Lunatics:
A Love Story

An Original Screenplay

by

Josh Becker

Revised 08/01/89

Copyright © 1989 Renaissance Pictures II, Ltd.
All Rights Reserved


EXT. DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES - DAY

The enormous skyscrapers of downtown Los Angeles are dramatically illuminated by the warm orange rays of the rising sun.  In accelerated motion the clouds boil above the buildings and the sun travels across the sky.  The shadows of the buildings circle around in front of them.

Our view moves into the city . . .

                                                                                                       DISSOLVE:

EXT. ALLEY - DAY

We move along the pavement of an alley - a thin, trashy alley with garbage cans tipped over and thick, colorful graffiti coating the walls.

Our view moves rapidly toward the far wall of the alley that is totally covered in graffiti.  A garbage truck drives past blocking the wall for a second.  We reach the wall and come to an abrupt halt on one word clearly written in graffiti - "LUNATICS."

Our view travels straight up the wall.  The credits come in from the top and go out the bottom.  The graffiti on the wall says, "6TH STREET ORPHANS - Comet, Presto, Joker, Fuzzy, Cueball . . ."

With the last credit, we reach the top of the wall.


EXT. ROOFTOP - DAY

We move across the rooftop of a building, past a skylight, hanging laundry, a pidgeon coop, toward the backside of a billboard.  As we near the metal grating in the back of the billboard we go up and over it to . . .


EXT. HANK'S BUILDING - DAY

A decaying old four-story apartment building in a crummy residential section of downtown L.A.

In the second story apartment window yellowed curtains sway in the breeze.  A fan in the window turns lazily.

On the sidewalk in front of the building there are cars going by and pedestrian traffic.  A black, female MAILWOMAN steps into view pushing a mail cart.

The Mailwoman steps in front of the building and sorts letters.  The numbers "1-2-4-1" are chiseled into the front of the building to the right of the door.  The Mailwoman goes inside.


INT. HANK'S BUILDING LOBBY - DAY

The Mailwoman enters the dirty, poorly lit lobby of the building.  She pulls out her extendo keychain, unlocks the mailboxes and begins distributing the mail into the boxes.

A first floor apartment door opens to the length of the chain lock and an eye peers out.  A moment later the door opens and out steps a very old Jewish woman perambulating with the aid of a walker.  She is MRS. RABINOWITZ.  She has a Hungarian accent.

                                                                 MRS. RABINOWITZ
                                Later and later you come everyday.

The Mailwoman doesn't even look up.

                                                                 MAILWOMAN
                                I'm here the same time everyday.  This is the end
                                of the route.

Mrs. Rabinowitz hobbles up to get her mail.

A middle-aged Mexican woman comes down the steps.  She is MRS. RAMIREZ.  She goes to her mailbox, unlocks it and waits impatiently for her mail to be put in.  She remarks to the Mailwoman rather snidely . . .

                                                                 MRS. RAMIREZ
                                So, you finally get here.

The Mailwoman doesn't look up.

                                                                 MAILWOMAN
                                I'm here the same time everyday.

Mrs. Rabinowitz and Mrs. Ramirez look at one another and each make the same face saying, "Oh, sure."

Another first floor apartment door opens.  Out steps an old black man with white hair.  He is MR. JACKSON.  He bows slightly to the women.

                                                                 MR. JACKSON
                                Good afternoon, ladies.

They nod back to him.  He takes out his mail.

The Mailwoman takes several letters and attempts to shove them into a mailbox that's already too full.  No more letters will go in.  The Mailwoman takes another key from her ring and unlocks the mailbox marked "Henry Stone, 206."  About thirty letters come pouring out.

Everybody at the mailboxes turns and looks.  The Mailwoman picks the letters up off the floor.

                                                                 MAILWOMAN
                                Does any of you know this Henry Stone in 206?

They all look at each other and shrug.

                                                                 MRS. RAMIREZ
                                I live next door to him.

                                                                 MAILWOMAN
                                Well, when you see him could you tell him to
                                pick up his mail.  This has got to be a month's
                                worth right here.

                                                                 MRS. RAMIREZ
                                Four months I been here and I never see him.

                                                                 MAILWOMAN
                                                           (surprised)
                                At all?

                                                                 MRS. RAMIREZ
                                Never once.  I know he's in there though 'cause
                                I hear him scream in the middle of the night.

                                                                 MR. JACKSON
                                                           (adding in)
                                And I know he gets his deliveries from Wong's
                                Grocery, 'cause I do too and the delivery boy
                                axed me about him.  But I never seen him neither.

Mrs. Rabinowitz nods knowingly.

                                                                 MRS. RABINOWITZ
                                I've seen him.
                                                           (everyone turns to her)
                                When he moved in, maybe six months ago,
                                he looked like a nice boy.  Maybe a little
                                tired looking.  But I've never seen him again.

The Mailwoman looks at Henry Stone's pile of mail for a moment, then crams it back into the mailbox marked "206" and smashes the door closed.

                                                                 MRS. RABINOWITZ
                                Why do you think he doesn't come out from
                                there?  You think maybe he's meshugena?

                                                                 MR. JACKSON
                                I knew a fellah once didn't come out of his house
                                for nearly a year.  When he finally did come out
                                he had a shotgun and killed three people that was
                                jus' walkin' by.  Anybody that don't come outta
                                their 'partment for six months gotta be crazy.

Everyone thinks about this for a second, then shrugs and heads back to their apartment holding their mail.

The two first floor apartment doors close, the Mailwoman leaves the building and Mrs. Rameriz goes up the stairs.


INT. 2ND FLOOR HALLWAY - NIGHT

Mrs. Rameriz walks up the second floor hallway.  She stops in front of the apartment door marked "204" and starts to unlock it.  Slowly she turns her head and glances down to the end of the hall.

At the very end of the hall is a door marked "206".

Mrs. Rameriz looks at the door for a moment, then shakes her head and mutters to herself.

                                                                 MRS. RAMERIZ
                                Loco.

She steps inside her apartment shutting the door firmly behind her and locking it.

We hang on the empty hallway, then slowly move up the hall to the apartment door marked "206".

When we arrive at the door, our view goes below the door-knob to the keyhole, then right through the keyhole into the apartment . . .


INT. HANK'S LIVING ROOM/BEDROOM - DAY

We move forward up a dark hallway toward bright sunlight streaming in through a window.  We move past a door on the right leading to the empty kitchen, then past another door on the left to an empty bathroom.

We move into a brightly lit living room right up to the open windows.  Yellowed curtains sway in the breeze and a fan slowly turns.

The view out the windows is of another apartment building across the street.  On the roof of the building is a billboard for "LULU'S LINGERIE" with a picture of a BEAUTIFUL WOMAN lying on her side wearing scanty lingerie.

A rickity bookshelf below the window is filled with paperbacks: "PAPA HEMINGWAY," "WIRED," "JANIS," "NO ONE HERE GETS OUT ALIVE," "THE COMPLETE TALES AND POEMS OF EDGAR ALLEN POE," "THE BELL JAR," etc.

As our view begins to scan the living room we see that all of the walls are completely covered with tin foil!  Roll after roll after roll, floor to ceiling - and parts of the ceiling, too.

The furniture is old and tattered.  A couch, an easy chair, a desk covered with spiral notebooks, a coffee table coated with fermenting dirty dishes, newspapers and books.

There's an old stereo sitting on some orange crates containing a few records (we can see the cover of "ZAMFIR/ MASTER OF THE PANFLUTE").

At the far right side of the living room is a doorway.  Through the doorway is a bedroom.  We move inside.

It is pretty barren except for a single bed.

From beneath the bed two wide, frightened eyes peer out.  These belong to HENRY (HANK) STONE.  He is 24 years old, has messy brown hair and deep sunken eyes that are bugging out.

Hank can clearly hear the sound of a hospital operating room - the sucking of a respirator pump, a bleeping EKG, the hissing of the gas and a doctor's intense voice.

                                                                 DOCTOR
                                                           (O.S.)
                                Give him the juice.

We hear the Zap!  Of an electrical jolt.  Hank spasms under the bed.

                                                                 DOCTOR
                                                           (O.S.)
                                No good.  We'll have to go in.  Remove the top
                                of the skull.

We hear the high-pitched whizzing of a bone saw - Zizzzzzzz!!


INT. HANK'S HEAD

Our view goes right into Hank's bulging left eye, into his pupil, through his optic nerve and into his brain.  We see his synapses snapping and popping, faces and images whirring and whizzing past.

Suddenly ferocious little white worms eat their way through the cerebral cortex and frontal lobe.  The horrid little worms have razor sharp teeth and hungrily devour Hank's brain.  A bright light moves across the brain and the worms quickly duck back into their holes.


INT. WHITE LIMBO

A MASKED DOCTOR removes the top of Hank's skull.  He peers down at the brain and reaches toward it with a scalpel.


INT. HANK'S BEDROOM - DAY

Hank's eyes are tightly closed, his brow furrowed and tense.  He has his hands on either side of his head and pushes as hard as he can in an attempt to squeeze the bad things out his ears.

Finally, Hank opens his eyes and glances down at his chest.  He sees a common household spider (the variety often found under beds) crawling toward his face.

Hank totally panics.  He swipes at the spider, sits up banging his head on the bedsprings, then quickly rolls out from under the bed.

He stands up still wiping at himself like there's probably other spiders he missed.  He leans against the door-frame hyperventilating and blinking rapidly.  He can't seem to calm down.  He is wearing baggy khaki pants and a Detroit Pistons t-shirt.

Suddenly he shakes his head really hard and intentionally wallops the side of his head against the door-frame.  That wakes him up.  Hank rubs the side of his head tenderly.

                                                                 HANK
                                Another day.


INT. HANK'S LIVING ROOM - DAY

Hank steps into the living room.  Warm rays of sunlight beam in through the windows, refracting and reflecting off the tinfoil.  Motes of dust float gently through the air.

Hank makes a slow wandering circuit around his living room.  He flexes his palms and rubs the muscles in his neck.

As he passes the window he runs his finger along the windowsill.  He looks at the dust on his finger, blows on it, then wipes it on his pants.

As he passes the bookshelf he stops and takes a look.  He opens an old red hardcover book, "THE COMPLETE TALES AND POEMS OF EDGAR ALLEN POE."  Hank reads out loud.

                                                                 HANK
                                "Once upon a midnight dreary/while I pondered
                                weak and weary/over many a quaint and curious
                                volume of forgotten lore . . ."

He wearily shuts the book and keeps walking.

As he passes the old black and white television set, he stops and turns on the switch.  He jerks his hand away like he just got about a twenty-five volt shock.  Before the tubes have a chance to warm up Hank switches the set off, getting another little shock.

Hank continues his circuit around the room.  He's a caged animal.

Hank stops and intently stares down at the telephone.  It is a cheap remote phone with an antenna.  It just sits there on the coffee table.  Hank stares at it and stares at it, then picks up the receiver and listens.  He hears a dial tone.

                                                                 HANK
                                It works.

He forlornly hangs up.


INT. HANK'S BATHROOM - DAY

Hank's fingernail picks the little globs of dried toothpaste off of his toothbrush.  When this job is completed he puts the toothbrush back in the rack.

He pulls some hairs from his brush and drops them into the toilet.  He flushes and intently watches the water swirl down the drain.

Hank looks up at himself in the mirror and asks . . .

                                                                 HANK
                                "Only this and nothing more?"


INT. HANK'S LIVING ROOM - DAY

Hank sits on the couch staring out the window.  The sun is setting directly behind the LuLu's Lingerie billboard across the street.  Hank directs all of his attention to the curvaceous Beautiful Woman reclining in her scanty apparel - a white lace bra, lace panties, garters, white stockings and high heels.

Hank stares into the flat, lifeless eyes of the photographic woman.

Hank squints.

The Beautiful Woman's eyes are inert.

Hank stares even more intensely.

The Beautiful Woman's eyes blink.

Hank's eyes widen.

The Beautiful Woman is alive and standing in Hank's apartment.  She is backlit by the fiery red sun giving her a glowing, unreal aura.  She slowly, sensuously walks toward Hank, her hips swaying, her red lips pursed.

Hank is breathing quickly, his mouth open.

The Beautiful Woman steps up to Hank.  She puts one leg on either side of his and stands directly over him.  Hank looks straight up at her in awe.  She lowers herself onto Hank's lap.  Hank takes hold of her waist.  She begins running her long, red nails through Hank's hair and bites his lower lip.

The Beautiful Woman begins rocking her hips and tush back and forth on Hank's lap.  Her pointy pink tongue tickles the end of Hank's nose.

Suddenly the phone rings excruciatingly loud.  RIIINNNGGG!!!

The Beautiful Woman is gone.  Hank grabs at nothing and falls off the couch.  He scrambles for the phone.

                                                                 HANK
                                                           (into phone)
                                Hello?

                                                                 FEMALE VOICE
                                                           (O.S.)
                                Hank?

                                                                 HANK
                                                           (surprised)
                                Mom.  I was just thinking of you.

Hank's MOM remains off-screen.

                                                                 MOM
                                Really?  How nice.  How are you?

                                                                 HANK
                                Great.  I'm great.

He looks down to make sure there are no spiders on him.

                                                                 MOM
                                Well I'm glad to hear it.  I haven't heard from
                                you in a long time.

Hank begins to pace around the living room.

                                                                 HANK
                                I've, uh, been meaning to call, I just haven't
                                gotten around to it.

                                                                 MOM
                                                           (sarcastically)
                                Too busy?


                                                                 HANK
                                                           (flatly)
                                Yeah, too busy.  So how is everyone?

                                                                 MOM
                                Everyone's doing fine.  Are you coming?

Hank begins to retrace his own steps.

                                                                 HANK
                                Coming where?

                                                                 MOM
                                To your brother's wedding.  Didn't you get the
                                invitation?

                                                                 HANK
                                                           (stuck)
                                Uh . . . The mail delivery's pretty bad around
                                here.  So Tom's finally getting married, huh?

                                                                 MOM
                                Tom is married.  Matt's getting married.

                                                                 HANK
                                                           (bewildered)
                                Tom's married?  Since when?

                                                                 MOM
                                Over a year now.  You didn't come to his
                                wedding, it might be nice if you came to
                                Matt's.

                                                                 HANK
                                                           (panicking)
                                Well, that is, I'd like to.  But I'm not sure I
                                can make it.

                                                                 MOM
                                                           (sarcastically)
                                Too busy again?  Hank, what do you do all
                                day long?

                                                                 HANK
                                I know it's hard for you to understand, but
                                I write.

                                                                 MOM
                                Poetry?

                                                                 HANK
                                Yes, poetry.

Hank steps up beside his desk.  It is covered with spiral notebooks and black fine point rollerball pens.  On top of everything is a letter with the letterhead "The California Review."  These words comprise the opening half of the first sentence, "We appreciate your interest and submission, however . . ."

                                                                 MOM
                                It just doesn't make sense to me, Hank.  You
                                sit in your room all day and write poetry?

                                                                 HANK
                                No, I don't write it all day.  I have to think it
                                up first.  That's the hard part.

                                                                 MOM
                                Okay . . . So, are you coming?

                                                                 HANK
                                                           (hesitant)
                                Well, uh . . . I'd like to be there but Michigan's
                                a long way away.

                                                                 MOM
                                You won't have to walk.  We'll send you a plane
                                ticket.

                                                                 HANK
                                It's not that, it's just . . . I don't want to leave.
                                I'm happy here.

                                                                 MOM
                                                           (amazed)
                                You're happy?  Hank, this is your mother
                                you're talking to.  You haven't been happy
                                in years.

                                                                 HANK
                                Well, maybe not happy.  But content.

                                                                 MOM
                                Hank, you're not being truthful to me or yourself.
                                You're the most unhappy person I know.  And
                                the least content.

Hank looks like he's getting mad, but holding himself back.

                                                                 HANK
                                Mom, I'm happy.  I swear.

                                                                 MOM
                                Don't you want to get married, Hank?  Doesn't
                                it bother you just a little that both of your
                                younger brothers'll be married and you're not?

Hank closes his eyes and takes a deep breath.  A look of deep pain fills his face.

                                                                 HANK
                                Not at all.  Some guys are just bachelors, mom.
                                Get used to it.

                                                                 MOM
                                If you looked for a girl you might find one.

                                                                 HANK
                                It's not easy meeting people in a big city.

                                                                 MOM
                                Then come home.  Matt met Lisa at the village
                                pancake supper.  You could meet someone too.
                                Just come home.

                                                                 HANK
                                                           (deeply pained)
                                I can't, mom.  I just can't.  Give my love to
                                everyone and congratulate Matt for me, okay?

                                                                 MOM
                                                           (hurting)
                                Don't go, Hank.  Talk to me some more.

                                                                 HANK
                                I can't.  I gotta go.  It was nice talking to you.

                                                                 MOM
                                I love you, Hank.

                                                                 HANK
                                I love you, too, mom.  See ya.

He hangs up.  He begins to walk in circles around the living room nodding his head as the last rays of sunlight crawl up the wall.  The room slowly descends into deep blue.

                                                                 HANK
                                                           (to himself)
                                I'm happy.  I'm content.  I've got my whole
                                life wired.

He reaches up and turns on a lamp.  He gets about a forty volt shock and recoils.

Hank sits down on the couch and picks up the L.A. Metro Newspaper.  On the back is an ad for a 976 Partyline.  It depicts happy, handsome young men and women engaged in lively conversation.

Hank picks up the telephone and dials.  It rings a few times, then is answered.  Hank can hear five or six people having a conversation, laughing and exchanging phone numbers.  Hank smiles.

                                                                 HANK
                                                           (into phone)
                                Hi, this is Hank.  I'm on, too.

Everyone stops talking at once.  There are a few coughs, then one by one everyone hangs up.  One girl's voice remains.

                                                                 GIRL
                                                           (O.S.)
                                Hello?  Is anyone there?

Hank smiles

                                                                 HANK
                                Hi.  This is Hank.  What's your name?

                                                                 GIRL
                                                           (O.S.)
                                . . . Get lost, creep!

She hangs up, too.  Now there is jus a dial tone.  Hank looks hurt and slowly hangs up.

Hank shrugs.  That's okay.  He looks back at the L.A. Metro and spots another partyline ad.  The number is 976-0823.  He dials the push-button phone.  His finger pushes nine, then seven, then six, then zero, then eight, then two, then three.  It rings and a recording comes on.

                                                                 OPERATOR
                                I'm sorry, the number you have dialed, six-six-
                                six-six-six-six-six is not in service.  Please hang
                                up and dial your call again.

Hank looks truly baffled.  He glances down at the telephone and all of the buttons are marked six!

Hank drops the receiver.  He grabs his head and rubs and squishes.  The worms are trying to eat their way out.

From the receiver a voice can be heard.

                                                                 OPERATOR
                                Please hang up and try your call again . . .
                                Please hang up and try your call again . . .
                                Please hang up, get a life, and try your call
                                again . . . Please hang up, get a life, and try
                                your call again . . .

Hank gets more tense, switches the phone off and puts it into its base.

He takes several deep breaths and continues rubbing his temples.  In his head is the sound of a phone left off the hook too long - Eee-oooh, eee-oooh, eee-oooh.  He picks up the receiver and slams it back down.

                                                                 HANK
                                Shut up!

But the sound doesn't stop.

Hank crawls to the center of the living room and begins to slowly pound his head on the floor.

                                                                  HANK
                                                           (desperately)
                                I'm happy.  I'm happy.  I'm really, really
                                happy . . .

Our view of Hank pulls back out the window.


EXT. HANK'S BUILDING - NIGHT

Hank is a dim silhouette seen through his window.

His window is just one of many in the building.

And his building is just one of many in the city.


EXT. DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES - NIGHT

The tall buildings are all lit up.

Traffic streaks by on the freeways.

Long lines of Mexicans wait for Spanish dubbed quadruple bills at huge old movie palaces.


EXT. CITY STREET - NIGHT

This is a very bad part of downtown.  Refuse covers the street and sidewalk, there are bums and nodding junkies in most of the doorways, bag ladies and shopping cart people wander past on their way to nowhere, drug deals are being transacted right on the corners.

In a large pile of garbage on the street, right at the very top, sits a half-dead rhododendron in a cracked clay pot.  The pot is encircled with black electrical tape.  There is also a peeling peace sticker on it.

On the sidewalk, behind the plant, appear two worn out sneakers.  Above the sneakers are tight faded blue jeans, worn through in many places and a tight blue t-shirt outlining a shapely female figure.  Residing within these clothes is NANCY BRYANT, a pretty 25 year old girl with straight blonde hair.  She has a little green backpack on her back.

Nancy looks at the dying, discarded rhododendron in the garbage heap and a look of pity fills her eyes.

                                                                 NANCY
                                Aw, you poor baby.  You'll be all right.  I'll
                                save you.

She looks all around, blinks several times in a strange way, then reaches out and takes the plant.

Nancy walks up the nasty street clutching the plant to her chest, potting soil dribbling down her front.

Nancy's forward motion is blocked by TWO MALE DRUNKS in the midst of kicking the crap out of each other in the middle of the sidewalk.  A crowd of six or seven BAR PATRONS surround the fighters cheering them on, several still holding their drinks.

Nancy tries to edge her way around the fracas.  As she goes past, she and one of the battling drunks catch each other's eye.  That's the moment that his drunken opponent takes to belt him as hard as he can in the nose.  The drunk flies forward past Nancy and his head smashes into a parking meter.  The little red flag inside the meter pops up, "Violation."  The drunk drops to the pavement out cold.

Nancy watches as everyone cheers, then makes their way back into the bar dragging the unconscious man with them.  Nancy is shocked and keeps walking.

Nancy's open hand holds a hotel key.  On the plastic ring it says, "St. Moritz Hotel - L.A.'s most modern hotel."  Nancy closes her hand revealing across the street. . .


EXT. FLEA-BAG HOTEL - NIGHT

The St. Moritz Hotel, a sleazy flea-bag hotel with a fire escape adorning its front.  Vagrants and drunks loiter outside.

Nancy sighs and heads across the street.


INT. FLEA-BAG HOTEL LOBBY - NIGHT

Inside the ugly, run-down, ill-lit lobby a scene from a Fellini movie is taking place: a black PIMP is yelling at a dumpy, old white HOOKER, who is yelling back, two shady-looking DRUG-DEALERS are making a transaction, a JUNKIE is nodding and humming to himself, his cigarette having burned right down between his fingers, a fat, bald DESK CLERK sits behind the counter watching a black and white TV with bad reception and the volume cranked too loud.

Nancy enters the lobby holding her plant.  She tries to hide behind the plant and quickly make her way across the lobby to the stairs.

                                                                 DESK CLERK
                                Hey, you!  With the tree!  Get over here!

Nancy takes on an innocent look and walks to the desk.

                                                                 NANCY
                                Who, me?

                                                                 DESK CLERK
                                No, the other girl with the tree.  You owe me
                                three days for the room.  You gotta pay each
                                day.  That's $78.50.  Fork it over!

All of the scum and refuse loitering I the lobby turn and look at Nancy disapprovingly.

Nancy sets down the plant and takes her wallet out of her pack.  She peers I and there is a twenty, a five and three ones.

                                                                 NANCY
                                I've only got twenty dollars. . .

She takes out the twenty and the Desk Clerk snatches it.

                                                                 DESK CLERK
                                Get the rest or I'll have you thrown outta here
                                tonight!

                                                                 NANCY
                                My boyfriend has it.

                                                                 DESK CLERK
                                Your boyfriend ain't been around in a few days.
                                Maybe he ain't comin' back.

                                                                 NANCY
                                He's coming back.

Nancy picks up the plant and dirt spills down her shirt.

                                                                 DESK CLERK
                                And what'dya think you're doing with that?

He points at the plant.

                                                                 NANCY
                                I'm going to save it.

                                                                 DESK CLERK
                                Oh, sure.  You're spillin' dirt everywhere.
                                Throw the piece of crap out.

Nancy holds the pot tightly together and heads toward the stairs.

                                                                 NANCY
                                I'll be fine, thank you very much.

Nancy goes up the stairs.


INT. FLEA-BAG HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT

Nancy gets inside of the sleazy little hotel room with a torn bedspread and a broken lampshade and locks the door behind her.  She turns around and bumps right into RAY, a handsome, greasy punk who is just coming out of the bathroom.  They both scare each other and gasp.

                                                                 NANCY
                                What're you doing here?

                                                                 RAY
                                We checked in together, didn't we?

                                                                 NANCY
                                But the desk clerk said he hadn't seen you.
                                How'd you get up here?

                                                                 RAY
                                He just wasn't payin' attention.  What's that?

Ray points at the plant.

                                                                 NANCY
                                A rhododendron.  Where have you been?

                                                                 RAY
                                Venice.

                                                                 NANCY
                                                           (amazed)
                                Italy?

                                                                 RAY
                                No, California.  Near Santa Monica.

                                                                 NANCY
                                I don't know where that is.  I don't know
                                where anything is.  I haven't been out of
                                this horrible neighborhood yet.  Why didn't
                                you come back?

                                                                 RAY
                                I ran out of money.  You got any?

                                                                 NANCY
                                No.  The guy at the desk just took my last twenty,
                                and we owe still him more.

                                                                 RAY
                                That's too bad.  Look, Nance, uh. . . It's time
                                for us to go our separate ways.

                                                                 NANCY
                                                           (hit hard)
                                What?

                                                                 RAY
                                Look, I asked ya if ya wanted to go out west
                                with me.  Well, here we are.

                                                                 NANCY
                                You mean this is it?

                                                                 RAY
                                We can't go any further west.  This is the end
                                of the road.

Nancy begins blinking rapidly.

                                                                 NANCY
                                I can't believe this.  How can I be so wrong so
                                often?  Am I totally blind?  How could I have
                                thought we had a future together?

                                                                 RAY
                                I don't know.  You must be nuts 'cause we have
                                nothing in common.

                                                                 NANCY
                                I'm bad luck.  Everything I touch is cursed.

                                                                 RAY
                                You keep saying it, it must be true.  You seem
                                to think that everything that ever went wrong in
                                history is your fault.  Maybe you're right.
                                Anyway, I'm not stickin' around to find out.

Nancy has a flat, dazed expression.  She takes the plant into the bathroom.

                                                                 NANCY
                                                           (O.S.)
                                I must've been someone like Ivan the Terrible
                                in my past life and now I'm paying for it.

Ray looks at the bathroom doorway, then quickly takes Nancy's wallet out of her pack.  He opens it and sees the five and three ones.  He starts to take the ones, pauses and instead takes the five.  He starts to put the wallet back, but then on second thought takes the three ones as well.  Then he empties the change compartment and takes all of her change, too.


INT. FLEA-BAG HOTEL BATHROOM - NIGHT

Nancy has put a belt around the clay pot, pulls it tight and buckles it.  She pours a couple of glasses of water into the pot, then heads out of the bathroom.

                                                                 NANCY
                                What about the hotel bill. . . ?


INT. FLEA-BAG HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT

When Nancy steps back into the room she finds that Ray is gone.  The door is open.

A look of deep pain crosses Nancy's face.

                                                                 NANCY
                                                           (quietly)
                                . . . 'Bye.


EXT. FLEA-BAG HOTEL - NIGHT

Ray comes down the fire escape attached to the front of the building.  He brushes off his hands and glances through the front window at the Desk Clerk who is watching TV.

Ray grins and dashes across the street to a waiting red Corvette convertible with a pretty BLONDE with big hair at the wheel.  Ray gets in and the Blonde starts the car and revs it.

The Desk Clerk glances up and Ray and the Blonde in the Corvette edge out into traffic.  He looks puzzled and shakes his head.

Nancy stands at the window of the room watching as the Corvette drives away.  She blinks rapidly and turns despondently away from the window.


INT. FLEA-BAG HOTEL LOBBY - NIGHT

The door to the stairway opens and Nancy steps into the ongoing Fellini movie in the lobby.  She is wearing an oversized black leather jacket, has her pack on her back and holds the plant.  She starts across the lobby trying to be inconspicuous.

The Desk Clerk looks up at Nancy and points his thumb at the window.

                                                                 DESK CLERK
                                You just missed your boyfriend.  And he didn't
                                even go through the lobby, which is a real trick
                                since there's no back door.

                                                                 NANCY
                                                           (flatly)
                                He's not my boyfriend anymore.

                                                                 DESK CLERK
                                Aww, that's tough.  You got the money you owe
                                me?

                                                                 NANCY
                                Where would I have gotten it between then and
                                now?

                                                                 DESK CLERK
                                From your ex-boyfriend.

                                                                 NANCY
                                He asked me for money.  I told him I gave you
                                my last twenty.

                                                                 DESK CLERK
                                Well why don't you just check and see if you
                                don't have a few tens.

Nancy shrugs and takes her wallet out of her pack.

                                                                 NANCY
                                I don't.  I've only got. . .

She opens her wallet and sees that she has nothing.  A look of shock hits her.  She opens the change compartment and sees that that's empty too.

                                                                 NANCY
                                He took everything.

The Desk Clerk sighs, shakes his head, picks up the phone and dials.

                                                                 DESK CLERK
                                You better sit down 'cause I'm callin' the cops.

                                                                 NANCY
                                That son of a. . .

                                                                 DESK CLERK
                                . . .Save it for the cops, I've heard it before.

Nancy stands there clutching the plant.  It's all sinking in.  Her eyes go wide with horror as she realizes just what a terrible situation she's in.

She looks like a caged animal.  The Desk Clerk motions her to sit down.

Nancy looks around at the Pimp and the Hooker, who are still arguing, and at the Junkie who is still nodding, and the Drug Dealers.

Suddenly, Nancy bolts toward the front door.

The Desk Clerk looks up.

                                                                 DESK CLERK
                                Hey!

Nancy hits the door and is out onto the street.

A trail of potting soil marks her path.

Next Page >

1   2   3   4

 

[ Questions or Comments ]


BECKERFILMS SITE MENU

[ Main ]  [ Film & TV Work ]  [ Screenplays [ Old Stuff ]
[
Reviews ]  [ Articles, Essays & Stories ]  [ Ask the Director
[
Favorite Films ]  [ Scrapbook ]  [ Links (& Afterword) ]  [ Web Team ]

This site is the property of Josh Becker Copyright © 2003 Panoramic Pictures, All Rights Reserved.
Panoramic Pictures Logo