"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 ]

"HUMAN NATURE"

by

Charlie Kaufman

May 20, 1995

FIRST DRAFT



BLACKNESS.

There is a gunshot. A crow screams. A fluttering of wings.

FADE IN:

EXT. FOREST - DAY

Bird's-eye view. We circle lazily above the forest.

Through a break in the trees, we catch an occasional glimpse
of a prostrate form on the ground. As the circling camera
gets closer we see that the form is a human body.

CUT TO:

EXTREME CLOSE-UP OF LILA TALKING TO THE CAMERA

LILA
I'm not sorry.

A bead of sweat trickles down her cheek. Then: a blinding
flash of light obliterates her face.

CUT TO:

EXTREME CLOSE-UP OF PUFF TALKING TO THE CAMERA

PUFF
I am sorry.

A tear wells in Puff's eye and runs down his face. Another
blinding flash of light.

CUT TO:

EXTREME CLOSE-UP OF NATHAN TALKING TO THE CAMERA

NATHAN
I don't even know what sorry means
anymore.

As Nathan speaks, a trickle of blood drips down his face
from his out-of-frame forehead. Another blinding flash of
light.

CUT TO:

EXT. POLICE STATION - NIGHT

It's a frenetic hand-held shot as Lila is pulled from a police
car and dragged into the precinct house. Cameras flash.
Reporters shout questions. Lila attempts to shield her face
from view, but she is handcuffed and can only manage to hunch
her shoulders.

CUT TO:

INT. POLICE STATION - NIGHT

A ratty interrogation room. Institutional green walls.

Beat-up file cabinets. Dark. A bit of fluorescent light spills
in through the frosted glass door. Lila, thirties, sits at
the end of a long table. A reel-to-reel tape recorder whirs
in front of her. She is smoking. Three fat, mean-looking
cops sit in shadows at the other end of the table. One of
the cops eyes her lasciviously. Lila's hand shakes as she
brings the cigarette to her mouth.

LILA
I'm not sorry. So I spend the rest
of my life in jail. So what? I've
been in jail my whole life anyway. A
jail of blood and tissue and coursing
hormones...

One of the cops sighs and massages the bridge of his nose.

It's going to be a long night.

LILA
...a jail called the human body.

The lascivious cop smiles lasciviously at Lila's reference
to "human body."

LILA
My soul held prisoner in this reeking,
stench-ridden bag of bones and
entrails. A bag of feces and piss
and fibroid cysts in my tits and
precancerous moles on my sun-damaged
back...

The lascivious cop gags, then vomits on the floor. Lila drags
on her cigarette, calmer now.

LILA
At least now I'll be able to blame
the state, not God, for my
incarceration.

CUT TO:

INT. AUDITORIUM - DAY

Puff, thirties, dirty, scraggly hair and beard but in a crisp
business suit, testifies before a congressional committee.
The auditorium is filled with reporters and spectators. Puff
sits in front of a microphone, counsel at his side. He pours
himself a glass of water, drinks, clears his throat, then
speaks: stentorian, confident.

PUFF
I am sorry, gentlemen, sorry for all
of us. Your's is a complicated, sad
world.

This is a revelation to the assembled crowd. People whisper
to each other.

PUFF
And I never knew that. I was living
a life of simplicity, of purity,
when I was ripped out of my Eden and
immersed in this harshness. Some
would argue that the life I was living
was not a human life at all. And,
gentlemen, I don't have any clever
retort. I am not a philosopher. The
only thing I know is that I am sorry,
sorry for my expulsion from Eden,
sorry for my Lila rotting in her
jail cell, and sorry for Nathan...
rotting in his grave.

CUT TO:

INT. WHITE SPACE - DAY

Nathan, thirties, in a white robe, sits alone at a white
table. Everything is white except for an oozing bullet wound
in Nathan's temple.

NATHAN
I don't even know what sorry means
anymore. It's odd. When I was alive
I knew -- maybe it was all I knew --
but here sorry is meaningless. Love
is meaningless. Jealousy is
meaningless. Ambition is meaningless.
Everything that motivated my every
breath while I was alive is
meaningless now.
(beat)
I guess that's how I can be sure I'm
really dead.

CUT TO:

INT. POLICE STATION - NIGHT

Lila watches the slowly churning tape recorder reels, fixated.
The cop who vomited is mopping it up. The other two are
sipping coffee. Lila talks.

LILA
My story begins when I was twelve.

COP
(checks watch)
Jesus.

CUT TO:

EXT. SUBURBAN STREET - DAY

It's got that faded, "memory" look. Twelve year old Lila
hurries home from school, books clutched to her chest.

Other kids walk along the street in pairs or groups, laughing
and chatting. Lila walks alone, a worried scowl on her face.

LILA (V.O.)
Something terrible happened when I
was twelve.

CUT TO:

INT. LITTLE GIRL'S ROOM - DAY

Colors are still muted. It looks to be somewhere in the early
70's based on the preponderance of Bay City Rollers posters
on the wall. Twelve year old Lila enters the room, closes
the door, locks it, rattles the doorknob to make sure that
the door is really locked. She draws the shades. She pulls
some t-shirts from her dresser drawer and stuffs them into
the space between the bottom of the door and the floor.

KID BROTHER (O.S.)
(muffled)
Hey, no fair!

TWELVE YEAR OLD LILA
Drop dead, Eric.

Lila stands nervously in front of the full-length mirror on
her closet door. She takes a deep breath and begins to
unbutton her shirt, watching herself carefully in the mirror.

ADULT LILA (V.O.)
Something terrible started to happen
to my body when I was twelve. My
mother said because of it I would
never be able to get a man, so I
should get used to the idea of
dedicating my life to the pursuit of
knowledge, or religion... or whatever.

Lila's shirt is now unbuttoned. She pulls it open. She is
wearing a training bra over the very beginning of breast
buds. On the chest above the bra, and on her stomach below
it, is hair. Dark curly hair. She stares at it, touches it
cautiously. Then she starts to cry. She crouches into a ball
and weeps.

ADULT LILA (V.O.)
The doctor said...

CUT TO:

INT. DOCTOR'S OFFICE - DAY

Old fashioned office. Twelve year old Lila sits on the
examination table, her shirt off. An elderly male doctor
touches the hair, fingers it. Her mother looks on.

DOCTOR
(to the mother)
It's hormonal. Nature is a funny and
complex thing. It could get worse
with time.

Young Lila turns to the camera.

TWELVE YEAR OLD LILA
By the time I was twenty I looked
like an ape.

CUT TO:

INT. POLICE STATION - NIGHT

The cop who vomited, gags again. Lila stares at him. Her
face is hard, blank. She stubs out her cigarette.

CUT TO:

INT. AUDITORIUM - DAY

Puff testifies before the committee.

PUFF
I don't think there's anyone in the
world who doesn't know by now that I
was raised in the wilderness by an
ape. Well, to be fair, by a man who
thought himself an ape, but it amounts
to the same thing gentlemen, does it
not?

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. FOREST CLEARING - DAY.

This has a faded, "memory" look also. A naked, bearded, dirty
middle-aged man and a naked, dirty ten year old Puff walk
along like apes, crouched over and dragging their knuckles.

PUFF (V.O.)
My father escaped from a New Jersey
mental institution in 1963.

CUT TO:

EXT. CITY STREET - NIGHT

It's raining and deserted. Puff's father, in pajamas, comes
tearing around the corner. He runs crazily towards the camera,
waving his arms, puffing out his cheeks.

PUFF (V.O.)
He had been committed the previous
year after applying one too many
times at our local zoo for the job
of "apprentice ape."

Puff's father passes a newspaper vending machine, stops,
goes back and examines the headline. It reads: President
Kennedy Assassinated. Puff's father looks heavenward and
clutches at his temples in despair.

PUFF (V.O.)
My father saw what the human race
had come to while he was... in
captivity. He felt something had to
be done to create a better world.

CUT TO:

EXT. SUBURBAN HOUSE - NIGHT

Puff's father climbs out a second story window with a small
bundle in his arms. He runs off into the night.

PUFF (V.O.)
He stole little me from my mother,
his ex-wife, and raised me, with
love and tenderness and respect, as
an ape like himself.

CUT TO:

INT. AUDITORIUM - DAY

Puff looks pointedly at the congressman.

PUFF
Apes don't assassinate their
presidents, gentlemen.

The congressmen are shamed: they look down, they take notes,
they mumble instructions to the assistants seated behind
them.

CUT TO:

EXT. FOREST - DAY

An adult Puff and his now older father sit on the forest
floor and pick bugs off each other and eat them.

PUFF (V.O.)
Until quite recently I believed myself
to be an ape, although I didn't know
specifically what type. Apes don't
think in terms of type.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. AUDITORIUM - DAY

Puff testifies.

PUFF
It might be argued, gentlemen, that
apes don't even know that they are
apes. In retrospect, however, I'd
say that I was a pygmy chimp.

Puff holds up an illustration of a pygmy chimp. Several
reporters run from the room: a scoop!

CUT TO:

INT. WHITE SPACE - DAY

Nathan talks to nobody in particular.

NATHAN
I have to say I always hated apes.
Of course I don't any longer. I don't
even know what hate means now. But
while alive, I hated apes. I blame
my parents. I mean, I don't blame
them. I don't know what blame is,
really, anymore, but I think they
influenced me in my ape-hating
tendencies.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. ZOO - DAY

Faded colors. Ten year old Nathan in a bow tie and shortpanted
suit walks along with his uptight, British parents.

They arrive at the ape pen. Nathan is excited. He jumps up
and down. The apes jump up and down also.

NATHAN AS A BOY
Monkeys! Look, mama, monkeys!

MOTHER
(clamping down on his
shoulder)
Nathan, those are not monkeys. Those
are apes. Mountain Gorillas to be
precise.

There is a commotion off screen. Two uniformed attendants
drag Puff's father, straitjacketed and kicking and screaming
like an ape, past Nathan and his parents.

PUFF'S FATHER
I am not a human being! I am an
animal!

Nathan, his father, and the other zoo patrons look on
curiously, a little frightened. Nathan's mother chooses to
ignore it.

MOTHER
And furthermore... Tell him, Harold.

FATHER
(distracted)
Uh...
(then by rote)
We must never act like apes, son.
For you see, The ape is our closest
biological relative -- specifically
the pygmy chimp.
(holds up the same
illustration of a
pygmy chimp that
Puff showed the
congressional
committee)
A single chromosome separates us.
But you know what truly separates us
from the apes, what makes us better
than apes?

NATHAN AS A BOY
No, papa. What?

FATHER
Culture. Civilization. Refinement.
If we do not have these as humans,
then we might as well be living in
pens and throwing our feces about,
masturbating in public...
(beat, a reverie)
...sniffing red swollen female rump...

MOTHER
Enough, Harold.

CUT TO:

INT. POLICE STATION - NIGHT

Lila lights a new cigarette with her spent one. She drags.

LILA
Oh, I had sexual urges. I had the
urge to merge, officers. Inside I
was 100% Grade A female.
(laughs derisively)
But what self-loathing I felt! Who
would have someone as repulsive, as
unladylike as me? I did everything I
could to shield the world from this
repulsiveness.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. COLLEGE DORM BATHROOM - DAY

Stockings hang over the shower curtain rod. The window shade
is drawn. Towels are stuffed in the space under the door. A
twenty year old naked Lila is covered with shaving cream,
face to feet. She is shaving. There is a pounding on the
door.

FEMALE ROOMMATE (O.S.)
Lila, what are you doing in there? I
need to get ready for my date.

LILA
Nothing! I'll be out in a minute!

The door opens. Lila freezes.

FEMALE ROOMMATE
Look, I'll just...
(stops in her tracks
when she sees Lila)
What the...?

Lila is mortified.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. DORM ROOM - A BIT LATER

Lila is sitting in her bathrobe on her bed and staring out
the window. There is a bit of shaving cream behind her ear.

Her roommate runs back and forth getting ready for her date.

FEMALE ROOMMATE
I don't know why you didn't tell me
about this.

LILA
It's embarrassing, okay?

FEMALE ROOMMATE
It's not so bad.
(beat)
So, it just keeps growing?

LILA
Yeah, Natalie. It's hair. It grows.

FEMALE ROOMMATE
Well, don't jump down my throat. I'm
just trying to help.

LILA
How is that helping, Natalie? How
exactly?

FEMALE ROOMMATE
Look, if you're going to be like
that... You should be appreciative
that I'm interested.

LILA
Why, because I'm a freak and you are
beautiful, and you are being nice
enough to come down to my freak,
nonbeautiful level and act concerned
about my repulsive troubles?

FEMALE ROOMMATE
(pegged)
You're fucked up, Lila.
(out the door)
Why don't you fucking try electrolysis
or something? Figure it out for
chrissake.

The door slams. Lila hugs her knees to her chest.

LILA (V.O.)
At sixty dollars an hour, electrolysis
was not a feasible solution. I
explored my alternatives.

CUT TO:

INT. ART MUSEUM - DAY

Twelve year old Lila walks sadly through an art museum. she
looks at various old portraits of men. She studies their
facial hair. When she turns a corner, she is shocked to see
a large Renaissance painting of a naked woman entirely covered
with fur. She hurries to it. She looks at the placard next
to the painting. It is a painting of Mary Magdalene.

LILA (V.O.)
I remember once coming across a
painting of Mary Magdalene entirely
covered with fur. I guess that's
where I got the idea that maybe the
Catholic Church might be a place
that encouraged excessive hair growth
in its women.

INT. CONVENT - DAY

Lila, in a nun's habit, is on her knees praying.

LILA (V.O.)
So I became a nun.

LILA
Heavenly Father...
(sighs)
...please let this hair go away.

LILA (V.O.)
But my prayers were always so selfish.

CUT TO:

EXT. FIELD - NIGHT

A bunch of naked women dance and chat around a campfire.

Lila is there, pretty hairy. So are many of the other women.

LILA (V.O.)
I tried being a lesbian separatist.

LESBIANS
(chanting)
A woman without a man / Is like a
fish without a bicycle.

LILA (V.O.)
But I guess I just wasn't attracted
to women, even hostile, man-hating,
hairy ones who wore sensible shoes.

CUT TO:

INT. TENT - DAY

Lila, in a full beard, sits on a throne before a crowd of
gawking, dumb-looking, mouth-breathing children. Next to her
on a separate stage is a sour-looking, middle-aged midget
man sitting on a throne, staring blankly into space.

LILA (V.O.)
For a while I was a professional
circus freak.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. TENT - DAY

Lila, in a Santa suit, with beard sprayed white, sits on a
throne in front of a crowd of gawking, dumb-looking, mouth-
breathing children. One of them is on her lap. Next to her
sits the sour midget, dressed in an elf suit.

LILA (V.O.)
During the holiday season, they made
us wear costumes.

LILA
(depressed)
Ho ho ho.

KID ON HER LAP
That's not real.

The kid pulls Lila's beard.

LILA
Ow! You little fuck.

LILA (V.O.)
Aside from the great dental, this
occupation was not pleasant.

CUT TO:

EXT. CITY STREET - NIGHT

Lila walks home. She's wrapped in winter clothing, but we
can still see a bit of her white beard. It's snowing. The
street is deserted. She spots a lighted window, she peers
in. It's a warm family scene. Large group of chatting,
laughing people. Fire in the fireplace. Big turkey on the
table.

LILA (V.O.)
They say the holidays are difficult
for a lot of people.

Lila looks down the street and sees dozens of lonely-looking
people peering forlornly in warmly lit windows. Some on
ladders to peer in second-floor windows. Lila sighs.

CUT TO:

INT. BATHROOM - NIGHT

The room is lit with candles. Lila finishes shaving herself
all over. Then she takes the double-edged blade out of the
razor and climbs into the a bathtub filled with warm water.

She is about to slice her wrists.

LILA (V.O.)
I decided there was something poetic
about killing myself with a razor
blade.

On the shelf next to the tub a little gray mouse watches her
intently. At first she is startled, but then she and the
creature seem to be communing. His little black beady eyes
reflect the light. Lila starts to cry. She puts down the
blade.

CUT TO:

INT. POLICE STATION - NIGHT

Lila wipes a tear from her eye.

LILA
The way that mouse looked at me.
There was no judgement. It didn't
care if I had hair all over my body.
I was just what I was. I felt so
free. Do you understand what I'm
saying?

The cops look up, on the spot. It seems their minds were
elsewhere.

COP
Something about a mouse, right?

Lila sighs.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. FOREST - EARLY MORNING

We see a tent in a clearing. A smoking campfire. There is a
rustling inside the tent. Lila steps out naked. She is covered
with fur. She pours a cup of coffee, and stands, comfortable
in her skin, watching the world around her.

Squirrels jump from tree to tree, birds look down at her.

She smiles.

LILA (V.O.)
Birds and squirrels and rocks and
trees didn't seem to judge my hair.
I felt at peace when there were no
humans around. I figured out a way
to spend as much time as possible
with no people around. I became a
nature writer.

Lila picks up a pad and pen from a rock, sits on the rock
and writes.

CUT TO:

INT. BEAUTY PARLOR - DAY

A woman under a hair drier reads a book intently. We see the
first sentence of the chapter: "Last night I almost died on
this mountain top." We hear Lila's dramatic reading competing
with the very loud sound of the hair drier.

LILA
Last night I almost died on this
mountain top, and the irony is I had
never felt more alive.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. FOREST - NIGHT

There is a violent, violent storm. The hair drier drone has
turned into the explosive noise of rain beating down in sheets
and wind howling at fifty miles an hour. Branches crack.
Lila's tent blows over, revealing her huddled there with a
sleeping bag wrapped around her like a blanket.

LILA
I knew it was coming when in late
afternoon, a thunderhead drifted
over, sneaking in like kids through
the back door of a movie theater,
forced casual. It turned the sky a
queer shade of green. A green that
said "watch out, baby, this is gonna
hurt like hell." I could've
hightailed, but that would be
cheating. Part of the Nature
experience is recognizing its mastery
over you, your smallness in the face
of it.

Lightning hits a tree nearby. It falls with a smack
practically on top of Lila. She screams, then defiantly
stands, throwing off the sleeping bag. The wind and rain
whip her hair around her head. She laughs with amazing gusto
and raise her arms like a runner winning a marathon.

LILA
As Nietzsche said, what does not
kill me makes me stronger, and that
goes double if you're a woman.

CUT TO:

EXT. BOOK STORE WINDOW - DAY

We see many copies of a book entitled "Wind in my Hair" by
Lila Jute.

LILA (V.O.)
I became a successful nature writer.

CUT TO:

INT. BEAUTY PARLOR - DAY

We see a woman under a hair drier reading "Wind in my Hair".

We pull back to see that a long row of women under hair driers
are reading Lila's book. They all stand defiantly, proudly,
knocking their hair driers up and back as they do.

The blowing hair driers whip the women's wet hair around
their heads. The blowing hair drier drone is unbearably loud.

LILA
Then I became a famous nature writer.
I said to myself, fuck humanity...

CUT TO:

EXT. BOOKSTORE WINDOW - DAY

A big display of the book "Fuck Humanity" by Lila Jute. A
long line of women with beautifully coiffured hair snakes
out of the store.

LILA
...and I became a recluse. I had a
menagerie of animals at my house.
They loved me because I was me. They
loved me on the days I shaved. They
loved me on the days I didn't. For a
while this was enough.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. LOG HOUSE - DAY

Lila lies in bed tapping on a lap top. A dog lies with her
and licks her knee. She seems to enjoy it, and gets lost in
a reverie. The dog morphs into a handsome man, kissing her
knee and working his way up her thigh and under her nightgown.
Lila is getting seriously hot and bothered. Her head lolls.
But the reverie dissipates and the man turns back into a dog
rooting around her crotch with his cold nose. She pushes him
away. The dejected dog gets off the bed.

LILA (V.O.)
By the time I was thirty I was very,
very horny.

Lila gets out of bed and studies herself in the mirror. She
brushes her hands against her hairy body.

LILA
I had to have a man in my... life.
At any cost. I would become what I
needed to become to achieve this. I
would become a hairless lie.

The mirror image of Lila shimmers and turns into Lila with
no body hair. Lila all made-up and with a smart new hairstyle.
She assumes a coquettish pose and smiles cutely at herself.

LILA
I was rich enough for electrolysis
by this time, so I began the long
arduous process of having each
inappropriate hair burned out of my
body at the root.

CUT TO:

INT. POLICE STATION - NIGHT

Lila talks. One of the cops is doodling. One is picking wax
from his ear with a pencil. One is reading a paperback novel
under the table.

LILA
This is when everything changed, and
this is where my confession really
begins.

The cops look up.

CUT TO:

INT. ELECTROLOGIST'S OFFICE - DAY

Lila lies shirtless on a table while Rose, her fifty year
old electrologist, works on her back.

ROSE
Progress!

LILA
Ouch. Yeah?

ROSE
Oh yes, honey. Getting to be smooth
smooth smooth all over. Smooth as a
baby's butt.

LILA
I love it, Rose. I'm getting to be a
real girl.

ROSE
You still in the market for a real
boy?

LILA
Always. Ow.

ROSE
(beat)
Cause there's this guy. My brother
knows him. Might be right up your
alley.

LILA
Tell me. I could use someone up my
alley.

ROSE
(playing dumb)
I don't get that. Is that sexual?

LILA
Shut up and tell me.

ROSE
Handsome, thirties, psychologist...

LILA
Loves animals? Ouch. Must love
animals, Rose.

ROSE
Loves animals. Loves you.

LILA
What do you mean?

ROSE
Somehow it came up that you were a
friend of mine. Mr. handsome, animal-
loving psychologist said he would
love to meet you.

LILA
Holy shit. Your brother didn't tell
him about the nature of our
relationship, did he?

ROSE
My brother is discreet.

LILA
(rubbing her hand
over her jaw)
Won't he be able to tell?

ROSE
My brother says the guy's a thirty-
five year old virgin, so maybe he
won't know how women usually feel.
Plus he's got bad eyesight, almost
legally blind, which is helpful in
this situation. Plus he's got an
extremely small penis, of which he
is "mortifyingly ashamed", so chances
are he'll be so grateful for any non-
judgmental attention, that he'll be
yours forever.

LILA
God, he must be really close to your
brother to tell him such personal
stuff.

ROSE
Yeah, well my brother is his shrink.

CUT TO:

INT. RESTAURANT - NIGHT

It's a chi-chi place. Lila sits at a table with Nathan,
fastidious in dress and manner. There is an awkward firstdate
silence. She sneaks a glance at his crotch. Then:

NATHAN
Meditations on a Banana Slug was a
delightful read.

LILA
Thank you so much. I love slugs. All
slugs, not just banana slugs.

NATHAN
As do I.

LILA
They're so even keel. They forge
ahead with slow determination. They
don't get distracted or side-tracked.
They don't care what they look like.
They don't care that people look at
them and go, "Ewww. A slug."

NATHAN
They don't seem to be especially ego
driven, this is true.

LILA
You've got to respect that.

NATHAN
I have to say that I'm not there
yet.

LILA
Where?

NATHAN
Slugdom. Sluggishness. Whatever you'd
call it. I'm not there yet. I still
have many human characteristics.

LILA
That's not necessarily a bad thing.

NATHAN
Yes. I suppose not. But still. One
would like to move along. To move
beyond.

LILA
I'm not sure we can escape our
natures. Believe me I've tried. I'm
not even so sure anymore that we
should want to.

NATHAN
I love that you said that. It makes
me feel a bit lighter. I've been
rather heavy lately. Thinking about
my childhood. Realizing how much a
product I am of my upbringing.
(beat, cautiously)
I've been seeing someone. A therapist.

LILA
(feigning surprise)
You are a therapist, right?

NATHAN
No no. I'm a psychologist, but I do
research. I'm a behaviorist. I work
with animals. Mice at the moment.

LILA
I hope you don't perform any of those
dreadful torture experiments, Nathan.

NATHAN
Heavens no. My work now is... Right
now I'm teaching mice... well, table
manners, to be candid.

LILA
(beat. doesn't know
what to say)
How's it going?

NATHAN
Quite well, really. It's a lot of
work. A lot of reinforcement, mostly
positive. Right now I've gotten two
of my subjects to use napkins. Tiny
napkins of course.

LILA
Paper or cloth?

NATHAN
I hope you don't think me daft. It's
important work. It's part of a larger
sociological experiment. I'm federally
funded.

LILA
What's the larger experiment?

NATHAN
It's my thesis that if table manners
can be taught to mice, they can be
taught to humans.

LILA
Going out on a limb, aren't you,
Nathan?

NATHAN
(speech)
The truth is most people don't have
table manners today. And when the
foundations of civilized society
crumble and disappear, civilized
society in its entirely follows
closely at its heels.

LILA
I'm not sure.

NATHAN
(stridently)
Courtesy, decorum, manners, are all
sadly lacking from our daily
intercourse. Rudeness, vulgarity,
meanness are the norm.

LILA
We are animals after all.

NATHAN
Ergo if I can teach table manners to
mice, I can teach them to humans. If
I can teach table manners to humans,
I can save the world.

Nathan blushes. Lila stares at him for a long moment. Her
thoughts are unreadable.

CUT TO:

INT. ELECTROLOGIST'S OFFICE - DAY

Lila lies on her back. Rose works on her breasts.

ROSE
So?

LILA
I really like him, Rose. He's so...
(searching)
...passionate about his work.

ROSE
My brother says he likes you, too.

LILA
(pleased)
Really?

ROSE
Yeah. Says he likes you even more
than he likes his own mother. And
according to my brother Nathan's
abormally close with his mother.

CUT TO:

INT. WHITE SPACE - DAY

Nathan talks.

NATHAN
I began going to a therapist when I
was in my thirties, because I felt
that I wasn't enjoying life the way
my friends were.
(beat)
After a time my childhood came up.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. DINING ROOM - DAY

It is another sepia scene. Nathan as a ten year old sits at
the table with his parents. There is a bowl of salad in front
of each of them. Everyone's head is bowed in prayer.

FATHER
Lord, we thank you for this bountiful
gift we are about to receive.

ALL
Amen.

Eyes open, and young Nathan reaches for a fork to eat the
salad. He grabs the wrong fork. Mother's eyes widen in horror.

MOTHER
My God, no! My God!
(disappointed)
Oh, Nathan.

Nathan looks up.

MOTHER
That is the wrong fork, young man.
(to father)
Harold, tell the boy.

FATHER
That is the wrong fork, young man.

NATHAN AS A BOY
(panicky)
I'll use the right one. I'm sorry. I
forgot.

MOTHER
Harold, tell the boy more.

FATHER
Too late. Go to your room.

NATHAN AS A BOY
But...

MOTHER
Harold! Tell the boy again.

FATHER
(looking at mother)
No "buts." Go to your room now.

MOTHER
(looking at father)
And?

FATHER
And think about what you've done.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. THERAPIST'S OFFICE - DAY

Adult Nathan sits on the couch, dabbing at his eyes.

Wendall, his therapist sits across from him and writes
something in his notebook.

WENDALL
And do you think maybe this early
childhood indoctrination has something
to do with your interest in table
manners in the present.

Nathan thinks long and hard about this. He seems to be really
straining, squinting his eyes. Finally:

NATHAN
I don't think so. No.

Wendall nods and scribbles something on his pad.

NATHAN
Why do you ask?

Wendall looks up.

CUT TO:

INT. LAB - DAY

Everything's white. People in lab coats hustle back and forth.
Nathan, also in a lab coat, is hovering over a Lucite
encasement. Inside we see two white mice, both attached to
electrodes. They sit in little chairs at a little table. In
front of each of them is a little plate of salad and three
forks of varying size under Lucite domes.

Nathan nods to his pretty French assistant, Gabrielle, who
presses a button. The Lucite domes over the salads lift.

Tentatively both mice reach for a fork. There is a tiny piece
of velcro on each mouse's paw and a tiny piece of velcro on
each of the forks. The first mouse picks the correct fork,
and stabs it into the salad and eats happily, relieved. The
second mouse picks the wrong fork. Nathan presses a button,
which sends the mouse flying off his chair with an electric
shock. The correct mouse keeps eating, unconcerned. Nathan
makes a note in his notebook.

Gabrielle watches Nathan as he writes, enchanted.

CUT TO:

INT. NATHAN'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

The table is elegantly set, candlelit. Lila sits at it while
Nathan fusses in the kitchenette. Something classical wafts
over from the stereo in the living room. Nathan places a
salad in front of Lila and sits across from her with his own
salad.

LILA
It looks wonderful.

NATHAN
You look wonderful. I'm on top of
the world tonight, Lila. Work is
going splendidly and my personal
life is ...

Lila picks up a fork from the inside of her setting, not the
outside. Nathan blinks. Lila tastes the salad.

LILA
Um-mmm. Oh Nathan, this salad is
delish...

NATHAN
(clenched teeth)
My God! The fork! The fork!

LILA
I'm sorry?

NATHAN
(strangely)
Tell her, Harold...
(stops himself)
It's just that... It's nothing. It's
just that the outside fork is the
salad fork. One goes from the outside
in as the dinner progresses.

LILA
Oh, I'm sorry.
(picks up correct
fork)
I'm sorry, Nathan. I never really
learned those things.

NATHAN
(forced casual)
No biggie.

There is a long silence as they both eat the salad.

LILA
Boy, this is good!

NATHAN
I'm sorry that I became so upset.

LILA
No, I'm sorry. I'm really backward
in certain areas.

NATHAN
(beat, blurting)
It's only that I really enjoy your
company and...

LILA
You do?

NATHAN
Yes, and...

LILA
You really enjoy my company?

NATHAN
Yes.
(beat, blurting)
Please don't talk with food in your
mouth, Lila. Please. You're so pretty
and it only mars your... I'm sorry.
I'm being critical.

Nathan pounds his forehead with his fist. Lila waves her
hand to indicate that it's fine. She doesn't say anything
because she's chewing.

NATHAN
It's just that I have some
peculiarities, and...

LILA
I like you, too, Nathan.

NATHAN
You do?

LILA
Yeah
(beat)
But I have some peculiarities also.

NATHAN
(happily)
I don't care. I don't care!
(then, concerned)
Like what, for example?

Lila takes a deep breath, about to go into it, thinks better
of it.

LILA
Like nothing.

Nathan smiles, relieved. Lila smiles back. Nathan recoils
slightly, skittishly half-points to his bared teeth.

Apparently there's a piece of food stuck in Lila's teeth.

She closes her mouth, runs her tongue over her teeth, smiles
again, mouth closed.

CUT TO:

INT. ELECTROLOGIST'S OFFICE -DAY

Rose is doing Lila's feet.

ROSE
My brother says things are going
really well between you and Nathan.

LILA
I cannot believe how in love I am
with this man.

ROSE
Yeah?

LILA
He's so cute. I even like his cute
little penis. It's like a little
pig's penis or something.
(beat)
Rose, we connect on every level.
I've finally found someone I can
feel completely safe with.

ROSE
Don't throw that away. I had that
once with a guy. But I threw it away
for a cheap thrill.

LILA
One night stand?

ROSE
No. I married a midget.

LILA
Marrying a midget was a cheap thrill?

ROSE
Well he wasn't really a midget. He
was on the cusp of midgethood. That's
what made it cheap. Had he been an
actual midget, there would've been
nothing cheap about it, my dear.

LILA
I didn't know you were into that
sort of thing.

ROSE
Let me tell you, honey, midgets are
the best kept secret in male
companionship. They're portable.
They're controllable. They're eager.
And they're exactly the right height
for a little covert oral fun on the
dance floor.

LILA
(screams with delight,
then:)
I have a friend you might like to
meet.

ROSE
Oh?

LILA
Three foot one.

ROSE
Be still my crotch.

LILA
Rose, Nathan's no midget, but he's
asked me to move in with him.

ROSE
Yeah. My brother told me.

LILA
And I think I'm going to.

ROSE
(mulling it over)
Stand on a stepladder sometimes.

CUT TO:

INT. WHITE SPACE - DAY

Nathan talks.

NATHAN
Lila moved in with me. Did I love
her? I thought so. But from my new
vantage point I realize that love is
nothing more than a messy
conglomeration of need, desperation,
fear of death, insecurity about penis
size, and the self-involved, ego
driven need to collect other people's
hearts. Not that I judge it.
(puts head in hands.
beat. looks up)
Listen, I don't want to be dead yet.
Is there any way to...

Nathan looks around for some sign of another person. There
is nobody.

NATHAN
No I suppose not.
(beat)
No biggie. Anyway, Lila moved in. We
had our problems, but we both wanted
love so badly, we turned a blind
eye.

INT. NATHAN'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

Nathan, Lila, and Nathan's parents (looking very, very old)
sit at the dining room table. Salad is about to be eaten,
and everyone glances sideways over at Lila, waiting for her
to make her move. She reaches for the wrong fork, corrects
herself and picks the salad fork. Nathan breathes a sigh of
relief. His mother looks disappointed, clucks. They eat in
silence. Finally:

LILA
It's lovely to finally meet you, Mr.
and Mrs. Bronfman. I've heard so
much about you and I've seen you in
photographs from Nathan's childhood,
but it's nice to meet you in the
flesh. I must say, you look exactly
the same as in the photographs.

MOTHER
Thank you, dear.

NATHAN
Actually, Mother and Father, you
look very, very old. You look
terrible.

LILA
Nathan!

His mother and father touch their faces reflexively, then
look at each other and laugh.

MOTHER
Tell him, Harold.

FATHER
Son, your mother and I are doing a
production of The Gin Game at the
local community theater. We forgot
to take off our make-up.

The mother and father laugh again. Then they pull at their
latex faces. The wrinkles come off. And they look exactly as
they did in the flashback scene, albeit a bit pink-faced.

There is another pause.

LILA
(awkward)
Goodness, you two look exactly as
you did in those old photos.

MOTHER
(cold)
Yes, so you mentioned earlier, dear.

NATHAN
(changing the subject)
Lila's a nature writer, mother.

MOTHER
I love nature. As long as it stays
in the zoo where it belongs.

The father and Nathan laugh at mother's joke. Lila joins in
weakly, against her better judgment.

MOTHER
(to Lila)
Don't you agree, dear?

Lila hesitates.

NATHAN
Of course she does, mother.

CUT TO:

INT. NATHAN AND LILA'S BEDROOM - LATER

Nathan is in bed, in starched pajamas. He lies on his back
under perfect covers and stares straight up at the ceiling.

NATHAN
What are you doing in there?

LILA (O.S.)
(pissy)
I'll be out in a minute.

NATHAN
I'm sorry about my parents.

LILA (O.S.)
You didn't seem sorry when you were
laughing at all your mother's stupid,
tasteless, cruel animal jokes.

NATHAN
I was simply attempting to keep the
evening light. You know that I feel
similarly to you about nature.

LILA (O.S.)
Do you?

NATHAN
Of course.
(beat)
I simply love the... naturalness of
it all.

Lila emerges from the bathroom, radiant, hopeful.

LILA
Do you? Oh do you, darling?

NATHAN
Why certainly!

Lila happily leaps into bed. She smothers Nathan with kisses.

LILA
Oh, darling. I'm so relieved. Let's
celebrate with a long hike in the
woods tomorrow!

NATHAN
(oh shit)
That's a great idea.

Nathan kisses her.

LILA
It'll be wonderful! I'll show you my
old stomping grounds!

NATHAN
Terrific. Can't wait!

Nathan kisses her ear. He looks confused, sticks his finger
behind her ear, and pulls it out with a dab of shaving cream
on it.

NATHAN
Shaving cream?

LILA
I don't think so.
(beat)
Why?

CUT TO:

INT. CAR - MORNING

Nathan drives. He's dressed in spanking new, freshly starched
safari clothes, big shiny new hiking boots. Lila sits in the
front passenger seat. She is dressed in a costume identical
to Nathan's, but, as opposed to Nathan, she seems awkward in
it. She fidgets in it, straightens it, sighs, comes to terms
with it, and looks dreamily out the window at the passing
trees. She is home. That's all that matters.

NATHAN
Darling, did you bring the insect
repellent lotion?

LILA
Yes, darling.

NATHAN
(beat)
Oh, and the sun block?

LILA
Of course.

NATHAN
What SPF, sweetie?

LILA
Fifteen.

NATHAN
Perfectomundo! We are ready!
(beat)
Say, wouldn't it be wonderful to
have an insect repellent lotion that
also worked as a sun block? Think of
all the time one would save.

LILA
Yes, darling.

NATHAN
I think I'll get Johannsen in
chemistry on that.
(beat)
Oh! Did you bring the first aid kit?

LILA
Yes.

NATHAN
Flares?

LILA
Absolutely.

NATHAN
We could call it "Quit Bugging Me,
Sunny."
(laughs a lot)
Get it? Sunny. S-u-n-n-y.

LILA
(laughs appreciatively)
That's very funny.

NATHAN
I love you so much.

CUT TO:

INT. AUDITORIUM - DAY

Puff testifies.

PUFF
Then, gentlemen, one day I saw
something I hadn't seen since my
father died in a freak accident
involving a rotted log and four
thousand bees stinging his head... I
saw other human beings. They chattered
away at each other in what appeared
to be gibberish. Later I learned it
was English. Now I wonder if perhaps
my initial assessment hadn't been
correct.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. FOREST - DAY

Puff's POV: Through some brush we watch Nathan and Lila
hiking. We hear Puff's loud heavy breathing and, in the
distance, the relentless gibberish chatter of Nathan and
Lila. Puff moves. Lila glances over.

CUT TO:

INT. POLICE STATION - NIGHT

Lila talks.

LILA
It was a flash of white. I ruled out
deer immediately. Too... upright.

CUT TO:

INT. FOREST - DAY

We're with Lila and Nathan now. Lila has stopped and is
peering into the distance.

LILA
Did you see that?

NATHAN
What?

LILA
I don't know. Something.

NATHAN
A deer?

LILA
No. Too... upright. Might've been a
person.

NATHAN
(nervously)
It might behoove us to turn back at
this point.

Lila walks in the direction of the sighting.

LILA
Come on.

NATHAN
(not budging)
If it's a person, why should we go
see it? It's not like it's nature or
anything. It's just a person.
(beat)
Sometimes people who live in the
woods don't want to be seen. They
live in the woods because they're
anti-social, Lila. We have to respect
that.

Lila trudges through the brush. Nathan follows. Better than
being left behind.

NATHAN
This is the way to get ticks, Lila.
This is it. Bingo! Lyme Disease!
You've hit the nail on the head here.

Lila is in her element. Her whole demeanor has changed.

She is tracking. She sniffs the breeze, cocks her head, moves
stealthily. Then she sheds her clothes, almost shaking them
off, like a dog shaking off some cute costume his owner had
dressed him in.

NATHAN
Oh for God's sa...

Lila turns her head and glares at Nathan. There is an animal
fierceness in her eye that shuts him up instantly.

She turns back to pursue her prey.

CUT TO:

INT. AUDITORIUM - DAY

Puff testifies.

PUFF
I had never seen anything like it.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. FOREST - DAY

Puff's POV: We see a naked Lila looking in our general
direction, but not seeing us. The sun dapples her body.

She moves closer and closer.

PUFF (V.O.)
It was an ape as I had never seen
before. Like me, yet different in
certain essential details. And all
at once I felt a heat pass through
me. My heart raced. Gentlemen, I
wanted to touch her, to caress her,
to be one with her. I had urges and
desires I could not explain. I felt
overwhelmed by the power this strange
creature had over me, and so I did
what any animal would do when it
comes across an animal of superior
strength...

CUT TO:

INT. POLICE STATION - NIGHT

The cops are transfixed.

LILA
He bolted.

CUT TO:

INT. FOREST - DAY

We are with Lila. She creeps along, when suddenly a tan,
muscular figure tears out from behind a tree and runs,
practically on all fours, through the dense underbrush.

Lila follows, almost as agile as the forest creature.

Nathan just stands there. The chase continues. There is a
great deal of heaving and panting. Puff shimmies up a large
tree. Lila follows. Puff leaps from branch to branch.

Lila follows easily. Puff swings from a vine. So does Lila.
Finally they come to the end of the trees, a clearing. There
is no nowhere for Puff to leap. Lila is with him in the tree.
They are crouched, bloody, heaving, on separate branches,
staring at each other. After a long moment, Lila speaks.

LILA
Who are you?

Puff cocks his head. The high timbre of her voice surprises
him, pleases him, but he doesn't understand the words.

LILA
You don't understand my language, do
you?

Puff looks at his crotch. Apparently there is some activity
down there. Lila, following his eyes, glances down there
also.

LILA
(laughing)
I take it back, you do understand my
language.

Puff grabs for his crotch and begins to play with himself
distractedly, looking at her all the while. He falls out of
the tree. Lila gasps. Branches crack and snap as he passes
through them and then there is an unpleasant thud when he
hits the forest floor. Lila shimmies down the tree, and kneels
by Puff. He is unconscious.

LILA
Oh God.

Nathan comes limping through the brush. Somehow his safari
suit and boots are as clean and pressed as they were in the
car. He is carrying Lila's clothes. Somehow he has had time
to neatly fold them.

NATHAN
Oh my God! Is he dead? Please put
something on.

Lila looks up at icily at Nathan.

NATHAN
You'll catch cold. It's cold.
(beat)
What do you suppose he is, a
survivalist?

LILA
I think he's feral.

NATHAN
(jumping back)
Feral? Don't touch him! He might be
diseased! He might... My God, rabies!

LILA
He looks perfectly fine.

NATHAN
I think we should go. Please. Before
he wakes up and, I don't know, eats
us, or whatever feral things do.

LILA
I don't understand you. This is
fascinating and you just want to run
away. I mean, here we have a human
being totally uncontaminated by
civilization, totally free, and all
you want to do is run back to your...

NATHAN
(thinking)
Actually, I just had an amusing
thought.

LILA
What?

NATHAN
(musing)
Feral, huh? Totally uncontaminated?

LILA
Look at him. He doesn't understand
English. He moves like an animal.

NATHAN
It's perfect!

LILA
Nathan, what the hell are you talking
about?

NATHAN
(doing a little dance)
Forget mice! Actually forget guinea
pigs, cats, monkeys, and chimps also.
I'm on to stage five: The human
subject.

LILA
Oh no. You can't take him from his
home, Nathan.

NATHAN
(ranting)
Don't you see? He's my Tabula Rasa,
my Eliza Dolittle. He's my ticket to
the top of the Behaviorist food chain.
He's going to make me famous.

LILA
I won't allow you. It's wrong. He's
happy here.

NATHAN
Is he, Lila? Is he happy living filthy
and naked alone in this tick infested
wilderness? Never to know the love
of a good woman, never to revel in
the pitter-patter of little feet,
never to read Moby Dick, or marvel
at a Monet, or just sit back after a
day of hard but rewarding work, smoke
a pipe, and wonder about the nature
of reality.

LILA
(weakening resolve)
You'd be taking away his freedom,
Nathan.

NATHAN
Freedom's just another word for
nothing left to lose, Lila, to quote
Janet Jackson.

Lila looks off into the distance, her eyes brimming with
tears. As Nathan continues his speech, we move closer and
closer into Lila's eyes. Nathan's voice fades into nothing
by the time we dissolve.

NATHAN
Belonging to something, a person or
a society, is a basic human craving.
We are communal creatures. This poor
soul has no one, nothing...

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. CLIFF - SUNSET

A naked, very hairy Lila sits by herself on the cliff and
watches the sunset. There's a chill in the air and she shivers
and hugs herself.

LILA
Oh God, I have no one. Nothing. You
give me this beautiful gift, this
glorious sunset. But with no one to
say "isn't that a beautiful sunset"
to, it becomes meaningless, just
another stupid sunset. They happen
everyday. So what?

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. FOREST - DAY

Lila is hovering over the unconscious Puff. Nathan's voice
comes back into focus. He is still speechifying.

NATHAN
...what is it that makes us human,
if not the knowledge that we are
indeed human? Think of this poor
soul's education as the greatest
gift we could bestow upon...

LILA
All right.

NATHAN
Great. Grab his feet. We'll throw
him in the trunk.

CUT TO:

INT. LAB - DAY

Nathan hovers over the Lucite case with the tiny dinner table
in it. His assistant, Gabrielle, presses a button, a door
opens, and two white mice scurry in. The male pulls out a
chair for the female. The female climbs up on the chair, and
the male pushes the chair in, then scurries around to the
other side of the table and climbs onto his own chair. The
Lucite lid over the silverware and salads lifts and both
mice pick up the proper forks and begin eating. Nathan
scribbles in his notebook.

GABRIELLE
Doctor...

Nathan looks up. Gabrielle jerks her head in the direction
of a very large Lucite case. Inside, Puff, now dressed in a
diaper and connected to all sorts of electrodes, is stirring.
Nathan and Gabrielle hurry over.

NATHAN
Good morning.

Puff groggily takes in his surroundings. This is quite a lot
to take in. The white room, the strange apes in strange suits,
his own clothing, the wires. After surveying the scene for a
moment, Puff becomes frightened and agitated.

He tries to escape. Not understanding Lucite, he smashes
into it, again and again. He tears at his diaper. Nathan
gives a nod to Gabrielle, who presses a button on a panel.

An electric shock sends Puff flying. He lies on the floor
confused and dazed. After a moment, he gets up and again
crashes into the Lucite. Nathan gives the signal to Gabrielle
and once again she shocks Puff. He once again gets up and
crashes against the Lucite. Again he is shocked. He gets up
again, and is about to crash against the Lucite, but he thinks
better of it, and squats in place, immobilized.

NATHAN
(to Gabrielle)
Only three shocks. A chimp takes
fifteen. This is going to be tres
simple, no, Gabrielle?

GABRIELLE
(in love with Nathan)
Oui, doctor, oui.

NATHAN
(to Puff)
Good morning...
(to Gabrielle)
We need a name for him, don't we?

GABRIELLE
Oui.

NATHAN
You decide. Today is your day.

GABRIELLE
Really? My day? Well, I had a sweet
little mongrel puppie named Puff
when I was a girl. This one reminds
me of my dog, all shaggy! So cute!
(giggles girlishly)
I loved my doggie very much, monsieur.

NATHAN
(charmed)
Puff it is then. Puff Bronfman. Is
that okay?

GABRIELLE
Oui. Perfect!

NATHAN
(to Puff)
Good morning, Puff Bronfman. I'm Dr.
Bronfman and this is my assistant
Gabrielle. We're your mommy and daddy
while you are here.

Gabrielle likes this concept a great deal. She smiles and
moves closer to Nathan.

NATHAN
(to Puff)
How about some salad, son?

Gabrielle poises her finger above the button. She winks at
Nathan. He blushes.

CUT TO:

EXT. PARKING LOT - EVENING

Nathan, carrying a brief case, is walking to his car.

Gabrielle hurries to catch up to him. Her high heels click
on the pavement.

GABRIELLE
Dr. Bronfman! Dr. Bronfman!

Nathan turns.

NATHAN
Oh, Hi, Gabrielle.

GABRIELLE
(out of breath)
Hi. I just wanted to tell you that I
very much enjoy working with you.
(blushes)
Now I'm embarrassed that I say this.

They walk along.

NATHAN
No. Don't be. I really enjoy hearing
that. You're a terrific assistant.

GABRIELLE
Merci. I... Do you... would you like
to go get a cup of coffee, perhaps?

NATHAN
Well, I don't know. I'm actually on
my way to...

GABRIELLE
Now I am truly embarrassed. Forgive
me. I should not have asked such a
stupid question. I know you are a
very important man and...

NATHAN
No. Don't be silly. It's just...

GABRIELLE
I am a foolish little thing. I am
pink in my face, no? It is only that
I have been so lonely lately and...
I am ashamed. I'll see you tomorrow,
okay? Unless... Am I fired now?

Gabrielle pouts. Nathan is charmed.

CUT TO:

INT. COFFEE SHOP - EVENING

Nathan and Gabrielle sit at a romantic little table in a
trendy coffee shop.

GABRIELLE
Thank you so much for accompanying
me.

NATHAN
Not at all.

GABRIELLE
I have had such a difficult time in
my personal life and you seem to be
such a nice man... but I'm talking
too much again, no?

NATHAN
Of course not.

GABRIELLE
You're so sweet. Oh, why are there
not more men out there like you?

Gabrielle starts to cry softly. Nathan doesn't know what to
do. His eyes dart around, then:

NATHAN
There there.

Gabrielle looks up at him appreciatively. She sniffs.

GABRIELLE
You know just the right thing to
say.

She reaches across the table and touches his hand lightly
for a moment.

NATHAN
Listen, you're the best assistant
I've ever had... Gabrielle.

GABRIELLE
(smiles)
I like it when you say my name. Is
that stupid?

CUT TO:

INT. NATHAN'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

Nathan, in his pajamas, lies in bed reading. He looks up.

NATHAN
What are you doing in there?

LILA (O.S.)
Nothing. Be right out.

The phone rings. Nathan picks it up.

NATHAN
Hello?
(beat, happily)
Oh, hi... Gabrielle!

Nathan sits up in bed.

LILA (O.S.)
Who is it?

NATHAN
Uh-huh. Right, Gabrielle. Right.

Nathan laughs.

LILA (O.S.)
Who is it?

NATHAN
(into phone)
Absolutely, Gabrielle.
(covering phone,
testily)
Someone from work!
(into phone)
Sorry about that, Gabrielle. Uh-huh.
Exactly.

Nathan laughs.

LILA (O.S.)
Who from work?

NATHAN
(into phone)
Excuse me one second, would you,
Gabrielle?

Nathan puts down the phone and heads to the bathroom.

LILA (O.S.)
Who is it, Nathan?

Nathan opens the bathroom door.

NATHAN
Look, Lila, when I'm on a work...

Lila turns with a gasp. She has shaving cream all over her
chest. Nathan looks stunned. He backs away.

LILA
Nathan, I...

CUT TO:

INT. GABRIELLE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

The lights are low. The room is peppered with lit candles.

Gabrielle, in a slip, lies on her bed, eating cherries from
a bowl, and listening to Nathan and Lila's conversation on
speaker.

LILA (O.S.)
It's hormonal, Nathan. I can't help
it. I'm sorry.

NATHAN (O.S.)
Your entire body?

LILA (O.S.)
I'm getting electrolysis. It's
working, but it takes time. So
meanwhile I have to...

NATHAN (O.S.)
You have to shave? Like an ape?

LILA (O.S.)
(crying)
Apes don't shave, you son of a bitch!

NATHAN (O.S.)
Don't quibble. You know what I mean.

LILA (O.S.)
I'm sorry. Please don't be mad at me
for this.

NATHAN (O.S.)
Mad? I'm I'm... disgusted!

LILA (O.S.)
I'm the same person I was before you
knew, damn it! Oh God!

NATHAN (O.S.)
I have to think! I have to think!

Footsteps and a door slam. Lila is near the phone now and
crying in desperate heaves.

LILA (O.S.)
Oh God, why... do... I... have...
to... be... like... Oh, no! Oh, shit!
(rustling sound, then
into phone)
Hello? Hello? Is anyone there? Who's
there?

Gabrielle calmly pops another cherry in her mouth and hangs
up the phone.

CUT TO:

INT. CAR - NIGHT

Nathan, in his pajamas, drives. His face is set in a furious
scowl and he drives fast.

CUT TO:

INT. ANOTHER CAR - NIGHT

Gabrielle drives leisurely. She is calm, a slight smile on
her face.

CUT TO:

INT. LAB - NIGHT

Nathan paces in front of Puff's Lucite case. Puff watches
suspiciously from the corner where he is huddled. The lights
are off. But there is a green glow from a couple of exit
signs.

NATHAN
I don't get it. I don't get it. I
don't get it. How could I find myself
in this mess? This is a mess. This
is not a situation I understand.
This is a mess. How do I extricate
myself from this mess? Is my
girlfriend a man? I don't understand.
This is not part of any plan. She
deceived me. She has hair.
(beat)
But am I being fair? So what if she
has hair? Who am I to judge? I have
hair.
(beat)
But I'm supposed to have hair. I am
a man. Men are supposed to have hair.
(beat)
But poor Lila. Think of what she's
had to go through. The courage she's
had to have in the face of this
abomination of nature. I should love
her all the more. I should love every
hair on her body. I mean, she doesn't
mind that I have a mortifyingly
small...

The lights flick on. Nathan turns with a start. It's
Gabrielle. She's in an overcoat. She gasps.

GABRIELLE
Oh, Doctor. I did not know. I'm sorry
to disturb you. I just came for some
papers I left.

NATHAN
Gabrielle. No, I'm sorry if I startled
you. I came to think.
(beat, remembering)
God, Did I hang up on you?

GABRIELLE
Oui. Perhaps I called at a bad time.
I am sorry.

NATHAN
No. I just got distracted. I'm so
sorry.

GABRIELLE
Is everything fine?

NATHAN
Oui.
(laughs)
Now you've got me talking French.

GABRIELLE
(laughs)
I was in my p.j.'s when I remembered
I left some papers I need to go over.
(opens overcoat to
reveal lingerie)
See? I rushed right out of the house.
I must look a mess. I'm so
embarrassed.

NATHAN
(taken)
I'm in my p.j.'s, too. Funny, huh?

Puff is taken also. His eyes are wide.

GABRIELLE
Coincidence, yes?
(beat)
And how is our son?

NATHAN
Our...? Oh!
(laughs, out of control)
He seems fine. I guess we woke him.
The lights and all.

GABRIELLE
I should turn them off.
(she does)
Maybe I sing him a lullaby my mama
sang to me when I was a little girl.

NATHAN
(a little giddy)
When you were a little French girl?

GABRIELLE
Oui.

NATHAN
(back in control)
That would be good.

Gabrielle kneels by Puff's case. Puff crawls over, tries to
touch her through the Lucite. Gabrielle sings a French
lullaby. It's very sweet. Nathan watches her, looks at her
thigh, her hair, the delicate way the tip of her nose moves
when she sings. Puff gets drowsy. He curls up on the floor
and sleeps.

GABRIELLE
(quietly to Nathan)
There.

Nathan stares at her, transfixed. She pretends not to notice.

GABRIELLE
Shall we close up, then?

NATHAN
Maybe we should just sit for a while.
It's very peaceful.

GABRIELLE
It's nice, yes. I'm glad I ran into
you, both in our silly pajamas. It
is two happy coincidences, no?

NATHAN
Yes. Happy happy.

GABRIELLE
Yet you look so sad. A great man
like you should not be sad.

NATHAN
I'm fine. Life is funny, that's all.

Gabrielle stands. She stretches languorously, revealing a
lot of leg.

GABRIELLE
I am sleepy.

NATHAN
I shouldn't say this, but you're
pretty, Gabrielle. It's
unprofessional, I know.

GABRIELLE
Really? I always think myself so
ugly. No, not ugly, but plain. A
wallflower.

NATHAN
(buying her line)
Really? No. Not at all. You're a
very pretty girl. You should know
that. You should be confident.

GABRIELLE
Thank you so much. Merci. It's very
wonderful to hear a man say such a
nice compliment.

NATHAN
It's true. I wouldn't lie.

GABRIELLE
You are sweet.

Gabrielle walks slowly by Nathan. He inhales deeply, breathing
her in. She smiles to herself. He reaches out touches her
leg.

GABRIELLE
(vaguely protesting)
Doctor.

She moves into Nathan. She presses her thigh against his
shoulder. Nathan leans forward, kisses her exposed thigh.

NATHAN
So soft. So smooth.
(back to reality)
I'm sorry. It's just...

GABRIELLE
(soothing)
Shh.

CUT TO:

INT. BATHROOM - NIGHT

Lila is shaving herself all over. Shaving and weeping.

There are nicks all over her body. She has no eyebrows any
more. The hair on her head is hacked off.

CUT TO:

INT. LAB - NIGHT

Nathan and Gabrielle are lying naked on the floor.

Gabrielle rests her head on Nathan's chest.

NATHAN
Was that okay? I mean, was I able
to... satisfy you?

LILA
You are an animal.

NATHAN
Really? Wow! That's that's terrific
to hear from someone so... feminine,
so female.

LILA
I love being female because it, how
do you say, allows me to be close to
men.

NATHAN
I'm glad you're female.
(beat)
Do you think our boy witnessed the
primal scene?

GABRIELLE
Anyway it's time he grew up. N'est-
ce pa?
(sighing, running her
fingers along his
chest)
I love chest hair on a man. I know
it isn't fashionable now, hairy men.
But to me it is the very sign of
masculinity.

Nathan tenses. Gabrielle looks up innocently at him.

GABRIELLE
What is wrong, my darling?

NATHAN
Nothing, my darling. All is right
with the world.

Puff watches from his case. Gabrielle smiles to herself.

INT. AUDITORIUM - DAY

Puff testifies.

PUFF
I saw it, gentlemen. I saw the whole
sweaty, passionate, ugly, beautiful
act, and to use the vernacular, I
wanted me some of that.

The congressmen laugh appreciatively. The laughter is a little
too enthusiastic and goes on a little too long. It stops
abruptly.

PUFF
And I think I understood from that
moment, that in order to get some, I
would have to do what they said. In
order to experience this primal,
basic, animal thing, I would first
have to become a civilized, prissy,
uptight human. I would have to become
Nathan.

The congressmen nod sadly, in recognition of this reality.

CUT TO:

INT. LAB - DAY

Puff, in his Lucite case, sits behind a set dinner table.

He seems attentive, calm, interested as Nathan teaches him
table manners. Gabrielle stands very close, almost
possessively close, to Nathan. She wears a lab coat, but it
is unbuttoned, and underneath she is wearing a skin-tight
black minidress. She strokes the back of Nathan's head as he
works with Puff.

NATHAN
(slow. talking to an
idiot)
Excellent, Puff. Now, the lady you're
with excuses herself to go powder
her nose.

The wheels turn in Puff's head. He thinks hard. Then he
stands. Gabrielle shrieks and claps happily.

NATHAN
Perfect. Perfect, Puff!

Nathan leans over and kisses Gabrielle. Puff watches. He
makes an exaggerated kissy-face, pursing his lips, trying to
imitate Nathan. The phone rings. Gabrielle pulls herself
away, giggles as Nathan tries to keep her from going, and
picks up the phone.

GABRIELLE
(still giggling)
Dr. Bronfman's line. Yes. One moment
please.
(puts it on hold)
Lila.

NATHAN
Shit.
(takes phone)
Hi, honey.

CUT TO:

INT. LILA AND NATHAN'S LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS

Lila sits on the couch. Eyebrows are attractively drawn onto
her face. She wears a very femme blonde wing. Lots of make-
up.

LILA
So, how's it going today?

NATHAN (O.S.)
Good. Making progress.

LILA
Honey, can we talk tonight? You know,
about stuff? Things have been so
strained for the past three weeks,
since you know, and I just want to
talk.

CUT TO:

INT. LAB - CONTINUOUS

Nathan, phone cradled between shoulder and ear, puts his
face in his hand. Gabrielle rests a hand on his shoulder.

NATHAN
Everything's fine, honey. We don't
need to talk. Besides I have to work
late.

LILA (O.S.)
Please, Nathan. I really need this.
You've been working late a lot.

Nathan looks up helplessly at Gabrielle.

NATHAN
Okay, we'll have dinner tonight.

Gabrielle gets mad, exhales sharply, pulls her hand away.

Nathan gives her a pleading look, grabs for her. She moves
away.

NATHAN
Yeah. Okay. Be home around seven.
Bye.
(hangs up)
What? I'm sorry. What was I supposed
to do?

GABRIELLE
(disgusted)
I don't know, Nathan. What are you
supposed to do?

NATHAN
You don't abandon somebody because
they have a physical problem.

GABRIELLE
Funny. I thought that's exactly what
you did. You just don't have the
courage to admit it to yourself.

CUT TO:

INT. WHITE SPACE - DAY

Nathan talks. A tear runs down his face, mingles with the
blood.

NATHAN
Funny. I still feel guilt. Even dead.
One would've hoped... But alas. You
know, I really did love Lila. But
with her... problem... and then when
Gabrielle revealed her feelings. And
Gabrielle was so... conventionally
female. And she had an accent. I was
lost from that moment on. But
Gabrielle was right. I couldn't admit
it to myself, this shallowness of
character, let alone to Lila.

CUT TO:

INT. RESTAURANT - NIGHT

Lila and Nathan eat. Lila is in her new, very feminine make-
up, wig, and dress. Her table manners are impeccable, almost
robotic. There is an awkward silence

LILA
Are you seeing somebody else, Nathan?
I just have to know.

NATHAN
Of course not.

LILA
It would just be helpful to know.

NATHAN
No.

LILA
Because, you know, you seem so
distant. And you work late every
night. And we hardly ever have sex,
and when we do, it's... I don't know.
It feels different.

NATHAN
I'm just preoccupied.

LILA
Do you like my new look?

NATHAN
Yeah. It's nice. It's really good.

LILA
I'm trying, you know.
(starting to cry)
I'm trying to be what you want. I
want to be what you want, Nathan.
All I want is to be what you want.

NATHAN
(embarrassed)
Shh. It's okay.
(takes her hand)
It's okay, Lila. You're what I want.
You know that. You're exactly what I
want.

LILA
(hopefully, sniffing)
Really?

NATHAN
Sure. Of course.

LILA
Because I'm really trying, you know.
Rosie says maybe only another two
years of the elctrolysis.

NATHAN
(hard to stomach)
That's great.

LILA
I've signed up for a ballet class.
And look at my nails! A real girl!

Lila holds out her hands. Her finger nails are polished fire
engine red.

NATHAN
That's great. It's a great color for
you.

LILA
Oh, Nathan, let's have a baby!

CUT TO:

INT. NURSERY - DAY

Lila holds and rocks a swaddled baby. She passes it to Nathan,
who looks at it and sees that it's a baby monkey.

Nathan shudders. Lila looks on lovingly, oblivious.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. THERAPIST'S OFFICE - DAY

Nathan sits with his head in his hands. Wendall listens
attentively.

NATHAN
So anyway, that's the nightmare I've
been having lately.

WENDALL
Do you suppose it has anything to do
with Lila's unusually hairy body?

NATHAN
(beat)
No, why?

WENDALL
Well, it seems that since Lila
broached the subject of children,
you've been on edge and I know you
have an issue with the, uh, body
hair.

NATHAN
(revelation)
Oh, I see. Yes, that's something to
think about. That's very good. That's
what you get the big bucks, right?
Ha ha.

WENDALL
I just think it might be important
to explore your feelings for Lila.

NATHAN
I love Lila. I mean, she's a wonderful
person. And... she loves me! That's
no small potatoes. I mean she really
loves me. She's sacrificed so much
to be in this relationship with me.
And she's a good person. A truly
good person. How rare is that in
this world, eh? And how could I stop
loving somebody because of a little
physical imperfection, if it can
even be called that. I mean, God
knows I'm not perfect! What about my
eyesight? It's lousy, that's what!
Lila's not going to leave me because
of my eyesight. What about my penis?

WENDALL
And how do you feel about Gabrielle?

Nathan puts his head in his hands and sighs.

CUT TO:

INT. LAB - DAY

Nathan is holding flash cards up to Puff. Puff tentatively
reads aloud from the cards. Gabrielle sits nearby on a stool,
fish-netted legs crossed, arms crossed, and an angry
expression on her face.

PUFF
Good-eve-n-ing-lay-dees-and-gent-
elmen.

NATHAN
Bravo, Puff! Bravo!

Puff smiles happily. Nathan and Puff both look over at
Gabrielle for her approval. None is forthcoming.

NATHAN
Isn't Puff doing spectacularly, honey?

GABRIELLE
Hmmmph.

NATHAN
Gabby, what is it?

GABRIELLE
Hmmph. Hmmph.
(beat)
Nathan, we have to talk, you and I.

NATHAN
Fine.

GABRIELLE
Not in front of the boy.

NATHAN
Very well.

Gabrielle stands, turns, and stomps across the room. Nathan
follows her angry, switching hips with his eyes, as does
Puff. She exits into the hall. Nathan looks at Puff and
shrugs. Puff returns the shrug. Nathan follows Gabrielle
into the hall.

CUT TO:

INT. HALL - CONTINUOUS

Gabrielle stands there waiting, a troubled look on her face,
her eyes brimming. Nathan emerges, tries to embrace her.

NATHAN
My little French.

GABRIELLE
(pushing him away)
Stop. Get away.

NATHAN
What is it?

GABRIELLE
You have to choose Nathan. It's like
Sophie's choice. Only it is Nathan's
choice. Did you ever see that movie,
Sophie's Choice? It is like that.
Only it is this.

NATHAN
Gabby, you know I'm trying to sort
things out.

GABRIELLE
(hard)
No! It is now that you must decide.
(soft)
I love you, Doctor Nathan...
(hard)
...but I will not wait. I will not
be your chippy. I will not be your
little Mademoiselle Parlez-vous side
dish.
(soft)
My love. I want to have a sweet tiny
baby inside my belly... from you.

Nathan gets a faraway look in his eyes.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. BEACH - DAY

Nathan and Gabrielle sit on a blanket on this otherwise empty
beach. There is a light breeze. Gabrielle has one of her
breasts exposed and is nursing an infant. Nathan looks at
the baby's face. It is angelic. He looks up and smiles at
Gabrielle. She smiles back. They kiss.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. HALL - DAY

Nathan snaps out of his reverie, looks pleadingly at the
waiting Gabrielle.

NATHAN
I love you so much, Gabrielle.

GABRIELLE
But?... But? There is a "but," Nathan.

NATHAN
But I don't know how to leave Lila.

Gabrielle tears off her lab coat. Underneath she is wearing
practically nothing, a skimpy black dress. She throws the
lab coat at Nathan, turns and storms down the hall. Nathan
watches until she disappears around the corner.

NATHAN
(quietly)
Now there's a butt, Nathan.

He brings the lab coat up to his face and breathes in her
fragrance.

CUT TO:

INT. LILA AND NATHAN'S - NIGHT

Lila, all prettied up and civilized and manicured, is setting
the table for dinner. She is humming. Nathan walks in the
door. Lila doesn't hear him. He stands in the doorway for a
moment, watching Lila from behind. His face is blank. Lila
catches sight of him. She's startled.

LILA
Oh!
(laughs)
I didn't see you there, sneaky boy!
(runs over and kisses
him)
You're like a boy sneaking in...

NATHAN
(so bored)
...the back door of a movie theater.
Yes, indeed.

LILA
You remember that from my book? I'm
touched!
(kisses him again)
What's wrong?

NATHAN
Nothing. Hard day. Gonna have a drink.

LILA
I'll make it.
(beats him to the
portable bar)
I'm so happy, Nathan! Everything's
going to be so great! Scotch on the
rocks, right?
(giggles)
Just kidding. I know what you drink,
mister. I know what you drink.
(pours and blends and
shakes, etc.)
Voila!

Lila hands Nathan a frothy pink concoction with a pineapple
wedge sticking out of it.

NATHAN
Thanks.

Nathan stares contemplatively out the window and sips his
drink. Lila watches him, comes up behind him, puts her arms
around him. Nathan cringes, but tries to cover it. Lila feels
the cringe, but pretends not to have. She keeps her arms
around him for a moment longer, then casually removes them.

LILA
(fishing)
How's work?

NATHAN
Cruddy, okay? Are you satisfied?

LILA
(pouty)
No. I don't want your work to be
cruddy.

NATHAN
My assistant quit today. Okay? He
was highly valuable to the project.

LILA
Oh, baby. I'm sorry. Can't you hire
somebody else?

NATHAN
I guess.

Lila screws up her face in concentration, trying to come
with a viable solution to Nathan's problem.

LILA
Hey! I could come work for you! I
know I haven't been all that
supportive of this project, but I've
come around.

NATHAN
Have you?

LILA
Oh yes, baby! I think that this is a
wonderful project you're doing, taking
this poor unfortunate, uncivilized
creature and turning him into a human
being! What a wonderful wonderful
compassionate man you are!

NATHAN
Really?

LILA
Yes! And I want to help. You won't
have to pay me, and I was thinking
of giving up that crazy nature writing
anyway.

NATHAN
How come?

LILA
Who needs it? I have you and I have
being a woman and I have thinking
about womanly things! I love being a
woman because...

NATHAN
Such as what womanly things?

LILA
Such as my man and how to please
him!
(kisses him)
Such as making wonderful dinners for
my man!
(kisses him again,
leads him to the
table, sits him down)
Such as looking pretty for my man!
(kisses him again)
And I'm writing an article on quilting
for the Ladies Home Journal!

CUT TO:

INT. POLICE STATION - NIGHT

LILA
I had sold my fucking soul.

CUT TO:

INT. WHITE SPACE - DAY

NATHAN
I let her sell her soul. I stood by
as she did it. It's inexcusable.
(beat)
At the time though I thought it might
help.

CUT TO:

INT. AUDITORIUM - DAY

PUFF
When she came to work with Nathan,
she seemed different, gentlemen, I
don't know, somehow soulless.

CUT TO:

INT. LAB - DAY

Puff is in his case in formal evening wear in a makeshift
opera box. There is a mannequin woman sitting next to him
and a boom box pumping out Beethoven's Fidelio. Puff seems
attentive, refined, occasionally bringing a pair of opera
glasses up to his eyes, pinky extended. Outside the case,
Nathan and Lila look on. The opera is over. Puff stands,
applauds, yells "Bravo", and tosses a rose in the direction
of the imaginary stage. The rose hits the Lucite wall and
falls to the floor. Nathan and Lila stand and applaud Puff.

NATHAN
Bravo to you, Puff!

LILA
That was wonderful!

Puff smiles and performs a foppish bow, almost a curtsy. He
picks up the rose, sniffs it, dramatically savoring its scent.

CUT TO:

INT. LILA AND NATHAN'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

Nathan and Gabrielle are having sex. They are focused and
intent, although Gabrielle keeps chatting.

GABRIELLE
You were wonderful today, darling.
Such authority with the ape-man boy.
It made me so hot for you.

NATHAN
Unnhh.

GABRIELLE
The way you are taming him, it sends
chills down my girlish spine and...
everywhere else, too.

NATHAN
Urgh.

GABRIELLE
Take me, darling! Tame your little
monkey of love!

There is a mutual climax. A moment of silence, then a spent
Nathan rolls off onto his side of the bed. We see that it is
really Lila in bed with him, not Gabrielle.

LILA
(sighing)
Well, I'm tamed, Dr. Bronfman.

Nathan stares up at the ceiling.

NATHAN
I'm glad... my assistant.

CUT TO:

INT. LAB - DAY

We see a montage of interactions between Nathan, Puff, and
Lila.

1) Nathan demonstrates the proper way to taste wine: sniffing
the cork, swishing the wine around in the glass, sipping,
nodding in the affirmative to the waiter. Puff, inside his
case, imitates it perfectly.

2) Nathan shows Puff a flashcard which reads: "I'll start
tonight with the foie gras."

3) Puff is holding up a small hand mirror and trimming nose
hairs. Lila applauds.

4) Puff juggles three balls while riding a unicycle.

5) Puff, dressed as Peter Pan, stands with legs spread and
hands on hips. He is singing "I Gotta Crow."

6) Puff, dressed in an apron and chef's hat, is tossing a
salad. There are two types of vinegar to choose from. He
hesitates, then chooses the balsamic. Nathan and Lila applaud.

7) Puff, in a smoking jacket and smoking a pipe, is sitting
in an easy chair, next to a fake fire and a fake sleeping
dog, and reading a book of poems by Yeats. Lila and Nathan,
outside the case, applaud and embrace.

NATHAN
I think he's ready.

LILA
Oh boy!

PUFF
(jumping up)
Oh boy!

NATHAN
Now, Puff, we're leaving on the
electronic collar. I don't think
we'll need to shock you, but just in
case.

PUFF
Okay. That's fair.

Nathan unlocks the case. Puff tentatively steps out into the
world. He hugs Nathan. It's a grateful, obsequious, slightly
pathetic hug. Nathan hugs him back, but he's keeping him at
a distance. Puff pulls himself out of the hug, but still
rests his hands on Nathan's shoulders and looks him in the
eye, almost like a lover. Then he parts with Nathan and goes
over to embrace Lila. She graciously receives him. After a
moment in the embrace, Puff starts dry-humping Lila. Lila
can't get out of his clutches.

NATHAN
No, Puff! Bad!

Nathan presses a button, which shocks Puff and sends him
flying. Puff appears disoriented, then gets up off the floor,
brushes himself off, and turns to Lila with a bow of his
head.

PUFF
My apologies, madam.

LILA
It's okay, Puff.

PUFF
Shan't happen again.

CUT TO:

EXT. CITY STREET - DAY

Lila, Nathan, and Puff walk along. Puff is astounded by
everything he sees. He looks with wonderment at the tall
buildings, the cars, the many different types of people. He
looks like an idiot.

CUT TO:

INT. FANCY RESTAURANT - DAY

Puff, Lila, and Nathan are eating lunch. Everything is very
proper. Puff is doing wonderfully.

NATHAN
This is great, Puff. You're doing
fine.

PUFF
I'm loving this. It's such a treat
to be out and about. What a wonderful
invention a city is. The immense
buildings of glass and steel glinting
in the afternoon sun, the smartly
dressed women in their best summer
frocks, the colorful street vendors.

The waitress comes by.

WAITRESS
How is everything?

PUFF
Just spectacular. Great salmon.
Fantastico! You've got to give me
the recipe! My compliments to the
chef!

WAITRESS
I'm glad you...

Puff stands and grabs her and starts humping her.

NATHAN
Puff, no!

Nathan presses a button on a small black box. Puff falls to
the floor. The waitress looks on, sort of confused.

WAITRESS
And will that be all today?

CUT TO:

INT. TAXI - DAY

Lila, Nathan, and Puff are in the back seat of the moving
taxi.

PUFF
It shan't happen again. I swear it.
I'm just getting my sea legs, you
know.

LILA
(patting Puff on the
back)
It's an animal urge, Puff. It's
nothing to be ashamed of.

NATHAN
Lila! Tell him.

Lila looks at Nathan, amends her statement.

LILA
(to Puff)
You just have to control it. We're
not apes.

NATHAN
Thank you very much for that.

CUT TO:

INT. LAB - DAY

Puff is sitting in a chair and facing a screen. The collar
is around his neck. Nathan and Lila stand behind him at a
slide projector.

PUFF
I don't think this aversion therapy
is really necessary, doctor. I
understand the problem.

NATHAN
Humor me, Puff. It's essential that
I am able to trust you to function
independently in the world.

PUFF
I bow to your expertise in these
matters.

NATHAN
Lila?

Lila dims the lights and switches on the projector. An image
of a pretty, fully clothed woman appears on the screen. Puff's
eyes widen, but he remains seated.

NATHAN
Good. You're doing fine.

The slide changes to a naked woman standing in a neutral
position, no expression on her face. Puff twitches, but stays
seated.

NATHAN
Excellent.

The slide changes to another photo of the same woman in the
same position, but with a seductive smile on her face. Puff
clutches the arms of the chairs.

NATHAN
You're doing very nicely, Puff. I'm
pleased.

The slide changes to another picture of the same woman, this
time she is naked, has her back to the camera, is sticking
her butt out, and looking over her shoulder at the viewer
with shiny, heavily lipsticked, pursed lips. Puff is shaking.

NATHAN
Great...

Puff leaps out of his chair screaming and lunges for the
screen. Nathan grabs the black box and jolts him. Puff goes
flying in the air and lands with a crack. He heaves for a
while, then leaps up and runs for the screen again.

Again Nathan shocks him. Again he lands on the floor. He
heaves, stands, lunges for the screen again. Nathan shocks
him. This happens seven more times. Smoke is pouring out
from the collar. Puff struggles to his feet. Looks at the
screen. He shrugs.

PUFF
(unimpressed)
Eh.

Puff sits down in his chair, and studies his finger nails.

Nathan switches off the projector.

NATHAN
Excellent work, Puff. Extra desert
tonight.

PUFF
Yahoo!

NATHAN
Tomorrow, the acid test.

CUT TO:

INT. RESTAURANT - DAY

This is a Hooters-type establishment called "Chester's."

The waitresses are very busty and in Tight t-shirts which
are emblazoned with the name of the restaurant. Lila, Nathan,
and Puff sit at a table. Puff studies his menu intently, not
daring to look up. Lila looks around uncomfortably. A waitress
approaches.

CHESTER'S WAITRESS
How you all doin' today?

NATHAN
(cheerily)
Very well.

LILA
(awkwardly)
Very well.

PUFF
(looking down)
Very well.

CHESTER'S WAITRESS
Good enough! What can I get for you?

NATHAN
Puff, why don't you order first?

PUFF
(looking at menu)
Uh, what's a Reuben, please?

The waitress leans over to study the menu. Her breasts are
in Puff's face.

CHESTER'S WAITRESS
The what, honey? Oh, the Reuben?
That's a sandwich with corned beef
and sauer...

PUFF
That's fine. That's what I'll have.
Corned beef is a good food.

CUT TO:

INT. HALLWAY - DAY

Lila, Nathan, and Puff walk along.

NATHAN
Puff, I'm proud of you! You did
remarkably well under difficult
circumstances.

LILA
Absolutely!

Puff jumps up and down excitedly.

PUFF
Did I? I tried so hard! I really
concentrated! Oh, I'm so happy!

NATHAN
And because you did so well, we have
a little surprise for you.

PUFF
(happily)
Extra dessert?

NATHAN
Even better.

CUT TO:

INT. LAB - DAY

Lila, Nathan, and Puff enter. Puff sees his Lucite case.

It has been transformed into a bachelor pad. Inside is a
king-size bed, a TV, a couch, coffee table, shelves lined
with books, a small kitchenette. There is a curtain which
can be drawn for privacy. Puff is taken aback.

NATHAN AND LILA
Surprise!

Puff gasps and runs into the room. He is thrilled. Nathan
holds up a key.

NATHAN
Free to come and go as you please.
There's some "mad money" in the night
table drawer.

PUFF
(taking the key,
hugging Nathan)
It's wonderful! Do you think I'm
ready? Do you really?

NATHAN
I trust that you'll make good, mature
decisions. I trust that you'll do
the proper thing.

PUFF
Oh, I will!
(gravely)
Your very trust has instilled an
enormous sense of responsibility in
me. I don't want to disappoint you.

NATHAN
Good. Remember, when in doubt: Don't
ever do what you really want to do.

PUFF
(taking it in)
Got it.

CUT TO:

INT. LILA AND NATHAN'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

Lila and Nathan sit as far as possible from each other and
read books. Nathan looks at his watch.

CUT TO:

INT. PUFF'S CASE - NIGHT

Puff, dressed identically to Nathan, reads Moby Dick and
smokes a pipe. He distractedly taps his foot, stands and
studies a Monet print on the wall. His foot is still nervously
tapping. He checks his watch.

CUT TO:

INT. LILA AND NATHAN'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

Nathan stands.

NATHAN
I'm going to go down and check on
Puff. See how he's holding up.

LILA
(stretching)
Should I come with?

NATHAN
Nah. You just relax. How's the book?

LILA
(lazily, happily)
Ummm. It's good.

Nathan kisses Lila on the forehead.

NATHAN
I won't be long.

CUT TO:

INT. CAR - NIGHT

Nathan drives with a determined look on his face.

CUT TO:

INT. GABRIELLE'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

The apartment is a mess. Every single light is on.

Gabrielle is lounging in a stained nightshirt with a dopey
cartoon bear on the front. She's got some sort of pimple
medication dabbed on her face. She unconsciously but
ferociously bites her nails as she watches TV and talks on
the phone. There is no trace of a French accent.

GABRIELLE
(into phone)
You're kidding! Holy shit.
(beat)
Yeah, no duh! I had a wild hair up
my ass over that for a month.

There's a knock at the door.

GABRIELLE
Yeah? What?

NATHAN (O.S.)
Hi. It's Nathan.

Gabrielle's eyes widen. She jumps up from the couch and starts
straightening.

GABRIELLE
(into phone)
Call you back.
(hangs up, assumes
French accent)
You bastard! What do you want?

NATHAN (O.S.)
I just want to talk.

GABRIELLE
(ripping off her
nightshirt)
We have nothing to say! You are a
rotten bastard, that's what!

CUT TO:

INT. HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS

Nathan stands there leaning against the door.

NATHAN
Please. Just one minute of your time.

GABRIELLE (O.S.)
Why? You've made your decision, Mister
Stinky American! Now I hate you! No,
I don't hate you; I don't even think
about you!

NATHAN
I've got some things to tell you.

CUT TO:

INT. GABRIELLE'S APARTMENT - CONTINUOUS

Gabrielle is standing in front of a mirror, holding different
sexy outfits up to herself, trying to decide.

GABRIELLE
Like what?

NATHAN (O.S.)
Well, I think it would be easier if
I could talk to you in person.

GABRIELLE
What for?

CUT TO:

EXT. HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS

We hear banging and rustling and arranging coming from inside
the apartment.

NATHAN
Well, I think...

GABRIELLE (O.S.)
You think too much. I need a man who
doesn't think so much but acts more
than he thinks... is what I need!

NATHAN
What?

GABRIELLE
You heard me! You make me sick when
you pretend to not understand what I
am saying to you! Go away from here!

NATHAN
(turning away)
Well, look, I'm sorry to have bothered
you.

He starts to head down the hall.

GABRIELLE (O.S.)
(beat, then screaming)
All right, already! Come in if you
must! The door's open, you son of a
bitch!

Nathan heads back to the apartment, tries the knob. The door's
open. He enters.

CUT TO:

INT. GABRIELLE'S APARTMENT - CONTINUOUS

The lights are low. The place is neat. Cool jazz plays quietly
in the background. Candles are lit. Gabrielle is nowhere to
be found. Nathan takes it all in. It's quite seductive.

GABRIELLE (O.S.)
In here, you lousy piece of merde.

Nathan follows her voice. He exits into the bedroom.

CUT TO:

INT. GABRIELLE'S BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS

Candles in here also. Gabrielle, now made up and in a satin
teddy, lounges in bed, eating cherries from a bowl. Nathan
just stares. She is slightly out of breath, but trying to
conceal it. A film of perspiration glistens on her brow.

GABRIELLE
(testy)
Well?

NATHAN
God, you're beautiful.

GABRIELLE
Please. I look a mess.

NATHAN
No. You look so beautiful.

GABRIELLE
Anyway. Come already to the point.

NATHAN
I'm... I'm going to leave Lila. I
can't stop thinking about you.

GABRIELLE
I've moved on.

NATHAN
No!

GABRIELLE
I've been seeing Johannsen in
chemistry.

NATHAN
(raging)
That goddamn Neanderthal? I'm the
one who gave him the idea for the
combination bug spray-sun screen!
Did you know that?!

GABRIELLE
(calm, dismissive)
That's not how he tells it.

NATHAN
Of course not, that Swedish thief!
He's a thief of hearts!
(beat)
I love you, Gabrielle.

GABRIELLE
(dismissive)
Hunh.

NATHAN
Just give me some time to let Lila
down easily. She's a really nice
girl and I don't want to hurt her
more than is necessary.

GABRIELLE
(beat)
You hurt me, you know, when you made
Nathan's Choice. Does that not even
matter to you, you pig?

Gabrielle cries quietly. Nathan moves closer to her. He
strokes her hair.

NATHAN
Can you ever forgive me?

Gabrielle looks up at him. Her expression is noncommittal
and pouty, but she grabs his arm and pulls him down on top
of her.

CUT TO:

INT. STRIP CLUB - NIGHT

Puff, dressed a bit like he's a Victorian dandy, sits in the
front row and watches a naked woman on stage dancing. A
topless cocktail waitress comes by with a fresh drink for
him. She takes away his empty glass. He is horribly drunk
and holding himself with exaggerated rigidity -- an amateur
drinker's attempt to look sober.

CUT TO:

INT. LILA AND NATHAN'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

Nathan enters. Lila sits on the couch still reading. She
looks up.

NATHAN
Hey.

Nathan kisses her on the forehead.

LILA
You were gone a long time.

NATHAN
(sits down next to
her)
Yeah. Puff and I got into a big,
philosophical discussion. He's really
quite well read, considering he's
only been literate for a month now.
He's going to make us famous, Lila.

LILA
So he's doing okay?

NATHAN
Seemed fine. Quiet evening enjoying
his new digs.

LILA
That's funny because, you know, I
just went and picked him up at some
flophouse on the lower eastside. He
called here when he ran out of his
"mad" money after spending an entire
evening drinking, watching strippers,
and fucking a whore!
(then casually)
Oh, and what did you do tonight,
honey?

NATHAN
Shit.

LILA
And what did you do tonight, honey?

NATHAN
I've fallen in love with somebody
else, Lila.

LILA
(pointedly)
And what did you do tonight, honey?

NATHAN
I fucked her! Okay? I fucked her.
I'm sorry. But that's what the hell
I did.

LILA
(standing)
Do you know what I gave up to be
with you?

NATHAN
Yes.

LILA
I gave up my soul, my beliefs. I
gave up my body hair!

NATHAN
Yeah, well, I'm sorry. The human
heart is a strange thing.

LILA
How the hell would you know anything
about the human heart?

NATHAN
(moving to her)
Lila...

Lila turns around and slugs him, square on the jaw, hard,
knocking him to the floor.

LILA
How's that for ladylike, Nathan.

Lila opens up the hall closet and pulls out a suitcase.

CUT TO:

INT. POLICE STATION - NIGHT

Lila looks pale and shaken. She smokes.

LILA
For two weeks I holed myself up in a
motel room. I didn't even know who I
was. My world had crumbled. There is
nothing that makes you feel dirtier
than finally deciding to sell your
soul and finding no buyers.

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL ROOM - DAY

Lila lies in bed watching TV. She is a mess. The room is a
mess. The wig is off. There's hair sprouting on her face.

The curtains are drawn. There is a knock at the door.

LILA
No maid service! For God's sake,
can't you read the fucking "do not
disturb" sign on the fucking doorknob?

ROSE (O.S.)
Lila, it's Rosie.

LILA
(beat)
Go the fuck away, Rosie.

ROSE (O.S.)
Please, honey, let me in.

LILA
Rose, please go away.

ROSE (O.S.)
Lila, I want to help you.

Lila gets up, drags herself to the door, and opens it. Rose
stands there trying not to let it show how lousy Lila looks.

LILA
How'd you know where I was?

ROSE
Nathan told my brother.

LILA
Your brother should have his license
revoked.

ROSE
Yeah, although I'm not going to turn
him in. I like hearing the dirt.

LILA
(suddenly crying)
Why didn't your brother tell you
that Nathan was having an affair?

Rose holds Lila, who hangs on her as she weeps.

ROSE
I don't know, honey. I don't know.
Maybe he just didn't want to get
involved.

LILA
Oh, Rosie.

ROSE
Let's get you out of here. Come stay
with me until you get your strength
back.
(cheerily)
Free electrolysis, if you want it!
We'll get that face of yours cleared
up in no time.

Lila mulls it over. She looks back at the hotel room. It's
depressing. She sniffs in her snot.

LILA
Yeah. I gotta get myself together. I
want to look good. If I'm gonna fuck
with Nathan, and I am, I want him to
want to fuck me when I do it.

DISSOLVE TO:

MONTAGE SEQUENCE

This sequence is Lila getting her strength back, both
emotional and physical. It is intercut with scenes of Nathan
and Gabrielle taking Puff on the lecture circuit.

1) Lila eating a good breakfast.

2) Lila struggling to do push-ups.

3) Lila getting electrolysis on her face.

4) Lila reading Nietzsche.

5) Lila jogging.

CUT TO:

INT. LECTURE HALL - DAY

A bearded psychologist addresses a crowd of bearded
psychologists.

BEARDED PSYCHOLOGIST
...and so without further ado, I
give you Dr. Nathan Bronfman and
Puff.

The room bursts into applause as Nathan and Puff walk out
onstage, both in tuxes. Nathan stands behind a podium, Puff
sits casually, legs crossed, in a chair.

NATHAN
Thank you. Let's get right to it.
Here we have Puff the day of his
capture.

A video of Puff naked in his Lucite case, clawing at it,
shrieking like a banshee, and neurotically hopping up and
down, is projected onto a screen behind Nathan. There is a
collective gasp from the audience. Puff watches the video
with amused detachment. The video stops.

NATHAN
And here he is today, a scant three
months later.

Puff stands, bows slightly to the audience. They burst into
vigorous applause.

NATHAN
Puff, why don't you say a few words
to the assemblage.

PUFF
It would be my pleasure, doctor.
(behind podium)
Distinguished gentlemen and ladies
of the psychological community, I
stand before you today, a living
testament to the amazing skill of
Dr. Nathan Bronfman. To say that he
took me from crayons to perfume would
be a vast understatement. Dr. Bronfman
took me from playing with my own
feces, then to crayons, and then to
an appreciation of the complex works
of Franz Kline, Joseph Beuys, and
Marcel Duchamp. From compulsive
masturbation to...

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. BACKSTAGE - A BIT LATER

Gabrielle waits in the wings.

PUFF (O.S.)
And, so, goodnight, adieu, until we
meet again, au revoir.

The audience bursts into thunderous applause. Gabrielle joins
in. Nathan and Puff hurry off stage. Gabrielle embraces
Nathan.

GABRIELLE
You were wonderful!

NATHAN
Was I? I wasn't a tad stiff?

GABRIELLE
Don't be silly!
(hugs Puff)
And you were wonderful, too! I loved
the way you said " au revoir."

Puff and Gabrielle exchange a look. She discreetly pinches
Puff's butt, smiles, winks. Nathan doesn't see this. He puts
his arm around Gabrielle.

NATHAN
Come on, you two. Let's go celebrate!

Nathan and Gabrielle walk on ahead. Puff tags behind, watching
Gabrielle's delightful walk.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. HOTEL ROOM - LATER

Puff sits up on his bed, looking dejected. He listens to the
sounds of Nathan and Gabrielle having sex in the adjoining
room. He looks at his watch, gets up, gets dressed.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. X RATED BOOKSTORE - LATER

A sweaty, sick-looking Puff watches a porno film in a little
booth. It ends. He steps out into the fluorescent glare of
the store. He walks out past several skulking degenerates.

CUT TO:

EXT. STREET - CONTINUOUS

Puff exits the bookstore, walks down the street checking out
the tawdry hookers. He chooses one. She leads him into a
dark alley.

CUT TO:

MONTAGE

6) Lila in a Tai Chi class.

7) Lila doing jumping jacks.

8) Lila reading The Art of War.

9) Lila doing stomach crunches.

10) Lila doing chin ups.

11) Lila swimming laps.

12) Lila getting more electrolysis.

CUT TO:

INT. LECTURE HALL - DAY

Puff is on stage demonstrating his ballroom dancing technique.
He is waltzing with Gabrielle. Nathan stops the music, and
picks up a microphone.

NATHAN
Now the tango.

Nathan puts a tango record on. Gabrielle and Puff perform
expertly. The audience applauds.

CUT TO:

INT. RESTAURANT - NIGHT

Gabrielle, Nathan, and Puff are eating dinner.

NATHAN
I think it went swimmingly today.
You two make an excellent team.

Gabrielle and Puff look at each other. She touches Puff's
knee under the table. Nathan is busy eating.

CUT TO:

INT. ANOTHER HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT

Puff paces as he listens to sex noises from the next room.

CUT TO:

EXT. BAD NEIGHBORHOOD - NIGHT

Puff walks along checking out the prostitutes. He signals to
one with a nonchalant jerk of his head.

CUT TO:

MONTAGE

13) Lila doing one-handed push-ups.

14) Lila rolling on the ground with a rifle.

15) Lila, in boxing gloves, punching a bag.

16) Lila reading the Kama Sutra.

17) Lila getting electrolysis.

CUT TO:

INT. LECTURE HALL - DAY

Puff addresses the crowd. Lila and Nathan look on adoringly
from the wings.

PUFF
To be taken from the depths of
ignorance and depravity and raised
to heights of culture and refinement!
This is the priceless gift bestowed
upon me by Dr. Nathan Bronfman.

Thunderous applause.

CUT TO:

INT. ALLEY - NIGHT

Puff leans against the wall drinking whiskey from a bottle,
as a prostitute, down on her knees in front of him, does her
business. The look on his face is not one of pleasure or
even release. It is a look of decay.

CUT TO:

MONTAGE

18) Lila does chin ups. Her sweaty, muscular arms glisten in
the sun.

19) Lila wind sprinting.

20) Lila getting electrolysis. Rose moves away from her.

ROSE
Done!

LILA
(standing triumphantly)
Ready!

CUT TO:

INT. LAB - DAY

Nathan and Gabrielle, in lab coats, sit chatting with Puff.

Puff sneaks glances at Gabrielle's legs and cleavage. She
makes his viewing possible.

GABRIELLE
(off clipboard)
So we've got seventeen new bookings
for speaking engagements, my wonderful
men.

NATHAN
Terrific. We're all going to be rich
and famous.

Nathan kisses Gabrielle.

PUFF
Thanks to you, Nate.

NATHAN
Thanks to you, Buddy. And your
diligence and intelligence and
perseverance.

Puff blushes.

NATHAN
(to Gabrielle)
And of course to you, my sweet, for
your... moral support.

PUFF
(applauding)
here, here.

Gabrielle kisses Nathan while glancing at Puff. A midget in
a business suit enters. It's the sour-looking guy from the
freak show.

MIDGET
Excuse me, are you Dr. Bronfman?

PUFF
Is that a little boy?

NATHAN
(teaching)
No, Puff. This man is a midget. In
actuality, they prefer to be called
"Little People." Isn't that correct,
my good man?

MIDGET
Yes sir. Little People.

NATHAN
This Little Person is actually a
fully grown adult man, Puff, believe
it or not, who, due to a genetic
anomaly, is miniature but perfectly
proportioned.
(to midget)
Turn, please.

The midget turns.

PUFF
(jotting in notebook)
Interesting.

NATHAN
Now, my diminutive friend, what can
I do for you?

The midget pulls out a gun.

MIDGET
You can get into that goddamn Lucite
bachelor pad for starters, Goliath.

Nathan, Gabrielle, and Puff look frightened. They stand and
back into the case.

MIDGET
(to Puff)
Not you, Joyboy.

Puff stops in his tracks. Nathan and Gabrielle continue to
back into the case.

NATHAN
What is this about? We have no money
on these premises. Please if you are
from some little person terrorist
fringe group...

MIDGET
(loud and scary)
Shut up!

Nathan and Gabrielle hurry into the case. The midget closes
and locks the door behind them. Puff is frozen with fear.

Lila enters. She looks different now. Savage. Strong.

Kind of sexy. She wears guerilla-like black clothing and a
beret over her closely hacked-off hair. She also carries a
gun.

NATHAN
Lila?

GABRIELLE
That's Lila?

LILA
Shut up! Yeah, this is Lila, cunt.
And don't let the hirsutism fool
you. I know more about being a woman,
and more about the black hearts of
men than you, in your pretty little
powdered, bullshit fantasy world,
can ever imagine. I know the darkness
and cruelty of nature, sweetie pie.

NATHAN
Lila, you don't intend to hurt us,
do you?

LILA
Eat shit, thumbtack dick!
(to Midget)
Thank you, Frank. You're the best.

Lila kisses the midget on the top of the head.

MIDGET
Anything for you, Lila.

LILA
See, Frank and I are kindred spirits.
We both know what it's like to be
shunned because of our appearance.
We both know how easily that turns
into self-hatred.

MIDGET
Amen. Praise the Lord and pass the
ammunition!

Rose enters hurriedly, carrying rope. She bends over and
kisses Frank hard on the mouth for a long moment, then:

ROSE
(to Lila)
Sorry I'm late, parking is a bitch
at this place.

Lila looks over and sees the two trained mice in the Lucite
case sitting at a tiny table and very politely eating their
lunch. One of the mice makes eye contact with Lila.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. BATHROOM - NIGHT

Lila is naked in the bathroom and about to kill herself when
she makes eye contact with the mouse on the shelf next to
the tub.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. LAB - DAY

Lila brings her focus back to the room. Everyone is watching
her, waiting for some direction.

LILA
Uh, tie them up, Rosie. If you will.

ROSE
With pleasure.

Frank keeps the gun on Gabrielle and Nathan. Rose enters the
case and begins to tie them up and gag them.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. PARKING LOT - DAY

Puff is sitting in the car. The electronic collar is back
around his neck. Lila holds the black control box, and the
Lucite case with the two mice in it. She stands outside the
car with Frank and Rose.

ROSE
I'm going to miss you.

LILA
Oh, Rosie.

ROSE
And I'm going to miss the lifestyle
having you as a client has afforded
me.

LILA
Shut up, you.

Lila laughs and hugs her.

ROSE
I like you so much, with or without
hair.
(confidentially)
But don't spread that around. Bad
for business.

LILA
I'm really glad you two found each
other.

Frank and Rose put their arms around each other. Frank is
exactly crotch-high to Rose.

MIDGET
We're soul mates.

ROSE
Souls have nothing to do with it,
babe.

LILA
I'll be in touch.

ROSE
No you won't. But it's okay. You
have stuff you gotta do.

Lila tears up. So does Rose. They just stand there for a
moment, then:

LILA
(choked)
Gotta go.

Lila hurries around the car, gets in, and drives off. Rose
and Frank embrace. Frank nestles. Rose sighs contentedly.

CUT TO:

EXT. HIGHWAY - AFTERNOON

Lila's car drives along. Puff looks nervously out the window.

CUT TO:

INT. CAR - EVENING

Lila and Puff are driving in silence on a dirt road through
the woods. Lila pulls off the road, drives to a place where
the car will be camouflaged, and parks.

LILA
Stay.

Puff stays in the car. Lila gets out, pulls the Lucite mouse
case from the back seat.

CUT TO:

EXT. CAR - CONTINUOUS

Lila puts the case on the ground and unlatches it. The mice
looks confused at first. Then the male mouse pushes the door
open and holds it for the female mouse, who exits. The male
mouse follows her, and closes the door behind him. He turns
to Lila, nods, then extends his arm for the female mouse to
hold on to. She does, and they walk off together on their
hind legs into the woods. Lila sighs, and turns to Puff.

LILA
Out.

Puff gets out casually, then makes a mad dash for the road.

Lila calmly presses the button on her black box. Puff spasms
and falls to the ground.

LILA
Bad.

Puff stays on the ground, breathing hard.

LILA
Get up.

Puff does.

LILA
Take off your clothes.

Puff does. So does Lila. She is covered with hair, except
for her face. But whereas Puff is now white and soft-looking,
Lila is tan and taut and muscular. This is a reversal of the
way both of them were when they first met.

Puff seems taken with her body.

LILA
We're going back to nature, you and
I. I'm going to retrain you. I'm
going to make you free again if I
have to kill you doing it.

PUFF
But I like being human now.

Lila shocks Puff. He falls to the ground.

LILA
You what?

PUFF
I want to be the way I was before.

LILA
(sweet)
Good. I'll show you how, apey.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. WOODS - A BIT LATER

Puff and Lila have built makeshift shelter out of leaves and
twigs. They are sitting around a campfire, naked and dirty,
roasting a couple of skinned squirrels on sticks. The black
box rests in Lila's lap. Puff looks at the roasting squirrel,
is repulsed.

PUFF
Nice night.

LILA
Talking is to be kept to a minimum.
Eventually, when we are ready, there
will be none. Language was invented
so that people could lie to each
other and to themselves. There is no
other reason.

Puff begins to disagree. Lila's hand hovers over the button.
He stops himself.

PUFF
(confused)
I agree?

Lila shocks Puff.

LILA
You lose. Any answer is the wrong
answer.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. MAKESHIFT SHELTER - NIGHT

Puff and Lila lie seperately under blankets of moss. The
breathing is heavy. Both seem to be sleeping. Puff opens his
eyes and tries to extricate himself from the moss without
making any noise. Lila presses the button and Puff falls in
a quivering mess.

LILA
(whisper)
You'll thank me eventually, Puff.
Well, you won't thank me, because we
won't be speaking, but you'll sort
of thank me with a special look, the
look a dog gives you to let you know
he loves you.

PUFF
What an enchanting picture you paint
of our future together.

Lila shocks Puff once again. As he spasms, we:

CUT TO:

INT. AUDITORIUM - DAY

Puff testifies.

PUFF
And so commenced my reeducation,
gentlemen. Lila taught me so much.
She was a stern but fair teacher.
And over time, I began to remember
the carefree joy of living in a pure
state of being. But something else
happened as well, something perhaps
distinctly human... I began to fall
in love with Lila.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. WOODS - DAY

Lila and Puff are naked and collecting mushrooms and berries.
Time has passed. Both Lila and Puff are dirtier and hairier.
Puff still wears his collar. Lila bends over to pick a
mushroom. Puff looks at her from behind.

PUFF
Boy, you look so good from this ang...

Lila turns, puts her finger to her lips in a gentle "no
talking" reminder, then shocks the hell out of Puff. He spasms
and falls on top of her, knocking her to the ground.

He regains his composure, finds himself on top of Lila.

They look at each other for a moment. Then they kiss. It's a
violent kiss. They grope each other. This is primal sex now.
In the dirt. Sweaty. Loud grunting. Lila even presses the
shock button at the right moment. Puff seems to like it in
this context.

CUT TO:

INT. GABRIELLE'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

Nathan and Gabrielle are in bed, making love. It is gentle,
romantic, in good taste -- in direct contrast to the animal,
violent sex Puff and Lila are having. They finish. Nathan
pulls himself off of Gabrielle and falls onto his back,
staring up at the ceiling.

GABRIELLE
A penny for your thoughts, mon cheri.

NATHAN
I don't know. Something's missing.

CUT TO:

INT. DINING ROOM - NIGHT

Gabrielle, Nathan, and Nathan's parents eat dinner.

Nathan's parents are in clown make-up. There is a long
silence. Nathan is still sad. Gabrielle steals glances at
Nathan's parents. Finally Nathan speaks.

NATHAN
(uninterested)
So, Mother and Father, how's Godspell
going?

MOTHER
How did you know we...

The parents look at each other burst out laughing.

MOTHER
Tell him, Harold.

FATHER
It's going famously, son, famously!

NATHAN
(despondent)
I'm glad.

MOTHER
Harold, ask Nathan what's wrong.

GABRIELLE
Yes, please, somebody ask him what
is wrong.

NATHAN
I don't know.

CUT TO:

INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT

Nathan and Gabrielle are in bed. Nathan stares up at the
ceiling. Finally:

NATHAN
I want our boy back.

GABRIELLE
(sadly)
Oui.

NATHAN
That bitch. I worked so hard. We
worked so hard, you and I. He would've
made us famous.

GABRIELLE
We still have you and I.

NATHAN
I know. And that's great. But it
would be great in a better way, not
a better way but a different way, if
I could find him and bring him back.

GABRIELLE
Where do we look for little lost
Puff?

NATHAN
I have some thoughts. I think that
hairy bitch is somewhere trying to
turn him back into an ape.

GABRIELLE
That is horrible. Apes are dirty.
No?

NATHAN
You better believe they're dirty!
And smelly! And messy! And they don't
know their forks from their assholes!

Nathan, seemingly in the grips of a sudden horrific migraine,
scrunches his face and holds his ears. He relaxes a bit, and
gets out of bed. He walks across the room, pulls on some
pants, and picks up a container called "Stop Buggin' Me,
Sunny."

NATHAN
I'm going alone. This could be
dangerous.

GABRIELLE
(pulling covers up
and turning away
from him onto her
side)
Okay, my sweet. Good night.

NATHAN
A little resistance would be nice,
damn it.

GABRIELLE
(without opening her
eyes)
Please let me go with you.

NATHAN
No.

GABRIELLE
Okay.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. CAR - DAY

Nathan is driving along a wooded dirt road. He's in his
immaculate safari suit. He looks tired. He stops the car,
pulls out a gun, and gets out.

CUT TO:

EXT. WOODS - CONTINUOUS

Nathan gets out of the car and runs into the woods. We follow.

NATHAN
(yelling)
Aha!

He looks around there is no one there. He sighs and walks
back to his car, pulls out a map and marks an area with a
red X.

CUT TO:

INT. MOTEL - NIGHT

Nathan is in his underwear. He is ironing his safari suit as
he talks on the phone.

NATHAN
No luck yet, my sweet.

We see an unfolded map on the bed. There are red X's in almost
all the state parks along the east coast.

CUT TO:

EXT. FOREST - EVENING

Lila and puff are having sex again next to a campfire. Now
Lila is wearing the collar, and Puff is giving her well timed
shocks. They giggle and kiss after they finish. Puff sits
up. He holds his stomach and grunts hungrily. Lila grunts
back. She stands and retrieves a sack of berries.

Puff and Lila greedily, gluttonously stuff their faces.

Lila takes some berries and smashes them against Puff's face.
She laughs heartily. He looks annoyed for a second, but then
grabs a handful and squishes them against Lila's face. Pretty
soon they are having a berry war and are covered in purple
stains. They hug each other, out of breath and laughing.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. POLICE STATION - NIGHT

Lila smiles.

LILA
It was paradise.
(beat, sadly)
At least for a tiny little while.

CUT TO:

EXT. FOREST - DAY

Lila and Puff lie naked in a tree, lazily soaking up the
midday sun. There is a rustling in the bushes. They both
look up, alert but calm. Nathan, immaculate in his safari
suit, appears in the clearing. He holds a gun.

NATHAN
Aha! Finally. I've covered almost
the entire seaboard and parts of
eastern Ohio.

LILA
Ugnh.

PUFF
Ugnh.

NATHAN
Oh please, is that as articulate as
you can be after all the time I spent
teaching you? We've discussed
Wittgenstein, for Christ's sake. Not
that you ever had anything very
original or challenging to say on
the subject.

PUFF
Unn.

NATHAN
Down from the tree. Both of you.
Keep your hands where I can see them.
Don't want you pulling any weapons
out of your fur.

Nathan laughs heartily, haughtily, at his joke as Lila and
Puff climb down from the tree.

NATHAN
Look at you two. You both disgust
me.

LILA
Oook. Oook.

NATHAN
Shut up!
(to Puff)
I gave you... life. I created you in
my image, Puff. I took you from this
primordial ooze and brought you into
the world of culture and art and
manners. And this is how you repay
me? By heading back to the ooze first
chance you get? I should leave you
here with Lila the ape woman. It
would serve you right, you ungrateful
piece of crap. But I'm not going to.
You're too valuable to me. Totally
selfish of me. You serve my purpose.
But if you had any smarts you would
realize that I serve your purpose as
well. Life is so much more delightful
when lived in a silk suit.

LILA
Ooka.

NATHAN
Don't worry, Lila. You can stay. I
don't have any interest in you
anymore.
(to Puff)
C'mon, monkey boy.

Puff looks at Lila. Lila shrugs helplessly. Puff reaches out
to touch her hand.

NATHAN
Now!

Puff looks at Lila again. She jerks her head in the direction
of Nathan. Puff sighs and moves to Nathan.

Nathan prods Puff, and they head off through the trees.

Suddenly Puff elbows Nathan. Nathan grunts, doubles over.

Puff turns, lunges, and the two wrestle on the ground.

Puff pries the gun from Nathan's hand, and jumps up. Nathan
stands also, backing away. Puff has the gun trained on Nathan.
Lila runs to Puff, stands behind him.

NATHAN
Puff, put the gun down.

PUFF
Ounpoo. Ungh.

NATHAN
Let's be reasonable human beings
here. We're all reasonable human
beings, aren't we?

PUFF
(jumping up and down
like a chimp)
Unka unka unka unka unka.

NATHAN
Look, why don't you and Lila stay
here and have your natural life.
I'll just go on my way. You'll never
see me again.

PUFF
(to Lila, guiltily)
I have to talk. Is that okay?

Lila nods.

PUFF
(to Nathan)
You did create me in your image,
Nathan. Before you I was a simple,
happy, complete being, in harmony
with the world around me. After you
I became duplicitous, cynical, angry,
anal, totally out of touch with my
surroundings. In a word, Nathan, I
became you. Lila has reintroduced me
to myself. And, incidentally, what
I'm about to do, kill you, is
something that would never have
occurred to me to do as a creature
of the Earth. Before when I killed,
it was for food or in self-defense.
Now I will kill for revenge. Revenge
is an abstract concept, Nathan. And
I learned abstract thinking from
you.

NATHAN
No.

LILA
Puff, don't.

Puff shoots. A crow screams. The fluttering of wings. The
bullet hits Nathan in the head. He falls.

CUT TO:

INT. POLICE STATION - NIGHT

Lila sobs.

LILA
Then I shot Nathan.

CUT TO:

INT. AUDITORIUM - DAY

Puff dabs his eye.

PUFF
Then Lila shot Nathan.

CUT TO:

INT. WHITE SPACE - DAY

Nathan talks.

NATHAN
Then Puff shot me. Then I died. That's
all I know. That's the end of my
story. Do I get to go to heaven now?
(beat)
Or is it... hell?
(beat)
Or... what?
(beat)
I just stay here, is it? I just stay
here and tell it again? And after
that? Again? And after...
(sighs)
Yes. Yes, of course.
(sighs, clears his
throat)

We move into an extreme close-up.

NATHAN
(beginning again)
I don't even know what sorry means
anymore. It's odd. When I was alive
I knew -- maybe it was all I knew...

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. FOREST - DAY

Lila runs to Nathan. She kneels beside him.

LILA
He's dead.

PUFF
(calmly)
We bury the body. We disappear into
the woods. Nobody knows.

LILA
(beat, then quietly)
No. This is the end of the road.
There's a dead human being here. For
all of his faults, he was a human
being, and certainly a victim of his
culture as much as anybody.

PUFF
Forget him, Lila. We'll disappear.
We'll never talk about it again.
We'll never talk again period. I
love you.

LILA
Puff, what happened to you is as
much my fault as Nathan's. Maybe
more so, because I knew it was wrong
and I went along with it anyway. I'm
taking responsibility for the murder.
I want you to go back to your old
life.

PUFF
I won't let you do that. I shot the
bastard. And I'm glad.

LILA
No. Go back to the woods. This is a
sacrifice I need to make. In my world
we have something called penance.
It's another abstraction, but I had
the concept drummed into my head
during my years in the convent. It
doesn't exist for you, and it
shouldn't. See, I could never be
free again anyway, so I might as
well be in jail.

PUFF
(beat)
Then I'll live for both of us, Lila.
I'll be the most free, truest animal
in the whole forest. For both of us.

LILA
(tearing up)
That's what I'm counting on.

PUFF
(an idea)
But first I'll live among them, just
long enough to testify before congress
about the waywardness of humankind.

LILA
(shrugs)
Okay. If you think it will help.

CUT TO:

INT. JAIL - DAY

Lila, now in prison coveralls, sits in a dayroom with other
women convicts. She is watching a TV mounted on the wall.

Puff is testifying.

PUFF
And so, gentlemen, that is my story.
I agreed to testify before this
committee because I hoped to convey
to the American public that there is
indeed a paradise lost. Human beings
have become so enamored of their
technologies and their intellectual
prowess and their fancy gourmet foods,
that they've forgotten to look to
the Earth as a teacher. This is
hubris, my friends. And my story of
destruction and betrayal is proof of
that. I will keep my promise to Lila.
I will shed this suit and go back
into the wilderness. I will live out
my days naked and free.

CONGRESSMAN
Thank you, sir. Your story has touched
us all deeply. We will pass some
legislation addressing this problem.

PUFF
Thank you. That is all I ask.
(to camera)
Good-bye, Lila. I take you with me
in my untamed heart.

Puff stands and exits the auditorium. Flashbulbs flash.

In the prison common room, Lila wipes a tear from her eye.

She seems genuinely happy. She looks out a small barred window
and sees a bluebird light there, then fly away.

CUT TO:

EXT. WASHINGTON STREET - DAY

Puff walks along, a man on a mission. As he walks he sheds
articles of clothing. He is followed by reporters and
cameramen and celebrity hounds. Soon he is naked.

CUT TO:

EXT. SUBURBAN STREET - DAY

Puff walks along, naked. People cheer from porches.

CUT TO:

EXT. RURAL ROAD - DUSK

Puff walks along. He is still followed by reporters. Cows
watch the parade.

CUT TO:

EXT. FOREST - EVENING

Puff walks along a dirt road. He is about to disappear into
the forest. An older woman rushes out from the crowd.

OLDER WOMAN
Wait!

PUFF
(turning)
Yes?

OLDER WOMAN
I saw you on C-Span. I've been looking
for you for thirty years. Then there
you were, such a beautiful, beautiful
grown man.

The older woman starts to cry.

PUFF
Mother?

OLDER WOMAN
Yes... Derek.

Puff holds out his hand for her to shake. Flashbulbs flash.

PUFF
(formally)
It's a pleasure to meet you, mother.
But I'm an ape like dad was...
(checks watch)
And I have to go back into the woods
now... forever.

OLDER WOMAN
(resigned)
Yes, I suppose so. I suppose I knew
that was going to be what you would
say. It's good to see you again
though.

PUFF
Yes.

OLDER WOMAN
I'm in the book, if you ever want to
drop me a line or something.

PUFF
I'm an ape, mom. I'm an ape. And
apes don't drop lines.

His mother weeps. Puff gently rests his hand on her shoulder
for a moment, then he turns and waves to the reporters. The
crowd bursts into applause. Flashbulbs flash. Puff jogs into
the woods. There is a collective sigh, and then everyone
turns and heads back in the direction from which they came.
We hold on the woods for a moment. A car pulls up. Puff
hurries out of the woods and jumps in the passenger side of
the car.

CUT TO:

INT. CAR - CONTINUOUS

Puff leans over and kisses Gabrielle, who is driving the
car.

GABRIELLE
Hello, my little boy.

PUFF
Hey, ma. Did you bring any clothes?
I'm freezing my ass off.

GABRIELLE
Oui. Nathan's silk suit, just like
you asked.

PUFF
Great.
(putting on suit)
God, I've wanted you forever.

Gabrielle giggles. Puff kisses her.

GABRIELLE
Say my name.

PUFF
Gabrielle.

GABRIELLE
(eyes glistening)
You remind me so much of Nathan.

PUFF
Like father, like son.

GABRIELLE
(stroking his face)
You remind me so much of Nathan plus
so much of my little mongrel doggie.

PUFF
Woof.

This turns Gabrielle on. She kisses him passionately. When
the kiss runs its course, Puff speaks.

PUFF
Arf.

Gabrielle kisses him again, even more passionately this time

PUFF
As much as I loved Nathan, I'm not
sorry she killed him, if it means I
can have you. Is that a terrible
thing to say, my sweet?

GABRIELLE
(putting her finger
to his lips)
Hush. No, it is never terrible to be
in love. Nathan's memory lives on in
our sacred union.
(beat)
I'm not sorry she killed him either.
Nathan was wonderful. He was erudite
and sophisticated and charming. You
are all that, too. But you have
something more. You have a bit of
the animal in you.

They smile flirtatiously at each other. Puff leans over and
kisses Gabrielle's neck.

PUFF
Let's go eat, I'm starved.

GABRIELLE
French?

PUFF
Oui.

CUT TO:

EXT. DIRT ROAD - NIGHT

The car makes a screeching u-turn. It disappears in the
direction of the city. When the dust clears, we see the two
white mice standing there on the side of the road, shivering
and emaciated. The male holds out his the thumb and the female
holds a tiny little sign which reads: New York.

There is a look of hopelessness in their beady black eyes.

FADE OUT.

THE END

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