Playwrite Frank Gagliano

CONERICO WAS HERE TO STAY
by Frank Gagliano

Scene 2: The same.
YAM, alone. At the poster.


YAM

“Conerico Was Here To Stay.” . . . .That one keeps attracting me like a beauty mark. . . . My God, what assurance! Large letters. Looks like it was written with a magic marker and— . . .Now, there. . .I know what a magic marker is. . .And see! The letters were written—how?
. . .Ah! As one writes a message on a tree—with a knife!

(Using the pointed end of
the umbrella, he slowly
traces out the gauging.)

C-O-N-E-R-I-C-O-W-A-S-H-E-R-E T-O-S-T-A-Y. . .

(Steps back.)

That took time. Yes, Conerico was not afraid to stand here and gouge his message out. . .slooooowly. . . viiiiiiciously—yes! viciously! —Conerico was daring someone to stop him. My God, there’s a dare in every letter and—Hmmm. . . . That’s strange. The first three words are in one style: “Conerico Was Here.” Then the last two words —”to stay?” —are different. Clear, but more slanted. Different. . . . something . . . —AH!!! yes, by god! —See what Conerico did? —He wrote those last two words WITH HIS LEFT HAND! Yes! I’m sure of it! God, what audacity. WHAT CAJONES, CONERICO!

(A tapping is heard. YAM, frightened,
sits down on the bench and doesn’t move.