A Play by Ferndando
GORDO Ain’t so tough now, are you? I’m gonna hit you so hard you’ll fall off your stem.
UBA You can try, but I’ll beat you so up till you’re purple like me.
GORDO Yeay, yeah… that’s what you always say. And I’m still bright red, and you still got a big fat head.
UBA That’s because I got a big brain –unlike you, peanut brain.
GORDO Hey, this coming from the one who doesn’t go to school
UBA School ain’t teaching me nothing these streets haven’t taught me.
GORDO Like, what?
UBA Like… none of your business. This stuff ain’t for berries who have something going for themselves.
GORDO What do you mean?
UBA I mean that this stuff ain’t for you, that’s what I mean.
GORDO How can it not be for me, but for you its okay?
UBA Because, like I said, I didn’t have nothing coming up. And you do have something.
UBA You got an opportunity –at education, no record, and no bunch affiliations.
GORDO But what does school have to teach me that the vineyard doesn’t, right? Its worked out for you?
UBA Don’t try to twist my words against me. I know what I said. It only applies to me. And if you call being stuck with a record, and being called a branch member ”working out” …you have some citrus problems…
GORDO Then why did you join?
UBA Back then it was the way you survived. And education, ha! Teachers was as dumb as us and they didn’t care if we didn’t speak English, just put us in Special Ed, saying we were ‘mentally incompetent’… That’s why the bunch seemed such an easy choice for me. But you got more choices than what I had, family support…
GORDO But you got a family…
UBA Yeah, you. But you weren’t even thought of at the time.
GORDO What about Dad … your Mom?
UBA Mom’s loved me, but couldn’t be the father figure…And Dad only came in rainstorms.
GORDO I want to join the bunch, Uba!
UBA What?! Haven’t you been listening to me at all!
GORDO Yes, and I understand all that. But now me and you’ll be an even closer family.
UBA We still can, without you joining the bunch.
GORDO But I’ve wanted this for so long. You know this.
UBA Yes, but I won’t allow it. You’re going to get your education and when the pickers come, you’ll be their first choice, with an opportunity to get out this field, and be successful.
GORDO I don’t want to leave. My friends and family are here. You’re here.
UBA Friends can be replaced, while family –especially me, stays with you rooting for you to make it big.
GORDO I can’t just leave you all
UBA You can, and you will. There’s nothing here for you. In a bunch, you’ll only end up two ways: squished, or you’ll get sent to a freezer.
GORDO I know this was going to go this way, and I’ve already made up my mind. I told the bunch I wanted in and they said its up to me –not you, even if you’re against it.
UBA Are you really going to waste your live away?
GORDO I’ll do what I have to to earn my respect and recognition, and to have a family. You may think mine’s all happy, but I feel like I’m in another world secluded from them.
UBA You call a bunch a family?
GORDO You did too!
UBA Yeah, because I was young & foolish –like you! I have my mother’s love, and you have your family’s. The bunch is like a fake family, or worse: they gauge their love for you based on how crazy or ‘down’ you are. But when you get sent to the freezer, they forget you. They might say ‘whatever happened to such and such’ but they won’t visit or help your family in time of need. And one single mistake you make, they’ll turn their backs on you –or better yet, try to squish you.
GORDO Not the grape bunch, they won’t turn their backs on me, because I won’t make any mistakes.
UBA Let’s say you don’t. Then you’ll end up either squished, or sent to the freezer …gee, sounds like fun!
GORDO If you’re against it so much, why you in it? Why?
UBA Stop –I’m tired of you using the hypocrite card. That won’t work anymore because… I’m getting out the bunch.
GORDO You’re what?!
UBA I didn’t stutter
GORDO But… but ..
UBA I’m out. I’m tired of this senseless violence. I want to grow old to be a raisin, not to be crushed into wine.
GORDO You can’t …
UBA Says who?
GORDO The bunch.
UBA I’ll do what I have to do, to set things straight between us
GORDO You realize, I can still join, even if you get out.
UBA Yeah… but if you do, they’ll make you squish someone to get in. You do know that, right?
GORDO Yeah, an enemy.
UBA Then I want you to squish me, because I can’t stand to see my little brother caught up in the old life I left.
GORDO No, I won’t do it.
UBA If you don’t, I’ll squish every single one who’ll accept you in the bunch. Then you’ll have no choice.
GORDO You lie…
UBA Try me.
GORDO We’re brothers!
UBA Then act like it, and quit while you’re ahead. Heed what I say, not out of scorn but out of experience.
GORDO But I gave my word to the bunch already.
UBA Words can be taken back; actions can’t
GORDO How should I tell the bunch?
UBA Don’t. I’ll handle it.
GORDO I’m sorry it ever got to this. I should have listened in the beginning.
UBA It’s okay. What are brothers for? Let’s stick together, like a real family.
GORDO Uba went to confront the bunch about wanting out, and in order to get out he had to be beaten to a pulp. They left him, thinking he was dead. He came to me all beat up and said,
UBA This is what you call a family?
GORDO He sustained injuries, but he recovered. I realized he was right: family looks out for each other, not tries to squish them. I’ve decided to stay in school, to be more than just a vine shaper. I’ve decided to re-shape the whole vineyard.
MONOLOGUES UBA Damn, why does Gordo want to follow in my footsteps? Doesn’t he see my life ain’t how I portray it to be? I might have respect and recognition but by the end of the day this long record will follow me for the rest of my life. People will always think twice about me. I knew what was I getting myself into. I had no real education,. not like Gordo. I see potential that I never had at his age. I’m getting out the bunch. I want to be an old wrinkly raisin and the bunch life will only lead to two things: Going to the freezer or Getting squished I’m gong to set my life straight by getting a job shaping vines. making homes for people.
GORDO I want to be part of the grape bunch. Fruits will have more respect for me, and not look at me as Uba’s shadow. I want to be recognized as his equal. Fruits respect Uba’s ruthlessness as part of the bunch. It’s like a family; they always have each others back. I don’t understand why Uba doesn’t want me in the bunch. I thought he would be glad I’m joining. He’s in it, why can’t I be? It’s not all up to him. The other grapes said they’ll accept me with or without Uba’s approval. I’m going to tell the grapes I’m ready