Excerpt From my play “Cyclops”

Art by Noah Mann-Engel

“Sadness”. Art by Noah Mann-Engel

[Scene: A field of peppers near a town in rural Valencia. There is a barn and a wagon piled with sacks of peppers. Two people, one old man, one young woman, are bent over picking peppers together]


Carlos: I think we will end up doubling our yield, at least, over last year. And Espelettes are popular in the trade market. I love the smell of the dirt. It is familiar.


Eulalia: It’s not at all familiar to me. I had never thought of myself as a farmer, never even planted a flower, before this past season. I was always in town, with my father, hawking his silver pieces.


Carlos: He was a silversmith, your father?


Eulalia: He was. A good one. Made the cases of pocket watches and cigarette cases mostly, but he would sell his more artistic pieces, the moldings and the engraved rings, at least twice a week, out in the market. It was just me and him most days and that was fine.


Carlos: So you were assigned a farming trade against your will? That does not seem like the act of an anarchist…


Eulalia: No, you misunderstand; I chose a farmers trade. I wanted to be away from the market.


Carlos: It bothered you


Eulalia: The men were all hard working, or so it seemed, but half or more colluded to keep prices high, and my father was at the head of a craft union that would not hire socialists or radicals. It was something that made me hate my father, and I think he hated himself.


Carlos: That’s the way of the market I suppose


Eulalia: Yes. He went bankrupt a few years ago when the silver market imploded. Or so he says. I think he just spent too much of his money on his mistresses. Either way we were suddenly poor. So instead of marrying some idiot middle aged merchant I and popping out 6 children I chose to be a farmer. I am still only 18, so I can afford the time to struggle a bit in learning my new trade. I just want to be of some use. Conning status starved men of their meager wages was not something I was prepared to settle for.

Carlos: You don’t sound like a radical


Eulalia: I don’t think I ever said I was a radical


Carlos: if you are against the Nationalists, you are a radical.


Eulalia: Then I am a radical. I am not a dogmatist though.

Carlos: Not much dogma in picking peppers.


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