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Indelible Indigo

a version of this script was performed in a staged reading in 2007 at El Teatro de la Esperanza, San Francisco.

 

CHARACTERS

JAMIE and AISHA, twins, thirty something.

The kitchen of JAMIE and AISHA’s dead mother. . The décor is clearly dated; the pastel floral wall paper is droopy, the undersized double ovens are pink, the electric cook top hood is caked with un-scrubbable grease.  JAMIE and AISHA are seated. Crumpled newspapers from the local real estate section, and a pile of glossy real estate guides are neatly stacked into two, 2 foot piles.  An opened letter, with its original envelope stapled to the back, is expertly propped between the paper silos.  A red designer hand bag is also on the table.  JAMIE fastidiously flips through real estate guides while AISHA stares at her purse, arms folded, looking defeated.

 

JAMIE

You looked at it yet?  Seems low to me.

 

AISHA

Not sure it matters.

 

JAMIE

6% of seven seventy five.  It matters.

 

AISHA

Hold on.  I don’t know.

 

JAMIE

Shit…  If we update this kitchen, get rid of mama’s wall paper.  Wonder if we could get a million?  Nah, no cash.  That’s the whole point.

 

AISHA

(AISHA opens her purse with a flushed wince, quickly closes it, then pushes up and away from the table.)

It’s too hot.  I’m opening the window.                                    

(AISHA begins to speak like an HGTV house makeover commentator, finger pointing at various spots in the kitchen.)

 

Double ovens.  Bosch.  Stainless steel.  Gas, no electric.  Wait.  Duel fuel.  Wolf.  No, Thermador!  And granite, no let’s get concrete counter tops, very cool.  But the contractors have to know what they’re doing.  Concrete countertops are too easy to fuck up.

 

(AISHA cracks open, then slams shut a warped window.)

 

Shit, it stinks.  What’s up with skunk’s night out?

 

JAMIE

As is, Aisha.  We’re selling it as is.  Close the window, man.  That skunk is funky.

(JAMIE hesitates)

Six more months.  That’s it.  All I got. 

AISHA

A year and counting.  Your ass is too damn picky.  That’s probably why you can’t find a muthafuckin job.  What about pounding the pavement like mama used to make us do?


JAMIE

What the shit?  Are you nostalgic for high school?  We didn’t, at least I didn’t go to Berkeley to be a Peets, wait worse than that, a STARBUCKS BARRISTA.

Maybe I should post something on Craig’s list: “Experienced Black Finance Professional, willing to do anything for money, even take out the CFO’s trash.”

AISHA

Or lick somebody’s ass.  You’ve always been good at that!

 

JAMIE

(JAMIE picks up a thickish guide from the kitchen table and throws it toward AISHA’s head.  AISHA ducks.)

 

Watch it liver lips!

AISHA

You missed sucker! 

JAMIE

I know this house could be beautiful.  I don’t want to sell it either, but…

 

AISHA

If we’re EVER going do it, now’s the time?  Jamie, shut up.  Nobody’s making anymore land, last time I checked.

 

JAMIE

Fuck-it.  We’ve had the agent’s market study for two weeks.  It’s time to sign Aisha.

(JAMIE starts to exit kitchen)

AISHA

I think Byron’s been tippin’.

 

JAMIE

Where is he anyway?

 

AISHA

Don’t know, London, traveling, somewhere, I think.  Board meeting, something, I think.

 

JAMIE

You THINK?

 

AISHA

Something’s whacked.

 

JAMIE

Speak!

 

AISHA

Selling is a mistake.  So maybe you can’t cover your mortgage with your art, but you don’t need to.  We’ve got mama’s house, the whole urban garden thing, heirloom tomatoes, arugala for salads, Japanese maples, beautiful brick patio.  Trina loves to play back there.

 

JAMIE

You’ve just articulated why this place will be devoured when it hits the market. Where’s Trina, upstairs?

 

AISHA

Sleeping.  We had a bad day.

 

JAMIE

Aisha?  We’re selling!  Byron’s carrying you, man.  All I’ve got …No, uh uh.

 

AISHA

Fuck you and the horse you rode in on.

 

JAMIE

This house is a money pit.  Let someone else pump their hopes and dreams and guts into it.

 

(JAMIE motions with his arm, looks around for something small to throw at AISHA.)

 

AISHA

Been meaning to ask you.  How’d you do in anger management class?  I dropped outta mine.

 

(JAMIE and AISHA share a prolonged laugh. AISHA’s laugh turns into a sinister cackle.)

 

I need to talk to… talk to a headhunter.

 

JAMIE

Why?  You can’t stand debits and credits anymore.  Did Byron get his notice?  That would be fucked up.

 

AISHA

I got a call from his gym.

 

JAMIE

So?

 

AISHA

Remember when you threw that radio at me.  Busted the panel off?  I don’t know how mama…  When Trina acts up, I just want to smack her.  But you know what?  I just grab her, tell her I love her…

 

JAMIE

You better not touch that girl I will kick your ass.

 

AISHA

Byron’s gym called last week about a billing refund.  I didn’t even know he stopped working out.  They canceled his membership because.  I can’t believe this fucked up shit.  Embarrassing me! What the hell am I supposed to do?  They said he lost his membership for jacking off in the locker room, said they got multiple complaints.

 

JAMIE

Son of a bitch!

 

AISHA

Do you think he’s gay?

 

JAMIE

Pleeeze, gaydar is a theoretical bullshit construct.  What the hell difference does it make what I think?

 

AISHA

I can’t stay.  Ten fucking years.  Three with a limp dick.

 

JAMIE

I don’t want to hear this crap!

 

AISHA

This is going to be tough on Trina.  She loves her daddy.  I can’t stand punk ass liars.  No-no.  We’re moving back.

 

JAMIE

Aisha, I am going to count to ten.  By the time I get to eight, you will be reaching inside that fabulous purse of yours, and find your favorite Mont Blanc.   At my count nine, you’ll put pen to paper.  At ten, you WILL SIGN THE AGENT’S LISTING AGREEMENT.  YOU GOT ME?

 

AISHA

Whatever.  Whatever you want.  Fuckin’ do it yourself.

 

JAMIE

I CAN’T LEGALLY DO IT WITHOUT YOU.  Don’t play dumb.

AISHA

Byron said he wasn’t gay today.  Said he just liked dick.  Not gay, just dick.  Now I know why its been limp.

 

JAMIE

Bullshit!

(JAMIE stares at AISHA for a period of time.  Neither of them move.  JAMIE continues, breathless.)

 

That’s fucked up.  Son of a bitch.  I knew his flirting ass…  How long has this shit been going on?

 

AISHA

Apparently, before we got married.  Fuckin’ bitch hoodwinked me.

 

JAMIE

Ten years of marriage on the down low?

 

AISHA

What is it with black men and this Down Low shit.  Calls himself an M-S-M.  He STARTED CRYING, said he didn’t want to hurt me.  After I got the call from his gym, I…  I found a file folder of jpegs on his lap top.  A bunch of naked nasty nigg…

 

(AISHA cuts herself off like a bad driver.)

 

nothing on but white socks sucking each other off.  I found one of Byron.  He was pissing on some guy’s face.  You know what he said?  He wanted to keep our family together.  Said all he ever wanted in life was to raise a family, make me happy.  I went crazy.  What the fuck?  What about me and Trina.  What about HIV?  I went off, charged the mother fucker’s head.  Scratched his face.  Then he started yellin’ like a hysterical bitch saying he hadn’t planned on leaving but since I reacted so badly he didn’t know what he was going to do.  I’m not sure Jamie, I’m not sure.  I’m not sure.  Shit, don’t be mad.  I don’t even remember how Byron’s gun got in my hand. I’m…

 

JAMIE

Shut the fuck up Aisha.  What are you saying?

 

AISHA

It’s in my purse.  Get it.  It’s in my purse.  FUCK.  Jamie, we gotta do something.

 

JAMIE

(JAMIE walks to the table.  Opens AISHA’S purse and pulls out the hand gun.  Gingerly places it on top of the letter.)

 

Did you shoot him?

 

AISHA

We can’t sell this house Jamie!

JAMIE

DID YOU SHOOT HIM?

 

AISHA

Of course.

 

JAMIE

Is he dead?

 

AISHA

Yes, I think that’s right.  Stained concrete counter tops.  A stainless steel backsplash.  I don’t know about the hood.

 

(AISHA reaches for the gun, repositions it on top of one of the two stacks, and looks at the listing agreement.  Tears it in two.)

 

JAMIE

(hundred yard dash breathless)

 

I’m asking you for the last time, is he…

 

AISHA

You know the answer.  Wait, wait, you’ll…it’s gonna be all right.  Everything is going to be all right.  Trina and I…   I’ve already brought some of our stuff upstairs.   You just need to keep working in the studio.  Maybe even move in here with us.  I’ll get the kitchen remodeled.  Get rid of these fucking warped double hung windows.  French doors, yeah French doors in the kitchen with a deck down to the garden just like mama dreamed.  She always lectured us about staying together.  Remember?  She used to say we can’t trust anybody but family.  We’re twins for god’s sake.

 

JAMIE

 

Did Trina see?

 

AISHA

I can’t believe you asked me that.  I would never hurt…

 

JAMIE

You know you need to turn yourself in.  The police are going to fuckin’ find you anyway.

 

AISHA

It was his life or mine.  I’ll be damned if I live with a punk.

 

JAMIE

Aisha, listen to me.  Remember when…

 

(JAMIE moves the gun again, puts the stacks of papers and real estate guides off the table and onto the floor.)

 

This is what we’re gonna do.  We’re gonna get help, call 9-1-1.  Aisha, he may not be dead.  We need to get help.

 

AISHA

It’s been over eight hours.  My favorite Persian rug is ruined, stinkin’ pool of red.  He’s dead alright.  He’s DEAD.  Five shots to his dick.  One to the head.

 

JAMIE

You’re right!  We can’t sell this house, not now.  So much work to do.  Tested, we’ve got to get you and Trina tested.

 

AISHA

What?

 

JAMIE

Make sure you’re clean, no HIV… There is so much work to do.  And yes, I like your idea.  French doors.  That will open this kitchen up.  Let the outside in.

 

(JAMIE reaches into his front pant pocket and pulls out his cell phone.)

 

AISHA

What are you doing?  Wait mother fucker.  You can’t call the…

 

JAMIE

Sweetie, I’m calling the agent; we’ve changed our minds.  We won’t be signing the listing agreement.  We don’t need his services.

 

(JAMIE punches three numbers, his hand shaking, forces a smile toward AISHA.)

 

AISHA

Mmm-hmm, we don’t need no fucking agent.

 

JAMIE

Honey, I’m not sure about concrete.  It’s hard to seal.  It cracks.  It’s got to be done just right.  Slowly.  Skillfully.  It’s got to be finessed.  Granite.  I think granite is a better choice.

 

AISHA

God, I knew this would make me… make us so happy.  It’s going to be just like…

 

JAMIE

Yes, I need to report an accident.  Someone’s been shot.  559 Indigo Hill.

 

AISHA

Jamie, what are you doing?

 

JAMIE

My sister, her husband.  You need to get someone out there right away.  This is no hoax.

 

AISHA

Jamie you’re making a bullshit mistake.

 

JAMIE

I’m here with my sister at our mother’s house, 1600 Ma…

 

AISHA

You can’t sell this house.  You can’t sell this house.  You said it yourself.  YOU CAN’T SELL IT.  Not without me.  Drop the phone Jamie.  Drop the GOD DAMN phone!

 

JAMIE

Sorry, yes I’m here, that’s 1600 Madrone.

 

 

(JAMIE hangs up the phone, turns and slaps AISHA with head snapping force.  JAMIE picks up the gun and begins to wipe it down with his shirt tail.  He works on it for awhile.  AISHA sits down at the kitchen table, opens her purse and motions for JAMIE to approach.)

 

(JAMIE cautiously drops the gun into AISHA’s purse.  JAMIE sits next to AISHA, bends down to get a real estate guide, opens it, and begins flipping pages.  AISHA stares at her purse, arms folded across her chest.

 

Blackout

End of Play