GLEAH POWERS

La Cigueña

 

click on photo of Two Women to enlarge

  (Download pdf here)

 

Synopsis

 

La Cigueña is a short, three-part play that charts the relationship of two female friends from their teenage years to their forties. They each deal with the anger and pain of growing up in their own way. Bobbi is a sensitive artist who turns inward trying to understand life's meaning. Arlene attempts to avoid her pain through sex, alcohol, material possessions and men.

In this excerpt, the third part of the play, Bobbi and Arlene haven’t seen each other for twenty years. Arlene’s inter-racial marriage has dissolved and she is seeking solace in the company of women. Bobbi is now a working artist. (running time: 25 minutes)

Excerpt

Bobbi is in town visiting Arlene in her small condo, decorated in an inexpensive southwestern style. Smokey Robinson music from the 70s is playing.

 

      (BOBBI and ARLENE hug.)

     

ARLENE

I’m glad I saw you at the reunion and that you came over. You’re probably still mad at me.

 

BOBBI

Probably, but I like to have closure.

     

      (BOBBI crosses her legs.)

 

ARLENE

You look the same.

 

BOBBI

Well, good. I'm supposed to look the same.

 

ARLENE

I'm still hanging in there. I was just looking through the yearbook, and I couldn't find you in the senior pictures. Then I remembered you were a year behind me.

 

BOBBI

I don't have mine anymore. I think I threw it out, trying to get rid of my past.

 

ARLENE

And now it's all coming back.

     

      (ARLENE points to herself and laughs.)

 

Want to stay for dinner? Did you bring your bathing suit? I thought we could sit in the sun for a while and then have a barbecue out on the patio. I bought some ribs.

 

BOBBI

 I don't do sun anymore, and I don't eat meat.

 

ARLENE (lights a cigarette.)

Well, how about a drink?

 

BOBBI

Some herb tea would be great.

 

ARLENE

I'm not sure I have herb tea.

 

BOBBI

 Just water then.

 

      (ARLENE gets out the ice.)

BOBBI

 No ice.

 

ARLENE  (brings BOBBI the water.)

That's it?

 

BOBBI

 I don't drink anymore.

 

ARLENE

 I guess a lot of things have changed.

 

BOBBI

 Yeah.

 

      (BOBBI puts her water glass on the coffee table and notices a small clay bird.)

 

 Oh, you still have that little bird I made in high school. It's the only one I ever made. I'd really like to have it.

     

      (BOBBI picks up the bird.)

 

ARLENE

 I don't know. I've kept it all this time.

 

      (ARLENE nonchalantly takes the bird from BOBBI and puts it back on the table.)

 

I was really surprised to hear about your grandmother. I was sure she'd live forever.

 

BOBBI

 I know.

 

ARLENE

 I liked her.

 

BOBBI

Crazy as she was, I always felt she loved me in a way my mother didn't or couldn't.

 

ARLENE

 How'd she die?

 

BOBBI

Nobody knows for sure. Her will said she didn’t want an autopsy or a funeral. According to my mother, she went to the hospital one day when her air conditioning went out. It was 110 degrees outside. She was afraid of getting dehydrated. The doctor said she was fine when he examined her. She died an hour later. She left all the money to my aunt. Boy, is my mother pissed.

 

ARLENE

I tried to find your paintings, the Kachina dolls you sent for Ollie's room when he was a baby. You said you wanted them back some day.

 

BOBBI

How is my godson?

 

ARLENE

Oh, he’s so handsome, six foot two. He's been dating a beauty queen. He's going to school, living with his father and the new girlfriend.

     

      (ARLENE curls her lip.)

 

I wanted out, anyway. After I went to a channeler, Frenchy called me a witch. He thought I was putting a spell on him. He started feeling sick and the doctors couldn't find out why.

 

BOBBI

Did you put a spell on him? I remember your mother used to think she could do that.

 

ARLENE

She's been setting me up on blind dates with overweight men with money. They're disgusting. She says I'm lucky to have a second chance.

 

BOBBI

And they're all white and Catholic.

 

ARLENE

Of course. Remember that time we took acid and we couldn’t stop laughing for 14 hours? And we got those astrology printouts from the mall, and I had to stop you from jumping off the parking structure because you thought you could fly.

 

BOBBI

And then we went up into Superstition Mountain to burn those printouts, to symbolically burn our old selves. They gave us rtwo copies, and you wouldn't burn both of them. You said you'd better hang onto half of your old self just in case.

     

      (They laugh)

ARLENE

You know me better than anyone, Bobbi.

 

BOBBI

Yeah, you haven’t always acted that way.