, 703, 1030, 375, and 2826.

Joey walks around to Hector as Papo types his numbers into the machine. Hector’s head lifts to receive a handshake.

JOEY
Que paso? What’s going on bro?

HECTOR
(looking back down)
Nothing much; cojiendo suave!

Joey crouches over to pile up a couple of 40oz beers.

JOEY
III heeear you! BRO, YOU NEVER TASTED THAT BEFORE? Vanilla rice milk! It’s good.

HECTOR
Yea it looks good.

After contemplating, he opts for a quarter of a gallon of whole milk to compliment the small box of vanilla rice milk.

JOEY
Indira put me on to that. Ella es vegeteriana. No come carne, no come carbs, que se yo, no come nah! Sabes, she’s one of these health nuts you know what I’m saying?

HECTOR
YEA? …and how in the hell did YOU end up with such a female?
(winks and laughs)

JOEY
(smiles and blushes)
Fuuuck youuu! Fuck you! I met her at the Loizaida fair. Matter of fact… No, I’m lying! That’s when I stepped it up. I’ve seen her around for years, tu sabe?
(pause)
You know my old lady Indira right? La negrita quien

HECTOR
(cuts in mid sentence)
Joey… I know Indira! I know her mother! My children went to school with her.

They have walked over to the counter. Joey has his 40’s. He never takes his eyes off Hector’s profile.

JOEY
Ohh true. Yea… You know what you gotta try though? Brown rice! It got a taste like… a little bit of a nutty flavor. That shit is good for you too.

Joey sweeps off his lotto tickets and places his bill on the counter. In addition to the items Hector handed over on the counter for Papo to ring up, he reaches for a newspaper and surveys the cover, looking up at Joey’s eyes, and back down.

JOEY
MATTER UH FACT. Next time you stop in next door

HECTOR
(cuts him off)
Next door? You mean that wannabe cuchifrito spot?

Papo looks up with a suspect face, then looks down, and back up, pushing Joey his change.

JOEY
WHAT? HAHA, WANNABE? YOU DON’T EAT AT THE ORGANIC CUCHIFRITO?

HECTOR
(announces simultaneously with Hector; responding to a headline)
Man, they need to leave these college kids alone! You would think NYU was uilding projects!

PAPO
Ocho ochenta y tre’

Joey is looking over at the paper in Hector’s hands. Hector looks up at Papo perplexed.

JOEY
I could give a FUCK about some dorms! …At the end of the day I’m still going to be broke!

HECTOR
(again, speaking at the same time as Hector)
EIGHT DOLLARS? HOW MUCH IS THIS?

PAPO
(Heavy accent)
Three ninety nine.

HECTOR
GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE! For this little box? I could buy a whole gallon for that much!

He picks up the box of vanilla rice milk. Papo throws his palms up before him; voiding himself of any responsibility for the price. Joey is laughing. Hector walks to the back with both milks and returns with a single half a gallon.

HECTOR
(Chuckling)
Shoo! Hellll no! That better be some vanilla if I ever tasted it! I coulda bought me some rice –AND- some milk! …TWO brown rices and a milk! That way I get my healthy nutrients too!

He smiles at Joey. Papo gathers his change.

JOEY
Yea but brown rice is expensive too. Thas the only thing.

HECTOR
THAT TOO? Are you kidding me? Since when can you afford white but not brown of ANYTHING?

Joey laughs. They walk out the door with their bags (bells jingle), onto the sidewalk.

.

EXT. OUTSIDE THE BIG SEE THROUGH FRONT OF THE BODEGA. SUNNY. TRAFFIC AND PEOPLE HEARD BUZZING ALL AROUND.

To the right is a pole with the street sign: “Avenue D”. The guys have halted; Joey lights a cigarette, Hector checks his watch. To their left a public telephone has been ringing. Two elder men walking by are bugging out in the distance.

V.O. 1
(hollering in old accented voice)
COMPAI, I THINK IT’S YOUR EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER CALLING TO FIND OUT IF YOU’RE FEELING SICK.

V.O. 2
FOR YOUR INFORMATION, I AM FEELING TOO GOOD TO REPORT TO WORK TODAY! IF I FEEL SICK TOMORROW I WILL GO IN EARLY!
(both laugh)

JOEY
(while blowing smoke)
Wanna pick that up?

Hector smirks. Amidst the noise the shaving of ice is heard. He is looking in that direction.

HECTOR
Not for nothing, but, tell me how for all these years this guy has managed to run all these businesses? AND YOU KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT!

Joey smiles, shaking his head. The phone is still ringing.

HECTOR
(laughing/ face lit up)
WE WAS JUST IN THE STORE AND HE’S… behhhind the counter ringing us up… And look at him now: preparando las piraguas! JUST LIKE THAT: we leave the store, and BOOM
(points)
He’s right there!


Joey is laughing HARD. He goes calming down before responding.

JOEY
AHH MAN.. Haha.. Ha.. Papo’s a hustler! Haa hAA

HECTOR
You telling me! He aint stupid; look at ‘m… I remember when all that cart had on it was a loose wooden board that said “Bayaminina”. I don’t know whheeere he got that starbucks banner!

JOEY
(cracking up again)

HECTOR
But THAT SHIIIT IS CLEVEEERRR!
(laughing)

JOEY
YOOO… HE GOT A STARBUCKS COFFEE FLAVOR TOO! I think that’s official though. They prolly sell it at the supermarket.
(chuckling)
That’s slick though man… I must say! AND he charges two for it!

Joey hits his cigarette with a few swift pulls. They are looking out over the avenue; looking forward, left, right. Joey winks and salutes once. The phone is still ringing.

HECTOR
Whelp! I’m going to take off papa.

JOEY
Nah, nah, where you going? I was gonna treat you to lunch bro. On me. I mean, if you don’t got
(Hector cuts in here, but Joey continues)
Nothing else to do, you know.
(continuing to talk choppily over Hector)
It’s a niiice daaay,
I really don’t got nowhere to beee,
…don’t you wanna keep me off the streets?

HECTOR
(cutting in)
Noo papa, you don’t gotta pay! You wanna go eat, I’m down. Umm.. lemme just call Sessa to let her know I’m out.

JOEY
(smiling)
Bet!


Hector walks over to the phone booth and finally picks it up.

JOEY
(low, under his breath)
Damn yo, get a cellie already!

HECTOR
(answers firm)
HELLO

V.O. 3
Yea. I’m sorry, pana thas not you is it?

HECTOR
This is a public phone. I’m just coming out of the store, and the phone’s been ringing so…

V.O. 3
(has cut in. talking over Hector half way)
Oh, my bad, my bad. …Listen, thanks for picking up though. Look, can you please do me a BIG favor Pa? Can you call out for A? See if my boy A is around


Hector looks over at Joey, shrugs, and twists his brows up.

HECTOR
Aight man. Hold up ok?
(at the top of his lungs)
…A! …A! …AYO A! …Sorry my friend, but there is no A out here.

V.O. 3
Aight, no doubt. Thanks a lot Pa.

Hector hangs up the phone, then picks it up again to make his call. Joey puts his stogie out. He is staring pensively up the block.

FADE OUT.
IN THE DARK, SALSA
MUSIC FADES IN LOW

.

INT. THE ORGANIC CUCHIFRITO

HECTOR
(reading off menu cover)
We do not use trans-fats

The sound of food frying permeates with the music. Papo is standing by the cash register writing stuff down. Hector and Joey sit on stools at the counter, reviewing the menu. Herminia sits down at the far end, angled toward the front (she faces the audience more so than the guys, whose profiles face the audience) with a big ol’ tote bag hanging off her shoulder. She is rambling; Papo nods in agreement or shakes his head in disagreement from where he stands.

HERMINIA
Fijate: La familia del esposo de la nieta de mi cunado leeb en Baruch. Suzy eh la hermana de el. Theyyy sen’ her a letter fron’ NYCHA telling her tha’ her aparmeng is wohr’ feeteen hundreh dollor’ a mon’! Parese que they wan’ to throw it in jur fay, because is no like she nee’ to kno tha’!

She pauses, tapping her fingers and giving an eye towards the fellas, from the angle of her face rested on the palm supported by her elbow on the counter.

HECTOR
(low)
Boooy, is this a pricey menu boy! I aint NEVA seen a pastelillo that cost 2.00! …No wonder Ignacio raised them another quarter!


Joey lifts his head, then looks over and smirks.

HERMINIA
(continuing from her short pause)
Si fuera yo, yo hubiese ido a rentarlo por mil quiniento, y darle los quatro cientos dolores para mi hija por un quarto en su casa! Asi, yo pudiera viajar a Puerto Rico con el resto del dinero.

HECTOR
(continuing to himself, off menu)
‘Yuca tuber meat patty’… ‘mound of plantain’… ‘meat fritter’…
Soy this… soy that…

JOEY
Soy Boriqua!
(smiles)

HECTOR
Pa que tu lo sepa! That’s what you’re going to turn into: A Soy Boriqua!

HERMINIA
(still on the subject)
Hay gente, tha’ they do tha’! En mi edificio uno los puede ver todo el tiempo!
(smirk/ chuckle)
Esos yuppy all the tyne, caminando… entrando y saliendo todo el tiempo. A new one ehberry day! Ju know they no going through NYCHA! Parese que the tenen’ rent it to them!
(pause)
… Y se creen mejor!
Son falta respecto! … Subía por el elevador y me entreduci a este joven. Este hombre que corre en su bicicleta atraves del highway, con el casco, y sunglass y todo. Ehh… and I seeing heen all the tyne, all the tyne. I tell heen my naaame, que I leeb eh downstaaaiir’, y dije que ehberrybody know me! I living here thirty fie jeer, righ’…
PUEDES CREER, QUE DESDE AQUEL DIA, HE DON’T SAYING HELLO; HE DON’T LOOK MY WAY; NOTHING!
(brushing her palms off each other)

Hector has put his menu down. He is looking out the window (towards the front).

HECTOR
What am I looking at a menu for? This is cuchifrito!
PAPO, DEME UN RELLENO DE PAPA, Y UNA MORCILLA! YOU GOT THE REAL THING RIGHT?

PAPO
Si!

HECTOR
No blood alternatives! If I wanted to eat a Jehovas Witness I’d follow one from my door back to hers and get her drunk off her own bottle!

Joey looks at Hector shaking his head confused, with a half smile. Papo’s cell phone starts ringing.

JOEY
Imma order the Tofu Orejitas! With hot sauuceeee?!? MMM!

Papo checks the number, clears his throat, and finally answers with a perfectly clear American-English (white) accent. Herminia is staring over at him from behind her big shades. Hector and Joey are looking out front, eyes passing back and forth.

PAPO
Norm. Hey, how ya doing buddy.
Smooth sailing, smooth sailing; I’m here at The Organic, hardly working.
(pause)
Ok… mmhmm… ohh…
Gosh Norm, I… I’m sorry, but I’m not willing to part from The Organic. I stand firm on that decision.
(pause)
That is a hell of an offer, but as I’ve said, it’s not an issue of money!
(pause)
Well, did you tell him about Essex street? No Organic, No Grocery?
(pause)
CAUSE, cause they’re adjacent, rigghhht. Well, a Lounge; yea the space… I understand. I’m sorry, I was hoping we could work something out.
(pause)
Please do. Please do. Thank you. …Not a problem. …Alllright. Have a good one.


Papo clicks his cell phone off.

V.O. PAPO’S MIND
Vete pa caraaaajo! NUNCA, NUNCA, no jam ás!

HERMINIA
No compraran la tienda???

PAPO
(back to accent)
No. Quisieron el restaurante consigo!
(pause)
I can’t sell la lechoneria que mis padres vino aquí con nada para establecer! No esto!

Papo’s eyes are averted low. He is leaning on the counter with one hand, and the other hand is on his hip. He gulps. They are all looking at him.

PAPO
This is… where we lived. We used to… sleep in here. In the day this was… where our people came, to converse, about family and home, and… work, where we all came after work! And until we were able to buy the building… at night on this very floor. This is where we slept.

Herminia looks down sad, then back up excitedly.

HERMINIA
An’ thees ee where ju hab all jur girrl frend, an’ where arr they now? Ju see, thas wha’ happeng, ju starr a bringing round esos putas! BUT I KNEEEW! I KNEW EH! Tha’ I sed ‘leeet me stayyy aroun’ becaus he eh going to needeh somebody to keep heen awake here, wheng they eh leave! An’ churr eno!

Everybody is laughing.

JOEY
Papo, thas a really admirable decision you made Pa. I commend you on that! This place keeps the character of the community you know?
Like they say… Cuchifrito is like our own soul food!

There is a pause. They all nod. Papo goes over to get Hector’s food.

HECTOR
Yeea, now that you think about it!
Black folk eat chitling; we eat gandinga! True. Character of the neighborhood…
I can’t argue with that! Accept… pleeease! Can we please not do anything funky with our rice and beans? If you want to add color, see that’s why we have Sazon!

Papo returns and puts Hector’s food before him. Joey gets up slowly, staring wide eyed in shock out the front. Hector turns to him from his food, checking him up and down.

HECTOR
You alright? What happened?

Joey begins walking closer up front, with his face/eyes turning left. Hector looks over concerned and sees what it is before Joey storms off.

V.O. JOEY
DID YOU THINK I WOULD’NT SEE YOU? HUH?

V.O. FEMALE
WE’RE NOT TOGETHER! WE’RE NOT .. PTS… GETCHA PUNK ASS BACK ACROSS THE STREET! YOU NOT SCARING NOBODY!

V.O. JOEY
HOW DARE YOU… HOW FUCKING DARE YOU! RIGHT ON THE AVE!

HERMINIA
(gasp)
Que pasa alli? He’sss maaad!

The voices gain distance, getting lower and lower. Hector begins eating. Herminia walks to the front to see the action.

V.O. MALE
(clearly a white man’s voice)
Hey man listen… I… she told me…

V.O. FEMALE
NO, YOU DON’T GOTTA TELL HIM NOTHING! COME ON! COME ON!

PAPO
Eh un blanco?

HECTOR
Yip! That’s what it looks like!

V.O. JOEY
(still fuming, but calmer tone)
INDIRA! INDIRA WAIT! BUT DON’T YOU THINK

V.O. FEMALE
SORRY! JUST GO YOUR WAY!

HERMINIA
(hanging out the front)
BENDITOOO

V.O. JOEY
YOU KNOW WHAT! Thas alright! Thas alright!

The argument has ceased.

HECTOR
(with mouth full)
I knew that would happen! That girl is NOT for Hector. She just graduated with her Masters Degree from NYU!
(chewing)
Ptss… shame.
(chewing)
Now THAT’S what you call brain drain!

Joey walks back in, by Herminia, dejected. His head is down. She goes to put her arm around him, but refrains; putting a hand to her mouth instead. Everything is quiet. Papo rushes to pour a drink (liquor) where Joey was sitting. Hector is looking to his face as he approaches. He watches him back into his seat. It is quiet.

PAPO
Tofu orej..

Papo is cut off, as Joey throws his hand up to stop him before he finishes.

JOEY
(shaken voice)
I want Pig!

FADE OUT.
Music continues on.

.

INT. Kitchen
Sessa is seasoning meat in her hands and moving her hips to salsa fading out of a radio on the counter. She is oblivious to the sound of the door opening and closing over in the livingroom. Hector places the groceries down and wraps his arms around her from behind. She squiggles her way around and they trade a peck on the lips.

Sessa
Comiste bien?

Hector
Babe… It hit the spot.

Sessa
It was good?

Hector
Did you eat? I brought you some for you can try. A little of this, a little of that.

He untwirls a mint colored plastic bag he has removed from a brown paper bag, and pulls out un relleno de papa, breaks it in half and eases a portion into her mouth.

Sessa
Mmm. Crunchy. Tastes like actual relleno de papa.

Hector
Right?
Sessa
Mmm. No me diga. Babe, this has to be meat!
Hector
Mi vida, not only is that NOT meat, pero mira ver.

He hands her the empty brown paper bag

Sessa
Ok, what am i looking for here?

Hector
I don’t know about you, but I can’t see through it!

Sessa
HUHH! You’re rigggght. Oh My God, where is the grease?

Hector
He uses canola oil.

Sessa
mMmMmm. This is amazing. I still don’t know about the meat though. You know what they say; if it seems too good to be true… mmhmm


Hector is staring down over Sessa’s shoulder, at the slabs of raw steak marinating. She turns.

Hector
Que va a hacer?

Sessa
Arroz con habichuela negra y bistec ensabollado.
Your boy stopped by, he’ll be back for dinner. Went to visit mami upstairs.

Hector
Oh, Omar came?
Yea, he told me he would probably come through.

Hector remains silent for an awkward moment before continuing.

Hector
No tenemos pescao?

Sessa
Nooo papi, lo siento. Why? You not in the mood for steak tonight?

Hector
I don’t know. I was thinking about trying to eat more healthy you know.

Sessa grabs him/ leads him into a dance, shuffling around the room.

Sessa
You can start tomorrow.
So, you ran into Joey. How is he doiiing? What is he doing back around?
No estaba con Liz y lo’ nino?

Hector
Nooo mammiii. Not JOEY Joey, haha. Recuerdes Jose from Laguardia?
Que el era el esposo de Mirna?

They pause.

Sessa
Riggght. Yea pero el se murió !

Hector
Pero, su hijo de su primer matrimonio, Joey.

Sessa
Ohhh. Joselito! He’s back on the streets?

Hector
Come on babbbe! I see that boy everyday! You don’t notice him? He’s always
over there on Delancy con lo’ titere, by the Barbershop alla. …el coco pelado
…that he wears the beard

Sessa
Yes, yes, yes. Ok, yea. I see who you’re talking about. Hmm… el muslulman?
As a matter of fact, wowww, yea, because that’s a little bit how Jose used to look if you remember.
Now that i think about it. Except, he had his little Push-Back. How did you guys get speaking?

Hector
I speeeak to him when i seeeee him, Sessa.

Sessa
Y, es musulman, no? You know how they come out sometimes, se llaman Ali-Al-Raheim y esa baina.

Hector goes unloading the grocery bags. Two boxes of vanilla rice milk, a bag of brown rice, wheat bread, orange juice and toilet paper. Sessa goes grabbing the items and lifting them to her face with a look of interest.

Hector
Sessa, i don’t know. I HIGHLY doubt it!

Sessa sucks her teeth and shoots Hector a vindicative gaze.

Sessa
Hmm! I’ve been wondering why you are growing that beard out! And now you’re not eating meat?
quidate Hector, because in these days..

Hector
Oh come on, you can’t be serious!

Sessa
Hector, que esto? Vanilla Milk shake? Brown rice or whatever that is?
Since when do we eat wheat bread? ‘Sta Loco!?!

Hector
It’s milk! Vanilla, it’s healthy! Don’t you think it’s about time we begin loving ourselves enough to care.

Sessa shoots him a ‘you can’t be serious’ look. She then flashes him her backhand.

Sessa
MIIIRRA! PENDEEEJJO!
CARE NI CARE!

This …milk… will not last us past tomorrow!

Hector is silent. He is staring out of the window. Finally he looks back, his body trailing, drawing him closer into Sessa’s eyes and towards her. Finally he stops before her and grabs her hands.

Hector
Sessa.
Sessa
Baby, what’s the matter?

Hector
There is something i want to ask you.. and.. i’m hoping that i can trust in you to be honest with me.

Sessa
Hector, you know that you have ALWAYS been able to count on me
to tell you what your mother wont!

Hector
I understand the truth might hurt. And you know what… i am prepared to deal with it. Promise me that you will tell me the truth. That you will not hold back, it wouldn’t be right!

Sessa
I promise you Hector. What is it?

He shies back from a couple of attempts, then commits.

Hector
Have you… ever….. thought about… leaving me?

Sessa
I have!
Hector
(Whispering)
Are you serious?

Sessa
Hector, you asked me to be honest, ok?

Hector
Yea, i did. …For who?

Sessa
For nobody! If you’re asking whether i’ve considered being unfaithful Hector,
that is a whole nother question all together! I have never, and as i have told you in the past,
WOULD NEVER go there! If i was going to leave you, it was going to be for myself!
For my happiness!

He pauses, staring into her eyes.

Hector
Not even like, more recently, with all the new people moving into the neighborhood?
Sessa
What would them being new matter? I have my values! I see new people on my
commute uptown to work everyday.

Hector
And i’m not questioning your values baby so please don’t think that. But maybe i’m not…
OK, hold on! I’ll be right back.

Hector runs off, returning with a Wrestling magazine. He goes flipping the pages before her.

Hector
Put your finger on the one you think is the cutest.

Sessa
Whhhyyyy? …Hector, what are you up to?

Hector
Please Sessa, just for once i need you to comply.

She goes looking down, then looking back up into Hector’s eyes with her selections.

Hector
Eddie Guerrero or Triple H?
AH HAH!
The Rock or John Cena?
I KNEW IT!

Sessa
WHAT?

Hector
Nothing, nothing. Let’s just continue for now…
Ray Mysterio or Edge?

Sessa
Hector… Ray Mysterio is wearing a mask!

Hector
Hah, Yea! And i’m sure you’ve got an excuse for why you chose the other white guys too!

Sessa
White guys? Isn’t The Rock like… Hawaiian or something?

Hector
Hawaiian, Samoan, all the same to you of course

Sessa
I don’t know; whatever! He’s clearly cuter than John Cena!
But what’s with the white guys comment?

Hector
You expect me to just allow the pattern to pass me by without speculating?

Sessa
Hector, we have been together going on 20 years…
You know DAMN well, i am NOT attracted to white men!
Not that it will matter at all when you come to accept the fact that no one has my heart but you!
And so no one but you will have my body!

Hector’s eyes trade focus between the ground and Sessa’s face, as he bites skin off his lip; his hands on his waist.

Hector
No, i know. …Look Sessa, i’m sorry. Por favor mi amor, forgive me
I’m bugging out. I know how strong we are, i just.. wanted to see.
Please, ven aqui, let me hold you.

They embrace.

Hector
So we’re sitting there eating and out of the woodwork Joey gets up and walks out with this… face.
He had spotted Indira with a man, some tall blanquito. And they had it out.. in the street.

Sessa
And what happend?

Hector
Nothing. She shut him down.
I uhh.. he had gone to strike her and i caught his hand in mid air.
I wrestled him back in and you know, just tried to be supportive.

.

TRANSITION
MEMORY SEQUENCE

Joey is slouched over his plate, fooling around with his fork. Hector sits by.

Hector
(speaking low)
Aye, look towards the bright side. Now you are free brother. You’re too young to hold yourself down anyway. What i say; you get YOU una Americana yourself, shit!

Joey
EL BLANQUITO NO ES EL AMERICANO!
EH UN GALLETITA!
EH UN GALLETITA!

Joey is stabbing at a cracker.

Hector
Why are you eating a cracker with a fork?

Joey
UN GALLETITA! EH UN GALLETITA!

Hector
No no, that shit aint cool bro. Enough!
There are white people all around us.

Joey
So what? …bro, you have to allow yourself to be a little analytical about these things. What is the TYPE, of white they are?

Hector
(still whispering)
They’re WHITE!
WHITE, WHITE, WHITE, WHITE
WHITE, WHITE, WHITE!
And ain’t none of them did anything to you!

Joey
Exactly! And none of them will do anything. We’re safe pana!
Mira ves, look at that one’s glasses.. those are those little round Elvis Castello/ John Lennon glasses.
For the girls…

He lifts his head to look around the restaurant.

Joey
Well, i don’t see any here, but if you see any girls with the cat woman Lisa Loeb glasses.. Those are the female equivalent for the liberal white boy. They don’t mind if we talk about white people. As a matter of fact, they talk about white people too.

Hector
Joey. I said that’s enough! Let’s be a little mature about our conversation please.
You’re embarrassing me.

TRANSITION
BACK TO REAL_TIME

.

Sessa
Eeeee… and so that made you feel threatened about me cheating on you with a whiteboy huh sangano! Hmm… But you know what, it doesn’t surprise me. Indira was always the type that
she had alot of white friends, y los chinos, remember?

Hector
Yea. …I think it was the guy that works with Omar down at la marqueta. …But anyway. …So Omar is here. And he went to visit mami?
What, did he lose something up there? You force him to go up there or something? He doesn’t just stop by mami’s. Did she have cable and wireless connection installed that i don’t know about?

Sessa
Ha ha, funny. Sangano!
I asked him to go up there and see what he can do to fix the sink.

Hector
You telling me NYCHA still hasn’t come through for that leak?

Sessa
You know how that goes. And i’m tired of hearing these people complain across the hall. Si esa muchacha comes knocking on my door one more time, i am going to spaz out on her.
I mean i understand where they’re coming from; i would be pissed too, but come onnn. It is NOT
like mami is sitting there flooding her bathroom on purpose.

.
FADE OUT.
FADE BACK IN.

.

INT. DINING ROOM TABLE
Hector, Sessa, Mami, and Omar are serving themselves, and eating over conversation.

Mami
They want me out! They want me out/ They want me out/ They want me out!
And nobody can tell me different. And i am not going nowhere! Esos Dominicanos
if only they knew how long i had to wait to get on the list for that crib.

Omar
Here we go again!

Mami
Because mira,
don’t make me go there. All i need is to catch a flashback to the times when not even los santos could hold me back.

Hector
CRIB? Mami, where are you getting this from?

Mami
Listen if they want to be little thugs. Trying to intimidate me. I can be a thug too. They don’t know who they are messing with! Ask around. I was the first one los prietos referred to as Mami. EVER. This was before everybody wanted to be Puerto Rican. Back then my name let it be known.
I’ve always told you the story of how..

Hector
I know, i know…
How when you were pregnant with me

Hector, Sessa, Omar Together
Everybody would ask if you tried to bite off Papi’s head when yall were done conceiving!

Mami
And there wasn’t even hardly a Dominican here yet.
Cono… Who do they think they are?

Omar
But Mami. Let’s be real. Don’t you think if there’s anyone who wants you out, it’s NYCHA?

Mami
Listen, when i get a vibe, i know a vibe!
Why would NYCHA want me out? I have never been late on my rent!

Omar
Yea, but you only pay like 500 dollars a month.
Why continue to provide you good service when they can possibly rent
your apartment for triple that amount if they got you out?

Mami
Oye, because you have a college degree don’t underestimate the wisdom that comes with experience! It was a Dominican puta that took your grandfather away from me.
And i remember well.

Hector
Oh mami! Come on will you?

Sessa
Mami did everything go good at your check up this morning?

Mami
Mija, everything went fine. Nothing new, the same thing they tell me all the time. To monitor my sugar level, to be careful with my salt intake. I don’t know if they
want me to starve to death.. or eat to death, or what!
I have an easier time separating cans into a blue bag when i remember.

Sessa
Let me tell you… Your son surprised me with a wonderful lunch today.
He brought home cuchifritos, but let me tell you… It wasn’t just any regular cuchifrito!
It was organic all natural products. Low on grease.

Mami
O, Papo’s!

Sessa
Hector, you need to bring her by so she can try it. It would be good for you. It’s healthy, y let me tell you… it was absolutely delicious.

Mami
Hector doesn’t need to bring me anywhere! I know what place you’re talking about. And the few times i’ve gone since Papo turned it into the Orgasmic-que-se-yo, that degraciao was there. I know Papo very well, at one time Sammy and I were like this with him! We go way back, but when she is around, she does not know how to mind her damn business.

Omar
Obuela, you really need to take life more easy. Everything is not all bad. And everyone is not your enemy.

Mami
And everytime she’s around something bad seems to happen.
I’m sorry querido, i know, i know…

Omar
Especially your own people! We are all Latino. Punto!
We are bound by many things, and to just try to make it alone, it doesn’t make sense.
Look at the Jews.
They only marry other Jews!
Go to Crown Heights or Borough Park, their Real Estate books are in their own language, so they only mean to rent to one another!
They even institutionalized their economic model in their diet. They must buy Kosher, so they only eat their own food!

Mami is leaning back in her chair squinting her eyes with her hand on her chest.
Sessa has stuck her hand out on top of her hand and is inquiring if she is ok.

Omar
And then we wonder why they have money and we don’t.
Meanwhile we’re over here attacking eachother on our subsidized plantation.
Hell, Jewish isn’t even a nationality. It’s a faith. And yet they identify first and foremost as Jewish.
Let me ask you? When someone says what are you, do you say catholic or Puerto Rican

Hector
CALLATE OMAR! CANT YOU SEE THAT YOUR GRANDMA IS NOT WELL?

Omar
Pa, she does that when she want’s me to shut the fuck up.

Mami stops; chewing her food, and throws Omar a wink.
Sessa and Hector laugh.

Sessa
OH – MY – GOD!
I thought you were having a heart attack!

FADES OUT.

.

INT. Mami’s Bedroom

Lights are off and Mami is laying down asleep when a voice rouses her awake.

SAMMY (V.O.)
Mami… Mami…
What you cooking?

MAMI
What are you doing here? Go!

SAMMY (V.O.)
Tengo hambre

MAMI
Do something with yourself. Go to sleep!

SAMMY (V.O.)
How long has it been since you think about me, and this is how you treat me?
Boy, this nostalgia thing is not very inviting with you is it?

MAMI SPRINGS UP ON HER ASS

MAMI
I am sleeping Sammy, can’t you see that i was sleeping? Cono you always do this to me!

SAMMY (V.O.)
Lo siento mami, pero i’m starving right now. I’m like emaciated. I can eat a cow!

MAMI
Don’t give me that pobre mielda. What you want me to say, “aye bendito?”
You can’t even eat Sammy, you’re dead! Can’t you fuck with me later..
like while Sessa is talking; whenever she is talking; and for as long as her mouth is moving?
I give you my blessings to get on my nerves then.
(whispers)
lesser of two evils

SAMMY (V.O.)
Cono you know! Every night you sit there and whenever my name comes up
you never have nothing nice to say about me. Last night Hector was tryyying
to enlighten Omar about the time his grandfather got the keys to the city from
Mayor Kotch himself, and here you go, oh ‘Sammy was the cause of the fire anyway; the least he could have done at that point was put it out’… Why did he need to know i started it?
Then evvvery afternooon, you sit there and hang out three, four hours with Elly… Danny comes home to his best friends widow sitting with his wife over there, and still nothing.. not a word, not a memory; not a memory, not a thought about your husband anymore.

MAMI
Imbuste, .. ehte.. mal agradecido…
anyway what do i look like to you? Some sick woman? Yes there was a time, i took you out with me, but you know, i need to have a life! Does Danny talk to you?

SAMMY (V.O.)
Why is Danny going to talk to me, i’m dead!

MAMI
HELLO!

THERE IS A SILENT MOMENT

SAMMY (V.O)
It’s different

MAMI
Oye, Jerry Springer will be on in a few hours. If i don’t get up in time to enjoy my cafecito i’m going to cut you!

SAMMY (V.O.)
(whispering to himself)
Mind you, she spends an hour sticking her nose out the window, to see who is walking out with who and out of where, then finds time to make her way down to the laundry to talk about it with her little friends…
All BEFORE that Jerry Springer crap.
Then she wants to wonder why i feel so neglected.


MAMI COVERS HER HEAD WITH THE PILLOW, LETTING OUT A BREATH OF FRUSTRATION.

ABUELA (Mami’s mother)
prepara sus viannndas idolfina.
No sea cavesi dura!

MAMI
Mami?

(Pause)

MAMI
Por favor no me lllames eso enfrente de Sa.mm.y,
quantas peses te dicho eso?

Photobucket

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