‘Bronx River Road.’ It’s written in screenplay format.

Int. one room dwelling – Jamaica – morning

Steve, a 4-year-old Jamaican boy, sleeps in a small bed with his mom. Something painful pricks him and he wakes up.

THOUGHT STREAM

Oww! I hate this kaya mattress. Why do we have to sleep on a mattress made of coconut husk? It always prickin’ me!

(sees audience, whispers)

Good morning. My name is Steve. I’m 4 years old, and this is my mommy. We live in one small room on top of the church and sleep on a likkle likkle bed against the wall.

Steve looks at his mom in bed, asleep beside him. He hesitates and then puts his arm around her.

MOM

Take yu han’ offa me! Why you always tryin’ to hug me up?

THOUGHT STREAM

I wish mummy would give me a hug sometimes.

A lizard CROAKS. Steve cowers.

Oh, there’s a big brown croaking lizard crawling up the wall! The green ones stay outside, but the brown ones like to be inside. Mummy says they only eat ants, but they’re long and scary.

MOM

(sighs, gets up)

Steve, time to get out of bed.

STEVE

Mummmmy….I want to pee mummy.

MOM

What am I supposed to do about that? Yu want to pee in my mouth? You know where the chamber pot is.

STEVE

Yes mummy.

MOM

Time for prayers.

Steve

Mummy, when daddy coming?

Mom

I don’t know Steve. Kneel down and clasp your hands and close your eyes.

(waits for Steve)

Thank you mighty Jesus for giving us yet another day……

TS

I hate all this praying. I wish daddy would come early to push me on my new tricycle he bought me yesterday. It’s red and white and it has his name on it: “Junior.” He said one day my legs will be long enough for my feet to reach the pedals.

Steve

(opens eyes and looks out the window)

Ouuch!

mom

Close ya eyes.

ts

Mummy’s always pinching me. How she know my eyes are open if her eyes not open?

MOM

……You could’ve taken us in our sleep, but you were merciful instead. We ask you to continue to cover us under your blood, In Jesus name. Amen.

TS

Finally! I rush to the window. Mummy goes downstairs to make breakfast on a wood fire out in the yard.

MOM

Come eat yu breakfast.

Steve

Mummy I want to see when daddy comes through the gate.

mom

Forget about your father, eat your breakfast before it gets cold. I made your favorite, fried plantains.

Steve

Is daddy riding his bicycle mummy?

mom

Steve, listen to me. Junior not coming to see you.

STEVE

Why not mummy?

mom

Yu father went to America.

Steve

America? But America is far. When is he coming back?

mom

I don’t know Steve. To tell you the truth, I don’t even know if he’s coming back.

Steve

But he said he would push me on my tricycle today. Why did he leave?

mom

Will you stop asking me all these questions and hurry up and drink yu chocolate tea? Don’t you know I have to go to work? And I want you to dust the church benches spic and span this morning.

Steve

Yes Mummy.

mom

A don’t want you to leave not even a speck of dust on them.

Steve

Yes mummy.

mom

Alright, I’m gone to work. Don’t give any trouble today.

STEVE

Yes mummy.

int. church – continuous

Steve cleans benches in the church.

TS

I hate cleaning these benches. Mummy and the other church sisters are always making me do something for them. They call it chores. I call it child slavery. I wish my dad took me with him to America. I hurry and finish cleaning the benches.

(walks out)

Time to ride my newwwww tricycle.

(smiles)

Junior! Maybe daddy can push me in America one day.

Steve pushes himself on the tricycle while he steers and makes car sounds.

TS

What is that huge piece of tin? I’m going too fast to avoid it.

(turns sharply)

The tricycle flips over and I crash onto the tin. It collapses and I fall into a big, black hole. The tricycle falls in with me. I land, plop in this mooshy greenish brown stuff. I’m up to my knees in it. The tricycle is next to me. I’m sinking in it. Where am I?

(beat)

The wall is moving. No, thousands of drummer cockroaches are moving on the wall. I can hear them crawling over each other.

Steve

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

ts

They all start flying around.

(bat away roaches, sniff)

It’s so stink in here.

(realization)

I’M IN THE DOODU PIT! It’s deep like from here to the ceiling times 2, and wide like from over there to over there, and it’s full of poop! Everybody’s poop from the churchyard. Holy crap!

Steve

Tek mi out. Somebady tek mi out!

Sister Henry

Oh Jesus! Steve drop in the doodu pit.

Steve

Tek mi ooooooouuuuuut! Somebady tek mi out. I’m sinking!!!!

ts

I’m up to my waist in poop. I’m sitting in everybody’s poop. I can see toilette paper mixed with the green/brown poo.

Steve

Tek mi ooooooooooooooooout!

ts

I can see the square hole I fell through. The sky is blue blue blue. I hear a bunch of people running around. Sister Henry is staring down at me.

sister henry

Somebody soon come for you. Call Brother Claire, Steve drop in the doodu pit.

ts

I keep sinking. I’m up to my chest in mooshy, slushy stinky poopoo. I watch my tricycle disappear. My feet couldn’t even touch the pedals and I’m going to drown in poo.

Steve

Somebady tek mi ooooooouuuuut! Tek mi oooooouuuuuut quick!

Brother claire

Alright, stop di cryin! The more you cry, is the more you move. And the more you move, is the more you sink! Hold on to the cloth!

ts

I’m trying to stop crying, but I can’t wipe my eyes or my nose. There is poop all over my hands and arms. I hold on to the cloth and begin to rise. I’m going up out of the pit, with everybody’s poop all over me.

Steve

What about my tricycle?

brother claire

Just hold on tight and forget about that tricycle.

ts

I’m going back through the hole I fell through. I’m back on dry land. All the church sisters are here. I’m not going die.

MOM

Steve!

TS

(turns and see Mom)

Jesus! Mummy is here too, I’m going to die.

mom

Why you always give so much trouble?

ts

Mummy grabs me by the ear.

Steve

Ooooooooou!

MOM

Thank you Brother Claire, thank you so much. This troublesome little boy owes his whole life to you.

brother claire

Is not me Sister Gene, is the Lord yu have to thank for that. Believe you me, it could have been much much worse.

mom

Praise the Lord.

ts

Mummy twists my ear and marches me over to the cistern in the yard. She puts a hose on the pipe and starts to spray me down from a distance.

mom

Tek off your clothes.

ts

I do what she says.

(takes off clothes)

She mixes Jays, Dettol, Pine Sol and Lysol in a bucket of water and scrubs me down.

Steve’s mother scrubs him down with a rag.

mom

Didn’t I tell you not to give any trouble today? Go get a switch from the tamarind tree.

steve

But mummy I was just riding the tricycle!

mom

A said to go and find something for me to beat yu wid!

Steve starts to cry as he walks slowly to the tamarind tree.

TS

Why do I always have to go get something for her to beat me with? It doesn’t make any sense!

MOM

Hurry up! Is that how slow you were walking when you drop inna di doodu pit with the tricycle?!

Steve’s mother hisses her teeth.

ts

I stop where I am and she rushes past me. She comes back with some branches from the tamarind tree.

mom

Why, are, you, so, trou, ble, some, Ay? WHY? Yu know yu could, a, dead, in here, today?

STEVE

I wasn’t giving any trouble, mummy. I was…

mom

Look, what, happen, to, di, nice, nice, tri, cy,cle, yu fau, tha, buy, for, you.

Sister henry

Sista Gene, don’t beat him, after what he just went through. Don’t beat him Sista Gene.

mom

Sister Henry, the bible says, spare, not, the, rod, and, spoil, the, child. I’m doing this so he can learn right from wrong. Put down yu hands, Steve! I said put down you hands! You, love to play too much. Do, you know, how, much, you, made, me, worry, about you?

Steve

Woii mummy! Woii mummy! Mi not doing it again. Ay, yes mummy. Mummy, mummy mummy!

mom

Don’t, mummy, me. Stop the screaming! And speak proper English. I’m not going to do it again.

Steve

Woiii mummy! Woiii mummy! mi naw do it again.

Steve cries and then falls silent.

TS

It’s not like I fell in the poop on purpose.

(beat)

Daddy, why did you leave? I almost died today. Can you come and get me so I can live with you? And can you buy me a new tricycle?

(beat)

Over the years, I write to daddy all the time, but he never writes me back.

(beat)

Everyday I hate mummy more and more. Last week she caught me playing with my friend’s wooden dominoes and gave me one of the worst beatings ever. She said I was playing with tools of the devil. After that they prayed for me in church. They pray about everything! One time I couldn’t go poop and they prayed for me.

Bishop Brown shakes as he places his hand on Stefhen’s head.

bishop

Heavenly father, you told us to suffer the children to come onto thee. You see the situation dear Lord, Likkle Stevie cyant go to the toilette. We ask that you bless him with a bowel movement dear Lord, in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.

sister henry

Doola Sooola makooola. Salla malla matoola. Answer prayer Lord!

bishop

In the name of the son and of the holy spirit, free the bowels of this innocent child. Free them. Free them! Hallelujah.

TS

When am I going to leave this place? Why me? Why did I have to be born in this?

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14 Responses to ‘Bronx River Road.’ It’s written in screenplay format.

  1. Rosemarie says:

    Look Steve, you had a choice. You never should have gone to the latrine/doodo pi without direction. I hope the beating kept you permanently away from the doodo pit. Tell me, why would anyone in their right mind ask a child to fetch something that is gooing to inflict pain.? Guess it is a W.I thing. Look where it got you, a college degree, a beautiful wife and the gift of writing! LOL.

    • blackpassenger64 says:

      But just think, I could’ve have drownrf in this holy pool of shit. actually, before drowning in the doodu, i would’ve died of a heart attack from those big drummer roaches. thats why i have roach phobia now. give me vicious hungry lions any day. but the sight of a dead cockroach will send me jumping in oncoming traffic. I’ll blog the other segment in a few days. Its only about 70 pages, a one and a half-hour show, so there are about 5 more sections to post.

  2. Rosemarie says:

    On a more serious note, you do have a gift. I enjoyed reading it.

  3. OMG!!! And the praying continues…I would love to see this mounted on stage!!!! So unbelievably graphic. I was transported. I want more,,, please load more soon,, please.

    • blackpassenger64 says:

      i will as soon as i get back from camping on Monday. Its only 70 pages, an hour and a half show, I have about 6 more segments to post.

  4. Donna Goodson says:

    Steve, I really enjoyed this, looking forward to more.

  5. Don Reed says:

    Hey Steve, story moving very nicely. My Father (the pimp from EAST 14TH) had an Aunt — My Aunt Berda (who had dementia) claimed her sister died in a Pit of Sh*t! But, I just kinda pictured this dirty pit. Your experience of actually BEING IN THERE was so graphic – I could barely breath. I think I was holding my breath as I read.

    shine foward my brotha in writing,

    Don

    • blackpassenger64 says:

      Thanks man. Coming from you that means a great deal. You may not be able to attend the readings, but I will post the remainding 60 pages in 10 page increments. Look out for them. Hope to see you at the show.

    • blackpassenger64 says:

      yo yo yo yo yo yo, thanks man. many many thanks.

  6. sonja stoikovska says:

    You did good Boo! No ,I mean great! I been telling you , you are gifted and talented, Mmmm, me thinks a stage production is in da air…., maybe a movie????
    .lol Sochan

  7. Yamato_kev says:

    Hai! Hai! Sono mama!

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