Black Short Stories : That’s My Story & I’m Sticking to It

Roxanne

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Oct 13, 2001
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Black in my Mind
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That’s My Story & I’m Sticking to It

Characters

Mr. James-50 something Black Male; Inmate at County Jail facility

JoAnn Cofield- Public Defender assigned to represent Mr. James

Setting: County Jail Interviewing Room. Wide table with one chair on both sides. Mr. James is seated at the far end of the table. He is dressed in County detention orange pants and shirt. DOC stamped on front. (Department of Corrections)

JoAnn:

Mr. James? JoAnn Cofield.

(Extends hand to shake Mr. James hand. Mr. James looks straight without moving)

Mr. James:

I don’t shake hands.

JoAnn:

(JoAnn retracts hands) Okay, but I’m on your side. trust me. (Pulls chair out and sits. Places papers and folders down on table)

Mr. James

Can’t say that I can. Trust you that is. People don’t wash their hands no more. Hell, they got hand sanitizers at all these County Jail, peepholes they call interviewing rooms. Y’all nasty ***** still don’t even use those. So, (looks directly at JoAnn) I don’t shake hands

JoAnn:

Understandable. Well I’m JoAnn Cofield assigned to your case by the Public Defender’s…

Mr. James

You mean Public PRETENDER’s Office?

JoAnn:

Yes, we’ve been known to be referred to as that. However, I assure you I will represent your case as well as you allow me to assist.

JoAnn:

(slides business card towards Mr. James. Opens up folder and begins scanning reports)

Now, Mr. James it seems you have quite a few challenging and serious charges here.

Mr. James

I don’t know how.



JoAnn:

Two counts of Assault.

Mr. James

Assaulted Who?

JoAnn:

Two counts of Aggravated Assault. One count of Terrorist Threats.

Mr. James

Maaaaannnnn, you picked up the wrong file. (leans over the table to look at reports)

JoAnn:

And one count of Assault with a Deadly Weapon.

Mr. James

Deadly Weapon?! When did I have deadly weapon!

JoAnn:

( Looks up from the report) Mr. James you ran your car over the curb, up on a man’s lawn, until you had him pinned to the side of his home.

Mr. James

Okay, so his lawn might be dead, but did he die?

JoAnn:

Well no but…

Mr. James

( Throws hands up in the air) Exactly! It wasn’t no deadly weapon then.

JoAnn:

What would you call it Mr. James?

Mr. James

Just a deadly warning sounds better.

JoAnn:

Okay…(takes some notes) Let’s just start at the beginning. Apparently this all happened in one day (looks through all of the reports)



Mr. James

Yeah one day. I know I was there.

JoAnn:

(Takes a Deep Breath) Why don’t you just start with the first assault.

Mr. James

Alleged assault

JoAnn:

Alright (nods in agreement) ALLEGED assault. The incident at the supermarket.

Mr. James

I was shopping and this woman was on her cell phone. Her cart was all across the aisle. She was moving all across the aisle and steady talking on the phone. I asked her to move and she threw me a look and said, “ don’t you see I’m on the phone”. Eye and neck roll and everything! So, as not to disturb her rude-***, I politely pushed her cart out the way.

JoAnn:

Politely Mr. James…?

Mr. James

As politely as I could, accommodating her rudeness. (leans back in chair and crosses arms)

JoAnn:

Mr. James, the supermarket video footage shows you kicking her cart pushing it into. The shopping cart and her crashing into the stacked can goods shelves before ultimately toppling on her and the fallen shopping cart.

Mr. James

Yep if she had moved her cart, I would have seen them canned green beans. But I picked them right up off the floor rolling around after the shelves fell. Turned around for my good her blocking the way.

JoAnn:

You don’t think that that was wrong?

Mr. James

Of course SHE was wrong. She knew she could have moved. That’s why I moved her for HER. Not to disturb her precious important phone call.

JoAnn:

No, no that’s not what I was… never mind. (flips the paper to the next report) Let’s talk about the Ross clothing store charge of assault.

Mr. James

Alleged assault.

JoAnn:

And charge of Terrorism Threat.

Mr. James

That’s alleged too.

Jo Ann:

Okay… (throws hands up) explain.

Mr. James

I hate non parenting people. Non parenting people, who take their children everywhere and expect the world to watch them. All the while, their children tearing up the store like they at the carnival, zoo or some amusement park. Non parenting people who keep having babies but don’t teach them no outside skills. No “stay close to me in” this store skills. No “don’t touch nothing and don’t ask for nothing when we get in this store” skills. Then they products…

JoAnn:

Products…you mean the things they purchased Mr. James?

Mr. James

NO they **** products. You know, their spawns. Their walking coughing always wiping they runny noses with their hands and then on their sleeves or pants. **** lil’ viruses.

JoAnn:

You mean children?

Mr. James

Whatever. They’re the ones on one side of the store opening up boxes and breaking ****. Putting towels on like capes and running around wild like it’s Willy Wonka Clothing Factory. While the non parenting people looking for **** that ain’t got nothing to do with their children!

Jo Ann:

Is there a point to this Mr. James?

Mr. James

Jo Ann:

Yes. The point is, I hate non parenting people! Did you not just get that?

JoAnn

This relates to the Ross incident how…?

Mr. James

I just told you the little muthafuckas is on one side of the store and the non parenting muthafuckas is all the way over on the other side. Now, Ross aleady and the cleanest store to begin with. Here these two hobbits are running back and forth through the clothes racks throwing the clothes and the hangers all on the floor and ****. Opening up silverware boxes and taking out the spoons. Then going to the Pet Isle getting stainless steel dog dishes and playing steel drum solos. I just couldn’t take it anymore. I grab me one of them dog dishes and picked up one of them knives off the floor, where they had just dropped the other place settings. Then I went across the store (pushes chair back and stands up) beating on the dog dish (imitates marching and beating on dog dish with knife)everybody looking at me crazy. Thing 1 and Thing 2 was following me like we was in a parade I got right to them non-parents push the racks down Tommy Hilfiger and Polo shirts flying airborne. Then I threw the dog dish at their feet.

JoAnn:

It says here you threw the dog dish AND the knife at The Jacobs heads.

Mr. James

Well I was aiming at their feet.

JoAnn:

Go on…

Mr. James

Then I just pointed my finger at them and said, Get Your Products! This ain’t Sesame Street! This ain’t Feather River Day Camp! Get your Products and keep them with you!...(sits by down)… and that was it.

JoAnn:

I didn’t hear a threat of terrorism.

Mr. James

Because it wasn’t one.

JoAnn:

You didn’t threaten to and I quote (looks at report) “beat Mr. Jacobs ***”

Mr. James

No I did not. And that ain’t no quote. What I said and I quote “DON’T make me HAVE to beat your ***, because your non parenting *** hears me whooping your badass children *** and you finally decide to come running to see what the hell is going. So, to prevent all of that, KEEP YOUR PRODUCTS WITH YOU!” Now that’s what I said. No treat. More like a foreseen event in the future.



JoAnn:

So why did you flee the scene?

Mr. James

It was Senior Tuesdays! By this time, the checkout lines had gotten too long. So you see, only crime committed was a violation to my day schedule.

JoAnn:

Should I even ask about the aggravated assault? I know I know…

Mr. James & JoAnn

Alleged aggravated assault.

Mr. James

My sister owed me some money. She was supposes to pay me. She didn’t. She got to talking to me crazy. So I slapped her. End of story. Sibling Rivalry.

JoAnn:

You only slapped her?

(Mr. James nods yes)

JoAnn:

(Reading report) It says here that she sustained substantial wounds cuts and bruises.

Mr. James

I got big hands… (pauses leans back in chair) and I kind of slapped her into the thorn berry bushes. By her struggling with the bushes she tripped and fell. I think she hit her head on the cement half wall. But sh&t, you know how many times she done slapped me? Let alone the slap-in-the-face of not paying me my money

JoAnn:

There’s more.

Mr.James:

Yeah, I know there’s more. I was there. Her boyfriend wanted to play Hero.

JoAnn:

So you slapped him too?

Mr.James: Nah I just knocked him completely out. Never liked him. Never will.

JoAnn:

Moving on, we briefly discussed the charge of assault with a deadly weapon.These other charges I can easily see them being dropped or kicked down to a lesser charge like misdemeanors.



Mr. James

Okay, I like that vision.

JoAnn:

But I need to clarify some details about the confrontation between you and M. Batil.

Mr. James

Who the hell is Mr. Batil.

JoAnn:

The man you ALLEGEDLY tried to run over.

Mr. James

Oh that *******. He took my parking spot.

JoAnn:

Come again?

Mr. James

He took my parking spot.

JoAnn:

And so… you wanted to kill him over taking your parking spot?

Mr. James

I told you it was a deadly WARNING not a deadly attempt.

JoAnn:

I see but make me understand.

Mr. James

I was waiting for a parking spot at Marshall’s.

JoAnn:

You sure shop a lot.

Mr.James:

Okay, but do you want to hear the story or discuss my hobbies and hangups. Yes, I shop like a women. You think you the only one ever noticed? May I continue…?

(JoAnn motions her hand as to say continue)



Mr.James:

Before I could park Mr. Ahole shot in my spot. I was so irritated by his…

JoAnn:

RUDENESS

Mr.James:

CORRECT. Rudeness and disregard. I waited for him to come back to his car.

JoAnn:

So you planned this.

Mr.James:

The waiting part yes. I waited for him to come back and then I park my car behind his so that he could not leave. Then I played Bob Marley’s Rat Race for about 30 minutes.

JoAnn:

What was Mr. Batil doing during this time?

Mr.James:

Getting pissed off like he had pissed me off I guess. He was cussing me out, giving me the finger trying to see if he could back out, but he couldn’t. Then, just when I was going to leave he really ****** up.

JoAnn:

What else could he do? Not return his shopping cart?

Mr.James:

Oh you got jokes huh? No, actually what he did is spit on me. (JoAnn grimaces in disgust) Well to be honest he spit at the window of my car. Might as well be on me or at me! I don’t do getting spit at. My first response was to handle it man to man, but he ran like a little *****. So, then I just waited till he left the parking lot. Soon as he got on the expressway, I high-speed it behind him. I cut him off without using my signal light. I dragged behind him and then out of nowhere gun top speed too close that he would’ve thought I was coming through his backseat. All the things I hate drivers to do to me, that’s what I did to him.

JoAnn:

Are you insane Mr. James?

Mr.James:

Nope I don’t want to use that plea.

JoAnn:

I’m just trying to see the rationale behind all of that.

Mr.James:

Spitting on someone is disgusting. And who spits on a man’s car? It’s the ultimate disrespect.

JoAnn:

I’m thinking murder, rape, torture those are kind of high on my list….

Mr.James:

I’m talking about low-level confrontation. Don’t go all legal beagle on me.

JoAnn:

Legal Eagle. Two separate…

Mr. James

Whatever.

JoAnn:

What were you going to do once he stopped?

Mr. James

Drive away

JoAnn:

But you didn’t drive away. You drove on the sidewalk , over the lawn and you had him pinned up on the side of his home. You can’t high speed chase showing all kind Road Rage Wars with people these days they will shoot you?

Mr. James

I might shoot them!

JoAnn:

Is that why you followed him? Were you going to shoot Mr.Batil?

Mr. James

Nah, how did I know I was gonna need a gun that day? I was just picking a few things up at the market and then shopping at Ross and Marshalls. but I wasn’t going to let him go in the house and get a gun. That’s why I put his scary *** up against the house then I got out of my car and told him and I quote. (points down to report papers. Write this down….and I quote, “Next time I’m going to be spitting but, Imma Be spitting on YOUR grave.”

JoAnn:

Mr. James, for a man who seems to think very highly about morals, etiquette and human principles. You also seem to appear to have a bit of an anger issue.



Mr. James

I don’t have anger issues I have limits.

JoAnn:

Unfortunately laws and limits are not the same standards of judgment Mr. James. Should I schedule you for a Psychiatric Assessment?

Mr. James

Will it help me get out on bail?

JoAnn:

Probably not.

Mr. James

Then Ima have to pass on that. It’s a no for me.

JoAnn:

You can’t explain your crazy actions away. You know that right?

Mr. James

Here’s the thing Ms Cofield, Yeah I know I’m a lil crazy. But these people out here, They are a lot of bit of crazy. Sometimes a lil bit is all you need to show the lot of bits that crazy don’t have no measure.

JoAnn:

What?

Mr. James

Nevermind. You would only understand if you had a crazy card. Look, I said what I said I did what I did and it is what it is.

JoAnn:

Very well…(turns recorder off puts papers in folders) Now it’s up to me, to do what I can do.

(JoAnn sticks hand out to shake Mr. James hand)

Mr. James

I don’t shake hands.

(JoAnn retracts her hand and shakes her head instead)

Mr. James

And one more thing you can do. Can you get in touch with my sister I’m a need her to put that money she owes me on my commissary books…

(BLACK OUT)
END OF SCENE
 

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