T H E F I S H E R K I N G a screenplay by RICHARD LAGRAVENESE COPYRIGHT (c) 1988 LAGRAVENESE HILL/OBST PRODUCTIONS REVISED - JANUARY 20, 1989 INT. DARKENED BEDROOM - DAWN C.U. - A RADIO/ALARM CLOCK reads 5:59 a.m., the digital numbers flip to 6:00 and the radio goes on: A TALK SHOW HOST speaks in a soft, soothing voice: JACK (V.O.) It's six AM...Ooooooo and that bed never felt sooooo gooood...Mmmm, you linger in a gentle dream state...ever so comfortable... ever so safe... SOUND EFFECTS - LOUD BATTLE NOISE... ...BUT SUDDENLY YOU REALIZE IT'S MONDAY! A WOMAN SCREAMS...the D.J., JACK, speaks in a rapid fire pace... A HAND from O.C. tries to shut the alarm off in the dark. ...your hand races to shut off the alarm before your mind wakes up... SCREAMS...THE HAND knocks over a water glass and grabs the clock but can't find the OFF switch. ...But it's too late! If you don't get out of bed now, you'll never have enough time to blow dry your hair THAT SPECIAL WAY... You'll never make that nine o'clock meeting that your PARTNER WILL BE EARLY FOR... YOU'LL BE LATE AND EVERYONE WILL NOTICE! The HAND bangs the clock violently... ...Rumors will fly about you losing your edge and before you know it, you're selling yourself on street corners to lonely middle-aged men from the Midwest... Headlines flash across your mind - SLEEPER GUNS D.J. THEN SELF - CLAIMED "I only wanted two more minutes!" SCREAMS...SILENCE...The D.J. (Jack) speaks in a normal voice. ...Hey, it's Monday morning, and I'm Jack Lucas. THE HAND rips the clock off the night table. OPENING CREDITS BEGIN........ INT. KITCHEN - MORNING. A MAN in a shower listening to the radio... WOMAN (V.O.) (upset) ...I don't have to talk to you. JACK (V.O.) Yes...Yes, you do because you see, today, you're our - PRE-RECORDED ECHOING V.O. SPOTLIGHT CELEBRITY. WOMAN (V.O.) No, it's none of your business - it's MY business - and I'm very private about what is my business. JACK (V.O.) OH, PLEASE! You had sex with the Prime Minister of Belize in the parking lot of Sea World... You're telling me you're a private kind of person. No...You're our... PRE-RECORDED ECHOING V.O. SPOTLIGHT CELEBRITY.... WOMAN (V.O.) Listen, I have been humiliated enough already! JACK (V.O.) Perhaps not - We need those details.... The Woman hangs up... CREW (V.O.) Oooooooo.... CUT TO: INT. BATHROOM - MORNING. A NAKED MAN shaves as he listens to the radio. JACK (V.O.) I'm peeved! I'm calling Belize! (telephone sounds) ...I WANT TO SPEAK TO THE PRIME MINISTER, PRONTO! VOICE (V.O.) Yes...Belize Central Office. JACK (V.O.) Yes...yes, hello...Hello, this is Jack Lucas of the United States and I want to speak to the Prime Minister of Belize, PRONTO!... VOICE ON PHONE (V.O.) He's not in. JACK (V.O.) What you mean he's not in - you mean nobody's running the country! You mean I could just walk in there right now and take you up for a COUP before lunch. VARIOUS CREW MEMBERS (V.O.) SURE! LET'S DO IT! LET'S CALL FRANCE! CUT TO: INT. KITCHEN - 7:45 AM. A WOMAN in a bathrobe fixes herself coffee as the radio plays. JACK (V.O.) Hi, this is Jack Lucas and we're discussing PERSONAL PET PEEVES... Go ahead, caller... CALLER (V.O.) O.K. Well, It's my husband. He drives me crazy. I'll be talking and he'll never let me finish a sentence...He's always finishing my... JACK (V.O.) (overlapping) Finishing your thoughts...that's awful. CALLER (V.O.) Oh, that "drives me...." JACK (V.O.) Drives you crazy, huh? The scoundrel! INT. KITCHEN - 9:15 AM. A MAN reads the newspaper and sips coffee, as the radio plays. CALLER (V.O.) Hello Jack. It's Edwin. JACK AND CREW (V.O.) IT'S EDWIN!!!! New Years Eve sound effects. JACK (V.O.) Edwin. We haven't heard from you in a while. I've missed you. EDWIN (V.O.) (laughing good-naturedly) O.K....O.K... JACK AND CREW (V.O.) Awwww.......!!!!! SOUND EFFECTS - "A SUMMER PLACE"...THE NEEDLE IS SCRATCHED OFF. EDWIN laughs, perhaps a bit over zealously - HE is a SIMPLE-MINDED SOUL...a lonely child in the body of a lonely man. JACK (V.O.) So, Edwin, baby, this is Sunrise Confession time...what have you got for us? EDWIN (V.O.) I...I...went to this bar..this very, ya know, IN place...called The Side Bar. JACK (V.O.) I know the place. It's one of those YUPPIE gathering holes. I told you to stay away from them, Edwin. Yuppies are diseased individuals who went to private schools and took scouting serious. EDWIN (V.O.) (simple-minded laughter) Okay...I know but...I met this beautiful girl... SOUND EFFECT - "WEDDING BELLS" THEN A NEEDLE SCRATCHING IT OFF. JACK (V.O.) Now, Edwin, I'm going to have to remind you of the time we made you propose to that check-out girl at Thrifty's that you liked so much. Remember her reaction? BLACK SEVENTIES GROUP (V.O.) "MISTER BIG STUFF...HUH...TELL ME ...WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE... MISTER BIG STUFF...YOU'RE NEVER GOING TO GET MY LOVE..." EDWIN (V.O.) (defensive) I wasn't really serious about her, Jack. That was just a joke for you guys...She was just a girl. This is a woman. She wears pearls. JACK & CREW (V.O.) Aahhh. EDWIN (V.O.) I think she likes me...she gave me her number, but she must work a lot 'cause when I call she's never home...But I think we'll go out this weekend...I've - JACK (V.O.) Yeah, Edwin, SURE...and PINNOCHIO is a true story...EDWIN! WAKE UP! This is ANOTHER fairy tale. EDWIN (V.O.) No, Jack, no, it's not. JACK (V.O.) She gave you the brush off, kiddo. How long ago did you meet? EDWIN (V.O.) Um...I think it's like two weeks almost. JACK (V.O.) TWO WEEKS? And she's never home? What, does she commute to Siagon every day? Edwin, please... EDWIN (V.O.) (hurt) JACK! She LIKES me. She said for me to call. MICHAEL MCDONALD (V.O.) (sings) "WHAT A FOOL BELIEVES...HE SEES.." EDWIN (V.O.) (over the song) JACK! JACK (V.O.) I told you about those kind of people, Edwin. They only mate with their own kind. It's called YUPPIE IN-BREEDING - that's why so many of them are retarded and wear the same clothes. You are not their kind Edwin...They're not human. They're evil, Edwin. SLIGHT PAUSE, as EDWIN considers this. EDWIN (V.O.) (serious) O.K., Jack. END CREDITS CUT TO: INT. RADIO STATION - 9:30 AM. CAMERA PANS from a wall clock as JACK LUCAS winds up his broadcast: JACK LUCAS (O.C.) Well, I'm gone. I'm outta here. It's been a thrill, as always. (false sincerity) "Have a perfect day"...and remember, bosses are just cruel third graders who have grown up and only pretended to be mature so they could get jobs and be cruel for money. WE PAN several studio technicians making ready for the end of the broadcast to the talk show host JACK LUCAS - handsome, aggressive, intelligent - an underground media star. JACK Everyone here on the Jack Lucas Morning Show says bye. CREW BYE! THANKS FOR THE MEMORY plays. JACK This is Jack Lucas...So long... arriverderch...I'll be sure to send you a thought as you struggle through yet another eternal nine-to-fiver...Yes, I will - as I drive home in my limo...lay out on my sun deck...have sex with the teenager of my choice...And that thought will be: Thank God I'm me! JACK (annoyed, to the room) I want you all to know I'm getting sick again and it's because someone keeps forgetting to raise the thermostat before I come in here...My ass is freezing for the first hour. A TECHY makes mocking faces behind his back. Another TECHY suppresses a laugh. CUT TO: INT. JACK'S APARTMENT - AFTERNOON. An expansive Tribeca loft. The modern, minimalist decor gives it a sleek, cold feeling. A space full of angles and edges, with no place to feel safe and sound. CUT TO: A BATHROOM MEDICINE CHEST - The mirrored door closes revealing JACK'S reflection - his head and body still wet from the shower. HE begins to towel himself dry. HE take a good look at his handsome face in the mirror - admiring every contour, every pore. HIS eyes light up with satisfaction. CUT TO: KITCHEN AREA JACK'S GIRLFRIEND, SONDRA - an artist with a beautifully sculptured face and body - sleek, cold, like JACK'S apartment, there is no place to feel safe and sound. SHE is eating a bowl of cereal, studying the cereal box. Beside her is a SKETCHPAD with an ink drawing of a stalk of wheat (similar to the cereal box) growing out of the belly button of a naked male-figure who's torso/pelvis is shaped like a map of America. JACK enters, toweling his hair. SONDRA I know it's predictable but I've decided to just go with it and make his penis Florida. JACK Can I ask that when you clean your hands you wipe the ink off the inside of the sink before it stains the porcelain. SONDRA You can ask. JACK exits CUT TO: INT. BEDROOM AREA - SAME TIME JACK'S hand picks up a television script entitled; "ON THE RADIO" HE slides onto the bed with the script in his lap and opens to the first page...HE closes the script and breathes a sigh - leaning back against the pillow, holding the script to his chest and closing his eyes as if he were making a wish. SONDRA (O.C.) Raoul called before. About dinner. JACK quickly opens his eyes. SONDRA crosses to the wall of closets and begins to undress. JACK About dinner as a concept or about dinner with... (over-enunciating) R A O U L? SONDRA (deadpan) You're so witty. I'm so jealous. (BEAT) I NEED to get out of here, Jack, and do something other than sit in this apartment and count how many funny lines you have per page. JACK You know, tomorrow's a very big day for me...And it would be nice if you acted like you understood. SONDRA Fine. I'll say no. JACK It IS my first day of taping, Sondra. SONDRA (O.C.) Fine. JACK (looking at script; sincere, vulnerable) First time in my life I'll be a voice with a body. Do you know what that means? What this could lead to? SONDRA (unsnapping her bra in the front) Jack, it's a sitcom - you're not splitting the atom. JACK I'll remember that the next time you get excited over drawing pubic hairs on raisin bran. (lighting joint and inhaling) Want some? SONDRA No, I have to work. JACK How un-sixties of you. SONDRA I was nine in the sixties. JACK I used to think my biography would be JACK LUCAS - THE FACE BEHIND THE VOICE, but now it can be JACK LUCAS, THE FACE AND THE VOICE...or maybe just JACK - EXCLAMATION POINT... SONDRA slips off her panties. JACK eyes her butt as she crossed into the bathroom. Feeling sexy, he rises and follows her. SONDRA leans over and turns on the shower. The bathroom door slams behind her. SHE turns quickly. JACK is standing there, naked. Acting sexy, HE walks toward her as he flexes his chest muscles - right, left, right, left...HE grabs her is his arms, dips her over backwards and kisses her passionately. HE raises her up. SONDRA (unaffected) Jack, I have work to do, too. I just want to take a shower... HE dips her again, kisses her, this time leaving her "dipped." ...Can't we do this later?... JACK scoops her up in his arms. ...JACK!...What are you-- HE makes his way out of the bathroom, which is difficult - considering it's small and cluttered as SONDRA has long legs. When HE turns, SONDRA'S feet knock over their cosmetic shelf... HE turns the other way, purposely smothering her head in the towels. SONDRA can't help but laugh... JACK (overly seductive) I can't open the door, my darling. SONDRA Well, you better open the door - 'cause I'm not getting it in a bathroom. JACK Yes, my darling. HE eases her down, keeping his arm around her, opens the door and guides her out as he kisses her neck. SONDRA You're a maniac. JACK (O.C.) (comically seductive) You make me wet. SONDRA (O.C.) If we do this now, can I have dinner with Raoul? CUT TO: INT. JACK'S BEDROOM - NIGHT A MONTAGE OF JACK'S EVENING ALONE. 1 - JACK turns on his CD player and moves about the empty living room, singing along with FRANK SINATRA: "IN THE WEE SMALL HOURS OF THE MORNING." (THE SONG plays in BG to #4) 2 - JACK on the phone, struggling with a Chinese take-out order. JACK No...I want one order beef with baby peas...and two egg roll..ONE ORDER BEEF. Is there anyone who speaks English there...I'm sorry but you're bumming me out - I want one order BEEF WITH BABY PEAS... and TWO egg roll...O.K...You understand now? Jack Lucas... Lucas...L - U -...L! L! L!...Like in...Lichee nut! Lichee! Leper! 3 - JACK UNPLUGS HIS PHONE and picks up a copy of his script. HE faces a full length mirror. HE throws the script down, takes a dramatic breath, them plays to his reflection. JACK "...I want my... False start. JACK clears his throat, pauses, then tries again... ...I want my orange cup with the teddy bear." 4 - CAMERA PANS a bathroom floor - a brown paper bag, plate of half-eaten Chinese food, a bottle of beer, into a bathtub where JACK languishes in a bubble bath, browsing through a brochure of FERRARIS - "oooooing" and "Aaahhhing" orgasmically at each picture. The STEREO now PLAYS - BOB MARLEY'S, "IS THIS LOVE." JACK suddenly closes the magazine and recites... JACK "IwantMYorangecupWITHtheteddybear. IwantmyORANGEcupwiththeteddybear. IwantmyorangecupwiththeTEDDYbear." (smiles) You could burp these lines and you'd be funny. (sincere amazed realization) I have this. I have this. (sinks into tub and Whispers) I really have this. END OF MONTAGE CUT TO: INT. JACK'S BEDROOM - NIGHT ALARM CLOCK - it reads 11:15. JACK tosses the script onto his night table and begins to rub his head. The television on, but the volume off. A half-eaten dessert sits beside him. HE suddenly notices an 8x1O glossy of himself broadcast on the TV. Confused, JACK picks up his remote and raises the volume. TELEVISION - A NEWS BROADCAST: a REPORTER in mid-report. REPORTER ...suggested that Mr. Malnick return to the scene of his initial meeting... CUT TO: EXT. THE SIDE BAR - NIGHT REPORTER (V.O.) An after work hot spot, the Side Bar...is popular with single young professionals. Edwin Malnick arrived at the peak hour of 7:15, took a long look at the handsome collection of the city's best and brightest - then removed a shotgun from his overcoat and opened fire. JACK'S face turns white. CUT TO: INT. SIDE BAR - NIGHT The bar's glass has been blasted. Tables are overturned. Paramedics are running about. REPORTER Seven people were killed before Mr. Malnick... A PICTURE OF EDWIN MALNICK is shown as the REPORTER continues. ...turned the gun on himself and shot a hole through his head... EDWIN MALNICK looked sad and harmless. JACK quickly grabs the PHONE and RE-PLUGS it. HE is about to make a call when he is stopped by the REPORTER mentioning his name... REPORTER (ON TV) The last person Mr. Malnick spoke to was Jack Lucas. Representatives of Mr. Lucas expressed regret, however, no formal comment has been made. But a lonely man reached out to a world he knows only through his radio - looking for friendship...finding only pain ...and tragedy. This is Mark Shaffer...Channel Ten news. JACK is frozen. His breathing grows heavy. HIS phone begins to ring, but JACK is unable to move. CUT TO: EXT. VIDEO STOP - DAY WE SUPER: A YEAR or so LATER. CUT TO: INT. VIDEO STOP - DAY. CAMERA PANS the CUSTOMERS at the counter of the video store. PUDGY WOMAN (to counter person) I can't watch foreign movies when I eat - they make me nauseous. CAMERA PANS TO a variety of CUSTOMERS looking through the shelves. CUT TO: INT. VIDEO STOP OFFICE - SAME TIME CLOSE UP - THE HEADLINE OF A SENSATIONALIST (NATIONAL ENQUIRER) T WOMAN KILLS PLASTIC SURGEON, THEN SELF TOLD FRIENDS; I CAN'T BLINK WITHOUT PAIN The picture of a bug-eyed society woman is below the caption. ANNE, the owner of the store, enters abruptly - closing the office door behind her, a cigarette dangling for her mouth. Her desk is organized litter - her walls are filled with porno tapes. SHE searches for one as she talks. ANNE These people are insane today. They took insane pills... A bit about ANNE as she searches for a video. ANNE is in her mid-to-late thirties....and she is all woman. She has a raw, earthy, unmistakable sensuality. Her red lipstick matches her red nail polish like a hat and glove set. Inlaid on each nail is a rhinestone design of a little star. Her angora sweaters are tight and clinging, giving her breasts a decided lift and perkiness. Her tight slacks and backless pumps that slap the ground, encourage her buns to have a life of their own. A half-smoked cigarette hangs out of her mouth with great expertise - a skill ANNE obviously picked up in a high school bathroom. Her voice is thick with a delicious Brooklyn twang. SHE is pure street-wise in attitude, philosophy and emotions. SHE turns and speaks to the man behind the tabloid. ANNE Hey! Mr. Happiness! THE MAN LOWERS THE NEWSPAPER: It is JACK LUCAS. No longer the aggressive radio star, but more a man who looks like he hasn't slept in months. Rings under the eyes, a sullen yet cynical expression across his face. An intolerant and self-pitying misanthrope..The outrageous articles fascinate him. HE stares back at her pitifully. ANNE Are we going to work a little today or are ya gonna act like your puppy's been run over by a truck? Hmm? JACK rises to stand before her. HE notices, with some annoyance, that her bra straps are showing out from her sweater. He fixes them. JACK Are you going for a specific look with this? SHE makes a face and exits. JACK raises his eyebrow and follows. CUT TO: INT. VIDEO STOP - COUNTER JACK'S POV - CAMERA moves "cautiously" out into the video store, taking in the crowd as they move about the hundreds of boxes of movies. Suddenly, the GIANT FACE OF A FRUMPY SECRETARY who looks like she rents movies in lieu of no dates - POPS INTO FRAME. WOMAN (to JACK) Can you help me? I don't know what I'm in the mood for. Uh...I sort of want a Katherine Hepburny kinda Cary Granty kinda thing - something sorta nutty and screwbally, ya know? Nothing heavy...I couldn't take heavy. Ya have something like that? JACK (very low key) Uhh.... WOMAN (acting helpless) I don't know...Uh... JACK seems frightened by the stupidity of this woman. WOMAN Maybe something more modern. Like a Goldie Hawny - Chevy Chasey kinda thing, huh? JACK is growing angry. HE stares at the woman menacingly. WOMAN Or maybe a musical - (leans into close-up) Ya got SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER? JACK just stares at her in silent rage from behind the counter. JACK Well...what will it be? WOMAN Well, like I said - maybe a musical. (laughs then flirts) I'm not sure. What are you in the mood for? JACK stares at the woman manically then turns to look at the shelves of returned movies behind the desk. HE selects one and hands it to the woman. WOMAN Great... (reading box aloud) "ORDINARY PEEPHOLES" THE WOMAN'S eyes go wide. JACK just stares at her deadpan. JACK It's kind of a - Big Titty - Spread Cheeky kinda thing...I cried all the way through it... ANNE has been listening to this entire exchange. SHE hastily crosses up beside JACK. ANNE (to WOMAN) ...I'm sorry. I need to borrow him for a moment. As ANNE tugs at his sleeve, JACK eyes the WOMAN like a maniac being lead away from his prey. HE follows ANNE back into her office. Once inside, SHE stands before JACK who leans against her office door, closing it behind him. ANNE Not for nuthin - but there's this thing we have in business...it might help you a little. It's called "customa relations." JACK (deadpan intensity) I'm sorry. You know I hate people who ask for screwball comedies. ANNE moves in closer and caresses his face tenderly. ANNE Sweetie, honey...You hate people. (sympathetic) What is it? Is this one of those days when you tell me you're in... whadda call it...an emotional abyss? (HE doesn't answer) Why don't you take the day off. I'll cook tonight. O.K? SHE kisses him, then exits. JACK is not comforted in the least by this show of affection. EXT. NEW YORK CITY STREET - TWILIGHT As JACK takes a walk down a city street, he comes upon a luxurious hotel. HE stops to watch the goings-on at the entrance. CUT TO: A LIMOUSINE - parked and awaiting it's occupants. A handsome MAN in his forties exits the hotel and walks toward the limo. HE is holding the hand of his FlVE-YEAR-OLD SON, who is carrying a two foot high plastic, smiling PINNOCHIO DOLL. Both father and son are dressed in ties and jackets. JACK watches in envy. HIS own clothes a shabby reflection of the MAN'S. HE eyes the limo with longing. Another limo pulls up beside it and a gang of YOUNG RICH KIDS laugh their way out of the back seat. JACK is so mesmerized, he doesn't notice the FIVE-YEAR-OLD BOY. BOY (O.C.) Mr. Bum. JACK looks down. The BOY has walked directly to him. JACK sort of smiles. The BOY extends his arms and offers the PINNOCHIO doll to JACK. JACK is confused but the boy simply deposits the doll into his arms and walks back to the limo. By that time, the FATHER has returned and the two drive off. CUT TO: WIDE ANGLE JACK holding the doll. HE is surrounded by STREET PEOPLE asleep or drunk on the sidewalk near the hotel. HE angrily realizes there's not much difference between him and them. JACK Anybody here named Jimminey? A drunk groans. JACK snaps the doll under his arm and walks OC. CUT TO: INT. BAR - EARLY EVENING. On the bar sit seven empty martini glasses. Beside them sits a smiling PINNOCHIO - his nose in one of the martini glasses. JACK stares out in a drunken haze. THE EX-HEAVYWEIGHT BARTENDER approaches from behind the bar. JACK downs the glass and holds it out to the BARTENDER. The BARTENDER begins to fix another. BARTENDER Mr. Lucas, why don't you make this the last one, then go home. Huh? JACK I don't have a home Joe. I'm all alone ... (looks to PINNOCHIO & smiles) Except for my little Italian friend here. (kisses PINNIOCHIO'S little head) BARTENDER (hands him drink) I never seen you like this. Did somebody not know who you were again? JACK I never was, Joe... You ever read any Nietzsche?... THE BARTENDER clearly has not. ....Nieztsche says that there are two kinds of people in this world. ... People who are destined for greatness... and then us. He calls us the Bungled and Botched. We get teased with greatness but we never have it. We're the expendable masses. We get pushed in front of trains ... take poision aspirins... .. get gunned down in Dairy Queens... Don't you ever want to know the reason Joe? BARTENDER My name is Phil. JACK Phil. BARTENDER No, I don't. JACK Do you ever get the feeling you're being punished for your sins Joe? BARTENDER (OC) Phil... (JACK nods) No. PHIL exits. JACK nods agreeably, then turns to PINNOCHIO. JACK You wanna hear my new title for my biography. "IT WAS NO PICNIC" - THE JACK LUCAS STORY" (no response from PINNOCHIO) Just nod yes or no... (tries it in pig-Italian) "IL NOUVA ESTA PINICKO" - THE VOLUME on the TV above the bar is raised, pulling JACK'S attention. NEWS REPORTER ...Another homeless man was found burned to death in the Lower East Side. It is the second such incident in two weeks... That story when we return- JACK winces at the thought, then raises his hand to PHIL. A COMMERCIAL is broadcast on the TV. ANNOUNCER (OC) ... New this fall... CANNED LAUGH TRACK LAUGHS. JACK looks back up to the TV. ...From the creators of TWO IN A BUSH comes ON THE RADIO - starring BEN STARR. A SEGMENT FROM THE SITCOM IS SHOWN: An unshaven BEN STARR sits at a breakfast nook with his wife. WIFE Honey. Have some breakfast then go down to the station and demand your job back. BEN STARR I can't... WIFE Yes you can. Just go straight to Bill's office and- BEN STARR No, I mean I can't eat breakfast. (whiny) I WANT MY ORANGE CUP WITH THE TEDDY BEAR. UPROARIOUS LAUGH TRACKS. JACK's eyebrow rises past his skull. ANNOUNCER For the funniest D.J. on T.V. - ON THE RADIO - this fall on channel ten ... JACK stares menacingly at the TV then looks away. HE sees his reflection in the mirror of the bar - the hard expression, the pallor, the possibilities gone...It's the last straw. CUT TO: EXT. - EAST RIVER, NEW YORK CITY - NIGHT. C.U. OF TWO FEET stand beneath the railing overlooking the East river. Taped to one ankle is a brick. Taped to the other is a brick around a SMILING PINNOCHIO DOLL. An empty bottle of liquor drops to the ground and shatters. CUT TO: JACK - prepared to surrender his fate and make the final leap. HE stares at the river, almost smiling. HE has made his decision. HE tries to raise his foot over the railing. VOICE (OC) What's going on? Surprised, JACK turns around. TWO WHITE JUEVENILE DELINQUENTS - one wearing a leather jacket, the other a high school football windbreaker - stand behind JACK. Each are carrying a gallon of gasoline. JACK is drunk but he is immediately aware of the danger when he spots the gasoline cans. LEATHER I said what's going on? (walks up to JACK) What are you doing here? JACK shakes his head and before he knows it, LEATHER shoves a fist into his gut, sinking him to his knees. WINDBREAKER places the gasoline cans on the bench and begins to unscrew them. LEATHER You shouldn't hang around this neighborhood. JACK O.K... LEATHER People like my Dad pay alot of money for this neighborhood. They don't like looking out their window for 2500 a month and seein your ass asleep on the benches - you understand? JACK Yes..Yes..I do...I won't come back. LEATHER Good. (to WINDBREAKER) You believe this drunk? WINDBREAKER shakes his head. .....Me neither. JACK (crying) NO...NO PLEASE.. WINDBREAKER hands LEATHER the can, who raises it above JACK'S head. AS THE GASOLINE SLOWLY LEAKS ONTO A PETRIFIED JACK SEES A FIGURE MOVING OUT FROM THE DARKNESS OF THE TREES. FIGURE LEAVE HIM ALONE! Startled, THE YOUTHS TURN. THE SHADOWY FIGURE stands defiantly. WINDBREAKER Shit. Let's go. We blew it. LEATHER No. THE FIGURE steps out of the darkened, grassy area and into the light of a promenade street lamp. LEATHER (disgusted) Jesus...They're all over the place. The figure turns out to be A BUM. Grimy face, tattered layers of clothing beneath a long over coat, a pork pie hat with a twig sticking out of it like a plume in a helmet of yore. Although clearly downtrodden, behind his beaten appearance, there radiates a calm intelligence and strength. There is something distinctly attractive and confident about him, as he stands there smiling at these two juvenile would-be terrorists. We learn later his name is PARRY; a combination of Don Quixote and Harpo Marx. LEATHER calls to him threateningly, with the gasoline can. LEATHER You know, there's enough in here for the two of you. PARRY I advise you to let us go. LEATHER You advise us! PARRY You're out numbered. PARRY glances over LEATHER's shoulder. LEATHER TURNS to see: A BUM pushing a shopping cart comes out of the darkness. HE is mumbling to himself incoherently. Another BUM, wearing mountains of clothing, appears from the dark several yards behind WINDBREAKER - who is growing unnerved by these newcomers. PARRY looks to the trees and a third BUM - tall, black and wearing a garbage bag - steps out of the dark, menacingly. Taken by themselves, the BUMS would look harmless and pathetic. But in the context of their uncharacteristic organization - THEY appear frightening. WINDBREAKER (Releasing his grip on PARRY) Shit. It's like fucking Night of the Living Dead. JACK is frozen, in total confusion and fear. LEATHER tries to remain confident. HE laughs. LEATHER Am I supposed to be scared? Come on! They're nuts. They can't do anything. (yells at them) GET OUTTA HERE! But the BUMS stand motionless. PARRY They only listen to me. LEATHER Yeah right...They don't even understand what the fuck THEY'RE saying - they're going to understand you? LEATHER and WINDBREAKER watch apprehensively as PARRY raises his hand to signal. Each bum reaches into his "possessions", as if to pull out a weapon. Instead, each bum pulls out a flashlight and shines them on the two youths, blinding them from seeing PARRY. WINDBREAKER (shielding his eyes) Shit. LEATHER You're gonna need more than your zombie pals when I get through with you. HE brandishes his knife towards the dark spot where he assumes PARRY is standing. PARRY Son...There comes a time in every man's life...and you will learn this, if and when you become men... From his overcoat, PARRY pulls out a long tube sock tied at the end and filled with a softball at the bottom... ....That there are only two things in this world ya need... HE begins to swing the sock over his head - centrifugally gaining force. ...Respect for all kinds of life, because that's what's right - and the love of one other person who you can trust and pork on a regular basis. PARRY releases the "weapon". CUT TO: LEATHER and WINDBREAKER - As the sock flies out of the darkness and, with amazing accuracy - beans LEATHER on the forehead between his eyes. HE drops his knife to rub his head. LEATHER (sinking out of camera) Ow...Ow....OW! WINDBREAKER grows worried as PARRY reaches in to the lining of his coat, pulls out another "sock weapon" and starts swinging. PARRY However, the ability to bean a shithead can be a fabulous advantage. WINDBREAKER runs away. The BUM with the shopping cart YELLS at him as he bolts by. PARRY crosses to a speechless JACK. PARRY (picking up LEATHER'S knife) Are you all right? LEATHER (kneeling, rubbing his head) OWW...MAN... JACK (disoriented) Uh...should we call the police? PARRY Nah. This is our fight. I think it would be nice if we tied him up though...If I had time I'd give him a bad haircut.. HE kneels down, pulls out some rope from his coat and proceeds to tie LEATHER to a bench as he converses matter-of-factly... PARRY (hands JACK the LEATHER'S knife) Here, would you take care of this. JACK, sickened by the sight of it, throws it in the river. JACK I need a drink. Pulls his pockets out to find no money. PARRY I know a great place. (puts his arm on his shoulder) Drinks are on me! O.C. THE BUMS cheer. CUT TO: INT. HALLWAY OF ANNE'S APARTMENT BUILDING - NIGHT. ANNE walks down the hall to a neighbor's apartment and knocks. AN ETHNIC MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN in a bathrobe opens the door. WOMAN Yeah darling. ANNE (hesitant to ask) I'm sorry to bother you but... uh... (decides to go for it) I heard from somewhere your husband drank? WOMAN (calmly, openly) Oh, yeah. He was a big drunk. ANNE Well...the thing is, see - (vulnerable and worried) My fella's not home...things haven't been going his way lately ...Ya know how it is...and I was wondering -when he drank, your husband, was there anyplace in particular he went...a cheap bar in the neighborhood... WOMAN Who knew. When he left this apartment it was no longer my problem. When he came back, it was my problem. ANNE sighs. THE WOMAN understands ANNE'S problem all too clearly. WOMAN ...Let me tell you something, my darling. And I'm telling you cause when you started talking, I got a feeling right here... (presses her sternum) ...before your heart breaks like mine...get rid of this man. ANNE smiles. SHE obviously can't. ANNE Thank you. CUT TO: EXT. GREAT JONES ALLEY - NIGHT. JACK and PARRY sit on the sidewalk facing the three bums from the previous scene - A BLACK, A MIDDLE-AGED IRISHMAN and AN EX-HIPPIE. The trio sit against the alley wall, discussing the issues of the day as they pass a bottle of THUNDERBIRD. BLACK Death penalty's just another violation of my constitutional right to satisfaction. IRISHMAN I hate that. HIPPIE So, you mean if somebody like, killed your mother, you wouldn't want him dead? BLACK Sure I would. But I should get to kill him. IRISHMAN (explaining further) He gets to kill him. That's democracy, see. A LULL takes over as they all consider this. CUT TO: C.U.: JACK sitting the furthest apart from the group - holding the bottle, HE mumbles to himself. JACK This is it. I'm in hell. I've been damned to an eternity of idiotic conversation. HE puts the bottle to his lips and: FROM JACK'S POV, WE FADE OUT OF THE SCENE ON THE NEXT LINES - AS EYES AND SLIPS INTO A DRUNKEN SLUMBER. HIPPIE You were great tonight, Parry. (affirmations from the other two) Superbum, man! Fucking Marvel Comics... THE BUMS CHEER....FADE OUT. FADE-UP ON: INT. PARRY'S BASEMENT HIDEAWAY - MORNING. JACK is asleep on a mattress beside a boiler. HE slowly awakens - the first dull pangs of a mean hangover making itself known. HE opens his eyes, confused - not knowing exactly what happened. CUT TO: THE GIANT FACE OF PARRY, sitting upright beside him. PARRY How are you feeling? JACK nods, suspiciously. HE notice the basement surroundings - JACK Have I died? PARRY (friendly) Hahahahaaa..Nononono... JACK (his head throbbing) If you're going to murder me, that's fine...just don't laugh. HE tries to focus his eyes and looks around the room. There is an extremely organized "living area" - a make-shift kitchen w/hot plate, a nail in a wall w/clothes on hangers... There is also a DUMPSTER SITTING BENEATH A GARBAGE CHUTE - The dumpster has planets and stars painted on it's side. JACK looks to the far wall and sees a hand-painted mural, depicting a medieval-style setting; grassy landscape, knights and maidens on horses and a CASTLE-LIKE BUILDING...all rather amateurish but with a definite committment to the period. In the foreground of this mural, stands a striking figure - a five foot high KNIGHT CLOAKED IN A RED CAPE sitting atop a fiery steed. The figure is imposing and villainous. JACK looks to the other wall and finds PARRY'S ARSENOL - homemade "weapons" that also look Medieval like lances made from mop sticks, nets made of knotted rope, slingshots and a shield made from a garbage can cover with a rose painted on it. JACK doesn't know what to make of all this. HE is frightened. PARRY It's all right. Don't be embarassed. Yes, I live in a boiler room. My name's Parry. We met last night. HE holds out his hand. JACK takes it cautiously. JACK Jack Lucas... PARRY (reciting it back) "Jack Lucas". PAUSE. PARRY suddenly JUMPS UP AS IF BEING CALLED. (NOTE: PARRY has a tendency to move suddenly - flying and darting about the room) PARRY (to the air) WHAT! JACK HUH? PARRY WHAT? JACK WHAT? PARRY (to JACK) Ssshhhhh. PARRY looks as if he is listening to someone. JACK doesn't understand. HE starts to creep away, toward the door. PARRY (understanding) Oohhhhh. (to JACK) HEY JACK LUCAS! HE flies next to JACK. JACK freezes. ....Can you keep a secret? JACK No... PARRY Do you know what THE LITTLE PEOPLE just told me? JACK (getting nervous) The Little People? PARRY gets closer to JACK. PARRY THEY said you're the one. JACK They're mistaken. I am definitely not anyone... HE continues to edge toward the door. PARRY stands abruptly and yells once again at thin air. PARRY (to the LITTLE PEOPLE) Well, I've gotta say something! I mean you're tying my hands here!! JACK crawls quickly but is stopped by PARRY, who plops down in front of him. PARRY They say you're not ready to know. JACK I'm not. PARRY I know all this sounds strange but... (sincerely) I really do hear them. JACK nods, trying to hold it together. ...Do you know who I am? (JACK SHAKES HIS HEAD) ...Go on. Take a guess. (shouts to the air) LET HIM GUESS!! Tch. Frightened, JACK decides to humor him. JACK Uh...well...some kind of...vigilante. PARRY (boyish) Noooo...I mean that sort of happens along the way but noooo I'm on a what you call a "quest" See... (leans in and whispers) I'm the janitor of God. JACK'S eyes widen. PARRY JUMPS UP, hops in the DUMPSTER, standing 'neath the CHUTE. PARRY I was standing in here one evening... JACK (can't help but ask) Why? PARRY I don't remember. Listen, you do strange things when you live alone. Are you married? (JACK shakes his head) Funny, you look married. JACK is more frightened by this remark than anything else. HE starts to inch his way casually toward the exit... PARRY Anyway, I was standing here and all of a sudden - I hear these voices - And the more I listen, the louder they get. PARRY leans on the edge of the dumpster, staring at JACK. ....And then I saw them Jack. Hundreds of them. Flying around this room. The tiniest - cutest little - FAT people you ever saw...Well - I had to blink! But they were still there. And they told me that I had been chosen for this special quest... You know what they want me do, Jack? JACK freezes - afraid to hear. CAMERA CUTS TO A C.U. of PARRY, who smiles... THEY want me to find the Holy Grail for them. JACK's jaw drops slightly. ...My reaction exactly. I mean, you start getting requests from little floating fat people who tell you you're special, and you wind up a mini-series - Am I right? But then, at that very moment, there was this tremendous RUMBLING sound... JACK shakes at PARRY'S description. ..And they sent this message, FLYING (indicating the GARBAGE CHUTE)... RIGHT out of here and into my hands... HE hops out of the dumpster. JACK butts up against the boiler, banging his head on the metal - causing his hangover to escalate. PARRY squats down next to JACK - cornering him against the boiler. HE hands him an ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST. ....The cover picture is a A HANDSOME MIDDLE-AGED MAN standing in front of a NEW YORK TOWNHOUSE - which looks very much like the CASTLE-LIKE BUILDING on PARRY'S MURAL. The caption reads - BILLIONAIRE LANGSTON CARMICHAEL ADDS A NEW CASTLE TO HIS KINGDOM PARRY quickly opens the magazine to the pictorial layout of the lavish interiors of CARMICHAEL'S TOWNHOUSE. The final page shows CARMICHAEL, a dashing bachelor in his fifties, standing in his private LIBRARY beside a GLASS COMODE. PARRY excitedly points to inside the COMODE, where a GOLDEN CHALICE sits in the BG. PARRY Right there. JACK (not getting it and not wanting to) Yeah? PARRY He's got it...He's got the Grail. JACK Langston Carmichael? Really? PARRY (smiles and nods) I know! You can't imagine how surprised I was. I mean who would think you could find anything divine on the Upper East Side. JACK (LOSING HIS PATIENCE) Wait a minute! You're telling me the psychic dumpster told you Langston Carmichael has The Holy Grail sitting in a comode next to his humidore? PARRY Yeah. It's in his library on the- JACK Listen, and I really don't mean to be flippant or to enrage you or anything, but I think you'd be spending you time a lot more wisely looking for your brain. (hidden anger; forceful) I have to go now. JACK turns to crawl, but PARRY moves in front of him again. PARRY Jack, please...I need your help. JACK decides to try and gain his footing, so he begins to inch his way up the boiler against his back. PARRY See...there's this one other thing. The Red Knight... JACK stops and reluctantly indicates the KNIGHT in the mural. PARRY Well, I just drew that from my imagination. I haven't actually met the guy...yet... (little people) THEY tell me he's out there waiting for me, waiting till I get close and then he'll show himself. See, it's either him or me. He's been playing with me lately. Those kids last night - they work for him. He's got people like that all over the city. Haven't you noticed all the crime lately. JACK Crime? In New York? Really? PARRY It's because I'm getting close, Jack. That's why I need help. Somebody like you, somebody true. I'm getting close but... (frightened) ...I don't think I could face him alone. (smiles) So what do you say? JACK rises to his feet and the room spins. HE slides down again. JACK (rubbing his head) Listen. You're a very nice...very nice psychotic man. I really appreciate what you did for me - you're a...it was a very brave and noble thing... PARRY Oh, please...You're embarrassing me. JACK But I can't help you... PARRY is about to speak when JACK jumps in first. JACK ....so, once again....Thank you... (extends his hand, forgetting his name) Uh....? PARRY Parry. JACK Parry...I'm Jack. PARRY (smiling broadly) I know. JACK You're a good person. Really. Thanks again. JACK quickly exits. PARRY smiles to himself. PARRY Anytime. CUT TO: INT. BROWNSTONE HALLWAY - MINUTES LATER. JACK steps out of what must be the entrance to the basement. HE walks down the hallway toward the front exit when suddenly an apartment door swings open. FRANK, a burly superintendent, steps into the hall. FRANK Where you coming from!? JACK Uh...basement I think... FRANK (yells so PARRY can hear) I TELL HIM NO VISITORS! JACK'S head sets off another explosion. JACK Sorry..I..he brought me here last night. I had no idea... WIFE (OC) FFFFFRRRRAAANNNNNKKK! WHO IS AT THE DOOR?! FRANK I'M TALKIN TO SOMEBODY! YA GOTTA YELL LIKE A BANSHEE! WIFE (OC) It's just my manner! FRANK (hard of hearing) WHAT!? WIFE (OC) I SAID IT'S JUST MY MANNER! JACK'S head is now nearly split down the middle. FRANK You a friend of Parry's? JACK No...Is he supposed to live there? FRANK Yeah well...I let him stay. I didn't know what else to do - ya know, after what happened? JACK What happened? FRANK (dying to tell) Oh, such a tragedy. His wife was at some bar with some friends, ya know, after work - and some nut came in with a shot-gun and blew the place apart. You must have heard about...the guy who listened to the radio. JACK goes numb. HE can't believe what he's hearing. ...Anyway, his real name is Henry Sawyer Used to be a teacher at Columbia. Such a tragedy. People stink, I swear to Christ. HE spits. JACK almost loses his stomach. FRANK (talks a mile a minute) ...He went nuts. I mean, who wouldn't. She was a beautiful girl. They kept him at this place for the mentally upset in Staten Island. He didn't speak-not a word. Then, all of a sudden, he starts talkin - only now, he's this Parry guy. He used to live here with his wife, so when he got released they sent him here. I felt bad. He couldn't work. So I let him stay downstairs. He helps out, I give him a couple of dollars. People throw things away, he keeps them. (suddenly, toward basement) BUT HE'S NOT SUPPOSED TO HAVE VISITORS! JACK (leans against wall) My God. FRANK You all right?.. (JACK nods) Listen, don't mention any of this to him though. He doesn't remember about being married and all, and if you talk about it, he gets kinda confused. JACK Sure... (sits on step) Can I just sit here a minute? FRANK Sure. You look kinda lime colored. WIFE (OC) FRRRAAANNK! FRANK turns and yells back at his wife as he enters the apartment- FRANK YOU'RE GONNA MAKE ME COMMIT MURDER, I SWEAR TO CHRIST! HE slams the door. JACK sits alone, trying to put all this information in perspective. CUT TO: INT. ANNE'S OFFICE - DAY. ANNE sits at a desk surrounded by shelves of porno tapes. Upon the desk, piles of various films, orders, reciepts, etc... JACK sits before her. ANNE Listen. I understand open relationships. Please. I was a teenager in the sixties, after all. But when you care about somebody, you need more than an open relationship. Ya need a phone call...Ya need to pick up the phone and tell me you're not dead...that you haven't been attacked or raped or who knows...I sat upstairs all night worried sick. Look at you! JACK I'm sorry. ANNE I can't tell you how distraught I was. What happened? Where were you? JACK I was attacked. ANNE is about to respond when the buzzer on her phone rings. ANNE WHAT? EMPLOYEE (OC) Guy here wants to check out the pornos. ANNE SO, send him back! A moment later, a meek fifty-ish BUSINESS MAN enters, smiling sheepishly. ANNE indicates the walls. HE nods and proceeds to make a selection, trying not to feel awkward or in the spotlight. ANNE turns back to JACK. SHE sniffs the air. ANNE I smell gas! What do you mean you were attacked last night? JACK These..kids tried to...set me on fire. ANNE OH MY GOD!...What did they do? Are you O.K.? SHE crosses to JACK and puts her arms around him. The BUSINESSMAN, having overheard, pauses to watch. Embarrassed, JACK indicates to ANNE that he feels awkward being hugged in front of this man. ANNE confronts the BUSINESSMAN abruptly, with as little tact as possible. ANNE Are you almost done, or what? MAN (flustered) Well... ANNE I mean, whatta looking for - a story!? (makes a selection) Here...CREAMER VERSUS CREAMER..It won an award. JACK hides his face so as not to laugh. BUSINESSMAN (mortified) Thank you..that'll be fine... THE BUSINESSMAN exits. ANNE sits on her desk in front of JACK. ANNE Uch...These people.... So, you were attacked. My God. But you're all right... (now to more important matters) So where did you sleep last night? JACK I...I stayed at a friends. Listen, I- ANNE (puts up her hand) Please...before you go on... let me tawk...o.k...We've had a wonderful time together... even though there's a year age difference, the wrong way.. When we first met, you said this wasn't serious and I shouldn't get serious and then you moved in and we haven't been serious. And I just wanna say that I have no regrets. None. And don't wanna have any now so I want ya to be up front with me.. I want the truth. If your seein somebody else, let me know... You don't have to pour gasoline on yourself and light a match just to stop seeing me. I'll say God bless and we'll part ways...just tell me the truth. JACK looks to her - somewhat admiring the bravery and integrity underneath the Brooklynese. JACK I'm not seeing anyone else. I really was attacked. ANNE O.K. HE nods. SHE struts to her desk without a second thought. That's all she wanted to know so she immediately changes the conversation. ANNE ...I love you.... (JACK smiles weakly) ...You don't have to say it back... although it wouldn't kill you. I'll cook tonight. CUT TO: INT. ANNE'S APARTMENT ABOVE THE STORE - NIGHT. If ever an apartment reflected it's inhabitant, surely this is one. ANNE seems to have successfully transplanted 1960's middle-class Italian to 1980's Manhattan - red and gold adorn the sofa and curtains. ANNE and JACK sit around a formica kitchen table in silence after eating dinner. ANNE smokes a cigarette. ANNE You sure you don't want to call the police? JACK No...I don't think I could explain. You know what the Holy Grail is? ANNE takes a long drag then puts it out in her leftover food. JACK is repelled by the habit. ANNE The Holy Grail? Yeah...I know that. It was like - Jesus' juice glass. (JACK just stares at her) Oh, I used to be such a Catholic. JACK You still believe in God? ANNE Oh sure..Gotta believe in God. (trying to be intellectual) But I don't think God made man in his own image. No. Cause most of ... the bullshit that happens, is because of men. No, I think man was made out of the devil's image and women were created out of God - because women can have babies which is sorta like creating, and which also explains why women are attracted to men, because, lets face it, the devil is a helluva lot more interesting - I slept with a few saints and let me tell you... BOOOORRING!!! ...And so the whole point of life, I think, is for men and women to get married so the devil and God can live together and, ya know - work it out..... ANNE moves to him and leans in for a kiss. .....Not that we have to get married. JACK notices a brown spot on her chin and pulls away. JACK ... You have a little...uh... something on your face... ANNE Oh, I got a pimple..This stuff is supposed to blend with my skin color... Like it really works, ya know... JACK moves to the bar to fix a drink. ANNE follows him and takes the drink out of his hand. JACK knows what this means. JACK I don't think I'm up to it tonight.. (ANNE massages his shoulders) I slept in a boiler room...I... ANNE nods but keeps massaging. As long as he wasn't with a woman, he could have knocked over a jewelery store and she would have the same reaction. HER massaging gets more intense - moving up his head and contorting his face as he speaks. JACK I think I'm getting sick... (trying to be forceful) I'm...just not in the mood!..O.K! ANNE grabs his face with both hands and pulls him into a kiss. SHE proceeds to climb onto his body as she utilizes a skill she picked up in high school make-out parties. SHE is a pro. JACK, against all his better judgement and will - despite the pimple cream - is rendered helpless by this woman's passion...He returns the embrace and guides her to the floor. CUT TO: INT. ANNE'S LIVING ROOM - MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT. JACK sits in his underwear on the living room floor in front of an open closet with a cardboard box between his legs. The box is filled with TAPES OF JACK'S PAST RADIO SHOWS. HE begins to sort through them...reading titles, remembering moments...then stops. The memories hurt. HE dumps the box back into the closet and moves to the bar as ANNE exits the bedroom. SHE stands in the doorway. ANNE Whatsa matter hon - can't sleep? HE doesn't answer as he pours a drink. ANNE sees the radio tapes. ...Honey? JACK I tell you something, Anne. I really feel like I'm cursed. ANNE Oh stop. Things will change. My Aunt Mary always said, there's a remedy for everything in this world except death and having no class. JACK That's just what it feels like. A curse. I can't seem to... I get this feeling like I'm this magnet but I attract shit. (PAUSE) Out of all the people in this city, why did I meet a man who's wife I killed? ANNE You didn't kill anybody. Stop. JACK I wish there was some way I could.. just...pay the fine and go home. (eyes fill with tears) ANNE crosses to JACK and gently touches him. JACK turns and clutches her to him tightly. Lowering his head to hers, he cries... ANNE I know. I know honey. CUT TO: INT. PARRY'S BASEMENT - THE NEXT DAY. JACK is alone in the basement. JACK Anybody here?..Uh...Parry? HE slowly walks around the room - picking up little items here and there, as if trying to discover some clue to PARRY. HE crosses to the dumpster. HE looks at the CHUTE. HE figures, "what the hell"... JACK (to the chute) Hey there! VOICE (OC) YEAH - Can I help you? JACK, startled, turns around - to find FRANK standing at boiler. JACK Oh, it's you...I'm...just looking for Parry... FRANK He's not here. (beat) Ya mind my asking what your doing with this guy - I mean, you seem like a regular person. JACK I'm sort of...an old acquaintance of his wife's. FRANK throws garbage in the dumpster as he speaks: FRANK Oh. Beautiful woman... JACK Yeah...I guess, there's nothing of hers' here, huh? FRANK No. I got that stuff upstairs. The hospital said it'd be better. JACK looks to the mural, then back at FRANK. JACK Can I see it? CUT TO: INT. FRANK'S APARTMENT. C.U. DUFFEL BAG OF PARRY'S THINGS before JACK. JACK looks through the items: various textbooks entitled "MYTH AND LEGEND", "HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES"...a masters degree in Mythology...Another in Romance Literature...A torn picture with PARRY standing near a bar-be-que with an apron that reads- FIRST ANNUAL DOG BAR-BE-QUE...a man's wedding ring...a beautiful photographic portrait of PARRY'S WIFE. FRANK She was a beautiful girl...He was crazy about her. JACK looks at the photograph. CUT TO: EXT. GREAT JONES ALLEY - DAY. The BLACK, the IRISHMAN and the HIPPY are in their usual place. THEY lean against the wall, observing the afternoon life that walks by. JACK enters the scene and asks them where PARRY is. The HIPPY begins to speak and points to his right. JACK nods in appreciation and hands them a couple of dollars. CUT TO: EXT. CORNER OUTSIDE OFFICE BUILDING - LATER THAT DAY. JACK sees PARRY from across the street; waiting near a hot dog vendor and eyeing the entrance to a midtown office building. JACK approaches. JACK Parry? PARRY turns and smiles, acting as if he knew JACK would come. JACK (reaching into his pocket) Hi. Listen, I thought maybe you could use-... PARRY Sshhh. HE pulls JACK to his side. THEY sit on the hood of a parked car and watch the entrance to the office building. CUT TO: EXT. ENTRANCE OFFICE BUILDING. Several business men and women, secretaries, etc...make their way out for lunch. Among them is PARRY'S damsel in distress: LYDIA - a dowdy, waif-like sparrow of a thing, who waits for several more aggressive co-workers to pass through the revolving doors before she gets up enough nerve to go herself. PARRY Isn't she a vision? "A VISION" is not exactly the phrase that would come to mind in describing LYDIA - torturously self-conscious, painfully shy, clumsy, formless, plain - these are much more in keeping with LYDIA'S persona. SHE wears loose frocks that give her no figure and make her appear to be swimming in material..SHE wears no make-up; her stringy unstyled hair is kept in place by a beret that keeps sliding off her head and her contact lens are always dry, causing her to constantly blink and use eye drops. PARRY Let's go. JACK NO...wait, really. I just wanted to give you... JACK pulls out some money, but PARRY is off camera. CUT TO: EXT. CHINESE RESTAURANT - DAY. Behind the glassed-in exterior, we can see LYDIA sitting by herself eating lunch. CAMERA PANS OUT TO STREET where PARRY and JACK are sitting on the hood of another car, watching. PARRY She's loves dumplings. It's her Wednesday ritual. LYDIA raises a dumpling to her lips with a pair of chopsticks. SHE then accidentally drops it into a dish of soy sauce and splatters her dress. Unnerved, she hastily wipes herself down knocking over a water glass when she removes the napkin. PARRY Isn't she sweet? She does that everytime. JACK squints at LYDIA as if trying to see what PARRY sees. CUT TO: INT. BOOK STORE - DAY. JACK and PARRY have followed LYDIA into a book store. SHE stands browsing through romance novels. THEY watch from a safe distance. PARRY She buys a new book every two days. LYDIA reads the cover of a book entitled, LOVES' LUSTY LONGINGS. PARRY (smiles, says with great affection) She's into trash. Whadda you gonna do? CUT TO: EXT. STREET - DAY. PARRY and JACK are following LYDIA, when she stops at a news stand. PARRY She's got a real sweet tooth. If anybody ever told me I'd be in love with a woman who eats Jawbreakers, I'd said they were nuts. (reverentially) But look at that jaw! JACK doesn't want to look. If the Little People made PARRY seem crazy, this infatuation confirms him as beyond hope. LYDIA buys some candy then turns and walks back toward her office building, once again waiting her turn to dive into the revolving doors. SHE disappears into the building. JACK Do you follow her every day? PARRY Huh-huh. I'm deeply smitten. JACK What's her name? PARRY I don't know. Things are sounding weird again, so JACK seizes the moment to accomplish his initial task - he pulls out a fifty dollar bill and hands it to PARRY. PARRY What's this for? JACK Uh...I just would like to help you. I thought...maybe...you could use some money. PARRY Tch...isn't that nice of you. Awww... HE hugs him on the street which embarasses JACK to no end. ...What a nice thing to do... JACK (pulling away) That's O.K. PARRY Can I take you to lunch? JACK No..I have to get back to work. Take care of yourself. JACK walks away. CAMERA stays on JACK for a few yards until he turns around and sees: PARRY handing the fifty to a bum in a doorway. JACK HEY!!...HEY! JACK walks back to PARRY, who is explaining to the bum: BUM (LOUD gibberish) FUCKKAMAL...BASTAA..NOCOIDETION... PARRY (as if he understands) Well, I think you should be realistic. Ya can't start an ad agency on fifty dollars! JACK What are you doing? I gave that to you. PARRY Well what am I gonna do with it? JACK I don't know. But I gave it to you...to help YOU...not him. PARRY thinks a moment - staring at JACK, then smiling. PARRY You really want to help me? A wary JACK, who's afraid to reply. CUT TO: EXT. LANGSTON CARMICHAEL'S TOWNHOUSE - DAY. On the Upper East Side, PARRY and JACK stand across the tree-lined street from the five million dollar townhouse. PARRY I read there's an alarm system on the doors and windows but there IS a skylight on the roof - so I think that would be the best way. What do you think? JACK You can't just break into this man's house. This man has done nothing. PARRY Jack, I have to get... JACK All right! Listen - please...don't start drooling or...rolling your eyes when I tell you this but - You shouldn't do this..There is no Holy Grail. PARRY Tch. You are so sweet. You're afraid I'm in danger. You're trying to protect me. JACK No. I think you're a moron and I don't want to get into trouble. Ignoring this, PARRY gets filled with emotion and hugs JACK. PARRY ...You are such a great guy. First the fifty, now this. JACK (pulling away) Please don't hug me in public again, O.K.? PARRY (shouts) I LOVE THIS MAN...YA HEAR ME... JACK My God... PARRY I'M DAFFY ABOUT THIS GUY AND I DON'T CARE WHO KNOWS IT!!! An COUPLE pass by, obviously not wanting to know it. JACK Will you shut-up!!! PARRY You're a true friend. JACK I'm not. Believe me. I'm scum. PARRY You're a real honest to goodness good guy. JACK I'm self-centered, I'm weak - I don't have the will power of a fly on shit... PARRY That's why the Little People sent you. JACK I don't believe in Little People. I used to try to kill Tinkerbell by not clapping. PARRY So, you're going to help me get the Red Knight, aren't you? JACK WILL YOU PLEASE...please listen to me (HE GRABS PARRY by the shoulders) You know none of this is true - the Grail, the Little People, all of it. There's a part of you that knows this isn't true. PARRY (smiling, but getting upset) Jack... JACK I know who you are...or who you were. You don't belong on the streets. You're an intelligent man...you're a teacher... PARRY breaks away from him. HE looks completely disoriented and confused. HE keeps looking around, not meeting JACK'S eyes. PARRY You're acting really weird Jack. JACK Parry..or what ever your name is... Let me help you. (beat). THERE - IS - NO - RED-KNIGHT! PARRY looks over JACK'S shoulder, and smiles - almost relieved: PARRY Oh yeah? Then who do you call that? JACK turns to look in the direction of PARRY'S glance. HE sees nothing. JACK Call who!? CUT TO: CLOSE-UP PARRY. CUT TO: PARRY'S P.O.V; A MAGNIFCENT BURNISHED RED STEED STANDS IN THE INTERSECTION OF 5TH AVENUE AND 74TH STREET. ON TOP OF HIM, SITS THE RED KNIGHT - A HELMETED FIGURE IN A FLOWING RED CAPE, HOLDING A LANCE. HE STARES BACK AT PARRY. CUT BACK TO: PARRY, taking a step forward. PARRY God he's beautiful...He knows I'm close to it. He's afraid. I can tell. JACK (OC) You're totally gone, aren't you? CUT TO: THE RED KNIGHT HE pulls the reins back, forcing the horse up onto it's hind legs. Then, he gallops off. CUT TO: PARRY and JACK. PARRY COME ON!!! PARRY runs O.C. in the direction of the knight. JACK is not about to follow, until he sees - PARRY run right into the intersection and almost gets hit by a cab. JACK Jesus. JACK runs after him. CUT TO: EXT. THE CORNER Of FIFTH AVE. and 74TH. - DAY. PARRY reaches where the RED KNIGHT stood and looks. CUT TO: THE RED KNIGHT riding onto the sidewalk and jumping over a stone wall into Central Park. CUT TO: PARRY, as JACK reaches him. JACK What is going o- Before he can finish, PARRY is off again. JACK races after him. THEY climb the wall and run into the park. THEY dodge past women with strollers, runners, bikers, sun worshippers, etc.... THEY run deep into an extremely woody section of Central Park. Trees and foliage surround them. PARRY stops suddenly. Panting, JACK catches up. JACK Oh...Oh...Oh God...I'm dying. I can't breath and I'm dying. PARRY Ssshhh. HE looks around - past the trees, as if trying to see through them - but sees nothing. PARRY He's gone. JACK (HE'S had it!) WHO! WHO'S GONE?!! WHO HAVE WE BEEN CHASING!?? CAN I ASK THIS QUESTION NOW!!! PARRY I'm sorry Jack. I thought you saw him. JACK SAW WHO!!? PARRY (excited) The Red Knight! The horse! I finally saw him! JACK'S face fades into disappointment. HE heads through the trees to the road, as he talks; PARRY follows. JACK That's it! I gave you the money you want to keep it fine, you want to give it away - fine. (looks up to the heavens) I JUST WANT YOU TO KNOW, I DID GIVE HIM THE MONEY! O.K.! ARE WE CLEAR?! At that moment, a BUSINESSMAN walking down the road witnesses JACK'S declaration to empty air. PARRY gets embarassed. PARRY (whispers) Jack, who are you talking to? (he looks around) Are THEY here? JACK looks at him with murder in his eyes. JACK Who? (sarcastic) The Little Persons? PARRY (nods) Can you hear them now? JACK (patronizing him) Yeah, I hear them. And they're saying to me "Jack, go unto the liquor store and findeth the Jack of Daniels that ye may be shitfaced. DOOLANG...DOOLANG..." PARRY (hearing something else) Do you hear THAT? Frustrated, JACK turns to leave but this time there is a sound - someone is crying. Someone close by. PARRY follows the cries OC. JACK This is too hard. A reluctant JACK follows him. CUT TO: EXT. CENTRAL PARK - DAY The park's bridle path. A BEATEN MAN cries as he sits in the middle of the bridle path - mumbling to himself incoherently. HE is drunk. His manner and voice portray him as a gay man at the end of his rope. There are cuts above his forehead. His leather jacket and jeans are covered with stains. PARRY kneels beside him. GAY BUM GET AWAY! I WANNA GO! I WANNA GO NOW! PARRY Hey...Come on, we'll help you up. You can't sit here. GAY BUM NO! I want a debutante on a horse to step on me. JACK (wanting to leave) Parry... PARRY Buddy, the days of the debutantes are...not what they used to be. GAY BUM (starts to cry) Isn't that awful? Poor Brenda Frazier. Poor Little Gloria. They ruined them! THEY ATE THEM ALIVE! PARRY (helping him up) It was a crime. GAY BUM Leave me alone...I wanna go... PARRY lifts him up - he looks to JACK for help. PARRY Will you get the other side. (JACK hesitates) Jack? The man's cuts and suicidal demeanor turn JACK off. JACK Listen, he just needs to sleep it off. Someone will take care of him. PARRY Who? JACK Well, maybe he wants to stay here. (to bum) Do...do you want to stay here? GAY BUM (suddenly lucid and pissy) Oh, yes, thank you - I really love bleeding in horseshit. How very Gandhiesque of you. PARRY looks to JACK, who then begrudgingly helps the BUM to his feet. CUT TO: INT. BELLEVUE EMERGENCY ROOM - LATER In a room at the end of the line of chairs, PARRY sits next to the GAY BUM. JACK stands a safe distance away, unable to take his eyes off the scene before him. Seated against the wall are an assortment of derelicts, drunks, screaming withdrawal victims and jacketed schizophrenics. JACK has a hard time moving. PARRY (to JACK, referring to GAY BUM) Will you watch him for a minute? Before JACK can respond, PARRY is up and about - introducing himself to the various patients as JACK watches on. PARRY moving down the line...saying hello, wiping people's brows, holding the hands of an angry bag lady mumbling incoherently. What seems extraordinary to JACK is the soothing affect PARRY seems to have on them. JACK, somewhat inspired. HE tries to communicate to the GAY BUM. BUM I wanna go...just let me go... JACK Uh...Where...where do you want to go? BUM (upset) Ah...can't get there. Not tonight. JACK (being positive) Well, maybe you can. Where do you want to go? BUM Venice. Like Katherine Hepburn in SUMMERTIME. (JACK is speechless) Why can't I be Katherine Hepburn? (cries again) JACK (trying to make conversation) Well...What ...what did you do? You know, what...were you? GAY BUM (enjoying talking about himself) I was a singer. Ya know, stage... summer stock...God. (disgusted) I could do CABARET - backwards - every part. But what does it all mean? HE genuinely asks. JACK is at a loss, his expression obviously replying "nothing." The GAY BUM regains his sarcasm for a moment. GAY BUM (eyebrow raised) You know, you always have such a cheerful effect on me. (cries again) I wanna die...I just wanna... die... JACK, against all better judgement, pats the BUM'S hand in comfort. The BUM leans his head on JACK'S shoulder and cries. JACK, wide-eyed with embarassment, looks over to PARRY - POV PARRY is now playing charades with a STREET BUM, A YOUNG MAN IN A STRAIGHT JACKET, and a BAGLADY who is arguing to herself. PARRY is trying to be PINNOCHIO, by miming a long nose... BUM (guessing) HORN...A HORN... THE YOUNG MAN in the straight jacket just looks on in wonder. BAG LADY (talking to herself) Where the hell am I gonna put the children? Goddamn daughter-in-law! Comes into my house looking for dustballs! PARRY mimes the loose movements of a marionette... BUM Thorazine! CUT BACK TO: JACK, who turns his attention back to the bum, takes a deep sigh, and eases his arm around the despairing GAY MAN. HE sits patiently. BAG LADY (O.C.) PINNOCHIO...GODDAMN IT! After a moment, PARRY rushes by JACK. PARRY Come on, Jack. We're going to be late. It's almost five! Before JACK can ask why, PARRY is already out the door, YELLING... ...Hurry up! We'll miss her! JACK (whispers to BUM) Um...I've got to run. I've been doing this all day. Are you going to be all right? The BUM sits up, sniffling, with a "stiff upper lip" attitude: GAY BUM Please - I was born a Catholic in Brooklyn...I've been to hell and I survived...It's O.K... JACK nods and rises, when the BUM adds quite sincerely: ...Thanks...You're a gem. JACK nods, a little self-consciously, and exits. CUT TO: INT. GRAND CENTRAL STATION - RUSH HOUR PARRY and JACK sit on the floor enjoying a cup of coffee. A KOREAN VET in a wheelchair with no legs sits near the opposite wall, along with at least fifteen other homeless beggers. Another MAN sits against a cash machine, crying. A WOMAN passes by and drops some change in the VET's cup without saying a word. The VET smiles broadly and says - GOD BLESS - HAVE A NICE DAY! JACK You'll never see her in this crowd. PARRY She walks the same trail every day. Just keep your eyes on the newsstand. JACK looks to the newsstand, doesn't understand, then looks away. HE watches as a BUSINESSMAN drops some change into the VET'S cup. JACK (referring to "change-droppers") They don't even look at him. PARRY (smiles) They're paying so they don't have to look. JACK Poor guy. What must he feel? PARRY Grateful. His name's Sid. Great guy. Says everyday he can sit in the middle of Grand Central and watch the rush hour, he's won...I mean, you have to admit... PARRY smiles and looks around the mobs rushing through Grand Central. Life at 5:00 in Grand Central... it's pretty breathtaking. Don't you think? JACK is impressed by PARRY'S interpretation...and by the VET'S seeming good nature in the face of his situation. JACK looks around this mad rush hour scene, as if trying to see it as PARRY does. WE CUT to the various sizes and shapes of people hurrying home, stopping to buy a paper, talking with their co-workers, the colors, the sights, the sounds... OFF CAMERA a WOMAN begins to sing. JACK and PARRY turn to look. PARRY smiles with great respect. PARRY Margaret. CUT TO: MARGARET, A BLACK WOMAN in a paisley kaften, stands near a photo lab across from JACK and PARRY. With a box in front of her for donations, she starts singing..YOU MAKE ME FEEL LIKE A NATURAL WOMAN." Some rush hour commutors stop to listen. HER VOICE is strong and soulful, she performs uninhibitedly. WE PAN around the faces of the business crowd listening to MARGARET - looking grateful for the opportunity to stop their day for a moment and listen. JACK'S sitting on the floor of Grand Central - beside a crippled VET and a row of beggers, listening to a woman singing for quarters, and suddenly feels almost happy; for the first time in a while, he's stopped to look around and finds he is not alone - but a part of a small group of tired people like himself; listening to a woman bare her soul in song. HE turns to PARRY and finds him staring in the other direction. JACK looks. CUT TO: LYDIA...going home from work. SHE moves with the crowd, as if totally without her own will, looking through her handbag for her token. SHE walks into the newspaper stand PARRY had pointed out. IRANIAN NEWSSTAND OWNER WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU!!! EVERY DAY, EVERY DAY YOU KNOCK OVER THE FUCKIN' PAPERS... A mortified LYDIA makes a hasty exit. PARRY watches in adoration. PARRY God. Just one night with her. I'd die happy. JACK hears this as if a light bulb went off above his head. CUT TO: INT. LYDIA'S APARTMENT - LATER THAT NIGHT A door opens. LYDIA enters with a bag of groceries she picked up on the way. SHE turns on the light to reveal an extremely neat, albeit modest, one bedroom apartment. SHE carries the grocery bag into the kitchen. Out of the bag, SHE removes a LEAN CUISINE; a giant bottle of Cream Soda and four giant bars of CHUNKY chocolate. SHE pops the LEAN CUISINE into the oven and walks back into the living room to an old stereo. SHE turns the turntable on - a record already set upon it. She stands by her coffee table, as if taking position: SUDDENLY, WE HEAR ETHEL MERMAN - AS LYDIA LIP-SYNCS EVERY WORD WI COMMITMENT - GIVING A FULL OUT PERFORMANCE. ETHEL/LYDIA GOT NO SUNSHINE, GOT NO RAIN STILL I THINK I'M A LUCKY DAME I GOT THE SUN IN THE MORNING AND THE MOON AT NIGHT.... HER attempts at hand gestures and choreography are awkward - bunking into the coffee table, banging her hand against a lamp, but we see a part of LYDIA that few (actually no one) sees. HER abandon, her joy...her smile. From upstairs, THE NEIGHBORS bang to keep the music down. LYDIA casually crosses to the stereo, turns off the turntable and heads back to the kitchen - as if the neighbors interference were all a part of her nightly ritual. CUT TO: INT. ANNE'S APARTMENT - SAME EVENING ANNE sits alone at her fomica table, smoking a cigarette. Two plates are set. SHE waits for JACK. SHE is hurt and pissed off. TONY ORLANDO AND DAWN play on her stereo. TONY ORLANDO KNOCK THREE TIMES...ON THE CEILING IF YOU WANT ME...TWICE ON THE PIPE The song continues as the CAMERA slowly pans up to close-up of ANNE, Who is fighting with an imaginary JACK. ANNE Ya fuckin' bastard. I don't need this... (emphasizing) ...I Do Not Need This! A woman my age...I am a person. This is kid stuff. You come! You go! And all I do is cook like a jerk! You're a waste of good cutlets...I don't need this...Find yourself another dope...ya fuckin' bastard... SHE takes a puff off her cigarette and sings along with TONY -trying, in vain, to cheer herself up. CUT TO: EXT. CENTRAL PARK'S GREAT LAWN - SAME NIGHT JACK is helping PARRY lay out nets beneath an oak tree. PARRY This is a very popular tree with the crack dealers. JACK What I don't understand is - so you catch them in a net - what good is that? They don't go to jail. PARRY Jails are crowded. The way I think is...if you can just...annoy them on a regular basis...let them know there are forces out there that are out to stop them - forces they can't see or even fight... maybe, eventually, they'll give up and the Red Knight won't be able to use them. JACK was following this philosophy with great interest until the mention of the Red Knight. JACK (cutting him off) Yeah, yeah, yeah...right - but, why...not just go after Carmichael. I mean, call the police, call the newspapers - put some pressure on him to fork up the uh...ya know...the cup. PARRY changes the subject. PARRY What a beautiful night. HE walks deeper into the open field. This makes JACK nervous. JACK Don't you think we should be getting out of here - it's getting late... PARRY starts to take off his clothes. JACK ...What are you doing? PARRY Have you ever done any cloudbusting? See, you take your clothes off, you lie on your back and you concentrate on staring at the clouds...and you try to break them apart with your mind. It's wild. He is now naked. HE lies down. JACK Parry, you can't do this. It's dangerous. PARRY Well, that's stupid. This is my park just as much as it is theirs. You think it's fair they keep us out just because they make us think we'll get killed or something? JACK Yes. I think that's very fair. PARRY Come on, try it. Ya feel the air on your body - ya little fella's flappin' in the breeze...everybody in the city is busy with their business an no one knows we're bare assed in the middle of it. Come on! JACK NO! I'm leaving! I mean it...this is nuts. (walking O.C.) You're going to get yourself killed. I'm leaving. I mean it! JACK starts walking away from PARRY, talking to himself... Ha...little fella? I mean, what do I expect? The man talks to invisible people - he sees invisible horses - and he's naked in the middle of Central Park. I should be surprised. I'm fucking out of my mind to even be here! (turns back and yells) YOU'RE OUT OF YOUR FUCKING MIND!! HE walks O.C. CUT TO: EXT. GREAT LAWN - TEN MINUTES LATER. JACK, naked, is lying next to PARRY looking up at the clouds. JACK They're not moving. PARRY Sshhh. THEY stare up. JACK raises his head. JACK You sure no one's coming? PARRY Why do you care? JACK I don't know how I would explain this. "JACK LUCAS FOUND DEAD NAKED - BESIDE ANOTHER DEAD, NAKED MAN...THE TWO WERE DEAD...AND NAKED"...It'll probably boost my biography sales. People have a fascination for murdered naked celebrities. PARRY You're a celebrity? JACK realizes his opportunity. HE faces PARRY. JACK Listen...it was a little over a year ago...Something happened... I... (with great difficulty) I caused...I was responsible for-- PARRY Man, you are wound up so tight, Jack. I venture to say if I stuck a coil up your ass I could roast marshmellows. You oughta relax a bit. JACK (heartfelt) How do you do it? How do you get through every day the way you do? PARRY Did you ever here the story of the Fisher King? JACK shakes his head. CAMERA focuses on PARRY. PARRY It's all about this king who lived in the castle where the Holy Grail was kept. Now this king was a good man, but he'd been through some awful times - tragedies, betrayals, disappointments, abandonment...So much so, that the older he...got, the more bitter about life he became... CUT TO: JACK, listening... ...He had no faith in any man. No trust in himself...he could no longer truly love, or feel loved - And so he started to die. CUT BACK TO: PARRY... And the only thing that could save him was the Holy Grail, but see, he forgot where he put it. Then it goes...on about - how all the knights in the land try to find it - they brought him gold and jewels...but they never worked. The King was still dying. Then one day, a fool came to the village. And he knelt beside the King and sang him some songs. Told him some jokes...But the King felt weak and needed a drink. So the fool took a cup form beside the bed, filled it with water and handed to the King. When the King took the cup, he suddenly felt better. And he realized, it was the Holy Grail the fool had handed to him...the cup that was right beside his bed all along. (BEAT) The King said, "How could you find what I could not find?"...and the fool said, "I didn't know I couldn't. I only knew you were thirsty." JACK doesn't know how to respond. HE's never known PARRY to be eloquent. JACK Is that who you are...my fool? PARRY turns to face JACK and smiles. PARRY (suddenly a professor) The Fisher King myth has a lot of derivations...I remember I was at this lecture in Princeton once. It was this awful weekend seminar in occidental Mythology but there was this one speaker Dr...uh... Doctor...uh...um... HE stops. As if this memory escaped with any warning. ...What was I saying? JACK is as surprised as he is. PARRY'S face is frightened and confused again. There is panic in his voice. ...What was I saying? JACK grows anxious at PARRY'S discomfort, so he covers: JACK Nothing...Listen, how come you've never asked that girl for a date? ...Parry? But JACK'S VOICE BEGINS TO FADE AWAY FOR PARRY. HE raises his head, looks to the outskirts of the field and sees: THE DARK SILOUETTE OF THE RED KNIGHT UPON HIS HORSE. Staring -knowing exactly where PARRY lies even though it's dark. HE pauses for a moment then gallops off. PARRY watches the RED KNIGHT ride off. HE looks frightened as he lays his head back down. JACK'S VOICE COMES BACK AND SNAPS HIM OUT OF IT. JACK How come you've never asked that girl for a date? PARRY snaps out of it somewhat. PARRY I don't know. I thought it might upset our relationship. JACK Well...would you go on a date with her if it...happened? PARRY God yeah. (he hears something) SShhh. THEY turn on their stomachs and look to the trees. CUT TO: THREE BLACK YOUTHS, silhouetted by a park lamp, making a deal beneath a tree. CUT TO: A frightened JACK and a suddenly confident PARRY. PARRY picks up his sling shot, loads a rock, takes aim and fires. CUT TO: The rock hitting a nail, whose point secures a rope. The nail flies off, releasing the rope. CUT TO: WIDE ANGLE - THE TREE and surrounding area - as the nets spring up out of the ground and catapult the youths up into the trees. BLACK YOUTHS HEY! WHAT THE FUCK! SHIT! GET ME THE FUCK DOWN FROM HERE!! THEY continue to complain and curse OC AS WE CUT BACK TO: PARRY and JACK, who suddenly feels safe and more confident. THEY lie back down on the grass to continue their cloudbusting. CUT TO: The billowy night clouds slowly drifting apart. JACK (OC) Ha...Look they're moving. (beat) Am I doing that? CUT TO: INT. LOBBY, OFFICE BUILDING - MORNING. JACK waits near the elevators as the nine-to-five crowd make their way into the building. HE spots LYDIA and follows her in. CUT TO: INT. ELEVATOR - The elevator is packed with the lunch crowd. JACK stands at the rear. LYDIA is nuzzled against the floor buttons facing front. THE DOORS OPEN. LYDIA gets off with two leggy business women. JACK follows. SHE walks through two glass doors with the words HOWARD BOOK PUBLISHING INC. written in gold letters and enters the office...JACK waits until she had disappeared into the office then enters the reception area. JACK Could you help me - what was the name of that girl who just came in... RECEPTIONIST I didn't notice. What girl? JACK Uh..she was wearing a kind of a flouncy...uh...plain...uh... HE makes big gestures with his arms to describe the dress, then "stringy" gestures with his fingers to describe her hair. RECEPTIONIST (winning at Charades) Oh, Lydia. JACK Lydia. Lydia what? RECEPTIONIST God...I have no idea. She's worked here for fifteen years and I have no idea...Wait, I'll call her... JACK NO..no..that's all right...I thought I knew her....Thanks... HE starts to leave. HE glances through the glass doors into the office just as LYDIA disappears behind a cubicle partition. CUT TO: INT. ANNE'S OFFICE - DAY. JACK is on the phone, with an open yellow pages beside him. JACK Yes. Howard Publishing? May I speak to Lydia please. HE waits. ANNE enters. SHE is obviously very irritated with him. ANNE Can I have my desk please. JACK I just have to make this... (to phone) Hello, I'd like to speak to Lydia? ANNE Lydia?! Lydia who!? JACK (to ANNE) I don't know her last name... I'll be off in a second. ANNE You're calling LYDIA in MY office. You must think I'm some dope. You fuckin bastard. (she punches his arm) You stay out all night long... JACK (overlapping, to phone) What..No..Lydia...I want to speak to her name is Lydia...I..uh... ANNE (overlapping) ...I don't get a friggin phone call. You stroll in here at noon..I got... ...Two people out sick. Ya think I need this? I Do Not Need This! JACK ...FORGET IT...GOODBYE! (HE hangs up) ANNE sits down at her desk. SHE is waiting for an explanation. JACK I was not with a woman last night. I was out with Parry. ANNE The moron? JACK He's not a moron. ANNE And who's Lydia? JACK Lydia is the girl Parry likes. And I thought, if I could get them together I.. ANNE What? The curse'll be lifted? WILL YOU PLEASE! JACK I...You're not going to understand this. ANNE Don't treat me like I'm stupid. It pisses me off. JACK All right..Sorry...I feel in debt to him. ANNE (pause) What does that mean? JACK See, I told you! ANNE Well, what the hell does that mean? JACK I thought...if...if I can help him in some way...you know?..Then... maybe.... things'll start changing for me.. My luck, ya know...Maybe... ANNE looks at him incredulously. HE sits down and breathes a sigh - the absurdity of the idea hitting him as well. ANNE softens - feeling like she has unfairly taken the wind out of his sail. ANNE Oh you poor kid...You're a mess. ANNE stands and buries JACK's face in her breast. SHE decides to be positive. ...Well, listen....stranger things have happened. CUT TO: INT. ANNE'S APARTMENT - LATER THAT AFTERNOON. JACK on the phone to LYDIA. This time ANNE is right beside him. JACK Hello Lydia? LYDIA (abrasively) Yeah? Who is this? HER abrupt manner surprises JACK. JACK uses his old, confident radio voice. JACK This is Jack Lucas and I'm calling from Video Stop video rentals. LYDIA Yes. JACK Yes well... (guessing and hoping - ) You are a credit card holder, are you not? LYDIA Huh-huh. JACK Well, congratulations Lydia, because out of several thousand card holders,... in conjunction with several major credit card companies... you have just won a free membership at our store on Second Ave. HE puts the reciever near a tape player and presses play. "HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN" plays for a moment, then he shuts it off. LYDIA (deadpan, not getting it) How did this happen? JACK is prepared for LYDIA'S, shall we say, reluctance to buy it! JACK Your name was picked. LYDIA (suspicious...and dense) Well, I don't understand. What did you do - did you pick my name out of a hat or...or..a list? JACK A list. LYDIA Well - were there alot of people in the room or just you or what? JACK (about to answer) Well there.... (then) What's the difference? LYDIA Well, I mean...I don't know you. This has never...I've never won anything and...I don't have a VCR. JACK You get a VCR with the membership. (ANNE hits him) ..For a short time until you get you're own. Listen, why don't you come down to the store and you can check it out. See if you're interested. LYDIA Did Phyllis in accounting tell you to call me? JACK (fed up) NO! I TOLD YOU! YOU WON A CONTEST! LYDIA hangs up. JACK turns to ANNE. ....This is going to be rough. CUT TO: INT. HOWARD PUBLISHING - DAY The elevator doors open. JACK stands beside THE GAY BUM, who is now dressed like JOEL GREY in CABARET and carrying a handful of balloons with the name VIDEO STOP written on them. JACK, remaining inside, taps him on the arm. JACK (adamant) Remember. One chorus and out. GAY BUM I'm a man with a mission, Jack. THE GAY BUM walks to the office entrance. JACK pushes the down button. As the doors close, we hear him say to himself: JACK I can't believe I'm on a first name basis with these people... CUT TO: INT. HOWARD PUBLISHING - MOMENTS LATER THE GAY BUM enters the reception area, much to the surprise of the receptionist. RECEPTIONIST Can I...help you? GAY BUM Is there a mousy woman who works here named Lydia? RECEPTIONIST Yes..if you'll wait here I'll... GAY BUM This is a personalized message. I have to give it in person. THE GAY BUM strolls nonchalantly into the office and down the aisle, relishing in the amazed expressions of the employees. HE approaches a cubicle on which he reads a small name plate - LYDIA SINCLAIR. LYDIA has her back to him, but slowly turns as she feels someone watching her. SHE lets out a tiny scream when she sees him standing there like a deranged clown. The GAY BUM take notice of her outfit - a cordoroy, forest green jumper with a lime green turtleneck - GAY BUM You MUST be the one. LYDIA Huh? GAY BUM (sings to the tune of "WILKOMMEN") WELCOME - LYDIA - WELCOME.... HE lets go the balloons...PEOPLE'S head pop up from cubicles... GAY BUM ...WELCOME TO VIDEO STOP - VIDEO RENTALS... YOU HAVE...JUST WOOOON..A FREE MEMBERSHIP... FOR MORE..DETAAAILS...LALALALALALLA...DA!..DA! HE hands her a card with the information. LYDIA, paralyzed with embarassment, takes it. A group of office girls are hysterical. GAY BUM (BIG FINISH) WELCOME! LYDIA!!! WELCOME!!! (dance/kicking his way out) TO VIDEO STOP...TO VIDEO STOP FOR VIDEO RENTAALLLLSSS! (drops the act and exits) Jesus... Stunned, LYDIA looks down at the information card she holds frozen in her hand. CUT TO: INT. VIDEO STOP - 5:30 THE NEXT DAY. CAMERA PANS ANNE behind the counter arranging boxes of movies - JACK with one eye on the door and one eye on a receipt he's filling out - and PARRY; clean shaven, his hair slicked back - Except for a slightly nerdy awkwardness, he looks almost handsome. LYDIA cautiously enters the store. Behind the counter, JACK spots her immediately and nudges ANNE. When SHE turns to look, her bra straps are visible. JACK fixes them quickly. PARRY already has his eyes locked on LYDIA. LYDIA Hello. My name is Lydia Sinclair. JACK Yes. Hi. Congratulations. Jack Lucas. Nice to meet you finally. This is Anne Napolitano, the owner of Video Stop. ANNE (overly friendly) Hello..Congratulations. LYDIA just nods. JACK And this is our other..uh...worker.. Parry..uh... (no last name) Parry. PARRY looks at her in awe. HE can think of no words to say in his excitement. LYDIA seems unnerved by his stare, but quickly shrugs it off and turns back to JACK. LYDIA (snotty) So how do we do this? JACK is once again surprised by her abrupt manner. JACK Well...um...you get an official membership card... (takes one out) Just sign that and we'll laminate it right here...Parry? You want to laminate Miss Sinclair's card?... PARRY stands still, in shock JACK ....Parry? PARRY snaps out of it and crosses from behind the counter to the laminating machine next to JACK. ANNE This will last you one year after which you have the option to renew if you like at a membership discount. LYDIA (defensive) But now it's free, right? ANNE Yeah. ANNE backs off. SHE stands next to an equally perplexed JACK as they watch LYDIA fill out the card. Her abrasive demeanor is not what they expected. LYDIA finishes the card and pushes it toward them. LYDIA Now what? JACK Uh...you...you can pick out up to ten movies.... LYDIA Free? JACK Yes. They're free. ANNE (butts in) Only the first ten. After that they're 2.99 a rental. LYDIA eyes ANNE suspiciously, then turns to survey the shelves. PARRY picks up her card and laminates it - all the while, keeping his eyes fixed upon LYDIA'S every move. ANNE and JACK, having set the trap, watch with interest. LYDIA surveys the film boxes, H-L. SHE spots one of interest and pulls it off the shelf - causing two other boxes to fall down on her. She catches one box and, as she replaces it back on the shelf, causes three more to fall. SHE catches two of the three. PARRY, ANNE and JACK watching with an odd fascination. JACK nudges PARRY to forget the laminating and go help her. PARRY gathers up his nerve and moves from around the counter, up behind her. PARRY ...Can...can I help you? LYDIA quickly turns - she is uncomfortable by his closeness. LYDIA No. No...I can look myself... SHE moves away abruptly - like a fox terrier who pretends to ignore the mess she made on the living room rug. PARRY turns to JACK and ANNE, as if to say "what do I do now?" JACK encourages him to keep trying. PARRY organizes the boxes and picks one out. PARRY (reads) How about...ZBIEGNEW SPEIZAK'S "THE PURPLE BREAD". 'an intensely portrayed tale of love and envy set against the sweeping background of a Polish bakery.' In subtitles. LYDIA I don't like ... uh ... (finding it hard to categorize) Polish love stories... SHE turns her back on him, but adds: LYDIA ...I like musicals. PARRY (encouraged) Well, we have plenty of those. Right over here. (LYDIA follows him) We got the MGM series, Astaire and Rogers. the Judy Garlands, - LYDIA Got any Ethel Merman? PARRY Uh.... HE doesn't see any. HE looks to ANNE, who shakes her head. .....Uh..we seem to be all out of Ethel Merman. LYDIA What a gyp. PARRY Yeah. JACK nudges ANNE to do something. ANNE You know, I think I..I ordered some just the other day. They'll be in soon. LYDIA Well, I guess I'll come back then. JACK Here's your card. LYDIA walks back to the counter. As JACK hands her the card, she notices ANNE'S painted star fingernails. LYDIA I like your nails. ANNE Thank you. LYDIA Where did you get them done? ANNE Ah...I do them myself. I used to work in a beauty parlor. LYDIA keeps staring at them. LYDIA (without much feeling) I like the stars. JACK gets an idea. JACK You know, Anne does other people too. Sort of a sideline..... ANNE is surprised to hear this. ...If you want, she could do your nails. LYDIA How much? JACK Well, since you're a member, we could... ANNE (interrupts) Twenty dollars. LYDIA considers the offer. PARRY waits for the outcome. LYDIA O.K...twenty dollars...When can you... JACK Tonight! How's tonight? LYDIA thinks. ANNE is ready to kill JACK. PARRY smiles hopefully. CUT TO: INT. ANNE'S APARTMENT - THAT EVENING. JACK searches frantically through a closet. ANNE and PARRY sit opposite each other at the table, having coffee. ANNE doesn't quite know how to take PARRY, who smiles as if he were a child, grateful and excited that he was allowed to sit with the adults. ANNE (to JACK O.C.) Getting your nails done is one thing but going to dinner with a bunch of strangers and HIM...She didn't even look at him. JACK (O.C.) We'll make it very casual... ...not like a date or anything. I just have to find something he'll look good in. ANNE looks at PARRY as if this were an impossibility. PARRY smiles back - he likes ANNE. ANNE I don't know. I mean, I've gone out with some bums in my time, but they were gorgeous. It's the only reason to go out with a bum. JACK (O.C.) Well, she's no Grace Kelly. ANNE That's true. That outfit she wore! She looked like a centerpiece. PARRY This coffee's delicious. And you have a lovely home. ANNE Jack, he's talking to me. JACK (O.C.) Well talk back. He won't bite you. ANNE (cool and polite) Thank you very much. PARRY (enjoying the conversation) Your welcome. You know, a beautiful woman like yourself - your own business - I'm surprised some guy doesn't snatch you up for his own. ANNE (looking in JACK'S direction, but replying to PARRY) YOU'RE SURPRISED!... (to PARRY) But I guess I just never met the right guy. Whatta gonna do? PARRY I'm shocked. With a child bearing body like yours... (ANNE doesn't know how to take that) ...Why a man would have to be out of his mind! ANNE Most men are. PARRY Why this is outrageous!.... PARRY, getting overly heated, slams down his fork. ANNE jumps. ....A woman of your value going to waste before my eyes.... (rising intensity) Come on! I'm yours! Let's go! ANNE (nervous) Go where? PARRY (clears the table with one move) Come on - let us go to that place of splendor in the grass. HE starts to unzip his pants. ANNE JACK! Climbing over the table to her, he seranades, to the tune of "HAVIN MY BABY"... PARRY HOLDIN MY PENIS... WHAT A LOVELY WAY OF SAYIN HOW MUCH YA LIKE ME... ANNE WHAT ARE YOU, OUT OF YOUR MIND! JACK enters... PARRY HOLDIN MY PENIS... JACK PARRY! Close your pants... PARRY stops singing and gets off the table. HE bows with a courtly flourish, having given ANNE exactly what she expected from a crazy bum. PARRY (kidding) You sure now? ANNE looks at him like she's going to belt him. ....Well alright. But you let me know. (with great sincerity) You're too good a woman to go to waste. ANNE, in spite of herself, agrees with him. SHE looks to JACK to see if he agrees but JACK is too busy inspecting PARRY. JACK What are you - a 40 in a jacket? ANNE, frustrated with the two of them, exits. CUT TO: INT. ANNE'S APARTMENT - LATER THAT EVENING. ANNE'S opens the door to a cautious LYDIA. LYDIA nods, self-consiously, as if to say "Yeah, I'm here". ANNE Hello...welcome....Come in. LYDIA enters, subtly inspecting the apartment. LYDIA I've never been in an apartment above a store. You always pass them on the street but you never think anyone really lives in them. ANNE (raising an eyebrow) Can I get you anything...coffee... tea...a little tequilla? LYDIA No, thank you. LYDIA sits at the formica table, already set up with nail care paraphernalia - with the gleaming steel nail files it looks a bit like surgery equipment. LYDIA Will it hurt? ANNE (threateningly) That all depends on you. ...Sure you don't want a drink? LYDIA's a little nervous about this attempt at nail beauty. CUT TO: INT. ANNE'S APARTMENT - LATER THAT EVENING. ANNE is seated at her formica table opposite LYDIA. SHE delicately holds one of LYDIA'S hands, carefully applying the stars to her nails. LYDIA sips her tequilla with one hand. ANNE'S glass is almost empty as she talks non-stop; ANNE ...So he says to me, "you'll never find another man like me"...I said, "please, men like you have one hand on their dicks and the other hand on their mother's leg... I said, there's the door - take a trip. LYDIA (paying close attention) You threw him out? ANNE makes a confident nod. LYDIA sips. LYDIA My parents were divorced. ANNE It's an awful thing, let me tell you. (emphasizing) "divorce is the sister-in-law of death". ANNE nods knowingly. LYDIA squints as she considers this. CUT TO: INT. PARRY'S BASEMENT - SAME TIME. JACK stands behind a seated PARRY in front of a mirror. PARRY'S hair is wet. JACK places a can of styling mousse in front of him. PARRY sqeezes a ball of mousse in his hand, then applies it to his head.... PARRY proceeds to experiment with a number of styles - adding more and more mousse as JACK watches in silence. PARRY molds his hair into a cone, then divides into two cones, then mushes it into a pompadour, then splits the pompadour - PARRY is having a wonderful time - applying enormous amounts of mousse to his head and eyebrows....Finally, JACK grabs the can out of PARRY'S hand and throws a towel onto his head. CUT BACK TO: INT. ANNE'S APARTMENT - A LITTLE LATER. ANNE works on LYDIA'S other hand, as LYDIA sips her tequilla from a straw. ANNE ...SO...anybody special in your life? LYDIA (defensive) Do I look like I have someone special? SHE moves to picks up her tequilla with the manicured hand but ANNE eyes her down. ANNE Well, don't say it like that. It's not so...ya know, crazy an idea. You are a healthy woman...You hold a steady job. Ya not crossed eyed or anything... LYDIA (curtly) Well, there's nobody special! ANNE Fine. PAUSE. LYDIA I mean, it's not easy in this day and age. ANNE What? LYDIA Meeting ... people. ANNE Tell me about it. I've been dating longer than I've been driving. I can't believe that. LYDIA I never really...went through a... dating period. ANNE It's a disgusting process. You haven't missed anything. LYDIA nods in agreement, but her face tells us she feels she has missed a great deal. CUT TO: INT. DOWNSTAIRS FOYER OF ANNE'S BUILDING - SAME TIME. PARRY, cleaned and dressed up - his hair moussed back, the suit is a big snug but attractive - paces the hallway in front of JACK. Looking handsome, you could imagine him in front of a lecture hall, being the object of many a young girls fantasy. JACK You know those shoes are old. You keep pacing like that, you're going to walk into the apartment barefoot. PARRY I'm excited. (JACK smiles) You must have felt this way when you first met Anne, huh? Where did you two meet? JACK In a bar called Hellfire. PARRY Awww...how romantic. Yeah. If I wasn't already committed to Lydia, boy. Except Anne'd never go for me though. She loves you too much. And you really love her, huh? JACK No. But that's not the only reason people get together or..stay together. PARRY What are the other reasons? JACK thinks a moment, then answers plainly: JACK Survival. PARRY puts his arm on JACK'S shoulder and speaks very sincerely. PARRY You love her alot Jack. You're ... crazy about her... I know it. It's just that, sometimes - (whispers) you're a little bit of jerk. JACK is surprised by the remark and abruptly focuses on PARRY. JACK Come here...you're all crooked. JACK adjusts PARRY'S tie, then undoes it and re-ties. ...Do you have my wallet to pay for dinner? PARRY nods, keeping his eyes on JACK, as JACK primps him. PARRY ...You're a nice man, Jack. Doing all this for me... JACK doesn't pay attention as PARRY'S expression grows pale and frightened. HE suddenly raps his arms around JACK and whispers; PARRY I'm scared Jack. JACK, uncomfortable at the intimacy, tries to comfort him. ...I feel so much for her...I feel like something awful is going to happen. JACK No. Nothing bad's going to happen. Anne'll be there. I'll be there. Nothing bad will happen. CUT BACK TO: INT. ANNE'S APARTMENT - LATER LYDIA is a little more loose and talkative now as ANNE refills her glass, then takes LYDIA'S other hand to apply the stars. LYDIA (deadpan) ...My mother calls every week. Like a recurring nightmare. "So, have you met anyone?"..."No mom".. "So what's going to happen?"... "I don't know Mom"... I only thank God I moved out. ANNE I can't believe you lived with her for that long. If I had to live with my mother, I'd stab myself six times. LYDIA Maybe I'm meant to be alone. Maybe I was a man in a former life and I used women for pleasure so now I'm paying for it. ANNE You have to not try so hard. LYDIA (sipping her drink) I don't feel like I have any effect on people. At parties I usually spend my time re-arranging the hors d'oeuvres as people eat them, so the platters will always look full. I don't start conversations because I have no idea how to end them..... I think some people are just born to live in the background of things. ANNE Don't say that...I think you have a very (searching) effecting personality...we're having a lovely conversation. LYDIA I'm paying you. ANNE drops her hand. SHE's pissed. ANNE You know, let me tell you something! I'm not that kind of person. I don't do people favors. If I talk to you it's because I want to. O.K., you're a little plain - but we can't all be..uh...Jerri Hall. You do the best you can. You're not so helpless and desparate.... You want a personality. Try this; (whispers) you can be a real bitch. LYDIA (her face lights up) Really? ANNE Yeah! SHE grabs her hand back. LYDIA feels oddly exhilarated at the thought of her having a strong enough effect to be a bitch. ANNE Now, you have to sit for at least a half hour or, I'm telling you... Ya want another drink? Before she can answer, JACK knocks on the door and enters with PARRY. JACK (to LYDIA) Oh hi? How's it going? LYDIA Hello.. JACK Parry, it's Lydia Sinclair - our membership winner. PARRY (not understanding the game) I know! (to LYDIA, with deep sincerity) Hi. LYDIA (not knowing what to make of him) Hi. ANNE (lighting a cigarette) What are you two up to? JACK Well..everything's closed up. We thought we'd get some dinner. (overplaying it) Say!.... (to LYDIA) Have you eaten? Would you like to come along? LYDIA (rises, uncomfortable) Oh, no..I have to get home... ANNE The nails!! Watch the nails!!... (LYDIA sits back down) Listen, you still have to eat. PARRY stands by hoping against hope. LYDIA No really..I don't want to impose. ANNE Hey? What did I tell you? (she leans in confidentially) Why don't you come? It's just dinner. You'll have something to tell your mother next time she calls. LYDIA smiles. CUT TO: EXT. CITY STREET - NIGHT. PARRY and LYDIA walk up ahead from ANNE and JACK. WE INTERCUT THE TWO CONVERSATIONS; JACK So what do you think? ANNE Well...like my Aunt Margie said - Some matches are made in heaven... and some are made in hardware stores. JACK breathes a heavy sigh. ANNE ....What's the matter? JACK I'm beginnning to understand you. ANNE smiles and hooks her arm into his. Instead of this seeming a burden, JACK accepts her arm and smiles back. CUT TO: PARRY and LYDIA. LYDIA (self-conscious) ...I..uh..I get to read some of the books but mostly I..just calculate production costs from first edition hard cover publication to paperback. After paperback it's basically someone else's problem. PARRY It sounds exciting. LYDIA (calling him on his lie) Why does it sound exciting? There's absolutely nothing exciting about it. PARRY (genuinely) Well, you're calculating costs that could have an affect on whether or not the book is published and if it is, it could be a book that... HE picks up some garbage as they walk and carries it. ....might somehow change the way people think or act - a book can do that and you would be a part of creating a cultural shift that could change our society forever. HE drops the garbage in a garbage can. LYDIA watches, curiously. LYDIA We mostly publish trashy romance novels. PARRY Well - empires have fallen because of trashy romances. LYDIA considers this. THEY continue to walk. PARRY spots a drunk in a doorway. HE yells to him. PARRY Hey Martin...! MARTIN Parry? Don't you look all duded up! PARRY This is Lydia! MARTIN Nice to meet you Lydia! Got a quarter?! LYDIA is mortified by the introduction. PARRY smiles proudly. THEY continue to walk. LYDIA How do you know him? PARRY Martin worked for the sanitation department until... HE is cut off when A LARGE MAN walks by, bumping into LYDIA without apology. ...Hey! The LARGE MAN continues walking as PARRY reaches to his back pocket to pull out his SLINGSHOT. From behind, JACK yells out; JACK PARRY! PARRY and LYDIA stop and look to JACK and ANNE. PARRY reluctantly leaves the sling shot where it is. LYDIA doesn't understand what's going on. THEY all continue walking. LYDIA SO .... what do you do? PARRY Well, I'm in search of the Holy Grail. JACK PARRY! ANNE (saving it) How about The Szechuan House? PARRY (pats LYDIA'S arm) I'll tell you later. CUT TO: INT. CHINESE RESTAURANT - NIGHT. ANNE and LYDIA sit opposite JACK and PARRY. THEY are served three large orders of dumplings. ANNE Oh..I could eat all of these LYDIA is nervous about this. As everyone begins to eat, SHE eyes her chopsticks with reluctance. PARRY looks at her and smiles encouragingly. LYDIA forces a smile back, picks up her chopsticks and dives in. PARRY watches her in adoration. JACK subtly tries to get PARRY to stop staring. But PARRY is glued to his vision. LYDIA, even more awkward now with her new nails, drops her first dumpling into her lap. LYDIA Oh..god... To save her from embarassment, PARRY drops his dumpling into his lap as well. PARRY Oh boy... LYDIA takes her napkin and dips it into a glass of water. PARRY follows suit. When LYDIA removes the napkin, her glass falls over. PARRY forces his glass over, as well. ANNE and JACK are looking at this mirror exercise in fascination. PARRY (to LYDIA) Can't take us anywhere, huh? LYDIA can't help but smile - a little more at ease now. Grateful she is not the clumsy center of attention. FADE TO: LATER IN THE EVENING. WE PAN the table as everyone eats their main courses. LYDIA, we discover, has another eating idiosyncracy. SHE unconsciously, but quite loudly, smacks her mouth when she chews. LYDIA (O.C.) SMACK..SMACK...SMACK... WE HEAR THIS SMACKING OFF CAMERA as we begin on JACK; trying not to look at LYDIA but having difficulty enjoying his own meal. CAMERA moves to PARRY, staring at her, helplessly in love, not paying any attention to his own food; moving to LYDIA "SMACK, SMACKING" , beginning to accept PARRY'S attraction in her and, warming up to the idea, SHE throws a smile at him in between "smacks"; and finally ANNE, chewing quietly, staring at JACK with her eyes widened twice their normal size, indicating her disbelief at LYDIA'S vocal variety of noises. CUT TO: PARRY; Gazing at his sweetheart, a song to seranade comes to mind and he softly begins; PARRY "LYDIA...OH LYDIA...THAT ENCYCLOPEDIA OH LYDIA THE TATTOOED LADY..." HIS gentle voice counterbalances the odd lyrics and makes it sound like a love song. ANNE eyes JACK to stop him. JACK is about to make an attempt but can't seem to find the way, so he doesn't bother. LYDIA doesn't know how to respond either. At first SHE smiles politely, then she pretends to be too busy eating to listen - but something about PARRY'S sincerity pulls her in. HIS face glows as he floats the lyrics across the table to her. Slowly, her "smacking" subsides, she lowers her fork, forgets her self - consciousness and listens to PARRY - slightly hypnotized; like a little girl watching a ballerina for the first time. JACK is fascinated by PARRY'S complete adoration of this mess of a woman. HE looks to ANNE, who tries to continue her meal nonchalantly. HE notices her bra strap hanging out from her sweater. CAMERA CUTS BACK AND FORTH BETWEEN THE EXPOSED STRAP and JACK, as PARRY continues seranading O.C. ANNE realizes JACK is staring at her and immediately thinks something's wrong. But JACK just smiles at her. HIS hand reaches across the table, not to fix her sweater, but to take her hand. ANNE is in shock. SHE slips her hand into his and smiles back, her eyes almost tearing. When PARRY finishes, he smiles. PARRY Would it be all right...I mean would you mind...if I walked you home tonight? LYDIA nods. From OFF CAMERA, PARRY'S hand holds a napkin and gently dabs a stain of soy sauce on her sleeve. CUT TO: INT. ANNE'S APARTMENT - LATER THAT NIGHT. CAMERA PANS the apartment as ANNE speaks from the bathroom. ANNE I tell ya, I'm very surprised. She seemed to like him very much. He wasn't that bad looking either. I mean, he's still a little on the disgusting side but some women go for that... CAMERA PANS TO JACK, who is sitting on the couch in the living room, very pleased with himself. JACK You know, I can't believe I did it. She really likes him. ANNE (entering in a robe) ...I think you should feel very proud. You did a real nice thing for somebody else. I'm very proud. ANNE leans her body next to JACK'S leg. JACK looks up at her, then suddenly pulls her down on the couch into his arms. JACK You were great. Thanks alot. HE kisses her hard and long. ANNE pulls away to catch her breath. SHE is surprised, to say the least. ANNE Your welcome. JACK tenderly brushes her hair off her face. HE kisses her again, rapping his arms underneath her - lifting her off couch, and gently carrying her to the floor O.C. ANNE (O.C.) Oh my. CUT TO: EXT. LYDIA'S STREET - NIGHT. PARRY and LYDIA walk - noticably more comfortable with each other than before. PARRY Tell me more. I want to know everything. LYDIA There isn't any more to tell. PARRY Don't say that. LYDIA (deadpan) No, really..believe me - there isn't any more. This is it. PARRY Well, it's enough for me. LYDIA You don't have to say that. PARRY I never say anything I have to. LYDIA I mean you don't have to say nice things to me...That kind of thing is a little old fashioned for what we're about to do. PARRY What are we about to do? LYDIA Well...you're walking me home I ..I guess you're sort of... attracted to me and you'll want to come upstairs for...coffee... PARRY I don't drink coffee... LYDIA (continuing) ...and then we'll probably have a drink and talk and get comfortable with each other and...and we'll...then you'll sleep over and then in the morning (driving herself into a complex) you'll be distant and you won't be... able to stay for breakfast...you'll just have some coffee maybe... PARRY I don't drink coffee... LYDIA And then we'll exchange phone numbers and you'll leave and never call and I'll go to work and feel great for the first hour and then slowly turn into a piece of dirt by lunch. Why I am I putting myself through this? (to PARRY) It was very nice... (quickening her pace) uh meeting you. Goodnight.. SHE walks quickly away. PARRY stops, confused to say the least, then runs after her. LYDIA is just about to enter the front door of her building when PARRY stops her. PARRY Excuse me... LYDIA Listen, I'm not feeling well. PARRY Well no wonder. We just met, made love and broke up all in the space of thirty seconds and I can't even remember the first kiss which is the best part. LYDIA Listen, you're very nice. PARRY So are you, but I think maybe you should shut-up now... LYDIA is surprised ...I'm not coming up to your apartment. That was never my idea. LYDIA Oh..You mean you don't want to. PARRY (deeply sincere) Oh no, I want to. (sweetly) I've got a hard-on for you the size of Canada ... but I don't want just one night. I have a confession to make? LYDIA You're married. PARRY No. LYDIA Divorced. PARRY No, I... LYDIA You have a disease. PARRY Will you stop!..... (pause, he looks at her) ...I'm in love with you.... LYDIA is about to speak when PARRY puts his hand over her mouth. PARRY ....It's not just from tonight. I've known you for a long time. I see you come out of work everyday. I walk with you to lunch. I know what you order...I see you buy Baby Ruths before going back in... (slowly removes his hand) I know how you feel on certain days by whether or not you go into the bookstore..... LYDIA doesn't know how to respond, but she listens with fascination. PARRY (CONT'D) ...I know you hate your job and you don't have many friends and you sometimes feel like you're not as...as wonderful as everybody else and you're a little uncoordinated LYDIA begins to cry. ..and feeling like you're the only one who's as separate and alone as you are...and I love you. I love you. I think you're the greatest thing since...spice racks and I would be knocked out several times if I even got just a first kiss. But I'll be back in the morning. And I won't be distant. And I will call if you let me....But I still don't drink coffee. LYDIA Shhh... SHE kisses him, tentatively - almost awkwardly. PARRY feels a surge of emotion that makes his whole body tremble. LYDIA separates from him and looks into his eyes. SHE pinches his cheek, hard. LYDIA (earnestly) You are real, aren't you? THEY kiss again. Then LYDIA quickly pulls away... ...You can call... SHE pushes away from him and runs into the building - as if she was afraid to linger and ruin the moment. PARRY stands transfixed. HE cannot believe his fortune; HE takes a step back from the building. HIS mind is reeling. CUT TO: INT. LYDIA'S BUILDING - ELEVATOR - SECONDS LATER. As LYDIA ascends she re-enacts the entire love scene in her mind, to make sure it went as well as she thinks. CUT TO: EXT. LYDIA'S BUILDING - NIGHT. PARRY is still standing transfixed. HE takes a deep breath, and starts to walk away. But something is suddenly very wrong. The good feeling takes a darker shade, but PARRY doesn't know why. HE looks frightened - the fear of losing something you've wanted for so long and have only recently won. But PARRY feels an even deeper fear - he turns his head and looks down the block to the corner; CUT TO: THE RED KNIGHT sits upon his horse as if waiting for PARRY. The street lamps cast a glow around his imposing figure. The night air lifts his cape up around his massive shoulders. CUT TO: PARRY - vulnerable, in love - is afraid. PARRY Please let me have this. CUT TO: THE RED KNIGHT - silent, unforgiving, unrelenting. PARRY begins to move away, taking a step back and then another and another...until he is running down toward the opposite corner. THE RED KNIGHT shifts his horse into PARRY's direction and begins to charge. PARRY runs through deserted city streets - running for his life as the sounds of the RED KNIGHT galloping grows closer. CUT TO: THE RED KNIGHT, a surreal figure hunting his prey. CUT TO: PARRY As he runs, IMAGES/MEMORIES begin to flood his mind uncontrollably; AN AMBULANCE ARRIVING AT A HOSPITAL... HIS WOUNDED WIFE BEING MOVED ON A STRETCHER - CUT BACK TO: PARRY running. CUT TO: - PARRY AND HIS WIFE MAKING LOVE. CUT TO: PARRY running. PARRY SSTTTOPPP!! PASSERS-BY on the street witness the familiar sight of a bum screaming at thin air. The RED KNIGHT pursues. WE HEAR THE GALLOPING GETTING LOUDER. CUT TO: PARRY running, mumbling incoherently. People on the street get out of his way or snicker behind his back. CUT TO: THE RED KNIGHT galloping toward PARRY, as he runs; his face wet with tears - yet contorting with angry, incomprehensible reprisals. PEOPLE on the street pay no attention. CUT TO: A BAR WITH BROKEN GLASS SURROUNDED BY POLICE AND SPECTATORS. - PARRY AND HIS WIFE MAKING LOVE. - JACK'S PICTURE ON A T.V. NEWS BROADCAST. WE INTERCUT the following BUILD OF IMAGES with PARRY, THE RED KNI and THE PEOPLE ON THE STREET: PARRY'S WIFE PLAYFULLY WAKING HIM UP IN BED. - THE DOORS OF A FUNERAL CHAPEL CLOSING - PARRY AND HIS WIFE MAKING LOVE. - PARRY AND HIS WIFE MAKING LOVE. THIS TIME WE SEE PARRY'S EXPRESSION AS HE HOLDS HER - SO FULL OF LOVE. - THE DOORS OF A FUNERAL CHAPEL CLOSING. CUT TO: WIDE ANGLE - EXT. EAST RIVER PROMENADE - NIGHT PARRY has run all the way to the promenade along the river. PARRY NOOOOOOOO!...COME ON!...WHERE ARE YOU!!!! WHERE ARE YOU!! (softer; dropping to his knees) Where are you... CUT TO: EXT. THE END OF THE PROMENADE - NIGHT. THE TWO JUVENILE DELIQUENTS, LEATHER AND WINDBREAKER, come strutting down the promenade, in SLOW MOTION. PARRY looks toward them, as if surrendering. CUT TO HIS POV THE TWO YOUTHS ARE BEING LEAD BY THE RED KNIGHT ON HIS HORSE. PARRY, tear-stained face, rises to meet them. THE YOUTHS reach PARRY and surround him. LEATHER flicks open a switchblade. LEATHER ...We're tired of looking at you people... PARRY looks at him. HE stands before them, surrendering to his fate. CUT TO: PARRY'S POV The RED KNIGHT is pointing a sword at him in front of LEATHER with the switchblade. HE slashes PARRY chest AS WE- CUT TO: WIDE ANGLE OF PROMENADE PARRY sinks to his knees... The YOUTHS close in around him. CUT TO: INT. ANNE'S APARTMENT - SAME TIME. Outside the bathroom door, we hear the toilet flush. ANNE exits in an imitation silk kimono, feeling very much the satisfied woman. SHE crosses into the living room and finds JACK, on the floor with his box of radio tapes, feverishly organizing himself. ANNE crouches down behind him, wraps her arms around his shoulders and kisses his neck. ANNE Whatcha doin? JACK I'm trying to get these in to some order. I'm going to call a few agents tomorrow. Make some appointments. ANNE (excited) Really? Oh Jack, that's terrific. JACK Yeah...I... (stops to tell her) I feel real good Anne. I don't know, I ... feel good and I feel ready. (laughs) I don't know how else to say it. ANNE No, no, I understand....God, I think it's great. (she kisses him) It's so good to see you like this. (JACK continues to organize) Ya know, I'm thinkin - with another income coming in, I would love to get a bigger place. JACK Huh? ANNE I don't want to rush things - you have to get a job first, but I'm so sure that's gonna happen I'm not even thinking about it. JACK realizes what she's saying and stops organizing. ANNE ... But, I would love to start looking at least. You know, maybe a two bedroom or even, maybe the top floor of a house - like in Brooklyn or Staten Island... JACK looks at her, not knowing what to say. ..What?..You don't want to commute? JACK No, it's not-...Come here... HE turns her around and cuddles her up in his arms, with her back to him. JACK You're an incredible woman Anne- ANNE breaks away suddenly and looks at him, sternly. JACK What? ANNE "I'm an incredible woman?" What is this, a death sentence? JACK No, I ... I just want to talk about it. ANNE (aware and suspicious) You want to talk? Come on, Jack... Did I cross the line by mentioning the future or what? JACK No..it's just... ANNE shifts her body to face him directly. ....Listen, alot has happened and I think it would be a good thing if we slowed things down a little. ANNE Slowed things down? Where have I been? Have we been going fast!? JACK Right now, I'm just not sure about things. ANNE What things!? JACK Will you let me talk!...It's been. a real...difficult time for me... The past year or so...And now, for the first time, I feel like I'm above water. I feel like I know alot more than I did, and I want the time to make the right choices. And...I think that maybe...I need to be alone for awhile. ANNE is speechless - for the moment. JACK I need to clear my head, Anne. Like I said, I feel like I know alot more now and- ANNE (interrupts) First of all, let me tell you something- you don't know shit. Second of all, what time? What time do you need? What have we been doing here, except TIME? Have I ever...ever pressured you! JACK No. ANNE No. So what time do you need? I love you - you love me - you want to start your career, great! I want to be a part of it - I deserve that! What do you need to figure out!? JACK doesn't answer. PAUSE. ANNE is afraid she knows. ANNE All right. I'm going to ask you one question. (summoning up all her strength) Do you love me? PAUSE JACK I don't know. SHE slaps him. ANNE You can't even give me that. You were just gonna organize your life... (indicates the box) ...walk out that door, move in by yourself and what - drop the news when you find somebody else? What were you planning to do Jack? JACK I didn't know. I just said all I want is some time. ANNE (fighting back tears) Bullshit! If you're going hurt me, you hurt me now - not some long drawn out hurt that takes weeks of my life because you don't have the balls! JACK doesn't answer. JACK All right...I'll pack my stuff tonight. ANNE slaps him again. ANNE What have you been doing here! HUH! I WANNA KNOW! JACK LISTEN! We both got something out of it, all right! ANNE Oh yeah? What did I get? What did I get I couldn't've gotten from somebody with no name any night of the week? You think your company is such a treat? Your moods, your (sarcastic) "pain", your problems...You think you're entertaining? JACK Then what to you want to stay with me for? ANNE physically attacks him- ANNE BECAUSE I LOVE YOU!...STUPID!...FUCKIN!... JACK blocks her blows and holds her arms. ANNE surrenders to her tears. HE is about to embrace her, when she pulls away. ANNE No. You don't get to be nice. I'm not a modern woman Jack. I don't like being friends with men I used to love. No way... At that moment, THE PHONE RINGS. JACK answers it. JACK Hello?..Yeah...My wallet, what do you mean?... (his face drops) What?....What? INT. BELLEVUE - TWENTY MINUTES LATER JACK, ANNE and A DOCTOR talk as they walk. DOCTOR He was brought in early this morning. Must have been lying there for hours. He's lost a lot of blood. HE opens the door to PARRY'S room. PARRY lays in bed - his face bandaged, his arms in casts, his chest rapped tightly. HE has been severly beaten. JACK Parry? DOCTOR He can't hear you. JACK sits beside the bed as the DOCTOR fills him in. DOCTOR I have his record here. (he reads) Henry Sawyer - brought in a few years ago - catatonic stupor rendering him non-verbal for over thirteen months... JACK I know. I know all about it. DOCTOR Well, it says he was sent to a psychiatric hospital. JACK I know all this. Why are you telling me this? DOCTOR Well - his beating's bad but... that's not the problem. I'm afraid he's re-experiencing the same symptoms of his earlier condition. JACK What are you saying? THE DOCTOR pulls him aside. DOCTOR Sometimes victims of tragedies are subject to the brain's replay system. The brain never loses anything - it just stores it up and waits. A person could actually re-experience the full effect of a tragedy, long after the actual incident took place. JACK'S goes numb. HE looks to PARRY, who is clearly in his own world. JACK Is there anything you can do? DOCTOR Knowing his history, I'd say no. Was he having hallucinations? JACK Yes. DOCTOR (reading the chart) That's in keeping with the diagnosis. The nervous system has these - neural secretions that actually cause hallucinations to protect the ego from something it can't handle. JACK But he was happy. DOCTOR There are people who have been through great tragedy that have a harder time with feeling good than feeling bad. It's not as familiar...it can bring back the pain of what was lost. Are you a relative? JACK No. Just a friend. DOCTOR Well, it doesn't matter then anyway. We're going to have to send him back to the same institution. They have the facilities there he needs. JACK Well...What if I was a relative? DOCTOR You'd have the option to care for him at home, but it wouldn't be the best thing for him. He needs hospital care. I just thought you could sign the necessary releases, but the city can do that. There's really nothing anybody can do. I wouldn't feel responsible in any way. There's nothing you can do. JACK nods and the DOCTOR leaves. JACK looks at PARRY, who stares vacantly in space... JACK and ANNE stand alone. ANNE Poor Lydia...First guy who shows any interest at all and he winds up in Bellevue... SHE looks straight into JACK'S eyes... ...Some woman just have no luck, huh? Including herself in this remark, and having cried all she could cry, SHE and JACK exchange one final look. SHE turns and walks down the long corridor, out of the ward. After a beat, JACK calls her. JACK Anne...Anne, I'll call you, all right? ANNE doesn't turn or stop - she just keeps walking. JACK stares back at PARRY, CAMERA MOVES IN TO CLOSE-UP - his face hardening, a mixture of hurt...and hunger...and resignation. FADE TO: SUPER - SIX MONTHS LATER. INT. RADIO STUDIO - DAY CAMERA PANS PAST A STATUESQUE REDHEAD, watching JACK through the glass..to JACK in mid-broadcast: JACK ...So, if you're an aspiring Picasso-salad maker, or if you just want to find out exactly what IS a multi-flavored pickle - come down to the Patterson Mall, this Saturday right off Route 130.. HE smiles at the REDHEAD. SHE kisses through the glass. CUT TO: INT. BETH'S APARTMENT - LATER THAT DAY. An even more luxurious version of JACK'S original apartment - expensive furniture, track lighting, multi-leveled, art pieces - very tastefully decorated. The REDHEAD (BETH) is in the kitchen throwing out the remnants of a take-out Mexican dinner. JACK is sits on a stool near a counter, watching her. HE is wearing a bathrobe and his hair is wet, nursing a beer. BETH is clad only in an oversized tee-shirt. JACK Did they say when they were shooting for? BETH No, they didn't go into scheduling, but I'm telling you Jack - they are really hot on this. As soon as I said the phrase "cable talk show with a difference",,,I am telling you, his face lit up. He said they've been trying to develop something along those lines with these, you know, up & coming comedians, but nothing has worked out. When they heard it was you- JACK Did they know about me? BETH They knew what happened. They figured you dropped out for personal reasons, which they were. But Jack.. (faces him) they were not at all - in any way - turned off by it. (strokes his face) Really honey. It's going to be great. SO I want you to write it down in your book - a week from tomorrow, 3:30... JACK sits, thinking. ...Go on. Write it now, before you forget. As if on remote, JACK slips off the stool and walks into the bedroom. HE finds his Filofax and writes down the date. BETH enters the bathroom, leaving the door open. BETH Oh, and Daddy wants to take us out to dinner Friday. The car's coming for us at seven. JACK writes it down as he crosses to the bathroom. HE stands in the doorway, admiring her beautiful figure as she takes off her tee-shirt. JACK moves in to embrace. THEY kiss. JACK is obviously getting more turned on than BETH. BETH Honey...honey..I feel all dirty and stinky. Why don't I take a bath, we get into bed...we can talk about next week... JACK keeps kissing her, forcing her to the floor...SHE laughs. JACK!...What are you doing... (kissing him) Jack the floor is cold... (whines) Honneeeyy...Can I at least put down the duvet? JACK stops. BETH tilts her head, adding emphasis to her compromise. JACK (sits up) That's all right. Why don't you take a bath, get into bed... (stands) I'm going to uh...I wanna buy a pack of cigarettes... BETH You don't smoke. JACK Sometimes I do... BETH (on floor, looking up) Well, you better wait a little bit- (points, baby voice) Mr. Baldy's watching the parade. JACK looks down at his crotch - his hard-on, or MR Baldy as BETH refers to it, is prominently extended (O.C.) from his robe. BETH gets up giggling. HE smiles, with cynical resentment. CUT TO: EXT. CITY STREET - NIGHT. MONTAGE: JACK walks the streets. It seems that no matter where he goes, or what he sees, he is reminded of the past: - the neon sign of a VIDEO STORE; BUMS huddles in doorways... - the EAST RIVER PROMENADE - the spot where he once contemplated suicide until someone saved him. HE looks into the river and smiles, then turns to face the woody area from where PARRY first sprang. It seems dark and empty. He starts to walk further down the promenade. HE looks up to the night clouds drifting against in a clear night sky. HE continues to walk. HE spots two bums sharing a bench. Something about one of the bums seems familiar - he looks like a hippy. JACK approaches them, and discovers they are the BLACK and the HIPPY from his first night with PARRY. THEY are both trying to sleep on the bench. JACK smiles. THEY look up at him, without any recognition. BLACK Got any change? JACK You remember me?..I'm a friend of Parry's...Have you seen Parry? THEY just stare at him, without any idea of what he's saying. BLACK Got any change? JACK sees as if for the first time - whatever magic PARRY once brought to their lives, is clearly gone. JACK hands them some money, then walks off. - PARRY'S BASEMENT: JACK walks around. HE looks at the wall of weapons and the mural of the medieval scene. HE stands before the drawing of the "tower" and the golden chalice. CUT TO: INT. OAKBROOK STATE INSTITUTION - THE NEXT DAY. JACK is waiting in an area opposite the nurses station when he spots a familiar face walk up to the nurse. LYDIA. We can notice a change in her. The self-consciousness replaced by a self-assuredness, the insecurity replaced with a maturity. Even her dress - a smart, tightly fit suit - gives the appearance of someone in control and confident. JACK is about to call out, when he thinks better of it and purposely turns his back so that LYDIA will not see him. CUT TO: NURSE'S DESK LYDIA Excuse me, but the bed sheets I brought last week... NURSE Oh, yes...I'm sorry. They're being cleaned. One of the doctors had a little accident with a hypo. LYDIA All right. Thank you. LYDIA exits. JACK turns to watch her enter the elevator. CUT TO: INT. PARRY'S WARD - LATER. JACK enters a room lined on both side with beds and patients. CUT TO: THE VARIOUS PATIENTS - all men - are confined to their beds. Some are mumbling inaudibly to themselves, others are rocking back and forth, others just stare off into space. PARRY sits in bed - his eyes are dead, his body unresponsive. JACK stands at the foot of his bed. PARRY does not respond. JACK Hey..Sorry I haven't been around. I've been working and...and..it's uh...been..hard...ya know, it takes alot out of ya to get things back on track. Ya know?..You look good...You do. PARRY remains the same. JACK moves closer to him. HE picks up his hand and holds it. Then shakes it. ...Hey...you gonna wake up for me? Huh?.. No response. JACK leans closer into him. ........You're going to make me do this, aren't you?.. (sternly) Well, I just want you to know ...I don't feel responsible for you, I don't. Everybody has bad things happen to them... ...I'm not God! I don't decide... (fighting back tears) ...people survive...If I do this, I want you to know it's not for me. It's not because I feel guilty or...or...bad or responsible or anything... The tears come, JACK gently pushes the hair off PARRY'S forehead. ...I feel like an idiot for even considering this, I want you to know. (HE kisses PARRY'S forehead) CUT TO: EXT. CHARMICHAEL TOWNHOUSE - MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT JACK stands on the deserted block on front of the townhouse. HE looks around the neighboring houses - all the New Yorkers safely locked away behind their doors and windows, intentionally oblivious to what goes on around them. JACK is holding a rope with a self-made hook at the end. HE looks up the five story building and takes a gulp. HE throws the rope up. IT MISSES and falls back toward him - scaring him to jump aside and making an awful sound when it lands. JACK tries again. IT CATCHES. HE tugs a bit. HE begins to climb up the front of the townhouse.... JACK I was never good at this in gym. HE places a foot on the wall and begins his ascent as he talks to himself - keeping his terror in check. JACK (climbing ) Listen, I'll just tell them the truth. I was stealing a gift for a sick friend. Public opinion will be on my side. HE pulls and steps, pulls and steps...when suddenly HE HEARS THE SOUND OF A HORSE GALLOPING TOWARD HIM... HE stops and slowly turns to the street. But the street is vacant - lit by the glow of the street lamp...An eerie silence hangs as if for a moment, time stopped. JACK Oh terrific. I'm hearing horses now. (turns back to the wall) Parry will be so pleased! He's finally turned me into a moron too... (climbing) I can just see the headlines. EX-RADIO PERSONALITY TURNS SCREWBALL ON MISSION FROM GOD...I just hope there's a vacant bed - (intensely) Right next to his! JACK hears a SIREN IN THE DISTANCE and freezes, closing his eyes: SUDDENLY, THREE POLICE CARS come barrelling down the street - sirens blasting, they screech to a halt! A least a dozen cops hit the streets with rifles and spotlights aimed at JACK. A REPORTERS talks to a news camera on the pavement - REPORTER A crazed radio personality dangles from the townhouse of billionaire... ANNE jumps out of one of the police cars and runs to the townhouse. HER face is full of concern and love. JACK (seeing her, he whispers) Anne. HE is about to callout when WE : CUT TO: POV - STREET. IT IS EMPTY AND STILL. A REAL POLICE CAR and SIREN race down the adjacent avenue, without any reference to JACK. JACK blinks his eyes in disbelief - a garbage can stands where ANNE "stood"...a page of newspapers blows gently out the top and across the sidewalk. It was another hallucination. JACK is a ball of sweat. The fear is peaking. But, HE gathers all his strength - takes a deep breath - and continues to climb. CUT TO: EXT. ROOF - A FEW MINUTES LATER. JACK reaches the roof and climbs over. HE pulls up the rope and quickly moves to the skylight. HE looks down into it and sees a dark, ominous void. HE takes a breath and pulls out some masking tape. HE takes three big tape loops and applies them to the glass. HE then takes out a glass cutter and begins to cut a pane. The sound, at first, is startling, but he continues; HE suddenly looks up, into the darkness of the roof. HE stares at the SHADOWS created by the moon and the night. When he finds himself caught up in staring, he shakes away any thoughts of demons in the dark, and continues to cut. When he finishes the cutting, he replaces the cutter in his pocket and plasters his arm against the tape. HE gently bangs the pane loose. HE is impressed at his success. HE places the pane on the roof and begins to fasten one end of the rope to a pipe. CUT TO: INT. CARMICHAEL TOWNHOUSE - MINUTES LATER. JACK is easing himself down the rope into a pitch black room. But the rope doesn't reach the floor. JACK hangs from the end - panting, frightened at falling - but then decides it is the only way to get down. HE takes a breath and lets go. HE falls to the floor with a painful THUD!. The room is dark. Only faint shadows from the moonlight illuminate some art pieces hanging on the wall. JACK stands there for a moment and pulls out the page from PARRY'S ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST. HE lights his lighter and looks - the "GRAIL" is in the library on the first floor. JACK cautiously makes his way out. CUT TO: INT. FIFTH FLOOR HALLWAY OF TOWNHOUSE - MOMENTS LATER. JACK looks down the darkened hallway. At the far end, HE sees the top of a staircase and heads towards it - until he sees something that makes him freeze once again: Slowly, A SHADOW holding a SHOTGUN emerges up the stairs to the fifth floor. JACK stops in fear. The SHADOW becomes a MAN, who reaches the top of the landing - it is EDWIN MALNICK... and he is staring right at JACK. JACK doesn't know what to do. HIS heart is bursting out of his chest in panic . MALNICK'S expression is the same as the photo JACK saw on the TV coverage of the massacre - sad and harmless. EDWIN cocks the gun and fires. The BLAST hits JACK, echoing against the hallway. But there is no blood - no injury. HE looks to the stairs. EDWIN is gone. JACK leans against an endtable beneath a mirror. HIS hands wipe the sweat from his face. HE looks at himself in the mirror and pulls it all back together. CUT TO: INT. FIRST FLOOR TOWNHOUSE - MINUTES LATER. JACK enters CARMICHAEL'S LIBRARY cautiously. A small lamp is on near a large LEATHER CHESTERFIELD CHAIR. The chair has a huge back that obliterates JACK'S view of the fireplace. Within the antique COMODE, the "GRAIL" sits innocently behind two glass doors. JACK looks at it for a moment, the gently opens the doors. HE takes out the goblet and holds it reverently in his hands. HE notices an inscription on the bottom: TO LITTLE LANNIE CARMICHAEL FOR ALL HIS HARD WORK MERRY CHRISTMAS MRS. LINDSTROM, P.S. 247 CHRISTMAS PAGENT, 1939 JACK can't help but smile. HE takes the chalice and turns to leave, when he is stopped in his tracks by another sight: CUT TO: POV LANGSTON CARMICHAEL, wearing only the bottoms of his silk pajamas, sits fast asleep in the CHESTERFIELD CHAIR. On a table beside him, lies an empty BOTTLE OF VOLDKA and a PILL BOTTLE. JACK is paralyzed - until it occurs to him that CARMICHAEL has not stirred an inch. JACK doesn't understand. At first, HE thinks it is another hallucination - but then he notices the PILL BOTTLE and slowly moves towards it. The floor squeaks beneath his feet but CARMICHAEL does not move. JACK picks up the pill bottle and reads - SECONAL. The bottle is half-empty. JACK looks at CARMICHAEL'S limp body. The man looks much older - much more worn out than the dashing pictures from the magazine. JACK lowers his head to listen to CARMICHAEL'S heart beat. It is very faint. JACK once again, doesn't know what to do. HE slowly backs out of the room CUT TO: INT. HALLWAY IN FRONT OF LIBRARY - FIRST FLOOR. JACK is panicked. HE does not know what action to take. He wants to run away. He looks down the hallway to the front entrance. CUT TO: POV The FRONT DOOR ALARM SYSTEM - a beam of light a few inches above the floor. CUT BACK TO: JACK, who suddenly feels quite calm. HE has decided what to do, set off the alarm. CUT TO: EXT. CARMICHAEL TOWNHOUSE - NIGHT, MOMENTS LATER. JACK exits from the front door, carefully making sure no one is on the street to see. A small BUZZ is heard when he crosses the alarm's beam of light. ANNE (O.C.) (endearingly) Right out the front door, huh? JACK looks up to see ANNE standing at the bottom of the stoop. SHE smiles. ...Ya bastard. JACK smiles back and takes a step toward her - but she vanishes. He pauses a moment - then quickly runs down the block. CUT TO: INT. PARRY'S WARD - THE FOLLOWING DAY JACK places the "GRAIL" in PARRY'S lap. HE pulls up a chair beside the bed. HE takes a newspaper off the chair and sits. The newspaper headline reads: ACCIDENTAL SUICIDE THWARTED BY NIGHT PROWLER....THIEF ESCAPES EMPTY-HANDED. JACK props his feet up onto PARRY'S bed and settles into sleep. CUT TO: INT. PARRY'S WARD - LATER THAT NIGHT. CAMERA MOVES past JACK'S sleeping face to PARRY'S bed, then to PARRY'S HANDS - as they gently begin to grasp the chalice. CUT TO: C.U. PARRY HIS eyes open with awareness, he raises the chalice up and, with full knowing, looks at it. HE sees JACK sleeping in his chair, and smiles. PARRY (whispers) Hey Jack...Jack? (JACK remains asleep) I had this dream Jack...I was married. I had a wife...A beautiful wife. I don't remember her face too well, but I remember her. 'Cause she died Jack...Yeah, she died.... (PAUSE. PARRY remembers) And you were there... (HE looks to JACK. BEAT) I really miss her. Is that O.K. Jack? Can I miss her now? CAMERA PANS to JACK - his eyes closed, pretending to sleep but in truth, hearing every word. A tear rolls down his cheek. WIDE ANGLE PARRY reaches out and places one hand on JACK'S shoulder, as he cradles the chalice to his chest with the other. CUT TO: INT. OAKBROOK INSTITUTE - DAY. A somber LYDIA makes her way down the corridor with some flowers. SHE enters the ward and stops dead in her tracks - frozen with disbelief at what she sees: CUT TO: LYDIA'S POV PARRY has gathered all the patients into the middle of the room and is teaching them to sing, "GROOVIN"...Some patients are quietly watching like little children, others are shouting non-sensical lyrics. But everyone is having a good time. PARRY notices one of the patients looking behind him and turns to see LYDIA. HIS face lights up! PARRY Hiya sweetheart! Where you been!? LYDIA loses control and begins to cry through her smile. PARRY approaches and raps his arms around her. PARRY Don't cry...Hey... LYDIA throws her arms around him. ...Are you my girl?..Are you my girl...? LYDIA sobs and nods in his shoulder. PARRY holds her tighter. CUT TO: INT. VIDEO STOP - DAY. ANNE sits in her office, a cigarette dangling from her mouth. There is a knock at the door. ANNE Come!... JACK enters holding a bouquet of flowers. HE smiles. ANNE looks at him as if to say, "What do you expect me to do, applaud! ...Well...don't you look nice..Who died? JACK (meekly) How have you been? ANNE (coldly) Terrific. Going on alot of dates... seeing lots of men...lots of dates.. And you? JACK Fine...I...I..uh... ANNE (baiting him) I haven't heard from you in a while... JACK nods. HE is uncharacteristically nervous. ANNE I heard you on the radio...Very funny. JACK Thanks. (PAUSE) I...uh....I've ANNE (abruptly) What? I got the weekend crowd coming in! JACK is startled. HE takes a breath, looks at ANNE and pushes the words out of his gut. JACK I love you. For once, ANNE is speechless. She slowly rises from behind her desk in such a way that JACK takes a step back in fear. ANNE up to him. She has no intention of making this easy. ANNE (tough) Excuse me, I didn't get that! Wanna run it by me again. JACK is dying. HE could hardly say it the first time. JACK I think..(quickly corrects himself) I...I realized...I love you. ANNE looks at him and nods. ANNE Huh-huh.... (then ) You son of a bitch! SHE hauls off and cracks him a slap across the face that stuns him - his knees giving out, lowering him to the floor. After settling the score for all the pain she's been through. SHE quickly grabs his face with her hands and plants a passionate kiss on his lips, that slowly causes him to rises back up. HE drops the flowers and grabs her. SHE mounts his body and begins to undo his suit. THEY go at it with such passion, they both fall to the floor. FROM OFF CAMERA, WE HEAR: JACK I love you. ANNE Jesus. What rock hit YOU in the head? CUT TO: EXT. CENTRAL PARK - NIGHT. CAMERA OPENS ON NIGHT SKY - billowing clouds against a midnight blue backdrop. CAMERA PANS DOWN past the New York skyline and into the park to reveal JACK and PARRY cloudbusting in the park. JACK Beautiful night. PARRY Mmmmm. JACK You know those Little People you used to hear? PARRY Yeah. JACK Have you heard from them recently? PARRY Sure. Spoke to them last week. They say hi! THEY hear muffled voices OC. JACK Ssshhhh. JACK and PARRY roll over and look towards the trees CUT TO: A FOURSOME OF YOUTHS, dealing drugs beneath an elm. CUT TO: JACK as he calmly picks up THE SLINGSHOT lying by his side on the grass. HE stands up, loads, takes aim and fires. WE HEAR the SHOT hitting it's target and the "WHOSH" of a net being released and swooping the youths up into the trees. YOUTH (O.C., in net) I'm getting tired of this shit. JACK picks up a hat with a branch sticking out of it and puts it on his head. JACK You think maybe one day I'll get to see them - the Little People. PARRY looks up at JACK - standing naked in the park with a branch sticking out of his head and an excited grin on his face - PARRY smiles proudly. PARRY I'm sure of it. CAMERA begins to pan out - as JACK lies back down beside PARRY. WE HEAR HIM ASK: JACK Have you ever tried busting stars?