Thursday, September 16, 2010

Limits of Disturbance, Continued

[when we left Terry, he had finished unloading a truckload of sheetrock in the rain. Action picks up later in the day... This segment takes things to the edge of the climax - AA ]


INT. TERRY'S APARTMENT - EVENING

Again we see the TV in the foreground, with TERRY on the couch. He is wearing nothing but boxer shorts, and has a towel around his shoulders. His hair is damp.

VOICE OF LITTLE BILL

I says, "You'll want to give over your pistol."

TERRY drains a can of Old Milwaukee; as he sets down the empty, the camera pans down and we see numerous empties on the cable-spool coffee table.

VOICE OF MUNNY

Uh, no. No, I ain't drunk.

TERRY gets up and rubs his back, and walks out of sight. The sequence on the screen continues. In a moment TERRY returns with another six on a plastic yoke. He sits down and winces.

VOICE OF LITTLE BILL

Mister Beauchamp, this here is the sort of trash I was speakin' of.

He adjusts a pillow behind his back, and grimacing, picks up another can and pulls the tab. The view reverses; we now see the TV screen, where Little Bill is kicking the bejeezus out of Munny, who crawls on his hands and knees out of the bar, into the rainy, muddy street...

Again the view reverses; we see TERRY's eyes closing. The open beercan is still in his hand, supported by the arm of the couch. His head falls forward...

FADE

INT. TERRY'S APARTMENT - MORNING

Grey light filters in the room. Rain is lightly spattering on the window. Blue text flickers on the TV screen. TERRY is motionless, in the same position, beercan still in his hand. Is he dead?

Then, without budging, TERRY's eyes open.

TERRY

Uhhhhnnggghh.

He finally moves his head to look at the beercan.

TERRY

Ahhhhh... fuck!

TERRY turns sets down the can on the spool and slowly sits up at the edge of the couch. He becomes aware of the sound of the rain.

Then TERRY leans forward to retrieve a pair of jeans lying on the floor. As he bends, we hear a little POP...

TERRY

AUUCCK!

TERRY crumples in agony onto the floor. He tries to rise but fails. Slowly he creeps and slithers to the bathroom, pulling himself along with his arms and elbow.

He reaches the edge of the bathtub and manages to turn on the shower. Steam rises and water spatters on the floor.

TERRY struggles and manages to throw a knee over the egde of the tub, and rolls in. Finally, he rises to his knees and pulls down his shorts. The hot water pounds on his lower back. He remains there, taking long, deep breaths...

INT. TERRY'S APARTMENT - MORNING (MOMENTS LATER)

TERRY is wearing only jeans. His hair and beard are glistening wet, beads of water remain on his shoulders. He is almost bent over double as he speaks.

TERRY

(into cell phone)

Boss, I can't make it this morning... It's my back, I can hardly stand up... No, I delivered it yesterday; I think that's when I hurt my back... Workers' Comp? No, I hadn't thought about it... Ok... OK... I won't claim it... Just give me the day, I'll try to make it in tomorrow... Thanks, Boss.

TERRY hobbles into the bathroom and opens the medicine cabinet. He pulls out a bottle.

(closeup of bottle)

"TAKE ONE TABLET ORALLY EVERY SIX HOURS/ACETAMINOPHEN/CODEINE 30MG TAB"

TERRY empties the bottle. Three tablets roll into his hand. He tosses them in his mouth; then walks over to the couch and washes down the tablets with the open can of beer.

Then he sits down on the couch and adjusts the pillow. He looks down and sees LISA's card. He picks it up and reads it.

(closeup of card)

"LISA LOCKE/THERAPEUTIC MASSAGE/A Nurturing Blend of Swedish Massage, Caring Touch,/Deep Tissue Massage, and Intuitive Energy Work/240-568-4224"

TERRY puts the card down and turns back on the TV. He scrolls back to where he left off last night.

VOICE OF LITTLE BILL

If they was just here for the fuckin', how come they lit out the back window?

VOICE OF ALICE

On account of they seen you was beatin' on their friend.

TERRY switches off the sound and retrieves the card. He dials the number on his cell phone.

TERRY

(into cell phone)

Lisa... Hi, Lisa, this is Terry... Terry, Terry Wolfe... You know, the guy in the co-op... yeah, with the red beard, that's me... Pretty good, how about you?... Actually, I'm not doing so hot; I really racked my back... Unloading some sheetrock... Yeah, you ain't kidding it's heavy... I dunno, I guess so... Sure, five o'clock... 8104 Roanoke Drive... yeah, I think so... OK, thanks, I really appreciate it... Yeah, it'll be nice to see you again, too... No, I'll be there at five sharp, I understand... So long.

TERRY switches back on the sound, and downs the rest of the beer.

VOICE OF NED

Hold him, dammit.

VOICE OF THE KID

Jesus. (pause) You done this before?

TERRY nods out with the remote in his hand.

INT. TERRY'S APARTMENT - AFTERNOON

Raking sun comes through the blinds, shining on sleeping TERRY. He wakes with a start and looks at his watch.

TERRY

Holy shit!

TERRY, still in pain, struggles to pull a T-shirt over his head. He slips on some flip flops and leaves the apartment.

EXT. TERRY'S APARTMENT - AFTERNOON

TERRY walks up to his truck and gets in.

INT. TERRY'S TRUCK - AFTERNOON (TRAVELING)

TERRY struggles with the clutch. He gives up; kills the engine and shifts into low. Then he turns the key--the ancient truck has no lockout--the truck moves forward on the starter motor and then the engine engages. As the truck advances, TERRY slams it into high gear without clutching--gears grind horrendously.

EXT. SUBURBAN STREET - AFTERNOON

TERRY's truck lurches through a stop sign, horrible grinding sounds are heard as the truck passes by.

EXT. LISA's HOME - AFTERNOON

TERRY pulls up to a bungalow on a tree lined street. He gets out and approaches the house--the lead walk is blocked by recycling containers and other detritus, so he walks along the driveway.

From the neighbor's yard a huge dog lunges at him, placing its front paws on the top of a fence and barking ferociously. TERRY turns toward the dog.

TERRY

Hey baby, be cool now.

The dog pauses, then continues to bark. Terry extends a hand.

TERRY

Hey babe, it's cool, just be cool.

The dog pauses, then snaps at his hand. TERRY withdraws it just in time.

TERRY

Comeon, babe, let's be cool. Reaalll cooool.

TERRY extends his hand again. This time the dog lets TERRY pet its head.

TERRY

Thaaat's a good dog, oooo yeah, so cool now, yeaahhhh.

The dog makes a squealing sound. TERRY continues up the driveway, and hobbles up the porch steps.

The porch is strewn with children's toys and tricycles. The front door is open; TERRY peers in and knocks. The YOUNG MAN walks out and meets TERRY on the porch; he is wearing a loosened tie and an ID tag on a chain. Inside is a YOUNG WOMAN holding an infant.

TERRY

Hi, uh, sorry to interrupt, I, uh, have an appointment with Lisa... but maybe I have the wrong...

YOUNG MAN

No, you're at the right house; Lisa's around back. There's a path along the left--but watch out for the neighbor's dog--it's viscious.

TERRY

Thanks, sorry to bother you.

TERRY descends the steps.

YOUNG WOMAN (o.s.)

Charles, you have to speak to Lisa about her clients coming to the front.

YOUNG MAN

(going back inside)

Darling, I've told her a hundred...

TERRY walks around the side of the house. The dog trots along the fence, whimpering. TERRY then turns the corner and finds a set of concrete steps leading a half flight down to a basement door. There is a sundeck above the steps. A cat is sunning on the wall beside the steps.

TERRY walks down the steps and raises his knuckles to knock, but LISA opens the door first. LISA walks out and confronts him in the small space.

TERRY

Hi, Lisa...

LISA

Do you realize what time it is?

TERRY

Uh, I know I'm late, I'm so sorry...

LISA

It's nearly six! I told you we're drumming tonight at the peace vigil; I've got to be downtown at seven.

TERRY

I know, you did tell me... I took some pain pills and fell asleep...

LISA

I'm sorry, too, Terry, but I have obligations. There's just not enought time to do anything for you now. I really should charge you for a no-show...

TERRY winces again and his knee flexes. He clutches his lower back.

TERRY

Unnnhhh.

Lisa

Oh dear. Turn around.

TERRY turns away from her. LISA pulls up his shirt and runs her hand up and down each side of his spine. When her hand touches the small of his back, TERRY tenses slightly.

TERRY

Ooooo.

LISA

It's right here, I feel the heat.

TERRY

Yes, sometimes it's like an electric shock... I see a flash of light...

LISA rubs the spot slowly.

LISA

It's your sacro. It's in total spasm. Come in, let's get you up on the table.

LISA opens the door for TERRY who squeezes past her. At the last second, the cat jumps off the wall and skitters in between their feett.

INT. LISA'S HOME - AFTERNOON

LISA leads TERRY through a small kitchen, then through a bedroom decorated with printed fabrics and lots of candles. TERRY has to dodge a painted paper umbrella, hung upside down from the ceiling as a light shade.

Finally they reach a small room with a massage table. There is a high silled window at one end, and on the adjacent wall, a small stand with a boom box, some CD's, and some bottles of oil.

On the wall opposite the window is a poster of a blue skinned man and woman in a fanciful costume, with a bare midriff. The figures are flying on the back of a half-man, half-bird creature.

LISA

OK, you need to get undressed. Everything. I'm going to start on your ventral, so you need to lie on your back. Are you going to need help?

TERRY

Uh, no thanks, I think I can manage.

LISA

Good. Just pull this sheet over you when you lay down. I'll give you a couple of minutes.

LISA leaves and draws a curtain across the door. Examining the poster, TERRY undresses and lays down. He looks up at the bare joists.

LISA (O.S.)

Are you ready?

TERRY

OK.

Suddenly, he remembers the sheet and pulls it over himself. LISA enters with a glass of water.

LISA

OK, comfy?

TERRY

Yes, very... Thanks so much for doing this...

LISA

Never mind; I couldn't send you off like that... Now drink this water; it will help to flush the toxins away.

TERRY takes a drink from the glass and looks for a place to set it aside.

LISA

No, you need to finish it.

TERRY silently obeys. Lisa takes the glass and sets it on the table.

LISA

That's better. You let me know if you need some more. Now then, do you mind if I put on some music?

TERRY

Oh, sure. Please do.

LISA puts a CD in the boombox. TERRY can just make out LISA's legs through her gauzy pants, silhouetted by light from the window. The music starts with slow, shimmering runs on the sitar.

LISA

I hope you like ragas. They help me to listen to your body.

TERRY

Sure, no problem.

LISA

For these sacros, I like to start at the top and work down... get everything around the crisis region as relaxed as possible, before dealing with it.

LISA begins to massage TERRY's scalp and temples. TERRY looks up and notices thick black hair in LISA's armpits, and the outline of her breasts against her tight, thin sleeveless shell.

TERRY

It's good to have a plan, I guess.

LISA

I do start with a strategy, generally, you know, but then I let my hands tell me exactly what to do. Now you just concentrate on your breathing, and try to relax. Imagine the toxins, draining out of your muscles, into your bloodstream.

LISA continues the massage, first working oil into his shoulders and arms, then kneading and pulling in slow, strong motions. TERRY is mezmerized by her breasts, changing shape as she works over him. Then LISA notices a bump on his collar bone.

LISA

That must have hurt.

TERRY

I guess. I was high at the time. Riding my bike and hit a patch of wet leaves. Going way too fast, as usual.

LISA

I like bicycling. I wish I didn't need my car.

TERRY

I had to bicycle because my license was suspended. I haven’t ridden much since they reinstated it, though. Maybe I should take it up again and break the other collar bone. The shoulder on the broken side doesn’t stick out near as far as my good shoulder. It makes me look deformed.

LISA closes her eyes and continues.

LISA

You... have a beautiful body.

The raga builds in intensity.

TERRY

I like... I like your body, too.

LISA

OK, I need you to turn over. Let’s get to work on this knot.

TERRY turns over, keeping the sheet above his waist. As he turns, he fixes again on the figures on the poster. LISA continues with the massage.

Now watching LISA's bare feet, he sees the cat come in and rub against her legs.

FADE

(FLASHBACK) INT. YOUNG TERRY'S CAR - NIGHT

TERRY and CORTNEY laugh together. Then they pause.

TERRY

"If she slight me, when I woo,/ I can scorn and let her go"...

Cortney frowns and pulls away.

TERRY

I'm sorry... I didn't mean it.

CORTNEY

(scowling)

Good grief, Terry, you're such a mope.

Suddenly Cortney's face lights up.

CORTNEY

Why don't you find somewhere to park?

TERRY

You mean here?

CORTNEY

Yeah, here, why not?

TERRY

I dunno, Cortney, I guess cause...

CORTNEY

(with a devilish look)
'Cause I got something you might like.

Terry turns toward her, frowning. Cortney pulls an Altoids tin from her purse and opens it, and shows him the contents. The tin holds several generous joints and some strike anywhere matches. Terry's eyes light up.

TERRY

Wow, Where'd you get those? I haven't seen any of that stuff since tenth grade.

CORTNEY

Omigod, Terry, where have you been keeping yourself, under some rock?

TERRY

Obviously!

CORTNEY

I'm sorry, Terry, you know what I mean. Come on, let's pull over. Look, up ahead.

She points ahead to a turnoff. Terry pulls into the parking area. A sign reads "NO PARKING AFTER SUNSET."

TERRY

Uh-oh. We better go.

CORTNEY

Don't worry, nothing's going to happen.

TERRY

I dunno about this. My old man would kill me if his car gets towed.

CORTNEY

Terry! You're such a stick in the mud. Come with me--I think I know a place we can go.

Cortney leans over and kisses Terry on the cheek, and slips the Altoid tin in his shirt pocket. Then she gets out of the car and, illuminated by the headlights, gestures to Terry.

TERRY

Hey! Wait up!

Cortney dashes off toward a gap in the trees, and turns toward Terry.

CORTNEY

Yo, slowpoke! Follow me!

Terry jogs after her. Cortney pauses and takes his hand, and leads him into the woods.

Cortney skips and bounds down the path, laughing, while holding Terry's hand. She reaches the bank and stops shortly, grabs his hand with both of hers and swings Terry toward the creek. He stuttersteps toward the creek and regains his balance by pulling her toward him, until they are almost embracing, tottering at the bank.

Breaking away, Cortney shrieks with laughter and tiptoes out onto some rocks in the creek. Once again she takes Terry's hand and leads him along.

They go maybe halfway across and find there are no more rocks within reach.

CORTNEY

Oh dear. Well, I think there's a bridge somewhere. Let's go back.

TERRY

(blocking her path)

No way, not now!

Terry scoops Cortney up in his arms, effortlessly, like he would lift a child. Then, carrying her, he plunges into the water, almost up to his crotch. Cortney kicks her legs up, slinging arcs of water, and squeals with delight, hugging him tightly around his neck.

They reach the other side, a sandy spot, sort of a nook defined by boulders and vegetation. The moon illuminates the two figures.

Terry sets her down gently. Cortney, viewed from behind, keeps her arms around his neck, and Terry, somewhat gingerly, holds her, just touching lightly her on the shoulders. She leans into him and kisses him, and backs away.

CORTNEY

Terry, I take back what I said about being a stick in the mud. Do you forgive me?

TERRY

I guess so--I mean no--I mean I was sorta agreeing with you.

CORTNEY

Oh Terry! You're too much. Hey, fire up a number. It'll help get your head out of your butt.

TERRY

Wow. I really mean it, I haven't done any pot since I was 15.

CORTNEY

Oh come on. I'm tellin' ya, this is some nice stuff.

TERRY

OK, no problem. I can handle it.

Terry takes the tin from his pocket and removes a joint and a match. He puts the joint in his mouth and strikes the match against the boulder, and lights up. When he gets it going, he passes it to Cortney.

Cortney takes a dainty hit, with the sound of air hissing between her lips. She smiles and passes it back.

Terry takes a long deep hit and holds it in. His eyes are scrunched shut and his cheeks bulge. Then he leans his head back and lets it out slowly, issuing a long stream of smoke.

TERRY

Wooo-oooohhh!

They pass the joint back and forth a few times, giggling.

TERRY

Oh man, that went straight to my head.

CORTNEY

Me too. Feelin' a little better?

Terry does not reply. He sets the roach on the boulder and faces her. This time he initiates an embrace, and they kiss again.

Cortney pulls back a little and smartly pulls her t-shirt over her head, and drops it. She shakes out her hair, and reaching back, unsnaps her bra, and lets it fall away. She is still facing away, towards Terry, but her back is shapely and alluring.

TERRY

(shuddering ever so slightly)
You are so beautiful.

Cortney smiles and unbuttons his shirt. Terry slips it off and sets it on the boulder. His eyes are fixed on her as he picks up the roach and takes another hit. They kiss again, languidly, completely absorbed in one another.

Terry and Cortney are kissing tenderly. Cortney still faces away. Terry's hands caress her back, and slowly move down the sides of her thighs.

CORTNEY

(breathlessly)

Oh, Terry!

Pulling back, but still in his arms, CORTNEY fumbles with the snap of her jeans for a moment, and they fall away.

TERRY

(whispers)

Oh my.

CORTNEY

Take me!

FADE

INT. LISA'S HOME - AFTERNOON

The music has stopped. Lisa is rubbing Terry's back in long, slow strokes. At the last stroke she pauses with her hands on his shoulders.

LISA

OK now. How do you feel?

TERRY

(stirring)

Oh my. I feel great. Am I still in the same body?

LISA

(chuckling)

Oh yes, I'm quite sure of that. But it seemed to me, you may have left it for a while.

Lisa steps away and wipes her hands on a towel. Terry begins to rise.

LISA

No, don't get up yet. Take a moment to relax.

Terry settles back down.

LISA

I'd love to know where you went.

TERRY

I'd love to show you... sometime. Hey, I better get going. You have a gig tonight, right?

LISA

It's too late now. I've been working on you for...

(glances at her watch)

nearly two hours.

TERRY

No way!

LISA

It took over an hour just to get you to loosen up. I can't really do much good until your muscles release, you know. Now you rest for a few more minutes before you get dressed.

Lisa leaves the room. Terry stares at the poster again.

CUT

INT. LISA'S KITCHEN - NIGHT

Lisa sets a pitcher of water and two glasses on the little table. The cat is on the floor observing as Terry walks in.

LISA

Why don't you sit down?

TERRY

Sure, OK.

Terry sits in one of the two chairs. Lisa pours water in the glasses. Their eyes meet; Lisa smiles warmly at Terry.

LISA

It's really important to take fluids after a massage. It takes a lot to flush the toxins, and you were so full of stress.

Lisa hands Terry a glass and sits down at

his right side.

TERRY

Thanks!

Terry bolts down the better part of the glass. Lisa refills it.

LISA

Here, have some more.

TERRY

Wow, I had no idea how thirsty I was.

LISA

I'm not surprised, Terry. You're functioning at the edge of dehydration...

Terry, sitting sideways to the table, with his feet stretched out to his left, glances at the cat. Lisa notices and pauses, and then resumes.

LISA

... It leaves you vulnerable to injuries like this, Terry... don't you see...

The cat leaps into Terry's lap. Lisa pauses again. Without looking at the cat, Terry strokes its head and back. The cat arches, and then snuggles contentedly in his lap.

LISA

... Terry...

Terry looks at her expectantly. He continues to stroke the cat.

Lisa

...Terry... would you... would you like to... kiss me?

Terry's eyes lock on Lisa's; his lips part. He stops stroking and kneads the neck of the cat with his thumb and forefinger.

TERRY

Yes... yes I would.

Lisa leans toward Terry, and then Terry leans towards her. She places her hands on the sides of his face, and they kiss for a moment. Then she pulls back.

LISA

(returning to initial character)

Why don't you have some more water?

Terry takes another sip and puts the glass down. Then he reaches to Lisa, and strokes her neck, lifting her hair, and letting it fall away. He leans toward her again, but she does not lean.

LISA

I... I don't know...

He leans even farther and kisses her again. Finally Lisa begins to respond. Terry slides his right hand down her shoulder and arm, and places it on her thigh. Her legs part slightly. Their kissing becomes passionate.

Terry shifts in his chair to reach farther up her thigh, and the cat leaps to the floor. Thu-thump!

Lisa pulls away abruptly. She is flushed.

LISA

You have to go now.

Terry pulls back, breathing fast.

TERRY

I... I... I'm sorry, I thought...

LISA

No, you have to go.

TERRY

(rising)

I... OK... How much do I owe...

LISA

(stands up)

Please... go!

TERRY

(reaching for his wallet)

OK, I'm leaving, but just let me pay you...

Terry backs away and knocks his chair over with a crash.

LISA

(loudly, at the edge of hysteria)

Just... go!

Terry turns and goes out the door.

EXT. LISA's HOME - NIGHT

The door slams behind Terry. A spotlight goes on from the deck above. The Young Man leans over the deck as Terry passes by. The Young Woman quickly appears behind him. Lisa's kitchen light goes out; sobbing is heard through her window.

TERRY

(to the Young Man)

Nothing happened! Nothing!

As Terry passes along the fence, the large dog moves along side, barking furiously, as Terry passes out of sight.

FADE

EXT. THE VIDEO STORE - DAY

Terry parks his truck in a metered space. He puts a quarter in the meter, but the meter doesn't work. He hits it repeatedly, harder and harder. He gives up and enters.

INT. THE VIDEO STORE - DAY

Terry walks to the counter with some returns. Donna is focused on some paper work.

TERRY

Hey, Donnawanna, what's up?

Terry hands her the discs--without looking up, she takes them and puts them in a bin. Finally she looks up at him.

DONNA

What's up? Not much, buckaroo... damn sure not my revenue. I am grateful to you... if it weren't for the late fees you ring up, I couldn't pay the rent this month.

TERRY

That's tough. Everyone's hurting... my boss had to lay off two carpenters... good guys, too.

DONNA

And he kept you?

TERRY

(laughs)

Yeah, weird, isn't it. Last weekend the old man took me golfing. Why me?

DONNA

Maybe he's after your body.

TERRY

I hardly think so! He's got like a wife and three daughters.

DONNA

That doesn't mean anything. You better watch it around that man... don't let him sneak up behind you.

TERRY

Aw, Donna, gimme a break. Besides, I'm saving myself for you.

Donna makes a disgusted face and returns to her paperwork. Terry wanders back between the shelves. Donna's cell phone rings, and Terry, out of sight, listens in.

DONNA

(into phone)

Hiiiii... you bet... I lock up at nine... OK, out front... you know I do... byebye.

Terry pulls a box off a shelf and brings it to the counter.

DONNA

"Million Dollar Baby." Your taste is improving. I like women who can kick ass.

Donna writes up the rental.

TERRY

So, you are sorta seeing someone.

DONNA

What?

TERRY

That phone call.

DONNA

What's it to you?

TERRY

Nothing. But I am glad you're not just blowing me off...

(beat)

are you?

DONNA

Terry, let's not go there...

TERRY

Just give me hope...

DONNA

I hope you put a dime in the meter.

Terry looks over his shoulder out the window and sees the meter maid walking across the street. He reaches for the discs. Donna places a hand over his hand.

DONNA

Terry, I think you're a really nice person... and kinda handsome, behind that weed patch. But...

TERRY

It's OK, Donna, I understand...

DONNA

I don't think you do... Hey! You better beat it, she's headed for your truck.

Terry spins around and dashes out the door.

CUT

INT. SAVANNAH CONTRACTING - DAY

Terry pauses outside the Old Man's office.

THE OLD MAN

(into phone)

So, me and Ben took the wives out to Lakewood Sunday... no kidding... no, just nine holes... yee-ass, just as bad as you could imagine... they way they tore up the teeing grounds, I thought the groundsman was gonna kick us the hell off the course... look, I gotta call you back.

(to Terry)

Good afternoon, sir.

Terry puts some papers on the desk with a flourish.

TERRY

Time cards... aaand...

(with another flourish)

...a final invoice from Carlos.

THE OLD MAN

Carlos? He's finished already?

TERRY

Skimmed, sanded, and pointed up. Came out nice and crisp.

THE OLD MAN

That's what I like to hear. That job is rolling right along. By the way, you seen Robin lately?

TERRY

Funny you mention it... I haven't seen her all week.

THE OLD MAN

Good, good. The less you see of her... Oh! That reminds me...

The Old Man fishes around on his desk and retrieves a small envelope.

THE OLD MAN

(reading)

"To Terry, Namaste. Lisa." I found it slipped under the door. What the hell is namaste?

TERRY

I dunno, boss. Guess I'll have to look it up.

THE OLD MAN

You do that. I hope it means, I wanna get laid.

TERRY

(embarrassed)

Thanks for the sentiment. I better get back and start hanging some cabinets.

THE OLD MAN

Alright, hoss. Keep up the good work.

FADE

INT. TERRY'S APARTMENT - EVENING

Terry is on the couch. A laptop is open on the spool table. He dials his cell phone.

TERRY

(into phone)

From the spirit in me, to the spirit in you... Yeah, it's me... No, I had to google it... Me? No, I'm not angry. A little confused, maybe... No, please don't apologize... The back feels great! Whatever you did worked like a champ... Uh huh... Uh huh... I understand, it would be good to talk about it... Friday evening, ha ha, no plans... Sure, that sounds great... OK then... Namaste to you too.

FADE

(FLASHBACK) INT. YOUNG TERRY'S CAR - NIGHT

Terry and Cortney are in the back seat steaming up the windows. Terry starts to unbutton Cortney's blouse.

CORTNEY

No, please, not tonight.

TERRY

It's OK. This time I'm prepared.

Terry pulls a condom out of his pocket. Then he tries to start up again.

CORTNEY

No, Terry, it's too late.

TERRY

But it's only eleven. I don't have to get you back until midnight.

CORTNEY

No, I mean it really is too late.

Terry pulls back.

TERRY

You mean...

CORTNEY

I'm pregnant.

Tears begin to trickle.

TERRY

You're sure.

CORTNEY

I'm three weeks late, and I'm never late.

Terry pulls her close and tries to kiss her. She jerks away her face.

TERRY

I love you...

CORTNEY

Please don't say that!

TERRY

I can't help it, when I'm around you I...

CORTNEY

Terry, stop! You're only making this worse.

TERRY

It's OK, everything's going to work out. You'll be a great mother!

CORTNEY

No, no! Don't you understand, I don't want to be a mother.

TERRY

What are you saying? You mean you'd have an...

CORTNEY

Terry, I said it's too late. I've talked this over with my parents, and they're going to help me... get rid...

TERRY

Please don't say it. I'll do whatever it takes. I'll stand by you. We could get married...

CORTNEY

That's ridiculous. You've got that scholarship... what about your dream of being an architect? Are you going to throw that away?

TERRY

Well, maybe I could study around here. At night. I could get a job.

CORTNEY

But what about me, I'd like to go to college, too.

Terry sets his jaw. A tear spills out of his eye.

TERRY

We could live with my parents, and save some money...

CORTNEY

Auuughhh! Terry, I'm too young for this. You're too young. And I couldn't stand living in your parents stupid rec room... ugghhh! Anyway, it's already decided.

TERRY

I just can't believe you'd do it. I mean, end it... just like that.

CORTNEY

(starting to cry)

Terry, please don't make it harder than it already is. Don't you think I hate myself enough already, for letting this happen, for what I have to do... If you want to stand by me, than stand by me through this.

TERRY

I'm sorry. That was unfair. It's just that... there's a little tiny bit... of you... and me... inside you. Maybe she'll have your eyes...

CORTNEY

And how do you know it's a girl... sheesh!

TERRY

Well, what if it was? And what if... what if it did have your big blue eyes? They're so pretty.

Cortney breaks into tears and hugs Terry. Terry is getting weepy, too.

CORTNEY

And your curly red hair... Oh, Terry, I can't go though with this... having a baby. What should I do? I haven't even lived yet. What should I do, Terry?

Cortney slumps into Terry's arms; Terry rocks her gently as she quietly sobs.

CORTNEY

Please tell me, what should I do?

FADE

INT. TERRY'S MOTHER'S HOUSE - NIGHT

Terry is sitting on the couch watching an Orioles game. On the coffee table is a tray with his dirty dinner dish, and a can of Natty Bo. Terry's Mother enters carrying a basket of neatly folded laundry, and sets it down by the door.

TERRY'S MOTHER

All clean, sweetie. Except for your khaki shirt... there was some kind of goo on it...

Crowd noise rises from the TV.

TV ANNOUNCER (from tv set)

It's a hard hit liner down the right base line, if it's fair she's outta here... foullll... ball!

Terry leans forward to follow the action, ignoring his mother. She pauses for a moment, until the play is over.

TERRY'S MOTHER

...I hit it with Shout Out, but it still wouldn't come...

Terry picks up the beer can, shakes it, and tips it way back, then sets it down--it is empty.

TERRY'S MOTHER

Sweetie, can I get you another one?

TERRY

Sure, Ma.

TERRY'S MOTHER

Terry, you said you’d take care of that toilet down there. I got tired of jiggling the handle, so I finally just shut the valve. But sometimes I need it...

TERRY

I will, Ma. I just keep forgetting to bring over the part.

TERRY'S MOTHER

I'm sorry to bother you with things like that. Your father used to take care of everything, and now...

TERRY

For chrissake, Ma, I said I'd take care of it.

(beat)


TERRY'S MOTHER

Terry, did you get enough to eat? There's more pork chops...

TERRY

No more, Ma, I'm stuffed.

TERRY'S MOTHER

I'll wrap some up for you...

TERRY

Aw, Ma, it'll just sit in the fridge until it gets moldy, and then I'll throw it out.

TERRY'S MOTHER

I'll get your beer. Oh, and I found this in your pocket.

She pulls out the letter from Lisa.

TERRY'S MOTHER

Who's Lisa?

TERRY

Just some girl.

TERRY'S MOTHER

Is she nice?

TERRY

Sorta. Are there any more nachos?

TERRY'S MOTHER

What about Cortney? I thought you two were working things out.

TERRY

Aw, Ma...

The game goes to a break. Terry surfs some more games.


TERRY'S MOTHER

Terry, you were crazy about that girl... but you were so young. Maybe your father was right about her... Well I hope it works out with this Lisa person.

TERRY

Yeah.

TERRY'S MOTHER

Terry, bring over Juniper sometime. I never get to see her. You have her on weekends, right?

TERRY

Every other, Ma, every other.

TERRY'S MOTHER

Please, Terry.

Terry surfs some more stations.

TERRY

OK, Ma, I will, I promise. Real soon.

TERRY'S MOTHER

And don't forget that part, OK?

TERRY

OK, Ma, I won't forget...

FADE

INT. TERRY'S APARTMENT - AFERNOON

TERRY

(into phone)

Lisa, hi, it’s Terry.

LISA-on phone

Oh, hi Terry. How are you? Are we still on for tonight?

TERRY

Oh yeah—but I can’t pick you up this evening. I left some construction adhesive on the seat of my truck, you know, in those big tubes, and I parked in the sun this afternoon. The cab got so hot that some of the tubes burst, and there’s this smelly crud all over the seat.

LISA-ON PHONE

Oooohh, sorry about your truck. I’m working at the coop this afternoon--why don’t I pick you up after I get off, and I can drive us to the restaurant.

TERRY

Hey, that's a great idea. I'm looking forward to this.

LISA-ON PHONE

Me, too. I'm done with appointments at four. So I'll pick you up at four thirty--we can get the early bird special--it's half price.

TERRY

OK then, see you at four thirty. I promise I won’t be late this time. But just in case, give me your cell number.

LISA-ON PHONE

Terry, I don't have a cell phone. Please just be on time.

TERRY

No problem, I'll be ready. See ya soon.

LISA-ON PHONE

See ya, byebye.

CUT

INT. TERRY'S APARTMENT - AFTERNOON

Terry, with wet hair, is getting dressed, checking himself in a mirror. He pulls a battered tweed jacket with leather elbow patches out of his closet and tries it on.

The jacket is a little too large for him, and he fidgets trying to make it hang better. He starts to take it off, and then puts it back on again.

Staring into the mirror, he spaces out...

FADE

FLASHBACK INT. A DINGY PUB - NIGHT

Young Terry and TERRY'S FATHER are seated at a booth. Terry's Father, a heavy set guy, wears the tweed jacket.

A waitress arrives with their order.

WAITRESS

Taco salad, cheeseburger plate, well. Two Bo's.

TERRY'S FATHER

Thanks, babe.

Terry's father starts wolfing the cheeseburger.

TERRY'S FATHER

(while chewing)

What's with them Birds? They can't get out of their own way.

TERRY

I dunno, I haven't been paying attention lately.

Terry's father slugs down about half his mug.

TERRY'S FATHER

Never shoulda left Memorial Stadium. They had a team back then... Palmer, Murray, Ripkin...

He stuffs a big wad of fries in next.

TERRY'S FATHER

Oughta bring back Earl Weaver, that's what they oughta do.

Terry is just picking at his salad. Terry's father drains his mug. The waitress comes by.

WAITRESS

How is everything?

TERRY'S FATHER

Nuther beer, sweetheart. You, Terry?

TERRY

We're going through with it.

TERRY'S FATHER

What?

TERRY

Cortney's going to have the baby.

TERRY'S FATHER

Terry, I thought that was settled.

TERRY

I know, Dad, but we're going to go through with it.

TERRY'S FATHER

What do you mean, we? You're not going to do something stupid, are you?

TERRY

Dad, I promised her I would stand by her...

TERRY'S FATHER

God dammit, Terry, you're making a bad decision...

TERRY

Well, it's my decision... our decision.

TERRY'S FATHER

But you still have time, Terry. Think it over.

TERRY

No!

TERRY'S FATHER

Then let her have the goddam baby. Stay the fuck out of it. We'll settle this up, and you can go on with to Auburn.

TERRY

No, I can't...

TERRY'S FATHER

Yes you can! Don't make the same dumb ass mistake I made.

The waitress brings another mug. Terry's father takes a long drink.

TERRY'S FATHER

Jesus, Terry, when I got back from Nam and met your mother, and let all that GI money go to waste... just for a regular piece of ass...

TERRY

Dad, stop!

TERRY'S FATHER

Son, think it over.

TERRY

(quietly)

Dad, it's too late. We got married this morning.

TERRY'S FATHER

You stupid fool. You stupid goddam fool!

Terry stands abruptly, knocking over his father's beer.

TERRY

Fuck you, old man! I never want to see you again!

TERRY'S FATHER

Terry, wait, I didn't mean...

TERRY

Just fuck you! Just fucking drop dead!

Terry turns and stomps away.

TERRY'S FATHER

Terry, wait...

FADE

INT. TERRY'S APARTMENT - AFTERNOON

Terry, in the sport jacket, is holding a picture of his father as a skinny young soldier--helmet, flak jacket, no shirt.

EXT. TERRY'S APARTMENT - AFTERNOON

A faded Mercedes diesel station wagon pulls up in front and struggles to parallel park--first cutting too hard and almost running over the curb; then pulling out and in again, and stopping two feet away from the curb.

INT. TERRY'S APARTMENT - AFTERNOON

Terry looks at his watch and starts.

TERRY

Dag!

Terry hastily grabs his wallet, keys, and cell phone and dumps them in the side pocket of the jacket. Then he dashes out the door.

EXT. TERRY'S APARTMENT - AFTERNOON

Terry emerges from the building just as Lisa starts to get out of the car. She turns and waves over the top of the car. Terry jogs up, Lisa gets in, and unlatches the door. Terry leans in.

TERRY

Hi, Lisa, nice to see you again.

LISA

Nice to see you, too. Hop in.

Terry gets in.

INT. LISA'S CAR - AFTERNOON

TERRY

Thanks for picking me up.

LISA

No problem. I’m glad to do it. I hope your truck will be ok.

TERRY

(laughing)

It’s not a big deal. The seat was shot anyway. I’ll just get a cover for it.

Lisa swings sideways, drawing her right knee up toward Terry. It pulls up the hem of her dress, revealing the entirety of her thigh. Terry notices, but tries not to stare.

LISA

Terry...

Terry begins to speak, but Lisa continues.

LISA

Terry, I’m so sorry for losing my cool that night. I just got scared.

TERRY

Of me?

LISA

I don’t know. Maybe... maybe I was afraid of myself. But I’m not, now.

She draws closer to him; the dress riding even higher, hiding nothing now. Then, with her eyes closed, she places her hands on his temples, fingers spread wide, and lets them flow down over the contours of his face, slowly, gently, in a continuous gesture that ends with two fingers stroking his lips. Then she swings back behind the wheel.

LISA

We better get going, or we’ll miss the early bird. Are you getting hungry?

TERRY

You bet! I sure am.

Lisa pulls the car out into traffic. The diesel engine clatters.

TERRY

Hey, great car.

LISA

Oh, this is Steely.

Lisa pats the dashboard affectionately.

TERRY

Steely? Hi Steely, pleased to meetcha.

LISA

I love this car. It belonged to an old man I knew... a client. I do some geriatric work, you know. He’d call me once a week for a massage, and when I’d visit, he’d come out and help me wrestle my table out of the back seat of the car... I had one of those eensie little Civics, you know. He was such a nice man, tall and trim—you could even say handsome, in that old man sort of way.

Lisa pauses. Terry is quiet, watching her intently.

LISA

Then he got cancer. It spread so fast—soon he was just wasting away. Still he kept calling me. I’d do what I could do... which really wasn’t really much... it seemed like his elbows would tear right through his skin. At the end, he just wanted me to sit and hold his hand.

Lisa wipes a tear.

LISA

After he died, I got a call from his daughter. He’d left me his car. She told me he thought it make it easier for me to carry my table around in it.

TERRY

Some guy, huh.

LISA

Frederick Steele. That was his name. That’s why I call him Steely.

TERRY

Steely.

Terry rolls down his window.

TERRY

Sure is hot. I'm ready for fall.

Terry wriggles out of the sport jacket and places it on the back seat. Then he gazes out the window.

FADE

FLASHBACK INT. A NURSING HOME - DAY

Terry's father is in a hospital bed. Terry enters carrying an infant.

TERRY

Hi, Dad, how's it going?

TERRY'S FATHER

Ho! What's that you got there?

TERRY

This is Juniper. She's one month old.

Terry holds the infant so his father can see her.

TERRY

Junipie, say hello to your grandad.

TERRY'S FATHER

Juniper. What in the fuck kind of name is that?

TERRY

(to the infant)

Don't pay any mind, Junie. The old fart still doesn't know how to act around women.

TERRY'S FATHER

Let me hold her, Terry.

TERRY

OK, Dad, be careful now.

TERRY'S FATHER

Don't tell me how to handle a baby. I changed your shitty diapers.

TERRY

That's not what Ma says.

TERRY'S FATHER

Well, maybe I did it once.

(sings)

Jennifer, Juniper, la de da de dum... Where's Cortney?

TERRY

She had to start back already. They let her switch to the evening shift, so we don't need a sitter during the day.

TERRY'S FATHER

So that's it for night school for you.

TERRY

Yeah, for the time being... (beat) Ma says it doesn't look good.

TERRY'S FATHER

You got that right. Coupla weeks at best.

TERRY

I'm sorry, Dad...

TERRY'S FATHER

Don't be. In the long run, I'm lucky. Lotta guys I knew never made it much past your age. I just want it to be over quick... and painless.

TERRY

It all happened so fast...

TERRY'S FATHER

Everything in life happens fast, Terry. Look at you, already a father. Here, take her. I'm getting tired. They're giving me percoset now, lots of it.

Terry lifts the infant and fusses with it maternally.

TERRY'S FATHER

You made one tough choice, kid. I still don't think it was the right one, but it's done now. I hope you can live up to your decision.

TERRY

I'll try, Dad. I will.

TERRY'S FATHER

(slurring)

I know you will. Better go... I'm nodding out...

TERRY

Goodbye, Dad.

FADE

EXT. THE INDIAN RESTAURANT - EVENING

(the following, from the original story, is still to be adapted)


Finally, they approached the restaurant. There were no parking spaces out front, so they turned onto Bonifant and prowled down the street until they found a spot, all the way down the block. Then they walked back, toward the west, into the evening sun. She put on a pair of huge sunglasses, way too big for her narrow face. He groped for his in his breast pocket, but he’d left them in the jacket. Damn, he muttered to himself. Otherwise, he stayed silent as they walked on, hoping she would find something to say.

INT. THE INDIAN RESTARAUNT


They reached the corner and entered the restaurant. The mix of aromas put him on guard. He paused inside the door, as his sundazzled eyes adjusted to the dim interior. Not noticing that he’d stopped, she continued to an empty table. Loopy chick, all alone in her own world. Then, missing him, she turned. He lurched onward, cutting off a waiter carrying a big tray balanced on his upturned hand. The waiter pirouetted and swung the tray around, tilting it into its arc, to keep from spilling the contents. “I’m sorry,” he said, but the waiter had already scurried around behind him. Across the room, she covered her eyes and shook her head, but he could make out her lips pulling back into a smile.


He made his way over and sat down. She smiled at him and shook her head again, like his mother did sometimes. He smiled back, trying to work up a dimple, but he was worried she’d think he was grimacing, so he quit. Please say something. It was a small table, with a candle between them. Even in the dimness he could see some fine wrinkles at the corners of her mouth. But those thighs, oh my. Jesus, just don’t blow it this time. Please say something. Think of something to say, dammit. He gazed around the room. On the wall was a poster, similar to the one in her basement massage room,


“What’s with those guys?” he blurted, pointing toward the poster. “You know, the girl and the guy with blue skin, on the back of the big bird. You’ve got those same characters on the wall in your apartment.”


“Oh, them. That’s Lakshmi and Vishnu. They’re riding on Garuda. They’re Hindu gods and goddesses.”



The same waiter came by and asked for their order. She ordered for him, explaining what everything was, and what it was made from. He said OK to everything, but if you were to have asked him what he was about to get, he would not have been able to repeat a single item. Then she started to tell him about the Hindu pantheon. But it was too much, was Ganesha the man with the elephant’s trunk or the curry with split peas. The food came, and she chattered away, about a yoga retreat in Himalaya she was planning to go to some day. The names of the foods, the gods, the towns and the rivers were tumbling around in his head. The dishes were tastier than he expected, and soon they were finished eating.


After the dishes were cleared, she got up and went to the rest room. When she returned, he noticed she had taken the clip from her hair, which now fell free around her shoulders. She sat down again and took his hand, and with her eyes closed, ran the fingers of her other hand up and down the inside of his forearm. A smile formed on her lips. She opened her eyes and asked, “Are you ready to go?”


Before he could say yes, the waiter came with the check. She reached for it, but before she could take it, he slammed his hand over it and said, “This one’s mine.”


“It’s my treat, really. I invited you.”


“But after that massage and all, I’ll get the check…” He smiled his smile again, and this time it worked. She smiled back at him, softly. He reached to his back pocket, but his wallet was not there.


“Damn, I’m sorry. I left my wallet in my jacket pocket. It’s in Steely. Hang on, I’ll be back in a flash.”

“Hey, wait, you’re going to need these.” She fished out her keys from her purse. He took them and dashed out the door.

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