CREDITS BEGINS – EXT. A BACK ROAD – NIGHT
A battered pick-up truck, engine laboring, comes swerving up the road. It veers across the center line and then jerks back. It cruises into the bushes and long grass alongside the road. It careens back to the middle of the road. Headlights approach from the opposite direction.
The pick-up seems aimed at the oncoming car. There is thescreech of tires and the blare of horns as the pick-up swerves at the last minute, barely missing the oncoming car. The driver of the pick-up sticks his head out the window and yells angrily.
Whereja learn t’ drive!?
The pick-up truck swerves up onto someone’s lawn, fishtails and makes it back onto the road barely missing a picket fence. It roars on.
comes flying up the road. It takes a sudden turn into a driveway – takes it much too fast – and the rear end of the truck sends the two metal trash cans at the end of the driveway flying.
The driver doesn’t stop but accelerates up the long, gravel packed driveway in a cloud of dust and thrown stone.
EXT. THE HOUSE – NIGHT
The truck roars up and brakes to a skidding stop, barely missing a crash into the closed garage doors.
The driver pushes open the truck door… and falls out of the truck. He staggers to his feet. He is drunk.
PETER LARSEN is a strong looking man in his early forties.
He is very tan from working out of doors. He stands a moment to get his bearings… he starts walking… and immediately falls over a small hedge.
THE SIDE OF THE HOUSE
is on a slope. There is a walk leading up towards a deck and a back door. Peter comes around the corner of the house and up the lawn. He mumbles a steady stream of profanity as he goes. The grass slippery with dew and Peter slips and falls flat on his face. Cursing, he rises and staggering on, climbs the stairs to the deck.
ON THE DECK
Peter tries to pull open the door. It is locked. He shakes it, furious. He searches in his pocket for keys.
No fucking keys. Outraged, he throws himself at the door. The door is, of course, open and he hurtles through. There is the sound of him crashing into something and falling.
is quiet, peaceful, almost pristine in the moonlight.
There is the sudden sound of someone falling over furniture
A light now goes on in a room on the first floor – YEN’S room. A light goes on in a room on the second floor of the house – GREGORY’S room. And then:
Everybody go the fuck back to bed!
The lights go out… one… two.
EXT. THE HOUSE –
IN A SERIES OF CROSSFADES –
Night moves towards dawn. Moonlight gives way to sunshine.
In the light of morning the house we see suggests craft and workmanship. It is a beautiful house; simple, yet elegant.
The grounds are beautifully maintained. Sunlight touches painted shutter, warms the red brick of the chimney. Birds begin to twitter through the trees in the yard. It is the beginning of a summer day.
IN THE HOUSE –
Sun light fills the kitchen…
The light plays across the living room rug. A table lies overturned on the floor near the stairway. The lamp that was on the table is on the floor in pieces. A stained-glass skylight turns the wall by the stairway into a rainbow.
CREDITS ENDS AS – INT. HOUSE – BEDROOM – MORNING
A gnarled, wrinkled, very strong looking hand reaches out and hits a switch on a stereo. The house is suddenly filled with music – waltzes.
IN A SERIES OF FAST CUTS –
STEREO SPEAKERS are everywhere throughout the house. The music blasts.
INT. A BEDROOM – MORNING
Under a messy pile of sheets, a blanket and pillows, there seems to be a dead body. The sound of waltzes echoes through the walls. The body thrashes. Then tosses. Then moans. Then bolts up from underneath the sheets and pillows. It is Peter and he is horribly hung over.
The music continues.
INT. YENS’S ROOM – MORNING
An old, regal-looking Great Dane lies next to a bed. The dog’s name is LOKI.
Turn that shit off!
That wrinkled hand reaches out to scratch Loki’s ears.
Loki thumps his tail against the floor in appreciation.
INT. THE HOUSE – MORNING
The remains of the shattered lamp are swept into a dustpan.
GREGORY LARSEN rises and walks from the living room into the kitchen. He’s 19, with the same strong frame as his father.
IN THE KITCHEN
Loki is eating from his bowl. Gregory kneels and pats him.
Is that good? Yeah. Good Loki.
He rises, goes to the wastebasket to dump the dustpan.
IN THE FOYER
Peter comes slowly down the stairs. He is now dressed.
Every step hurts. He turns at the bottom of the stairs and heads toward the kitchen.
IN THE KITCHEN –
Gregory looks up as Peter enters the kitchen. A moment as they look at one another. Gregory breaks it off by moving to put the broom and dustpan away.
There is a bottle of aspirin on the kitchen table. Peter dumps some into his hand, throws them in his mouth and chews them like candy. There’s a cup of coffee on the kitchen table.
Is that mine?
If you want it.
Peter picks it up; sips. And grimaces.
There’s no sugar in it.
Sugar’s no good for you.
When did I say that?
The other night.
When you were drunk.
A beat. Peter reaches for – CLOSE ON – the sugar bowl.
Peter dumps two spoonfuls of sugar into his cup.
Peter just glares. Gregory turns and goes outside. Peter sips his coffee. Better.
I must of been drunk.
EXT. THE HOUSE – THE DECK – DAY
Gregory is sitting at the deck table. Peter comes out on to the deck carrying his cup of coffee. He squints painfully as the light assaults his eyes.
You want something to eat.
Peter shakes his head.
Bacon and eggs?
I don’t eat breakfast, Gregory.
Peter grunts in disgust, turns and goes back into the house. Gregory sits there a moment, thinking of something else.
INT. THE KITCHEN – DAY
Peter throws his coffee out into the sink. He stands a moment, feeling really awful. He looks to see if Gregory is coming back in. And then he opens a cupboard, takes out a bottle of Meyer’s Rum and fires a fast one down right from the bottle. He grimaces.
ON THE PORCH
Gregory rises, moves to the door.
IN THE KITCHEN
Peter, fumbling, quickly puts the bottle away – into the wrong cupboard – closing it just as Gregory enters.
Gregory stares suspiciously. Peter moves to the kitchen table, sits and lights a cigarette.
He up yet?
Gregory takes his cup to the sink; washes it.
His door’s open. He’ll come out when he’s ready.
Gregory dries the cup, puts it away. And sees the bottle of rum. He takes it down. Peter stares as he puts it back where it belongs. And then Gregory turns and walks out of the kitchen. A moment. Peter sighs and sips his coffee.
INT. THE GARAGE – DAY
The garage is filled with sudden light as Gregory raises the garage door. He picks up one of several large wood tool boxes and carries it to the bed of the pick-up truck.
He hoists it up and in. He looks back towards the house.
We’re gonna be late!
INT. THE KITCHEN – DAY
Peter is sitting at the kitchen table, smoking and drinking more coffee. Gregory appears in the doorway to the deck.
We’re gonna be late.
Is the truck loaded?
Then you’re gonna load it and I’m gonna sit here till you’re finished. Then we’ll go.
There is the sudden sound of a door closing. Both of them freeze, almost guilty and look towards Yens’s room.
is on the first floor of the house, down the hall from the kitchen.
ANGLE ON – The bottom of an aluminum walker. The shoes and pants of the man using the walker. The man moves slowly.
He carefully plants the rear legs of his walker, walks two steps, then places the front legs of the walker down so that he stands steady. He repeats. Click – shuffle – bump.
IN THE KITCHEN
Peter and Gregory quietly and uncomfortably listen to the sound of the man in the walker making his way down the hall.
LOKI pads into the kitchen as if he’s the scout for the coming army. The dog whines, disturbed by the sound of the walker. Peter and Gregory are motionless, not looking at one another. The sound of the walker stops.
REVERSE ANGLE – It is YENS. Yens is in his mid to late sixties. He too is a powerful looking man but one who has been fighting a lengthy illness. He has a wonderfully thick moustache, and clear eyes. He stands ramrod straight in the walker. He glaresat Peter and Gregory.
Go on, go ahead, make fun. Ungrateful bastards.
Peter rises from his chair.
Let me help you, Dad.
Yens beats him away. He moves to the kitchen table.
Get away! How can you help? You look
worse than I do.
You’re late for work.
Jesus, you too?
It’s my outfit. Work doesn’t start till I get there.
You’re staying home because of me. I won’t have it. Goddamn, useless old man.
You got that right.
I should be sent to – what? – an old age home.
Hah. Who’d have you? You’d be hitting on the old babes in their beds.
Yens almost smiles but he’s not about to be put off so easily. He forces a scowl.
I should be sent. They’re like summer camps, you know. Ice cream. Arts and crafts. Would you deny me arts and crafts, you ungrateful bastards, after all I’ve done for you?
Shots, Yens. Tubes in your arms.
Gregory pulls a nail from the pocket of his work pants.
Needles like this! Every day! Like they’re drillin’ for oil in your ass!
Son of a bitch, not mine!
Gregory laughs and begins to dance like an Indian around
Yens slaps at him.
Get out of here! Load the truck, get to work.
Work is listening to you two.
They stare as Peter rises.
All right. Let’s go.
What, so soon?
He winks at Gregory. Peter rolls his eyes.
Oh, you guys are great. You should charge admission. Really.
Go on. Help him. I’ll get something myself.
I caught him hitting the bottle this morning.
Until you’ve walked in a man’s shoes, don’t throw stones.
Man, you always do that, you know? You take about twelve corny sayings and roll them into one.
Gregory exits. Loki comes over and collapses with a contented sigh at Yens’s feet.
And what do you want?
Loki seems to be glaring at the walker.
This damn thing, eh? I might as well wear a bell around my neck; let everyone know the big cow is coming.
EXT. THE HOUSE – THE DRIVEWAY – DAY
Peter and Gregory finish loading tools and piles of wood and shingles onto the bed of the truck. Yens is “helping”.
He laboriously picks up one shingle and tosses it onto the truck. He sees a piece of wood on the ground. He bends to pick it up. Peter, lifting a large stack of shingles, spins and almost barrels into him. He bites his tongue and moves around the old man. Yens tosses his piece of wood into the truck. Gregory, who is standing on the bed of the truck, breathing hard from his work, grins down at Yens.
Don’t exert yourself too much.
Why is someone always blabbering in the morning to put off the leaving.
Peter comes out of the garage carrying the last two wood tool boxes. He puts them down by the truck. He squints at the sun. He takes sunglasses out of his pocket and puts them on. Yens comes over and reaches for one of the tool boxes as Peter lifts them.
Got it, Yens.
I’ve got it.
Let go, Dad.
Yens pulls stubbornly. The box comes out of Peter’s hand.
It’s too heavy for Yens and he drops it with a crash.
Tools spill. Peter stands, exasperated. Yens glares at the tool box as if it betrayed him. Gregory has been watching from the bed of the truck.
Boy, you guys work so well together.
Scowling, Peter gathers the tools together. Yens stoops and picks up a hammer. He tosses it in the truck. Peter hoists the tool boxes up to Gregory. Gregory puts them down and then leaps down from the truck.
You said it.
Peter snorts with disgust.
How many young men get paid to work on their suntans? Where’s your hat?
I have a hat.
Peter closes the rear gate of the pick-up with a clang.
Okay, look. Doctor’s supposed to call with the results of your tests today,
Dad. So try answering the phone for a change, all right?
Yens and Gregory glance uncomfortably at one another.
What. It’s gonna be good news. Bad news they always tell you in person.
Peter comes around past them and opens the cab door of the truck.
The bastards’ll never get you if your only contact with’m is over the phone.
And Peter strides away down the driveway, not looking back.
Gregory! Lets get it in gear! I got three morons waiting who don’t know plywood from peanut butter!
Somebody knock over the trashcans last night, did they!?
Just move it!
Peter stalks off.
Ah, Gregory, they keep us alive too long.
Don’t worry about him. You have a good day.
Gregory gets into the truck, starts it up. He grins and waves at Yens. He puts the truck in gear and backs up.
Yens watches as he turns around and drives down the driveway. Yens waves. He turns finally and walks slowly up towards the house.
EXT. THE END OF THE DRIVEWAY – DAY
Peter has picked up the trash cans – they are well dented and not standing well – and is picking up the last of the spilled trash. The pick-up roars to a stop. Peter waves his hand, trying to keep the dust away from his face. He opens the door, gestures for Gregory to get over so he can drive, and gets in behind the wheel without saying a word.
He puts the truck in gear. The trunk accelerates down the road and disappears around a bend.
INT. THE TRUCK – DAY
Peter and Gregory drive in silence, not looking at one another. Finally Gregory speaks, still not looking anywhere but out the window.
He misses the work.
He liked it. He’da done it for free.
He just about did. That’s why we’re broke.
More silence. A “FOR SALE” SIGN is in front of a house.
Gregory shakes his head.
Another one. Where’s everybody moving?
Florida, kid. Swimming pool, tennis court and you’re ten minutes to the piss-ass freeway.
EXT. A GAS STATION – DAY
Peter is leaning against the truck as Gregory fills it with gas. A Mercedes, gleaming and new, pulls up to the full service pump next to them. Peter stares at it; stares at the driver – a man of his age in a suit coat and tie; a lawyer maybe, an executive definitely. The man gives Peter the once over, sees the jeans, the work shirt, and then looks away as if dismissing him. An attendant hurries up to fill the Mercedes with gas.
(to Peter) )
Hiya, Pete! Hot enough for ya?
Peter says nothing.
Some car, huh? A mere 90 thou.
You want to pay Jimmy fifteen bucks?
Still staring enviously at the driver of the Mercedes,
Peter goes to his wallet. And sees that he doesn’t have enough.
Put it on my tab, Jimmy.
Gregory and Peter get into the truck. Peter starts the truck. He glances over at the Mercedes driver. The guy’s in a white shirt and tie’; impeccably groomed. They drive off.
EXT. THE TOWN – DAY
The truck moves along a main road of the town. They pass a hospital.
INT. THE TRUCK –
Gregory stares out the window as further they pass a pancake house.
EXT. MAIN STREET – DAY
The truck moves down main street.
EXT. PARKING LOT – HARDWARE STORE – DAY
The truck comes into the parking lot of a large building supply store and takes a parking place between some equally beat up looking trucks and vans. Gregory and Peter get out of the truck.
INT. THE HARDWARE STORE – DAY
A clerk looks up from the morning newspaper.
Roofing nails, Tucker. Mountains of roofing nails. Rusty ones, you got’m.
We need tar paper too.
Tar paper, Tucker!
EXT. THE HARDWARE STORE – DAY
Tucker, Peter and Gregory carry supplies to the truck, put them in.
Put it on his tab, Tucker.
Don’t be a smart ass.
Tucker stares at him – well?
Put it on my tab, Tucker.
INT. THE TRUCK – DRIVING – DAY
Peter drives. Gregory looks out the window.
EXT. A HOUSE – DAY
The truck pulls up behind an already parked pick-up. They are in a typical suburban neighborhood; cookie cutter, middle class houses. Gregory jumps quickly out of the truck, anxious to get started.
VEGGO, Gregory’s cousin, and two other men up on the roof.
They are stripping old shingles and throwing them down to the ground. Veggo is Gregory’s age.
Peter has gotten slowly out of the truck, not at all enthused about facing this.
I’m the boss, Veggo. Work starts when
I say it starts.
So when’s it start, boss?
Peter stares a moment, angrily silent. He sighs – okay.
He starts forward. Gregory grins. He follows.
EXT. THE LARSEN HOUSE – DAY
Yens is in the backyard filling birdfeeders. He is moving around now with a cane; moving slowly and carefully but gamely. Loki lies on the grass nearby. Yens carefully cleans each feeding station to make sure the feed will flow. He throws handfuls of feed on the ground.
I saw a cardinal yesterday, Loki….
The dog perks up its ears as if listening.
Mmm, a female. They’re not as gaily plumed as the males. The males are the color of blood. Of course, they frighten easily and they don’t live as long as the females and they’re always getting excited; tearing about in all directions. For such fine looking birds, they’re perfect idiots.
Loki cocks his head.
In all fairness, though, I suppose a bird is rarely born with beauty and brains.
Peter thinks they make a lot of noise.
No. They sing. But they wake him in the morning. And he wants to buy cats.
Cats, Loki! Big, vicious, cross-eyed
Loki jumps to his feet and barks.
Yes. I quite agree.
There is the faint sound of the phone ringing in the house.
(to Loki) )
Get that, will you?
The dog pads off toward the house. Yens smiles and continues to fill his feeders.
EXT. THE HOUSE – AFTERNOON
The men, some of them shirtless, are sitting in the shade of a tree eating lunch. In the background, one can see that the roof is half done.
INT. THE TRUCK – CONTINUOUS
The door opens. Peter, can of Pepsi in hand, leans in. He makes a show of sorting through some papers on the seat.
Over on the lawn, Gregory is watching him.
Peter opens the glove compartment. Reaches in. And pulls out a pint bottle of vodka. He quietly unscrews the cap and starts to pour vodka into his can of Pepsi. He stops. It’s almost as if he can feel Gregory’s eyes on him. He mutters to himself. He puts the cap back on the bottle, puts the bottle back in the glove compartment.
Gregory watches as Peter slams the door of the truck closed. Peter finishes off his Pepsi in a long swallow.
He crumples and tosses the can. He strides towards the house.
Let’s get back to work!
Groaning, the others rise and follow.
EXT. END OF LARSEN DRIVEWAY – LATE AFTERNOON
An old vintage Porsche comes to a halt. Gregory jumps out.
Thanks, Veggo! See you tomorrow, man!
He waves as the car roars away. He goes to the mailbox.
He pulls out a pile of mail and he sorts through it as he begins walking up the driveway.
FURTHER UP THE DRIVEWAY –
Gregory is walking along, reading mail.
Gregory stops, surprised. Yens is standing there. He has walked down the driveway using the cane and is proud of the fact. Loki pads up to Gregory to be petted.
I got sick of the damn thing.
(waving the cane) )
This is fine.
They walk up the driveway together.
He had some stuff to do. A bill. A bill. Hey! Playboy! This must be for you.
Yens takes Gregory’s arm.
ON THE BACK DECK –
Gregory polishes off a glass of lemonade. He finishes.
Yens refills his glass from a pitcher. They’re sitting at the table. Loki lies on the deck.
The doctor call today?
He might of. I might have been asleep.
(a moment) )
He called. We talked.
He wants to see me tomorrow.
(almost to himself)
Bad news they tell you in person.
Listen to you. You’re as bad as your father. My appointment’s at noon. I need a ride. I hope I disturb your lunch.
They smile at each other. A squirrel is in the tree just beyond the deck. Loki’s rises; his ears perk up.
Squirrel, Loki! Get him, get him!
Loki looks up at Gregory, whimpers once, and lies down.
Let him be. He’s old. He’s had a rough day.
EXT. A SMALL OFFICE COMPLEX – LATE AFTERNOON
The pick-up truck turns off the street and into the parking lot. The complex is very modern looking, recently built.
Even the trees and plants and swatches of lawn surrounding the building look like it was designed by an expert. Peter gets out of the truck. He’s still sweaty and grimy from the day’s work. He enters the building.
INT. OFFICE – RECEPTION ROOM – LATE AFTERNOON
The room is modern and clean. The receptionist is an attractive woman in her mid thirties. She looks up from a magazine as the door opens and Peter walks in. He’s feeling especially grubby in the clean office and is taken back by the woman behind the desk. Especially when she acts as if he’s mistaken the office for the maintenance man’s entrance.
Yes? May I help you?
Lennart Larsen, please?
Do you have an appointment?
Tell him his cousin is here?
The receptionist lifts a phone and speaks softly into it.
She puts it down.
He’ll be with you in a moment.
She goes back to her magazine. Peter stares at her. Her blouse is unbuttoned low and he can see just the hint of breast.
You… must be new.
I haven’t seen you here before.
Have you been here recently?
Mmm. You can sit over there.
It’s a dismissal. Peter moves away from the desk. He sits. The receptionist suddenly stretches. Her breasts push against her blouse. Peter realizes he’s staring and reaches for a magazine. He sees how dirty his hands are – filthy from the day’s work. He puts his hands in his lap.
He rises as LENNART, a out of shape version of Peter enters. Lennart is wearing a jacket and tie; looks immaculate and well barbered.
Isn’t this a son of a bitch! What a surprise! Pete!
He offers a hand. Peter is embarrassed at how dirty his hands are.
Hi, Len… sorry… I was on a job.
Hell with that. Ja meet Sheila?
Sheila, this is my cousin, Pete.
Lennart throws an affectionate arm around Pete and leads him into his office.
Come on in, Pete, come on.
Nice jugs, huh?
INT. LENNART’S OFFICE – CONTINUOUS
They enter into the large office.
Hey, I wanted to thank you for taking
Veggo on for the summer. A kid should make his own spending money for going away to college in the fall, huh? He doin’ good?
Ah, he’s a kid. Where’s Gregory going again?
College, where’s he goin’?
Peter doesn’t know. Is surprised at himself that he doesn’t know.
I don’t, uh… State.
Great, that’s great. Hey, what the hell time is it? How bout a drink?
Sit down for chrissake, sit down.
Peter sits. Lennart crosses to a beautiful built in bar.
He tosses ice from a silver ice bucket into crystal glasses.
He pours from a crystal decanter. And pours.
Hmm? Oh. When, when.
(as Lennart hands him the glass)
(pouring for himself)
How’s your Dad? I been meaning to get over to see him.
He’s… got something.
Don’t tell me – legionaries disease.
He has this uncontrollable urge to wear a fez.
Lennart laughs at his own joke.
Kidding, I’m – he needs anything, you let me know.
Silence. Pleasantries finished. Lennart now seems to be waiting. Until finally:
So what’s up?
That condo complex of yours on the east side, you gonna be needing people for the finishing work?
Aw, Jesus, Pete, I already subcontracted it out. You’da been interested?
We might have considered it.
Well… next time, right?
If there is a next time. This economy – I tell you, Pete, three years ago, I’m rolling in money – now I can hardly get a fucking bank loan. Thirty years a doing business with these assholes and they won’t give me the time of day.
They’re scared, Pete. Everyone is.
Lennart pours himself some more scotch. Offers it to Peter. Peter holds out his glass. Lennart pours.
Between you and me I hope I get to the finishing work on those condos. I might have to shut the whole fucking mess down, half built which, no shit, would put me in deep ca-ca.
Lennart spills a bit. Peter licks the spilled drops off his fingers. Is embarrassed that he did. He stares into his glass.
I’m thinking of selling the house, Len.
Get out of here. Jesus, Pete, you’re kidding.
You think you could find a buyer?
For what it’s worth? No way. It’s a buyer’s market, you know that.
Really? Jesus. I’m thrown for a loop here, I really am… market price… I mean, why would you want to?
We don’t need so much room. We could sell, get a smaller place. We’d have a few bucks left over to… I don’t know… invest.
I don’t know – technology.
(that raises an eyebrow)
What’s your Dad thinks of this?
I haven’t told him.
Jeez… I dunno, Pete…
Peter drains his glass. He puts the glass down.
You think getting sick is cheap, Len?
Well, it’s not. You think the old bastard had blue cross or a health plan? You think I do? We have a house. Now you want to sell it or not?
If I’m gonna pay six percent to a broker, it might as well be you.
Now you insult me.
I don’t mean to. It’s business, that’s all.
I just… I always thought Yens’d live in that house forever.
No one lives forever, Len.
Yeah. Hey, you’re right about that.
Okay. Sure. I’ll start sending people over next week.
Lennart pours more scotch. Almost as an afterthought, he offers Peter some. Peter hesitates…. and holds out his glass.
EXT. LARSEN HOUSE – EVENING
The pick-up comes up the driveway and pulls to a stop by the garage doors. Peter gets out, more weary than drunk.
He walks around the side of the house towards the back.
INT. LARSEN HOUSE – LATE EVENING
Peter enters the kitchen from the deck. He goes to the sink, runs cold water. He splashes his face with some, then drinks from cupped hands. He goes to the fridge and, opening it, looks in. Not much. He takes out a previously opened can of chili. He sniffs it cautiously. It passes the smell test. Grabbing a spoon from the sink he digs in.
INT. LARSEN HOUSE – FAMILY ROOM – NIGHT
The television is on, the sound turned off. Peter reaches out and turns off the TV. He turns.
Gregory is asleep, fully dressed, on the couch. Peter studies him a moment. His attention wanders to other things in the room; to athletic trophies on the shelves, to a basketball – a game ball – with a score written on it, to a photograph of Gregory in a basketball uniform.
There is a sewing machine in the corner of the room, its table cluttered with magazines and books.
Peter stares at another framed photograph. CLOSE ON – It is a photograph of a woman, perhaps an engagement picture – posed, beautifully lit. The woman is lovely with dark, glossy hair, huge eyes and glowing skin.
Peter looks up. Gregory blinks at him from the couch.
Peter puts down the photo.
You ought to go to bed.
Mmm. I left you some chili.
And he closes his eyes and is asleep again. Peter looks at him. He looks at the photo again.
INT. HOUSE – HALLWAY – NIGHT
Peter makes his way down the hallway toward Yens room.
He’s about to knock. He stops, hearing something.
IN THE BEDROOM –
Yens is lying in bed. He is very tired, is mumbling to himself.
I could. Yes. I could feed the family for a week on five dollars.
Loki lies on the floor, as if listening.
Bacon, butter, bread, eggs, cheese…
Apples! They made the hair blonde, the teeth white, the health good…
Peter knocks and enters.
On the floor, Loki looks up at Peter.
Come. Sit. Sit.
I haven’t showered yet.
So you smell. Sit.
Now. Tell me. How did the work go today. Did it go well?
It went well, Dad. Yeah.
Good, good. Ten, twelve hours a day, that’s what we worked.
I know, Dad.
On the side table Peter sees an open vial of pain medication. Several capsules spilled.
So proud of our work. Homes. Homes that people would live in. They’ve torn down my homes. To make shopping malls.
How many of these did you take?
… apartment buildings.
How many of these did you take, Dad?
… a few. It hurts tonight.
Try to get some sleep.
He pats Yens’ shoulder. He exits; closes the door behind him. He stands a moment. He can hear Yens talking to himself again.
Gone. All gone. The times changed. I didn’t. So foolish. To have nothing left.
ON YENS –
– to give my family but pride.
ON PETER –
Nothing left but pride….
Peter walks down the hall and away.
INT. THE BATHROOM – NIGHT
The room is filled with steam.
IN THE SHOWER STALL
Peter stands under hot water. It’s as if he’s too weary to even scrub.
IN SEVERAL VERY FAST INTERCUTS –
The woman in the photograph, Peter’s wife, is lying in a bed. She’s very thin, very pale. She’s dying.
CLOSE ANGLE ON –
Peter closes his eyes and lets the hot water beat down.
EXT. MEDICAL BUILDING – DAY
INT. WAITING ROOM – DOCTOR’S OFFICE – DAY
Gregory and Yens are sitting side by side on a couch. They are almost mirrors of each other in expression and posture.
They restlessly fidget identically; hands folded in their laps, both of them somewhat pigeon toed. They speak in whispers like children in a principal’s office.
What’s that smell? .
It smells like the hospital.
The hospital – puh.
They made me use a bedpan, can you
I told them I’d rather be dead than
shit in something the size of a
coffeepot. They wouldn’t listen.
They never do.
Silence. And then:
You think they’re gonna give me a shot?
Without a doubt.
INT. DOCTOR’S OFFICE – DAY
DR. MILTON GODFREY is a pleasant looking man in his late
forties. He sits behind his desk going over test reports
hmmming and humming. Yens sit in a chair in front of the
desk, nervous and expectant. Doctor Godfrey abruptly
speaks without looking up.
How we feeling, Yens?
Wonderful. Good be alive. How’s by
I’m fine too.
Good. So we can both go home.
Dr. Godfrey smiles, continues reading. A moment.
I see you have a birthday coming up.
We all do.
Not you. My son and grandson. We do.
Did you know, the three of us were born
on the same day.
That’s… quite a coincidence.
Coincidence nothing. Fate. To have a
son born on your birthday. Huh? And
then! Unto you this day, a grandson
has been born. With six fingers.
Listen. Both my son and grandson were
born with a sixth finger on each hand.
It’s the mark of the Vikings.
Norsemen! We’re Danish, for godssake.
Ah. I like Jews. Some people think
you’re stingy but in my experience you
spare no expense.
They had them taken off.
The sixth finger. Peter in high
school. He was embarrassed. Gregory
just after he was born.
Not much call for Vikings these days.
(disgusted with such a
Bullshit. The days more than ever.
Unto you this day a grandson has been
born. With six fingers!
Godfrey smiles. And keeps reading. Silence. He turns a
page. Yens leans forward in their chairs, trying to read
upside down. Godfrey looks up. They both sit back.
Well, Yens, here it is….
INT. MACDONALD’S – DAY
A food laden tray is placed on a table. Gregrory
You should go back to work. Your
father will wonder what happened to
Nah, I deserve an afternoon off.
He unwraps his quarterpounder, digs in. There is a play
area for children in the restaurant. Some boys and girls
are on the small merry-go-round.
I like this place. I like children.
I remember the first time I ever came
to one of these places. Your
grandmother, she wanted to go. She
loved new things. A hamburger was 19
cents. We both thought it overpriced.
And the sign outside? You know what it
said? “Over two dozen sold”.
Gregory grins politely, his mouth full.
I’ve told you this before.
Gregory nods, his mouth still full.
Old farts. I swear, all we do is bitch
and moan and repeat ourselves and
rehash old stories.
I like your stories.
Well, that’s good. Stories, that’s
what I have left. It bothers me.
Sometimes when I think about the things
that have happened? Sometimes it’s
like they never happened at all. I
know they did, but there are moments,
all the pictures in my head, did I make
them up? Are they real? Or have I
been sitting here always.
Silence. Yens reaches for his shake with a suddenly
trembling hand and knocks it over. Gregory grabs napkins
to clean it up. And suddenly sees that Yens is staring at
the widening circle of chocolate sludge.
(looking up; smiling)
Gregory is staring at him.
He reaches out and nabs one of Gregory’s french fries.
– or they’ll be all gone.
A moment. Gregory smiles and begins to eat.
EXT. A WORK SITE – EVENING
Peter finishes loading the pick-up. His workers are
starting their cars and trucks and calling farewells.
Peter takes off his nailing apron and tosses it into the
back. He looks at his watch, gets into the truck, starts
it up, and drives away.
EXT. A PACKAGE STORE – EARLY EVENING
Peter comes out of the store with a six of cold beer. He
gets into the truck.
IN THE TRUCK
Peter opens a can of beer and gulps thirstily. He starts
the truck, puts it in reverse, and starts to back up. And
slams on the brakes, spilling beer all over him.
A car is behind him, and he almost backed into it
Jesus – !
In the car is an attractive woman of around forty.
She waves to him – it’s all right – and drives on. Peter
watches her go for as long as possible. He sits back,
puzzled. He knows her from somewhere. He takes a gulp of
beer trying to figure out where. He backs the truck up.
EXT. A STREET – EVENING
The pick-up comes to a stop sign. Peter, looking out the
window, sees something. He checks behind him, puts the
truck in reverse, and parks by the curb.
He gets out and, carrying the rest of the six of beer,
crosses the street.
He moves to a metal link fence, watching something. We
hear the sound of a basketball being dribbled, then the
sound of the ball clattering off a loose rim.
Gregory, shirt off, in jeans and sneakers, is shooting
baskets on a schoolyard playground.
Peter walks along the fence to an open gate. He enters and
walks towards the concrete basketball courts.
goes up high to let loose a jump shot. He grabs his
rebound, dribbles, spins, and takes it in for a graceful,
lay-up. He takes the ball out again, totally lost in his
imaginary game. He feints, feints again, dribbles behind
his back, drives, then pulls up short to let go a jump
Gregory turns to see Peter standing at the edge of the
court, drinking a beer and watching. He grins.
You know, either you’ve got bigger or
this place got smaller. I used to have
to lift you so you could touch the rim.
Peter tosses Gregory a can of beer. Gregory catches it
with one hand.
You never came back today. Everything
check out okay?
Yeah, other than the arthritis, he
checked out fine. He’s just gotta take
He tosses the ball. Peter catches it, almost dropping the
Still got the touch?
You don’t lose it.
Peter puts down his beer. He sets. Shoots. And misses.
Some people do.
Gregory intercepts the rebound. Peter puts down the beer.
Okay, slick. Feed me some.
And through the following, Gregory rebounds for Peter and
feeds him passes as Peter shoots jump shots from different
places on the court. It’s obvious that Peter has played
the game and played it well.
Can I ask you a question?
How come you didn’t go to college?
(surprised, and then,
Didn’t want to. Why you asking now?
(a moment; shooting)
I think you ought to apply. You can’t
do anything anymore without a college
You can build.
Peter makes a sound of disgust.
You’re a builder.
I never got to make a choice. The old
man was starting out, he needed the
help, he asked me. But we’re not
talking about me. You’re a smart kid,
Gregs. A bright kid. You can do a lot
If I’m so smart and bright, how come
you pay me minimum wage?
Okay, one on one to eleven. Loser buys
the milkshakes after.
Why would I ever want to drink a
Spot you five?
Seven. And the ball.
Anything else yuou need?
Peter takes a long pull of beer, emptying the can.
Crumpling and tossing the can, he takes off his shirt.
LONG ANGLE ON –
In the dimming light of a summer evening, Peter and Gregory
play a very competitive game of basketball.
EXT. LARSEN HOUSE – NIGHT
The house is dark and peaceful; at rest.
ON THE DECK –
Loki, curled up and resting, suddenly perks up his ears as
if he’s heard something. A moment. And then there is the
definite sound of… what? Someone calling? Moaning?
Crying out? The dog, as still as a statue, listens.
INT. PETER’S BEDROOM – NIGHT
Peter, asleep in bed, is dreaming.
EXT. AN OUTDOOR GAZEBO – DAY
The gazebo sits above a clear lake. Peter and the woman in
the photograph – his wife – are on the gazebo, waltzing.
Peter is young, his hair is neat and short, his face
unlined by trouble and care. He is in formal attire, a
groom, and she is magnificent in a wedding dress. They
hold each other, dancing, their faces shining with love and
joy. Slowly, magically, they kiss. They hold the kiss as
they dance, gliding and spinning in space.
relaxes into the bed, seems almost at peace. But then:
EXT. THE GAZEBO – CONTINUOUS
Peter is alone. He is panicked. He calls. Calls again.
He turns. And out on the lake, he sees a white wedding
veil floating on the water.
jerks up in bed, wide eyed. A moment. He sags.
INT. THE KITCHEN – NIGHT
Rum is poured into a glass. Peter, in his underwear, takes
a long sip. He hears something at the door. He goes to
the door and opens it.
is standing there in front of the door, waiting
What do you want?
The dog walks slowly by Peter taking all the time in the
world and then collapses with a contented sigh in the
middle of the floor. And farts.
You couldn’t do that outside?
Glass in hand, Peter walks out onto the deck. He moves to
the rail. He stands there taking in the sounds of the
night. Looks at the stars above him.
Peter turns. Yens is standing at the door in his bathrobe,
using his cane for support.
Can’t get comfortable. Too much
Yens moves out onto the porch to join him.
What about you?
I sleep, I wake up. Day or night, it
doesn’t make much difference lately.
Gregs said everything checked out okay
I’m just an old house. Parts of me are
Tell me about it.
Yens sits stiffly next to him.
Remember watching Gregory play
Never missed a game.
He was a star. A Viking.
He was a guard, Yens.
The cheers, eh?
Larsen, Larsen, he’s our man, if he
can’t do it… who did it after that?
Gillespie, I think.
(snorting in disgust)
That one, hands like sheet rock.
Larsen, Larsen, he’s our man, if he
can’t do it, no one can!
Peter almost grins. He takes a big sip of rum. And sees
the look on Yen’s face.
You drink too much.
Are you an alcoholic?
I don’t think so, no.
I like being numb, Yens.
Being numb means you feel nothing. You
like feeling nothing?
Feeling nothing isn’t the problem.
I miss her, Dad. It’s been over a year
and I’m still… I’ll hear a sound, a
breeze, I turn expecting to see her
standing there. I mean, it’s not like
it was perfect. We’d fight, we’d yell.
It’s not like we had everything in
common either. We didn’t. But bottom
line, we loved each other. That we had
Yens reaches out and puts his arm on Peter’s shoulders.
His hand caresses the back of Peter’s neck.
I’m selling the house, Dad. People’ll
be comin by.
Again, Yens’ hand caresses the back of Peter’s neck.
Look. The sky is filled with stars.
It’s good be alive.
EXT. THE HOUSE – MID MORNING – THE DRIVEWAY
Gregory backs the family car, a beat up sedan, out of the
garage. He hops out. He is in shorts, t-shirt, and
sneakers. He runs up alongside the house.
INT. THE KITCHEN – MORNING
Gregory enters from the deck. Yens is sitting at the
table. He looks very sporty in white trousers, a baggy
white shirt, and a baseball cap. Gregory grins.
EXT. THE HOUSE – MORNING
The sedan backs up, turns around, and starts down the
driveway. It stops. It backs up. A door opens. Loki
trots up to the car and gets in. The door is shut. The
car roars down the driveway.
EXT. A ROAD – DAY
The car is in mild traffic, moving at a steady pace.
INT. THE CAR – MOVING – DAY
Loki is in the back seat, his head stuck forward between
Yens and Gregory.
When I was young, there was a trolley
on this road.
No shit. It cost a nickel. Right down
the middle here it went. I didn’t see
my first airplane till I was in my
EXT. A ROAD – DAY
They are driving on a faster moving thoroughfare.
Alongside the road now are a series of vast parking lots
and shopping centers.
This was all orchards once. Apple
trees. In the fall, they were laden
drives up an entrance ramp and into the fast moving traffic
of an interstate.
IN THE CAR –
I don’t like the interstate.
A truck horn bellows as Gregory moves into a lane. Yens
winces. Gregory just beeps angrily back.
Get outta here, you got lotsa room!
The truck passes, horn blaring.
It makes me want to piss my pants.
IN A SERIES OF CROSSFADES –
The land changes. It gets flatter. The trees thin out.
In the distance, the ocean gleams like a mirror in the sun.
The car turns off the highway onto an exit ramp.
THE CROSSFADES CONTINUE AS –
Marshy wet lands appear. The tall reeds waves in the
breeze. There are small dunes in the distance. Beyond
them the ocean gleams like a mirror in the sun.
EXT. BEACH ROAD – DAY
The car slows to a stop. Yens and Gregory stare out the
window. Gulls cry. Waves gently swell and roll.
Let’s find someplace where there aren’t
too many people.
The car moves on.
EXT. THE BEACH – DAY
They are on the sand back off the water. A blanket is
spread. Yens is sitting in a beach chair under a beach
umbrella. Loki is curled next to him. Gregory lies on his
stomach on the blanket, sunning. Yens sighs with
I love the sea. Vikings placed their
dead in long ships. Did you know that?
I think you’ve mentioned it a few
Great dragon headed funeral pyres
swallowed by the waves. I would like
Loki suddenly moans, looking at something. Two very
attractive girls are walking down the beach. They are
splendid in brief bikinis.
Ah, good dog.
Yens pokes Gregory who rolls over and sits up.
If I was a young man, I’d go for a
They watch the girls in admiration for a moment.
The sun is hot.
Gregory gets up. He runs down to the water. He hits the
water in a sleek surface dive and comes up swimming.
Go on. Help him out.
Loki rises and trots down the sand. As Yens watches, Loki
goes right up to the two girls who, of course, pet him.
Gregory comes out of the water and goes up to them. They
all start talking.
ON THE BEACH – LATER –
Gregory, Yens and Loki are walking by the tide line. Yens
is collecting shells.
Look. It was once someone’s home.
Why do old farts always collect shells?
VBecause as you get older you discover
the beauty in small things.
Down the beach, a child is playing. She too picks up a
shell. She excitedly shows it to her mother.
They continue on down the beach.
A man must have children, Gregory.
They give him new eyes.
EXT. A BREAKWATER – LATER
Gregory and Yens are out on the rocks.
We get along but we don’t. I love him
but man, sometimes it’s like – and it’s
the same with you guys, I see that.
You love each other, but you drive each
other crazy. I just don’t get it. You
and I get along. don’t we?
We do. But t’s different. You expect
more of sons. Want so much for them.
No matter how many times you tell
yourself to keep your mouth shut, you
don’t. You can’t break the habit.
With grandchildren you don’t feel so
responsible. You can just sit back and
enjoy their blind stupidity.
Thanks a lot.
A shared smile. They turn and head back in across the rock
towards the beach.
I’m worried about him. He needs a
Gregory tries not to laugh.
I’m afraid all the women in my little
black book are either dead or drooling.
I was hoping you’d have some.
(shaking his head; a moment)
We could take him out.
Out. Y’know, a bar, a club. A place
where guys go to meet girls.
Whoa. I’m not tackling this on my own.
We could, couldn’t we. Yes! We’ll do
it, Gregory, we’ll take him out. But
nice girls, they must be nice girls.
We trying to get him married or we
trying to get him laid?
Which do you think would be less
They laugh. Gregory breaks into a run.
If you don’t use it…!
Yens watches as Gregory runs down the beach.
You loose it!
And you… I’m worried about you too.
INT. THE HOUSE – NIGHT
MUSIC BEGINS AS – IN A SERIES OF CUTS –
The three men get ready for A NIGHT ON THE TOWN! Yens and
Gregory are excited as they shave, primp and dress. Peter
looks like he’s anticipating the guillotine.
Fresh from the shower, Yens stands in front of the mirror,
shaving with an old straight razor. Gregory uses an
electric razor. Peter uses a double edge.
Gregory sprays deodorant. Yens is generous with baby
powder. Peter applies gobs of Kleenex to the shaving cut
on his chin.
They each attend to their hair. Gregory shakes it. Yens
carefully brushes it. Peter stares morosely at it – is
that a bald spot?
In his bedroom, Yens attaches his garters to his socks.
Gregory gives the clothes in his closet the old “smell
test”. Peter zips up the zipper on his pants in a swift
pull.. and gets stuck half-way.
Gregory pulls on cowboy boots. Yens ties his polished
oxfords. Peter can’t even seem to find a matched pair of
Yens fluffs his carefully knotted bow tie. Gregory buttons
a blazer over jeans and a t-shirt. Peter, his shirttail
sticking obscenely out the zipper of his pants, lies on his
bed, seemingly overwhelmed at the thought of dressing
further. THE MUSIC ENDS AS:
EXT. MAIN STREET – NIGHT
The car cruises Main Street.
IN THE CAR –
The three men sit in the front seat together.
We are a bunch of wild and crazy guys!
Oh, yeah! We are! Come on, loosen up,
Are you a crazy guy, Peter?
I must be. I can’t believe I let
myself get talked into this.
EXT. A CLUB – NIGHT
The parking lot is jammed. A group of great looking girls
head towards the door. Yens, Gregory and Peter get out of
Tell you what, let’s go there, I’ll
He points to the lighted MINIATURE GOLF place across the
Peter. The night is but a young dog
and the hep cat who stays at home never
catches the bird.
Please. Don’t ask.
Reluctantly, Peter allows himself to be led towards the
INT. CLUB – NIGHT
The music is blaring. The place is jammed.
AT THE BAR –
Gin and tonic.
May I see an I.D.. please?
Aw, come on, me? You’re kidding.
Okay, okay, make it a club soda.
Make it two. Do you need to see my
You, I’ll let slide.
Meyers and o.j.
Out with the boys tonight?
I’m out with Abbott and Costello and
neither of them drink.
Two middle-aged, overweight, heavily made up women are
sitting on bar stools to Peter’s left. They beam at him.
(to the bartender)
Jesus. Make it a double.
INT. THE CLUB – NIGHT
Gregory is dancing with an attractive, young girl. Yens
and Peter are off to the side of the room, watching.
Shall we dance?
With who, each other?
Yens looks around. There are two woman in their early
thirties, sitting alone at a table.
How about them?
That’s the last thing Peter wants to do.
Come. We’ll go ask them.
Yens, I don’t want to.
What’s the worst they can say but no.
Peter watches Yens make his way to the table. The woman
look up as Yens approaches. Yens smiles at them politely,
almost bows as he introduces himself. The women smile
back. Yens turns and points at Peter. The woman turn to
look. Peter’d like to fall through the floor. He starts
to turn away. And almost bumps right into Gregory and his
Hey, how ya doing?
This is Reba. This is, uh… Pete…
my older brother.
Peter can’t believe his ears.
Cool shirt. Really retro.
Yeah, I got it at the antique clothing
store – my closet.
Whoa – check it out.
He points. Yens is now sitting with the two women. He
waves them over.
He wants us to join him.
I really don’t want to join him.
Come on, we’ll join him.
Gregory, I don’t want to –
Gregory tugs Peter towards the table.
AT THE TABLE –
They approach. Peter is the only one not smiling.
Well, hello! Sit, sit! This is
Madolyne and this is Samantha.
Hi! Gregory! This is Reba. Reba,
this is Yens.
(smiling at Peter)
And who’s this?
This is Peter… my younger brother.
Reba looks a little confused.
Wow. Dude, your mother led a long,
EXT. THE CLUB – LATER
Yens is on the dance floor dancing with Samantha. Gregory
is dancing with Reba. Yens is cutting quite the rug.
is at the table with Madolyne. They’re watching.
He does all right.
Yeah. Yeah, he does. He’s not my
bother, he’s my father.
I knew that? How old is he?
Sometimes I think he’s younger than me.
It’s too bad about your knee.
Yeah, yeah, it’s… definitely going to
Listen, I’m going to go see if anyone
wants to dance.
Yeah. You go ahead.
She rises. Peter watches as she moves to another table.
She smiles at a guy sitting there – a guy Peter’s age. the
guy smiles in return. He rises. He and Madolyne move
towards the dance floor. Peter sits, alone, watching.
Yens is now dancing with Reba, Gregory with Samantha. Pete
finally rises. He moves away from the table.
EXT. MINIATURE GOLF RANGE – NIGHT
A golf ball is putted into a Dinosaur’s mouth. It comes
out it’s ass, glides across green felt and misses the hole.
Peter comes around the dinosaur to line up his second shot.
So this is what happened to you.
Peter looks up. Yens approaches.
What are you doing here. The night is
still a young dog in search of a bird
The night might be young, this dog
isn’t. My turn.
Peter hands him the putter. Yens lines up the putt.
He says go home without him. He thinks
he could get lucky.
Yens putts. And sinks it.
I hope he knows what he’s doing.
When I was his age, you worried about
dying a virgin. These days you worry
Maybe you should talk to him about it.
INT. THE CAR – MOVING – NIGHT
Silence. Peter is driving.
A penny for your thoughts. If they’re
When you’re on the outside looking in,
men and women seem like different
What, you were always confident with
Yeah? What was I eating back then?
Peter almost smiles.
The way you were tearing up that dance
floor, I thought you were the one was
gonna get lucky tonight.
Oh, it’s easy to be charming when
you’re old. Women think you’re
harmless. And the really shitty thing
is, you are.
You’re gonna outlive all of us, Dad.
I hope not. Besides I already have a
The nurse the town sends by.
I didn’t know they were.
They started this last week. Did I
tell you? She knows you from high
The nurse. Betsy Simmons.
I don’t know her.
Well, you should. She’s a fine looking
woman. She has a fine Danish bosom. I
press against it when she takes my
She’s divorced. Three daughters. You
could steal her from me if you like.
She told you all this, huh?
Of course. People tell old farts
everything. Did I mention? She said
she thought you were handsome.
(a moment; waiting)
Between you and me, she didn’t just say
you were handsome, she said she thought
you were gorgeous.
And still Peter doesn’t react. Yens sighs.
And you were. Fine specimens of
manhood, all of us. It’s the Viking
Women should be born good looking,
Yens. Men should be born with money,
brains, or balls.
What were you born with? An
attractive, available woman and you sit
around on your duff.
It’s the Viking blood. Cold stuff.
No more trying to set me up with woman,
EXT. THE HOUSE – MORNING
IN THE HOUSE –
Peter comes out of his bedroom. He starts down the hall
for the bathroom. He stops. Looks back the hall. He
hesitates, then walks quietly down the hall towards
Gregory’s room. He carefully opens the door a crack. And
INT. GREGORY’S ROOM – CONTINUOUS
Gregory’s bed looks like it hasn’t been slept in. Peter
looks concerned. He turns. And almost bumps into Gregory
who’s come up the hallway from bathroom. Gregory is
toweling himself off, still wet from the shower. Startled,
Peter tries to appear casual.
What time you… get in last night?
Uh-huh. How’d you… get home.
She had a car.
Oh. Right. Okay.
Look, are you being careful?
Yeah, you know. Careful.
Ohhh! Careful. Yeah. Oh, yeah. I’m
being very careful.
Well, good, that’s good. Cause you
better be. I’m glad we had this talk.
Yeah. Let’s do it again real soon.
Gregory goes into his room and shuts the door. Peter turns
and moves away.
EXT. A WORK SITE – DAY
MUSIC BEGINS AS Peter and Gregory and the rest of the crew
are pouring concrete footings. Wide trenches have been dug
and the footings will be the base, the pads, the bed on
which the foundation will be built. The cement mixer is
turning. It is a matter of getting concrete from the mixer
into the trench and then leveled as quickly as possible.
Let’s go, let’s go, this guy and his
little toy are costing us $45 an hour!
It is messy, grueling work. The wet, gloppy concrete looks
like thick, green soup but is heavy as hell as it is filled
with crushed stone.
The cement truck driver hits a switch and wet concrete
pours from the turning barrel down the chute. Peter aims
the chute down into a trench. Gregory shovels the glop
down the chute to make it flow faster. The others are down
in the trench, shoveling and leveling. Everyone is quickly
spattered by the wet concrete.
A WHEELBARROW shudders as wet concrete hits it and fills it
to overflowing. Gregory and Veggo, straining, wheel the
load away and over wood planks to dump the load in places
the truck chute can’t reach. They’re not moving fast
enough for Peter and he yells. Of all the workers, he’s
the cleanest – he’s staying away from the dirty work.
Gregory dumps the wheelbarrow and glares at him, pissed.
Gregory is down in the trench, knee deep in the goop,
leveling. His pants are stiff and green with concrete.
Peter jumps over the trench and knocks dirt onto the
concrete Gregory has just smoothed out. Gregory glares.
Peter aims the chute down into the trench. Concrete flows.
Gregory and Veggo shovel madly, unable to keep up with the
deluge of concrete. They are both spattered from head to
toe with the stuff. Peter, still neat and clean, leaps
over the trench to direct the driver to another spot.
Again, he knocks dirt into the trench. Gregory is getting
really pissed off.
The men shovel and level. All except Peter who stands
there, chatting with the driver of the truck.
Peter leaps a trench again and Gregory, moving quickly,
reaches out and grabs his foot. Peter makes the other side
off-balance, windmills his arms, and then falls back into
the trench, landing ass first into two feet of fresh, wet
concrete. It covers his body like quicksand. He struggles
to his feet, falls back again. He finally makes it up. He
glares at Gregory who, along with the other workers, is
laughing. Peter scoops up a handful of wet goop and throws
it at Gregory. Gregory drops his shovel and throws
concrete back. A concrete fight ensues as the men splash
and scoop in the goop like it was water in a pond. The
driver stands there watching them as if they’re out of
The cement fight concludes. The men are all laughing at
one another. Their teeth seem very white against the green
mask of the concrete mix. Gregory picks up a shovel and
tosses it to Peter who catches it out of the air. Peter
begins to work, hard and fast. The others join in, but can
hardly keep up with him. The MUSIC ends as –
EXT. LARSEN HOUSE – AFTERNOON
Establishing shot. There’s a strange car in the driveway.
INT. LARSEN HOUSE – KITCHEN – AFTERNOON
Yens sits at the kitchen table. The woman from the car,
BETSY SIMMONS, stands next to him, taking his blood
pressure. Betsy is an attractive woman, Peter’s age. She
is in the uniform of a day nurse. Yens watches the
proceedings with the curiosity of a child.
Your blood pressure is a little high,
Of course it is. This thing has my arm
squeezed so tight, the blood has
nowhere to go.
She smiles and removes it from his arm. She takes his
pulse, innocently pressing his forearm against her ample
breast as she checks the watch on her other hand. Yens
smiles to himself.
You’re a fine nurse, Betsy. The ones
at the hospital? Skin and bone.
She suddenly realizes where his arm is. She releases his
wrist, trying to not to smile.
I’m sure they were highly qualified
nurses. And your pulse is up.
Mmm. It’s the only thing that is.
Again, she tries to hide a smile. She puts away the blood
Yens, you should be in bed.
The hell with that. How about a walk
in the garden instead?
… all right. But then bed.
EXT. THE BACK YARD – DAY
It’s a beautiful, sunny day. A gentle breeze blows. Betsy
and Yens walk slowly, arm in arm. He is using her for more
support than he’d like to admit.
Oh! Did I mention? My son, Peter, I
was telling him all about you.
I’m sure he didn’t even remember me.
Remember you? Do you know what he
said? He said he always found you very
Yes! And you are. Peter’s a widower,
Cancer. Such a tragedy.
(as if suddenly thinking of
Why – you know something? You and
Peter should do something together.
I don’t think so, Yens.
Why not? A movie. A chocolate sundae?
No funny business. At least not enough
I wouldn’t be very good at a blind
Who’s blind? You both know what each
other looks like.
He really remembered me?
You know what? He didn’t just say you
were attractive, he said he thought you
Now I know you’re making this up.
A movie? A chocolate sundae? Ah,
Betsy, if only I could take you for one
Soon. And I’ll hold you to it.
You can’t tell it to look at me now but
I was the image of my son once. And
before that, my grandson. Thick hair,
clear eyed, strong.
You can tell, Yens.
You can tell.
Yens is very pleased at this. Betsy pauses to pick some
You know, sometimes when I’m alone, I
raise my arm and look at it. The
muscle is gone. The skin hangs loose
from the bone. It doesn’t seem fair
that years from now, when you all think
of me, the picture you’ll carry is that
of me dying rather than that of me
living. That doesn’t seem fair at all.
Let’s put these in water, shall we?
Put me in water too while you’re at it.
Betsy smiles, tucks his arm securely in her own.
They walk on.
EXT. LARSEN HOUSE – DRIVEWAY – AFTERNOON
The pick-up roars up the driveway and stops. Gregory and
Peter, covered with dried concrete, get out of the truck.
Peter goes right to a coiled hose and turns on the water.
Stripping off his shirt, he begins washing the concrete
off. Gregory studies Betsy’s car.
Gregory takes the hose from Peter. Peter looks at the car.
He’s seen it but is not sure where, and he studies it,
trying to remember.
I don’t know.
He moves to the truck. Gregory does a perfunctory job of
cleaning himself. He turns off the hose and runs towards
the back of the house.
Hey! I want this unloaded!
Peter begins unloading the bed of the pick-up himself.
It’s filled with rolls of pink fiberglass insulation. He
tosses a roll into the garage; suddenly painfully curses.
He looks at his hand. He sucks at his palm, looks again to
see how deep the sliver of fiberglass has gone. He starts
up towards the house.
INT. THE HOUSE – KITCHEN – DAY
Gregory comes into the kitchen.
Yens!? Hey, Yens!? Ya hungry?
He goes to the fridge.
IN YENS’S BEDROOM –
Betsy has just tucked Yens into bed. She looks up,
suddenly nervous. Yens grins, pleased.
Go say hello.
I’ll be right back.
She walks out of his room.
IN THE HALLWAY
Betsy hesitates. She smooths down the lines of her
uniform, wets her lips. She takes a breath. She walks.
IN THE KITCHEN –
Gregory is pulling out things out of the fridge to make a
Hey, Yens, whose car!?
He turns from the fridge. Betsy is standing there.
Gregory stands there, speechless.
I… uh…. I’m your…
Peter comes clomping through the door, clutching his hand.
Son of a bitch! I got some of that
goddamn, motherfu – –
He goes silent at the sight of Betsy. The three people
just look at one another. Betsy finally manages a nervous
I almost backed into you the other day.
Yes. That was me.
You should be more careful.
Yes… I’ll try to remember that…
You must be Gregory.
He looks back and forth between from Betsy and Peter.
Uhm… Betsy was… in high school…
with your mom and me.
Peter suddenly realizes he’s shirtless. He crosses his
arms, embarrassed. Gregory almost starts to laugh.
I’d better get back to Yens. Good to
see you, Peter.
She smiles and leaves the kitchen. Peter stands there.
Gregory is grinning at him.
What’s your problem?
Not a thing.
Good. Shut up.
Gregory smirks. Peter angrily turns and exits out onto the
deck. Gregory hurries down the hall.
EXT. THE DECK – AFTERNOON
Peter comes out into the sun. He’s disgruntled, not sure
why. Loki is lying on the deck in front of him. His tail
thumps on the deck in greeting.
Loki gets up, goes to the screen door, noses it open, and
goes inside. There are some fresh clothes drying on the
clothes line in the yard. Peter vaults over the railing
down off the deck.
INT. THE HOUSE – YENS’S BEDROOM – CONTINUOUS
Betsy pulls the covers firmly up around Yens’s chest. She
smiles at him and then reaches for her bag.
There. And now I’ll see you next week.
A movie? A chocolate sundae?
Not another word.
They both look up as Gregory appears in the doorway.
Nice meeting you, Gregory.
Hey, you too…
She exits. Gregory watches her go. Looking at Yens, he
IN THE KITCHEN – CONTINUOUS
Betsy enters. Looks a bit disappointed not to see Peter
there. She heads towards the door.
ON THE DECK – CONTINUOUS
Ss she comes out, she almost collides with Peter – now in a
clean t-shirt – who’s coming in.
No. My fault. I was just leaving.
They stand there. And then, speaking at the same time –
So what a ya been up to – ?
I was so very sorry to hear about –
… your loss.
IN YEN’S ROOM – CONTINUOUS
Yens and Gregory are now at the window. They speak in
What are they doing?
LOKI pokes his head into the bedroom, looks at the two men
at the window. He raises his ears.
Shush so I can listen.
ON THE DECK – CONTINUOUS
Peter rubs at his hand.
Did you hurt yourself?
Huh? No. A splinter.
She reaches out and takes his hand; looks at it.
Oooh. That should come out.
No. It’s nothing.
I’m sure it’s loaded with infection.
… really, it’s okay…
It won’t take a second. Sit.
She leads him towards the table on the deck.
IN YENS’S ROOM – CONTINUOUS
Yens peers out the window. He can just see the deck, can
now just see Peter and Betsy as they sit.
Think he’s going to ask her out?
If he had any Viking sense, he would in
Vikings plundered and pillaged. They
didn’t go out on dates.
Loki moves to join them at the window.
ON THE DECK – CONTINUOUS
Betsy rummages through her bag.
I wondered if we’d ever run into each
other. We almost did. Yesterday.
Listen, that was… my fault.
EXT. THE HOUSE – CONTINUOUS
angle on – Gregory and Yens are at the window. Loki pokes
his snout up. Gregory pushes him down and away. Loki
returns and looks again.
ON THE DECK – CONTINUOUS
Betsy takes out a needle. Peter blanches. Fear of needles
runs in this family.
INT. YENS’ ROOM – CONTINUOUS
Gregory pushes Loki out the way again. He growls and
ON THE DECK – CONTINUOUS
Betsy takes Peter’s hand and begins to pick at the splinter
with the needle. Peter squirms.
Hold still, I’m not going to hurt you.
Don’t look. Turn your head.
No peeking! Talk to me about
something. Tell me about building.
Uh… Larsen and Son. Contractors.
Fine quality homes. Except no one
would hire us to build a fine quality
outhouse these days if they’re life
depended on it – ah!
She puts down the needle, takes up the tweezers.
IN YENS’ ROOM – CONTINUOUS
Gregory and Yens (and Loki) can just see and hear the
I’ve had a leak in my bathroom floor
for over six months now. Any time
someone takes a bath, I get a deluge
over the stove.
Say something. What are you, a
carpenter or a grocery clerk?
ON THE DECK – CONTINUOUS
Peter has momentarily forgotten about the splinter.
What, you can’t get it fixed? The
Not for less than an arm and a leg.
I… could take care of it for you.
Can’t afford it.
I’d just charge a leg. Nice leg.
He winces at the sound of his own voice.
IN THE BEDROOM –
A line. He threw her a line.
Is it working?
Nah. Fair delivery, no follow-through.
ON THE DECK –
Silence. Betsy holds up the splinter.
Didn’t feel a thing.
And now I’ve really got to go.
Putting away the needle and tweezers, she rises.
(rising with her)
I’ll walk you.
They move off the deck.
IN THE BEDROOM –
Yens and Gregory get to their feet and hurry out of the
room. Loki follows.
IN THE LIVING ROOM –
First Gregory, then Yens comes hurrying through. And then
Loki pads through, following.
IN THE DEN –
Gregory and then Yens enter. They move to the open window
and peeks over the window sill. Loki comes into the room
and sits, intrigued.
ANGLE ON – YENS’ AND GREGORY’S P.O.V. –
Peter and Betsy come around the side of the house into the
EXT. THE DRIVEWAY – CONTINUOUS
Peter opens her Betsy’s door for her. She gets in.
He closes it.
Listen, I appreciate what you’re doing
for Yens. I’d be happy to fix your
Well… that’d be great. When?
When’s a good time?
IN THE DEN –
Saturday night for god’s sake.
IN THE DRIVEWAY –
Uh… okay. Sure. Saturday night.
INT. THE DEN – CONTINUOUS
YENS AND GREGORY
Gregory holds out a hand. Yens slaps it.
ANGLE ON – THEIR POV
It won’t take long. If you have plans,
you can keep them.
I have no plans. Do you?
IN THE DRIVEWAY – CONTINUOUS
We could have dinner.
… all right
Well. Good. Saturday night then.
She smiles. She starts the car, backs it up, drives down
the driveway. Peter watches the car disappear. The look
on his face seems to suddenly say – god, what have I done.
He turns and walks back up towards the deck.
IN THE DEN – CONTINUOUS
Gregory and Yens turns from the window.
Saturday night. Goddamn. The old
man’s going on a date.
He’s a Viking.
I’ll get his horned helmet out of
Ah, Gregory. Imagine them. In a tiny
ship, lost in the middle of a
tumultuous sea, no idea in which
direction to go. Do you know what they
did? They found land.
Yeah? Well, I bet you they were off
course to do it.
Saturday night! All right! Things are
looking up around here!
He exits. Loki pads over to Yens. Yens pets him. And now
Yens finds himself staring at the photo of Peter’s wife.
EXT. THE TOWN – DAY
The truck moves along a town street. Peter’s driving. He
passes the high school. There are a couple of cars in the
deserted parking lot. Something occurs to Peter. He
ponders a moment. He turns into the high school drive.
INT. THE HIGH SCHOOL – AFTERNOON
The school is quiet; cool and seemingly empty. Peter enter
and walks past display cases filled with photos and
trophies. He stops – there’s a picture of him in football
gear in one of the cases – team captain. He hears the
echoing sound of a door closing somewhere. And then
silence. He moves on.
Peter walks towards the school’s administration offices.
They’re locked and empty. He continues down the hall.
Peter stops in front of an open door. Looking in he sees
an outer office and an inner office. Both offices seem
filled with well stocked bookcases. He knocks. A man,
holding a heavy box, peeks out from the inner office. JOHN
MILLER is in his early thirties.
Hi. Just a sec.
He disappears. He reappears without the box.
Can I help you?
I’m looking for guidance?
Aren’t we all. Well, you’re at the
right place. This is the guidance
He disappears. He reappears.
Come on in.
He disappears. Peter enters.
IN THE INNER OFFICE –
John is reorganizing a bookcase. Books, journals and
catalogues are stacked everywhere.
Excuse the mess. We don’t usually get
visitors in the summer. You’re lucky
you caught me. I’m finally doing now
what I should have done last spring.
Peter picks up a catalogue.
From every state in the union.
(holding out a hand)
I thought I recognized you. Be with
you in a sec.
Peter glances through the catalogue.
Hmm? Mmm. Expensive?
Most of them are.
Is that what you tell kids?
Yup. And then I tell them it’s worth
Might of told my kid that.
Peter is surprised at this. He says nothing.
Uh… can I borrow some of these?
Going back to school?
I want Gregory to. I’ll worry about
how to afford it later.
And for the first time, John Miller stops working and looks
closely at Peter. He pulls a chair out from the wall and
puts it in front of his desk.
Sit down a minute. Let’s talk.
He closes the door.
EXT. THE HOUSE – EVENING
Yens is in the backyard filling his bird feeders. Peter’s
truck roars up the driveway. Peter gets out of the truck
and furiously heads into the house.
INT. LARSEN HOUSE – KITCHEN – EVENING
Gregory sits at the kitchen table.
You are going.
Peter slams his fists down on the kitchen counter. His
face is red with anger.
You are, goddammit! You are!
I don’t think so.
Jesus! You want to pound nails the
rest of your life, is that it?
You’re dumber than I thought than.
What’s that say about you?
Yeah. Exactly. You want to end up
like me? A goddamn… accountant makes
more money in an hour than I do in a
Let him, huh? Let him?
Wake up! What you do in this life
might as well be your fucking name!
(cuffing him again)
So you better just wake the hell up!
You can talk but you don’t touch.
They glare at one another. They turn as Yens enters.
Deciding what to have for dinner?
Yeah, sure, joke. It’s your fault.
It’s you who put this – this building
crap into his head.
Peter moves now to make himself a drink.
I stop by the high school today to
pick-up some college catalogues… for
Who asked you to?
– and you know what I find out?
What difference does it make –
The kid was offered scholarships. He
coulda played hoop at anyone of three
differnt places. Good schools.
Yens looks at Gregory, surprised.
You didn’t tell us?
There was no point. I wasn’t going.
You are now.
Hey, what is bugging you, man? That I
didn’t go or that you weren’t paying
enough attention to know I could have.
(a moment; hurt, defensive)
Your mother was dying, kid.
No kidding. She was in a hospital bed
dying. And you know where I was?
(his voice starting to break)
I was on a basketball court, playing a
Don’t call me kid! I’m not a kid!
I’m not blaming you. You’re just a
I got things to do.
Gregory leaves the kitchen. A moment.
Did I say something.
You’re thinking it.
You’re a mindreader now.
Peter grabs car keys from the counter. He starts for the
Where are you going?
Yens, I’m forty years old, I don’t have
to tell you where I’m going.
Oh, so you’re not a kid either.
Peter moves to the door. He hesitates.
Check on him, huh?
EXT. AN OVERLOOK – EVENING
The sun is setting, turning the horizon red-gold. Down
below, the lights of the town are begin to twinkle. Peter
is sitting on the hood of his parked car, drinking beer
from a can. He finishes the beer and then replaces the can
in the plastic ring of the six pack. He has finished the
six pack. There is a sound behind him and he turns. He
quickly tosses the empty cans into a convenient trash
A POLICE CAR pulls to a stop behind Peter’s car. The
officer, a young guy, gets out and approaches.
(reaching into his pocket)
You parked here for a reason, sir?
Just the view.
No, thank you.
Peter pops a lifesaver. The cop glances into the wastecan.
Do high school kids still come up here
at night and park?
This used to be our lovers lane. Back
High school students come up here and
smoke pot, sir. Parked cars are asked
to move on. I think you better too,
Have a good evening, officer.
The policeman gets into his car and drives away. Peter
takes a last look out at the view.
Larsen, Larsen, he’s our man.
EXT. LARSEN HOUSE – EVENING
IN THE GARAGE –
A tool box is placed in the trunk of the family sedan.
PULLING BACK – Gregory quietly closes the trunk lid.
INT. THE HOUSE – EVENING
PETER comes down the stairs. He is wearing a sports
jacket. He checks himself out in the hallway mirror.
IN THE KITCHEN –
Yens and Gregory are playing gin at the table.
Remember. Not a word.
Peter enters. Yens and Gregory ignore him. Peter silently
makes himself a drink. Yens slaps down a discard. He
Well, well. Don’t you look nice.
what’s the occasion?
Got a… business meeting.
Good, good. We could use some
Gregory and Yens exchange looks. Gregory is fighting the
giggles. Peter sips his drink. And then:
I put the tools you’ll need in the
trunk of the car.
Peter slams down the bottle.
Gregory, we don’t know that.
Is there anything around here you two
don’t know about?
I’ll knock with two.
Oh, be quiet, be quiet. Fix her
bathroom floor, my god. Well, it’s a
What, she’s giving you a hand, I
figured, y’know, it was the least I
Hey, Dad? You look good.
Like a Viking.
Great. I feel like I’m going to the
goddamn junior prom.
He starts to take another sip of his drink… thinks better
Ah… I’m out of here.
He puts it down and exits.
EXT. THE HOUSE – THE DECK – EARLY EVENING
Peter comes out of the house and moves down off the deck.
Yens and Gregory follow, watching.
Be a Viking, Peter, be a Viking!
Plunder and pillage her!
Peter flips them the bird as he disappears around the
corner of the house. And now standing there, Yens seems to
totter a bit as if suddenly dizzy.
Hey, you okay?
A little tired is all. Come. Let’s
play again. I cheated the last hand.
INT. THE CAR – MOVING – EARLY EVENING
Peter drives. He’s nervous. He plays with the radio
knobs, running through the channels, finding nothing he
ANGLE ON – He sees a pay phone booth on the side of the
road. It is in front of a small group of stores, one of
which is a package store.
EXT. THE CAR – CONTINUOUS
Peter does a 180 and heads back. He turns off into the
parking lot next to the phone. He gets out of the car and
walks to the booth. He picks up the phone and fumbles in
his pocket for a folded slip of paper and some change. He
puts a coin in. Reading carefully from the paper, he dials
INTERCUT: INT. BETSY’S HOUSE – KITCHEN – EARLY EVENING
Three girls, ages 16, 14, and 8 are eating supper at the
kitchen table. There is the sound of vacuuming in the
background. The phone rings. The smallest girl, ANDIE,
gets up and answers the phone.
(still chewing) )
Hello! Uh… hi….
Silence. The little girl isn’t going to volunteer
… is your mother there?
It’s Mr. Larsen. The floor flixer.
Mom! It’s some guy!
IN THE LIVING ROOM –
Betsy, hair done but in a bathrobe, turns off the vacuum
and runs to the kitchen.
IN THE KITCHEN
I think it’s Mommy’s date.
Does he sound weird?
SARA (OLDEST GIRL)
I’ll bet he’s crapping out.
Betsy runs into the kitchen and grabs the phone off the
counter. She looks at her daughters and then self-
consciously turns her back on them.
Silence. He waits. She waits. They wait. Until –
Who was that.
That was Andie, my youngest. Did I
mention I have daughters?
And they’re all staring at her.
Three of them. Actually. They’re
going to the movies.
Sara rolls her eyes, not at all pleased about this.
We’re still on, I hope.
Yeah, uh… I was just…
(seeing the liquor store)
What do you drink?
I have white wine.
Oh. Fraid not.
I’ll pick-up some rum.
Becky giggles again. Betsy gives her “a look”.
… see you.
Soon I hope. Bye.
She hangs up. A moment. She turns. Her daughters are
still all staring at her.
All right! Finish up and clean up.
Your movie starts in thirty minutes.
She hustles out of the kitchen.
(calling after her)
I still say he’s going to crap out!
EXT. PARKING LOT – CONTINUOUS
Peter stands there. He finally hangs up the phone, moves
across the lot and enters the liquor store.
INT. LARSEN HOUSE – YENS’S BEDROOM – NIGHT
Yens is lying on his bed. He looks pale and weak. Gregory
enters. He looks concerned but tries to hide it when Yens
turns to him.
Dinner’s ready. Hungry?
A little. I’ll try.
Gregory helps him up.
INT. THE DINING ROOM – NIGHT
The table has been set with linen, silverware, and china.
The room glows with candlelight. Yens and Gregory stand in
the doorway. Gregory has his arms around Yens – he has had
to support him in the walk from the bedroom. Yens’s face
is filled with surprised delight.
What’s this, china?
Is it a holiday?
I thought we’d celebrate our birthdays.
Peter’s not here.
We’re just pretending.
Ah, well, then… is there cake?
Is there cake…!?
Candles for the cake?
You kidding? Candles for days. But
Gregory helps Yens to the table.
EXT. BETSY’S HOUSE – NIGHT
The house is similar to all the other houses that line this
pleasant suburban street. The girls come out of the house
with Betsy bringing up the rear. Betsy has changed into
slacks and a very attractive blouse. She herds the girls
into the car.
We’ll be home early.
I think ice cream sundaes after the
movie are a good idea.
You. I’ll pay you back.
Sara starts up the car.
Relax, Mother. I’m sure he puts his
pants on one leg at a time.
Thank you, dear, I needed that.
LONG ANGLE ON –
The car backs out of the driveway and heads up the street.
It passes cars parked alongside the curb. Betsy turns and
goes back into the house.
is parked across the street in his car, watching.
INT. BETSY’S HOUSE – LIVING ROOM – NIGHT
The dining room table is set for two. The wine is an ice
bucket. Betsy is sitting on the living room couch,
thumbing through a magazine. She looks at her watch. She
tosses the magazine aside and rises.
EXT. BETSY’S HOUSE – CONTINUOUS
She comes to the front door, opens it. She stands on the
stoop, looking out into the night.
ACROSS THE STREET –
Peter’s car is gone.
INT. LARSEN HOUSE – THE DINING ROOM – NIGHT
Waltzes play on the stereo. Yens sits at the table, dinner
finished. His eyes are closed and he gently sways to the
music. He opens his eyes and turns as Gregory enters
carrying a cake covered with lit candles.
Tonight I feel like I’m in Copenhagen.
The littlest mermaid is in the harbor,
Why is she weeping?
She’s lost her love. She can’t follow
him. That’s what the story says. I
prefer to think she weeps because I
left her. She must have known I
wouldn’t return. I meant to. So much
Gregory lifts his glass of beer in toast. Yens smiles and
lifts his glass of club soda.
Tillykke Med Fodsendagen.
Happy Birthday to you, too, Yens.
Sa ma du lieve helt antid. Du har
vaert min mest.
You lost me.
You must live fully, always. You have
been my most precious gift.
(a moment) )
Shall we make a wish?
Together they lean forward and blow out the candles. One
remains lit. Yens leans forward and blows it out.
EXT. THE SKY – NIGHT
The wind whips clouds across the night sky covering the
stars. There is the faint sound of tires shrieking down on
EXT. DRIVEWAY – NIGHT
A car approaches, going fast and turns into the driveway,
wiping out the trash cans as it passes.
EXT. THE HOUSE – NIGHT
The car is coming up the driveway fast. It brakes to a
sudden, jarring halt in front of the garage. Peter gets
out. He is drunk. There is nothing funny about this
drunk. His face is filled with anger and self-disgust.
Peter weaves up the walk, heading towards the deck.
INT. THE HOUSE – KITCHEN – NIGHT
Peter enters. He stumbles into a chair, knocking it over.
He leans against the table a moment, breathing hard,
resting. He rises and heads down the hallway.
IN THE HALLWAY –
Peter drags off his sports jacket and drops it. He moves
towards the stairs. A light in the stairwell goes on.
Peter stops, blinking. Gregory is standing at the top of
the stairs looking down at him. They stare at each other a
moment. Peter reels away and heads back for the kitchen.
Gregory comes down the stairs.
IN THE KITCHEN
Peter enters and attempts to make himself a drink. Gregory
How’d it go?
And he freezes, staring as Peter pull
icetrays from the freezer, drops them,
picks them up; does anything but look
at his son.
So what’s her ceiling need – boards,
Peter spills rum.
I’ll be glad to help.
I don’t want help.
You want coffee?
Peter drinks, pours more.
How bout a sandwich?
No, I don’t wanna – what kinna
(a bitter laugh)
Peanut butter. My life is half over
an’ I’m eating peanut butter. Go to
(a moment, then angrily)
Go ta bed!
You’re going to wake up Yens.
Hah! He’s pro’bly eavesdropping
already. If he’s not, s’time t’ drag
his ass to the john.
Y’ wan’ some prune juice, Dad!?
He laughs. He drinks. And suddenly all the life seems to
drain out of him.
I chickened out, Gregs. I got there n’
all a could was sit in the car. I
chickened out, chickened –
He makes clucking sounds. He laughs. He drinks, spilling.
You gotta call her.
Aw, come on.
It’s not that late. Make an excuse,
make a joke –
You could tell her that –
Peter slams his glass down, slopping the contents.
I said stop! Don’t lecture me, don’t
tell me what to do. I don’t find it
appropriate. I’m the father here!
I’m… goin’ t’ bed.
He moves past Gregory towards the hallway.
Mom’d die all over again if she saw
what a bum you turned out to be.
With a furious snarl, Peter spins and backhands Gregory
across the face. A stunned moment. And Gregory furiously
strikes back. Peter reels, stunned. Gregory seems equally
stunned that he struck back. Peter attacks. They
grapple, Peter lands one, knocking Gregory down. And now
Gregory, equally furious, rises and fights. Nothing
graceful about this – clumsy, vicious; Gregory younger and
quicker – landing blows – but Peter stronger. Gregory
trying to box, Peter try to close and wrestle. Gregory
rocks him back with a series of quick jabs, through the
door and into –
INT. LIVING ROOM – CONTINUOUS
Peter falls back into the living room, sprawling. They
stare at one another, panting. And then Gregory moves
forward and offers a hand to help his father up. Peter
takes it – and surges up and into Gregory slamming him back
against the wall, knocking the wind out of him. Gregory
slides down the wall to a sitting position. Peter backs
away; then stumbles and falls to the floor. He crawls to a
sitting position. The two men, father and son, stare at
each other in the room.
I… want you out of this house by the
end of the month. And you’re off the
job as of right now. You’re fired.
Cause I’m sick of seeing you wash shit
from your hands at the end of the day.
You’re better than that.
Why you throwin’ me out?
Because I’m tired of you playing
nursemaid to a sick old man… and
babysitter to a middle-aged one. You
need some money, you let me know.
Money? No, I don’t need any money.
Gregory rises and walks out of the room. Peter just sits
INT. BATHROOM – NIGHT
Crimson stained water washes down the drain in the sink.
Peter rinses out his mouth, spits out blood. He wiggles a
loose tooth. There is the sudden sound of a car starting
up in the driveway.
EXT. THE HOUSE – THE DRIVEWAY – NIGHT
Gregory backs the car up, turns around.
IN THE BATHROOM
Peter listens to the sound of the car pull away.
INT. HOUSE – NIGHT
Peter enters the kitchen. And stops. Yens is sitting at
the kitchen table. Silence. He just stares at Peter.
There is ice, broken glass and rum on the kitchen counter.
Peter begins to clean up the mess.
Well, aren’t you a fool.
It’s for his own good.
If you believe that.
Look. Ever since his mother died, the
kid’s hasn’t been able to do a damn
thing. He holds onto the job and this
place like it’s the only thing there
is. Well, it’s not. He can do better.
He’ll find that out once he’s on his
No. He’s been on his own since his
mother died. It’s you who will be on
your own. You and your bottle of rum.
Alone!? Oh, no, never alone! You’ll
always be looking over my shoulder, old
man, giving your unwanted opinion on
everything I do!
Not for long.
There is cancer inside. The doctor
said. So drink your rum. Clench your
fists. I’ll be in my room, mourning
Yens turns and exits. The sound of his walker fades.
Peter can only stand there, totally defeated by the events
of this night.
EXT. BETSY’S HOUSE – DAY
Establishing shot. The Larsen car is parked on the street.
INT. BETSY’S HOUSE – BATHROOM – MID DAY
Gregory, on hands and knees, finishes nailing boards into
place. He has fit in new wood, has recaulked around the
tub. Behind him, Sara comes to the door and watches for a
moment. She is totally infatuated. He glances up, smiles.
Almost finished. I’ll get the rug back
down and you’ll be all set.
Mom… Betsy wants to know if you’d
like some lunch.
INT. BETSY’S KITCHEN – MID DAY
Betsy is wiping down the kitchen counter when her daughter
I’m going to die, he is so gorgeous.
Maybe you’d like to go out with him? I
could probably arrange it.
If you say one word to him, I’ll never
speak to you again.
Yeah, you’re right. He’d probably just
Sara turns and leaves the kitchen in a huff. Betsy smiles.
IN THE HALLWAY
Sara and Gregory pass. Gregory again smiles at her. She
turns and watches him go.
INT. THE KITCHEN – MID DAY
Gregory enters. Betsy is taking things from the fridge.
I can’t thank you enough. I’m sure you
had better things to do on a Sunday
It’s a good deal if you’re making
She opens a beer, puts it in front of him.
How about a roast beef sandwich?
I have some left over.
A look passes between them. He knows exactly what she’s
GREGORY AND BETSY
sit out on the sun porch. Gregory is eating with real
enjoyment. Betsy is watching him.
You know, I miss seeing people eat?
Really eat. My girls don’t eat. They
push food around their plates. Men
He washes down his bite with some beer. A moment.
He planned on showing. Something
Do you know… your father and mother
were the most splendid couple I’ve ever
seen. She looked like Greta Garbo and
he looked like… you. The bridesmaids
were all cheerleaders. We cried at the
wedding. We fought for the bouquet.
I liked your mother very much, Gregory.
It must have been very difficult.
For your father too.
I wasn’t there when she died. I was
playing in a basketball game.
Did you do well?
She would have been pleased.
Gregory looks at her.
You want the lives of your children to
go onas if everything’s perfect.
Perhaps you can’t understand that until
you have children of your own. But
believe me, she would have been
I had this basketball scholarship. I
didn’t take it.
I dunno… her dying like she did,
just… it drained the kid stuff right
out of me, Betsy. I couldn’t see
myself drinking beer and shooting
baskets with a bunch of punks. Maybe I
could do it now but the old man starts
in on me and…
All of a sudden it’s the last thing you
want to do.
No. But neither is his wanting you to.
She would have been pleased, huh?
This is a good sandwich.
EXT. END OF LARSEN DRIVEWAY – DAY
It is raining. Peter is picking up soggy garbage and
putting it into the banged up trash cans. He is soaked. A
Cadillac pulls into the driveway. Lennart rolls down the
window. A middle-aged couple is with him.
Pete! Hell of a day to be doin that!
These are the Fitzgeralds, Pete.
(a loud whisper)
The place… isn’t so neat, Len.
Hey, it’s fine, fine. What they’re
interested in, see, is potential.
Alexandra here loves to decorate and
Don loves to tear down walls. Don’t
worry about a thing, we’ll wipe our
He rolls up the window and drives on, leaving Peter
standing in the rain.
EXT. THE DRIVEWAY – CONTINUOUS
It is raining. Yens is at one of his birdfeeders. He is
in slicker and rain hat. He is making sure that wet seed
doesn’t clog the feeding station. Loki is with him. And
now the dog looks up at the sound of the approaching car.
The Cadillac is moving fast – too fast – up the driveway.
Yes. Good. You’ve warned me.
He goes back to what he’s doing. Still barking, Loki moves
towards the driveway.
Loki. Stay. Loki!
IN THE CAR –
Lennart is paying no attention to what’s in front of him.
– about four acres here. Room for a
nice tennis court over there –
moves into the driveway, barking protectively. And
suddenly Yens realizes the car doesn’t seem to be slowing
He starts forward.
IN THE CAR –
The Fitzgerald woman turns to see the old dog in the
driveway in front of them.
Look out for the –
Lennart already sees him. He desperately hits the breaks.
ANGLE ON –
Wheels skid on wet gravel.
ANGLE ON –
The dog tries to move but is too old, too slow.
ANGLE ON –
Yens’ face. The sound of car into animal, the sound of the
dog yelping once. Silence. Yens doesn’t turn away.
is walking down the driveway. He stops. Up ahead he sees
the car stopped, sees Lennart and the Fitzgerald’s standing
in a clustered circle. He starts to run.
sits on the wet ground, holding the limp body of the dog in
his arms. The others stand over him in shocked silence.
Peter pushes into the group. And stops.
Pete, I swear… it wasn’t my fault.
He jumped in front of the car, he
Yens caresses Loki’s head and muzzle. The dog is dead.
He was trying to protect his family.
But he was old. And tired.
Yens rises, struggling up with the weight of the dog in his
arms. Without another word he turns and, carrying the dead
dog, walks towards the house.
Len. Get these people out here. My
father’s house isn’t for sale.
Lennart starts to say something. Then doesn’t. He and the
Fitzgerald’s turn for the car. Peter watches Yens carry
the body of the dog towards the house.
EXT. THE BACKYARD – AT THE EDGE OF THE WOODS – AFTERNOON
It rains. Peter shovels. Yens watches, a tarp covered
mound at his feet.
He was a good dog.
He was, Dad.
Yens is soaked. He begins to shiver. He looks very tired,
even frail. Peter finishes his digging. He wipes water
from his eyes.
I wish Gregory were here.
Peter picks up the tarp covered corpse. He gently lays it
in the grave. It rains. And rains.
EXT. THE HOUSE – NIGHT
Only a few lights burn in the house. The house seems to
sigh with the sound of the falling rain.
INT. LARSEN HOUSE – DEN – NIGHT
Peter stands in the doorway, looking into the room. He
comes further in, hits a light, then stands, studying the
trophies and photographs in silence. His eyes go to the
bookcase. A moment. He reaches for a volume, takes it
down. It is a high school yearbook. Peter sits and begins
leafing through the yearbook.
He stares at a shot of himself and the woman in the photo –
BEST COUPLE. He flips the pages. He studies a shot of
himself in a basketball uniform. He flips the pages. He
almost smiles at a shot of the cheerleaders – his wife and
Betsy Simmons are among them. Peter turns the pages. He
sees photos of a class play, of other classmates. Peter
flips the pages and finally stops. He’s now looking at his
own graduation picture. There is a paragraph beneath it;
his accomplishments, quotes.
CLOSE ON – Peter’s face as he reads. Something surprises
him. He ponders a moment. And then he continues reading.
EXT. LARSEN HOUSE – MORNING
It is a beautiful day. The house glistens as if it’s been
washed fresh and clean by the rain. The pick-up truck
comes up the driveway and pulls to a stop in the driveway.
Peter gets out, a bag of groceries in his arms.
INT. THE KITCHEN – DAY
Peter enters. Puts the grocery bag down on the counter.
Yens? You hungry??
He heads down the hall.
INT. YENS’S BEDROOM – DAY
The room is dark, the shades are drawn. Yens is in bed,
propped up on pillows, asleep. Peter stands in the doorway
looking at him. He sees that the Yens is still in pajamas
and bathrobe; isn’t dressed as he normally would be; sees
that the walker, not the cane, is by the bed. Peter leaves
the room, closing the door behind him.
INT. THE KITCHEN – DAY
Eggs are frying in a pan. A dark, potent looking liquid is
poured over ice.
Peter stares at the bottle in his hand. Prune juice. He
looks at the glass of juice distastefully and then…
tosses it back. Not bad. He turns. The eggs are burning.
Peter quickly grabs a spatula. He grabs the pan and burns
his hand. He grabs a dishtowel, grabs the pan again and
begins scraping, trying to save the eggs. There is a
sudden knock on the door. Holding the pan, he turns.
Betsy is at the screen door.
Yeah. Come in.
I didn’t expect to see you. I… came
to check on Yens.
Want some eggs?
She looks at the charred, greasy mass in the pan he’s
I’ll pass, thanks. I’ll… just check
on him and then go.
Peter nods. Betsy turns and exits down the hall. Peter
stands there a moment. Disgusted with himself, he turns to
empty the pan into the garbage.
INT. YENS’S ROOM – DAY
Yens is still asleep. Betsy pulls the covers around him.
Caresses his forehead. She exits. Yens smiles to himself.
INT. THE KITCHEN – CONTINUOUS
He’s still asleep. It’s probably the
best thing for him. I’ll come around
Look, about the other night –
No, please. You don’t have to explain.
I misunderstood. I thought it was a
social as well as a business call.
Betsy, I still want to do your floor.
Too late. Your son already did.
(ignoring Peter’s look of
Oh. He wouldn’t take any money. Send
me a bill?
Good. Have a nice day, Peter.
She smiles and exits out the kitchen door. Peter
hesitates… and then hurries after her.
EXT. THE HOUSE – DECK – DAY
Betsy comes out of the house and goes down the steps.
Peter comes out of the house.
She turns back.
What is it, Peter?
…feel like making a pot of coffee
before you go?
INT. THE KITCHEN – DAY
Betsy pours boiling water into the coffee filled filter
I’ve been drinking nothing instant
lately. I don’t like it much.
Peter points to a cabinet.
We are helpless.
She gets only one. She pours the coffee. Something
suddenly occurs to Peter.
Okay. Okay, wait. Don’t move.
He rises and hurries out of the room. He hurries back in.
I want to show you something.
He hurries out again.
IN THE DEN –
Pete moves to the bookcase. He grabs the high school
yearbook from the shelf. He exits.
IN THE KITCHEN –
Peter enters only to find Betsy gone. He hurries for the
door, sure that she’s left.
ON THE DECK –
Peter comes flying out. And stops. Betsy is sitting at
the table. She doesn’t look up. However, two cups of
coffee are on the table. Peter crosses to the table.
I dug this out the other day.
He hands her the yearbook. A moment of surprise. And then
she begins to look through it. Peter sits.
He watches closely, trying to judge her reactions as she
flips pages. She suddenly giggles.
Look at you.
CLOSE ON – A photo of Peter.
What about you?
He draws closer to her and flips the pages until –
CLOSE ON – a photo of Betsy.
He flips pages.
CLOSE ON – The cheerleaders.
Here’s you and here’s….
A moment as they look at the photograph.
She was very beautiful, Peter.
We tried to be jealous, it was
I’m sorry about the other night. I got
Am I so scary?
I’m afraid you won’t like what I’ve
What have you become?
A moment. He starts to speak. But then he wordlessly
shakes his head. Betsy takes the year book and places it
on the table. Turning to Peter, she gently raises his face
to her, kisses him.
INT. PETER’S BEDROOM – DAY
The curtains have been pulled to soften the harsh afternoon
light. Peter and Betsy are in bed together. He lies on
his back; she rests comfortably against his chest. She
I had such a crush on you.
They laugh softly.
You’d think I’d of outgrown infatuation
but there I was the other night,
changing my clothes, cursing my hair,
snapping at my daughters. I ended up
drinking a whole bottle of white wine
by myself. If you’d have come by,
you’d have found me… available.
I almost made it. I sat outside in the
car for about thirty minutes.
And didn’t come in?
He shakes his head.
If it hadn’t been my house I might of
My husband was a surgeon. Did I tell
you that? He stayed in San Francisco.
The divorce was my decision. He had
this mistress I couldn’t compete with.
Must have been hard.
It was. The only expectations I was
given as a girl were emotional ones;
love a man, love a family. I’d never
wanted more than that. When I finally
admitted my marriage wasn’t working, it
was like admitting that I was a
I guess what I’m trying to say is that
being lonely is something no one’s ever
EXT. THE DRIVEWAY – LATE AFTERNOON
Betsy gets into her car. Peter closes the door for her.
They smile at each other.
You busy tonight?
What do you have in mind?
Dinner. Champagne. Dancing maybe….
A movie? A chocolate sundae?
(at Peter’s look)
She kisses him.
You better show this time!
She starts the car, puts it in reverse. She backs up,
turns around. She blows him another kiss. Peter watches
her drive away down the driveway.
INT. KITCHEN – CONTINUOUS
Peter enters. He stands a moment, the pleasure just
rolling off him. He almost giggles.
(starting down the hall)
Hey, Yens, you awake?
INT. THE HALLWAY –
Peter moves towards Yens’ room.
I sure as hell hope you’ve been
sleeping, you eavesdropping son of a –
Peter stops. Yen’s door is open and his bed is empty.
EXT. THE DECK – CONTINUOUS
Peter comes out onto the deck. Yens isn’t in the house.
How and where the hell could he have – ?
Peter freezes. Down at the edge of the backyard, near the
birdfeeders. A walker. A body lying prone in the grass
next to it, not moving. Yens.
Peter vaults off the deck and runs down through the yard
towards his father.
EXT. THE SCHOOLYARD – DUSK
LONG ANGLE ON – A solitary figure is shooting baskets in
the dwindling light. Gregory stops and turns at a sound.
Peter’s truck roars up to the playground and grinds to a
halt. Peter opens the door and waves frantically for
Gregory. Gregory runs forward. They speak. And Gregory
runs around the truck and leaps into the passenger side.
They roar away.
INT. HOSPITAL – I.C. U. WAITING ROOM – NIGHT
Gregory sits, waiting. Lost in his own thoughts. A cup
of coffee is thrust in front of him. He looks up. It’s
Peter. Gregory takes it. Peter sits. Silence. And
Did you know that when I was in high
school I was most athletic, most
charming, most likely to succeed and
best looking to boot?
No way. Who says?
My yearbook does. It also says I gave
it all up to go into business with
Yens. Wants to go into business with
his father, that’s what it says. That
was the summer we built the house. It
was gonna be an advertisement. This is
what Larsen and Son can do. It was
good work we did.
A moment. They both look up. Milton Godfrey has entered.
He’s awake. He’d like to see you, one
at a time.
INT. HOSPITAL ROOM – DAY
Yens is lying in bed. Tubes running to his arm and nose.
Hooked up to monitors. His eyes are closed. Gregory
Yens’s eyes open. He sees who it is. He smiles weakly. He
gestures for Gregory to come close. Gregory moves to the
side of the bed.
Doctors – puh.
They tell me I’m going die of cancer.
I wind up having a heart attack. I
wish they’d make up their minds.
Quacks, all of’m. So. What do you
Old farts don’t think. We get senile.
Yeah, I don’t know why we keep you
around. You’re not good for much.
Have you ever thought… about being an
An architect. You’d be very good. You
have the eye, the imagination. What do
you think? Would you like to be an
Something to think about.
Good. And if not… anything you
decide to do, you’ll do well. You’re a
I’d like to see Peter now.
INT. THE HOSPITAL ROOM –
Peter sits at Yens bedside.
That Gregory, huh? He fixed her floor
He saved your ass is what he did.
Silence. And then:
Bring him home. Let him decide when
it’s time to leave.
You’re gonna have to do something for
me though. No more pulse taking. I
get jealous easy.
He smiles as Yens weakly laughs.
Yens looks down at Peter’s hands. Touches the scar by the
You were so ashamed.
Peter takes Yens’s hands in his own. Yens’ hands are
gnarled and cut up and calloused.
Look at these hands. Like pieces of
old wood. You have beautiful hands,
I’m very tired.
Silence. No need for words. The physical contact is
EXT. THE HOSPITAL – MORNING
INT. HOSPITAL WAITING ROOM – MORNING
Gregory is asleep in a waiting room chair. Peter
approaches, looks at him a long moment. Reaches out and
pushes the hair off his forehead. Gregory comes awake.
How long I been asleep?
Awhile. You hungry?
I could eat.
Me too. You know what I’d like? A
big breakfast. What a ya say we hit
the pancake house down on route ten.
We used to stop there on the way home
from visiting your mom.
I’m not crazy about that place. I
associate it with bad news.
So do I, kid. So do I.
And all at once, Gregory knows. Peter knows that he knows.
Peter holds out his arms. Gregory comes to him. Peter
wraps his arms around his son.
EXT. THE HOUSE – DAY
Light reflects off roof and windows. The yard seems
incredibly green and fertile; revitalized by the rain.
IN THE BACKYARD
Gregory is filling bird feeders. He turns, looking at
Well, come here.
A Great Dane puppy, all huge feet and gawky legs, comes
running across the lawn. Gregory kneels and pets him.
Good Loki, yeah….
INT. THE HOUSE – YENS’S BEDROOM – DAY
Peter is standing in the room. It is neat and bright; the
bed made. A moment and then he reaches out and turns on
the stereo. There is music – waltzes.
EXT. THE YARD – DAY
Gregory can hear the music playing. Nice.
ANGLE ON –
Peter comes out onto the deck.
Let’s get ready, kid!
The MUSIC continues as:
EXT. THE KITCHEN – DAY
Peter, in a dark suit and a new tie, sits in a chair. The
pup is at Peter’s feet. Both look up as Gregory comes into
the kitchen. He, too, is in a suit and tie. Peter rises
and tightens the knot of Gregory’s tie. He steps back.
Not bad. Not bad at all.
EXT. THE HOUSE – DAY
Peter and Gregory come down around the side of the house.
I told Betsy we’d pick her up.
You sleeping with her?
Maybe there’s hope for you yet.
EXT. BETSY’S HOUSE – DAY
Peter stands by the car waiting. Peter and Betsy come down
from the house. Betsy’s oldest daughter stands in the
doorway. Gregory waves to her. She smiles and waves
You have a fan, Gregory.
Yeah, we’re irresistible. It’s the
He opens the car door for her.
I’ll get in the back.
There’s room for three in the front.
A warm look passes between them. They all get in. The car
INT. THE CAR – MOVING – DAY
You hear? Someone’s going to college.
Gregory, that’s wonderful.
Yeah, right. Ask him who’s paying for
Him, the bank and me.
Stop complaining. It’s a good move.
I’m gonna be an architect and the time
comes, maybe I’ll throw a little work
What are you doin’ till then?
Cause I could use some help.
Gregory looks at him. Peter looks back. Small smiles.
I’ll think about it.
EXT. A CEMETERY – DAY
People are gathered around a grave-site.
steps out of the semi-circle of people and turns to face
I guess we can start.
He takes out a speech he’s prepared. And reads.
There comes a twilight. The cold
Viking sun turns black and falls into
the sea. The sea overflows its banks
and the world is darkness and cold and
confusion. The Viking gods march forth
to do battle. The darkness consumes
them, and they are suffocated by its
venomous breath. And yet, they are
victorious. There is no trumpet of
defeat in their death. New life is
born. There is peace.
My father wrote that.
Peter folds the paper and puts it away. He turns and looks
at the polished wood box, small and smooth, that contains
Yens’s ashes. He turns back.
He was a good man. He loved his work
and he loved his family. He thought of
himself as a craftsman but he wasn’t.
He was an artist. The places that
people live were his palette. And as
long as those houses…
– homes – are with us… he is.
Thanks for coming.
The crowd slowly disperses. People shake Peter’s hand.
You come see me.. we’ll talk.
Betsy puts a small bunch of flowers down next to the wooden
cask. Gregory comes forward to join her. His face is wet
with tears. Betsy gives him a hug; kisses his cheek.
Peter joins the two of them.
They are looking at the small casket. The grave attendants
are preparing to bury it.
He loved the ocean, you know? He told
me he wanted one of those Viking
funerals. A dragon headed ship, his
ashes swallowed by the waves. What a
A long moment. And then Peter moves abruptly forward and
picks up the box.
All right, come on.
The attendants look on, totally taken by surprise. Peter
turns his back on them and walks back past Gregory and
Don’t just stand there, come on!
ANGLE ON –
Peter walks across the cemetery towards his car, casket in
hand. Gregory and Betsy are hurrying after him.
What the hell you – ?
(to Betsy) )
What’s he doing?
I don’t know.
ANGLE ON –
Peter opens his car door and puts the box carefully on the
front seat. He gets in as Gregory and Betsy get to the
Dad, what are you doing?
Taking him down to the ocean. Get in.
Gregory laughs. He hustles Betsy around the car, opens the
door for her.
Of course we are. Why not?
Betsy gets in. Gregory opens the back door. He stops.
Veggo, along with some other people is moving towards his
car. He turns.
Where ya goin’, man?
Gregory gets into the car. Veggo and everyone else, run
for their cars.
ANGLE ON –
Peter leaves a spray of dust and gravel in the cemetery
driveway as he roars off.
EXT. A STREET INTERSECTION – DAY
Peter, driving in the wrong lane, passes a string of six or
seven cars that are stopped for a light. He stops by the
lead car. It is Lennart. Peter leans across Betsy and
yells out the window.
Lennart! Follow me!
Where you going?
We’re – never mind! Just come on!
The light turns and Peter roars off. Veggo, in his
Porsche, goes flying by in pursuit, horn beeping. Lennart
sticks his head out of his Cadillac window and calls to the
car behind him.
The driver of the car behind him has his head stuck out the
Where they going?
Who the hell knows!?
Lennart drives off.
ANGLE ON –
All the cars follow one after another.
EXT. A STREET – DAY
Peter’s car comes speeding down the road. A moment.
Veggo’s Porsche comes flying along – zoom! And then one
after another, all the cars – lights on, this is a funeral
procession – come tearing down the road in hot pursuit.
EXT. ENTRANCE RAMP TO THE FREEWAY – DAY
Peter’s car turns up the long, curved entrance to the
freeway. And then, Veggo’s Porsche. And then all the
other cars. And then the hearse. And then a police on a
motorcycle goes flying up the ramp in hot pursuit, lights
flashing and siren blaring.
THE LAST CAR
in the line is pulled over by the patrolman. Jimmy, the
gas station attendant, sticks his head out the window as
the cop walks up.
Where you think you going, buddy, a
No, a funeral!
EXT. THE FREEWAY – HIGH ANGLE – DAY
All the cars motor along in a speeding line. A moment.
And then the police motorcycle comes roaring along, lights
and siren going, passing the cars.
INT. PETER’S CAR –
Gregory leans into the front seat. With the windows down,
he has to shout to be heard.
What are we gonna do when we get there?
Give a handful of him the heave-ho!
Are you crazy!? There’ll be swimmers!
We’ll time the toss!
(looking in the rear view
The patrolman is catching up to them.
ANGLE ON –
The police motorcycle pulls even with Peter’s car. The
policeman gestures for Peter to pull over. Peter shouts
something. It’s inaudible. He points to Betsy who
suddenly seems to be in agony.
She’s having a baby!
The policeman nods and takes the lead. The lights and
HIGH ALTITUDE ANGLE ON –
The police motorcycle is leading at least a dozen cars down
the highway at high speed.
EXT. HIGHWAY EXIT RAMP – DAY
The policeman roars off, roars past a sign that says
hospital. A moment. And then all the other cars go right
past the exit ramp.
EXT. ANOTHER STRETCH HIGHWAY – DAY
The cars go speeding by. In the distance, we can see the
ocean. And then the police motorcycle flies by, again in
EXT. BEACH ROAD – PARKING LOT – DAY
The cars all pull off the beach road and into the parking
lot. People in bathing suits watch as the men and women,
all dressed for a funeral, get out of their cars.
EXT. THE BEACH – DAY
The crowd of people led by Peter, Gregory, and Betsy come
over the dunes onto the sand. Sunbathers and surfers look
on in startled disbelief at the suits, ties, dresses, and
EXT. THE PARKING LOT – DAY
The police bike roars into the parking lot.
EXT. THE POINT – DAY
There is a long, hewn rock breakwater that juts out into a
point. The fishermen and sunbathers stop what they’re
doing and look up in surprise as Peter leads the funeral
goers out onto the breakwater. He is carrying the casket.
Women take off their high heels. Everyone struggles to
brings up the rear. He stops and watches. He takes off
his hat and wipes the sweat from his forehead. Some
bathers cluster around him.
Man, don’t they need, like, a permit,
you know, to do this?
How do I know? I’m a highway cop.
And he walks slowly out onto the rocks following the
AT THE END OF THE BREAKWATER
All the funeral goers have gathered. Breeze pulls at hair
and clothes. The water splashes off the rocks and sprays
high, catching the sunlight like diamonds.
PETER AND GREGORY
step forward to the edge of the rocks. Peter opens the box. Gregory reaches in. And then, holding his hand out, he lets the breeze take the ashes in a long, slow, dusty stream. Peter hands Gregory the box and then he, in turn, takes ashes in his hand and releases them into the sea.
When they are gone, he stands next to Gregory, puts his arm around him. He gestures for Betsy and she comes forward and stands next to him. He puts his arm around her too.
At the end of the rocky point, the crowd stands watching as out on the horizon, sailboats suddenly let fly their spinnakers. The billowing colors catch the wind and swell tight as if in tribute.