This monologue is in fact a short story which I have edited and reduced into a workable piece for performance. This short narrative tells the story of a simple-minded orphan American boy named Macario, who tells what he sees. In the telling of the story, Macario debunks many of the traditional beliefs and myths about Mexican Society. In the story there are three characters: the Godmother, a figure of authority, from whom all aspects of human goodness have been removed; Felipa, Macario’s nurse, who is totally giving and natural in her expression of human qualities; and the boy Macario, who is the middle figure, placed between the two women of opposite character.
As the story opens Macario is sitting, with a plank-type board in his hand, waiting to smash to smithereens unsuspecting victims (frogs), which hop out of the sewer breaking the night-time silence with their croaking noises. The murder of frogs is not an activity that particularly appeals to Macario. He is merely following the orders of his Godmother, who is annoyed by their racket. As Macario waits for his victims to appear he reveals to us the details of his present situation.
Sitting by the sewer, Macario reminisces aloud. He speaks first of his Godmother. The picture he creates for us is of a cold repressive figure who controls him by inducing fear. Macario then tells us of his major character defect which is his insatiable appetite. This behavior is considered by his Godmother to be sinful. Godmother instills a fear of God in the boy hoping to correct this sinful behavior. There are other activities which Macario engages in that Godmother strongly disapproves of, the most offensive being head-banging. When Macario is frightened he likes to bang his head against hard objects. Godmother says he does this because he is full of devils and that he will be damned to hell for doing this. Because Macario is in many ways an “innocent” he trusts her. He believes all that she tells him.
Macario then begins to reminisce about Felipa, his nurse. Felipa seems to understand his need for extra nourishment. She often gives him her portion of food. When Macario was younger, Felipa would secretly nurse him at night. She would lie beside him and allow him to suck the hot sweet milk from her breast, giving him comfort until the night had passed.
The conflict in the story is expressed as an inner-struggle that arises from two very powerful fears that dominate Macario’s thinking. The first one is an exaggerated fear of death instilled in the boy by his Godmother. Over the years, she has reinforced this fear by her attempt to control the boy’s aberrant behavior. At night the boy lies awake, waiting for death and the life of eternal damnation that accompanies death when it comes. Macario can only imagine what such a life would be like, but it has to be less horrible than what he experiences in reality when he leaves the protection of his home and ventures out-of-doors during the daytime. When Macario is spotted on the street by the towns people, they assault him with rocks, leaving him with a bruised and bleeding body. Therefore it is easy to understand why Macario prefers the miserable existence of his bedroom, with its imagined terrors to the reality of his life in the world outside his home.