By Andre A.

Performance: February, 2003
Youth Giudance Center, San Francisco


Time:5pm
Place:Tree in a cage at the San Francisco Zoo
At Rise: Zane the monkey and Pete the monkey sitting in the thick branches of a tree, about two stories tall. Leaves and branches are hanging over them and they hold onto them, jumping up and down in that one spot. They lookin’ down at a gray building connected to the cage. The building has a large window that covers the side of the building that the cage is connected to.

 


Pete:

I don’t appreciate how the human staff be treatin’ us. They handle us like they have no feelin’. The other day I was marinatin’ and I heard a new monkey screaming. I don’t exactly know what he was screaming about, but I figure it has something to do with the scar on the back of our head. I’m gonna get to the bottom of this. I’m not gonna let them keep treatin’ us like this. If it take for me to have to wipe that main human off this earth, I will. He’s the only cold blooded one.

Zane:

Pete, you just said it with your own mouth that he is the main human, so what makes you think you’re going to be able to go in there and take him out?

Pete: I could do anything I want. Ain’t nobody gonna stop me, Zane. And if I do that, everyone gonna be looking up to me. I’m gonna be in control.
Zane:

No you not. You gonna be dead and gone and you gonna take me with you.

Pete:

Why everything got to be about you? You not had any complaints when I ran into that tent a few years back when we was home in the forest and grabbed that box of candy, but now you worried about somethin’ happening! Why you acting like that? You should be ready to do it with me.

Zane: It’s ain’t just all about me. I’m trying to look out for you as well. You better be lucky I’m smart now and been thinkin’, bringin’ my head together. Two dumb heads don’t get nowhere.
Pete: So now you calling me dumb?
Zane:

Nah, I didn’t mean it like that. I’m just-

Pete: How you not mean it when you just said it? I’ve been puttin’ up with you for a very long time now. All the monkeys here tryin’ to attack you, and I protect you, and all you got to tell me is I’m dumb. 
Zane: No Pete, no. You don’t understand. You takin’ it the wrong way.
Pete: No, you don’t understand. I’m outa here. 
(Pete swings down the tree)
Zane: Let me explain. Pete, I need you.
Pete (from the bottom of the tree)
You ain’t actin’ like it!
Time: 6:30 PM, it’s dark outside. There is a dim light coming from the watch window.
Place: Corner of the cage, southeast of the human watch window. There are no trees covering the top of the cage.
At rise: Zane is meditating. He is squatting, looking at the sky
Zane: What do I have to do to get in that monkey head? I’ve been through so much with him. I been there with him through hard times, and he’s been there with me through hard times. Why can’t he see that I’m just trying to help him? He gonna end up dead. And if he die, I don’t know how I’m gonna keep those monkeys off my back.
(Zane gets disturbed by racket sounds coming from the toy area close to the human’s watch window. There is Pete throwing things at the window. Zane goes over to him.)
Zane: Pete! Calm down! What are you doing?  
Pete: (out of control)
I’m gonna get him if you with me or not! I ain’t takin’ this no more!
Zane: (a few feet from Pete, smiling and calm)
You doin’ it for nothing. The main man already got off work.
Pete: No he ain’t! He in there! I know he in there! That man, he did too much harm to me! Remember when you couldn’t find me yesterday? That big, bald-headed, stanky, scout pillin’ butterbean put me in the solitary cage for the whole day! Could you believe that, Zane? He put me in there for the whole day!
Zane:

Well, you out now and you still got all you teeth. You lucky you came out like that! Remember Moscow came out with bleedin’ gums. So you better count your blessings!

Pete:

Are you tryin’ to be humor on purpose? Because it ain’t working and I’m still mad.

Zane:

No you ain’t. I feel a smile working on the edge of your mouth. 
(Pete smiles)

Zane: Come on, it’s getting late. Let’s get some sleep.
(Zane puts his arm around Pete and they climb high up in the tree and watch the stars while falling asleep.)
Time: Sunrise, 6:30 AM
Place: At top of the tree on the thick stump where the tree got cut to fit in the cage, about three and a half stories up.
At rise: Pete is awake watching a monkey fight at the bottom of the cage. He can’t see it too clearly through the lower branches. Zane jump awake like he hear a bomb. In a second or two, he comes to his senses and realizes where he’s at.
Zane: If it ain’t one thing, it’s another.
Pete: What? What you say?
Zane: If it ain’t one thing, it’s another. There’s always racket goin’ on. Always something happenin’. I’m tired of it. What’s going on down there?
Pete: Moscow’s mad because they talking about his missing teeth.
Zane: So that’s his fault. If he wasn’t doing the things he was doing, he would still have his teeth. I don’t understand monkeys these days. They growin’ up with no sense. They do stuff with no recognition.
Pete: So you be feelin’ the same way about me when I’m getting into it with someone? Do you understand where I be coming from, Zane?
Zane: Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. You switch up so much it’s like you’re two faced.
Pete: Because I’m serious about what I’m gonna do to the main human. He ain’t about to keep playin’ us.
Zane: No you not. You just doing it out of anger, stress and depression. You don’t really want to be doin’ the things you do. You just-
Pete: There you go tryin’ to preach to me again.
Zane: No, I’m not preachin’. I just care. You don’t realize you fixin’ to do something to jeopardize your life and mine as well.
Pete: My life gonna be just fine. How am I gonna jeopardize yours?
Zane: I need you, Pete. I want to be around to be able to give back to everybody and make a better environment for everybody.
Pete: You don’t need me. You can do that without me. You’ve been takin’ care of yourself all along. Why all of a sudden you need me now?
Zane: I haven’t been doin’ nothing by myself. You’ve been helping me get through this. Without you I wouldn’t have lasted. But if you go and do some stupid stuff, then what am I gonna do? How I’m gonna last, Pete?
Pete: Why you keep talkin’ like that? You actin’ like I’m not gonna be here or something. What is you getting’ to Zane?
Zane: I don’t know why you haven’t realized, but if you go out there, I highly don’t think you’re gonna come out safely. I mean, think about it Pete. Don’t you think everyone have your same thoughts or at least they come through their minds? Why do you think they ain’t run in there and done somethin’ yet?
Pete: Because they ain’t as sick as me. They ain’t tryin’ to be the number one monkey in the universe. It’s gonna be a piece of cake anyway. I just go in there and whack him upside the head with somethin’ and come out like nothin’ happened.
Zane: It ain’t that easy. Why you make things sound so simple? You need to start lookin’ at all the doors to the situation and the consequences behind them. I mean, why you got to be so negative?
Pete: Why you so concerned anyway? Why all of a sudden you start askin’ all these questions? You never asked questions before and I assumed you cared then. So there’s gotta be somethin’ else to it. You leavin’ something out. Just tell me. Just spill it. Keep it real. I ain’t gonna get mad.
Zane: (aside) 
That’s a bold face lie! He gonna be madder than mad!
(to Pete)
I don’t know how to say this, but I feel if you go in there and do something out of pocket I don’t think you gonna come out. And if you don’t come back out, I’m gonna go the opposite place you goin’ – that’s heaven.
Pete: What is you talkin’ about? If I don’t come back out, knowin’ I am! You gonna be sittin’ right here where I left you.
Zane: (tapping Pete’s head)
What’s in that thick skull of yours? You just don’t understand, so let me explain.
Pete: Yeah, you explain it ‘cos you really scarin’ me now.
Zane: You know just as much as I know that all the monkeys here don’t like me and would rather see me gone. But with the help of you – you kept all the monkeys off me. They’d of killed me a long time ago.
Pete: (Angry, getting in Zane’s face, pointing fingers and crying, literally scaring Zane)
So you been usin’ me? All along I’m thinkin’ you care about me and don’t want nothin’ to happen to me, but the real is that you don’t want me gone ‘cos you scared the monkeys gonna kill you! I thought you really cared about me. You was like my real brother. Your family was the family I never had. You always give me the attention that I needed and wasn’t getting from everyone else. That’s what I loved about you, Zane. But I also had animosity toward you. Yeah, I had animosity and I was hidin’ it. You was always the center of attention. A smart guy with all the plans when we had somethin’ big to do. You was takin’ all the credit and I wasn’t getting’ none. But now it’s my turn to be the biggest, badest, and number one of the universe. I don’t care how you feel or what you want ‘cos it ain’t about you no more.
Zane: You blowin’ this all out of proportion. You are very smart and intelligent and got a long life ahead of you. You don’t have to impress nobody to get no attention. That all comes in the future, from doin’ good –
Pete: I want it now!
(Pete walks toward Zane like he’s about to do something with a very angry look)
Zane: Pete, what are you going to do? Please don’t do nothing to me.
Pete: You know what? Forget you. I got business to do.
(Pete storms away)
Zane: I can’t help anybody that don’t want to be helped.
The End.

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