1980s, Los Angeles, California, An underground fight club.

Scene One  

Lenny
Sometimes there is not enough room.

David
Not enough room?

Lenny
No.

David
Come on. What is this? Please, I have to get in.

Lenny
You’ll have to come back. Try Friday.
(Lenny is closing the door.)

David
Wait, wait, please… you see… I have been looking everywhere tonight, this place is my last hope. Please, talk to Nick, he knows me. Please, I need this. I need this NOW.
(He takes a roll of twenty dollars from his pocket. His hands are trembling. Sweat keeps rolling off his face.)
Listen, I will double this… if you can find someone for me. I know it’s sudden. It… it won’t matter… I mean…really, anyone… anyone. Please.

Lenny
(He takes the money roll, and looks at David up and down.) Just wait here, I’ve got to ask. You better not fuck me on this.

David
Thank you.
Lenny closes the door.

Scene Two

David
You should see the other guy.

Lenny
Huh, the guy is in hospital now. He’s got to get half of his ear stitched back on.

David
Good for him.

Lenny
Here, use these. (He hands him a bottle of medical alcohol and some bandages.)

David
Appreciate it.

Lenny
(He pours whisky into two glasses.) How do you know Nick?

David
We had some good time together a while ago. (He takes the whisky from Lenny and drinks it all.)

Lenny
Are you fucking with me man? (He sticks his little finger out while holding the whisky glass.) You didn’t answer my question. You think that’s smart? I asked how do you know that fucker?

David
Did a little favor for him, last year, with a lawyer friend of mine. His brother Jonny introduced us.

Lenny
(Brings a bottle of whisky and sits next to David.) And how do you know Jonny?

David
Jonny works for me.

Lenny
What do you do?

David
Run a few shops here and South. (Lenny pours whisky into his glass. He drinks it.) Automobile.

Lenny
Shiiiiit. I know who you are. You are The fucking Transformer!

David
The transformer?

Lenny
Yeah, you are the guy who fucking goes crazy in the ring. I heard a lot about you. They said you are mad.

David
I am not mad. One could say I live in madness.

Scene Three

Lenny
Why don’t you go home man? You look so fucking shitty.

David
I can’t. (Pause.) Don’t you feel terrified at a night like this? You know, like all of a sudden, you live in a catastrophe, if nothing else. I would like to stay a little longer if it’s not too much trouble for you.

Lenny
I don’t understand you dickheads. I wouldn’t stay in this shit-hole for one more minute if I were some fucking rich dick like you.

David
(Silence.)

Lenny
You people don’t know shit. You think your life is miserable just because you have a little trouble with wives or employees or whatever? All that sentimental crap. Try to wear my shoes and live my life; the only peace I can get is when I am with my old lady and her little boy in a fucking tiny square room. But the phone rings. The phone always rings. I don’t fucking get to decide nothing.

David
No one gets to decide anything.

Lenny
Nick gets to decide things. At least around here. It’s just because he is better at numbers than I, so he got degrees, got luck, got promotions, and got in charge. What do I get? I get to run around like a nobody. We grew up together for fuck’s sake. He used to follow me around like a little dog. Sneaky bastard!

David
Everybody’s got troubles, I guess.

Lenny
Troubles? Life is a fucking joke. What more can I say? The story never gets old.

David
True. But something will strike. Don’t you think? Something that’s seemingly insignificant… like the straw that broke the camel’s back. And when it does, it… oh well, sometimes it comes with anesthesia if you are lucky, but that’s rare, you see, a lot of times it doesn’t. So there is always insomnia; where you just sit there, you just sit, you sit and sit and sit, you sit and that’s all.

Lenny
That’s some fucked up shit man. You sound like a lunatic. You know that?

David
I’ve never known anyone to be perfectly sane.

Lenny
I don’t care about that shit that goes around in your head. People got all kinds of shit. Who knows what’s going on with them. I never understand you nuts. Nick does some shitty things too, ever since he was little. Who the fuck knows what’s going on.

Scene Four

Lenny
There was a pit.

David
Near the abandoned house?

Lenny
Yeah. We biked around and we just fucking liked the place because it’s got a big pit next to it. A fucking awesome pit, you know, with some trash, small wood pieces, tires and stuff. We liked to play in there. Me, Nick, and Lizzy. It’s fun to go down to the ground and no one could see you.

David
It certainly is.

Lenny
We always biked there that summer. We dug into the pit and Nick got some rope so we started to make a ladder. For a while it was so fucking fun. Lizzy was so good at making the ladder. We kept digging and digging; when the pit got deeper it was so nice. That was a hot summer but it was cool in the pit. We sure spent a loooot of time in there.

David
And your parents didn’t worry about you?

Lenny
They didn’t give a shit about what we did. Lizzy was always the one getting us to go there; after her father had a few glasses she was too afraid of him, I guess. He was a real piece of shit. She didn’t wanna go home a lot of times, you know. So we stayed together. Sometimes she would show us the bruises on her legs and stomach. She said her mom got some too.

David
No one informed the police?

Lenny
You think they gave a shit? We didn’t have enough money to get their attention! Nick was the one who kept saying we got to do something. He asked me to get a knife for him.

David
Did you?

Lenny
No fucking way. Didn’t I tell you he is nuts? I lifted one from an old man, and I kept it. But Nick was always talking to Lizzy about some crazy shit. He’s got plans to get to the fucking drunky. Lizzy was scared, and she didn’t want to. I mean it was her father for god’s sake.
(He drinks another glass.)
So one day I biked to the pit. I saw from far away that Nick was arguing with Lizzy. At first I thought they were gonna go down to the pit, but they just fucking stood there arguing. Then Nick was trying to push Lizzy away and pick his bike up from the ground. I rode as fast as I could, and I yelled, Nick, Lizzy… Nick! But nobody heard m. Lizzy fell into the pit.

Scene Five

David
Is he still visiting her?

Lenny
He fucking better… goes to the hospital, pays the bills, and he sits there like a fucking idiot. What’re you gonna do? Lizzy is never gonna wake up anyways. He ran away, that fucking coward! I tried to carry her out of the pit but I didn’t know how. I had to use both my hands to hold on to the ladder. It was so fucking pointless! By the time they got her out I felt numb. Swear to God. I couldn’t feel a thing.

David
God? God doesn’t look after you! Or Lizzy! Or anyone! No one looks after anyone. You get through the day on your own and that’s it!

Lenny
What’s got into you man…

David
It’s heroic to get through the day, don’t you see?

Lenny
Yes. Yes. You are right.

David
I killed a man.

Lenny
When?

David
Three months ago.

Lenny
Where?

David
A junkyard. They’ve got a temporary fighting area, and I stayed a bit longer after everyone left… like always… I needed to calm myself down. At least… I thought no one stayed but me.

Lenny
Then what happened?

David
This guy just came from nowhere. He tapped me on my shoulder. I grabbed a metal bar and hit him in the head… it was all immediate… subconscious. I didn’t even realize it.

Lenny
Why did you react so badly?

David
I have problems with sudden physical contact.

Lenny
And why is that?

David
(Silence.)
I was molested by a priest when I was little. My parents didn’t believe me.

Lenny
(Silence.)
What did you do after you hit the man?

David
I ran.

Lenny
What about the body?

David
I went back in the morning. The body was gone.

Lenny
You are ok then, somebody must took care of it. No one wants trouble, I guess.

David
(Silence.)
I am a killer.

Lenny
So what?

David
(Silence.)

Lenny
You should try to get some sleep. I’ve got a room here for you. Come on.

End of Play.

 

 

Li Zeng’s short play Another Round won second prize in the Sixth Annual School of Visual Arts Writing Program Contest. Li is a senior majoring in Fine Arts.