AARON
                                                           (smiling)
                                How about you, beautiful. What are you
                                doing tonight?

                                                                 SCOWLING BLONDE
                                                           (she finally smiles & points)
                                Your pen is leaking.

Aaron looks down and indeed it's true. Cathy put the pen back in pocket the wrong way. There's a black stain on his shirt.

                                                                 AARON
                                Oh, shit!

INT. AARON'S APARTMENT - DAY
Aaron sits at his computer staring out over Hollywood. From the table beside him he picks up the napkin with her name, number and two dancers. He picks up the phone, pauses, then quickly dials. It rings half of one time and is answered.

                                                                 CATHY
                                                           (O.S.)
                                Hello?

                                                                 AARON
                                Cathrine?

                                                                 CATHY
                                Yes. Who is this?

                                                                 AARON
                                This is Aaron.

                                                                 CATHY
                                                           (surprised)
                                ...Hi. You called.

                                                                 AARON
                                You didn't think I would?

Aaron lights a cigarette.

                                                                 CATHY
                                You didn't remember me from Tennessee.


                                                                 AARON
                                Yes, well, nobody's perfect. But I did call, and
                                rather promptly, too, I might add. So, would you
                                like to get together?

                                                                 CATHY
                                I already said I did. What are you doing Friday?

                                                                 AARON
                                Going out with you.

                                                                 CATHY
                                Listen to what it is first. It's business for me. I designed
                                the lobby of a theater for this tribute. It's for some guy
                                named Nunnally Johnson.

                                                                 AARON
                                Nunnally Johnson. He's dead.

                                                                 CATHY
                                You know who he is?

                                                                 AARON
                                Sure. He wrote the screenplay for "The Grapes
                                Of Wrath."

                                                                 CATHY
                                How could you know that? Nobody knows who
                                he is.

                                                                 AARON
                                This isn't just my business, baby, it's my life.

                                                                 CATHY
                                I see. So, you wanna go?

                                                                 AARON
                                Absolutely. What time and where?

                                                                 CATHY
                                Seven o'clock, Friday, the Music Hall on Wilshire.
                                You've got to wear a suit and tie.

                                                                 AARON
                                I think I can handle that. See you then.
                                                           (he hangs up and nods)


EXT. MUSIC HALL THEATER - NIGHT

The Music Hall is a nice older theater on Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills. Aaron steps in front of the theater in his suit and tie and he looks very good. There's no line and there's no one in the ticket booth. Aaron opens the glass door and goes inside.

INT. MUSIC HALL THEATER - NIGHT

The lobby is decorated in black and white. The floor is checkerboard. There are pillars and mirrors. It's done in an extravagant old Hollywood style and it's very good. A woman in an EVENING GOWN steps up to Aaron.

                                                                 EVENING GOWN
                                May I help you?

                                                                 AARON
                                Well, uh... I'm Cathrine Anderson's date.

The woman looks at him blankly. Aaron waves his arms about the room. The woman lights up.

                                                                 EVENING GOWN
                                Oh, Cathy. I'll get her.

Aaron puts his hands in his pockets and strolls the length of the lobby. A man wearing a TUXEDO steps up.

                                                                 TUXEDO
                                May I help you?

                                                                 AARON
                                I'm Cathy Anderson's date.

                                                                 TUXEDO
                                                           (eyes widening)
                                Oh... I'll get her for you.

                                                                 AARON
                                A woman already went for her, thank you.

                                                                 TUXEDO
                                                           (conversationally)
                                So, you're Cathy's date. Have you two been
                                going out long?

                                                                 AARON
                                Tonight's our first date.

                                                                 TUXEDO
                                Really? That's so sweet. Well, she certainly is beautiful.
                                And a hard worker, too. She was here all night long
                                decorating this foyer.

Aaron turns and there is Cathy coming down the steps in a tight black evening gown, putting on her earrings. She looks really stunning.

                                                                 CATHY
                                I just this minute finished.

                                                                 AARON
                                You look great.

He kisses her cheek.

                                                                 CATHY
                                Thanks.

She walks right past him and goes to where some crepe bunting isn't hanging correctly and fixes it. She then goes over to the man in the tux.

                                                                 CATHY
                                So, we're all set then?

                                                                 TUXEDO
                                Completely, dear. Don't worry.

                                                                 CATHY
                                                           (nods)
                                Right.

She crosses back to Aaron and gestures around the lobby.

                                                                 CATHY
                                So, what do you think? Do you like it?

                                                                 AARON
                                Yeah. You did a great job. It looks fantastic.

                                                                 CATHY
                                Thanks. You're sweet. You look really good in
                                a suit and tie.

                                                                 AARON
                                Thank you. So who's going to be speaking tonight?

                                                                 CATHY
                                Oh, let's see... Bette Davis, Lauren Bacall, Charlton
                                Heston, people like that.

Aaron's eyes are wide.

                                                                 AARON
                                Oh, just people like that, huh? Pretty impressive
                                line-up.

Cathy isn't listening. She is looking outside where people in evening wear are leaving the restaurant across the street and streaming toward the theater.

                                                                 CATHY
                                                           (shakes her head)
                                Ready or not, here they come.

INT. MUSIC HALL THEATER - NIGHT

People jam the lobby for the champagne reception. Aaron goes to the refreshment table and gets two glasses of champagne. When he returns to where he left Cathy she's not there. He looks all around but can't see her. He sighs and drinks both glasses of champagne. He feels lost.

A voice comes through the crowd.

                                                                 TERRY
                                Aaron!

Aaron perks up and pushes his way through the people to find a tall, attractive, butch, short-haired woman named TERRY calling his name. Aaron is pleased to know someone.

                                                                 AARON
                                Terry, hi.

Terry is standing beside a short, dour, black-haired woman. She is MAUREEN.

                                                                 TERRY
                                Aaron, this is Maureen. Maureen, Aaron.
                                                           (they shake hands)
                                What are you doing here? You never go to these
                                kinds of things.

                                                                 AARON
                                I'm here to pay posthumous tribute to Nunnally
                                Johnson.

                                                                 TERRY
                                By yourself?

                                                                 AARON
                                No, I'm actually here with a date, although where she
                                is right now I can't say.

                                                                 TERRY
                                                           (surprised)
                                I've never seen you with a date before. I wasn't sure
                                you did that kind of thing.

                                                                 AARON
                                What? Date women?

                                                                 TERRY
                                No, date anybody. I thought you just went to the
                                movies, hitch-hiked around, and wrote.
                                                           (to Maureen)
                                Aaron's a screenwriter. He just had a script
                                produced.

                                                                 MAUREEN
                                                           (interested)
                                Oh, really? What's it called?

                                                                 AARON
                                "The Dead Don't Die." It's a horror film.

Maureen's interest has instantly evaporated.

                                                                 MAUREEN
                                                           (flatly)
                                Oh.

                                                                 TERRY
                                                           (grins)
                                Are you really here with a date? I'm not sure I
                                believe you. Point her out to me.

Aaron looks around the crowded lobby. He finally spots Cathy talking to four men.

                                                                 AARON
                                That's her.

                                                                 TERRY
                                Well... She's very attractive. Is she an actress?

                                                                 AARON
                                No. She's a production designer. I met her on the
                                movie. She did this room.

                                                                 TERRY
                                Well, well. Could this be something serious?

                                                                 AARON
                                                           (shrugs)
                                This is our first date and we haven't exchanged ten
                                words yet, so it's not real serious. She's probably
                                wondering where I am, so...
                                                           (to Maureen)
                                It was nice meeting you.

                                                                 MAUREEN
                                And you.

                                                                 TERRY
                                                           (winks)
                                Good luck.

                                                                 AARON
                                Thanks.

Aaron goes back to the refreshment table and gets two more glasses of champagne. He makes his way through the crowd to Cathy and the four men, all of whom are paying complete attention to her. He steps up to her.

                                                                 AARON
                                Hi.

Cathy glances back.

                                                                 CATHY
                                Oh, hi.
                                                           (she takes a glass of champagne)
                                Excuse me a second, would you, this is business.

                                                                 AARON
                                Oh. Okay. Sure.

Cathy goes back to talking to the men. Aaron stands there, a step behind her, invisible. After a minute she turns back to him.

                                                                 CATHY
                                Look, there's still a few things I've got to take
                                care of.
                                                           (she hands him a ticket)
                                Why don't you get our seats and I'll meet you in
                                a minute.

                                                                 AARON
                                All right.

Cathy turns back to the men and Aaron becomes invisible again. He walks away.

INT. AUDITORIUM - NIGHT

Aaron gets a program and takes his seat. He watches as the seats fill up around him. All except the seat right next to him. He glances through the program.

The auditorium is almost entirely full now. All except the seat beside Aaron. He looks around nervously. The show's about to begin. He shrugs helplessly.

The lights go down and the tribute begins. An older man steps up to the podium and reminisces about Nunnally Johnson. He then lists off the evening's speakers: Bette Davis, Charlton Heston, Lauren Bacall, Ruby Keeler, Robert Cummings, on and on. Finally Cathy appears. She steps down the row and drops into the empty seat beside Aaron.

                                                                 CATHY
                                I'm exhausted. I'm sorry I just left you, but...

                                                                 AARON
                                That's okay.

                                                                 CATHY
                                Are you having a good time?

                                                                 AARON
                                Great. I can't wait to see Bette Davis.

                                Cathy takes his arm and kisses his cheek.

                                                                 CATHY
                                You're sweet.

Aaron relaxes and glances up at the stage. He turns back to Cathy and she's asleep. Her head drops against his shoulder. Aaron sighs and watches the stage. A second later Cathy's head drops back over the edge of the seat and she starts snoring, loudly. Everyone in a ten seat radius looks at her. Aaron is embarrassed. He grabs her arm and shakes her lightly. No reponse. She continues snoring like an untuned chain-saw. Aaron is really embarrassed. He gives her a hard shake.

                                                                 AARON
                                                           (sharply)
                                Cathy!

                                                                 CATHY
                                                           (loudly)
                                What?
                                                           (she looks around and
                                                           realizes where she is)
                                Oh. Sorry.

Her head stays erect for about thirty seconds, then she passes out again. Her snoring picks up where it left off. People are getting annoyed. He explains to those around him...

                                                                 AARON
                                She was up all night.

Aaron shakes her again.

                                                                 AARON
                                                           (whispering)
                                Cathy!

                                                                 CATHY
                                                           (snapping loudly)
                                What, Goddamnit!

                                                                 AARON
                                                           (quietly)
                                You're snoring.

                                                                 CATHY
                                I was? I've got to go home to bed.

                                                                 AARON
                                But the show's just starting. Bette Davis is
                                going to be on. And Lauren Bacall.

Cathy nods tiredly.

                                                                 CATHY
                                Okay, we'll stay.

Her head immediately starts to tilt over and the snoring kicks back in. Aaron grabs her and she straightens up.

                                                                 AARON
                                Let's go.

                                                                 CATHY
                                Really? You don't mind?

                                                                 AARON
                                No.

                                                                 CATHY
                                But the show's just starting.

                                                                 AARON
                                That's okay. Let's go.

                                                                 CATHY
                                Good.

They stand and move down the row.

The SPEAKER from the stage says...

                                                                 SPEAKER
                                And now, ladies and gentlemen, two-time Oscar-
                                winner, and first lady of the silver screen... Bette
                                Davis!

Everyone rises to their feet for a standing ovation. Cathy steps out the door into the lobby. Aaron is caught not knowing whether to stay or go. He goes.

INT. LOBBY - NIGHT

Cathy is tiredly putting on her coat. She waves her hand around the lobby.

                                                                 CATHY
                                All that work and tomorrow it'll be gone.

                                                                 AARON
                                                           (philosophically)
                                Satisfaction's an ephemeral thing.

                                                                 CATHY
                                                           (not listening)
                                What was that?

                                                                 AARON
                                Here today, gone tomorrow.

                                                                 CATHY
                                You really don't mind leaving, do you?

                                                                 AARON
                                No. Not at all. I've seen all of these people in the
                                movies anyway.

                                                                 CATHY
                                You're mad, right?

                                                                 AARON
                                No I'm not.

                                                                 CATHY
                                Really?

                                                                 AARON
                                Really.

                                                                 CATHY
                                You're sweet.

Aaron opens the door and they leave the theater.

EXT. SIDE STREET - NIGHT

They arrive at Aaron's five year old Honda Civic. He opens the passenger door and Cathy gets in. He goes around to his door, gets in and finds her asleep and snoring.

INT. AARON'S CAR - NIGHT

He starts the engine, is about to put it in gear and throws up his hands.

                                                                 AARON
                                Cathy.
                                                           (no response --
                                                           he speaks louder)
                                Cathy!

Cathy is startled awake.

                                                                 CATHY
                                Jesus fucking Christ, what do you want?!!

Aaron is shocked and taken aback.

                                                                 AARON
                                I don't know where you live.

                                                                 CATHY
                                Oh. I'm really sorry. Eleven twenty-three Curson
                                at Santa Monica. You know where that is?

                                                                 AARON
                                Yeah.

                                                                 CATHY
                                Good.

She goes right back to sleep. Aaron puts the car in gear and drives away.

EXT. CATHY'S APARTMENT BUILDING - NIGHT

Aaron pulls up in front of her building and stops.

INT. AARON'S CAR - NIGHT

Cathy's just snoring away. Aaron turns to her.

                                                                 AARON
                                Cathy.

No answer. He's about to reach out and touch her and stops, but shakes his head. He turns on the radio, then slowly turns it up loud. It wakes her.

                                                                 CATHY
                                                           (sleepy)
                                Huh?

                                                                 AARON
                                We're here.

                                                                 CATHY
                                Where?

She looks around.

                                                                 AARON
                                Your house.

                                                                 CATHY
                                Oh. Wanna come in?

                                                                 AARON
                                I'd like to, but why don't you just go to bed.

                                                                 CATHY
                                That's a good idea. You're probably really mad
                                at me, right?

                                                                 AARON
                                No.

                                                                 CATHY
                                Yes you are. I'm sorry. It was a bad first date.

                                                                 AARON
                                No, it was interesting. I was in the same room
                                as Bette Davis.

                                                                 CATHY
                                You really are sweet. Let's go out tomorrow. I
                                know about a party.

                                                                 AARON
                                Yeah, sure. I'd love to.

                                                                 CATHY
                                Great. About eight?

                                                                 AARON
                                I won't be late.

She leans over and kisses him. It's a good short kiss.

                                                                 CATHY
                                G'night.

She gets out of the car, crosses the street and goes through a gate into a courtyard.
Aaron sighs.

                                                                 AARON
                                Man, am I sweet.

He drives off into the night.

                                                                                                       DISSOLVE TO:

INT. AARON'S APARTMENT - DAY

Aaron sits in front of his computer in gym shorts, a Bruce Springsteen t-shirt and sneakers. He is smoking a cigarette, drinking coffee, and talking on the telephone. He speaks with his agent, Sandy.

                                                                 SANDY
                                                           (O.S.)
                                Did you get the million dollar idea yet?

                                                                 AARON
                                'Fraid not. How about the true story of a teenaged
                                gangster? I've been researching it. There was this
                                kid in the thirties --

                                                                 SANDY
                                -- This is a period piece?

                                                                 AARON
                                That's when it really took place. It's a true story.

                                                                 SANDY
                                Could you make it contemporary?

                                                                 AARON
                                I guess, but the depression is really the catalyst
                                for everything.

                                                                 SANDY
                                We're in sort of a depression now, aren't we?

                                                                 AARON
                                I know I am.

                                                                 SANDY
                                Keep thinking, Butch. That's what you're good
                                at.

                                                                 AARON
                                Great. Thanks. Bye.

Aaron hangs up. He puts his hands on his face and rubs his eyes.

                                                                 AARON
                                All right. There's this guy... What's he doing?
                                He's going crazy. Why? Because he can't get
                                a great idea. When? Now. Who? Me.
                                                           (Aaron jumps to his feet)
                                Yes, folks, it's time to run to Oxnard.

He jogs out the door.

                                                                                                       DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. CATHY'S COURTYARD - NIGHT

Aaron comes through the gate and crosses the courtyard where eight apartments face in toward each other. He stops at Cathy's apartment door and knocks. The door is answered by the pretty scowling blonde from the party. She is SHAUNA.

                                                                 AARON
                                Hi.

                                                                 SHAUNA
                                                           (yells inside)
                                Cathrine! Your date's here!

She turns around and walks in. Aaron pauses for a moment, then walks in and shuts the door.

INT. CATHY'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

A large dalmation puppy with enormous feet pounces on Aaron and licks him profusely. Aaron pets it.

                                                                 AARON
                                Hi, puppy.

He tries to get it off him. It keeps jumping back up. Cathy calls from the bedroom.

                                                                 CATHY
                                                           (O.S.)
                                I'll be ready in a sec.

Aaron turns to Shauna.

                                                                 AARON
                                What's the dog's name?

                                                                 SHAUNA
                                What's the difference?

This stops Aaron pretty cold.

                                                                 AARON
                                I was going to ask your name, too, but I guess
                                it doesn't make any difference.

                                                                 SHAUNA
                                Shauna.

                                                                 AARON
                                The dog or you?

                                                                 SHAUNA
                                That depends on how you want to look at it.

                                                                 AARON
                                If you're intimating that you're a dog, I disagree.
                                You're very pretty.

                                                                 SHAUNA
                                Better hurry up out here, Cathrine, he's putting
                                the moves on me.

Aaron rolls his eyes and sits down. The dog keeps its front paws on his lap and licks his face.

                                                                 SHAUNA
                                So...

                                                                 AARON
                                Yes?

                                                                 SHAUNA
                                Are you as full of shit as you look?

Aaron's being pushed too far too fast.

                                                                 AARON
                                Are you as out of your fucking mind as you act?

                                                                 SHAUNA
                                                           (smiles)
                                Maybe.

Shauna sits down on the couch beside Aaron.

                                                                 AARON
                                                           (nods)
                                Have you and Cathy been friends long?

                                                                 SHAUNA
                                We grew up together in Wisconsin. We've known
                                each other our whole lives. You haven't answered
                                my question.

                                                                 AARON
                                What? Am I full of shit? I don't think so.

                                                                 SHAUNA
                                Ah... That proves it.

                                                                 AARON
                                Oh, good.

                                                                 SHAUNA
                                Does anything you write have any redeeming
                                value?

                                                                 AARON
                                Does anything you say have any redeeming value?

                                                                 SHAUNA
                                Do you always answer a question with a question?

                                                                 AARON
                                When I'm getting the third degree I do.

                                                                 SHAUNA
                                So?

                                                                 AARON
                                So what?

                                                                 SHAUNA
                                Does anything you write have any social, moral,
                                or philosophically redeeming values?

                                                                 AARON
                                ...Some of it.

                                                                 SHAUNA
                                Like what?

Aaron can't believe this is still going on.

                                                                 AARON
                                Like none of your fucking business.

Shauna smiles, turns and calls out.

                                                                 SHAUNA
                                He's getting mad. Maybe you should get out
                                here. I'll talk to you tomorrow.

Shauna stands, walks to the door and leaves without looking back. Aaron takes a deep breath and shakes his head. The dog licks his face. He looks around the apartment. It's twice as large as his place. All the furniture is over by the fireplace. There is a drafting table with lots of pens and pencils in holders. There is one small bookshelf. Aaron goes over and looks at Cathy's books: "Italian Folk Tales," possibly a thousand pages long, "The World According To Garp," "Less Than Zero," an old battered copy of "Romeo And Juliet" with Juliet's part highlighted in yellow and a rock collection filling three of the four shelves. The dog stays on him wherever he goes. Aaron keeps petting it and pulling its ears over its eyes.

Cathy finally appears and, as always, looks great. Aaron stands and smiles.

                                                                 AARON
                                Hi.

                                                                 CATHY
                                Hi. Have you met Harold?

She steps over and pets the dog.

                                                                 AARON
                                Not formally.

                                                                 CATHY
                                Aaron, this is Harold. Harold, this is Aaron.

She holds out Harold's paw. Aaron shakes it. Cathy lets go of the dog and Aaron takes hold of her shoulders and kisses her.

                                                                 CATHY
                                                           (murmurs happily)
                                Mmmmm...

He kisses her again. This time they hug each other, too. It's a long passionate kiss. Their lips part and they stand holding each other. Cathy reaches her hand into Aaron's shirt and runs her fingers through the hair on his chest.

                                                                 CATHY
                                                           (growls)
                                Grrrr... Good enough to eat. You know, you're
                                really handsome.

She unbuttons one button on his shirt, puts her face into his chest and licks. Aaron is getting extremely turned on. He kisses the top of her head. She steps back, takes his hand and leads him into the bedroom.

INT. CATHY'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

It's a pretty big room with a double bed. She lets go of his hand and crosses the room to the closet.

                                                                 CATHY
                                Help me pick out a pair of shoes.

                                                                 AARON
                                                           (sighs)
                                Sure.

She takes out three pairs and holds them up.

                                                                 CATHY
                                Which pair do you like the best?

                                                                 AARON
                                The ones on the right.

                                                                 CATHY
                                Then which?

                                                                 AARON
                                The ones on the left.

She nods, chooses the pair in the middle and puts them on.

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