~ PART 1 ~ PART 2 ~ PART 3 ~ PART 4 ~

INT. SOCIAL ROOM - TOP FLOOR OF HIGH RISE - NIGHT

TYLER' s hand holds a HANDGUN with barrel lodged in JACK'S MOUTH.  Jack is sitting on a chair. They are both sweating and disheveled, both around 30; Tyler is blond, handsome (we can't see Tyler's face yet, only his body moving); and Jack, brunette, is appealing in a dry sort of way.

JACK (V.O.)
People are always asking me if I know Tyler Durden.

TYLER
Three minutes. This is it: Ground zero. Would you like to say a few words to mark the occasion?

JACK
...i...ann....iinn..ff...nnyin....

JACK (V.O.)
With a gun barrel between your teeth, you speak only in vowels.

Tyler removes the gun from Jack's mouth.

JACK
I can't think of anything.

JACK (V.O.)
For a second I totally forgot about Tyler's whole controlled demolition thing and I wonder how clean that gun is.

Tyler approaches the window so that he can see down --31 stories. 

TYLER
Getting exciting now.

JACK (V.O.)
That old saying, how you always hurt the one you love, well, it works both ways.

JACK (V.O.)
We have front row seats for this theater of Mass Destruction. The Demolitions Committee of Project Mayhem wrapped the foundation columns of a dozen buildings with blasting gelatin. In two minutes, primary charges will blow base charges, and a few square blocks will be reduced to smoldering rubble. I know this, because Tyler knows this.

Tyler looks at his watch.

TYLER
Two and a half. Think of everything we've accomplished.

JACK (V.O)
And suddenly I realize that all of this: the gun the bombs, the revolution...has got something to do with a girl named Marla Singer.

PULL BACK from Jack's face. It's pressed against TWO LARGE BREASTS that belong to...BOB, 45, a moose of a man. Jack is engulfed by Bob in an intense embrace. Bob weeps openly.

JACK (V.O.)
Bob. Bob had bitch tits.

PULL BACK TO WIDE ON...

INT. CHURCH MEETING ROOM - NIGHT

Men are paired off, hugging, talking in emotional tones. Near the door, a SIGN on a stand: "REMAINING MEN TOGETHER."

JACK (V.O.)
This was a support group for men with testicular cancer. The big moosie slobbering all over me...that was Bob.

BOB
We're still men.

JACK
Yes, we're men. Men is what we are.

JACK (V.O.)
Eight months ago, Bob's testicles were removed. Then hormone therapy. He developed bitch tits because his testosterone was too high and his body upped the estrogen. And that was where I fit--

BOB
They're gonna have to open my pecs again to drain the fluid.

Bob hugs tighter.

JACK (V.O.)
Between those huge sweating tits that hung enormous, the way you'd think of God's as big.

Bob looks with empathy into Jack's eyes.

BOB
Okay. You cry now.

JACK (V.O.)
No, wait. Back up. Let me start earlier.

INT. JACK'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

Jack lies in bed, staring at the ceiling.

JACK (V.O.)
For six months...I couldn't sleep.

INT. COPY ROOM - DAY

Echo " I couldn't sleep...I couldn't sleep...I couldn't sleep..."
Jack, sleepy, stands over a copy machine. His Starbucks cup sits on the lid, moving back and forth as the machine copies.

JACK (V.O.)
With insomnia, nothing's real. Everything is far away. Everything is a copy, of a copy, of a copy.

Other people make copies, all with Starbucks cups, sipping.

INT. JACK'S OFFICE - SAME

Jack's P.O.V. : A bin full of newspapers, Starbucks cup and FAST FOOD GARBAGE.

JACK (V.O.)
When deep space exploration ramps up, it will be corporations that name everything: The IBM Stellar Sphere. The Microsoft Galaxy. Planet Starbucks.

Jack, sipping stares blankly as his BOSS enters, Starbucks cup in hand, and hands a stack of reports.

BOSS
Gonna need you out-of-town a little more this week. We've got some "red-flags" to cover.

JACK (V.O.)
It must've been Tuesday. He was wearing his "cornflower-blue" tie.

JACK
(listless management speak)
You want me to de-prioritize my current reports until you advise of a status upgrade?

BOSS
Make these your primary "action items". Here are your flight coupons. Call me from the road if there are any snags.

Jack's boss slides the stack of reports on Jack's desk and leaves.

JACK (V.O.)
He was full of pep. Must've had his grande latte enema.

INT. BATHROOM - JACK'S CONDO - NIGHT

Jack sits on the toilet, CORDLESS PHONE to his ear, flips through an IKEA catalog. There's a stack of old PLAYBOY magazines and other catalogs nearby.

JACK (V.O.)
Like so many others, I had become a slave to the IKEA nesting instinct.

JACK
(into phone)
Yes, I'd like to order the Erika Peccary dust ruffles...

OPERATOR (V.O.)
Please hold.

Jack drops the catalog on the floor.

MOVE IN ON CATALOG - ON PHOTO of COFFEE TABLE SET...

JACK (V.O.)
If I saw something clever like coffee table sin the shape of a yin and yang, I had to have it.

INT. LIVING ROOM / DINING AREA / KITCHEN

JACK (V.O.)
The Klipske personal office unit, the Hovertrekke home exer-bike. Or the Johannshamnh sofa with the Strinne green stripe pattern...

The office unit APPEARS. Then the exer-bike APPEARS.

JACK (V.O.)
Even the Rislampa wire lamps of environmentally-friendly unbleached paper.

THE LAMP APPEARS. PAN OVER to wall...

JACK (V.O.)
I would flip through catalogs and wonder "what kind of dining set defines me as a person?"

A dining room set APPEARS. Jack, the cordless phone still glued to his ear, walks INTO FRAME and continues. Jack opens a cabinet with plates in it.

JACK (V.O.)
I had it all. Even the glass dishes with tiny bubbles and imperfections, proof they were crafted by the honest, simple, hard working people of...wherever.

OPERATOR (V.O.)
Please hold.

JACK
(into phone)
I was holding.

JACK( V.O.)
 We used to read pornography. Now it was the Horchow Collection.

Jack closes the cabinet. He rummages through the refrigerator. It's practically empty. Jack takes out a jar of mustard, opens it and uses a butter knife to eat it.

INT. DOCTOR'S OFFICE - DAY

Jack, eyes puffy, face pale, sits before an INTERN, who studies him with bemusement.

INTERN
No, you can't die from insomnia.

JACK
What about narcolepsy? I nod off, I wake up in strange places, I have no idea how I got there.

INTERN
You need to lighten up.

JACK
Can't you, please, just give me something?

JACK (V.O.)
Red-and-blue Tuinal lipstick-red seconals.

INTERN
(overlapping with above)
No. You need healthy, natural sleep. Chew some valerian root and get some more exercise.

The Intern rushes Jack to the door. They step into the...

INT. HALLWAY

The Intern walks away from Jack, picks up a chart.

JACK
Hey, come on. I'm in pain.

INTERN
(facetious)
You wanna see pain? Swing by First Methodist Tuesday night. See guys with testicular cancer. That's pain.

The intern moves into the other room. Jack stares after him.

EXT. FIRST METHODIST CHURCH - NIGHT

Jack heads for the front door.

INT. FIRST METHODIST CHURCH HALLWAY / STAIRS - NIGHT

Jack heads for the meeting room. We can hear music coming out of the room.

INT. FIRST METHODISTS CHURCH MEETING ROOM - NIGHT

Jack stares a group of men, including Bob.

INT. FIRST METHODISTS CHURCH MEETING ROOM - LATER

Jack sitting on a chair, puts on a NAMETAG on his shirt. They are all listening to a group member speak at a lectern. The SPEAKER has pale skin and sunken eyes -- he's clearly dying.

SPEAKER
I always wanted 3 kids. Two boys and a girl. Mindy wanted two girls and a boy. We never could agree on anything.

The speaker cracks a sad smile. Some men chuckle, happy to listen the mood.

SPEAKER
Well uh, she.. she had her first child last week, a...,a girl, with her uh...new husband...

MEMBER
(whispering)
Fuck...

SPEAKER
Hey, thank God. I'm glad for her, because, she deserves it....

The speaker breaks down, WEEPS UNCONTROLLABLY. Jack watches. The group leader go up to the speaker comforting him.

LEADER
Everyone, let's thank Thomas for sharing himself with us.

EVERYONE
(in unison)
Thank you, Thomas.

LEADER
I look around this room and I see a lot of courage. And that gives me strength. We give each other strength.

Jack looks around. Many of the men are sniffing, sobbing. Jack squirms in his seat.

LEADER
It's time for the one-on-one. Let's all of us follow Thomas's example and really open ourselves. Can anyone find a partner?

Everyone gets out of their chairs and begins pairing-off. Jack remains in his seat, uncomfortable. Bob, his chin down on his chest, starts toward Jack, shuffling in his feet.

JACK (V.O.)
And this is how I met the big moosie, his eyes already shrink-wrapped in tears. Knees together, those awkward little steps.

Jack watches him, his mouth hangs open.

Bob extends his hand. Jack takes it.

BOB
My name is Bob.

JACK
Bob!

Bob takes Jack into an embrace.

JACK (V.O.)
Bob had been a champion body-builder. You know that chest expansion program you see on late night TV? That was his idea.

BOB
I was a juicer. You know  Using steroids. Diabonol, then Wisterol, they use for racehorses for Christsakes. And now I'm bankrupt, I'm divorced, my two grown kids won't even return my calls...

JACK (V.O.)
Strangers with this kind of honesty make me do a big rubbery one.

Bob breaks into sobbing, putting his head on Jack's shoulder and completely covering Jack's face. After a long beat crying, Bob raises up his head, looks at Jack's NAMETAG.

BOB
Go ahead, Cornelius. You can cry.

Jack doesn't know how to react. Bob pulls Jack's head back into his chest.

JACK (V.O.)
And then something happened. I let go. Lost in oblivion -- dark and silent and complete. I found freedom. Losing all hope was freedom.

Jack cries and tightens his arms around Bob.

BOB
That's good...

Jack pulls away from Bob. On Bob's chest there's a WET MASK OF JACK'S FACE from how he looks weeping.

BOB
It's ok.

Bob hugs Jack and smiles.

INT. JACK'S BEDROOM -NIGHT

Jack lies asleep, snoring.

JACK (V.O.)
Babies don't sleep this well.

INT. SOCIAL HALLWAY - DAY

JACK (V.O.)
I became addicted.

Jack stares at a paper with SUPPORT GROUPS' s programs,  which is stack on a board. He looks around and then he grabs the paper.

INT. SMALL PROTESTANT CHURCH - NIGHT

Jack moves into a "group hug" of sickly people, men and women.

LEADER
Come on.

JACK (V.O.)
If I didn't say anything, people always assumed the worst.

MAN
Welcome, Travis.

ANOTHER MAN
Welcome, Travis.

In view is a sign by the door "Free and Clear".

INT. OFFICE BUILDING BASEMENT - NIGHT

Jack stands with a weeping middle-aged woman. He begins to cry along with her. A sign by the door: "Seize the day".

JACK (V.O.)
They cried harder. I cried harder.

INT. JACK'S OFFICE

Jack is sitting in his office and reads a newspaper. He notes other support groups.

INT. PUBLIC BUILDING CONFERENCE ROOM - NIGHT

Everyone, including Jack, sits back in their seats, EYES CLOSED. The Leader speaks into a microphone.

LEADER
Now we're going to open the green door - the heart chakra...

JACK (V.O.)
I wasn't really dying. I wasn't host to cancer or parasites; I was the warm little center that the life of this world crowded around.

LEADER
Imagine your pain as a white ball of healing light. It moves  over your body healing you. 

Jack, eyes closed, is silent...

LEADER
Now keep this going, remember to breathe...and step forward through the back door of the room. Where does it lead? To your cave...

INT. CAVE - JACK'S IMAGINATION

Jack walks along, moving through the ICE CAVERN.

LEADER'S VOICE
Step forward into your cave. That's right. You're going deeper into your cave. And you're going to find, your power animal...

Jack comes upon a PENGUIN. The penguin looks at him, cocks his head to signal Jack forward.

PENGUIN
Slide.

The penguin jumps onto a patch of ICE and slides away.

EXT. STREET - NIGHT

Jack walks out a doorway. He walks down the sidewalk, shining with peace.

JACK (V.O.)
Every evening I died, and every evening I was born again. Resurrected.

CUT BACK TO:

INT. FIRST METHODISTS CHURCH MEETING ROOM - RESUMING

Jack's still in an embrace with Bob.

JACK (V.O.)
Bob loved me, because he thought my testicles were removed too. Being there, pressed against his tits, ready to cry -- this was my vacation.

We hear noise from a woman's high heals. MARLA SINGER enters, smoking.  She has short hair matte black hair and big, dark eyes like a character from Japanese animation.

JACK (V.O.)
And she ruined everything.

Marla looks around.

MARLA
This is cancer, right?

Bob and Jack stare, dumbfounded.

INT. FIRST METHODIST CHURCH MEETING ROOM - LATER

Everyone sits back in their seats. MOVE THROUGH ROOM...FIND JACK'S FACE as he stares....MOVE THROUGH ROOM...FIND MARLA'S FACE. She's drinking coffee, smoking a cigarette.

JACK (V.O.)
This...chick...Marla Singer...did not have testicular cancer. She was a liar.

INT. SMALL PROTESTANT CHURCH - NIGHT

Marla sits with the group, smoking, listening intently while a member speaks. Jack spies on her.

JACK (V.O.)
She had no diseases at all. I had seen her at  "Free and Clear", my blood parasites group Thursdays.

INT. CHURCH CATHEDRAL - NIGHT

Marla sits at the of the row smoking. All the faces down the row are turned toward her, incredulous...

JACK (V.O.)
Then at Hope, my bimonthly sickle cell circle.

Jack leans out further than the others, scornful.

JACK (V.O.)
And again at "Seize the day", my tuberculosis Friday night.

INT. OFFICE BUILDING BASEMENT - NIGHT

Jack sits in his chair. He hears something behind his back. He turns--and it is MARLA who is lighting a cigarette.

JACK (V.O.)
Marla--the big tourist. Her lie reflected my lie. And suddenly I felt nothing. I couldn't cry. So, once again, I couldn't sleep.

EXT. FIRST METHODISTS CHURCH - NIGHT

Marla walks out. The support group dispersing. Jack exits amongst them. He spots Marla walking away. Jack stares Marla for a long moment. He walks away.

INT. BEDROOM - LATER

Jack lies awake.

JACK (V.O.)
Next group, after guided meditation, after we open our heart chakras, when it's time to hug, I'm gonna grab that little bitch Marla Singer and scream...

INT. MEETING ROOM - NIGHT - JACK'S IMAGINATION

CLOSE ON JACK as he GRABS Marla's arm. Everybody watches them.

JACK
Marla, you liar! You big tourist! I need this! Now get out!

INT. BEDROOM - RESUMING

JACK (V.O.)
I hadn't slept in four days...

Jack stands up and leaves the room.

INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

Jack in pajamas, stares at Home Shopping Network on his TV.

JACK (V.O.)
When you  have insomnia, you're never really asleep and you're never really awake.

INT. SMALL PROTESTANT CHURCH - NIGHT

Everyone sits in chairs.

LEADER
To begin tonight's communion, Chloe would like to say a few words.

Taking the lectern is CHLOE, a pale, sickly girl whose skin stretches yellowish and tight over bones. She wears a head bondage. She clears her throat.

JACK (V.O.)
Oh, yeah, Chloe. Chloe looked the way Meryl Streep's skeleton would look if you made it smile and walk around a party being extra nice to everybody.

CHLOE
Well, I'm still here--but I don't know for how long. That's as much certainty as anyone can give me. But I've got some good news -- I no longer have any fear of death.

APPLAUSE from around the room.

CHLOE
But...I am in a pretty lonely place. No one will have sex with me. I'm so close to the end and all I want is to get laid for the last time.
(leaning very close to the microphone)
I have pornographic movies in my apartment, and lubricants and amyl nitrate...--

The LEADER gingerly takes control of the microphone.

LEADER
Chloe. Everyone, let's thank Chloe.

EVERYONE
Thank you, Chloe.

LEADER
Now, let's ready our self for guided meditation.

 Jack catches sight of Marla.

LEADER
You're standing at the entrance to your cave. You step inside your cave and you walk.

Jack's face, eyes closed, motionless.

JACK (V.O.)
If I had a tumor, I'd named it Marla. Marla...the little scratch on the roof of your mouth that would heal if only you could stop tonguing it, but you can't.

LEADER
...deeper into your cave as you walk. You feel the healing energy of this place all around you. Now, find your power animal.

INT. CAVE - JACK'S IMAGINATION

Jack finds Marla smoking a cigarette. Marla cocks her head, indicating when wants him to --

MARLA
Slide.

INT. SMALL PROTESTANT CHURCH - RESUMING

Jack's eyes open and turn to Marla, watching her blow smoke rings with her eyes closed.

LEADER
Okay, let's partner up.

Everyone stands and mills about, pairing-off.

LEADER
Pick someone special to you tonight.

JACK  sees Marla, off by herself. Someone heads for her. Jack darts toward Marla. STAY ON JACK AND MARLA as Jack CLAMPS his arms around her. He whispers into her ear.

JACK
Hey. We need to talk.

MARLA
Sure.

JACK
I'm on to you. 

MARLA
What?

Yeah. You're a faker. You're not dying.

MARLA
Sorry?

JACK
In the Tibetan philosophy, Sylvia Plath sense of the word. I know we're all dying. But you're not dying the way Chloe back there is dying.

MARLA
So?

JACK
So, you're a tourist. Ok? I've seen you? I saw you at melanoma, I saw you at tuberculosis and I saw you at testicular cancer!

MARLA
 I saw you practicing this.

JACK
Practicing what?

MARLA
Telling me off. Is it going as well as you hoped...?
(reads his nametag)
"...Rupert"?

JACK
I'll expose you.

MARLA
Go ahead. I'll expose you.

LEADER
All right come together. Let yourselves cry.

Marla puts her head down on Jack's shoulder as if she were crying. Jack feels uncomfortable.

JACK
Oh, God, why are you doing this?

MARLA
It's cheaper that a movie and there's free coffee.

JACK
No, look. This is important ok? These are my groups, I've been coming here for over a year.

MARLA
Why do you do it?

JACK
I don't know. When people think you are dying, they really listen, instead--

MARLA
--instead of just waiting for their turn to speak.

JACK
Yeah. Yeah...

LEADER
Share yourself...completely.

JACK
(warning)
Ok, you don't want to get into this. It becomes an addiction.

MARLA
Really?

Jack pulls her away.

JACK
I'm not kidding! I can't cry if there's another faker person and I need this. So you got to find somewhere else to go.

MARLA
Candy-stripe a cancer ward. It's not my problem.

Marla starts out of the room. Jack follows her.

EXT. CHURCH - NIGHT - CONTINUOUS

Marla gets to the sidewalk, moving quickly along.

JACK
We'll split up the week, okay? You can have lymphoma and tuberculosis--

MARLA
You take tuberculosis, my smoking doesn't go over at all.

JACK
Ok, good, fine. Testicular cancer should be no contest, I think.

MARLA
Well, technically. I have more of a right to be there than you. You still have your balls.

JACK
You're kidding.

MARLA
I don't know--am I?

JACK
No, no!

Jack follows Marla into...

INT. LAUNDROMAT - CONTINUOUS

Marla walks with authority up to an unwatched DRYER. She takes out the clothes, picks out jeans, pants and shirts.

JACK
What do you want?

MARLA
I'll take the parasites.

JACK
You can't have both parasites. You can take blood parasites--

MARLA
I want brain parasites.

JACK
Okay, I'll take the blood parasites and organic brain dementia--

MARLA
I want that.

JACK
You can't have the whole brain!

MARLA
So far you have four, I only have two!

JACK
Ok, take blood parasites. They're yours. Now we each have three...

Marla gathers the chosen garments and heads out past Jack...

EXT. SIDEWALK - CONTINUOUS

Jack follows, bewildered.

JACK
You left your half clothes!

HONK! Jack starts. Marla's led him into the street with traffic barreling down. Marla walks on, oblivious as CARS screech to a half, HORNS BLARING. Jack dashes, following.

INT. THRIFT STORE - CONTINUOUS

Marla drops the pile of clothes on a counter. An old CLERK sifts through the clothes, begins writing on a pad.

JACK
What, you're selling those?

Marla steps down hard on Jack's foot. He winces in pain.

MARLA
(for the clerk to hear)
Yes, I'm selling some clothes.

The clerk starts to ring up the assessed amounts.

MARLA
So, we each have three --that's six. What about the seventh day? I want ascending bowel cancer.

JACK (V.O.)
The girl had done her homework.

JACK
I want ascending bowel cancer.

The clerk gives a strange look as he hands money to Marla.

MARLA
(to the clerk)
Thank you.
(to Jack)
That's your favorite too? Tried to slip it by me, eh?

JACK
We'll split it up. You get the first and third Sunday of the month.

MARLA
Deal.

They shake hands. Jack tries to withdraw his hand; Marla holds it.

MARLA
Looks like this is goodbye.

JACK
Let's not make a big thing out of it.

She walks to the door, pocketing money, not looking back.

MARLA
How's this for not making a big thing?

Jack watches her go. A moment...then he follows after.

EXT. SIDEWALK - CONTINUOUS

Jack hesitates, unsure, then runs to catch up to her. Marla walks into the street, causing  SCREECHING and HONKING.

JACK
Marla! Hey Marla! Maybe we should exchange numbers.

MARLA
Should we?

JACK
In case we want to switch nights.

MARLA
Ok.

Marla turns back to Jack. Jack takes out a business card, writes his number on the back, hands it to her. She takes the pen, grabs his hand and writes the number in his palm.

JACK (V.O.)
This is how I met Marla Singer.

She walks into the street again, causing more SCREECHING and HONKING.

JACK (V.O.)
Marla's philosophy was that she might die at any moment.  The tragedy was, she said, that she didn't.

Marla turns, holds up the card.

MARLA
It doesn't have your name. Who are you? Cornelius? Rupert? Travis? Any of the stupid names you give each night?

Jack starts to answer, but the traffic noise is too loud. Marla just shakes her head. A BUS moves into view, obscuring her.

INT. AIRPLANE CABIN - DAY

The plane touches down; the cabin BUMPS. Jack's eyes open.

JACK (V.O.)
You wake up at SeaTac. 

INT. AIRPLANE CABIN - DAY

Jack snaps awake again, looking around, disoriented.

JACK (V.O.)
S.F.O.

EXT. HIGHWAY - DUSK

The rear of a CRASHED CAR sticks up by the side of the road. Jack stands, marking on a clipboard. The SUN SETS behind.

JACK (V.O.)
You wake up at Logan. L.A.X., B.W.I.

INT. AIRPORT - NIGHT

Jack runs to a gate counter. An ATTENDANT smiles at him.

JACK (V.O.)
Pacific, Mountain, Central. Lose an hour, gain an hour.

ATTENDANT
Check-in for that flight doesn't begin for another two hours, sir.

Jack looks at his watch and then at the AIRPORT ELECTRONIC CLOCK

JACK (V.O.)
This is your life and it's ending one minute at a time.

INT. AIRPLANE WALKWAY

Jack stands on a conveyor belt, briefcase at his feet. He watches PEOPLE MOVING PAST on the opposite conveyor.

JACK (V.O.)
If you wake up at a different time and in a different place, could you wake up as a different person?

Jack misses seeing TYLER on the opposite conveyor belt. They pass each other.

INT. AIRPLANE CABIN - IN FLIGHT - NIGHT

Jack sits next to a BUSINESSMAN. As they have idle CONVERSATION, we MOVE IN ON Jack's tray. An ATTENDANT'S HANDS set coffee down with a small container of cream.

JACK (V.O.)
Everywhere I travel -- tiny life. Single-serving sugar, single-serving cream, single pat of butter.

HANDS place a dinner tray down.

JACK (V.O.)
Microwave Cordon Bleu hobby kit.

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL ROOM - BATHROOM - NIGHT

Jack brushes his teeth in the MIRROR.

JACK (V.O.)
Shampoo / conditioner combo. Sample of mouthwash, tiny bar of soap.

Jack picks up an individual, wrapped Q-TIP, looks at it. 

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL ROOM - MAIN ROOM - CONTINUOUS

Jack sits on the bed. He turns on TV. 

JACK (V.O.)
The people I meet on each flight -- they're single-serving friends. Between take-off and landing, we have our time together, but that's all we get

The TV is tuned to "Sheraton channel", shows WAITERS saying...

WAITERS
Welcome!

Jack feels something on the bed, lifts it -- a small DINNER MINT. He opens it and eats it.

INT. WAREHOUSE - CONTINUOUS

A giant corrugated METAL DOOR opens.

JACK (V.O.)
On a long enough time line, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.

Two TECHNICIANS lead Jack to the BURNT-OUT SHELL of a WRECKED AUTOMOBILE. Jack sets down his briefcase, opens it and starts to make notes on a CLIP BOARDED FORM.

JACK (V.O.)
I'm a recall coordinator. My job is to apply the formula. It's a story problem.

TECHNICIAN #1
Here's where the infant went through the windshield. Three points.

JACK (V.O.)
A new car built by my company leaves somewhere traveling at 60 miles per hour. The rear differential locks up.

TECHNICIAN #2
The teenager's braces around the backseat ashtray would make a good "anti-smoking" ad.

JACK (V.O.)
The car crushes and burns with everyone trapped inside. Now: do we initiate a recall?

TECHNICIAN #1
The father's must've been huge. See how the fat burnt into the driver's seat with the polyester shirt? Very "modern art".

JACK (V.O.)
Take the number of vehicles in the field (A),  multiply it by the probable rate of failure (B), then multiply the result by the average out-of-court settlement (C). A times B times C equals X...

CUT TO:

INT. AIRPLANE CABIN - MOVING DOWN RUNWAY - NIGHT

Jack is speaking to the BUSINESSWOMAN next to him.

JACK
If X is less that the cost of a recall, we don't do one.

BUSINESSWOMAN
Are there a lot of these kinds of accident?

JACK
You wouldn't believe.

BUSINESSWOMAN
Which car company do you work for?

JACK
A major one.

Turgid silence. Jack is about to eat his desert. He turns to the window. He sees a PELICAN get SUCKED into the TURBINE.

JACK (V.O.)
Every time the plane banked too sharply on take-off or landing, I prayed for a crash, or a mid-air collision -- anything.

Jack's face remains bland during the following: the plane BUCKLES -- the cabin wobbles. People panic. Masks drop. The side of plane SHEARS OFF! Screaming PASSENGERS are sucked out into the night air, flying past the quivering wind. Magazines and other objects fly everywhere.

JACK (V.O.)
Life insurance pays off triple if you die on a business trip.

Jack remains in his same position, same bland expression.

DING! -- The seatbelt light goes OUT. Jack SNAPS AWAKE. EVERYTHING IS NORMAL. Some passengers get out of their seats. From next to Jack, a VOICE we've heard before...

TYLER
"If you are seated in an emergency exit row...", yeah..." and you feel you would be unable or unwilling to perform duties listed on safety card, please ask a flight attendant to reseat you."

Jack turns to see TYLER. Tyler is reading a safety INSTRUCTION CARD.

JACK
It's a lot of responsibility.

Tyler turns to Jack.

TYLER
Wanna switch seats?

JACK
No, I'm not sure I'm the man for that particular job.

TYLER
An exit-door procedure at 30.000 feet. Mm-hmm. The illusion of safety.

JACK
Yeah, I guess so.

TYLER
You know why the put oxygen masks on planes?

JACK
So you can breathe.

TYLER
Oxygen, gets you high. In a catastrophic emergency, we're taking giant, panicked breaths...Suddenly you become euphoric, docile, you accept your fate.

Tyler points to passive faces on the drawn figures, from the INSTRUCTION CARD.

TYLER
Emergency water landing, 600 miles per hour. Blank faces - calm as Hindu cows.

Jack laughs.

JACK
That's um...that's an interesting theory. What do you do?

TYLER
What do you mean?

JACK
What do you do for a living?

TYLER
Why? So you pretend you're interested?

Jack laughs.

JACK
Okay...

TYLER
You have a kind of sick desperation in your laugh.

Tyler reaches under the seat in front of him and lifts a BRIEFCASE. Jack points to his own briefcase.

JACK
We have the exact same briefcase.

Tyler opens his briefcase. He pops the latches and raises the lid to reveal quaintly-wrapped bars of SOAP.

TYLER
Soap.

JACK
Sorry?

TYLER
I make and I sale soap. The yardstick of civilization.

Tyler reaches the briefcase and takes out his card. He hands it to Jack. "THE PAPER STREET SOAP COMPANY".

JACK (V.O.)
And this is how I met--

JACK
Tyler Durden.

TYLER
Did you know if you mixed equal parts of gasoline and frozen orange juice concentrate, you could make napalm?

JACK
No, I didn't know that, is that true?

TYLER
That's right. One can make all kinds of explosives using simple household items.

JACK
Really?

TYLER
If one were so inclined.

Tyler SNAPS the briefcase shut. Jack stares.

JACK
Tyler, you are by far, the most interesting single-serving friend I've ever met.

Tyler stares Jack. Jack, enjoying his own chance to be witty, leans closer to Tyler.

JACK
See, obviously everything on a plane is single-serving, even--

TYLER
Oh, I get it. It's very clever.

JACK
Thank you.

TYLER
How's that working out for you?

JACK
What?

TYLER
Being clever.

JACK
(thrown)
Great.

TYLER
Keep it up then. Right up.

Tyler stands, looks toward the aisle.

TYLER
Now a question of etiquette: As I pass, do I give you the ass or the crotch?

Tyler moves to the aisle, his ass toward Jack, walks away... In his way there's an ATTENDANT. He moves, his "crotch" toward the ATTENDANT'S butt. Tyler goes to the curtain dividing First Class, slaps the curtain aside and sits in an empty seat. Jack watches.

JACK (V.O.)
How I came to live with Tyler is: airlines have this policy about vibrating luggage.

INT. BAGGAGE CLAIM AREA - NIGHT

Utterly empty of baggage. No people except for Jack and a SECURITY FORCE MAN. The Security TFM, smirking, holds a receiver to his ear from an official phone on the wall.

JACK
Was--was it ticking?

SECURITY MAN
(to Jack)
Actually, throwers don't worry about ticking 'cause modern bombs don't tick.

JACK
Sorry? Throwers?

SECURITY MAN
Baggage handlers. But when a suitcase vibrates, the throwers have to call the police.

JACK
My suitcase was vibrating?

SECURITY MAN
Nine time out of ten, it's an electric razor. But every once in a while...
(whispers)
...It's a dildo. It's company policy not to imply ownership in the event of a dildo. We use the indefinite article: "A dildo". Never "Your dildo".

JACK
I don't own a --

The security man nods, and listens to the phone. Jack turns and sees through a window, TYLER, at the curb, throwing his briefcase into the back of a shiny, red CONVERTIBLE. Tyler laps over the door into the driver's seat and PEELS OUT. Jack turns away, looks at the Security TFM. In the background, a HARRIED MAN dashes after Tyler and the convertible SCREAMING.

JACK (V.O.)
I had everything in that suitcase. My C.K. shirts, my D.K.N.Y. shoes, my A.X ties. Never mind...

INT. TAXI - MOVING - NIGHT

Along a residential street. Jack looks ahead, sees a tall, gray, bland BUILDING on the corner.

JACK (V.O.)
Home was a condo on the fifteenth floor of a filing cabinet for widows and young professionals. The walls were solid concrete. A foot of concrete is important when your next-door neighbor lets her hearing aid gonad has to watch games show at full volume...

The taxi turns a corner and Jack sees the front of the building. A diffuse CLOUD OF SMOKE wafts away from a BLOWN-OUT SECTION of the fifteenth floor. FIRE TRUCKS, POLICE CARS and a MOB are all crowded around the lobby area.

EXT. STREET IN FRONT OF BUILDING

Jack gets out of the taxi and gaps at the sight above him. Jack starts toward the building.

JACK (V.O.)
...or when a volcanic blast of debris that used to be your furniture and personal effects blows out your floor-to-ceiling windows and sails flaming into the night. I suppose these things happen...

He pushes through the fray of people, into the...

INT. LOBBY

The DOORMAN sees Jack enter, gives a sad smile, shakes his head.

DOORMAN
There's nothing up there. You can't go into the unit. Police orders.

Jack heads out the lobby doors. The Doorman follows.

INT. CONDO BUILDING - CONTINUOUS

Jack walks past SMOKING, CHARRED DEBRIS -- a flash of ORANGE from the Yang table, part of an arm chair from the GREEN ARMCHAIR. His feet CRUNCH glass.

DOORMAN
Do you have somebody to call?

JACK (V.O.)
How embarrassing. A house full of condiments and no food.

Jack comes to his REFRIGERATOR lying on its side. He reaches down and takes a not: "MARLA -- " and a phone number, from under a BANANA MAGNET.

CLOSE SHOT - JACK'S STOVE

Hissing.

JACK (V.O.)
The police would later tell me that the pilot light might have gone out...letting out just a little bit of gas.

EXT. PAYPHONE - RESUMING

Jack gets to a PAYPHONE. Jack picks up the receiver, puts in a quarter. He signals Marla's number.

CLOSE SHOT - JACK'S ENTIRE CONDO - KITCHEN AND LIVING ROOM

The SOUND of the HISS...

JACK (V.O.)
The gas could have slowly filled the condo. Seventeen-hundred square feet with high ceilings, for days and days.

INSERT - CLOSE ON THE BACK OF JACK'S REFRIGERATOR

JACK (V.O.)
Then the refrigerator's compressor could've clicked on.

 

EXT. PAYPHONE - RESUMING

On the other end it rings.

MARLA'S VOICE
Yeah?

CLOSE SHOT - JACK'S ENTIRE CONDO - KITCHEN AND LIVING ROOM

Click. KABOOM! SCREEN GOES WHITE.

EXT. PAYPHONE - RESUMING

Jack doesn't answer.

MARLA'S VOICE
I can hear your breathing, you --

Jack hangs up. He takes out of his pocket Tyler's card.

JACK (V.O.)
If you ask me now, I couldn't tell you why I called him.

Jack re-deposits the quarter, dials Tyler's number. It RINGS...and RINGS... and RINGS. Jack sighs and hangs up the phone. A moment, then the phone RINGS.

JACK
Hello?

TYLER'S VOICE
Who's this?

JACK
Tyler?

TYLER
Who's this?

JACK
Um... We met on the plane. We had the same briefcase. I'm...the clever guy.

TYLER'S VOICE
Oh, yeah. Right, okay?

JACK
I just called a second ago, there was no answer. I'm at a payphone.

TYLER'S VOICE
I star-sixty-nined you. I never pick up my phone. So, what's up, man?

JACK
Uhm, well...you're not going to believe this...

EXT. LOU'S TAVERN - NIGHT

A small building in the middle of a concrete parking lot.

INT. LOU'S TAVERN - SAME

Jack and Tyler sit in the back, with a pitcher of beer.

TYLER
You know man, could be worse. A woman could cut off your penis while you're sleeping and toss it out the window of a moving car.

JACK
There's always that. I don't know, it's just...when you buy furniture, you tell yourself: that's it, that's the last sofa I'm gonna need. No matter what else happens, I've got that sofa problem handled. I had it all. I had a stereo that was very decent, a wardrobe that was getting very respectable. I was so close to being complete.

TYLER
Shit, man, now it's all gone.

JACK
All gone. 

TYLER
Do you know what a duvet it?

JACK
Comforter.

TYLER
It's a blanket, just a blanket. Now why guys like you and I know what a duvet is? Is this essential to our survival? In the hunter-gathered sense of the word? No. What are we then?

JACK
You know, consumers.

TYLER
Right. We're consumers. We're by-products of a lifestyle obsession. Murder, crime, poverty -- these things don't concern me. What concerns me is celebrity magazines, television with five hundred channels, some guy's name on my underwear. Rogaine, Viagra, Olestra.

JACK
Martha Stewart.

TYLER
Fuck Martha Stewart. Martha's polishes on the brass of the Titanic. It's all going down, man! So fuck off, with your sofa units and your green stripe patterns. I say never be complete. I say stop being perfect. I say let's evolve and let the chips fall where they may. But that's me, I could be wrong, maybe it's a terrible tragedy.

JACK
No, it's just stuff.

TYLER
Well, you did lose a lot of versatile solutions for a modern life.

JACK
Fuck, you're right.

Tyler offers Jack a cigarette. 

JACK
No, I don't smoke. My insurance will probably cover it, so...

Tyler stares at him

JACK
What?

TYLER
The things you own, end up owing you. But do what you like, man.

EXT. PARKING LOT OF TAVERN

Tyler and Jack come out.

JACK
(looks at his watch)
Oh, God, it's late. Hey, thanks for the beer.

TYLER
Yeah, man.

JACK
I should find a hotel...

TYLER
What?

JACK
What?

TYLER
A hotel?

JACK
Yeah.

TYLER
Just ask it, man.

JACK
What are you talking about?

TYLER
Three pitchers of beer and you still can't ask.

JACK
What?

TYLER
You called me so you could have a place to stay.

JACK
Hey, no, no, no--

TYLER
Yes you did. Just ask. Cut the foreplay and just ask, man.

JACK
Wou--Would that be a problem?

TYLER
Is it a problem for you to ask?

JACK
Can I stay at your place?

TYLER
(indifferently)
Yeah.

JACK
...Thanks.

TYLER
But I want you to do me one favor.

JACK
Yeah, sure.

TYLER
(talking very fast)
I want you to hit me as hard as you can.

JACK
What?

TYLER
(talking very slow)
I want you to hit me as hard as you can.

FREEZE PICTURE

JACK (V.O.)
Let me tell you a little bit about Tyler Durden.

EXTREME CLOSE UP - FILM FRAME

--And we see it's PORNOGRAPHY.

INT. PROJECTIONIST ROOM - THEATRE - NIGHT

Jack in the foreground, FACES CAMERA. In the BACKGROUND, Tyler sits at a bench, looking at individual FRAMES cut from movies. Near him,  a PROJECTOR rolls film.

JACK (V.O.)
Tyler was a night person. While the rest of us were sleeping, he worked. He had one part time job as a projectionist. A movie doesn't come in one big reel, comes on a few. So someone has to change projectors at the exact moment one reel ends and the next one begins. If you look for it you can see little dots coming in the upper right hand corner on screen

Tyler points to the side of OUR FRAME and TWO DOTS briefly APPEAR ON SCREEN.

Tyler
In the industry we call them "cigarette burns".

JACK
That's a cue for a change over. The movie goes on , and nobody in the audience has any idea.

TYLER
Why would anyone want this shit job?

JACK
Because it affords him other interesting opportunities.

TYLER
--Like splicing single frames of pornography into family films.

JACK
So when the snooty cat and the courageous dog, with the celebrity voices, meet for the first time in reel three, that's when you'll catch the flash of Tyler's contribution in the film.

FROM THE AUDIENCE we hear the cartoon voices, and then for a moment the voice of a WOMAN MOANING. The film continues. IN THE AUDIENCE, CHILDREN suddenly start squirming, confused, looking at each other. A WOMAN abruptly stops sucking her soda straw feeling vaguely terrible. Her uncomfortable HUSBAND slowly leans back in his seat. Jack and Tyler watch from the projection booth window.

JACK
No one really knows that they've seen it. But they did.

TYLER
A nice, big cock.

JACK
Even a hummingbird couldn't caught Tyler at work.

INT. LARGE BANQUET HALL - NIGHT

Tyler moves around one of many tables, setting down food. Jack sits in one chair of the same table. He turns back and FACES CAMERA.

JACK
Tyler also worked sometimes as a banquet waiter at the luxurious Pressman Hotel.

Tyler throws the food in a woman's plate.

INT. SERVICE ELEVATOR - NIGHT

Jack turns and WE PAN to Tyler, standing by a CART, with a giant SOUP TUREEN. His hands are at his open fly and he's in position to piss into the soap.

JACK
He was the guerrilla terrorist of the food service industry.

TYLER
Do not watch. I cannot if you watch.

Tyler takes a glass of water and pours it.

Jack waits. The SOUND of a STREAM of LIQUID is HEARD.

JACK
He farted on meringue; he sneezed on braised endive; and with creme of mushroom soup, well...

TYLER (O.S.)
Go ahead, tell them.

JACK
You get the idea.

EXT. PARKING LOT OF TAVERN - RESUMING

JACK
Well, what do you want me to do? You want me to hit you?

TYLER
C'mon, do me this one favor.

JACK
Why?

TYLER
Why? I don't know why. I don't know. Never been in a fight, you?

JACK
No, but that's a good thing.

TYLER
No, it is not! How much can you know about yourself if you've never been in a fight? I don't want to die without any scars.

Tyler takes out of his pockets TWO BOTTLES OF BEER and places them on the road.

TYLER
Come on, hit me, before I lose my nerve.

JACK
This is crazy.

TYLER
So go crazy. Let 'er rip.

JACK
I don't know about this.

TYLER
I don't either. Who gives a shit? No one's watching. What do you care?

JACK
This is crazy, you want me to hit you?

TYLER
That's right.

JACK
What, like in the face?

TYLER
Surprise me!

JACK
This is so fucking stupid!

Jack swings a wide, clumsy roundhouse -- hits Tyler's ear -- makes a dull, flat sound.

TYLER
Oh! Motherfucker! You hit me in the ear! 

JACK
Well, Jesus, I'm sorry!

JACK
Ouch! Why the ear, man?

JACK
Aw, I fucked it up!

TYLER
No, that was perfect!

Tyler shoots out a straight punch to Jack's stomach. Jack falls back against a car. His eyes tear up. Tyler moves closer to him to see if he's ok.

JACK
Nah, it's alright. That really hurts.

TYLER
Right.

JACK
Hit me again.

TYLER
No, you hit me! Come on!

Tyler punches Jack in the stomach again. Tyler and Jack move clumsily, throwing punches. They breathe heavier, drooling saliva and blood, growing dizzier from every impact.

EXT. CUB SIDE  - LATER

Jack and Tyler sit on the curb. Their eyes are glazed with endorphin-induced serenity. Tyler is smoking a cigarette and Jack is drinking a beer. Jack hands the beer to Tyler.

JACK
We should do this again sometime.

Tyler smiles and drinks the beer.

EXT. PAPER STREET - NIGHT

A street sign: "PAPER STREET." A PAPER MILL sits on one side, facing a lone HOUSE on the other. The rest of the land is grass and weeds. It's a grand, old three-story, long abandoned. Tyler leads Jack toward it. Tyler throws in the sky his beer.

JACK
Where's you car?

TYLER
What car?

INT. PAPER ST. HOUSE - ENTRANCE - NIGHT

Tyler leads Jack through the FRONT DOOR...

JACK (V.O.)
I don't know how Tyler found the house, but he said he'd been there for a year. It looked like it was waiting to be torn down. Most of the windows were boarded up.

INT. PAPER ST. HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - MOMENT LATER

Tyler and Jack climb CREAKY STAIRS to the 2nd floor LANDING.

JACK (V.O.)
There was no lock in the front door from the police or whoever kicked it in. The stairs were ready to collapse. I don't know if he owned it or it was squatting. Neither would have surprised me.

Tyler opens the door to a ROOM...

INT. ROOM - CONTINUOUS

Jack enters, Tyler is in the hallway.

TYLER
Yeap, that's you,
(indicating another room)
That's me,
(indicating another room)
That's toilet. Good?

JACK
Yeah, thanks.

Jack sits on the creaky BED. Dust drifts upwards.

JACK (V.O.)
What a shithole. 

INT. SHOWER - MORNING

Jack turns on the water. LOUD VIBRATIONS from the walls. Water spits in starts.

JACK (V.O.)
Nothing worked. Turning out on a light meant another light in the house went out.

 


~ PART 1 ~ PART 2 ~ PART 3 ~ PART 4 ~

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