Footnote to Youth

November 23, 2017 General Studies

FOOTNOTE TO YOUTH: SCRIPT NARRATOR: Dodong thought to himself he would tell his father about Teang when he got home. He was hesitant about saying it, but he wanted his father to know. DODONG: I will tell it to him. I will tell it to him. Dodong thought of his age, seventeen. Dodong started homeward, thinking how he would break his news to his father. He wanted to marry, Dodong did. He had pimples on his face, the down on his upper lip already was dark–these meant he was no longer a boy. He was growing into a man–he was a man. In the cool sundown he thought wild dreams of himself and Teang.

Teang, his girl. She had a small brown face and small black eyes and straight glossy hair. How desirable she was to him. She made him dream even during the day. It was dusk when he reached home. The petroleum lamp on the ceiling already was lighted and the low unvarnished square table was set for supper. His parents and he sat down on the floor around the table to eat. They had fried fresh-water fish, rice, bananas, and caked sugar. (Dodong eats rica, fish, and caked sugar. Then his mother goes out to wash the dishes while his father sucks on his diseased tooth. ) DODONG: I will marry Teang.

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NARRATOR: There it was, what he had to say, and over which he had done so much thinking. He had said it without any effort at all and without self-consciousness. Dodong felt relieved and looked at his father expectantly. His father looked old now. DODONG: I am going to marry Teang. NARRATOR: Dodong was uncomfortable and then became angry because his father kept looking at him without uttering anything. DODONG: I will marry Teang. I will marry Teang. I asked her last night to marry me and she said… yes. I want your permission. I… want… it…. FATHER: Must you marry, Dodong?. You are very young, Dodong. DODONG: I’m… seventeen.

FATHER: That’s very young to get married at. DODONG: I… I want to marry… Teang’s good girl. FATHER: Tell your mother. DODONG: You tell her, tatay. FATHER: Dodong, you tell your inay. DODONG: You tell her. FATHER: All right, Dodong. DODONG: You will let me marry Teang? FATHER: Son, if that is your wish… of course… NARRATOR: There was a strange helpless light in his father’s eyes. For a while, Dodong even felt sorry for him about the diseased tooth. Then he confined his mind to dreaming of Teang and himself. Sweet young dream… ***Dodong stood in the sweltering noon heat, sweating profusely, so that his camiseta was damp.

He was afraid, he felt. Afraid of the house. Afraid also of Teang. (Teang screams continuously until she calms down a little. ) MOTHER: Come up, Dodong. It is over. (Silence) MOTHER: Dodong. Dodong. (Silence) FATHER: It is a boy. (Silence) MOTHER: Dodong, you come up. You come up. Dodong, Dodong. DODONG: I’ll come up. (Dodong comes up. ) DODONG: Teang? FATHER: She’s sleeping. But you go in. (Dodong reaches for his son. ) * * * Blas was not Dodong’s only child. Many more children came. For six successive, years a new child came along. Dodong did not want any more children, but they came. It seemed the coming of children could not be helped.

Dodong got angry with himself sometimes. Teang did not complain, but the bearing of children told on her. She was shapeless and thin now, even if she was young. She cried sometimes, wishing she had not married. She did not tell Dodong this, not wishing him to dislike her. Yet she wished she had not married. Not even Dodong, whom she loved. There has been another suitor, Lucio, older than Dodong by nine years, and that was why she had chosen Dodong. Lucio had married another after her marriage to Dodong, but he was childless until now. She wondered if she had married Lucio, would she have borne him children.

Maybe not either. That was a better lot. But she loved Dodong. One night, as he lay beside his wife, he rose and went out of the house. (Dodong stays silent while looking into the moon light, then comes back inside. Blas will enter the house. He cannot sleep. ) DODONG: Blas, why won’t you go to sleep? BLAS: I just can’t. DODONG: You better go to sleep. It is late. BLAS: Itay … DODONG: Yes Blas? BLAS: I am going to marry Tena. She accepted me tonight. (Dodong stays still. ) BLAS: Itay, you think it over. I love Tena and… I want her. DODONG: Come to the backyard with me. (Dodong and Blas go out. DODONG: You want to marry Tena. BLAS: Yes. DODONG: Must you marry? BLAS: I will marry Tena. (Dodong keeps silent. ) BLAS: You have objections, Itay? DODONG: Son… n-none… NARRATOR: But deep inside, Dodong did not want Blas to marry yet. He prayed hard to God for help to stop Blas from marrying. But he was helpless. He could not do anything. Youth must triumph now. Love must triumph now. Afterwards, it will be life. As long ago Youth and Love did triumph for Dodong. And then Life. Dodong looked wistfully at his young son in the moonlight. He felt extremely sad and sorry for him.


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