Monday, June 11, 2012

Lee and Brad


            Lee (a female Lee) is speaking to us.

Lee     I’ve got a twin brother. Non-identical, I would hasten to add. I mean, obviously. But in more ways than one. I don’t know what’s wrong with him. None of us do. We started out the same. But over the years he’s become … strange. Nowadays, he barely knows to come in out of t’rain.

Bradley stands there in the rain.

Lee     Brad. Bradley.

            Bradley is miles away.

Lee     Bradley!

Bradley         What?

Lee     Come in out of t’rain.

Bradley         Oh. Yeah. Thanks.

Brad comes in.

Lee     It’s pissing down, y’daft get.

Bradley         I know. I dunno what I was thinking.

Lee     Have you been drinking?

Bradley         No.

Lee     Bradley.

Bradley         Just a little snifter.

Lee     (to us) Usually, he comes begging for work.

Bradley         Can you get us any work, Lee?

Lee     I thought you were signing on.

Bradley         I got booted off didn’t I.

Lee     What for?

Bradley         Working.

Lee     Then you’ve got a job.

Bradley         It was only a few hours in Morrisons.

Lee     What happened?

Bradley         Dole officer came to do her groceries.

Lee     You idiot.

Bradley         She said I was ‘actively defrauding the state’.

Lee     You are.

Bradley         Please, Lee. I’m in a right mess. You’ve got your big posh offices. I’m broke. Surely you can get me summat.

Lee     (to us) There’s a limit to how much of this I can take.

Bradley         I’m thinking of becoming an anarchist.

Lee     You what?

Bradley         An anarchist.

Lee     Then you won’t need a job will you?

Bradley         Why not?

Lee     Well you’ll just steal everything you need won’t you.

Bradley         That’s not what anarchism’s about. It’s about community, cooperation, non-hierarchical living.

Lee     You can live off that then can’t you.

Bradley         What?

Lee     I’m busy, Bradley. Go away.

Bradley         But sis –

Lee     Come back when you’ve sorted yourself out.

Bradley         But I’m skint, you’re rich.

            Lee slams the door in Brad’s face.

Bradley         Bitch.

Lee     (to us) This might sound strange but, over the years, his appearance started to change.

            She opens the door.

Lee     Come in out of t’rain y’daft get.

Bradley         Oh, right, yeah.

Lee     Pissing down out there.

Bradley         I know. Have you got a cup of tea, sis?

Lee     No I bloody haven’t. What do you want?

Bradley         I’ve got summat to tell you.

Lee     Why do you look different?

Bradley         What you on about?

Lee     You look different.

Bradley         Do I?

Lee     Yeah. Darker. You been out sunbathing?

Bradley         No. It’s natural.

Lee     I think you might be ill.

Bradley         I am ill.

Lee     I thought so.

Bradley         But not physically.

Lee     What then?

Bradley         Mentally.

Lee     We’ve known that for years.

Bradley         No, I mean, I went to the doctor. I’ve got a split personality.

Lee     You don’t mean me do you?

Bradley         What? No.

Lee     Is this a joke?

Bradley         No. It’s called Dissociative Identity Disorder.

Lee     I see. This isn’t another one from your homeopath is it?

Bradley         No, it’s real this time. I’ve got another personality. He’s from abroad. He’s a Muslim.

Lee     Bradley –

Bradley         But this is the thing right, my other personality, which is like, this one I’m talking to you with now – I think – him and the other one don’t get on too well. So I’ve been having arguments. Arguments with meself.

Lee     You mean like a tramp?

Bradley         Sis, please, I need your help.

Lee     How can I possibly help with that?

Bradley         You can get us a job. Two jobs. We can have one each.

Lee     You really think I’d have you skulking round my office like that?

Bradley         Like what?

Lee     When did you last wash?

Bradley         What you talking about?

Lee     Go and have a bath. You’re covered in dirt.

Bradley         That’s just my skin.

Lee     It looks like dirt.

Bradley         You can’t say that. It’s racist.

Lee     I’m busy Bradley.

Bradley         I know but –

Lee     Go away.

Bradley         But sis –

Lee slams the door in his face.

Bradley         Bitch.

Lee     (to us) To be honest, we’re not that close at all. It’s just that he’s always lived a few doors down, so it’s impossible to get away from him. One night, he had this massive party. At least, I think it was a party.

Lee opens the door.

Lee     Come in out of t’rain.

Bradley         It’s not raining today.

Lee     Yes it is.

Bradley         Is it? Oh yeah.

Lee     What the hell was all that about?

Bradley         When?

Lee     Last night.

Bradley         Oh. Yeah. We had a riot.

Lee     I could hear that. You’ll have kept the whole street up partying like that.

Bradley         No I mean, an actual riot.

Lee     You what?

Bradley         I’ve only just been released from custody.

Lee     Oh for goodness sake.

Bradley         Yeah, it was awful. It was me and my split personality. We started arguing, and it turned into this massive scrap. We trashed the house together. And then it spilled out onto the street.

Lee     You’re an embarrassment, Bradley.

Bradley         I’m sorry. Got a proper bollocking off t’police.

Lee     I should hope so too.

Bradley         It won’t happen again.

Lee     Won’t it?

Bradley         Actually, it might.

Lee     Get help, Bradley.

Bradley         I will.

Lee     Good.

Bradley         I’m going to have surgery.

Lee     You what?

Bradley         Yeah. These plastic surgeons were advertising for someone to practice on so it’s all free. Reckon they can sort me right out. New nose, new lips, bit of a nip and tuck.

Lee     Bradley –

Bradley         It’s gonna be great. I’ll look like a million dollars. I might become a model.

Lee     Who are these people?

Bradley         Oh I dunno. Just some blokes.

Lee     Tell em to sort your skin out.

Bradley         I will.

Lee     Like a constant sheen of muck.

Bradley         I’m bloody starving Lee. Any chance of a fry up? But half of me’s Muslim so no bacon please.

Lee     There’s a café round the corner.

Bradley         But -

Lee     I’m busy, Bradley. Go away.

            Lee slams the door in his face.

Bradley         Bitch.

Lee     (to us) Next time he came round, he’d had the surgery. Bloody idiot only went and let them do it didn’t he? Didn’t even tell me he was going into hospital. When he next came round, he showed me something that was genuinely shocking.

Lee opens the door.

Lee     It’s raining.

Bradley         I know.

Lee     Well you’d better come in then hadn’t you.

Bradley         Thanks Lee.

Lee     What do you want?

Bradley         I‘m in trouble sis.

Lee     I can see that.

Bradley         I mean proper trouble.

Lee     Go on.

Bradley         I had the surgery.

Lee     Oh my god.

Bradley         It was awful.

Lee     Why don’t you look any different then?

Bradley         They didn’t touch my face.

Lee     I thought that was the idea.

Bradley         So did I.

Lee     So what did they touch?

            Bradley opens up his coat to show Lee his chest.

Lee     (to us) And he opens his coat up. And there’s this gaping, bleeding hole in the centre of his chest. And I can see right through. I mean, I could put my hand right through, and out the other side. Jesus, Bradley. Oh god. What have you gone and done?

Bradley         It wasn’t me! It was these guys. They promised they’d sort me out. But when I woke up, I was like this.

Lee     They’ve stolen your bloody heart!

Bradley         I know.

Lee     You have to go to the hospital.

Bradley         Can you drive me?

            Pause.

Lee     I’m kind of busy right now.

Bradley         Sis. Please.

Lee     I’ll call you an ambulance.

Bradley         Right. Thanks.

Lee     Wait outside.

Bradley         It’s pouring down.

Lee     You’re getting blood on the carpet.

Bradley         Am I?

Lee     It’s brand new, this.

Bradley         Right. Alright. I’ll wait outside.

Lee     (to us) The hospital didn’t have a new heart. But somehow, t’bugger survived. Just went without. They patched him up as best they could, and I bought him a set of M&S vests to keep t’hole covered up. His life went on, if you can call that. Then, he fell in love.

Lee opens the door.

Bradley         I’ve fallen in love.

Lee     Does it keep the rain off?

Bradley         What?

Lee     Come in y’daft get.

            Brad comes in.

Bradley         I’ve never felt like this before about anyone, Lee. He’s brilliant. He’s Scottish. He smokes these massive cigars. He knows all these amazing people. Dictators, mostly. He’s amazing too. Once, he dressed up as a cat on the telly.

Lee     I knew who he meant. He’s not from round here.

Bradley         He really likes me too. Says he’s gonna sort us out.

Lee     Bradley. This man is exploiting you.

Bradley         No he’s not.

Lee     He is! He’s using you to get what he wants. He’ll suck you dry, tear you in half, leave you for dead, and then move on to the next one.

Bradley         He won’t! He loves me!

Lee     Brad, you’re deluded.

Bradley         Maybe you’re the deluded one, Lee.

Lee     No.

Bradley         Maybe you’re jealous.

Lee     I’ve been married for years.

Bradley         Yeah, to your bloody ‘career’. In your fancy pants office, shoving bits of paper in and out of each other’s arseholes –

Lee     Bradley, if you’re going to be abusive –

Bradley         Constantly trying to make everyone else notice you’re even there. Well you know what? They don’t know you’re there. They don’t need you. And they don’t give a shit.

Lee     Really? Well neither do I.

            Lee slams the door.

Bradley         Stuck up bitch!

Lee     (to us) Didn’t see each other for ages after that. To be honest, I was glad. He had his affair, and I had my work. Just cos we’re related, it doesn’t mean we have to see each other. Then, one day, he turned up out of the blue.

            Lee opens the door.

Lee     Brad.

Bradley         Lee.

Lee     You’re soaked.

Bradley         It’s raining. Can I come in?

            He comes in.

Bradley         We split up.

Lee     Who?

Bradley         Me and George. Don’t say owt, alright, just don’t.

            Pause.

Lee     Have you been drinking?

Bradley         I’m totally and utterly shitfaced.

Lee     I thought you were Muslim.

Bradley         Only half.

            Pause.

Lee     I’m sorry you split up.

Bradley         Thanks.

            Pause.

Lee     Do you need anything?

Bradley         I thought …

Lee     What?

Bradley         Nothing.

Lee     No go on.

Bradley         It’s daft.

Lee     Say it.

Bradley         I thought maybe …. You’d let me … I just wanted to listen to your heart.

Lee     And he gets down on his knees.

            Bradley gets down on his knees.

Lee     Puts his ear to my chest.

He puts his ear to her chest.

Lee     And listens.

            Bradley listens.

Bradley         I miss my heart. Yours is lovely. It’s like a posh carriage clock. Brass case. Velvet lining. Precision engineering. Ticking. Beating. Beautiful. B-boom. B-boom. B-boom.

Lee     We stayed like that for an age. I don’t even know how long. It was the closest we’d been in years. But it was still weird. But he’s my twin brother. What can you do?

            Blackout.

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