Joseph W.

Performance: February, 2002
Youth Guidance Center, San Francisco

Place: The Park
At Rise: Fro the Leopard is dancing on the slide.  Slick the Air Force One Shoe is watching Fro dance.


(Thinking in his head)
Today is the day.  I hope Slick agrees to let me wear him at the talent show.
 (Fro walks over to Slick)

Fro: Hey Slick.  How ya doing?  I know you gotta be kinda mad at me because I ran off the other day, but you startled me when you made jump into the air.  I didn’t know what to expect when I put you on. 
Slick: Well, no problem buddy.  No harsh feelings here.  But I got this kinda dilemma that I need to discuss with you.
Fro: I need to ask you a big favor myself.  This is real important to me.  Well, I got this sorta wish and I know you see me dancin’ everyday practicin’ and stuff.  Well, I don’t do that for no reason.  I do it because I am ab out to become my families next male dancer to fulfill the legacy of my dad’s and granddad’s dancin’ career.  And there’s a talent show that’s two hours away and they said if I don’t get some shoes to wear I would not participate in the show.  That’s where you come in, buddy.
Slick: Whoa! Whoa!  Slow your roll, bro.  So, now you want to be buddy buddy with me.  When I was down in the dumps and needed a friend you ran away.  You don’t know how I felt that day.  All I wanted you to do is play basketball, cause I got the power to make you win every game.  Don’t think I didn’t see the look on your face.  You were spooked!  You ran away like a little sucka.  But anyway I got a dream too.  I want someone to own me, so we can go to the NBA together.  And then I will be respected by everyone.  I will be a respected shoe.  That’s why I did what I did that day, cause I believe that you got the potential to lead us to the NBA so we can get the respect we deserve.
Fro:   Right about one thing, I do deserve respect.  That’s why I wanna become a great dancer so people will go on respecting my family and respecting me.  So, what do you say, Slick?  You dance with me at the talent show and if I win I would think about playing basketball with you cause’ I do got the ability to win.  I mean you got forever to go to the NBA all I got is two hours.  So, how bout it?
Slick:   Man, hell naw.  What do I look like some type of fool?  I aint stupid you tryna get me to go to this talent show, which I think is really stupid dancing, hah!  It’s all about hoops.  I know you like the way I forced you into the air that day so quit playin’ wit me.

Man, did you hear one word I said?  This is my family legacy were talkin’ about, not just some old regular pastime like your stupid hoopdream.  So, you better make up your mind soon.  If not I know where there’s a big puddle of mud and I will pick you up and take you right over for a splash.

Slick:   Man, you aint got the heart to do that, cause if you do you better quit wastin’ time because I aint going out.  I don’t think you gon do it, punk.
Fro:   Punk!  Who you callin’ a punk?
(Fro walks over to the puddle and grabs a handful of mud.)

Whack!  There’s your punk and it’s more where that came from so you better reconsider.  Punk, huh!
Slick:   Man, you just disrespected me.  You real foul.  How you just gon mess up my fit like that you don’t know the half of what I go through.  You don’t know what it feels like to be neglected by your own father, just because you’re not about nothin’.  Having to live with the thought that your dad doesn’t even love you.  You wouldn’t possibly know what that felt like, while you’re so caught up in your legacy.
Fro:   Wow, Slick.  I didn’t know it was like that.  I wouldn’t have found out with you seeming so happy all the time, but I guess we all have problems.
Slick:   But man, you just caused a bigger problem.  My dad already doesn’t pay attention to me when I’m looking my best, but now that you done put mud all over me he really gon forget he even got a son.
Fro:   I’m really sorry.  You want to go to my house so my mom could clean you up?  The least I could do since I got you all dirty.
(Slick walks away.  Fro runs after him, trying to clean him off with some leaves and stuff.)
Slick:   Since it mean so much to you I’ll go, but don’t say nothing to me all the way there.
(So Slick get all cleaned up by Fro’s Mom.  On their way out the door.)
Fro:   Well, there you go.  You’re all clean again.  But you got to understand, Slick, that my life aint all peaches and cream.  You see I’m so determined to finish this legacy because you see; my grandparents are the ones that chose me to do it.  And it was when I was very little about five years old that I seen my grandparents killed by poachers.  And that really hurt me.  I was little but somehow I knew I could not let them down.  So I made a vow to myself that I would do this.  No exceptions.  And I’m not going lie, this is really hard for me because there’s so much pressure put on me.  I could hardly sleep at night.  Always waking up in the middle of the night from seeing scenes from my grandparent’s death.  And me just standing there confused when I could have went to get my parents; got me thinking it’s all my fault.  Man, I bestressin’.  I’m shedding hairs, but you wouldn’t know because I try to stay well groomed.  Sometimes I even be forgetting some of my steps, because my mind be on what I could have done and what I didn’t.
Slick:   Man, that’s deep.  I didn’t know it was like that with you having to live with all that grief.  But I’m telling you, I’m living with my father who doesn’t even know me.  With the exception of my name, he don’t even know what interest me.  I swear, he wouldn’t know that he was my role model.  I wanna be just like him.  And you know one thing is that it’s not really all about me finding an owner and going to the NBA.  It’s about gaining respect from my father.  I just picked going to the NBA because that seems the simplest way; is to follow in his footsteps.
Fro:   You know that’s what it’s been about all along, respect.  That’s what this is based on, because it’s not really about the talent show.  That’s what my parents think.  But I know what my grandparents wanted and that’s having respect for myself and to keep people having respect for my family.  I don’t even have to be a dancer.  I could be the fastest cat around here.  It’s just about people remembering that my family has achieved great things.  And they will go on respecting us and you just made me realize that it’s all about respect.
    The End.