COPY CAT *

(A full length play)

by DIPO KALEJAIYE.

Excerpt from ACT 1 Sc.3

 

CHARACTERS:

LULA: Roy’s Sister

ROY:   Lula’s estranged brother

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ROY:             Lula!

LULA:            Oh! the devil in your eyes again.  I ain't gon' say no more.

ROY:              Lula!!

LULA:            I said I ain't gon' say no more.

ROY:              Lula!!!

LULA:            Yes?

ROY:              How come you never got married?

LULA:            That ain't none of your business.

ROY:              Come on, I've been wanting to ask you that.

LULA:            Get away from me LeRoy.  I said it ain't none of your business.

ROY:              Man at 42 you are so beautiful.  Long, jet-black hair.  That got to be from the Indian from Mama's side.

LULA:            I ain't got no Indian in me.

ROY:              Oh!  Yes you do.  Long, jet-black hair like that.  You sure got some Indian in you.  Yes, you got some Cherokee blood in you.  Me. . . I think I take after Papa's people.  They don't have any Indian in them.  I think they got. . . Papa used to say Scott and Irish. Yes, that's what I got in me, Scott and Irish.

LULA:            I said get away from me, Roy.  You don lost your mind?

ROY:              So how come you never got married?  You are so beautiful Lula.  Why on earth didn't you ever get married?

LULA:            I ain't saying. . .

ROY:              Oh! Come on.  You can tell your little brother right?

LULA:            Well. . . I was too busy all the time taking care of Miss Elsie.

ROY:              That can't be the reason.  Come on, tell me the real reason.

LULA:            Really!

ROY:              I don't believe that.  Miss Elsie had a husband. . . David or something.  Why would she not let you get a husband?  Someone who will take care of you?

LULA:            I can take care of myself.  I don't need no man.

ROY:              I know that, but you know what I mean.

LULA:            Well. . . let me see. . . I had a boyfriend.

ROY:              Yes…

LULA:            Jamal Johnson.

ROY:              Boy, I remember Jamal Johnson . . . man . . . that was a long time ago.

LULA:            I know that.

ROY:              So what happened to Jamal Johnson?

LULA:            Well Miss Elsie was living in Florida then.  And Jamal used to come around telling me he love me and he was gon' marry me.  Well, I like him too.  Tall, handsome and

black. . . I mean jet black.  He had muscles like John Henry. He had muscles that will put a. . . sledge hammer to shame.  Old Henry . . . yes, that's what I used to say. . . I used to call him Old John Henry.  Well. . . his friends called him JJ.

ROY:              Like JJ Walker!  (laughs)

LULA:            Just JJ.  Ain't no Walker in it.  Just JJ.

ROY:              All right . . . then what happened?

LULA:            He was really nice.  He used to spoil me.  He would buy me gifts three times a week, Roy.  You buy a woman gifts 3 times a week . . .  you got to really love that woman.

ROY:              So . . . you should be with him.  I think he lives in New York City now, doesn't he?  I've seen him several times.

LULA:            Yes, that's where he moved to, but I ain't finished my story about how come we ain't together no more.

ROY:              Alright, I'm listening.

LULA:            (pouring drinks) Here, drink this.  It ain't whiskey.

ROY:              That's okay, Lula.  Thanks, soda is fine.

LULA:            (drinks from her glass)  So one day I let him in, like I normally did, around 6 p.m.  He just got off work.  He wanted to see me.  I had to go take care of dinner for Miss Elsie.  That was a lot of work just getting dinner ready for Miss Elsie. And heck, I got to wait on her.  It would take her 2 hours to finish dinner.  She loved chicken soup.  I had to make chicken soup every day fresh, right from scratch.  She used to say chicken soup was medicine.  That it could cure any illness.  Well, I finished with Miss Elsie that evening, and it was getting up on 9 o'clock.  Miss Elsie went to bed every night at 9 o'clock.  I got back to my room, and I thought I was looking at hell.

ROY:              Hell?

LULA:            Yes.  There was Jamal Johnson all dressed up in my clothes, with lipstick and earrings on.  He even put on my powder that was on the dresser.  I thought I was about to die!  My stomach turned, I was about to throw up.

ROY:              A cross-dresser!  A transvestite!

LULA:            I don't know anything about all that trans. . . . whatever you call it.  Well, he apologized and began to take my clothes off, telling me he got something to tell me.  I was standing by the door, I wasn't gon' go near him looking like that.  I stood by the door.  He kept apologizing, saying he got something to tell me--that he's been in love with women's clothes since he was nine years old. He said women’s clothes just really turned him on.  I just stood there shaking my head.  All I could say was "Lord have mercy."  It was all that came out of my mouth; "Lord have mercy."  Then he said, "Don't just stand there saying "Lord have mercy."  I said I've got something to tell you."  And all I could say was

ROY & LULA:   (in unison) "Lord have mercy."  (They burst out laughing.)

LULA:            Then he said the reason he ain't never made love to me was because he was homosexual.

ROY:              A homosexual?

LULA:            That's what he said Roy, and again all I could say was

ROY and LULA:  Lord have mercy!

LULA:            Then he was standing there telling me, "Can't we still be friends?"  I said honey, ain't no way in the world we gon get married now.  How am I gon' walk up the aisle at Greensboro African Community Church with the organ playing "Here Comes the Bride."  Who's gon be the bride?  So I said to him

ROY & LULA:"Lord have mercy."  (Laughter as before)

LULA:            Then he said he really liked me. . . as a friend that is. . . but that he is still em. . . that he was still. . .

ROY:              Gay!

LULA:            Yes, gay.  That if he can't be friends with me. . . I'm really going to break his heart.  He even said I was like his mother.  Then I said again. . .

ROY and LULA:        Lord have mercy.

LULA:            Quit Roy, you don't even believe in God. 

 

 

*  First performed at The Black Repertory Theatre, Berkeley, California in May 2004.