A Play by Oscar I.

Performance: May, 2002
Hillcrest Juvenile Hall, San Mateo

It is a hot summer Friday night in the Mission District. The air is polluted and there are thugs posted up and down the block tryin to get paid. Cops patrol the area and kids run around playin football in the middle of the street.. CUERVO, the money green grand National is parked on the curb. His friend CHUCK, the cat, lays on the hood keeping warm.


How does it feel to have a family?


It’s the best thing on earth. You know you’ll always have someone to turn to when you’re sad and blue. When you’re in a situation, through thick and thin, there’ll always be someone there to help you.

Cuervo: How can I get a family?

It’s impossible. You’re just an ordinary car. Your family’s a done deal. Already at the junkyard.


But if I don’t get a family, I feel like I have nothing to live for. Without nobody claiming me I’ll get sent to the junkyard and I’ll become like my family members: smashed and thrashed.
(chuck pauses and changes the subject)

Chuck: Listen, I have something to ask you. Hopefully you can come through for me. I have an audition across the bay tomorrow at noon for a Friskies commercial. Can you take me?
Cuervo: (angrily) Didn’t you hear what I just said? Can I become a part of your family?

That’s impossible. You’re a car. I’m a cat. It’d be un-mammal-like.

Cuervo: What if I take you across the bay? A favor for a favor.
Chuck: What do you mean a favor for a favor? What would that be?
Cuervo: Well, if  I take you across the bay, you sign this pink slip and make me part of your family. You’ll save me from going to the junkyard and being smashed and you’ll be able to make it to the Friskies audition.
Chuck: You don’t understand. By going to this audition. I’m tryin to get paid and take my family out the hood and go from rags to riches.
Cuervo: Well I could take you to the audition and then I could be part of your family?
Chuck: What part of “NO” don’t you understand? By me bringing you into my family, one more mouth to feed, we go nowhere fast. We’re still in the ghetto. I can’t afford you.

Then if I can’t be part of your family, there’s no way in hell you’re going to that audition.
(CUERVO and CHUCK turn their backs on eachother with guilt in their hearts. There is a beat.)

Cuervo: (turning back around slowly)
Wow. I can’t believe you’re arguin with me like this. I’d never expect this, coming from my best friend, the only thing I got. I know you remember that time: I saved your life when you were gonna get hit by that firetruck. I honked the horn so you could jump out the way in an instant. You owe me one.
Chuck: I understand you saved my life and I give you my utmost gratitude, but if I was to repay you, it’d have to be in a different way.

If you repay me, it has to be now! Cuz today’s Friday and tomorrow is Saturday and the tow truck comes by at 8:30 every Saturday. I still got this flat tire so that means I’ll get took.


Well, I can’t sign your pink slip. I’m sorry. But what I can do is fix your tire so you don’t go to the yard this morning.


That’s be great but that’s not what I had in mind. I really need a family. I want to be loved. I want to part of something good. (beat) The reason I want to be a part of your family and no one else’s is cuz your whole family got something that no one could take away and that’s love. I choose you cause you’re the closest to me.


I feel the same way about you too. Look, you don’t have to want to be a part of my family. I look at you as an older brother. You’re part of my family already.

Cuervo: Seriously? You’re not lyin?
Chuck: (lying)
Naw. I’m dead serious.
Cuervo: Damn! This is the best thing that ver could have happened…So you’ll sign this pink slip now? Sister?
Chuck: Why I gotta sign this? You’re a part of my family already. Paper don’t mean nothing. Like you said, Only thing about our family is love. Family and Love comes from the heart, not a piece of paper.
Cuervo: Well. It’s true family does come from the heart and not paper. But I really need this pink slip signed so I have proof that I have a family.
Chuck: Sure. I could dig everything you’re sayin. But first thing’s first. Let’s fix this tire so I could get to the audition.
Cuervo: And then you’ll sign this pink slip?
(CHUCK turns to the audience and winks at them so CUERVO doesn’t see)
Chuck: Yeah. I’ll sign after the audition, don’t worry about it. Now, about that tire…
    The End.