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Benjamin Benne. Photo by Lou Daprile

An excerpt of a play

ALMA Mexicana, an undocumented immigrant living in the United States, age 34.

ANGEL Alma’s daughter, a United States citizen, age 17.

TIME December 2, 2016. It’s around midnight.

PLACE La Puente, California. The living space of Alma and Angel’s apartment.


ANGEL
what was your dream?
the one with elefantes
tell me
please?
I’ll tell you mi deseo numero diecisiete
ALMA
you go first
ANGEL
ok
it’s a wish I’ve been wanting to make
(for a long time)
I just never made it official
(until this year)
ALMA
what was it?
ANGEL
“for us to always be together”
ALMA
¿en serio?
ANGEL
yeah
deseo numero diecisiete:
“I wish for mama and me to always be together”
ALMA
really?
ANGEL
ok so originally I wished for the iPhone 7 Plus
but that’s not really what I should’ve wished for
I’m going to amend it
ALMA
you always liked making amendments
ANGEL
yeah
so
what was your dream?
ALMA
ok
so
I’ve been having this same dream
every night since the election
ANGEL
for real?
was it in English
Spanish
or Spanglish?
ALMA
this dream didn’t have words
ANGEL
was it one of your weird dreams?
ALMA
yeah
ANGEL
oh my god
tell me
ALMA
ok
so
it’s night
…the darkness steadily begins to devour the pink and orange skyglow…
…faint stars begin to appear in the black sky…
ALMA
I have la virgen around my neck
(the only piece of my old home)
and I’m using the milky stars as my guide
(they’re the only light)
and I’m running
til I see these clouds
but the clouds
are weird clouds
ANGEL
weird how?
ALMA
it’s like
they’re made of cows
ANGEL
what?
ALMA
with black and white spots
and they got those big  things
ANGEL
udders?
ALMA
eso
and they start raining
making a big pool of milk
ANGEL
ew
gross
ok
this is your weirdest dream ever
ALMA
just wait
it gets better
ANGEL
oh my god
ALMA
so then
I’m running to the pool of milk
(oh!) and I’m pregnant
ANGEL
you’re always pregnant in your dreams
ALMA
yeah
and I have you in here
un angel en mi cuerpo
with your little heart
beating so close to mine
and I sing to you
(soft)
un elefante se balanceaba
sobre la tela de una arana
ANGEL laughs
ALMA
then I get to this line in the ground
(a line made with blood)
and I know I’m not suppose to cross it
but I do it anyway
then I see this giant spider’s web
made of metal with thorns
so I try to crawl through it
ANGEL
like chain-link and barbed wire?
but un elefante comes out of nowhere
… the stars grow brighter in the sky…
ANGEL
what the fuck?
(sorry)
what the…what?
ALMA
(eso es mejor)
fue un elefante on the spider’s web
ANGEL
(like in the song)
ALMA
(si)
and he won’t let me by
so I try to go to another part of the web
but then there’s otro elefante
dos elefantes
y tres elefantes
y otro
y otro
y otro mas
all next to each other
…the faint stars begin to go out…
ANGEL
whoa
ALMA
but the spider’s web doesn’t break
and I can’t see the pool of milk anymore
because it’s behind the biggest wall of elefantes
ANGEL
then what?
ALMA
then I feel something
growing from my arm
…a single, bright star emerges in the black sky…
ANGEL
what was it?
oh my god
not a worm (?)
ALMA
no no
ANGEL
(oh good)
so then what is it?
ALMA
it’s a feather
ANGEL
a feather?
ALMA
yeah
a little grey feather
and then I can feel more feathers growing
in my arms
and in my hands
some grey
some white
ANGEL
oh my god
did you grow wings?!
ALMA
that’s what I was thinking
“maybe enough feathers will grow
that I can fly over the wall”
…the walls of the apartment suddenly collapse…
ALMA and ANGEL appear to be floating through space…
ANGEL
so did you?
ALMA
no
solo fue un poco
but not enough feathers to fly
ANGEL
ok
so then what?
ALMA
so then
nothing
that was it
I woke up
so that was the end

but I keep having this dream over and over
and I hope one night I grow enough feathers to fly
they look out at the night one last time
there’s still a single bright star…
ANGEL
hey
do see that?
is that a star?
or is it just an airplane?
ALMA
I don’t know
let’s wait
and see if it moves
ANGEL
ok
a long beat
ALMA
(hey)
set your alarm
ALMA hands the phone to ANGEL , who just looks at the phone
ALMA
di los deseos conmigo
todos
all the way to diez y siete
¿por favor?
…the single, bright star begins to blink…
ALMA
deseo numero uno: salud
deseo numero dos:
ANGEL & ALMA
dinero
ALMA
deseo numero tres:
ANGEL
amor
ALMA
deseo numero cuatro…
no response
ALMA
numero cuatro…
no response

…the blinking light in the sky goes out…

t o t a l   d a r k n e s s

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