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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/1211087
by Dillon
Rated: 18+ · Script/Play · Western · #1211087
A diabetic cowboy, his nutritionist, a real estate agent, and her psychotic former lover.



                EXT. LEONARD CHRISTIAN'S PORCH - DUSK

                CU LEONARD'S BOOTS

                LEONARD rocks in a rocking chair. We hear his knife
                scrape away at a stick, and see wood shavings collect on
                and around his boots.

                Small yellow text appears onto the bottom of the frame,
                accompanied by a click noise.

                                      ON-SCREEN TEXT
                          Leonard Christian is a cowboy.

                The text clicks away.

                The scraping noise is drowned out slowly by labored
                breathing. LEONARD stops rocking and digs a heel of his
                boot into the porch, pushing himself back in his rocking
                chair.

                More text clicks on.

                                      ON-SCREEN TEXT (CONT'D)
                          He has been diagnosed with Adult Onset
                          (or Type II) Diabetes.

                Text clicks away.

                The scraping stops entirely, and LEONARD coughs heavily,
                wheezing.

                LEONARD's knife falls from the top of the frame and
                lodges itself into the porch, wiggling back and forth.

                LEONARD's breathing intensifies.

                More text.

                                      ON-SCREEN TEXT (CONT'D)
                          Leonard lives alone.

                Clicks away.

                A stream of urine runs down LEONARD's pant leg, pooling
                onto the deck.

                LEONARD grunts as if trying to communicate, hacking in
                between. He scrapes his feet on the porch and his arm
                falls into the frame, still holding a partially whittled
                stick.

                                                                CUT TO:



                INT. TRAN'S CAR - AFTERNOON

                TRAN PHAM (Early 30s, Vietnamese-American) turns her
                steering wheel and watches the road. She clicks her
                turning signal on.

                Small yellow text clicks onto the bottom of the frame.

                                      ON-SCREEN TEXT
                          Tran Pham is a real estate agent.

                The text clicks away.

                TRAN pulls over and turns her head towards the sidewalk.
                Unlocking her door, she steps outside and stares forward.

                Thomas SEXTON (young, scruffy) is in the doorway of a
                house, grumbling as he tries to pull a mattress from the
                hallway through the door frame onto the front lawn. A few
                feet from the sidewalk is a large pile of furnishings; a
                mirror, a desk, several pairs of shoes, and an overturned
                coffee table. Thomas whips his head around suddenly and
                with animalistic intensity to look at TRAN.

                FREEZE FRAME:

                More text clicks on.

                                      ON-SCREEN TEXT (CONT'D)
                          Thomas Sexton is an anti-social manic
                          depressive.

                Text clicks away.

                More text appears by the mattress.

                                      ON-SCREEN TEXT (CONT'D)
                          Tran's mattress.

                More text by the pile.

                                      ON-SCREEN TEXT (CONT'D)
                          Tran's mirror.

                More text by the pile.

                                      ON-SCREEN TEXT (CONT'D)
                          Tran's desk.

                More text by the pile.

                                      ON-SCREEN TEXT (CONT'D)
                          Tran's shoes.

                More text by the pile.

                                      ON-SCREEN TEXT (CONT'D)
                          Tran's coffee table.

                After a short pause, larger text at the top of the screen
                clicks on.

                                      ON-SCREEN TEXT (CONT'D)
                          Tran's house.

                All of the on-screen text clicks away.

                UNFREEZE:

                Thomas unhands the mattress and charges TRAN's car.

                TRAN scrambles back inside, clicking on the power lock as
                Thomas pounds her window.

                                      THOMAS
                          You took everything from me! You whore!
                          You have nothing from now on, nothing!

                Staring forward, TRAN starts her car and pushes the gas,
                leaving Thomas behind on her lawn.

                As she drives, TRAN slowly tips her head to the left,
                eventually leaning it against the window. Grimacing, she
                shifts her weight until her cheek is pressed tight
                against the glass, her eyes completely fused shut,
                driving forward.

                TRAN sniffles.

                Text clicks on-screen.

                                      ON-SCREEN TEXT
                          Tran has a difficult life.

                                      TRAN
                                (softly, under tears)
                          Fuck.

                Text clicks away.

                                                          CUT TO BLACK:

                Large text clicks on, center frame.

                                      ON-SCREEN TEXT
                          Cowboy Seeks Townhouse.

                Text clicks away.

                                                                FADE IN:



                INT. MARY'S OFFICE - DAY

                MARY TAMBER (pretty, businesslike) is a young and
                successful psychiatrist. Scribbling on her note pad, she
                is currently in a session with THOMAS SEXTON. THOMAS is
                curled up on MARY's couch, facing her and smiling
                comfortably and content.

                MARY stops scribbling, and furrows her brow as she looks
                to Thomas, who continues to gaze.

                Text clicks on-screen.

                                      ON-SCREEN TEXT
                          Monday.

                Text clicks away.

                                      MARY
                          Anything on your mind, Thomas?

                                      THOMAS
                                (as if surprised)
                          Hmm? No.

                                      MARY
                          Alright. How has this week gone for you?

                                      THOMAS
                          This week? Well! Uh, as a matter of fact,
                          really good. I've just been thinking
                          about what you said- about taking control-
                          and, and I got to say, work's better,
                          I've been exercising, and I've felt...
                          just, fantastic.

                                      MARY
                          That's good, Thomas.

                                      THOMAS
                          Yeah.

                                      MARY
                          Because I know last week there had been
                          sort of an incident for you.

                                      THOMAS
                          Oh, that, that was... You know, and now
                          I've talked to Fred, we've talked about
                          it, and everything is- that's not even an
                          issue anymore. It's a non-issue. It was
                          stupid, and- and insignificant, and I
                          came here feeling really hot about
                          completely stupid things, and then- and
                          then you probably got to hear the worst
                          of it. Just blowing off steam, you know?
                          Being a big jerk.
                                (laughs)
                          You know?

                                      MARY
                          Mm-hmm.

                MARY continues scribbling.

                                      THOMAS
                          Ah, but this week, yeah. It's just been
                          great.

                                      MARY
                          Alright. How about-
                                (MARY stops scribbling)
                          Have there been any more... voices?

                                      THOMAS
                          What?
                                (chuckles)
                          No! No, no of course not!

                MARY resumes scribbling.

                                      THOMAS (CONT'D)
                          Definitely not, no. What are you- there
                          aren't any... Mary- Mary: I'm fine.

                MARY continues scribbling.

                                      THOMAS (CONT'D)
                          Listen, I'm being completely serious, I
                          really, honestly feel like- like- ah, I
                          dunno. Sated. I just- everything is
                          finally making sense again.

                MARY finishes scribbling.

                                      THOMAS (CONT'D)
                          Honestly.

                                      MARY
                          Well, Thomas, if you've making progress,
                          then I can't tell you how happy I am for
                          you.

                                      THOMAS
                          Good! I'm glad, because I'm happy.

                                      MARY
                          But I don't think you are... making
                          progress.

                Beat.

                                      THOMAS
                                (clears his throat)
                          Well. Alright. That's... your opinion, I
                          guess. Can I ask-

                                      MARY
                          Last week I saw you become very, very
                          distressed.

                                      THOMAS
                          I know, no, I- see? I know that. And I'm
                          really so embarrassed you had to see
                          that, Mary, because it probably gave you
                          a completely- you know- a bad- wrong
                          impression of what's going on up there in
                          the old- ah- headroom.
                                (chuckles)
                          But, honestly, it's as simple as you just
                          caught me on an extremely tough day, the
                          events of which have already become
                          completely ancient history.

                                      MARY
                          Thomas, I feel you're trying very hard to
                          impress me.

                                      THOMAS
                          I- Impress you?
                                (laughs)
                          What? Well, that's pretty ridiculous,
                          Mary. I mean, at these rates, I hope you
                          can do a little better than that.
                                (continues laughing)
                          Ah, I'm just teasing, though.

                                      MARY
                          And I suspect that over the last couple
                          of months you've begun to see our
                          relationship in a very inappropriate way.

                Beat.

                                      THOMAS
                          Our... Are you- No, no, it's not like
                          that at all!

                                      MARY
                          It's called transference, Thomas. It's
                          extremely common. All that happened is
                          you became very thankful for the help
                          I've given you, and you just got a little
                          bit confused; misinterpreted your
                          feelings, that's all. And I'm not angry
                          at you, Thomas, and nobody's judging you.

                Beat.

                                      MARY (CONT'D)
                          But, until you start to look at yourself
                          as my patient again, there's absolutely
                          nothing I can say to you that'll be of
                          any help.

                                      THOMAS
                          Can I just say that I really think you're
                          off base about all this?

                                      MARY
                          So I'm going to ask that you just
                          meditated on this over the next week, try
                          and collect your thoughts, try to keep
                          positive, and we'll have a nice, friendly
                          discussion about all this on Tuesday.
                          Alright?

                                      THOMAS
                                (laughs nervously,
                                frustrated)
                          I- God.

                Beat.

                                      THOMAS (CONT'D)
                          Yeah... Yeah.

                                                                CUT TO:



                EXT. STREET - MORNING

                THOMAS crosses the street, walking towards a large office
                building.

                Text clicks on-screen.

                                      ON-SCREEN TEXT
                          Tuesday.

                He veers to the side and stops in front of a STREET
                VENDOR.

                No audible dialogue as THOMAS pays for a newspaper and
                thumbs through it, continuing towards the building.

                                                                CUT TO:



                INT. OFFICE - LATER

                THOMAS staples a document together, holding it in his
                left hand and tracing his right index finger along a wall
                of three ring binders, until he eventually lands on one
                marked "Uv - We."

                THOMAS pulls the binder out of the wall and opens it up
                to the center, carefully undoing the rings and sliding
                the newly stapled document inside.

                He exits the office.

                                                                CUT TO:



                INT. CUBICLE HALLWAY - MOMENTS LATER

                THOMAS slaloms through a sea of cubicles, eventually
                arriving at his own. Picking up his coffee mug, he eyes a
                ring of liquid left behind on his desk.

                THOMAS sighs deeply, getting up.

                Looking around his personal effects, THOMAS snatches a
                coaster from a shelf and sets the mug down on it, wiping
                the coffee ring away with the sleeve of his jacket.

                Grabbing a handful of documents from his "IN" box, THOMAS
                again leaves his cubicle, walking through the hallway.

                Passing by the door of a large office with a placard
                reading "DALBY ORELLANO," he stops, lingering in front of
                the door for a moment, looking around before subtly
                leaning his ear against the wood.

                We hear muffled male voices.

                THOMAS furrows his brow, and eventually lets out a sharp,
                breathy scoff.

                                                                CUT TO:



                INT. DINER - AFTERNOON

                THOMAS eats a Danish, thumbing through another newspaper.

                Text clicks on.

                                      ON-SCREEN TEXT
                          Wednesday.

                Text clicks away.

                Looking up towards the door, he notices two MEN entering
                in laughter and camaraderie. Inhaling, he rises from his
                table, wiping his hands on his pants and darting off to
                the men's room.

                                                                CUT TO:



                INT. MEN'S ROOM - MOMENTS LATER

                THOMAS has locked himself into a stall, which he stands
                in, leaning on his arm against the door.

                After a bit of heavy breathing, he begins to pull yards
                of toilet paper out of the roller, bunching it up around
                his hands.

                With much fervor, THOMAS rips the length of paper into
                individual squares, muttering under his breath.

                                                                CUT TO:



                EXT. PARKING LOT - NIGHT

                THOMAS sits in his car, lights off, tapping his thumbs on
                his steering wheel.

                Text clicks on.

                                      ON-SCREEN TEXT
                          Thursday.

                Text clicks away.

                After a bit, he cranks his window down, leaning his arm
                out the side of his car before shifting uncomfortably,
                pulling his arm back inside and rolling his window up
                again.

                The sound of a car engine snaps THOMAS into a rush,
                frantically positioning his rear view mirror which he
                stares into intently.

                                      THOMAS
                                (voice crackling)
                          Aha!

                After staring into the mirror for a few more seconds, he
                slams his hands down on the dashboard, rolling forward
                with his eyes shut and laughing with a mixture of relief
                and disbelief.

                                                                CUT TO:



                INT. CUBICLE HALLWAY - AFTERNOON

                THOMAS is in his cubicle, clicking out of his computer
                and folding up a binder on his desk.

                Text clicks on.

                                      ON-SCREEN TEXT
                          Friday.

                Text clicks away.

                With everything in its place, he exits his cubicle.

                                                                CUT TO:



                INT. MEN'S ROOM - MOMENTS LATER

                THOMAS checks himself over in the mirror, matting his
                hair down and straightening his tie. With his finger, he
                smudges something off one of his front teeth. Looking
                himself up and down, he nods and gives his knuckles a
                crack.

                                                                CUT TO:



                INT. CUBICLE HALLWAY - MOMENTS LATER

                In front of DALBY ORELLANO's office, THOMAS rolls back
                and forth on the balls of his feet for a moment, staring
                at the floor, before tapping on the door.

                                      DALBY
                                (through the door)
                          Just a second!

                THOMAS continues to rock.

                                      DALBY (CONT'D)
                          Come in.

                THOMAS opens the door and enters.

                                                                CUT TO:



                INT. DALBY'S OFFICE - MOMENTS LATER

                DALBY ORELLANO (heavyset, early 50s), one of the two men
                from the diner on Wednesday, sits at his desk.

                                      DALBY
                          Ah, Thomas. What can I do you for?

                THOMAS laughs through his nose.

                                      THOMAS
                                (eerily coy)
                          Dalby...

                                      DALBY
                                (arching his eyebrows)
                          Hmm?

                                      THOMAS
                          I know something.

                                      DALBY
                          Uh-huh.

                                      THOMAS
                          Oh yeah. Oh yeah, I do.

                DALBY looks to thomas, arched eyebrows, curious.

                                      THOMAS (CONT'D)
                                (grinning)
                          You...
                                (chuckles, matter of fact)
                          You've been kissing boys.

                                      DALBY
                                (politely smiling)
                          Excuse me?

                                      THOMAS
                                (in a playful singsong)
                          It's with Peter... From finance.

                                      DALBY
                                (laughs)
                          I've- Thomas, what are you talking about?

                                      THOMAS
                                (through the ever-present
                                grin)
                          Inside of here on Tuesday you and him
                          talked about a vacation together, and
                          then you ate lunch with him on Wednesday,
                          and then last night in the carpark, I saw
                          you kissing and driving home in the same
                          car.

                                      DALBY
                                (sighs)
                          Alright, Thomas. What is this, blackmail?

                THOMAS approaches DALBY's desk, leaning his hands on it.

                                      THOMAS
                                (very slow and deliberately)
                          You...
                                (exhales slowly)
                          You're not supposed to kiss boys, Dalby.

                                      DALBY
                          Oh, for God's sake, Thomas, what do you
                          want from me?

                                      THOMAS
                          You're supposed to kiss girls, Dalby.

                DALBY stares at THOMAS, exasperated.

                                      DALBY
                          Why are you even-

                Abruptly, THOMAS climbs over DALBY's desk and grabs him
                by the collar, pushing him down, as he shouts:

                                      THOMAS
                                (through gritted teeth)
                          You're supposed to kiss girls!

                DALBY's head hits the floor, and he closes his eyes,
                groaning. THOMAS shakes DALBY by his shoulders.

                                      THOMAS (CONT'D)
                          Look at me! Look at me, Dalby!

                Grimacing, DALBY opens his eyes.

                                      THOMAS (CONT'D)
                                (grabbing DALBY's hair)
                          You kiss the girls!

                With his free hand, THOMAS punches DALBY twice in the
                jaw.

                                      THOMAS (CONT'D)
                                (still clutching DALBY's
                                hair)
                          You kiss the girls...

                THOMAS punches DALBY repeatedly in the gut.

                                      THOMAS (CONT'D)
                          And you-
                                (another fist to the gut)
                          *hit* the boys!

                THOMAS flattens his hand over DALBY's mouth, muffling his
                screams.

                                      THOMAS (CONT'D)
                          Dalby! Dalby! You kiss the girls and you
                          hit the boys!

                THOMAS punches DALBY in the throat.

                                                                CUT TO:



                INT. SMALLER OFFICE - LATER

                THOMAS sits, quietly gazing at his shoes, on a chair in
                front of a desk, two large SECURITY GUARDS standing at
                the door behind him. A MANAGER sits across from him.

                                      MANAGER
                          Now, new company policy, so Faber and
                          Faber will not be pursuing any charges
                          against you, Thomas. Obviously, ah, Mr.
                          Orellano still- you know- can. Yeah, and
                          I assume he almost certainly will- ah- eh-
                          you know. We-
                                (trails off)
                          Thomas. If you- we can help you get into
                          some kind of therapy. I don't know if
                          that's anything that would-

                THOMAS mumbles gently, head turned down.

                                      MANAGER (CONT'D)
                          What's that, Thomas?

                THOMAS turns his head up to look at the MANAGER, eyes
                watery and smiling.

                                      THOMAS
                                (nodding and content)
                          I'm already in therapy.

                THOMAS bursts into loud, staccato laughter.

                                      THOMAS (CONT'D)
                          I'm already in therapy!

                THOMAS reaches his arms up and begins to stand. The
                SECURITY GUARDS uncross their arms and start to slowly
                approach THOMAS.

                                      THOMAS (CONT'D)
                                (voice breaking, continuing
                                to laugh)
                          I'm already in therapy! I'm already in
                          it!

                                                                CUT TO:



                INT. THOMAS' APARTMENT - AFTERNOON

                THOMAS stares at the television, still in Friday's work
                clothing.

                                      ON-SCREEN TEXT
                          Saturday.

                                                                CUT TO:



                INT. THOMAS' APARTMENT - AFTERNOON

                THOMAS sits in an identical pose, television blaring,
                whiskers starting to sprout on his cheeks, hair matted
                and messy.

                                      ON-SCREEN TEXT
                          Sunday.

                                                                CUT TO:



                INT. MARY'S OFFICE - DAY

                THOMAS lays on MARY's couch, curled up and staring at her
                with cloudy, affectionate eyes and a gentle smile.

                MARY taps her pen on her note pad, frowning slightly at
                THOMAS.

                                      MARY
                          So, Thomas, how was your week?

                                      THOMAS
                                (slow and breathy)
                          Fantastic.

                                      MARY
                          Mhm. And have you given any thought to
                          what-

                                      THOMAS
                                (all smiles)
                          Yes, and I know now that I'm in love with
                          you, so I plan to terminate immediately
                          so we can start spending the rest of our
                          lives together.

                Beat.

                                      MARY
                                (scribbling on her pad)
                          Mhm.

                                                                CUT TO:



                EXT. LEONARD CHRISTIAN'S PORCH - AFTERNOON

                LEONARD CHRISTIAN (early 40s, vest, chaps and boots) is
                keeled over on his porch. He coughs, letting out a small
                cloud of dust.

                                      LEONARD (V.O.)
                          Dad, the problem I've had all my life is
                          that I just can't trust doctors.

                                      HARLAN (V.O.)
                          Ginny Perriera's son was a doctor. Good
                          man. Honest man.

                LEONARD opens his eyes, straight into the overbearing
                sun. Gagging slightly, he closes them again and rolls
                onto his side, reopening them in the shade.

                                      LEONARD (V.O.)
                          I just find that trying to keep me alive
                          and trying to take my money to be sorta'
                          like... conflicting interests.

                LEONARD looks down to his hand, the side of which is
                caked with dry blood. His eyes dart to the knife in his
                deck, which is likewise, smeared with dry blood.

                                      LEONARD (CONT'D)
                                (hoarsely)
                          Hell.

                LEONARD meekly pushes himself up onto his feet, clutching
                his wounded hand with the other, and stumbling inside.

                                                                CUT TO:



                INT. LEONARD'S HOUSE - MOMENTS LATER

                LEONARD teeters slowly towards his sink as if drunk.

                                      HARLAN (V.O.)
                          Well, if you don't like 'em, then don't
                          see 'em, I guess.

                                      LEONARD (V.O.)
                          Yeah, Dad. I know.

                LEONARD turns the tap on and leans his head underneath
                the sink, sucking water down his throat before lifting
                his head up to the mirror, his face covered in dirt and
                still dripping with water.

                                      LEONARD (CONT'D)
                          Shoot.

                                                          CUT TO BLACK.

                                      LEONARD (V.O.) (CONT'D)
                          But I got my condition, right?

                                      HARLAN (V.O.)
                          Oh, yeah, right. There is that. So that's
                          a problem, I guess?

                LEONARD grabs a towel and begins to mat the dirt and
                sweat off of his face.

                                      LEONARD (V.O.)
                          Well, what I done is, a few years back I
                          found myself a real fine nutritionist.

                                                                CUT TO:



                EXT. BAR - NIGHT

                A slightly younger LEONARD is sitting on some railing
                outside of a city bar, tipping back a bottle of beer.

                His friend, GIL (tubby, sprightly) is standing behind
                LEONARD's right, leaned over the railing with a bottle
                hanging in his hand.

                                      GIL
                          Damn!
                                (chuckles, drunkenly)
                          Damn, Leonard, how d'you drink like that?

                                      LEONARD
                                (spits)
                          What are you on about?

                                      GIL
                          You put 'em down like a real badass, you
                          know that?

                                      LEONARD
                                (laughs)
                          Gil, keep quiet.

                                      GIL
                          Nah, Leonard! I mean it! I think it's the
                          eyes.

                                      LEONARD
                          Oh, yeah. The eyes, huh?

                                      GIL
                          Yep. Gotta be the eyes.

                                      LEONARD
                          Well, Gil, I gotta hand it to you: You
                          sure know how to sweet talk 'em.

                                      GIL
                                (laughs)
                          Fuck you, Leonard.

                                      LEONARD
                          Your place or mine?

                                      GIL
                                (laughing)
                          Fuck you, fuck you. Another round?

                LEONARD tilts his bottle into the light, eyeing it and
                sighing.

                                      LEONARD
                                (belches)
                          Yeah, sounds good.

                                      GIL
                                (coughs, turning around)
                          But seriously, some of these days you
                          gotta teach me how to drink like that.

                GIL wanders back inside, as LEONARD pulls a cigarette
                from his shirt pocket and pops it in his mouth, digging
                through his pants for a moment before producing a
                lighter. He flicks the flint and holds the flame to his
                cigarette.

                                      EDMUND (O.S.)
                          For goodness sake, son- You're pitching a
                          no-hitter tonight.

                PAN TO REVEAL:

                EDMUND COLLARD (late fifties, haggard but sharply
                dressed) is crouched on the ground ten feet to the left
                of LEONARD.

                                      LEONARD
                                (dragging off of his
                                cigarette)
                          Excuse me?

                                      EDMUND
                          I was in the "U" Diner earlier tonight,
                          and I saw you do away with a cut of beef
                          bigger than my head. Then, you gone
                          through eight bottles in an hour and a
                          half. And I bet that pack's only got,
                          what, two sticks left?

                LEONARD chuckles deeply.

                                      LEONARD
                          What's it to you?

                                      EDMUND
                          Well, you're sprinting for an early
                          grave, I take it?

                                      LEONARD
                                (eyeing him over, confused)
                          Mind your business.

                                      EDMUND
                          Fine, fine. 'Course I'm just trying to
                          help.
                                (Looks away momentarily,
                                before)
                          But you're really killing yourself, you
                          know that?

                                      LEONARD
                          What's your name, old man?

                                      EDMUND
                          It's- ah- it's Collard. Edmund Collard.

                                      LEONARD
                          You a doctor or something?

                                      EDMUND
                          Uh-huh. That's right.

                Text clicks on-screen.

                                      ON-SCREEN TEXT
                          Edmund Collard is not a doctor.

                                      LEONARD
                          Well,
                                (Leonard drops his cigarette,
                                stamping it out)
                          Edmund Collard, you went and sermonized
                          the wrong son of a bitch on the worst
                          possible night.

                LEONARD jumps to his feet, throwing his bottle into the
                street, which shatters off screen.

                EDMUND sighs, standing up.

                The two men, walk up to each other, chests out. LEONARD
                has EDMUND by a few inches.

                                      EDMUND
                          Alright, cowboy- this your game?

                                      LEONARD
                          Oh yeah, doctor. This is my game.

                                                                CUT TO:



                EXT. STREET - MOMENTS LATER

                LEONARD and EDMUND wrestle into the street, trading
                punches.

                LEONARD whips around EDMUNDS back, holding him into a
                headlock.

                                      LEONARD
                          Come on, you pieceashit! Let's hear
                          s'more! How long would you say I got,
                          huh? Ten years? Five? Huh? Huh?!

                EDMUND gags.

                                      LEONARD (CONT'D)
                          But, shit, I dunno- Maybe you can get me
                          on a regimen! Diet, exercise, Technicolor
                          cocktail of pharmaceuticals, huh?

                EDMUND elbows LEONARD in the gut, sending him back,
                doubled over.

                EDMUND spins and sends out a fist, which catches LEONARD
                in the head, sending him to the ground. Standing over
                him, EDMUND kicks LEONARD in the gut. LEONARD moans.

                                      EDMUND
                                (much slower, calmer than
                                LEONARD)
                          Mhm. Well, you've got a real sharp mouth
                          on you, don't you, pretty boy?

                EDMUND kicks LEONARD again.

                                      EDMUND (CONT'D)
                          Oh, but that's right- This is your game,
                          isn't it? You're the star, yeah? You call
                          the shots, huh?

                EDMUND kicks LEONARD, who hacks.

                                      EDMUND (CONT'D)
                          But guess what; I can keep this up all
                          night, cowboy.

                EDMUND kicks LEONARD.

                                      EDMUND (CONT'D)
                          Or are-
                                (grunts)
                          - you done playing?

                EDMUND kicks LEONARD.

                                      EDMUND (CONT'D)
                                (suddenly in a shout)
                          Well, come on, boy! I ain't fixing to
                          just quit on my own accord, so let's hear
                          it!
                                (spelling it out)
                          Have you had enough?

                LEONARD moans.

                                      EDMUND (CONT'D)
                          Huh?

                                      LEONARD
                                (meekly, under his breath)
                          Uncle...

                                      EDMUND
                          What's that?

                                      LEONARD
                                (shouting)
                          Uncle!

                                      EDMUND
                                (laughs, leaning into a
                                stretch)
                          Alright. Alright.

                LEONARD rolls onto his back, clutching his gut and
                breathing heavily.

                                      EDMUND (CONT'D)
                          And what was that line? The wrong son of
                          a bitch on the worst possible night?
                                (laughs)
                          That was good.

                LEONARD rests for a moment, before lunging out at EDMUNDS
                leg and sinking his teeth into his ankle. EDMUND screams.

                                                                CUT TO:



                INT. BAR - LATER

                EDMUND and LEONARD sit across from one another at a
                table, EDMUND holding a glass of beer up against his eye,
                his busted lip sticking out underneath, and LEONARD
                leaning back in his chair with a blood soaked napkin
                covering his face. The jukebox blares. After some time:

                                      LEONARD
                          They don't play good music in this bar.

                                      EDMUND
                          Well... I wouldn't say they play good
                          music in any bar.

                BOTH take a swig from their glasses. From the motion,
                LEONARD stifles a groan.

                                      LEONARD
                          Boy, doctor. You know how to throw a
                          punch.

                                      EDMUND
                                (weakly chuckles)
                          Yeah. Thanks, uh-

                                      LEONARD
                          My name's Leonard Christian.

                                      EDMUND
                          Leonard Christian? Well, that's a good
                          name.

                                      LEONARD
                          Came from my granddad.

                                      EDMUND
                          Mine, too. Though I can't say I done well
                          with Edmund.

                                      LEONARD
                          Yeah, Edmund, uh-
                                (clears his throat)
                          You said you was a doctor?

                                      EDMUND
                          I did, but- uh- I lied. Well, no- I mean,
                          I'm like a doctor, just except it's-

                                      LEONARD
                          What, are you a nurse or something?

                                      EDMUND
                          No! No, no. I'm, uh... I'm a
                          nutritionist.

                After a pause, LEONARD begins to laugh uncontrollably,
                threatening to fall over in his chair.

                                      EDMUND (CONT'D)
                          That's right, that's right, whoop it up,
                          cowboy.

                LEONARD peels the napkin off of his face, leaning forward
                with two puffy eyes and a crooked nose, laughing.

                                      LEONARD
                                (voice crackling)
                          I'm sorry, I'm sorry.
                                (sighs, laughter trailing)
                          No-
                                (one last chuckle)
                          - that's not bad.

                                      EDMUND
                          Gee, thanks.

                                      LEONARD
                          Honestly, Edmund, it's better that you're
                          a nutritionist. You know? 'Cause I hate
                          doctors.

                                      EDMUND
                          Alright, yeah, yeah.

                                      LEONARD
                          Well, I do.
                                (shifts his weight)
                          But, listen- I, uh... I had to get a few
                          tests done about a month and a half ago,
                          and they- I guess- found some stuff
                          that's- you know- really got me all
                          worked up.

                                      EDMUND
                          Yeah?

                                      LEONARD
                          Yeah. And, look I was just gonna ignore
                          it, but if it's not too big a deal, you
                          think I could make, like, a- an, uh-

                                      EDMUND
                          An appointment?

                                      LEONARD
                          Yeah, that's right, an appointment to
                          come in sometime and- well, I dunno- talk
                          it over or something?

                EDMUND stares at LEONARD for a moment before himself
                succumbing to laughter.

                                      LEONARD (CONT'D)
                          What? No, come on, what?

                                      EDMUND
                                (hysterical, unable to
                                communicate)
                          We - you just - ah!

                                      LEONARD
                          Alright, alright, alright- come on.

                                      EDMUND
                                (subsides)
                          Oh, man. No, I- hoo.

                                      LEONARD
                          Okay. Okay.

                                      EDMUND
                          Well, of course I will, Leonard!

                                      LEONARD
                          Yeah?

                                      EDMUND
                          Yeah, sure!

                                      LEONARD
                          Well- okay! Damn, thanks Edmund!

                LEONARD raises his glass, which EDMUND matches in cheers.

                                                          CUT TO BLACK.

                                      HARLAN (V.O.)
                          That's good, son. See? You figure these
                          things out. I'm glad for you.

                                      LEONARD (V.O.)
                          Yeah, well. Thing is, though, now I got
                          me, like, a new problem.

                                                                CUT TO:



                INT. LEONARD'S LIVING ROOM - AFTERNOON

                Back in the present, a slightly cleaned up but still
                wrecked looking LEONARD wedges his phone in between his
                ear and shoulder, dialing a number from a piece of paper.

                                                                CUT TO:



                INT. EDMUND'S HOUSE - SAME TIME

                EDMUND's phone rings three times.

                                      EDMUND (O.S.)
                          Yeah. Yeah, yeah. I hear you.

                EDMUND, dressed for golf, enters to pick up his receiver.

                                      EDMUND (CONT'D)
                                (slightly out of breath)
                          Hh- Edmund Collard speaking.

                                                                CUT TO:



                INT. LEONARD'S LIVING ROOM - SAME TIME

                                      LEONARD
                          Hi, Edmund.

                                      EDMUND
                                (on the other end)
                          Leonard? God! Been too long.

                                      LEONARD
                          I know, I know, yeah, real busy.

                                      EDMUND
                                (on the other end)
                          How you keeping, son?

                                      LEONARD
                          Well, Edmund, been better. I- ah- I think
                          I experienced today something akin to...
                          Well, I guess, a diabetic coma.

                                                                CUT TO:



                INT. EDMUND'S HOUSE - SAME TIME

                EDMUND holds the phone, standing silently, before sitting
                down in a chair and facing the wall.

                                      EDMUND
                                (sighs, rubbing his head)
                          Leonard... Ah, jeez. Come on, man. I
                          mean, what do you want me to do for you?

                                      LEONARD
                                (on the other end)
                          I dunno, anything?

                                      EDMUND
                          Well, I sure as hell ain't making a two
                          thousand mile house call, if that's what
                          you're getting at.

                                      LEONARD
                                (on the other end)
                          No, I don't mean like that-

                                      EDMUND
                          Shit, Leonard... You know you've got to
                          do something. I mean, I'm not getting
                          into specifics over the phone, but this
                          sounds like it's gonna get pretty serious
                          and real quick, too.

                                      LEONARD
                                (on the other end)
                          Yeah. I know.

                                      EDMUND
                          Look, it's twenty minutes to Galveston,
                          and I can assure you, they got some real
                          good doctors there.

                LEONARD yells unintelligibly over the other end.

                                      EDMUND (CONT'D)
                                (yelling back)
                          Wait a minute, wait a minute- Stop acting
                          like a child and take some fucking
                          responsibility for your situation!

                                      LEONARD
                                (on the other end)
                          I know. I know.

                                      EDMUND
                                (calmed down)
                          Damn it, Leonard, you know I understand
                          how you feel, but if you don't get on
                          this *now*, you're gonna die.

                                                                CUT TO:



                INT. LEONARD'S LIVING ROOM - SAME TIME

                LEONARD sighs.

                                      LEONARD
                          Alright, but I can't do it, Edmund. I
                          just can't do it.

                Beat.

                                      LEONARD (CONT'D)
                          Boy, I sure wish you hadn't have moved.

                                      EDMUND
                                (on the other end)
                          That's not fair, Leonard.

                                      LEONARD
                          Nah, I mean- I know you got your practice
                          down there now and you're doin' real well
                          and I'm real happy for you and
                          everything. I just-
                                (exhales)
                          Hoo, the way things work out sometimes,
                          you know?

                                                                CUT TO:



                INT. EDMUND'S HOUSE - SAME TIME

                                      EDMUND
                          Yeah, I know, Leonard. I know.

                Beat.

                                      EDMUND (CONT'D)
                          Look, don't do anything stupid like
                          upping your dose a bunch. Eat lots of
                          grain, drink as much water as you can
                          hold, and sleep next to the toilet.
                                (reaching into a drawer)
                          Now, I know you'll hate this, but I'm
                          gonna give you an address, and first
                          thing tomorrow morning, you've got to
                          give it a try.

                LEONARD sighs over the other end.

                                      EDMUND (CONT'D)
                          At least for me, right cowboy?

                                                          CUT TO BLACK.

                                      HARLAN (V.O.)
                          Yeah, son. That is a problem.

                                      LEONARD (V.O.)
                          Well... Yeah.



                INT. WAITING ROOM - NEXT MORNING

                A blonde RECEPTIONIST speaks on the telephone with a
                headset, typing at her computer throughout.

                LEONARD sits in a chair across the room, visibly
                impatient.

                                      RECEPTIONIST
                          No, Thursday isn't going to work. Not at
                          any time before three. After five? I
                          thought you said- oh, alright. Actually,
                          I think there might be a... Hang on a
                          minute... No, not after five, either.
                          There's still an opening for Wednesday at
                          four if you're- What's that? No. Okay.
                          Oh, well, we're closed on the weekends.
                          Yes, that includes Saturday.

                LEONARD stands and leans against the wall, irritated.

                                      RECEPTIONIST (CONT'D)
                          You mean the following Tuesday?
                          Actually... Well, I'll have to check,
                          hang on. Alright, I see that we can get
                          you in at ten o'clock. Ten. AM, yes. Oh,
                          that's alright. No, of course not. The
                          next- Actually, I'm sorry, Wednesday is
                          basically booked. If you want to come in
                          the following Thursday, not the twenty
                          first but the twenty-eighth-

                LEONARD pulls a cigarette out of a pack in his pocket and
                begins to light it.

                                      RECEPTIONIST (CONT'D)
                          Just a moment. Sir?
                                (holds out her hand to
                                LEONARD)
                          Sir.

                LEONARD pauses to look at the RECEPTIONIST.

                                      RECEPTIONIST (CONT'D)
                          You can't- There's no smoking in here.

                LEONARD eventually reacts by plucking the cigarette from
                his mouth and putting it back in the breast pocket of his
                vest.

                                      RECEPTIONIST (CONT'D)
                          Sorry about that. But the Thursday after,
                          the twenty eighth, we would have... let
                          me check... four hours starting at noon,
                          and two hours-

                                                                CUT TO:



                EXT. DOCTOR'S OFFICE - LATER

                LEONARD exits the building and sidles over to a pay
                phone, which he pumps a handful of quarters into,
                dialing.

                                      LEONARD
                                (after a moment, shouting
                                over the traffic and wind)
                          Okay, I couldn't do it! What? It's
                          Leonard! Yeah, I know- you're right!
                          And I'm sorry! But anyway, I'm really
                          really scared about all of this, so I'm
                          thinking I'm just gonna go ahead and load
                          up all my junk on a train and move down
                          to Cimarron! You know, so's that I can
                          keep on seeing you from there!

                Beat.

                                      LEONARD (CONT'D)
                                (laughs)
                          Yeah, I am serious! Uh-huh, that's right!
                          I'll, uh... Well, I'll drop by- I dunno-
                          Tuesday, I guess!

                LEONARD laughs.

                                      LEONARD (CONT'D)
                          Yeah. Okay, Edmund! Ah- you have yourself
                          a good day!

                                                          CUT TO BLACK.

                                      LEONARD (V.O.) (CONT'D)
                          So don't be mad or nothing, Dad, but it's
                          looking like that's how it's gonna have
                          to be.

                                                                CUT TO:



                EXT. LEONARD'S BACKYARD - NIGHT

                LEONARD sits in front of a large, round gravestone, legs
                outstretched. HARLAN CHRISTIAN (built like LEONARD, grey,
                dusty) sits on top of the gravestone, hunched over.

                                      HARLAN
                          Nah, Leonard. I ain't mad.

                LEONARD nods.

                                      LEONARD
                                (exhales)
                          Hoo, the way things turn out sometimes,
                          you know?

                                      HARLAN
                          Yeah, I know, son.
                                (clapping his hands together)
                          So, what're you gonna do with the house?

                                      LEONARD
                          Well, I ain't sure. I hadn't even thought
                          about it. I mean, what do you think, Dad?
                          Should I sell it?

                                      HARLAN
                                (shocked)
                          Sell it? Leonard, what the hell's wrong
                          with you?

                                      LEONARD
                          Well, I don't know, Dad, you asked!

                                      HARLAN
                          What, you need money or something?

                                      LEONARD
                          No, no! Come on, I'm fine. I won't sell
                          it, Jesus. I'm sorry.

                                      HARLAN
                                (sighs)
                          Damn it, Leonard- I just meant, well,
                          have a talk with Larry Masters or
                          somebody and have 'em drop in from time
                          to time. Sell it- Damn place is gonna
                          fall over one of these days!

                                      LEONARD
                          Fine, Dad. Why didn't you just say that
                          in the first place?

                The CHRISTIANS sigh in synchronicity.

                                      HARLAN
                          Well. City life, huh?

                                      LEONARD
                          City life? Dad, you ever been to
                          Cimarron?

                                      HARLAN
                          I know, I know. But, still, it's gonna be
                          different than out here, you know?

                                      LEONARD
                          Well, I know. I'll be alright.

                                      HARLAN
                          Oh yeah, I'm sure you will.

                HARLAN chews his lip for a moment.

                                      HARLAN (CONT'D)
                          But then I reckon that means nobody's
                          gonna come out here and talk to me no
                          more, huh?

                                      LEONARD
                                (scratching his head)
                          Ah, come on, Dad. You're dead.

                                      HARLAN
                          Yeah. Yeah, I guess I am.

                The CHRISTIANS sit in a moment of quiet reflection.

                                      HARLAN (CONT'D)
                          Well, I suppose you got some more packing
                          to do.

                                      LEONARD
                                (getting up)
                          Yeah. Suppose I do.

                                      HARLAN
                          Then I don't wanna keep you none.

                                      LEONARD
                          I'll talk to Larry about the house like
                          you said.

                                      HARLAN
                          Appreciate it. And- ah, I appreciate you
                          coming out here and talking to me about
                          this.

                LEONARD pats his father on the shoulder and starts to
                walk towards the house.

                                      HARLAN (CONT'D)
                          Don't be a stranger, son.
                                (calling after him)
                          Oh, and see if you don't have any luck
                          finding yourself a wife down in Cimarron!
                          I'd sure like to meet myself a New
                          Mexican one of these days!

                                      LEONARDM (O.S.)
                                (laughing)
                          Will do, Dad.

                HARLAN chuckles for a bit, before slapping his thighs and
                hunching forward, looking from side to side as if waiting
                for something.

                                                                FADE TO:



                INT. VICTORIAN KITCHEN - MORNING

                TRAN PHAM's hand reaches high up onto a shelf, wiping off
                a thick coat of dust with a white rag.

                                                                CUT TO:



                INT. VICTORIAN BATHROOM - MOMENTS LATER

                TRAN PHAM's hand clutches a bottle of industrial strength
                cleaner in one hand and a sponge in the other, tackling a
                rusty stain in a sink.

                                                                CUT TO:



                INT. VICTORIAN LIVING ROOM - MOMENTS LATER

                TRAN PHAM's hand plugs a cord into a wall socket,
                immediately blowing the power and switching out the
                lights.

                TRAN sighs.

                                                                CUT TO:



                EXT. SIDE OF VICTORIAN HOUSE - MOMENTS LATER

                TRAN PHAM's hand opens up a circuit box, running up and
                down an array of switches before hesitating over and
                hitting one, sending sparks all over.

                TRAN shrieks.

                                                                CUT TO:



                EXT. VICTORIAN BACKYARD - MOMENTS LATER

                TRAN PHAM stands a swimming pool with a large,
                telescoping net, fishing out leaves and clutter.

                                      VICTORIAN HOUSE (V.O.)
                                (gentle, male voice)
                          You're awfully quiet today.

                                      TRAN
                          Hmm.

                                      VICTORIAN HOUSE (V.O.)
                          Is something wrong, Tran?

                                      TRAN
                          No. I just don't have anything to say.

                                      VICTORIAN HOUSE (V.O.)
                          Then why not hum? You normally hum.

                TRAN continues to clean the pool.

                                      VICTORIAN HOUSE  (V.O.)
                                      (CONT'D)
                          Are there people coming to see me today,
                          Tran?

                                      TRAN
                                (sighs)
                          Uh- yes. There are.

                                      VICTORIAN HOUSE (V.O.)
                          What kind of people?

                TRAN walks around to the other side of the pool, getting
                on her knees and reaching out to fish out a leaf that's
                wandered dead into the center.

                                      VICTORIAN HOUSE (V.O.)
                                      (CONT'D)
                          When are they arriving?

                TRAN continues to reach.

                                      VICTORIAN HOUSE (V.O.)
                                      (CONT'D)
                          I'm sorry about my pool being such a
                          mess. Of course, do you think the people
                          are going to mind that one little leaf?

                TRAN grunts, leaning further over the water, before
                slipping and soaking the front of her shirt in the pool.

                                      TRAN
                          Shit!

                TRAN throws the net into the pool and sits back on her
                hands, irritated.

                                      VICTORIAN HOUSE (V.O.)
                          Are you mad at me, Tran?

                                      TRAN
                          No, I'm not mad, but I'm really, really
                          busy right now and I really need to
                          concentrate, so just shut up for a few
                          minutes, okay?

                After a moment, TRAN gets up and tries wiping her shirt
                off before stepping to the pool and reaching out to grab
                the net and try again on the leaf.

                                      VICTORIAN HOUSE (V.O.)
                          You're such a bitch today.

                                                                CUT TO:



                INT. VICTORIAN HALLWAY - LATER

                TRAN escorts a YOUNG COUPLE (yuppies, attractive) through
                the VICTORIAN HOUSE.

                                      TRAN
                          Okay, the bathroom is a little bit on the
                          cozy side-

                                      GIRLFRIEND
                          Uh-oh...

                                      TRAN
                          - But, it's got something that I
                          absolutely love.

                TRAN opens the door to the bathroom, the COUPLE entering.

                                      BOYFRIEND
                          Oh, wow.

                                      GIRLFRIEND
                                (gasps)
                          Hers and his sinks! Oh, that is too much!

                                      TRAN
                          I know! Don't you love it?

                                                                CUT TO:



                INT. VICTORIAN LIVING ROOM - LATER

                The COUPLE sits on the sofa, across from TRAN in her
                chair.

                                      GIRLFRIEND
                          Now, there are some issues. The street's
                          a little bit busy-

                                      BOYFRIEND
                          And the location.

                                      GIRLFRIEND
                          Stan's of course worried about getting to
                          work. But- actually, I don't honestly
                          think that's gonna be too much of a
                          problem.

                                      TRAN
                          No, it shouldn't be. I mean, Stan, coming
                          from the west end of town, you have the
                          Almendarez bridge traffic-

                                      BOYFRIEND
                          Yeah.

                                      TRAN
                          - so even though this is maybe a couple
                          more miles out- I mean, I've got a lot of
                          clients just like you, and you will not-
                          I guarantee you- will not even notice the
                          difference.

                                      BOYFRIEND
                          Yeah, I've been told that. But, I mean,
                          you have to make sure your bases are
                          covered.

                                      GIRLFRIEND
                          Also, the color is an issue for me.

                                      TRAN
                          Oh, yeah?

                                      GIRLFRIEND
                          Yeah. Actually, I think we'd probably
                          have to paint everything.

                                      BOYFRIEND
                          Uh-huh, I was gonna say-

                                      GIRLFRIEND
                          Maybe something sunnier? Oh, and I
                          really, really don't like the hardwood
                          floor in the bedroom-

                                      BOYFRIEND
                          Hmm.

                                      GIRLFRIEND
                          What?

                                      BOYFRIEND
                          No, it's nothing. I just-

                                      GIRLFRIEND
                          Go ahead, speak your mind.

                                      BOYFRIEND
                          Well, honestly? You know, I didn't mind
                          that.

                                      GIRLFRIEND
                          No?

                                      BOYFRIEND
                          No, not really.

                                      GIRLFRIEND
                          Honey? Ick, ick, ick.

                                      BOYFRIEND
                                (laughs)
                          Of course, I'm not married to it.

                                      TRAN
                                (laughs)
                          Oh, and by the way, all of this is fine.
                          Standard changes, easy changes. No
                          problem whatsoever as far as any of this
                          is concerned.

                                      GIRLFRIEND
                          And, again, with the color. Honestly, I
                          can't even think of what system would
                          work with those walls. You know, I mean
                          as far as carpeting and trim and
                          everything.

                                      TRAN
                          Mm-hm.

                                      GIRLFRIEND
                          So it's a lot of work.

                                      TRAN
                          Mm-hm.

                                      GIRLFRIEND
                          But we love the garden-

                                      VICTORIAN HOUSE (V.O.)
                                (drowning them out)
                          I don't like these people.

                TRAN blinks awkwardly as if slightly thrown.

                                      BOYFRIEND
                          And the pool.

                                      GIRLFRIEND
                          Oh, the pool. And, we love-

                                      VICTORIAN HOUSE (V.O.)
                                (drowning them out)
                          I don't want to be painted. Not by them.
                          Get them out of me.

                                      BOYFRIEND
                                (laughs)
                          I know, definitely.

                                      TRAN
                                (chuckles)
                          Ah, I- I'm sorry, I didn't catch that.

                The GIRLFRIEND begins to speak, but:

                                      VICTORIAN HOUSE (V.O.)
                          Tran, listen to me: These people aren't
                          right. You have to get them out of here,
                          and you have to do it now.

                                      GIRLFRIEND
                          - if that makes any sense.

                                      TRAN
                          Mm-hm. Mm-hm.

                                      GIRLFRIEND
                          So, we're definitely going to keep this
                          one in mind, definitely. But for the next
                          place, if we could try for something-

                                      VICTORIAN HOUSE (V.O.)
                          Tran, please-

                                      TRAN
                                (screaming)
                          Fuck, stop it!

                The COUPLE stares at TRAN.

                                      GIRLFRIEND
                          I'm sorry?

                                                                CUT TO:



                EXT. VICTORIAN BACKYARD - LATER

                Looking in through the sliding glass door as TRAN walks
                up, trying to pull it open to no avail.
                After a few frustrated tugs, she kicks the glass which
                cracks in a large web pattern towards the bottom.

                                      VICTORIAN HOUSE
                          How unnecessary.

                After fidgeting for a moment, TRAN undoes the lock, and
                slides the door open, storming outside.

                                      VICTORIAN HOUSE (CONT'D)
                          Why are you doing this?

                TRAN steps in front of the pool and turns around, facing
                the house.

                                      VICTORIAN HOUSE (CONT'D)
                          There will be more people, Tran. You know
                          that.

                TRAN spreads her arms out like wings and falls backwards
                into the pool, completely submerged.

                                      VICTORIAN HOUSE (CONT'D)
                                (after TRAN has stayed
                                beneath for a while)
                          You're like a child.

                                                                CUT TO:

                SPLIT SCREEN:



                INT. TRAN'S HOUSE - LATER THAT EVENING

                                                            SPLIT WITH:



                INT. TEN'S HOUSE - SAME TIME

                At camera left, TRAN dries her hair with a free hand,
                holding the receiver to her ear with the other, wandering
                towards her kitchen.

                TEN PHAM (ancient-looking, stern), TRAN's mother, is
                sitting on a chair at frame right, holding her receiver
                gracefully, as if it might be made of crystal.

                                      TRAN (SUBTITLE)
                                (spoken in Vietnamese)
                          That is just a ridiculous question.

                                      TEN (SUBTITLE)
                                (spoken in Vietnamese)
                          No it isn't. No, it's a good question.
                          Everything you've been-

                                      TRAN (SUBTITLE)
                                (spoken in Vietnamese)
                          Whether or not I'm happy doesn't have
                          anything to do with-

                                      TEN (SUBTITLE)
                                (spoken in Vietnamese)
                          Tran! Tran!

                                      TRAN (SUBTITLE)
                                (spoken in Vietnamese)
                          - Never mind the implication, which
                          couldn't be any more obvious, but it
                          doesn't have anything to do with
                          anything!

                TRAN opens up her refrigerator.

                                      TEN (SUBTITLE)
                                (spoken in Vietnamese)
                          Yes it does. It does if you're unhappy.

                                      TRAN (SUBTITLE)
                                (spoken in Vietnamese)
                          Okay, then. Yes, I am happy.

                                      TEN (SUBTITLE)
                                (spoken in Vietnamese)
                          You can't be happy just to get me to
                          leave you alone!

                                      TRAN (SUBTITLE)
                                (spoken in Vietnamese)
                          I can't- Is this whole thing a game for
                          you or something?

                After sifting through her refrigerator, TRAN pulls a
                carrot out of the bottom crisper and takes a bite.

                                      TEN (SUBTITLE)
                                (spoken in Vietnamese)
                          Listen to me, Tran: You are unhappy, and
                          I know why you're unhappy, and you know
                          why, too, so I don't even have to say it.

                                      TRAN (SUBTITLE)
                                (spoken in Vietnamese with
                                her mouth full)
                          Good. Then let's move on.

                                      TEN (SUBTITLE)
                                (spoken in Vietnamese)
                          You can't agree with me just to get me to
                          leave you alone!

                TRAN spits the bite of carrot into the sink and throws
                the remainder down the garbage disposal.

                                      TRAN
                                (to herself)
                          No, no. I can't afford another pizza.

                                      TEN (SUBTITLE)
                                (spoken in Vietnamese)
                          What was that?

                                      TRAN (SUBTITLE)
                                (spoken in Vietnamese)
                          Nothing, what were we talking about?

                                      TEN (SUBTITLE)
                                (spoken in Vietnamese)
                          Don't curse me in English, because I
                          know!

                                      TRAN (SUBTITLE)
                                (spoken in Vietnamese)
                          How about you stop being such an asshole
                          and maybe I'll try and have a real
                          conversation with you someday?

                TEN freezes as if struck by an arrow through the heart.

                                      TRAN (CONT'D)
                                (to herself)
                          Oh, stupid. Stupid, stupid...
                                (SUBTITLE)
                                (sighs, spoken in Vietnamese)
                          Mom, I didn't mean it.

                                      TEN (SUBTITLE)
                                (spoken in Vietnamese)
                          All I can think is, if a girl speaks in
                          such a way to her own mother, how does
                          she hope to find a man to settle down
                          with?

                TRAN shrieks

                                      TEN (SUBTITLE) (CONT'D)
                                (spoken in Vietnamese)
                          What about Thomas? Thomas was nice.

                                      TRAN (SUBTITLE)
                                (spoken in Vietnamese)
                          Stop calling my house!

                TRAN hangs up her phone.

                                                                CUT TO:



                EXT. TRAIN STATION - AFTERNOON

                Looking deep-eyed on to the city before him, LEONARD
                steps off of a midday train with a bag on each arm.

                Flaring his nostrils, he takes in a deep breath of
                Cimarron air, before doubling over in a fit of hacking.

                In a bit of a panic, he yanks a zipper down on one of his
                packs, pulling out the first shirt he can get his hands
                on and pressing it over his mouth, coughing heartily into
                it and slowing his breath.

                                      LEONARD
                                (in between sighs)
                          Okay... Gotta get used to a... Tighter
                          air.

                                                          CUT TO BLACK.

                We hear a zipper close.

                                                                CUT TO:



                INT. ART DECO ONE STORY - LATE NIGHT

                Extended quiet interior shots of a vibrantly colored art
                deco house, fully furnished in that late sixties take on
                ultra modern.

                In an explosion of sound and motion, the front door
                swings open, TRAN rushing in from the outside, bundled
                and determined looking.

                                      ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.)
                                (bubbly but calm younger
                                female voice)
                          Oh, Tran! I had no idea you were coming!

                                      TRAN
                                (rushing to the kitchen)
                          Hi, yeah- sorry, so much to- such a...

                                                                CUT TO:



                INT. ART DECO KITCHEN - MOMENTS LATER

                TRAN pauses briefly in the kitchen, scanning the
                cupboards before jerking her head down to the floor,
                watching the linoleum for something.

                                      ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.)
                          What are you here for?

                TRAN's eyes dart up level, pointing towards nothing in
                particular.

                                      TRAN
                                (choosing her words
                                carefully)
                          Oh, I'm just here because of... the- ah,
                          the trim.

                TRAN gets on her hands and knees, reaching into the
                corner behind the furnishings to feel at the floor-to
                wall trimming, as if to strip it away.

                                      TRAN (CONT'D)
                          It's very thick rubber, it's extremely
                          scuffed up, and it doesn't at all
                          coordinate with the theme of the room.
                                (grunting now)
                          And I have no idea what kind of tools-

                                      ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.)
                          Tran, that can't be why you're here.

                TRAN fidgets for a few seconds more, before stopping
                entirely.

                                      TRAN
                          No, yeah... Of course you're right, I
                          mean, of course it's not. I was
                          actually...
                                (edging out of the kitchen)
                          I was rushing over to do a little bit of
                          emergency landscaping.

                                                                CUT TO:



                EXT. ART DECO BACKYARD - MOMENTS LATER

                TRAN breezes into the backyard, where she begins to scoop
                up stepping stones.

                                      TRAN
                          These stones are, like, really really old
                          world, which is totally confusing the
                          whole ultra, ah, contemporary sort of vib
                          you have going here. I'm not a feng shui
                          kind of girl or anything, you know that,
                          but it's, like, I dunno! A total drag.
                          Just misguided, stupid. Did I put these
                          here? I did, didn't I? Stupid. Stupid.
                          Obvious. Stupid.

                TRAN collects an armful of stones and dumps them by the
                entry way of the house, before returning to collect the
                remainder.

                                      ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.)
                          Tran, come on. That isn't why you're
                          here.

                TRAN freezes, back to the house.

                                      TRAN
                                (softly, as if scolding
                                herself)
                          No. Ah- no.
                                (instantly)
                          It was the fucking blinds!

                TRAN fires off back inside.

                                                                CUT TO:



                INT. ART DECO FAMILY ROOM - MOMENTS LATER

                TRAN dashes towards the windows and pulls a pair of
                scissors from her pocket, lining them up with a support
                string for a set of venetian blinds.

                                      TRAN
                          These windows are so tiny, it's
                          absolutely disgusting. No idea who did
                          this or what they were thinking,
                                (she snips a string, sending
                                a set of blinds to the
                                floor)
                          But any sunlight I can possibly squeeze
                          into this family room, that's twenty
                          thousand right there. Easy. Just like
                          that. If I can just get a little bit
                          more...
                                (snips another string,
                                another blind falls)
                          I'd even knock out a big chunk, right?
                          A huge rectangle, dead in the middle. If
                          I could just be sure-

                                      ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.)
                          Tran, it's not this.

                TRAN groans sickly, dropping her scissors.

                                      TRAN
                          Why not? Why isn't it this? It could be
                          this.

                                      ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.)
                          No, Tran. It can't.

                                      TRAN
                                (completely exasperated)
                          Yes it can!

                                      ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.)
                          Tran, there's no way you came here about
                          the blinds.

                                      TRAN
                          Well, why not?

                                      ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.)
                          Because it's four-thirty in the morning
                          on Tuesday.

                TRAN closes her eyes, breathing and standing.

                                      ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.)
                                      (CONT'D)
                          What are you here for, Tran?

                TRAN falls on her ass and crosses her legs, head slumped
                over embarrassed.

                                      TRAN
                                (softly)
                          I'm here because I have to talk now or
                          else I'm gonna die.

                                                                CUT TO:



                INT. ART DECO KITCHEN - LATER

                TRAN runs her finger along the rim of a glass of deep
                Merlot, looking deeply perturbed.

                                      ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.)
                          What do they say you do in the magazines?

                                      TRAN
                          What? In the magazines? Turn to page 53
                          for special mail-in rebate, try this
                          recipe at home, send a letter to the
                          editor.

                                      ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.)
                          No, the smart ones. I think they say
                          you've got to identify the problem.

                                      TRAN
                          Okay, right! No, that's good advice, but
                          that's exactly what the problem is. I
                          can't even *describe* the problem.
                          Everything's a problem, so I know there's
                          a problem, but I can't tell you where the
                          problem ends and I start, or something.
                          Maybe not even that, I don't know.

                                      ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.)
                          Well, isn't part of the problem admitting
                          that you have a problem?

                                      TRAN
                          I think that's only if I'm a crack addict
                          or something.

                                      ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.)
                          And you're not?

                                      TRAN
                          No, definitely not.

                                      ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.)
                          Okay, so we're one step closer!

                TRAN buries her head on the table.

                                      ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.)
                                      (CONT'D)
                          Just a joke. Look, I'm mostly just
                          repeating things I heard on television
                          and whatever.

                                      TRAN
                                (into her arms, still
                                sprawled on the table)
                          It's okay. People do that, too.

                                      ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.)
                          Is it one big problem or a lot of little
                          problems?

                                      TRAN
                                (after a pause)
                          A lot of little.

                                      ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.)
                          Well, maybe that really is the problem,
                          then! Maybe you're so overwhelmed by the
                          bunch of little problems that you don't
                          understand the big picture or the big
                          problem, and that's why you're confused!
                          Too many little problems, right?

                TRAN lifts her head up, eyebrow cocked.

                                      TRAN
                          In a very strange way, I think you might
                          be onto something.

                                      ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.)
                          Okay! So, let's try that! Just name a
                          bunch little problems in your life, okay?

                                      TRAN
                                (sighs heavy)
                          No, it passed. You're definitely wrong
                          again.

                                      ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.)
                          Come on, it would be fun!

                                      TRAN
                          What the fuck are you talking about? It
                          wouldn't be fun at all. What, you mean,
                          for you?

                                      ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.)
                          Yeah! And for you, it'll be cathartic.

                                      TRAN
                          I just-
                                (groans)

                Beat.

                                      ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.)
                          Well?

                                      TRAN
                          My mom is calling me way too much.

                Beat.

                                      ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.)
                          Oh.

                                      TRAN
                          See? That's stupid! That's not even a
                          problem, and it must not be the problem,
                          because I'm not an idiot and I wouldn't
                          get all worked up about something like
                          that.

                                      ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.)
                          Relax, relax. Just roll with the punches,
                          yeah?

                                      TRAN
                          And, you know... I hate myself that I
                          have to do this.

                                      ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.)
                          Do...?

                                      TRAN
                          Talk to fucking houses? I get sad so I
                          talk to a house?

                                      ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.)
                          Well, I think that one's alright-

                                      TRAN
                          What, am I just supposed to be poor
                          forever until I'm dead? So I can never
                          afford to go out and eat good food and do
                          regular people things, and see a real
                          therapist? A real human therapist, with a
                          big leather couch and maybe even a
                          moustache?

                                      ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.)
                          I may not have the best advice, but-

                                      TRAN
                          Ugh, like that! Stop getting so
                          defensive! You don't even exist, it's
                          ridiculous!

                                      ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.)
                          Well. Where reasonable minds differ.

                                      TRAN
                          And, on another note, you are a big, big
                          fucking problem.

                                      ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.)
                          Excuse me?

                                      TRAN
                          I'm never going to sell you, ever.

                                      ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.)
                                (gasps)
                          And why's that?!

                                      TRAN
                          Because you're absolutely atrocious. I
                          spend hours at a time on you, chipping
                          away, stripping and destroying and
                          rebuilding, and every time I get a walk
                          in, they just stare at me like, 'Oh, you
                          must be joking.'
                                (letting it sink in)
                          You disgust everybody and you waste my
                          time.

                                      ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.)
                          I always just assumed you were sabotaging
                          the viewings because you didn't want to
                          lose me.

                TRAN frowns at her Merlot, irritated at first, but
                resorts to frustrated laughter, instead.

                                      ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.)
                                      (CONT'D)
                          But I guess not.

                TRAN's laughter slowly, slowly trails off.

                                      TRAN
                          And... and then Thomas.

                                      ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.)
                          I remember this part, I'm almost sure.
                          Almost sure you mentioned him before.

                                      TRAN
                          I'm afraid of Thomas. I know he's getting
                          worse and worse. He's definitely getting
                          less predictable. I'm- you know, I'm not
                          sure if he even knows what he's doing
                          anymore.

                                      ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.)
                          That he might hurt himself?

                                      TRAN
                          What? No! Hurt me. Hurt me. Hurt himself-
                          Thomas always- he's always hurting
                          himself. Shit, if that bothered me I'd
                          never leave this kitchen.

                                      ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.)
                          But you and he were together for some
                          time?

                                      TRAN
                          Some time, I- yeah. Not very long, no. I
                          just- He was never ever my type, even
                          before all of the... You know, Thomas has
                          a very...

                TRAN trails off and stares at her glass. Lifting it, she
                pours the contents down her throat in a single gulp. With
                a small belch and a cough, she inhales deeply before
                continuing.

                                      TRAN (CONT'D)
                          Thomas has a very effective way of
                          presenting himself.

                                                                CUT TO:



                INT. COUNTY COURTHOUSE - AFTERNOON

                THOMAS SEXTON stands at a window, talking to a courthouse
                receptionist.

                                      THOMAS
                          You know, you call this a citizen
                          service, but you people haven't actually
                          covered your end.

                                      COURTHOUSE RECEPTIONIST
                          Sir-

                                      THOMAS
                          Yeah, I know, I know. Duty of the people
                          and everything, but you've got to admit,
                                (leaning in to whisper)
                          It's a pretty shoddily run operation
                          you've got here, isn't it?

                                      COURTHOUSE RECEPTIONIST
                                (sighs)
                          Sir...

                                      THOMAS
                                (lowering his whisper)
                          Well, the waiting? I mean, we don't eat,
                          there's nothing to read. What, we just
                          sit and wait?

                                      COURTHOUSE RECEPTIONIST
                          We're very busy, here, sir

                                      THOMAS
                          But don't get me wrong, here: I'm not
                          trying to get down on you or call you out
                          or anything. But, you know, I mean- I'd
                          probably sit a lot easier if you'd just
                          admit that you guys are being real
                          terrific assholes from your side of the
                          bargain.

                                      COURTHOUSE RECEPTIONIST
                          Alright, Mr.-

                                      THOMAS
                          Sexton.

                                      COURTHOUSE RECEPTIONIST
                          Sexton. We of the Renderos County Court
                          system- I, my co-workers, and all of my
                          professional affiliations- are being real
                          terrific assholes from our side of the
                          bargain.

                THOMAS tightens his lips and nods.

                                      THOMAS
                          Alright.
                                (slaps the counter)
                          Thank you.

                                      COURTHOUSE RECEPTIONIST
                          Thank you, Mr. Sexton.

                THOMAS returns to his seat, arms folded contentedly.

                Next to him sits a bemused, onlooking TRAN PHAM, who
                glances back and forth between the COURTHOUSE
                RECEPTIONIST and THOMAS.

                                      TRAN
                          That was very brassy.

                                      THOMAS
                          Oh, the- uh-
                                (chuckles)
                          Yeah, thanks.

                                      TRAN
                          I know a lot of people probably try to
                          wiggle their way out of jury duty, but I
                          think you might have actually found an
                          exit just now.

                                      THOMAS
                          Wait, you mean- Oh, I hope not! Ah, come
                          on, I've been looking forward to this all
                          week.

                TRAN laughs at first.

                                      TRAN
                          You're serious?

                                      THOMAS
                          Yeah, man- We're not getting some petty
                          thief or something. Trial by jury. Come
                          on, what if we get, like, a murder, or a
                          rape, or something? No, I just did that
                          because they shouldn't make us wait like
                          this. You know?

                                      TRAN
                                (nodding)
                          You like murder and rape?

                                      THOMAS
                          Well, I mean- everyone's got to admit,
                          it's interesting. From a purely
                          psychological standpoint. You know, as
                          long as it's not happening to you, it's
                          interesting.

                                      TRAN
                          I guess so. Well, if I get picked and you
                          don't, I'll happily trade.

                                      THOMAS
                          I would say yes. I would. But I don't
                          think I look very Chinese.

                They laugh lightly.

                                      THOMAS (CONT'D)
                          Of course, now I feel like a jerk for
                          saying that, because I'm *positive*
                          you're not Chinese.

                                      TRAN
                          Vietnamese.

                                      THOMAS
                          Hey, what's your name? Can I ask?

                                      TRAN
                          Yeah. It's Tran Pham.

                                      THOMAS
                          Tram-

                                      TRAN
                          Tran.

                                      THOMAS
                          Tran Pham.

                                      TRAN
                          Uh-huh.

                                      THOMAS
                          Okay! Yeah, that's very, very pretty.

                                      TRAN
                          I've never thought so.

                                      THOMAS
                          How do you spell that?

                                      TRAN
                          Me? I spell it in Vietnamese.

                THOMAS nods.

                                      TRAN (CONT'D)
                          And that was a joke.

                                      THOMAS
                          Of course! Yeah!
                                (laughs)
                          Sorry, a long day.

                                      TRAN
                          Here, take my card.

                TRAN produces from her purse an attractive, orange
                business card, handing it to Thomas.

                                      TRAN'S CARD
                          Tran Pham
                          Agent
                          Maxi Real Estate

                                      THOMAS
                          Real Estate agent?

                                      TRAN
                          Yeah.

                                      THOMAS
                          If I said I needed one, I'd just be lying
                          because you're pretty.

                                      TRAN
                          Mm-hm. Well, I do alright, as is.

                                      THOMAS
                          Oh, how rude- here, this is mine.

                THOMAS removes his battered wallet and hands her a plain
                white card.

                                      THOMAS' CARD
                          Thomas Sexton
                          Sexton and Holmes

                                      TRAN
                                (intrigued)
                          Oh! Sexton and Holmes? Like on
                          television?

                THOMAS chuckles nervously.

                                      TRAN(CONT'D)
                          Boy, Sexton of Sexton and Holmes.
                          Insurance, right?
                                (shakes her head)
                          It's impressive. Thomas, how old are you?

                                      THOMAS
                          Ah- Twenty-six. Twenty-six.

                                      TRAN
                          A young entrepreneur. That's sort of the
                          American thing, isn't it?

                                      THOMAS
                          Well, I guess, but it's-
                                (suddenly harsh)
                          I hate talking about this stuff, Tran.
                          Really.

                                      TRAN
                          Oh. I'm sorry.

                                      THOMAS
                          Why can't we take a clue from the
                          British? See, over there, you can get
                          away with pretty much anything in
                          conversation- everything's fair game. But
                          there are three topics that you cannot
                          breach- *cannot*.

                                      TRAN
                          Okay.

                                      THOMAS
                          It's a well known fact. One of them's
                          religion, one of them's politics, and the
                          other is money.

                                      TRAN
                                (after a pause)
                          Hmm.

                                      THOMAS
                          And I'm all for that. All for it. I'm not
                          religious, I've never been, and if you
                          are, I wouldn't care to know. And then,
                          Politics are just a thing you bring up
                          when you want to sound smart or piss off
                          somebody at a dinner party, right?

                                      TRAN
                          Well-

                                      THOMAS
                          And who cares whether or not I have
                          money? Or whether or not you have money?
                          If I do or don't, whatever. Money is a
                          two second conversation that doesn't ever
                          need to be had. Yes or no: Do you have
                          it? That's it. Beyond that, aren't you
                          just blowing smoke out of your ass?

                                      TRAN
                          It's a philosophy. Definitely a
                          philosophy.

                                      THOMAS
                          Anyway, lemme shut up. What's Vietnam
                          like?

                                      TRAN
                          Well, from what I hear, jungle, rain,
                          swarming with gooks and child suicide
                          bombers, right?

                                      THOMAS
                          I...

                                      TRAN
                          I was born in Philadelphia.

                                      THOMAS
                                (laughs)
                          Right, ah!

                                      TRAN
                          But if I hear anything, I'll let you
                          know.

                THOMAS laughs and nods his head, crossing his arms.

                The two sit comfortably, waiting for somebody's name to
                be called.

                                                          CUT TO BLACK.

                A key turns in its latch.

                                                                CUT TO:



                INT. HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT

                A BELLHOP opens the door and LEONARD enters, setting his
                two bags down on the bed. The BELLHOP follows.

                                      BELLHOP
                          This is room 308, sir- Shower in here,
                          with linens and toiletries provided. You
                          get basic cable with the optional adult
                          entertainment package. We have wireless
                          internet, and if you need anything from
                          the desk, please don't hesitate to call.

                LEONARD pulls open the curtain and looks into the street.

                                      LEONARD
                          ...Okay. And the- and the shitter?

                                      BELLHOP
                                (clears his throat)
                          Facilities in that room, again. With the
                          shower.

                LEONARD saunters over to the bathroom to look inside.

                                      LEONARD
                          Ah, yeah. Alright. Those windows open?

                                      BELLHOP
                          Uh, no.

                                      LEONARD
                          Mhm. Why not?

                                      BELLHOP
                          Well, with the safety risk and whatnot.

                                      LEONARD
                          Huh. What, do people just fall out of
                          windows around here?

                                      BELLHOP
                          I can ask at the desk, if-

                                      LEONARD
                          No, it's fine.

                They pause and face each other for a moment, the BELLHOP
                crossing his hands in front of his body.

                                      LEONARD (CONT'D)
                          Ah, shit- sorry.
                                (digging through his pocket)
                          I guess I ain't even really been inside a
                          hotel since I was up in Canada with my
                          folks. And that was the seventies, I
                          reckon. Dunno, though- seems like the
                          rooms got even smaller since then.

                LEONARD finally hands the BELLHOP several torn, crumpled,
                sweaty bills, which the BELLHOP pockets.

                                      BELLHOP
                          Yes, I'm sure you're right, Mr.
                          Christian. Well, please enjoy your night.
                          And again, don't hesitate to phone the
                          desk for anything you may require.

                LEONARD falls back on his bed.

                                      LEONARD
                          Yeah, alright.

                                      BELLHOP
                          Good evening, sir.

                BELLHOP excuses himself from the room.

                LEONARD stares at the ceiling momentarily before getting
                up and walking to the television, turning it on and off
                several times.

                LEONARD turns to the window and moves towards it, pulling
                hooking his fingers around the curtains for a peak into
                the street.

                The sound of traffic builds.
© Copyright 2007 Dillon (wazawaii at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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