Stories / Bromeo & Juliet

a translation of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet to modern English and American culture. a work in progress.

SCENE I. Miami. A public place.

Sampson

I ain't gonna take this shit, Greg.

Gregory

Fuckin' A. You know what takes shit, Sammy? Fuckin' toilets, man. We ain't fuckin' toilets.

Sampson

I'm just saying. They start shit, I'm not makin' any promises.

Gregory

Maybe you should worry about your own shit first, dude.

Sampson

Line in the sand, bro. Line in the fuckin' sand.

Gregory

Yeah, you keep sayin' that, and you keep movin' the fuckin' line.

Sampson

Hey, it's the fuckin' Montagues movin' it, Greg, not me.

Gregory

So, what, you running from the Montagues now?

Sampson

I'm running toward the fuckin' Montagues, Greg. I will fuck up any bitch they throw at me.

Gregory

Takes a real man to slap hos around, Sammy.

Sampson

What good are the fuckin' Montagues if I can't get me some pussy out of them?

Gregory

Eyes on the prize, man; it's Monty's boys makin' trouble.

Sampson

Same fuckin' difference, bro. Once I'm through with the boys, I'll make the bitches bleed too.

Gregory

Like they ain't bled already.

Sampson

Take it how you want, man.

Gregory

Sounds to me it's those Montague sluts gonna be takin' it how you want.

Sampson

Who could turn me down, bro?

Gregory

I sure could, Sammy.

Gregory

Hey man, get ready. Here come the fuckin' Montagues.

Sampson

I was born ready, bro. You wanna start shit, I got your back?

Gregory

Yeah, you'll be at my back so you can run.

Sampson

I'm serious, man.

Gregory

That's what I'm afraid of.

Sampson

Let's play it cool, man. Let them throw the first punch, yeah?

Gregory

I'll stare 'em down, see what they think of that.

Sampson

Fuck that, bro. I'll flip 'em off, they can't let that stand.

Abram

Hey, you flippin' us the bird, bro?

Sampson

I am flippin' the bird, bro.

Abram

You flippin' us off, bro?

Sampson

Hey, can they start shit if I say yeah?

Gregory

Yeah, man.

Sampson

Nah, man. I ain't flippin' you the bird, man. But I am flippin' the bird.

Gregory

You got a problem, dude?

Abram

Bro, no, bro. I ain't got a problem, bro.

Sampson

Hey, you got a problem, I'm your man. My boss is just as good as yours.

Abram

He's not any better.

Sampson

That so?

Gregory

Better say he is; that's the boss's nephew over there.

Sampson

Nah, man. Boss Monty ain't shit.

Abram

Fuck you.

Sampson

Come at me, bro.

Benvolio

Whoa, calm the fuck down, guys. The fuck do you think you're doing?

Tybalt

Oh, look who thinks he's a big man, pickin' a fight with the help.

Look me in the fuckin' eye while I end you, Benvolio.

Benvolio

Hey man, I'm just trying to stop a fight. I'm not trying to start trouble. So either drop your piece or help me out here.

Tybalt

I'll fuckin' make peace with my piece, ya dig? Now you gonna stand there or you gonna fight?

Policemen

Surround them! Tybalt Capulet and Benvolio Montague, you are under arrest for attempted murder and disturbance of the peace!

Mr. Capulet

What is going ON here? Someone get me my rifle!

Mrs. Capulet

What will you do with it, you old fool, prop yourself up with it? This isn't good for your health traipsing around like this at all hours!

Mr. Capulet

I'm going to plug that bastard Montague, Martha! Look at him, shooting up my boys to spite me!

Mr. Montague

Capulet! You senile old coot — let go of me, Sylvia, I'm going to put that son of a bitch down for good!

Mrs. Montague

You're going back inside to sleep off that whiskey, is the only place you're going, Montgomery!

Chief Escalus

You're surrounded! Lay down your arms and come quietly or you will be fired upon!

Chief Escalus

Montague! Capulet! This is the third time you've incited riots in this city! You're going to be facing the death penalty if this happens again.

Chief Escalus

Get them in a squad car. The Mayor wants a word. Montague: city hall, this afternoon. If you're late, I will personally throw you in jail.

Mr. Montague

Alright, who started it this time? Benvolio? You see what happened?

Benvolio

Some of our guys were fighting Capulet's, boss. I tried to stop them but then that cunt Tybalt came after me with a fucking gun. I guess the gunshots drew a crowd. It was all kind of a blur until the Chief showed up.

Mrs. Montague

Romeo wasn't involved in this, was he? Was my dear boy hurt?

Benvolio

No, no. I saw him earlier, actually. Had a bad trip at the club on Sycamore last night and I was trying to get some fresh air. Dunno why he was over on the west side, he's always too prissy to come skirt-chasing with me and the boys, but it looked like he was out for a walk. I tried to catch up with him but I think he wanted to be alone too. Ran off into the Everglades and I couldn't find him.

Mr. Montague

It's not the first time he's been over there. Spends half his mornings wandering around the west side crying his fool head off. Always home by sunrise though.

Then he comes home, locks himself in his room with the window shut. Lives in South Florida and the boy's pale as a ghost. It's not good for his health. Christ, it's probably time I found him a counselor.

Benvolio

Shit, boss. What d'you think's up with him?

Mr. Montague

Damned if I know. I've given up prying it out of him.

Benvolio

Maybe a pint'll get him talking.

Mr. Montague

Hell, Benny, I've tried. And his friends have, the ones he hasn't driven away. They used to go out drinking every week but now he just sits alone and broods. If we could just figure out what's wrong with him, we'd do anything to help the poor kid.

Benvolio

Hey, speak of the devil. Look, boss, lemme talk to him. I'll get the story out of him, one way or another.

Mr. Montague

Hah. Good luck, Benny. You'll need it. Come on, Sylvia, let's head home.