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by Jeanette D. Farr

MYKAL – 30’s, modestly dressed.
MIGUEL - Early to mid 20's. A Mexican American, dressed in modest but clean clothes.

A darkened street, early morning. A late model car is parked under a streetlamp.

[PLAY OPENS to MYKAL – standing near a streetlamp. He shuffles back in forth to stay warm. The car radio is heard in the distance playing a classic rock tune. He primps in car’s side mirror. He touches his chest. He notices MIGUEL who approaches the vehicle cautiously.]

MYKAL: (Psyching himself up) Here we go. Open for business. (To Miguel) Hey, man. You need something? What you need? (Embarrassed, MIGUEL motions as if he needs a ride.) You like the car, huh? Yeah, she’s a beaut. Look, it’s kinda cold and uh, you never know who’s watchin’. Can I do something for you?

MIGUEL: Tiene un trabajo?

MYKAL: Uh. I don’t speak Spanish. Can you show me what you need? You NEED?

MIGUEL: Mi inglés puede no ser bueno. Pero soy trabajador muy duro.

MYKAL: You like classic rock? (indicates in the car) Classic Rock. Three Dog Night? Freebird?

MIGUEL: Si. Freebird! Si. Si.

MYKAL: Wanna listen? Huh? Off the street. Do business someplace less conspicuous?

MIGUEL: Así pues, usted me da un trabajo? Nucesito empleo.

MYKAL: The car’s open. Geez. It’s been such a long time since I had Ms. Aguilar for Spanish in the ninth grade. Let’s see. Unos. Dos. Tres. Quatro. Cinco… Wait. Sesame Street! Abierto! You know. (mimicking a funny voice) Abierto! Cerrado! Abrierto! Cerrado! The passenger’s side. El Automobile door. It’s open. Abierto. Abierto.

(MYKAL motions to MIGUEL to get in the vehicle. Both men settle in. A beat.)

MIGUEL: Soy Miguel.

MYKAL: Miguel. (laughs) Hey! No kidding. Me namo, uh, nombre, Mykal. (points to him) Miguel. (points to himself) Michael. Michael? Michael.

MIGUEL: Ah, Si. Miguel, Mykal. Usted necesita un hombre para? Yo soy el hombre para ayudarle.

MYKAL: I don’t understand. No comprende. NO COMPRENDE.

MIGUEL: Ay! Usted no tiene que gritar. Mi oidos está muy bien.

MYKAL: That’s ok. I’m cool. So what do you want?

MIGUEL: Un trabajo?

MYKAL: (repeating) Un trabajo. Wait, I know that - Trabajo. Trabajo…

MIGUEL: (overlapping) Si. Trabajo. Trabajaré para Usted. Um… A job.

MYKAL: A job. Oh. A…blow-?

MIGUEL: (interrupting him, showing MYKAL his hands) Trabajo con mis manos. Soy buen trabajador

MYKAL: Your hands? Okay. Yeah. Yeah – I hear you- you want to use your hands.

MIGUEL: Si. A job.

MYKAL: Si. I got you, hombre. Sure, we can do that. Then I guess we do speak the same language, then.

MIGUEL: Si. Tu Comprendes!

MYKAL: You know, that’s what I thought you were up to. A man doesn’t come out here unless he’s looking for some kind of action. I’ve got stuff too if you wanna get high. But this, this is ok, too. I’m an equal opportunity… person. Just so I get the whole picture. Do you like to give? You wanna watch, maybe?

MIGUEL: You give me job?

MYKAL: Yeah. Ok. (nervous) I give you a job. Use my hands?

MIGUEL: Mi esposa-que ella necesita – necesitamos los paňales para mi bebé…

MYKAL: (thinking he understands a word) Bebe? Baby? Well, sure, but no need to sweet talk me, hombre. How about we take care of the business part. You know? Dinero?

MIGUEL: Cuánto?

MYKAL: You want to do it here? I mean, if you have money for a hotel, we could do a lot more-

MIGUEL: Diez? Quisiera diez dollares. La hora, por lo menos.

MYKAL: Ten? Ten dollars, huh? Going rate is usually twenty-five. But for you -

MIGUEL: Que? (thinks) Five…cinco? Vien-

MYKAL: You know, Vien-thay-sinko?

MIGUEL: Si. Si. Si. (He shakes his hand, excited.)

MYKAL: Wow. I never shook on it before. Ok. Ok, take it easy, we’ve got the car shaking.

MIGUEL: (excited/overlapping) Esto significa mucho. Construyo las casas de donde vengo. Y si usted puede pagarme en efectivo… you como que major.

(PAUSE. Each waits for something to happen.)

MYKAL: Ok. Well, meter’s running.

MIGUEL: ¿Vamos?

MYKAL: Let’s go.


MYKAL: Is this your first time?


MYKAL: You married?


MYKAL: You have a wife? Wifey?

MIGUEL: Wife? Si. Si. Ya Dije ya. Con un bebé .

MYKAL: Oh… (finally making sense) Baby. Bebe.

MIGUEL: Si! Si! ella está embarazada. Neuve meses (indicating swollen belly) Ya tenemos un nombre para él – Miguel.

MYKAL: (seductively) What is it, then - she doesn’t give you what you like?

(A touch. MIGUEL backs away)

MYKAL: Nine months. Belly grande, huh?

MIGUEL: (cautious) Si. Grande.

MYKAL: I thought pregnant women could at least give blow jobs in their ninth month. Must be a catholic thing.


MYKAL: Catholic. You get to confess it later? Jesu Christo?

MIGUEL: Si. Porqué . Jesus Christo? El tendera un bautismo.

MYKAL: Of course, I will be different than your wife. You know what they say, once you go with-

MIGUEL: (cutting him off) Go? Si. We go.

MYKAL: Ok, then. The money?

MIGUEL: No entiendo.

MYKAL: Quit dancing around it and let’s see it. Hey, is that your wallet?

MIGUEL: Wallet? No. No sé …

(MYKAL points to MIGUEL’s pocket.)

MIGUEL: Que estas haciendo?

MYKAL: No money, no honey. Comprende? Where’s your wallet? Are you sitting on it? Is it in your back pocket?

(MYKAL goes for MIGUEL’s pants. Upset, Miguel exits the car.)

MYKAL: (to himself) Why do I always get the freaks. (Yelling out the window) Look, man. If you don’t want to do anything. Why don’t you move along. You’re killing my action.

MIGUEL: No job?

MYKAL: What the hell do YOU think?

MIGUEL: No job.

(PAUSE. MIGUEL is stalling)

MYKAL: Come on, man, in or out - make up your mind.

(MIGUEL reluctantly gets back in the car.)

MIGUEL: (doing the best he can with his English) I…. need….job. I…no…here…am from. I am not from here. Conseguiré un trabajo y después me haré ciudadano (more insistent) I…need… job! Please. What you need? Mi familia. My…. Em… my wife here. In Los Angeles. She… Ella tendra un bebe. Ella al bebe en tres dias. I want… job… for dinero. To… em… provide. Provide?

MYKAL: Provide? Si. Provide. A job. But you shouldn’t - I mean, I wish I could help you, but I- Alright, alright, alright. (Mustering up his best Spanish and doing charades for what he doesn’t know) Let’s say… Tu Senora. Tu Esposa. Esposa? would be very upset if she found you here. You made a mistake. I am not really gay. What’s the word for ‘gay’? How do I do “gay”? Homo-sexual?

MIGUEL: (Thinking he understands “homo-sexual”) No. (suddenly angry) NO! Soy masculine. Mi es macho. No puto! No puedes hacer esto! Eres mi patron! Quiero ayudarle! Quiero construir casas! Casas! HOME. No “homo”!

MYKAL: (getting nervous) So move along, then.

MIGUEL: No soy un residente de Los Angeles. No soy Americano. Oid dela amnestia cuando apennas era un muchacho en Mexico.

MYKAL: Just open the door and go If you… (lowering his voice) if you don’t want trouble (louder) if you don’t want anything.

MIGUEL: I want… I want… a job. Por favor? My… Papa work hard. But he no have e-enough money. Yo paque todo mi dinero. I give all my dinero. No tengo sufficient para mi esposa y mi hijo.

(MYKAL reaches under his shirt. He pulls out a recording device.)

MYKAL: Ok. Ok. Ok. (whispering as he tries to dismantle the device) You need to… comprende. Comprende? How can I make you understand.. (HE smashes the device) Now let’s see if you comprende: I’m not your employer, I’m not a drug dealer, I’m sure as hell not a homo.

MIGUEL: I work for you! Please.

MYKAL: (simultaneously) No! You don’t get it, man!

MIGUEL: (simultaneously) No entiendes!

MYKAL: Don’t freak out. They’re watching us. Look - I’m sure you’ll get a job if you just play it cool. I see you guys in front of the Home Depot all of the time. Just… don’t say another word. And go… slowly.

(MYKAL reaches past MIGUEL to open the car door for him from the inside. MIGUEL tenses up, gets defensive.)

MYKAL: See? I’m not going to hurt you. Just go - be careful. They’re watching. The police. You know policia?

MIGUEL: (nervous) Police?

MYKAL: Just get out of the car, slowly. Pretend nothing happened. GO!

(MIGUEL looks at MYKAL for a long time, then looks at the door. He exits, cautiously.)

MYKAL: There you go. Like nothing happened. (Picking up the recording device and trying to speak into it) Party has exited the vehicle, but he’s clean, suspect is cleared- Hey. You copy? The piece got disconnected. No money was exchanged, let him go. Let him go, you guys copy? Fuck! (yelling out the window trying to get the door open) I SAID, LET HIM GO! You copy? He didn’t do anything wrong.

(MYKAL is defeated as he sees the following unfold. POLICE LIGHTS, sounds of “P.D. GET ON THE GROUND!” “I SAID GET ON THE GROUND!” “HANDS ON YOUR HEAD. DO YOU HAVE ANY WEAPONS!?” MYKAL turns up the music, drowning out the noise.)


Copyright © 2010 by Jeanette D. Farr

CAUTION: Professionals and amateurs are hereby warned that Borderline is subject to a royalty. It is fully protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America, and of all countries covered by the International Copyright Union (including the Dominion of Canada and the rest of the British Commonwealth), and of all countries covered by the Pan-American Copyright convention and the Universal Copyright Convention, and of all countries with which the United States has reciprocal copyright relations. All rights, including professional and amateur stage performing, motion picture, recitation, lecturing, public reading, radio broadcasting, television, video or sound taping, all other forms of mechanical or electronic reproduction, such as information storage and retrieval systems and photocopying, and the rights of translation into foreign languages, are strictly reserved.

Inquiries concerning all rights should be addressed to the author at jfarr@glendale.edu



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