Jan. 12, 1998

"The Biological Clock"


Josh Becker

Title: 1985:


All of the houses on this suburban block are equally spaced from one another, and although they don't look exactly alike, they don't look terribly different either.  We hear Bruce Springsteen singing I'm On Fire as our view moves down the street.  It's a beautiful early evening in summer, orange rays of sunshine stream across various activities on all the lawns: mowing, trimming, watering, kids playing catch, washing the car (no cars, however, are newer than 1985 models).

Leaning against a white Porsche parked in a driveway are AARON BROOKS and BETH ABRAMS.  He's twenty-five and she's twenty-four.  Both are attractive, dark-haired people in good shape.  Aaron has his arm around Beth's shoulders.  Aaron wears a cutoff, black, Shogun Assassin T-shirt, black jeans, and black Converse, high-top sneakers.  His hair is long, as are his sideburns.  Beth wears short blue jean cutoffs, a black bikini top and has short hair.  She looks good.  They both do.

                                                           (V.O. Narration)
                                That was the wild and crazy summer Beth and I
                                first started going out.  We'd met ten years before
                                when we were kids at summer camp, and had
                                actually gone skinny-dipping together, which had
                                culminated in a single kiss.  Ten years later we
                                were boyfriend and girlfriend.  We were both Jewish,
                                our parents had all gone to the same high school,
                                we sort of looked alike, and Beth really wanted to
                                get married and have kids.  It was a match made
                                in heaven.

Aaron and Beth both vaguely watch the activity on the street.  Suddenly, they begin to kiss passionately, their hands moving all over each other.  Beth pulls free, still holding onto Aaron's neck, turns and surveys the scene with a very serious expression.  Nobody on the whole block pays any attention to them.  Beth turns back to Aaron and looks him in the eyes, her nose touching his.



Beth gives Aaron a devious look, then lowers both of her hands out of view.  Two zippers in succession are heard opening.  Aaron looks all around in a panic.  Beth shifts around a little bit, as does Aaron, and suddenly they're doin' the funky thang up against the side of the Porsche.  Aaron rests his face on Beth's shoulder.  He looks around and no one's watching - really.  Aaron shrugs, closes his eyes and gets into it.

                                                           (V.O. Narration)
                                We had sex at least five times a day, everywhere
                                and anywhere it struck us: while driving, on top of
                                the washing machine, or, simply, in plain view of
                                the entire neighborhood.  Sexually, Beth was the
                                most exciting woman I had ever gone out with . . .

We see the whole block again as we first saw it, rows of houses, activity everywhere.

SLOW MOTION MONTAGE: Suddenly, sprinklers and hoses go on, water spraying in circles, straight up, thick streams hitting plants, and trees, and the sides of cars in a spattering cascade of glittering droplets.

Aaron's face twists into an expression of total hilarity and he bursts out laughing.  This is the funniest thing that's ever happened to him, or, certainly, one of them.

People turn and look to see what's so funny, but there's nothing to see.  Beth is in Aaron's arms, laughing along with him.


Aaron and Beth are all snuggled up on the couch.  David Bowie and Queen doing Under Pressure is on the radio.

                                                           (V.O. Narration)
                                . . . However, there was one fundamental problem
                                with the relationship . . .

Aaron tries to start a conversation.

                                So, how's school?


Beth kisses Aaron's neck.

                                That's it?  Fine?


Beth chews on Aaron's earlobe.

                                You're just about to graduate law school, isn't
                                there more?

                                More of what?

                                I don't know.  Devious classmates?  Mean profs?
                                Interesting points of law, perhaps?

                                No, not really.  Kiss me.

Aaron kisses her, then tries again.

                                Seen any good movies lately?


She goes back to nuzzling his neck.  The phone rings, and Beth answers it.

                                                           (into phone)
                                Hello?  Oh, Kate, hi, how are you?  Great, I'm
                                great. I'm here with Aaron.  Uh-huh, yeah . . .
                                                           (Listens for a second)
                                . . . Kate, he's sitting right here. . . . No, no, no.
                                But Terri's old boyfriend, Brad, is seeing Karen . . .
                                He keeps sending her chocolate, and since I set
                                the two of them up, I think I deserve a percentage
                                of it, don't you?  And another thing . . .

Aaron watches and listens in amazement as Beth just goes on and on . . .

                                Clearly, Beth had plenty to say, just not to me.
                                Whatever the reasons for these problems, I knew
                                deep-down that Beth and I were not really meant
                                for each other, even if the sex was phenomenal . . .



Beth and Aaron drive along a bouncing, rutted driveway in Beth's VW.  They see big dogs chasing little dogs across a vast, unkempt lawn, surrounded by woods.  Aaron and Beth drive up in front of a low, ramshackle house with a half dozen cars parked outside.

                                Kate has eight sisters and one brother, and they all
                                have their own dogs.

                                And they all live at home?

                                No.  But you never know which ones will be here.

Beth and Aaron knock on the front door.  Dogs start barking from all over the place and going crazy.  Women between the ages of eighteen and thirty begin appearing from everywhere, not one resembling the other, and grab the dogs collars and hush them.  It's a Chinese fire-drill.

The front door opens and KATE CUMMINGS appears - slim, tall, wearing tight, tiger-striped pants, with blonde tiger-stripe streaks in her red hair, and a tight, white tank-top that shows the outline of her breasts perfectly - Aaron feels like he's wearing X-ray specs and is doing his best to be nonchalant, however he is clearly impressed.  He and Kate shake hands.

                                Hi, I'm Aaron Brooks.

                                I know, Beth's told me about you.

                                Favorable reports, I hope.

                                In some ways.
                                                           (to Beth)
                                He's not that good-looking.

Beth grabs Kate's hand.

                                Hey, friend, let's go say hi to your mom.

They all head inside.  Aaron can't keep his eyes off of Kate.

EXT. COUNTRY ROAD - DAY           4

The three of them walk up a country road smoking a joint.  Beth and Kate are in front talking incessantly, Aaron is a little behind, watching and listening.

                                                           (V.O. Narration)
                                Kate had nearly completed her Masters in English
                                and wanted to be a writer.  I had dropped out of
                                college, and I, too, wanted to be a writer.  I
                                personally felt that I had a better chance than Kate
                                in that I was not trained to do anything else, whereas
                                she was a copy editor.  Kate seemed like she had an
                                enormous amount to say, although, as yet, not to
                                me, either . . . I immediately realized that I liked
                                Kate better than Beth.  But, was it possible to have
                                the sexuality of Beth combined with the intelligence
                                of Kate?  Ah!  That was the real question.

Aaron is particularly admiring of Kate's svelte, tiger-striped, derriere.  He glances up to find Beth looking straight at him.  He's caught.


                                You always check out your girlfriend's friends?

Beth crosses her arms, looking at Aaron expectantly.

                                That is, I, uh . . .

Kate turns back to Beth.

                                You always did like the eloquent ones.
                                                           (moving on)
                                So, anyway, this African author says to me,
                                "I'm very exciting to meet you," then says,
                                "Don't change any of my words . . ."

Aaron, still walking behind, is stunned.

Title: 1986:


Jets land and take off, particularly Northwest Airlines, for which Detroit is the hub.

                                                           (V.O. Narration)
                                Beth's and my "match made in heaven" lasted one
                                tumultuous, sex and fight-filled year.  Beth finally
                                went to New York for a week, met some guy from
                                Australia, and was now going there to visit him.
                                We hadn't seen each other in a couple of months.
                                Now she was between flights, and, of all things,
                                called me . . .


As it is with any international airport terminal, this one is filled with the peoples of the world, particularly, in the case of Detroit, a lot of middle-easterners.  There are also Indian women in colorful saris, Africans with round, leather hats, Asians in abundance, etc.

Amidst all of this hubbub sit Aaron and Beth on a large, round bench with a tree at its center.  They are holding hands and leaning against each other.

                                I think I'm going to marry this guy.



                                Right, from Australia.

                                No, New Zealand.

                                Hey, if you really like him, what the hell.  It doesn't
                                matter where he's from, right?

                                Right.  But I thought it was gonna to be me and you.
                                We're perfect for each other.  I know just what our
                                kids would look like.

                                Yeah, me too.  Little dark-haired, Jewish kids.  I'm
                                not ready, Beth.  I don't need any kids at twenty-six
                                years old.  If I'm gonna make it as a writer, it's gotta
                                be now.  I've got to live, experience things to write
                                about, perfect my craft.  You see what I mean, don't

Beth doesn't see and shakes her head.

                                Name a writer you like.

                                Uh . . . John Updike.

                                What does he write about?

                                Uh . . . Life.  His wife and kids -

                                - Uh-huh.  If you had a wife and kids you'd have
                                something to write about, too.

                                Yes, well, I was going to say Jack London.

                                Thinking of moving to the Yukon?

                                No, but I am thinking about moving to Ann Arbor.

                                Really?  That's where Kate lives now.

                                Really?  No kidding?

Beth is looking over Aaron's shoulder to the opposite side of the round bench with the tree at it's center.  On the other side it is secluded, facing out the window to a dark section of runway.  Beth takes Aaron's hand and leads him around to the vacant side and they immediately launch into passionate love-making.

SLOW MOTION MONTAGE: A jet's flaps go down; the landing gear unfold; a burst of vapor blows out of an engine; the wheels hit the tarmac emitting a screech and cloud of blue, burnt-rubber smoke.

We see the international terminal with all its various peoples.  Amidst all of it we hear Aaron burst out laughing, followed by Beth accompanying him.

                                                           (V.O. Narration)
                                Beth in fact did marry the guy from Australia and
                                moved there.  Within four months she was pregnant.
                                I, on the other hand, moved to Ann Arbor . . .


EXT. ANN ARBOR - DAY           7

Ann Arbor is a quaint college town where the University of Michigan is located.  There is the ivy-covered law school; Angel Hall, a big, classroom building; many other school buildings; outdoor cafes, numerous, interesting-looking bookstores, and a multitude of students carrying armloads of books and wearing knapsacks.

                                                           (V.O. Narration)
                                . . . A Big Ten college town where there are a
                                lot of serious-looking students around, as well as
                                those that are older, twenty-five and up, that haven't
                                moved away, who are fondly referred to as "weeds."
                                Like weeds in your garden, you can't get rid of them.
                                Not to mention it's sort of a witty double entendre.


Aaron sits on the bed in his tiny, efficiency apartment with no bedroom huffing down a joint by himself.  There is a poster of Bruce Springsteen on the wall with his back to us and a guitar over his shoulder.  Aaron, wearing a security guard uniform, looks at the old model, rotary, wall-phone, makes a scrunched up face, then grabs the receiver and dials.  It rings several times, then is answered.

                                                           (into phone)
                                Hello, Kate?  Hi, this is Aaron . . . Brooks.
                                Beth's ex-boyfriend . . . Oh, former boyfriend
                                would be preferred?  Cool, so, uh, I'm living in
                                Ann Arbor now and I wanted to know if you wanna
                                get together sometime . . . ?
                                                           (he listens)
                                . . . Yeah, it so happens, I do have a joint.
                                                           (listens, then smiles)
                                . . . Great, I'll be right over, uh, what's your

EXT. DUPLEX - EVENING           9

Aaron steps up in front of a small, old, brick, duplex with a piece of paper in his hands and rings the bell.  Kate answers, sans tiger stripes, although her hair is
unnaturally red, and gives Aaron a hug and kiss.  Aaron's expression says, "All right!"  They go inside.


Aaron rolls a fat joint, and Kate plays with her new Husky puppy, Misty.  Bob Marley sings Get Up! Stand Up!  Aaron lights the joint, takes a big hit and hands it to Kate.

                                So, Beth's pregnant.

                                She sure didn't wait long.  What if she doesn't
                                like the guy?

                                She loves him.  She married him.

                                Just 'cause they're married doesn't mean they're
                                really in love.

                                And what, if you don't mind me asking, is your
                                definition of love?

                                Well . . . I say, love is equal parts passion and
                                compassion.  It's like yin and yang.  You have to
                                have both, or you're sunk.

Kate nods, considering.

                                I'll buy that.  It's hard enough to get either one,
                                let alone both.

                                You're telling me.

Aaron makes a move to kiss Kate.  She lets their lips touch before saying:

                                Beth wouldn't like this.

                                What's Beth got to do with it?  She's married and

                                But she's still my best friend, and it would hurt
                                her.  I won't do that.

Aaron backs off and nods.

                                All right.  I understand, I guess.

                                Come on, let's dance.

Kate holds Misty's front paws and makes her dance.  Aaron jumps up and dances, too.  Kate picks up Misty and hands her to Aaron.  Aaron bounces the slobbering puppy in front of his face, then hands her back to Kate . . .


Kate now lives in what was formerly a garage. . . . As Misty is handed back to Kate, we see that Kate's hair is now blonde, and Misty is six months older, meaning twenty pounds heavier.  We now also see that Aaron has a Van Dyke beard and mustache.  A kitten, Luna, has been added to the menagerie.  They are watching the Eastern Conference basketball playoffs are on a little, black & white TV set.

                                                           (groaning under the
                                                           dog's weight)
                                Uhhh!  You're getting too big to throw around.
                                So, Beth had a boy, can you believe it?

Kate sets Misty down, steps over to the corkboard behind her desk taking down a photo of a baby.  There are seven or eight other photographs of babies tacked up.  Kate shows the picture to Aaron who gives it a perfunctory glance and hands it back.

                                Yeah, she was pregnant.  And she and Clarence
                                have stayed married.


                                Right, from Australia.

                                No, New Zealand.

                                Hey, if it's working, it's working, I don't care where
                                he's from.  You and me, though, Kate, we're turning
                                into old maids.  Spinsters.

                                I don't have time to be a spinster, or anything else,
                                I'm simply an editor and nothing more.
                                                           (she points at a phone book-
                                                           sized tome on the coffee table)
                                Five hundred badly-written pages on drag racing.
                                Every time I catch sight of it I feel nauseous.

                                                           (claps his hands)
                                Hey, how about another drink?

                                Oops, my cookies.

Kate jumps up and dashes into the kitchen.  She returns a moment later with a tray of black, burnt cookies.  She looks like she's going to cry.

                                That's okay, I like 'em that way.  They go better
                                with beer when they're burned.

Kate sets the tray down, then drops onto the couch still looking like she's going to cry.  Aaron hesitantly turns from the game.

                                Aww, come on, Kate.  We're up by eleven.

Kate starts to cry.

                                I'm getting old.  I'm thirty and I haven't done
                                anything but edit other people's writing.

                                Uh, no, you're twenty-eight -

                                - And a half!  Which may as well be thirty!
                                I'm not married, and I don't have kids.  I am
                                a loser!

Aaron hesitantly puts his hand on Kate's shoulder.

                                No, Kate, you're not.  Neither am I.  Yes, I may be
                                a cab driver right now.  But I'm not really a cab
                                driver.  I'm a writer.  So are you.  And it's not im-
                                portant for anyone else to know that but us.  Now,
                                come on, have a cookie and a beer, okay?

Aaron gives her a burnt cookie and a Stroh's.  Kate gratefully takes them.  They both turn back to the game.  Each one steals one more glance at the other one.

Title: 1990:


Luna and Misty are both long full-grown.  Aaron and Kate are watching the basketball game, but only half paying attention.  Kate's hair is blonde (although the dark roots are showing), and looks rather good.  Aaron has only long sideburns, just like the first time we saw him, but short hair.  Kate does an unending procession of little jobs.  As she bends down to pick things up or put them down, Aaron is very aware of the way her body looks, the way her breasts show through her Pistons World Champions 1989 t-shirt, and the way her midriff gets exposed on occasion.

Aaron watches, and thinks, and watches, and thinks . . . Suddenly he blurts out:

                                Why aren't we in love, or are we?  I mean, I think
                                maybe we are.  I like you more than anyone else
                                I know, and I think you're very attractive, so, what
                                else is there?

Kate turns to Aaron with a serious expression.

                                What else is there?  How about love?  How about
                                passion?  How about romance?

                                Oh yeah, that stuff.
                                                           (coughs; he's lost all
                                                           of his bravado)
                                We could have that, too, couldn't we?

                                Just like that . . .
                                                           (snaps her fingers)
                                . . . Now we're passionately, romantically in love.
                                Is that it?

                                Sorry.  What's gotten into you?

                                I just don't think it's a good idea, that's all.  It'll
                                ruin our friendship.  Besides, I told you, Beth
                                wouldn't like it.

                                Beth?  What's she got to do with it?

                                She's still my best friend.

                                I thought I was your best friend?

                                She's my best girlfriend, even if I don't see her.
                                Look, lets just drop it and not bring it up anymore,

Aaron wasn't expecting such a definitive response.

                                                           (nods; abashed)

                                                           (V.O. Narration)
                                And so I dropped it and didn't bring it up again.
                                Neither did Kate.  That didn't mean I still didn't
                                think about it now and again . . . like every single
                                time I laid eyes on Kate, not to mention at some
                                point during every single failed date that I went
                                on for the next ten years . . .

                                                                                                       FADE OUT:
Title: Today:

BLACK: The tinny, monophonic strains of an electric piano are heard, followed by the rhythmic plucking of a bass guitar, an eerie shaking tambourine, then the trademarked flanged bass drum of a Motown song.  Marvin Gaye's young voice bellows the song That's the Way Love Is . . .

INT. TUNNEL - DAY           13

A spot of light becomes visible in the distance and we realize that we are driving in a car in a tunnel. Our point of view continues toward the light . . .


. . . We come out of the tunnel and we're driving north on Jefferson Avenue in downtown Detroit, directly beneath the Renaissance Center, four sixty-story, silver glass silos looming up on the edge of the Detroit River.

INT. BLUE ELDORADO - DAY           14

Aaron, who is now thirty-six years old, his dark hair is short, and there's a bit of salt & pepper at the temples.  He is driving the car and busily singing along with Marvin, and making Temptations-like hand gestures.

                                                                 MARVIN & AARON
                                I know you're walkin' down a lonesome road/ And
                                your heart is carryin' a heavy load/ I know you feel
                                like you ain't got a dream . . .

                                                           (V.O. Narration)
                                I became a writer of short stories, and had actually
                                sold a number of them - well, four - but that's still
                                a number, right?  I'm now working on my first short
                                story collection, but I'm having a helluva time.  For
                                the first time in my life I have complete and total
                                writer's block.  To make a living, however, I settled
                                into being a process server.  It's not classy, I admit,
                                but I make as much as Kate with a quarter of the work,
                                if that, and she's got a master's degree and I didn't grad-
                                uate high school.

INT. KATE'S LIVING ROOM - DAY           15

Our view moves down a large pile of manuscripts sitting on Kate's desk, beside her brand new Gateway 2000 computer with a large color monitor.  As Kate works at the computer we see that she now wears glasses, her hair is in no particular style or fashion.  She's thirty-five.  She edits manuscript after manuscript with a cigarette dangling from between her lips.  Kate still looks good, but now there's no pretense about who she is.

On the corkboard where there were previously a few pictures of babies and kids, Kate has created a shrine - a veritable explosion of baby pictures.  Many are actual photographs, however, many others are cut from magazines - it is a three foot square collage of cute kids.  Kate studies the collage, then frowns.  She removes her glasses and rubs her eyes.

Kate spins around in her chair, reaches down and picks up a gift box.  She opens the box revealing a tiny, baby-sized, Detroit Tigers uniform, with a cute little baseball cap.  Kate puts the uniform back in the box, and begins the process of wrapping it.  She also picks up the phone and dials.

INT. BLUE ELDORADO - DAY           14A

The flip celluar phone sitting on the passenger seat rings.  Aaron answers it.


                                What if I go to Brazil and buy a baby on the black

                                I'm not a lawyer, but I suppose that would be illegal.

                                But, nevertheless, it's occurring.  Poor little babies
                                are being sold on the black market in Brazil, and
                                ending up God knows where in the world, so why
                                shouldn't I have one?

                                Why, indeed?

                                Or, better yet, I'll go down to Florida and get a
                                Cuban baby from a couple that's just washed up
                                on shore and raise it as an American for them.

                                Good idea.

                                I thought so.  I mean, I'll give it back to them
                                when he's eight or ten, or maybe twelve.

                                It's a he?

                                Or a she.  Doesn't matter.

                                When are you leaving?

                                For where?

                                I don't know, Brazil or Florida?

                                Well . . . I don't have any money right now, but
                                I would.

                                Sure you would.

                                You don't think I would?

                                How do I know?  I don't see you leaving your
                                house all that much, let alone leaving the state,
                                but then again, any of us might do anything at
                                any time, right?  Within all of us is a time bomb
                                just waiting to go off.

                                What's that all about?

                                It makes characters more interesting to think
                                about.  If everyone is going to do at least one
                                spectacular thing in their whole lives - whether
                                it's spectacularly smart or stupid - what is it?
                                Then you can see how everything else in their
                                life is leading up to that moment.

Kate is nodding, intrigued.

                                That's interesting.

                                What will you do with Misty and Luna?


                                When you go to Brazil or Florida?

                                Hmmmmm . . . ?

                                You don't want someone else's baby, Kate, you
                                want your own.  You want to go through the pro-
                                cess.  I mean, we can talk about art and truth and
                                philosophy, and all the rest of that shit, but the
                                actual point of existence is to procreate - continue
                                the species.  It's our prime directive.

                                                           (nods vigorously)
                                It's certainly my prime directive.  And I know that
                                one day it will stop, too.  Then it's all over.  Then
                                I'll have lost my prime directive.  Then what's the

                                I don't know.

                                Oh, did I mention, my sister, Lucinda, is expecting
                                any day?

                                You did.  You always do.

                                She's two years older than me, so there's still

                                Of course there is.

                                Oh no there's not!

Kate starts to cry.

                                Kate, you're not crying again, are you?

                                Oh, yes I am.

                                You cry everyday.

                                                           (through sobs)
                                My mom said I never cried at all until I was two,
                                and since then I haven't stopped.

Aaron smiles again - she amuses him.  He shakes his head.


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