Leather Bound Concrete
By Tony Yajko
Three people sit in an interrogation room, having been questioned about a massacre - Dom, Malcolm, and Alice. They debate whether or not to confess. Alice wants for them to take responsibility for their involvement, but Dom does his best to convince them not to. Malcolm is caught between them as they grow increasingly frustrated with each other. Alice blames Dom for things that have gone wrong in Malcolm's life, but Dom insists that Malcolm needs him.
Malcolm knows he needs me around and he can't live without me. You all say you love Malcolm and want what's best for him, so therefore you should appreciate all that I do for him. We have been friends for almost ten years and I have helped him get through the most despairing hours. I helped him deal with situations that would've deprived the sharpest minds of their sanity. Yet every time someone meets me, they just want him to kick me out. (mimicking) You don't need him, Malcolm. He's caustic.
It was the same way with Cathy, the same way with you and same way with the guys we worked with. When we worked a ten hour shift and get back to the house at three in the morning, all Cathy had to say to this man was how he'd better shower quietly, not leave his dirty clothes on the floor, better not wake the kids. All the while I bit my damn tongue. Yeah it's true; he took me in and gave me a place to sleep. If his old lady wanted to yack at him and he decided it was okay - then what right did I have to complain? But dammit, one night, one damn night we hit a few bars after work and come back a little smashed.
Oh, I know all about little Malcolm's twelve steps. That whiskey is the devil's water. It can make you act all kinds of crazy. But damn it! It was just one night we needed to take a break and blow off some steam. The building was complete, we were off probation. It was a night to celebrate so I convinced him to drink some well-deserved shots at the bar. Mikey and the all the guys were with us... they couldn't understand why Malcolm and I were hanging out together, but they just figured he was high off the stuff. But shit, when we got back to the house Cathy had to open her mouth, it doesn't matter how many times we crept up the stairs as silent as apparitions. The one night we lose the keys and have to break down the door and she gets her panties in a bunch.
One of those cases of hindsight being twenty-twenty. It sounded like a good idea at the time, but then again, we were pretty shit-faced.
Dom and Malcolm have, for the moment, decided to claim that they were witnesses, not perpetrators. They are trying to "get their story straight." Malcolm asks, "Who was he... or she? What did they look like? "
Oh shoot, I don't know exactly. It was something both common and misplaced. The face was familiar yet different, their clothes were semi formal, dark jeans that resembled tan slacks. I only got a very brief look at her or his face. I don't know officer. It was so difficult to pin-point the details, they used a name though - it was, Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez and they knocked me out and that was that. I want to tell you more but the experience left me scarred.
(stands on table and picks up a tabloid, his delivery becomes more recited than spoken) A jury comprised of my peers will throw the case out due to lack of evidence thanks to the legal stylings of famed lawyer, Johnny Cochran. It will be in the headlines as an on-going scandal but will be swept under the covers when John and Kate get back together and pop out another litter of kids, this time they'll all be various ethnicities and Angelina Jolie and Oprah will go to court for adoption rights... and maybe... just maybe, in ten years or so I'll write a book after the scars heal. I'll print it in white letters on black pages. The font will be so big that even the blind will read it. They can peruse a passage or two in Readers Digest; they'll talk about it at the hair salon and later on, we'll give exclusive rights to CBS. Eventually, after my estranged wife dies of cancer, the headline will be rekindled when an obsessed child molester pleads guilty while vacationing in the Philippines. It will all prove to be a hoax, but I'll still contend my innocence into death. My youngest son will sell the rights to the story after my passing and they'll make a movie. It won't have a name. Just a symbol... they'll call it "the artist formerly known as the movie."
For more information on Leather Bound Concrete, contact the playwright, Tony Yajko.
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