Time: after school, sometime in the late 90’s.
Character: GARY GOONY, 16 years old, White.
He’s either 20 pounds underweight or
20 pounds overweight.
Warm evening light rises on GARY GOONY. He plops his book bag on the ground and absorbs the view. He wears a concert tee, shorts, white shoes, black socks, and a very large handmade reproduction of a championship belt which says, in carved and choppy letters, “World Fuckin Champion.”
I’ve seen you around
and no one talks to you.
They do that here.
Some kinda…tribal test
to see if you’re a virgin
they wanna stone to death or just ignore.
Which isn’t to say you are a virgin
cuz I don’t know you that well, but…
What I mean to say is
don’t be surprised if they never talk to you.
I saw you looking at me today.
I could tell what you were thinking
because everyone does:
Why does Gary Goony’s belt say
“World Fuckin Champion”?
And maybe I’ll tell you.
But first I thought I’d take you.
To South Mountain Park
where you can see your new town.
From here, as the sun sets, you can see the
awe-inspiring beauty of the suburban desert.
Had the Indians known what we’d do to their land
they might’ve slaughtered themselves.
That’s my shitty apartment complex over there.
When they built it, waaay back in the 1970’s,
they discovered dinosaur fossils
which proved two things:
the Arizona desert was covered
with vegetation in the Jurassic Period.
everyone has always come here to die.
Speaking of wanting to die,
you can almost see our shitty high school.
And all the pieces of shits at our high school
hang out on the East side
where the aqueduct begins.
You can almost see the big
concrete cylinder near the picnic tables.
That’s where they get high
and finger bangs each other.
But there’s something you can’t see.
No one can.
You can’t see the end
of the aqueduct.
You can’t see the only place in this town
that doesn’t suck.
It’s just a parking lot. But
not just any parking lot.
It’s where the police dump automobile scrap.
Take for just one example
this Douche Bag named Steve Deebie.
Everyone called him Doobie cuz
his name kinda sounded like Doobie, and
he kinda smoked a lot of doobies.
So Doobie took out his hot rod one night
and challenged a train to a game of Chicken.
After they found his head and
matched it with his burnt up driver’s license,
the PD dumped what used to be his car
in the parking lot where the aqueduct ends.
With all the other Doobies.
Sometimes you can see
a Doobie’s blood on the windshield.
Pieces of brain and glass.
Some of the cars are so…disfigured, they’ve
twisted into something…something…
Greater than car.
Through violence they’ve become
And that’s what I see
when I close my eyes at night.
When I push out
the bass of my sister’s shitty FM radio,
when I push out
my mom’s head board against the wall
when she comes home with Dave or Vic or Jose
or all three.
When I push it out
When I push ’em all out so I can feel
pure fuckin metal: like
jagged fenders and fog lights, aluminum,
oil and blood, glass teeth, wire,
axil and bone, and it smells like Victory.
I made this belt buckle
out of the car hood of Steve Deebie’s 1982 Firebird.
Here. Let me show you somethin else.
(Reaches into his bag and unveils
a scrap of steel, cut into the shape
of a heart. He locates a woman in
the audience and gives it to her.)
I made it out of the hub cap of a ’76 Mercury Bobcat.
Read the back.
It’s an invitation kinda.
There’s this thing they do every year.
Kinda gay but I thought you’d want to…
I don’t know.
Don’t answer now.
What if I told why my belt says
World Fuckin Champion?
I’m the fuckin champion.
Of the world.
copyright © 2010 Eric Holmes. All rights reserved. ___________________________________________
Eric Holmes is an African American playwright who lives in New York City. His plays have been seen at Sonnet Rep, SS Underground, LAByrinth Theatre Workshop, and Stony Brook Playwriting Conference. His newest play, Zaina, will debut this summer.