GOOD PEOPLE (any gender, mid to late teens)
The... uh, you know the gang is doing a kinda door to door "hi, we're in the neighborhood" thing. We're just trying to be friendly, be respectful. So here I am.
It's Mr. Harris, right? I have homeroom with Jake Harris, we do the chess club together, too. We're actually friends, kinda. I don't know if he's told you about me but...
My name is Alex, my folks ARE part of gang and the gang IS part of the neighborhood now-- that just what I'm supposed to be telling people. So I just thought you should know that we're not into making any trouble. People like my ma and pa, they just do things differently than maybe you do. But that doesn't make them bad people, Mr. Harris.
You know they saved my life? When I was a baby, my real ma, she was in the gang and you know she tried to get ridda me? She put me in the trash and was gonna leave me there. The rest of the gang found out and you better believe they set her straight before they kicked her out. Her sister and brother in law, they lead the gang and they took me in and...
I mean, I don't really have it so bad, right? I got clean clothes, I got food, I go to school, I play a pretty good game of chess. The gang isn't bad people, Mr. Harris. But-- and I'm sorry, I'm not trying to disrespect you-- but we kinda heard YOU'RE calling us bad people. That you want us out of the neighborhood.
But I think we're just like YOU, I mean everybody's got their problems. Sometimes the gang, we gotta do stuff against the law to feed ourselves. That's all. And maybe to YOU that's a problem but I think a lot of other people would say that JAKE has a problem if... if they heard about his little habit.
And you don't look too surprised, when I say that, right?
And I'm really sorry that your family has to deal with that but, like YOU deal with it, don't you? You don't think the cops have to be called, or maybe tipped off, you don't think Jake needs to be sent away, you don't think YOU need to be punished for keeping quiet about it, right?
So maybe, I don't know, maybe we can just... let each other have problems but not give each other MORE problems? We're all good people, right?
Copyright 2016 by Matt Haynes. If you would like to use this piece, please credit: "Courtesy of Matt Haynes and The Pulp Stage"