Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Week 35, Day 241 - “Ain't That Love"”

“Ain’t That Love”
Written by Joe Janes
“Ain’t That Love” written and composed by Ray Charles
241 of 365

Whitehorn, 30s

(Lights up on a large man in a blue shirt and denim pants. He sits on the edge of a single bed. He is singing “Ain’t That Love” by Ray Charles. He sings very well.)

Now, baby when you sigh
I wanna sigh with you
When you cry
I wanna cry some, too

Now, ain't that love
Oh, ain't that love that I feel
In my heart for you

Welcome to the block. My name is Alexis Durango Whitehorn. People round here call me Whit. You can call me Whit. Welcome to the block. First timer?... Don’t sweat it too much… You scored in the cellmate lottery. I’m a good guy. Not gonna go through your things. Not gonna rub up against you in your sleep. I expect the same courtesy in return. Do not misinterpret my friendliness with a seduction. I don’t seduct. I am not a seducter. If I wanted you, we wouldn’t be talking right now. Well, I might be. You wouldn’t be able to. But you’ve got nothing to worry about. This ain’t much, but it’s my home. And I care about my home. But out there. Out there is where you’ve got to watch your back, and your front.

When your friends
Turn their back on you
I'll be here
Just to see you through

Now, ain't that love
Ain't that love
Ain't that love, ooohhh now
Ain't that love
That I feel in my heart for you

Out there, keep your game up. Lay low, stick to your business, do your work. Most of what we do here is kill time. And you know how that goes. Man gets bored, he do stupid things. Pick fights, grinds his hips up against things he shouldn’t. Makes noise. Keep busy. That’s the best thing I can tell you. Keep busy. Read. Write. Work out. What are you in for?... Armed robbery… You know, I ain’t never touched a gun. Never.

Now when you walk
I wanna walk with you
When you talk
Wanna talk some, too

Now, ain't that love
Oh, ain't that love that I feel
In my heart for you

You know what I dream about? Riding a bicycle. I don’t even own a bicycle. Did when I was a kid. Used to hop on that bike and peddle my ass off. For miles. I guess, I don’t know. Seemed like miles. Something about that. Going somewhere on your own power, Feeling the wind against you, feeling the road under you. Poppin’ wheelies. I haven’t ridden a bike in ten years, but didn’t know how much I missed it until I was locked up in here. I miss riding. I miss taking myself somewhere with my own muscle.

If you ever
Ever need a friend
I'll be with you
Yes, until the end

Now, ain't that love
Ain't that love
Don't you know, baby don't you know, I
Ain't that love, baby that I feel
In my heart for you

I killed a dude. Just one. Real asshole. Know what I used? Started with my fists. But it’s amazing. As soon as you have it in your mind to kill someone, everything around you becomes a potential weapon. Lamp, lamp cord, Chair. That book you’re holding. A toy Godzilla. One of those hard rubber ones. Belonged to my wife’s ten year old, Howie. Just grabbed the tail and clubbed the fucker to death. Bashed his skull in with a toy. Bought Howie a new one, but Tricia says she threw it away. Didn’t want it around. No offense, but guns are for cowards. If you’re going to kill someone, the only fair way to do it is with your hands. And you get a lot of aggression out. After the, I don’t know, tenth swing, I didn’t care anymore. But he was fucked up pretty bad and I felt I needed to finish the job. I’m like that. Always finish what I start.

Baby, won't you let me hold your hand
I want to squeeze you as tight as I can
Baby, don't you need me by your side
To protect you and be your guide
Baby, I'm so in love with you
I'd do anything you tell me to

Now, ain't that love
Ain't that love
C'mon now, ain't that love, now
Ain't that love, baby that I feel
In my heart for you

Didn’t even know the dude. Some European fucker who was banging my wife. A client of hers. Sunglasses and a goatee. He was wearing sunglasses while sticking it to her. Who does that? I don’t even think blind people do that. So, here I am. Tight quarters, three squares a day, regular exercise and I have a new hobby. Reading. Just finished Huckleberry Finn. Good book. Just started Robinson Crusoe. The guards are okay. Treat them with respect and they cut you some slack. Treat them like shit and they’ll treat you worse.

You know what’s fucked up. I wasn’t even mad at my wife. I was mad at him. You don’t touch another man’s wife. Kyle from Argentina. He knew she was married and it didn’t stop him. That’s disrespectful. She wears her ring all the time. Still does. We’re still married. Like I said, I finish what I start.

All right, you need to stop flapping your jaws. I’m going to do some reading. Don’t be shy about using the toilet. You get used to it.

Oh, that I feel in my heart for you
Oh, that I feel in my heart for you
Oh, that I feel in my heart for you

(Whitehorn lies down and starts reading and humming “Ain’t That Love” to himself as lights fade.)


Anonymous said...


GarinT said...

I agree with Anon. This is freaking awesome Joe. Love this character. So many quotables too.

Chris Othic said...

Yeah, I love it and love the format of this scene. One of my faves lately.

How did this one come about?

Joe Janes said...

Thanks for the kudos on this one. It took a long time to write. Sometimes when I don;t know what I'm going to write, I shuffle through my iTunes and a version of this song came up. I also was reading a news article about someone who spent seven days in prison because his identity was stolen. I also realized that it's been a long time since I've written a monologue. I thought someone who had been in prison awhile would be more interesting than someone new, but they needed a reason to share what they knew, thus the orientation.

I almost scrapped it. I didn't think it was funny enough.