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The Cardboard Funeral
by Brian Ogilvie (brianjohnogilvie@hotmail.com)

Rated: R   Genre: Drama   User Review: ***

This screenplay is copyrighted to its author. All rights reserved. This screenplay may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of the author.


We watch a black limousine PULL UP to the FRONT ENTRANCE.
CARFAX MILLER - fifteen, thin and gangly - lays in his bed,
looking out a window at the night. His breathing is heavy.
In one hand he is clutching a NOTEBOOK.
JAMIE PREWITT - early thirties, red-headed, tall, bookish -
walks in from OUTSIDE, steps across to THE EMPTY RECEPTION
DESK. She's tired, worn-out, and has been crying.

PELLING MEMORAL - actor, early forties, tall with short hair
- enters behind her. He watches her, uncertain. With a LOUD
SIGH he lowers his head, staring at the floor.
DAVID JAMES - mid-twenties, black, thin and tall - walks to
a PAY PHONE against a wall. He DIALS a number, listens to

There is no answer. With a curt shake of his head, he
returns the headset. He crosses his arms and stares up at
the ceiling lights.
(beat - with a grin)
Dialtone exchanges. I wonder what
a life would be without these
dialtone exchanges.
To have an actual conversation
face to face; a little further
(leans against the wall)
A little something more than this.


Carfax, still laying in his bed, hears A PAIR OF FEMALE
VOICES passing outside his room.
                       VOICE 1 (O.C.)
And that's when he stepped past
me! It was so ... I don't know ...
so amazing! He just walked right
past me!
I could've touched him! Right
then! I could've reached out and
touched his arm! He was that
close! That close!!
                       VOICE 2 (O.C.)
But why's he here? What's he
getting done? Was he ... no - he
wasn't hurt!?
                       VOICE 1 (O.C.)
I don't think so. He wasn't
limping or anything. I think his
wife was with him.
(beat - coldly)
Yeah, it must've been his wife.
The voices diminish down the hall.
Jamie and Pelling hurry down the hallway, Jamie PULLING on
Pelling's arm, tugging him further along. She has stopped
crying, but still appears upset, with her face set tightly
in concentration.
Would you please stop with the
arm-wrenching? I'm going as fast
as I-
Hurry! Hurry! He's just down here,
room ... um ... room ...
Yes, yes. Room 825. It's that one
- there at the end. See? We didn't
need to rush - it's not like he's


                       PELLING (cont'd)
gonna croak right this minute or
anything. We're here with plenty
of time left.
Jamie stops abruptly. She GLARES at Pelling.
You know, if it was my father
lying in that room I'd be a little
more worried.
For Christsakes, Pelling!
What? So? Serves him right for
smoking a pack and a half a day.
And he wasn't my father, Jamie. He
hasn't been my father for a long
I don't want to be here. Lets go
home - I've got phone calls to
make. You know Mich has been all
over me to read that script - if
I'm sitting about in some hospital
room I'll never get anything done.
(beat - looking around with
Anything that matters.
He'll always be your father.
Maybe not a dad, but a father. You
should be here.
And Jamie pulls Pelling roughly to the room at the end of
the hall.
The door to Carfax's room OPENS, and in walks ABBY -
mid-twenties, black-haired, thin, short - dressed in her
candystriper outfit. She enters the room QUIETLY, then
stops, seeing Carfax lying in his bed.

Carfax is sitting up, watching her without expression. He
NODS towards the lamp beside his bed.
You mind?


What? Oh - oh, yeah, sure.
Abby walks over to the lamp, SWITCHES IT ON. She spots a
chair in the far corner and SITS DOWN.
Like sitting in the dark or
something? What's your name?
A long pause as Carfax watches her. Watches her watch him.
Carfax. Car. No. I don't much care
for the dark, but not many come
and visit me.
That isn't a bad thing. Don't take
it as such. I mean, why sit facing
someone who's busy thinking
thoughts of their own? They should
be out doing the thoughts,
fullfilling them. It's what I
would prefer. It's what I would be
doing. I wonder if I come across
as lonely? I don't mean to -
simply tired.
And I enjoy the dark. Soothing as
a sin, isn't it said? It can be a
shield, I guess. I can't always
see through it - not at first.
A song, maybe. A really long song.
You understand me, don't you? I
bet you do.
(Carfax shrugs uncertainly)
But what do I know? I can't get up
to flip the switch. I can't always
be waiting for answers.
I'm supposed to be doing rounds,
but I won't tell if you won't,
Thought you were volunteers? Why
Abby merely sits there, watching Carfax. She smiles and


Carfax slowly NODS - he understands her perfectly well.
Jamie leans against the wall beside room 825. Pelling stands
before the closed door. He glares at her.
The man in that room - I ... I
don't much care for him.
And that means something now?
Right here and now at this moment.
Before that door you can look
annoyed, Pel, you can mutter and
shake your boots, but really -
what does it mean to you? To stand
there with your father on the
other side. I'd give anything to
have that. I miss my father a lot.
And he was ... awful. He was-
      (snapping at her)
I know what he was! He wasn't like
this, though! You weren't there,
Jamie! You didn't listen to it day
and day and day.
You never dissapointed your
Jamie pushes off from the wall, walks down the hall.
I don't know how you can say that.
How ... how you can be so wrong.
Pelling sighes, and POUNDS his hand on the door.
Carfax and Abby are staring at one another, Carfax holding
his notebook, and Abby pulling on her sleeves, trying to
adjust the ill-fitting dress.

From outside in the hall they hear SOBBING. Carfax nods to
the door.


I think someone might need your
help out there.
When doesn't someone in this place
need someone else's help.
(long pause)
Why are you here?
Ignoring her question, Carfax crosses his arms, frowning.
Abby snorts, stands and walks to the door. The sobbing from
outside in the hall has died, and when she sticks her head
out the door, we can hear soft murmuring.

Carfax patiently waits, lifting his notebook to the light,
and opening to a pre-marked page.
Abby pulls her head back in.
Some lady out here weeping. She's
crouched against the wall.
Ask her to come in. Just for a
Abby raises her eyebrows.
Just for a moment. Please.
Shrugging, Abby again speaks to the lady in the hallway. A
moment later she steps back, opening the door.

Jamie passes through, wiping at her eyes. She looks over at
Carfax and draws in a SOFT BREATH.
Do you want to hear a poem? I just
wrote it this morning and I've
been meaning to tell someone - I
need some feedback. Would that be
Jamie looks puzzled, but nods. Abby indicates the chair in
the corner. Jamie SITS DOWN, staring at Carfax uncertainly.
Abby stands beside her, looking on.


I call it Printed Garden. You see,
I think we each walk in one ... at
some point in our lives. A garden
we toil with our thoughts and with
our hopes. Nightmares linger
there, and when we find ourselves
standing in strange hospital rooms
Well, we understand what those
gardens were planted for. Anyway,
here it is ... maybe you'll like
(begins to recite poem)
Thaw when through focus slumbered,
saying something simple, sound
silly, said plain;
footfalls dampened in parks of
scattered autumn - there I see my
dearest friends.
In scratch of oaken memory, a line
becoming lingered over, foolscap
rustles wind,
forgotten in the starting again.
Uplifted along dimly lit walkways,
a yesterday path,
cool as sunlight through voices
will pass, teaching faint the
echoes of hurt
in a song through the pines.
Buried in the fogs of a printed
garden, the stammer of fluttering
small broken wishes wilted,
waiting like scents around a
fountain overflowed,
gurgling in restless hope; so many
walk, hands pocketed, eyes
Huddled amongst shadows in
brightest daylight, in barren
parks their own.
To find a way - oh, what has it
become? As flowers sleep under
petals upraised and
haunted, sad in the life from day
to night ahead.
Carfax looks up from his notebook. He smiles shyly.


                       CARFAX (CONT'D)
Tell me why you cry?
Jamie puts her head in her hands and weeps.
DR. TERRY - tall, scotish, mid-forties - stands at one end
of the hospital roof, gazing out across the parking lot.
He's got an UNLIT cigarette in one hand. He's singing

When he stops singing, he looks down at the cig. He ponders
it a moment, then puts it between his lips, lights it, and

He quickly DOUBLES-OVER, coughing and hacking. He tosses the
smoke off the roof in disgust.
                       DR. TERRY
This is all so stupid.
Carfax sits propped up in bed with some pillows. His door is
open and he watches as DOCTORS, PATIENTS, FAMILY MEMBERS
pass by. They are talking and laughing.

Carfax shudders in a fit of pain. He clutches at his chest,
and the heart monitor beside his bed begins to BEEP quickly.
Carfax draws in long, slow breaths. The BEEPING subsides.

Carfax again watches the laughing herd pass by, and TEARS
run down his cheeks.
      (singing softly)
... Someday I wish upon a star ...
wake up ...
Carfax sobs angrily, THRASHING himself about in bed,
frightened. Terribly frightened.
                       CARFAX (CONT'D)
Oh God ...
Carfax forces himself under control, calming his breathing,
wiping away at his tears. He takes a few slow breaths,


SHAKING his head in disbelief - he cannot fathom why he must
soon die. Why he must face so much pain, so much loss, so
much fear.
                       CARFAX (CONT'D)
      (singing quietly)
... where the clouds are far
behind me ....
Pelling sits in a plastic chair, beside an empty bed. Jamie
TAPS on the door and enters. She gazes at the bed and GASPS
SOFTLY. Pelling looks over at her. He WAVES OFF her concern.
It's all right. They just took him
for some tests. He's doing rather
fine - for ... uh ... now.
I ... I spoke with him for most of
the night. Seemed to enjoy my
Jamie sits down on the edge of the bed.
What did you speak of?
Pelling begins to cry. He shakes his head as Jamie tries to
console him.
I don't ... I don't remember.
I spoke with him for hours and I
can't remember a damn thing I
(weeping and laughing)
And I'm so scared that he might
not come back and say anything
more. I'm so ... so mad that he
won't say anything more.
Pelling sinks forward, head into the blankets of the bed,
weeping. His shoulders shake and Jamie tentatively reaches
for him. But she stops before contact, and withdraws her
hand. Instead, she looks out the window at the morning sun
GLARING in. She shakes her head.


I feel so ... empty.
Carfax sits reading his notebook. Abby steps into his room,
watching him. She frowns.
Where's your family?
      (while reading)
I have an older brother. He
doesn't come around. Blames
Carfax looks up, closing the notebook with a finger for a
bookmark. He smiles.
                       CARFAX (CONT'D)
Why are you here? It isn't the
love of volunteerism.
Something happened, didn't it?
My mother died last week. She ...
kinda asked if I'd stay and help.
She looks down at her small dress, shakes her head.
                       ABBY (CONT'D)
Whatcha gonna do, right? Last
request and all.
Are you dying?
Carfax returns to his book. He doesn't respond, and after a
minute of watching him, Abby turns and walks out.
When she has gone, Carfax looks up, sighing. He tosses the
book to the end of his bed, and leans back, running his
hands through his greasy hair.

A voice speaks up from the doorway.
                       JAMIE (O.C.)
How old are you?


Carfax looks over and smiles. Jamie steps into the room,
closing the door behind her. She stops at his bed and tries
to smile, but doesn't quite manage it. She has her arms
crossed, but drops them to her sides; she looks young and
I'm fifteen years old. I know it
isn't gentlemanly to ask a lady
her age, but-
I'm thirty-one. I'm ... here
because my father-in-law had a
stroke. My husband is ... he's
with him now.
She indicates the chair in the corner.
Be my guest.
Jamie snorts in amusement and pulls the chair over beside
I think I will. I think I will.
I'm Jamie Prewitt.
Ah, the wife of the actor.
Jamie's smile falters.
                       CARFAX (CONT'D)
And you don't like that one little
bit, do you? Interesting. But not
Are you ... a poet or something?
Last night you read ... I liked
Carfax points to the notebook at his feet.
Isn't a lot to do here beside
write lines. Some might think that
annoying - I don't understand why.


                       CARFAX (cont'd)
Keeps you conscious ... keeps you
About what?
Anything but this.
Carfax indicates the room and the bed. He points at the
heart monitor beside him. He shrugs.
Who was the girl that just left?
Is she your sister or-
I think she's lonely.
Oh, well ... that's too bad.
(slight pause)
You're lonely too.
Jamie stares at Carfax with surprise. She shakes her head
weakly. Admitting it. Finally admitting it.
                       CARFAX (CONT'D)
Yeah, we're all lonely.
(long pause)
My name is Carfax. It's a pleasure
to meet you.
Jamie nods, but doesn't respond - she's crying again.
Abby sits alone at a table, stirring a cold cup of coffee
before her. She has an OPEN BOOK on the table, and a pencil
in her free hand.
      (to herself)
It's all the same.
(very long pause)


She sighes, and makes a note in her book. She shakes her
head, tosses the pencil onto the table.

She looks around, watching PEOPLE MOVING ABOUT. She laughs.
Abby walks into Carfax's room, and watches him. He is lying
on his bed, apparently asleep.
      (eyes closed)
Abby says nothing, merely studies his pale face, greasy hair
and thin frame.
                       CARFAX (CONT'D)
I guess you plan to stay this
time? If so you can pour me a
glass of water there on the desk.
I don't know how they expect me to
do so - I can't get out of this
bed to pee, much less pour water
from a jug.
Abby laughs.
                       CARFAX (CONT'D)
Ah, yes. They are kinda the same
thing - aren't they?
Abby goes to the desk and POURS A GLASS OF WATER from a jug.
She walks back over and hands Carfax the glass. He opens his
eyes. He gingerly takes the glass and sips.
How long do you have? I kinda need
a favour, but if you're gonna drop
dead in the next hour, well ... I
might have to find someone else.
She takes a seat in the chair that Jamie had moved beside
the bed. Carfax eyes her wearily.
I'm not planning on dropping off
just now, but who can see the
Who would want to?


(long pause)
I want to hold your hand. May I?
Carfax reddens. He shakes his head no. Abby looks
Sorry. But ... I'd rather you not.
It's nothing ... personal, just
... I don't have a lot to grasp on
to, and if ... if I go tonight,
I'd not be missing all that much.
(beat - desperately)
Please don't make me.
I ... I wouldn't. No. Um ...
I don't like who I am. I don't
like myself at all.
(pause and she frowns)
I guess that doesn't mean much to
Why do you say that?
Why wouldn't I? Anyway - I've been
doing some thinking, and I figure
it was fate that chose your door
for me to walk through-
Huh? What?
I've never actually seen anyone
walk through a door. But a
doorway, now that's manageable.
Unless you're a witch - I bet a
witch could do it.


No, I am not a witch. I'm ... just
me. And that's not a lot. I'd like
you ... to help me find myself.
If you don't mind.
Carfax only blinks. Then he sighs.
Pelling and Jamie sit on a bench. Pelling smokes a long
cigarette, the plumes billowing up in purple gasps. Jamie
shivers, though the day is bright and warm, with nary a
trace of wind.
You want me to see this kid? Why?
He's really nice. I think you'd
like him.
Listen, I'm not here for this. I'm
here to see the old man, and I
didn't even want to do that. But I
came. I did. You gotta respect
that, if nothing else-
I respect more than that-
                       PELLING (CONT'D)
And so I don't want to have to
give a signature or stop and chat.
I'm tired. Okay? I'm not good at
any of this. I hate these fucking
places, and to tell the truth I
hate the fucking people that wind
up in these places. They're sick
and they're weak, and ... and
I'm sorry.


He's just a boy. I'd like you to
see him is all. Nothing for
nothing. Just to say hello.
I like him. He's ... he's empty.
      (puffing smoke)
What the hell does that mean?
You feel that way - empty?
Jamie shrugs, but then, slowly, nods.
I guess I do. I guess ... I guess
I'm tired.
Of me?
Jamie stands and stretches. She turns to Pelling and rubs
his shoulder. She smiles, and the effect is disquieting.
Of today.
Of today, honey.
(long pause)
Sure. Today.
Dr. Terry sits at one end of a long, conference-style desk.
At the far end is David. They stare at one another - neither

Finally, after what seems hours but has only been seconds,
Dr. Terry nods. One single nod.

David STANDS, walks with purpose to the door, and EXITS.


Dr. Terry stares at the empty doorway. He looks over at the
large, bare windows that stand to one side of the desk.
                       DR. TERRY
      (softly to himself)
I wonder.
(long pause)
I love you.
Dr. Terry leans back in his chair, placing his head in his
DALTON MILLER - late twenties, blonde, facially scarred
(suffered burns as a child), Carfax's older brother - sits
in his van, looking out across the parking lot at the
hospital. He FLICKS ON THE RADIO, listening to a TALK SHOW.
                       TALKSHOW HOST (radio)
... and then he says, this little
twig of a guy, he says to me,
'hey, watcha think you're doin'?
You some tough guy, or whatnot?'
... and of course I was going to
reply, 'yes, sir. Yes, I think I
am a tough guy, I benchpress your
body weight on one arm, I don't
think you're frightening me - do
you think you're frightening me?'
But before I get the chance, he
starts to sing. To sing! If you
can believe it, he starts singing
I don't have to tell you that I
ran! Crazy!!
      (softly to himself)
I'm frightened. I'm really, really
frightened, and mr. radio man -
I'm frightened of a dying little
boy. Yes, indeed I am. I'm
frightened to my very core.
I don't know how to do this.


Jamie is seated at a chair beside the door to Pelling's
father's room. Abby passes by, pushing A TRAY-LADDEN CART.
She pulls to a halt before Jamie.
Are you hungry? I'm hungry, and
I'm going down to the cafe to
offload these trays - you wanna
get a coffee and ... cake?
Jamie looks up, smiles when she see's it's Abby.
Yes. Yes, I'd like that.
You need a hand with those trays?
Carfax lays in bed with Dr. Terry standing beside him,
checking the various readings coming off of Carfax's
So ... what's my prognosis?
Dr. Terry shakes his head, scribbles a few notes onto a
                       DR. TERRY
Your color is improving.
That's the ... uh ... best you can
Dr. Terry sits down on the edge of Carfax's bed. He smiles.
                       DR. TERRY
I think we both know the outcome.
I'm not one of those doctors who
gives false hopes, Car. Your pulse
is slowing. Your lungs are


                       DR. TERRY (cont'd)
In a matter of days, you'll either
pass out due to lack of oxygen, or
will suffer a cardiac alert.
But your color has returned, so
... that's good.
That's really good.
(long beat)
You have got to be the worst
doctor in this whole place.
Dr. Terry pretends to swat Carfax's leg. His smile falters.
                       DR. TERRY
Can I get you anything? Something
to ... watch on the t.v.? A book?
(long pause)
Anything to pass the time?
      (shaking his head)
Nah. I'm content to sit and wait.
I've always been good at waiting.
Will it hurt?
                       DR. TERRY
I don't think so. No. No it won't
hurt. It'll be boring, I'm sure.
It must be - there's waiting, just
waiting. But no pain.
(he studies Carfax's face)
At least not at the end. How's the
pain now - still comes and goes?
Yeah, but I carry it as a badge of
                       DR. TERRY


Carfax pushes himself up a little higher, resting with his
head against the wall.
Speaking of color - yours seems
rather ... green. What's happened?
                       DR. TERRY
Oh, nothing. Personal things.
Try me? I'm dying - not deaf.
Your personal issues might relieve
the thought of mine - so, c'mon,
give me a go?
                       DR. TERRY
I ... ah ....
(long beat)
My relationship is falling apart.
(smiles sadly)
Trivial, isn't it?
      (with raised brows)
Is it?
Dr. Terry doesn't say anything. He stands, goes over to the
window, looks out.
(long pause)
                       DR. TERRY
Do you know love, Carfax? A crush
or a friend who you'd never want
to part from?
Carfax appears momentarily uncomfortable - then he smiles a
hollow grin.
I've been in and out of places
like this more times then ... then
days spent in school. I've gotten
to know doctors instead of
friends. People such as you,
right? You're my line, doctor.
I've known you - what? - six years
now? I know your mother's and
father's name. I know your bad
temper, your cold smile. I know
when someone dies on a different
floor, up or down, doesn't matter.


                       CARFAX (cont'd)
I know when someone dies on this
floor. I know the faces of the
nurses. The faces of my ...
friends. That's all there is. And
that's fine. But at the end of all
that knowing, who has time for a
(beat - frowns)
I don't even believe in love.
Dr. Terry looks at him in surprise.
                       DR. TERRY
You don't believe in love?
You should. I do.
Yes, and you seem so very happy.
Dr. Terry waves the apology away.
                       DR. TERRY
No, no. You're right. I don't
appear all that happy - do I?
I don't know how that happened. I
love him so much and yet ... yet
it feels strained.
That's a lie.
It doesn't feel at all.
Dr. Terry returns to Carfax's side.
                       DR. TERRY (CONT'D)
Perhaps you've got it right. Maybe
love shouldn't be believed in.
Maybe it should just exist like a
myth - for some who are blessed
with it.
(beat - appears close to tears)
I've always thought of myself as
the kind of guy who instills the


                       CARFAX (cont'd)
enjoyment of love in others.
(pause as he nods at Dr. Terry)
I mean it. Just look around. I've
got nothing. No family here. No
(long pause)
I can't even hold another's hand.
When people pass me in the halls,
I imagine that they pity me. I
imagine that they go home or phone
home or write home or fucking run
home - anything to get to the one
they love - and tell whoever is
there that they love them.
Love them.
Love them because they've seen
what it's like not to love. Not to
know love.
I think I help.
(long beat - shrug)
I'd like to think I help.
(looks up at Dr. Terry)
And I think believing in that,
that helps me get through all of
I hope your friend comes around,
doc ... I hope he sees you for the
man you are.
Dr. Terry, uncomfortable and sad, only shakes his head.
                       DR. TERRY
Thank you, Carfax.
Yet I don't agree. I won't agree.
You don't instill anything but
admiration. Not loss. Not pity.
Not even sadness, not really.
Everyone is sad, anyhow. The only
thing you show ... the only thing,
Carfax ... is how to be yourself.
And that, sadly, many of us will
never see. We won't want to see.
Maybe we can't. But then again,
I'm in love with somone who


                       DR. TERRY (cont'd)
wouldn't hold my hand if I were
(pause - a smile)
Dr. Terry stares down at Carfax. His eyes dampen, and his
lips thin. It appears - perhaps - as if he wants to hug the
dying boy, to tell him everything will be okay. To lie for
the sake of being close. Of having someone close.

With a shudder of strength - and guilt - Dr. Terry pulls
himself together. He nods weakly at Carfax.
                       DR. TERRY (CONT'D)
      (very softly)
I am so very sorry.
Dr. Terry PATS Carfax on the leg, then walks out the room.
(long pause)
      (to himself)
I've never kissed a girl.
I don't think ... I'd even know
(long pause)
This is so stupid.
(long beat)
I don't want this.
Jamie and Abby sit across from one another, both eating cake
and sipping coffee.
      (with a mouthful
       of cake)
So ... what's it like being
married to a moviestar? Is it all
it's ... cracked up ... to be?
She swallows loudly, wiping at her mouth with a too-short
sleeve. Jamie shakes her head, taking small bites of the
cake before her.
I don't know, really. Pelling's
not like he is on the screen. I
guess none of them are. I thought


                       JAMIE (cont'd)
... I kinda thought he'd be - oh
how stupid is this? - but ...
well, that he'd be romantic.
Shakespearean or ... english lit
man or something.
Why would you think that? Was he
classically trained?
No. Nope. I don't know. I
romanticized it. He's like anyone
else though. He has his moments.
He's deathly shy, and I don't
think many people know that about
him. Most of what's in the papers
is a creation - his publicist and
agent making the pages red with
color. But those tales are just
that. He's a t.v. watcher. A book
(pause as she sips her coffee)
He hates hospitals.
How did you meet?
Jamie looks up from her cake in surprise.
You don't know? It was all over
the papers and the news.
No. I'm sorry, but I guess I never
Oh, don't be sorry. Thank you.
It's nice to talk with someone who
doesn't know all the details. Our
gardener knows as much about our
lives as I do - that's not a good
(she laughs coldly)
It makes it all seem so false. So
trivial. But that first time we
met, oh, God, that was good. That


                       JAMIE (cont'd)
was pure, that moment was.
Where was it?
At the park.
(she nods at Abby's disbelief)
True. He was walking his dog, and
I was taking my mother's dog to
the vet. I happened to take the
parkway path. We met in the
middle, so to speak.
(a second laugh, but warm)
He asked if I knew him, and I
didn't, I hadn't seen his films.
Of course, he wasn't as popular
then, he'd been in some big Art
Film productions, but I wouldn't
have recognized his face - I'm not
good with faces anyway. He seemed
disappointed and asked if he could
take me to a movie.
Maybe you'd think him
narcissistic? He was. Certainly.
But he was also funny. And smart.
And ... he knew how to charm. He
knew how to be so open and yet
mysterious - perfect at
everything. He won me over in
about four seconds, and when we
went to the movies later that
night, he won me over again. This
time with the majesty of it all.
That big silver screen.
They both smile, yet for different reasons, we are sure.
Quickly, though, the moment passes.
What do you think of Carfax? He
has some of that too, doesn't he?
That mystery and charm?
Jamie blushes crimson. She lowers her head and quickly takes
another bite of her cake.


                       ABBY (CONT'D)
He's just a boy, I guess - but ...
I find myself ...
(pause as she smiles, embarrassed)
I'd like to kiss him.
He ... he has something. Yes, a
charm I suppose, and it's nice
because he doesn't know he has it.
Kinda like an innocence.
He's dying.
Jamie reaches over and takes Abby's hand. She gives it a
quick squeeze, then lets go. She folds her hands in her lap,
as if regretting the contact they'd made.
Tell me about yourself, Abby. What
makes you you?
I want to ... to not be alone so
Having said this aloud, Abby grows silent, and we watch as
the two women continue to eat their cake, and think their
inner thoughts.
Dalton pauses before the large sliding doors leading to the
Hospital Main Entrance, contemplating. Pelling stands to one
side, smoking, watching with a HINT OF AMUSEMENT. Dalton
smiles over at him.


      (between puffs)
Bet you never thought you'd see me
at a place like this, huh?
Dalton is momentarily confused. It must show, for Pelling
                       PELLING (CONT'D)
I'm an actor. Ring any bells? No?
Well, it wasn't very good.
(slight pause)
Are you ... uh, researching a part
or something?
Pelling SNUBS OUT HIS CIGARETTE on the side of the building,
looks at the ash mark, and sighs. He pulls a WHITE HANKIE
from a pocket, wipes away the scorch.
      (while wiping)
I don't do that. Nah, what's the
point. It's acting, right? We act.
We don't copy - or at least I
I'm here to see my dad. He's had a
Oh, I'm sorry. I hope he does
alright. My brother's here,
actually. He's ... he's doing
I'm not sure if I wanna go in,
Pelling smiles sadly, understanding. He hooks a thumb at a
BENCH off to one side.
How about we rest up a bit before
heading in? I could use some ...
ah ... fresh air.


Pelling looks down at the cigarette butt on the ground. He
bends forward, picks it up and walks over to a GARBAGE CAN
next to the bench. He flicks it in.
... oh ... okay ... sure. Why not?
It's a ... a grand day - might as
well enjoy some of it.
(beat - awkward smile)
Who knows how long we'll be cooped
up inside?
As he sits down, the sliding doors open and a PAIR OF KIDS -
around ten-years of age - exit, one of them has a BOOMBOX,
and he clicks it on with the turn of a knob. They smile and
HIGH-FIVE each other. LOUD MUSIC rings out. The song is FREE
Pelling nods after the kids.
Who sings that? Any idea?
Actually, yeah. It's my favorite
song. John Lennon wrote it. That's
the Beatles version.
Oh, alright. I think I remember
that - one of those so-called 'new
songs' that they did, right? With
... uh, old Lennon tapes? They
changed em around and added their
(beat - his grin falls away)
That's a dead man singing.
Dalton appears uncomfortable with the thought. He rubs his
hands together, looking up at the bright blue sky.
                       PELLING (CONT'D)
I did a movie about death once.
Didn't do very well - that's just
my own opinion. The critics were
kind. But it just ... it never
held my attention. The characters
weren't saying anything important.
We weren't saying anything
important, you know? As actors, I


                       PELLING (cont'd)
I should've done something more.
Added a bit of myself. I didn't
much care for that one, it was ...
what's the word ... dreary? Yeah.
I remember coming home each night
and just lounging on the porch -
sipping a beer and watching the
stars shine. My wife would want to
talk or watch t.v. or something,
and I guess I should've but ...
He turns to Dalton, an uneasy lilt to his body, as if
wanting to unburden himself, but afraid it might be
uncomfortable. It might be painful.
Dalton leans forward, curious. He wrinkles his forehead,
does an invitational gesture with his hand. C'mon, spill it.
                       PELLING (CONT'D)
It's like the story you hear of
the guy who slices bodies each day
- coroner, right? Well, he doesn't
want to come home and laugh. He
doesn't want to do anything but
... linger. To wipe away the
horror of the day. It takes a few
hours, a decompression or
(pause as he sparks another cig)
That's what I felt coming home
from that set. It was so cold
inside me. So dark. All those
words, those lines I'd speak,
about losing those who mattered
most, those who didn't want to go.
I guess there were a few good
Dalton reaches over and PATS PELLING ON THE BACK.
... Well ... I don't know. I
haven't slept in days, but maybe
... well ... maybe you did put a
little of yourself in the work. I
mean, how could you not have?


Hmm, maybe. Maybe.
(turns to Dalton)
Why haven't you been sleeping?
      (slightly shaken)
My brother is dying. He's just a
kid. Fifteen years old. He's dying
and I don't want to be near him.
What the hell's wrong with me?
Pelling shakes his head, unknowing. He draws deep on the
Want an autograph?
      (wiping at his
Pelling is walking down the hall with Jamie.
An ELDERLY MAN is being pushed in a wheelchair by a FAT
NURSE, she's telling him to 'shut-up' and 'be quiet'.
That's terrible.
What? Oh, yeah ... right. Where's
the cafe, did you say?
I don't know how you can do that.
Pelling nods, evidently not listening.
Just down the hall and turn left,
that's what you said, right?


                       PELLING (cont'd)
(he looks over at her)
What? Isn't that what you said or
not? Christ, Jamie, I haven't been
there before, and I'm starving!
She shoots him a look.
                       PELLING (CONT'D)
Oh, what? Huh? What did I do wrong
this time? I'm sorry, but I'm
starving, alright?
(he shakes his head)
Now, come on, didn't you say it
Pelling halts. He turns to her, eyes wide.
What did you say?
Shut-up. Be quiet.
That's what she said to him, Pel.
That's what his nurse said to him.
Pelling GROANS, turning away.
                       JAMIE (CONT'D)
He was an old man. He probably
fought in the wars - he doesn't
need to be ... to be insulted by
What do you expect me to do?
(long pause)
Huh? Because I can't just throw
myself into other peoples
(indicates his face)
Look at me! I'm not some Average
Nobody! Christ, Jamie, if I so
much as step out of line with
someone ... don't you know what
could happen? They might hold a
grudge ... or ... well think! I'd


                       PELLING (cont'd)
get sued. That's the truth. They'd
take me to court - say I was
verbally abusing them. Or worse -
they'd sell me to the press. I
don't want the damn press, Jamie,
and it's a miracle they haven't
hounded me here! A miracle, okay!
Who do you think I am, anyway?
Some gallant knight? Huh? Because
I'm not. I'm a bloody actor. I've
never even played a knight.
I get as much respect as a
well-behaved convict - maybe less.
At least they get three strikes,
Jamie. I get ... shit ... I'd not
even get the one. Pick up a
rag-mag one of these days. Who do
they write about? Huh? Imaginary
fucking people? No. They write
about ME!
So if you want to stand up to some
nurse with a big mouth, well then
you do it. Okay? You be the big
shot for once. I can't ... I can't
handle that. Not today. Not
tomorrow. I just ... I want some
damn food and I want to go home.
So now, if you'd be so kind, would
you please direct me to THE
Or don't bother, I'll just keep
walking in circles - it ain't like
I've not done it before!
It's what I do best, isn't it?
Without a glance back, Pelling huffs off, Jamie standing
still, an expression of shock on her paling face.
Pelling makes it to an intersection of halls before
stopping. He takes a SHUDDERING BREATH and lowers his head.
He reaches a hand back, towards Jamie. She stands unmoving
for a minute, then walks towards him. She takes his hand.


I'm sorry. I ... I don't know what
I was-
No. Don't do that. I'm the one ...
the one who must appologize. I'm
... Oh, Jamie, I'm sorry. I ... I
don't like being here, and I've
been ... talking with this guy and
he kinda ... his kid brother's
dying and my dad is dying and I -
(long pause)
I don't know what I'm doing. I
can't help anyone by being here.
My father doesn't even speak
coherently. He ...
Pelling lowers his head to Jamie's shoulder. He holds her
                       PELLING (CONT'D)
      (muffled by her
When I first went into his room he
didn't even know who I was. He
thought I was one of the doctors.
He and I ... we spoke about
nothing. The weather, the bed he
was in, the fucking sports report
on t.v.
I remember everything we said,
Jamie. And that hurts worse than
not remembering. It hurts because
we spoke about nothing, not
really. Words filling up the
uncomfortable silences. Words on
everything but that which mattered
(long pause)
He doesn't remember me, Jamie. And
when I look at him, shrivled and
I don't remember him, either. And
it hurts.
(long pause)
I think it really hurts.


Jamie reaches up and holds Pelling. She holds him for a long
Carfax is now in a wheelchair, parked before the window,
trying to look out and down, at the small park beyond the

Abby stands behind him, hands on the chair-handles, eyes
closed, humming.
What's that tune your humming? I
know it, but I can't place it.
Sorry. Do you want me to stop?
I like it.
But it's so sad.
It's OVER THE RAINBOW - from the
Wizard of Oz?
Carfax smiles large, but as he watches the sun dipping in
the west, his smile drops. He begins to hum along with Abby.

They hum for quite some time. Neither realizes that they've
begun to cry.
What was your mother like, Abby?
Did she ... did she ever speak her
What do you mean?
She loved you?
Why wouldn't she?
She was my mom.


(long pause)
Carfax continues to hum OVER THE RAINBOW. Abby, lips pursed
tightly, looks from the window to him, and then bows her
head, sadly.
Abby steps out from Carfax's room. She stops, startled.
Dalton stands just outside the doorway, his back to her,
      (to himself)
You're fine. Looking good. No
problems. The doc ... he says good
... things. Nothing to be worried
... you're looking colorful. A
nice ... a nice glow to your skin.
You're looking ... just fine.
Are you from floor three?
Dalton TWIRLES ABOUT, shocked. He blinks, stupidly, and then
steps back.
I'm sorry. I didn't know you were
Yes. I'm rather certain of that.
But answer me, sir. Are you from
floor three? Do you need help-
      (equally confused)
No. I'm a woman. You're the sir.


Huh? No. No, I mean ... why are
you calling me sir?
What's on floor three?
(long pause)
      (shaking her head)
Can I help you with something?
Um, no. No, thank you. I'm here to
see ... that's my brother's ...
um, that's his room behind you.
Ah. So why are you out here?
Dalton shakes his head. Then he nods. Then he shruggs.
I don't know. I'm just not really
You should go in. He's pretty
Abby steps closer, scrutinizing Dalton's appearance.
                       ABBY (CONT'D)
What happened to your face?
Dalton raises a hand to his face, to the burns along his
upper lip and cheeks, the misshapen tilt of his nose. Scar
tissues from multiple operations. He tries a smile, but it
doesn't reach his eyes, so again merely shrugs.
I was ... in an accident as a
I look like this now.


A fire of some sort. Was it in a
What sort of work have you had
done? Grafts ... yes ... I can see
where the staples have pulled.
How many operations? Ten? Fifteen?
Dalton backs up to the far wall, uncomfortable, blushing.
His hand is still partially covering his mouth and nose.
Abby steps QUICKLY over to him, reaches for his hand and
pulls it away. She smiles.
                       ABBY (CONT'D)
Hey, I'm sorry if I was prying.
Don't be ... you know.
Don't be ashamed.
(long pause)
You should go see your brother.
He's ... I think he's a very sad
guy. Beautiful, but sad.
      (softly stammering)
Abby walks past with her smile growing. Dalton watches her
walk to the end of the hall, then turn out of sight.
      (singing softly to
... Trouble melts like lemon drops
... high above the chiminey tops
... way up high ... way up high
(beat - speaking softly)
Dalton, with a last shake of his head, walks into his dying
brother's room.


Pelling stands tiredly, talking into his cellphone. The hall
is BARE and EMPTY. The florescent lights above FLICKER ON
      (on phone)
I just don't think I can make it,
Mich. I'm sorry.
No, not at all.
Listen, no, that's not it at all,
Mich. My father-
Yes, I understand, but my father-
He's still my father, Mich.
He's still-
Would you stop cutting me-
(longer pause)
Pelling drops the phone, sighing. He SINKS to his knees,
then falls back onto his rear. He sits on the tile floor,
eyes closed, MURMURING to himself.

The florescent lights CUT OUT, and leave the hall in
      (softly singing to
... Someday you wish upon a star
... wake-up where the clouds are
far behind me ...
(speaks the next line)
... Where trouble melts like lemon
drops ... high above the chimney
tops ...
(once-more sings)
... that's where you'll find me


                       PELLING (cont'd)
... somewhere over the rainbow.
Abby sits smoking on a BENCH. She looks up, and sees a lit
window. It's Carfax's. She cannot see him in the window, yet
speaks to him nonetheless.
      (to herself)
What is he saying to you? Is he
blubbering? Or just sitting there?
Are the two of you yelling at one
another - at nothing? Are you
forgiving him for forgetting you.
I think that's what you think.
I wish my mom could've met you.
She'd have liked your eyes. You
have really great eyes.
But I guess she still might. How
sad is that? How ... truly ...
amazingly ... sad?
She looks at the end of her smoke. She sighes, tosses it to
the ground, STEPS ON IT.

She leans back on the bench, watching the window high above.
Her eyes move from it's soft glow upwards to the heavy GRAY
CLOUDS in the sky.
                       ABBY (CONT'D)
Why am I doing this, mom? Why am I
here in this place? What ... oh,
what was your reasoning? Huh?
Can't you tell me? It wasn't to
find someone like Carfax - it
wasn't for love or friendship,
nah, that's too hollywood. And
we're not that childish.
And you never believed in love,
remember? Not even with him.
I don't want to be here.
From ABOVE a hint of RAIN falls. Abby reaches up for it,
closing her eyes.


Carfax and Dalton sit beside one another on Carfax's bed.
Pillows prop both of them. The t.v. is on, but muted. Both
appear most uncomfortable.
I used to be kinda annoying,
didn't I?
(short beat)
Why do you say this?
Better than saying nothing. Better
than just ... sitting here.
(short beat)
Do you want me to leave?
Carfax shakes his head.
Dalton, you're ... not even here
now. You see that?
Doesn't matter. Soon ... soon I'll
be less annoying.
You're annoying right this
Nah, you weren't all that
annoying. A brat, but not
A know-it-all, prat - but not
They both smile, both looking at the t.v. On the screen is a
video of a COMING ATTRACTION, something SCI-FI or
Think that film'll be any good?
Looks ... bright.


Maybe. I haven't seen this preview
before - what is it?
      (shaking his head)
Haven't a clue. I ... It kinda
reminds me of everything I'll
I can turn it off? Or maybe
there's something else-
Why won't you talk to me about
I'm scared.
(long pause)
And I don't ... really know how to
do this.
(long beat)
In a BUSTLING hall, Jamie leans against a rain-splattered
window. She's got the window open a bit, and is LISTENING TO
THE TRAFFIC passing far below.

From down on the street a song rises up. FREE AS A BIRD is
being played, and Jamie smiles sadly as she listens,
Lennon's voice haunting.

A pair of NURSES pass by, shooting her dirty looks. As they
pass, Jamie listens to their conversation.
                       NURSE 1
And he wouldn't stay put! I mean,
come-on now, really! I'm sliding
the damn tube into his pecker and
he can't even stay still? Bloody
I hope he bleeds.


                       NURSE 2
I don't know why they have to
bring those ... those people here
at all. I don't have to remind you
that we're paying taxes too!
They've got shelters all over the
place, can't they spend a night
there? Sobber up a little?
Where's our money going? Into
another bottle of scope? I don't
get it, do you?
NURSE 1 frowns at NURSE 2, shaking her head.
                       NURSE 1
No - why would I?
                       NURSE 2
I don't know. I thought you would.
                       NURSE 1
      (voice rising)
What's that supposed to mean?
The two Nurses pass out of earshot, leaving Jamie to
contemplate what they'd said. She shakes her head sadly,
sighing. She leans back against the wall, eyes closed.

From below, out the window, FREE AS A BIRD has ended, and
OVER THE RAINBOW begins to play, the version by IZ.

Jamie listens intently, eyes blinking open. She listens for
a few minutes, the voice beautiful in its simplicity. She
pounds her hand against the wall behind her, shaking.

      (to herself)
I wish I could feel ...
(long pause)
... something.
What's wrong with me?
Jamie turns to the window, leans against the RAINSOAKED
glass. She listens to the singing, and appears most lost.


Pelling sits alone in his father's room, talking to himself.
At least, at first we think it's to himself, then we CATCH
SIGHT of the TAPE-RECORDER in his hand.

The room is dark, the only illumination via the open
curtains - a full moon shining in. The window has
rainstreaks, but the short gust of storm has passed.
I first met her ... I don't even
know when. I think it was in the
park. I ... no - she. She walked
over to me. Asked for an
autograph. Said she loved my work.
It was just after my big hit, that
I liked that one. It was fun. I
was sleeping with the director.
Pelling suddenly TURNS OFF the recorder, tosses it onto the
bed. He props his feet up against the wall, looking out the
window. He wipes at his eyes, his face - he's dead tired.
      (to himself)
How am I supposed to do this? I
don't know how to write an
autobiography. I hate my life.
I don't remember most of it.
(long sigh)
I shouldn't have taken the
advance. Stupid. I was stupid. And
now what? I've blown it all on the
house, I've got two pages of text
written, I can't spell. I can't
I hate my life.
Pelling goes to the window, OPENS IT with a GRUNT. Wind
flutters in, billowing his shirt. He sits back down, and
pauses. He listens. A song can be heard softly in the
distance. Someone must have a BOOMBOX blasting. It's OVER


      (laughing softly)
Of course.
I think.
(he listens closely)
Yeah. Yeah, that's nice.
Abby stands before a long table, FOLDING white SHEETS. She
looks up as a KNOCK SOUNDS. Dalton stands in the doorway. He
smiles, hand extended. In it is a small sheet of paper.

Abby walks over, takes it. She looks down at it, frowning.
My brother said you should have
it. He wanted to give it to you
himself, I'm sure - but ... you
Said it was his best one, that
you'd understand? I ... I didn't
really ask about it.
Abby continues to read the paper. She finishes, looks up.
She motions to the table.
Would you like to help me fold?
Jamie sits on the plastic chair by Carfax's bed. He's
reading his notebook, and she's flipping through a magazine.
      (while reading)
You don't have to keep me company
you know. I don't mind.
      (while reading)
No. I'm gonna stay.
Carfax lowers his notebook. He shakes his head slightly.


      (while reading)
You make me feel better.
Jamie reaches over, lifts Carfax's notebook, gives it to
him. She looks up at him, smiling gently.
Keep reading, Car.
Don't ask silly questions.
Taking the notebook back, Carfax again shakes his head, this
time with a smile.
You confuse me. You know that? You
really confuse me.
      (while reading)
Well, most new relationships are
Carfax STARTS at hearing this, his face reddening. He
immediatly raises his notebook to cover his blush.

Jamie looks up from her magazine. She appears uncertain.
                       JAMIE (CONT'D)
I shouldn't have said that.
But I don't seem to care.
Jamie slowly leans forward, resting her face against
Carfax's hand. She rubs her face against his hand gently.

With his free hand, Carfax lowers his notebook, eyes wide.

Jamie straightens up, goes back to her reading. Carfax
watches her, amazed. He look down at his hand, then back to

(long beat)

Carfax smiles.


Abby and Dalton stand folding white sheets. They smile
uncertainly at one another. They look up, look down - like a
couple of teens on a first date.

Dalton stammers something INAUDIBLE - it may be simply
clearing the throat - it may have been a question. He looks
at Abby as if expecting a response.

Abby smiles and shrugs indecisively. Dalton blinks stupidly.

He smiles.
So ah ... what's wrong with
Carfax? Is it ... um ... Cancer?
Oh, no ... no. It's ... um ....
(he indicates his chest)
His heart is failing.
He has a weak heart.
Abby frowns, lifts some folded sheets and PLACES THEM INTO A
So why are you scared of him? You
didn't cause it.
And I can't stop it, either.
(long pause)
I can't help him. So ... I just
kinda stay away. But ...
I got a call from the Duty Nurse,
she'd been contacted by the doctor
and he told her to tell me that I
should come by.
Carfax ain't doing all that good.
He's going.
Dalton shakes his head, confused. He also lifts a pile of
folded sheets and places them in the hamper.


What do you mean?
He's dying.
No ... I mean, yes. But ...
Is he gonna go to Heaven?
Dalton LIFTS THE HAMPER, moves it to the CART BY THE DOOR.
He steps back to the table, lays his hands against its top.
He shrugs.
I'm sorry. That's not my business.
I don't know if he is.
You'd have to ask him, I guess.
He'd have a better understanding
of it all. I don't ... I don't
know his beliefs.
Why not? Have you never asked him?
(short pause)
I'd rather not know, to tell you
the truth. Is that ... is that a
bad thing?
I'm just not ... not very good at
any of this.
Dalton walks to the door, meaning to leave. Abby steps over
to him, stops him with a hand on his arm. He looks down at
her sadly. She, too, appears sad, but smiles bravely.
(lengthy pause)
You're good at this.


Abby leans into Dalton, wrapping her arms around him. Dalton
shakes, frightened and nervous. He hesitates, once, twice,
but finally, he lifts his arms around her, and holds her
Dalton embraces her tighter, and rests his head against
hers. They stand that way a while, eyes open, unable to move
or to let go.
Carfax is in bed, half-asleep, as Dalton walks in. He sees
his brother nearly asleep, and steps back, turning, meaning
to go with quiet steps.

Carfax clears his throat, raises a hand and motions Dalton
How did it go?
With Abby.
Dalton takes a seat in the plastic chair by Carfax's bed.
                       CARFAX (cont'd)
You guys hit it off?
Oh, she seems very ... nice. I
gave her your note.
Carfax laughs at this.
Yes, I bet you did.
What did she say?
Nothing really, we just kinda
About the note. What did she say?


(a rather uncomfortable beat)
She didn't say anything, Carfax.
Carfax pushes himself up, propped by the big pillows behind.
Well, did you get an idea? Her
physical reaction?
I don't know. I didn't read the
note, so I can't really judge-
You didn't read the note? I gave
it to you to give to her, and you
didn't read it? Not a peek while
walking around?
Why would I? It wasn't for me,
Car. If you'd wanted me to look at
it, all you'd have had to say is-
Okay. Okay. I just assumed you'd
have ... looked it over. If
nothing else.
Was it important? I could go and
ask her for it back. That would
appear kinda ... dumb.
But I could manage it, I'm sure.
Carfax closes his eyes. He shakes his head, and leans back
into the pillows. He yawns loudly.
No need. She ... she's already
decided - I'm sure she has. Let's
... let's linger but a moment,
okay, Dalton?
Let's just breathe in the
darkness. Just for a while.


In a moment, Carfax is asleep. Dalton sits with him,
watching the window on the far wall, confused and thinking.
After a few moments he speaks aloud.
      (to himself)
She seems very lonely.
(long pause)
I'm sorry you're here, Carfax. I'm
so, so, sorry.
And with that said, Dalton TAKES HIS BROTHER'S HAND.
Abby stands in an empty hospital room. She's on the phone.
The voice on the other end sounds similar to Abby's, but
older and much softer, barely a whisper. The voice speaks
slowly, almost cautiously.
                       VOICE 1 (O.C.)
How are you, my darling?
Um ... I'm okay. I guess.
                       VOICE 1 (O.C.)
Yes? You're okay? Honey?
I love him.
(long pause)
                       VOICE 1 (O.C.)
Who? Who are you talking about?
Are you still taking your
medacine. You need to take your
medacine every single day. You
know that, don't you?
I think ... I think he's a good


                       VOICE 1 (O.C.)
And you think he's good enough to
look away? To not ... question?
No. No, he's really good.
                       VOICE 1 (O.C.)
And so you say. So you always say.
So you will continue to say for
... how long? How long will you
say these ... things. How long can
you cope? How long will he want to
cope with you?
(short pause)
I don't think-
                       VOICE 1 (O.C.)
- No? You don't think what? You
don't think about tomorrow. Or the
day after tomorrow. What will he
say when you tell him? When you
tell him the truth, if you can
even remember it. Can you remember
the truth? Can you still see back
that far?
It won't matter. It won't matter
that he ...
(begins to weep)
Mother ... it won't matter
anymore. Please ... it won't
We learn that Voice 1 belongs to Abby's MOTHER - but not
really, it's only the voice of her mother, the voice INSIDE
                       MOTHER (O.C.)
Oh, Abby. Oh, dear, dear, Abby.
Will you not ever ... ever ...
understand? Can't you see that
even now you aren't well. You're
mother is dead. I am dead, and yet
... who are you talking to?
And I only love you so much.
I only love you if you understand.


Abby slams the phone down. She stares at it, hand to her
mouth, stunned.

The phone RINGS.
Abby hesitates, then reaches for the handset. She picks it
... Mommy ...
                       MOTHER (O.C.)
      (very softly)
And now I lay you down to sleep
... I pray the Lord your soul to
keep ... for if you should die
before you wake ... I pray the
Lord your soul-
Abby drops the phone to the floor. As if in a DREAM, she
FALLS BACKWARD onto the bed. She screams, but NO SOUND is

Taking a pillow from behind her head, she hugs it to her
chest, begins to POUND it with her fists.
The CAMERA PANS-DOWN to the fallen PHONE RECEIVER and we
hear coming from it the VERY AUDIBLE VOICE of Abby's Mother.
                       MOTHER (O.C.)
Oh, Abby. Don't you see? He'll
just be like all the others. He
won't understand. He doesn't know
how much a daughter misses her
Don't put your trust in him. Don't
you dare, child. Or I will be so
very ... so very ... upset.
The CAMERA PANS-UP from the PHONE to show Abby, once-more
seated on the EDGE OF THE BED, speaking the words her Mother
is saying. Speaking for her mother in death.
Dalton steps out from the hospital. He walks towards his van
parked at the far end of the lot. He ZIPS up his coat
against the building night wind.

He pauses as FOUR WOMEN pass him by. They also halt. They


are VIVIAN, MARSHA, TRISH, and KELLY. They obviously know
Dalton, perhaps as customers at his VIDEO SHOP.
It is immediatly evident that all Four Women are stone-rot
drunk. They slur their words and practically fall over one
Hey! Hey, it's Dalton! Dalton? It
is you, right? LOST REEL VIDEO?
You work there, right? Yeah ...
yeah you're always taking breaks
when I need a hand.
(beat - a cruel smile)
Never thought I'd see you-
Yeah, out here in the open. What
are you doing here? Oh, I bet
Meeting a girl? No. Not Dalton!
Huh! And we thought - we were so
Aren't you gay? Sitting and
reading during your brake each
day? Aren't you a homo?
Aren't you a gay-boy, Dalton? Huh?
We totally thought-
Kelly pauses, as if suddenly confused. She smiles
(slight beat)
No, no, I'm not gay. And I'm not
here to see-
Oh, come on, you're totally gay!
We all know that - you're the
gay-boy clerk! That's what we-
What everyone-


Says. No kidding, right? Here
comes the gay-boy - that's what
everyone says, Dalton. Gay-boy,
got anything good in the back? Any
man-on-man action? And who can
blame them-
- Not me-
- Or me-
                       MARSHA (CONT'D)
- Because all you do is read and
listen to - oh my God, he totally
does - listen to Opera! What's up
with that? I was there ... like
last week ... and I needed to get
a video back, or something like
that, and he's sitting behind the
desk, smiling like a loon. What
were you doing, Dalton? Hmm? Were
you listening to Opera? Yeah?
Oh, I just like it. But I'm not-
Yeah, no kidding you like it. You
like it all the time, right?
Sick-o. But that's cool. Isn't
that cool?
Sorry, but I gotta get going ...
um, but I'm not gay. Really.
Sorry, I gotta get going, now.
Why do you always do that, Dalton?
We're standing here talking to
you, and you right away gotta be
somewhere else?
(suddenly angry)
Why? Are we ugly? Or what? You're
not gay, so what is it - we're too


                       VIVIAN (cont'd)
old for you? Huh?
Dalton backs up a step, a bit frightened from her out-burst
of anger.
What? No! No! I'm just ... I'm
running a little late is all -
I've been here most of the day,
and I gotta-
Oh, oh, right. What? Getting some
tests done or something? Hmm? Are
you ... um ... a little small?
They all laugh, and Dalton blushes. He's about as
uncomfortable as a person can get.

He pushes past them, hands deep in his pockets, head down,
but they CLING onto him, force him to a stop.
Hey! Don't be so rude, gay-boy,
we're talking to you!
I'm so sorry, but I gotta-
Yeah, why're you being so ignorant
to us? What's your fucking
problem, anyway? We're not good
enough for a prick like you? Video
boy? Hmm? Pin-up stars all you
want? Is that it? Wanna Hollywood
bitch? Huh? What's the matter,
Dalton, gay-boy? Hmm?
He's a prick, alright. A small,
Dalton again tries to push past, but they all have a hold on
him now. He's sweating, trying not to look them in the eyes.
They're pushing against him, faces obtrusively close, voices
... no ... just ... please, I
gotta get going-


You're such a jerk, Dalton.
Yeah! No kidding!
They all start to POKE at him, fingers jutting back and
forth like machine-gun's firing.

Dalton's face turns from sweaty to pale. Tears form around
his eyes, and he squirms under their constant hitting.
Oh my god! Is FAGGOT crying? He
is!! HA!
You big fucking baby, you stupid,
gay-boy faggot, you dumb-
Needs a hanky and a kissy from
Or daddy? Huh? Need something
daddy can only give, huh, GAY-BOY
Dalton, WEEPING OPENLY, shoves at the girls, his tears
turning to rage.
(he swings a fist at them)


Dalton SHOVES Kelly to the pavement, KICKS her hard. She
SCREAMS, and the other women back up, stunned.

Dalton turns to them, reaches for Vivian, but misses. She's
wide-eyed, frightened.
      (weeping and
C'm here! C'm here you fucking
(weeping loudly)
C'm here now!!
(he gasps for air)
Kill you all ... why ... why can't
you leave me ....
With a final kick towards Kelly - who has crawled quickly
away - Dalton makes a rush for his van. He throws open the
door, shoves his key in the ignition and revs the engine.

He pulls out of the parking lot with a SCREECH, driver's
door wide open.
The three women help Kelly to her feet. They stare at one
another for a long moment ... then as one, burst out
Carfax awakens from sleep, gasping in pain. His
heart-monitor begins to BEEP loudly.

He gasps for air, and clutches at his chest. The pain grows
worse - flaring up - but after a moment, mercifully
subsides. The heart-monitor stops its awful beeping.
I can't take this ... I can't ...
(beathing deeply)
I don't want to keep doing this
... oh, God. Oh, God, I don't want
His eyes slide closed, and he continues to GASP in the


Dalton wipes at his eyes. He is driving quickly, sobbing and
cursing to himself. He gasps and coughs.
      (to himself -
... judge me ... judge me and all
you do is walk past. Walk past
with ... purchases!
I'm not some fucking ... waste.
I'm ... I'm not a fucking cover!!!
(screaming in rage, he pounds the
van ceiling with a fist)
I'm something ... I'm a fucking
(continues to sob)
I ... I don't ... I can't help it
... I ... I can't change who I am,
(screaming again)
Dalton closes his eyes and presses hard on the gas - the van
speeds up.

(long pause)

He slows down. He blinks open his eyes. He wipes at his
tears and says:
I hate myself.
I hate who I am.
Abby sits on a chair. David walks past, spots her, and
stops. He smiles and walks over.
Hey, you. How are you?
(beat - he studies her uniform)
Nice. I like it. I'd go for a
purple or dark blue, myself - but


                       DAVID (cont'd)
(beat - a grin)
Abby pats the chair to her side. David sits down.
I've had a day.
Oh, well please ... give a little?
I ended it with Terry.
Abby closes her eyes, frowning.
But, David ... he's so great.
Great for you.
What happened?
No, no, no. You first.
You had a day, remember? Tell me
about it. Tell me something.
Tell me anything.
How long have we known each other,
huh? How long? Ten years? Twelve?
I used to come home and you'd be
waiting by the chain-link fence.
I'd laugh. I'd laugh and you'd
frown, 'what - me?'.
(she smiles at David)
You remember that?
What - me?
My dad would hit me upside the
head and I'd run off. I'd run off
to your house where your mom would
give me soup.


                       DAVID (cont'd)
She made great soup.
Great soup.
(long pause)
I met a kid, he's ... dying of ...
well, his heart is slowing.
Something like that.
He's one of Terry's.
David shakes his head.
Our Dr. Terry doesn't do
Pediatrics, hon.
He does just about everything
else, but he's got enough common
sense not to do that.
That kind of job - watching kids
die - I think that would rob
everything from your life.
Well, 'hon', that's exactly what
he's doing with Carfax. Watching
him die. Or ... I don't know.
Waiting with him.
Nurse says he's not been home in
almost a week.
(she looks at David)
What's happened between you two?
I thought you were going to tell
me about your day?
I am. I am, just ... what's up?
With you two? Don't leave me
standing without a guess. C'mon.
You're perfect together.
He loves you.


So what? He loves a thousand other
people too!
(shakes his head in disgust)
He's here more than he is home.
Always that damn beeper going off.
Always tired. Always sad.
He can go to hell.
He'd rather be here than at home.
Than with me.
It's his work, David. His life.
He's just-
No! No just! No ... no more.
I don't have a hell of a lot, but
one thing I do have is time. I
make time. I force myself to put
down my brush, I force myself to
step away from the damn computer,
I force myself to unplug the
phone. I make time, Abby. And
that's one thing he won't do.
Damn this kid, damn all his dying
cancers - because that's what they
are! They're killing him just as
well as themselves.
A bunch of tumors.
You feel better?
No, Abby.
I feel alone.
Yeah. That's been going around.


Pelling stands outside his father's room. He PACES back and
forth. The door is open, and the sounds of a RADIO are
coming from inside.

Pelling stops pacing as a song comes over the radio. It's
      (softly to himself)
My father just died.
... Oh ...
Pelling LEANS against the wall, begins to weakly SING ALONG

As he sings, he slowly sinks to the floor, and when the song
comes - finally - to its conclusion, Pelling is on his
KNEES, WEEPING uncontrollably.
From the FAR END of the hall, Jamie CALLS OUT.
                       JAMIE (O.C.)
Pel? Pel!? Oh, God, Pelling!!?
Jamie RUSHES OVER, FALLING BESIDE HIM. She cradles her arms
over him, hugging him tight. She SWAYS with him in her arms.

(long pause)
I keep hearing this really neat
And my dad died.
Dr. Terry stands just inside his doorway. He is staring at
his desk, CLUTTERED with PAPERS and FOLDERS.

He walks forward, PLUCKS a folder at random, opens it. He
blinks at the pages within.


He DROPS the folder back onto the desk. He walks to the
large windows against one wall, presses himself up against


them, arms SPREAD WIDE.


He POUNDS his face into the thick glass. He pounds again and

He starts to YELL and HOLLER. BLOOD runs from his NOSE.

Finally, after what seems like an hour of pounding the
glass, he steps UNCERTAINLY back. He WIPES at the blood on
his face with a SLEEVE.

He STUMBLES over to his desk, FALLS into his chair. He
                       DR. TERRY
This is hell.
I'm trapped in hell.
(weeping softly - hardly at all)
Long ago I felt ... I felt like
lightening. I felt so real.
This is a place of death.
(long pause - wiping again at
bloody nose)
Cemeteries ... all we have.
(beat - looking out at the night
beyond the large windows)
Cemeteries, under Autumn. And this
is our funeral, isn't it? The
funeral for all the dead
characters we no longer need to
be. A cardboard box at the bottom
of a drawer or the back of a
Yeah. A false funeral. A cardboard
funeral, where fiction's
characters go to die.
Dr. Terry laughs LOUDLY, laughs LONG and DEEP. He SLAPS his
palms against the desktop, laughing.
                       DR. TERRY (CONT'D)
And I can't let go! I just can't
let go of these ... these
(long pause - gets himself under
I want ....
(beat - a long sigh, tears


                       DR. TERRY (cont'd)
streaming down his face)
Oh, I feel like crying.
Early morning, the sun rising up. Abby stands with David in
the middle of the parking lot. They watch the sunrise
I don't know how you fall for
someone that quickly.
Are you ... certain?
No. Nope. Not certain at all.
But I want to hold his hand, I
know that.
I want to kiss him, I know that.
I'd really like him to kiss me. I
know that, too.
He's gonna be messed up with his
kid brother dying. That's too bad,
I guess - but everyone has
That sounds a little harsh, don't
you think?
I don't really know.
(long pause)
I think I'm gonna get going, Abb.
I'll talk to you later?
(he turns to her)
Don't go home, okay? If you need
to crash, come by my place,
alright? You don't need to be
alone with your mom's past, okay?
She was wonderful, Abb.
(beat - takes her hand)
I mean that. She was more a mother


                       DAVID (cont'd)
to me than my own mother. And the
way you two used to spar off of
one another ... wow.
(beat - smile)
But she's dead, Abby. And you ...
well ... your mind is like cheddar
cheese, baby girl. That's not a
bad thing, just a little
Abby gives him a quick hug.
I can take care of it.
Mostly it's just talk. Talk and
Polaroid's from the past.
(David looks at her, inquiringly)
Never mind. I guess everybody's
got baggage.
(long pause)
It's hard to come clean, isn't it,
David? I think it is. To come
clean about all the stupid things
inside. All the trivial matters
that turn out to be not quite so
trivial once they're spoken of.
She smiles as David shrugs.
                       ABBY (CON'T)
How about giving Terry another
chance, huh? One more for the road
... or whatever other bad analogy
you'd prefer? A new bright day is
shining, David. Go up and meet it.
Go meet him.
What - me?
(beat - softly)
I don't really know, Abb. I just
honestly don't.
Yeah, well none of us do.
Yeah. Yeah, true.


Abby gives David a quick KISS on the CHEEK. She returns to
the HOSPITAL ENTRANCE, but looks back before stepping in.
She smiles and CALLS OUT:
Except for me. I know everything.
Give Terry another chance, Dave.
Inspire yourself to greatness.
Abby passes inside.
Carfax sits in his WHEELCHAIR by his bed. Jamie enters,
stares at the wheelchair.
Going somewhere?
Would you help me outside? I think
I'd like to go outside.
Well ... I don't know ... are you
allowed to?
      (with a smile)
I'm skipping the light fandango,
dear. And I'd like to be in the
sunlight one last time.
Help me?
Jamie OPENS the door WIDE. She shrugs, steps behind the
My father-in-law passed away last
Well, we all die.
Jamie WHEELS Carfax out of his room.


Jamie continues to PUSH Carfax's wheelchair. They pass down
a BUSY hall, filled with PATIENTS, DOCTORS, NURSES; the
usual hustle-and-bustle of a hospital open for a new day.
Would you mind reciting another
I'm a little bit tired, Jamie -
how about another day?
She slows down, and brings the wheelchair to a DEAD-STOP.
She steps around the chair, looks down at Carfax with a
frown. She CROSSES her arms.

Carfax sighes, but nods.
Fine. Fine. Okay. What do you feel
like - something uplifting?
Because I feel like that song, WHO
that song, Jamie? Well, there's a
line in it, and it goes '... now
touch my tears ... with your lips
... touch my world ... with your
fingertips ...', and that, Jamie,
is how I feel today.
I'm not empty today, Jamie, as I
was when I read you that poem. No.
No, today ... today I'm rotting.
I'm dying and I think I just
realized that.
I was looking out my window last
night - as I do most of the time -
and realized how fucking stupid
all this is. This day-to-day
bullshit. This laying in bed. This
listening to air passing from the
hall to my dark room. I was
thinking about you, Jamie, and how
you've been sitting with me of
How I want to kiss you, and have
you kiss me.
(long pause)


                       CARFAX (cont'd)
And I think I hate you for that. I
think I hate you and Abby and my
brother and even Dr. Terry. I hate
all of you for reminding me of
what I am about to lose.
(Carfax sobs lightly)
I can't seem to let go now. And
that is so, very, very unfair.
Jamie has remained EXPRESSIONLESS through Carfax's speach.
She now speaks, and her voice is FLAT, yet STRONG:
I'm married to a man who could
have anything he wants. And he
chose me, Carfax. Do you know what
that's like?
Of course you don't. You've never
cared about others. Have you? I'd
bet you haven't. At least ... not
for a long, long time.
Hurts, doesn't it? To feel? To
want? To fucking exist?
I'm married to a man whom I adore
... and yet cannot stand to be
around. I love him, but not as a
husband, not as a lover. As my
best fucking friend, but not as my
I met you, Carfax, and do you know
the first thing I wanted to do
when you asked 'tell me why you
(long pause - softly spoken)
I wanted to kiss you. I wanted to
kiss you and kill you and
everything in between. I've been
married for so long, and to
someone I don't understand, and I
met you and with one fucking
sentence ... you exploded my
I wanted you. A boy. A child.
Jamie steps back behind the wheelchair. They continue on
down the hall, neither speaking. Finally, Carfax says:


I am not a boy, Jamie.
No, but you're dying.
So I'll never get to see the man.
They are nearly at the end of the hall, and TWO LARGE DOORS
that lead out into BRIGHT GOLDEN SUNLIGHT.
How about a poem?
I think that would be nice.
They MOVE INTO the sunlight.
Dalton sits in the driver's seat, listening to BRIDGE OVER
TROUBLED WATER. He flicks it off after a moment. He ROLLS-UP
his driver's side window. He looks across at the open window
on the passenger's side, contemplating whether or not he
should roll it up.
If it rains, it rains.
No one sits there, anyway.
Dalton OPENS his driver's side door, but doesn't step out.
Instead, he continues to sit, watching the Hospital through

Sighing, he LEANS back, closes his eyes.
Without opening his eyes, he REACHES FORWARD, flicks the
radio BACK ON. He continues to listen to BRIDGE OVER
TROUBLED WATER. He again CLOSES the driver's side door.

(long beat)

He smiles.


Abby stands beside Dalton's van. Dalton lay ASLEEP inside,
head back. Abby watches him, a FAINT SMILE to her lips.

She reaches forward, KNOCKS on the glass of the DRIVER'S

Dalton STARTS forward, blinking. He looks around WILDLY.

Seeing Abby, he BLUSHES, then smiles shyly. He ROLLS-DOWN
his window.
Uh ... hi. I'm sorry ... I guess I
didn't ... uh ... see you there.
I may have been asleep.
I'd say that's a fair bet.
Well, I guess I should go on in.
Dalton opens the door, but doesn't step out. He stares at
Um ... unless ... do you need ...
something? Can I ... help with
something? Maybe.
Yeah, I do kinda need your help.
Dalton STEPS DOWN from the van. He SHUTS the door, LOCKS it.
                       DALTON (CONT'D)
Okay. What can I do?


I need you to hold my hand.
For scientific purposes, you
Dalton again blushes. His hand rises to his face, to the

He looks across the parking lot. SMALL GROUPS of PEOPLE
amble about.
There ... there're people ... um
... they might see you ... and ...
Abby steps towards him, REACHES for his hand, PULLS IT AWAY

Abby smiles.
You ... don't want to hold my
Um ... no. I mean ... yes ...
there are ....
Scientific purposes, you
BACKWARD, falling against the van door. He again blushes.

Abby watches them pass, then frowns at Dalton.
They ... might've seen ... you ...
with ... um ....
Why would I care?
Dalton again REACHES to the SCARS along his face.


Annoyed, Abby SLAPS his hand away.
You don't want to hold my hand in
front of other people?
I don't understand you.
It's just ... I'm ... I ... I'm
sorry about how I look ... I know
it's ... it's awful ... but ....
Abby nods.
You're right. You're a freak. And
if you don't want to hold my hand
because of the way you look ...
well, you're also nuts.
I don't understand you.
I'm sorry.
(long beat)
Abby moves as if to TURN AWAY, but at the last moment, she
LUNGES FORWARD, GRABBING Dalton around the shoulders,

Dalton looks as if he might faint. Abby's hold TIGHTENS.
After a few moments, she RELEASES her hold - steps back. She

Dalton looks at her in shock.
For scientific purposes, you
Pelling stands beside the empty bed of his father. Dr. Terry
walks in. He pauses a moment out of respect. Then he CLEARS
HIS THROAT. Pelling doesn't respond.


                       DR. TERRY
There's some paperwork you'll
I'm an actor.
Dr. Terry pauses. He nods, uncertainly.
                       DR. TERRY
Yes. I've ... actually seen a few
of your films.
Not bad work.
Did you go with your wife? I bet
she didn't like it. Women don't
care for my work.
I'm an action star. Comedian. I
(long pause)
... I don't do drama.
Pelling is OVERCOME with grief. He reaches for his father's
bed, to touch it - or just to indicate it - we aren't
                       PELLING (CONT'D)
Yet I find myself in this
I hated the man. I hated him so
much. How he would ... judge me
with his manner. His eyes. His
cold, blue fucking eyes.
We never spoke. Never. Even when I
made it big.
Or as big as I like to believe I
He ... he tried to call, but I
told my ... my wife to hang up.
She didn't - of course not, she
can't stand me anymore than he
could - but ... but he tried to
contact me.
(turns to Dr. Terry)
That means something, doesn't it?
I'd like to think it does. Nothing
... nothing profound, maybe, but


                       PELLING (cont'd)
... but something nonetheless.
                       DR. TERRY
      (perhaps only to
I would go with a ... a friend.
I'm not married.
Wanna hear something funny?
(waits till Dr. Terry nods)
I've been hearing this song -
been hearing it everywhere. In my
head most of all, I guess.
My father loved that song. He
loved the version sung by IZ - he
was this fabulous Hawaiian singer.
A really great voice.
(Pelling places his hand on his
father's bed)
I was in the hallway just after my
father died ... and, well, it was
playing on the radio.
(looks to Dr. Terry)
Think it was a sign? Think my
father ... my dad ... was sending
me a sign?
                       DR. TERRY
I don't know, sir.
But it's a nice thought, isn't it?
I'd like to think he was. I'd ...
like to think we have a chance to
say goodbye.
To give relief.
Pelling nods sadly. He stares at nothing, the bedspread, the
sheets neatly folded atop it. With a LOUD EXHALE he
straightens up, steps AWAY FROM THE BED.

He bows slightly to it. Nods again.

Pelling turns to Dr. Terry.
Would you like an autograph?


Carfax sits in his wheelchair on the lawns leading up to the
Hospital. Jamie sits next to him on the grass. They have
their backs to the sun, and look at the looming hospital
before them.
I don't think I can see your
window from here. Is it on the
other side? I always get turned
around inside a place - never know
north to south.
Carfax POINTS off to their right.
Nah - I'm over there somewhere. I
can see the trees from inside.
You ever just sit and watch trees?
It sounds mental, but you should.
And sad, I guess. I sometimes
imagine there are faces in the
branches - hidden little glimpses
caught here and there. Sometimes I
imagine my face is there with
It's not so sad then.
They both TURN EVER SO SLIGHTLY towards the TREES bordering
the lawns. Staring at the branches, scrutinizing the
I hate to beat a dying dog with a
stick, but are you ever going to
tell me a poem? You did say you
Carfax SHOOTS her a DEADPAN look.
You liken me to a dying dog?
I think that's a little cruel,
don't you? I mean, really. I'm not
like a dying dog, am I?
(beat - with a smile)


                       CARFAX (cont'd)
      (hands raised)
Hey, I'm just saying. I've been
waiting for this poem, and now
that I've been waiting for so
long, the anticipation is so
great, that no matter what you
manage, it'll probably not live up
to my expectations.
(beat - lowers her hands)
Which is sad. Awful, even. I
happen to like poetry, and when I
get over-anticipation from a
looming one, well ... things get
I'm not saying what. But things
get said.
You're very odd.
This is true.
(long pause)
Well ... is it ever going to come,
or must I write one? It won't be
any good, but it'll at least fill
the air.
What? You saying you don't like
quiet moments?
Not particularly. People more
often than not begin to talk about
seeing faces in trees and other
lovely insights into mortality and
man. I'd rather hear a few mumbled
words, structured or not -
It beats listening to my own
thoughts, I'll tell you that.
Beats listening to my chest, the
rise and fall of it. Air coming
and going, and soon ... all too


                       JAMIE (cont'd)
soon ...
Jamie's voice TRAILS OFF. A look of unease forms on her
What? All too soon what? Nothing?
The nothing of mortality?
Christ, you're right. Silence is
terrible. Only thing is, we've yet
to be silent for more than a
(he laughs)
We will be soon.
(looks at Jamie with a grin)
Sorry, I couldn't resist.
C'mon. Tell me one.
What was the first one you ever
      (smiling sadly)
There was this girl, a little kid.
Must've been ... I don't know ...
seven. Maybe eight.
We ... became friends. We were
both in hospital at the time. I
was getting over something or
other - I don't remember what ...
might've just been tests for my
blood platelet levels - and she
was fighting leukemia.
(long pause)
She had this chubby little face,
like a Cherubim Angel. And uh ...
well ... one night it got bad. She
was in so much pain, Jamie. My
(shakes his head)
I couldn't believe that she lived
through the night. Hours of ... so
much ... agony. Terror, too. She
was scared, and her mother wasn't
helping matters, screaming and
hollering. Doctors finally -
finally as in three fucking hours
later - told her to shut her
goddamned mouth. She was wailing


                       CARFAX (cont'd)
about like a witch burning on the
Carfax looks out across the lawns at the trees, watching
them move much like that witch in the flame. He shudders a
little and shakes his head. When he continues, his voice is
softer, almost dry, as if he hasn't spoken in ages.
                       CARFAX (cont'd)
And her daughter wept. She held
her fat little arms to her chest
and wept.
Jamie I have never seen anything
like that since. Never want to see
anything like that again.
Never again. I'd kill not to hear
her screams. I'd kill myself right
now to just forget them. And what
a thing to say. At this moment,
here and now, to say that. What a
thing indeed.
(long pause)
The next morning couldn't come
soon enough. But when it did. When
the sun decided it was time to
rise, well ... that was uplifting.
Spiritually, and I'm not a
spiritual person.
She stopped crying. The pain
diminished. And they dragged her
mother off. I was one bed over,
and being friends, we got to
talking. I must've been thirteen
at the time - and scared shitless
by my own problems, not to mention
hers, which I was. I was terrified
for her, Jamie, and I'd rather not
know that feeling again, either -
but we got on like snakes running
from flame. I wrote my first poem
for her.
I read it to her two days before
she died. It made her laugh. Her
eyes alight. Her face warm and
Carfax has begun to weep. He WIPES ROUGHLY at his eyes, as
if angered by his tears.


                       CARFAX (cont'd)
I think she knew she was dying. I
doubt her mother was stupid enough
to tell her so, but she didn't
make it easy, that's for damned
sure - more screaming and
hollering, always the weeping and
demanding - but besides all that,
I still think that little girl
somehow knew. She must've felt it.
She smiled at me.
Fucking tube up her nose, her eyes
red, and she lay there thanking
me. Who the fuck cares about me, I
thought - she's dying in pain, and
she's thanking me with a smile on
her face. But I think she knew it
was time. Gods, I hope she knew.
Knew the pain was almost finished.
(long pause)
Funny thing is ... I don't feel
that. I don't feel anything but
(a very long pause)
Would you tell me that poem?
That one was for her.
Jamie reaches over and TAKES Carfax's hand.
Carfax looks down at his hand in Jamie's. He tries to smile,
but it feels false, so he merely nods. He is still weeping,
making not a sound.
Thank you.


Dalton and Abby are sitting on Carfax's bed, waiting for him
to return. Dalton appears nervous, Abby is watching him
What is it? Why ... why do you
keep staring?
I have to tell you something. I
don't want to tell you, but I have
to tell.
Sure. Okay.
Um ... I kinda need you not to
judge me. Can ... can you do that?
Because what I'm about to tell you
... well ... a lot of people would
judge me.
You've gotta see ... I think I ...
well, I understand why they would
judge, so don't get me wrong.
I know wrong. I know wrong really
well - I've been doing wrong for
quite some time. But I kinda need
Do you think you could do that?
For me?
Yes, Abby, I could do that.
Well, the thing is ... okay, the
thing ....
(long pause)
This isn't nearly as easy as it
should be.
(she smiles)


                       ABBY (cont'd)
The thing is is that I-
I forgive you.
Um ... but I didn't say anything
Okay. But I forgive you anyway.
I'd rather you know that now. I
forgive you, and I don't need to
know of what I'm forgiving you. I
trust that you think it was bad
... or that it seems bad now ...
but either way, I'll forgive you,
and that's fine. It's fine because
you kissed me outside, Abby, and
I've never had that. And that was
fine. It was really fine, and I
can't seem to think of anyway to
thank you for that. So I can
forgive you. With or without
knowing why.
You seem worth taking that chance.
(long pause)
It's not really a chance at all.
Abby leans across to Dalton and HUGS him. Hugs him LONG AND
HARD. He tenderly - and uncertainly - PATS HER ON THE BACK.
Dalton? Don't ever be scared to
hug me. Okay?
And so Dalton hugs her back.
Dr. Terry walks out onto the Hospital rooftop. He stops.
David is standing at the far end. Dr. Terry hesitates, one
hand LIGHTLY BRUSHING HIS NOSE where he'd injured himself


David must've heard something, for he TURNS AROUND.
Hey. I heard about that kid - your
patient. Seems Abby's taken a
liking to him.
You never said you looked after
Dr. Terry walks over to the edge of the roof, stands beside
David. He shrugs.
                       DR. TERRY
You've made it clear that you
don't like what I do. I figured
you'd rather not know about that.
It isn't very fun, David, but ...
I guess I knew that going in ...
maybe ... maybe you didn't?
Yeah, maybe.
Abby thinks I should give you
another chance.
Thing is, you didn't do anything
wrong, so you've still got the
first chance.
I'm the one who's wrong-
                       DR. TERRY
Don't do that, David, you're not
                       DAVID (CONT'D)
-wrong about everything. This
isn't working, Terry, and I ... I
don't ... want to hurt.
I hurt, and you're a doctor and I
know you want to help me ... but
you can't.
(shakes his head)
I don't want you. I don't. And ...
and you know that. We both know


                       DAVID (cont'd)
                       DR. TERRY
So I figure there's only two
things we can do. One: we stay and
we exist as is. Two: we move on.
I'm choosing number two, Terry.
It feels as if I've had this
really fine time. This a-okay
fucking time. But it's not real.
I've been existing all these
years. But not living.
(begins to cry)
I don't live, Terry, I merely
exist, and I ... I can't do that
anymore. Neither to you or to
(he indicates Terry's injured
See? You feel it too. Trapped, but
not by love ... never our love.
Our weaknesses. A job ... a demand
... a desire for ... I don't even
know ... but not this. Not these
rooftop chats, these fucking days
spent in these smelly halls. To
breathe in their death and to ...
David looks down, unable to finish.
                       DR. TERRY
To breathe in their death and
bring it home?
I've never even existed, David.
Since meeting you ... I've been
floating. How gay is that? Hmm?
How fruity a thing for a guy to
say, right? Well, fuckeroo, I'm
queer, so I can get away with it.
I want something. I want love. I
want to come home and not have to
defend my fucking life. Not a job,
David, a fucking life!
Why are you like this? Why can't


                       DR. TERRY (cont'd)
you accept this? I love you. You
do love me. Somewhere inside that
fucking skull is a beating memory
of love. Love for me.
Yet ... it makes a funny sense. I
work here with dying or sick or
invalid patients, and I come home
to a dead relationship. It's funny
in the worst sort of way.
I am sorry. You ... should try to
understand that, if nothing else.
I am sorry.
But I can't get over it, either.
Shitty, maybe even cruel. But I
can't get over my ... my
David walks past Dr. Terry, back towards the stairwell. He
stops but once, and only to say:
I think I really am sorry for that
A shame to die in a place like
But I also envy him, Terry. That
may sound ... awful ... but I do.
I envy that he will never know
what I know right now - how
painful a beautiful morning can
be. And how rotten love can make
(long pause)
Goodbye, Terry.
David leaves. Dr. Terry stands at the edge of the rooftop,
looking up at the sky. He is weeping slightly, but trying,
valiantly, to get his emotions under check.
                       DR. TERRY
      (to himself)
I don't envy Carfax one bit. I
don't envy his pain, or his
existence, such as it is or has


                       DR. TERRY (cont'd)
And that's why we're unable to be
together, David. Not because of
this job, or our love. Because I
would never want to live without
living it.
I'd rather exist than die, David.
And that's why we can't.
Pelling sits in a plastic chair, waiting in the hall. He
stands as Jamie approaches, a look of sadness on her face.
Hey ... where have you been?
Jamie shakes her head.
Outside. Getting some fresh air.
Looking at trees.
Pelling smiles weakly. It is a sad, pathetic look for him.
I ... well I just wanted to let
you know ... I'm going on home
And I'd like you to come.
Things have been ... bad ... for
some time, but I think ... I know
... that we can work them out.
I know because I see you here and
I love you. I love you.
My god, do I love you.
Pelling begins to WEEP.
Carfax sits on his bed, Abby beside him. The t.v. is on, but


So what happens next?
Are you two a couple?
There's something about him, Car.
Something about his ... his
manner. The way he looks at me,
and really cares. He does. He
doesn't just pass the time, and
that is so easy to do - so many
couples do just that - passing
time. Wasting away the day ...
lingering till night when in dream
they'll hold each other. Hold onto
the first ache of love they felt.
I don't have that feeling with
your brother. I don't get the
reasoning, the point, but I do get
the rush. The longing for his hand
and his lips.
I'm sorry about all this, Carfax.
I'm sorry that you're in here, and
that you might not understand just
what I'm saying-
Oh, Abby, I do. Don't you see? I
understand better than any of you.
I sit here, yes, but I also
listen. I watch. I wait. But I'm
not wasting my time by waiting,
no. No, I'm learning. Something
important will happen to me soon.
I'll go away, I'll slip under,
I'll - you name an analogy and
I'll agree - but one thing ... I
won't pretend to understand
everything. But I do understand
For so long I wanted to imagine it
didn't exist. That it wasn't being
robbed from me - taken right out
of my hand, like water for a
crisping plant. But it is being
taken, and it does exist, right
there - right before my hand.
(beat - reaches forward)


                       CARFAX (cont'd)
And I can just almost touch it.
Almost see it shining, iridescent.
Its a song, maybe. Maybe a really,
really, really long song - even
longer then life's song.
I have to understand it, don't you
see? Because at the end, if I
don't understand it, then I can
never have known it, and I want to
have known it, Abby.
You only truly understand
something by experiencing it. I've
experienced love, perhaps only a
faint echo of love, but I'll take
that. Love ... in a way. In my
I think you two will do fine.
Abby takes Carfax's hand. He looks down at this, and smiles.
He laughs.
                       CARFAX (CONT'D)
I could get used to this.
Yes. Yes, indeed.
I think I'm going to miss you,
Carfax Miller.
I love you.
Carfax leans back on his pillows. He closes his eyes. He
continues to smile.
Dalton and Jamie are standing side-by-side. They look up
from inner thoughts as Abby COMES OUT FROM CARFAX'S ROOM.

Abby goes to Dalton, takes his hand. He blushes, but doesn't
pull back. She hugs him, and he hugs her.

Jamie smiles.
      (to Dalton)
I think you should go in. I think
he'd like to say goodbye.


Is he ... going?
      (to Jamie)
Oh ... no, I don't think so. Not
yet. It's just ... I think he
wants to say goodbye now.
He's happy.
Jamie relaxes.
I'm in love with him.
(long beat - sadly)
Isn't that something?
Dalton and Carfax speak with one another, WE CANNOT HEAR
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING - it is for them, not us. Carfax is
again in bed, laying back. Dalton is in the plastic chair
beside the bed.

They are SPEAKING ANIMATEDLY, Dalton shaking his head back
and forth, apparently UPSET.

Carfax shrugs. He REACHES forward - leans forward - patting
Dalton on the shoulder. Dalton PUSHES THE HAND AWAY. He
continues to shake his head.

Carfax sighs, leans back, RAISES HIS HANDS IN SURRENDER.

Dalton crosses his arms. He has a DEMANDING LOOK - an

Carfax finally agrees to whatever it is they are arguing
about. He once-more rests against the pillows, practically
sinking into them. He APPEARS MOST ANNOYED.

They continue to speak with one another, and we stand back,
letting them. We DO NOT LISTEN IN.

And after a few more moments, we LEAVE THEM ALONE.


Abby is standing with Dr. Terry, both of them speaking.

Jamie sits in a chair a few paces away. She smiles at the
two of them, speaking WORDS WE CANNOT HEAR.

Jamie looks down at her HANDS, FOLDED IN HER LAP. She RUBS
them together.
      (softly to herself)
Today was a nice day.
(long beat)
I think ... I think tomorrow might
be better.
Jamie is sitting on the edge of Carfax's bed. She's smiling
down at him.

He, too, is smiling. A SAD smile.
I have something for you. I hope
you enjoy it.
hands it to Jamie.

He watches her face.
Is it a poem?
My poem?
Promise me you won't read it till
tonight, okay? Tonight before bed.
It's the best time. Re-read it in
the morning if you like, but just
the once tonight. Once.
Don't memorize it, please.
I hate to memorize words, it robs
the meaning. The feeling of that
first read. I never memorize if I
can help it.
(he smiles)


                       CARFAX (cont'd)
I do, though. I often do.
(long beat)
Why won't you let us stay? We
will, all of us. Dr. Terry says
it's fine. He can waive the
He will.
(long pause)
You don't have ... you don't have
to do this alone, Car.
No, Jamie. This is the one thing I
do have to do alone.
I think life is the prize. We get
the prize early, and that stumps a
lot of people. It stumped me for a
long while, too.
But I think the prize is granted
with the knowledge that you have
to give it up. You give up the
bright sun, the long grass,
Dolphins and eggplants. Movies.
(long pause)
You have to give it up, because
you don't own the prize. It was
given in loan of something else.
Only thing is ... the only catch
is ... we don't know for what. A
bad day, maybe. A few bad days. A
little pain, even. Because no
matter how hard it gets, Jamie, no
matter if I scream and holler like
my friend's Mother, if I curse
everyone - well, it won't do much
good. It might scare me a little
bit more, but it won't do any
(beat - singing softly, gently)
'I hear babies cry ... and I watch
them grow ...they'll learn much


                       CARFAX (cont'd)
more than we'll ever know ... and
I think to myself ... what a
wonderful world.'
That means something now. Jamie?
That means something to me.
Carfax, I don't understand.
(beat - sadly)
I don't get that at all.
Jamie begins to weep.
      (to himself)
Wouldn't it be nice if you never
needed to?
(long pause - then to Jamie)
Thank you for being here, Jamie.
Thank you for taking some time to
be with me. That too means
something. A great something.
He takes her hand and holds it to his chest. He smiles at
her, a SMILE THAT IS HAPPY. Not a hint of sadness. A great
      (crying - very
I love you.
(a very long pause - where they but stare at one another)
Goodbye, Jamie.
I hope you have a really nice day,
a good tomorrow, and ...
I hope you won't forget.
(beat - suddenly weak)
Please don't forget me, okay?
(beat - stronger)
He nods to the CLOSED DOOR. He lowers her hand, lets go. She
stands, weakly - oddly - takes a few UNEVEN STEPS towards
the door, the SHEET OF PAPER in her hand.


She OPENS THE DOOR, but looks back before stepping out.
Carfax lays in bed, his face pale, his body thin and frail.
He doesn't blink, as if frightened to lose this final image
of her.

Jamie HOLDS THE PAPER to her chest. She NODS A FINAL TIME,
then STEPS FROM THE ROOM, closing the door behind her.
Jamie, Abby, Dalton and Dr. Terry all STEP OUT FROM INSIDE
THE HOSPITAL. They stand as a GROUP, GAZING UP into the
blue, bright sky.

Dr. Terry sighs, looks down at his feet. He takes a FEW DEEP
BREATHS, then smiles at them.

He SHAKES HANDS with Dalton, HUGS Abby and Jamie.
                       DR. TERRY
I can't promise miracles, but I
can promise that he won't suffer.
I can promise that.
I can't believe we're just gonna
let him ... you know ...
(she indicates the hospital)
... on his own.
                       DR. TERRY
He's a very brave boy.
They smile at this, sadly and proudly.

Dr. Terry gives a final smile, then TURNS AND WALKS BACK
Abby and Dalton turn to Jamie.
      (to Jamie)
Do you ... um ... need a lift? I
can drop you off ... well ...


Jamie looks at the FOLDED PAPER IN HER HAND.
      (to Dalton)
Thank you ... but no. I think ...
... I think I'll go for a bit of a
(to Abby)
You take care, alright? I mean it.
And if you need anything, anything
at all ... well, just give me a
call. You have my number?
Abby nods and HUGS Jamie.
      (to Jamie)
I do. Thank you.
It's a real nice day, isn't it?
(she looks up at the sky - very
Blue birds fly.
Dalton and Jamie HUG.
      (to Jamie)
Thank you for everything you did,
okay? For him.
For Carfax.
I guess we'll see you again?
Jamie STARTS TOWARDS THE TREES, and replies:
How could we not?
(beat - she smiles)
Take care of each other.
Dalton takes Abby by the hand, LEADS HER TO HIS VAN.

Jamie CONTINUES towards the trees. She folds the SHEET OF
PAPER twice more, STUFFING it into her back pocket. She'll
read it later. She'll read it tonight.


Carfax, laying snug in bed, is staring out his window. The

SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW, by IZ, is playing softly.

We stay with Carfax, letting the song play over the END
CREDITS, but before the music ends, slowly, the SCREEN GROWS

It grows dark on Carfax, laying in bed, listening to music,
and waiting.
Copyright Brian Ogilvie

June/28/2004 (first draft)

June/30/2004 (second draft)

December/21/2004 (third draft)

May/24/2006 (final draft)


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From Jeff Helton Date 1/21/2008 **1/2
Brian, good story line, I would suggest losing the (beats) and replace them with action (ie: scratches head, coughs, looks away), readers want action not beats, also your dialouge lines are way long on several instances, try and keep them to about 4 lines 5 is pushing it. If you have 10 lines of dialouge then put a break of (action) in every fourth line. To much dialouge for the actor/reader without breaks is hard on the eyes and they will get dicouraged with the script no matter how good it is, and you have a good story here.

From Chris Date 1/14/2008 ****
Just a word of advice: you never want to say, "We see-" or "We watch a black limousine"; instead, you always say, "A black limousine drives up," or whatever the car is doing.

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