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Friendly Tears
by Jeff (reddingjeff9@gmail.com)

Rated: PG   Genre: Drama   User Review:

This is my first attempt at a screenplay. I am vision impaired and new to scriptbuddy and writing. Please give me any helpful feedback.

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.


                       IN CENTER OF WAITING ROOM
A crowded waiting room with
stack-able chairs in rows. There
are ten rows of chairs with eight
chairs in each row. The chairs are
placed very close to each other
allowing access only from the ends
of each row. All the chairs are
occupied and a few younger men,
perhaps in their mid 30's, are
standing behind the chairs and in
the hallway. There are three older
men in wheelchairs waiting in the
hallway, they appear to be in
their 80's or 90's. One of the men
is missing his legs. Most of the
men who occupy the chairs are in
their 70's, and most of them are
wearing glasses. Over half of the
men seam to be sitting with their
wives. A few of the men wear ball
caps or vests with military unit
emblems. Several of the men have
their heads lowered as they rest.

One of the men sitting in the
middle of the group is about 50
years old. He is wearing thick
glasses. The camera focuses on the
man. The man has his head lowered
and eyes closed.

The man wakes up, removes his
glasses and rubs his face with his
hand. He takes a sip from a water
bottle and places the bottle back
into the cloth cooler sitting on
his lap. He presses a button on
his watch. In a computer type
voice the watch says; "It is 1:32
PM. The man stands, places his
cooler on his chair, walks to the
front of the room and stands in
front of the clerk. The clerk
glances up from his work and says;

Clerk: "How can I help you"

The man says; "I have been here


                       IN CENTER OF WAITING ROOM (cont'd)
since 9 AM waiting for an 11 AM
appointment. The bus leaves at
2:30 so if I'm going to see a
doctor today it has to be very

Clerk: "Last Name and Last Four"

Man (Jenkins): "Jenkins, 7962"

Clerk: "OK, have a seat, I'll see
what I can do."

Jenkins returns to his seat. He
removes an iPod from his pocket,
lowers his head, and presses the
Play Button. He closes his eyes as
music starts playing.

(start music: Dire Straits,
Sultans of Swing)

Fade to Dream Sequence.
                       IN CENTER OF WAITING ROOM
(music continues)
Four men in early 20's sitting in
a barracks room which has two bunk
beds on each side. They are
playing poker and sitting around a
cardboard box.  The men are all
dressed in white T-shirts and
dungaree pants. One of the men is
wearing black frame military issue
glasses. Another man has a black
eye, a cast on his left leg, and
crutches tucked under his arms.
One man is sleeping in one of the
top bunks.  
(Poker Player 1)
Jenkins, anti up!

I'm out.

Bullshit Jenkins, your up too



                       IN CENTER OF WAITING ROOM (cont'd)
You gotta know when to fold them.

Jenkins stands grabs his jacket
from the back of his chair, puts
it on and pulls out headphones and
places them on his ears.  He then
reaches over to the cassette
player and ejects the cassette.  
(music stops playing)
And I'm taken my tape.

What's that?

It's the Walkman I bought with all
your money.

Jenkins turns and walks toward the
door. McNally points one of his
crutches at Jenkins.: 

Hey Jenkins, do all you tit-less
waves have four eyes?

Fuck you McNally.

Jenkins places the cassette into
the walkman, presses play (music
starts again) and walks out the
                       IN CENTER OF WAITING ROOM
(music continues)
The camera shows a night scene, a
single story barracks building.
About 30 yards from the barracks
is a 12 foot fence topped with
barbed wire. Jenkins  exits a room
on the far side of the barracks.
He starts walking down the
sidewalk directly next to the
building. Next to each barracks
room door is a heating vent
exhaust. When Jenkins passes by
the first room exhaust heating
vent, he stops and bends over. He


                       IN CENTER OF WAITING ROOM (cont'd)
starts rubbing his eyes and
coughing and spitting. He rubs his
face and his glasses fall off. He
starts to run and after he passes
a couple of more rooms he stumbles
from the sidewalk into the grass
where he falls to his knees. The
headphones from his head and the
walkman falls out of his pocket. 
(the music stops playing)
He coughs and spits a couple of
more times . Then he rises to his
feet and continues to run. When he
reaches the corner of the building
he stops and looks around the
corner of the building.
He wipes his face with his jacket
sleeve which is covered in tears
and spittle. He opens his mouth
and raises his arm. Before saying
anything he stops, lowers his arm,
and crouches down. He then turns
around and starts to run back.
When he reaches the first two
barracks room doors he looks
closely at the room numbers and
touches them with his right hand.
He passes room 109, room 108, he
arrives atroom 107 and enters the
barracks room.
                       IN CENTER OF WAITING ROOM
Jenkins comes into the room and
stumbles to the bathroom.

Doc!, Doc!, I been gassed!

A man in his mid 20's enters the
bathroom.  He begins to help
Jenkins wash out Jenkin's eyes
with the water from the sink.
What happened?

Fuck, it burns!, It Burns!

Jenkins hold still! If you don't


                       IN CENTER OF WAITING ROOM (cont'd)
hold still I can't help you.

The Corpsman (Doc) continues to
hold open Jenkins' eyes while
splashing water into them.

Thanks Doc, it's getting better.

You'll be OK, It's probably just
CS Gas from the Marines.

What? Do you mean Tear Gas, like
in Boot Camp?


Yeah, it felt like that but there
was no smoke, I didn't see
anything. It was like hitting a
wall of invisible burning air."

hat doesn't matter, I mean the
lack of smoke.

OK, the water is working, the pain
is going away.

I heard in the past the marines
put CS Gas in the heating system.
Rather than being released into
the rooms it looks like it went
out the exhaust vents when you
happened to be walking by.

Those fuckin' Marines, what I ever
do to them?

A tall black man in his early 20's
enters the bathroom.  He is
holding a lead pipe.
Fuckin' Jar Heads!



                       IN CENTER OF WAITING ROOM (cont'd)
Take it easy Richards.

I'm going to Fuck em up.

Hold on!

They Fuckin' broke McNally's leg
last weekend. Let's get some pay

Jenkins where were you?

I was just walking back from
McNally's on my way back to my
room. I thought I saw a couple of
guys in camouflage in the

I'm going.

Wait a minute. I think they were
wearing gas masks. They might have

I'm coming with. Jenkins, are you
going to be alright?

Wait here.
Doc and Richards turn to walk out
the door.
Hey Doc!, look for my glasses and
my Walkman, I lost them somewhere.

I'll get them.

Doc and Richards leave the room
and Jenkins sits in the chair
rubbing his face with a wet cloth.


                       IN CENTER OF WAITING ROOM
Jenkins sits in the chair and dabs
his eyes with the wet cloth. He
squints his eyes and looks around
the room. Doc and Richards enter
the room.
Did you see anything?

No, they're gone. I found your
Walkman and glasses. The Walkman
is alright, but your glasses are
Doc hands Jenkins the Walkman and
eye glasses. One of the arms of
the glassses is broken off.
Ahhh, bummer.

Here, let me see them.
Doc takes the broken glasses,
walks to the bathroom medicine
cabinit and retrieves a bandaid.
He uses the bandaid to re-attach
the broken arm to the eyeglass
frame. Doc hands Jenkins back the
glasses. Jenkins puts on the
Thanks Doc, you're a good friend.

What happened to your Aviator
Frames with the transitional

Someone stole them a couple
months ago. I can't wait till we
are stateside so I can get some
more. I hate wearing these nerd
boot camp glasses.

It won't do them much good with
your prescription.

I need to get back to my room. Is


                       IN CENTER OF WAITING ROOM (cont'd)
it safe to go back out there?

Doc smiles and points to the door.
Yeah, it's OK, you can go.

Thanks again Doc, I'll see you

Jenkins puts on the walkman
headphones and walks out the door.
                       IN CENTER OF WAITING ROOM
(music continues)
Jenkins walks along the barracks
This place sucks.
                       IN CENTER OF WAITING ROOM
(Dire Straits music continues.)
Jenkins, Mr. Jenkins, Mr Jenkins!

Fade Back From Dream Sequence
Jenkins wakes up and raises his

Go to room 109.

Jenkins presses the stop button on
the iPod (music stops).
He stands walks by the others in
the row (like in a movie theater).

Excuse me.

Jenkins walks down the hallway. As
he passes rooms he moves very
close to the door and douches them
with his right hand.. He reaches
door 107, 108, and enters room


                       IN CENTER OF WAITING ROOM (cont'd)
                       IN CENTER OF WAITING ROOM
Jenkins is sitting in a vision
examining chair across from him
sits a Doctor in his 30's.

(Eye Doctor)
Lean back so I can put in the
dilating drops.

Mr. Jenkins leans back and the Eye
Doctor drips the dilating drops
into his eyes.

(Eye Doctor)
OK, while the drops are taking
effect, tell me what's going on.

I lost my central vision about
twenty years ago, they say it's
from a genetic form of Macular
Degeneration. I was declared
Legally Blind and got my 100
percent rating from the VA.

(Eye Doctor)
It's in your Family?

Yes sir, My Dad has it, but he
still drives. My vision is a lot
worse than his.

(Eye Doctor)
Anything else?

Yes sir, they also diagnosed me
with Glaucoma. Six months ago my
regular VA Eye Doctor saw spots on
my Retina and referred me to the
Retina Specialists. The Retina
Specialist I saw three months ago
said the spots looked like scar
tissue. So I told him about my
exposure to CS Gas when I was on
active duty.



                       IN CENTER OF WAITING ROOM (cont'd)
(Eye Doctor)
OK, Mr. Jenkins sit back and let
me take a look.

The doctor holds a bright small
flashlight in one hand and
magnifying lens in the other. The
doctor tries to touch the
magnifier to the veterans eye
while shining the bright light
into the eye. He does this
repeatedly, each time the veteran
starts backing up and blinking his
eyes. Each time the Doctor seams
to become more frustrated.
(Eye Doctor)
Mr. Jenkins hold still! If you
don't hold still I can't help

Yes sir, I'm doing my best, but
that light is so bright.

For the next few minutes the
doctor continues to use the bright
light and magnifier to look into
Mr. Jenkins' eyes. The doctor
stops scoots his chair back and
hands him a tissue.. His eyes are
red and watering, He dabs his eyes
with the tissue. The doctor
glances up at the wall clock and
the time is 2:05 PM.
(Eye Doctor)
Now what's this about CS Gas?

When I was on active duty I was
exposed to what was most likely CS
Gas that had been put in the
barracks heating system. My
squadron corpsman said there could
be long lasting toxic effects. He
was gonna make a note my medical
record that I was exposed to an
unknown chemical agent from an
unknown source.

(Eye Doctor)
OK, wait here.



                       IN CENTER OF WAITING ROOM (cont'd)
The Eye Doctor picks up a file
folder and leaves the room.
                       IN CENTER OF WAITING ROOM
Mr. Jenkins is sitting in the eye
examining chair. He is not wearing
his glasses and is squinting his
eyes looking around the room. The
Eye Doctor re-enters the room. Mr.
Jenkins presses the button on his
watch and the voice says; "It is
2:15 PM".
The Eye Doctor pulls up a chair
and sits down in front of Mr.

(Eye Doctor)
OK Mr. Jenkins, I see the spots on
your Retina, it might be Cancer
and we need to take pictures. But,
since you are in such a big hurry
we don't have time. I guess we
will have to take the pictures
next time.

The Eye Doctor hands Mr. Jenkins
back his eye glasses. Mr. Jenkins
puts on his eye glasses.
The eye doctor points his finger
towards the open door.
(Eye Doctor)
OK, you can go.

Mr. Jenkins stands up and walks
out the door. 
                       IN CENTER OF WAITING ROOM
Mr. Jenkins walks down the hallway
and stops in front of the waiting
room.  He looks toward the other
men who are still waiting.
This place sucks.
Some of the men glance up from
their resting positions.
Mr. Jenkins puts in the ear-buds
of his iPod and presses play. 


                       IN CENTER OF WAITING ROOM (cont'd)
(Dire straits sultans of swing
starts to play again.)
The last shot is the back of
Jenkins walking down the hallway.
The music is still playing.  In
the foreground are the waiting
men, half of whom went back to

(Please Note: This story is
Fiction based on Non-Fiction
events. I do not want to use my
real name. Since 1994 I have been
a 100% service connected disabled
veteran. I receive a good
disability pension fron the
Veterans Administration (VA). Most
of the Doctors and workers at the
VA do an outstanding job but they
are under funded and over worked.)


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