Photo by, Xicana Indígena Photographer, Textli Gallegos

LUNA lays on the couch. The cable box clock reads 1:30am. 

LUNA

I’ve been thinking.

SOLEDAD

I’ve been thinking…

LUNA stares at SOLEDAD.

LUNA

Stop.

SOLEDAD

Go on…You’ve been thinking…

LUNA

I’ve been thinking that I think too much.

SOLEDAD

Okay…

LUNA

You don’t think that’s weird?

SOLEDAD

Everyone thinks. Everyone is always thinking.

LUNA

No, but I don’t mean like should I eat a bagel or an acai bowl this morning. 

SOLEDAD

Then that’s just anxiety. 

LUNA

Just?

SOLEDAD

Stop. You know I don’t mean it like that. Don’t get all PC on me. 

LUNA

I hate that.

SOLEDAD

What?

LUNA

“PC”. “Politically correct.” Like who decided that caring about human beings as individuals who have their own life experiences and trauma is political. What’s political about it? 

SOLEDAD

I don’t know. Look it up. 

LUNA

I’m serious. Is it because we’re “woke” to the fact that people are p e o p l e? That not everybody is comments or posts or texts that are literally there to manipulate others? Whether that be about manipulating others to actively participate in capitalism or simply trying to convince them that you’re somebody you’re not. This whole living thing is really just about pretending. Unless you’re quote on quote politically correct. So then if this is really about politics then why is it that the government refers to us as radicals? Wouldn’t that mean that those who live their lives pretending are actually the ones politically correct? Or are we politically correct because we truly see the ways that this government chooses which human beings to care about and which ones to kill? 

SOLEDAD stares at LUNA.

I told you. I think too much.

SOLEDAD

So which one are you? 

LUNA

What?

SOLEDAD

Are you a pretender or a radical?

LUNA

Fuck you. I’m neither. I’m french toast. 

SOLEDAD

What are you talking about?

LUNA

Pancakes or waffles. I choose french toast. 

SOLEDAD

Cool.

LUNA

I feel like thinking this much makes me a sociopath. 

SOLEDAD

Or you think it makes you a sociopath. 

Beat.

Maybe you really are a radical. 

LUNA

Fuck you. I’m french toast dude.  

SOLEDAD

Honestly, the swedish crepes at IHOP have my whole heart. 

LUNA

I see it. 

SOLEDAD

One of my friends gets the fucking waffle at IHOP every single time. Like how can you go to the literal international house of pancakes and get a waffle? 

LUNA

You get the crepes…how is that any different? 

SOLEDAD

Is this one of those moments where I could say “touché”?! Cuz that has never happened to me. 

LUNA

 (Unenthused) How exciting. You do realize I know who you’re talking about right? She’s definitely our friend. 

SOLEDAD

You’re so right. I definitely forgot. 

LUNA

I guess there’s probably a world out there where she’s only your friend and I just never had the opportunity to meet her. 

SOLEDAD

Possibly. 

LUNA

Wait do you really think so?

SOLEDAD

I guess.

LUNA

No, because I’ve put a lot of thought into this.

SOLEDAD

Yup. Of course you have. 

LUNA

No like do you think we could be sisters or something in another life? Or even birds or fucking wild dogs?

SOLEDAD

Isn’t that just reincarnation?

LUNA

No. I think reincarnation is about previous lives. I’m asking if it’s possible that we exist within different timelines. 

SOLEDAD

I don’t know. That just sounds like some Inception shit. 

LUNA

Stop it. I’m serious

SOLEDAD

You’re always serious. 

LUNA

Okay. I saw this meme about – 

SOLEDAD

This started because you saw a meme? 

LUNA

(Dismissively) Yeah, so I saw this meme about how when people go to the bathroom super high they think they could possibly not really be peeing on the toilet. 

SOLEDAD

I don’t think I should be entertaining this conversation. 

LUNA

And I realized sometimes I think that just whenever I go to the bathroom in general. Like what if in that exact moment I am peeing myself in a diaper as a baby or an old ass grandma or even maybe fucking peeing my pants in school. What if those moments that I couldn’t control my bladder in the past was me peeing on the toilet 10 years into the future? 

SOLEDAD

I don’t know. What if? 

LUNA

What if…right? Like really. What if. 

SOLEDAD

I don’t know. 

LUNA

AND I also wonder that if within those different worlds, whether or not I have the same group of friends or parents even, am I still the same person? Am I still the same soul? 

SOLEDAD

You mean the biggest overthinker in all of those worlds combined? Probably. 

LUNA

Dude maybe I’m Jesus. 

LUNA and SOLEDAD put their hands together in prayer. 

LUNA AND SOLEDAD

(Simultaneously) Jesus 2020. 

They laugh.

SOLEDAD

Did I miss something though? Did you take an edible before this?

LUNA

No.

This is what I mean. I think too much. 

SOLEDAD

Fuck man. Is this like a constant thing?

LUNA

Only in silence. 

SOLEDAD

I guess you’re surrounded by silence then. 

LUNA

Feels like it. 

SOLEDAD

You’d think that everyone’s pretending would just kinda drown it out. 

LUNA

Honestly, fuck Apple but that’s why I love AirPods. They force my silence into music. I just wanna dance or sing along and no one knows what I’m listening to. It’s only mine. It’s cute. 

SOLEDAD

I’m almost scared to ask but for the sake of making sure you’re not a sociopath, what’s your favorite color?

LUNA

Why would you be scared to ask that? 

SOLEDAD

I just thought that maybe you could give me an answer that didn’t require much thought at all. 

LUNA

So you do think. 

SOLEDAD

Never said I didn’t. If anything, I said everyone is always thinking. 

LUNA

Yeah, but you’re not everyone. 

SOLEDAD

And you also didn’t answer my question. So I guess you really are a sociopath. 

LUNA

Fuck you. I’m french toast. 

SOLEDAD

Are you going to answer my question? 

LUNA

Yellow. 

SOLEDAD

Do you have an explanation for it? 

LUNA

What do you think? 

SOLEDAD

I think….

She puts her hands together in prayer.

Jesus 2020.

LUNA

So it’s settled. I’m Jesus. You can be my Virgin Mary. 

SOLEDAD

I just don’t think I want to have your baby but thanks. 

LUNA

No wait, wouldn’t I be your baby? Isn’t Jesus the baby God put into the Virgin Mary?

SOLEDAD

I have no idea, but I’m good with not being a part of either of those scenarios. 

LUNA

Okay, first of all ma’am, they aren’t scenarios, they’re the holy bible. 

SOLEDAD

Now I really do think you’re a sociopath. 

LUNA

Seriously?

SOLEDAD

NO!  You’re the serious one remember? 

LUNA

Do you think there’s something wrong with me?

SOLEDAD

Everyone thinks there’s something wrong with them.

LUNA

Not the pretenders. They live in a selfish world where everyone is just an extra in their own movie. 

SOLEDAD

This just sounds like you were bullied as a kid. 

LUNA

Stop. I’m serious. 

SOLEDAD

I know. 

LUNA

But do you really think there’s something wrong with me?

SOLEDAD

Stop it. 

LUNA

Answer.

SOLEDAD

No, Luna. Happy? There’s nothing fucking wrong with you. You just like to think. 

LUNA

I never said I liked it. 

SOLEDAD

Okay well even if you don’t. It just means you’re a human with a functioning brain. 

LUNA

Cool.

SOLEDAD

I mean not to say you’re not thinking about some weird shit, but if Inception was fully written and produced clearly you’re not the only one thinking this shit. 

LUNA

Maybe I’m not the only one because it’s TRUE.

SOLEDAD

Stop. 

LUNA

I wasn’t serious about that one. 

SOLEDAD

I know. I also have a functioning brain. 

LUNA

Do you?

SOLEDAD

What is that supposed to mean?

LUNA

I’m kidding! See, I’m like capable of being average at joking around. 

SOLEDAD

Barely. 

LUNA

Fuck you. 

LUNA AND SOLEDAD

I’m french toast. Jinx! Fuck you! I’m french toast –

LUNA

Bitch!

Nope.

Got you.

SOLEDAD

Jinx again!

Fuck.

Got me.

LUNA

I don’t even know what comes after the first jinx anyway. I remember one time this girl brought me an orange sunkist from her house. 

SOLEDAD

Yeah, I don’t know. I think it’s just an acknowledgment of the coincidence. 

LUNA

Or not a coincidence……

SOLEDAD

Oh god. 

LUNA

(Correcting her) Oh…Jesus

SOLEDAD

Over you. 

LUNA

Me too. 

I’m over feeling alone. 

SOLEDAD

Lots of people feel that way though. 

LUNA

Which is why I hate saying it or thinking it. 

SOLEDAD

Yeah, makes sense. Like what makes you so special that you need to say it. 

LUNA

I’m not. But nobody is.

SOLEDAD

Do you really believe that?

LUNA

Well, believing is a different thing. So I don’t know. Maybe.

SOLEDAD

Honestly, parents who stay feeding their kids the “you’re special” line are fucking weird. Like don’t those kids always end up kinda mentally fucked up? 

LUNA

Yeah, but the same goes the other way around. I think trauma is inevitable. Each person’s trauma is just different in severity. I guess that’s why I don’t think anyone is special. Even if you’re super happy, at the end of the day every single person in this world is alone. They might not be lonely, but they’re going through this whole journey alone. My life is lived by only me. And we’re taught that we’re going to find someone to help that feeling, but it doesn’t change anything. Nothing will. And I’m tired of people pretending like something or someone will. 

SOLEDAD

Hard to argue with that.

LUNA

I know. I hate thinking. It reminds me that I’m alone. 

SOLEDAD

I’m sorry.

LUNA

No, you’re not. 

SOLEDAD

You don’t know that. 

LUNA

I’m not stupid. 

SOLEDAD

Whatever, I’m not trying to argue with you. 

LUNA

Neither am I. I was trying to sleep. 

SOLEDAD

On the couch?

LUNA

Yeah, sometimes my room feels like it’s haunted by my own ghost. A change of scenery tends to help, but I guess I exhausted that option because here we are. 

SOLEDAD

Okay, well let’s go to sleep then. 

LUNA

You’re clearly not trying to.

SOLEDAD

Clearly? 

LUNA rolls her eyes, walks to the kitchen and makes herself a bowl of cereal. 

LUNA 

Do you want cereal or something? I was thinking of just putting on The Office until I get tired of saying all the jokes at the same time as them.

SOLEDAD

Why is your favorite color yellow?

LUNA

What? 

SOLEDAD

I figure you do probably have an explanation and now I want to know. 

LUNA

I thought having an explanation made me a sociopath. 

SOLEDAD

Obviously not.

LUNA

So how do I know this isn’t just you trying to keep me awake. 

SOLEDAD

It’s not. 

LUNA

So how come you said it’d make me a sociopath then?

SOLEDAD

Because of this!!! You can’t answer anything without it becoming a whole discussion avoiding the answer. 

LUNA

Well because sometimes it’s not that easy to just respond. And I’m not avoiding anything. I’ve just got questions. Why is that so bad?

SOLEDAD

Because telling me what your favorite color is is not something that requires questioning. It’s literally one of the simplest questions known to man. 

LUNA

Almost sounds like you’re trying to help me. 

SOLEDAD

I just didn’t expect it to be yellow. 

So why?

LUNA

It’s pretty simple. Everyone knows yellow is happiness. 

SOLEDAD

But I thought that wasn’t you.

LUNA

I never said that. Just because I think too much about how life is literally a joke because this government is corrupt and full of racist fucks who used to try and scream that the church has nothing to do with them while our pledge of allegiance literally says “under god” and you have to fully swear on the bible or debatably, the religious book of your choice to do anything in front of them does not mean I’m not happy or incapable of happiness. I enjoy smiling and music and food. Those things make me happy. I like to be happy about the things that the government can’t necessarily control. Like whether I choose to have a bagel or an acai bowl for breakfast.

SOLEDAD

But what does that have to do with yellow?

LUNA

I don’t know. Yellow is just warm and cozy. It makes me feel appreciative and grateful. Anytime the sun rises, it’s another day and that in itself is pretty cool I think. I know that sounds cheesy, but for someone who’s insanely tired of being alone, I kind of have to grasp at anything that does not explicitly include humanity. Granted, we are totally killing the shit out of this planet, but that’s a conversation for another lonely night. 

LUNA looks over to find SOLEDAD fast asleep.

Well, glad I could at least bore you to sleep. Still trying to learn how to do that to myself.

She quietly laughs. 

Kinda sad to laugh at your own sorry joke, but no one here to judge so I’ll take it. 

Damn, see, this is what I was talking about! 

(Thinking out loud) Yellow. Has my whole heart. 

She presses play on her remote and The Office theme song begins.

END OF PLAY

Amber Barrios is a 5’1½” recent first generation college graduate attempting to navigate this white industry as a Guatemalan, Mexican, and Salvadoran actress, singer, dancer, and sometimes playwright.  When she’s not pretending to be 5’2”, she tries to advocate and raise awareness for those who live in lower income neighborhoods, specifically communities living in government housing. After she came to the realization that most roles she “qualified” for were either not relatable, racist, or stereotypical she began to write characters for herself. Eventually, she noticed that the subjects she was writing about were drastically different from the experiences people she went to school with had. This kickstarted her motivation to write plays based on her own experiences growing up in the projects of South Central, Los Angeles. Amarillo, however, is a short play that takes a slight turn from her usual plot driven stories and into a more thought provoking piece that pays homage to the first monologue Amber ever wrote. 

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