QUICK INTERCUT TO . . .

EXT. WOODED AREA - DAY

TWELVE YEAR OLD JAY is pushing TEN YEAR OLD PETE while humming the Batman TV show theme.

BACK TO THE PRESENT DAY . . .

EXT. WOODED COURT - DAY

Jay sighs and takes a step forward.  Pete suddenly swings around with his fist and sucker punches Jay in the mouth.  As Jay spins around and drops to his knees, Pete dives on top of him swinging wildly.

Jay tries to crawl away with Pete on his back.

                                                                 JAY
                                Don't make me use the restraining hold, 'cause
                                you know I will!

                                                                 PETE
                                Lay it on me, Bobo Brazil!

                                                                 JAY
                                You really want me to?

                                                                 PETE
                                Yeah I do.  I've been hearing about your stupid
                                fucking restraining hold forever.  Let's see it.

                                                                 JAY
                                You got it, bud!

Jay quickly flips over, gets a hold of Pete's throat, turns him around, gets him in a half-nelson with his right arm around Pete's throat, while pinning Pete's wrist up behind his back.  Pete struggles as hard as he can, rolling them both around, but there's no getting out of Jay's restraining hold.

                                                                 JAY
                                Had enough?

                                                                 PETE
                                Fuck you!

Jay pushes Pete's wrist up higher.

                                                                 PETE
                                Owww!  Shit!!

                                                                 JAY
                                You're not getting out of this, you know that
                                don't you?  I learned this hold the summer I
                                worked at the mental hospital.

Pete's lower jaw is being pushed upward by Jay's bicep so he must speak through clenched teeth.

                                                                 PETE
                                I've heard this story a million fucking times.

                                                                 JAY
                                Give up or I'll break your arm.

                                                                 PETE
                                Forget it.

Jay pushes Pete's wrist up even higher.

                                                                 JAY
                                Give!

                                                                 PETE
                                AHHH!!  Fuck, I give.

                                                                 JAY
                                You swear?

                                                                 PETE
                                I swear.

                                                                 JAY
                                Don't come at me again, O.K.?

                                                                 PETE
                                O.K.

Jay lets Pete go and pushes him away.  Pete rubs his aching shoulder.

                                                                 JAY
                                Look, man, I'm sorry about all of this.  She
                                walked right into the party and sat on my lap.
                                I didn't even know it was her.

                                                                 PETE
                                And did you know it was her when you were
                                making out with her last night right in front of
                                me?  Huh?

                                                                 JAY
                                                           (abashed)
                                Well . . .

                                                                 PETE
                                Well don't think for a second she gives a good
                                Goddamn about you!  She was just doing that to
                                piss me off.  She doesn't give a shit about you!

                                                                 JAY
                                That's crap!

                                                                 PETE
                                Oh yeah?  You invited her to stay with you, didn't
                                you?
                                                           (Jay nods)
                                Well, I threw her out of my place last night.  Did
                                she come to your house?

                                                                 JAY
                                . . . No.

                                                                 PETE
                                That's right.  She doesn't give a shit about you and
                                neither do I!

                                                                 JAY
                                Oh, well, great. Fine.  Fuck you, too.

Pete walks away giving Jay the finger over his shoulder.

                                                                 PETE
                                Go crawl in a hole somewhere and die!

                                                                 JAY
                                No, you!  Loser!  Got that five bucks you owe
                                me?

Pete pulls out his wallet and looks inside -- he hasn't got any money at all.

                                                                 PETE
                                Fuck you!

Pete keeps walking until he's out of sight.

Jay shakes his head.  He touches his swelling lip, his cut cheek, his bloody nose, then his bruised eye.

                                                                 JAY
                                Oh, man!

He sighs, gets in his car, turns the key and . . . Click!

Jay drops his head back and laughs sardonically.

                                                                                                       DISSOLVE:

EXT. JAY'S HOUSE - EVENING

Jay's house is very large, sits on an acre of land and has a rock garden and a car port in front.  Jen's car drives up.

Jen steps up to the big wooden front door and knocks.  After a moment the door is opened.  Jen gasps in horror and recoils.

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                Oh my God!

Jay's face is swollen and bruised, covered with several band-aids, one eye squinting.  He holds a drink in one hand, a joint in the other, and wears a sombrero.

                                                                 JAY
                                                           (pleased, but can't
                                                           really smile)
                                Jen, hi, que pasa?

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                What happened to you?

Jay touches his face and recoils.

                                                                 JAY
                                What?  This?  It's no big deal.  Come on in.
                                How 'bout a margarita?

Jay ushers Jen inside.  Jen steps in and Jay shuts the door.

INT. JAY'S HOUSE - EVENING

Jen is impressed as she looks around, then comes back to the issue at hand.

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                No big deal?  You look like you lost a bullfight.
                                                           (realizing)
                                Did Pete do this to you?

                                                                 JAY
                                                           (walking away)
                                Fuck Pete -- the loser.

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                                           (following)
                                So then he did do it?

                                                                 JAY
                                The weasel caught me off guard!  He hit me in
                                the face with a stick, then sucker punched me.

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                                           (in disbelief)
                                He hit you with a stick?  A big one?

Jay indicates the circumference of the stick by making a circle with his fingers.

INT. JAY'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

He has led Jen into the large living room.  Jay takes off his sombrero and tosses it.  He goes to the full bar where a pitcher of margaritas sits on the blender.  He pours one for Jen, then freshens his own.  They take their drinks over to the couch and sit down.

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                I can't believe Pete would beat you up.

                                                                 JAY
                                                           (holds up his hand)
                                Whoa!  Pete did not beat me up.  He took advan-
                                tage of my good nature and started hitting me
                                with a stick.  That's when I got him in the restrain-
                                ing hold and that's when he gave up.

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                Does he look as bad as you?

                                                                 JAY
                                Well . . . No.  But I still won the fight.
                                                           (toasts)
                                To victory.

Jen dubiously touches glasses with him and they both drink.

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                Oooh, that's good.  You make a mean margarita.

                                                                 JAY
                                'Course I do, as long as I have a bottle of margarita
                                mix.  Drink up, there's plenty more . . . for Jennifer
                                Moore.

Jay laughs and his face hurts.  They both take a big gulp.  Jay lights a match, ignites the joint and hands it to Jen.

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                Gee, I haven't done this in years.
                                                           (she takes a hit)
                                So then, I'd have to assume, you and Pete aren't
                                talking anymore.


                                                                 JAY
                                No.

He takes a hit of the joint and passes it back to Jen.

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                I'm stoned already.

                                                                 JAY
                                It's good shit.  Senegalese Thunderfuck.

Jay goes and gets the pitcher of margaritas and refills their glasses.  Jay sits back down and slides close to Jen.

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                I'm really sorry I caused the fight.

                                                                 JAY
                                You didn't cause it, it's been coming for a long
                                time.

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                But you guys were such good friends.


                                                                 JAY
                                Emphasis goes on the word "were."  Past tense.

Jay snuggles up beside Jen and puts his arm around her.  He goes to kiss her and just as his lips are about to make contact, Jen turns to look at the room.  Jay gets Jen's pearl earring in his mouth and swallows it.

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                That's a real pearl.

                                                                 JAY
                                I'll give it back to you tomorrow.

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                This is a beautiful house.

                                                                 JAY
                                Thank you.

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                How many rooms?

                                                                 JAY
                                Sixteen.

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                                           (impressed)
                                How is it that you afford all this on an assistant
                                manager's salary?

Jay is slowly easing Jen back on the couch while nuzzling her neck.

                                                                  JAY
                                Hey, I get three percent commission and a percent
                                and a half percent spif.  However, I don't afford it.
                                My mom and dad are getting divorced.  My dad
                                moved in with his girlfriend and my mom's down
                                in Florida and I'm here taking care of the place.

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                How long were they married?

                                                                 JAY
                                Forty years.

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                Does it really upset you?

                                                                 JAY
                                No, not really.  You gonna stay here?

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                How could it not upset you?

                                                                 JAY
                                I think it's doing both of them a world of good.

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                I was thinking about staying a couple of days
                                maybe.

Jay begins unbuttoning Jen's blouse.

                                                                 JAY
                                O.K.  You can stay longer if you want.

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                We'll see.  What're you doing?

Jay is now entirely on top of Jen.

                                                                 JAY
                                I'm removing all unnecessary, constrictive cloth-
                                ing, then I will administer Cardio-pulmonary
                                resuscitation.

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                                           (grinning)
                                I'm not choking.

                                                                 JAY
                                Better safe than sorry.  Call it preventative medicine.

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                Help me off with my boots, will you?


                                                                 JAY
                                Sure.

He unsteadily gets to his feet, turns around backward and Jen puts her boot up between Jay's legs.  Jay grabs hold of the toe and heel and pulls.  It won't come off.  Jen puts her other boot against Jay's butt and pushes.  The boot suddenly comes off and Jay goes flying over the coffee table and lands on his face on the carpet with a thump.  He just lies there for a second not moving.  Jen dashes over to him.


                                                                 JENNIFER
                                Are you O.K.?

He sits up holding his aching face.  Jen takes hold of him, pulling him to her breast.

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                I'm sorry.  I'm really sorry.

Jay puts his arms around her and they kiss.  The kiss goes on and on, then they fall back on the floor.  As they're seriously making out, they begin pulling off each other's clothes.  With their shirts off and their pants undone, Jen whispers . . .

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                                           (breathlessly)
                                Have you got some kind of protection?

                                                                 JAY
                                I've got an alarm system with an electric eye.

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                That's not what I mean.

                                                                 JAY
                                Oh, a condom?

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                Yes.

                                                                 JAY
                                                           (aside)
                                I'm doing better than I thought.
                                                           (to Jen)
                                I'll be right back.

Jay jumps unsteadily to his feet and dashes out of the room.

EXT. JAY'S HOUSE - NIGHT

Pete sits in his car in Jay's driveway behind Jen's car looking perturbed.  Just as he's about to drive away he looks over at the window.  Through the white curtains he sees Jay's silhouette step up.  A moment later Jen's silhouette steps up, then the two silhouettes move into each other's arms and kiss.

Pete is so bugged he now looks sick.  He puts his car in gear and drives away.

INT. GAS STATION - NIGHT

Pete sits at the pay window and Bear sits behind him smoking cigarettes.  The smoke keeps wafting forward causing Pete to look angrier than he already is.

                                                                 BEAR
                                . . . So the guy says, "You got change for a fifty?"  and
                                I says, "Read the sign, nothin' bigger'n a twenty," and
                                the guy says, "But a fifty's all I got" and I says, "I don't
                                give a good Goddamn" and he says . . .

Meanwhile, Pete is watching a fellow in a SUIT & TIE at the pump vainly attempting to put some gas in his new Cadillac and clearly unable to do so.  Pete can hear the guy's voice
through the intercom.

                                                                 SUIT & TIE
                                What's wrong with this stupid thing?  Jesus Christ
                                anyway, why can't they make these silly things so
                                they work?!

Pete keys the button on the intercom and speaks into the microphone.

                                                                 PETE
                                Try reading the directions.

The guy in the Suit & Tie looks toward the office.

                                                                 SUIT & TIE
                                What directions?

                                                                 PETE
                                Just give up.  If you're not smart enough to put gas
                                in your car you probably shouldn't be driving.

Bear's impressed.  He's never heard Pete talk this way.

                                                                 SUIT & TIE
                                And just who the hell do you think you are?

                                                                 PETE
                                                           (grinning)
                                Me?  I'm the guy with a full tank of gas.

                                                                 SUIT & TIE
                                And a job in a gas station.  How you think you
                                can act superior to anyone is a complete joke,
                                asshole!

The guy gets in his Cadillac and drives away.

Pete doesn't look pleased by the outcome of this exchange.  Bear, however, thinks it's pretty funny.

                                                                 BEAR
                                That guy really zinged you, Petey-boy.

Pete swings around in his chair to face Bear.

                                                                 PETE
                                Let's get three things straight, shall we?  1.) don't
                                ever call me Petey-boy, B.) don't sit behind me and
                                blow smoke at me, and 3.) what the hell're you doing
                                here anyway, it's not even your shift?

Bear puts out his cigarette and stands up.

                                                                 BEAR
                                You think you're so Goddamn smart, but you're
                                not.  You're just as dumb as me.  The difference
                                is I'm not pretending and you are, Petey-boy.

Bear leaves.

Pete, looking even more depressed, glances up at the "Employee of the Month" plaque on the wall with a photograph of him on it -- his hair is shorter and he wears a foolish grin.

CLOSE-UP - PLAQUE

Magically, the photograph of Pete on the plaque comes to life.

                                                                 PETE IN PHOTO
                                Yes, sir, you pull the handle up, wait seven seconds
                                and the pump will engage.

                                                                 VOICE
                                                           (O.S.)
                                Thank you.

                                                                 PETE IN PHOTO
                                My pleasure, sir.

INT. GAS STATION - NIGHT

Pete looks down with a confused, angry, unhappy expression.

                                                                                                       DISSOLVE:


EXT. JAY'S HOUSE - MORNING

The bright morning sun shines down on Jay's house.  Jen's car sits in front.

INT. JAY'S LIVING ROOM - DAY

Jay's hand lies on his chest.  It starts to twitch, then moves up to Jay's beat up and swollen face.  His hair is askew and clearly he has a ripping hang-over.  Jay rubs the side of his head and starts to sit up, but his head is splitting.  For a second he looks like he might throw up, then he sees a pair of panty hose on the floor.  He smiles through the pain.  Jay smells something which catches his attention.  He stands causing his head to pound and goes into the kitchen.

INT. JAY'S KITCHEN - DAY

Jen sits at the kitchen table drinking coffee and looking rather hung-over herself.

                                                                 JAY
                                Morning.

Jen looks up at Jay and gasps in horror.

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                You look terrible.

                                                                 JAY
                                Thanks, I feel terrible, too.

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                Want some coffee?

                                                                 JAY
                                Sure.

Jen pours Jay a cup from the percolator.  Jay riffles through his pockets and finds a smashed pack of Best Buy cigarettes.  He digs out a crooked, bent cig, breaks off the filter, lights up and starts to cough violently.

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                You make smoking look so glamorous.



                                                                 JAY
                                Thanks.
                                                           (Jay takes a sip
                                                           of coffee)
                                So, how do you feel?

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                Hung-over.  How about you?

                                                                 JAY
                                I feel like someone hit me in the head with a big
                                stick, then put a used sweat sock filled with shit in
                                my mouth.

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                You certainly have a way with words.

                                                                 JAY
                                When you work with words, words are your work.

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                How's your book coming?

                                                                 JAY
                                Like shit.  I'm stalled out on the eighth rewrite.

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                Why don't you send it out?

                                                                 JAY
                                It's not done.

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                When will it be done?

                                                                 JAY
                                How am I supposed to know?

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                Sometimes you just have to say something's done
                                to make it done.

                                                                 JAY
                                Really?  I'm gonna get some aspirins, want some?

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                O.K.  A clear end isn't always apparent.

Jay goes to the cupboard and gets a big bottle of aspirin.

                                                                 JAY
                                I don't think that's true.  I'm sure the end will make
                                itself clear.

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                How?  When you run out of paper?

Jay pops three aspirins in his mouth and chews them up, then hands the bottle to Jen who can't believe her eyes.

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                                           (grossed out)
                                You chew them?

                                                                 JAY
                                                           (with white teeth)
                                They work faster that way.

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                                           (sighs)
                                So, look, about last night . . .

                                                                 JAY
                                . . . It was pretty good, wasn't it?
                                                           (rubs his face)
                                I think I'm going to have to have jaw surgery.
                                You are one wild lady when you're smashed.

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                Yeah, tequila does something strange to me.  I
                                forget that I have any moral standards at all.

                                                                 JAY
                                                           (grins)
                                I'll make sure to keep a couple of big bottles in
                                the house at all times.  I just want you to know
                                that I had a great time.  Did you?

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                                           (hesitant)
                                Well . . . Yeah, I did.

                                                                 JAY
                                Good.  I've got to go to work.  There's extra keys
                                to the cupboard right there.
                                                           (he points)
                                My number at work is on the board there and I'll
                                be home about six-thirty if you want to get dinner
                                or something.  See ya.

Jay gives Jen a quick kiss on the cheek and exits.

Jen sits there looking dazed.  She dumps some aspirins in her hand, looks at them and winces.

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                He chews them?

Jen puts them in her mouth and slowly brings her teeth down on the aspirins.  The moment they crunch the taste is horrible and her face twists into a knot.  Jen quickly washes them down with hot coffee which just makes it worse.

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                Blahh!

INT. PETE'S APARTMENT - DAY

The telephone in Pete's place rings.  Pete's hand comes into view and picks up the receiver.

                                                                 PETE
                                Hello?

He hears the voice of PHIL, Jen's old boyfriend, who has an Australian accent.

                                                                 PHIL
                                                           (O.S.)
                                Hoy.  Could I please speak with Jennifuh Moore?

Pete's eyebrows go up.

                                                                 PETE
                                I'm sorry, but Jennifer isn't staying here anymore.
                                Would you like to know where she is?

                                                                 PHIL
                                Yes, I would.

                                                                 PETE
                                All right.  She's staying with Jay Bennett.  The
                                number is 555-3133.

                                                                 PHIL
                                Thanks a lot, mate.

                                                                 PETE
                                My pleasure, mate.

Pete hangs up looking smug.

INT. JAY'S KITCHEN - DAY

Jen sits in front of her computer at the kitchen table.  She is having some kind of technical difficulty and she looks pissed off.  She pounds several keys hard, then pops out the floppy disk.

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                Shit!

The phone rings, but Jen doesn't answer it.  The machine gets it.  She hears Phil's voice leave a message.

                                                                 PHIL
                                                           (O.S.)
                                Hoy, this is Phil McElwee calling for Jennifuh
                                Moore.  You've got moy numbuh, Jen, please give
                                me a call, OK?  'Boy.

The machine beeps off.

Jen sits looking at the phone machine with a tense expression.

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                How'd you find me, you son of a bitch?  How?

She looks around as though she were being watched.

                                                                                                       DISSOLVE:

INT. JAY'S GARAGE - NIGHT

Jay steps up to the back door in his coat and tie, unlocks the door and goes in.

INT. JAY'S KITCHEN - NIGHT

Jay has changed into jeans and a t-shirt.  He sits at the kitchen table smoking a cigarette and watching the clock -- 8:15.  He puts out his cigarette in a pile of seven other butts.

Jay hears the front door open and Jen enters.

                                                                 JAY
                                Hello.

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                Hi.  How are you?

                                                                 JAY
                                Fine.

Jen sits down.

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                Look, Jay, I think we have to talk.  Last night
                                was a mistake.

                                                                 JAY
                                Really?  Let's try it again and see if we can't fix it.

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                That's not what I mean.  I think we ought to cool
                                out a little.  I came here 'cause I need a place to
                                stay.

                                                                 JAY
                                So what are you saying?  You don't like me?

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                I like you, that's not it.

                                                                 JAY
                                What is it?

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                                           (confused)
                                . . . I'm just not sure what I'm doing right now.

                                                                 JAY
                                Look, Jen, I'm not a kid.  I'm thirty-four years old
                                and I've never been married.  I've been on five hundred
                                dates and I've had fifty girlfriends and none of them
                                worked out, so my expectations are pretty low.

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                                           (chuckles; giving in)
                                Cast in that light it doesn't sound like we've got any-
                                thing to lose.

                                                                 JAY
                                I don't think we do.  Want a margarita?

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                Oh, I don't know.  I finally got my head feeling
                                better.

Jay stands and heads out of the room.

                                                                 JAY
                                Another margarita will make it even betterer.
                                I'll just make 'em and if you want one you can
                                have it.

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                                           (her head sags, but
                                                           she's smiling)
                                If they're there I'll drink them.

                                                                 JAY
                                                           (O.S.)
                                Exactly.  I'll get my sombrero.

                                                                 JENNIFER
                                                           (snaps her fingers)
                                Ole´

                                                                 JAY
                                                           (O.S.)
                                Let's have a drink first.

Jen sighs wearily, rolls her her eyes and shakes her head.

                                                                                                       DISSOLVE:

 

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