Smoke



1.	EXT:  DAY.  ELEVATED SUBWAY TRAIN
 
	Against the backdrop of the Manhattan skyline, we see an elevated
	subway train heading toward Brooklyn.
 
	After a moment, we begin to hear voices. An animated discussion is
	taking place inside the Brooklyn Cigar Company.
 
2. 	INT:  DAY.  THE BROOKLYN CIGAR CO.
 
	The cigar shop from within. Displays of cigar boxes, a wall of
	magazines, piles of newspapers. cigarettes, smoking paraphernalia. On
	the walls, we see framed black-and-white photographs of people smoking
	cigars: Groucho Marx, George Burns, Clint Eastwood, Edward G. Robinson,
	Orson Welles, Charles Laughton, Frankenstein's monster, Leslie Caron,
	Ernie Kovacs.
 
	Words appear on the screen: "SUMMER 1990."
 
	AUGGIE WREN is behind the counter. Somewhere between forty and fifty
	years old, AUGGIE is a scruffy presence: unkempt hair, a two-day
	stubble of beard, dressed in blue jeans and a black T-shirt. We see an
	intricate tattoo on one arm.
 
	It is a slow hour. AUGGIE is flipping through a photography magazine.
 
	Near the counter are the three OTB MEN. These are local characters who
	like to hang out in the store, shooting the breeze with AUGGIE. One is
	black (TOMMY) and the other two are white (JERRY and DENNIS). DENNIS
	wears a T-shirt with the following words printed across the front: "If
	life is a dream, what happens when I wake up?"
 
				TOMMY
		I'll tell you why they're not going anywhere.
 
				JERRY 
		Yeah? And why is that?
 
				TOMMY
		Management. Those guys are walking around with 
		their heads up their asses.
 
				DENNIS 
		They made some great deals. Tommy. Hernandez. 
		Carter. Without those two, there never woulda 
		been no World Series.
 
				TOMMY
		That was four years ago. I'm talking about now. 
			(Growing more intense) 
		Look who they got rid of. Mitchell. Backman. 
		McDowell. Dykstra. Aguillera. Mookie. Mookie 
		Wilson, for Chrissakes. 
			(Shakes his head)
 
				JERRY 
			(Sarcastically) 
		And Nolan Ryan. Don't forget him.
 
 				DENNIS
			(Chiming in) 
		Yeah. And Amos Otis.
 
				TOMMY
			(Shrugs) 
		Okay, joke about it. I don't give a shit.
 
				JERRY 
		Jesus, Tommy, it ain't science, you know. You 
		got your good trades and your bad trades. 
		That's how it works.
 
				TOMMY
		They didn't have to do a thing, that's all I'm 
		saying. The team was good, the best fucking 
		team in baseball. But then they had to screw it 
		up.
 			(Pause) 
		They traded their birthright for a mess of 
		porridge. 
			(Shakes his head) 
		A mess of porridge.
 
	The bells on the door jangle as someone enters. It is AUGGIE'S protégé,
	JIMMY ROSE, a mentally retarded man in his late twenties. He has been
	sweeping the sidewalk outside the store and holds a broom in his right
	hand.
 
				AUGGIE
		How'd you do out there, Jimmy?
 
				JIMMY
		Good, Auggie. Real good. 
			(Proudly thrusts out broom) 
		All finished.
 
				AUGGIE
  			(Philosophically) 
		It'll never be finished.
 
				JIMMY
			(Confused) 
		Huh?
 
				AUGGIE 
		That's how it is with sidewalks. People come, 
		people go, and they all drop shit on the 
		ground. As soon as you clean up one spot and 
		move on to the next, the first spot is dirty 
		again.
 
				JIMMY
			(Trying to digest AUGGIE'S comment) 
		I just do what you tell me, Auggie. You tell me 
		to sweep, so I sweep.
 
	The bells on the door jangle again, and a customer enters the store: a
	middle-class man in his early thirties. He walks to the counter as
	JERRY teases JIMMY. In the background, we see him talking to AUGGIE.
	AUGGIE pulls some cigar boxes out of the display case and puts them on
	the counter for the YOUNG MAN to inspect. In the foreground we see:
 
				JERRY 
			(Interrupting. Playfully) 
		Hey, Jimmy. You got the time?
 
				JIMMY
			(Turning to the SECOND OTB MAN) 
		Huh?
 
				JERRY 
		You still have that watch Auggie gave you?
 
				JIMMY
			(Holds up left wrist showing 
			 cheap digital watch. Smiles)
		Tick-tock, tick-tock.
 
				JERRY 
		So what's the time?
 
				JIMMY
			(Studying watch) 
		Twelve-eleven. 
			(Pause, marveling as 
			 the numbers change) 
		Twelve-twelve. 
			(Looks up, smiling) 
		Twelve-twelve.
 
	A sudden outburst is heard from the area near the counter.
 
				YOUNG MAN
			(Aghast) 
		Ninety-two dollars?
 
	The focus of the scene shifts to AUGGIE and the YOUNG MAN.
 
				AUGGIE 
		They don't come cheap, son. These little honeys 
		are works of art. Rolled by hand in a tropical 
		climate, most likely by an eighteen year old 
		girl in a thin cotton dress with no underwear 
		on. Little beads of sweat forming in her naked 
		cleavage. The smooth, delicate fingers nimbly 
		turning out one masterpiece after another...
 
				YOUNG MAN
 			(Pointing) 
		And how much are these?
 
				AUGGIE 
		Seventy-eight dollars. The girl who rolled these  
		was probably wearing panties.
 
				YOUNG MAN
			(Pointing) 
		And these?
 
				AUGGIE
 		Fifty-six.  That girl had on a corset.
 
				YOUNG MAN
			(Pointing) 
		And these? 

				AUGGIE 
		Forty-four. They're on special this week from 
		the Canary Islands. A real bargain.
 
                       YOUNG MAN
		I think I'll take them.
			(Takes wallet from his pocket 
			 and counts out $50 which he 
			 hands to AUGGIE)
 
				AUGGIE 
		A good choice. You wouldn't want to celebrate 
		the birth of your firstborn with a box of 
		stinkers, would you? Remember to keep them in 
		the refrigerator until you hand them out.
 
                       YOUNG MAN
		The refrigerator?
 
				AUGGIE 
		It'll keep them fresh. If they get too dry, 
		they'll break. And you don't want that to 
		happen, do you? 
			(Putting cigar box into a bag, 
			 ringing up sale on the cash register) 
		Tobacco is a plant, and it needs the same 
		loving care you'd give an orchid.
 
                       YOUNG MAN
		Thanks for the tip.
 
				AUGGIE 
		Any time. And congratulations to you and your 
		wife. Just remember, though, in the immortal 
		words of Rudyard Kipling: "A woman is just a 
		woman, but a cigar is a smoke.
 
				YOUNG MAN
			(Confused) 
		What does that mean?
 
				AUGGIE 
		Damned if I know. But it has a nice ring to it, 
		don't it?
 
	At that moment, we hear the bells on the door jangle again. Cut to the
	door. Another customer enters the store: PAUL BENJAMIN. He is in his
	early forties, dressed in rumpled casual clothes. As he approaches the 
	counter, the YOUNG MAN brushes past him and leaves the store. The OTB 
	MEN and JIMMY look on as PAUL and AUGGIE talk.
 
				PAUL
 		Hey, Auggie. How's it going?
 
				AUGGIE 
		Hey, man. Good to see you. What'll it be today?
 
				PAUL 
		Two tins of Schimmelpennincks. And throw in a 
		lighter while you're at it.
 
                         AUGGIE 
			(Reaching for cigars and lighter) 
		The boys and I were just having a philosophical 
		discussion about women and cigars. Some 
		interesting connections there, don't you think?
 
				PAUL 
			(Laughs) 
		Definitely. 
			(Pause)
		I suppose it all goes back to Queen Elizabeth.

                         AUGGIE 
		The Queen of England?
 
				PAUL 
		Not Elizabeth the Second, Elizabeth the First. 
			(Pause) 
		Did you ever hear of Sir Walter Raleigh?
 
				TOMMY
		Sure. He's the guy who threw his cloak down 
		over the puddle.
 
				JERRY 
		I used to smoke Raleigh cigarettes. They came 
		with a free gift coupon in every pack.
 
				PAUL 
		That's the man. Well, Raleigh was the person 
		who introduced tobacco in England, and since he 
		was a favorite of the Queen's -- Queen Bess, he 
		used to call her -- smoking caught on as a 
		fashion at court. I'm sure Old Bess must have 
		shared a stogie or two with Sir Walter. Once, 
		he made a bet with her that he could measure 
		the weight of smoke.
 
				DENNIS
		You mean, weigh smoke?
 
				PAUL 
		Exactly. Weigh smoke.
 
				TOMMY
		You can't do that. It's like weighing air.
 
				PAUL 
		I admit it's strange. Almost like weighing 
		someone's soul. But Sir Walter was a clever 
		guy. First, he took an unsmoked cigar and put 
		it on a balance and weighed it. Then he lit up 
		and smoked the cigar, carefully tapping the 
		ashes into the balance pan. When he was 
		finished, he put the butt into the pan along 
		with the ashes and weighed what was there. 
		Then he subtracted that number from the 
		original weight of the unsmoked cigar. The 
		difference was the weight of the smoke.
 
				TOMMY
		Not bad. That's the kind of guy we need to take 
		over the Mets.
 
				PAUL 
		Oh, he was smart, all right. But not so smart 
		that he didn't wind up having his head chopped 
		off twenty years later. 
			(Pause) 
		But that's another story.
 
				AUGGIE 
			(Handing PAUL his change and putting 
			 cigar tins and lighter in a paper bag) 
		Seven eighty-five out of twenty. 
			(As PAUL turns to leave) 
		Take care of yourself now, and don't do 
		anything I wouldn't do.
 
				PAUL 
			(Smiling)
		I wouldn't think of it. 
			(Waves casually to the OTB MEN) 
		See you around, fellas.
 
	AUGGIE and the OTB MEN watch as PAUL leaves the store.
 
				TOMMY
			(Turning to AUGGIE) 
		What is he, some kind of wise guy?
 
				AUGGIE 
		Nah. He's a good kid.
 
				JERRY 
		I've seen him around. He comes in here a lot, 
		don't he?
 
				AUGGIE 
		Couple of times a week, maybe. He's a writer. 
		Lives in the neighborhood.
 
				TOMMY
		And what kind of writer is he? An underwriter?
 
				AUGGIE 
			(Peeved) 
		Very funny. Some of the cracks you make. Tommy, 
		sometimes I think you should see a doctor. You 
		know, go in for some wit therapy or something. 
		To clean out the valves in your brain.
 
				TOMMY
			(A little embarrassed. Shrugs) 
		It was just a joke.
 
				AUGGIE 
		The guy's a novelist. Paul Benjamin. You ever 
		hear of him? 
			(Pause) 
		That's a stupid question. The only things you 
		guys read is the Racing Form and pages of the 
		Post. 
			(Pause) 
		He's published three or four books.  But 
		nothing now for the past few years.
 
				DENNIS 
		What's the matter? He run out of ideas?
 
				AUGGIE 
		He ran out of luck. 
			(Pause) 
		Remember that holdup out here on Seventh Avenue 
		few years back?
 
				JERRY
		You talking about the bank? The time those two 
		guys started spraying bullets all over the 
		street?
 
				AUGGIE 
		That's it. Four people got killed. One of them 
		was Paul's wife. 
			(Pause) 
		The poor lug, he hasn't been the same since. 
			(Pause) 
		The funny thing was, she stopped in here just 
		before it happened. To stock up on cigars for 
		him. She was a nice lady, Ellen. Four or five 
		months pregnant at the time, which means that 
		when she was killed, the baby was killed, too.
 
				TOMMY
		Bad day at Black Rock, eh, Auggie?
 
	Close-up of AUGGIE'S face. Remembering.
 
				AUGGIE 
		It was bad, all right. I sometimes think that 
		if she hadn't given me exact change that day, 
		or if the store had been a little more crowded, 
		it would have taken her a few more seconds to 
		get out of here, and then maybe she wouldn't 
		have stepped in front of that bullet. She'd 
		still be alive, the baby would have been born, 
		and Paul would be sitting at home writing 
		another book instead of wandering the streets 
		with a hangover. 
			(Pensive, his expression suddenly 
			 turns to one of alarm)
 
	Cut to white youth in the corner of the store, shoving paperback books 
	into the pockets of his tattered army fatigue jacket.
 
				AUGGIE (cont'd)
		Hey! What are you doing there, kid? Hey, cut 
		that out!
 
	AUGGIE scrambles out from behind the counter, pushing his way past the 
	OTB MEN as the kid takes off and runs out of the store.
 
3.	EXT: DAY. SEVENTH AVENUE
 
	AUGGIE chases the BOOK THIEF down the street. Eventually, he gets 
	winded and gives up. He pauses for a moment to catch his breath, then 
	turns around and heads back in the direction of the store.
 
4.	INT: DAY. PAUL'S APARTMENT.  A BROWNSTONE BUILDING IN PARK SLOPE 
	(THIRD FLOOR)
 
	Shot of a little brown cigar, burning in an ashtray.
 
	The camera pulls back to reveal PAUL at his desk. He is writing in
	longhand, using a pad of yellow legal paper. An old Smith-Corona
	typewriter is also on the desk, poised for work with a half-written
	page in the roller. Off in the corner, we see a neglected word
	processor.
 
	The workroom is a bare and simple place. Desk, chair, and a small
	wooden bookcase with manuscripts and papers shoved onto its shelves.
	The window faces a brick wall.
 
	As PAUL continues to write, the camera travels from the workroom into
	the larger of the two rooms that make up his apartment.
 
	This larger room is an all-purpose space that includes a sleeping area,
	a kitchenette in one corner, a dining table and a large easy chair.
	Crowded bookshelves occupy one wall from floor to ceiling. The bow
	windows face front, looking down onto the street. Near the bed, we see 
	a framed photograph of a young woman. (This is Ellen, Paul's dead
	wife.)
 
	The camera travels back into the workroom. We see PAUL at work. Fade
	out.
 
	Fade in. We see PAUL at his desk, eating a TV dinner while still 
	writing in the pad. After a moment, he inadvertently knocks the food 
	off the desk with his elbow. He begins to bend over to pick up the 
	food, but as he does so a new idea suddenly occurs to him. Instead of
	cleaning up the mess, he turns back to his pad and continues writing.
 
5	EXT: DAY. IN FRONT OF THE BROOKLYN CIGAR CO.
 
	We see PAUL walking out of the cigar store. JIMMY ROSE is on the
	corner, observing him throughout the scene. PAUL takes three or four
	steps, then realizes he has forgotten something. He goes back into the
	store. During his brief absence, JIMMY remains on the corner, imitating
	PAUL'S gestures: patting in pockets, looking puzzled, realizing that he
	has forgotten the cigars he just bought.
 
	PAUL comes out again a moment later, holding a tin of Schimmelpenninck
	cigars. He pauses, takes a cigar out of the tin, and lights up. He
	continues walking, obviously distracted. He stops briefly at a corner,
	then steps out into the street, paying no attention to the traffic. A
	speeding tow truck is rushing toward the intersection. At the last
	second, a black hand reaches out, grabs PAUL by the arm, and pulls him
	back to the curb. If not for that timely move, PAUL would surely have
	been run down.

	We see PAUL'S rescuer: it is RASHID COLE, a black adolescent of sixteen
	or seventeen. He is tall and well built for his age. A nylon backpack
	is slung over his left shoulder.
 
				RASHID 
		Watch out, man. You'll get yourself killed like 
		that.
 
				PAUL 
			(Badly shaken, still 
			 clinging to RASHID'S arm)
		I can't believe I did that ... Christ. I'm 
		walking around in a fog ...
 
				RASHID 
		No harm done. Everything's okay now. 
			(Looks down and notices that he and 
			 PAUL are still gripping each other's 
			 arms. Tries to pull away) 
		I've got to be going.
 
				PAUL 
			(Still rattled. Begins to loosen grip, 
			 then grabs hold of RASHID'S again) 
		No, wait. You can't just walk off. 
			(Pause) 
		You saved my life.
 
				RASHID 
			(Shrugs) 
		I just happened to be there.  The right place 
		at the right time.
 
				PAUL 
			(Relaxes grip on RASHID'S arm)
		I owe you something.
 
				RASHID 
		It's okay, mister. No big deal.
 
				PAUL 
		Yes it is. It's a law of the universe. If I let 
		you walk away, the moon will spin out of orbit 
		... pestilence will reign over the city for a 
		hundred years.
 
				RASHID 
			(Mystified, amused. Smiles faintly) 
		Well, if you put it that way...
 
				PAUL 
		You have to let me do something for you to put 
		the scales in balance.
 
				RASHID 
			(Thinks, shakes his head) 
		That's all right. If I think of something, I'll 
		send my butler over to tell you.
 
				PAUL 
		Come on. At least let me buy you a cup of 
		coffee.
 
				RASHID  
		I don't drink coffee. 
			(Smiles) 
		On the other hand, since you insist, if you 
		offered me a cold lemonade. I wouldn't say no.
 
				PAUL 
		Good. Lemonade it is. 
			(Pause. Extends right hand) 
		I'm Paul.
 
				RASHID 
		Rashid. Rashid Cole. 
			(Shakes PAUL'S hand)
 
	Cut to:
 
6.	INT: DAY. GREEK DINER IN PARK SLOPE
 
	PAUL and RASHID are sitting in a booth. The restaurant is nearly empty.
	We see RASHID finishing his second lemonade.
 
				PAUL 
			(Watching RASHID drink) 
		Are you sure you don't want some food to go 
		along with it? It might help to absorb some of 
		that liquid. You don't want to slosh around 
		too much when you stand up.
 
				RASHID
 		That's okay. I've already had lunch.
 
				PAUL 
			(Looks at clock on wall) 
		You must eat lunch pretty early. It's only 
		eleven o'clock.
 
				RASHID
		I mean breakfast.
 
				PAUL 
			(Studying RASHID closely) 
		Yeah, sure, and I bet you had lobster last 
		night. Along with two bottles of champagne.
 
				RASHID 
		Just one bottle. I believe in moderation.
 
				PAUL 
		Look, kid, it's okay with me. You don't have to 
		play games. If you want a hamburger or 
		something, go ahead and order it.
 
				RASHID 
			(Hesitates) 
		Well, maybe just one. To be polite.
 
				PAUL 
			(Turning to WAITRESS. She comes) 
		Cocktail hour is over. The young man would 
		like to order a hamburger.
 
				WAITRESS 
			(To RASHID) 
		How do you want that cooked?
 
				RASHID 
		Medium rare, please.
 
				WAITRESS 
		Fries?
 
				RASHID 
			(Looks at PAUL. PAUL nods) 
		Yes, please.
 
				WAITRESS
 		Lettuce and tomato?
 
				RASHID 
			(Looks at PAUL. PAUL nods) 
		Yes, please.
 
				WAITRESS 
			(Pointing to RASHID'S empty 
			 lemonade glass) 
		You want another one of these, too?
 
				PAUL 
		Yeah, give him another one. And I'll take a cup 
		of coffee while you're at it.
 
				WAITRESS 
		Hot coffee or iced coffee?
 
				PAUL 
		Do you have real iced coffee, or do you just 
		pour hot coffee over some ice cubes?
 
				WAITRESS 
		Everything is real in here, honey. 
			(Pause) 
		As real as the color of my hair.
 
	PAUL and RASHID look at her hair. It is dyed bright red.
 
				PAUL 
			(Deadpan) 
		I'll take the iced coffee. 
			(Pause) 
		You only live once, right?
 
				WAITRESS 
			(Equally deadpan) 
		If you're lucky. 
			(Pause) 
		Then again, it depends on what you call living. 
			(She walks off)
 
				PAUL 
			(To RASHID) 
		I don't mean to pry, but I see a kid walking 
		around with a big knapsack on his back, and I 
		begin to wonder if all his worldly possessions 
		aren't stowed in there. Are you in some kind of 
		trouble or what?
 
				RASHID
			(Keeping up his pose) 
		Mostly what.
 
				PAUL 
			(Studying RASHID) 
		You don't have to tell me if you don't want to, 
		but I might be able to help.
 
				RASHID 
			(Hesitating) 
		You don't know me from a hole in the wall.
 
				PAUL 
		That's true. But I also owe you something, and 
		I'm not sure that buying you a hamburger is 
		going to do the job. 
			(Pause) 
		What is it? Family problems? Money problems?
 
				RASHID 
			(Imitating white upper-class accent) 
		Oh no. Momsie and Popsie have oodles.
 
				PAUL 
		And where do Momsie and Popsie live?

				RASHID
		East Seventy-fourth Street.

				PAUL 
		In Manhattan?
 
				RASHID
		Of course. Where else?

				PAUL 
		Then what are you doing in Park Slope? It's a 
		little far from home, isn't it?
 
				RASHID 
			(Beginning to relent) 
		That's where the what comes in.
 
				PAUL 
		The what?

				RASHID 
		The what. 
			(Pause)
		I've kind of run away from home, you see. 
			(Pause)
		It has nothing to do with my parents or money. 
		I saw something I wasn't supposed to see, and 
		for the time being it's best that I keep myself 
		out of sight.

				PAUL
		You can't be more specific than that?

	RASHID looks at PAUL, hesitates, then lowers his eyes.

				PAUL (cont'd) 
			(Pause. Decides not to press him) 
		So where have you been staying in the meantime?
 
				RASHID 
		Here and there. Around.
 
 				PAUL 
		Uh-huh. One of those cozy bed and breakfast 
		places, probably.
 
				RASHID 
		Yeah, that's right.
 
				PAUL 
		Except that there's no bed, is there? And no 
		breakfast either.
 
				RASHID 
		The material world is an illusion. It doesn't 
		matter if they're there or not. The world is in 
		my head.
 
				PAUL 
		But your body is in the world, isn't it? 
			(Pause) 
		If someone offered you a place to stay, you 
		wouldn't necessarily refuse, would you?
 
				RASHID 
			(Pause. Thinks) 
		People don't do that kind of thing. Not in New 
		York.
 
				PAUL 
		I'm not "people." I'm just me. And I do 
		whatever I goddamn want to do. Got it?
 
				RASHID 
		Thanks, but I'll manage.
 
				PAUL 
		In case you're wondering, I like women, not 
		little boys. And I'm not offering you a 
		long-term lease -- just a place to crash for a 
		couple of nights.
 
				RASHID
 		I can take care of myself. Don't worry.
 
				PAUL 
		Suit yourself. But if you change your mind, 
		here's the address. 
			(Takes out a pad from his pocket and 
			 scribbles down the address. Tears 
			 sheet from the pad and hands it to 
			 RASHID)
 
	The WAITRESS arrives with their orders.
 
				WAITRESS 
		One burger medium rare with lettuce and tomato. 
			(Setting down plate in front of RASHID) 
		One order of fries. 
			(Setting down plate) 
		One lemonade. 
			(Setting down glass) 
		And one dose of reality. 
			(Setting down iced coffee 
			 in front of PAUL)
 
	PAUL looks on as RASHID picks up hamburger and takes his first bite.
 
7.	INT: DAY. THE BROOKLYN CIGAR CO.
 
	A slow hour. AUGGIE is sitting behind the counter, looking through a
	magazine and eating a slice of pizza for lunch. VINNIE enters the
	frame. He is the owner of the store: a large man in his fifties.
 
				VINNIE 
		Okay. I think everything's set. 
			(Lights up cigar) 
		You've got the number for Cape Cod, right? Just 
		in case something goes wrong.
 
				AUGGIE 
			(Chewing pizza; not looking 
			 up from magazine) 
		No problem, Vinnie. Everything's under control. 
			(Finally looking up)
		I could run this store in my sleep.
 
				VINNIE 
			(Studying AUGGIE) 
		How long you been working for me, Auggie?
 
				AUGGIE 
			(Shrugs, looks down at magazine again) 
		I don't know. Thirteen, fourteen years. 
		Something like that.
 
				VINNIE 
		It's pretty crazy, don't you think? I mean, a 
		smart guy like you. What do you want to hang 
		on to a dead-end job like this for?
 
				AUGGIE 
			(Shrugs again) 
		I don't know. 
			(Turns pages of magazine) 
		Maybe because I love you so much, boss.
 
				VINNIE 
		Shit. You should have been married to someone 
		by now. You know, settled down somewhere with a 
		kid or two, a nice steady job.
 
				AUGGIE
		I almost got married once.
 
				VINNIE 
		Yeah, I know. To that girl who moved to 
		Pittsburgh.
 
				AUGGIE
		Ruby McNutt. My one true love.

				VINNIE 
		Sounds like another one of your stories to me.
 
                         AUGGIE 
			(Shakes his head) 
		She upped and married some other cat after I 
		joined the navy. By the time I got my 
		discharge, though, she was divorced. Her 
		husband poked out her eye in a domestic 
		quarrel.
 
				VINNIE 
			(Puffing on his cigar) 
		Lovely.
 
                         AUGGIE 
			(Remembering) 
		She made a play for me after I got back, but 
		her glass eye kept interfering with my 
		concentration. Every time we got into a clinch, 
		I'd start thinking about that hole in her head, 
		that empty socket with the glass eye in it. An 
		eye that couldn't see, an eye that couldn't 
		shed any tears. The minute I started thinking 
		about it, Mr. Johnson would get all soft and 
		small. And I can't see getting married if Mr. 
		Johnson isn't going to be in tiptop shape.
 
				VINNIE 
			(Shaking his head) 
		You don't take anything seriously, do you?
 
				AUGGIE 
		I try not to, anyway. It's better for your 
		health. I mean, look at you, Vincent. You're 
		the guy with the wife and three kids and the 
		ranch house on Long Island. You're the guy with 
		the white shoes and the white Caddy and the 
		white shag carpet. But you've had two heart 
		attacks, and I'm still waiting for my first.
 
				VINNIE 
			(Takes cigar out of his mouth 
			 and looks at it with disgust) 
		I should stop smoking these damn things is what 
		I should do. The fuckers are going to kill me 
		one day.
 
				AUGGIE 
		Enjoy it while you can, Vin. Pretty soon, 
		they're going to legislate us out of business 
		anyway.
 
				VINNIE 
		They catch you smoking tobacco, they'll stand 
		you up against a wall and shoot you.
 
				AUGGIE 
			(Nodding) 
		Tobacco today, sex tomorrow. In three or four 
		years, it'll probably be against the law to 
		smile at strangers.
 
				VINNIE 
			(Remembering something) 
		Speaking of which, are you still going ahead 
		with that deal on the Montecristos?
 
                         AUGGIE 
		It's all set. My guy in Miami said he'd have 
		them within the next few weeks. 
			(Pause) 
		Are you sure you don't want to go in with me? 
		Five thousand dollars outlay, a guaranteed 
		ten-thousand-dollar return. A consortium of 
		Court Street lawyers and judges. They're just 
		drooling to get their lips around some genuine 
		Cuban cigars.
 
				VINNIE 
		No thanks. I don't care what you do, but just 
		make sure you don't get caught, okay? The last 
		I heard, it was still illegal to sell Cuban 
		cigars in this country.
 
				AUGGIE 
		It's the law that's buying. That's what's so 
		beautiful about it. I mean, when was the last 
		time you heard of a judge sending himself to 
		jail?
 
				VINNIE 
		Suit yourself. But don't keep the boxes around 
		here long.
 
				AUGGIE 
		They come in, they go out. I've got it planned 
		to the last detail.
 
				VINNIE 
			(Looking at his watch) 
		I've got to get moving. Terry will bust my 
		chops if I'm late. See you in September, 
		Auggie.
 
				AUGGIE 
		Okay, my man. Love to the wife and kids, et 
		cetera, et cetera. Drop me a postcard if you 
		can remember the address.
 
	VINNIE leaves. AUGGIE turns back to his pizza and magazine.
 
8. EXT: EVENING. FACADE OF THE BROOKLYN CIGAR CO.
 
	A shot of the darkening sky. A shot of the cigar store. We see the
	lights go out. AUGGIE comes outside, locks the door, and begins pulling
	down the metal gate in front of the windows. Cut to:
 
	A shot of PAUL running down the street toward AUGGIE.
 
				PAUL 
			(Out of breath) 
		Are you closed?
 		
				AUGGIE
		You run out of Schimmelpennincks?
 
				PAUL 
			(Nods) 
		Do you think I could buy some before you leave?
 
				AUGGIE 
		No problem. It's not as though I'm rushing off 
		to the opera or anything.
 
	AUGGIE lifts the gate and the two of them go into the store.
 
9. INT: EVENING. THE BROOKLYN CIGAR CO.
 
	PAUL and AUGGIE enter the darkened store. AUGGIE turns on the lights
	and then goes behind the counter to fetch PAUL'S cigars. PAUL, on the
	other side, notices a 35-millimeter camera near the cash register.
 
				PAUL
		Looks like someone forgot a camera.
 
				AUGGIE 
			(Turning around) 
		Yeah, I did.
 
				PAUL
		It's yours?
 
				AUGGIE 
		It's mine all right. I've owned that little 
		sucker for a long time. 

				PAUL
		I didn't know you took pictures.
 
				AUGGIE 
			(Handing PAUL his cigars) 
		I guess you could call it a hobby. It doesn't 
		take me more than about five minutes a day to 
		do it, but I do it every day. Rain or shine, 
		sleet or snow. Sort of like the postman. 
			(Pause) 
		Sometimes it feels like my hobby is my real job, 
		and my job is just a way to support my hobby.
 
				PAUL 
		So you're not just some guy who pushes coins 
		across a counter. 
 
				AUGGIE 
		That's what people see, but that ain't 
		necessarily what I am.
 
				PAUL 
			(Looking at AUGGIE with new eyes) 
		How'd you get started?
 
				AUGGIE 
		Taking pictures? 
			(Smiles)
		It's a long story. I'd need two or three drinks 
		to get through that one.
 
				PAUL
			(Nodding) 
		A photographer ...
 
				AUGGIE 
		Well, let's not exaggerate. I take pictures. 
		You line up what you want in the viewfinder and 
		click the shutter. No need to mess around with 
		all that artisto crap.
 
				PAUL
		I'd like to see your pictures some day.
 
				AUGGIE 
		It can be arranged. Seeing as how I've read 
		your books. I don't see why I shouldn't share 
		my pictures with you. 
			(Pause. Suddenly embarrassed) 
		It would be an honor.
 
10. INT: NIGHT. AUGGIE'S APARTMENT
 
	AUGGIE and PAUL are sitting at the kitchen table, opened boxes of 
	Chinese food pushed to one side. Most of the surface of the table is 
	covered with large black photograph albums. There are fourteen in all, 
	and the spine of each one is labeled with a year -- ranging from 1977 
	to 1990. One of these albums (1987) is open on PAUL'S lap.
 
	Close-up of one of the pages in the album. There are six 
	black-and-white photos on the page, each one of an identical scene: the 
	corner of 3rd Street and Seventh Avenue at eight o'clock in the 
	morning. In the upper right-hand corner of each photo, there is a small 
	white label bearing the date: 8-9-87, 8-10-87, 8-11-87, etc. PAUL'S 
	hand turns the page; we see six more similar photographs. He turns the 
	page again: same thing. And again: same thing.
 
				PAUL 
			(Astonished) 
		They're all the same.
 
				AUGGIE 
			(Smiling proudly) 
		That's right. More than four thousand pictures 
		of the same place. The corner of 3rd Street and 
		Seventh Avenue at eight o'clock in the morning. 
		Four thousand straight days in all kinds of 
		weather. 
			(Pause) 
		That's why I can never take a vacation. I've 
		got to be in my spot every morning. Every 
		morning in the same spot at the same time.
 
				PAUL 
			(At a loss. Turns a page, 
			 then another page) 
		I've never seen anything like it.
 
				AUGGIE 
		It's my project. What you'd call my life's 
		work.
 
				PAUL 
			(Puts down the album and picks up 
			 another. Flips through the pages and 
			 finds more of the same. Shakes his 
			 head in bafflement) 
		Amazing. 
			(Trying to be polite) 
		I'm not sure I get it, though. I mean, how did 
		you ever come up with the idea to do this ... 
		this project?
 
				AUGGIE 
		I don't know, it just came to me. It's my 
		corner, after all. It's just one little part of
		the world, but things happen there, too, just 
		like everywhere else. It's a record of my 
		little spot.
 
				PAUL 
			(Flipping through the album, 
			 still shaking his head) 
		It's kind of overwhelming.

				AUGGIE 
			(Still smiling) 
		You'll never get it if you don't slow down, 
		my friend.
 
				PAUL 
		What do you mean?
 
				AUGGIE 
		I mean, you're going too fast. You're hardly 
		even looking at the pictures.
 
				PAUL 
		But they're all the same.
 
				AUGGIE 
		They're all the same, but each one is different 
		from every other one. You've got your bright 
		mornings and your dark mornings. You've got 
		your summer light and your autumn light. You've 
		got your weekdays and your weekends. You've 
		got your people in overcoats and galoshes, 
		and you've got your people in shorts and 
		T-shirts. Sometimes the same people,
		 sometimes different ones. And sometimes the 
		different ones become the same, and the same 
		ones disappear. The earth revolves around the 
		sun, and every day the light from the sun hits 
		the earth at a different angle.

				PAUL 
			(Looks up from the album at AUGGIE) 
		Slow down, huh?
 
				AUGGIE 
		Yeah, that's what I'd recommend. You know how 
		it is. Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, time 
		creeps on its petty pace.
 
	Close-ups of the photo album. One by one, a single picture occupies the 
	entire screen. AUGGIE'S project unfolds before us. One picture follows 
	another: the same place at the same time at different moments of the 
	year. Close-ups of different faces within the close-ups. The same 
	people appear in different pictures, sometimes looking into the camera, 
  	sometimes looking away. Dozens of stills. Finally, we come to a 
	close-up of Ellen, PAUL'S dead wife.
 
	Close-up of PAUL'S face.
 
				PAUL
		Jesus, look. It's Ellen.

	The camera pulls away. AUGGIE leans over PAUL'S shoulder. We see PAUL'S 
	finger pointing to Ellen's face.
 
				AUGGIE 
		Yeah. There she is. She's in quite a few from 
		that year. She must have been on her way to 
		work.
 
				PAUL 
			(Moved, on the point of tears) 
		It's Ellen. Look at her. Look at my sweet 
		darling.
 
	Fade out.
 
11.	INT: NIGHT. PAUL'S APARTMENT
 
	We see PAUL scribbling furiously in his legal pad, lost in his work. 
	Behind him, we see ten or twelve index cards pinned to the wall. The 
	cards are covered with writing. One of them reads: "The woman with 
	brown hair and blue eyes." Another one reads: "The mind is led on, step 
	by step, to defeat its own logic." A third one reads: "Remember the 
	Alamo."
 
	PAUL stands up from his desk, goes over to the wall, pulls off one of 
	the cards, and studies it as he returns to his desk. An instant later, 
	he begins writing again.
 
	The intercom buzzer sings loudly in the other room. PAUL continues to 
	work, oblivious to the noise. The buzzer sounds again. PAUL puts down 
	his pen.
 
				PAUL 
			(Under his breath) 
		Shit. 
			(He stands up from his chair, walks 
			 to the other room, and presses the 
			 "talk" button on the intercom) 
		Who is it?

				VOICE FROM THE INTERCOM
 		Rashid.
 
				PAUL 
		Who?
 
				VOICE FROM THE INTERCOM
 		Rashid Cole. The lemonade kid, remember?

				PAUL 
		Yeah. 
			(Without much enthusiasm) 
		Come on up. 
			(Pushes "door" button the intercom)
 
	PAUL walks to the door and opens it, peering into the hall as he waits 
	for RASHID to arrive. A moment later, RASHID appears -- dressed as 
	before, the backpack slung over his shoulder. He appears awkward, ill 
	at ease.
 
				PAUL 
		I didn't expect to see you again.
 
				RASHID 
			(Making the best of it) 
		Same here. But I had a long talk with my 
		accountant this afternoon. You know, to see how 
		a move like this would affect my tax picture, 
		and he said it would be okay.
 
	PAUL studies him with a mixture of bafflement and curiosity, but 
	doesn't answer. RASHID puts down his bag and begins looking around the 
	apartment. After a moment:
 
				PAUL 
		That's it. Just the two rooms.
 
				RASHID 
			(Continuing to study 
			 his new surroundings) 
		This is the first house I've been in without a 
		TV.
 
				PAUL 
		I used to have one, but it broke a couple of 
		years ago and I never got around to replacing 
		it. 
			(Pause)
		I'd just as soon not have one anyway. I hate 
		those damn things.
 
				RASHID 
		But then you don't get to watch the ball games. 
		You told me you were a Mets fan.
 
				PAUL 
		I listen on the radio. I can see the games just 
		fine that way. 
			(Pause) 
		The world is in your head, remember?
 
                           RASHID 
			(Smiles. Continues to walk around. Sees 
			 a small pen-and-ink drawing hanging on 
			 the wall above the stereo cabinet: the 
			 head of a small child. He stops to 
			 examine it) 
		Nice drawing. Did you do that?
 
				PAUL 
		My father did. Believe it or not, that little 
		baby is me.
 
				RASHID 
			(Studying the drawing more carefully. 
			 Turns to look at PAUL, then turns 
			 back to the drawing) 
		Yeah, I can believe it.
 
				PAUL
		It's strange, though, isn't it? Looking at 
		yourself before you knew who you were.
 
				RASHID 
		Is your father an artist?
 
				PAUL 
		No, he was a schoolteacher. But he liked to 
		dabble.
 
				RASHID 
		He's dead?
 
				PAUL 
		Twelve, thirteen years ago. 
			(Pause) 
		Actually, he died with his sketch pad open on 
		his lap. Up in the Berkshires one weekend, 
		drawing a picture of Mount Greylock.
 
				RASHID 
			(Studying the picture, nodding 
			 his head. As if to himself) 
		Drawing's a good thing.
 
				PAUL
 		Is that what you do? Draw pictures?
 
				RASHID 
			(Smiles) 
		Yeah, sometimes. 
			(Shrugs, as if suddenly embarrassed) 
		I like to dabble, too.
 
12.	INT: DAY. PAUL'S APARTMENT

	Two hours later. We see PAUL writing at his desk in the workroom. After
	a moment, he stands up and opens the double doors a crack. From PAUL'S
	POV: we see RASHID sitting at the table in the main room, head resting
	on his arms, asleep. The backpack is still where he put it down in the
	previous scene.
 
13.	INT: DAY. PAUL'S APARTMENT

	8:00 in the morning. PAUL is sitting at the dining table drinking
	coffee. He looks at his watch, puts down the cup, walks to the workroom
	door, opens it, pokes head inside. Shot of RASHID asleep on the floor;
	shot of the typewriter and legal pad on the desk. PAUL closes the door,
	sighs, returns to the other room and pours himself another cup of
	coffee.  Looks at his watch. Close-up of the watch: dissolve from 8:05
	to 8:35. PAUL puts down the cup, stands up, walks to the workroom door,
	knocks.

				PAUL 
		Time to wake up. 
			(Waits, listens, knocks again) 
		Hey, kid, time to wake up. 
			(Waits, listens, knocks again) 
		Rashid! 
			(Opens door. RASHID is 
			 groggily opening his eyes) 
		Up and out. I have to work in here. The slumber 
		party is over.
 
				RASHID
 			(Sitting up, rubbing his eyes) 
		What time is it?
 
				PAUL 
		Eight-thirty.
 
				RASHID  
			(Appalled by early hour) 
		Eight-thirty?
 
				PAUL 
		You'll find juice and eggs and milk in the 
		refrigerator. Cereal in the cupboard. Coffee 
		on the stove. Take whatever you want. But it's 
		time for me to get started in here.
 
	RASHID stands up, embarrassed. He is dressed in underpants only. He
	rolls up the sleeping bag and pushes it to one side, then he gathers up
	his clothes and hustles out of the room.
 
14.	INT: DAY. PAUL'S APARTMENT
 
	Twenty minutes later. PAUL is sitting at his desk, staring at his
	typewriter. A loud noise comes from the other room: the clatter of
	dishes being put into the sink. PAUL stands up, walks to the door,
	opens it. He sees RASHID, now fully dressed, picking up the telephone
	next to the bed. He sees RASHID'S knapsack opened; a brown paper bag is
	sitting next to it. He watches RASHID dial a number.
 
				RASHID 
			(In a low voice) 
		May I speak to Emily Vail, please? Yes, thank 
		you, I'll wait. 
			(Silence, three or four beats. RASHID 
			 fiddles with a pillow on the bed) 
		Aunt Em? Hi, it's me. I just wanted you to know 
		I'm okay. 
			(Pause, as he listens. The response from 
			 the other end is an angry one)
		I know, I'm sorry. 
			(Pause, as he listens)
		I just didn't want you to worry about me. 
			(Silence, as he listens. Begins to show 
			 irritation with Aunt Em's hostility) 
		Just cool it, okay? Take it easy. 
			(Click on the other end. He stares at the 
			  receiver for a moment, then hangs up)
 
	PAUL closes the door quietly. RASHID does not know he has been
	observed. Cut back to PAUL in workroom. He sits down at his desk,
	thinks for a moment, then begins typing.
 
15.	INT: DAY. PAUL'S APARTMENT
 
	Several hours later. With the sounds of PAUL'S typing continuing to
	come from the workroom, we see RASHID stand on a chair next to the
	bookcase in the larger room and deposit the brown paper bag behind the
	books on one of the upper shelves.
 
16.	INT: NIGHT. PAUL'S APARTMENT
 
	A shot of RASHID asleep in PAUL'S bed. Lying next to him on the bed is
	an open, half-read copy of one of PAUL'S books: The Mysterious
	Barricades by Paul Benjamin.
 
	Cut to a shot of PAUL sleeping on the floor of the workroom.
 
17.	INT: DAY. PAUL'S APARTMENT
 
	PAUL is in his workroom, sitting at his desk, typing. We see more index 
	cards pinned to the wall. PAUL hears a loud crash from the other room. 
	He pops up from his desk, exasperated, then walks to the door and opens 
	it. Shot of the other room: RASHID is standing there, looking down at 
	broken dishes.
 
				PAUL 
			(Irritated)
		Jesus, do you make a lot of noise. Can't you 
		see I'm trying to work?
 
				RASHID 
			(Mortified)
		I'm sorry. They just... they just slipped out 
		of my hands.
 
				PAUL 
		A little less clumsiness around here would be 
		nice, don't you think?
 
				RASHID 
			(Growing defensive) 
		I'm a teenager. All teenagers are clumsy. It's 
		because we're still growing. We don't know 
		where our bodies end and the world begins.
 
				PAUL 
		The world is going to end pretty soon if you 
		don't learn fast. 
			(Pause. PAUL reaches into his pocket and 
			 pulls out his wallet, then removes a 
			 twenty-dollar bill) 
		Look, why not make yourself useful? I'm just 
		about out of smokes.  Go around the corner to 
		the Brooklyn Cigar Company and buy me two tins 
		of Schimmelpenninck Medias. 
			(Hands the bill to RASHID)
 
				RASHID 
			(Taking the bill) 
		Twenty dollars is a lot of money. Are you sure 
		you can trust me with it? I mean, aren't you 
		afraid I might steal it?
 
				PAUL 
		If you want to steal it, that's your business. 
		At least I won't have you around here making 
		noise. 
			(Pause)
		It might be worth it.
 
	RASHID, visibly hurt by PAUL'S remark, puts the money in his pocket. 
	For once, he is unable to come up with a quick retort.
 
	RASHID walks out of the apartment. PAUL watches the door slam. Slight 
	pause, then he bends down and starts picking up the broken dishes.
 
18.	INT: DAY. PAUL'S APARTMENT
 
	The workroom. A few minutes later. PAUL returns to his desk and begins 
	to type. Almost immediately, the ribbon jams. He lets out a groan, then 
	opens the typewriter to inspect the damage.
 
19.	EXT: DAY. THE BROOKLYN CIGAR CO., AS SEEN FROM ACROSS THE STREET
 
	Eight o'clock in the morning. We see AUGGIE on the corner, getting 
	ready to take his daily photograph. Cut to the corner as seen through 
	the lens of the camera. Hustle and bustle, people on their way to work. 
	Automobile traffic, buses, delivery trucks. We hear the shutter click. 
	The picture freezes.
 
20.	INT: DAY. PAUL'S APARTMENT
 
	The workroom. PAUL is sitting at his desk, writing. A loud crash from 
	the other room punctuates the silence. He jumps in his chair.
 
				PAUL
			(Groans) 
		Shit.

	He stands up, goes to the door, opens it. Shot of RASHID standing 
	precariously on the arm of a chair, his right hand groping behind the 
	books on the top shelf of the bookcase. Several books have already 
	fallen to the floor.
 
				PAUL (cont'd)
		Jesus Christ. Are you at it again?
 
	RASHID turns at the sound of PAUL'S voice, momentarily losing his 
	balance. As he grabs hold of the bookcase again to steady himself, more 
	books fall off the shelf and come tumbling to the floor. An instant 
	later, he lands on the floor as well.
 
				PAUL (cont'd) 
		What is it with you, anyway? You're like a 
		human wrecking ball.
 
				RASHID 
			(Climbing to his feet. Ashamed) 
		I'm sorry. I'm really sorry... I was trying to 
		reach for one of the books up there ... 
			(Points) 
		And then, I don't know, the sky fell on top of 
		me.
 
 				PAUL 
			(With growing irritation) 
		It just won't do, will it? I go two and a half 
		years without being able to write a word, and 
		then, when I finally get started on something, 
		when it looks as though I might actually be 
		coming to life again, you show up and start 
		breaking everything in my house. It just won't 
		do, will it?
 
				RASHID 
			(Hurt, subdued)
		I didn't ask to come here. You invited me, 
		remember? 
			(Pause) 
		If you want me to leave, all you have to do is 
		say so.
 
 				PAUL 
		How long have you been here?
 
				RASHID 
		Three nights.
 
 				PAUL 
		And how long did I tell you you could stay?
 
				RASHID 
		Two or three nights.
 
				PAUL 
		It sounds like our time is up, doesn't it?
 
                           RASHID 
			(Looking down at floor) 
		I'm sorry I messed up. You've been very kind to 
		me ... 
			(Walks toward the bed, picks up the 
			 backpack from the floor, and begins 
			 stuffing his things into it) 
		But all good things have to come to an end, 
		right?
 
				PAUL 
		No hard feelings, okay? It's a small place, 
		and I can't get my work done with you around.
 
				RASHID 
		You don't have to apologize. 
			(Pause) 
		The coast is probably clear now anyway.
 
				PAUL 
			(Softening) 
		Are you going to be all right?
 
				RASHID 
		Absolutely. The world is my oyster. 
			(Pause) 
		Whatever that means. 
			(He looks up at the bookshelf, studying 
			 the spot where the bag is hidden. He 
			 makes a quick, resolute decision to 
			 leave the bag where it is)
 
				PAUL 
		Do you need some money? Some extra clothes?
 
				RASHID 
		Not a penny, not a stitch. I'm cool, man. 
			(Hoists the backpack over his shoulder, 
			 begins walking toward the door)
 
				PAUL 
			(a little stunned by 
			 RASHID'S decisiveness) 
		Take good care of yourself, okay?
 
				RASHID 
		You too. And make sure the light is green 
		before you cross the street. 
			(Reaches for the doorknob, opens 
			 the door, hesitates, turns around) 
		Oh, by the way, I liked your book. I think 
		you're a hell of a good writer. 
			(Without waiting for a response, he 
			 opens the door again and leaves)
 
	Shot of PAUL standing alone in the middle of the room. He walks to the 
	window and looks outside. Shot of the street below. After three or four 
	seconds, RASHID emerges from the building. Without glancing back, he 
	begins walking down the street.
 
	Cut to PAUL standing at the window. He lights up a cigar. Cut back to 
	the street. RASHID has disappeared. An instant later, a blind man 
	comes walking around the corner, tapping his white cane on the 
	sidewalk.
 
21.	INT: NIGHT. AUGGIE'S APARTMENT
 
	The windows are open and traffic noises can be heard from the street
	below.
 
	AUGGIE alone. Jazz is playing on his tape machine. He takes a TV dinner
	out of the oven, then sits down at the kitchen table and begins to eat.
	Fade out.
 
	Fade in. The meal is over. AUGGIE pours himself a shot of bourbon. He
	drinks it down in one swallow and smacks his lips, exhaling loudly.
	Stares blankly ahead of him for a moment. Then he reaches for a
	paperback copy of Crime and Punishment open on the table. As he finds
	his place in the book, he lights a cigarette. After one or two puffs,
	he begins to cough: a deep, rattling, prolonged smoker's cough. He
	pounds his chest. It doesn't help. He stands up, banging the table as
	the coughing fit continues. He begins to stagger around the kitchen,
	cursing between breaths. In his rage, he sweeps everything off the
	table: glass, bottle, book, remnants of the TV dinner. The cough
	subsides, then starts up again. He grabs hold of the kitchen sink and
	spits into the basin.
 
22.	INT: DAY. PAUL'S APARTMENT
 
	The main room. We hear the sound of PAUL typing. A loud, insistent
	banging is heard at the front door. Cut to PAUL opening the door.
	RASHID'S AUNT EM is standing in the hall. She is a black woman of about
	forty, dressed in clothes that suggest she works in an office.
 
				AUNT EM
			(Angrily) 
		Is your name Paul Benjamin?
 
				PAUL 
			(Taken aback) 
		What can I do for you?
 
				AUNT EM 
			(Barging into the apartment) 
		I just want to know what your game is, mister, 
		that's all.
 
				PAUL 
			(Horrified. Watching her as she 
			 charges around the room) 
		How the hell did you get into the building?
 
				AUNT EM 
		What do you mean, how'd I get in? I pushed the 
		door and walked in. What do you think?
 
				PAUL
			(Muttering to himself) 
		The damn lock's broken again. 
			(Pause, as he returns 
			 AUNT EM'S glare. Louder) 
		And so you just barge in on strangers, is that 
		what you do? Is that your game?
 
				AUNT EM
		I'm looking for my nephew,  Thomas.
 
				PAUL 
		Thomas? Who's Thomas?
 
				AUNT EM 
		Don't give me any of that. I know he's been 
		here. You can't fool me, mister.
 
				PAUL 
		I'm telling you. I don't know anyone named 
		Thomas.
 
				AUNT EM 
		Thomas Cole. Thomas Jefferson Cole. My nephew.
 
				PAUL 
		You mean Rashid?
 
				AUNT EM 
		Rashid? Rashid! Is that what he told you his 
		name was?
 
				PAUL 
		Well, whatever his name is, he's not here 
		anymore. He left two days ago, and I haven't 
		heard from him since.
 
				AUNT EM 
		And what was he doing here in the first place? 
		That's what I want to know. What's a man like 
		you messing around with a black boy like 
		Thomas for? Are you some kind of pervert, or 
		what?
 
                          PAUL 
			(Losing patience) 
		Look, lady, that's enough. If you don't calm
		down. I'm going to throw you out. Do you hear 
		me? Right now!
 
				AUNT EM 
			(Getting a grip on herself)
		I just want to know where he is.
 
				PAUL 
		As far as I know, he went back to his parents.
 
				AUNT EM 
			(Incredulous) 
		His parents? Is that what he told you? His 
		parents?
 
				PAUL 
		That's what he said. He told me he lived with 
		his mother and father on East Seventy-fourth 
		Street.
 
				AUNT EM 
			(Defeated, shaking her head) 
		I always knew that boy had an imagination, but 
		now he's gone and made up a whole new life for 
		himself. 
			(Pause) 
		Do you mind if I sit down? 
			(PAUL gestures to a 
			 chair; she sits down) 
		He's been living with me and his uncle Henry
		since he was a baby. And we don't live in 
		Manhattan. We live in Boerum Hill. In the 
		projects.
 
				PAUL
 		He doesn't go to the Trinity School?
 
				AUNT EM 
		He goes to John Jay High School in Brooklyn.
 
				PAUL 
			(Beginning to show concern) 
		And his parents?
 
				AUNT EM 
		His mother's dead, and he hasn't seen his 
		father in twelve years.
 
				PAUL 
			(Softly, almost to himself)
		I shouldn't have let him go.
 
				AUNT EM 
			(Studying PAUL) 
		Which brings me back to my original question. 
		What was he doing here in the first place?
 
				PAUL 
		I was about to get run over by a car, and your 
		nephew pulled me back. He saved my life. 
			(Pause)
		I sensed he was in trouble, so I offered to put 
		him up for a few days. Maybe I should have 
		pressed him a little more, I don't know. I 
		feel pretty stupid about it now.
 
				AUNT EM
		He's in trouble, all right. But I don't have
		any idea what it is.
 
				PAUL 
			(Sits down in a chair, lets out a sigh, 
			 thinks for a moment. Turns to AUNT EM)
		Do you want something to drink? A beer? A glass 
		of water?
 
				AUNT EM
			(Primly)
		No thank you.
 
                          PAUL 
			(Lapses into thought again. 
			 After a moment)
		Has anything happened lately? Anything unusual 
		or unexpected?
 
				AUNT EM 
			(Thinks) 
		Well, one thing I suppose, but I don't think it
		has anything to do with this. 
			(Pause) 
		A friend of mine called about two weeks ago and 
		said she'd spotted Thomas's father working at 
		some gas station outside of Peekskill.
 
				PAUL
		And you told your nephew about it?
 
				AUNT EM 
			(Shrugs)
		I figured he had a right to know.
 
				PAUL
		And?
 
				AUNT EM
		And nothing. Thomas looked at me straight in 
		the eye and said, "I don't have a father. As 
		far as I'm concerned, that son-of-a-bitch is 
		dead."
 
				PAUL 
		Those are pretty hostile words.
 
	The camera slowly closes in on her face as she speaks:
 
				AUNT EM 
		His father walked out on his mother a couple of 
		months after he was born. Louisa was Henry's 
		younger sister, and she and the baby moved in 
		with us. Four or five years go by, and then one 
		day Cyrus shows up out of the blue, tail 
		between his legs, wanting to patch things up 
		with Louisa. I thought Henry was going to tear 
		Cyrus apart when he saw him walk through the 
		door. They're both big men, those two, and if 
		they ever started to tangle, you'd see some 
		teeth jumping on the floor. I guarantee it ... 
		So Cyrus persuaded Louisa to go out with him to 
		talk things over in quiet. And the poor girl 
		never came back.
 
				PAUL (OFF) 
		You mean she just ran off with him and left her 
		little boy behind?
 
				AUNT EM 
		Don't put words in my mouth. What I'm saying is 
		she drove off in Cyrus's car and went to the 
		Five-Spot Lounge with him for a drink. What I'm 
		saying is that he imbibed too much in the way 
		of alcohol and that when they finished their 
		little talk three hours later and got back in 
		the car, he was in no shape to drive. But he 
		drove the car anyway, and before he could get 
		her back to where she lived, the damn fool ran 
		a red light and went straight into a truck. 
		Louisa got thrown through the windshield and 
		was killed. Cyrus lived, but he came out of it 
		a cripple. His left arm was so mangled, the 
		doctors had to cut it off. Small punishment for 
		what he did, if you ask me.
 
				PAUL (OFF)	
			(Aghast) 
		Jesus.
 
				AUNT EM 
		Jesus had nothing to do with it. If He'd been 
		involved. He would have seen to it that things 
		worked out the opposite from what they did.
 
				PAUL (OFF) 
		It can't have been easy on him. Walking around 
		with that on his conscience all these years.
 
				AUNT EM 
		No, I don't suppose it has. He was broken up 
		like nobody's business in that hospital when he 
		found out Louisa was dead.
 
				PAUL (OFF) 
		And he's never tried to get in touch with his 
		son?
 
				AUNT EM 
		Henry told Cyrus he'd kill him if he ever 
		showed his face around our house again. When 
		Henry makes a threat like that, people tend to 
		take him seriously.
 
	PAUL and AUNT EM look at each other. Cut to shot of the kitchen sink.
	Water is slowly dripping from the faucet. Hold for two or three beats.
 
23.	EXT: DAY. A COUNTRY ROAD OUTSIDE OF PEEKSKILL
 
	Early morning. Trees, shrubs, twittering birds. We see RASHID trudging
	down the road. Dissolve to:
 
	The same road, a mile on. RASHID looks up. Cut to:
 
24. 	EXT: DAY. COLE'S GARAGE
 
	The garage is a ramshackle, two-story building. Over the main door is a
	clumsily executed hand-painted sign that reads: COLE'S GARAGE. Two
	Chevron gas pumps stand alone in the front: weeds sprout through the
	macadam. To one side of the station is a grassy area with a
	weather-beaten picnic table.
 
	The double garage doors are open. We see a man in there working on the
	engine of an old Chevrolet. The hood is up, which obscures the man's
 	face, but we can see that he is wearing mechanic's overalls and that
	the color of his skin is black.
 
	He is a large, burly man of about forty. Once he appears from behind
	the hood, we see that his left hand is missing. A metal hook juts out
	of his sleeve.
	
	This is RASHID'S father, CYRUS COLE.
 
25. 	EXT: DAY. THE SIDE OF THE COUNTRY ROAD, DIRECTLY OPPOSITE COLE'S GARAGE
 
	We see RASHID sitting on the hood of a rusted car across the road from 
	the garage. He is motionless, hugging his knees and gazing intently in 
	the direction of the camera. Hold for three, four beats.
 
26. 	INT: DAY. COLE'S GARAGE
 
	A bit later. CYRUS, still busily at work on the Chevrolet, glances up
	and sees RASHID across the road. He studies him for a moment, then
	returns to his work.
 
27.	EXT: DAY. THE SIDE OF THE COUNTRY ROAD, DIRECTLY OPPOSITE COLE'S GARAGE
 
	An hour later. We see RASHID sitting on the hood of the car, as before.
	This time he has his sketch pad propped against his knees and is doing
	a pencil drawing of the garage across the way.
 
28. 	EXT: DAY. OUTSIDE COLE'S GARAGE
 
	An hour later. We see CYRUS emerge from the garage carrying a brown
	paper bag. He walks over to the picnic table, sits down, and takes out
	his lunch from the bag: a ham sandwich, an apple, a can of iced tea. As
	he chews and drinks, he studies RASHID across the road. Every now and
	then, a car or truck passes by.
 
	The camera cuts between RASHID and CYRUS. RASHID, working busily on his
 	drawing, pretends not to notice he is being watched.
 
	At last, CYRUS finishes his lunch. He crumples up the paper bag, gets
	to his feet, and tosses his garbage into a rusted metal trash can next
	to the picnic table. Instead of going back to work, he crosses the 
	road.
 
29.	EXT: DAY. THE SIDE OF THE COUNTRY ROAD, DIRECTLY OPPOSITE COLE'S GARAGE
 
	Master shot. As CYRUS approaches, RASHID looks up, meeting the man's
	eyes for the first time. Before CYRUS can get close enough to see the
	drawing, RASHID closes the sketch pad and presses it against his chest.
	He makes no attempt to stand up.
 
				CYRUS
		You going to sit here all day?
 
				RASHID
 		I don't know. I haven't decided yet.
 
				CYRUS 
		Why don't you pick some other spot? It gives a 
		man the creeps to be stared at all morning.
 
				RASHID 
		It's a free country, isn't it? As long as I'm 
		not trespassing on your property. I can stay 
		here till kingdom come.
 
				CYRUS 
			(Approaching the car. RASHID jumps 
			 off the hood as CYRUS draws closer) 
		Let me give you some useful information, son. 
		There's two dollars and fifty-seven cents in 
		that cash register over there 
			(gestures with his hand to the 
			 garage across the road)
 		and considering all the time you've put in 
		casing the joint so far, you won't make but 
		about fifty cents an hour for all your pains. 
		However you slice it, that's a losing 
		proposition.
 
				RASHID 
		I'm not going to rob you, mister. 
			(Amused) 
		Do I look like a thief?
 
				CYRUS 
		I don't know what you look like, boy. As far as 
		I can tell, you sprouted up like a mushroom in 
		this spot last night. 
			(Pause. Studies RASHID more closely) 
		You live in this town -- or on your way from 
		here to there?
 
				RASHID 
		Just passing through.
 
				CYRUS 
		Just passing through. A lonesome traveler with 
		a knapsack on his back plops himself across 
		from my garage to admire the view. There's 
		other places to roam, kid, that's all I'm 
		saying. You don't want to make a nuisance of 
		yourself.
 
				RASHID 
		I'm working on a sketch. That old garage of 
		yours is so rundown, it's kind of interesting.
 
				CYRUS 
		It's rundown, all right. But drawing a picture 
		won't improve the way it looks. 
			(Zeroing in on the sketch pad 
			 pressed against RASHID'S chest) 
		Let's see what you did, Rembrandt.
 
				RASHID
			(Thinking fast) 
		It'll cost you five bucks.
 
				CYRUS 
		Five bucks! You mean you're going to charge me 
		five bucks just to look at it?
 
				RASHID 
		Once you look at it, you're going to want to 
		buy it from me. That's guaranteed. And that's 
		the price: five bucks. So if you're not willing 
		to spring for it, you might as well not bother 
		to look. It'll just tear you up inside and make 
		you miserable.
 
				CYRUS 
			(Shaking his head) 
		Son-of-a-bitch. You're some piece of work, 
		aren't you?
 
				RASHID 
			(Shrugs)
		I just tell it like it is, mister. 
			(Pause)
		If I'm getting on your nerves, though, you 
		might want to think about hiring me.
 
				CYRUS 
			(Growing annoyed) 
		Do you have eyes in your head, or are those 
		brown things bulging out of your sockets just 
		marbles? You've been sitting here all day, and 
		how many cars have you seen drive up and ask 
		for gas?
 
				RASHID 
		Not a one.
 
				CYRUS 
		Not a one. Not one customer all day. I bought 
		this broken-down shit-hole of a place three 
		weeks ago, and if business don't pick up soon, 
		I'm going straight down the skids. What do I 
		want to be hiring someone for? I can't even pay
		my own wages.
 
				RASHID
 		It was just a thought.
 
				CYRUS 
		Yeah, well, do your thinking somewhere else, 
		Michelangelo. I got work to do.
 
	CYRUS begins to leave. We see him crossing the road, shaking his head.
	Halfway there, he suddenly stops, turns, and shouts at RASHID:
 
				CYRUS (cont'd) 
		Who do you think I am, the fucking State 
		Employment Agency?
 
30.	EXT: DAY. THE SIDE OF THE COUNTRY ROAD, DIRECTLY OPPOSITE COLE'S GARAGE
 
	Half an hour later. We see RASHID sitting on the hood of the car, as
	before. This time he is eating a sandwich, chewing slowly as he gazes
	ahead.
 
31. 	EXT: DAY. COLE'S GARAGE
 
	We see CYRUS at work on the Chevrolet. Every now and then, he glances
	up to look at RASHID.
 
	CYRUS finishes the job he has been doing. He slams the hood of the
	Chevrolet shut. Quick cut to:
 
32.	EXT: DAY. THE SIDE OF THE COUNTRY ROAD, DIRECTLY OPPOSITE COLE'S GARAGE
 
	CYRUS enters the frame and hoists himself onto the hood of the car --
	right next to RASHID. A long silence.
 
				CYRUS 
			(Trying to be friendly) 
		I'll tell you what. You want to work. I'll give 
		you a job. Nothing permanent, mind you, but that 
		upstairs room over there 
			(Turns, points)
		-- the one above the office -- is a hell of a 
		mess. It looks like they've been throwing junk 
		in there for twenty years, and it's time it got 
		cleaned up.
 
				RASHID
			(Playing it cool) 
		What's your offer?
 
				CYRUS 
		Five bucks an hour. That's the going rate, 
		isn't it? 
			(Looks at his wristwatch) 
		It's a quarter past two now. My wife's picking 
		me up at five-thirty, so that'll give you about 
		three hours. If you can't finish today, you can 
		do the rest tomorrow.
 
				RASHID 
			(Getting to his feet) 
		Is there a benefits package, or are you hiring 
		me on a freelance basis?
 
				CYRUS 
		Benefits?
 
				RASHID  
		You know, health insurance, dental plan, paid 
		vacation. It's not fun being exploited. Workers 
		have to stand up for their rights.
 
				CYRUS 
		I'm afraid we'll be working on a strictly 
		freelance basis.
 
				RASHID 
			(Long pause, pretending 
			 to think it over) 
		Five dollars an hour? 
			(Another pause)
		I'll take it.
 
				CYRUS 
			(Cracking a faint smile. 
			 Extends his right hand) 
		The name is Cyrus Cole.
 
				RASHID 
		Paul. Paul Benjamin.
 
	They shake hands.
 
33. 	INT: DAY. THE BROOKLYN CIGAR CO.
 
	It is a slow hour in the middle of the afternoon. AUGGIE is sitting on
	a stool behind the counter, reading his paperback copy of Dostoyevsky's
 	Crime and Punishment. JIMMY ROSE is working in silence near the far
	wall on the other side of the counter, diligently and awkwardly
	straightening the stacks of newspapers and magazines.
 
	The bell on the front door rattles, signaling the arrival of a
	customer. Shot of JIMMY stopping his work to look up in the direction
	of the door. From JIMMY'S POV: a woman enters the store. She is RUBY
	McNUTT (AUGGIE'S old flame). Mid-forties, wearing a sleeveless summer
	dress, her face registering a tumult of anxiety, determination, and
	self-consciousness. She wears a black patch over her left eye.
 
	Shot of JIMMY looking in wonder at the patch. Shot of RUBY looking in 
	the direction of the counter. Shot of AUGGIE sitting behind the 
	counter, still immersed in his book, not bothering to glance up. 
	Close-up of RUBY'S face: she is looking at AUGGIE. Her lips are 
	trembling. She is obviously moved, but she is too afraid to speak. With 
	the camera fixed on RUBY'S face, we hear:
 
				JIMMY (OFF) 
			(Hesitantly) 
		Auggie. 
			(No response. Pause) 
		Auggie, I think there's a customer.
 
	Close-up of AUGGIE glancing up from his book. We see his expression 
	change from one of indifference to recognition and astonishment.
 
	Close-up of RUBY looking at him. She smiles tentatively. As they talk, 
	JIMMY studies them with rapt attention.
 
				RUBY 
		Auggie?

	Shot of AUGGIE'S face: he is still too amazed to speak.
 
 				RUBY (cont'd)
		It's really you, Auggie, isn't it?
 
				AUGGIE 
			(Finally) 
		Christ, Ruby, it's been so long. I figured you 
		were dead.
 
 				RUBY 	
		Eighteen and a half years.
 
			 	AUGGIE 
		Is that all? I thought it was about three 
		hundred.
 
				RUBY 
			(Shyly, hesitantly) 
		You're looking good, Auggie.
 
                         AUGGIE 
		No I'm not. I look like shit. And so do you, 
		Ruby. You look just awful. 
			(Pause, with increasing bitterness) 
		What's with the patch, anyway? What'd you do 
		with that old blue marble -- hock it for a 
		bottle of gin?
 
				RUBY 
			(Hurt, embarrassed)
		I don't want to talk about it. 
			(Pause)
		If you really want to know. I lost it. And I'm 
		not sorry I did. That eye was cursed, Auggie, 
		and it never gave me nothing but grief.
 
                         AUGGIE 
		And you think it looks better to go around 
		dressed up like Captain Hook?
 
				RUBY 
			(In a low voice, trying to maintain 
			 her composure and dignity) 
		You always were a son-of-a-bitch, weren't you? 
		A little weasel with a quick, dirty mouth.
 
				AUGGIE 
		At least I've stayed true to myself. Which is 
		more than I can say about some people.
 
				RUBY 
			(Again, she tries to shrug it 
			 off. Takes a deep breath) 
		I've got something to talk to you about, and 
		the least you can do is listen. You owe me that 
		much. I drove all the way from Pittsburgh to 
		see you, and I'm not going until you've heard 
		me out.
 
				AUGGIE 
		Talk away, lady of my dreams. I'm all ears.
 
				RUBY 
			(Glancing around the store. 
			 Sees JIMMY studying her) 
		This is private, Auggie. Just between you and I.
 
				AUGGIE 
			(Addressing JIMMY with 
			 unaccustomed irritation) 
		You heard her, pipsqueak. The lady and I have 
		private business to discuss. Go outside and 
		stand in front of the door. If anyone tries to 
		come in, tell 'em we're closed. You got that?
 
				JIMMY
		Sure, Auggie, I got it. 
			(Pause) 
		The store's closed. 
			(Pause, thinks) 
		And when do I tell them it's open?
 
				AUGGIE 
			(Snaps) 
		When I tell you it's open. It's open when I 
		tell you it's open!
 
				JIMMY
			(Hurt) 
		Okay, Auggie, I got it. You don't have to yell.

	JIMMY goes outside and posts himself in front of the door.
 
				AUGGIE 
			(Looking closely at RUBY as 
			 he lights a cigarette) 
		All right, sugar, what's on your mind?
 
				RUBY 
			(Pause. Self-conscious) 
		Don't look at me like that. Auggie. It gives me 
		the creeps.
 
				AUGGIE 
		Like what?
 
				RUBY 
		Like what you're doing. I'm not going to eat 
		you up. 
			(Pause)
		I need your help, and if you keep staring at me 
		like that. I might start screaming.
 
				AUGGIE 
			(With an edge of sarcasm) 
		Help, huh? And I don't suppose this help has 
		anything to do with money, does it?
 
				RUBY 
		Don't rush me, okay? You're jumping to 
		conclusions before I've even said anything. 
			(Pause) 
		And besides, it's not for me. 
			(Pause. Realizing she's let the cat 
			 out of the bag. In desperation, she 
			 plunges on) 
		It's for our daughter.
 
				AUGGIE 
			(Shocked, growing belligerent) 
		Our daughter? Is that what you said? Our 
		daughter? I mean, you might have a daughter, 
		but I sure as hell don't. And even if I did -- 
		which I don't -- she wouldn't be our daughter.
 
				RUBY 
		Her name is Felicity, and she just turned 
		eighteen. 
			(Pause) 
		She ran away from Pittsburgh last year, and now 
		she's living in some shit-hole here in Brooklyn 
		with a guy named Chico. Strung out on crack, 
		four months pregnant. 
			(Pause)
		I can't bear to think about that baby. Our 
		grandchild, Auggie. Just think of it. Our 
		grandchild.
 
				AUGGIE 
			(Waving her off, impatient) 
		Stop it, already. Just stop all this crap right 
		now. 
			(Pause. Changing the 
			 subject. With contempt) 
		Was that your idea to call her Felicity?
 
				RUBY 
		It means "happiness."
 
				AUGGIE 
		I know what it means. That still don't make it 
		a good name.
 
				RUBY 
		I don't know who else to turn to, Auggie.
 
				AUGGIE 
		You've suckered me before, darling, remember? 
		Why should I believe you now?
 
				RUBY 
		Why would I lie to you, Auggie? You think it 
		was easy to come here and walk into this place? 
		Why would I do it if I didn't have to?
 
				AUGGIE 
		That's what you told me when I shoplifted that 
		necklace for you. You remember, baby, don't 
		you? The judge gave me a choice: either go to 
		the can or enlist. So, instead of going to 
		college, I wind up in the navy for four years, 
		I watch men lose their arms and legs, I nearly 
		get my head blown off, and you, sweet Ruby 
		McNutt, you run off and marry that asshole, 
		Bill.
 
				RUBY 
		You didn't write to me for more than a year.
		What was I supposed to think?
 
				AUGGIE 
		Yeah, well, I lost my pen. By the time I got a 
		new one, I was clean out of paper.
 
				RUBY 
		It was over with Bill before you ever came 
		home. Maybe you don't remember it now, but you 
		were pretty hot to see me back then.
 
				AUGGIE 
		You weren't so lukewarm yourself. At least at
		first.
 
				RUBY 
		It fizzled, baby. That's the way it goes. But 
		we had our times, didn't we? It wasn't all bad.
 
				AUGGIE 
		A couple of moments, I'll grant you that. A 
		second or two snatched from the jaws of 
		eternity.
 
				RUBY 
		And that's how Felicity came into the picture. 
		During one of those two seconds.
 
				AUGGIE 
		You're conning me, sweetheart. I ain't 
		responsible for no baby.
 
				RUBY 
		Then why do you think I married Frank? I was 
		already pregnant, and I didn't have much time. 
		Say what you like, but at least he gave my kid 
		a name.
 
				AUGGIE 
		Good old Frank. And how is fat Mr. Grease Monkey 
		these days?
 
				RUBY  
		Who the hell knows? 
			(Shrugs) 
		He dropped out of sight fifteen years ago.
 
				AUGGIE 
		Fifteen years ago? 
			(Shakes head) 
		It won't wash, pumpkin. No mother waits fifteen 
		years to tell a man he's a father. I wasn't 
		born yesterday, you know.
 
				RUBY 
			(Her lips start to tremble. We see 
			tears falling from her one good eye) 
		I thought I could handle it. I didn't want to 
		bug you. I thought I could handle it on my own, 
		but I couldn't. She's in real bad, Auggie.
 
				AUGGIE 
		Nice try, old girl. I'd like to help you out. 
		You know, for old time's sake. But all my spare 
		cash is tied up in a business venture, and I 
		haven't collected my profits yet. Too bad. You 
		caught me at the wrong time.
 
				RUBY 
			(Still crying) 
		You're a cold-hearted bastard, aren't you? 
		How'd you ever get so mean, Auggie?
 
				AUGGIE 
		I know you think I'm lying to you, but I'm not. 
		Every word I told you is the God's honest 
		truth.
 
	Pause. Then cut to the store entrance. The door suddenly bursts open as
	an IRATE CUSTOMER pushes his way past JIMMY. We see JIMMY futilely
	trying to hold him back.
 
				AUGGIE (cont'd) 
			(Shouting at customer. Beside himself) 
		The store's closed! Didn't you hear what the 
		kid told you? The goddamn store is closed!
 
34.	INT: DAY. THE UPSTAIRS ROOM OF COLE'S GARAGE
 
	We see RASHID working diligently. The place is a pigsty, cluttered with
	all sorts of debris: rusty bicycles, rags, automotive parts, a female
	mannequin, broken radios, shower curtains, etc. One by one, RASHID
	drags or carries these things toward the door. At one point, he finds a
	small, portable black-and-white TV hidden under a rug. The rabbit ears
	are broken, the casing is covered with dust, but other than that it
	seems to be in reasonably good shape.
 
35. 	EXT: DAY. OUTSIDE COLE'S GARAGE
 
	RASHID and CYRUS are carrying the debris from the upstairs room and
	throwing it into the back of an old red pickup truck. Once they get rid
	of a load, they go back inside for more. Since RASHID is faster, they
	are working out of phase: when one is outside, the other is inside.
 
	They work in silence. CYRUS begins to huff and puff from going up and
	down the stairs. Eventually, after a number of trips, he drops a load
	into the truck and stops. He leans against the truck, pulls out a
	large, cheap half-smoked cigar from his shirt pocket, and lights up.
	Close-up of the hook as he strikes the match. After one or two puffs on
	the cigar, RASHID appears with another load and tosses it into the
	truck.
 
 				CYRUS 
		Time for a pause.
 
	Without further ado, RASHID promptly sits down on the rear bumper of
	the truck. He does it so quickly, the effect is comical. He watches
	CYRUS smoke. Two or three beats.
 
				RASHID 
		I don't mean to be nosy, but I was wondering 
		what happened to your arm.
 
				CYRUS 
			(Holds up his hook and 
			 studies it for a moment) 
		An ugly piece of hardware, isn't it? 
			(Pause) 
		I'll tell you what happened to my arm. 
			(Pause. Remembering) 
		I'll tell you what happened. 
			(Pause) 
		Twelve years ago, God looked down on me and 
		said, "Cyrus, you're a bad, stupid, selfish man. 
		First of all, I'm going to fill your body with 
		spirits, and then I'm going to put you behind 
		the wheel of a car, and then I'm going to make 
		you crash that car and kill the woman who loves 
		you. But you, Cyrus, I'm going to let you live,
		because living is a lot worse than death. And 
		just so you don't forget what you did to that 
		poor girl, I'm going to rip off your arm and 
		replace it with a hook. If I wanted to, I could 
		rip off both your arms and both your legs, but 
		I'm going to be merciful and just take off your 
		left arm. Every time you look at your hook, I 
		want you to remember what a bad, stupid, 
		selfish man you are. Let that be a lesson to 
		you, Cyrus, a warning to mend your ways."
 
				RASHID 
			(Impressed by the sincerity 
			 of CYRUS'S speech) 
		And have you mended them?
 
				CYRUS 
		I don't know. I try. Every day I keep on trying, 
		but it's no easy task for a man to change his 
		nature. 
			(Pause)
		I'm off the booze, though. Haven't had a drop 
		in six years. And now I've got me a wife. 
		Doreen. Best damned woman I've ever known. 
			(Pause) 
		And a little boy, too. Cyrus Junior.
			(Pause) 
		So things have definitely improved since I got 
		fitted with this hook. If I can just turn this 
		goddamn garage around, I'll be in pretty good
		shape.
 
				RASHID 
		You named the kid after yourself, huh?
 
				CYRUS 
			(Smiling at the thought of his son) 
		That boy's one in a million. A real tiger.
 
	Cut to close-up of RASHID'S face. He seems to be growing more and more
	upset.
 
				CYRUS (cont'd) 
		And what about you, kid? What's your story?
 
				RASHID 
			(Turning away) 
		Who, me? I don't have a story. I'm just a kid.

	Fade out.

36.	EXT: DAY. OUTSIDE COLE'S GARAGE

	Late afternoon. RASHID and CYRUS continue loading debris into the back
	of the truck. We see the black-and-white portable TV sitting on the
	ground outside the office.
 
	After a few moments, a ten-year-old blue Ford pulls up next to the
	truck and stops. It is driven by CYRUS'S wife, DOREEN. She is an
	attractive, self-possessed woman in her late twenties. CYRUS JUNIOR is
	sitting in a child-restraint seat in the back. He is two years old.
 
	CYRUS'S face lights up when he sees the car. DOREEN cuts off the engine
	and gets out, smiling at her husband. RASHID, suddenly forgotten by
	CYRUS, watches the exchange with keen interest.
 
				CYRUS 
		Hi, baby. How'd it go today?

				DOREEN 
			(Joking) 
		If I have to wash one more old lady's hair, I 
		think my fingers would fall off. 
			(She kisses him on the cheek)
 
				CYRUS
		Busy, huh? That's good, because things around 
		here sure were sleepy today.
 
				DOREEN 
			(Opening the back of the car, 
			 unstrapping JUNIOR from his seat, and 
			 picking him up in her arms) 
		Don't worry, Cy. It's early days yet.  
			(Addressing JUNIOR, but at the same 
			 time catching sight of RASHID) 
		Say hello to Daddy.
 
				JUNIOR 
			(In his mother's arms, excited 
			 at seeing his father) 
		Dada! Dada!
 
				CYRUS 
			(Taking the boy in his arms 
			 and giving him a big kiss) 
		Hey there, little tiger. And what did you do 
		today?
 
				DOREEN 
			(Addressing RASHID as she 
			 hands the baby to CYRUS) 
		Hello.
 
 				RASHID 
			(Shyly) 
		Hello.

                          CYRUS 
			(Noticing the exchange 
			 between DOREEN and RASHID) 
		Jesus, I almost forgot you were here. Doreen, 
		this is Paul. My new assistant.
 
	DOREEN extends her right hand to RASHID.
 
				RASHID 
			(Shaking DOREEN'S hand) 
		It's only temporary. On a freelance basis.
 
				CYRUS 
			(Turning JUNIOR toward RASHID) 
		And this one, in case you haven't guessed, is 
		Junior.
 
				RASHID 
			(Studying JUNIOR carefully. Mumbles 
			 in a barely audible voice) 
		Hi there, little brother.
 
				CYRUS 
		(To JUNIOR) Say hi to Paul.
 
				JUNIOR 
		Hi there, little brother.

				CYRUS 
			(To DOREEN) 
		He's helping me clean out that upstairs room. 
		Might as well get this place looking good, 
		anyway. 
			(To RASHID)
		I guess that's it for today, sport. Come back
		tomorrow morning at eight, and you can pick up 
		where you left off. 
			(Starts walking to the office 
			 with JUNIOR in his arms)
 
	We see him through the window: opening the cash register, pocketing the
	money, turning out the lights, then coming out and closing the garage
	doors. In the foreground, we see RASHID standing with DOREEN. He looks
	down at the ground, too shy to say a word to her. She studies him with
	a mixture of curiosity and amusement. When CYRUS is finished closing
	up, he walks toward them and says to RASHID:
 
				CYRUS (cont'd) 
		Do you want me to pay you now, or can you wait 
		until tomorrow?
 
				RASHID 
		Tomorrow's fine. There's no rush.
 
37.	EXT: EARLY EVENING. OUTSIDE COLE'S GARAGE
 
	A little later. We see RASHID sitting next to the TV outside the office
	door. He is utterly still. Hold for two, three beats.
 
38.	INT: EARLY EVENING. INSIDE THE OFFICE OF COLE'S GARAGE
 
	We see a pencil drawing being slid under the door. It is an excellent
	rendering of the garage as seen from across the road.
 
	The camera moves in on the drawing until it occupies the entire screen.
	Hold for two, three beats.
 
39.	INT: DAY. PAUL'S APARTMENT
 
	PAUL opens the door. RASHID is standing in the hall, holding the 
	black-and-white TV in his arms. The knapsack is on his back. His 
	clothes have become a little shabbier since the last time we saw him.
 
				PAUL
			(Surprised)
		Hey, it's you.
 
				RASHID 
			(Serious)
		I wanted to give you this as a token of my 
		appreciation.
 
				PAUL
		Appreciation for what?
 
				RASHID 
		I don't know. For helping me out.
 
				PAUL
			(Eyeing TV suspiciously) 
		Where did you get that thing? 

				RASHID
		I bought it. Twenty-nine ninety-five on sale at 
		Goldbaum's TV and Radio.
 			(Hands TV to PAUL, who takes it 
			 in his arms. RASHID smiles) 
		Well, that just about takes care of it, I 
		guess. You'll be able to watch the ball games. 
		You know, as a little break from your work. 
			(Begins to leave)
 
				PAUL 
		Where the hell do you think you're going?
 
				RASHID 
		Business appointment. I'm seeing my broker at 
		three o'clock.
 
				PAUL 
		Cut it out, will you? Just cut it out and come
		back here.
 
				RASHID 
			(Looking at his watch. Shrugs)
		I don't have much time. 
			(Returns to the doorway, 
			 enters the apartment)
 
				PAUL 
			(Puts TV on the stereo cabinet) 
		Close the door. 
			(RASHID closes the door) 
		Sit down in that chair. 
			(Points. RASHID sits down in the chair) 
		Now listen carefully. Your Aunt Em came here a 
		couple of days ago. She was sick with worry, 
		out of her mind. We had an interesting talk 
		about you, Thomas. Do you understand what I'm 
		saying? Your aunt thinks you're in trouble and 
		so do I. Tell me about it, kid. I want to hear 
		all about it right now.
 
				RASHID 
			(Realizes he is trapped. Shrugs. Smiles 
			 weakly. Looks down at floor to avoid 
			 PAUL'S gaze. When he dares to look up 
			 again, PAUL is still glowering at him.)
 		You don't really want to know.

				PAUL 
			(Impatient)
		I don't, huh? And what makes you such an 
		authority on what I want or don't want?
 
				RASHID 
			(Sighs, defeated) 
		Okay, okay. 
			(Pause)
		It's all so stupid. 
			(Pause) 
		There's this guy, see. Charles Clemm. The 
		Creeper, that's what people call him. The kind 
		of guy you don't want to cross paths with.
 
				PAUL
		And?
 
				RASHID
		I crossed paths with him. That's why I'm trying 
		to stay clear of my neighborhood.  To make sure 
		I don't run into him again.
 
				PAUL 
		So that's the something you weren't supposed to 
		see, huh?
 
	Close-up of RASHID, becoming more animated as he talks.
 
				RASHID 
		I just happened to be walking by... All of a 
		sudden, the Creeper and this other guy come 
		running out of this check-cashing place with 
		masks on their faces and guns in their hands... 
		They just about ran smack into me. The Creeper 
		recognized me, and I knew he knew I recognized 
		him... If the guy from the check-cashing place 
		hadn't rushed out then screaming bloody murder, 
		he would have shot me. I'm telling you, the 
		Creeper would have shot me right there on the 
		sidewalk. But the noise distracted him, and 
		when he turned around to see what was 
		happening, I took off... One more second, and I 
		would have been dead.
 
				PAUL 
		Why don't you go to the police?
 
				RASHID
		You're joking, right? I mean, that's your way 
		of trying to be funny, right?
 
				PAUL 
		If they put this Creeper in jail, then you'd be 
		safe.
 
				RASHID 
		The man has friends. And they're not likely to 
		forgive me if I testify against him.
 
				PAUL 
			(Thinking) 
		What makes you think you'll be any safer around 
		here? It's only about a mile away from where 
		you live.
 
				RASHID 
		It might not be far, but it's another galaxy. 
		Black is black and white is white, and never 
		the twain shall meet.
 
				PAUL 
		It looks like they've met in this apartment.
 
				RASHID 
		That's because we don't belong anywhere. You 
		don't fit into your world, and I don't fit into
		mine. We're the outcasts of the universe.
 
				PAUL 
			(Studying RASHID) 
		Maybe. Or maybe it's the other people who don't
		belong.
 
				RASHID 
		Let's not get too idealistic.
 
				PAUL 
			(Pause. Breaks into a smile) 
		Fair enough. We wouldn't want to get carried 
		away, would we? 
			(Pause) 
		Now call your aunt Em and let her know you're 
		alive.
 
40.	INT: EVENING. PAUL'S APARTMENT
 
	PAUL and RASHID are watching the Mets on television. They are both
	smoking little cigars. PAUL puffs on his calmly; RASHID coughs after
	each puff of his. He is clearly not used to smoking. The television
	has a defective tube, the reception is poor, and every now and then one
	of them stands up and bangs the top of the set to bring the picture
	back into focus. They watch the ball game in silence. Close-up of the
	TV screen: the batter swings. An announcer's voice is heard describing
	the action.
 
41.	EXT: LATE AFTERNOON. THE CORNER IN FRONT OF THE BROOKLYN CIGAR CO.
 
	AUGGIE is alone, closing up shop, looking particularly scruffy and
	unshaven. Just as he finishes pulling down the last metal gate, a car
 	with Pennsylvania license plates comes speeding down Seventh Avenue and
	brakes to a sudden stop in front of the store. It is a ten-year-old
	Pontiac in rather sorry shape: belching smoke, with a defective muffler
	and a dented body. AUGGIE, distracted by the commotion, turns and looks
	at the car.
 
	From AUGGIE'S POV: we look into the car and see that the driver is RUBY
	McNUTT.  She leans out the open window and addresses AUGGIE in an
	urgent voice.
 
				RUBY 
		Get in, Auggie. I've got something to show you.
 
				AUGGIE
			(Reluctant)
		You don't give up, do you?
 
				RUBY 
		Just get in and shut up. I'm not asking you to 
		do anything. I just need you to come with me.
 
				AUGGIE
		Where to?
 
				RUBY 
			(Impatient) 
		Dammit, Auggie, don't ask so many questions. 
		Just get in the car.
 
	AUGGIE shrugs. RUBY opens the right front door of the car, and he 
	climbs in. They drive off.
 
42.	EXT: EVENING. THE STREETS OF BROOKLYN
 
	We see RUBY'S car as it travels through the Brooklyn evening, making
	its way down Seventh Avenue to Flatbush Avenue, then turning onto
	Eastern Parkway and gliding past the Public Library and the Brooklyn
	Museum as it penetrates the slums of Crown Heights and East New York.
 
				RUBY 
		I told her she was going to meet her father.

				AUGGIE
		You what?
 
				RUBY 
		It was the only way, Auggie. Otherwise, she 
		wasn't going to let me see her.
 
				AUGGIE 
		I think you'd better stop the car and let me 
		out.
 
				RUBY 
		Relax, okay? You don't have to do anything. 
		Just go in there and pretend. It won't kill you 
		to do a little favor like that. Besides, you 
		might even learn something.
 
				 AUGGIE
		Yeah, like what?
 
				RUBY 
		That I wasn't bullshitting you, sweetheart. At 
		least you'll know I've been telling the truth.
 
				AUGGIE 
		Look, I'm not saying you don't have a daughter. 
		It's just that she's not my daughter.
 
				RUBY 
		Wait till you see her, Auggie.
 
				AUGGIE 
		And what's that supposed to mean?
 
				RUBY 
		She looks just like you.
 
				AUGGIE 
			(Irritated) 
		Cut it out. Just cut it out, okay? It's 
		starting to get on my nerves.
 
				RUBY
		When I told her I was going to bring her father, 
		she kind of melted. It's the first time 
		Felicity's talked nice to me since she left 
		home. She's dying to meet you, Auggie.
 
	They drive on in silence for a few more seconds. By now they have
 	entered one of the worst, most dangerous parts of the city. We see
	broken-down, boarded-up buildings, vacant lots strewn with rubble,
	trash scattered on the sidewalks. RUBY turns down one of these streets,
	then brings the car to a halt in front of a walk-up building with
	spray-painted graffiti on the outer door: KILL THE COPS. AUGGIE and
	RUBY get out of the car and start walking toward the building. Down the
	street, in the distance, we see a black man pick up a metal garbage can
	and throw it violently to the ground. It lands with a loud crash.
 
				AUGGIE 
		Nice neighborhood you've brought me to. Full of 
		happy, prosperous people.
 
43.	INT: EVENING. FELICITY'S APARTMENT
 
	Close-up of a scarred green door. A knocking is heard from the other
	side. Pause. The knocking is heard again. After another pause, we hear
	feet padding toward the door. A second later a shoulder enters the
	frame. This is FELICITY from behind. She is dressed in a cheap flowered
	robe.
 
				FELICITY
		Yeah? Who is it?
 
				RUBY (OFF) 
		It's me, honey. It's Mom.
 
	We see FELICITY'S hand reach out and unbolt the lock. The door opens to
	reveal AUGGIE and RUBY standing in the hall. They both look nervous:
	RUBY expectant and hopeful, with a forced smile on her face, AUGGIE
	guarded and closed in on himself. Cut to a close-up of FELICITY'S face.
	She is a very pretty blonde of eighteen. Her expression is hostile,
	however, and there is a wasted look in her eyes. We see clumsily
	applied rouge on her cheeks, a slash of red lipstick on her lips. She
	runs her hand through her stringy, unwashed hair. Cut to a close-up of
	AUGGIE'S face. It is impossible to know what he is thinking.
 
	As AUGGIE and RUBY enter the apartment, the camera backs up to show the
	room. It is a tawdry place with little furniture: a double mattress on
	the floor (the bed is unmade), a rickety wooden table and two chairs
	along the far wall (we see a box of Sugar Pops on the table), a hot
	plate, and an enormous color television near the mattress. The
	television is on, but the sound is off. Images of commercials flicker
	in the background during the rest of the scene. The only decoration is
	a large black-and-white poster of Jim Morrison Scotch-taped to one of
	the walls. Clothes are strewn everywhere: on the floor, on the table,
	on top of the television set.
 
	By the time RUBY has shut the door behind her, FELICITY has already
	retreated to the other side of the room and is lighting a cigarette
	from a pack of Newports on the table. No one says anything. An awkward
	silence as FELICITY glares at her mother and AUGGIE.
 
				RUBY
 			(Finally) 
		Well?

				FELICITY 
		Well what?
 
				RUBY
		Aren't you going to say anything?
 
				FELICITY 
		What do you want me to say?
 
				RUBY 
		I don't know. Hello, Mom. Hello, Dad. Something 
		like that.
 
				FELICITY 
			(Takes a drag on her cigarette, 
			 looking AUGGIE up and down. Then, 
			 turning to RUBY)
		I don't got no daddy, you dig? I got born last 
		week when some dog fucked you up the ass.
 
				AUGGIE 
			(Muttering under his breath) 
		Jesus Christ. This is all I need.
 
				RUBY 
			(Trying to ignore the viciousness 
			 of her daughter's remark) 
		You told me you wanted to meet him. Well,here 
		he is.
 
				FELICITY 
		Yeah, I might have said that. Chico told me to 
		see what he was like, maybe there'd be some 
		dough in it for us. Well, now I've seen him, 
		and I can't say I'm too impressed. 
			(Pause. Turning to AUGGIE) 
		Hey, mister. Are you rich or what?
 
				AUGGIE 
			(Disgusted) 
		Yeah, I'm a millionaire. I walk around in 
		disguise because I'm ashamed of all my money.
 
				RUBY 
			(To FELICITY. Imploringly) 
		Be nice, sweetie. We're just here to help you.
 
				FELICITY 
			(Snaps back) 
		Help? What the fuck do I need your help for? 
		I've got a man, don't I? That's more than you 
		can say for yourself, Hawkeye.
 
				AUGGIE 
		Hey, hey, don't talk to your mother like that.

				FELICITY 
			(Crushing out her cigarette on the 
			 table. Ignoring AUGGIE'S remark, 
			 to her mother) 
		You're telling me you actually went to bed with 
		this guy? You're telling me you actually let 
		him fuck you?
 
				RUBY 
			(Mortified, struggling not 
			 to lose her composure) 
		You can do whatever you want with your own life. 
		We're thinking of the baby, that's all. We want 
		you to get yourself cleaned up for the baby. 
		Before it's too late.
 
				FELICITY 
		Baby? And what baby is that?
 
				RUBY 
		Your baby. The baby you're carrying around 
		inside you.
 
				FELICITY 
		Yeah, well, there ain't no baby in there now. 
		You dig? There's nothing in there now.
 
				RUBY 
		What are you talking about?
 
				FELICITY 
		An abortion, stupid. 
			(Laughs bitterly)
		I had an abortion the day before yesterday. So 
		you don't have to bug me about that shit 
		anymore. 
			(Laughs again. Defiantly, 
			 almost to herself) 
		Bye-bye, baby!
 
				AUGGIE 
			(Taking hold of RUBY'S arm. RUBY is 
			 about to break into tears) 
		Come on, let's get out of here. I've had enough.
 
	RUBY shrugs off AUGGIE'S hand and goes on looking at her daughter. As
	FELICITY speaks, the camera closes in on her face.
 
				FELICITY 
		Yeah, that's right, you better go. Chico'll be 
		back any minute, and I'm sure your boyfriend 
		doesn't want to mess with him. Chico's a real 
		man. Not some scuzzy dickhead you find in last 
		month's garbage. Do you hear what I'm saying? 
		He'll chop up Mr. Dad here into little pieces. 
		That's a promise. He'll kick the living shit 
		out of him.
 
44.	INT: DAY. PAUL'S APARTMENT
 
	It is morning. RASHID is preparing a pot of coffee in the kitchenette.
	PAUL stumbles out of the bathroom, wiping his face with a towel. He has
	just woken up and is still groggy. He approaches the table.
 
				PAUL 
		Ah, coffee. Smells good.

				RASHID 
			(Handing him a cup) 
		One sip of this stuff and your eyes will blast 
		open.
 
				PAUL 
			(Taking the cup and sitting down) 
		Thanks. 
			(Begins to drink)
 
				RASHID 
		What time did you get to bed last night?
 
				PAUL 
		I don't know. Two or three. It was pretty late.
 
				RASHID
		You work too hard, you know that?
 
				PAUL 
		Once a story gets hold of you, it's hard to let 
		go.  
			(Pause) 
		Besides, I'm making up for lost time.
 
				RASHID 
		Just so you don't overdo it. You don't want to 
		die of sleep deprivation before you finish.
 
				PAUL 
			(Almost to himself. Looking up at 
			 the photo of Ellen on the wall) 
		If you don't sleep, you don't dream. If you 
		don't dream, you don't have nightmares.
 
				RASHID 
		That's logical. And if you don't sleep, you 
		don't need a bed. Saves you money, too. 
			(Pause) 
		So what's this story you're working on, anyway?
 
				PAUL 
		If I tell you, I might not be able to finish it.
 
				RASHID 
		Come on, just a little hint.
 
				PAUL 
			(Smiling at RASHID'S eagerness. Pause) 
		Okay, just a little hint. I can't tell you the 
		story, but I'll tell you what gave me the idea 
		for it.
 
				RASHID 
		The inspiration.
 
				PAUL 
		Yeah, right. The inspiration. It's a true story 
		anyway, so I don't suppose it can hurt, can it?
 
				RASHID 
		No way.

				PAUL 
		All right. Listen carefully. 
			(The camera slowly moves in 
			 for a close-up of PAUL'S face) 
		About twenty-five years ago, a young man went 
		skiing alone in the Alps. There was an 
		avalanche, the snow swallowed him up, and his 
		body was never recovered.
 
				RASHID 
			(Mockingly) 
		The end.
 
				PAUL 
		No, not the end. The beginning. 
			(Pause) 
		His son was just a little boy at the time, but 
		the years passed, and when he grew up, he 
		became a skier, too. One day last winter, he 
		went out by himself for a run down the 
		mountain. He gets halfway to the bottom and 
		then stops to eat his lunch next to a big rock. 
		Just as he's unwrapping his cheese sandwich, he 
		looks down and sees a body frozen in the ice --
		right there at his feet. He bends down to take 
		a closer look, and suddenly he feels that he's 
		looking into a mirror, that he's looking at 
		himself. There he is -- dead -- and the body 
		is perfectly intact, sealed away in a block of 
		ice -- like someone preserved in suspended 
		animation. He gets down on all fours, looks 
		right into the dead man's face, and realizes 
		that he's looking at his father.
 
	Cut to RASHID'S face. We see him listening intently.
 
				PAUL (cont'd) (OFF) 
		And the strange thing is that the father is 
		younger than the son is now. The boy has become 
		a man, and it turns out that he's older than 
		his own father.
 
	The camera holds on RASHID'S face. After a moment:
 
				PAUL (OFF)
		So what are you going to do today?
 
				RASHID (Shrugs) 
		Read, think, do some drawings if I get in the 
		mood.
 
	He points to the coffee table: we see the sketch pad and a paperback 
	copy of Shakespeare's Othello.
 
				RASHID (cont'd) 
		But tonight I'm going to celebrate. That's 
		definite.
 
				PAUL 
		Celebrate? What for?
 
	 			RASHID 
		It's my birthday. I'm seventeen years old 
			(looks at wristwatch) 
		as of forty-seven minutes ago, and I think I 
		should celebrate having made it this far.
 
				PAUL 
			(Raising coffee cup) 
		Hey, hey. Happy birthday. Why didn't you tell 
		me?
 
	 			RASHID 
			(Deadpan)
		I just did.
 
				PAUL 
		I mean earlier. We could have planned something.
 
	Close-up of RASHID'S face.
 
				RASHID 
		I don't like plans. I prefer to take things as 
		they come.
 
45.	INT: LATE AFTERNOON. THE BOOKSTORE
 
	A small, cluttered independent bookshop.
 
	The scene begins with a close-up of the clerk's face: APRIL LEE, a
	Eurasian woman in her mid- to late twenties. She is sitting behind the
	front counter with an open book before her. Her expression is puzzled,
	searching, as if she has just remembered or recognized something, but
	can't quite figure out what it is. We see her looking toward the back
	of the store, straining to listen in on PAUL and RASHID'S conversation.
 
				RASHID (OFF) 
		Here we are. 
			(Pause) 
		Rembrandt's drawings. Edward Hopper. Van Gogh's 
		letters.
 
                            PAUL (OFF) 
		Pick two or three. Now that the coffers are 
		open, you might as well take advantage of me.
 
	As PAUL and RASHID start walking back in the direction of the counter,
	APRIL lowers her gaze and pretends to be reading. We see PAUL and
	RASHID enter the field of the camera from behind. PAUL puts a small
	pile of art books on the counter.
 
				PAUL 	
		We'll take these, please.
 
	APRIL looks up: her eyes meet PAUL'S. They study each other for a brief
	moment -- a significant exchange that does not escape RASHID'S notice.
 
				APRIL 
		Will that be cash or charge?
 
				PAUL 
			(Taking out his wallet 
			 and looking inside) 
		Better make it charge. 
			(Removes the credit card 
			 and hands it to APRIL)
 
				APRIL 
			(Looking at he card, smiles)
		I thought I recognized you. You're Paul 
		Benjamin the writer, aren't you?
 
				PAUL 
			(Both pleased and surprised)
		I confess.
 
				APRIL 
		I keep waiting for the next novel to come out. 
		Anything in the works?
 
				RASHID 
			(Butting in, with enthusiasm) 
		It's coming along. At the rate he's going, 
		he'll have a story finished by the end of the 
		summer.
 
				APRIL 
		Wonderful. When your next book is published, 
		maybe you could come into the store and do a 
		signing. I'm sure we could get a lot of people 
		to show up.
 
				PAUL 
			(Still staring at APRIL) 
		Uh, actually, I tend to shy away from that kind 
		of thing.
 
				RASHID 
			(To APRIL) 
		Excuse me for asking, but you aren't married, 
		are you?
 
				APRIL 
			(Taken aback) 
		What!
 
				RASHID 
		Perhaps I should rephrase the question. What I 
		mean to say is, are you married or seriously 
		involved with a significant other?
 
				APRIL 
			(Still astonished. Bursts out laughing) 
		No! At least I don't think I am!
 
				RASHID 
			(Smiling with satisfaction) 
		Good. Then may I have the honor of extending 
		an invitation to you?
 
				APRIL 
		An invitation?
 
	Close-up of PAUL, listening to the exchange between RASHID and APRIL.
 
				RASHID 
		Yes, an invitation. I apologize for springing 
		it on you at the last minute, but Mr. Benjamin 
		and I are attending a celebration tonight, and 
		we would be most pleased if you chose to 
		accompany us. 
			(Looking at PAUL) 
		Isn't that right, Mr. Benjamin?
 
				PAUL 
			(Breaking into a broad smile) 
		Absolutely. We would be honored.
 
				APRIL 
			(Smiling) 
		And what's the occasion of this celebration?
 
				RASHID 
		It's my birthday.
 
				APRIL 
		And how many people will be attending this 
		birthday party?
 
				RASHID 
		I wouldn't actually call it a party. It's more 
		along the lines of a dinner in celebration of 
		my birthday. 
			(Pause) 
		The guest list is quite restricted. So far, 
		there's Mr. Benjamin and myself. If you accept, 
		that would make three of us.
 
				APRIL 
			(Ironic. With a crafty smile) 
		Ah-hah, I see. A cozy dinner. But aren't 
		threesomes a little awkward? How does the 
		phrase go--
 
				RASHID 
		Three's a crowd. Yes, I'm aware of that. But I 
		have to keep an eye on Mr. Benjamin wherever he 
		goes. To make sure he doesn't get himself into 
		trouble.
 
				APRIL
		And what are you, his chaperone?
 
				RASHID 
			(With a straight face) 
		Actually, I'm his father.
 
	APRIL bursts out laughing, amused by the mounting silliness of the 
	conversation.
 
				PAUL 
		It's true. Most people assume I'm his father. 
		It's a logical assumption -- given that I'm 
		older than he is and so on. But the fact is, 
		it's the other way around. He's my father, and 
		I'm his son.
 
	Close-up of APRIL'S face. She is still laughing.
 
	Cut to:
 
46.	INT: EVENING. CHINESE RESTAURANT IN BROOKLYN
 
	In the background, we see a number of other customers. At one table, a
	Chinese family is celebrating a birthday. Toward the end of the scene,
	they all get up to pose for a group photograph. PAUL, RASHID, and
	APRIL are sitting together at a round table. They are in the middle of
	their meal.
 
				PAUL 
		So your mother grew up in Shanghai?
 
				APRIL 
		Until she was twelve. She moved here in 
		'forty-nine.
 
				PAUL 
		And your father? Is he from New York?
 
				APRIL 
			(Smiling) 
		Muncie, Indiana. He and my mother met as 
		students. But I'm from Brooklyn. My sisters 
		and I were all born and bred right here.
 
 				PAUL
		Just like me.
 
				RASHID
		Like me, too. 

 				APRIL 
		I once read somewhere that one quarter of all 
		the people in the United States have at least 
		one relative who has lived in Brooklyn at one 
		time or another.
 
				RASHID 
		No wonder it's such a screwed-up place.
 
				PAUL 
			(To APRIL) 
		And the bookstore? Have you been working there 
		long?
 
				APRIL 
		It's just a summer job. Something to help pay 
		the bills while I finish my dissertation.
 
				PAUL 
		Your dissertation? What subject do you study?
 
				APRIL 
		American literature. What else?
 
				PAUL 
		What else. Of course, what else? And what are 
		you writing about for your thesis?
 
				APRIL 
			(With mock pomposity) 
		Visions of Utopia in Nineteenth-Century 
		American Fiction.

				PAUL
		Wow. You don't fool around, do you?
 
				APRIL 
			(Smiling) 
		Of course I fool around. But not so much when 
		it comes to my work, it's true. 
			(Pause) 
		Have you ever read Pierre, or the Ambiguities?
 
				PAUL 
		Melville, huh? 
			(Smiles) 
		It's been a while.
 
				APRIL
		That's the subject of my last chapter.
 
				PAUL 
		Not an easy book.
 
				APRIL 
		Which explains why this hasn't been the easiest 
		summer of my life.
 
				RASHID 
		All the more reason to let 'er rip tonight, 
		sweetheart. 
			(Raises glass) 
		You know, go for the gusto.
 
	APRIL clinks her glass with RASHID and laughs merrily as PAUL looks on
	and smiles. Cut to:
 
47.	INT: NIGHT. A BAR IN BROOKLYN
 
	A noisy, crowded blue-collar hangout. APRIL, PAUL, and RASHID are
	standing together, looking rather tipsy. They are engaged in animated
	three-way conversation, but we can't hear their voices over the din.
 
	A song is playing on the jukebox ("Downtown Train," by Tom Waits).
	APRIL asks PAUL to dance. He agrees. As they dance, RASHID looks on.
	Even though the rhythm of the song is fast, PAUL and APRIL dance
	slowly, tentatively, not quite sure how to behave with each other.
 
	After a moment, AUGGIE emerges from the back room with VIOLET, his
	flashy girlfriend, hanging on his arm. They are both plastered.
 
				AUGGIE 
			(Drunk, smiling) 
		Hey, man, good to see you.
 
				PAUL 
		This is April Lee, Auggie. April, say hello to 
		Auggie Wren.
 
				APRIL 
			(Smiling) 
		Hello, Auggie Wren.
 
				AUGGIE 
			(Affecting the voice of a cowboy, 
			 tipping an imaginary hat) 
		Howdy, Miss April. I'm right pleased to make 
		your acquaintance. 
			(Turning to VIOLET) 
		And this pretty little lady here is Miss 
		Vi-o-let Sanchez de Jalapeño, the hottest chili 
		pepper this side of the Rio Grande. Ain't that 
		so, baby?
 
				VIOLET 
		Ees so, Auggie. And you not so cold, neither. 
		Eh, baby?
 
	PAUL, APRIL, and RASHID nod hello to VIOLET.
 
				AUGGIE 
		So, what brings you to a dive like this?
 
				PAUL 
			(Gesturing with thumb to 
			 RASHID; addressing AUGGIE) 
		It's his birthday so we decided to whoop it up 
		a little.
 
				AUGGIE 
			(To RASHID) 
		How old, kid?
 
				RASHID
		Seventeen.
 
				AUGGIE 
		Seventeen? I remember when I was seventeen. 
		Christ, I was one little whacked-out 
		son-of-a-bitch when I was seventeen. Is that 
		what you are, son? One little whacked-out crazy 
		fella?
 
				RASHID 
			(With feigned seriousness, nodding) 
		Definitely. I'd say you've hit the nail on the 
		head.
 
				AUGGIE 
		Good. Keep it up, and maybe one day you'll grow 
		up and become a great man like me. 
			(Bursts out laughing)
 
	PAUL puts his arm around AUGGIE, addressing him in quieter tones. As
	they talk, APRIL and VIOLET look each other up and down, smiling
	awkwardly. RASHID strains to hear what PAUL and AUGGIE are saying to
	each other.
 
				PAUL 
		Hey, Auggie, I've just been thinking. You 
		wouldn't need some help around the store, would 
		you? Some summer help while Vinnie's gone?
 
				AUGGIE 
			(Thinking) 
		Help? Hmm. It's possible. What did you have in 
		mind?
 
				PAUL 
		I'm thinking about the kid. I'm sure he'd do a 
		good job for you.
 
				AUGGIE 
			(Looking up and studying RASHID) 
		Hey, kid. You interested in a job? I just got 
		word from your employment agency that you're 
		looking for a position in retail sales.
 
				RASHID 
		A job? 
			(Pause. Looks at PAUL)
		I definitely wouldn't turn down a job.
 
				AUGGIE 
		Come around to the cigar store tomorrow morning 
		at ten o'clock and we'll talk about it, okay? 
		We'll see what we can work out.
 
				RASHID 
		Ten o'clock tomorrow morning. I'll be there.
 
				PAUL 
			(Patting AUGGIE on the back) 
		I owe you one. Don't forget.
 
48.	INT: DAY. PAUL'S APARTMENT
 
	Morning. PAUL and RASHID sitting at the table, eating breakfast. RASHID
	is wearing a red T-shirt with the word "FIRE" emblazoned on the back in
	white letters. We catch them in mid-conversation.
 
				PAUL 
		It's 1942, right? And he's caught in Leningrad 
		during the siege. I'm talking about one of the 
		worst moments in human history. Five hundred 
		thousand people died in that one place, and 
		there's Bakhtin, holed up in an apartment, 
		expecting to be killed any day. He has plenty 
		of tobacco, but no paper to roll it in. So he 
		takes the pages of a manuscript he's been 
		working on for ten years and tears them up to 
		roll his cigarettes.
 
				RASHID 
			(Incredulous) 
		His only copy?
 
				PAUL 
		His only copy. 
			(Pause)
		I mean, if you think you're going to die, 
		what's more important, a good book or a good 
		smoke? And so he huffed and he puffed, and 
		little by little he smoked his book.
 
				RASHID 
			(Thinks, then smiles) 
		Nice try. You had me going for a second, but no 
		... no writer would ever do a thing like that. 
			(Slight pause. Looking at PAUL) 
		Would he?
 
				PAUL 
			(Amused) 
		You don't believe me, huh? 
			(Stands up from the table and begins 
			 walking to the bookcase) 
		Look, I'll show you. It's all in this book.
 
	PAUL stands on a chair and reaches for a book on the top shelf. In
	doing so, he catches sight of the paper bag RASHID planted there in
	Scene 15. He studies it in bewilderment, then picks it up and dangles
	it in the air as he turns toward RASHID.
 
				PAUL (cont'd)
		What's this?
 
				RASHID 
			(Squirming with embarrassment)
		I don't know.
 
				PAUL 
		Is it yours?
 
				RASHID 
		Yeah, it might be.

				PAUL 
			(Shrugs, not wanting to 
			 make an issue of it) 
		Here, catch.
 
	PAUL tosses the bag in RASHID'S direction. The bag breaks open in
	midair, and a shower of twenty-, fifty-, and hundred-dollar bills rains
	down from the ceiling. PAUL is stunned; RASHID is watching the world
	crumble before his eyes.
 
	Fade out.
 
49. 	INT: DAY. PAUL'S APARTMENT (LATER)
 
	Fade in. A few minutes later. PAUL and RASHID are sitting at the table
	again, the money stacked in neat piles between them. Again, we catch
	them in mid-conversation.
 
				PAUL 
		So you're saying it wasn't like that at all.
 
				RASHID 
		Not exactly. I mean, there was more to it than 
		I told you.
 
				PAUL 
		Christ. You didn't just see what happened. 
		They dropped the package on the ground and you 
		picked it up.
 
				RASHID 
		Yeah, I picked it up. 

				PAUL 
		And started to run. 

				RASHID 
		And started to run.

				PAUL 
			(Sarcastic) 
		Good thinking.
 
				RASHID
		That's just it. I didn't think. I just did it.
 
				PAUL 
		You have one hell of a knack for getting into 
		trouble, don't you? 
			(Pause, gesturing to the money) 
		So how much does it come to?
 
				RASHID 
		Six thousand dollars. Five thousand eight 
		hundred and fourteen dollars, to be exact.
 
				PAUL 
			(Shaking his head, trying to 
			 absorb this new turn of events) 
		So you robbed the robbers, and now the robbers 
		are after you.
 
				RASHID
		That's it. In a nutshell.
 
				PAUL 
		Yeah, well, you have to be nuts to do what you 
		did. If you want my opinion, you should give 
		this money back to the Creeper. Just give it 
		back and tell him you're sorry.
 
				RASHID 
			(Shaking his head) 
		No way. There's no way I'm giving that money 
		back. It's my money now.
 
				PAUL 
		A lot of good it will do you if the Creeper 
		finds you.
 
				RASHID 
			(Stubbornly) 
		That money is my whole future.
 
				PAUL 
		Keep up with that attitude, and you won't have 
		a future. 
			(Pause) 
		Seventeen is a hell of an age to die. Is that 
		what you want?
 
	Close-up of RASHID'S face. Fade out.
 
50.	INT: DAY. THE BROOKLYN CIGAR CO.
 
	We see RASHID mopping the floor. He finishes up and carries the mop to
	the bathroom behind the cash register and puts it in the bucket that is
	sitting in the sink. He turns on the tap and rinses the mop. Just to
	the side of the sink, there are two open cardboard boxes on the floor.
	We catch a glimpse of the contents: boxes of Montecristos (Cuban
	cigars). AUGGIE'S shipment from Miami has arrived.
 
	RASHID turns off the tap, but the water continues to trickle out in a
	small stream into the bucket. RASHID doesn't notice.
 
	RASHID returns to the counter. AUGGIE is standing by the door getting
	ready to go out. For the first time, he is clean-shaven, his hair is
	combed, and he is wearing dress-up clothes: a bright red plaid sports
	jacket, white slacks, etc. The effect is strange, laughable.
 
				AUGGIE 
		I'll be back in about an hour. Watch the 
		register while I'm gone, okay?
 
				RASHID 
		Sure thing. See you later.
 
	AUGGIE waves goodbye and leaves.
 
	Cut to the bathroom. Close-up of the bucket in the sink. The water is
	overflowing, spilling onto the boxes of Cuban cigars.
 
	Cut to  the store. RASHID is sitting behind the counter, studying a
	picture of a naked woman in Penthouse magazine.

	Cut to bathroom. Close-up of water inundating the Cuban cigars.
 
	Cut to store. Close-up of RASHID gaping at the photograph. We hear him
	groan softly.
 
				RASHID 
			(Muttering to himself) 
		Jesus God, save me.

	Dissolve.
 
	The jarring noise of the door opening. RASHID hastily closes the
	magazine and stashes it under the counter. AUGGIE enters the store with
	two middle-aged men in dark, pin-striped suits: his lawyer-customers
	for the Cuban cigars.
 
				AUGGIE 
			(Addressing the TWO LAWYERS as they 
			 enter. He is obviously keyed up. His 
			 manner is jovial, ingratiating) 
		It might be illegal, but it's hard to see where 
		the crime is if there's no victim. No harm 
		done, right?
 
				FIRST LAWYER 
		This is what it must have felt like to go to a 
		speakeasy during Prohibition
 
				SECOND LAWYER
 		Forbidden pleasures, eh?
 
				AUGGIE 
			(To RASHID) 
		Much business while I was gone?
 
				RASHID 
		A little. Not much.
 
				AUGGIE 
			(To the LAWYERS)
		This way, gentlemen. Let's retire to my office, 
		shall we?

	He points to the bathroom behind the counter.
 
	The camera stays on RASHID as AUGGIE and the LAWYERS disappear. A
	second later, we hear AUGGIE explode with rage.
 
				AUGGIE (OFF) 
		What the fuck is going on here! Look at this! 
		The goddamn place is flooded! Holy fucking 
		shit! Look at this! Look at this goddamn mess!
 
51.	INT: DAY. PAUL'S APARTMENT 

	Close-up of RASHID'S face. He is in tears.
 
				PAUL (OFF) 
		So you lost the job. Is that what you're 
		telling me? He just up and fired you?
 
				RASHID 
			(Scarcely able to speak) 
		It was more complicated than that. There was a 
		reason.
 
				PAUL (OFF) 
		Well?

				RASHID 
		It wasn't my fault. 
 
				PAUL (OFF) 
			(Irritated) 
		If you don't tell me what happened, how do you 
		expect me to know that? I need facts, not 
		opinions.
 
                           RASHID 
			(Struggling to speak, 
			 fighting back the tears) 
		The water was dripping, see... I turned it off, 
		but it was still dripping, and then Auggie had 
		to go out, and so I left the back room ... And 
		later on ... well, later on ... when Auggie 
		came back ... the whole place was flooded. His 
		Cuban cigars got all messed up ... You know, 
		soaked through ... just when he was about to 
		sell them ... to these rich guys in suits....
 
	Shot of PAUL standing in the middle of the room looking at RASHID, who
	is sitting on the bed.
 
				PAUL 
		Cuban cigars. You mean he had some hanky-panky 
		going with those guys?
 
				RASHID
		I suppose so. He never told me about it.
 
				PAUL 
		No wonder he was angry.
 
				RASHID 
		He was out five thousand bucks, he said.... He 
		kept saying it over and over.... Five thousand 
		bucks down the drain.... He wouldn't stop.... 
		Five thousand bucks, five thousand bucks.... 
		He was like out of his mind with those five 
		thousand bucks....
 
	Silence. PAUL paces about the room, thinking. He sits down in a chair
	by the table. Thinks some more.
 
				PAUL 
		Here's what you're going to do. You're going to 
		open up your backpack, take out your bag of
		money, count out five thousand dollars, and 
		hand it over to Auggie.
 
				RASHID 
			(Appalled) 
		What are you talking about? 
			(Pause) 
		You can't be serious.
 
				PAUL 
		I'm serious, all right. You've got to square it 
		with Auggie. Since you won't give the money 
		back to the Creeper, you can use it to make 
		things right with Auggie. That's probably 
		better anyway. Better to keep your friends than 
		to worry about your enemies.
 
				RASHID 
			(Stubbornly. Fresh tears 
			 falling down his cheeks) 
		I'm not going to do it.
 
				PAUL 
		You'll do it, all right. You fuck up, you've 
		got to undo the damage. That's how it works, 
		buster. If you don't do it, I'm going to throw 
		you out of here. Do you understand me? If you 
		don't pay Auggie what you owe him. I'm finished 
		with you.
 
				RASHID 
		I pay Auggie, and I've got nothing. Eight 
		hundred bucks and a ticket to Shit City.
 
				PAUL 
		Don't worry about it. You've got friends now, 
		remember? Just behave yourself, and everything 
		will work out.
 
52.	INT: NIGHT. A BAR IN BROOKLYN
 
	AUGGIE is sitting alone at the bar, smoking a cigarette and drinking a
	beer. He looks disgusted: muttering to himself, swearing under his
	breath. Business is slow, and the place is almost empty.
 
	PAUL and RASHID enter and approach AUGGIE at the bar. RASHID is
	carrying a brown paper bag. AUGGIE gestures with his head for them to
	follow him into the back room. Cut to:
 
	The three of them taking their seats at a table in the back room. A
	long, awkward pause.
 
				PAUL 
		The kid's sorry, Auggie.
 
				AUGGIE 
			(Scowls, fiddles with the 
			 napkin on the table) 
		Yeah, well, I'm sorry too. 
			(Pause) 
		It took me three years to save up those five 
		thousand bucks, and now I'm broke. I can't 
		hardly pay for this beer. Not to speak of 
		having my credibility destroyed. Do you 
		understand what I'm saying? My credibility. 
		So yeah, I'm sorry, too. About as sorry as 
		I've ever been in my whole fucking life.
 
				PAUL 
		He's got something to tell you, Auggie.
 
				AUGGIE 
		If he's got something to tell me, why don't he 
		tell it to me himself?
 
	Without saying a word, RASHID lifts the bag off his knees and puts it 
	on the table in front of AUGGIE. AUGGIE eyes the bag suspiciously.
 
				RASHID 
		It's for you.
 
				AUGGIE 
		For me? And what am I supposed to do with a 
		paper bag?

				RASHID 
		Open it.
 
				AUGGIE 
			(Taking a peek inside) 
		What is this, some kind of joke?
 
				RASHID 
		No, it's five thousand dollars.
 
				AUGGIE 
			(Disgusted) 
		Shit. I don't want your money, you little 
		twerp. 
			(Peeking inside the paper bag again) 
		It's probably stolen anyway.
 
				RASHID 
		What do you care where it comes from? It's 
		yours.
 
				AUGGIE 
		And why the hell would you give me money?
 
				RASHID 
		So I can get my job back.
 
				AUGGIE 
		Your job? You've got five thousand bucks. What 
		do you want a piece-of-shit job like that for?
 
				RASHID 
		To look at the dirty magazines. I can see all 
		the naked women I want, and it doesn't cost me 
		a cent.

				AUGGIE 
		You're a dumb, whacked-out little fuck, do you 
		know that?
 
	Auggie pushes the bag toward RASHID. Without hesitating for a second, 
	RASHID pushes the bag back toward AUGGIE.
 
				PAUL 
		Don't be an ass, Auggie. He's trying to make it 
		up to you, can't you see that?
 
				AUGGIE 
			(Sighs, shakes head, 
			 peeks into bag again) 
		He's crazy.
 
				PAUL 
		No, he's not. You are.
 
				AUGGIE 
			(Shrugs. Begins to crack a smile)
		You're right. I just wasn't sure you knew.
 
				PAUL 
		It's written all over you like a neon sign. 
		Now say something nice to Rashid to make him 
		feel better.
 
				AUGGIE 
			(Peeking into the bag again. Smiles) 
		Fuck you, kid.
 
				RASHID 
			(Beginning to smile) 
		Fuck you, too, you white son-of-a-bitch.
 
				PAUL 
			(Pause. He laughs. Then, slapping 
			 his hands on the table) 
		Good. I'm glad that's settled!
 
53.	INT: DAY. PAUL'S APARTMENT
 
	PAUL is alone at his desk, typing. The keys suddenly stick, jam up.
 
				PAUL 
			(Spreading his hands in front of his 
			 face and addressing his fingers) 
		Pay attention, boys. Look sharp.
 
 
54.	INT: DAY. PAUL'S APARTMENT
 
	Several hours later. As before: PAUL alone at his desk, typing. A loud
	knocking is heard at the door. PAUL continues typing. Another loud
	knock on the door. PAUL sighs, stands up from his desk, and leaves the
	workroom. Shot of PAUL walking through the big room and opening the
	front door. Two black men are standing in the hallway. One is very
	large, in his mid-thirties; the other is small, in his twenties. They
	are Charles Clemm, THE CREEPER, and his sidekick, ROGER GOODWIN.
 
				CREEPER
		Mr. Benjamin, I presume?
 
	Before PAUL can respond, CREEPER and GOODWIN push their way past him
	into the apartment. GOODWIN slams the door behind him. PAUL backs up
	nervously. He positions himself by the windows that look down at the
	street.
 
				GOODWIN 
		You got a security problem in this building, 
		you know that? The lock on that door downstairs 
		is busted.
 
				CREEPER 
		Not a good idea in these troubled times. You 
		never know what kind of trash might wander in 
		off the streets.
 
				PAUL 
			(Nervous) 
		I'll talk to the landlord about it tomorrow.
 
				GOODWIN 
		You do that. Don't want no unpleasant 
		surprises, do you?
 
				PAUL 
			(Looking them over) 
		And who do I have the pleasure of talking to 
		now?
 
				CREEPER 
		Pleasure? 
			(Laughs)
		I wouldn't call this pleasure, funny man. I'd 
		say it's more in the nature of business.
 
				PAUL 
		It doesn't matter. I know who you are anyway. 
			(Pause) 
		You're the Creeper, aren't you?
 
				CREEPER 
			(Indignant) 
		The what?
 
				GOODWIN 
			(Whipping out a .45 automatic 
			 and pointing it at PAUL) 
		Ain't nobody calls Charles by that name to his 
		face. 
			(Grabs PAUL'S arm and puts 
			 him in a hammerlock) 
		Understand?
 
				PAUL
			(Grunting in pain) 
		Sure, I understand.
 
	Before GOODWIN can do any real violence, the CREEPER waves him off. At
	that moment, PAUL glances out the window. Shot of RASHID down on the
	street, approaching the building. Shot from RASHID'S POV: We see PAUL
	upstairs with his back to the window, moving his hand with a shooing
	gesture, trying to warn RASHID of the danger. Another shot of RASHID'S
	face, puzzled. Another shot from RASHID'S POV: the CREEPER'S head
	enters the picture. Another shot of RASHID: he takes off, running down
	the street. As all this happens we hear the following:
 
				CREEPER (OFF) 
		Let me tell you the business we're here about. 
		We want your cooperation in helping us locate a 
		certain party. We know he's been staying here, 
		so we don't want no denials about it, understand?

				PAUL 
		What party are you looking for?      

				GOODWIN (OFF) 
		Little Tommy Cole. A homeboy with a brain the 
		size of a pea.
 
				PAUL (OFF) 
			(Stalling) 
		Tommy Cole? Never heard of him.
 
	By now, RASHID is gone. Shot of PAUL'S face. He glances over his
	shoulder at the street below. Shot of the street: no sight of RASHID
	anywhere. Followed by a shot of PAUL, CREEPER, and GOODWIN standing in
	the room.
 
				CREEPER 
		I'm not sure you heard me the first time. We 
		know that boy's been here.
 
				PAUL 
		You might think you know, but you've got the 
		wrong information. I never heard of anyone 
		named Tommy Cole.
 
				GOODWIN 
			(Strolling about the room. Sees 
			 RASHID'S sketch pad on coffee table) 
		Lookee here, Charles. Ain't cousin Tommy fond 
		of doodling?
 
	He picks up the pad, flips through it, and then starts ripping up the
	drawings and tossing them on the floor.
 
				PAUL 
		Hey, what the hell are you doing?
 
	Before GOODWIN answers, CREEPER comes close to PAUL and without any
	warning delivers a fast, powerful punch to his stomach. PAUL doubles
	over in pain and falls to the floor.
 
				CREEPER 
		So what's it going to be, funny man? Do you 
		cooperate, or do we send you to the hospital?                                       

				GOODWIN 
			(Walking toward the bookcase, 
			 addressing PAUL over his shoulder) 
		Hope you got some good Blue Cross, baby.
 
	GOODWIN suddenly starts pulling books off the shelves and sweeping them
	violently onto the floor.
 
 
55.	EXT: DAY. IN FRONT OF THE BROOKLYN CIGAR CO.
 
	AUGGIE is standing with his arm on JIMMY ROSE'S shoulder. We catch them
	in mid-conversation. AUGGIE is talking; JIMMY is doing his best to
	follow him: looking down at the ground and nodding, surreptitiously
	picking his nose. As they talk, we see PAUL walking down the street in
	their direction. He is limping: one side of his face is bandaged, his
	left arm is in a sling.
 
				AUGGIE 
		... If it happens, it happens. If it doesn't, 
		it doesn't. Do you understand what I'm saying? 
		You never know what's going to happen next, and 
		the moment you think you know, that's the 
		moment you don't know a goddamn thing. That's 
		what we call a paradox. Are you following me?
 
				JIMMY
		Sure, Auggie. I follow. When you don't know 
		nothing, it's like paradise. I know what that 
		is. It's after you're dead and you go up to 
		heaven and sit with the angels.
 
				AUGGIE 
			(About to correct JIMMY when he 
			 spots PAUL approaching the corner) 
		Jesus, man, you're one fucking mess.
 
				PAUL 
			(Shrugs)
		It could have been worse. If the cops hadn't 
		come, I might not be standing here now.
 
				AUGGIE 
		Cops? You mean they nabbed those cruds?
 
                           PAUL 
		No. The ... uh ... the Bobbsey Twins lit out 
		when they heard the sirens. But at least they 
		stopped playing that marimba duet on my skull. 
			(Pause. Smiles) 
		Assaultus interruptus.
 
                         AUGGIE 
			(Studying PAUL'S wounds) 
		Fuckus my assus. They did some number on you.
 
				PAUL 
		For once in my life I managed to keep my mouth 
		shut. There's something to be said for that, I 
		suppose.
 
	JIMMY, who has been watching PAUL intently since his arrival, gently
	and hesitantly raises his hand and touches PAUL'S bruised face. PAUL
	winces slightly.
 
				JIMMY 
		Does it hurt?
 
				AUGGIE 
		Of course it hurts. What does it look like?
 
				JIMMY
			(Quietly)
		I thought maybe he was pretending.
 
				PAUL 
			(To AUGGIE) 
		You haven't heard from Rashid, have you?
 
				AUGGIE 
		Not a peep.

				PAUL 
		I spoke to his aunt a couple of days ago, but 
		she hasn't heard from him either. It's 
		beginning to get a little scary.
 
				AUGGIE 
		That could be a good sign, though. It could 
		mean that he got away.
 
				PAUL 
		Or didn't. 
			(Pause) 
		There's no way of knowing, is there?
 
56.	EXT: DAY. A BROOKLYN STREET
 
	We see PAUL walking down the street, returning home. He spots a young
	black man from behind. He is wearing the same red "FIRE" T-shirt that
	RASHID was wearing in Scene 48. PAUL, growing excited, limps forward to
	catch up with him. Once he gets close enough, he taps the young man on
 	the shoulder.
 
				YOUNG MAN
			(Wheeling around as if he 
			 had been attacked. Angrily) 
		What the fuck you want, mister?
 
				PAUL 
			(Embarrassed) 
		I'm sorry. I thought you were someone else.
 
				YOUNG MAN
		I ain't someone else, got it? You can go fuck 
		yourself with your someone else.
 
57.	INT: NIGHT. PAUL'S APARTMENT
 
	PAUL, sitting in his easy chair, continues to work on his story by
	hand. The apartment has more or less been put back in order, but
	several traces of the CREEPER'S visit remain: bits of broken furniture,
	a pile of destroyed books in one corner, etc.
 
	After a few moments, PAUL gets up from his chair, walks over to the
	television set, and turns it on. We hear the crowd noises of a baseball
	game, the voice of the announcer describing the action, but there is no
	image: Only a single white line across the black screen. PAUL mutters
	under his breath and pounds the top of the TV. An image jumps into
	view: a baseball game in progress. PAUL backs up to watch. The moment
	he steps back, the image vanishes. Once again we see the white line
	across the black screen. PAUL steps forward and pounds the TV again.
	Nothing happens. He pounds again, and still the white line remains.
	The camera moves in slowly for a close-up of the TV screen. The camera
	travels through it, into the darkness. After a moment we hear the
	clicking of PAUL'S keyboard. The sounds of typing resonate in the void.
 
58.	EXT: LATE MORNING. THE BROOKLYN PROMENADE
 
	Sunday, late morning, brilliant sunshine. Against the backdrop of lower
	Manhattan, we see the summer weekend crowd along the Promenade: old
	people on benches reading newspapers, young couples out with their
	babies, girls on roller skates, boys on skateboards, bag ladies, bums.
	Traveling camera. Amongst the bustle of bodies and colors, we see the
	Brooklyn Bridge off to the right, a spider web of cables set against
	the buildings of upper Manhattan; to the left we see the expanse of New
	York Harbor, the Staten Island ferry, the Statue of Liberty. AUGGIE and
	RUBY are walking along the promenade, deep in conversation. AUGGIE is
	clean-shaven, his hair is slicked back, and he is wearing his white
	pants and a bright red Hawaiian shirt. RUBY is wearing sunglasses,
	black toreador pants, and spike heels.
 
				AUGGIE 
		So you're just going to give up and go home?
 
				RUBY 
		I don't have much choice, do I? It's pretty 
		clear she doesn't want me around.
 
				AUGGIE 
			(Thinks) 
		Still, you can't just write her off.
 
				RUBY 
		Yeah? And what else am I supposed to do? 
		There's no baby anymore, and if she wants to 
		throw away her life, that's her business.
 
				AUGGIE 
		She's just a kid. There's time for more babies 
		later. After she grows up.
 
				RUBY 
		Dream on, Auggie. She'll be lucky to make it to 
		her nineteenth birthday.
 
				AUGGIE 
		Not if you got her into one of those rehab 
		programs.
 
				RUBY 
		I'd never be able to talk her into it. And even 
		if I could, those things cost money. And that's 
		just what I don't have. I'm flat out dead broke.
 
				AUGGIE
		No you're not.
 
				RUBY 
			(She stops) 
		Are you calling me a liar? I'm telling you I'm 
		broke. I don't even have insurance on my 
		goddamned car.
 
				AUGGIE 
			(Ignoring her remark) 
		Remember that business venture I was telling 
		you about? Well, my tugboat came in. I'm flush.
 
				RUBY 
			(Pouting) 
		Bully for you.
 
				AUGGIE 
		No, bully for you. 

	He reaches into his pocket, pulls out a long white envelope, and hands
	it to RUBY.
 
				RUBY 
		What's this?

 				AUGGIE 
		Why don't you open it and find out?
 
				RUBY 
			(Opens the envelope. It 
			 is filled with cash) 
		Jesus God, Auggie. There's money in here.
 
				AUGGIE
		Five thousand bucks.
 
				RUBY 
			(Incredulous) 
		And you're giving it to me?
 
				AUGGIE
		It's all yours, baby.

				RUBY 
			(Moved, to the point of tears) 
		For keeps?
 
				AUGGIE
		For keeps.
 
				RUBY 
			(Now crying in earnest)
		I can't believe it. Oh God, I can't believe it. 
			(Pause, to catch her breath) 
		You're an angel, Auggie. An angel from heaven. 

	She tries to put her arms around him, but AUGGIE squirms away.
 
				AUGGIE 
		Fuck this angel shit. Just take the dough, 
		Ruby. But no bawling, okay? I can't stand 
		people who blubber.
 
				RUBY 
		I'm sorry, baby. I can't help it.
 
	RUBY pulls a handkerchief from her purse and blows her nose, honking 
	loudly. AUGGIE lights a cigarette. After a moment they start walking 
	again.

				AUGGIE
		There's just one thing I want to know.
 
				RUBY 
			(More composed) 
		Anything, Auggie. Just name it.
 
	AUGGIE stops walking.
 
				AUGGIE
		Felicity. 
			(Pause) 
		She's not my daughter, is she?
 
	Long pause. Close-up of RUBY'S face.
 
				RUBY 
		I don't know, Auggie. She might be. Then again, 
		she might not. Mathematically speaking, there's 
		a fifty-fifty chance. It's your call.
 
	Close-up of AUGGIE'S face. After a moment, he begins to smile. Fade
	out.
 
59.	EXT: DAY. SEVENTH AVENUE
 
	We see PAUL walking down the crowded street with a manila envelope
	tucked under his arm.
 
60.	INT: DAY. THE BOOKSTORE
 
	We see APRIL behind the counter. She is ringing up a sale for a
	CUSTOMER, an Indian woman dressed in a sari.
 
	PAUL enters the store and approaches the counter. When APRIL looks up
	and notices who it is, her face brightens -- then instantly shows alarm
	at the sight of PAUL'S wounds and bandages. She completely forgets
	about the customer.
 
				APRIL
		Jesus, what happened to you?
 
				PAUL 
			(Shrugging it off) 
		It looks worse than it is. I'm okay.
 
				APRIL
		What happened?
 
				PAUL 
		I'll tell you all about it...
			(Glancing around the store)
		... but not here.
 
				APRIL 
			(Pause. Shyly) 
		It's been a while. I thought maybe you'd be in 
		touch.
 
				PAUL 
		Yeah, well, I've sort of been out of commission. 
			(Pause) 
		How's Melville?
 
				APRIL 
		Almost done. A week or ten days, and I'll be 
		there.
 
				CUSTOMER 
			(Growing impatient) 
		Miss, could I have my change, please?
 
				APRIL 
		Oh, I'm sorry. 
			(Hands the woman her change)
 
				CUSTOMER
		And my book.

				APRIL 
		Sorry. 
			(She slips the book -- Portrait of a Lady 
			 -- into a bag and gives it to the woman)
 
	The CUSTOMER leaves, glancing over her shoulder with a disapproving 
	look at APRIL and PAUL.
 
				PAUL 
			(Extending the manila envelope to APRIL) 
		I finished my story. I thought you might want 
		to take a look at it.
 
				APRIL 
			(Taking the envelope -- and at the same 
			 moment understanding the significance 
			 of PAUL'S gesture. She begins to smile) 
		I'd love to.
 
				PAUL 
		Good. I hope you like it. It was a long time in 
		coming.

				APRIL 
			(Glancing at her watch) 
		I get off for lunch in ten minutes. Can I treat 
		you to a hamburger?
 
				PAUL 
			(Awkwardly) 
		Uh ... actually, it might be better if you read 
		the story first. Call me when you're finished, 
		okay?
 
				APRIL 
			(A bit mystified, but putting a 
			 good face on her disappointment) 
		Okay. I'll read it tonight and call you 
		tomorrow. 
			(Weighing the envelope in her hand) 
		It doesn't seem to be too long.
 
				PAUL
		Forty-one pages.
 
	Another CUSTOMER -- a young white man of about twenty -- appears at
	the counter with a copy of On the Road. PAUL begins backing toward the
	door.

				PAUL (cont'd)
		You won't forget to call?
 
				APRIL 
		I won't forget. I promise.
 
61.	INT: NIGHT. PAUL'S APARTMENT
 
	The telephone rings -- two, three, four times -- but no one is there to
	answer it. Cut to:
 
62	INT: NIGHT. THE BROOKLYN CIGAR CO.

	Shot of the empty store. We hear a telephone ringing in the distance.
 
63.	INT: NIGHT. AUGGIE'S APARTMENT
 
	AUGGIE is sitting alone at his kitchen table, removing recently
	developed photographs from a yellow Kodak envelope. The 1990 album lies
	open on the table before him. One by one, AUGGIE affixes a small white
	label to the lower-right-hand corner of each image, carefully marking
	the date on each label with a pen: 7-30-90, 7-31-90; 8-1-90; etc. Then,
	one by one, he slips each photo into its appropriate place in the
	album. AUGGIE smokes a cigarette, hums a song under his breath, sips
	from a glass of bourbon. He looks like a beachcomber: unshaven, tousled
	hair, bare-chested, wearing a pair of baggy shorts.
 
	The telephone is ringing. Not to be rushed, AUGGIE slides another photo
 	into its place, takes a sip of his drink, and then, finally, answers
	the phone.
 
				AUGGIE 
		Bureau of Missing Persons. Sergeant Fosdick.
			(Pause. Listens) 
		Well, blow me down. Peter Rabbit's alive. 
			(Pause. Listens) 
		Yeah, that's cool.  No problem. 
			(Pause. Listens) 
		Danzinger Road, Peekskill. 
			(Pause. Listens) 
		Yeah, I got it. I don't need no pencil. 
			(Pause. Listens) 
		How the hell do I know? I can't help it if he's 
		not answering his phone. 
			(Pause. Listens) 
		So you're the one who called the cops, huh? 
		Good work. 
			(Pause. Listens) 
		Yeah, I mean it. Good work. It probably saved 
		his skin.  
			(Pause. Listens) 
		You got that right. Bad. You owe him a lot, 
		keemosabbe. 
			(Pause. Listens) 
		No, not tomorrow. I have to work, chuckle 
		brain -- remember? 
			(Pause. Listens) 
		No, not Saturday either. Sunday. 
			(Pause. Listens) 
		Yeah. Right. Okay. 
			(Smiles) 
		Yeah, and kiss my ass, too. 
			(Pause. Listens. Smiles again) 
		You, too. 
			(Hangs up the phone)
 
64.	EXT: DAY. PAUL'S STREET
 
	Sunday morning. PAUL and AUGGIE are walking together on the sidewalk.
	PAUL is carrying RASHID'S backpack.
 
				PAUL
		So what did he say when he called?
 
                         AUGGIE 
		Nothing much. He said his socks and underpants 
		were dirty, and would we mind driving up with 
		his things. 
			(Pause) 
		Fucking kids, huh? They take you for granted 
		every time.
 
	AUGGIE stops in front of a car parked at the curb: a fifteen-year-old
	red Coupe de Ville.
 
				PAUL 
			(Impressed) 
		Nice machine, Auggie. Where'd you find it?
 
				AUGGIE 
		It's Tommy's. The sucker owed me a favor.
 
	AUGGIE unlocks the door on the passenger side, then walks around the
	car to unlock the door on the driver's side.
 
				PAUL 
			(Opening the door) 
		It's not a long drive. An hour, an hour and a 
		half. We'll be back in time for dinner.
 
				AUGGIE 
		We'd better be. I haven't spent a night out of 
		Brooklyn in fourteen years, and I'm not about 
		to break my record now. Besides, I've got to be 
		on my corner at eight sharp tomorrow morning.
 
	They both climb into the car. AUGGIE starts up the engine. Cut to:
 
65.	INT/EXT: DAY. PEEKSKILL. COLE'S GARAGE
 
	We see RASHID painting the walls in the upstairs room. The room has
	been transformed since the last time we saw it. It is entirely bare now
	and neat as a pin. With each touch of white paint that RASHID applies
	to the walls, the look of the place improves. He works with care, proud
	of what he has accomplished so far.
 
	Suddenly: the noise of a car down below. RASHID goes to the open window
	and looks out. Cut to:
 
	From RASHID'S POV: We see CYRUS, DOREEN, and JUNIOR pull up in the blue
	Ford. They get out. DOREEN is carrying a large picnic cooler. CYRUS
	opens the back door and unbuckles JUNIOR from his seat.
 
				RASHID (OFF) 
			(Mumbling, alarm in his voice) 
		Oh, Jesus. What are they doing here on Sunday?
 
				DOREEN 
			(Waving up to RASHID) 
		Hi, Paul. We decided to have a picnic. Want to 
		join us?
 
	Cut to RASHID at the window:
 
				RASHID 
		Uh, yeah, sure. 
			(Pause) 
		Just a minute. I'll be down in a minute.
 
	Cut to RASHID in the upstairs room. He crouches down, puts the brush he
	has been working with on top of the open paint can, and begins wiping
	his hands with a rag when, suddenly, the noise of another car is heard
	down below. RASHID stands up to have a look. Cut to:
 
	From RASHID'S POV: We see the red Coupe de Ville limping into the
	station with a flat tire. The car stops. PAUL and AUGGIE climb out.
	Cut to:
 
	Close-up of RASHID, looking out the window. His face registers panic,
	alarm.
 
				RASHID 
		Jesus Christ!
 
	He begins running toward the door, hoping to get downstairs to PAUL and
	AUGGIE before CYRUS can reach them. In his haste, he kicks over the
	open paint bucket.
 
	The scene ends with a close-up of white paint oozing over the bare wood
	floor.
 
66.	EXT: DAY. IN FRONT OF COLE'S GARAGE
 
	Shot of CYRUS, DOREEN, and JUNIOR by the picnic table, unpacking their
	lunch. The camera pans from CYRUS -- beginning to walk toward PAUL and
	AUGGIE -- to PAUL and AUGGIE, who are standing by the gas pumps. We see
	PAUL and AUGGIE looking in the direction of the office, smiles
	beginning to form on their faces. At the precise instant CYRUS gets to
	them, RASHID enters the frame, panting hard from his dash down the
	stairs.
 
				PAUL 
			(To RASHID) 
		Hi, kid.
 
				RASHID 
			(Looking at PAUL'S wounds and 
			 bandages. He is shocked) 
		Wow. They sure did a job on you.
 
				PAUL 
		Research. I worked the scene right into my 
		story. 
			(Pause) 
		That makes the medical bills one hundred 
		percent tax deductible.
 
				AUGGIE 
			(Under his breath) 
		Try selling that one to the IRS.
 
				CYRUS 
			(Watching the exchange with a 
			 confused look on his face. To RASHID) 
		You know these men? 
			(Gesturing to the flat tire)
		I thought we had some customers.
 
				AUGGIE 
		Yeah, he knows us. But you've also got some 
		customers. 
			(Wheels around and kicks 
			 the Coupe de Ville) 
		Fucking Tommy. Leave it to him to drive around 
		with bald tires.
 
				PAUL 
		We came here to deliver some clean laundry.
 
				RASHID 
			(To CYRUS) 
		It's all right. I really do know them.
 
				CYRUS 
			(Still confused, but 
			 trying to be friendly) 
		I'm the owner here. Cyrus Cole. 
			(Extends his right hand to AUGGIE)
 
				AUGGIE 
			(Shaking CYRUS'S hand) 
		Augustus Wren.
 
	CYRUS extends his right hand to PAUL.
 
				PAUL 
			(Shaking CYRUS'S hand) 
		Paul Benjamin.
 
	Cut to close-up of RASHID'S face. The sky has just fallen on top of 
	him.
 
				CYRUS 
			(More confused than ever. 
			 Turning to RASHID) 
		That's funny. His name is the same as yours.
 
				RASHID 
			(In a panic) 
		Well, you and Junior have the same name, too, 
		don't you?
 
				CYRUS 
		Yeah, but he's my son. Nothing strange about 
		that. He's my own flesh and blood. But here 
		you got the same name as this man here, and 
		you're not even the same color.
 
				RASHID 
			(Improvising) 
		That's how we met. We're members of the 
		International Same Name Club. Believe it or 
		not, there are 846 Paul Benjamins in America. 
		But only two in the New York metropolitan area. 
		That's how Paul and I got to be such good 
		friends. We're the only ones who show up at 
		the meetings.
 
				AUGGIE 
			(Disgusted) 
		You're full of crap, kid. Why don't you just 
		come clean and tell the man who you are?
 
	By now, drawn by curiosity, DOREEN has come over to where the four men
	are standing. She is carrying JUNIOR in her arms.
 
				CYRUS 
			(Turning to PAUL) 
		What the hell's going on, mister?
 
				PAUL 
			(Shrugs, gestures to RASHID) 
		You better ask him.
 
				AUGGIE
		Yeah, Rashid baby, spill it.
 
				DOREEN
			(In a loud voice) 
		Rashid?
 
				PAUL
			(To DOREEN) 
		Sometimes. It's what you'd call a nom de 
		guerre. 

				CYRUS
			(More and more confused) 
		What the hell are we talking about?
 
				AUGGIE 
			(To RASHID)
		Come on. Tell him your real name. The name on 
		your birth certificate.
 
	Close-up of RASHID'S face. His lower lip is trembling. Tears are
	beginning to form in his eyes.
 
				RASHID
			(Almost inaudibly) 
		Thomas.
 
				CYRUS
		Paul. Rashid. Thomas. Which one is it?
 
				RASHID
		Thomas.
 
				 AUGGIE 
			(Impatient) 
		Come on, come on, you yellow belly. The whole 
		thing. First name and last name.
 
				RASHID 
			(Trying to stall. Tears begin 
			 to slide down his cheeks) 
		What difference does it make?

				PAUL 
		If it doesn't make any difference, why not just 
		say it?

				RASHID 
			(To PAUL, his voice breaking)
		I was going to tell him ... but in my own time. 
		In my own time... .
 
				AUGGIE 
		No time like the present, man.
 
				CYRUS
			(To RASHID) 
		Well?
 
				RASHID 
			(Blinking back the tears. 
			 Looking at CYRUS) 
		Thomas Cole. My name is Thomas Jefferson Cole.
 
				CYRUS 
			(thunderstruck) 
		Are you making fun of me? I won't be mocked. Do 
		you hear me? I won't let no punk kid stand 
		there and mock me!
 
				DOREEN
			(Upset) 
		Cyrus!
 
				JUNIOR
			(Reaching out to CYRUS) 
		Dada.
 
				RASHID
			(Standing his ground) 
		Like it or not, Cyrus, that's my name. Cole. 
		Just like yours.
 
				PAUL 
			(To CYRUS) 
		Now ask him who his mother was.
 
				CYRUS 
			(Beside himself)
		I don't like this. I don't like it one bit.
 
				RASHID
		Louisa Vail. Remember her, Cyrus?
 
				CYRUS 
		You shut your mouth! You shut your mouth now!
 
	Unable to control his rage, CYRUS hauls off and slugs RASHID in the 
	face. RASHID falls to the ground.
 
				AUGGIE 
			(Alarmed) 
		Hey, cut it out!
 
	AUGGIE takes a wild swing and clips CYRUS in the mouth. DOREEN, seeing
	her husband attacked, gives AUGGIE a quick kick in the shins. AUGGIE
	lets out a yell and starts hopping up and down in pain.
 
				DOREEN 
			(To AUGGIE) 
		Damn you. There'll be none of that on my watch, 
		you dumpy bag of shit.
 
	DOREEN puts down JUNIOR. The little boy immediately runs over to PAUL
	and whacks him on his bad arm. PAUL howls in pain and drops to the
	ground. The whole scene is quickly degenerating into chaos.
 
	In the meantime, RASHID has climbed back to his feet. He lines up
	CYRUS, rushes toward him, and tackles him to the ground. The two of
	them roll around on the macadam, fighting with all their strength.
	After a moment, it looks as though CYRUS is getting the better of the
	struggle. AUGGIE tries to pull them apart, but to no avail.
 
				DOREEN (cont'd) 
			(Pounding CYRUS on the 
			 back with her fists) 
		Stop it! Stop it! You'll kill him, Cyrus!
 
	DOREEN'S shrieking voice brings the fight to a momentary halt. CYRUS
	rolls off RASHID and stands up. RASHID stands up as well. But the
	hatred between them has not subsided. CYRUS raises his hook.
 
				DOREEN (cont'd) 
			(Screaming) 
		He's your son, goddammit! He's your son! Do you 
		want to kill your son?
 
	Suddenly: CYRUS stops. He lowers his arm and buries his face in his
	right hand. A moment later, he breaks down and weeps. His sobbing makes
	a terrible sound: pure, animal misery. He staggers around, then falls
	to his knees, unable to stop the tears.
 
	Cut to RASHID. He stands there without moving, watching CYRUS. He drops
	his arms to his sides, unclenches his fists. Tears are pouring down his
	cheeks, he is breathing hard. Close-up of his face.
 
	Fade out.
 
67.	EXT: DAY. THE PICNIC TABLE OUTSIDE COLE'S GARAGE
 
	Some time later.
 
	Long shot. We see everyone from the previous scene sitting at the
	picnic table eating lunch: fried chicken, lemonade, potato chips, etc.
	The image has the effect of a still life.
 
	DOREEN is sitting next to CYRUS. RASHID is holding JUNIOR in his arms,
	gently rocking him as the child drinks milk from a bottle with his eyes
	closed. AUGGIE and PAUL are sitting next to each other, eating chicken
	and listening to DOREEN (who is the only one who has the energy to
	talk). CYRUS looks sullen, defeated. Every once in a while, he steals a
	glance at RASHID. RASHID, however, pretends to ignore him, keeping his
	eyes fixed on the sleeping JUNIOR.
 
	At first we hear nothing. Then the camera moves in for a closer shot
	and we can begin to make out what DOREEN is saying. As she speaks, we
	see Paul reach into his pocket and take out a tin of his little cigars.
	He leans forward and offers one to CYRUS, but CYRUS reaches into his
	own pocket and offers PAUL a big cigar. Paul accepts and lights up.
	CYRUS then lights up one of his own.
 
				DOREEN 
		... It might not have been the smartest 
		investment, but it didn't cost much, and if 
		Cyrus can make a go of it, we'll be able to 
		take care of our needs. The man knows his way 
		around cars, I'll tell you that, but the 
		problem is this road is too far off the beaten 
		track. Ever since they put in that mall, the 
		traffic hasn't been too heavy around here. But 
		you take the good with the bad, right? You do 
		your best and hope that things work out...

	Music begins to play. Cut to:

68. 	BLACK SCREEN
 
	The music continues. After a few moments, the following words appear on
	the screen: "THREE MONTHS LATER."
 
69.	EXT: DAY. ELEVATED SUBWAY, BROOKLYN
 
	The music continues to play. We see an elevated subway train snaking
	along the tracks in the dim November light.
 
70. 	INT: DAY. THE BROOKLYN CIGAR CO.
 
	AUGGIE is behind the counter, wearing a flannel shirt. The three OTB
	MEN are there with him, as in Scene 2. JIMMY enters the store and
	places a paper bag on the counter in front of AUGGIE, then slides
	around the counter and takes a seat beside AUGGIE. JIMMY studies his
	watch. AUGGIE removes a cup of take-out coffee from the bag. He lifts
	off the cover and steam rises from the cup. In the meantime, we see and
	hear the OTB MEN talking.
 
				TOMMY
		Of course there's gonna be a war. You think 
		they'd send five hundred thousand troops over 
		there just to lie in the sun? I mean, there's 
		plenty of beach, but not a hell of a lot of 
		water. Half a million soldiers. It ain't no 
		seaside holiday, you can bet on that.
 
				JERRY 
		I don't know, Tommy. You think anyone gives a 
		rat's ass about Kuwait? I read something about 
		the head sheik over there. He marries a 
		different virgin every Friday and then divorces 
		her on Monday. You think we want to have our 
		kids dying for a guy like that?
 
				DENNIS 
		That's one way of upholding American values, 
		eh, Tommy?
 
				TOMMY
		Laugh all you want. I'm telling you there's 
		gonna be a war. With things in Russia falling 
		apart, those slobs in the Pentagon'll be out of 
		work unless they find a new enemy. They got 
		this Saddam character now, and they're going to 
		hit him with all they've got. Mark my words.
 
	PAUL enters the store wearing a scarf and leather jacket. The OTB MEN
	stop talking and study him as he approaches the counter.
 
				AUGGIE
			(To PAUL) 
		Hey, man, how's it going?
 
				PAUL
		Hi, Auggie.
 
	Without waiting for PAUL to ask, AUGGIE turns around, pulls out two
	tins of Schimmelpennincks from the cigar cabinet, and places them on
	the counter.
 
				AUGGIE
		Two, right?
 
				PAUL
		Uh, better make it one.
 
				AUGGIE
		You usually get two.
 
				PAUL
		Yeah, I know, but I'm trying to cut down. 
			(Pause) 
		Somebody's worried about my health.

				AUGGIE
			(Twitching his eyebrows playfully) 
		Ah-hah.
 
	PAUL shrugs with embarrassment, then slowly breaks into a warm smile.
 
				AUGGIE (cont'd) 
		And how's the work going these days, maestro?
 
				PAUL 
			(Still grinning. Absentmindedly) 
		Fine. 
			(Pause. Pulling himself together) 
		Or it was until a couple of days ago. A guy 
		from The New York Times called and asked me 
		to write a Christmas story. They want to 
		publish it on Christmas Day.
 
				AUGGIE 
		That's a feather in your cap, man. The paper 
		of record.
 
				PAUL 
		Yeah, great. The problem is, I have four days 
		to come up with something, and I don't have a 
		single idea. 
			(Pause) 
		You know anything about Christmas stories?
 
				AUGGIE 
			(Blustering) 
		Christmas stories? Sure, I know a ton of 'em.
 
				PAUL 
		Anything good?
 
		 		AUGGIE 
		Good? Of course. Are you kidding? 
			(Pause)
		I'll tell you what. Buy me lunch, my friend, 
		and I'll tell you the best Christmas story you 
		ever heard. How's that? And I guarantee every 
		word of it is true.
 
				PAUL 
			(Smiling) 
		It doesn't have to be true. It just has to be 
		good.
 
				AUGGIE 
			(Turning to JIMMY ROSE) 
		Take over the register while I'm gone, okay, 
		Jimmy? 
			(Begins to extricate himself 
			 from behind the counter)
 
				JIMMY ROSE 
		You want me to do it, Auggie? You sure you want 
		me to do it?
 
				AUGGIE 
		Sure I'm sure. Just remember what I taught you. 
		And don't let any of these kibitzers cause 
		you trouble. 
			(Gestures to OTB MEN) 
		You got a problem, you come and see me. I'll 
		be down the block at Jack's.
			(To PAUL) 
		Jack's okay?

				PAUL
		Jack's is fine.

	PAUL and AUGGIE leave the store together.
 
71.	INT: DAY. JACK'S RESTAURANT
 
	A cramped and boisterous kosher delicatessen with sports photographs on
	the walls: old Brooklyn Dodger teams, the 1969 Mets, a portrait of
	Jackie Robinson. PAUL and AUGGIE are sitting at a table in the back,
	studying the menus.
 
				PAUL 
			(Closing menu) 
		I have to pee.  If the waiter comes, order me 
		a corned beef on rye and a ginger ale, okay?
 
				AUGGIE 
		You got it.

	PAUL stands up and leaves to go to the men's room. Alone at the table,
	AUGGIE glances down at the empty chair next to him and sees a copy of
	the New York Post. The paper is open to an article with a headline that
	reads: "SHOOTOUT IN BROOKLYN." AUGGIE bends over to inspect the article
	more closely. Close-up of the article. We see photographs of CHARLES
	CLEMM (the CREEPER) and ROBERT GOODWIN and their names in the captions.
	A secondary headline reads: "ROBBERS KILLED IN JEWEL HEIST." In the
	meantime, as AUGGIE continues to study the article, the WAITER arrives
	to take his order. He is a round, balding, middle-aged man with a weary
	expression on his face.
 
				WAITER (OFF) 
		What'll it be, Auggie?
 
				AUGGIE 
			(Looking up) 
		Uh...  
			(Pointing to PAUL'S empty place) 
		My friend over here would like a corned beef on 
		rye and a ginger ale.

	Shot of WAITER holding pencil and order pad.
 
				WAITER 
		And what about for you?
 
				AUGGIE 
			(Reading the paper again. Suddenly 
			 remembers the WAITER is there) 
		Huh?
 
				WAITER 
		What about for you?
 
				AUGGIE 
		For me? 
			(Pause) 
		I'll have the same thing. 
			(Looks down at the article again)
 
				WAITER 
		Do me a favor, will you?
 
				AUGGIE 
			(Glancing up again) 
		What's that, Sol?
 
				WAITER 
		Next time, when you want two corned beef 
		sandwiches, say, "Two corned beef sandwiches." 
		When you want two ginger ales, say, "Two 
		ginger ales."
 
				AUGGIE 
		What's the difference?
 
				WAITER 
		It's simpler, that's what. It makes things go 
		faster.
 
				AUGGIE 
			(Mystified. Humoring the WAITER) 
		Uh, sure, Sol. Anything you say. Instead of 
		saying, "One corned beef sandwich," and then, 
		"Another corned beef sandwich," I'll say, "Two 
		corned beef sandwiches."
 
				WAITER 
			(Deadpan)
		Thanks. I knew you'd understand.
 
	The WAITER leaves. AUGGIE looks down at the article again. PAUL returns
	and sits down in his chair across from AUGGIE.
 
				PAUL
			(Settling in) 
		So. Are we ready? 

				AUGGIE 
		Ready. Any time you are. 

				PAUL
		I'm all ears.
 
				AUGGIE 
		Okay. 
			(Pause. Thinks) 
		You remember how you once asked me how I 
		started taking pictures? Well, this is the 
		story of how I got my first camera. As a matter 
		of fact, it's the only camera I've ever had. 
		Are you following me so far?
 
				PAUL
		Every word.
 
				AUGGIE 
			(Close-up of AUGGIE'S face) 
		Okay. 
			(Pause) 
		So this is the story of how it happened. 
			(Pause) 
		Okay. 
			(Pause)
		It was the summer of 'seventy-six, back when I 
		first started working for Vinnie. The summer of 
		the bicentennial. 
			(Pause) 
		A kid came in one morning and started stealing 
		things from the store. He's standing by the 
		rack of paperbacks near the front window 
		stuffing skin magazines under his shirt. It 
		was crowded around the counter just then, so I 
		didn't see him at first....
 
	AUGGIE'S face dissolves into PAUL'S. Black-and-white footage begins: we
	see AUGGIE acting out the events he describes to PAUL. This scene
	exactly duplicates the events shown earlier in Scenes 2 and 3 -- with
	one difference. The thief is now ROGER GOODWIN, the same person who
	beat up PAUL in Scene 54, the same person whose picture AUGGIE has just
	noticed in the newspaper. The events unfold in silence, accompanied by
	AUGGIE'S voice-over narration.
 
				AUGGIE (VOICE-OVER) 
		But once I noticed what he was up to, I started 
		to shout. He took off like a jackrabbit, and by 
		the time I managed to get out from behind the 
		counter, he was already tearing down Seventh 
		Avenue. I chased after him for about half a 
		block, and then I gave up. He'd dropped 
		something along the way, and since I didn't 
		feel like running anymore, I bent down to see 
		what it was.
 
	We see AUGGIE chasing the kid, giving up, and bending down for the
	wallet. He starts walking back to the store.
 
				AUGGIE (VOICE-OVER) 
		It turned out to be his wallet. There wasn't 
		any money inside, but his driver's license was 
		there, along with three or four snapshots. I 
		suppose I could have called the cops and had 
		him arrested. I had his name and address from 
		the license, but I felt kind of sorry for him. 
		He was just a measly little punk, and once I 
		looked at those pictures in his wallet, I 
		couldn't bring myself to feel very angry at 
		him....
 
	We see AUGGIE examining the pictures. Close-ups of the pictures.
 
				AUGGIE (VOICE-OVER) 
		Roger Goodwin. That was his name. In one of the 
		pictures, I remember, he was standing next to 
		his mother. In another one, he was holding some 
		trophy he got from school and smiling like he 
		just won the Irish Sweepstakes. I just didn't 
		have the heart. A poor kid from Brooklyn 
		without much going for him, and who cared about 
		a couple of dirty magazines, anyway?
 
	Cut to Jack's Restaurant. The WAITER arrives at the table with their
	orders.
 
				WAITER 
		Here you go, boys. Two corned beef sandwiches. 
		Two ginger ales. The fast way. The simple way. 
			(He leaves)
 
				PAUL 
			(Putting mustard on his sandwich) 
		And?
 
				AUGGIE 
			(Taking a sip of his drink) 
		So I held onto the wallet. Every once in a 
		while I'd get a little urge to send it back to 
		him, but I kept delaying and never did anything 
		about it. 
			(Puts mustard on his sandwich) 
		Then Christmas rolls around, and I'm stuck with 
		nothing to do. Vinnie was going to invite me 
		over, but his mother got sick, and he and his 
		wife had to go down to Florida at the last 
		minute. 
			(Takes a bite of the sandwich, chews) 
		So I'm sitting in my apartment that morning, 
		feeling a little sorry for myself, and then I 
		see Roger Goodwin's wallet lying on a shelf in 
		the kitchen. I figure what the hell, why not do 
		something nice for once, and I put on my coat 
		and go out to return the wallet... .
 
	Cut to black-and-white footage: the housing projects in Boerum Hill. We
	see AUGGIE wandering alone among the buildings, bundled up against the
	cold. At the same time, we hear:
 
				AUGGIE (VOICE-OVER) 
		The address was over in Boerum Hill, somewhere
		in the projects. It was freezing out that day, 
		and I remember getting lost a few times trying 
		to find the right building. Everything looks 
		the same in that place, and you keep going over 
		the same ground thinking you're somewhere else. 
		Anyway, I finally get to the apartment I'm 
		looking for and ring the bell...
 
	Shot of AUGGIE walking down a corridor in the housing projects;
	graffiti on the cinder-block walls. He stops in front of a door and
	pushes the buzzer.
 
				AUGGIE (VOICE-OVER) 
		Nothing happens. I assume no one's there, but I 
		try again just to make sure. I wait a little 
		longer, and just when I'm about to give up, I 
		hear someone shuffling to the door. An old 
		woman's voice asks, "Who's there?" and I say 
		I'm looking for Roger Goodwin. "Is that you, 
		Roger?" the old woman says, and then she undoes 
		about fifteen locks and opens the door....
 
	Shot of a very old black woman, GRANNY ETHEL, opening the door. A 
	rapturous, expectant smile is on her face. Even though the scene 
	unfolds in silence, we see AUGGIE and GRANNY ETHEL mouthing the 
	dialogue that AUGGIE repeats to PAUL.
 
				AUGGIE (VOICE-OVER) 
		She has to be at least eighty, maybe ninety 
		years old, and the first thing I notice about 
		her is she's blind. "I knew you'd come. Roger," 
		she says. "I knew you wouldn't forget your 
		Granny Ethel on Christmas." And then she opens 
		her arms as if she's about to hug me.
 
	We see AUGGIE hesitate for a second. As he reports the next little part 
	of the story, we see him giving in, opening his arms, and hugging 
	GRANNY ETHEL. The hug is then repeated in somewhat slower motion, then 
	again in slow motion; then again, in very slow motion: then again in 
	motion so slow that it appears as a sequence of still photographs.
 
				AUGGIE (VOICE-OVER) 
		I don't have much time to think, you understand. 
		I had to say something real fast, and before I 
		knew what was happening, I could hear the words 
		coming out of my mouth. "That's right, Granny 
		Ethel," I said. "I came back to see you on 
		Christmas." Don't ask me why I did it. I don't 
		have any idea. It just came out that way, and 
		suddenly this old woman's hugging me there in 
		front of the door, and I'm hugging her back. It 
		was like a game we both decided to play -- 
		without having to discuss the rules. I mean, 
		that woman knew I wasn't her grandson. She was 
		old and dotty, but she wasn't so far gone that 
		she couldn't tell the difference between a 
		stranger and her own flesh and blood. But it 
		made her happy to pretend, and since I had 
		nothing better to do anyway, I was happy to go 
		along with her....
 
	AUGGIE and GRANNY ETHEL enter the apartment and sit down in chairs in 
	the living room. We see them talking, laughing. Meanwhile, we hear:
 
				AUGGIE (VOICE-OVER) 
		So we went into the apartment and spent the day 
		together. Every time she asked me a question 
		about how I was, I would lie to her. I told her 
		I'd found a good job in a cigar store. I told 
		her I was about to get married. I told her a 
		hundred pretty stories, and she made like she 
		believed every one of them. "That's fine, 
		Roger," she would say, nodding her head and 
		smiling. "I always knew things would work out 
		for you...."
 
	The camera pans slowly through GRANNY ETHEL'S apartment, lingering
	momentarily on various objects. Among other things, we see portraits of
	Martin Luther King, Jr., John F. Kennedy, family photographs, balls of
	yarn, knitting needles. By the time this visual tour is completed, we
	see AUGGIE entering the apartment again, wearing his coat and carrying
	a large bag of groceries. As described in the simultaneous narration:
 
				AUGGIE (VOICE-OVER) 
		After a while, I started getting hungry. There 
		didn't seem to be much food in the house, so I 
		went out to a store in the neighborhood and 
		brought back a mess of stuff. A precooked 
		chicken, vegetable soup, a bucket of potato 
		salad, all kinds of things. Ethel had a couple 
		of bottles of wine stashed in her bedroom, and 
		so between us we managed to put together a 
		fairly decent Christmas dinner....
 
	We see AUGGIE and GRANNY ETHEL at the dining-room table: eating the
	food, drinking the wine, talking.
 
				AUGGIE (VOICE-OVER) 
		We both got a little tipsy from the wine, I 
		remember, and after the meal was over we went 
		out to sit in the living room where the chairs 
		were more comfortable... 
 
	We see AUGGIE leading GRANNY ETHEL by the arm and helping her into a
	chair. Then AUGGIE leaves the living room and walks to the bathroom
	down the hall.

				AUGGIE (VOICE-OVER) 
		I had to take a pee, so I excused myself and 
		went to the bathroom down the hall. That's 
		where things took another turn. It was ditsy 
		enough doing my little jig as Ethel's 
		grandson, but what I did next was positively 
		crazy, and I've never forgiven myself for 
		it....
 
	We see AUGGIE in the bathroom. As he pees, we see the boxes of cameras,
	just as he describes them.
 
				AUGGIE (VOICE-OVER) 
		I go into the bathroom, and stacked up against 
		the wall next to the shower, I see a pile of 
		six or seven cameras. Brand-new, thirty-five
		millimeter cameras, still in their boxes. I 
		figure this is the work of the real Roger, a 
		storage place for one of his recent hauls. 
		I've never taken a picture in my life, and I've 
		certainly never stolen anything, but the moment 
		I see those cameras sitting in the bathroom, I 
		decide I want one of them for myself. Just like 
		that. And without even stopping to think about 
		it, I tuck one of the boxes under my arm and go 
		back to the living room....
 
	We see AUGGIE return to the living room with the camera. GRANNY ETHEL
	is sleeping soundly in her chair. AUGGIE puts the camera down, clears
	the table, and washes the dishes in the kitchen.
 
				AUGGIE (VOICE-OVER) 
		I couldn't have been gone for more than three 
		minutes, but in that time Granny Ethel had 
		fallen asleep. Too much Chianti, I suppose. I 
		went into the kitchen to wash the dishes, and 
		she slept on through the whole racket, snoring 
		like a baby. There didn't seem to be any point 
		in disturbing her, so I decided to leave. I 
		couldn't even write a note to say good-bye, 
		seeing that she was blind and all, so I just 
		left. I put her grandson's wallet on the table, 
		picked up the camera again, and walked out of 
		the apartment... .
 
	We see AUGGIE bending over the sleeping GRANNY ETHEL and deciding not
	to wake her. We see him put the wallet on the table and pick up the
	camera. We see him walking out of the apartment. Shot of the closing
	door.
 
				AUGGIE (VOICE-OVER)
		And that's the end of the story.
 
	Cut to PAUL'S face. PAUL and AUGGIE are sitting at the table, eating
	the last bites of their sandwiches.
 
				PAUL
		Did you ever go back to see her?
 
				AUGGIE 
		Once, about three or four months later. I felt 
		so bad about stealing the camera, I hadn't 
		even used it yet. I finally made up my mind to 
		return it, but Granny Ethel wasn't there 
		anymore. Someone else had moved into the 
		apartment, and he couldn't tell me where she 
		was.
 
				PAUL
		She probably died.

				AUGGIE 
		Yeah, probably. 
 
				PAUL
 		Which means that she spent her last Christmas 
		with you.
 
				AUGGIE  
		I guess so. I never thought of it that way.
 
				PAUL 
		It was a good deed, Auggie. It was a nice thing 
		you did for her.
 
				AUGGIE 
		I lied to her, and then I stole from her. I 
		don't see how you can call that a good deed.
 
				PAUL 
		You made her happy. And the camera was stolen 
		anyway. It's not as if the person you took it 
		from really owned it.
 
				AUGGIE 
		Anything for art, eh, Paul?
 
				PAUL 
		I wouldn't say that. But at least you've put 
		the camera to good use.
 
				AUGGIE 
		And now you've got your Christmas story, don't 
		you?
 
				PAUL
			(Pause. Thinks) 
		Yes, I suppose I do.
 
	PAUL looks at AUGGIE. A wicked grin is spreading across AUGGIE'S face.
	The look in his eyes is so mysterious, so fraught with the glow of some
	inner delight, that PAUL begins to suspect that AUGGIE has made the
	whole thing up. He is about to ask AUGGIE if he has been putting him on
	-- but then stops, realizing that AUGGIE would never tell him. PAUL
	smiles.
 
				PAUL (cont'd) 
		Bullshit is a real talent, Auggie. To make up a 
		good story, a person has to know how to push 
		all the right buttons. 
			(Pause)
		I'd say you're up there among the masters.
 
				AUGGIE
		What do you mean?
 
				PAUL
		I mean, it's a good story.
 
				AUGGIE
		Shit. If you can't share your secrets with your 
		friends, what kind of friend are you?

				PAUL 
		Exactly. Life just wouldn't be worth living, 
		would it?
 
	AUGGIE is still smiling. PAUL smiles back at him. AUGGIE lights a
	cigarette; PAUL lights a little cigar. They blow smoke into the air,
	still smiling at each other.
 
	The camera follows the smoke as it rises toward the ceiling. Close-up
	of the smoke. Hold for three, four beats.

	The screen goes black. Music begins to play. Final credits.
 
 








Screenplay by Paul Auster


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