Scene 2

(Building Major Lenny Bealy sits behind his desk, hunting and pecking on a dummy terminal. A knock sounds on the door.)

Major: Yeah. C’mon in, Shakir.

(Enter Shakir, wide-eyed.)

Major: Close the door. Sit.

(Shakir closes the door, sits down.)

Major: Hold on just a second. (Major continues to hunt and peck for several seconds while Shakir looks around.) Awlright. (Makes a few finishing pecks.) Now, I bet you’re wondering why I called you down here.

Shakir: Yeah.

Major: Well, let’s see. (Opens file on his desk.) Terrel Witherspoon, ten years out of Dallas County, one count of aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon. What’s interesting to me in all this is ’bout your dad.

Shakir: What about ’m?

Major: Nine years Texas Department of Public Safety. Three years currently as a ranger.

Shakir: Yeah, that’s right.

Major: What your dad think ’bout what you did–well, first, why don’t you tell me your side about what you heyah fo’.

Shakir: (Sighs, pauses.) Whatever it says in there.

Major: Says you had six ’riginal counts, but you only have one conviction.

Shakir: Yeah.

Major: (Grins.) Guess the D.A. figur’d that’s all it takes.

Shakir: I guess.

Major: You were pretty young when most of those robberies happened. You was, what? Sixteen, Seventeen? You living with your mom and dad then?

Shakir: Naw. Been on my own since I was sixteen.

Major: What, your dad kicked you out or you ran away?

Shakir: (Sighs, pause.) Both.

Major: How so?

Shakir: Well, we had a fight and-

Major: ’Bout what?

Shakir: I don’t even remember now.

Major: Awlright, but you had a fight?

Shakir: Yeah, like I said, we had a fight that started in the hallway-

Major: Wait, you mean like a fistfight?

Shakir: Yeah, we ended up pulling guns on each other. Nothin’ happened. He told me to get out, but I had already decided to leave, was living out on the streets a lot anyway. That may have been what the fight was about now that I think of it.

Major: I see. (Pauses, rifles through a few pages in the file.) What were you doing out there? You in a gang?

Shakir: I was.

Major: You mean you’re out now?

Shakir: Yeah.

Major: What was you?

Shakir: Crip.

Major: Well (beat) naw, I’ll come back to that. What were you doing out there? (Pause. Shakir shrugs.) Well, of course robbery. Burglary?

Shakir: No.

Major: Sell dope?

Shakir: A little.

Major: What ya sell?

Shakir: Sweets, wet, crack.

Major: (Nods, looks in file.) Steal cars?

Shakir: Car-jacked.

Major: Okay. You and your dad still got bad blood.

Shakir: Naw, we a’ight.

Major: Really? That’s good. (Glances at a couple of other pages.) See you in college, also took a correspondence course in paralegal studies.

Shakir: Yeah.

Major: That’s kinda expensive. How you pay for it?

Shakir: My mom and dad paid for it.

Major : Oh yeah? (Begins to peck on the terminal). What’s ya number?

Shakir: Six-eight, oh-five, fo’-tree.

Major: (Pecks a little more.) Yeah, and they keep you in plenty of commissary, too.

Shakir: Yeah.

Major: Well, you didn’t waste your folks’ money neither. See you got a lawsuit ’gainst UTMB, too.

Shakir: Yeah, but the courts have already ruled in my favor on that issuh.

Major: MMM, writ writer, too. (Flips through a few more pages.)

Shakir: (Exhales loudly, then blurts.) What’s all this ho-ass shit ’bout, Major? Am I in some sort of trouble?

Major: (Looks up from file.) Trouble? Naw (beat) well, depends on what you mean by trouble.

Shakir: What’s that supposed to mean?

Major: Well, Shakir–can I call you that?

Shakir: I ’on’t care.

Major: Shakir, it’s come to my attention that you call some serious shots on my unit.

Shakir: What ’n the hell you talkin’ ’bout?

Major: Both the bloods and the crips have told me that you’ve called a truce between the Blacks and Mexicans. And what’s so ’mazing to me is that they’ve agreed not to act against each other without lettin’ you boys first try to work out an agreement. (Pauses, leans across the desk, looks closely at Shakir.) What’s wrong wit’ you?

Shakir: Well, what you want me to say?

Major: So you don’t deny it?

Shakir: No.

Major: What’s wrong wit’ ya?

Shakir: You said that already.

Major: Yeah, well maybe I did, but I still don’ understand. First of all, how you come about doing this. I mean, you boys are a force, but I’ve always had no problems from you boys. You’re quiet. I have very little problems from you ever.

Shakir: You mean to tell me that getting the Africans and eses to stop fighting is a problem?

Major: Hold on. No, I mean, you boys are a religious group. Where do you get off tryin’ to pull a move like-

Shakir: I get off trying to pull a move like this because the Qur’an says to go throughout the earth and see that Allah has created among you differences, that I’m enjoined to seek and establish harmony among the people. (Major begins to laugh.) What’s so funny?

Major: You don’ realize that right now you pose a serious risk to the security of my unit. Lot a majors, especially them new-wave types, would done had you in seg. But me (leans back), I been dealin’ with boys like you for a long time. I think what you done is good. My problem ain’t with what ya done, or even the influence you got, but with what you’re really after. You tryin’ to make money? Or are you after power? I seen plenty a ol’ boys who are after power simply for the sake a power. They gets off to it. Which is it?

Shakir: I’m after none of that.

Major: (Leans across the table.) Then what you boys after?

Shakir: Freedom, equality.

Major: (Laughs hard for several seconds while Shakir glares at him. Major suddenly sobers and meets Shakir’s glare.) I’m aware of what goes on ’round heyah. I know who’s doing what. I don’t care if the Mexican Mafia wants to sell cigarettes, if the bloods wanna shakedown the drive ups. All I want to know is what’s goin’ on in my unit, to make sure things don’t get outta hand. I know you boys gonna do what you do. I just wanna supervise it.

Shakir: You got me fucked up. I ain’t nobody’s snitch.

Major: No, no. I don’t need to know all that. I just wanna know what the leaders think, what they think ’bout each other. I don’ care so much if somebody’s getting loaded on chalk or smoking them funny cigarettes. I don’t want no one going over my fence or losing control over my unit.

Shakir: You got me fucked-

Major: Now hold on. Don’t go doin’ nothin’ silly. I could have yo’ ass back in that air conditionin’ right now, shut down Islamic services till things get ironed out. You don’t want that. I don’t want that. (Pauses.) What I want is for you to stand up. (Pauses.) Gawddamnit! I said stand up! (Shakir slowly stands.) And leave my office and think about what it is you really want. All that justice crap sounds nice, but I know all you boys wants is money or the power. When I call you back in heyah, I want yo’ mind made up. Awlright? (Pause.) Awlright?

Shakir: A’ight.

Major: Awlright, Shakir, we’ll talk later. Close the do’ on your way out. (Shakir stares for a second, blinks, and leaves.)

Scene 3

(There are several weight benches, racks of barbells and dumbbells, and several men doing various exercises. Center stage Shakir and Jasiri are at a preacher-curl bench, Shakir curling, Jasiri watching.)

Jasiri: So what’s so important that you called us out here?

Shakir: (Grunts, finishes last rep.) I’d rather wait till Oba gets out here, so I don’t have to tell the story twice. (Stands.) Your set. Extend more at the bottom of these. Not too much, but a little more.

Jasiri: A’ight. (Sits, begins to curl.)

Shakir: (Looks towards stage left.) Yeah, here he comes not. (From stage left enters Oba, groggy, rubbing his eyes. To Oba.) Hotep.

Oba: Hotep.

Shakir: Where you been?

Oba: Overslept. Ya’ll started already?

Shakir: We’ve done (to Jasiri) what? Four sets, plus a warm up.

Jasiri: (Grunts, finishes last rep, heaves down the bar with a cry, and stands.) Yeah, something like that.

Oba: A’ight. (Begins to lighten the weight of the curl bar.)

Jasiri: (Rubs right bicep). Now tell us what you were gonna say.

Oba: (Looks around.) What’s up?

Shakir: Listen (crouches). The major called me into his office this morning. So, I go, but I’m trippin’, knaw mean?

Oba: (Spins around to sit on the preacher-curl bench while Jasiri crouches.) What happened? What he want?

Shakir: Here’s the deal. He got my file in front of him when I come in.

Jasiri: Your file?

Shakir: Yeah, so, he starts asking me stuff ’bout my crime, my dad, and a li’l ’bout my lawsuit against UTMB.

Jasiri: What’s he want to know about all that for?

Shakir: (Touches Jasiri’s knee.) Okay, yeah, I’ve had enough, too. I ask him what his game is, if I’m in trouble or what.

Jasiri: Yeah, yeah.

Shakir: I ain’t in no trouble, he says, but—get this—it’s come to his attention that I’ve been able to convince the Africans and eses to call a truce.

Oba: Well, we knew it was coming.

Jasiri: Yeah.

Shakir: So then he asks me where I get off doing this. So I’m ready. Whoop: I drop Qur’an on him.

Oba: So what he say?

Shakir: He laughed.

Oba: Laughed?

Shakir: Yeah, he tells me really it’s a breach of security, that I wield too much influence.

Jasiri: So what you say then?

Shakir: Nothing yet, ’cause—well, here’s our problem here—he says he thinks what I’m doing is good.

Oba: What?

Jasiri: Yeah right.

Shakir: What he wants to know is what I really want. The money or the power? I told him that’s not why I’m doing this.

Jasiri: So what he say?

Shakir: He laughs, laughs his ass off. Then he tells me he knows all kinda dirt. He don’t care as long as the families give him a little information. I tell him right off I ain’t nobody’s snitch.

Jasiri: Goddamned right.

Shakir: But he says, naw, naw, it’s nothin’ like that.

Jasiri: Then what the hell is it?

Shakir: He says all he wants to know is what the decision-makers are saying. If I can help him control his unit, then he’s got no problem with what I’m doing.

Oba: What ’bout Imam Malik?

Shakir: Didn’t mention that Charlie-ass mothafucker. He just said to think about what he said.

Jasiri: You can tell him to take that ho-ass shit and—

Oba: Hold up, now.

Jasiri: What you mean, hold up?

Oba: Let’s not go charging into this one. We all know the G-code, but we’re playing in a different level of the game now. We gotta calculate each move we make.

Jasiri: So what are you saying?

(A couple of Hispanic prisoners approach.)

Prisoner: Say, you vatos through here?

Shakir: (Stands.) Yeahyeah. C’mon use the bench if you need to. Bruh. We just talkin’.

(Oba and Jasiri stand also. All move to stage right.)

Prisoner: ’Preciate it.

Jasiri: Yeahyeah.

Shakir: I’m conflicted. I’mma finish Fanon here in a couple a days. He kept seeing how they constantly divide and conquer. It’s happening here.

Jasiri and Oba: Yeah.

Shakir: They constantly gonna try to drive a wedge between us to control us. Whatever happens we have to stick together, us three if no one else, and believe nothing they tell us about the other. (Sticks his fist between them.)

Jasiri and Oba: (Place their fists with his.) Agreed.

Oba: So what do we do?

Shakir: I feel what Jasiri is saying, but I don’t see how we can move the game forward if we don’t play ball with the major.

Jasiri: You can’t really consider giving him what he wants?

Oba: And you can’t really consider letting Shakir get shipped off to Guantanamo?

(All three silent.)

Shakir: It seems to me the major talks to the other leaders. That’s their game. The major figures if he can keep a handle on the largest power groups, then he can control the unit to a greater degree, just like the old building-tender system, except the strongest groups are the BTs . . . sorta.

Oba: At the very least, I don’t think you should go in there big chesting. Just listen to him. You ain’t gotta tell him everything, not even the truth.

Jasiri: I can’t believe this. (Rubs the top of his head.) Look, even if you lie to him, if he talks to other families he’ll know you’re lying.

Oba: So what do you say we do, Jasiri?

Jasiri: I think we need to try and parley with the other families on this issuh. If we’re gonna feed him misinformation, then we need to coordinate it.

Shakir: Okay, now you’re saying something. I hadn’t thought of that.

Oba: Yeah.

Shakir: I don’t think he really suspects what we’re trying. That’s good. We’ll make him think we’re just trying to pay the bills.

Oba: I don’t believe all that crap about saving you from seg either. He wants you for some reason. We need to try and exploit that.

Jasiri: Yeah, I don’t like it, but I’mma ride.

Oba: Then we all agreed? (All nod.)

Shakir: May the ancestors guide us.

Scene 4

(Several men sit at tables and benches in a cell block’s dayroom. The cells surround the dayroom in a horseshoe-like pattern. The cell doors are locked. Among the men in the dayroom are Shakir and Scooby. Shakir sits at a table alone, reading a book. Scooby stands with a small group of men. Scooby breaks it off with them and approaches Shakir.)

Scooby: Say, uh, Shakir? (Shakir looks up.) Lemme holla at ya.

Shakir: What’s up?

Scooby: (Sits.) Yeah, I gots a problem. You know when that shit popped off with them eses a couple weeks back.

Shakir: Yeah.

Scooby: One a my dawgs had a board up on the Cowboys pre-season game.

Shakir: Right, right.

Scooby: Well, ya know, we all went on lock, and he went to eatin’ some of the money.

Shakir: Shit. (Shakes his head.) How much he come out short?

Scooby: Like twelve dollars.

Shakir: Why in the hell would he even run a board when he knew what was going down?

Scooby: Yeah, but peep this: why would anyone buy squares for a board on that night?

Shakir: Yeah, you right.

Scooby: I don’t mean to put you in the bidness, but, see, several of them dudes was Tango Blast. They wasn’t in it when it popped off, but they had bought squares.

Shakir: What?

Scooby: What’s worse, they got caught up in it and went to medium custody. We gonna get ’m their money.

Shakir: Stupid, stupid. (Shakes his head.) So what’s the problem?

Scooby: They talked a little noise ’cause, ya know, after lockdown we strained up to shoot twelve in food.

Shakir: A’ight.

Scooby: Look, Shakir, my word is my bond. We gonna shoot the rest of their lil ol’ issuh this week, even if I gotta dig some cans outta my locker.

Shakir: Okay.

Scooby: We don’t want no beef with them boys ’bout no punk-ass twelve dollars. I know you got brothers over there that can let ’m know we square bidness ’bout getting that change.

Shakir: Yeah. We could do that. No problem.

Scooby: Yeah, ’preciate it. I know you brothers up to something. We don’t want to be the cause of no problems.

Shakir: Yeahyeah. Things like this can blow up—nothing into something. I’ll holler at Young Jesus when they come through at breakfast. (Yawns.)

Scooby: Yeahyeah, I ’preciate it. (Touches Shakir’s book.) What’s this? Wretched of The Earth? Franz Fan-in.

Shakir: I think it’s pronounced Fa-non.

Scooby: Fa-non (pauses), Fa-non. Yeah, a’ight. Well, what’s it about?

Shakir: Fanon was a brother from the Carribbean. He was a psychiatrist, but went to Africa in the fifties and sixties, helped the revolutionary struggles there.

Scooby: Like the Panthers.

Shakir: Exactly.

Scooby: But, I mean, what’s this about? ’Bout what popped off in Africa?

Shakir: No, well, sorta. He’s writing about the psychology of oppressed people and how Europeans constantly use psychology to divide them.

Scooby: So they can conquer them.

(Guard walks on stage.)

Guard: Rack it up! Stand by your doors!

Shakir: Exactly.

Scooby: Yeah, bruh, I’d like to check that out. (Gets up.)

Shakir: A’ight. (Gets up.)

Scooby: Yeah, bruh, I ’preciate that again. I don’t know about everybody, but me and my dawgs, we be feelin’ where you brothers coming from.

Shakir: We better go.

Scooby: (Slips something in Shakir’s breast pocket.) Here.

Shakir: What’s that?

Scooby: Like I said, we be feelin’ you brothers. It’s a little relaxer. Gotta go. (Runs toward his cell door.) Hol’ th’ do’, boss. (Goes in his cell.)

(Shakir walks to his cell door and waits for the guard to let him in. Shakir goes inside, and the guard closes the door behind him. He waits for the guard to exit, then looks in his pocket.)

Shakir: Ah man. (Pulls out a thin joint.) I can’t smoke all this. (Looks out the door, checking for the guard.) Can’t sit on it neither. (Laughs.)

(Shakir peels off his shirt, puts two pencil leads in the electrical outlet. He lights a piece of toilet paper with a third lead. He lights the joint off the toilet paper.)

Scooby: (Calls from his cell.) Shakir!

Shakir: (Runs over to his cell door.) What’s wrong?

Scooby: Nothin, uhn? (Laughs.)

Shakir: Where the laws at?

Scooby: Your cellie not in there?

Shakir: Naw, he’s at work.

Scooby: I’mma hold ya down. Get yo’ relax on.

Shakir: A’ight. (Smokes half the joint, stubs out the remainder on the sink.) A’ight, Scooby.

Scooby: You done?

Shakir: Yeah.

Scooby: (Laughs.) I’m there too, uhn? (Both laugh.) I’mma lay it down.

Shakir: A’ight.

(Shakir steps away from the door, sits on his bunk, and thumbs through Wretched of The Earth. He sets the book down, leans against the wall, and closes his eyes. A man wearing a suit and tie walks on stage and goes to Shakir’s door.)

Franz Fanon: (With a French accent.) Shakir. Shakir.

Shakir: What? Who’s that? (Goes to the door.)

Fanon: Hurry up. While the police do not look.

Shakir: Who the hell-

Fanon: (Frantic.) S’i’ vous plait, open the door before they look.

Shakir: Okay, okay, hold up. (Grabs a spoon and uses it to jimmy the door open. Fanon slips inside.)

Fanon: Merci beaucoup, I did not think you would ever open the door. (Dusts the sleeves of his jacket, then motions towards the joint.) You did not leave me very much.

Shakir: Who are you? What ’n the hell is going on?

Fanon: Everything in due time, monsieur. Will you light the rest for me, or will I have to accomplish it?

Shakir: Okay, hold on. (Ties a new piece of toilet paper on the third lead.) I guess this can’t get any weirder.

Fanon: Oui, I smoked this last in Algeria, but it was—comme-ce dit-on? –hash-eesh, avec les Berbers.

(Shakir lights the remainder of the joint and hands it to Fanon. Fanon. Shakir studies him for a second.)

Shakir: Wait! Algeria?

Fanon: (In a pinched voice, lungs full of smoke.) Oui, are you not going to watch for the guards?

Shakir: Oh . . . yeah. (Goes to the cell door, looks out.)

(Fanon smokes the rest. After on final hit, Fanon swallows the nub.)

Fanon: (In a pinched voice.) Jean-Paul offered to get me some when (exhales) when I was in Paris, during the – comme-ce dit-on?(pauses) chemotherapy. Non, je dit, mais . . .

Shakir: Wait a second. Who are you?

(Shakir walks over to Fanon and feels him in attempt to see if he is real. Fanon gives an inebriated giggle.)

Fanon: Oui?

Shakir: (Runs to the cell door.) Scooby! Scooby! What you put in that? (Silence except for a laughing Fanon.) Scooby!

Fanon: Your ami cannot hear you. He has to—how does your delightful patois go? – lay it down. (Laughs.)

Shakir: Scooby!

Fanon: Please, Shakir, you act as if I wish to discuss the Oedipal-patricidal ritual you and your father enacted.

Shakir: What did you say?

Fanon: Please, sit.

Shakir: (Sits down on his bunk atop The Wretched of The Earth.) What did you say my dad and I did?

Fanon: I am a psychiatrist. I cannot help but notice such things. (Sits on the toilet.)

Shakir: (Gets the book from under him, looks at it, then looks at Fanon.) Wait a second: psychiatrist, Algeria, Paris. You’re Franz Fanon!

Fanon: But of course. Maybe you were expecting Sigmund Freud?

Shakir: This is a dream, right? I smoked that half then fell asleep. That’s it, right?

Fanon: If that is what you desire to believe.

Shakir: Well, what am I supposed to believe?

Fanon: I cannot say. I myself was an atheist most of my adult life. I am just as confused as you, Shakir.

Shakir: You’re a ghost—

Fanon: Je ne sais pas! I am no spook. I am confused about all this as you, Shakir.

Shakir: The ancestors . . . hades, Guinea.

Fanon: Guinea? (Looks into space.) Granmere e Martinique, oui, je recherché de temps perdu—

Shakir: Wait a second. Speak English.

Fanon: (Suddenly breaks his stare, shakes his head.) Non, non.

Shakir: (Affected French accent.) Non, non, what?

Fanon: I do not know.

Shakir: Well, what do you know?

Fanon: I seem to know much about you.

Shakir: About me?

Fanon: Oui, you seemed to be engaged in a struggle not unlike mine in Algeria, n’est-ce pas?

Shakir: I guess.

Fanon: You are a population that is relatively captive—

Shakir: Relative hell.

Fanon: Oui, but do not people come and go? Most people, especially people from the colonies, are more or less captured by their nation-state. Economic, cultural, and language barriers can be just as confining as bars and razor wire.

Shakir: Okay.

Fanon: You are a relatively captive population kept in political and economic stasis. No real power, except the power of your individual bodies. Not unlike the people of Algeria, Martinique, Haiti, or wherever you like.

Shakir: Okay, I’ll ride with that.

Fanon: Many problems you have which are not like the colonies.

Shakir: Like what?

Fanon: You are heterogeneous peoples. Very difficult. The colonists will keep those differences on edge, use them—dangerous as they are. It is a double-edged – comme-ce dit-on? –shank?

Shakir: Yeah, a shank. That’s right.

Fanon: Oui, shank, it cuts them sometimes, but more often you.

Shakir: Can it be worked to our advantage someway to get people to see around those differences?

Fanon: I do not know. People see with their differences. You cannot differentiate what a person sees from their personality, neuroses, and cultural biases.

(Guard walks onstage.)

Guard: Count time! (Begins to look in each cell, counting heads.)

Shakir: (Hops up, goes to the door.) Oh, shit!

Fanon: What is wrong?

Shakir: They’re counting. Quick, get under my bunk. We can’t let you get on count. You’ll screw up their head count. (Fanon crawls under the bunk. Shakir notices his tell-tale signs of smoking.) Shit. (Grabs the leads out of the socket, throws them in the toilet, and turns on his fan. Guard comes up to the door, sniffs loudly a couple of times.)

Guard: You been smoking?

Shakir: Smoking? No, my nightlight is screwed up. The bulb will melt the plastic and make it smell like that.

Guard: Yeah right. (Continues counting, exits.)

Shakir: A’ight, Franz, you can come out now. (Fanon comes from under the bunk, giggling.) What’s so funny?

Fanon: I am just a psychoanalyst from Martinique, but (laughs) I could have thought of something better.

Shakir: What?

Fanon: A burning lamp? (Laughs.) Your lamp is not even on. (Laughs.)

Shakir: I was in a – (Fanon still laughs. Shakir stares at him momentarily.) Oh shut up. (Both sit down.)

Fanon: Oui, I thought of Marx beneath your bed. You are a divided people. Everyone has their own motivations and desires. You are forced to compete one among the other, like dogs fighting for the scraps the master tosses. There are many hurdles to class-consciousness, collective catharsis.

Shakir: But what about what we’ve done?

Fanon: Non. I like it but you seem to exist at the colonists whim. When you do not suit their desires, they will crush you.

Shakir: So should I even play ball with the major?

Fanon: I cannot tell you what to do. I can only suggest.

Shakir: Well, what do you suggest?

Fanon: How do you make them see that they have more to gain in common than apart? I do not know. It takes creativity, much work, and dangerous risks to make them see it.

Shakir: So what you’re saying is that it’s impossible?

Fanon: Non, never. I cannot tell the warrior that the battle is impossible. He will never fight the battle. You must fight them, all of you. All of you are ready, but the catharsis has yet to become collective, one direction. Too often that violence is visited back upon you.

Shakir: So what’s the point, if they just run in on us at the end?

Fanon: You should not think such. Should have Toussaint-Louverture liberated Haiti if he knew France and the United States would put a strangle hold on it, install Papa Docs, and force out its elected leaders. Non. (Pauses.) You must fight, any way you can.

Shakir: What was that you were saying about my father?

Fanon: The Oedipal-patricide ritual?

Shakir: Yeah.

Fanon: (Smiles.) Oui, your father has come to represent your image of authority. You feel he was pigheaded and uncaring when you were young, n’est-ce pas?

Shakir: Yeah, but we a’ight now.

Fanon: Oui, because you have accomplished the ritual. The father, or his impression upon you, becomes your image of authority. Think how you used to feel about him growing up and how you feel now about the power the state holds over you.

Shakir: But why are we okay now?

Fanon: Because, there was a tension between you and your father growing up—his desire to instill his values into you and your desire to assert yourself.

Shakir: Yeah, but we always fought growing up.

Fanon: It does not matter. There may have been many arguments, fights, but the patricide, the murderous intent could never come to the front. It was masked by your conscious behavior. When you pulled the pistol on your father, the impulse became effaced.

Shakir: But I really meant to shoot him.

Fanon: Oui.

Shakir: Did he mean to shoot me?

Fanon: I do not know, but his intent did not matter. When the ritual has been played, the old relationship has been effaced.

Shakir: It’s only been in the last few years we’ve been okay.

Fanon: There must be a time of readjustment, when you both establish your position before the other. What you must see that the fight you wage now is also within you.

Shakir: You really think so?

Fanon: I am not certain either. I do not know how well Freud works for us, sometimes.

Shakir: (Picks up the book.) But isn’t that what a lot of this is?

Fanon: Oui, but (pause) I have adapted Freud. There is a sense of alienation and separation that cannot work entirely for us. The poor little white child puckered over the cold, white porcelain, (knocks on the toilet) trying desperately to please mother. I think it describes them pretty well. (Stands.) I must go.

Shakir: How do you know all this stuff about me?

Fanon: I do not know. It is like an echo in my mind.

Shakir: I wish you could stay.

Fanon: Your friends and family are here. They connect me to you.

Shakir: What does that mean?

Fanon: I do not know. I must go. Would you open the door?

Shakir: (Pops the door.) How are you going to get out?

Fanon: The same way I came in. (Leaves.)

(Shakir closes the door, lays down, grabs Wretched of The Earth. Suddenly he hops up, runs to the door.)

Shakir: Scooby! Scooby! (Silence.) Ah, fuck it. (Lays back down.)