ENEMIES: SISTERS (A PLAY BY JRS)

 

INTRODUCTION: The following play was written as a reply to those who are interested in learning more about the violence in modern-day Colombia between guerrilla and government, but are not up to studying the phenomenon in detail (for example, by reading my article "A Biography of Colombia Embattled", which may be found in the "Weapons of Depth" section of this site). For their sake, I wrote this play, which attempts to educate by means of the theater. It tries to balance content and drama, and searches for an answer that is not partisan.

 

CHARACTERS:

ANGELICA: A young middle-class Colombian woman, who is a kidnap victim.

DOLORES: A young female guerrilla fighter with an indigenous background.

AURELIO: A mature and ideologically well-prepared guerrilla fighter.

TIROTEO: A young and impulsive guerrilla fighter.

SOLDIERS 1 Ė 4.

 

SETTING:

We see one room. It is the back room in a two room hideout occupied by the guerrillas, who are guarding their prisoner, a kidnap victim being held for ransom. There is a doorway leading into the front room, which we do not see. There are chairs for the guerrillas, and one for the prisoner, who is tied up. See "Notes on Prisoner Binding" at the end of the play for more details.

 

PROPS:

Proper attire for all actors.

Ropes and binding materials.

Pistols for the guerrillas, rifles for the soldiers.

A chamber pot.

A nail file.

Etc.

 

THE PLAY:

 

Angelica is tied up in a chair, in a hideout. The guerrillas are all sitting around, lost in their thoughts.

ANGELICA: Iím thirsty.

The guerrillas look at her and each other.

ANGELICA: Iím thirsty. Can I have something to drink?

More silence.

ANGELICA: Not to inconvenience anybodyÖ

TIROTEO: Youíve got a big mouth, girl.

ANGELICA: Iím thirsty, thatís all. The guy who kidnapped me, your leader, told me I didnít have anything to worry about as long as I didnít make trouble. He told me, "Itís a business. Like any business, we have to hold up our end. We have to deliver what we promise. They pay us, and we return you unharmed." - Iím thirsty.

TIROTEO: You rich girls think you own the world. Whatís the word thatís in fashion these days? "Entitled"?

AURELIO: [Agreeing] Thatís it.

TIROTEO: Entitled. Entitled to everything you want, when you want. Like the 500-pound parrot who says, "Polly wants a cracker NOW!"

ANGELICA: All I want is a drink of water.

TIROTEO: All you want? First you wanted us to just let you walk around without restraints like this was a party.

AURELIO: "Revolution is not a tea party."

TIROTEO: Then you wanted your ropes loosened and gave us this bullshit story about your circulation, and your veins, like you were some kind of son-of-a-bitch doctor.

ANGELICA: They were too tight, you were cutting off the blood flow; you couldíve killed off my tissues. I donít want my hands to be amputated, god damn it!

TIROTEO: [To Aurelio] Where did we stash the gag? Iím getting tired of listening to this bourgeois chick.

Aurelio motions, with his head, to the side. Tiroteo gets up to get the gag and moves to her to put it on.

DOLORES: Give her a drink first.

Tiroteo looks at her.

DOLORES: Give her a drink. Youíre going to gag her? Give her a drink first. She canít drink through the gag.

TIROTEO: Donít fall for her whining, compan~era. Sheís part of a whole class that thinks the squeaky wheel gets the oil. They drive the poor people into the slums, or into the jungles where they canít be heard: into places that swallow every sound. And whatever voice remains they drown out with a bomb or a machine gun. They donít want competition. They want everything for themselves. Whining, selfish bitch! [She starts to say "I need a drink", but he stifles it by putting the gag on over her mouth. She protests with sounds hemmed in by the gag that have no form. Tiroteo laughs.] What did you say, dear? I canít hear you? Can you speak up?

Dolores gets up and leaves.

TIROTEO: [Talking about Angelica] Ah, thatís better! The perfect woman Ė silent. The first one since Anne Boleyn. [Angelica says something, probably like "Fuck you" from behind the gag, but it isnít clear] Whatís that you said? Iím just the kind of man you like? Too bad, I have to stay focused. No frolicking, this is business. I canít be caught with my pants down. [Again she curses him] Yes, I know. The ladies love me. I just canít turn it off.

Dolores returns with a glass of water, while Tiroteo looks at her disapprovingly. She removes the prisonerís gag and holds the water to her lips.

ANGELICA: I canít. Iíll choke. I need my hands free to hold the glass.

DOLORES: Iíll tilt the water slowly.

Angelica resists. Dolores backs off.

ANGELICA: Did you boil the water first?

TIROTEO: Listen to that! The water we drink here isnít good enough for her? Dolores, did you look at it under a microscope to make sure there arenít any amebas in it? Amebas are for poor people. White asses like that arenít meant to get dirty.

ANGELICA: Shut up!

TIROTEO: Maybe we could order out for champagne. Is there a specific year you prefer?

ANGELICA: Brute!

Dolores hands the water to Tiroteo and stifles Angelica with a gag. Angelica looks up at her, surprised.

DOLORES: Look, Angelica, this is for real. You donít talk back to us. You donít give us lip. Weíre in control here. [She lifts up her trigger finger and wiggles it in the air] Thatís all it takes, one little movement of one little finger to blow your head off. [Angelica is silent and terrified.] Weíre the ones in control here.

TIROTEO: You pigs are in control of everything else! Who eats, who starves! Who has a doctor, who dies! Who has land, who has nothing! Well, here, bitch, the roles are reversed! Weíre in charge! Weíre the ones who decide who lives and who dies! Weíre the ones with the gun! Welcome to the kingdom of the flea! From you, bitch, weíre going to take a drop of blood.

DOLORES: [To Tiroteo] Enough. [Turning to Angelica] You want a drink or not?

Angelica nods.

TIROTEO: Give her water, and sheís just going to want to piss. What a rigmarole thatís going to be!

DOLORES: Is the release set?

AURELIO: They havenít even paid. Theyíre haggling. They say they donít have it all.

DOLORES: So itís going to take some time. She needs a drink. [Dolores takes off the prisonerís gag and hands it to Tiroteo.] Iíll pour it slow, Angelica.

ANGELICA: Thank you. [The two of them work together, Dolores pouring the water slowly into Angelicaís mouth.]

TIROTEO: [About Dolores] Sheís soft. Itís going to get us into trouble.

AURELIO: Sheís tougher than you think, compan~ero.

TIROTEO: Has she ever killed anyone?

AURELIO: Not everyone has a rťsumť like you, Tiroteo.

TIROTEO: So whatís she here for, then? Good looks? Sheís as cold as ice to men.

AURELIO: Sheís focused. We donít need more pregnant guerrillas, compan~ero.

TIROTEO: And does she know what a weapon is for?

AURELIO: Tiroteo, you shot up a whole bunch of security guards for BP, and brought down so much heat on the operation that they ended up uprooting two cells, and sending in the paramilitaries. This girl, here, has carried out three seamless kidnappings. No casualties. No leads. Good money for the cause. It doesnít get any better than that.

TIROTEO: And if it came to a shoot-out, would she have our back, compan~ero? What I want to know is, are there three of us or are there two of us?

AURELIO: We tested her before we took her, comrade.

Angelica has finished the water by now. Dolores looks over at Tiroteo.

DOLORES: Youíve heard of Rodrigo Arboleda?

TIROTEO: The banana entrepreneur? The one who was killed in his mansion by his maid?

DOLORES: His maid didnít kill him. She provided the information about his schedule and the alarms. The killer came from outside.

TIROTEO: His wife was killed too.

DOLORES: She couldnít be allowed to warn the others. Ten minutes were needed to get clear of the scene, and there wasnít time to tie her up, because her husband made too much noise falling onto the floor, and somebody might have heard.

TIROTEO: And the sound of the gunshots?

DOLORES: The silencer. It reminded me, then, of a blow gun from the Amazon. [She imitates its sound]

Tiroteo looks stunned at Aurelio.

AURELIO: Thatís right, comrade, how does it feel to be standing on the same side of the bars as the tiger?

TIROTEO: [Amazed] Well how do you like that? Such a quiet girl!

AURELIO: My grandmother, who lived down on the Guaviare, always used to say: "You can swim in water with current. Itís the water thatís still that you donít get into."

ANGELICA: [Horrified] You killed Rodrigo Arboleda and his wife?

DOLORES: [Dissimulating] No, Iím just shooting bull to play with this guy [indicating Tiroteo.] Heís too high about himself, somebody has to bring him down.

Tiroteo looks over to Aurelio, who shakes his head, to indicate to him that Dolores really was the killer. Meanwhile, Angelica is looking at Dolores.

ANGELICA: His wife?

DOLORES: Iím just playing.

Again, Aurelio shakes his head to Tiroteo.

ANGELICA: Thatís a relief! Why the hell would anyone shoot the guyís wife? I mean, I can understand that the way you people think, Arboleda was a capitalist pig or whatever: Mr. Chiquita, who had to be exterminated for underpaying his workers or contracting the paramilitaries or whatever you say he did besides growing fruit on a tree. But his wife? Whoever killed her must have had the heart of a reptile. What did she do except say, "Have a good day, dear", as he left in the morning?

DOLORES: [With a flash of anger] Iíll tell you what she did! She lived from the hand of that killer. What he stole from others, she used without remorse. She could have told him, "No, donít fill my house with this crap, take away these jewels, these paintings, these statues, these seven cars in the driveway, who needs them all?, there are people who donít have doctors or safe water to drink, there are people who donít even know where their next meal is coming from." But she didnít. Instead, she rewarded him for his crimes by smiling whenever he brought her jewels from the fingers of the dead, she rewarded him by kissing him, and lying naked in his bed. By kissing his lips of blood! Whore! She deserved the bullet in her head even more than him!

Everyone is astonished by her outburst. Angelica is afraid, and begins to cry.

DOLORES: [Walking around, muttering] Son of a bitch! Killers who dare to call others "killers"! And all they gave me was a fucking pistol! I should have had a machine gun!

ANGELICA: I donít want to die. I havenít done anything wrong. Iím not rich. My familyís not rich. We belong to the middle class. They work hard. Theyíre fair. Everything they got in life, they had to work for, and now you want to take it all away from them! I donít deserve to die! Is it a sin to go to the university? I want to learn, I want to make something of myself! [Looking most directly at Dolores, who has returned] Iím not like Rodrigo Arboleda!

DOLORES: Calm down, Angelica.

ANGELICA: I want to live! I donít deserve this!

DOLORES: Calm down!

ANGELICA: I want to live!

Dolores covers her mouth with the gag.

DOLORES: Calm down. [She caresses her hair, slightly, trying to silence her] Calm down. Everything is going to be OK. This is business. Thatís all. Business. Your people pay, and everything works out.

AURELIO: Thatís right, girl. Arboleda was a hit. Planning knew we couldnít pull off a kidnapping, so they set up a kill. You, on the other hand, are an investment. You have nothing to worry about, as long as your family plays by the rules.

TIROTEO: Such a wimp! Weíre living in poverty, in this reign of terror, and there you are, all shaken up just because your hands are tied. This stress is what we go through every day. This is the reality of the rest of Colombia, but for you, a few days of it are more than you can stand!

Dolores takes off Angelicaís gag again.

DOLORES: Itís OK, calm down. Donít make such a racket, or weíre going to have to put this gag back on. Calm down, girl. Youíre going to get out of this alive. I promise.

The guerrillas sit down again, and there is a moment of silence. Every once in a while, Angelica restrains a sob.

ANGELICA: You know, this isnít fair. I mean, can I talk or will you shoot me?

AURELIO: When we say you can talk, you can talk. When we say donít talk, donít talk. [Pause] For now, you can talk.

ANGELICA: My family doesnít have much money.

AURELIO: Thatís what theyíre saying.

ANGELICA: Itís true. I donít know how much youíre asking for my return, but please donít break them.

TIROTEO: Cut the crap. The compan~eros know their shit. You had the Rolex and the diamond ring you hid under the car seat; and you turned up on the list, on the laptop. It was a good day fishing. That will teach you to go out for a drive in the country.

ANGELICA: I was just driving to my uncleís. We canít even use the roads, anymore? Youíre like the god-damned trolls under the bridge! Youíre the ones whoíve turned our country into a living hell! [No one says anything] Look, the Rolex Ė it was a present from a guy. And the ring was from my quincenera. Youíve completely overvalued it. [More silence] So, my family splurged for one day! Is it a crime to love your daughter, to try to show her you love her as much as other families love theirs? They made a sacrifice, because they have big hearts. Is that the Colombia we want to live in, where people are afraid to express their love? [Looking to Dolores] Didnít you ever have a quincenera? [No answer] I donít mean to be naive. I donít know you. I donít know anything about you. Maybe you didnít. But if you didnít, let me tell you, itís not like shooting the leader of a labor union. Itís not like throwing the body of a peasant into a ditch. Itís harmless, itís joyful, itís fun; itís something everybody does. How the hell could it turn you into a "class enemy"?

AURELIO: [To the others] See how deep the roots of the gringos extend, right into the minds of our own middle class? [To Angelica] The American dream isnít for Colombia, girl. The nice suburban house, the car, the PC, the home movie theater, the I-Pod. These are the fruits of imperialism, the toys which they make from the sweat and blood of stolen countries. They put the dream of this lifestyle into your head, and before you know it, youíve forgotten about the rest of your country. You only want to be like a gringo. But there isnít enough wealth to turn this country into America. Only a part of our country can be America. A part that must kill the other part if it is to ever reach the corrupt aspiration which has infected it. And so, a deadly stratum of our own society is kidnapped by the aggressors and converted into a tool of imperialism. It siphons off more than its fair share of the national income in order to satisfy its exaggerated desires which are completely out of place in our historical context, and abandons its brothers to hunger; when the people protest, it sides with the party that has the helicopters and the bombs and the death squads; it sides with the party that protects its little imitation island of America, its garrison of pleasure in a land of pain.

ANGELICA: I donít get it.

AURELIO: We need to have other priorities here, girl. The basic needs of the people must be met first. Then we can think about all that other crap, like PCs and sports cars. Later, girl, not now!

ANGELICA: Youíve got it all wrong, "comrade." Consumerism doesnít interfere with economic development, it drives it. Youíre treating the engine like it was the anchor. But then, I guess youíre still trapped in that archaic Marxist stuff that the rest of the civilized world has left behind. [Parroting a song by Shakira, "No Creo", with lyrics a bit mixed up.] "I donít believe in Karl Marx, in Brian Weiss or Jean Paul Sartre." Karl Marx is doing about as well as the Dimetrodon.

AURELIO: Pitiful, I can see the soap suds coming out of your ears from the gringo brainwash! Is that what theyíre teaching in the university these days? Poor, brainwashed little girl.

ANGELICA: At least Iím not trying to saddle up a dinosaur!

AURELIO: Capitalism can spew all the hype it likes, but as long as people are being exploited, the truth will remain alive, because the skin that bleeds knows the deceitfulness of the mind. You wonít let Karl Marx die. Every time you take away a plot of land or drop a bomb or pay a worker with a drop of piss, Karl Marx grows twice as tall.

ANGELICA: [Defiantly] Iím not Rodrigo Arboleda. [Looking at Aurelioís wrist.] And youíre not Karl Marx. Looks like youíve got a nice watch on your wrist. Is it mine?

AURELIO: [Embarrassed] I need a good watch to keep the time. Itís not for show, itís not about getting to the movie on time. Itís actually a piece of military hardware. [Explaining more] Timing, in war, can mean the difference between life and death. Isnít that true, Dolores?

DOLORES: [Just going along with him.] Itís true.

ANGELICA: It looks like my watch.

AURELIO: Itís not.

ANGELICA: I donít believe you.

TIROTEO: Believe him. [Taking a watch out of his pocket] This is your watch.

ANGELICA: So, when are you sending it on to the High Command? When does it go to a peasant, or get exchanged for flour and beans so a poor person can eat?

TIROTEO: I am a peasant, you stupid bitch! Who are you to complain that I have what you had? Watches are only for your kind? Why is it wrong for me, but right for you?

ANGELICA: Because I bought it. You stole it.

TIROTEO: You were able to buy it, only because your class steals from ours!

ANGELICA: I bought it! You stole it!

DOLORES: Your boyfriend bought it. [Everyone stops to look at her] Did he get a good reward?

ANGELICA: How dare you!

TIROTEO: Put her gag back on.

Angelica looks at him, then back at Dolores, who keeps the gag to herself as Tiroteo gets up to try to take it from her.

DOLORES: [Explaining to Tiroteo] Didnít you say that you enjoyed listening to that guy Ė the informer, when you were making him confess? Didnít you compare it to music? [Angelica is horrified]

TIROTEO: Yeah. It was fitting that a bastard whoíd done so much damage was in tears.

DOLORES: So, [indicating Angelica] isnít this just another form of music? All this distress? All this complaining?

TIROTEO: I like cumbia, Dolores. This is something f**ked, like opera.

DOLORES: Letís let her breathe.

Again, Angelica begins to cry.

ANGELICA: I want to go home. I havenít done anything wrong. I havenít! Really, I havenít!

TIROTEO: On the other hand, youíre right. It is like music. The music of the ruling class on its knees. Notes of justice, coming from a throat thatís exposed to the knife.

ANGELICA: God damn it, Iím not a part of the ruling class! Iím just not a f**king peasant! [Then, realizing she may have gone too far] Please donít hurt me! [To herself] Youíre all so mean! Revolutionaries, my ass, youíre nothing but a bunch of thugsÖ.

AURELIO: What? What did she call us?

TIROTEO: Comrade, she called us "thugs."

AURELIO: Thugs? Is that what you called us? [Coming closer to her] Thugs? Is that what the fight for human dignity makes us? Thugs?

ANGELICA: [Boldly] What dignity? You tie me up, you terrorize me, you point a gun at my head, you use me to try to squeeze every last penny you can get out of my family, to wipe out all their savings from a whole lifetime of hard work, to obliterate all their dreams in one second and cast them back into the mire of poverty, just so you can buy more guns and wear Rolexes on your wrists! You arenít revolutionaries, youíre thugs, bandits! You donít have ideals, you want what we have but the difference is we work for what we get, while you just wait like vultures at a roadblock , to swoop down on us and take what you want by force!

AURELIO: Youíve got the roles reversed. Thatís what your class does and has done throughout our history. You encircled the land with tentacles of greed, you stole the fields that sustained us so you could force us to work on your terms, in plantations married to the foreigners; you massacred our workers, and whenever we climbed up the farcical steps of the democratic game to challenge you, you shot down our leaders in cold blood, you silenced their golden voices and put bullet holes through their generous hearts. Now, we live beneath skies of helicopters, wounded but undefeated, because justice wonít let us sleep, wonít let us die no matter how much blood weíve lost. We are realists, living in the land which you have given to us, and fighting according to its laws, which declare, in documents made of cadavers, that there are no laws.

ANGELICA: You are thugs! You kidnap and deal drugs!

AURELIO: Your kind monopolize the power of the State, and therefore, control its revenues which are used to repress the people. We guerrillas, to stand up to you, also need sources of revenue. Consider kidnapping to be a means by which we force a selfish class, which will not raise a finger on behalf of the poor, to redistribute its wealth, to give back a portion of what it has stolen to the cause of the people. Nothing could more prove the absurdity of this classí outrage than the fact that only by the extreme measure of kidnapping could we compel it to cough up its loot.

ANGELICA: Thatís just a lot of self-serving bullcrap! Youíre thugs!

TIROTEO: [To Dolores] Gag her!

ANGELICA: And the drug-dealing! In the name of Jesus, how can you defend that? Drug-dealing! What a lot of bullshit!

AURELIO: We didnít invent it, girl. You know it as well as us. The mafias, the commercializers extended the coca into the jungles, out of the reach of the State. We had the choice to shut it down, or to go along with it. Our constituents couldnít make money like that with any other crop. So we gave a green light to the coca because they were poor, and we taxed it because we needed money to fight the government, which was getting millions from the gringos. Helicopters, attack planes, rifles, machine guns, artillery, ammunition, training. Come on, be realistic!

ANGELICA: Youíre drug dealers!

AURELIO: Like the government isnít? You know, the money we make at this end of the trade, from providing coca paste to the refiners and traffickers, is nothing compared to the money they make at the other end. And loads of that money goes back to the government through pay-offs and investments of the nouveau riche to prop up the regime. Besides that, the paramilitary sons-of-bitches who are the centerpiece of the counterinsurgency, are living off the shit. So if you want to know the real story, girl, every son-of-a-bitch here has got his hands in this crap, from the paramilitaries to the army to the politicians to Uncle Sam and the DEA. It goes with the territory. Drugs are like a great river running through our country, and we who feed upon each other, the lion, the antelope and the vulture, alike, come to drink from its waters. We all need bullets for our guns, and we all need coca for our funds.

ANGELICA: [Cynically] When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

AURELIO: You can be so idealistic that you end up killing your ideals.

ANGELICA: Youíre destroying millions of lives with coke and heroin.

AURELIO: Weíre not the ones who made the hurricane noses of the gringos, girl. Theyíve got a leaky roof inside their soul and havenít fixed it, so of course the water comes in. If they rip the oil out of our soil, why canít we rip coke out of their insecurity? If they use our sky to drop bombs on us, why canít we use their craving to drop bombs on them? They donít give a f**k about us, and they want the shit. So whoís to blame?

ANGELICA: Youíre not a revolutionary, youíre a cynic.

DOLORES: And you never took a hit up the nose? Or smoked it in a pipe?

Angelica is surprised by the question.

DOLORES: Never?

TIROTEO: [As Angelica hesitates, Tiroteo assumes, as we all do, that itís because she has] So, thank us then!

ANGELICA: Go to hell!

The guerrillas laugh.

AURELIO: The critic exposed!

TIROTEO: Itís always a double standard with these sons-of-bitches!

ANGELICA: Go to hell, I never used coke!

All the guerrillas laugh.

ANGELICA: I donít use the stuff.

AURELIO: I think the lady protests too much!

ANGELICA: [A pause] I just did a little pot.

They laugh even more.

ANGELICA: Go to hell, all of you! Youíre mean, nothing but a bunch of mean people!

TIROTEO: Say, howíd you like a joint - to loosen up? [Heís making a sexual innuendo] Donít worry, not too much Ė even though youíd like it.

ANGELICA: Thug.

Aurelio and Tiroteo make various imitations of snorting and smoking.

AURELIO: How can ideals compete with this?

TIROTEO: Mmm. They say that with coke, people have the illusion that theyíre the best lovers in the world, but in actuality - they suck. [He shrugs] Was it as good for you as it was for me?

AURELIO: Blackhawk helicopters are a formidable adversary, but theyíre no match for the human nostrils.

More laughter.

ANGELICA: Iím glad youíre all having a good time, but I have to pee.

It takes a moment for them to register that.

ANGELICA: [Emphatic] I have to pee.

TIROTEO: [To Dolores] I told you not to give her a drink.

DOLORES: Look, this operation isnít going to end tomorrow, not with the stingy parents she has. Of course sheís got to drink and sheís got to pee. What the hell, you think sheís like the corpse of Saint Bernadette, which just laid there unspoiled and smelling like roses for a century?

TIROTEO: So great, whereís she going to pee? This shithole doesnít have a shithole.

DOLORES: [Stating the obvious] Over in the corner. Get a pot.

TIROTEO: Youíre going to untie her?

DOLORES: Of course. [Looks at Tiroteo, and reacts to his disapproval] Give me a break, this isnít Arnold Schwarzenegger here. [She begins to untie Angelica. Tiroteo draws his pistol. Dolores repeats to him.] Get a pot. [To Angelica] You do understand that you are a prisoner, and that if you try to f**k with us youíll pay with your life? [Tiroteo goes to get a pot, which heíll put in one corner]

ANGELICA: You could really shoot me?

DOLORES: Iím just trying to make sure things go smoothly. Misunderstanding can lead to terrible things. There was a guerrilla, once, who smiled at his captive; and his captive took it as a sign that he could f**k with him, and guess what? The captive ended up dead. Thereís a reason why everybody youíve met till now has looked at you like they were a psychopath. Believe it or not, itís for your own good. Now just go over there, where Iím pointing, lift your dress up, and pee into the pot.

ANGELICA: But them. [Indicating Aurelio and Tiroteo] Theyíll see.

DOLORES: Not unless you want to show them your ass. [Angelica looks at her, so Dolores explains] Just take off your underpants. You donít have to lift your dress. Stand over the pot and spread your dress out so it doesnít get wet. Nobody will see a thing.

Dolores follows Angelica, and receives the underwear from her hand.

TIROTEO: What a pretty color it is Ė what there is of it. A stripperís bikini.

ANGELICA: Respect, please! I need to pee!

TIROTEO: You want respect, girl, wear decent under garments. Thatís the kind of shit hookers wear.

ANGELICA: Have some respect!

TIROTEO: A present from the guy who gave you the Rolex?

ANGELICA: Leave me alone!

DOLORES: [Turning to Tiroteo] Chill. [He gives her a face] No, really. Give her some respect. Weíre risking our lives, and itís not to be remembered by history as a bunch of shits. Just think Ė "every minute could be my last and there might not be time to mend whatís broken." So donít drop things made of glass Ė like your soul.

TIROTEO: Fine, you want some kind of lesbian moment.

AURELIO: [To Tiroteo] Come on, cool it, comrade. [Pointing to Dolores, who is now giving him an awful stare] She runs a seamless show. Donít get in the way.

TIROTEO: What, Dolores, you want to tell me something?

AURELIO: [Pushing him away] Donít mess things up! Donít be a hot head! The prisoner just wants to take a pee, god damn it!

DOLORES: Tiroteo, can you just show a little god-damned respect? Your mother was a woman, and so is she.

TIROTEO: My mother didnít wear hooker clothes.

ANGELICA: Leave me alone, you have no right!

TIROTEO: "Might makes right." Your president thinks so. The gringos think so. "Might makes right." Whoís got the gun here, do you?

Dolores moves Angelica around to look the other way and not see her tormentors, and also rubs her shoulders one second to calm her down.

ANGELICA: Theyíre looking still, arenít they?

DOLORES: They canít see anything except your dress.

ANGELICA: I donít want them to look. Itís rude. Itís not right.

DOLORES: [To the men] Please. Turn around. Look the other way. [Explaining] Sheís uncomfortable.

TIROTEO: I donít like it. She could try something.

DOLORES: For Godís sake. Sheís not going to try anything. Sheís not a commando. [Looks at them still] Please.

They turn around.

DOLORES: [To Angelica] OK. Do it. Theyíre not looking.

ANGELICA: Are you sure?

DOLORES: Yes, Iím sure.

ANGELICA: How can you be sure? If youíre watching me? Theyíre behind you.

TIROTEO: [Turning around] Hey, cut the crap! If youíre going to pee, bitch, pee! Dolores, donít fall for this shit! Itís straight out of the elementary school escape manual! Bitch, Iím so ready to shoot you!

ANGELICA: [Crying] All I want to do is pee! Please! I just want to pee!

AURELIO: [To Tiroteo] Cool it, kid! Itís under control!

TIROTEO: Sheís trying to play with us!

AURELIO: Itís under control! [Reassuring him] Itís under control.

DOLORES: Turn around. [The men do, and Dolores circles in front of Angelica, so that she can watch both her prisoner and the other guerrillas at the same time.] Go on, then, pee.

ANGELICA: Youíre sure theyíre not looking?

DOLORES: Girl, whatís up with you? You got underwear from Victoriaís Secret and yet youíre acting like a lady from the time of Simon Bolivar! Do you want to pee or not? Look, youíve got thirty seconds to pee!

There is a moment of silence. Then Angelica looks at Dolores.

ANGELICA: Theyíll hear.

DOLORES: What?

ANGELICA: Theyíll hear the tinkle.

TIROTEO: What a prima donna of the bladder! Just let her wet herself!

Angelica turns around to make sure Tiroteo isnít looking.

DOLORES: He isnít looking.

ANGELICA: Heíll hear.

TIROTEO: The piss of the rich! You mean, you urinate also? I thought golden bubbles floated out of your c**t.

ANGELICA: Respect!

DOLORES: Jesus Christ, just piss!

ANGELICA: [Pathetically] Heíll hear.

DOLORES: Iíll drown out the sound. Now piss, god damn it! [Dolores begins to sing] La pobreza es lo que me ha dado la fortuna, aunque paso las noches mirando a la luna, con su cara tan tierna entre las flechas de las estrellas, aguanto mientras que tenga ella. [To Angelica] You finished?

ANGELICA: Yes, thank you.

Tiroteo claps from where he is, as Dolores hands Angelica her underwear, which she hurries to put on.

TIROTEO: Bravo, Dolores! If your aim was as good as your voice, Rodrigo Arboleda would still be alive.

DOLORES: Youíre singing makes me sound like a nightingale. That night you were in the showerÖ I was praying the army would kick the door in and drown you out with machine guns.

TIROTEO: Can we turn around yet, or are you two still busy kissing?

ANGELICA: Respect!

DOLORES: Turn around, you son-of-a bitch!

They do.

TIROTEO: [To Angelica] Well, baby feels better now, doesnít she?

DOLORES: [To Angelica] Donít answer. Just sit down. I have to tie you up again.

ANGELICA: Please! Couldnít you let me stretch my legs? Iím miserable. Iíve got cramps.

TIROTEO: Itís never ending! No wonder the bourgeois world canít stop killing us. With women like these! They drive their husbands and their boyfriends crazy, turn them into furious, savage, enraged cuckolds who have no option but to slaughter the poor. They have to kill someone to prove theyíre still men! For every guerrilla killed, thereís a whining bourgeois bitch who drove him to it!

Dolores has pushed Angelica gently back into the chair and begun to tie her.

ANGELICA: You are such an ignorant son-of-a-bitch!

TIROTEO: I hope your family comes up short, so we can get rid of you.

AURELIO: Thatís not how itís done, comrade. In that case, weíll have to hold onto her for even longer. Weíll have to move her to another location. Donít hope for that, comrade. She could become the new Ingrid. We could be stuck with her for years.

ANGELICA: [To Dolores] Itís too tight! My circulation!

DOLORES: [Checking the ropes] Itís not too tight. But if you try to wiggle your wrists free, the ropes will tighten. Then you will cut off your circulation.

ANGELICA: [Testing the ropes] Ouch! What are you, some kind of expert?

DOLORES: This is my job. I do it well. Until Mom and Dad come up with the money, girl, youíre not going anywhere.

Aurelioís cell phone rings. They all listen to his conversation.

AURELIO: Hello. Yes, itís me. Yes. Not yet? How much? No, itís no good. We need the full amount. I donít care what their account says. Theyíve manipulated it. - Tell them to take out a loan. Ė What do they own? Put it up as collateral. Donít they have friends? - How many people believe they have friends till theyíre in a jam! Then youíll find out whoís for real! Ė Did the first installment go on without a hitch? Did they leave it where they said they would? - Why did you break protocol? Arenít there cameras there?- Fine, fine, so you got the attachť case. Did you check its contents? With a scanner?

DOLORES: Comrade, youíve been on the phone too long. Cut it short.

AURELIO: Itís not enough. We need the second half of the delivery they promised, and then the rest of what weíre asking for. They canít talk us down like that. - No, we wonít send them any more photos. Theyíre cheap bastards is what they are! How could anyone ever expect them to be generous with their country, when they wonít even sell a car to get their daughter back.

DOLORES: Comrade! Youíre spending too long on the phone and saying too much.

AURELIO: Donít ease up. No, not one bit! Weíre not cutting them any more slack. The terms are final. Theyíve got to come through. Weíre keeping our side of the bargain. Sheís being treated well.

Angelica begins to protest, to say, "No youíre not! Youíre treating me like crap!", but Dolores covers her mouth with the gag.

AURELIO: OK. Ok. Remember, theyíre the ones who are trying to break you with those sob stories. Youíre the one whoís got to make sure you donít crack. - Yes, yes. You canít waver. Any sign of weakness in your voice, and theyíll latch onto it. Theyíll play the card of "We canít." Meanwhile, the authorities will be closing in.

DOLORES: Comrade, for Godís sake, end the call!

AURELIO: [To the man on the phone:] All right. All right. Good-bye!

DOLORES: Jesus! The gringos got all kinds of intercepts going, satellites, listening posts; the f**king DAS is like NASA now; what are you showing your nuts to the world for? We canít be so unguarded in the atmosphere! Thatís how they got that son-of-a-bitch Escobar!

AURELIO: And what about Bin Laden? Heíll get cancer from his cell phone before they track him from his calls.

DOLORES: Itís just not wise.

Angelica is making noises. Dolores removes her gag.

ANGELICA: So, whatís going on? Did my family pay or not?

AURELIO: Theyíre playing with us, girl. Itís like trying to buy a f**king blanket in the market place. We name a price, they try to bring it down, we go down a little, they want us to go down more, we say no, they say thereís a tear in the fabric here, we say tough shit, they say the edges are frayed. Youíre frayed, girl, and you got a tear, and you got a stain. God damn it, what a bunch of hagglers! Are your ancestors Jews?

ANGELICA: Thatís a very primitive statement, "comrade." My familyís too poor to pay your price, and thatís it. If I was Jewish Iíd be proud to be, but Iím not.

AURELIO: What a puny way to be a humanitarian! To defend yourself from an expression!

TIROTEO: Poor? Oh my God! Poor? POOR?! Poor girls donít drive Toyotas!

ANGELICA: Youíre asking for too much! They canít pay! You have to give them a realistic price!

TIROTEO: We already gave them bargain rates! Face it, you mean nothing to them! And no wonder! Youíre the kind of girl who not even her own parents could love! Nothing but a spoiled crybaby! Aurelio, we made a big mistake to kidnap such an unwanted bitch!

ANGELICA: Itís not true! My parents love me! Youíre asking for too much! Youíre going to ruin them! They must be suffering so much for me, right now, my fatherís heart isnít good! This could end up killing him!

TIROTEO: Then the estate goes over to your mother. All she has to do is sign a f**king paper.

ANGELICA: You donít understand!

AURELIO: Look, Iím tired. This thing is going to go on for a while. Cheap bastards! I need to take my shift.

TIROTEO: To sleep?

AURELIO: Thatís right. Iíll sleep on the floor, in the front. Tiroteo, come with me, stay by the door. Dolores, stay here in the back with the prisoner. And please, whatever you do, donít let her wear you out with her weakness. Weakness is a tremendous weapon and itís clear sheís trying to use it against us. Never forget: If weíre not careful, weíll end up becoming prisoners of the prisoner. It happens all the time. Theyíre tied up in a chair, but we are tied up by our pity for them. Donít let her in. [He points to his heart] Donít let her into your heart, Dolores. Sheíll destroy you.

DOLORES: I understand, comrade.

AURELIO: Iíll relieve you in four hours.

DOLORES: Right.

Exit Aurelio and Tiroteo, leaving Dolores and Angelica alone. Angelica begins to cry softly for a while. Finally, she speaks.

ANGELICA: Do you think itís true?

DOLORES: What?

ANGELICA: That my parents donít love me?

DOLORES: How should I know?

ANGELICA: From your experience? Would most families have paid up by now?

DOLORES: This is dragging on too long. Youíre not a big-enough return on the time and resources weíve invested in you. We could have done better.

ANGELICA: My family isnít as wealthy as you think. They are just more generous than others. They spend instead of save. They spend on the ones they love.

DOLORES: So then, I guess they love you. Does that answer your question?

ANGELICA: [After a while] So what happens if they donít pay? [Silence] I mean Ė do you let me go? You donít Ė you donít? [She means "kill me?"]

DOLORES: Thatís not my decision. Most likely we hold onto you. If you become too much of a liability, that could change.

ANGELICA: [Begins to cry] Oh my GodÖ

DOLORES: Just stay calm. Nothingís going to happen anytime soon. If we decide to push harder, weíll make the threat before we carry it out.

ANGELICA: Itís not fair! Iím not a bad girl, Dolores. Iím not, Iím not. I have a little brother, and I was always very kind to him. The kids used to pick on him in school, because his ears were big. Imagine! For such a small thing! He was ashamed to tell our father, who believed that boys must be tough. But when I found out, well, I went to the school which he attended to pick him up. Every day, I walked him home. I wouldnít let anybody pick on him. I threw stones at the boy who was the worst bully of all, and, in fact, one of the stones I threw hit him in the eye and they thought he was going to go blind. I got in trouble, but I didnít care. Nobody picked on my brother after that.

DOLORES: Did he grow up to be a homosexual?

ANGELICA: No! He grew up to be a very fine boy.

DOLORES: Even though his sister fought his battles for him?

ANGELICA: There were too many bullies Ė it was like a gang of wolves! They would have killed him!

DOLORES: And what does your brother do now?

ANGELICA: Heís studying art. He makes very accurate portraits. Imagine, heís only beginning high school, and heís already making incredible sketches. He made one of me that looks more like me than I do!

DOLORES: [Smiling slightly] Does he know how to plant corn and beans? How to harvest yucca and platano? Does he know how to cut sugar cane, can he feed it to a trapiche? Can he milk a cow? Can he tell a ripe coffee bean from one thatís not fit to pick?

ANGELICA: Heís studying to be an artist. Ė [Observing Doloresí face] Oh, I see, that doesnít count! Thatís a bourgeois luxury! You despise me for even mentioning it! Who needs art, when we have bananas growing in our trees? Iíll be sure, if I ever make it home, to stab every one of his pictures like the portrait of Dorian Grey! [Silence. Then, upset:] Look, I defended my brother from bullies, Iím not the worthless bitch you think I am!

DOLORES: You defended your brother. I am defending my country. I guess you understand, then, why youíre here.

ANGELICA: Itís different.

DOLORES: Youíre right. You never saw beyond your home. For you, justice was for your family only, not for your people. If you really cared, you would have joined the guerrillas. You would have accepted all Colombia as your family.

ANGELICA: What, and shoot people? No thanks. [Sings from the Beatles, Revolution:] "But if you go talking about destruction, donít you know that you can count me out?"

DOLORES: Whatís that, the language of your masters?

ANGELICA: I donít want to kill people, Dolores.

DOLORES: You donít have clarity, girl. Thatís a principle that only leads to impotence. It doesnít work here. Say you have to get to the moon or your mother is going to die, but you say, itís against my principles to use a rocket. So how are you going to get there? - How are you going to get there? You leave the dirty work of history to the brave. Bottom line is you donít care, girl. Stop pretending.

ANGELICA: I do care, more than you know! How dare you tell me who I am, and what I feel in my heart! I do care!

DOLORES: Then join us. Join the guerrillas.

ANGELICA: What, like Patty Hearst? Put on a mask and rob a bank, and then, if Iím caught, say Iím sorry? Iím sorry, but Iím too smart for that. Your Marxist ideology is like a poster thatís yellow with age, with old glue on the back. Stick it to the wall of any thinking person, and it just falls off. Itís the most boring, roundabout way to say "I hate you, I want what you have," that was ever invented. Did you ever read Das Kapital? Reading that crap is like shoving sandpaper up your ass.

DOLORES: Karl Marx knew what he was talking about.

ANGELICA: Iím sure youíre right. Iím sure you learned everything there is to know about how the world works, the same way you learned how to take a gun apart and put it back together in the dark.

Dolores only smiles, and disengages from the conversation. There is silence for a while, which Angelica finds unbearable. She doesnít want Dolores to hate her, but at the same time, she is opinionated and not submissive by nature.

ANGELICA: Marxism is a philosophy which glorifies envy, Dolores. Development doesnít happen equally. You have to have faith that whatís left behind will catch up. You develop dynamic leading sectors, and they pull the rest of the economy forward.

DOLORES: The engine of the train isnít coupled to the rest of the train, girl. If somebodyís got to wait for food on their plate, why us, why not you?

More silence. Dolores takes out a file, and begins to work on her nails.

ANGELICA: I kept my grandmother company when she was dying of cancer. [Dolores is surprised by Angelicaís new line of conversation, which is once again meant to prove her human value] It was very painful, she couldnít talk, she was coughing all the time and she didnít have the strength to do anything except to lie down on the sofa, and try to remember the good times of her life that were over. How she clung to them! There was the boy who used to ferry her across the Cauca river, before she met her husband. Alberto. She began to whisper his name, to cry it out in the night when she was no longer aware of what she was doing. I put ice on her head when she was feverish, I held her hand when the fear of dying came into her eyes. You could see the look of panic. She was in agony, but didnít want to let go. I brought her water when she was thirsty Ė just like you brought me water today. She could barely drink, she could hardly swallow. She suffered: just to swallow a mouthful of water was almost more than she could stand. Finally, they began to feed her through tubes. I held her hand, I tried to help her hold onto her humanity. [Dolores regards her] Iím not a bad person, Dolores! I donít deserve to be treated like I was some kind of terrible criminal, like I was some sick Nazi doctor who vivisected twins or gassed the Jews. [More silence] God damn it, weíre both Colombians.

Dolores pauses for a while, then goes back to filing her nails.

ANGELICA: Isnít that bourgeois?

DOLORES: These are the nails of a fighter, girl. This hand is perfect for clutching a hand grenade, this one for pulling a trigger.

ANGELICA: Is that the only kind of girl that you respect? A guerrillera? Or maybe some girl who works in a factory? Clipping flowers, or washing bananas, or sewing clothes and going blind? Exploited? Does she have to die young not to be a sinner? And what about the rest of us? Nothing but social butterflies, spoiled brats, decorations, eye candy? The ones who bake pastries for soldiers before they go out into the streets with bayonets, the ones who give blow jobs to dictators?

Silence for a while.

ANGELICA: So, how did you get into this? I mean Ė how did you become a guerrilla? Were you born in one of the encampments? Were you always a guerrilla?

More silence.

ANGELICA: They say that Indians are as silent as stone. - I thought the FARC was killing Indians. - They say you donít waste words. You donít talk with strangers. I remember the part in La Voragine when Rivera wrote that the two Indian guides were sitting alone and apart from the rest of the expedition, like two sad, gray ducks. Ė [Sings] One, little two, little three little Indians. - Jesus Christ, donít you have anything to say? - I just want to know you, Dolores, I want to know where youíre coming from, why youíre doing this! If I ever get out alive, I want to know. Maybe, I can do my part to make peace if I know whatís driven you to this!

More silence. After a while, Angelica gives up.

DOLORES: I had a family, too, once.

Angelica looks up, surprised and hopeful that she may talk, beginning to understand her captorís rhythm.

DOLORES: We started out in Cauca. Pretty much from when I can remember, there was the coca. Itís a beautiful plant - do you know it? [Angelica shakes her head NO] I picked a lot of leaves in my day, and I consider it an honor. Itís a sacred plant, though the way the world uses it is obscene. [A pause] At first, the people had mixed feelings about the guerrillas, they didnít always respect our culture. They also kept us from reclaiming lands that were ours, whenever the big landowners paid them off. They felt they had to honor la vacuna.

ANGELICA: Business before justice.

DOLORES: It isnít easy to keep a movement going for so long without the flame dying down. Revolutions are like bursts of light in history, usually they conquer the world or die; when they neither win nor lose, the fire has no choice but to become dimmer, otherwise it will burn out. The sprint is beautiful, everybody believes in it; the long-distance pace is uglier, but itís all thatís left if you want to keep on running.

ANGELICA: Youíre making excuses.

DOLORES: Iím explaining reality.

ANGELICA: But what about you, Dolores? Iím not asking about the history youíve learned in some jungle school, along with the mechanics of firing an AK-47, or crossing a river.

DOLORES: Although the relations with the guerrillas were far from perfect, the relations with the wealthy landowners and the army were worse. There was always this grasping for the land. We needed protection, and the M-19/Quintin Lame guerrillas were peanuts next to the FARC. Who would you choose to defend you, sparrows or eagles? Then, thanks to the gringos, the government began to fumigate, they had to put on a big show for the boss. They f**ked up the coca. But they f**ked up the other crops even worse, because coca is one tough son-of-a-bitch that could grow in the hole in Hiroshima. The more they sprayed, the more coca was the only way. They sprayed the fields and the people in them. I remember the day my mother, my father, and my brothers were all dizzy and vomiting because theyíd been covered with this sticky shit that was sprayed all over us like we were bugs. My sister got burns on her skin that left scars. And she could never have a baby after that. When the guerrillas sent in men with high-powered rifles who began to shoot at the fumigation planes in the sky, they made a lot of friends in our community.

ANGELICA: So you joined them because they defended the coke?

DOLORES: [After a pause] Sure.

Thereís a moment of silence.

ANGELICA: But thereís more to it, isnít there?

More silence.

ANGELICA: I know it may be personal. But here I am, tied up in a chair, at your mercy, Dolores. I deserve to know why. You and me Ė weíre connected now, forever. Destinyís tied us together with a knot. What else? [Silence] Please.

DOLORES: Paramilitaries.

ANGELICA: They came to your community?

DOLORES: They knew there were guerrillas there. Fifteen kilometers away from where we lived, thereís a vereda. They came with power saws, like the ones that are used to cut down trees. They came straight out of some god-damned gringo movie, which is where they get their ideas from, and their names, like Rambo and Van Damme. They tied up five people they accused of being with the guerrillas, and there, they cut them into pieces. And then, when they found out that one of the people they were looking for had died the week before of natural causes, they went to her grave and dug her up so they could cut her into pieces, too. And they made everybody who they did not kill watch.

ANGELICA: Thatís not true! Thatís too sick to be true! This is the kind of twisted propaganda the guerrillas feed you to make you hate and kill! Iíd kill, too, if I believed that shit!

DOLORES: You seem to have read a lot of books from the way you talk. Maybe, now, you should try reading some newspapers; or the files of the human rights organizations. This isnít a lie, Angelica, this is what your government is doing to us.

ANGELICA: Not the government! The paramilitaries!

DOLORES: Donít play dumb! You go to the university, but it seems Iíve learned more from the treetops.

ANGELICA: The government is disarming the paramilitaries.

DOLORES: Take your head out of the sand, sister! Janus Colombia has two faces. One face smiles and the other face kills. One hand holds a declaration of rights, and the other holds a knife. The paramilitaries disband, give up their guns, and go through the revolving door to form another organization, just like the one that was just dismantled. The weapons they surrendered to the army go straight back into their hands, because everybody knows that they work together. The army needs the paramilitaries to carry out the dirty work that itís not allowed to do. It pretends to hunt them down while it helps them to escape! Weíre being slaughtered like pigs, Angelica, and meanwhile, people like you are in the store, struggling to pick out the most beautiful dress from the rack.

ANGELICA: Itís not like that, Dolores. [Silence] Itís not like that at all. [More silence] Itís so hard to know where the truth really lies.

DOLORES: Itís not hard when you hear chain saws in the night.

ANGELICA: Dolores Ė the paramilitaries Ė was your family involved? [Silence. Angelica becomes alarmed] Was someone you know a victim of that massacre?

DOLORES: They were my people, Angelica. Do you think the only ones you can suffer for are your parents and your children? Is that how it is with the rich?

ANGELICA: Iím not rich, god damn it, or Iíd be out of here by now! My parents canít scrape up the god-damned money to free me! I wish I was rich! A rich son-of-a-bitch like Arboleda! [Silence] Iím sorry. This is all very upsetting. So, where is your family, now? [Senses there is something hard here] Are they all right?

DOLORES: Two brothers are with the guerrillas. One brother and three sisters, and my mother are living in the city.

ANGELICA: Which one?

DOLORES: You donít need to know that.

ANGELICA: Are they doing well?

DOLORES: Selling empanadas, assembling jewelry, repairing shoes. Is that doing well?

ANGELICA: And your father? [Silence] I love my father so much. He knows so many things. I remember the globe he bought me when I was a little girl. I placed it on my desk, I used to spin it around and look at all the countries of the world.

DOLORES: Did you ever spin your globe to Colombia?

ANGELICA: Iím sorry, Iím exhausted. Iím out of my mind from the stress of everything. Iím not like you, Dolores, Iím not that tough.

DOLORES: You never had to be.

ANGELICA: I simply couldnít be. But I was asking about your father. I donít want to seem so self-absorbed, like everything you tell me just leads back to me, like every story you tell me must be topped by one of mine. I donít want to live up to your expectations of my class. Your father, Dolores. Is he still around? [Dolores smiles bitterly] I feel a chill, like a ghost just walked into the room.

DOLORES: The ghost is in my heart. Itís why I am with the guerrillas.

ANGELICA: What happened? Iím so sorry, Dolores, what happened?!

DOLORES: Whatís the point?

ANGELICA: In telling? Stories free us, Dolores. Silence devours us.

DOLORES: Everyone loves their father. What else needs to be said?

ANGELICA: [Now genuinely affected] What happened? Please tell me.

DOLORES: He was a good man. I remember once, when I fell into the river as a child. It was off of a promontory and the water there was fast and deep. I remember how quickly he jumped in after me. He seized me like a hawk diving from the sky seizes a fish out of the water. He was always like that. He hardly spoke, except with his eyes. They said a million things. I remember many conversations he had with me, with his eyes alone. His mouth could be full, eating mango or guava, and we could still talk. He used to take me fishing with him, because he respected my patience. I thought he was eternal, like the waters we cast our lines into.

Silence.

ANGELICA: What happened?

DOLORES: Guerillas had passed through. Paramilitaries came and rounded up four of our men. Their information was inaccurate.

ANGELICA: The saws?

DOLORES: No. They did it with a 9 mm. I saw them take my father away. I heard the shots from the other side of the hill. [She chokes back tears]

ANGELICA: Iím sorry! Iím sorry, Dolores! - Iím sorry.

Dolores waves her hand as a way of gesturing to Angelica to stop.

ANGELICA: I mean it. Thatís not the kind of country I want. I mean, I donít want to be tied up here, either. But thatís not what I stand for. What they didÖ I want my country to be pure, not divided. I donít want to feel dirty about my pleasures. I donít want to have to be perfect. But I donít want to sweep all the unpleasant things under the rug either. I donít want my laughter to depend on someone elseís weeping. I want things to be better, Dolores. Do people like us have to be strangers to each other?

DOLORES: Everybody is ashamed of evil. But only a few fight against it. Words are like smoke, Angelica, a little wind scatters them, and itís like they were never there. What have you done for your people, Angelica? We Ė we are the backs on which you stand. What have you done for us?

ANGELICA: Nothing till now, Dolores. But today, Iíve listened to you, and thatís a start.

DOLORES: In one ear and out the other.

ANGELICA: I wonít choose your path, Dolores. But because I understand it, I think I may be able to make a new path - tomorrow, once I am free of these ropes with which youíve bound me: a path which is neither yours, nor the one that drove you to yours. Something in betweenÖ

DOLORES: Here, thereís no middle ground.

ANGELICA: There has to be: some place between revenge and revenge. - Donít you ever wish you could stop fighting?

DOLORES: Itís not disciplined to think that way. Itís a daydream, Angelica. People are killed by their daydreams. Guadalupe Salcedo was killed by his daydream. Carlos Pizarro was killed by his. The mountains and the jungles are not kind to those who forsake them, they are like jealous lovers that make the unfaithful pay. The ballot box is always booby-trapped with an assassin. In Mexico, Zapata came riding in on his white horse to talk about peace, and while the mariachis played, the machine guns opened fire. Here, Angelica, itís even worse. This war will last forever.

ANGELICA: Dolores! We can start to make the road to peace. Just you and I. We can begin the flight of the dove, we can pluck olive branches from the cross roads where weíve met, we can take the first step of a new nation. Weíre different Ė so different Ė but our differences can fit together!

DOLORES: You need to get some sleep, Angelica. Youíre practically hallucinating.

ANGELICA: Dolores Ė donít you feel the same?

DOLORES: Youíre scared, thatís all. Fear makes everybody think they are capable of change. If youíre falling off of a building, you think you can become a bird, if youíre drowning in the sea, you imagine you are about to become a dolphin. What good Christians everybody is during a thunderstorm! But once the lightning stops, Hell returns, stronger than ever.

ANGELICA: Donít you feel, with a few small changes, that we could be sisters?

DOLORES: You need to get some sleep, girl. Weíre as different as day and night. All I need is to untie you, and youíll be back in the middle of some shopping spree. A million people will be buried underneath your happiness.

ANGELICA: Itís not true, Dolores. You underestimate me. You donít see who I am. Your eyes canít see people, only classes, only orders.

DOLORES: Enough, girl. Donít make me gag you. Cut this crap about sisters. Youíre as bourgeois as it gets, with your books, your clothes, your car, your admirers; Iím just a god-damned montan~era who only knows how to shoot a gun. We have nothing in common except for this moment. Stop trying to turn it into more than it is.

ANGELICA: Dolores. I want you to feel what I feel. If you knew who I was, you wouldnít hate me.

A moment of silence.

DOLORES: I donít hate you, Angelica.

ANGELICA: You do!

DOLORES: I donít. To quote you, donít tell me whatís in my heart. I know whatís in there better than you do. [After a while:] I donít hate you, I just know we belong to different worlds, and theyíll never meet except in war.

ANGELICA: I donít want to accept that. Why canít we change things, Dolores? Why canít we? We donít need to wait for the rest of the country to catch up! We donít have to follow it, we can lead it.

DOLORES: [Hearing something] Shhh!

ANGELICA: What?

DOLORES: Shhh! [She draws her gun, looking towards the front.] Tiroteo! Look out the eyehole. I heard guns being loaded.

TIROTEOíS VOICE: Aurelio! Wake up! Somethingís up!

AURELIOíS VOICE: What? What is it?

ANGELICA: Whatís happening?

Dolores puts the gag over her mouth.

DOLORES: Shhh!

TIROTEOíS VOICE: I canít see anybody.

AURELIOíS VOICE: Thereís nobody in the street. All clear.

DOLORES: Theyíre already in the vestibule, you sons of bitches. I heard the clips going in.

TIROTEOíS VOICE: Sheís imagining shit. Sheís tired. Three nights ago, in the barn, she thought birds were bats.

DOLORES: Aurelio, donít let him dismiss me! Hearing doesnít have anything to do with the size of your d**k!

TIROTEOíS VOICE: Make her shut up, comrade!

AURELIOíS VOICE: Quiet, both of you! Take defensive positions. Dolores, you know your job. Thereís no way out through the back.

DOLORES: I told you this hideout was a tactical blunder!

AURELIOíS VOICE: Dolores! If weíre attacked from the front and canít fight our way out, itís up to you to finish off the prisoner. Tiroteo, move over there. Weíll set up a crossfire.

Angelica is looking up at Dolores in terror.

DOLORES: Thatís right, you heard him. If they come in with an assault team, you get popped. They have to learn, for the next time, that these kind of rescue missions donít work. Theyíll only end up losing the people they come to save. [Looks at Angelica again] Sorry, but weíre not sisters.

TIROTEOíS VOICE: [After a while] Weíre getting worked up for nothing. Thereís nobody out there.

AURELIOíS VOICE: Shhh! I hear something!

TIROTEOíS VOICE: What?

AURELIOíS VOICE: Breathing. Creaking. Damn it!

TIROTEOíS VOICE: Maybe itís rats!

AURELIOíS VOICE: Damn it! Aim for their faces, Tiroteo, we only have hand guns. Theyíre sure to have body armor. Theyíre f**king commandos. Damn it!

Suddenly, the sound of a door being kicked in, and an explosive fury of gunfire and shouts.

AURELIOíS VOICE: [Heís been hit] F**k!

A SOLDIERíS VOICE: Heís not dead yet!

ANOTHER SOLDIERíS VOICE: [Heís hit] Ahhh! Mother!

TIROTEOíS VOICE: Kill the bitch, Dolores! Now!

Dolores points the gun at Angelicaís head. Angelica is shaking her head, crying, protesting, and trying to speak through the gag.

TIROTEOíS VOICE: Now, or Iíll come in and do it myself!

DOLORES: Bitch!

Dolores points the gun over Angelicaís head and fires, then pushes her over in her chair.

TIROTEO: [Staggering back into the back room where Dolores is. He is bloody and furious.] Did you finish her? Did you finish her?

DOLORES: Sheís gone you bastard! Didnít you hear me shoot her?

Another salvo of gunfire. Tiroteo falls. Dolores assumes a firing position and exchanges gunfire with the soldiers as they enter, hitting one and being ripped by gunfire by the other. She falls. Three soldiers swarm into the room.

SOLDIER 2: [Discovering Angelica] Here she is!

SOLDIER 1: Is she alive?

Soldier 2 examines her, then takes off the gag.

SOLDIER 2: Sheís alive! Sheís alive!

SOLDIER 1: Are you all right? [Angelica is weeping] Untie her. Youíre going to be all right now, Angelica. Weíre in control here. Youíre going to be all right. By tomorrow night, you can even be at home. Are you sure youíre all right?

SOLDIER 2: Sheís all right.

SOLDIER 1: I asked her, not you!

ANGELICA: Iím OK! Iím OK!

SOLDIER 1: All right, letís get her out of here.

SOLDIER 3: [Observing that Dolores, gunned down on the floor, is still alive] Sir Ė this oneís still alive.

Soldier 1 comes over to look at her.

SOLDIER 1: Damn bitch, she killed one of ours! [He takes his weapon and points it at her on the floor]

ANGELICA: No! Donít shoot! Donít shoot!

The soldier shoots and finishes her. Angelica rushes forward and throws herself down by Doloresí body.

ANGELICA: No! You shot her!

SOLDIER 1: She would have done the same to you.

ANGELICA: No, you donít understand! Sheís my sister! She and I Ė the new Colombia!

SOLDIER 2: [Looking at Soldier 1, confused] Sir?

SOLDIER 1: Sheís been through a lot. Sometimes, they identify with their captors, itís a survival technique. Sheíll need therapy.

ANGELICA: You donít understand!

SOLDIER 1: [To soldier 2] Get her out of here. Sheís been traumatized enough. Get her into one of the cars.

They start to drag her away.

ANGELICA: Dolores! They donít understand! I wonít forget you! I know I canít make the new Colombia all by myself! You have to help me! From Heaven you have to help me!

SOLDIER 1: This one, Miss, is going straight to Hell.

ANGELICA: No, thatís where weíre living now. You and me. But thereís enough water in Heaven to put out the flames. The dead will be our firemen. From graves all over the world they will rise with no ideology other than our tears, to free us from every concept that keeps us apart, from every frailty that divides us. [Sings from the John Lennon song "Mind Games"] "Love is the answer, and you know that for sure. Love is the flower, you got to let it, you got to let it grow."

SOLDIER 1: Youíll feel better after you get some rest, Miss. Come on.

ANGELICA: Today, two rivers met, and frothing and turbulent, their waters mixed. There a whirlpool formed, and in it, I lost my ignorance, sucked to the bottom of the current. Dolores, my enemy, my sister! Thank you! From the bottom of my heart, I thank you! Together, weíll do what all the guns of the world could not!

She finally disappears, led off stage by the soldiers.

THE END

NOTES ON PRISONER BINDING:

Following is a technical note on the binding of the prisoner. Various approaches may be used. Hands and feet bound to chair; hands bound to each other and feet bound to each other, prisoner sitting loose in chair. Hands bound to each other, prisoner attached to chair by rope around the throat (leash), with feet also bound, or unbound. Etc.

Considerations for the director:

Best possibilities for dramatic movement of the actress who plays Angelica, while making it clear that she is restrained.

The binding which assures the proper level of ease (timing and pace) for disengaging the prisoner from restraints (when she goes to the bathroom).

Should the prisoner be bound to the chair as it is pushed over (in the end scene), or is that too hard on the actress? Should it be possible for Dolores to merely throw Angelica out of the chair (bound prisoner not attached to chair)?

For the tactical realist, it seems that the guerrillas would adjust the prisonerís binding to make her mobile in the end scene, so that they could take her with them if they managed to escape. But in no case must the directorís effort to inject this tactical realism into the scene lead viewers to believe that Dolores is taking off the prisonerís restraints to let her go. Either some additional dialogue could be inserted to clarify this, or else the "leash/unbound feet" arrangement of binding could be used throughout the play, in which case, Dolores would detach the leash from the chair in the end scene but hold it tightly in her hand, making it clear that it was not her intention to free the prisoner.

 

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