Rabiosa was performed at the Krane Theatre on Oct. 6, 2017 for the Pa' Puerto Rico fundraiser for victims of Hurricane María. Directed by Victoria Collado, Performed by Bertha Leal.
There's nothing on stage till the main character Rocio
comes in running in. She is literally fury!
Oye! ¡Mira tú Cabrona! Stop right there.
She takes make-believe Lasso and throws it at her! She gets
¡Todavia te veo pendeja! I can still see that damn tail of yours, Maria! What you think you
You can feel the wetness in the air.
You think you can come here, to my house, and leave a mess! Look at it.
She looks around.
Oh man, you took away Don Rafa's house? That's some shit, I didn't even realize it was
She takes second.
I used to love going to visit there. Rafa is a cool old man... Fuck Maria, where am I gonna
buy my chicles now when I'm at the beach? Ah, did you ever think about that. No you
didn't. You didn't give a fuck. I know. My granma told me about it. After we dodge Irma,
she said to me "That other one, she is spiteful. I hear it."
The spirits told her. Yeah that's right the spirit, and they didn't have anything good to say
about you. None of them. That's what she told me anyway.
Rocio throws the lasso again.
Almost! Stay still! This is the lasso she gave me to get you in case you thought of running
away. There's a lot to answer to us here! Like for example, do you know how long it took
me to get to the beach!
She waits for an answer.
A long ass time, oite'. You left all the roads pelaos, and the trees all over the floor. Couldn't
use my car for shit. Who dopes that? The little road I used to take to school by the creek
looks like somebody just took a deep dump on it. Just mud all over with cuanta porqueria
flew its way. I used to sit in a tree branch by it and eat jobos, but guess what happened to
the tree? Yes, you fucking took it!
She throws the lasso again.
Im getting close, you getting scared. You know why I loved that tree so much? No you
didnt even ask anybody if you could take it, you just came and took everything you wanted
without consideration. Was this your manifest destiny? Don't you know we already have a
debt the size of Russia for you to come and make it worse? Actually did you take the debt
with you? Nah you left that here. Cause youse a bitch!
Beat. She starts prepping herself to throw the lasso again.
You know that tree was where my grandma used to speak to the spirits?! She said when she
was younger it was easier to see them. Many people had connection with them. She being
one oif them. They are who gave her this lasso. So she could play with them. They had
some crazy games. She said you could only hear them if you put your ear to the sand. And
if you don't hear them, speak to them. Read them poetry. Abuela had her thing, but I
believed her as much as I could.
She throws the lasso again. And fails.
She said the magic left the more Americanized we became. That they bays used to light up
with the touch, and that you could hear them play at night around the house. She still heard
them a few days ago, but she said their voices were faint, and that the warning was clear.
This was our last stand. Whose? I don't know, but did you take them too?
She tries again and nothing she gets really frustrated.
Coño! Be brave and come answer for your sins. You know I came from New York City to
stay with granma cause I was worried about her. You know what always been my favorite
thing about coming back home? You could hear the coqui's at night and the roosters in the
morning. That's the kind of magic I grew up with. The kind of magic we are still allowed to
have. You know what I heard last night... nothing. And this morning? Nothing... Just
dread. Just pain. Just neighbors walking around on the same paths I became a person
seeing them trying to find what they lost of themselves. All of them trying to look at each
other and give some support . It was the first time a half smile had to do for boricuas. We
never half smiled. We either smile oreja a oreja, or yell at you. That half smile shit, that ain't
us. But it was today.
She takes a second.
These are the same people I used to spend the nights with. In the little shack behind
Joselito's house, we used to play dominos with the viejos. Get a pork, get it done. Get
some frias and put some music and ya' Dance and talk shit all night. Smiles and stumble till
the sun rose up. Listening to the coquis then seeing them hide when the big rooster (She
makes the sound of the rooster) We used to come to rafa's place there and ask him to tell us
stories. And he would. Viejo verde, once the girls started developing we had to stop going.
But he never did anything but look too much. I still went. Nothing to go now. You took
Joselito's shack too, at least half. So no parties either. Just half smiles and...
She stays silent.
My grandma told me to go back, that this would be the end. The last breath was coming.
The spirits were afraid. The last of the Taino essence would be gone. She said Irma was a
warning, but we didn't realize it. That you, you were angry. That this is what happens when
the magic is finally gone. I haven't gone to the bay yet, but I bet it may not even light up
anymore. Fuck that!
She takes the lasso and throw it!
She throws it again.
Talk to me!
Picks up the lasso.
I am the spawn of Goyo Mercado y Tati! The descendant of my abuelos! I'm from the little
island that produced giants like Clemente and Albizu, of Rita Moreno and Julia de Burgos.
I am a combination of the Taino, the white man and the black warrior! I come from being
taken over and over yet never stopping being who I am. I am from the island Borinquen,
goddamn it and you ain't shit! Escuchaste! You ain't shit. I know shit. I met Ricky Martin once. Well more like he wave at me from afar. And by me , I mean the crowd, but still. Our eyes locked. He is shit, and you ain't. You think you got us. Ha!
She starts laughing till she start sobbing, ever so slightly.
Cabrona! Come back. Bring back Rafa's house, and Joselito's shack and my tree. Bring
back the lights on the bay and the lives you took. Bring back my grandmother! Bring her
She throws the lasso.
We don't have much time! My cousin will be burying her today, she is starting to smell and
nobody is able to come pick up her body. But I know its just the spirits trying to keep her
there till she comes back. But you took her. You took her away. And now my cousin is
preparing to bury her by Joselito's shack. How could you do this? How can you continue
to move and leave us like this!
She throws the lasso one more time and looks at it fall, then in anger throws it to the floor.
Porqueria! What good is a magic lasso if it doesn't work! Maybe she is right, maybe this
was Puerto Rico's last stand...
She sits on the floor. The sound of wind is heard. Suddenly she decides to put her ear to the ground. No sound. She knocks.
She starts doing CPR pushes on the sand, or Puerto Rico's chest.
Vamos Puerto Rico!
She keeps going.
She keeps going and pushing but nothing. Then she starts
banging it in frustration. Suddenly she breaks down and
sits down. Then smiles as she thinks of something. She
puts her ear to the ground. She looks for a book she has
with Julia De Burgos poems.
How this load of centuries wants to knock me down
that on my back drinks the current of time!
Time never changing that stagnates in the centuries
and that nurtures its body with past reflections.
She puts her ear to the ground... nothing. Her face shows
I am afraid of the height of your ambitions—it tells me–;
the yesterday that nurtures me bends in the interior
of your simple life that admits no past
and that lives in the alive, open to the moment;
now the always nakedness of your mind angers me,
repels my load and expands in the new;
it confuses me now in the svelteness of your idea
that flagellates my face and straightens your body...
look to one side and another: hunchbacks, mediocrities;
they are mine, the ones who water my always full vacuum;
be one of them; untwist your vanguard; limp;
it’s so easy to flip from the alive to the dead.
Rocio puts her ear down. Nothing.
You have wanted to knock me down, load in the body of centuries
of prejudices, of hatreds, of passions, of jealousies.
She puts her ear down now, nothing. With her ear to the
ground she recites the next.
You have wanted to knock me down with your heavy load
But I found myself, and your effort was in vain.
Nothing, you see Rocio's face just giving up. Then
Suddenly a slight sound of a heart pounding. She gets
happy and quickly looks for the next verse. She says it to
Go, line your centuries with the vulgar ignorant;
my ambitions are not yours, my flights are not yours.
The sound of the heart becomes louder.
I am embodied in now; about yesterday I know nothing.
In the alive, my life knows the I Am of the new.
The heart now becomes a steady sound. Rocio listens to it.
And the louder it gets the bigger the smile.
There, there, we ain't dead yet.
She closes her eyes as the sound of the heartbeat
overwhelms the stage.