Read Act 1 here.
(Derek lights a candle at a carefully set dinner table,
giving it a romantic air. He checks it making sure he’s
crossed all his “t’s” and dotted his“i’s”. Tamika walks in
holding a bag.)
What’s all this?
It’s date night. Or did you think
I thought you’d forget.
Well I didn’t. Your chair awaits
you ma cheri.
My, isn’t this so unexpected?
Very enchanté, wouldn’t you say?
(He kisses her sweetly on the lips. Tamika is enamored by
Yes, it’s very enchanté.
Oh, and I got this...
(He pulls out a bottle of champagne from a bucket of ice.)
And it’s pink.
Oooh. Well what you waiting for
baby? Open it up.
(The bottle opens with a loud pop and the cork goes flying!
He pours two glasses.)
What should we toast to?
“The right here and now!”
Alright. To what you just said.
(They klink their glasses and take a sip. She leans over to
him and gives him a soft kiss on the lips.)
I love this. Thank you.
Well, if you love this, you gonna
love what’s gonna happen later even
Ooh, go on...I do like the sound of
Oh, do you now?...
(They both giggle like school children.)
Shall we take a seat?
What are we having for dinner?
Close. Momma’s meatloaf.
Baby, you notice anything different
Like what? Like it’s been a week
since I smoked any weed.
A week? That’s amazing, but I never asked you to-
Didn’t have to. Figured that out
on my own. Figured it would make
you happy. Figured it would be
good for both of us...
Thank you. That is very
It’s been a part of what I been
Oh? Part of what?
Part about what’s happened to me.
What’s happened to me since the
I’m sorry for bringing that up last
(touches her hand tenderly)
Please let me finish...
He was supposed to be our son. We
spent months fixing up the
apartment, getting ready for him....Those little tiny blue and white
Adidas sneakers. Dreamin’ about
what it would be like playing ball
with him. Watchin’ him get ready
for the prom. College. All that
feel good shit that happens to a
parent. That happens to a parent
that has been blessed...Then one
day it’s over. It’s not going to
happen. He ain’t even lived one day
except in your heart and mind...
The thing is, Tamika...Our baby may
have been born dead but you are
still alive...How did I forget
that?...I’m ashamed about that, and
I want you to know that from here
on out, I’m gonna be there for you.
The good Lord only knows that I’m a
lotta years late speaking my heart
to you. But, but if you could ever
(Moved, Tamika smiles. She leans into him and kisses him
I just did.
(We hear the sound of President Reagan giving a press
interview coming from the TV. Reina sits in a wheelchair,
sleeping soundly. His appearance reflecting his rapidly
deteriorating health. Tamika enters with a tray of
medication and a glass of water. She notices a shoe box of
photos lying next to him. She picks up a photo and examines
Reina wakes and sees Tamika.)
So these girls in the photo with
you are all really fellas?
Sí, all of them. Except for
Suzanna. She was half-man.
Where are all your friends now?
And you? You have many amiga’s
I used to have a best friend.
Not no more?
She got divorced a year ago...
(sensing Reina is
What is it?
I just, been wondering...how that
happens to a marriage?...
(Silence on that thought.)
Maybe your friend is happier this
(She hands him a series of pills which he dutifully
Pills. Pills, pills y aún mas
It’s good for you. Except for
maybe a hallucination here and
Rojo...I always look muy fabulosa
I bet you were stunning.
I wore it for him, tú sabes? It
was his favorite color...
I was just a young show girl in
Mexico City. Just beginning to
spread my wings.
What were you doing there?
I was born in Mexico. So there I
was...peacocking down the sidewalk,
looking fabulosa in my summer dress
and red Ferragamo heels. Suddenly I
see him! Standing outside a cafe,
looking bored as he was talking to
a couple of beautiful girls. Coño!
His face! Dark eyebrows. Black
hair combed to the side. And his
eyes. Coño...He looked over and
stared at me...I stepped to him...my hips swaying
from side to side.
Go get him, Reina.
I stepped in between the two girls
and told him the club where I was
headlining, “a very special kind of
show.” He smiled at me ever so
inquisitively and ask, “How
special?”... “So special...”, I
say...”That it would make you never
want to go back to the way you
And then what?
That was it. I walked away.
You walked away?!
I always leave them wanting more.
...After my show, I was having a
glass of rum, and all of a sudden,
I hear a man’s voice whisper in my
ear, “Convencer a los que me
quede, mi amor?...Convince me to
stay, my love?” I turn around and
see mi amor. Mi Ernesto...
He had this way of looking at me
after we make love. Like the way a
writer looks at a piece of paper
when he’s in the middle writing
He was Che Guevara!
Che? You mean, that guy with the
beret and long black beard?
The very same one.
How long were you lovers for?
A few days.
A few days? That’s it?
I watch from my balcony, with tears
in my eyes, as he walks out of my
life. I tried to forget him but I
could not. So, I get on a ship to
And what happened when he found
(beat; changing subjects)
Y tú? What love you have in your
Love so fuerte that you chase it to
the ends of the world?
I told you before, I wasn’t-
(finishing her thought)
-that kind of chica, I know. But I
no buy it.
It was so foolish...
Oh, now you definitely have to tell
Just drop it.
It’s good to remember what it was
like to feel such joy.
(Reina lovingly touches her hand.)
We’d used to stay up late in bed.
Dreaming about going away
together...to California...we even
traced our fingers down a map to
this little town...Solana Beach...
Must be very special hombre to make
you dream so good?
(She laughs to herself in astonishment.)
What? Tell me...
When we was living in
Topeka...Derek and me met another
couple while bowling.
I ask is for a love story and you
talk to me about bowling?!
You’re right. It’ll probably bore
Okay, okay! Coño! But this story
better end with you touching more
than a bowling bowl!
You want me to tell this story or
(sitting back down)
Sean and Lorraine. They were
really nice...We all became close
...One night I was at the store
shopping for Derek’s supper and who
do I run into but Lorraine?...Well,
we got around to talking...and then
talking some more over drinks...it
was fun. To be seen...You know
what I mean?...We were walking
together to our cars and I started
to feel something?...And suddenly
the strangest thing happened. She
kisses me on my mouth...
Coño! You are filled with
surprises aren’t you, girl?!
We made love that night. I never
done that with a woman before...
As you could see, it didn’t last.
We had this little joke that
someday we would leave our husbands
and be together. Could you believe
Sounds like a beautiful joke.
...that’s all it was.
It just all faded away.
You left her?
You loved her.
It was a sin for me to be with a
Pobrecita. You were ashamed.
It was misguided. I was misguided.
You meet the greatest love of your
life and you walk away?
I was a married woman. I am a married-
Sí! You are married to the
happiness of your husband over your
own. You ran away from her because you
With Derek, I have a history. A
friendship. Fifteen years and Derek and me got-
Intimacy. Now maybe it’s an
intimacy that you can’t understand.
(Reina takes a moment and shrugs it off.)
Boring? Look what your life has
gotten you? Nobody ever walks
through those doors to visit you!
But no will ever accuse of me of
ever being an imposter! Unlike a
certain lesbiana morena I no
Don’t call me that.
What? A lesbian?
Yes, that. Because it isn’t true!
Only gay for Lorraine are we?
I should have damn known better
than to tell you about it.
(Tamika’s pager goes off again. She gets up.)
I gotta go.
You can bet your culo that this
conversation is no over!
Yes, it is! And if you ever dare
throw that in my face I’ll never
speak to you again! We clear?!
(Tamika shoots him a look before indignantly exiting the
(beat; thoughtfully to
(Reina watches what plays out next as another spotlight comes
up on Derek sitting on the couch in front of the TV.
Tamika enters a moment later holding a bowl of popcorn.)
(Derek doesn’t hear her. He is zoned out, watching TV.)
You remember that patient I was
telling you about? The man? Or
should I say woman? Well, however
you wanna describe her?
(He ignores her and laughs at the TV.)
...Anyway, she was...So, she was telling me this story about-
Baby, can it wait until the
(trying to hide her hurt)
What?...oh sure...I’ll just sit
(She sits down next to him. He laughs out loud at the TV.
Seemingly clueless to her existence.
Long silence. Tamika stares out. A look of depression fills
(eyes on the TV)
...Pass me the popcorn, will ya?
(The smile drops from her face...She hands him the bowl and
he takes it without looking at her.
Lights slowly fade to black as Tamika silently stares out
from her despair.
Derek lights his pipe and takes a deep hit...)
(Reina sits on the couch, listening to some Cuban music
coming from the radio. Appearing medicated, he coughs loudly
from time to time. His health is degrading rapidly. CHE
enters. He is attired in green military fatigues.)
You were always a sucker for Beny
More. Me, I always liked Beny’s
musica. But not Fidel...He thought
he was a counter-revolutionary.
Then again Fidel thought everyone was a fucking counter-
Or a faggot?
Si. “A counter-revolutionary, cock-
You been muerto for so long...
Ah what is time when you’re a
fucking ghost, eh?
What is heaven like?
No sé. I refuse to go.
Even in death you still a
revolutionary, eh mi vida?
I like it here in purgatory. Gives
me lots of time to haunt Fidel in
Es jodido. Es jodido what he did
to my beloved Cuba.
(Pained, Che touches his stomach.)
Sí, sí I’m fine. When you’re dead,
your regrets like to stab you in
Regrets? What regrets could you
Now you sound like one of those
sheep who never knew me at all.
I know you best.
I was different then.
Can’t have changed that much. Eh,
And your regrets?
Me? No. Nada!
Es importante to alleviate one’s
Sins?! You never had no sins!
They say you were responsible for
the labor camps but I never believe
them. No, no mi Ernesto, I say!
Tsk, tsk, tsk. Pobrecita.
Don’t you think it’s time you start
Preparing? Preparing for what?
(Che gestures having his throat slit.)
I don’t like you anymore!
Que?! You adore me...
No, this is not the hombre I
remember and loved.
The Ernesto I remember had the face
of a boy.
Is that the only way you remember
I want to remember you like
And how was that, mi vida?
(beat; with vulnerable
(Che takes off his shirt to reveal a tank top. Reina looks
over his arms with inspiration.)
(Reina shakes his head. Che takes off his shoes and socks.)
(Reina shakes his head. Che takes off his pants. Now
standing only in his tank top and underwear.)
Or more like this?
(Che takes off his tank top and underwear. He presents
himself to Reina, three fresh, bullet wounds mark his chest.
Reina takes it all in. He is breathless.)
Que linda...Even with your flesh
torn open, you are still so
beautiful, Ernesto. Mi Ernesto...
(Che signals Reina to approach him. Reina does so as if
pulled by a magnet. Che suddenly puts up his hand to stop.)
One last thing...
(Che pulls off his long hair and then his beard to REVEAL: )
What?!...What are you doing here?
(with a sweet smile)
Isn’t it obvious, mi amor? I’m
here to torment you...
TIME: 1973; flashback
PLACE: Town, outside of Havana, Cuba
(A large spotlight up on a bare stage.)
Sí, callar, ya!
(Mirabella enters dressed casually in men’s clothing. He
skulks in the spotlight.)
Is that you?
Well, where are you pendejo?
(Reina steps into the spotlight.)
Coño! You’re speaking loud enough
to wake Fidel himself!
Disculpe, but I got scared, Reina.
(They step to each other and hug each other.)
It’s okay. It’s okay...
Did you hear about Fernanda? They
arrested her and closed down Joey
They are arresting anyone they
suspect of being homosexual! Dio
míos what are we going to do?
They don’t know anything about you.
How do you know that?
I just do.
Unidades Militares de Ayuda a la
Producción, these camps where
maricones like us are forced to
work, cutting the sugar cane fields
until their back breaks.
Exaggerating? Wake up, por favor!
Despierta Reina! All my friends
that I’ve been telling you about?
All of them have been arrested or
Have you been doing what I told you
Sí, But Cardenas is such a peasant
Maybe. But it’s quiet. By the way?
Have you been practicing?
I been trying...
It’s just not that easy to change
my mannerisms. The way I say
things! I’ve never been
“masculine”. Mierda, I am who I am!
You can do it. It’s like
(Mirabella steps away. Long silence.)
What is it?
They found Lucinda hanging in her
room...dressed in her dead mother’s
(Reina steps to her and comforts her.)
Estados Unidos...That’s where I
wish I could be...America. Have
cocktails with Errol Flynn by his
swimming pool. America, that’s the
only place left for people like us.
Muchacha? America says, “We’ll
take your tired and poor.” Not
“We’ll take your tired and poor and
your hombres who like to suck
(brushing it off)
That’s where we’re planning to
Escape? What are you talking
To Miami. It’s in Florida. Which
is in the Estados Unidos. It’s
already been set up.
With my novio, Manolo.
Don’t be estupida. Nobody can
leave the island.
You never told me about him.
No. He swore me to secrecy. Says
if anyone found out we would be
sent off to the camps for sure.
Esperate. How could he get you
He works for the politburo.
For the partido?
And He just got promoted to the
ambassador’s cultural attaché to
Ahora Manolo says it’s only a
matter of time before he’s assigned
in Mexico City. And when that
happens he’ll bring me along as his
assistant. And from there we go to
Miami and live free. I really love
him tú sabes? It’s really true
love this time.
Well, if it wasn’t for his padre
none of this could have happened.
Manolo’s padre is a general after
And which general is that?
I’m not supposed to say.
(throwing on guilt)
Okay. No problemo. If you don’t want to tell your best-
General Nuñez...Manuel says Fidel
is going to soon announce his
Promoción? Promoción to what?
And don’t think I will forget you. Soon as I get to-
Promoción to what, Mirabella?
Party secretary...Qué pasa, Reina?
(Mirabella steps forward and looks out. Beat.)
I wonder if it snows in Miami? I
would like to know what snow feels
like very much. I imagine it’s
(Mirabella continues to look out dreamily as Reina watches
(Tamika sits on the couch.)
Tamika? Hey baby?...You home?...
(Tamika doesn’t respond. A moment later Derek enters
cheerfully carrying some candy and a VHS cassette.)
I picked up “Raiders of the Lost
(He gives her a quick kiss on the cheek and steps to the TV.)
How was work?
(She doesn’t respond. Derek tries getting the VHS player to
operate but is having problems. He’s spots the suitcase.)
What the hell’s the matter with
Hold on now. I just bought this
Could you please just leave it
alone for a minute?
Shoot. That’s what I get for
buying, “Made in Taiwan”. Lord
help us if this country ever stops
making our own shit.
(He pounds on the VHS player loudly.)
(Derek ignores and continues to pound away on the machine.)
Please? Could you?-
Well, if you wanna watch the video I gotta fix-
I need to be honest with you about
I had an affair...
I was seeing someone.
I know what an affair is girl!
(Tamika doesn’t respond.)
I asked with who, damnit?!
Before I tell you, I need you to-
Don’t tell me it was with?..Don’t
tell me you was with Sean?
(A look of relief falls over his face.)
It was with Lorraine.
Lorraine?...Sean’s ex? That
(still not believing)
I fell in love with her.
Nah, nah, nah! Women don’t do
We’re not together anymore
You’re broke up?
(She nods her head.)
How long that been for?
You ain’t seen hide or hair of her
since? You’re expecting me to
Is the truth...
The truth?...Has this turned to
A habit? There been other women
you need to cop to me about.
It’s only ever been her.
You know what this is, right? A
Let’s see, what we got?
What? Listing your sins?
...You know? I could have cheated
on you too? Had me a plethora of
opportunities! A whole parade of
women to be choosin’ from! But I
never did! And you know why?...My
wedding vow I made to you. In front
You watched TV more than you ever
That’s not true.
(Tamika stares him down.)
My folks watched TV together for
You spent more time with your weed
than you do talking with me.
Goddamn! My own wife a!-
(He cuts himself off cold.)
Say it...Go ahead, say it...
(Tamika lets the possibility sink in.)
I’ll try harder to make it work
It’s no use, baby. In the end, we
always go back to the way we were.
I got an idea! We’ll go see the
Deacon. He’ll know how to fix
(Tamika shakes her head sadly.)
What? You don’t love me no more?
Is that it?
Love you? You’re my best friend.
(She hugs him and he hold onto her passionately.)
I wasn’t so unhappy, baby.
(Tamika snaps to the truth and pulls away from him.)
I have to go.
So this work now? You gonna just
show up at her front door?
(Tamika remains unsure.)
Just show up on her front door?
You think she’s been waiting for
you like a Goddamn dog?!
(Tamika looks pained.)
Shit, she probably shacked up with
some dude, right about now.
I don’t think so.
Maybe then she shacked-up with some
So, so, so, if she don’t take you
back you gonna go and find yourself
Ain’t thought about it.
I just want to get this straight-
You taking loneliness over me?
(Beat; She steps to him and gives him a tender kiss on the
What if it don’t work out with her?
I haven’t even left the house yet.
Yeah, I know, but what if? You can
come back, you hear?
(Silence. She smiles sadly at him one last time. Wipes away
her eyes and exits with her suitcase.)
(Reina lies sleeping in a hospital bed. He is hooked up to a
heart monitor and breathes through an oxygen mask. Tamika
sleeps next to him in a chair.
Suddenly, he jolts violently awake. He pulls off his oxygen
mask to reveal a face filled with dread.
Frantic he tries to sit up, but is too weak. He doesn’t see
(Tamika awakens and comforts him.)
Shhhh. It’s okay, I’m here.
I’ve been having such terrible
Well, they’re over now...
I don’t think I sleep more than an
Are you kidding? You’ve been
asleep for the last three days.
(looking around nervously)
Donde estoy? I don’t know this
Take it easy, Reina.
Am I back in Havana?
You were moved from the home to
You had an aneurysm.
It’s a bleeding in the head.
I’ve been here with you waiting for
you to wake up.
(holding on to her)
You’re such a good amiga.
I’m going to have to get the
No, por favor. Don’t leave me
I’ll be right back.
(Silence. Mirabella enters. He is naked as before but now
his bullet wounds bleed profusely.)
You almost didn’t make it.
Are you real?
(Mirabella looks down at his bleeding wounds and wipes some
blood with his finger.)
Coño! Again with the bleeding. I
no know how Jesus can stand it?!
It was those fucking communistas
who did that to all of you! Los
Did you see him?
(Reina doesn’t answer.)
The doctor should be here in a
Do you believe in ghosts?
I believe in the Holy Ghost.
What about the unholy ones?
Who you calling, “unholy”, puto?!
I look back to Cuba and I don’t
remember it that way at all. Not
at all...I wish I could feel
Ernesto in my arms one more time.
I never even believed that story to
You weren’t there! It was love!
It was love I tell you!
Who are you talking to?
I never knew you would end up this
What way, Reina?
They don’t know. They only accuse!
The first sign of the apocalypse
began when you no hear the
musicians playing their drums at
night no more.
Apocalypse, what apocalypse?
Castro’s apocalypse! The second
sign was when all the gorgeous drag
queens that once peacocked down the
Malecón were arrested. And
beautiful men were made criminals
for simply sucking cock!
(Reina rises up at the exclamation. Tamika eases him back down.)
Ssshhh. Lie back now.
En la noche...In the night, the
sounds of the executions...Gunfire.
You go to bed imagining it only a
matter of time before it be you
standing against that wall.
We were all scared! You think that
you the only one?!
They put a pistole to my head and
say I have a decision to make:
Inform for the revolución or be
executed. What was I suppose to do?
I want to live!
Calm down, Reina.
Uno by uno...all the maricones
begin to disappear. As if a plague
were suddenly killing the gays.
They send them to labor camps to
cut the sugar canes. Día y noche
they swing the machete like slaves.
Día y noche...
Oh, no, Reina...
I informo e informo. Lucy,
Esmeralda, Josefina, Albina,
Camille, Vanessa, Emilia, Beatrice.
So so many...until I was the only
Mirabella wasn’t the name of a town
(shaking head; sobbing)
...I informed on her. Informed on
her for a one way ticket to the
Estados Unidos...I never think that
Mirabella be harmed. I swear!
I swear to you!
But she was, wasn’t she?
(Reina looks deeply at Mirabella.)
She was shot.
Four and a half breathes and it was
(Reina starts to sob and Tamika comforts him.)
Ask for forgiveness.
I no believe in God.
Then ask it from from Mirabella.
She won’t believe me.
Then convince her.
What are you not telling me?...
(Reina remains silent.)
The story about Che? That was a
(Reina refuses to answer.)
To help me forget
You need to rest, sweetheart.
I did it...I left Derek.
(Tamika appears pained.)
Then why are you wasting time your
time here with me?
You’re sick. Now isn’t the right time to-
Go find her.
...What if this is all one big
Find her. After all, California is
closer than Havana.
Actually, it’s further away.
Coño, chica. Go to her.
She didn’t invite me.
She left her husband.
What if she’s forgotten me?
Simple. Make yourself remembered.
And if she says she doesn’t love me
Then you move on.
Sí, alone. But with so many new
(Beat. Reina is struck with a coughing fit. Tamika comforts
You need to rest.
No. No, I’m okay.
(She checks Reina’s pulse.)
Rest, mi Reina.
(She looks back at the door.)
Go get the doctor.
I want to stay here with you.
It’s okay, mi amor...I’ll still be
(Reina caresses Tamika’s face for a few moment.
She exits, leaving Reina alone with Mirabella.)
Is that true what Tamika said?
That you and the girls could
Hmmm. I suppose it’s
Really? Do you really mean that?
An ojo for an ojo. An eye for an
I don’t understand.
Me and the girls died a violent
death. Which means you must die a
But I’m dying as it is.
Talk to me when you’re serious.
But be quick, eh? At this rate
your soul is going to burn in hell
(relishing the word)
No, por favor!
Forgiveness must be earned, my dear
(She starts to exit.)
What if I killed myself?
Do I hear an offer?
Yes! Yes, I’ll kill myself! Will
I be forgiven then?
We’re suffering, Reina. Me and all
the girls. Proving that you are
serious about being forgiven will
end the reason why we must stay as
ghosts. We suffer because you suffer.
That’s why ghosts exists. Because
suffering exists. Why Jesus will
always stay a ghost for as long as
Then I will end our suffering.
That’s a good girl.
I’m scared shitless to die.
Sshhh. Death is a gift from God,
mi amor. An act of mercy that
frees us from the sins of this
And then I will be forgiven, right?
We will find peace?
For forever and ever...I love you,
I love you too. Con todo mi
What do you say? Let’s get on with
(nodding his head)
(Mirabella steps to him with a plastic bag.)
Let me help you.
Esperate. I need to freshen up
first, I must look a mess?...
Ah, Reina.n No need to worry about that. The next life is all about inner-
(Mirabella steps to Reina and begins to place the bag over
(Spotlight on a gorgeous Cuban Woman in her early twenties.
She is dressed as a 1950's Havana show-girl and alluringly
lip-syncs the Cuban love ballad, “Besume Mucho”.
The SPOTLIGHT WIDENS to REVEAL that she is singing to Tamika
seated in a chair.
The Cuban Woman shifts her hips seductively, teasing her ever
so closely. She leans into Tamika, their lips inches from
Tamika reaches out her hand and just as she’s about to caress
her-SPOTLIGHT to BLACK.)
End of play