Return to SimplyScripts.com
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.
EXT. LEONARD CHRISTIAN'S PORCH - DUSK CU LEONARD'S BOOTS LEONARD rocks in a rocking chair. We hear his knife scrape away at a stick, and see wood shavings collect on and around his boots. Small yellow text appears onto the bottom of the frame, accompanied by a click noise. ON-SCREEN TEXT Leonard Christian is a cowboy. The text clicks away. The scraping noise is drowned out slowly by labored breathing. LEONARD stops rocking and digs a heel of his boot into the porch, pushing himself back in his rocking chair. More text clicks on. ON-SCREEN TEXT (CONT'D) He has been diagnosed with Adult Onset (or Type II) Diabetes. Text clicks away. The scraping stops entirely, and LEONARD coughs heavily, wheezing. LEONARD's knife falls from the top of the frame and lodges itself into the porch, wiggling back and forth. LEONARD's breathing intensifies. More text. ON-SCREEN TEXT (CONT'D) Leonard lives alone. Clicks away. A stream of urine runs down LEONARD's pant leg, pooling onto the deck. LEONARD grunts as if trying to communicate, hacking in between. He scrapes his feet on the porch and his arm falls into the frame, still holding a partially whittled stick. CUT TO: INT. TRAN'S CAR - AFTERNOON TRAN PHAM (Early 30s, Vietnamese-American) turns her steering wheel and watches the road. She clicks her turning signal on. Small yellow text clicks onto the bottom of the frame. ON-SCREEN TEXT Tran Pham is a real estate agent. The text clicks away. TRAN pulls over and turns her head towards the sidewalk. Unlocking her door, she steps outside and stares forward. Thomas SEXTON (young, scruffy) is in the doorway of a house, grumbling as he tries to pull a mattress from the hallway through the door frame onto the front lawn. A few feet from the sidewalk is a large pile of furnishings; a mirror, a desk, several pairs of shoes, and an overturned coffee table. Thomas whips his head around suddenly and with animalistic intensity to look at TRAN. FREEZE FRAME: More text clicks on. ON-SCREEN TEXT (CONT'D) Thomas Sexton is an anti-social manic depressive. Text clicks away. More text appears by the mattress. ON-SCREEN TEXT (CONT'D) Tran's mattress. More text by the pile. ON-SCREEN TEXT (CONT'D) Tran's mirror. More text by the pile. ON-SCREEN TEXT (CONT'D) Tran's desk. More text by the pile. ON-SCREEN TEXT (CONT'D) Tran's shoes. More text by the pile. ON-SCREEN TEXT (CONT'D) Tran's coffee table. After a short pause, larger text at the top of the screen clicks on. ON-SCREEN TEXT (CONT'D) Tran's house. All of the on-screen text clicks away. UNFREEZE: Thomas unhands the mattress and charges TRAN's car. TRAN scrambles back inside, clicking on the power lock as Thomas pounds her window. THOMAS You took everything from me! You whore! You have nothing from now on, nothing! Staring forward, TRAN starts her car and pushes the gas, leaving Thomas behind on her lawn. As she drives, TRAN slowly tips her head to the left, eventually leaning it against the window. Grimacing, she shifts her weight until her cheek is pressed tight against the glass, her eyes completely fused shut, driving forward. TRAN sniffles. Text clicks on-screen. ON-SCREEN TEXT Tran has a difficult life. TRAN (softly, under tears) Fuck. Text clicks away. CUT TO BLACK: Large text clicks on, center frame. ON-SCREEN TEXT Cowboy Seeks Townhouse. Text clicks away. FADE IN: INT. MARY'S OFFICE - DAY MARY TAMBER (pretty, businesslike) is a young and successful psychiatrist. Scribbling on her note pad, she is currently in a session with THOMAS SEXTON. THOMAS is curled up on MARY's couch, facing her and smiling comfortably and content. MARY stops scribbling, and furrows her brow as she looks to Thomas, who continues to gaze. Text clicks on-screen. ON-SCREEN TEXT Monday. Text clicks away. MARY Anything on your mind, Thomas? THOMAS (as if surprised) Hmm? No. MARY Alright. How has this week gone for you? THOMAS This week? Well! Uh, as a matter of fact, really good. I've just been thinking about what you said- about taking control- and, and I got to say, work's better, I've been exercising, and I've felt... just, fantastic. MARY That's good, Thomas. THOMAS Yeah. MARY Because I know last week there had been sort of an incident for you. THOMAS Oh, that, that was... You know, and now I've talked to Fred, we've talked about it, and everything is- that's not even an issue anymore. It's a non-issue. It was stupid, and- and insignificant, and I came here feeling really hot about completely stupid things, and then- and then you probably got to hear the worst of it. Just blowing off steam, you know? Being a big jerk. (laughs) You know? MARY Mm-hmm. MARY continues scribbling. THOMAS Ah, but this week, yeah. It's just been great. MARY Alright. How about- (MARY stops scribbling) Have there been any more... voices? THOMAS What? (chuckles) No! No, no of course not! MARY resumes scribbling. THOMAS (CONT'D) Definitely not, no. What are you- there aren't any... Mary- Mary: I'm fine. MARY continues scribbling. THOMAS (CONT'D) Listen, I'm being completely serious, I really, honestly feel like- like- ah, I dunno. Sated. I just- everything is finally making sense again. MARY finishes scribbling. THOMAS (CONT'D) Honestly. MARY Well, Thomas, if you've making progress, then I can't tell you how happy I am for you. THOMAS Good! I'm glad, because I'm happy. MARY But I don't think you are... making progress. Beat. THOMAS (clears his throat) Well. Alright. That's... your opinion, I guess. Can I ask- MARY Last week I saw you become very, very distressed. THOMAS I know, no, I- see? I know that. And I'm really so embarrassed you had to see that, Mary, because it probably gave you a completely- you know- a bad- wrong impression of what's going on up there in the old- ah- headroom. (chuckles) But, honestly, it's as simple as you just caught me on an extremely tough day, the events of which have already become completely ancient history. MARY Thomas, I feel you're trying very hard to impress me. THOMAS I- Impress you? (laughs) What? Well, that's pretty ridiculous, Mary. I mean, at these rates, I hope you can do a little better than that. (continues laughing) Ah, I'm just teasing, though. MARY And I suspect that over the last couple of months you've begun to see our relationship in a very inappropriate way. Beat. THOMAS Our... Are you- No, no, it's not like that at all! MARY It's called transference, Thomas. It's extremely common. All that happened is you became very thankful for the help I've given you, and you just got a little bit confused; misinterpreted your feelings, that's all. And I'm not angry at you, Thomas, and nobody's judging you. Beat. MARY (CONT'D) But, until you start to look at yourself as my patient again, there's absolutely nothing I can say to you that'll be of any help. THOMAS Can I just say that I really think you're off base about all this? MARY So I'm going to ask that you just meditated on this over the next week, try and collect your thoughts, try to keep positive, and we'll have a nice, friendly discussion about all this on Tuesday. Alright? THOMAS (laughs nervously, frustrated) I- God. Beat. THOMAS (CONT'D) Yeah... Yeah. CUT TO: EXT. STREET - MORNING THOMAS crosses the street, walking towards a large office building. Text clicks on-screen. ON-SCREEN TEXT Tuesday. He veers to the side and stops in front of a STREET VENDOR. No audible dialogue as THOMAS pays for a newspaper and thumbs through it, continuing towards the building. CUT TO: INT. OFFICE - LATER THOMAS staples a document together, holding it in his left hand and tracing his right index finger along a wall of three ring binders, until he eventually lands on one marked "Uv - We." THOMAS pulls the binder out of the wall and opens it up to the center, carefully undoing the rings and sliding the newly stapled document inside. He exits the office. CUT TO: INT. CUBICLE HALLWAY - MOMENTS LATER THOMAS slaloms through a sea of cubicles, eventually arriving at his own. Picking up his coffee mug, he eyes a ring of liquid left behind on his desk. THOMAS sighs deeply, getting up. Looking around his personal effects, THOMAS snatches a coaster from a shelf and sets the mug down on it, wiping the coffee ring away with the sleeve of his jacket. Grabbing a handful of documents from his "IN" box, THOMAS again leaves his cubicle, walking through the hallway. Passing by the door of a large office with a placard reading "DALBY ORELLANO," he stops, lingering in front of the door for a moment, looking around before subtly leaning his ear against the wood. We hear muffled male voices. THOMAS furrows his brow, and eventually lets out a sharp, breathy scoff. CUT TO: INT. DINER - AFTERNOON THOMAS eats a Danish, thumbing through another newspaper. Text clicks on. ON-SCREEN TEXT Wednesday. Text clicks away. Looking up towards the door, he notices two MEN entering in laughter and camaraderie. Inhaling, he rises from his table, wiping his hands on his pants and darting off to the men's room. CUT TO: INT. MEN'S ROOM - MOMENTS LATER THOMAS has locked himself into a stall, which he stands in, leaning on his arm against the door. After a bit of heavy breathing, he begins to pull yards of toilet paper out of the roller, bunching it up around his hands. With much fervor, THOMAS rips the length of paper into individual squares, muttering under his breath. CUT TO: EXT. PARKING LOT - NIGHT THOMAS sits in his car, lights off, tapping his thumbs on his steering wheel. Text clicks on. ON-SCREEN TEXT Thursday. Text clicks away. After a bit, he cranks his window down, leaning his arm out the side of his car before shifting uncomfortably, pulling his arm back inside and rolling his window up again. The sound of a car engine snaps THOMAS into a rush, frantically positioning his rear view mirror which he stares into intently. THOMAS (voice crackling) Aha! After staring into the mirror for a few more seconds, he slams his hands down on the dashboard, rolling forward with his eyes shut and laughing with a mixture of relief and disbelief. CUT TO: INT. CUBICLE HALLWAY - AFTERNOON THOMAS is in his cubicle, clicking out of his computer and folding up a binder on his desk. Text clicks on. ON-SCREEN TEXT Friday. Text clicks away. With everything in its place, he exits his cubicle. CUT TO: INT. MEN'S ROOM - MOMENTS LATER THOMAS checks himself over in the mirror, matting his hair down and straightening his tie. With his finger, he smudges something off one of his front teeth. Looking himself up and down, he nods and gives his knuckles a crack. CUT TO: INT. CUBICLE HALLWAY - MOMENTS LATER In front of DALBY ORELLANO's office, THOMAS rolls back and forth on the balls of his feet for a moment, staring at the floor, before tapping on the door. DALBY (through the door) Just a second! THOMAS continues to rock. DALBY (CONT'D) Come in. THOMAS opens the door and enters. CUT TO: INT. DALBY'S OFFICE - MOMENTS LATER DALBY ORELLANO (heavyset, early 50s), one of the two men from the diner on Wednesday, sits at his desk. DALBY Ah, Thomas. What can I do you for? THOMAS laughs through his nose. THOMAS (eerily coy) Dalby... DALBY (arching his eyebrows) Hmm? THOMAS I know something. DALBY Uh-huh. THOMAS Oh yeah. Oh yeah, I do. DALBY looks to thomas, arched eyebrows, curious. THOMAS (CONT'D) (grinning) You... (chuckles, matter of fact) You've been kissing boys. DALBY (politely smiling) Excuse me? THOMAS (in a playful singsong) It's with Peter... From finance. DALBY (laughs) I've- Thomas, what are you talking about? THOMAS (through the ever-present grin) Inside of here on Tuesday you and him talked about a vacation together, and then you ate lunch with him on Wednesday, and then last night in the carpark, I saw you kissing and driving home in the same car. DALBY (sighs) Alright, Thomas. What is this, blackmail? THOMAS approaches DALBY's desk, leaning his hands on it. THOMAS (very slow and deliberately) You... (exhales slowly) You're not supposed to kiss boys, Dalby. DALBY Oh, for God's sake, Thomas, what do you want from me? THOMAS You're supposed to kiss girls, Dalby. DALBY stares at THOMAS, exasperated. DALBY Why are you even- Abruptly, THOMAS climbs over DALBY's desk and grabs him by the collar, pushing him down, as he shouts: THOMAS (through gritted teeth) You're supposed to kiss girls! DALBY's head hits the floor, and he closes his eyes, groaning. THOMAS shakes DALBY by his shoulders. THOMAS (CONT'D) Look at me! Look at me, Dalby! Grimacing, DALBY opens his eyes. THOMAS (CONT'D) (grabbing DALBY's hair) You kiss the girls! With his free hand, THOMAS punches DALBY twice in the jaw. THOMAS (CONT'D) (still clutching DALBY's hair) You kiss the girls... THOMAS punches DALBY repeatedly in the gut. THOMAS (CONT'D) And you- (another fist to the gut) *hit* the boys! THOMAS flattens his hand over DALBY's mouth, muffling his screams. THOMAS (CONT'D) Dalby! Dalby! You kiss the girls and you hit the boys! THOMAS punches DALBY in the throat. CUT TO: INT. SMALLER OFFICE - LATER THOMAS sits, quietly gazing at his shoes, on a chair in front of a desk, two large SECURITY GUARDS standing at the door behind him. A MANAGER sits across from him. MANAGER Now, new company policy, so Faber and Faber will not be pursuing any charges against you, Thomas. Obviously, ah, Mr. Orellano still- you know- can. Yeah, and I assume he almost certainly will- ah- eh- you know. We- (trails off) Thomas. If you- we can help you get into some kind of therapy. I don't know if that's anything that would- THOMAS mumbles gently, head turned down. MANAGER (CONT'D) What's that, Thomas? THOMAS turns his head up to look at the MANAGER, eyes watery and smiling. THOMAS (nodding and content) I'm already in therapy. THOMAS bursts into loud, staccato laughter. THOMAS (CONT'D) I'm already in therapy! THOMAS reaches his arms up and begins to stand. The SECURITY GUARDS uncross their arms and start to slowly approach THOMAS. THOMAS (CONT'D) (voice breaking, continuing to laugh) I'm already in therapy! I'm already in it! CUT TO: INT. THOMAS' APARTMENT - AFTERNOON THOMAS stares at the television, still in Friday's work clothing. ON-SCREEN TEXT Saturday. CUT TO: INT. THOMAS' APARTMENT - AFTERNOON THOMAS sits in an identical pose, television blaring, whiskers starting to sprout on his cheeks, hair matted and messy. ON-SCREEN TEXT Sunday. CUT TO: INT. MARY'S OFFICE - DAY THOMAS lays on MARY's couch, curled up and staring at her with cloudy, affectionate eyes and a gentle smile. MARY taps her pen on her note pad, frowning slightly at THOMAS. MARY So, Thomas, how was your week? THOMAS (slow and breathy) Fantastic. MARY Mhm. And have you given any thought to what- THOMAS (all smiles) Yes, and I know now that I'm in love with you, so I plan to terminate immediately so we can start spending the rest of our lives together. Beat. MARY (scribbling on her pad) Mhm. CUT TO: EXT. LEONARD CHRISTIAN'S PORCH - AFTERNOON LEONARD CHRISTIAN (early 40s, vest, chaps and boots) is keeled over on his porch. He coughs, letting out a small cloud of dust. LEONARD (V.O.) Dad, the problem I've had all my life is that I just can't trust doctors. HARLAN (V.O.) Ginny Perriera's son was a doctor. Good man. Honest man. LEONARD opens his eyes, straight into the overbearing sun. Gagging slightly, he closes them again and rolls onto his side, reopening them in the shade. LEONARD (V.O.) I just find that trying to keep me alive and trying to take my money to be sorta' like... conflicting interests. LEONARD looks down to his hand, the side of which is caked with dry blood. His eyes dart to the knife in his deck, which is likewise, smeared with dry blood. LEONARD (CONT'D) (hoarsely) Hell. LEONARD meekly pushes himself up onto his feet, clutching his wounded hand with the other, and stumbling inside. CUT TO: INT. LEONARD'S HOUSE - MOMENTS LATER LEONARD teeters slowly towards his sink as if drunk. HARLAN (V.O.) Well, if you don't like 'em, then don't see 'em, I guess. LEONARD (V.O.) Yeah, Dad. I know. LEONARD turns the tap on and leans his head underneath the sink, sucking water down his throat before lifting his head up to the mirror, his face covered in dirt and still dripping with water. LEONARD (CONT'D) Shoot. CUT TO BLACK. LEONARD (V.O.) (CONT'D) But I got my condition, right? HARLAN (V.O.) Oh, yeah, right. There is that. So that's a problem, I guess? LEONARD grabs a towel and begins to mat the dirt and sweat off of his face. LEONARD (V.O.) Well, what I done is, a few years back I found myself a real fine nutritionist. CUT TO: EXT. BAR - NIGHT A slightly younger LEONARD is sitting on some railing outside of a city bar, tipping back a bottle of beer. His friend, GIL (tubby, sprightly) is standing behind LEONARD's right, leaned over the railing with a bottle hanging in his hand. GIL Damn! (chuckles, drunkenly) Damn, Leonard, how d'you drink like that? LEONARD (spits) What are you on about? GIL You put 'em down like a real badass, you know that? LEONARD (laughs) Gil, keep quiet. GIL Nah, Leonard! I mean it! I think it's the eyes. LEONARD Oh, yeah. The eyes, huh? GIL Yep. Gotta be the eyes. LEONARD Well, Gil, I gotta hand it to you: You sure know how to sweet talk 'em. GIL (laughs) Fuck you, Leonard. LEONARD Your place or mine? GIL (laughing) Fuck you, fuck you. Another round? LEONARD tilts his bottle into the light, eyeing it and sighing. LEONARD (belches) Yeah, sounds good. GIL (coughs, turning around) But seriously, some of these days you gotta teach me how to drink like that. GIL wanders back inside, as LEONARD pulls a cigarette from his shirt pocket and pops it in his mouth, digging through his pants for a moment before producing a lighter. He flicks the flint and holds the flame to his cigarette. EDMUND (O.S.) For goodness sake, son- You're pitching a no-hitter tonight. PAN TO REVEAL: EDMUND COLLARD (late fifties, haggard but sharply dressed) is crouched on the ground ten feet to the left of LEONARD. LEONARD (dragging off of his cigarette) Excuse me? EDMUND I was in the "U" Diner earlier tonight, and I saw you do away with a cut of beef bigger than my head. Then, you gone through eight bottles in an hour and a half. And I bet that pack's only got, what, two sticks left? LEONARD chuckles deeply. LEONARD What's it to you? EDMUND Well, you're sprinting for an early grave, I take it? LEONARD (eyeing him over, confused) Mind your business. EDMUND Fine, fine. 'Course I'm just trying to help. (Looks away momentarily, before) But you're really killing yourself, you know that? LEONARD What's your name, old man? EDMUND It's- ah- it's Collard. Edmund Collard. LEONARD You a doctor or something? EDMUND Uh-huh. That's right. Text clicks on-screen. ON-SCREEN TEXT Edmund Collard is not a doctor. LEONARD Well, (Leonard drops his cigarette, stamping it out) Edmund Collard, you went and sermonized the wrong son of a bitch on the worst possible night. LEONARD jumps to his feet, throwing his bottle into the street, which shatters off screen. EDMUND sighs, standing up. The two men, walk up to each other, chests out. LEONARD has EDMUND by a few inches. EDMUND Alright, cowboy- this your game? LEONARD Oh yeah, doctor. This is my game. CUT TO: EXT. STREET - MOMENTS LATER LEONARD and EDMUND wrestle into the street, trading punches. LEONARD whips around EDMUNDS back, holding him into a headlock. LEONARD Come on, you pieceashit! Let's hear s'more! How long would you say I got, huh? Ten years? Five? Huh? Huh?! EDMUND gags. LEONARD (CONT'D) But, shit, I dunno- Maybe you can get me on a regimen! Diet, exercise, Technicolor cocktail of pharmaceuticals, huh? EDMUND elbows LEONARD in the gut, sending him back, doubled over. EDMUND spins and sends out a fist, which catches LEONARD in the head, sending him to the ground. Standing over him, EDMUND kicks LEONARD in the gut. LEONARD moans. EDMUND (much slower, calmer than LEONARD) Mhm. Well, you've got a real sharp mouth on you, don't you, pretty boy? EDMUND kicks LEONARD again. EDMUND (CONT'D) Oh, but that's right- This is your game, isn't it? You're the star, yeah? You call the shots, huh? EDMUND kicks LEONARD, who hacks. EDMUND (CONT'D) But guess what; I can keep this up all night, cowboy. EDMUND kicks LEONARD. EDMUND (CONT'D) Or are- (grunts) - you done playing? EDMUND kicks LEONARD. EDMUND (CONT'D) (suddenly in a shout) Well, come on, boy! I ain't fixing to just quit on my own accord, so let's hear it! (spelling it out) Have you had enough? LEONARD moans. EDMUND (CONT'D) Huh? LEONARD (meekly, under his breath) Uncle... EDMUND What's that? LEONARD (shouting) Uncle! EDMUND (laughs, leaning into a stretch) Alright. Alright. LEONARD rolls onto his back, clutching his gut and breathing heavily. EDMUND (CONT'D) And what was that line? The wrong son of a bitch on the worst possible night? (laughs) That was good. LEONARD rests for a moment, before lunging out at EDMUNDS leg and sinking his teeth into his ankle. EDMUND screams. CUT TO: INT. BAR - LATER EDMUND and LEONARD sit across from one another at a table, EDMUND holding a glass of beer up against his eye, his busted lip sticking out underneath, and LEONARD leaning back in his chair with a blood soaked napkin covering his face. The jukebox blares. After some time: LEONARD They don't play good music in this bar. EDMUND Well... I wouldn't say they play good music in any bar. BOTH take a swig from their glasses. From the motion, LEONARD stifles a groan. LEONARD Boy, doctor. You know how to throw a punch. EDMUND (weakly chuckles) Yeah. Thanks, uh- LEONARD My name's Leonard Christian. EDMUND Leonard Christian? Well, that's a good name. LEONARD Came from my granddad. EDMUND Mine, too. Though I can't say I done well with Edmund. LEONARD Yeah, Edmund, uh- (clears his throat) You said you was a doctor? EDMUND I did, but- uh- I lied. Well, no- I mean, I'm like a doctor, just except it's- LEONARD What, are you a nurse or something? EDMUND No! No, no. I'm, uh... I'm a nutritionist. After a pause, LEONARD begins to laugh uncontrollably, threatening to fall over in his chair. EDMUND (CONT'D) That's right, that's right, whoop it up, cowboy. LEONARD peels the napkin off of his face, leaning forward with two puffy eyes and a crooked nose, laughing. LEONARD (voice crackling) I'm sorry, I'm sorry. (sighs, laughter trailing) No- (one last chuckle) - that's not bad. EDMUND Gee, thanks. LEONARD Honestly, Edmund, it's better that you're a nutritionist. You know? 'Cause I hate doctors. EDMUND Alright, yeah, yeah. LEONARD Well, I do. (shifts his weight) But, listen- I, uh... I had to get a few tests done about a month and a half ago, and they- I guess- found some stuff that's- you know- really got me all worked up. EDMUND Yeah? LEONARD Yeah. And, look I was just gonna ignore it, but if it's not too big a deal, you think I could make, like, a- an, uh- EDMUND An appointment? LEONARD Yeah, that's right, an appointment to come in sometime and- well, I dunno- talk it over or something? EDMUND stares at LEONARD for a moment before himself succumbing to laughter. LEONARD (CONT'D) What? No, come on, what? EDMUND (hysterical, unable to communicate) We - you just - ah! LEONARD Alright, alright, alright- come on. EDMUND (subsides) Oh, man. No, I- hoo. LEONARD Okay. Okay. EDMUND Well, of course I will, Leonard! LEONARD Yeah? EDMUND Yeah, sure! LEONARD Well- okay! Damn, thanks Edmund! LEONARD raises his glass, which EDMUND matches in cheers. CUT TO BLACK. HARLAN (V.O.) That's good, son. See? You figure these things out. I'm glad for you. LEONARD (V.O.) Yeah, well. Thing is, though, now I got me, like, a new problem. CUT TO: INT. LEONARD'S LIVING ROOM - AFTERNOON Back in the present, a slightly cleaned up but still wrecked looking LEONARD wedges his phone in between his ear and shoulder, dialing a number from a piece of paper. CUT TO: INT. EDMUND'S HOUSE - SAME TIME EDMUND's phone rings three times. EDMUND (O.S.) Yeah. Yeah, yeah. I hear you. EDMUND, dressed for golf, enters to pick up his receiver. EDMUND (CONT'D) (slightly out of breath) Hh- Edmund Collard speaking. CUT TO: INT. LEONARD'S LIVING ROOM - SAME TIME LEONARD Hi, Edmund. EDMUND (on the other end) Leonard? God! Been too long. LEONARD I know, I know, yeah, real busy. EDMUND (on the other end) How you keeping, son? LEONARD Well, Edmund, been better. I- ah- I think I experienced today something akin to... Well, I guess, a diabetic coma. CUT TO: INT. EDMUND'S HOUSE - SAME TIME EDMUND holds the phone, standing silently, before sitting down in a chair and facing the wall. EDMUND (sighs, rubbing his head) Leonard... Ah, jeez. Come on, man. I mean, what do you want me to do for you? LEONARD (on the other end) I dunno, anything? EDMUND Well, I sure as hell ain't making a two thousand mile house call, if that's what you're getting at. LEONARD (on the other end) No, I don't mean like that- EDMUND Shit, Leonard... You know you've got to do something. I mean, I'm not getting into specifics over the phone, but this sounds like it's gonna get pretty serious and real quick, too. LEONARD (on the other end) Yeah. I know. EDMUND Look, it's twenty minutes to Galveston, and I can assure you, they got some real good doctors there. LEONARD yells unintelligibly over the other end. EDMUND (CONT'D) (yelling back) Wait a minute, wait a minute- Stop acting like a child and take some fucking responsibility for your situation! LEONARD (on the other end) I know. I know. EDMUND (calmed down) Damn it, Leonard, you know I understand how you feel, but if you don't get on this *now*, you're gonna die. CUT TO: INT. LEONARD'S LIVING ROOM - SAME TIME LEONARD sighs. LEONARD Alright, but I can't do it, Edmund. I just can't do it. Beat. LEONARD (CONT'D) Boy, I sure wish you hadn't have moved. EDMUND (on the other end) That's not fair, Leonard. LEONARD Nah, I mean- I know you got your practice down there now and you're doin' real well and I'm real happy for you and everything. I just- (exhales) Hoo, the way things work out sometimes, you know? CUT TO: INT. EDMUND'S HOUSE - SAME TIME EDMUND Yeah, I know, Leonard. I know. Beat. EDMUND (CONT'D) Look, don't do anything stupid like upping your dose a bunch. Eat lots of grain, drink as much water as you can hold, and sleep next to the toilet. (reaching into a drawer) Now, I know you'll hate this, but I'm gonna give you an address, and first thing tomorrow morning, you've got to give it a try. LEONARD sighs over the other end. EDMUND (CONT'D) At least for me, right cowboy? CUT TO BLACK. HARLAN (V.O.) Yeah, son. That is a problem. LEONARD (V.O.) Well... Yeah. INT. WAITING ROOM - NEXT MORNING A blonde RECEPTIONIST speaks on the telephone with a headset, typing at her computer throughout. LEONARD sits in a chair across the room, visibly impatient. RECEPTIONIST No, Thursday isn't going to work. Not at any time before three. After five? I thought you said- oh, alright. Actually, I think there might be a... Hang on a minute... No, not after five, either. There's still an opening for Wednesday at four if you're- What's that? No. Okay. Oh, well, we're closed on the weekends. Yes, that includes Saturday. LEONARD stands and leans against the wall, irritated. RECEPTIONIST (CONT'D) You mean the following Tuesday? Actually... Well, I'll have to check, hang on. Alright, I see that we can get you in at ten o'clock. Ten. AM, yes. Oh, that's alright. No, of course not. The next- Actually, I'm sorry, Wednesday is basically booked. If you want to come in the following Thursday, not the twenty first but the twenty-eighth- LEONARD pulls a cigarette out of a pack in his pocket and begins to light it. RECEPTIONIST (CONT'D) Just a moment. Sir? (holds out her hand to LEONARD) Sir. LEONARD pauses to look at the RECEPTIONIST. RECEPTIONIST (CONT'D) You can't- There's no smoking in here. LEONARD eventually reacts by plucking the cigarette from his mouth and putting it back in the breast pocket of his vest. RECEPTIONIST (CONT'D) Sorry about that. But the Thursday after, the twenty eighth, we would have... let me check... four hours starting at noon, and two hours- CUT TO: EXT. DOCTOR'S OFFICE - LATER LEONARD exits the building and sidles over to a pay phone, which he pumps a handful of quarters into, dialing. LEONARD (after a moment, shouting over the traffic and wind) Okay, I couldn't do it! What? It's Leonard! Yeah, I know- you're right! And I'm sorry! But anyway, I'm really really scared about all of this, so I'm thinking I'm just gonna go ahead and load up all my junk on a train and move down to Cimarron! You know, so's that I can keep on seeing you from there! Beat. LEONARD (CONT'D) (laughs) Yeah, I am serious! Uh-huh, that's right! I'll, uh... Well, I'll drop by- I dunno- Tuesday, I guess! LEONARD laughs. LEONARD (CONT'D) Yeah. Okay, Edmund! Ah- you have yourself a good day! CUT TO BLACK. LEONARD (V.O.) (CONT'D) So don't be mad or nothing, Dad, but it's looking like that's how it's gonna have to be. CUT TO: EXT. LEONARD'S BACKYARD - NIGHT LEONARD sits in front of a large, round gravestone, legs outstretched. HARLAN CHRISTIAN (built like LEONARD, grey, dusty) sits on top of the gravestone, hunched over. HARLAN Nah, Leonard. I ain't mad. LEONARD nods. LEONARD (exhales) Hoo, the way things turn out sometimes, you know? HARLAN Yeah, I know, son. (clapping his hands together) So, what're you gonna do with the house? LEONARD Well, I ain't sure. I hadn't even thought about it. I mean, what do you think, Dad? Should I sell it? HARLAN (shocked) Sell it? Leonard, what the hell's wrong with you? LEONARD Well, I don't know, Dad, you asked! HARLAN What, you need money or something? LEONARD No, no! Come on, I'm fine. I won't sell it, Jesus. I'm sorry. HARLAN (sighs) Damn it, Leonard- I just meant, well, have a talk with Larry Masters or somebody and have 'em drop in from time to time. Sell it- Damn place is gonna fall over one of these days! LEONARD Fine, Dad. Why didn't you just say that in the first place? The CHRISTIANS sigh in synchronicity. HARLAN Well. City life, huh? LEONARD City life? Dad, you ever been to Cimarron? HARLAN I know, I know. But, still, it's gonna be different than out here, you know? LEONARD Well, I know. I'll be alright. HARLAN Oh yeah, I'm sure you will. HARLAN chews his lip for a moment. HARLAN (CONT'D) But then I reckon that means nobody's gonna come out here and talk to me no more, huh? LEONARD (scratching his head) Ah, come on, Dad. You're dead. HARLAN Yeah. Yeah, I guess I am. The CHRISTIANS sit in a moment of quiet reflection. HARLAN (CONT'D) Well, I suppose you got some more packing to do. LEONARD (getting up) Yeah. Suppose I do. HARLAN Then I don't wanna keep you none. LEONARD I'll talk to Larry about the house like you said. HARLAN Appreciate it. And- ah, I appreciate you coming out here and talking to me about this. LEONARD pats his father on the shoulder and starts to walk towards the house. HARLAN (CONT'D) Don't be a stranger, son. (calling after him) Oh, and see if you don't have any luck finding yourself a wife down in Cimarron! I'd sure like to meet myself a New Mexican one of these days! LEONARDM (O.S.) (laughing) Will do, Dad. HARLAN chuckles for a bit, before slapping his thighs and hunching forward, looking from side to side as if waiting for something. FADE TO: INT. VICTORIAN KITCHEN - MORNING TRAN PHAM's hand reaches high up onto a shelf, wiping off a thick coat of dust with a white rag. CUT TO: INT. VICTORIAN BATHROOM - MOMENTS LATER TRAN PHAM's hand clutches a bottle of industrial strength cleaner in one hand and a sponge in the other, tackling a rusty stain in a sink. CUT TO: INT. VICTORIAN LIVING ROOM - MOMENTS LATER TRAN PHAM's hand plugs a cord into a wall socket, immediately blowing the power and switching out the lights. TRAN sighs. CUT TO: EXT. SIDE OF VICTORIAN HOUSE - MOMENTS LATER TRAN PHAM's hand opens up a circuit box, running up and down an array of switches before hesitating over and hitting one, sending sparks all over. TRAN shrieks. CUT TO: EXT. VICTORIAN BACKYARD - MOMENTS LATER TRAN PHAM stands a swimming pool with a large, telescoping net, fishing out leaves and clutter. VICTORIAN HOUSE (V.O.) (gentle, male voice) You're awfully quiet today. TRAN Hmm. VICTORIAN HOUSE (V.O.) Is something wrong, Tran? TRAN No. I just don't have anything to say. VICTORIAN HOUSE (V.O.) Then why not hum? You normally hum. TRAN continues to clean the pool. VICTORIAN HOUSE (V.O.) (CONT'D) Are there people coming to see me today, Tran? TRAN (sighs) Uh- yes. There are. VICTORIAN HOUSE (V.O.) What kind of people? TRAN walks around to the other side of the pool, getting on her knees and reaching out to fish out a leaf that's wandered dead into the center. VICTORIAN HOUSE (V.O.) (CONT'D) When are they arriving? TRAN continues to reach. VICTORIAN HOUSE (V.O.) (CONT'D) I'm sorry about my pool being such a mess. Of course, do you think the people are going to mind that one little leaf? TRAN grunts, leaning further over the water, before slipping and soaking the front of her shirt in the pool. TRAN Shit! TRAN throws the net into the pool and sits back on her hands, irritated. VICTORIAN HOUSE (V.O.) Are you mad at me, Tran? TRAN No, I'm not mad, but I'm really, really busy right now and I really need to concentrate, so just shut up for a few minutes, okay? After a moment, TRAN gets up and tries wiping her shirt off before stepping to the pool and reaching out to grab the net and try again on the leaf. VICTORIAN HOUSE (V.O.) You're such a bitch today. CUT TO: INT. VICTORIAN HALLWAY - LATER TRAN escorts a YOUNG COUPLE (yuppies, attractive) through the VICTORIAN HOUSE. TRAN Okay, the bathroom is a little bit on the cozy side- GIRLFRIEND Uh-oh... TRAN - But, it's got something that I absolutely love. TRAN opens the door to the bathroom, the COUPLE entering. BOYFRIEND Oh, wow. GIRLFRIEND (gasps) Hers and his sinks! Oh, that is too much! TRAN I know! Don't you love it? CUT TO: INT. VICTORIAN LIVING ROOM - LATER The COUPLE sits on the sofa, across from TRAN in her chair. GIRLFRIEND Now, there are some issues. The street's a little bit busy- BOYFRIEND And the location. GIRLFRIEND Stan's of course worried about getting to work. But- actually, I don't honestly think that's gonna be too much of a problem. TRAN No, it shouldn't be. I mean, Stan, coming from the west end of town, you have the Almendarez bridge traffic- BOYFRIEND Yeah. TRAN - so even though this is maybe a couple more miles out- I mean, I've got a lot of clients just like you, and you will not- I guarantee you- will not even notice the difference. BOYFRIEND Yeah, I've been told that. But, I mean, you have to make sure your bases are covered. GIRLFRIEND Also, the color is an issue for me. TRAN Oh, yeah? GIRLFRIEND Yeah. Actually, I think we'd probably have to paint everything. BOYFRIEND Uh-huh, I was gonna say- GIRLFRIEND Maybe something sunnier? Oh, and I really, really don't like the hardwood floor in the bedroom- BOYFRIEND Hmm. GIRLFRIEND What? BOYFRIEND No, it's nothing. I just- GIRLFRIEND Go ahead, speak your mind. BOYFRIEND Well, honestly? You know, I didn't mind that. GIRLFRIEND No? BOYFRIEND No, not really. GIRLFRIEND Honey? Ick, ick, ick. BOYFRIEND (laughs) Of course, I'm not married to it. TRAN (laughs) Oh, and by the way, all of this is fine. Standard changes, easy changes. No problem whatsoever as far as any of this is concerned. GIRLFRIEND And, again, with the color. Honestly, I can't even think of what system would work with those walls. You know, I mean as far as carpeting and trim and everything. TRAN Mm-hm. GIRLFRIEND So it's a lot of work. TRAN Mm-hm. GIRLFRIEND But we love the garden- VICTORIAN HOUSE (V.O.) (drowning them out) I don't like these people. TRAN blinks awkwardly as if slightly thrown. BOYFRIEND And the pool. GIRLFRIEND Oh, the pool. And, we love- VICTORIAN HOUSE (V.O.) (drowning them out) I don't want to be painted. Not by them. Get them out of me. BOYFRIEND (laughs) I know, definitely. TRAN (chuckles) Ah, I- I'm sorry, I didn't catch that. The GIRLFRIEND begins to speak, but: VICTORIAN HOUSE (V.O.) Tran, listen to me: These people aren't right. You have to get them out of here, and you have to do it now. GIRLFRIEND - if that makes any sense. TRAN Mm-hm. Mm-hm. GIRLFRIEND So, we're definitely going to keep this one in mind, definitely. But for the next place, if we could try for something- VICTORIAN HOUSE (V.O.) Tran, please- TRAN (screaming) Fuck, stop it! The COUPLE stares at TRAN. GIRLFRIEND I'm sorry? CUT TO: EXT. VICTORIAN BACKYARD - LATER Looking in through the sliding glass door as TRAN walks up, trying to pull it open to no avail. After a few frustrated tugs, she kicks the glass which cracks in a large web pattern towards the bottom. VICTORIAN HOUSE How unnecessary. After fidgeting for a moment, TRAN undoes the lock, and slides the door open, storming outside. VICTORIAN HOUSE (CONT'D) Why are you doing this? TRAN steps in front of the pool and turns around, facing the house. VICTORIAN HOUSE (CONT'D) There will be more people, Tran. You know that. TRAN spreads her arms out like wings and falls backwards into the pool, completely submerged. VICTORIAN HOUSE (CONT'D) (after TRAN has stayed beneath for a while) You're like a child. CUT TO: SPLIT SCREEN: INT. TRAN'S HOUSE - LATER THAT EVENING SPLIT WITH: INT. TEN'S HOUSE - SAME TIME At camera left, TRAN dries her hair with a free hand, holding the receiver to her ear with the other, wandering towards her kitchen. TEN PHAM (ancient-looking, stern), TRAN's mother, is sitting on a chair at frame right, holding her receiver gracefully, as if it might be made of crystal. TRAN (SUBTITLE) (spoken in Vietnamese) That is just a ridiculous question. TEN (SUBTITLE) (spoken in Vietnamese) No it isn't. No, it's a good question. Everything you've been- TRAN (SUBTITLE) (spoken in Vietnamese) Whether or not I'm happy doesn't have anything to do with- TEN (SUBTITLE) (spoken in Vietnamese) Tran! Tran! TRAN (SUBTITLE) (spoken in Vietnamese) - Never mind the implication, which couldn't be any more obvious, but it doesn't have anything to do with anything! TRAN opens up her refrigerator. TEN (SUBTITLE) (spoken in Vietnamese) Yes it does. It does if you're unhappy. TRAN (SUBTITLE) (spoken in Vietnamese) Okay, then. Yes, I am happy. TEN (SUBTITLE) (spoken in Vietnamese) You can't be happy just to get me to leave you alone! TRAN (SUBTITLE) (spoken in Vietnamese) I can't- Is this whole thing a game for you or something? After sifting through her refrigerator, TRAN pulls a carrot out of the bottom crisper and takes a bite. TEN (SUBTITLE) (spoken in Vietnamese) Listen to me, Tran: You are unhappy, and I know why you're unhappy, and you know why, too, so I don't even have to say it. TRAN (SUBTITLE) (spoken in Vietnamese with her mouth full) Good. Then let's move on. TEN (SUBTITLE) (spoken in Vietnamese) You can't agree with me just to get me to leave you alone! TRAN spits the bite of carrot into the sink and throws the remainder down the garbage disposal. TRAN (to herself) No, no. I can't afford another pizza. TEN (SUBTITLE) (spoken in Vietnamese) What was that? TRAN (SUBTITLE) (spoken in Vietnamese) Nothing, what were we talking about? TEN (SUBTITLE) (spoken in Vietnamese) Don't curse me in English, because I know! TRAN (SUBTITLE) (spoken in Vietnamese) How about you stop being such an asshole and maybe I'll try and have a real conversation with you someday? TEN freezes as if struck by an arrow through the heart. TRAN (CONT'D) (to herself) Oh, stupid. Stupid, stupid... (SUBTITLE) (sighs, spoken in Vietnamese) Mom, I didn't mean it. TEN (SUBTITLE) (spoken in Vietnamese) All I can think is, if a girl speaks in such a way to her own mother, how does she hope to find a man to settle down with? TRAN shrieks TEN (SUBTITLE) (CONT'D) (spoken in Vietnamese) What about Thomas? Thomas was nice. TRAN (SUBTITLE) (spoken in Vietnamese) Stop calling my house! TRAN hangs up her phone. CUT TO: EXT. TRAIN STATION - AFTERNOON Looking deep-eyed on to the city before him, LEONARD steps off of a midday train with a bag on each arm. Flaring his nostrils, he takes in a deep breath of Cimarron air, before doubling over in a fit of hacking. In a bit of a panic, he yanks a zipper down on one of his packs, pulling out the first shirt he can get his hands on and pressing it over his mouth, coughing heartily into it and slowing his breath. LEONARD (in between sighs) Okay... Gotta get used to a... Tighter air. CUT TO BLACK. We hear a zipper close. CUT TO: INT. ART DECO ONE STORY - LATE NIGHT Extended quiet interior shots of a vibrantly colored art deco house, fully furnished in that late sixties take on ultra modern. In an explosion of sound and motion, the front door swings open, TRAN rushing in from the outside, bundled and determined looking. ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.) (bubbly but calm younger female voice) Oh, Tran! I had no idea you were coming! TRAN (rushing to the kitchen) Hi, yeah- sorry, so much to- such a... CUT TO: INT. ART DECO KITCHEN - MOMENTS LATER TRAN pauses briefly in the kitchen, scanning the cupboards before jerking her head down to the floor, watching the linoleum for something. ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.) What are you here for? TRAN's eyes dart up level, pointing towards nothing in particular. TRAN (choosing her words carefully) Oh, I'm just here because of... the- ah, the trim. TRAN gets on her hands and knees, reaching into the corner behind the furnishings to feel at the floor-to wall trimming, as if to strip it away. TRAN (CONT'D) It's very thick rubber, it's extremely scuffed up, and it doesn't at all coordinate with the theme of the room. (grunting now) And I have no idea what kind of tools- ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.) Tran, that can't be why you're here. TRAN fidgets for a few seconds more, before stopping entirely. TRAN No, yeah... Of course you're right, I mean, of course it's not. I was actually... (edging out of the kitchen) I was rushing over to do a little bit of emergency landscaping. CUT TO: EXT. ART DECO BACKYARD - MOMENTS LATER TRAN breezes into the backyard, where she begins to scoop up stepping stones. TRAN These stones are, like, really really old world, which is totally confusing the whole ultra, ah, contemporary sort of vib you have going here. I'm not a feng shui kind of girl or anything, you know that, but it's, like, I dunno! A total drag. Just misguided, stupid. Did I put these here? I did, didn't I? Stupid. Stupid. Obvious. Stupid. TRAN collects an armful of stones and dumps them by the entry way of the house, before returning to collect the remainder. ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.) Tran, come on. That isn't why you're here. TRAN freezes, back to the house. TRAN (softly, as if scolding herself) No. Ah- no. (instantly) It was the fucking blinds! TRAN fires off back inside. CUT TO: INT. ART DECO FAMILY ROOM - MOMENTS LATER TRAN dashes towards the windows and pulls a pair of scissors from her pocket, lining them up with a support string for a set of venetian blinds. TRAN These windows are so tiny, it's absolutely disgusting. No idea who did this or what they were thinking, (she snips a string, sending a set of blinds to the floor) But any sunlight I can possibly squeeze into this family room, that's twenty thousand right there. Easy. Just like that. If I can just get a little bit more... (snips another string, another blind falls) I'd even knock out a big chunk, right? A huge rectangle, dead in the middle. If I could just be sure- ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.) Tran, it's not this. TRAN groans sickly, dropping her scissors. TRAN Why not? Why isn't it this? It could be this. ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.) No, Tran. It can't. TRAN (completely exasperated) Yes it can! ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.) Tran, there's no way you came here about the blinds. TRAN Well, why not? ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.) Because it's four-thirty in the morning on Tuesday. TRAN closes her eyes, breathing and standing. ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.) (CONT'D) What are you here for, Tran? TRAN falls on her ass and crosses her legs, head slumped over embarrassed. TRAN (softly) I'm here because I have to talk now or else I'm gonna die. CUT TO: INT. ART DECO KITCHEN - LATER TRAN runs her finger along the rim of a glass of deep Merlot, looking deeply perturbed. ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.) What do they say you do in the magazines? TRAN What? In the magazines? Turn to page 53 for special mail-in rebate, try this recipe at home, send a letter to the editor. ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.) No, the smart ones. I think they say you've got to identify the problem. TRAN Okay, right! No, that's good advice, but that's exactly what the problem is. I can't even *describe* the problem. Everything's a problem, so I know there's a problem, but I can't tell you where the problem ends and I start, or something. Maybe not even that, I don't know. ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.) Well, isn't part of the problem admitting that you have a problem? TRAN I think that's only if I'm a crack addict or something. ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.) And you're not? TRAN No, definitely not. ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.) Okay, so we're one step closer! TRAN buries her head on the table. ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.) (CONT'D) Just a joke. Look, I'm mostly just repeating things I heard on television and whatever. TRAN (into her arms, still sprawled on the table) It's okay. People do that, too. ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.) Is it one big problem or a lot of little problems? TRAN (after a pause) A lot of little. ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.) Well, maybe that really is the problem, then! Maybe you're so overwhelmed by the bunch of little problems that you don't understand the big picture or the big problem, and that's why you're confused! Too many little problems, right? TRAN lifts her head up, eyebrow cocked. TRAN In a very strange way, I think you might be onto something. ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.) Okay! So, let's try that! Just name a bunch little problems in your life, okay? TRAN (sighs heavy) No, it passed. You're definitely wrong again. ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.) Come on, it would be fun! TRAN What the fuck are you talking about? It wouldn't be fun at all. What, you mean, for you? ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.) Yeah! And for you, it'll be cathartic. TRAN I just- (groans) Beat. ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.) Well? TRAN My mom is calling me way too much. Beat. ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.) Oh. TRAN See? That's stupid! That's not even a problem, and it must not be the problem, because I'm not an idiot and I wouldn't get all worked up about something like that. ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.) Relax, relax. Just roll with the punches, yeah? TRAN And, you know... I hate myself that I have to do this. ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.) Do...? TRAN Talk to fucking houses? I get sad so I talk to a house? ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.) Well, I think that one's alright- TRAN What, am I just supposed to be poor forever until I'm dead? So I can never afford to go out and eat good food and do regular people things, and see a real therapist? A real human therapist, with a big leather couch and maybe even a moustache? ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.) I may not have the best advice, but- TRAN Ugh, like that! Stop getting so defensive! You don't even exist, it's ridiculous! ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.) Well. Where reasonable minds differ. TRAN And, on another note, you are a big, big fucking problem. ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.) Excuse me? TRAN I'm never going to sell you, ever. ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.) (gasps) And why's that?! TRAN Because you're absolutely atrocious. I spend hours at a time on you, chipping away, stripping and destroying and rebuilding, and every time I get a walk in, they just stare at me like, 'Oh, you must be joking.' (letting it sink in) You disgust everybody and you waste my time. ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.) I always just assumed you were sabotaging the viewings because you didn't want to lose me. TRAN frowns at her Merlot, irritated at first, but resorts to frustrated laughter, instead. ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.) (CONT'D) But I guess not. TRAN's laughter slowly, slowly trails off. TRAN And... and then Thomas. ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.) I remember this part, I'm almost sure. Almost sure you mentioned him before. TRAN I'm afraid of Thomas. I know he's getting worse and worse. He's definitely getting less predictable. I'm- you know, I'm not sure if he even knows what he's doing anymore. ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.) That he might hurt himself? TRAN What? No! Hurt me. Hurt me. Hurt himself- Thomas always- he's always hurting himself. Shit, if that bothered me I'd never leave this kitchen. ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.) But you and he were together for some time? TRAN Some time, I- yeah. Not very long, no. I just- He was never ever my type, even before all of the... You know, Thomas has a very... TRAN trails off and stares at her glass. Lifting it, she pours the contents down her throat in a single gulp. With a small belch and a cough, she inhales deeply before continuing. TRAN (CONT'D) Thomas has a very effective way of presenting himself. CUT TO: INT. COUNTY COURTHOUSE - AFTERNOON THOMAS SEXTON stands at a window, talking to a courthouse receptionist. THOMAS You know, you call this a citizen service, but you people haven't actually covered your end. COURTHOUSE RECEPTIONIST Sir- THOMAS Yeah, I know, I know. Duty of the people and everything, but you've got to admit, (leaning in to whisper) It's a pretty shoddily run operation you've got here, isn't it? COURTHOUSE RECEPTIONIST (sighs) Sir... THOMAS (lowering his whisper) Well, the waiting? I mean, we don't eat, there's nothing to read. What, we just sit and wait? COURTHOUSE RECEPTIONIST We're very busy, here, sir THOMAS But don't get me wrong, here: I'm not trying to get down on you or call you out or anything. But, you know, I mean- I'd probably sit a lot easier if you'd just admit that you guys are being real terrific assholes from your side of the bargain. COURTHOUSE RECEPTIONIST Alright, Mr.- THOMAS Sexton. COURTHOUSE RECEPTIONIST Sexton. We of the Renderos County Court system- I, my co-workers, and all of my professional affiliations- are being real terrific assholes from our side of the bargain. THOMAS tightens his lips and nods. THOMAS Alright. (slaps the counter) Thank you. COURTHOUSE RECEPTIONIST Thank you, Mr. Sexton. THOMAS returns to his seat, arms folded contentedly. Next to him sits a bemused, onlooking TRAN PHAM, who glances back and forth between the COURTHOUSE RECEPTIONIST and THOMAS. TRAN That was very brassy. THOMAS Oh, the- uh- (chuckles) Yeah, thanks. TRAN I know a lot of people probably try to wiggle their way out of jury duty, but I think you might have actually found an exit just now. THOMAS Wait, you mean- Oh, I hope not! Ah, come on, I've been looking forward to this all week. TRAN laughs at first. TRAN You're serious? THOMAS Yeah, man- We're not getting some petty thief or something. Trial by jury. Come on, what if we get, like, a murder, or a rape, or something? No, I just did that because they shouldn't make us wait like this. You know? TRAN (nodding) You like murder and rape? THOMAS Well, I mean- everyone's got to admit, it's interesting. From a purely psychological standpoint. You know, as long as it's not happening to you, it's interesting. TRAN I guess so. Well, if I get picked and you don't, I'll happily trade. THOMAS I would say yes. I would. But I don't think I look very Chinese. They laugh lightly. THOMAS (CONT'D) Of course, now I feel like a jerk for saying that, because I'm *positive* you're not Chinese. TRAN Vietnamese. THOMAS Hey, what's your name? Can I ask? TRAN Yeah. It's Tran Pham. THOMAS Tram- TRAN Tran. THOMAS Tran Pham. TRAN Uh-huh. THOMAS Okay! Yeah, that's very, very pretty. TRAN I've never thought so. THOMAS How do you spell that? TRAN Me? I spell it in Vietnamese. THOMAS nods. TRAN (CONT'D) And that was a joke. THOMAS Of course! Yeah! (laughs) Sorry, a long day. TRAN Here, take my card. TRAN produces from her purse an attractive, orange business card, handing it to Thomas. TRAN'S CARD Tran Pham Agent Maxi Real Estate THOMAS Real Estate agent? TRAN Yeah. THOMAS If I said I needed one, I'd just be lying because you're pretty. TRAN Mm-hm. Well, I do alright, as is. THOMAS Oh, how rude- here, this is mine. THOMAS removes his battered wallet and hands her a plain white card. THOMAS' CARD Thomas Sexton Sexton and Holmes TRAN (intrigued) Oh! Sexton and Holmes? Like on television? THOMAS chuckles nervously. TRAN(CONT'D) Boy, Sexton of Sexton and Holmes. Insurance, right? (shakes her head) It's impressive. Thomas, how old are you? THOMAS Ah- Twenty-six. Twenty-six. TRAN A young entrepreneur. That's sort of the American thing, isn't it? THOMAS Well, I guess, but it's- (suddenly harsh) I hate talking about this stuff, Tran. Really. TRAN Oh. I'm sorry. THOMAS Why can't we take a clue from the British? See, over there, you can get away with pretty much anything in conversation- everything's fair game. But there are three topics that you cannot breach- *cannot*. TRAN Okay. THOMAS It's a well known fact. One of them's religion, one of them's politics, and the other is money. TRAN (after a pause) Hmm. THOMAS And I'm all for that. All for it. I'm not religious, I've never been, and if you are, I wouldn't care to know. And then, Politics are just a thing you bring up when you want to sound smart or piss off somebody at a dinner party, right? TRAN Well- THOMAS And who cares whether or not I have money? Or whether or not you have money? If I do or don't, whatever. Money is a two second conversation that doesn't ever need to be had. Yes or no: Do you have it? That's it. Beyond that, aren't you just blowing smoke out of your ass? TRAN It's a philosophy. Definitely a philosophy. THOMAS Anyway, lemme shut up. What's Vietnam like? TRAN Well, from what I hear, jungle, rain, swarming with gooks and child suicide bombers, right? THOMAS I... TRAN I was born in Philadelphia. THOMAS (laughs) Right, ah! TRAN But if I hear anything, I'll let you know. THOMAS laughs and nods his head, crossing his arms. The two sit comfortably, waiting for somebody's name to be called. CUT TO BLACK. A key turns in its latch. CUT TO: INT. HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT A BELLHOP opens the door and LEONARD enters, setting his two bags down on the bed. The BELLHOP follows. BELLHOP This is room 308, sir- Shower in here, with linens and toiletries provided. You get basic cable with the optional adult entertainment package. We have wireless internet, and if you need anything from the desk, please don't hesitate to call. LEONARD pulls open the curtain and looks into the street. LEONARD ...Okay. And the- and the shitter? BELLHOP (clears his throat) Facilities in that room, again. With the shower. LEONARD saunters over to the bathroom to look inside. LEONARD Ah, yeah. Alright. Those windows open? BELLHOP Uh, no. LEONARD Mhm. Why not? BELLHOP Well, with the safety risk and whatnot. LEONARD Huh. What, do people just fall out of windows around here? BELLHOP I can ask at the desk, if- LEONARD No, it's fine. They pause and face each other for a moment, the BELLHOP crossing his hands in front of his body. LEONARD (CONT'D) Ah, shit- sorry. (digging through his pocket) I guess I ain't even really been inside a hotel since I was up in Canada with my folks. And that was the seventies, I reckon. Dunno, though- seems like the rooms got even smaller since then. LEONARD finally hands the BELLHOP several torn, crumpled, sweaty bills, which the BELLHOP pockets. BELLHOP Yes, I'm sure you're right, Mr. Christian. Well, please enjoy your night. And again, don't hesitate to phone the desk for anything you may require. LEONARD falls back on his bed. LEONARD Yeah, alright. BELLHOP Good evening, sir. BELLHOP excuses himself from the room. LEONARD stares at the ceiling momentarily before getting up and walking to the television, turning it on and off several times. LEONARD turns to the window and moves towards it, pulling hooking his fingers around the curtains for a peak into the street. The sound of traffic builds. CUT TO: INT. EDMUND'S HOUSE - EVENING EDMUND in his walkway opens his door to find LEONARD leaning against his porch railing and smiling, arms crossed. EDMUND Cowboy! LEONARD Look how fat you got, Edmund. LEONARD and EDMUND hug, patting hard on shoulders. LEONARD (CONT'D) Where the hell's that wife of yours? EDMUND Oh, never mind, never mind. Cheryl's sister took ill, so she went up to Parma for the week. (laughs) I cannot believe you're in Cimarron! LEONARD Well, I am! CUT TO: INT. EDMUND'S DINING ROOM - LATER EDMUND and LEONARD sit over a pasta dish, finishing off a meal. LEONARD The biggest part for me is all the damn traffic. EDMUND Yeah, yeah. LEONARD I mean, I been in traffic before, but never had to live around it like this. If I want a walk in the morning, you gotta stand around in a line and wait for a ding before you can even get across the road. EDMUND You thinking about getting a car? LEONARD No, nah. No use for one, I don't think. EDMUND Well, it's hard, Leonard. You know, living in the city without one. I mean, everything's scattered around- LEONARD Yeah, but I got the bus for that sort of thing. EDMUND We'll see how you feel in a year. (Takes a bite) Leonard... You look awful. LEONARD (sighs) Yeah, I- EDMUND Bags under the eyes, and doughy, jaundiced- I'm not kidding, Leonard, it's bad. LEONARD Yeah. EDMUND I can't believe you even let it get this far. LEONARD Yeah. EDMUND It's, uh- I mean, I'm gonna help you with everything, obviously. But, I tell you, it's not gonna... The diet is gonna be very, very hard. But I'm not gonna pump you up full of pills or nothing like that, alright? Any other doctor in this city, I guarantee you that's what they do. But whatever I do say you got to do, then you got to do it, no questions. Alright? LEONARD sighs, leaning back. EDMUND (CONT'D) And I always been right there with you as far taking it easy with all that stuff, you going at it your way, and everything. But if you and I don't start getting really, really desperate here, I mean, you're gonna be dead. Fast. LEONARD (nods) I- Yeah... EDMUND So that means you gotta promise me, Leonard. No complaining. I mean, well, no- you can complain, but you still absolutely got to do whatever we find out you got to do. You know? LEONARD Well, Edmund, I reckon that's why I'm here. EDMUND nods his head. EDMUND Leonard, of course I know you can swing it. You're tough. CUT TO: INT. EDMUND'S LIVING ROOM - LATER Sitting towards a window, EDMUND sips wine, LEONARD sips water, sprawled out on parallel recliners. LEONARD Look at this place you got, here, Edmund. EDMUND Yeah, yeah. It's not bad, is it? LEONARD It's horrible. EDMUND laughs. LEONARD (CONT'D) It's nothing but glass and flowers. EDMUND It's a little bit fruity, huh? LEONARD I can't believe Cheryl talked you into it. EDMUND Well, to be honest, I was basically too busy setting up the practice to notice. EDMUND rises from his chair and walks around the room. EDMUND (CONT'D) But now that you mention it, the place *could* use some fixing up. I think a- (spreads his arms out against a wall) - big head of some sort right here. Bison or a moose or something. That'd be something. LEONARD Until Cheryl ties a bonnet around it's ears- (EDMUND laughs) - plucks it's eyebrows. Sticks a daisy in its mouth. EDMUND, still laughing, sits back down. EDMUND Yeah, I guess that's one of the catches for the whole domestic scene. But I don't let it get to me. Houses, doing stuff to houses, that's sort of girly stuff anyway. LEONARD Girly stuff? EDMUND Well, you know, I figure if the wife cares about the decor more than the husband- more than me- then maybe she ought to be able to do with it- well, what she wants. 'Cause it's kind of a... you know, a woman's thing. LEONARD (leaning forward in his chair, no longer relaxed) That's bullshit. No, no. Who taught you to think like that? EDMUND Well, I just mean- LEONARD Women are terrible homemakers. Terrible. They got absolutely no taste. I mean, I know what I want out of a house. I know what my house ought to look like. And it sure ain't nothing like this. What with the plants, and the vases- I mean, candelabras? Look at how much junk you got in this room, Edmund. Does that look good to you? No, it just looks girly. Fact is, women don't know the first thing about putting a house together, so they just pack it full of clutter and hope we don't notice. But guess what? I'm a man, and as it should happen, I know how to make a living room feel nice to sit in without drowning it in a bunch of useless accessories. EDMUND Well... LEONARD There it is. EDMUND Wanna decorate my house? LEONARD (laughs) I'll pass, doctor. EDMUND (shifting) Speaking of which, Leonard, where are you staying? LEONARD Oh... (shakes head) Y'know, just a hotel until I find somewhere else. EDMUND Now, come on, Leonard, we got the guest room. LEONARD No, no- EDMUND Just for a couple of weeks while you figure out what you're doing, it wouldn't be- LEONARD I'm not gonna impose. EDMUND Hey, it's not an imposition at all, Leonard. LEONARD I don't mean in the polite way, I just wouldn't feel comfortable, that's all. EDMUND It's a very nice room- LEONARD Seriously, it's not in the cards. EDMUND looks at LEONARD and sips his wine. EDMUND Well, if that's how you feel. LEONARD That's how I feel. EDMUND shrugs, reclining. LEONARD regains his relaxation, lying back in his chair again. EDMUND Then, from the sound of it, you got a hell of a house hunt ahead of you. LEONARD Oh yeah. You bet. EDMUND Fortunately for you, we've been having a ton of rentin' in Cimarron this year. In fact, the Guardian just done this big report- LEONARD I ain't looking to rent, Edmund. EDMUND What's that? LEONARD Nope. Not renting. Landlords and all of that. No thank you. EDMUND You're gonna buy a house in Cimarron? LEONARD Well, if I'm gonna keep on seeing you from here, then I'm gonna need a castle to call my own. EDMUND (exhales sharply) Buying property, Leonard... that's a big deal. LEONARD Not really. EDMUND You gonna get some help? LEONARD Ah, you mean like a- EDMUND Like an agent, yes. LEONARD Don't know. Been considering. I've heard all about the... But, to be honest, I'd- I'd really rather not. EDMUND I assumed you wouldn't. Except, of course, I'm looking at it like this: (holds up a finger) New in town. (holds up a second finger) Got no car. (holds up a third finger) Drifting from hotel to hotel. Cowboy, under the present circumstances, I wouldn't really say you got much of a choice. LEONARD Hmm. CUT TO BLACK. LEONARD (CONT'D) Hmm. CUT TO: INT. TRAN'S ROOM - NIGHT TRAN lies on her back and stares at the ceiling, THOMAS lying next to her, asleep, turned on his side. TRAN (V.O.) With Thomas, everything moved quickly. Straight off, we just did coupley things. He helped me move, we went out to the theater, and when I took him to meet my mom- he was basically living with me at this point- but she was so happy she cried. I had to translate all night, and when we were going home, she held me and wept. And I felt happy, but weird. ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.) How come? TRAN (V.O.) I didn't know. Then, one night, I was looking at him, and I just thought, 'Fuck you, Tran. Look what you did.' ART DECO ONE STORY (V.O.) What did you do? TRAN (V.O.) Well, for some reason, I listened to my mother. All these years, I thought I'd been ignoring her, but here I was, falling in love with a guy who I hated to listen to, didn't like looking at, and couldn't stand touching, all because of... well, you know- the money. I was disgusted with myself. I'd think, 'Do I really care about security? Or is this just some weird, tacky, shallow fetish thing that's somehow been coded into my brain?' I knew that I didn't care about him at all. That was certain. He was just Sexton of Sexton and Holmes, and that was it. So, in between the nausea, the self loathing, the restless nights, I decided to bring it up. TRAN turns to THOMAS. TRAN (CONT'D) Thomas? THOMAS Hmm? TRAN Can we talk? TRAN (V. O.) (CONT'D) And then everything came out. CUT TO: INT. TRAN'S LIVING ROOM - MORNING THOMAS and TRAN stand far apart, facing each other. THOMAS looks animalistic and full of adrenaline, TRAN looks tired and calm. TRAN (V.O.) At first he was angry, and he screamed at me. THOMAS You're like a frightened little girl who just jumps all over the fucking place! Trying to hitch your hat on another post, well, it's time to learn a lesson, Tran! No more just bouncing on to whatever stupid, childish whim is sounding good that day, okay? Because this is adulthood, and you're hurting *people*, now- Not silly characters at your little fucking tea party! CUT TO: EXT. TRAN'S HOUSE - MORNING TRAN stands in her doorway, THOMAS paces up and down the walkway to the street. TRAN (V.O.) Then he was afraid, and he bargained with me. THOMAS Look. Okay? Look- A lot of this is just normal couple shit, and tons of people can work through this. Normal people. I mean, if you want, we could see a counselor. Or- Shit- just talk it out like human beings. Diplomatically, alright? (walks up to TRAN) I love you. CUT TO: EXT. THE STREET - MORNING THOMAS sits in his car, TRAN stands outside by the door. The window is down, and THOMAS speaks through it. TRAN (V.O.) Then he was sad or angry again or maybe a little of both. THOMAS (tears throughout) What we had was very important to me, Tran, and that's all I want you to know. I'm gonna think about you until the day I die and even though you- you fucking *ripped* me apart, Tran, even though you fucking *destroyed* me- I'll never get over you, because you were the best thing that ever happened to me- ah! (pounding on his car horn) Fuck fuck fuck fuck! CUT TO: TRAN'S LIVING ROOM - EVENING The telephone rings. TRAN (V.O.) He started calling my house constantly. CUT TO: INT. TRAN'S OFFICE The telephone rings. TRAN (V.O.) Then my office. CUT TO: INT. THOMAS' HOUSE EXTREME CU: THOMAS' MOUTH TALKING INTO A RECEIVER TRAN (V.O.) He'd tell me about going off of his medication, and this was medication I never new he was on in the first place. He'd tell me he knew about boyfriends I had that didn't exist. He'd say that he was ready to accept my apology. CUT TO: INT. TRAN'S LIVING ROOM - EVENING The telephone rings. TRAN (V.O.) Then, I stopped answering. The telephone finishes ringing. CUT TO: EXT. THE STREET - DAY TRAN walks along a sidewalk, carrying a purse, looking relatively happy in the sunshine. TRAN (V.O.) I became extremely good at ignoring him, the calls slowed down, and life was picking up again. I didn't date, and I still don't. I didn't want to, and I still don't. Every now and then, I'd hear from a friend who'd say, 'Oh, Thomas has been sending out chain e-mails about you,' or maybe I'd swear I'd see his car driving off when I got home from work one day, but it was all easy enough to put in the back of my mind. Then, weeks down the line, I got a different call. CUT TO: INT. TRAN'S OFFICE - AFTERNOON TRAN's telephone rings. After scanning the caller ID, she clicks on the receiver. TRAN Hello? CUT TO: INT. LARGE OFFICE - SAME TIME A SUITED EXECUTIVE sits with his feet on his desk, phone in hand RAYMOND Hello, Ms. Pham? TRAN (on the other end) Yes? RAYMOND This is Raymond Haverstock, I'm with the legal department at Sexton and Holmes insurance. Is this a good time? CUT TO: INT. TRAN'S OFFICE - SAME TIME TRAN holds the phone, looking confused, furrowing her brow. CUT TO: INT. LARGE OFFICE - SAME TIME RAYMOND hasn't moved. TRAN (on the other end) I guess so. What's this about? RAYMOND Well, Ms. Pham, we understand that you may be very valuable to us regarding pending litigation against a- (reads a sheet of paper in front of him) Thomas Sexton. You know Thomas, yes? CUT TO: INT. TRAN'S OFFICE - SAME TIME TRAN Uh- I did, yes. I'm sorry, can you explain what this is? CUT TO: INT. LARGE OFFICE - SAME TIME RAYMOND Sexton and Holmes is pursuing legal action against Mr. Sexton involving a series of- ah- dramatics, which followed his termination. CUT TO: INT. TRAN'S OFFICE - SAME TIME TRAN laughs. TRAN Termination? You fired your boss? RAYMOND (on the other end) Excuse me? TRAN (still chuckling) So is it just gonna be Holmes Insurance from now on? CUT TO: INT. LARGE OFFICE - SAME TIME RAYMOND uncrosses his legs and replaces them on the ground. RAYMOND I'm sorry, I don't think I understand. CUT TO: INT. TRAN'S OFFICE - SAME TIME TRAN Well, I mean, what happened? Shareholders got angry? I mean, 'terminated,'- he didn't even resign? CUT TO: INT. LARGE OFFICE - SAME TIME RAYMOND Oh, wait, do you... (a pause) I'm sorry, Ms. Pham, how well do you know Thomas? TRAN (on the other end) What do you mean? RAYMOND No, I see how you could get that mixed up- Uh, Thomas Sexton, he's not Vilmos Sexton, the cofounder. CUT TO: INT. TRAN'S OFFICE - SAME TIME TRAN suddenly looks a bit shocked, still working it out. TRAN I-... What's Thomas, then? CUT TO: INT. LARGE OFFICE - SAME TIME Laughing, RAYMOND replaces his legs on top of his desk. RAYMOND Thomas is a former filing clerk of ours. Did he actually tell you he ran the place? RAYMOND laughs. RAYMOND (CONT'D) No, but when we canned him, he tried to set fire to his desk, and then got into a brawl with a security guard, so we're seeking damages. Anyway, we heard he'd given you some trouble, and were wondering if you'd be interested in serving us as a character witness? CUT TO: INT. TRAN'S OFFICE - SAME TIME TRAN holds the phone an inch or two away from her head, which waves back and forth as if dizzy. She sighs repeatedly. TRAN (quickly) No. TRAN slams the receiver and holds her head, embarrassed. CUT TO BLACK. TRAN (V.O.) (CONT'D) After that, I stopped hearing from Thomas altogether. CUT TO: INT. ART DECO KITCHEN - LATE NIGHT TRAN emptied a bottle of wine and is currently pulling the cork from another. TRAN I figured he found out that I found out and decided to avoid me. (grunts, popping out the cork) I didn't tell anyone about the whole ordeal. I deserved to feel like an idiot. Even though it was completely obvious the entire time that I was being lied to, I had bought too far into the American dream. A learning experience altogether. TRAN pours herself a glass. ART DECO ONE STORY People. And love. TRAN (sipping) But now, now it's all back and it's all worse. The calls started again full force, the e-mails. I found him- (laughs) I found him on my yard. He'd broken into my house and pulled everything out onto the lawn. I don't know if he was stealing my things, or if he was gonna start a bonfire, or what. ART DECO ONE STORY My word! Did you call the police? TRAN No, but he thinks I did. When I got back home, everything was still outside, but he'd left, and he'd put some vague, threatening note in my mailbox about 'Keeping things private.' ART DECO ONE STORY You should call the police. TRAN No... ART DECO ONE STORY What? Why not! Don't stand up for this creep- don't be one of these battered housewives from the Lifetime movies. TRAN It isn't that, I just I can't! I don't have the time, the energy, or the strength to deal with any of this. Beat. ART DECO ONE STORY (quietly) But aren't you afraid? TRAN chuckles, looking at her glass, now nearly empty. After a moments pause, she abruptly tears up, lowering her head. TRAN (weakly) Yes. CUT TO: INT. HOTEL ROOM - MORNING LEONARD CHRISTIAN pulls open a drawer and throws a large phone book on his bed, walking into the bathroom. CUT TO: INT. HOTEL BATHROOM - MOMENTS LATER LEONARD brushes his teeth, humming "Yellow Rose of Texas." LEONARD spits. CUT TO: INT. HOTEL ROOM - MOMENTS LATER LEONARD thumbs to the back of the phone book, into the yellow pages. In the R's, he passes by different sections. LEONARD (under his breath) Rabbis... Racecourses... RCCh... (slowly) Real. Estate. Scanning up and down the pages, LEONARD's finger stops on a large, eye-catching advertisement. In the ad, DEBBI WAGNER, an enthusiastic looking woman in her late forties, points to the viewer, towering over several houses. Her name features prominently on the top of the image, and on the bottom, the text reads "Real Compassion. Real Experience. Real Estate. LEONARD sighs and reaches for the receiver. Looking back and forth between the yellow pages and phone, he slowly punches in the number. LEONARD holds the phone to his ear, which rings. DESKMAN (Indian accent, on the other end) Hello? LEONARD Uh, good morning, is this Debbi... (looks up and down the page) Wagner's office? DESKMAN (on the other end) Okay, you have to dial '9' before any telephone number, or else all of them just go to the hotel desk, okay? LEONARD scrunches his eyebrows. LEONARD Uh... Okay. DESKMAN hangs up. LEONARD hangs up, picking the phone up again and checking for the dial tone. Looking at the phone, LEONARD makes a large, deliberate movement to punch in the number nine before re-dialing DEBBI from looking in the yellow pages. The phone rings. CUT TO: INT. DEBBI'S OFFICE - SAME TIME DEBBI WAGNER is at her desk, finishing a note while her phone rings. Scrambling out the last sentence, she picks up the receiver. DEBBI Hello, Wagner Real Estate. CUT TO: INT. HOTEL ROOM - SAME TIME LEONARD Uh, good morning, this is Leonard Christian, and I'm hoping to talk to Debbi. CUT TO: INT. DEBBI'S OFFICE - SAME TIME DEBBI You've got her, Leonard. How can I help you? LEONARD (on the other end) Well, I'm looking for a house. DEBBI Listen to that accent. Where are you from, cowpoke? LEONARD (on the other end) Texas. DEBBI Texas! Where in Texas? LEONARD (on the other end) You wouldn't have heard of it. Near Galveston. DEBBI Oh, you don't say? I've got a girlfriend lives in Beaumont. What kind of a house are you looking for, Leonard? CUT TO: INT. HOTEL ROOM - SAME TIME LEONARD Well, the right one. DEBBI (laughs, on the other end) Of course. Let's get specific. How many bedrooms? LEONARD Bedrooms? Well, I'm thinking at least one. DEBBI (chuckles, on the other end) Uh-huh. And no more than? LEONARD Uh... I dunno. DEBBI (on the other end) Need a number, Leonard. LEONARD Well, I would say a thousand bedrooms would be too many. CUT TO: INT. DEBBI'S OFFICE - SAME TIME DEBBI leans back, laughing. DEBBI I think I get your point, Leonard. See, I love your type- You've probably lived in the same house your whole life, and now, for some reason or another, you've got to move, and all you're looking for is the one that clicks. You've got no idea what it looks like, no idea where it is, but when you see it, you'll know- ding! It's the one. CUT TO: INT. HOTEL ROOM - SAME TIME LEONARD (clears his throat) Ah, w- Alright. CUT TO: INT. DEBBI'S OFFICE - SAME TIME DEBBI We'll find it, Leonard. Rest assured. Should I be looking for immediate availabilities? LEONARD (on the other end) Uh, yes. Definitely. DEBBI Alright. Now, here's something we do need to discuss: Price range. LEONARD (on the other end) Nah, that's not important. DEBBI Trust me, Leonard, price is important. CUT TO: INT. HOTEL ROOM - SAME TIME LEONARD Don't worry about that. Don't worry about that. Whatever it costs, I can take care of it. CUT TO: INT. DEBBI'S OFFICE - SAME TIME DEBBI Ooh! Well, well, well, Leonard! Now you're talking my language! CUT TO: INT. HOTEL ROOM - SAME TIME LEONARD Yeah, yeah. But, listen, don't get too worked up about that. I mean, you know, don't limit me to a bunch of fancy crap. 'Cause, if you bring me the giant colonial estate on the waterfront, I'm not gonna want it. DEBBI (on the other end) Loud and clear, Leonard. Loud and clear. CUT TO: INT. DEBBI'S OFFICE - SAME TIME DEBBI Leonard, if I may ask, where'd you stumble onto your- uh- your fortune? CUT TO: INT. HOTEL ROOM - SAME TIME LEONARD Oh, uh... It's just family money, y'know. As a young man, my father was- uh, developing some property and, basically, he discovered an oil field. CUT TO: INT. DEBBI'S OFFICE - SAME TIME DEBBI Wait a minute, was his name Jed? LEONARD (on the other line) Huh? N-no, it was- Harlan. DEBBI You know, a poor mountaineer, barely kept his family fed? CUT TO: INT. HOTEL ROOM - SAME TIME LEONARD holds his phone and stares off. LEONARD Uh... (a pause, then, highly disappointed) Yeah. CUT TO: INT. BLONDE WOMAN'S OFFICE - MORNING A bubbly blonde is on the phone. BLONDE WOMAN An oil baron? Why, you must be looking for a house with a cee-ment pond! CUT TO: INT. BRUNETTE'S OFFICE - MORNING Brunette woman is on the phone. BRUNETTE So you packed up your bags and moved to Bever-lee! CUT TO: INT. OLDER MAN'S OFFICE - MORNING A greying old man is on the phone. OLDER MAN Son, I think you got the wrong number! This ain't Californee! CUT TO: INT. YOUNG MAN'S OFFICE - MORNING A young African-American male is on the phone. YOUNG MAN Oh, black gold! CUT TO: INT. HOTEL ROOM - SAME TIME LEONARD flinches, inhaling deeply before slamming the phone onto the receiver. LEONARD Son of a bitch. CUT TO: INT. TRAN'S OFFICE - MORNING TRAN An oiler? That's very interesting. CUT TO: INT. HOTEL ROOM - SAME TIME LEONARD looks surprised. LEONARD Excuse me? CUT TO: INT. TRAN'S OFFICE - SAME TIME TRAN (raising her voice) I said that's very interesting. LEONARD (on the other end) Yeah, yeah- but, I mean, that's it? Nothing else? TRAN Uh... N- no. I mean, you know, it's very interesting, it's an interesting thing to do- for him to have done. LEONARD (on the other end) But that's it? TRAN Uh-huh. CUT TO: INT. HOTEL ROOM - SAME TIME LEONARD stands up and grabs a piece of paper, digging through his pocket for a pen frantically. LEONARD Uh, listen- listen, what was it, Tran Pham? TRAN (on the other end) Yeah, Tran. LEONARD When's the soonest you can take me house hunting, Ms. Pham? TRAN (digging through her date book) When's the- ah, it'd be... (arriving at a page) It'd be soon, pretty soon. CUT TO: INT. EDMUND'S OFFICE - THE NEXT DAY LEONARD is thumbing through a magazine, feet up on a table. EDMUND enters, tapping the door. LEONARD Shit, I was fixing to skeletonize. EDMUND I'm sorry 'bout the wait, Leonard. LEONARD Fucked up is all. EDMUND D'you remember the routine? LEONARD Do I re- yeah, Edmund, of course I do. But now look around. You scrambled everything up, how'm I supposed to find the damn popsicle sticks in this room? EDMUND Lookie here, Leonard, 'cause I'm just gonna go through his once. (points towards the bathroom) You piss here, (points at the hypodermic kit) You poke yourself there, (points at the table) Then you sit down there. LEONARD (getting up) Okay. Okay. EDMUND Damn, Leonard, we'd just about have you on your way if you'd've been on this shit. What, now I got to wait around for a year 'till you've finished. LEONARD (heading out the door) Hope I can piss. I been saving up all morning. CUT TO: INT. EDMUND'S OFFICE - LATER LEONARD is seated on the table, EDMUND leans against the wall, addressing him. EDMUND Well, I got a folder full of numbers. If any of 'em mean something to you, I'll be glad to share. LEONARD Nah, nah. Just... Just the overall- EDMUND The overall is bad, Lenny. The overall is you're about 65, 68 years old on the inside. Everything's up in arms. Thyroid, blood sugar, iron, all that shit you don't care about, it's all bad. LEONARD I- yeah. EDMUND But I've taken some of my free time lately, and I've devised a little book for you. EDMUND digs a black book out of his coat. EDMUND (CONT'D) I need you to live by this, Leonard. This here is your brand new Holy Bible. LEONARD (grabbing the book) Huh. What's this? EDMUND That's the next three weeks worth of meals for you. LEONARD Ah, jeez... EDMUND I got everything in there from when you can drink coffee to what kind of fruit to cut into your cereal to who knows what else. So in the back of the book, if you'd just turn to, to the back. LEONARD flips the book. EDMUND (CONT'D) I went ahead and wrote down a shopping list for you, Lenny. The kind of stuff that- LEONARD What's pomegranate? EDMUND Listen to me. There's some stuff on that list that you're gonna have to pick up at Sunshine Market. LEONARD Sunshine Market. Alright. EDMUND That's the alternative grocery. Organic health whatnot. LEONARD (being as diplomatic as possible) Hmm. EDMUND I'm just taking advantage of your new location. Cimarron, we got stuff here that you just can't find back in Texas. I'm talking about real superfoods, Leonard. LEONARD Superfoods. EDMUND Yeah, it just basically means a food that's got tons of stuff you're looking for. Omega-3 Fatty acids, B vitamins, fiber, that sort of thing. Sweet potatoes are a superfood, for instance. LEONARD Never liked those damn things, man. My mother, Ginny, she always trying to sneak those things in with a cut of beef. Cover it up in cinnamon, sweet cream butter- turned my stomach like the tide. EDMUND Look, Leonard; I'll come one honest with you. There are people out there who would choose to eat this shit on their own free will. You and I are never gonna be one of those people. So I think it's best for you to look at it like this: From now on, you're just taking medicine. You're not really eating, you're not really drinking, just taking your medicine. LEONARD Shit. EDMUND Listen to me. This isn't good, huh? This is the last thing you want to be going through right now, I know it. But we have an agreement as friends over this, and you've got to stick to what I say, no matter what you're feeling inside. Every other doctor in this town would just have you crank up your dosage, alright? And I could tell you to do that, and you'd be out of my hair next week. I'd rather stabilize your diet, keep you where you are as far as the insulin is concerned. Because if I get you up to some ridiculous- you know, eight gallons of that shit every day, well, your blood sugar's gonna look just fine on my little clipboard, but the next time you stumble up on your food or something, you're gonna have a lot farther to fall. LEONARD Yeah. EDMUND Speaking of which, you see that red page? It's, uh, the one in the back. LEONARD (under his breath) How to... EDMUND How to do what you do if and when you have to. That's sort of your emergency list. So if my system falls apart and you find yourself up shit creek- LEONARD I think we're gonna cross that bridge when we come to it. EDMUND Yeah, no, I- I'm just looking out for you, buddy. LEONARD (flipping through his book) Nah, doc, I can see you spent an awful lot of time setting this up for me. EDMUND Hmm. Yeah, it wasn't anything too extreme. Just when I had some free time. LEONARD And like you say, we got an agreement as friends over this. EDMUND Uh-huh. LEONARD So what's a couple of weeks of eating shit, I guess? EDMUND (sighs) Alright. Thank you, Leonard. LEONARD Yeah. EDMUND So I'm gonna need to keep a close watch on your numbers if this is gonna work. And, ah- I'll need you in often. LEONARD So we're talking...? EDMUND (sighs) Is three times a week too much? LEONARD If anything, that'd make it a lot easier for me. EDMUND pats LEONARD on the shoulder. CUT TO: EXT. STREET - MORNING TRAN's car is outside of a park. She looks around, unable to relax. After a moment, LEONARD is seen walking towards the car from through the window. He leans over, smiling a bit before tapping gently on the window, startling TRAN. When she gets hold of the situation, she meets his eye contact and slightly cracks her window, which he slips his fingers in. TRAN Leonard? LEONARD Ms. Pham. TRAN Hop in. TRAN opens the power lock, and LEONARD begins to climb in. TRAN looks to LEONARD's boots, which are caked in mud. TRAN (CONT'D) Oh, gosh... LEONARD What? TRAN Your- look at your shoes. LEONARD looks down. LEONARD Oh, yeah. Uh... What- should I just... What should I do? TRAN Can you maybe put them in the trunk? LEONARD Really? TRAN You don't have to. Please, though? LEONARD starts unlacing his boots LEONARD Uh-huh. Sure. CUT TO: INT. TRAN'S CAR - LATER TRAN drives and talks, but throughout, LEONARD seems preoccupied with his feet. TRAN I think you'll like this district up ahead, Leonard, where we're going. It's sort of quieter, like what you were saying earlier? And they've got some lots that are off the main-ways, and the people there seem pretty- oh- pretty real. You know, normal people. LEONARD Yeah, alright. Well, I'm wishing us both good luck. CUT TO: INT. SMALL COTTAGE - LATER TRAN shows LEONARD through a living room/kitchen. TRAN Most of the furnishing and the sinks, and... the counter-tops, the shelving, the gas heating, it's all new. Just put in last year- Vacantly, LEONARD wanders into a room. CUT TO: INT. SMALL COTTAGE BEDROOM - SAME TIME LEONARD peers out a window overlooking the yard as TRAN enters. TRAN And I see you've found your way to the master bedroom, which I think we can obviously call a highlight for this lot- As far as closet space, well, there really isn't any, but it's got a nice atmosphere altogether, gets a lot of natural light- LEONARD (opening the door) That's the bathroom? Across the hall? TRAN Yes, that's a full bath, and the tile in there, I think you'll like. LEONARD It's not the green like out in here. TRAN No, it's a gentle tan, with a white- LEONARD What's next? TRAN pauses for a moment, trying to understand. CUT TO: INT. SUBURBAN TWO-STORY - LATER TRAN, having learned her lesson, now allows LEONARD to lead the way. As he paces through the house, she follows, doing her best to talk up the scenery. TRAN Okay, that was the family room and we're heading right for the walk-in closet, which has some carpeting- it's the only room in the house, actually, with carpeting. This is cherry wood on the floor, it's extremely tough, it doesn't scratch easily, and it doesn't conduct sound between the two floors. So, you won't be hearing, you know, stomp, stomp, stomp if someone's wandering round upstairs. LEONARD nods for a moment before changing directions. TRAN (CONT'D) Alright, so this would be the second bedroom, and it's actually just about as big as the master. No walk-in, but there is quite a bit of storage space- LEONARD Yeah, it's all a little bit too... TRAN Too? LEONARD shrugs for a moment before shaking his head. CUT TO: EXT. MANUFACTURED HOME - LATER TRAN and LEONARD walk towards the house over stepping stones. TRAN Okay, this is Hesterly street. LEONARD Ms. Pham? TRAN Uh, Leonard? They stop. LEONARD I really think you're- well, you're very good at what you do, Tran. TRAN Leonard? LEONARD No, I mean, you know everything that there is to know about most of these places. You've been good about your homework, I mean, I like how you talk 'em up. Not even talk 'em up so much as you, TRAN Wait a minute, are you firing me? LEONARD What? No, no- Tran, that's- that's not what I'm trying to get at. TRAN Because it's okay if- LEONARD It's not that, I promise. TRAN I- alright. LEONARD But all I mean is, since you're so good at your job and all, and since I respect you and whatnot, I was hoping that if we got to a house and it wasn't the one, or it wasn't right, wasn't what I was looking for, if I could just go ahead and let you know so you don't have to waste a bunch of time telling me about it. 'Cause, you know, I mean, I know you've got everything- ah- (tapping his head) - up there. About the house, I know that. TRAN Um, of course, Leonard. I mean, I hope that if we get somewhere and you simply aren't feeling it, that you'll tell me. LEONARD Yeah? TRAN Of course. LEONARD Because this isn't gonna be my house. TRAN I... LEONARD Yeah. FADE TO: INT. HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT LEONARD is stretched out cross-legged on his bed. After a moment, he reaches for EDMUND's book. LEONARD thumbs through the pages, arriving at something and reading it over before getting up. As the camera pans across the room, we reveal a mountain of paper grocery bags, which LEONARD peers into one at a time, sifting and sorting through. After a moment, he crouches in front of his minifridge, opening it and taking a couple of items. CUT TO: INT. BATHROOM - LATER LEONARD sautˇs tofu in a pan over a hot plate. He looks in EDMUND's book which is on the counter top, and adds an extra squirt of organic, low-sodium oil. He sniffs the air, and coughs. CUT TO: INT. HOTEL ROOM - LATER LEONARD sits down with a plate and a fork, scooping the first bite into his mouth. He chews for about twenty seconds before gurgling in protest. LEONARD gets off of his bed and walks off frame into the bathroom, where we hear him spitting the food into the the toilet. LEONARD (between spitting and coughing) Shit, that is- After a moment, LEONARD reenters the main room, and collects the plate of tofu from his bed, walking again off frame. We hear him scraping the remainder into the toilet, before flushing it all down. LEONARD returns to his bed and stretches back out. After a moment, he eyes EDMUND's book, and sighs deeply. CUT TO: INT. BATHROOM - LATER LEONARD sautˇs another pan full of tofu, this time squirting a steady stream of the low-sodium oil. CUT TO: EXT. TRAN'S HOUSE - NIGHT A tired looking TRAN walks towards her house, suitcase in hand. She opens her front door and enters. After a moment, she exits the house and closes the door mostly, peeling a note off the peep hole. THOMAS' NOTE Finally woken up from a long and murderous dream. Wondering how to break it to the therapist. Any thoughts? - T TRAN gazes at the note for a moment. CUT TO: INT. LEONARD'S HOTEL ROOOM - LATER LEONARD pricks a needle to his fingertip, dabbing the blood on an electronic reader. He looks at the reader for a moment, waiting. Text clicks on the screen. ON-SCREEN TEXT 278. LEONARD Shit. (breathing harder) Shit... The text clicks out. LEONARD steadies himself against the bed for a moment before slowly settling on the ground. CUT TO: INT. HOTEL ROOM - LATER LEONARD hasn't lost consciousness, still seated against his bed, and even looks a bit better. He finishes the last of his tofu, and pulls himself to his knees, grabbing the telephone and wedging it between his shoulder and ear. Digging a piece of paper from his pocket, he dials a number. DESKMAN (Indian accent) Hello? LEONARD hangs up. Allowing his line to reset, he picks the phone back up, dialing nine before his number. CUT TO: INT. TRAN'S ROOM - SAME TIME The telephone on tran's night stand rings. From off frame, TRAN reaches over to grab it, pulling the telephone off with her. TRAN (weakly, hiccuping under tears) Hello? CUT TO: INT. HOTEL ROOM - SAME TIME LEONARD (softening his voice) Ms. Pham? Is this- are you alright? CUT TO: INT. TRAN'S ROOOM - SAME TIME TRAN sighs and whimpers. TRAN (with a bit of strength) How can I help you, Leonard? (after a pause) Yes, about the house hunt. Would you hate me if I canceled for tomorrow and just met up with you- (sniffs) Up with you on Wednesday instead? CUT TO: INT. HOTEL ROOM - SAME TIME LEONARD Well, actually, that's exactly what I was calling about. There's some health- some, I've gotta go see my nutritionist tomorrow. So I was hoping- (chuckles) Yeah, exactly. So Wednesday would be fine. Okay. (softer still) Are you- is everything okay, Tran? CUT TO: INT. THOMAS' APARTMENT - DAY THOMAS pulls a chair up in front of a dresser. On top of the dresser sits a picture frame which is currently faced away from the camera. After dragging the chair, THOMAS walks off screen again before returning with a glass and a bottle of white wine. THOMAS (sighing to his picture) Hello again. (he corks the bottle and begins to pour himself a glass) I hope you weren't getting too lonely in that drawer. CU PICTURE OF TRAN TRAN smiles, hair shorter, frozen in time. THOMAS (CONT'D) But I've sure been doing a lot of thinking, you know. It's all I have to- it's all I can do anymore. Is think. (sipping his wine, darkly) And at first, I felt afraid of myself. Of what my life had become, and I thought, 'Holy Mackerel. How long have you been looking the other way, Thomas?' I thought, 'You're a sick man.' I won't get into everything tonight, but all of these horrible months, and so many... awful, disgusting things that I've done, or thought about doing. (a bit lighter) And I couldn't believe it, you know? What that all meant for me. How could I- Was I really so far gone that I hadn't even noticed? That I'd gone crazy? But then I said- and this was actually out loud, I said 'Thomas, get better!' I shouted it at myself! And then there's about five minutes I can't even remember. I woke up on the floor, there was a puddle of tears in my nose. And I felt like a great demon had left me. And for the first time in a long time, I looked back on my life, and everything was unobstructed. Perfectly clear. And I thought, 'You are better, Thomas.' (smiles and shakes his head) So I called Mary, and I told her that she was right. That I had tricked myself into falling in love with her, that what I was feeling- what I thought I was feeling, wasn't real. (building impassion) But I also told her that she was fucking abysmal at the job she does- that in four months, she'd accomplished nothing for me, and that she needed to find work where people weren't relying on her to help them,. I mean, fucking shit, that's actually dangerous, what she's doing. You know? (after a pause, and calm again) And then... With all of that taken care of... Well, it brought me back to you. And I realized that, not only was I absolutely, entirely not angry with you, but that I'd actually never been angry with you. There was a period when, boy, I sure thought I was. So I pictured myself, all of those times, screaming at you or ranting at you or threatening you, and I cringed. I felt such a despair, such a deep, horrible embarrassment. I mean, you wouldn't believe there were so many things that I looked back on and dreaded... Like, I can't believe I actually asked you for an apology. I asked you! That was so... ugly, and wrong of me, Tran. But I was sick. And then I thought, 'Well, if I'm not angry at Tran, then what do I feel about her?' And I thought, 'I don't know, I don't know.' (smiles) But now I think I finally understand... About us. THOMAS sets his wine down. THOMAS (CONT'D) I wrote this song for me, for my own sake. But it'd be wrong to hide it from you, I think. Because it's about us. And I guess I- I hope you like it. THOMAS inhales deep and closes his eyes. As he begins, gentle guitar accompanies him. THOMAS (CONT'D) There are only a handful of ways That I can Apologize Been a year of miserable days But hear me And watch my eyes It can be better Because It has to be better Because if one more second Slips by on my wrist It can be sweet again Because It has to be sweet again Because I live with my heart now Instead of my fist And all the regret And every last lie And anything else I said That was wrong and disgusting and savage I take it all back I can be stronger Because I have to be stronger Because if I turn 28 still living a dream I will be good to you Because I have to be good to you Because I love and I know what I mean And all the regret And every last lie And anything else I said That was wrong and disgusting and savage I take it all back CU TRAN'S PICTURE THOMAS closes his eyes, still deep in his thoughts. FADE TO BLACK. FADE IN: INT. EDMUND'S OFFICE - DAY LEONARD reads a poster in the examination room. EDMUND enters. EDMUND How about a walk, Leonard? CUT TO: EXT. THE STREET - LATER EDMUND and LEONARD walk along a road. After a moment. LEONARD So why isn't it taking? EDMUND I knew you were going to say that. LEONARD Well? EDMUND It *is* taking, Leonard, but it's going to be gradual. LEONARD Lookie, I'm all for gradual, but how long do I have to go around feeling like death warmed over? EDMUND I know. It's... I don't know, Leonard, maybe you got to me too late. LEONARD Well... EDMUND Maybe we've just gotta medicate you from here on in. They walk. LEONARD That isn't what I want. EDMUND I realize. LEONARD So stick with the book you made for me? EDMUND You can, of course. I won't force nothing on you. But my professional advice, I mean- I'd say at this juncture... Flip a coin. LEONARD Mm. EDMUND That red page. 'How to do What you do If and when you have to.' Have you read it? LEONARD No. EDMUND Well, it says if you can get to a phone, then call me. And if you can't, then forget the system, get yourself a hypo, and save your life. LEONARD coughs. LEONARD Alright. CUT TO: INT. TRAN'S CAR - THE NEXT DAY LEONARD sits in TRAN's passenger seat, TRAN drives. TRAN I want to focus on townhouses today, because I'm getting the feeling that this sort of southwestern, frilly, clay pattern thing isn't hitting any of the right notes with you. LEONARD Alright. Townhouses? TRAN Yeah. They're really simple lots. Usually three stories, or two stories, and they call them that because they sort of tend to build them into little neighborhoods. Like a cluster of these little, inoffensive, towny houses. LEONARD Yeah, okay. TRAN Okay? LEONARD Sounds like it's worth a shot. TRAN Okay. LEONARD Are you, ah- How are you feeling today? TRAN I'm fine. I'm fine, Leonard, and I just wanted to say that I'm really sorry you caught me at such a bad time the other night. LEONARD Oh, no, I didn't- ah, don't worry about that. TRAN Well, it wasn't very professional of me, is all. And I really hope it's not going to be, like, in the back of your head all of the time. Does that make sense? Don't think I'm some sort of loser that you can't depend on or something, okay? LEONARD I don't think that at all. TRAN Okay. Yeah. But I'm fine. Thank you for asking. LEONARD Okay. CUT TO: EXT. TOWNHOUSES - LATER TRAN and LEONARD pull up in front of a townhouse. TRAN Alright, this is the first lot we're going to check out today. LEONARD Alright. TRAN There are... (checking paperwork against her steering wheel) As a matter of fact, three availabilities here. LEONARD Huh. TRAN And I myself have only actually been inside these particular houses one time years ago. LEONARD Alright. TRAN So we're kind of on equal ground as far as that's concerned. LEONARD Alright. TRAN But, of course, you know me: I did do my homework. Three bedroom, two and a half bath, and two decks. LEONARD Two decks? TRAN That's right. LEONARD Nice. TRAN Good! So we'll take a look here, and then I have about four more lots to show you today. So let's move, move, move! They climb out of TRAN's car and walk around to the trunk, which TRAN opens. LEONARD (digging out his boots) I think I'm going to like this one. LEONARD is cut off by TRAN's cell phone. TRAN (digging it from her pocket and flipping open) Hello? TRAN immediately stops in her tracks, launching into harsh and unsubtitled Vietnamese. LEONARD stops too, looking confused and a bit shocked before lacing up his boots. TRAN's conversation continues on for about half of a minute, with LEONARD looking around and eventually putting his hands in his pockets. TRAN hangs her phone up. TRAN (CONT'D) (under her breath) Fuck. (to LEONARD) Alright... I have a *very* small emergency that I need to take care of, Leonard. Would you mind coming with me? I promise I'll only be... Five minutes. LEONARD Yeah. Yeah, of course. LEONARD begins to unlace his boots. LEONARD (CONT'D) I think I like this one. TRAN Good! Good. And I promise, we'll come right back here. CUT TO: INT. TRAN'S CAR - MOMENTS LATER TRAN drives, LEONARD sits. LEONARD Is anything the matter? TRAN (quickly) No, don't worry. CUT TO: EXT. TEN'S HOUSE - MOMENTS LATER TRAN's car pulls up. TRAN I'll be five minutes. LEONARD Okay. Is there anything I can- TRAN (getting out) No. Five minutes. TRAN shuts her car door and walks towards the house. LEONARD Okay. CUT TO: INT. TEN'S HOUSE - SAME TIME TRAN enters, closing the front door and walking into the living room, looking around. TRAN (SUBTITLE) (shouted in Vietnamese) Mom, I'm here but I can't stay! Mom? TRAN sighs and walks upstairs. INT. TEN'S BEDROOM - MOMENTS LATER TRAN slowly opens the door and peeks in to the empty bedroom. TRAN (SUBTITLE) (spoken in Vietnamese) Mom? TRAN furrows her brow, and shuts the door. CUT TO: EXT. TEN'S UPSTAIRS HALLWAY - SAME TIME TRAN leans against the door momentarily in thought. TRAN heads back downstairs. CUT TO: INT. TRAN'S CAR - SAME TIME LEONARD flips the car radio on and off, which doesn't respond. He tips his cowboy hat over his eyes, puts his bootless feat on the dashboard, and leans back. CUT TO: INT. TEN'S DOWNSTAIRS HALLWAY - MOMENTS LATER A bathroom door is ajar, and TRAN walks towards it. She gets a glance into the bathtub, and spins around immediately. TRAN Fuck, that's blood. Fuck, that's a lot of blood. Oh mom. (turning back to look again, and whimpering) Oh, God, mom... Walking closer to the tub, she stops a few feet in front of it. TRAN (CONT'D) What? TRAN reaches into the bathtub and pulls out a waterlogged bottle of red wine, dumping out a mixture of wine and bath water. TRAN scoffs in disbelief, turning to the sink and picking up an open bottle of prescription drugs. TRAN (CONT'D) (shouting) I fucking hate you so, so much! TRAN kicks the bathtub in frustration and begins to wash her hands. CUT TO: INT. TRAN'S CAR - LATER LEONARD is back to turning the radio dial on and off. He sighs once and then hits the dashboard. CUT TO: EXT. TEN'S HOUSE LEONARD climbs out of the car and walks around to the trunk. After a few moments of trying to pull it open in vain, he gives up and uncomfortably steps towards the front door in socks. CUT TO: INT. TEN'S HOUSE - SAME TIME LEONARD opens the door and enters. LEONARD (looking around) Uh... TRAN (O.S.) (muffled) Damn it... LEONARD Tran? No response. LEONARD continues to walk. CUT TO: INT. TEN'S DOWNSTAIRS HALLWAY - SAME TIME LEONARD walks down the hall and turns towards the bathroom. Inside TRAN has lifted TEN's nude, comatose, wine and waterlogged body out of the tub, now in plain view of LEONARD. TRAN (surprised) Leonard, fuck! LEONARD Shit! (turns away and starts walking) I'm sorry! I'm sorry, I'm going back to the car. TRAN Leonard, wait. LEONARD stops, his back to the bathroom. TRAN (CONT'D) Can you maybe get me a couple of towels first? LEONARD Of course, yeah. Towels. TRAN Okay, upstairs, take a right, and they're in the cupboard on the left of the hallway. LEONARD Alright, yeah! (takes off, and says to himself) Upstairs, right, cupboard on the left... TRAN (O.S.) (calling out) Get the big white ones, and thank you! LEONARD (to himself) The big white ones. CUT TO: INT. TEN'S UPSTAIRS HALLWAY - MOMENTS LATER LEONARD piles white towels into his arms, trying to close the cupboard with his shoulders. TEN retches off-screen. TRAN (O.S.) (calling out) Leonard? LEONARD (shouting) I'm on my way! CUT TO: INT. TEN'S STAIRWAY LEONARD quickly descends CUT TO: INT. TEN'S DOWNSTAIRS HALLWAY - MOMENTS LATER With a mountain of white towels, LEONARD slowly approaches the bathroom. LEONARD Okay, I'm here, I'm closing my eyes. TRAN exits the bathroom alone, grabbing half of LEONARD's towels. TRAN Thank you, thank you, thank you. LEONARD Oh, hi there. Sorry again. TRAN (quickly) Don't worry about it. TRAN re-enters the bathroom. TRAN (CONT'D) (from inside the bathroom, as an afterthought) I'm sorry. LEONARD Should I go back to the car? TRAN (ignoring him, still unseen in the bathroom) Leonard, my mom's robe is in her room on the bed, would you mind getting it? LEONARD No, of course I wouldn't mind. Just give me a list of shit to do, and I can help out, alright? TRAN (coughing) Um, I think that might be it, actually. LEONARD Your mom, huh? TRAN (sighing) Yeah. CUT TO: INT. BATHROOM - LATER LEONARD holds up TEN, now robed, while TRAN dries her hair. LEONARD Is she an epileptic or something? TRAN Not quite, no. LEONARD Huh. TRAN This is like, a... Cry for help. LEONARD (embarrassed) Oh. I'm sorry, Tran. TRAN (drying TEN's hair harder) Well, fucking don't be. We're going through this same old drama every year it seems like. LEONARD You sure you don't want me to call an ambulance or nothing? TRAN I'm sure. She already vomited in the tub. LEONARD Yeah, alright. TRAN She's going to be fine. I've seen her barely yawn from twice as many Qualudes and four times the wine. LEONARD You sure, though? TRAN (stopping) She doesn't have insurance, and she'd never speak to me again. LEONARD nods. TRAN (CONT'D) Yeah. But thanks. CUT TO: INT. TEN'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT TEN is still out, bundled up on a recliner. TRAN has changed out of her suit and into one of her mother's sweaters and jeans. She seems dazed. LEONARD enters holding two mugs. LEONARD (handing her a mug) Here, I made some tea. TRAN Leonard, aw... LEONARD Don't worry about it. LEONARD takes a seat next to TRAN on the couch. TRAN You really... Thanks so much for everything today. I feel very retarded. But I promise, we will get out to house hunt, alright? LEONARD (laughs) Tran, don't beat yourself up about that. TRAN Yeah? But anyway, I... Thanks. LEONARD Don't be embarrassed or anything, yeah. TRAN If you want to go, I mean, you can. I can handle it. LEONARD Well, I'll clear out if you want. TRAN No, I mean, you can stay. I just mean, you know, if you- don't feel like you have to baby-sit my mom. LEONARD I don't feel like that. And it isn't like I really have anywhere else to be, 'sides back to the hotel and whatnot. TRAN You're living in a hotel? LEONARD Yeah, well, just until I find my house. TRAN Oh, Leonard. I'm so sorry I've cancelled on you twice now. LEONARD No, I mean it, don't get down on yourself about that. TRAN Living in a hotel- LEONARD I mean it, I'm fine. TRAN (sighing) Tomorrow. I promise. LEONARD Don't worry. They sip tea. TRAN Can I ask why Cimarron? LEONARD Oh, well... Ah, yeah, I guess I can... I got some health issues. TRAN Oh, I can but out, if- LEONARD Nah, I'm not ashamed. I've had Diabetes for a few years now, and pretty recently, I had a coma. TRAN Man. LEONARD Yeah. I'm no good at taking care of myself, and I've got this nutritionist who I used to see, until he moved down here. TRAN You followed your nutritionist to New Mexico? LEONARD Yeah, well. He's my friend, too. TRAN I think that's really sweet. LEONARD I just didn't want to die, I guess. So can I ask about you? TRAN What do you want to know? LEONARD Well, like... Are you alright? TRAN Leonard, I think my life is falling apart. LEONARD nods for a moment, before scooting next to TRAN, who sets down her tea and leans against LEONARD's shoulder. TRAN (CONT'D) (beginning to cry) Is this okay? I'll leave you alone. LEONARD This is fine. TRAN (breaking down) Mom's a mess, and she just blames everything on me. And whenever I look at her, all I can think is, there's you, Tran: There's you at fifty-eight. TRAN sobs. LEONARD (giving her shoulders a squeeze) I wouldn't worry about that, really, Tran. It's pretty easy to not end up like your folks, I mean, especially when they're wrecks like that, no offense. TRAN I don't even want her to be happy, I don't care if she dies tonight- which she won't. I just want her to leave me alone forever! LEONARD Yeah. TRAN And I want Thomas to leave me alone forever. LEONARD Thomas? TRAN He's this... Honestly, Leonard, you don't want to know. LEONARD An ex-boyfriend? TRAN doesn't respond. LEONARD (CONT'D) I'm sorry. TRAN No, he is. There's... He's a very big problem. FADE TO: INT. TEN'S LIVING ROOM - MIDNIGHT LEONARD hangs out of the window, whittling away at another stick. TEN still sleeps on her chair. LEONARD is torn apart, and watches the moon, mindlessly sharpening and sharpening. A light clicks on behind him. LEONARD (half dazed) What's wrong, don't worry, I'm watching her. TEN, robed and awake, sees LEONARD in her window and screams. LEONARD spins around shocked, and sees TEN. LEONARD (CONT'D) No, uh... Don't worry, Ms. Pham! I'm not here to... uh, y'know, whatever- TEN screams at LEONARD in Vietnamese LEONARD (CONT'D) I'm sorry! I don't speak... that! TEN points at LEONARD and continues to bark at him. LEONARD notices he's still clutching his whittling knife. LEONARD (CONT'D) (dropping the knife) Oh, shit! No, no, no, no, no! Ma'am, I'm not going to hurt you, I- I promise! TEN backs away, yelling and raving. LEONARD (CONT'D) (slowly following her) You had a little accident earlier, and I was just trying to help you out a bit, okay? I'm a friend of Tran's, who's apparently a very, very deep sleeper... TEN stops. TEN Tran? LEONARD (slowly and clearly) Yeah! Yeah, I'm a friend of Tran's, I was just trying to help you. TEN (extremely labored English) Friend. LEONARD Right. Tran's friend. TEN (smiling) Tran's boyfriend? LEONARD What? No, no, that's not quite it. TEN continues to smile and sits down on the couch, motioning LEONARD to sit next to her. LEONARD shrugs and sighs, obliging. TEN Oh... Handsome! LEONARD Thank you, ma'am, but again- TEN Tran lonely. So sad. LEONARD I know. Yeah, I know. After a moment, TEN coos, happily. TEN Oh, so handsome! LEONARD (chuckling) Yeah, you mentioned that. CUT TO: EXT. TEN'S HOUSE - THE NEXT MORNING TEN, TRAN and LEONARD walk towards TRAN's car. TEN and TRAN are arm in arm, LEONARD a few feet to their side. TRAN says something to her mother in Vietnamese, and TEN snaps back at her. They argue momentarily before TRAN sighs and continues to her car, TEN staying on the sidewalk. LEONARD begins to follow TRAN, but TEN grabs his arm. LEONARD turns to meet TEN as TRAN enters her car. TEN smiles at LEONARD and leans up to kiss his cheek. LEONARD Goodbye, Ms. Pham. TEN (sweetly) Goodbye. LEONARD enters TRAN's car. INT. TRAN'S CAR - SAME TIME TEN watches the two from outside. TRAN I'm sorry about my mother, Leonard. LEONARD She'll be alright, I bet. TRAN No, she won't. LEONARD Well. TRAN Leonard, I need to find you a house, so I'm going to at least momentarily forget about all of this so that I can at least try and help you. LEONARD Tran, why don't you take the day, huh? I think you could use it. TRAN Leonard... LEONARD I'm fine at that hotel, Tran. But I don't even think I'm up for a house hunt today, so I can't begin to imagine how you're feeling about it. TRAN I- TRAN sighs. CUT TO: INT. HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT LEONARD is laying on his bed. He reaches for EDMUND's book, and turns to the red page. Then, for his telephone. He dials nine first. CUT TO: INT. EDMUND'S BEDROOM - SAME TIME EDMUND and his WIFE are asleep. The phone begins to ring. EDMUND wakes up and grabs the phone. EDMUND (quietly) Edmund Collard. (normally) Leonard? Alright, sit down, be calm, do exactly what I say. (pause) What? Then... What's this about? Yeah, of course I'm your friend. EDMUND exits the bedroom. CUT TO: INT. LIVING ROOM - SAME TIME EDMUND turns on a light and sits on his couch. EDMUND Leonard, you're not making any sense. (pause) What? Well, Leonard, that's great! Who is she? Uh-huh. Yeah. Oh... Oh, I see. (clears is throat) Well, I mean, have you met this guy? No, I mean, well... he could be tough. Or big. Is he from the city? Well, you're from the country. Did he hit her or anything? (pause) Huh. Alright. Well, you're from Texas, Leonard. Own that. Just come at him as Texas as you can possibly get and you'll probably scare the bastard shitless. (laughs) No, it sounds like you're crazy about her. No, no, don't sweat it, Leonard, that's what I'm here for. Hey, while I've got you, how's the diet holding up? (pause) Oh. Of course I understand. Yeah, we'll talk later. Good luck with everything, pal. EDMUND clicks the phone off and heads for his bedroom. EDMUND (CONT'D) It's nothing, Cheryl. Go back to sleep. FADE TO: INT. TRAN'S ROOM - MOMENTS LATER TRAN's phone rings. She clicks on a light and picks up her receiver off of the night stand. TRAN (tired) Hello? Oh, hey Leonard. (yawns) No, it's fine. I'm sorry, what's that? (pause) Oh. No, of course that's no problem. No, I mean it. I mean, you're basically setting the schedule here, so if you don't mind the extra night in a hotel, then who am I to... (pause) Yeah, of course we can reschedule. (pause) Uh, well, actually, I do have something going Friday morning. Yeah, I know. But how about after two? Would that work for you? Okay. Yeah, okay. (pause) No, you really shouldn't worry about that. Maybe another day is what I need, who knows? Alright, yeah. (pause) Hey, Leonard... Everything going okay? (she nods) Just checking. Alright. Then Friday it is. Okay, Leonard. Goodnight. TRAN hangs up her phone and pauses a moment before clicking off her light and heading back to sleep. FADE TO: INT. THOMAS' APARTMENT - MOMENTS LATER THOMAS is sifting through his refrigerator when his phone begins to ring. He shoots up and pivots, walking over to answer. THOMAS Hello? Yes, speaking. (pause) I'm sorry? Uh... Who is this? Do I know you? (a long pause) Fucking... How did you get this number? No, that is important. (cutting him off) Hey, hey, hey- Look, mister, you don't know the half of that situation- no, shut up! Look, I may have done a few things that I'm not proud of, but don't you go barking at me about something that's- that you don't- it's not even any of your fucking business, mister! (pause) What? (pause, exhaling) Okay... Well, why should I? (pause) I'm sorry, is that a threat? After a short pause, THOMAS sits down on the floor of his kitchen, looking struck. THOMAS (CONT'D) Alright. Fine. Hang on a second. THOMAS pulls a pad of paper and a pen off of his kitchen counter. THOMAS (CONT'D) Go ahead, I guess. CUT TO: INT. HOTEL ROOM - LATER LEONARD zips up his coat and secures his cowboy hat. From his belt, LEONARD produces a six-shooter revolver, punching out the chamber and giving it a spin to see that it's loaded. It is. LEONARD nods, gives himself a pat over, and exits the room. CUT TO: EXT. THE PARK - DUSK A nervous THOMAS SEXTON walks towards the center of a park. He looks around, but visibility is low. THOMAS stops and checks his watch. Standing in place, he continues to look around uncomfortably. LEONARD is perched against a tree behind THOMAS LEONARD Sexton? THOMAS jumps and spins, staring at LEONARD. LEONARD (CONT'D) Just relax. THOMAS Alright. I'm here. LEONARD That's right, Sexton. After a moment, LEONARD holds his gun to THOMAS, approaching him. LEONARD (CONT'D) So, lookie here, dirtbag, you've gotta be taken care of. Horror washes over THOMAS's face, then tears. THOMAS Oh God! THOMAS curls into a ball and rocks, screaming into the grass. THOMAS (CONT'D) No, no, no, please! Ohhhhh, God... LEONARD Look at me. Hey! Sexton, look at me! THOMAS continues to yelp and hyperventilate. THOMAS No... Why... Ah no... LEONARD kicks THOMAS in his side a few times to roll him over, gun aimed at his head. LEONARD Get up and look at me, you piece of shit! THOMAS' eyes are sealed shut and he weeps and babbles. THOMAS Oh, fuck, no... Ohh... God... LEONARD lowers his gun for a moment, looking THOMAS over. LEONARD Shit... You're young. THOMAS (in between snot and coughs) What? LEONARD I suppose you would be... She's young, isn't she? (sighs) How old are you, Thomas? THOMAS (hysterics) I don't wanna die, Leonard, don't kill me please! LEONARD holds his revolver out to his side, letting holding it by his finger. LEONARD Sexton, look at me! I'm not even holding the gun at you anymore, okay? THOMAS No! LEONARD Sexton, look at me. THOMAS barely begins to open his eyes, wincing tight. THOMAS No... Leonard don't kill me... LEONARD For right now we're just gonna talk, alright? THOMAS whimpers. LEONARD (CONT'D) But for God's sake, Thomas, if you carry on weeping and spitting, I'm gonna shoot you like a fucking dog, right in your head. THOMAS dry heaves. LEONARD (CONT'D) Hey, but right now, you and I, we're just talking. THOMAS (finally, after a few deep breaths) Just talking. LEONARD That's right. So get up. THOMAS I... yeah. THOMAS gets to his knees and pulls himself up. He meekly looks LEONARD in the eye, face to face. LEONARD shakes his head after a moment. LEONARD I hate you. THOMAS (submissive) Yes. LEONARD You're scum. THOMAS I'm scum. LEONARD I scrape shit like you right off the bottom of my boots and I do it with the rustiest, crustiest knife I own, you understand? THOMAS I understand. LEONARD You're on some... Whatever, some sort of bullshit, personal, dramatics trip, and you never stop to think that you're torturing that girl? That you're destroying that girl? THOMAS I never think, Leonard, I never think. LEONARD Shut up and let me talk. THOMAS Yes, sir. LEONARD She's a ghost. She hasn't lived a day in a long time, Sexton, and I don't like that. And I hate you. So one way or another, we're getting you out of her life. For good. THOMAS' lip begins to shake again. LEONARD (CONT'D) Cut that out right now. THOMAS lowers his head, nodding. LEONARD (CONT'D) You don't have the right to associate with her, Sexton. Not anymore. She's precious, and beautiful, and intelligent, and you're a fucking leach. You are dirt. LEONARD sighs, THOMAS still looking down. LEONARD (CONT'D) But I ain't gonna kill you. 'Cause you're just a kid. THOMAS finally responds. THOMAS Well... What, then? LEONARD You're leaving town. Tonight. THOMAS I- well... How? With is gun, LEONARD points to THOMAS' car. LEONARD That's your vehicle, right? THOMAS Yes, sir. LEONARD digs into his back pocket and pulls out a roll of 100 dollar bills. LEONARD You're taking this money, you're getting in your vehicle, and you're driving- (points east) - that way until you hit water. Ocean. THOMAS sniffs, then coughs. LEONARD holds out the roll of bills, and after a moment, THOMAS takes them. THOMAS eyes his bills, then LEONARD. LEONARD (CONT'D) What? THOMAS (pointing east) Why that way? LEONARD That's east. That way you drive into the sunrise. THOMAS gulps, his lip shaking for a moment before he takes a big breath in and nods his head. LEONARD (CONT'D) So go on. Git. THOMAS holds his roll of bills and turns around, walking towards his car. Fifteen paces behind, LEONARD follows. LEONARD stands behind THOMAS' car as he fires up the engine. THOMAS waves out the back window and begins to drive off, LEONARD watching. CU LEONARD'S EYES The sound of THOMAS' engine gets quieter and quieter. As it just about fades, LEONARD coughs and winces. FADE TO BLACK. Text clicks on-screen. ON-SCREEN TEXT Four months later. FADE IN: INT. LEONARD'S TOWNHOUSE - AFTERNOON LEONARD CHRISTIAN looks healthy. The on-screen text clicks off. LEONARD is grabbing his coat and putting on his hat, when his cell phone rings. LEONARD pulls out his phone. LEONARD (flipping it open) Hello? Edmund, what's going on? Uh-huh, I'm just heading out. I know. I'm running a little late. (pause) Yeah? Well, what'd she make? (laughs) It sounds awful. (pause) No, no. I'll be there in twenty. LEONARD hangs up his phone and tucks it back into his coat, leaving his room. Out of his bedroom window, we watch as he climbs into a brown sedan, turning over the engine and heading off. LEONARD's telephone rings. After four rings, the machine picks up. LEONARD (CONT'D) (machine recording) Hey, you reached Leonard Christian. Let me know after the beep. The machine beeps. TRAN (over the machine) Leonard? It's Tran. I hope you're doing well. I know it's- it's been a few- a while. So I hope that... we can- (pause) Look, what you did wasn't right, okay? We don't- nobody acts like that in the real world, right? I mean, you know that. (sighs) But there's too much Texas in you, or whatever. It's not important. Look, I'm not condoning this in any way, but- ah, I felt like I had to call, because- (sighs) Leonard, in a very fucked up way, you kind of saved my life here. I don't know. I guess I'm kind trying to say thanks. And that I hope the move went well for you. (a pause, now with a bit of a broken voice) Leonard, for both of our sake, please don't call me back, okay? Bye. The machine clicks. CUT TO BLACK.
Return to Simply Scripts