A Play by Carlos Z.

Performance: May 2002
Hillcrest Juvenile Hall, San Mateo


Time: 3 a.m.
Place: Redwood City, Stulstaff Park, on a little hill near a waterfall.
At Rise: We see CJ the wildflower waking up, stretching. And we see Zoe the moon waking up as well, but just minding her business, trying to eat her cheese sandwich. As CJ is stretching, he feels a little crack in the top of his head.



CJ:

Man, I’m blooming! I’m blooming!

   
Zoe:

(putting him down)
What’s all the commotion that you’re blooming? I don’t see nothing! What you talking
about?

   
CJ: I’m finally opening! So now you can see what I’m made of.
   
Zoe:

What do you mean? You’re just grass and leaves!

   
CJ:

Ha. Ha. Very funny. I’m for real. I’m opening up I need your help. I need you to shine on me even more.

   
Zoe:   But my cousin Eclipse is coming. Can’t it wait? Wait til tomorrow. I’ll help you. I promise.
   
CJ:   No! No! No! You don’t understand. I’m about to die if I don’t bloom (moving her leaves back and forth.) Tell Eclipse not to come. You need to help me. This is my one and only chance. If Eclipse comes, she’ll stop your light from shining.
   
Zoe:  

But I’m having a girls’ get-together. My cousin, Eclipse, is helping me to be admired and noticed by everyone in the world. She’s gonna block me off for a couple seconds. Once that happens, people are gonna turn around and look at me and I’ll show them how bright I am.

   
CJ:   In those couple of seconds, I will die. You don’t understand. This is very important. I want to show my creation. I want to stand out. I want it to be the longest bloom in history. I want to be a rare wildflower; to bloom longer than my family with this kind of heritage. I’ve seen family members just bloom and die. They don’t even survive a full night after they bloom. Not all of them have bloomed. Some of them were chopped off before they could bloom because people just thought they were weeds.
   
Zoe:   Well, what can I do? My cousin’s on her way. If I would’ve known, I would’ve postponed it. You know you’re my friend but I just want to be admired. I want people to see my bright light. I feel neglected by people, like I have no use for anything. I’m trying to make myself useful.
   
CJ:   Can’t you do that tomorrow? This is my only chance! I don’t wanna die in vain.
   
Zoe:   No. Eclipse only comes once a year. How would you have died in vain if you’ve spent most of your time with me? We kick it together 24-7! How come all of a sudden you just need me more than you needed me before?
   
CJ:   Because I want to bloom! If I don’t bloom, I feel like I wouldn’t have accomplished my dream. It’s my biggest goal. If the sun hits the crack on my head, it would kill me. I can only bloom once a lifetime at night. Do you have a wish that you’d like to accomplish as well? Much more than anything? Well, I do! Wanna go down in history.
   
Zoe:   Well, yeah. I’m trying to be admired by the whole world because I feel like I’m just an ordinary light to everybody. I want them to notice my bright light.
   
CJ:  

Well, I notice you. I admire you. What’s wrong with that? You’re special to me. Your light helps me to bloom. You make me feel energetic; like I could go on for another day or two.

   
Zoe:   Thanks. I understand that, but I’m trying to be admired by everybody. Anyway, I could try to move but Eclipse is basically gonna follow me.
   
CJ:   I feel like you’re betraying me because you’ve been my friend for so many years. I basically grew up with you. Remember Red Light, Green Light? Pat-a-cake? Hide and Go Seek? Don’t you treasure those moments? I do. Can you just help me for once?
   
Zoe:  

Are you playing with me? Are you really gonna die, or are you just jealous of Eclipse being my best friend?

   
CJ:  

How can you say that? I’m trying to go out with a bloom. If you were in my place, I would help you. Just shine on me! You could be as bright as you can be. I know you can do it. All I need is that bright shine. That’s the energy that keeps me going. You have been the companion that gives me the compassion that I’ve been looking for…by always shining down on me.
(Eclipse is starting to get close to the side of Zoe but seconds later, Zoe gets away; Eclipse is following her.)

   
CJ:  

(Opening his leaves) Zoe, what are you doing?

   
Zoe:  

I’m trying to help you! I do care about you. I care about your wish. I don’t want you to die knowing that I could have prevented it. (CJ is starting to crack open more.) Wow! You are beautiful! How long does it take?

   
CJ:   I don’t know. Just keep shining on me. We’ll find out. (Zoe is pushing away Eclipse, who doesn’t understand and keeps moving forward. She is starting to get brighter and brighter every time she shines on CJ.) What’s happening to you? You’re shining brighter! Do you normally get this bright? You are bright, bright yellowish white.
 
(Zoe notices that the purplish petals are attractive coming out of CJ’s head, but the blooming is still taking time.)
   
Zoe:   No, I’ve never felt like this before. Like I’m being lifted up. I feel all the energy coming from me. (Shouting to Eclipse.)(By this time, CJ is in full bloom.) Hold up, Eclipse! Just a little bit longer!
   
CJ:   I feel like I’m in my prime year. Like I’m also being lifted!
 
(They’ve been arguing and shining for so long, they forgot about the time. The sun is coming out and Eclipse disappears.)
   
CJ:   What happened to Eclipse? I made it through the whole night. It’s amazing! I am the first of my generation. Aren’t you happy for me?
   
Zoe:   Yes. But look! I’m as bright as I’ve ever been. I don’t know if people are admiring me, but you sure are. (She looks and sees that CJ’s petals are brown and dried up. Her light starts to lighten down.) CJ! CJ! Please don’t die. We’ve made it. I’m proud of you. I have sacrificed being admired by everyone for you. I’ve seen the happiness inside of you. What happened? How can you die off of happiness? I feel like the whole time I was helping nobody because you died anyway. Now I don’t feel like I want to be admired by everybody because of the fact that you were the only one to admire me in the first place.
   
   
     
    SCENE II

TIME: 11 p.m. – One year later.
 
PLACE: Stulstaff Park
 
AT RISE: Zoe is pouting, trying to shine where CJ died. His leaves have dried up and the wind has blown him away. Zoe notices two buds growing there.

   
Zoe:   Wow! Is that you, CJ? Are you resurrecting? (She gets no response and feels shot down.)
   
    SCENE III
 
TIME: 17 years later
 
PLACE: The sky
 
AT RISE: Zoe is praying, looking up at the universe.
   
Zoe:   CJ, was that really you? Were you trying to give me a hint, with the two buds left behind in your spot, that you are still here with me? I’ve never forgotten you, my one and only admirer. (Part of her is fading away.) I wish I knew then what I know now, that my wish to be admired by the whole world was a selfish wish. I would have been stuck with you from the start when you said you wanted to bloom. CJ, I want to apologize for all the arguing I have given you. I’m debating your death after seeing them two buds in your spot. You helped me gain my brightness, without even knowing it. You helped me at the same time I helped you. I think I could’ve prevented all this from happening in the first place if I would’ve listened to you about you dying. But I guess I couldn’t stop you from dying because even though I lent you a light, you’ve still left and gone to a better place, to the Garden of Eden. I’m glad that you died happy and not in vain. You gave me something in return, by showing me your inner side, your petals, your unique image. I hope that you are doing better in the afterlife. So, ahora me despido querido amigo. (She fades away.)
   
    The End.
   
    POEM
The night is young.
To bloom is my destiny.
Without my friend,
I’ll lose my identity.
My life is open and
show my creation to the world around me,
the world of revelations.
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