"In writing fiction, the more fantastic the tale, the plainer the prose should be. Don't ask your readers to admire your words when you want them to believe your story." - Ben Bova [ more quotes ]

"BODIES, REST & MOTION"

Screenplay by

Roger Hedden

Based on a play by

Roger Hedden

SHOOTING DRAFT



THE SCREEN IS BLACK

FADE IN:

INT. SHOPPING MALL - DAY

THE CAMERA LOOKS DOWN ON three levels of escalators
transporting a smattering of Southwestern shoppers -- some
in cowboy hats.

AS CREDITS ROLL

A SERIES OF ANGLES of shoppers being conveyed up and down.

CUT TO:

EXT. ARIZONA DESERT - SUNSET

A beautiful vista -- cacti and sage dot the landscape as it
rises to mountains in the distance.

END CREDITS

THE CAMERA PANS revealing an island of modern culture --
malls and more malls, parking lots, and fast food franchises.

FADE IN TITLE: ENFIELD, ARIZONA

A brown Pinto pulls out of a parking lot and into rush hour
traffic.

INT. PINTO - DUSK

BETH WALKER is driving. She looks younger, but she's twenty-
eight. She has a strong face and flashing intelligent eyes.
She's wearing a WAITRESS UNIFORM from Friendly's. She's deep
in thought.

Beth pulls up to stoplight and stops.

SOUND: A gentle toot of car horn.

Beth looks up, startled.

BETH'S POV

SID, a pleasant looking twenty-four year old, is in a pick-
up truck next to her. He smiles and points up toward the
traffic light.

BETH

She looks up toward the traffic light.

TRAFFIC LIGHTS

They're red except for one with a lit green arrow.

BETH AND SID

She pantomimes that she's in the wrong lane and wants to go
straight.

Sid pantomimes that he'll let her cut in front of him.

SOUND: Horns honk impatiently.

THE INTERSECTION

Beth pulls away in front of the pick-up truck. The HONKING
continues. Sid looks back at the honking car, cheerfully
waves to it.

CUT TO:

EXT. CAROL'S HOUSE - NIGHT

A tiny well-kept Spanish style home in lower middle class
residential section.

INT. CAROL'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

It's neat and smartly furnished -- discount Swedish modern,
framed deco posters, some nice plants. The only problem is
it seems a little more like a well-designed waiting room
than a home.

There's an empty ice bucket, several empty liquor bottles,
and a swinging metal ball thingabobby on a chrome and glass
coffee table in front of leather sofa.

CAROL AND NICK are curled up together on the sofa, drinks in
hand.

They're both in their late twenties. Carol's dressed in the
casually stylish clothes worn by women who work in shopping
mall boutiques.

Nick's clothes are frumpled, a knit tie loose around his
neck. They've achieved a state of contemplative drunkenness.

Carol sips her drink. Nick sips his drink. Carol sips her
drink. Nick brings his glass to his lips, hesitates...

NICK
(flatly)
We're moving.

CAROL
What?

NICK
(enunciating)
We're going to move.

CAROL
(after a beat)
When?

NICK
Two days.

CAROL
In two days?!

NICK
Yeah.

Carol shakes her head in weary disbelief.

CAROL
(covering her hurt)
Thanks for the news...

She knocks back her drink. Nick broods.

NICK
I haven't known for long. I just
decided.
(ruminating)
What do I need that makes me make
these decisions?

Carol stares at him. He knocks back his drink.

CAROL
You got me.

She pours herself another drink.

CAROL
What does Beth say?

NICK
Beth?...

CUT TO:

INT. BETH'S CAR - NIGHT

She stops at an intersection.

NICK (V.O.)
Whatever makes me happy. That's what
she says...

Headlights flash from behind her. She turns and looks.

BETH'S POV

Sid's smiling from his truck right behind her. He flashes
his lights again.

INT. BETH'S PINTO

Beth looks up in the rearview mirror, amused.

REARVIEW MIRROR

Sid turns off, disappearing into the night.

BETH

Surprised to find herself vaguely disappointed, she drives
on.

CUT TO:

INT. CAROL'S KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS

It's small, prefab, and tidy. It has a counter with shutters
that open onto the living room. Nick is kneeling, going
through bottles in a cabinet.

NICK
(w/ drunken desperation)
I know this place.

Nick stands, with an almost empty bottle of Johnny Walker
Red.

NICK
I know what happens here.

He pours himself a drink. Carol shuts the cabinet.

NICK
I know what's going to happen.

Nick opens a cabinet under the sink and tosses the empty
bottle in the trash. He begins to pace. Carol shuts the
cabinet and follows him with her gaze.

As Nick speaks, he gestures grandly with his drink, liquor
splashing unnoticed over the sides.

NICK
(bursting with
frustration)
The same job, same scenery, same
people... I've been in this town for
years... Years!!

CAROL
(flatly)
Three years.

NICK
(in despair)
Oh, Carol...

CAROL
I know...

He stops and slugs back his drink.

NICK
Forever -- it seems forever.

CUT TO:

INT. BETH'S PINTO - CONTINUOUS

Beth pulls up to a stoplight, her face blank with thought.
She's suddenly lit by the flash of headlights going on and
off. She looks up and smiles.

EXT. INTERSECTION - CONTINUOUS

Sid's pick-up truck is facing her across the intersection.
It slowly pulls up beside her and stops.

He smiles and gives a little wave of his hand.

Without knowing why, she smiles and waves back.

BETH
(sweetly but firmly)
Good-bye.

She drives away. Sid stares after her.

CUT TO:

INT. CAROL'S LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS

Carol lifts the end metal ball on the thingabobby and releases
it, starting the chain reaction. She stares at it clacking
back and forth as she speaks.

CAROL
How long a drive is it?

Nick paces.

NICK
Fourteen hours.

CAROL
That's not bad.

NICK
In a car? It's a fuckin' nightmare.

Carol stops the metal ball. She releases two balls, starting
a new chain reaction.

NICK
(griping)
And there's no radio in Utah. It's
all religious programs.

CAROL
Get saved.

Nick slumps on the sofa beside her.

NICK
(flatly)
No thanks.

CAROL
Hey. Think about this. You take a
detour and go through Vegas -- you
and Beth stop, see a show, have a
nice romantic dinner -- play the
slots, get the free drinks...

NICK
(interrupting)
Too much money. The show. The meal.
The slots. Then the hotel -- that's
another hundred down the toilet.

As Carol speaks she pokes at Nick. He fends off her blows.
By the end of her speech she is on top of him mock-strangling
him.

CAROL
(jabbing Nick)
No, you skip the hotel. It's night,
the highway's empty -- you can make
good time. You start speeding. You
get stopped in Utah by the cops --
you flunk the breathalizer, they
haul you in. The judge is Mormon --
you get fifteen years, you go to
prison, but at least your life has
taken a direction!

Nick and Carol collapse into laughter. The front door opens.

BETH
(calling in)
I'm here!

Beth steps in. Carol quickly lets go of Nick's neck and gets
off him.

NICK AND CAROL

Embarrassed, they both smile self-consciously.

There's an awkward instant followed by too much cheerfulness.

CAROL
(chipper)
Hi!

NICK
Hi, honey.

CAROL
Hi.

BETH

stands in the doorway, awkwardly conscious of having
interrupted something.

BETH
(w/ forced cheer)
Hi.

CUT TO:

EXT. FRONT LAWN - NIGHT

Nick and Beth are standing in the lawn, lit by the glow of
the porch lamp.

Both sides of the street are lined with nearly identical
tiny faux Spanish houses.

BETH
G'night.

THE FRONT DOORWAY

Carol waves.

CAROL
G'night.

ANOTHER ANGLE INCLUDING NICK, BETH, AND CAROL

NICK
(calling out)
Pizza Hut, tomorrow?

CAROL
Okay.
(to Beth)
I've got the short shift -- you want
me to come over, help pack?

BETH
Great... I'm really sorry we didn't
tell you sooner. He just decided.

CAROL

smiles to herself, a trace of sadness in her eyes.

CAROL
I understand.

She shuts the door.

NICK AND BETH

She starts to walk across the lawn. She stops and stares at
Nick, who's staring out into the night, oblivious to her.

BETH
I'm tired. I'm going to bed.

He turns and looks at her.

NICK
What's your problem?

BETH
I haven't got a problem.

NICK
Okay.

He walks up to her and past her -- when she doesn't fall
into step, he stops.

NICK
You agreed to try Billings.

BETH
I know.
(in Nick's words)
Billings, Montana. City of the future.

NICK
Yeah and I read that a while ago --
so the future's probably already
there.

She smiles and shakes her head.

NICK
(defensively)
It's not like you're leaving anything
behind. A good job or something.

BETH
Just some friends.

He puts his arms around her waist from behind, and nestles
her against his body.

NICK
You'll make new friends.

BETH
I know.
(after a beat)
I'm not eight years old. I know I'll
make new friends.

NICK
Then what is it?

She pulls away from him and starts walking to the house next
door. He falls into step with her.

BETH
(uncomfortably)
I, umm... I... It embarrasses me.
When you talk about something with
Carol that happened before me. She's
my best friend. It embarrasses me
that you used to live with her.

NICK
That was years ago.

BETH
Three years.

NICK
That's right.

BETH
I know...

NICK
And we're moving. She won't be your
best friend anymore.

They arrive at their front door. Beth takes out her keys.
Nick stops her hand and kisses her. She kisses him back.

NICK
Living with someone isn't such a big
deal.

She nods and looks to the lock.

NICK
Anyway... I live with you now.

Beth looks to Nick. He stares out at the night.

CUT TO:

CLOSE-UP: COFFEE-MAKER

The coffee-maker clock hits nine o'clock. The coffee maker
clicks on with a rattle. Steam starts to spew out.

The coffee-maker makes horrible gurgling sounds.

INT. KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS

The kitchen is small and a little grimy, its furnishings
fatigued.

Nick stares at the coffee-maker in disbelief. He's dressed
in a dress shirt, untied necktie, and slacks. He's carrying
a sportscoat with a Sears' employee name-tag attached.

NICK
(calling out)
Beth!... Beth!!

Beth walks into the kitchen, wearing a robe and carrying the
paper.

Nick points accusingly at the coffee maker as water pours
down from around its top.

NICK
It's... it's raining!

BETH
It does that.

She drops the paper on the kitchen table and gets a mug off
the counter.

NICK
Since we got it?

BETH
No.
(pouring herself a
cup)
Lately.

NICK
(throwing his jacket
on a chair)
Shit.
(agitated)
What's wrong with it?

BETH
Water comes out.

NICK
Shit.
(unplugging the coffee
maker)
I hate this shit! It never kept the
coffee hot. And now this.

He angrily wraps the cord around the coffee-maker.

BETH
(blowing on her coffee)
It still works.

NICK
(adamant)
No. It doesn't. Water comes out.

BETH
Okay.

She sips her coffee. She flips open a box of Dunkin' Donuts.

NICK
I could've gotten a new one. On my
discount. Now it's too late.

BETH
Do you want a donut?

NICK
(exasperated)
No. I want an appliance that works.

Beth shrugs and takes a donut out of the box. She leans
against the counter, eating the donut.

Nick walks past Beth and jams the coffee maker into the trash.

NICK
This coffee maker was junk.

Nick pushes a button on the blender. It makes a horrible
GRINDING WHINE. He unplugs it.

NICK
This blender's junk. Our t.v. is
junk!

He jams the blender into the trash.

NICK
I don't know why we're even bothering
to pack.

BETH
(through a mouthful
of donut)
You got me.

NICK
The t.v. gets no channels.

BETH
And it's fifteen inch.

NICK
(shaking his head)
I can't believe we don't have a big
t.v.

BETH
We don't watch much.

NICK
But at our age...

They stare at each other. Nick picks the almost full pint
bottle of scotch off the counter and puts it in his jacket
pocket. Beth takes another donut.

BETH
Why don't you take one?

NICK
I'm not hungry.

BETH
(offhandedly)
Not a donut. A t.v.

NICK
Take a t.v.?

BETH
It's your last day.

NICK
Like a bonus.

BETH
Yeah.

CUT TO:

EXT. NICK AND BETH'S CARPORT - MINUTES LATER

Beth is holding a donut and her coffee mug. Nick tosses his
jacket into the front seat of his old sedan.

NICK
I might do it.

BETH
I say do it.
(after a beat)
Sears can afford to give you a bonus.

NICK
Maybe they are.

BETH
What do you mean?

NICK
Maybe when I get my check today,
there'll be a bonus in it.

BETH
(evenly)
Nick. They fired you.

NICK
Yeah...

BETH
(flatly)
There's no bonus.

NICK
Yeah... That's true.
(shaking his head)
And I sold a lot of teevees for
them...

Beth sips her coffee, waiting for Nick to decide.

BETH
(calmly)
You should take a t.v.

Nick looks at his watch.

NICK
I should go.
(sarcastically)
Don't wanna be late on my last day.

He kisses Beth, surprising her. He presses against her. He
takes the donut from her hand and takes a bite.

Beth kisses Nick, his mouth still full of donut.

BETH
Mmmmm...

He kisses her fully, then breaks the kiss.

NICK
I gotta go.

CUT TO:

EXT. MALL PARKING LOT - MORNING

About hundred cars dot the vast parking lot.

Nick swings into a parking spot and gets out of the car. He
tosses his jacket on the roof and crouches, tieing his necktie
using the car's outside mirror.

MAN'S VOICE
You livin' in your car or what?

NICK'S POV - IN THE MIRROR

CHIP, a big redheaded guy in his late thirties, wearing a
jacket and tie, is grinning at the crouched Nick. Nick's
reflection grins back.

NICK
Just waiting for the last second to
put on the noose.
(tightening the tie)
So Chip -- what's new?

NICK AND CHIP

Nick straightens up and grabs his jacket. They start walking
toward the mall.

CHIP
Nothing much.
(broaching the subject)
I heard you're leaving.

NICK
Yeah. I'm outta here.

They approach the employees entrance.

CHIP
They can you?

NICK
That's what they think.

CHIP
Yeah?

NICK
I was gonna quit anyway -- this way
I get unemployment.

CHIP
Good deal.

Nick opens the door.

NICK
Yeah... recession insurance...
(Chip enters)
This way I'm not stuck waiting around
for the lay-offs to start.

Nick follows Chip in.

CHIP
(a hint of panic)
Lay-offs?

The door shuts behind him.

CUT TO:

CLOSE-UP - NEWSPAPER

The front page of the Phoenix Sun-Times -- the headline reads
"Misery Index Soars".

Beth's hand comes INTO FRAME and crumples the page.

INT. KITCHEN - MORNING

Beth stuffs the paper in a glass and wraps the glass in
another piece. She's sitting on the floor, surrounded by
dishes, newspaper, and cardboard liquor boxes. She adds the
wrapped glass to a box.

She hears the SOUND of a CAR DOOR SLAMMING, looks up, then
returns to her packing. She reaches behind herself into the
trash, pulls out the blender, and begins to wrap it.

At the SOUND of the FRONT DOOR opening, followed by a curious
METALLIC CLUNKING, she stands and hurries through the swinging
door to the living room.

INT. LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS

The living room is sparsely furnished -- a sofa, a coffee
table, a bookcase cluttered with a handful of paperbooks, a
couple of boardgames, a dying cactus, etc. A crappy old
fifteen inch t.v. on a t.v. tray. WE SEE this for a moment
before...

A paint-splattered cloth is unfurled FILLING THE SCREEN.

It gently floats down, revealing a PAINTER and his shopping
cart overloaded with supplies. He's dressed in paint-
splattered clothes. A paint-splattered Red Sox cap is pulled
low over his eyes, obscuring his face.

Beth stares in disbelief. Without seeing her, the painter
backs up, his attention focused on spreading the dropcloth.

BETH
Who are you?

SID
(not looking up)
The painter.

BETH
(agitated)
What are you doing?

SID
Painting.

The painter looks up from the drop-cloth, ready to deal with
this obstacle. He freezes. His face lights up.

It's Sid.

SID
(extremely pleased)
Well, good morning...

BETH
(recognizing him)
You...

SID
(extending a hand)
Sid. Nice to see you again.

Beth stares in agitated disbelief.

With his untaken extended hand, he pulls a long strip of
masking tape from a roll around his wrist, masking one side
of the door frame from top to bottom.

BETH
Why are you here?

SID
Realty office likes a fresh coat
between tenants.

BETH
(pointedly)
We're still here.

He stands on his tiptoes and puts a strip of masking tape on
the top edge of the doorframe.

SID
I've done this house before.
(admiringly)
I did a nice job.

He masks the remaining side of the door frame.

BETH
Can't you come back tomorrow?

SID
Tomorrow's Sunday.

BETH
Yeah...?

SID
The new people move in on Sunday.
(conversationally)
Where are you moving to?

BETH
(wearily)
Billings, Montana.

Sid moves to a window.

SID
(incredulous)
Why?

BETH
It can't be worse than Enfield,
Arizona.

Sid pulls a strip of tape off the roll.

SID
(smiling)
I've lived in Enfield my whole life.

He holds out the end of the masking tape.

SID
Could you hold this?

Beth takes it. He walks backwards, easing a long strip of
tape off the roll.

SID
I use this to mask. Have you ever
used masking tape to mask?

He tears the tape off the roll and sticks it to the top of
the baseboard in one corner.

BETH
No. I haven't.

Crouched, he waddles across the room toward Beth, applying
the masking tape to the baseboard. He gets to Beth, stands
up, takes the tape off her fingers, and presses it into place.

SID
A house like this, it's real easy.
Hardly needs a paint job.

BETH
You can skip it. I won't tell.

SID
It needs a fresh coat...

He hands her the end of the tape again and begins another
baseboard.

SID
...a little color.

BETH
(naturally curious)
What color is it gonna be?

SID
Off-white.

He goes along the floor pressing the masking tape to the
baseboard.

BETH
It's already off-white.

SID
No. It's white. It's just dirty.

Beth looks at the walls. He's right.

SID
Now if it was my house, I would choose
a color...

Beth kneels down, holding the tape, as he arrives at her end
of the wall.

SID
I would not choose off-white.

Beth holds out the tape. They are kneeling next to each other.

BETH
What would you choose?

SID
The color of your eyes.
(pause, without looking)
Hazel.

Beth stares at Sid. Sid looks to Beth. Smiling, he takes the
tape from her fingers.

CUT TO:

EXT. PIZZA HUT - AFTERNOON

An oasis in the center of a packed mall parking lot. Carol
hurries toward the front entrance in a snappy skirt and blazer
combo, a Bullock's name tag attached to her lapel.

INT. PIZZA HUT - CONTINUOUS

Nick is sitting at a booth, a beer in front of him, lost in
thought.

Carol arrives, drops a gift-wrapped box on the table, and
scoots into the booth.

CAROL
Sorry I'm late, the new girl's a
moron.

NICK
(looking to the present)
What's that?

CAROL
Going away present.

Nick takes it.

NICK
Thanks.

He quickly unwraps it.

NICK
(happily)
A map!

CAROL
I thought you might need it.

NICK
(unfolding it)
I do! I had a map -- I lost it.

He spreads the map out over the table.

CAROL
(organized)
Let's highlight your route.

A MAP

of the Western half of the U.S.A. fills the FRAME. Carol's
hand, holding a bright red felt-tip pen, ENTERS FRAME.

CAROL (O.S.)
Here's Enfield.

She circles it. Nick's finger ENTERS FRAME.

NICK (O.S.)
Here's Billings.

Carol circles Billings. Nick's finger starts to trace the
route.

Carol's pen follows, marking the route. Halfway to Billings,
Nick's finger abruptly stops. Carol stops the pen at the
same point.

NICK (O.S.)
Look at this -- right there -- that's
the town I was born in.

NICK AND CAROL

He looks to her for a reaction.

NICK
(emphatically)
Where I grew up. Where my parent's
live... Isn't that a coincidence?

CAROL
Visit them.

NICK
(shaking his head)
Oh... no...

CAROL
You're going to be driving by.

NICK
No...
(shaking his head)
They're not near the interstate.
(sort of chagrined)
I haven't even called them in years.

CAROL
You might as well visit.

NICK
(adamantly)
No.
(shrugging)
I wouldn't know them.

Nick starts to fold the map -- very unsuccessfully.

NICK
Shit.

CAROL
Let me.

Nick hands her the map. She deftly folds it in one motion
and hands it back to him.

NICK
Thanks.

He leans over the table and kisses her. She stands.

CAROL
I'm starved.

CUT TO:

INT. BETH AND NICK'S LIVING ROOM - AFTERNOON

Two of the walls gleam with fresh paint.

Sid is painting with long-handled roller.

Beth, enters, hesitates, and then -- consciously ignoring
him -- walks by with a packed box and adds it to the stack
by the front door.

SID
I'm lucky I don't have to kill them.

BETH
(not a line she was
expecting)
What?

SID
If they were dark, I'd have to put a
layer of kill down first.

Beth starts back to the kitchen. Sid and THE CAMERA FOLLOW.

SID
So the dark paint wouldn't shine
through the off-white.

INT. KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS

The dishes are mostly packed.

BETH
Oh.

She picks up two empty liquor boxes.

SID
Kill's an oil based paint.

Beth carries the boxes out of the kitchen -- Sid and THE
CAMERA FOLLOW.

INT. LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS

Beth walks right on through followed by the talking Sid and
THE CAMERA.

SID
It covers the old paint so that you'd
never know it was there, but it gives
off fumes when it's drying.

Beth goes into the small hallway, Sid and THE CAMERA FOLLOW.

INT. HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS

Beth walks toward the bedroom, Sid right behind her.

SID
Noxious fumes. They would find us on
the floor unconscious.

They enter the bedroom, THE CAMERA FOLLOWING.

INT. BEDROOM

There's a queen-sized bed, a bureau, a mirror, and a closet.

Beth takes the boxes to the closet.

BETH
They?

Sid sits on the bed, checking it's firmness.

SID
The "they" that find people...

BETH
(interjecting)
Nick.

SID
...unconscious.

BETH
(flatly)
Nick.
(after a beat)
The man I live with.

SID
(smiling)
I guess he'd be the "they".

BETH
He'd find us. And he'd be surprised.

Sid gets off the bed and with a grin, gingerly pats out the
wrinkles he's made in the bed spread.

CUT TO:

EXT. MALL PARKING LOT - AFTERNOON

Nick and Carol are walking away from the Pizza Hut, across a
huge parking lot, toward a large mall. Cars circle past them,
searching for close spots.

NICK
(doggedly)
It was the drive that killed us. San
Antonio to Seattle is just too many
hours in a car. If we'd have flown,
we would've made it.

CAROL
(shaking her head)
No...

NICK
Things were all right in bed.

CAROL
But the rest of the time they were...
awful.

NICK
(hurt)
Really?

CAROL
(flatly)
Nick. We couldn't stand each other.
We stopped in Enfield and just stayed.

NICK
(after a beat)
Why didn't you go on to Seattle? It
was your car.

Carol stops. On her face, the answer to his question is clear --
she was stuck on Nick then and she's still stuck on him now.

But she'd never let him know that.

CAROL
(dryly)
Big trees scare me.

She starts walking. Nick hurries up beside her. They walk
side by side for a few paces before the shotdown Nick comes
up with a new ploy to win favor.

NICK
(casually)
I'm thinking about stealing a t.v.

CUT TO:

INT. NICK AND BETH'S BEDROOM HALLWAY - AFTERNOON

Beth's taking extra sheets and towels from the linen closet
and packing them in liquor boxes.

Sid enters from the living room.

SID
(cheerfully)
I'm done in there. I won't paint the
ceiling 'til you've moved the
furniture out.

BETH
I don't think we're going to take
much of the furniture.

SID
No?

BETH
It's ugly.

SID
I kind of like the sofa.

BETH
It's a sofa bed.

SID
You're not going to take it?

BETH
(flatly)
It weighs two thousand pounds.

SID
Can I have it?

BETH
It's yours.

SID
Excellent.

INT. THE LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS

The furniture is kind of ugly, but the walls look great. The
whole room seems brighter, almost magically more cheerful.

Sid runs into the room and flops onto the sofa. He settles
in and sighs contentedly.

The front door BURSTS open. Sid leaps up.

Carol races into the room.

CAROL
(excited)
Nick's gonna steal a t.v.!

She sees Sid and freezes.

CAROL
Who are you?

SID
The painter.

Beth hurries into the living room.

BETH
(excitedly)
He's really gonna do it?

CAROL
He says yes.

Carol glances pointedly at Sid then returns her attention to
Beth.

CAROL
(conspiratorilly)
We've got to talk.

SID
(piping in)
About the crime?

CAROL
(sharply)
There's no crime.

SID
Nick's gonna steal a t.v.

CAROL
That's just an expression.

SID
I've never heard that expression.

CAROL
(witheringly)
It's making the rounds. College
students use it.

SID
(to Beth)
Where's he stealing it from?

BETH
Sears.

CAROL
(incredulous)
You want him to know?

BETH
He knows. He doesn't care.
(to Sid)
Do you care?

SID
(enthusiastically)
I'm interested. Crime's interesting.
I read the papers.

BETH
It's not a crime.

CAROL
It's justice.

BETH
Poetic justice.

SID
How?

BETH
They fired him.

SID
(deducing)
He's got motive.

CAROL
(exasperated)
Who is this guy?!

BETH
The painter.

SID
(helpfully)
Sid.

He holds out a hand to shake. Carol stares at his outstretched
hand.

CAROL
(point blank)
No.

Carol takes Beth by the arm and leads her away from Sid. She
stares back over her shoulder at Sid.

Taking the hint, he begins to stir a can of paint, assuming
an air of indifference. Carol turns her attention back to
Beth.

CAROL
(purposefully)
He needs you at the store.

BETH
(tinged w/ apprehension)
He needs me?

CUT TO:

INT. SEARS TELEVISION DEPARTMENT - CONTINUOUS

Nick is standing next to RORY, a precocious eight year old
boy who's staring at a soap opera on a big screen t.v. As
Nick and Rory talk, the soap ACTOR and ACTRESS passionately
embrace.

NICK
You lookin' or buyin'?

RORY
Lookin'. I hate television.

NICK
Yeah. What do you like?

RORY
Movies.

NICK
(shaking his head)
No...

RORY
I do.

NICK
(laying it out)
You see... you go to a movie, you're
there.

Rory listens attentively.

NICK
You watch t.v., you're thirteen places
at once. As many channels as you
get, that's as many places as you
are. You get cable? You're forty
places at once. You get a satellite
dish?...

RORY
You're all over the world.

NICK
Exactly.

In the BACKGROUND, on the big screen t.v., the soap actress
breaks the embrace and points a gun at the actor.

NICK
You're everywhere.

The soap actress shoots the actor. He stares at her in
overacting disbelief and slumps to the floor.

NICK
It's called freedom.

CUT TO:

INT. BETH'S LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS

Carol watches as Sid whistles cheerfully, ripping the long
strips of masking tape off the trim.

CAROL
(w/ attitude)
This is what you do?

SID
I also mow lawns.

CAROL
Which is your career?

SID
Painting. I'm an inside person.
(confidentially)
Mowing grass is seasonal.

CAROL
(dryly)
That is true.

Sid wads the tape into a big ball.

SID
(disarmingly)
You've got a nice tan.

CAROL
(not disarmed)
I work on it.

Sid shoots the tape ball into his shopping cart of supplies.

SID
Do you want to get stoned?

Carol thinks for a moment. It's been a long time and she's
not crazy about him being there.

CAROL
(after a beat)
Yeah.

Sid takes a joint out of his shirt pocket.

SID
This kind of painting -- for people
I won't know -- it's boring.
(lighting the joint)
It's not very good. It's homegrown.

He takes a drag.

CAROL
Yeah?

SID
But it'll get you fucked up.

He hands the joint to Carol.

CAROL

takes a drag on the joint like an old pro.

SID (O.S.)
It'll take you someplace.

Carol chokes back wheezes and then explodes in a coughing
fit.

CUT TO:

INT. APPLIANCE CENTER - LATER

Nick and MAJOR JENKINS, a uniformed military man in his late
forties, are standing in front of a wall of silent color
televisions. On the t.v.s a nearly identical pairs of LOCAL
ANCHORS smile their way through the news.

NICK
Have you thought about American?

MAJOR JENKINS
No.

NICK
I own an American set. I'm very
satisfied.

MAJOR JENKINS
I want Japanese.

NICK
I'll tell you...

Nick put his arm around the man's shoulder and guides him
toward a display case.

NICK
...the thing is, a hundred and fifty
dollars gets you very little in the
way of Japanese technology.

MAJOR JENKINS
Oh.

They stop at the case. Nick points.

NICK
It would get you that t.v.

CLOSE-UP

A tiny two inch Casio television playing "Gilligan's Island".

NICK AND JENKINS

Nick looks to see the Jenkin's reaction. Jenkins stares
dumbfounded at the tiny t.v. He looks to Nick.

MAJOR JENKINS
It's for my parents.

NICK
Your parents?

MAJOR JENKINS
Yes. They live with me...

Beth enters the FRAME. Nick doesn't see her.

MAJOR JENKINS
...and they want Japanese.

Nick stifles a strange urge to giggle. Beth tries to subtly
get Nick's attention.

MAJOR JENKINS
Is there a problem?

NICK
(controlling the
giggles)
No... I, uh, just never think of
adults as having parents.

MAJOR JENKINS
(flatly)
They do.

NICK
(agreeably)
I know...

Beth fake coughs to get his attention. Nick sees her.

NICK
I'm an adult, I have parents.

Nick turns to Beth with a burst of salesman cheer.

NICK
Oh, Miss, I've got your receipt!

Beth approaches them, still not sure what Nick's up to.

BETH
(acting cheerful)
Oh... great!

Nick holds out the receipt.

NICK
This is all you need.

Beth takes the receipt.

BETH
(puzzled, but playing
along)
Thanks...

NICK
(personably)
Now you just take this receipt out,
give it to the guys at the loading
dock and they'll give you your brand
new beautiful television set.

BETH
(thrown)
I get the t.v...?

NICK
(cheerfully)
Out back. They'll help load it in
your car and everything.

BETH
(flatly)
I get the t.v.

NICK
Out back.

Nick turns his full attention to the man.

NICK
Think about American. They're mostly
Japanese parts anyway.

Beth stares at Nick, amazed that he's managed to come up
with a plan that has her taking the television.

BETH
Excuse me, I just...

NICK
(interrupting,
pleasantly)
Miss... I'm helping this customer
here, perhaps you might...
(firmly, a salesman's
put-off)
You might want to see someone else.

BETH
(pointedly)
You can't help me?

NICK
(after a beat, then
w/ finality)
Not really.

CUT TO:

INT. SEARS - CONTINUOUS

Beth rides down on the escalator, the receipt clenched in
her hand, surrounded by other shoppers, as a tinny Muzak
version of the "Theme from The Mary Tyler Moore Show" drones
on in the background.

Conflicting emotions cloud her face.

CUT TO:

CLOSE-UP - A HUGE T.V. BOX

SID (O.S.)
How'd you do it?

BETH (O.S.)
Nick sold a demo, wrote it up like a
new set, and gave me the receipt.

As Sid's jacknife ENTERS FRAME and zips through the packing
tape, THE CAMERA PULLS BACK to reveal...

INT. LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS

The sun is low, giving the room a golden glow.

Sid and Beth are sitting on the sofa, the t.v. box on the
floor in front of them.

Sid opens the television box. Slowly, he pulls out the sheets
of bubbled packing plastic. He pops several of the bubbles.

SID
(savoring the bubble
plastic)
Excellent.

BETH
Maybe I should just leave it packed...

SID
C'mon! You stole it. You gotta see
it! Hold the box.

Beth holds the box. Sid starts to lift out the television.

SID
(urgently)
Wait!

Beth looks to him, anxiously.

SID
I thought I heard the police.

Beth listens, nervously. Sid grins.

BETH
Ha ha ha.
(an amused realization)
You're stoned!

SID
(innocently)
Me?

BETH
You're being silly and you've got
bunny eyes.

Embarrassed, Sid pulls Visine from a pocket and drips it in
his eyes as he speaks.

SID
I'm a little stoned... not that
stoned.

BETH
No?

SID
No.
(after a beat)
Carol's really stoned.

BETH
You got Carol stoned?

SID
Very stoned.

BETH
I didn't think she liked you.

SID
She doesn't. But she likes getting
stoned.

BETH
(smiling)
She does.

SID
There's nothing like drugs to create
a quick and shallow friendship.

Beth laughs.

SID
(rubbing his hands)
Let's look at the loot.

Sid pulls the t.v. up and out of the box. He sits back on
the sofa, the t.v. in his lap.

The t.v. is spectacular -- huge, metallic, and ultra-modern.

SID
(very impressed)
Jesus... you didn't fool around.

BETH
(w/ mixed emotions)
This is the nicest thing I've ever
owned.

Beth stares at the television. Sid stares at Beth. She meets
his eyes, then looks quickly back to the television.

CUT TO:

INT./EXT. SEDAN - ENFIELD'S MAIN DRAG - DUSK

Nick is driving. His face is beaded with sweat as he drags
heavily on a cigarette. He pushes the buttons on his radio,
getting NEWS BROADCASTS.

NEWSMAN'S VOICE
And in Canton, Ohio today, a man
opened fire in a mall, killing nine
and wounding seventeen others. Initial
reports indicate the young man was a
disgruntled employee...

Nick turns the radio off.

He pulls the scotch bottle from his jacket and takes a slug.

He jerks his necktie loose and slips it over his head. He
tosses it into the back seat.

NICK'S SEDAN

swerves into a vast mall parking lot.

EXT. MALL PARKING LOT - MINUTES LATER

Through the flow of traffic, WE SEE Nick standing at a
payphone on the outside wall of a Red Lobster Restaurant.

Nick speaks urgently into the phone, punctuating his
conversation with edgy body language. Abruptly, he hangs up.

CUT TO:

INT. CAROL'S KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS

Carol hangs up a wallphone. She leans against the
refridgerator, her expression a controlled blank. She turns
her head and looks out her kitchen window.

CAROL'S POV

Through Nick and Beth's living room window, WE SEE Sid
struggling under the weight of the t.v. as Beth laughingly
gestures where she wants it.

CUT TO:

INT. BETH AND NICK'S LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS

Beth and Sid are kneeling on the floor in front of the t.v.

Playing on the t.v. a rock video featuring girls, guitars,
and the endless highway.

BETH
It's a beautiful picture.

Sid takes the remote from Beth and turns the VOLUME UP very
loud.

SID
(enthusiastically)
Nice speakers!

Carol enters through the front door, unseen by the mesmerized
t. v. viewers.

BETH
(happily)
Yeah!
(w/ happy disbelief)
Fuckin' Nick...

Sid and Beth stare at the television, completely engrossed.
Carol stares at them for a long moment.

CAROL
(over the din, dryly)
Hi, kids.

Startled, Sid and Beth jump back. They look at each other
and laugh.

BETH
(cheerfully)
Come see!

Beth turns the VOLUME DOWN as Carol comes and looks at the
t.v.

CAROL
(impressed)
I should have had him steal me one,
too.

BETH
You can come over and watch.

Carol looks to Beth, a quizzical expression on her face.

SID
(to Beth, quietly)
You're moving.

BETH
(w/ a tinge of sadness)
Oh. Right.
(to Carol)
Sorry.

CAROL
Forget it...

Beth turns off the t.v. There's a moment of awkward silence
as they all stare at the blank screen.

CAROL
(breaking the silence,
pointedly)
How's the painting going?

SID
(shaking his head)
Too many distractions. I'll be at it
all night.

CAROL
You have bad work habits.

SID
Not when I'm actually working.
(standing)
I better get set up in the kitchen.

He goes to his shopping cart of supplies. Carol and Beth
stare at the television.

The television stares back at them, gleamingly modern.

CAROL
It makes teevee seem very futuristic.

SID
(at the kitchen door)
That's 'cause you're stoned.

CAROL
I'm hardly stoned.

She looks to Beth. Beth is grinning.

CAROL
(mitigating)
It was homegrown.

BETH
(teasing)
Want some Visine?

CAROL
(flatly)
No.

SID (O.S.)
(calling out)
It gets the red out.

The Visine comes flying INTO FRAME. Carol fumbles, then
catches it.

CAROL
(dryly)
Thank you.

Carol tilts back her head and manuevers the Visine.

CAROL
Shit. Missed the eye, got the face.

BETH
Need help?

CAROL
Yeah.

Beth goes to her and takes the Visine.

BETH
Okay.
(holding Carol's arm)
Tilt your head back.

CAROL
Beth...

BETH
Stop fidgeting.

She puts a drop in one eye. Carol flinches.

CAROL
Got it.

BETH
Next eye.

CAROL
Wait a second.

Carol blinks and wipes a Visine tear off her cheek.

CAROL
(nodding to the
kitchen, in a
conspiratorial whisper)
He really wants to get in your pants.

BETH
(smiling)
My pants are taken.

She tilts Carol's head back.

BETH
Why don't you go for him?

CAROL
He likes you.

Beth puts a drop in Carol's eye. Carol flinches and rubs her
eye.

BETH
I wish Nick would get back and help
with the packing.

She sighs, cheerfully exasperated.

BETH
He's probably getting drunk with the
stockboys...
(after a beat)
That's what he's probably doing.

Carol braces herself.

CAROL
Beth...
(pause, then w/
difficulty)
Listen...

They stare into each other's eyes.

After a long moment Carol averts her eyes and looks down.

BETH
(simply)
He's gone.

CAROL
Yeah.

BETH
(badly shaken)
Where'd he call from?

CAROL
He said the highway.

Beth takes a deep breath, controlling her emotions.

BETH
I have to do something.

CAROL
I'll help.

BETH
I've got to be out of here Sunday.
That's tomorrow.

CAROL
You can come to my place.

BETH
(stunned)
He's gone.

Beth sinks onto the arm of the sofa to support herself.

CAROL
(gently)
He's an asshole.

CLOSE-UP: BETH

The truth makes its way deeply into her.

BETH
(a half whisper)
Fuckin' Nick...

CUT TO:

EXT. HIGHWAY - NIGHT

The lightly traveled highway cuts a straight line through
the desert.

Nick's sedan pulls off into a service station with a giant
teepee beside it.

EXT. SERVICE STATION

The wind is roaring, kicking up swirls of grey dust in the
flourescent light of the service station.

A TEENAGE NAVAJO boy is filling Nick's tank. Nick leans
against the car staring at the giant teepee.

NICK
Nobody lives in that, right?

NAVAJO TEEN
Gift shop. But it closed at seven.

NICK
(cheerfully shrugging)
I got no one to shop for.

A gust of wind sends dust into Nick's eye.

NICK
Shit.
(rubbing his eye)
Fuckin' wind...

NAVAJO TEEN
Yeah.

NICK
(sincerely)
What does it mean?

NAVAJO TEEN
High pressure field coming in --
should bring some nice weather.

NICK
No. The wind itself, you know what I
mean, you're an Indian...

NAVAJO TEEN
(correcting him)
I'm a Navajo.

NICK
Yeah, so you're in tune with this
stuff...

NAVAJO TEEN
(checking the pump)
It's thirteen bucks.

NICK
(his train of thought
broken)
Oh... right.

Nick pulls a bill out of his wallet and holds it out.

NICK
Here's a twenty.

The Navajo Teen takes the bill and takes a wad of bills from
his pocket.

Nick stares out at the moonlit desert and the mountains rising
in the distance.

NICK
So what does the wind mean? Like as
an omen or something, you know --
(making his voice
mystical)
-- a change is coming to the people. --
the spirit of freedom is walking the
land.
(flatly)
That kind of meaning...

NAVAJO TEEN
(handing him money)
Fourteen, fifteen and five makes
twenty.

He opens Nick's car door for him.

NAVAJO TEEN
The wind is. It's the wind like I'm
a Navajo.

NICK
That's it?

The Navajo teen nods.

NICK
Shit.

He gets in the car, his mood darkening, and pulls his door
shut with a slam.

NICK
(out the window)
It would be better if meant something.

The Navajo teen shrugs. Nick starts the engine.

CUT TO:

INT. A BAR IN ENFIELD - NIGHT

A dimly lit room filled with raucous customers and lots of
neon beer signs. Waitresses in red dresses tote pitchers of
brew to the thirsty throng. At the far end a band plays a
foot-stompin' good time tune about a trucker on his way to
see his woman.

THE CAMERA MOVES through the crowd and discovers Carol and
Beth sitting at a small table, an almost finished pitcher of
beer between them.

They speak loudly to be heard over the din.

CAROL
He said he needs to be alone again.
Learn about himself. Make a fresh
start in a new town.

Beth shakes her head then takes a sip of her beer -- it tastes
bitter in her mouth and she puts her glass down in disgust.

CAROL
(after a beat)
He's sorry.

Beth stares at her beer. Carol puts a hand comfortingly on
Beth's arm.

CAROL
He said he would have called you,
but your phone's disconnected. 'Cause
you're moving.
(after a beat)
He's always been an asshole.
(after a beat)
You'll be all right.

BETH
Yeah...

CAROL
(gently)
I'm here.

BETH
I know that.

A big-haired WAITRESS approaches the table.

WAITRESS
You ready for another?

Carol looks to Beth.

BETH
Oh... uh, no...

CAROL
We're fine.

WAITRESS
Is Nick coming in?

Carol throws the waitress a look that could kill. Beth takes
a deep breath.

CUT TO:

INT./EXT. NICK'S SEDAN - HIGHWAY - NIGHT

Nick stares at the road ahead. He takes rapid drags on a
cigarette. The RADIO is barely audible over the ROAR of the
WIND through the open windows.

PREACHER'S VOICE
(covered by static)
"And he arose and came to his father,
but when he was still a great way
off, his father saw him and had
compassion, and ran and..."

Nick turns the radio off.

He fumbles the cigarette into the ashtray.

He takes a pint of scotch from the front seat, uncaps it,
takes a slug, takes another slug, recaps it, and drops it
back on the seat.

He stares at the road. He looks down to the front seat and
finds the map. He splits his attention between the road and
unfolding the map. The wind catches the map.

The map billows up, covering his face. Losing control of the
car, Nick slaps it down.

A car HORN blares.

Nick jerks the car back into his lane, bats the map down
again, and pulls off to the side of the road.

He stops the car and slams the shift into park.

He opens his door a crack, turning on the dome light. He
smooths out the map on the dashboard.

Billings and Enfield are marked with Carol's big red circles.

CLOSE-UP - THE MAP

Nick's finger traces from Enfield toward Billings along the
route Carol highlighted with the red felt-tip. Halfway to
Billings, the red line stops. Nick's finger stops.

NICK

He stares at the map.

CUT TO:

INT. BETH'S LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS

Beth comes in the front door. The sound of Sid whistling
comes softly from the kitchen.

Beth stares at the t.v. for a moment then strides purposefully
toward the kitchen.

INT. BETH'S KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS

Sid is standing on the counter masking the top sill of the
kitchen window. There's half a donut hanging from his mouth.

Beth comes through the swinging door.

BETH
(forcefully)
You've lived here your whole life?

The half-donut falls from the startled Sid's mouth.

SID
(after a beat)
Yeah.

BETH
(increduously)
You've never gone anywhere?

He picks up the half-donut.

SID
Travelling has no allure for me.

BETH
None?

Sid climbs down and sits on the counter, dropping the half-
donut back into the donut box.

SID
Maybe through time.

BETH
(smiling)
That's not offered.

SID
So I stay here.

BETH
Why?

SID
(the simple truth)
It's my home. I belong here.

BETH
I'm serious.

So was Sid -- but he realizes Beth doesn't believe it can be
as simple as that.

SID
My father says if you stay in one
place long enough your luck knows
where to find you.

BETH
(wryly)
Maybe that's my problem.

SID
(carefully)
Maybe it is...

Sid holds out the box of donuts to her.

BETH
Thanks.

She takes a donut and fiddles with it.

BETH
You think your father knows the truth?

SID
He's a bartender.
(smiling)
He's lived here his whole life.

BETH
Has his luck found him?

SID
Not yet.
(after a beat)
But it's probably very close.

Beth smiles weakly. Abruptly, she drops her donut back in
the box.

SID
(cautiously)
Are you all right?

BETH
(apologetically)
Must be the paint fumes...

She opens up the back door and steps out. Sid stares at the
empty doorway.

EXT. BACK STOOP - CONTINUOUS

Beth stands in the moonlight, staring out at the stars.

BETH
(contemplatively
dubious)
You find what you want here?

Sid steps out behind her.

SID
It seems that way.

BETH
Yeah?

SID
(simply)
I found you.

BETH
Oh. No...

She walks out into the backyard. Sid follows her.

SID
(earnestly)
We never met before last night...

The moonlight through the orange trees casts a magical air
about the backyard. Beth stops by a swingset.

SID
...but we know each other.

Beth stiffens.

BETH
No...

She walks away from him. He watches her intently.

SID
Leave it behind.

She looks to him.

BETH
Leave what behind?

SID
Unhappiness.

BETH
(amused)
That was a bad answer.

SID
(seriously)
No. It was true.

Beth stares at Sid.

BETH
It's not.

SID
Come hold me.
(after a beat)
Come hold me, and you'll be happy.

BETH
(dryly)
I'll find happiness. Right. In your
arms.

SID
Yes.

BETH
In you.

SID
Yes.

BETH
But I won't. I have to find happiness
in myself.

SID
No. That's wrong.
(going toward her)
People tell you that, but it's wrong.

She turns away from him. He stands behind her, close.

SID
I've lived with people who have that
happiness from within. That happiness --
it's just them being pleased with
themselves. It's not enough. It's a
lonely thing.

She turns and faces him. The moonlight casts a pale glow
over them.

She stares in his eyes for a long moment. She steps back
from him.

BETH
You're showing how young you are.

SID
No. I'm not. I'm showing you a way.
You know that. And you know me.
(after a beat)
And I know you.

She walks away from him, back to the swingset.

BETH
I don't know you.

Sid follows and takes her arms, turning her to face him.

SID
You know.

BETH
(after a beat,
defensively)
I know you want to fuck me.

He pulls her very close. He lets go of her arms so she is
standing against him, unrestrained.

SID
Is that what you know?

Beth stares at his face for a long time.

BETH
I know...

She kisses him, suddenly, long and slow.

BETH
(whispering)
I know you.

They kiss, pulling each other tight.

They lose their balance and stagger against the swingset,
kissing passionately. Beth pulls back.

BETH
(w/ fierce intensity)
I know you.

SID
That's right.

CUT TO:

EXT. TWO-STORY SUBURBAN RANCH HOUSE - NIGHT

A canopy of stars hangs over it.

INT. NICK'S SEDAN - CONTINUOUS

Nick is parked, staring at the house. The roadmap is on the
seat beside him. He takes a drink from a half empty pint of
scotch. He screws the cap on and drops the bottle on the
map.

He steps out of the car, unsteadily.

EXT. RANCH HOUSE'S FRONT LAWN - CONTINUOUS

Nick walks toward the door. He stops, stares at the door and
starts back for his car. He stops, shakes his head, and walks
quickly to the front door.

FRONT PORCH

Nick stands, staring at the door. He knocks. He waits
impatiently, then pounds on the door. On his third pound the
lights in the house suddenly go on.

OVER NICK'S SHOULDER

The door abruptly opens.

MR. AUGUST, an eighty year old man, stands in the doorway.
HE wears pajamas, slippers, and a long robe. He is over six
and a half feet tall.

NICK AND MR. AUGUST

Nick, startled, steps back. Mr. August stares at him. Nick
composes himself.

NICK
Excuse me...

Mr. August stares at him.

NICK
Excuse me... I'm... I'm looking for
my parents.

Mr. August calmly puts his hands over his ears, and slowly
shakes his head.

NICK
My mother, my father... they...

ELIZABETH, a fifteen year old girl steps out from behind Mr.
August. She seems very small next to Mr. August. He puts a
hand on her shoulder. She stares at Nick.

NICK
(uncomfortably)
Hello.

ELIZABETH
Hello.

NICK
(exhaling in relief)
Oh... good...
(to the point)
This is my house. I, uhh... mean
this is the house I grew up in.

Nick looks past them into the house.

ELIZABETH
(nodding to Mr. August)
This is his house now.

NICK
Nice to meet you.

He holds out a hand to Mr. August, who slowly shakes it.

ELIZABETH
He's deaf.

NICK
(loudly)
Nice to meet you.

ELIZABETH
He's stone deaf.

NICK
Oh.
(uncomfortably)
Yelling doesn't help.

ELIZABETH
No.

Nick breaks the handshake. Mr. August smiles at him. Nick
looks to Elizabeth.

NICK
My name is Nick, Nick Brennan.

He waits for her to introduce herself. She doesn't.

NICK
Did you know the Brennans?

ELIZABETH
No.

NICK
They lived here. They used to live
here. I used to live here with them...

Elizabeth stares at him. Nick tries his salesman charm.

NICK
What's your name?

ELIZABETH
Elizabeth.

NICK
No...

ELIZABETH
Yes.

NICK
I know an Elizabeth.
(quietly)
I call her Beth.

CUT TO:

INT. BETH'S BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS

Bathed in moonlight, Sid and Beth make tender passionate
love.

Sid has never wanted someone so much and Beth has never felt
so wanted.

Beth clings to Sid as if she were afraid of being swept
away... and then she is.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. MR. AUGUST'S DINING ROOM - LATER

A chandelier casts a gently sparkling golden glow.

The CAMERA TILTS down to reveal...

Mr. August, Elizabeth and Nick, sitting at a large antique
dining room table.

Nick is eating a sandwich, an untouched glass of milk in
front of him. Mr. August and Elizabeth watch him, expectantly.
Nick notices this.

NICK
(swallowing)
This is a good sandwich.

ELIZABETH
Thank you.

NICK
(abruptly nodding
toward Mr. August)
When did he move here? Would he know
where the people before him went?

ELIZABETH
No. He wouldn't remember.

NICK
You're sure?

ELIZABETH
Yes. He doesn't remember anymore.

NICK
Oh.
(taking a deep breath)
He can't help me.

ELIZABETH
No.

Nick looks around the familiar room, struck by the absurdity
of the situation.

NICK
(with wry awareness)
I've lost my parents.

Nick smiles weakly at Elizabeth.

ELIZABETH
(matter-or-factly)
Did you lose them both at the same
time?

NICK
Is that like a joke?

ELIZABETH
No.

NICK
Then yes. I lost them both at the
same time.

ELIZABETH
I lost mine one at a time.
(after a beat)
Last year.

Nick realizes she's talking about death.

NICK
I'm sorry. That's tragic. I should...

ELIZABETH
(interrupting)
Six months apart. Body failures.
Separate body failures.

NICK
I'm really sorry.
(standing)
I should go.

Mr. August slowly stands as Elizabeth follows Nick toward
the foyer.

ELIZABETH
First my father's heart kept starting
and stopping.

NICK
(nodding)
Attacks...

IN THE FOYER

Nick edges toward the door followed by Elizabeth and Mr.
August.

ELIZABETH
My mother and I were with him in the
hospital and he'd grab at us, he'd
grab my arms and hold on.

NICK
That's very sad...
(after a beat, backing
toward the door)
I've really gotta be going. I, uh...
thank you again for the sandwich.
Delicious...

ELIZABETH
Right before my mother died, she
said -- "Elizabeth. You're adopted."

Nick stops in his tracks, his hand on the doorknob.

NICK
Have you found your real parents?

ELIZABETH
No. Two are enough to lose.

Nick stares at her -- the sad truth of her statement sinking
in.

ELIZABETH
I'm not alone. I have my Grandfather.

Nick looks down. He is alone. He has no one.

NICK
(opening the door)
Listen...

He looks into her eyes.

Elizabeth suddenly grabs his arm.

He stares at her, not knowing what to do. She holds his arm
tightly for a moment, then lets go.

ELIZABETH
I'm sorry.

She steps back from Nick, against her grandfather.

ELIZABETH
(in explanation)
He's stone deaf.

Nick stares at Elizabeth.

NICK
I have to go.

And he hurries out the door into the night.

CUT TO:

INT. BETH'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

Beth is sitting up in bed, Sid leaning back against her, her
arms wrapped around him.

SID
(after a beat)
I'd like to stay right here...

BETH
I have to be out tomorrow.

SID
In this moment... Enjoying this
moment.

They both lie perfectly still. A flicker of sadness crosses
Beth's face.

BETH
(hushed)
The moment's gone.

SID
(shaking his head)
It can go on as long as we want.

Beth leans him back, cradling him in her arms. She stares at
him, a quizzical expression on her face.

BETH
(skeptically)
Have you ever been in a relationship?

SID
No.
(after a beat)
I was married... but it wasn't really
a relationship.

BETH
(incredulous)
You weren't married...

SID
Two years. Right out of high school.

Beth ponders this for a moment.

BETH
Do I remind you of her?

SID
No.

BETH
(relieved)
Thank God.

Sid runs his hands over her body.

SID
You have beautiful skin... her skin
was polka-dotted.

BETH
Freckled...

SID
When we were kids we called her
"Spot".

BETH
(laughing)
What happened?

SID
She disappeared.

Beth looks to Sid. He's staring off.

BETH
(after a beat)
Was she ever found?

A flicker of loss crosses his face.

SID
No. Not by me...
(looking to Beth)
I didn't go look.

Beth stares at him, uncertainly. He leans up and gently traces
circles on Beth's skin.

SID
She wanted to meet someone new. I
asked her "why?" -- she said, "Because
he won't know me from before. Just
now. Just what I am now."

Beth looks to him, puzzled.

SID
I knew her... on playgrounds... in
Sunday School... all those grades --
I knew her as she changed. But she
was still the same person. All the
times I knew her, she was still her.
(after a beat)
She can't get away from that.

He holds Beth tightly.

SID
You stay in one place, and all those
things that are you... are there.
She didn't understand that if you
leave, they're still there, in you --
but they stop being clear. You stop
knowing who you are, and what you
want.

BETH
You've stayed here and you know who
you are?

He moves away from Beth.

SID
I see the lawns I mow, houses I've
painted, faces I know... my parents...
And I'm constantly reminded of who I
am.

BETH
And you know what you want.

SID
I want you.

BETH
Oh.

SID
I want to be inside you.

BETH
Good.
(after a beat)
Come here and put it inside me.

SID
No... I want to be able to put myself
inside of you.

BETH
Doing this is as close as you get.

Beth pulls Sid close, bringing him into her.

BETH
Come here.

SID
I love you.

She holds him tightly.

BETH
Come inside me.

Sid arches away from her.

SID
Beth?

BETH
Yes?

SID
What do you want?

BETH
(uncertainly)
I want... I want...

Beth pulls Sid back to her.

BETH
(w/ quiet urgency)
Come inside me.

They hold each other tightly.

CUT TO:

INT./EXT. NICK'S SEDAN - NIGHT

Nick looks like hell -- his eyes red, his hair a mess. The
nearly empty scotch bottle is on the dashboard.

The car windows are open, the roar of the wind competing
with the blasting radio.

Nick suddenly jerks the wheel over.

EXT. ABANDONED REST STOP - CONTINUOUS

The sedan screeches off the highway into the abandoned rest
area.

It stops facing a battered phone booth -- the engine turns
off but the headlines stay shining on the phone booth.

IN THE SEDAN

Nick turns off the radio. It is suddenly very quiet -- only
the occasional lonely DRONE OF A TRUCK passing on the highway.
He takes a deep breath.

INT. PHONE BOOTH - MOMENTS LATER

Nick is standing in the phone booth, harshly lit by his
headlights.

NICK
(into the phone)
Could you give me the number for
information in Arizona?... Thank
you.

Nick dials with drunken concentration.

NICK
(into the phone)
Enfield. Carol, Carol, umm...
(mortified)
Carol... Carol Something... Shit!

He hangs up. He hits himself in the head in angry disbelief.
He hurriedly dials zero and listens for a moment, desperately
summoning up all his salesman charm.

NICK
(into the phone)
Hello Janet, thank you for being my
operator. I hope you can help me, I
need to call my home.

Nick listens impatiently.

NICK
Well, I'll tell you my number, but
there's a problem. My phone's been
disconnected, not because of bills,
I mean we paid all our bills. We
were hardly ever even late. We were
very good customers, but we're moving,
so we had the phone disconnected.
But now I need to call... the woman
I live with. She's still there and
I've got to let her know where I am.

Nick listens, shaking his head emphatically.

NICK
I don't know any of the neighbors. I
know one, but I can't remember her
last name.
(he listens, frustrated)
No. No. No. You see you have to be
able to help me, this is not a prank,
it's my home phone, this is an
emergency.
(he listens, then
urgently)
Yes it can, it can be done. Someone
there can hook the phone back up.
It's not like a phone guy came to
our house to disconnect the phone,
nobody came to our house, someone
just flipped a switch somewhere,
somewhere there where you work, or
plugged something into a computer
and our phone stopped working!
(he listens)
They turned it off, they can turn it
back on!
(he listens, starting
to panic)
I know it's the week-end! I know!
Call them at home! They'll have a
computer at their house, they'll
have a phone thing to hook it up to
the real computer! That's how these
people live! They'll be glad to do
it!...

Nick listens. Suddenly all his energy drains away.

NICK
(crestfallen)
No. No. I can't have the police go
to the house. That won't work, there
are circumstances.
(desperately)
It's you... you've got to help me!
Please! I've gotta call home! I can't
wait. It could be too late! Janet!!
You've gotta help me! Please! You
can reconnect me. Please!! Don't
hang up! Don't hang up!!

He hurls the receiver at the phone.

NICK
You fucker!! You heartless...

Nick doubles over, retching, clutching the side of the booth.

TELEPHONE RECORDING
"If you'd like to make a call, please
hang up and try again. If you need
help..."

CUT TO BLACK:

FADE IN:

INT. BETH'S BEDROOM - MORNING

Sid is sprawled out over the bed, sleeping, Beth nestled
against him. She stirs and cuddles closer.

Suddenly she realizes it's not Nick. She pulls away,
orientating herself. She quickly scoots out of bed and
hurriedly pulls on a pair of jeans.

The alarm clock CLANGS.

Beth looks about for the alarm. She tensely scatters some
boxes. She dumps one, finds the alarm and shuts it off. She
stares at the clock and drops it into a box.

SID (O.S.)
(cheerfully)
Morning.

Beth cringes slightly and turns to face Sid.

SID AND BETH

BETH
(attempting a smile)
Hi.

SID
(grinning)
Hi.

BETH
I didn't want to wake you.

SID
(cheerfully)
I'm awake. I'm a morning person.

BETH
I'm not.

SID
Then why don't you come back to bed?

BETH
I've got to pack.

SID
(sitting up)
Where do we start?

BETH
(firmly)
No.
(softening)
You paint.

She looks around the room littered with boxes and piles of
clothes.

BETH
I'll manage.

SID
(cheerfully)
Whatever you say.

Sid gets out of bed, wrapping the sheet around himself. Beth
stares at the room. She suddenly trembles. She steadies
herself on the bed table.

BETH
Oh God...

SID
(concerned)
What?

Beth avoids his eyes, glancing around the room.

BETH
(an outpouring)
I'd be so much happier if I could
blame this on Nick, but it always
happens to me. I'm always left with
nothing.
(taking a deep breath)
It doesn't matter if I leave the guy
or if the guy leaves me -- I'm left
with nothing. I never do anything
for myself. I never acquire anything.
I mean Nick didn't take from me. He
stole a t.v. and left it for me. He
didn't take my things, he didn't
take our things... he didn't even
take his clothes! And I'll still
leave this house with nothing!

SID
He took three years from you.

BETH
No...
(meeting his eyes)
He didn't take 'em. I mean, when he
cared about me, he cared about me.
And he was really good in bed.

She glances away from Sid toward the bed.

BETH
(after a beat)
I didn't expect more.

She turns away from Sid and the bed. Sid moves toward her.

SID
(carefully)
Beth...

Beth summons up all the composure she can manage.

BETH
(referring to the
cluttered room)
I can't face this.
(looking to Sid)
I'm gonna finish up the kitchen...
(heading for the door)
...get some momentum...

She goes out the bedroom door. Sid stares after her.

CUT TO:

EXT. ABANDONED REST STOP - MORNING

Nick's sedan is parked in the same place as the night before.

A YOUNG MAN with long hair ROARS into the rest stop on a
Harley-Davidson, his life's possession strapped on the back.

He stops the bike between Nick's car and the phonebooth,
idling the engine, loudly. He looks to the phonebooth, the
receiver dangling. He turns to Nick's sedan.

YOUNG MAN
Phone work?

NICK

Awakened by the ROAR, Nick has wearily leaned his head out
the window.

Nick stares at the young man.

NICK
(after a beat)
No.

Drained, Nick rests his head on the steering wheel.

OFFSCREEN, the motorcycle starts up and zooms away. A silence
falls over the rest stop.

Without raising his head from the steering wheel, Nick starts
the car.

CUT TO:

INT. BETH'S BEDROOM - MORNING

Sid is making the bed.

CAROL (V.O.)
(gleefully
conspiratorially)
How was he?

BETH (V.O.)
(sheepishly)
He's twenty-four.

Sid pulls up the blanket and fluffs the pillows.

CAROL (V.O.)
A little weak on tenderness, but
long on juice?

BETH (V.O.)
Long on conversation.

CUT TO:

INT. BETH'S KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS

The cupboards are all open and bare. A half dozen boxes are
neatly stacked. Beth is sitting on the floor packing the
final dishes. Carol holds out a mug of coffee.

CAROL
Did you need talk?

Beth stands and takes the coffee.

BETH
Yeah. I guess I did.

CAROL
Good.

Beth sips her coffee, gazing out the kitchen window.

BETH'S POV

The backyard. In the light of day it's lost its magical
quality. The grass needs cutting and is marred by brown
patches. The swingset looks pathetically rusted and
dilapidated.

CLOSE-UP: BETH

Her face clouds over.

CAROL (O.S.)
(cheerfully)
So what are we doing?

BETH AND CAROL

Carol is staring at Beth staring out at the backyard.

BETH
Christ...

She turns to Carol.

BETH
(w/ an edge of
desperation)
I gotta get out here. I was in Tucson
two years before you and Nick got
here.
(in disbelief)
I've been here five years...

CAROL
Yeah...

BETH
This state's driving me crazy.

CAROL
So what are you gonna do?

BETH
I've got no money.

CAROL
I've got some.

BETH
(chagrined by self-
awareness)
I can't take it. I mean you're being
great, but I can't take it. I'm gonna
be gone, we won't see each other,
and I won't send the money. I won't.
I know... I won't get around, I'll
forget, I won't do it.

She looks around the room in disgust.

BETH
(agitated)
Shit. I'll sell all this shit. I
don't want any of it, just my car
and my clothes...

CAROL
(carefully)
Okay...

BETH
(shaking her head)
I'm sorry... I shouldn't have fucked
this kid last night. I should have
slept. Now I've got all this stuff
to do, and I'm tired, I'm churned
up, I'm in a fuckin' mood.

CAROL
Let's do things, get you busy.

BETH
Yeah.

CAROL
You get all the stuff you wanna sell,
and I'll make some tag sale signs.

BETH
No one'll buy my stuff. It's all
junk.

CAROL
That's what people buy at tag sales.
Broken appliances, ugly knicknacks.

Beth looks at the semi-packed boxes.

BETH
(laughing)
I guess I do have stuff to sell.

CUT TO:

EXT. BETH'S FRONT LAWN - DAY

Boxes full of a motley collection of knickknacks, housewares,
and crummy appliances are spread out on the lawn.

In the BACKGROUND a couple of M.T.V. influenced teens are
checking out the knickknacks and goofing on them.

MRS. DOTSON, a woman in her late forties wearing a NURSE'S
UNIFORM is poking through the odds and ends.

Beth and Carol hovering near her.

Mrs. Dotson picks up the coffee maker, examines it, and puts
it down. She picks up the blender, examines it, and puts it
down.

CAROL
(impatiently)
Is there something specific you're
looking for?

MRS. DOTSON
Yes.
(sheepishly)
Actually everything... I don't have
anything.

BETH
Nothing?

MRS. DOTSON
I just moved to town.
(hesitating then
confiding)
My husband passed away, and I, umm,
didn't want to have our things...
they were too familiar.

Beth realizes why she's selling all her stuff -- it's too
familiar.

BETH
(abruptly)
You can have it all for three hundred.
The stuff in these boxes and
everything inside.

MRS. DOTSON
(taken aback)
Oh, my, I don't know... everything?

BETH
Everything.
(hesitating)
Except the t.v.

Mrs. Dotson searches Beth's face with a kind gaze. Beth smiles
nervously.

BETH
(apologetically)
The t.v.s not for sale.

CUT TO:

INT/EXT. NICK'S SEDAN

Nick's smoking, looking haggard. Between drags, he anxiously
taps a tempo on the steering wheel with his cigarette holding
hand.

NICK'S POV

The highway and the desert stretch out before him, the heat
waves of late afternoon shimmering above the blacktop.

In the distance, the giant teepee souvenir shop rises out of
the horizon like a mirage.

NICK

An idea strikes him and his lips tighten into a small
determined smile.

CUT TO:

INT. TEEPEE GIFT SHOP - AFTERNOON

A couple of vacationing families and a busload of elderly
sightseers poke through the stunning assortment of Native
American souvenirs.

Nick stands at the counter talking to a plump elderly NAVAJO
WOMAN.

NAVAJO WOMAN
Maybe some nice turquoise jewelry.

NICK
(shaking his head)
I don't think she really wears
jewelry.

A little boy stares at the disheveled Nick. His mother hurries
him away.

NAVAJO WOMAN
Maybe a nice Navajo rug?

NICK
(incredulous)
As a present? No.

He points past her.

NICK
What about that?

THEIR POV

A huge beautifully feathered ceremonial headdress.

NICK AND THE NAVAJO WOMAN

NICK
That would make her laugh.

NAVAJO WOMAN
(not amused)
That's authentic -- it's very
expensive.

NICK
You got something like it but fake?

CUT TO:

EXT. FRONT LAWN - LATE AFTERNOON

Beth and Mrs. Dotson are standing beside the now empty
blankets.

In the BACKGROUND, Sid and Carol are packing boxes into Mrs.
Dotson's car.

Mrs. Dotson has begun to fill out a check.

MRS. DOTSON
I'm sorry, what's your name?

BETH
Can you just leave the name blank? I
won't have an account, so I'll have
to find someplace to cash it for me.

Mrs. Dotson looks at her. They stare into each other's eyes.

MRS. DOTSON
(after a beat)
All right.

Mrs. Dotson hands Beth the check. Beth sticks it in her back
pocket. After an awkward moment she extends her hand.

BETH
Thanks a lot.

Mrs. Dotson takes her hand. Sid and Carol walk up to them.

SID
(cheerfully)
You're set.

Mrs. Dotson lets go of Beth's hand. They turn to Sid and
Carol.

MRS. DOTSON
(warmly chagrined)
You did all the work...

SID
(good-naturedly)
Sure.
(mischieviously)
Now I've gotta finish painting, but
Carol here would be happy to help
you unload.

Carol starts to protest and then checks herself for Beth's
sake.

CAROL
(trapped, dryly)
Of course. I'll follow you in my
car.

SID
(to Mrs. Dotson)
And I'll be by tomorrow with my truck
and the big things.

He heads into the house. Beth stares after him. Mrs. Dotson
touches her shoulder, lightly, getting her attention.

MRS. DOTSON
(to Beth)
Thank you.
(smiling)
You've given me a home.

She looks to Carol.

CAROL
(nicely)
I'll be right along.

Mrs. Dotson walks off toward her car.

CAROL
(to Beth)
This had to be history's most
efficient tag sale.

Beth laughs, distractedly.

BETH
Yeah... I'm sorry Sid stuck you with
unloading.

CAROL
No problem.
(smiling to herself)
He kinda bites my butt, but he's
okay.

BETH
He is.

Beth suddenly embraces Carol.

BETH
Listen.
(breaking the embrace)
I'll probably be gone before you get
back.

CAROL
I thought maybe we could be roomies
for a while. You know, while you
figure out what's next.

BETH
(shaking her head)
I can't.
(after a beat,
admitting her feelings)
He gets to me... too much. If I don't
go I'll end up with staying with
him.

CAROL
(gently)
You've done worse.

BETH
Sure.

They look at each other and start to laugh. Their laughter
builds -- a release of the strain of the last two days.

CUT TO:

INT. NICK'S SEDAN - INTERSTATE - DAY

Nick's driving fast, completely focused on the road ahead,
the wind ROARING through the open windows.

A cheap plastic Indian headdress with brightly colored
synthetic feathers is perched on his head.

CUT TO:

INT. BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS

Sid's finished painting -- the room gleams. He pulls a
dropcloth off the bureau, then another one off of Beth's two
packed suitcases.

BETH (O.S.)
(softly)
Sid?

Sid turns and looks, smiling.

SID'S POV

Beth is standing in the doorway, a weariness having settled
over her. She steps into the room.

BETH AND SID

SID
Hi.

BETH
I'm sorry about selling the sofa
bed.

SID
I didn't really need one. When my
friends get drunk, they throw up and
sleep on the floor.

BETH
But I gave it to you.

He puts his arms around her.

SID
You gave me a lot more.

BETH
No.
(holding him tightly)
It was all even in this department.

SID
(softly)
...Feel me?

BETH
(whispering)
I know... You're hard again.

Holding her tightly, Sid runs his fingers down her spine.

SID
I want you all the time.

BETH
(torn)
Shit.

She kisses him. They kiss, long and hard. Abruptly, she breaks
the embrace and moves away from him.

BETH
(ironically self-aware)
I just fleeced a widow.

SID
(protesting)
No...

BETH
It was all junk.

She shivers.

BETH
Shit. I've got to get some aspirin...
(shaking her head)
I didn't drink enough to be hung
over.

She walks away from Sid, out of the bedroom.

INT. BETH'S BATHROOM - MOMENTS LATER

Beth gulps down aspirin. She stares at herself in the mirror,
wearily searching.

IN THE MIRROR

Sid appears in the doorway, his reflection small next to the
reflection of her face.

SID
You just feel bad for her like I
feel bad for her... 'cause her husband
died.

BETH
(doubting this)
Yeah?

ANGLE TO INCLUDE SID AND BETH

SID
That's about the saddest thing there
is... losing someone you love.

Beth is struck by a certainty that she's never lost anyone
she's loved because she's never really loved anyone.

BETH
It's never happened to me.

Sid hesitates, then speaks his heart.

SID
If you died, I couldn't stand life.

BETH
I...

She steps forward and kisses him. She steps back.

BETH
(businesslike)
I've got to go now.

She walks out of the bathroom. Sid and THE CAMERA FOLLOW as
she hurries though the living room toward the bedroom.

IN THE LIVING ROOM

BETH
The new people'll be here.

She disappears down the hall to the bedroom.

SID
(following)
Go to my house.

BETH (O.S.)
No.

IN THE BEDROOM

Beth picks up her suitcases. Sid steps into the doorway.

SID
While you find a place.

BETH
No. I gotta get out.

She heads to the bedroom door.

SID
I can talk to the realtors, I know
they've got a place in Agawam.

Beth stops.

BETH
(shaking her head)
No... Agawam?... no. I don't know
where I'm going. Somewhere else.

She walks past him into the hallway. Sid and THE CAMERA
FOLLOW.

SID
You can call me when you get there.
I'll give you my number.

IN THE LIVING ROOM

She stops and puts down the suitcases.

BETH
(gently)
Sid. I'm going away. You're making
me way too important. You met me
yesterday.

He goes to her.

SID
And today I love you.

She steps back, shaking her head.

BETH
Jesus... one day...

SID
That doesn't matter. You know that.
It can take a second.

Beth loses control, upset with herself for having mixed
emotions, upset with her life, and upset he's making this
more difficult.

BETH
No! That's... that's a fuckin' animal
thing, I've done that.

SID
Not with me.

BETH
I meet men, go home with them and
just stay. No decision involved --
it's just what I do. And then I don't
have to live my life, I just lead
theirs. I can't keep doing that.

SID
(adamant)
We're not that way!

BETH
What way are we?

SID
We're passionate. We're comfortable.

BETH
It's been passionate, it's been
comfortable. But it hasn't been...
important.
(after a beat)
Like you're making it!

SID
(urgently)
It is important! You know that.

BETH
No! It was a night! It wasn't real.
It was fun, it was some great fucking!
But it's just something that happened!
It's not real!

SID
It didn't "just happen"! You know
we're it! I'm the one for you!

BETH
The "one"?! I've had lots of "ones"!
I look like a baby but I'm twenty-
fuckin'-- eight years old! You're
just the latest!

SID
No. I'm the last. You've found me.
And it can go on forever.

BETH
No!
(her heart breaking
for him)
Oh, Sid... Forever?
(shaking her head)
You have to understand -- it's just
talk.

SID
It's not.

BETH
(defiantly disbelieving)
It is. C'mon, these things you say...
c'mon! What?! If I died you couldn't
stand life? That's... that's...

SID
That's true.

BETH
No.

Beth can't bear the risk of opening her soul to believe him --
and she can't bear to hear the outpouring of his soul without
believing him. So she ends it.

BETH
(after a beat, harshly)
You won't know when I die. You won't
be there.

She picks up her suitcases and heads for the door.

SID
(following her, certain)
You'd want me there. If I wasn't
there it wouldn't matter who was.
You'd be alone.

BETH
No.

He grabs her arms and spins her to face him.

SID
(imploring)
Beth... Beth... you love me...

BETH
(defiantly)
No!

SID
How do you feel? Think! You love me.

She stares at him, breathing deeply, gathering herself. He
lets go of her arms and steps back.

BETH
(her words carefully
chosen)
I care about you.

SID
You have to be with me.

BETH
No.
(pause)
I care about you. But I'm an adult.
I can say no.

They stare at each other.

SID
(w/ controlled anger)
That's what makes you an adult?

BETH
(unwavering)
Yes.
(pause)
I can say no.
(pause)
No, I won't do that. No, I won't
have that. No, I can't.

SID
(needing to hear her
say it)
You can say no to me?

BETH
Yes.

He looks away from her. She stares at his back.

BETH
I'm going.

She steps toward the door.

SID
Beth!

She stops.

SID
(after a beat)
Have someplace to go.

BETH
(simply)
I don't.

She opens the door.

SID
Why don't...

BETH
(interrupting)
Don't tell me what to do.

She goes out the door. Sid goes to the door.

EXT. THE FRONT LAWN - CONTINUOUS

Beth makes her way to her car. Sid stands in the doorway,
watching.

SID
What are you gonna do?

She turns and faces him.

BETH
I don't know.

Beth tosses her suitcases in the backseat. She gets into the
car and starts the engine.

Sid stands, willing her to stop the car.

Beth pulls out to the end of the driveway.

INT. BETH'S PINTO

She looks up at the rearview mirror.

BETH'S POV

Sid is framed in the doorway of her old home, waiting,
trusting that she can't leave, that they are destined.

BETH

Her eyes well with tears. Her face sets with resolve.

THE HOUSE AND DRIVEWAY

The car pulls out and disappears down the road. Sid stands
in the doorway for a long moment. He steps back into the
house and shuts the door.

SLOW DISSOLVE TO:

INT. NICK'S CAR - DUSK

Nick is driving, the cheap headdress still perched on his
head. Crumpled empty coffee cups are scattered about the
front seat. He reaches up and turns the rearview mirror.

REARVIEW MIRROR

Nick's face stares back at him. It's not a pretty sight.

NICK

Nick reaches into the back seat, fishes and comes up with
his necktie. He slips the still-knotted necktie over his
headdress and tightens it around his neck.

Nick looks back to the road and suddenly swerves off an exit
ramp. The CAMERA LINGERS on the Exit Sign -- "Enfield AZ.".

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. KITCHEN - DUSK

Sid silently goes through the motions of pulling the masking
tape from around the window sills of the freshly painted
room, his face a stony mask.

CUT TO:

EXT. BETH'S HOUSE - CONTINUOUS

Nick's car screeches to a stop in front of the house. He
leaps out of the car and runs toward the front door.

INT. LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS

The front door flings open. Nick charges into the room.

NICK
(calling out)
Beth!
(bellowing)
Beth!!!

Sid steps through the swinging door into the living room.
Nick freezes.

SID
(coldly)
She's not here.

NICK
(desperately)
Where is she?

SID
She's gone.

NICK
Shit!
(a moment of manners)
Excuse me.
(exploding)
Shiiiiit!!
(confrontationally)
Who are you?

SID
(coldly)
The painter. You're Nick.

NICK
(startled)
Yeah.

SID
The Indian chief.

NICK
(puzzled)
What?

Then Nick, remembering the headdress, rips it off his head
and furiously tears it apart -- scattering a flurry of plastic
feathers. He hurls what's left of it across the room.

NICK
Shit!

SID
(accusingly)
You're too late. She's gone.

NICK
(angrily)
I got that. Where'd she go?

SID
She didn't say.

NICK
Shit!

SID
(bitterly)
She didn't know.

Nick runs out the front door.

EXT. NICK'S FRONT LAWN - CONTINUOUS

Nick runs out into his lawn.

NICK
(running; under his
breath)
Be at Carol's... be at Carol's...

The CAMERA FOLLOWING he races up to Carol's front door and
leans on the doorbell -- a loud tight buzzing.

He pounds on the door, then stops, gasping for breath. No
one's home. He turns, leaning against the door for support,
staring out at tract house neighborhood.

NICK
(spent)
I'm too late...

Suddenly he bolts for his car.

Nick yanks his car door open and disappears into it. In a
second he emerges with the bottle of scotch.

It's empty. He eyes it for a moment then hurls it as far as
he can down the street -- it shatters explosively.

He races to his front door and stops dead in his tracks at
the open doorway.

INT. NICK'S LIVING ROOM

Sid has covered the floor and remaining furniture with drop
cloths and is applying even strokes to the ceiling with a
long handled roller.

Nick steps in and stares at Sid and his own nearly empty
drop-cloth covered home.

NICK
(at the top of his
lungs)
This really bothers me!

Sid stares at him.

SID
(after a moment, with
mock politeness)
Will you do me a favor?

NICK
(spitting out the
word)
What?

SID
Act normal.

Nick advances on Sid.

NICK
(adamantly)
Listen! I don't want to be normal. I
don't have to be, I don't! This is
my house. You're in my house. And
I'm tired of going to my house and
finding strangers!

They're face to face in a stand-off.

SID
It's not your house. You're gone.
I'm painting --

He puts the long handled roller right in Nick's face.

SID
-- for the new people -- whose house
it's going to be.
(pause)
You're gone. They're not here yet.
I'm here.
(calmly)
I guess that makes this my house.

Nick ponders this logic, Sid's size, and the roller in his
face.

NICK
(politely)
May I look around?

SID
(w/ a stony politeness)
Sure. Make yourself at home.

Nick wanders around the nearly empty room, then, after a
beat...

...he pulls a dropcloth off an object in the corner, revealing
the television.

NICK
(dismayed)
Nooo... she left the television.

SID
Yeah.

NICK
Too bad.

SID
(pointedly)
She didn't seem to want it.

NICK
That's foolish. That t.v. is a
remarkable thing.

They both stare at the television.

The sweep of HEADLIGHTS turning into the driveway cross their
faces. They both race to the door.

EXT. FRONT LAWN - CONTINUOUS

Carol gets out of her car. Nick hurries toward her.

CAROL
(flatly)
You came back.

NICK
(a little chagrined)
Yeah.

CAROL
Is Beth here?

NICK
No. Do you know where she went?

CAROL
No.

NICK
Shit.

CAROL
You're too late.

SID
(from the doorway)
She's gone.

NICK
(to Carol, exasperated)
Who is this guy?

CAROL
(walking past him
toward the house)
Beth's new boyfriend.

NICK
(exploding)
What?!

CAROL
(stopping)
You heard me.

NICK
(to Sid)
Is this true?!

SID
Not really.

He turns and walks back into the house.

NICK
(to Carol)
Not really?

He races after Sid.

INT. LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS

Sid is painting the ceiling. Nick bursts through the door.

NICK
(to Sid)
Not really?! What?
(w/ "say it ain't so"
attitude)
Did you fuck her?

SID
I don't tell.

NICK
Jesus! The next day!
(bitterly disillusioned)
That's the world, huh? They don't
even wait a day anymore.

CAROL
(stepping in the
doorway)
You left her.

NICK
(defensively)
I didn't fuck anyone.

CAROL
(witheringly)
You didn't find anyone.

NICK
(hurt)
No... I didn't leave her for another
person, I left her for another place.
(pause)
Which I think is a little more
excusable.

SID
I don't.

NICK
Well it's none of your fuckin'
business!

SID
(threateningly)
I think it is.

NICK
Cause you fucked her? No! That gives
you no business in my life.

SID
If you hadn't gone, I'd be done by
now. I'd be home.

NICK
Be glad you have a home, asshole!

CAROL
Let it drop, Nick!

NICK
(outraged)
Why?!

CAROL
He was nice to Beth when you treated
her like shit.

Nick stares at her -- knowing what she says is true.

NICK
(protesting weakly)
I came back...

CAROL
(busting him)
Nick. This is me. You didn't come
back for Beth's sake -- something
just didn't work out like you had
planned.

NICK
(defensively)
You see -- you don't know everything
about me -- I didn't really have any
real plans!

CAROL
He was sweet to her. They were sweet
with each other.

Nick stares at her.

CAROL
Beth looked young with him. They had
a real connection.

NICK
(after a beat, dryly)
And I brought them together?

He exhales loudly and holds his head in his hands.

NICK
It seems I'm blessed... in what I
do. I do wrong, and it turns out
right... that I've done right. So it
really doesn't matter what I do.

Nick takes a deep breath.

NICK
Hey!

Sid ignores him.

NICK
(after a beat)
I said "hey!"

Sid looks at him.

NICK
(flamboyantly sarcastic)
I hope you're very happy together!

SID
She's gone.

NICK
(glancing to Carol,
pointedly)
She is, isn't she?
(to Sid)
If you two were such the happy couple
why the fuck did she leave, Romeo?

SID
After three years with you, she wanted
to be alone.

NICK
I was already gone! This is not about
me and Beth, there is no me and Beth!
This is about you! Why didn't you go
with her?

SID
It wasn't offered.

NICK
(advancing on him)
People aren't going to offer you
anything! You have to take what you
want.

SID
You can't take another person. They
have to give themselves to you.

NICK
(in his face)
That's very wise, but not very true.
(relentlessly)
I sell televisions. People don't
know what they want. You have to
show them.

SID
I couldn't show her.

NICK
Go after her!

CAROL
Leave him alone!

NICK
No. He's not alone, he's with us.
She's alone. She's out there alone.
(after a beat, quietly)
Just hoping she's closer to what she
wants...

CAROL
(sardonically)
And what is that?

NICK
(exploding)
I don't know!

Nick throws his arms in the air and storms up to Carol's
face.

NICK
How would I know?! What do I know?!

Carol doesn't flinch. He steps back.

NICK
(w/ a sweeping gesture)
I know that what I want isn't there.
(pointing to his chest)
It isn't here.
(gesturing wildly)
It isn't inside! It isn't outside!
(spent)
It doesn't exist.

He turns on Sid.

NICK
(forcefully)
But you want her, and you aren't
doing shit about it!

CAROL
There isn't anything he can do.

NICK
He can go after her.
(to Sid)
Go after her!

SID
I can't. She...
(torn)
My life is here.

NICK
What kind of man won't fuck up his
life for the women he loves? Go find
her!!

He stares at Sid.

CAROL
He wouldn't know where to look.

NICK
(groping)
She'd she'd she'd...
(triumphant)
She'd head for her parents!

CAROL
What?

NICK
She'd head for her parents. Believe
me.
(pause, then flatly)
They're in Florida. That's east.

Nick stares at Sid, waiting.

SID
I...

NICK
(businesslike)
You start driving east on route forty.
Keep going east and around eleven
start checking every roadside motel.
The budget ones... You do that all
night, you'll find her.

CAROL
How do you know she's on the highway?

NICK
When you don't know where you're
going, you drive on the highway.

Sid looks to Carol, then around the drop cloth covered room.

NICK
(cheerfully)
I'll finish painting.

SID
(to Carol)
Do I have a chance?

Nick and Sid both look to Carol.

CAROL
(after a beat, shaking
her head)
You've got a chance.

SID
(determined)
Then I'm gone.

Sid races out the door.

Nick tosses a self-satisfied smile at Carol and walks past
her to the door.

SOUND

Sid's truck engine roars to life.

NICK'S POV

Sid peels out, driving up onto the lawn past Nick and Carol's
cars, out onto the street and out of sight.

THE DOORWAY

Carol steps into the doorway beside Nick.

CAROL
So.
(dryly)
Start painting.

Nick looks back into the room.

NICK
(after a beat)
Fuck the ceiling.
(walking in)
Who looks up that often?

Carol follows him into the room. Nick slumps on the sofa,
staring at the blank t.v.

MAN'S VOICE
(happily)
This is it!

A MAN and a WOMAN, both slightly portly Mexican-Americans in
their late forties, wearing their Sunday best, step over the
threshold and kiss.

The man is carrying the woman cradled in his arms.

CAROL
(politely)
Hello...?

MAN
(surprised, breaking
the kiss)
Oh. Hello.

The four stare at each other in awkward silence, the woman
still cradled in the man's arms.

MAN
I'm sorry. We thought it was going
to be empty.

NICK
(flatly)
It is.

WOMAN
(cheerfully)
We're here to move in.

The man puts her down on her feet.

WOMAN
Are you the couple moving out?

CAROL
No.

NICK
No...

Nick and Carol look to each other, at a loss. Nick looks
back to the couple.

NICK
(improvising)
We're your new neighbors. From next
door.

Carol throws him a look.

MAN
Well.
(putting on a good
face)
It's nice to meet you.

He holds out his hand to shake. After an instant of awkward
hesitation they all shake hands with too much enthusiasm.

WOMAN
(cheerfully, while
shaking hands)
It is... and it's so nice of you to
greet us.

CAROL
Thank you.

They finish the handshakes -- there's an awkward pause.

NICK
Actually, we're here for the t.v.

He waits, half expecting this statement to be challenged. It
isn't.

NICK
(confidently)
The people who left here -- our old
neighbors -- left us that t.v.

They all look at the t.v.

MAN
Oh. It's very nice.

CAROL
Yes. It is.

There's an awkward pause.

CAROL
(going to the t.v.)
Well, dear... we should carry it
home.

Nick and Carol lift the t.v.

WOMAN
Do you need help?

NICK
We can manage.

They move toward the front door, Carol going backwards.

CAROL
Thanks anyway.

Nick looks to make eye contact with Carol. He can't. She's
looking back over her shoulder for obstacles. He smiles and
glances toward the couple.

Nick and Carol go out the door, lugging the t.v.

WOMAN
(calling out)
Nice meeting you.

The man and woman look at each other. They look around the
room.

MAN
They're not done painting.

WOMAN
They'll finish.

She stares out the front door.

WOMAN
(whimsically)
I wonder where our furniture is?

She looks back to him. He's staring at the ceiling.

CUT TO:

EXT. THE LAWN - CONTINUOUS

They're lugging the t.v. across to Carol's -- Carol backing
up and Nick going forward. They arrive at the front door.

Nick takes most of the weight of the t.v., while Carol fumbles
with her key into her front door lock with her free hand.

CAROL
You're not going to be their new
neighbor.

NICK
It was just something to say.

Carol gets the door open.

CAROL
Good.

Carol backs into the house, leading the way.

INT. CAROL'S FOYER - CONTINUOUS

They lug the t.v. toward the living room.

CAROL
You look terrible.

NICK
Yeah? Well, I had a big day.
(after a beat)
I went to my parent's house. Like
you said to. And there was this
ancient man, this giant man in the
doorway.

They step into the living room.

INT. LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS

Carol leads them to a corner.

NICK
And I thought, "It's my father. My
how he's aged."

CAROL
You were drunk...

They gingerly put the t.v. down.

NICK
Not at the house. At the house I was
stone sober.

Nick slumps down onto the sofa. Carol watches him, puzzled.

NICK
He was very tall. He was too tall to
be my father. He was wearing a long
overcoat, and I thought, "it's a
trick, he's on my mother's shoulders".

He smiles at the memory.

NICK
And then out from behind him came
this beautiful young girl... Beth.

CAROL
Beth?...

NICK
(lost in reverie)
And they sang to me. They sang "London
Bridge is Falling Down"...
(singing softly)
"Falling down, falling down.".

Nick looks to Carol. She stares at him.

NICK
(seriously)
It was very touching.

CAROL
I'm sure.

NICK
(defensively)
It was.

Carol sits beside him.

CAROL
Nick?...

NICK
Yeah?

CAROL
What you've been doing... you can't
do anymore.

Nick looks to Carol, puzzled.

CAROL
You just can't do it.

NICK
(after a beat,
agreeably)
Okay.

CAROL
(very skeptically)
Okay?

NICK
Yeah. I understand.

CAROL
No. I don't think so.

NICK
(defensively)
I understand.

CAROL
(determined)
It's not like you can't do it.

NICK
(interjecting)
I'll stop.

CAROL
(urgently)
It's that I don't want you to do it.

NICK
I've stopped.

She stares at Nick. He avoids her stare. She takes his face
in her hand and makes him look at her.

CAROL
(staring in his eyes)
Nick.
(emphatic)
I don't want you to do it.

Nick stares in her eyes.

NICK
(calmly, after a beat)
Okay.

She lets go of his face.

CAROL
Shit.
(after a beat, wryly)
I hate talking to you.

CUT TO:

EXT. SID'S TRUCK - NIGHT

Through the windshield we see Sid driving slowly, looking
out at motel parking lots. Their neon signs reflect in the
windshield.

EXT. STRIP OFF THE HIGHWAY

Gas stations, fast food joints and motels.

Sid and his truck pull away from the strip and up onto the
on ramp.

EXT. HIGHWAY - CONTINUOUS

Sid and his truck pull onto the highway.

CREDITS ROLL

As Sid's taillights disappear down the barren highway.

FADE OUT:

THE END

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