VIEWS: 17 PAGES: 105 POSTED ON: 9/22/2011
YOUR RIG OR MINE? Screenplay by Bridget Reilly Sequel to See You Later, Mary Freighter! INT. MARY'S LIVING ROOM--EVENING FS a large hand-painted banner which is hanging on the wall above the bedroom door. It reads: "EAT, DRINK AND BE MERRY, FOR TOMORROW I GET EVICTED!" Then the camera moves out to a wide shot of the entire room. There are at least a dozen people, including the familiar main characters plus several others who are a combination of MARY's neighbors, friends and relatives. Because there are only two chairs, most of them are either standing, sitting on the floor, or dancing to music which is playing on the stereo. There are bowls of munchies all around the room, and most people are drinking beer and visibly buzzed. Now we see that MARY and ECKHARDT, who are about equal in size, have also taken to wearing matching outfits: both are dressed in grey jeans and white t-shirts. Several beats of this, then the camera moves in closer on RUFUS and TONY who are engaged in an arm-wrestling match, sitting on the floor with their arms propped up on the coffee table. They are in a solid deadlock with both their forearms straight-up vertical. Now BECKY, who is sitting in one of the chairs, plunks down a five-dollar bill. BECKY I'm bettin' five on Tony. Then MARY, who is standing watching them, plunks down another bill. MARY OK, I'll bet five on Rufus. Now everyone turns their attention to the pair, who still appear to be evenly-matched in strength as they struggle mightily for several more long moments. Then TONY lets out a groan as his arm finally buckles. TONY Damn! The other guests give RUFUS a little polite applause. MARY You're gettin' flabby, Tony; you need to work out some more. BECKY And I gotta quit doin' this or I'll be broke pretty soon. Now LAURIE, who is sitting in the other chair, chimes in with a laugh. LAURIE Yep, I think you're a candidate for Gambler's Anonymous now! BECKY glares at her in disgust. BECKY If that was true it wouldn't be funny. Meanwhile, MARY scoops up the five-dollar bills and puts them into her pocket. TONY stuffs a handful of pretzels in his mouth as if he needs fortification after that ordeal, and washes it down with a good slug of beer. RUFUS smirks at TONY as he can't resist gloating a little. RUFUS Not bad for a college boy, huh? TONY sets his beer down. TONY Hey dude, you said it, not me. You won't hear those words outta my mouth again, I swear. He holds up his right hand as if he's being sworn in in a courtroom. LAURIE Yeah honey, you have a way of doing those things to death. He apologized about ten years ago, so just let it drop! RUFUS All right. LAURIE Besides, you can see he's not as dumb as you thought: he knows his right hand from his left. Now TONY drops his hand and gives her a disgusted look. TONY Are you makin' funna me? LAURIE Yes. TONY Come on, what did I ever do to you? LAURIE OK, I'm sorry. TONY Geez; I oughtta know that much; I've been in court enough times. . . .But that's all I'm gonna say about that. LAURIE We're not asking. TONY Unfortunately my little brother learned a lotta his bad habits from me. . . .but that's all I'm gonna say about that. LAURIE Did we ask you? MARY Hey, quit talkin' about court, OK? I'm tryin' not to think about that But now she is thinking about it. She holds up the beer in her hand and comments to no one in particular. MARY Just for havin' one of these in the wrong place... Now ECKHARDT, who is standing close by, puts a comforting arm around her. ECKHARDT It will all be over soon. You have nothing to worry about. Now the opeming credits begin to roll, superimposed on the continuing party scene. Once they are finished, the scene fades out. Then fade in to INT. MARY'S LIVING ROOM--MORNING It is the morning of June 26th. RUFUS and LAURIE are still in their double sleeping bag on the living room floor, just waking up. LAURIE opens her eyes, looks at the clock and sees that it is a little after nine. Then she hears MARY rummaging around in the bedroom closet. Her eyes open a little wider. LAURIE Woa, it's after nine and Mary hasn't left for work yet! RUFUS is also just now opening his eyes. RUFUS (drowsily) Maybe she doesn't feel good. INT. MARY'S BEDROOM--DAY MARY is sitting on the bed, still in her nightgown. She is staring gloomily into the closet at her large collection of shoes. A couple beats of this, then there is a light tap on the door. LAURIE Mary, are you OK? MARY (distractedly) Come on in. LAURIE opens the door, but remains standing in the doorway. LAURIE Is anything wrong? MARY sighs and continues staring into the closet. MARY I can't decide what shoes to wear. LAURIE (gently) Well, uh--you're not dressed yet either. MARY Yeah. LAURIE Don't you usually decide what dress to wear first, and then pick out the shoes? MARY (still distracted) Yeah. LAURIE Feeling a little out of sorts? Because you have to go to court tomorrow? MARY Yeah, maybe. I don't know. LAURIE Maybe you should just call in sick today. Give yourself a break. You're already late as it is. MARY D'ya think? Now LAURIE ventures to come in and sit down on the bed next to her. LAURIE You're driving yourself crazy over this, Mary. It's not gonna be that bad. Now MARY looks at her. MARY You can say that, 'cause you've been through it all before. But I haven't. LAURIE Well, like Rufus said, consider it an initiation. MARY (scornfully) Initiation! I don't really want to be a member of that club! No offense. LAURIE Well, it doesn't look like you'll have to be now. MARY ignores this comment and raises her voice a little more. MARY After all, it was your idea to go to that stupid park! Otherwise I wouldn't be in this mess now! LAURIE grimaces. LAURIE Oh dear, are you blaming me for that? I am dreadfully sorry! MARY sighs and her voice softens again. MARY No, it wasn't really your fault. It was my stupidity for opening a beer too soon. LAURIE Well, if you want to play the blame game, you could also say it was Rufus's fault for underestimating how much gas we'd need; otherwise we wouldn't even have gone into the town. MARY Or I could say it was his fault for having the idea to go up there in the first place. LAURIE And he would say it was the cops' fault for being such pigs. No, it wasn't anybody's fault. We all just let our guards down a little too much, too soon. We couldn't have known what would happen. MARY Yeah. LAURIE Look, why don't you just take the day off? You're entitled to a mental health day now and then. You're so distracted right now, you probably wouldn't be able to concentrate at work anyhow; you'd mess up everything you try to do. MARY Yeah, probably. LAURIE And maybe go out to dinner with Eckhardt tonight or something? It might take your mind off it. MARY considers this. MARY I don't think it'll take my mind off it, but it might be a good idea anyhow. LAURIE Sure. You have his support; you're gonna get through this just fine. Then they both look up as RUFUS appears in the doorway. RUFUS Well, the coffee's almost ready, you two. And if you want my opinion, I agree: it was the cops' fault. EXT. STREET--DAY It is early morning on MARY's court day. She and LAURIE are standing on the sidewalk outside the van while RUFUS unlocks the doors. MARY is dressed up as she usually would be for the office, in a light peach-colored jacket dress. Her fingers are sporting three new cubic zirconia rings that glisten like diamonds in the early morning sunshine. She is holding a stylish overnight bag with a change of clothes in it. MARY (nervously) Do you mind if I sit in the front seat this time, Laurie? I don't wanna wrinkle my dress. LAURIE No, of course not. You sure do look nice today. Now the doors are unlocked. MARY climbs in the front seat and LAURIE in the back. INT. VAN--DAY RUFUS starts up the engine and they head out. LAURIE continues her train of thought. LAURIE I was gonna say, though, Mary, you might have to take your jewelry off to go through the metal detector. RUFUS They might not even have one of those in a small-town courthouse; we'll find out soon enough. MARY looks fondly at her rings. MARY Eckhardt gave me these rings to wear for good luck. Wasn't that sweet? LAURIE smiles affectionately. LAURIE He is a sweetheart; I knew he was. . . .Too bad he couldn't come along today, though. MARY Yeah, well, it woulda looked a little too suspicious if we both called in sick on the same day. The people in the office are pretty much onto us now. LAURIE At least I didn't have to lie to get off work; I managed to persuade one of the other girls to take my shift for the next two days. So now we get the whole weekend in the woods! MARY The only bad part is Eckhardt won't know till Sunday night what happened to me. LAURIE But he knows it won't be anything that horrible. Didn't he even offer to help you pay your fine? MARY laughs a little despite her nervousness. MARY Yeah, but I told him if it's only fifteen bucks I think I can manage it. INT. COURTHOUSE LOBBY--DAY This is indeed a rather quaint small-town courthouse, though there is a fair amount of activity. There are just two courtrooms on the ground floor. There is also a second story that has a probation office and a few other things. MARY, RUFUS and LAURIE are sitting on a bench outside one courtoom, looking anxiously around at all the people coming in. LAURIE You were right, honey--this place is almost civilized! I'm really surprised we didn't get searched; plus there's even mirrors in the bathroom and doors on the stalls! RUFUS Yeah, but it's probably only a matter of time before that changes--if there really are meth labs in this town like that cop said. MARY And speakin' of that cop, I don't see him anywhere, or his partner either. Don't cases get thrown out if the arresting officer doesn't show up? RUFUS Some cases, yes. But for this kind the cop doesn't even have to testify. Sorry. MARY Damn! LAURIE Mary, the judge is just gonna scold you like a naughty kid with her hand in the cookie jar. He knows perfectly well you weren't doing any harm just by having one lousy beer in that park.It's just a show they have to put on to make it look like they care about law and order and justice, but all they care about is getting their damn money. It's revenue to keep their town running. MARY So they can keep payin' the cops' salaries, so the cops can keep on bustin' people for open beers. LAURIE chuckles. LAURIE There, now you're getting the picture! RUFUS Sure, these lower courts are nothing but glorified collection agencies. Do you know how many of those fifteen-dollar fines they pull in every week from poor suckers who were just in the wrong place at the wrong time? LAURIE Yeah, you probably won't be the only one today. There'll probably be several other cases just like yours, and each one won't take more than about five minutes. RUFUS Like I've told you before, Mary, law enforcement serves a very important function. It gives people the illusion of being safe and protected. Otherwise they wouldn't want to live in the town and pay property taxes. MARY Which also pay cops' salaries. RUFUS Of course. They have to have state troopers to harass people like us on the road; that also makes people feel safer. MARY tries to smile, but still looks miserable. LAURIE Like I said, your case won't take more than five minutes; it'll be over before you know it. MARY (grimly) But it might take half an hour before I even get called. RUFUS Not if they go down the list alphabetically; then you'll be closer to the beginning. MARY reflects on this. MARY I'd hate to one of the people whose last names start with "Z". They don't ever wanna get busted for nuthin! Then this comment is rejoined by a familiar voice off-screen. TERRY Nobody wants to get busted for nuthin'! Mine starts with "S", and I've had some long waits. They all three look up in surprise. Then LAURIE exclaims as she had the other time TERRY popped up unexpectedly. LAURIE Terry! Is this a deja vu? Again the camera switches to TERRY's smiling face. TERRY Remember, you told me when the court date was. I decided I'd try and make it. LAURIE Cool! You will be joining the party then. MARY So now I got three people to hold my hands. LAURIE And three rings from Eckhardt. That should be good luck enough! (Then to TERRY) What about Roberta? Is she coming too? TERRY She might be joining us a little later on; she still has some business in town. RUFUS looks at the clock on the wall and sees it is almost nine. RUFUS Well, folks, I'm afraid it's showtime. With somber faces they stand up and file into the courtroom. EXT. PICNIC SITE--DAY It is about an hour later. The van has just pulled in. The doors open and they all climb out. MARY still has her dress on. MARY The first thing I'm gonna do is change clothes! Then she holds her hands out and takes another admiring look at her rings. LAURIE laughs. LAURIE Are you gonna keep looking at those all weekend? MARY It's the next best thing to havin' him here. LAURIE Well, it's a good thing you got out of the courthouse with them still on--and not wearing another kind of jewelry. MARY gives her a horrified look. MARY Don't even think it! LAURIE Just kidding. LAURIE reaches into the back of the van, takes out MARY's overnight bag and hands it to her. LAURIE You can go in the port-a-potty and change. Then RUFUS comes around to the back and they begin to unload. MARY Oh, by the way, would you guys mind if I sleep in the van tonight? RUFUS Not at all. We can do the tent. . . .But this time we'll set it up a little further back from the road. See if it's less visible that way. MARY heads toward the port-a-potty. Then TERRY's camper pulls in and parks a few yards away and he gets out. Suddenly LAURIE notices the white camper parked some distance away. LAURIE So Roberta is here! TERRY looks at the camper also. TERRY So she is. She beat us to it after all. LAURIE I don't see any sign of her, though. TERRY It's not unusual for her to park someplace and then just crawl in the back and go to sleep. So we might not see her for a few hours. LAURIE continues gazing at the camper while RUFUS and TERRY get into a conversation. RUFUS has taken the cooler out of the van and set it on the ground, and now seems to forget it momentarily. So LAURIE picks it up and carries it over to the picnic table. Then she sees a notebook on top of the table, open to a page full of handwritten words. She looks around and sees that RUFUS and TERRY are still chatting. Then she looks at the port-a-potty and sees that MARY has not yet come out. So she quietly sits down at the table, picks up the notebook and begins reading the page softly aloud to herself. LAURIE "We need to stop thinking of the 'problem' being merely the fact that so many people are without homes. It is also that homeless people have been DISENFRANCHISED. They are a distinct minority class, and as such are subject to systematic discrimination, prejudicial treatment and abuse, which amounts to routine daily violations of their civil rights and sometimes even results in hate crimes against them. I don't believe this fact is very widely recognized as yet. And the solution should be obvious: to include them in the democratic process. They should always be invited to voice any grievances they might have about the way they are being treated. Democracy is the key." This is where the text ends on this page. She turns the notebook over to the previous page, and sees that the date of this entry is earlier and the tone is quite different. LAURIE "If only he would just see that I need to be talked to gently, as a human being, acknowledging that MY feelings count too! I've quite had my fill of arm-twisting coercion, ultimatums and threats for the past eight months; I don't need even MORE guns pointed at me now, when I'm already hurting badly enough as it is! Why can't he just see that I'm scared, and that to scare me even MORE will not produce the results he's after?" Suddenly she sees out of the corner of her eye that RUFUS is standing next to the table. She looks a little embarrassed. LAURIE How long were you listening?! RUFUS Long enough to hear most of it, I guess. He sits down. RUFUS Roberta's journal? LAURIE I'd assume so. I don't know who else's it would be. RUFUS Do you think she left it there on purpose? LAURIE I don't know why she would have put it here if she didn't want us to see it. She knew we were coming today. RUFUS Unless she just forgot about it. LAURIE looks at the page again. LAURIE There's wax drippings on it! I bet she wrote it by candlelight. RUFUS Could be. LAURIE So she could have even come up here during the night! She sure keeps some funny hours. RUFUS I suggest you just leave that where you found it and don't say anything unless she does. There's no telling what state of mind she might be in. LAURIE (absently) Yeah. . . .She sure can write, too! Maybe she should be a teacher. She gazes thoughtfully at the camper some more. Now TERRY approaches the table, at the same time MARY emerges from the port-a- potty, now more appropriately dressed for the woods. TERRY Who's for gathering firewood? LAURIE It's too hot for a campfire today. TERRY Oh, we won't build it till dinnertime, but we might as well get a supply of wood now. I feel like a hike. RUFUS Are you up for it, Mary? MARY Sure. Just let me put my bag back in the van first. She walks over to the van. LAURIE hesitates. LAURIE Somebody should stay here and keep an eye on things, if you guys are gonna go trekking in the woods. But RUFUS discerns the real meaning behind her words. RUFUS You wanna be here for Roberta in case she needs to talk, right? LAURIE Well--yeah. RUFUS Fine. You stay here; we'll go. Then suddenly, as if on cue, ROBERTA's camper door opens and she comes out. She starts walking toward the table. TERRY Hey, Roberta! Glad you could make it. She stops short when she sees the notebook on the table. ROBERTA So that's where I left that thing! She catches LAURIE's slightly guilty look. ROBERTA (accusingly)You were reading it, weren't you? LAURIE (weakly) Well, uh--it was right there in my face; I could hardly help it. There is a moment of strained silence as TERRY quickly discerns the situation and MARY returns from the van. TERRY (elaborately) Come on, folks, let's go get some wood. He gestures to RUFUS and MARY to move away quickly. So without another word, the three of them head over to the hiking trail, leaving the other two alone. ROBERTA's next move is to pick up the notebook and slap it shut. She starts to walk away with it. LAURIE Roberta, wait. ROBERTA stops and turns around again. LAURIE We know you're going through a lot of stuff. If you want to talk to us, we're here. ROBERTA hesitates. LAURIE I mean, why did you come all the way up here if you didn't even want to see us? ROBERTA (flatly) I come up here to get away from the city. LAURIE looks perplexed fot a moment. Then she pats the space on the bench next to her. LAURIE Come on, sit down and talk to me. I'm not doing anything else right now. ROBERTA hesitates for just one more moment, then walks over and sits down. Her shoulders slump as she stares at the table. ROBERTA I don't know what to do. He won't leave me alone. LAURIE He's still demanding his truck back? ROBERTA Yeah. And threatening to take the camper right off the truck and leave it in the gutter. He says I deserve it. LAURIE Why does he think that? ROBERTA (very cynically) Do you want a list? All the things he says I've done wrong? LAURIE He sure sounds like a complainer. ROBERTA He's a lot worse than that! LAURIE hesitates a moment as she fishes around for the right words. LAURIE Look, I don't claim to be an expert in these things. Because I'm lucky; I have a sweetie who would never treat me that way. But dammit, we're your friends. We want to help. ROBERTA What do you think you could do? LAURIE I don't know. It's like, he only bothers you because he thinks you're alone. He doesn't think you have any friends who'd back you up. And that's not true. ROBERTA Maybe you can back me up psychologically, but you can't always be there. He only comes after me when he sees I am alone. LAURIE Well, what if we had a sort of caravan, where we all drive around to the same places together? ROBERTA (cynically) Easier said than done. And besides, when you start doing that it draws the attention of the cops. Critical mass and all. LAURIE I know. . . .It's like they're trying to keep us separate, so we can't help each other! ROBERTA Of course. LAURIE heaves a deep sigh. LAURIE Well, dammit, we're gonna figure something out! ROBERTA smiles a little. ROBERTA Thanks. I appreciate the thought. Then LAURIE doesn't know what else to do, so she opens her arms. LAURIE Here. You need a hug. ROBERTA smiles again and they embrace. About half an hour later the others return. MARY has a large load of wood in her arms, which she drops on the ground next to the fire pit. Then RUFUS and TERRY follow, each adding his load of wood to the pile. TERRY That'll make us a dandy fire, all right! MARY Yeah, that was kinda fun. Then they walk back over to the picnic table and find that LAURIE is once again sitting there alone. TERRY Where's Roberta? LAURIE She went back in her camper. I guess she's taking another nap. . . .She seems to do that a lot. TERRY nods. TERRY Sleep is one of the few escapes she has nowadays. When she's able to do that. He sits down across from her. TERRY But you did talk to her awhile? LAURIE Yeah. TERRY Do you think it helped? LAURIE I hope so. TERRY I gotta say, I'm really glad you've met her. I hate to see what she goes through, and I do my best to be a friend to her, but she only trusts me up to a point. Because I'm a man. LAURIE nods thoughtfully. LAURIE I guess it makes sense that she'd be afraid of men. TERRY But you might be able to reach her in ways I couldn't. LAURIE smiles. LAURIE She let me give her a hug. TERRY Well, there you go! She wouldn't let me touch her, ever. Now RUFUS sits down next to LAURIE and puts his arms around her. RUFUS You're a sweetheart, you know it? ` LAURIE Yeah, I know it. As if cued by the word "sweetheart", MARY takes yet another fond look at her rings. EXT. PICNIC SITE--EARLY MORNING It is dawn the following day. An establishing shot of the tent. As it is just starting to get light, we see that it is raining a little. INT. TENT--EARLY MORNING RUFUS and LAURIE are still asleep in the double sleeping bag. Close-up of RUFUS as a raindrop falls on his face. His eyes open. He looks sleepily up at the roof of the tent and discerns the situation. RUFUS Damn! He moves over a little to get out of the way of the drip. Then LAURIE, feeling the movement, stirs and mutters something unintelligible. RUFUS (groggily) Wake up, honey. It's raining and we've got a leak. She opens her eyes. LAURIE What? Then she sees the drip. LAURIE (groaning) Oh, no! RUFUS We gotta get the tarp out of the van. He sits up and quickly reaches for his clothes. LAURIE (drowsily) I wonder what time it is. We'll have to wake Mary up. RUFUS Look, this is an emergency. She'll have to learn about those things too. EXT. PICNIC SITE--MORNING RUFUS is standing outside the van, shivering as he has no jacket on.. He knocks on the window. RUFUS Mary? After a few beats, MARY's drowsy head pops up. RUFUS Sorry--it's raining and I need the tarp. After a few more beats, the side door slides open. MARY looks confused. RUFUS The tarp's in the corner there; would you hand it to me? And my jacket too. MARY looks at where he is pointing, still confused. RUFUS That blue thing. Please, hurry. It's cold! She reaches over, picks up the two items and hands them to him. He hastily puts on his jacket. RUFUS Thanks. Sorry to bother you; go back to sleep. He hurries back over to the tent and clumsily tries to unfold the tarp. RUFUS Laurie, could you help me? He struggles with the tarp for a couple more beats, then TERRY enters the frame. TERRY Here, let me help you. The two of them spread the tarp over the tent, while LAURIE crawls out, now dressed. RUFUS Would you believe we got a leak? TERRY Yeah, I believe it. Those things always happen at the worst times, don't they. They finish covering the tent. RUFUS shivers. TERRY Why don't you two come over to my camper and we'll make a little breakfast. I just got a full tank of propane for the stove. RUFUS Sounds good to me. TERRY Actually there's more room in Roberta's camper, but I don't think she's up yet. INT. TERRY'S CAMPER--MORNING It is a tiny six-pack, with just a small amount of bench space to sit on, and a two-burner propane stove by the door. The three of them stand next to the stove, while TERRY lights both burners and turns them up on high to get some heat. LAURIE shivers. LAURIE I left my jacket in the van too, dammit! RUFUS Sorry I forgot to get it for you. TERRY You can borrow one of my shirts for now. He hands her a flannel overshirt and she wraps it around her shoulders. Then he pours some water into a pan and puts it on one of the burners to heat. He opens the tiny refrigerator on the opposite wall, takes out three eggs and puts them in the pan of water. LAURIE How could this happen in June?! RUFUS I didn't hear any weather reports that it was supposed to rain this weekend; did you? TERRY Not in the city, no, but up here the weather's different sometimes. Higher elevation and all. They continue standing by the stove while they nibble on hard-boiled eggs and untoasted bread, and sip instant coffee. After about half an hour, RUFUS looks out the window and sees the rain has let up. RUFUS Well, it's getting a little lighter. Maybe we'll survive after all. Then suddenly his eyes widen as he sees an unfamiliar male figure with black curly hair trudge into the picnic site and head for ROBERTA's camper with a determined stride . RUFUS Terry, look! Is that him? TERRY looks out the window and his eyes also widen. TERRY Damned if it isn't! RUFUS Should we follow him? TERRY Not follow him, just watch from a discreet distance. If he hits her, then we can intervene. Between the four of us we could wrestle him down easy. EXT. PICNIC SITE--DAY The three of them step outside. LAURIE still has the shirt wrapped tightly around her shoulders. Fortunately the rain has almost stopped. They stand just outside the door where they can see the back door of ROBERTA's camper. They see the man rapping sharply on the door. After a few beats it opens. The man speaks loudly enough that they can hear him. MATTHEW All right, you've had plenty of time to find another solution by now, you lazy cunt! ROBERTA's voice is softer so they can't hear her reply. They continue to watch as the man gesticulates angrily, and hear him utter several more abusive words at her. Then suddenly she notices them out of the corner of her eye. She looks up. He sees that she is looking over his shoulder, turns around and sees them. MATTHEW Who the hell are they? Now ROBERTA is somewhat emboldened, so she speaks loudly enough for them to hear. ROBERTA They're neighbors, and they're here to back me up. MATTHEW (Very sarcastically) Oh, I see. You've got yourself a little fan club here. And you've probably told them I'm some kind of a brute. ROBERTA That's because you are! Now he appears about to lunge at her, but stops himself. He decides it would be wiser for him to leave. MATTHEW You haven't seen the last of me, bitch! Next time, come hell or high water, I'm going to get my truck! He turns to walk away, then can't resist moving a few steps closer to the other three first and addressing them. MATTHEW How much does she pay you to be her personal bodyguards? . . .Oh, but of course, that slut doesn't have to pay with money. RUFUS is visibly enraged and starts to take a step toward him, but TERRY puts out an arm to stop him. TERRY (softly) Just let him leave. He's not worth going to jail over. The man stomps back out to the road. They can't see if he has a vehicle or not. They walk quickly over to ROBERTA's camper and see that she is visibly shaking. LAURIE, momentarily forgetting the cold, lets the overshirt drop to the ground as she reaches out and gives ROBERTA another hug. RUFUS is still fuming. TERRY Chill, dude. Just take a few deep breaths. RUFUS does so, then addresses ROBERTA, RUFUS Where did you find that guy?! ROBERTA On the street, where else? He knew I needed a protector. He knew how to play into that. LAURIE Just so he could bully you later on? ROBERTA Oh, but you see, he doesn't look at it that way. He doesn't think he's a bully. As far as he's concerned, he's the victim. RUFUS and LAURIE both shake their heads in disbelief. RUFUS Nuts! ROBERTA Yes, he has actually been diagnosed schizzophrenic. RUFUS Then why isn't he in an instutution somewhere? ROBERTA That would cost money. Who's gonna pay for it? He gets a disability check; that's all the government will do for him. LAURIE Isn't he getting any kind of therapy? ROBERTA Not as far as I know. That's voluntary and he never chose to do it when he was with me. Besides, there isn't a lot of therapy available for somebody who can't pay. LAURIE What about medication? ROBERTA They can't make him take that either. He always said those kinds of drugs didn't agree with him--and frankly I can't blame him for that. LAURIE It just seems like somebody should be able to do something. ROBERTA shakes her head. ROBERTA He's not considered dangerous enough to be put away, and nobody can make him do anything. He's still a free citizen, like it or not. LAURIE Haven't you ever tried to prosecute him for his violence? I mean, like if he was on probation, then they could make him do something. Like take an anger management class at least. ROBERTA Yeah, but prosecuting somebody for violence is pretty tricky, even if it's chronic violence. He'd still have to be caught in the act. RUFUS Well, if we'd caught him in the act, he'd be dead now. I was this close to-- TERRY Yeah, I know you were. There's something about that guy that just gets under your skin. RUFUS I mean, where does he get the nerve-- ROBERTA He's desperate, Rufus. He honestly believes the world's out to get him. RUFUS But why does he put the blame on you? ROBERTA Because I'm handy. And because I was dumb enough to fall for him a long time ago. RUFUS I can't imagine what you saw in him. LAURIE Oh, I can in a way. He's really not bad looking. In fact he might even be cute, if he didn't have that demonic expression on his face. ROBERTA And he didn't always look at me that way, Laurie. When I first met him he was totally charming and he acted like a gentleman. I thought he was adorable. LAURIE Yeah, I can believe that too. . . . But anyway, now that he's seen you have a "fan club" as he put it, maybe he'll think twice about bothering you again. ROBERTA He probably won't come up here again, but he still knows where to find me in town. LAURIE (Defiantly) Well, all the more reason why we should all just stay up here! RUFUS groans softly. RUFUS (half to himself) Here it is. I knew that was coming sometime; here it is. ROBERTA It would be nice if we could just stay here. There's only about fifteen reasons why we can't. RUFUS (under his breath) As I've tried to tell her. TERRY smiles mysteriously to himself and says nothing. RUFUS is desperate to change the subject. LAURIE is shivering again and picks the shirt up off the ground. RUFUS Mary's probably awake by now, Laurie, if you wanna go in the van and get your jacket. ROBERTA Oh, do you need a jacket? You can borrow one of mine. We're about the same size. LAURIE I guess, except you're a little taller. ROBERTA goes inside the camper to get a jacket, while LAURIE remains standing there. TERRY chuckles softly. TERRY (under his breath) Nice try, Rufus. RUFUS casts around for another distraction. His eyes light on the fire pit. RUFUS You know, maybe we should figure out a place to shelter the firewood so it'll stay dry when it rains. Then we could have a fire. TERRY A fire would feel good about now, wouldn't it? He looks up at the sky. TERRY The rain's pretty much stopped. We could see how wet the wood is. Or we could go get some more and just give it a shot. RUFUS Let's do that! At least if we go for a walk it'll warm us up. ROBERTA comes out holding a beige fur-lined jacket. ROBERTA See if this'll fit you. LAURIE puts it on. LAURIE Thanks. It's nice and cozy. ROBERTA It looks good on you too. TERRY OK, who wants to go get firewood this time? Or would you two ladies rather stay here and chat? LAURIE and ROBERTA look at each other and both nod. TERRY OK, come on, Rufus; we're outta here. The two of them walk over to the hiking trail. They walk briskly in silence for several beats. Then suddenly they notice a ray of sunshine beaming across the path. RUFUS Woa, it's starting to clear up. Maybe we won't need a fire. TERRY Well, it won't hurt to stock up on wood anyhow. They walk some distance further, as the sky continues to clear and they start to feel a little warmth from the sun. Then, to RUFUS's surprise, TERRY abruptly stops and looks back to make sure they're alone. TERRY I think this is far enough. There is one moment of suspense as RUFUS isn't sure what he's about to do. Then TERRY steps off the path and sits down on a piece of ground that is catching the sunlight. He motions to RUFUS to do the same. TERRY Sit down, Rufus. It's time you and I had a little talk, man-to-man. RUFUS looks very startled, but he does sit down. RUFUS Sorry, Dad, but you're a little late: I already know about the birds and the bees. I'm not that young! TERRY bursts out laughing. RUFUS And no, Dad, Laurie's not pregnant. But if she were I'd do the honorable thing. Now TERRY laughs even harder and it takes him a minute to recover himself. TERRY No, it's none of that stuff; maybe I didn't phrase it right. And quit calling me "Dad"--I'm not that old either! RUFUS waits patiently for him to recover his composure. RUFUS All right, big brother, I'm listening. What? TERRY Well, I'll use an analogy of what you just said. Laurie's not pregnant in that way, but she does have something brewing in her mind. RUFUS You noticed that too, huh? TERRY Oh, I've been noticing it for a while now. She doesn't say much about it at work, but I can see it in her eyes. RUFUS nods. Then he decides to blurt it out. RUFUS She thinks we should all just move up here and circle the wagons, just to protect Roberta from that weasel. Because the law won't do anything to protect Roberta, she thinks we should just take the law into our own hands. TERRY No, it's not just because of Roberta. But her predicament has become a sort of focal point for the general mess we're all in RUFUS What? Being homeless? TERRY Yeah. Come on, Rufus, you know what's going on: you and Laurie are hardly an isolated case nowadays. There's an awful lot of other people in that same predicament, and it's not just coincidence. And it's not about to get any better either. In fact it's sure to get worse if everybody just does nothing. Now RUFUS looks slightly alarmed. TERRY You and Laurie have been homeless for more than a year now, right? RUFUS Yeah. TERRY And mostly just parking and camping illegally here and there, right? RUFUS Until we sort of moved in with Mary, yeah. TERRY Which is only temporary. RUFUS Right. TERRY And how many times have the cops rousted you and told you to move on? RUFUS More than I could count. TERRY And when they do that, what is it they're really expecting of you? RUFUS To get out of people's faces so they won't have to see us. Preferably to get out of town altogether. TERRY Right, those people called NIMBY's. But it's more than that too. They're expecting you to come up with an individual solution to a collective problem. RUFUS is silent, taking it in. TERRY And the time is coming when those individual solutions just won't work any more. Like I said, there's too many people in this same predicament, losing their homes to gentrification and all that. And once they've landed on the street, there's only so many things they can do as individuals. RUFUS And what do you think the alternative is? TERRY To put more pressure on City Hall to come up with some more solutions. To tell them it just doesn't work to keep putting the pressure on us, when we're already doing the best we can. RUFUS But that's been tried before, you know, and they didn't really get their point across the way they were trying to. TERRY Sure, I heard about that one. And the planners of that demonstration went back to the drawing board and they're probably revising their strategy right now, as we speak. RUFUS is starting to squirm. TERRY I know, that kind of talk makes you uneasy, and it should. RUFUS Laurie's been talking about getting involved in that too. And she thinks the way to make the point is to set up some kind of encampment right here and just refuse to leave. TERRY Right. It amounts to civil disobedience or some kind of illegal action. Something that's potentially very dangerous, especially in this isolated place. RUFUS Yeah! Think about it, Terry: if there's just a handful of us, and there's no media exposure, they could pull a hit so easily. We could just disappear! TERRY Sure, if we didn't plan it carefully enough. But that's only the worst-case scenario; there are others. RUFUS Oh, sure. We could all get prosecuted as criminals, while the REAL criminal is still walking around loose. Or we could get clubbed over the head. No thanks; I've been knocked around enough lately. TERRY Sorry you feel that way. RUFUS Face it, Terry: we're just a handful of poor schmucks and losers that nobody cares about. Nobody's even gonna bat an eyelid if we all get snuffed. TERRY But we're not likely to get snuffed if there's a hundred and fifty of us and we're on the evening news every single day for a couple of weeks. RUFUS I don't think that'll happen, Terry. Maybe at a more well-traveled location in the city, but do you really think we'll get a hundred and fifty homeless schmucks to set up camp 'way out here?!. Most of them don't have vehicles like we do. TERRY (sadly) Laurie said you were always the pessimistic one. RUFUS shrugs. RUFUS You think I'm being overly-cynical? Sorry, I just don't see any future in a plan like that. TERRY (thoughtfully) Well, you may be right. If there were a lot of people without vehicles, we'd have to carpool to take people to the store all the time. RUFUS And can't you just see them panhandling on the highway for beer money? TERRY (half-jokingly) Hey, it could be the beginning of a whole new underground economy out here in the boonies. Maybe it's about time. RUFUS Terry, you know there already is one of those in that town where we got rousted! If they started seeing even more tweakers out on the road and tracing them back to the camp, we'd all get slammed down hard! TERRY Well, like I said, you may be right. At least insofar as it's not time to take any kind of a stand like that yet. But I also don't think Laurie's about to give up on the idea. RUFUS is thoughtful. RUFUS She and Roberta might be cooking up something together right now. TERRY chuckles. TERRY Stirring the cauldron? Who knows? They might come up with some ingenious plan that we'd never think of. And they also might keep it confidential between the two of them. Like this conversation we're having will be. He puts his finger to his lips. RUFUS smiles. RUFUS All right, we'll keep it quiet for now. But we don't want to start getting split up into factions having secret caucuses either. TERRY Well, I don't know. I've just told you a few of my thoughts on this. I guess I just wanted you to know I understand what's going on, and I know how you feel. RUFUS nods. TERRY Now maybe we should get some firewood, so they won't be suspicious. RUFUS smiles. They stand up and resume their walk. RUFUS I'm glad we had this little talk, Dad. I mean, big brother. TERRY laughs again. TERRY Knock it off! INT. ROBERTA'S CAMPER--DAY It is about half an hour later. MARY is now up and has joined LAURIE and ROBERTA who are sitting at the table talking. LAURIE still has the fur-lined jacket on. MARY is peeling an orange. ROBERTA is in the midst of a story and clearly on a roll. ROBERTA In my case they made a big fuss about the grey water I was running into the gutter while I was washing dishes. LAURIE As if dishwashing was a crime. ROBERTA Exactly. And they were focusing all this heat on the so-called "sanitation problem" I was causing, and completely ignoring all the other facts about my life. I mean, I've reached the age of thirty-five without ever having piled up a criminal record. I've never had any warrants or anything. LAURIE If it wasn't the dishwater they would've found something else to fuss about, if they were determined to get you. ROBERTA I know. They just needed something to make the case look good, just so the cop wouldn't look like a fool. Saving face. LAURIE And taking up valuable court time that they should be spending on the real criminals. ROBERTA shakes her head. ROBERTA Don't you love it? They have all these laws that make it illegal for us to exist, and then they expect us to "comply" with them. I don't know why they don't just go ahead and kill us. LAURIE If they could get away with it legally they would. MARY looks curious as she bites into a piece of orange. MARY But how did you get off the hook with that one? ROBERTA I managed to find a good lawyer who'd take the case pro bono. He eventually got the charges thrown out. MARY (ruefully, recalling her own case) Lucky you. LAURIE There was a lot more than just a fifteen-dollar fine involved in this one, Mary. And there was no way she could afford to pay it. ROBERTA Yeah. He just kept emphasizing that I was a single indigent woman living in her vehicle, without making any speculations of why I might be living that way, whether it was my "fault" for being lazy or any of those assumptions people make. The point was, I still had the right to some protection regardless. Then there is a light tap on the door, easily distinguishable from MATTHEW's hard knock. ROBERTA It's open! The door opens and TERRY sticks his head in. TERRY Uh--is this a women-only thing, or are the menfolks allowed? ROBERTA Don't be silly. Come on in. TERRY and RUFUS step inside and close the door. But all the seating space is more or less taken, so they remain standing, leaning against the sink. LAURIE Roberta was just telling us about a camping citation she got in town once. I told her the same thing's happened to us too. TERRY And me too. That makes it almost unanimous . LAURIE So Mary's the only one who hasn't been through that initiation yet, huh. MARY (alarmed) Whaddya mean, yet? RUFUS smiles. RUFUS She needs to learn the lessons one at a time, Laurie; we shouldn't rush her too much. She only learned just this morning what a tarp is. MARY looks a bit disgusted. MARY Are you makin' funna me? RUFUS Sorry. MARY (to Laurie) And why do you keep usin' that word initiation?! LAURIE looks a little sheepish and isn't sure how to answer. Noting MARY's irritation, RUFUS decides to change the subject. RUFUS Well anyhow, we got enough wood for a fire, if anybody's up for it. LAURIE Maybe in a bit. Why don't you guys go start it and we might join you a little later. RUFUS and TERRY turn to exit the camper; then LAURIE notices the backs of their pants. LAURIE Hey! You guys' butts are all dirty! What were you doing, sitting in the mud? RUFUS and TERRY exchange glances. RUFUS Oops! TERRY Uh--we did take a little sit-down break; I guess the ground was kind of wet still. LAURIE Well, it's time we did another load of laundry anyhow, when we get back to town. EXT. PICNIC AREA--MORNING It is the following morning. RUFUS, LAURIE, and MARY are sitting at the picnic table. They have just finished breakfast and are getting ready to pack up and leave. MARY Hey, do you guys mind if I take a little nap? I didn't get a whole lotta sleep this weekend and I'm still feelin' kinda tired. LAURIE Still not finished de-stressing, huh? RUFUS No, go ahead. You can crawl in the van and we'll pack up. She stands up and walks over to the van. RUFUS and LAURIE begin putting the food back into the cooler. LAURIE Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to bring her up here. This hasn't been the most relaxing weekend for her after all. RUFUS She's just not used to all this quiet. She'll probably get back into her normal sleep patterns once we're back in the noisy city. Then it'll be my turn to lose sleep again. INT. VAN--DAY It's about half an hour later and they are ready to leave. RUFUS and LAURIE climb into the front seat and close the doors. MARY is still snoozing away in the back. RUFUS steps on the gas and turns the key in the ignition. The engine starts to turn over, then suddenly stops. His eyes widen in alarm. RUFUS Oh, no! He tries it again, but still the engine won't quite turn over. He leans back in the seat and closes his eyes. RUFUS Are you doing this, Laurie? LAURIE No, of course not! How do you think I could make an engine die? RUFUS I don't know how you do half the things you do. LAURIE What? You think I put a hex on the engine, just so we wouldn't be able to leave? Come on! RUFUS OK, I'm sorry. Of course it's not you. He sits up and tries it one more time, but still nothing happens. RUFUS Damn! What are we gonna do? LAURIE Maybe it just needs a jump. RUFUS Maybe. Now the question is, who around here has any cables? LAURIE We'll just have to ask. RUFUS God, what a pain! After fuming for a couple of beats, he reluctantly opens the door and climbs out. EXT. PICNIC AREA--DAY RUFUS opens the engine and starts examining the parts. After a few beats of this, TERRY walks up to the van. We see that he has changed into a clean pair of pants until he can wash his muddy ones. TERRY Having engine trouble? RUFUS Yeah, the damn thing won't start. You don't have any jumper cables, do you? TERRY Unfortunately, no. But maybe it's something else. They both start fiddling around with the parts. Then LAURIE climbs out and joins them. After an interval in which all of them try this and that, it becomes clear that TERRY has more expertise in the matter than the other two, besides the fact that he's more familiar with this van. Finally he delivers his conclusion. TERRY It needs a new starter. RUFUS (sarcastically) Oh, terrific. You don't happen to have an extra one, do you? TERRY (unperturbed) Not on me, no. But if you can get one I'll install it free of charge. RUFUS And where do you suppose we'll find one around here? TERRY is thoughtful for a moment. TERRY Well, I know you don't want to go back to Salisbury again for anything, but-- RUFUS Salisbury? TERRY The town where the cops rousted you before; I don't know why you keep forgetting the name. I happen to know there's an auto parts store there where you can get good stuff pretty cheap. LAURIE Really? Are you sure they're open on Sundays though? TERRY I think so. I know it looks like a pretty laid-back little town, but it's not like they roll up all the sidewalks on the weekends. RUFUS How much do you think it'll cost? TERRY You might be able to get a used one for about twenty-five bucks. RUFUS Hm. He is hesitant, so TERRY tactfully ventures a question. TERRY How much money do you guys have on you, if you don't mind my asking? RUFUS About enough for a tank of gas and that's about it. LAURIE No honey, we have a little more than that. But she looks a little hesitant too. So TERRY makes a quick decision. TERRY Look, if you're too scared to show your faces there again, I'll go. I have enough to buy a starter and you can reimburse me later. RUFUS Are you sure? We'll reimburse you for the gas too. TERRY Don't worry about it; I got enough. LAURIE You're not afraid of getting hassled? TERRY Oh come on, they don't bother everybody that looks like a hippie, if you're obeying all the laws. I've never been caught with an open beer in a place that's known for drug dealing. At least, not in that town. RUFUS Well, if you're sure. We'd be greatly obliged. TERRY Not a problem. Anything else you need in town, while I'm there? LAURIE Actually we could use some more ice for the cooler; it's about all melted. TERRY Ice? That I can do. Anything else? Another propane cylinder maybe? LAURIE I think we're fine with that, but thanks. TERRY I should be back in about an hour. LAURIE And if you aren't? TERRY chuckles. TERRY Call out the National Guard! No, don't worry; I'll manage just fine. With that he turns and walks over to his truck. As he drives away, RUFUS and LAURIE go and sit down at the picnic table again, not knowing what else to do. After they have sat there musing in silence for a few beats, ROBERTA walks up to the table and sits down. ROBERTA What's up? I thought you guys were leaving this morning. LAURIE We're having engine trouble, would you believe? ROBERTA Yeah, I believe it. What's wrong? RUFUS Terry said it's the starter. He's going to get us a new one. ROBERTA Hey, you're lucky you know a good mechanic. He's helped me before too, when my truck needed fixing. LAURIE Then why isn't he doing that for a living instead of mopping floors? ROBERTA shrugs. ROBERTA Who knows? You'll have to ask him that; I don't pry. LAURIE is thoughtful. LAURIE He certainly does a good job of managing his money, if he can make such a small income go that far. RUFUS We don't know that's his only income, Laurie. We don't pry into that either. LAURIE I suppose not. . . .But he said he's not involved with drugs or anything. RUFUS No Laurie, he didn't say that at all. All he said was he's never been caught with an open beer in a place that's known for drug dealing--in that town.. LAURIE laughs. LAURIE Oh yeah, that's right: only go by the letter of what they say. . . .Dammit, babe, you should be a lawyer! RUFUS Oh, shush! If I had a dollar for every time I've heard that. . . INT. TERRY'S TRUCK-DAY MS TERRY at the wheel. About a quarter of an hour has gone by and he is halfway to Salisbury. Then he sees in the distance the figure of a male hitchhiker on the other side of the road, headed in the opposite direction. He fixes his eyes on the man as he looks somehow familiar. Then, as he gets closer, his eyes widen as he recognizes him. TERRY (muttering to himself) I don't believe it--he's thinking to crash the party two days in a row?! He's getting even crazier now! In a few beats he has made a decision. When he reaches the next turnaround, he makes a U-turn and heads back the other way. When he sees the man still standing by the road with his thumb out, he drives just past him, then pulls over as if to offer him a ride. The man runs up to the truck and opens the door on the passenger side. Then he stops dead still when he sees TERRY's face. MATTHEW Don't I know you from somewhere? TERRY (sternly) You should. MATTHEW hesitates. TERRY I know where you're going too. And you might as well forget it; Roberta's got three people there to back her up, not counting me. You're not gonna get anything out of her. MATTHEW hesitates for a couple more beats as he recalls the previous day and places TERRY's face in the memory. Then he goes into his defiant stance. MATTHEW What business is it of yours, anyhow? TERRY She's my friend. MATTHEW (sarcastically) Oh, I'll bet. How much does she charge you to-- TERRY Oh, knock it off! She's never even let me touch her. Not that that's any of your business. MATTHEW just glares at him. TERRY Why don't you just leave her alone? She's got enough on her plate as it is, without you terrorizing her too. MATTHEW replies in a condescending tone, as if explaining it to a retarded child. MATTHEW I-need-my-truck. TERRY (ignoring the condescension) No you don't. Roberta needs it. You've got somebody else with her own rig now. MATTHEW That rig isn't a whole lotta good. It keeps breaking down. TERRY Well, that's not Roberta's fault; why penalize her for it? Even if that was true? MATTHEW Oh, are you calling me a liar now? TERRY rolls his eyes. TERRY Look dude, I'm giving you two choices. Either you turn around and head back where you came from, or else I'm going up to the park to make sure there's four of us to back her up when you get there.You'll just be wasting your time. MATTHEW glares at him for a couple more beats. Then suddenly he hoists himself up into the passenger seat and slams the door shut. MATTHEW No. You're driving me up there. TERRY Oh, no I'm not! Then suddenly MATTHEW pulls a knife out of his pocket and pops the blade open with a dramatic flourish. MATTHEW Oh, yes you are. TERRY looks at the knife but doesn't flinch. TERRY (sarcastically) Oh, so now you're thinking to take the truck away from her at knife-point, is that it? MATTHEW shakes his head and rolls his eyes. MATTHEW You don't get it, dude--I'm giving you two choices. Either you drive me up there, or-- Now he forcefully jabs the blade into TERRY's ribs. TERRY suddenly goes pale and makes an involuntary noise that's a combination gasp and cough. MATTHEW Now drive. After only a brief pause, TERRY steps on the gas and resumes driving. But he ventures just one more line. TERRY This isn't going to do you any good. MATTHEW responds in a tone of ominous warning, while giving his ribs another jab. MATTHEW Be quiet. EXT. PICNIC SITE--DAY RUFUS, LAURIE and ROBERTA are still sitting at the picnic table. Another quarter of an hour has gone by when suddenly TERRY's truck pulls back in and parks. LAURIE Woa, that was awfully quick! Didn't he say it would take an hour? They all look at the camper, and are astounded to see, not TERRY get out on the driver's side, but MATTHEW get out on the passenger side first. ROBERTA's mouth drops open. MATTHEW struts over to the picnic table, his knife once again concealed in his pocket, while TERRY gets out of the truck more slowly, as if he's having a little trouble standing up. MATTHEW walks straight up to ROBERTA, more or less ignoring the other two. MATTHEW OK, here's the deal. You've got till August first to get the camper off the truck; otherwise I'm taking it off myself. I have the legal right to it and you can't stop me! ROBERTA says the first thing that pops into her head. ROBERTA That's assuming you know where to find me on August first. MATTHEW I always find you; you know you can't hide from me. RUFUS gets up and starts to make a move toward him, but not quite fast enough. MATTHEW pulls the knife out of his pocket again and points it at him, and he freezes in his tracks. MATTHEW Don't even think it, buddy! In the midst of the confusion, nobody notices that MARY is quietly climbing out of the van. She looks at TERRY, who is walking slowly toward the table. She winks at him and puts a finger to her lips. MATTHEW has his back to her and is oblivious to her presence, as he yells some more abusive words at ROBERTA while holding RUFUS and LAURIE at bay with the knife. She moves toward him quietly and quickly while he continues to yell at ROBERTA. Then she grabs him by the hand that is holding the knife and twists his arm up behind his back. He lets out an involuntary shriek of pain, while the knife drops to the ground. RUFUS scoots over and picks it up, then sits back down at the table. MATTHEW cranes his neck to get a glimpse of his large assailant, and is surprised that she is female. MATTHEW What the hell are you doing, cunt?! MARY What did you call me? She ratchets his arm a notch further up his back. MATTHEW OWWWWWW!!!!!!!! MARY Oh, did that hurt? Sorry. She lets go. He quickly turns around and backs a few feet away from her while rubbing his shoulder. MATTHEW Where the hell did you come from?! MARY The big city. Where did you come from? Now TERRY has reached the table. TERRY Like I told you, dude, you're wasting your time. MATTHEW glares at all of them in turn, then his eyes light on RUFUS's hand which is holding his knife. MATTHEW You've got my knife. RUFUS looks at the knife as if seeing it for the first time. RUFUS So I do. Do you want it back? LAURIE Give us your address and we'll mail it to you. Then she gets a closer look at the knife and admires its turquoise handle. LAURIE But then again, it's so pretty maybe we should keep it. MATTHEW It is my property. TERRY I think you just now forfeited your right to it. MATTHEW I didn't hurt you with it. TERRY You were going to. MATTHEW You can't prove that. RUFUS If I give it back to you, do you promise to leave? Again MATTHEW glares at him in silence. Then he turns to ROBERTA. ROBERTA Yeah, I know--come hell or high water, you're going to get your truck! That line has gotten awfully old. MARY Any time you wanna work this out in a civilized way, dude, I'm sure you two can find a solution. But these theatrics aren't doin' it. So I suggest you leave right now. This is the first time MATTHEW is feeling the force of MARY's charismatic personality, and he is at a loss for how to respond. Suddenly RUFUS throws the knife as far as he can in the direction of the highway. He does it with a snap of the wrist as if hurling a frisbee. RUFUS Now go get your knife and scram. MATTHEW glares at all of them once more, then stomps off and picks up his knife. Then he turns around for one last parting shot at ROBERTA. MATTHEW August first, bitch! And I mean it! He turns back to the road and resumes walking. Then TERRY decides to get in one last parting shot at him. TERRY Hey--aren't you gonna thank me for the ride? You didn't even chip in any for gas! MATTHEW turns around again and mutters some obscenities under his breath. Then he continues walking toward the road without looking back again. Everybody lets out a big sigh of relief. Then RUFUS and LAURIE look quizzically at TERRY. LAURIE Did he hijack you up here? TERRY Hell yes! had that damn knife in my ribs! LAURIE Oh, Terry! She and RUFUS spontaneously stand up and enfold him in a three-way hug. They can feel that he is shaking a little despite his show of bravado. Then LAURIE pulls back a little and looks at him, still puzzled. LAURIE But how did he get in the truck with you? TERRY I saw he was hitchhiking up here, and like a fool I stopped and tried to talk him out of it. I should have known he had a weapon. ROBERTA nods. ROBERTA Guys like him always carry weapons; that's his way. He's not above using coercion, threats, anything he thinks will work to get him what he wants. LAURIE Damn, it's a good thing we did bring Mary along! MARY smiles at them. She seems to feel much better now that she's back in her "Big Mary" element, and can't resist gloating a little. MARY Oh, by the way, in case you're interested, I was gonna grab him in another place. But his pants were a little too tight. RUFUS and TERRY both look at her hands with big eyes. RUFUS (solemnly) This is one woman you don't ever want to get on the wrong side of, Terry. TERRY I'll remember! They are silent for a few more beats as they assess the present situation. RUFUS So I presume you didn't get the starter yet. TERRY Correct. I was only about halfway to Salisbury when I saw him. RUFUS And you probably don't want to go out there again yet, with him still on the road. TERRY I just won't stop for him again; what's he gonna do? But they can see that he is still a little shaken and needs time to recover. MARY looks puzzled, and they realize she didn't know what was going on. LAURIE I guess you didn't know our van's not running; we're still trying to get it fixed. MARY Oh. She looks a little concerned. LAURIE At this rate we might never get home. MARY I've gotta get back. Eckhardt still doesn't know what happened to me. They are silent for a few more beats. Then ROBERTA has a thought. ROBERTA If you guys want to wait a little longer, I could drive Mary home. MARY D'ya think? ROBERTA smiles at her. ROBERTA If he sees you in the truck with me, he won't dare mess with either of us! RUFUS That's true--didn't I tell you? You couldn't ask for a better bodyguard than Mary! ROBERTA laughs. ROBERTA OK, I'm convinced. She's hired! MARY I tell ya what: if you drive me home, you could try parkin' on my street for a while and hang out at my place. He wouldn't know to find you there. ROBERTA That could be a plan. I like it! Especially on August first! Then she looks at TERRY with some sympathy and concern. ROBERTA Are you OK? TERRY sits down at the table. TERRY I guess I'll live, but that was scary. I wasn't quite sure if he was crazy enough to use the knife, but I had to assume he meant business. He had it anchored between my ribs pretty good and I felt the point of that blade the whole way up here. ROBERTA He is that crazy. I'm sorry you had to go through that, but your instinct was right not to resist him It could've gotten messy--no joke. TERRY (grimly ) That's what I figured. . . .Dammit, I was just trying to protect you. ROBERTA And I do appreciate it. LAURIE (to ROBERTA) Did he ever threaten you with a knife before? ROBERTA Of course! He loves doing that melodramatic stuff; it's how he gets his thrills. LAURIE Maybe he has fantasies about being an airplane hijacker. ROBERTA laughs again. ROBERTA He'd make a great terrorist, that's for sure. Maybe he just missed his calling. Then she looks at MARY. ROBERTA So are you about ready to rock and roll? MARY Yesterday! You know I can't wait to get back with Eckhardt. ROBERTA OK then, I guess we're outta here. She stands up. Then, because the occasion seems to call for it, she reaches over to TERRY and gives him a hug. ROBERTA Thanks. TERRY Hey, you know you've got my friendship any time you want it, Sis. LAURIE And if you see Matthew on the road, be sure to flip him the bird when you go by. ROBERTA laughs again. ROBERTA Will do! As they are driving away, LAURIE notices that TERRY is still sitting slumped at the table and doesn't seem about to move. She sits down next to him. LAURIE Are your ribs sore? TERRY No. But I'll never forget what that blade felt like. LAURIE looks at RUFUS. LAURIE Maybe we should hang around here and stay another night. We don't have to be back till tomorrow. For once RUFUS doesn't object. TERRY I'll go get your starter today; just give me a minute to get it together. RUFUS Take all the time you need. We aren't in that much of a hurry now, I guess. LAURIE Maybe you shouldn't pick up any more hitchhikers, though. For the first time TERRY manages a smile. TERRY That's probably a good idea! If I just stick to the plan I might actually make it there this time. LAURIE At least he didn't mug you for your wallet; you still have your money. TERRY Oh please, don't even think it! But he instinctively checks his pocket just to make sure the wallet is still there. Then LAURIE looks thoughtful as he slowly rises to his feet. LAURIE I wonder if. . . . TERRY If what? LAURIE If you should stop at the police station and report the crime. TERRY I could, but what good would it do? Like he said, I can't prove anything. It would be his word against mine, and you know he'd deny it all. LAURIE But he was waving that knife in our faces too! It would be the word of five people against his! RUFUS Do you really wanna bring the cops into this, Laurie? Call attention to the fact that we were camping here? LAURIE They wouldn't have to know we were camping here. It was daytime when it happened; there's no proof we were doing anything illegal. TERRY But Matthew could tell them we were all here two days in a row, which is pretty clear evidence we spent the night. RUFUS And they don't need any more than circumstantial evidence to turn the heat on us. LAURIE (disgusted) Tell me about it! RUFUS And there's also the sticky legal problem that Matthew does own the truck. He might act like a maniac, but it's not like he has no legal ground to stand on. LAURIE Well, supposing this thing was brought to court. Maybe that would force the two of them to sort that out once and for all. RUFUS Maybe, but is that worth the risk to all of us? LAURIE sighs. LAURIE Probably not. RUFUS See, this is the same dilemma Roberta's been living with all this time. The only difference is that we're also getting a taste of it now. TERRY touches his hand to the place on his rib cage where the knife was. TERRY No kidding! RUFUS And you know what's even more sick and twisted about this? Matthew knows we won't go to the cops because we're all homeless, and he's deliberately taking advantage of that too! It's like he's holding all of us hostage! LAURIE and TERRY both nod grimly. TERRY Didn't I tell you this was really about all of us, not just her? RUFUS Yeah, you did. And you were right. LAURIE Maybe you shouldn't have given him his knife back. RUFUS Believe me, I debated that for all of about three seconds. But he was right that it's his property. He could say we stole it from him, and that could get us in trouble too. LAURIE Yeah. RUFUS Either that or he'd just get another one. Or worse, next time he could come back here with a gun or something. Now her eyes widen in alarm. LAURIE Rufus, we'd better get outta here today! He might be crazy enough to attack us now even if Roberta's not here! RUFUS I think you're right. We shouldn't panic yet, but we should get on it as quick as we can. Now TERRY is walking toward his truck with a new surge of energy. TERRY I'm getting on it! As he is driving away, RUFUS sits down at the table and they look at each other. RUFUS Well, now it's down to the two of us, this big forest and a long time to wait. LAURIE We should be out of here in a couple of hours. RUFUS That's assuming he comes back, Laurie. LAURIE What are you talking about? Of course he'll be back. RUFUS For all we know he could be so panicked, he might decide to just head straight back to the city and leave us stranded here. LAURIE Come on Rufus, you know he's not that kind of person. RUFUS We're taking on faith that he's not, but we don't know how he acts in every situation. Some people do funny things when they're panicking. She is doubtful. LAURIE Well. . . . RUFUS You realize we're completely at his mercy now. All we can do is trust he'll be back with the starter. LAURIE smiles. LAURIE (with conviction) He'll be back. INT. HOSPITAL LAUNDRY ROOM--EARLY EVENING It is Monday, they are back from their weekend jaunt, and LAURIE is back at work. She has just finished putting a load of laundry into the washer. She takes off her rubber gloves, looks at the dryer and sees that it is still going. Then she looks up at the clock. LAURIE (to herself) I guess it's breaktime. INT. HOSPITAL BASEMENT CORRIDOR--EARLY EVENING She steps out into the hallway and heads toward the break room. Then she notices out of the corner of her eye that TERRY is walking rapidly down the hall with his back to her, headed for the exit door. LAURIE Terry? But he doesn't turn around. She isn't sure if this is because he's out of earshot or he doesn't choose to acknowledge her for some reason. She frowns in puzzlement as she watches him push the door open and go outside. She contemplates this for a few beats. Then she shrugs and continues walking toward the break room. EXT. HOSPITAL BUILDING--EARLY EVENING TERRY is standing outside the door. He looks around to make sure no one is nearby. Then he fishes a hand-rolled cigarette and lighter out of his pocket. He lights it and takes a deep drag. CU his face as he blows out the smoke and looks out into the distance at nothing in particular. In his eyes there is an expression of soulful yearning that we have never seen on him before. INT. VAN--NIGHT It is about a week later. RUFUS is picking LAURIE up at the hospital to drive her back to MARY's. She climbs in the passenger seat and shuts the door, and they head out. RUFUS I gotta say, Terry did an awfully good job. The van's running even better since he put the new starter in. LAURIE looks thoughtful. LAURIE Yeah. . . .And speaking of Terry, he's been acting really funny lately. He hasn't been the same since we got back from the woods. RUFUS How so? LAURIE He's been avoiding me at work. He doesn't sit and talk to me in the break room any more; he always just goes outside to have a cigarette instead, all by himself. RUFUS Does that mean he's smoking more? LAURIE Maybe, but it's more than that. He's got something on his mind that he's not telling anybody about. Now RUFUS is thoughtful. RUFUS Hm. LAURIE He couldn't be mad at us, could he? RUFUS I don't know what he'd be mad about. Just because we haven't reimbursed him for the starter yet? LAURIE No, we promised we would as soon as we get our next checks. He knows we're good for the money. RUFUS Maybe he's just tired of doing us favors and giving us advice all the time. Maybe he's getting sick of that "big brother" role. LAURIE Or maybe he doesn't want anything more to do with our little party group after that incident with Matthew. RUFUS Or it could be he's still traumatized over that and he doesn't know how to talk to anybody about it. You know, sometimes people need counseling after they've been the victim of a crime like that. LAURIE Do you think he's too proud to admit he's that traumatized? RUFUS Could be. . . .It could even be he's dissociating and doesn't even notice you're there. They both consider this in silence for several long moments. Then suddenly LAURIE gasps as another thought occurs to her. LAURIE Or could it have something to do with Roberta? RUFUS Like what? But now a little smile begins to appear on his face as he gets an inkling of what she means. LAURIE Did you notice when she was leaving the picnic site, she gave him a hug? That's the first time she's ever touched him, you know. Now they meet eyes for a moment. RUFUS You don't think he's falling in love with her, do you? LAURIE Why not? Wouldn't it make sense that he'd want to be more than just a "big brother" to her? Now they both smile as they silently consider this possibility, which does somehow ring true. Then RUFUS has another thought. RUFUS Maybe he's getting into a midlife crisis. LAURIE That might be part of it, but I still think he's in love. INT. HOSPITAL BASEMENT CORRIDOR--EVENING It is the following night. The camera is trained on the exit door down the hall from the laundry room. Now the door is opening and TERRY enters, returning from another of his cigarette breaks. He proceeds down the corridor toward the kitchen for several feet, then suddenly comes to a dead halt. Cut to a FS of LAURIE, standing squarely in the middle of the corridor and blocking his path with her small body. LAURIE Just where do you think you're going? TERRY (a little weakly) Back to work, where else? LAURIE Why don't you talk to me any more? Have I done something to make you mad? TERRY No. LAURIE Then it's time you told me what's going on. Cut back to TERRY, who is at a loss for an answer and suddenly looks very helpless. After a couple beats of silence, LAURIE motions to him to step into the laundry room with her so they can have a little more privacy. LAURIE Come on, you can extend your break a couple more minutes. This won't take long. TERRY meekly follows her in, not knowing what else to do. INT. LAUNDRY ROOM--EVENING Since they are pressed for time, she gets straight to the point. LAURIE I've gotta ask you something. Are you in love with Roberta? It's fortunate that TERRY is standing right next to the wall, otherwise he might have fallen over on the floor. Instead he leans against the wall for support. He looks away from her as he catches his breath. TERRY Rufus told me you were psychic. She smiles. LAURIE I am, sometimes. . . .I knew I was at least in the ballpark. TERRY Are you kidding? You just hit a home run! Now he hangs his head as if confessing to a terrible crime. TERRY I've wanted her for a long time now, really. It all just sort of came to a head over that last weekend in the woods, with all the stuff that happened, and now I can't stop thinking about her. LAURIE nods. LAURIE You sure kept it pretty carefully hidden before, though. TERRY Well, what could I do? I didn't want to scare her away. LAURIE Haven't you two been friends long enough that she can trust you by now? TERRY Only on a certain level. There's still a lot of things we don't know about each other. She only tells me what she wants me to know, and I don't press her for any more. LAURIE So you don't know how she feels about you. TERRY Not really. There are a couple beats of silence as he continues looking at the floor. His usual cool self is completely gone and he appears extremely vulnerable. She can almost see his heart pounding through his t-shirt. LAURIE (tentatively) Do you want me to talk to her? I will. TERRY Is she still staying at Mary's with you? LAURIE Part of the time, yeah. I'll probably see her tonight or tomorrow. Now he looks up at her with an imploring expression that he can't hide. He can't find any words to ask for help, but she sees the deep yearning in his eyes and is overwhelmed with pity. LAURIE (softly) I'll talk to her. You can't let this ride any longer. EXT. CHURCH DINING HALL--LATE AFTERNOON It is Friday, which TERRY has off work. This is a soup kitchen that serves a daily evening meal to the homeless. TERRY usually eats here on his days off when he has time to hang around. All sorts of homeless people, both on foot and with vehicles, congregate around the church grounds while waiting for the meal to be served. Now TERRY is standing outside the building, leaning against the wall and having a smoke while he looks nervously out at the street. There are two other homeless men sitting on the ground next to him. One of them is holding a jug of some kind of liquor in a paper bag. He takes a snort and passes it to the other man. Then he looks up at TERRY. CARL Spare a smoke, bro? TERRY Sorry, my tobacco's about gone. This isn't true, but he doesn't feel like sharing it with them. Then the other man holds up the bottle. DAVE Care for a snort? TERRY No thanks. (then half to himself) I don't want that on my breath when she shows up. But they hear him. CARL Waitin' on a lady friend, huh? He ignores their good-natured snickering and takes another drag. Normally he can make easy banter with the alcoholic street people, and even share booze with them on occasion, but he's clearly not in the mood today. To get away from them, he decides to go for a walk around the block and look for ROBERTA'S camper. EXT. STREET--LATE AFTERNOON TERRY is walking slowly down the sidewalk. Then, at the other end of the block, he sees ROBERTA's camper drive by on the street perpendicular to the one he's on. She apparently doesn't see him, as the truck continues on down the street. He finishes his cigarette, tosses the butt on the ground, and picks up his pace as he continues walking around the block back toward the dining hall. INT. DINING HALL--LATE AFTERNOON It is not yet time for the meal to be served, but people are starting to come in. At the back of the room there is a barrel full of free donated clothes that people can help themselves to. ROBERTA is standing by the barrel, holding up a shirt to see if it would fit her, when TERRY walks in. She has her back to him so she doesn't notice he's there. He looks at her very nervously as he stands a few feet away from her, and debates with himself whether he should leave before she sees him. But then she turns around. ROBERTA Oh, there you are. I saw your camper outside. TERRY Yeah, I've been here awhile. She drops the shirt back in the barrel and they smile shyly at each other. Neither of them is sure what to say next. ROBERTA Uh--have you seen the menu yet? Does it look any good? TERRY Just the usual boring stuff, really. Same old mashed potatoes that they never run out of. ROBERTA You don't sound like you're terribly hungry. TERRY Well, actually no. There are a few beats of pregnant silence. Then, a little breathlessly, she ventures a suggestion. ROBERTA Actually, I'm not either. We could just blow off dinner here and cook something in one of our campers a little later on. A couple more beats of pregnant silence before he softly utters the loaded question, with just a hint of lust in his eyes. TERRY Yours or mine? She is silent. They smile shyly at each other again, but this time not concealing their excitement quite as much. EXT. DINING HALL--LATE AFTERNOON The two drinking homeless men are still sitting in the same place, watching TERRY and ROBERTA as they exit the building and walk down the front sidewalk, headed toward ROBERTA's camper. The men both grin widely and one of them raises the jug of booze in salute. DAVE Way to go, dude! CARL If the camper's rockin', we won't bother knockin'! Now the camera moves closer in on TERRY and ROBERTA, who have just partially heard the men's teasing comments. ROBERTA Do you know those guys? TERRY A little bit. That's Dumpster Divin' Dave and Crankhead Carl. ROBERTA laughs a little. ROBERTA (playfully) And what do they call you? Tweakin' Terry? TERRY No, they're the tweakers. ROBERTA How about Teetotalin' Terry? TERRY No, that's not right either. I'm somewhere inbetween. ROBERTA Then what do they call you? TERRY Who said they call me anything, besides "bro" and "dude"? ROBERTA They don't know your name? TERRY I don't think so, and I'd just as soon keep it that way. We're not exactly in the same loop, if you know what I mean. ROBERTA Of course. I know you're not one of the tweakers; I was just kidding about that. TERRY nods. TERRY If they go down, I'm not going with 'em! And I won't bail 'em out either. But now she is on a roll. ROBERTA How about Hairy Terry? Now he dares to slip an arm around her shoulders, not caring what the "tweakers" might say. TERRY Now you're getting a little warmer, but that's not for them to know. INT. ROBERTA'S CAMPER--EVENING ROBERTA and TERRY are sprawling on the cabover bed, still on top of the covers and fully clothed. But TERRY's shirt is unbuttoned so we can see he does indeed have a very hairy chest. They are snuggling close together, leaning against propped-up pillows, their arms around each other. They are talking in soft voices, and they clearly still have a case of "Matthew on the brain", discussing the time he terrorized the whole group as well as his past abuse of ROBERTA. ROBERTA Anybody could ask me, "Why did you put up with his crap all that time?" But they're being ignorant. TERRY I know--like anybody could ask me, "Why didn't you knock the knife out of his hand?" Those are people that have never been in that situation. ROBERTA Yeah. TERRY You know when you're literally just a few inches away from death. ROBERTA Sure. If he'd sunk that knife in just maybe one inch deeper, you could have had a punctured lung. TERRY nods grimly. TERRY It could have been curtains for me. ROBERTA Did your life flash in front of you? TERRY Not exactly. But that instinct did kick in that said, "Freeze and do exactly what he says." ROBERTA Yeah. I'm all too familiar with that technique of his where he punctuates every command with another poke of the knife. TERRY Yeah, that's exactly the way he did it with me. Just two commands: "Drive" and "Be quiet." ROBERTA And with me the command was like "Strip and get on your belly, now!" Along with maybe another "Be quiet." TERRY looks stunned, then turns his head to look at her. TERRY You're kidding! ROBERTA No, that's how he seduced me the very first time. TERRY That's how he seduced you?! ROBERTA (matter-of-factly) Yes. Are you really that surprised? TERRY Maybe I shouldn't be. Now he looks at the opposite wall for a few beats while he contemplates this, then back at her. TERRY (more softly) Is that really what you were into? ROBERTA Terry, I wouldn't have gotten involved with him if a part of me didn't like that show of force. TERRY Holy crap! He looks at the wall for a few more beats while he takes this in. She does the same as she recalls the long-ago event. ROBERTA No, wait--he didn't get out the knife that first time; that came a little later on. TERRY But he did get out the rope? She looks at him, surprised. ROBERTA How did you know? TERRY It wasn't hard to guess. This old guy might be a little slow sometimes, but I think I'm starting to get it now. ROBERTA That's right--the first time he got out the knife was to cut me loose afterward. I remember now. For a moment TERRY looks as if he's about to throw up. She ignores this and continues reminiscing. ROBERTA He cut that poor rope to ribbons too. He had to get another one the next day. TERRY Come on, I don't want a blow-by-blow! I've got the picture! And I'll tell you this: you won't ever get me to do anything like that. ROBERTA No? There is just a hint of disappointment in her voice. TERRY If that's what you're looking for, I'm afraid you'll have to get it from somebody else. ROBERTA Really? TERRY Sorry. That's not my taste at all. I'm not into any kind of ritual abuse. ROBERTA That's what you call it? Abuse? TERRY (with conviction) Yes. And it's not good for you. ROBERTA (coyly) You're so sure? It's just a harmless game, really. He considers this, then answers carefully. TERRY OK, I guess I understand, you just like it rough. ROBERTA And is there anything wrong with that? TERRY Maybe not. It just doesn't happen to be my taste. . . .I was sort of hoping it would thrill you just to be loved, without needing to be raped. I mean, he didn't even love you, really. ROBERTA What makes you so sure about that? TERRY Do you honestly think he did? ROBERTA Yes, believe it or not, I think he did, in his own way. At least for a while, in the beginning. TERRY I'd wager his conception of love is immature at best. ROBERTA Maybe. He ponders it a little more. TERRY And maybe it gave you a feeling of security that he kept you in literal bondage while he was protecting you from the other predators. ROBERTA Yeah. He'd always say things like, "As long as you don't fight me you'll be fine". TERRY Until he started hurting you even if you didn't fight him. ROBERTA Right. You know that part. TERRY OK, so it was a relationship of sorts, but that's called co-dependence, not love. And look what you ended up with: a stalker on your trail, while he's giving those same kinky thrills to somebody else! What a deal! Now he is clearly getting impatient as his passion is rising. He wraps his arms around her in a very tight squeeze. TERRY I can be wild, but that's not exactly the same thing as rough. She smiles, as this idea does not seem disagreeable to her. TERRY Sorry if I seem old-fashioned and boring, but I'd like to have your arms around me, not strapped behind your back. So she makes an elaborate gesture of wrapping her arms around him and speaks almost in a whisper, as her mouth is right next to his ear. ROBERTA So be wild! The camera may continue rolling while they undress and make love, or not. By this time DAVE and CARL have gone inside the dining hall along with all the others. So there is no one around to make snide comments when the camper starts rocking. EXT. CHURCH GROUNDS--MORNING There is a small park next to the church. The camera is at a slight distance from a tall black man with dredlocks who is standing on the walkway. He is tuning up an electric guitar which is plugged into a cheap amplifier. Now he strikes up a chord and starts playing an impromptu song. Since it is early on a Saturday morning, not many people are about yet. But he goes on playing, unconcerned about whether he has an audience or not. INT. ROBERTA'S CAMPER--MORNING ROBERTA and TERRY are under the covers, just now opening their eyes. ROBERTA turns her face toward the window at the sound of the guitar. ROBERTA We're being serenaded. She sits up and looks out the cabover window at the musician. Then TERRY is curious, so he does the same. ROBERTA That's Quentin! I haven't seen him in a coon's age! TERRY Oh yeah, I've seen that guy before. They watch him for a few beats, smiling a little. Then they look at each other. TERRY So what's for breakfast? Leftover pizza? ROBERTA shrugs. ROBERTA We can cook something else, if that doesn't appeal to you. But what shall we do with the rest of the day? TERRY I have the weekend off; we can do whatever we want. But I suggest we go somewhere else. ROBERTA Yeah, we did take a bit of a chance parking here overnight. . . .So where shall we go? To another park or something? TERRY I don't know; we still have a little time to decide. We're not in that big of a hurry. He gives her a long kiss and they crawl back under the covers. She smiles with drowsy pleasure. ROBERTA I like your wildness. TERRY I like yours too. And not in fetters. EXT. CITY PARK--DAY It is around noon of the same day. This is in fact the same park where RUFUS and LAURIE had their campsite before moving in with MARY. Now there are two other tents in the same place where theirs had been, semi-hidden in a clump of trees and bushes the same way. As yet the occupants of the tents are not visible. An establishing shot of this scene. Then the camera switches to an adjacent road, where TERRY's and ROBERTA's vehicles are rolling into the park. They pull over and stop within view of the tents, and both get out of their trucks. They see the tents. TERRY Looks like more campers. ROBERTA (witn some concern) Yeah. They need to hide those tents better, though; they shouldn't be so visible from the road. They both look at the tents with interest and concern, but don't go any closer to them as they don't want to intrude. Then ROBERTA goes inside her camper and comes out holding a blanket. Then another sight catches their attention: a Dolphin motorhome coming up the same road they are on. Suddenly ROBERTA gasps and goes pale. TERRY sees her expression, looks at the camper and then back at her. TERRY What's the matter? ROBERTA (breathlessly) That's Darlene's rig! TERRY Darlene? ROBERTA Matthew's new girlfriend. The motorhome goes some distance up the road, then stops at a place that's still in their view. ROBERTA (panicking) We gotta get outta here! TERRY Now, wait a minute. He doesn't have any right to chase us out of the park. Do you think he's gonna stage a scene here, with all these witnesses? ROBERTA reconsiders. ROBERTA Well, probably not. Especially not if she's with him. . . .And it's not August first yet. TERRY There you go. We have at least as much right to be here as they do. But they both watch very carefully as the doors open and MATTHEW and DARLENE climb out. We see the latter two only from a distance, from TERRY and ROBERTA's POV. As they climb out, it's clear that they have noticed the other couple's presence. They stand there eyeballing them for a few beats, but make no move in their direction. We see that MATTHEW and DARLENE are conversing, but they're too far away to be heard. There are several long moments of anxious back-and-forth eyeballing between the two couples. Then DARLENE looks at MATTHEW, holds up the frisbee she has in one hand, and gestures toward an open grassy area. She and MATTHEW proceed to walk over there, taking no further notice of TERRY and ROBERTA. Then they move some distance apart, and begin throwing the frisbee back and forth, looking for all the world like two innocent children. TERRY and ROBERTA stand watching them in wide-eyed, drop-jawed amazement. TERRY I don't believe it! You'd never guess he was a psychopathic maniac, to look at him now. ROBERTA Like I've tried to explain before, Terry, he does act normal and civilized most of the time. You've only seen him in a few of his crazy moments, but he's not usually like that. TERRY So that's why they still let him walk around loose, huh. ROBERTA Sure. If he acted crazy all the time, he would be locked up somewhere. Or at least she wouldn't put up with him. Now TERRY looks at her. TERRY Like you wouldn't have either, huh. ROBERTA Of course not! TERRY nods slowly, then looks back at them with a new understanding beginning to dawn. TERRY I bet he still has that knife in his pocket, though. ROBERTA Probably. But he won't use it here, unless somebody attacks them. Then TERRY has another thought. TERRY Now that we've seen her rig is running, he can't give us any of that garbage about it being broken down either. ROBERTA Not right now, no, but it could theoretically break down again next week. So we can't be sure he won't pull that again. TERRY You mean like it theoretically broke down before? ROBERTA Yeah, whatever. TERRY nods. Then he looks at ROBERTA again. TERRY Anyhow, let's just get on with our business too. They walk over to another grassy area, still in view of MATTHEW and DARLENE but not too close. They spread the blanket on the ground and sit down on it. But they still can't help looking at the other couple some more. Now TERRY focuses his curiosity not so much on MATTHEW, but on his new partner. TERRY How well do you know Darlene? ROBERTA I've only met her a couple of times and we haven't talked much, but she seems pretty decent. She's always nice to me. . . .I know, it kind of makes you wonder what she's doing with him. TERRY looks at her. TERRY Roberta, anybody could have said the same thing about you too. In fact a lot of people did. ROBERTA Yeah, I guess. . . TERRY There's gotta be another side to her that we're not seeing here. I mean, to live with him, she has to like playing other games besides frisbee, right? ROBERTA Yeah, that's pretty much a requirement of all his partners. In fact, she might even have a wider range of tastes than I do. I know he certainly has a broader "S&M" repertoire than he ever used on me. Now his face takes on an expression of horror as another realization begins to dawn on him. TERRY Do you think that's the reason he dumped you for her? Just because she'd do more of the things he likes? ROBERTA (unruffled) In his case it is possible. TERRY What an incredible scumbag! ROBERTA (still unruffled) He can't help it, Terry. He just happens to have some bizarre tastes, and I don't share all of them. TERRY And that's how he picks his partners?! ROBERTA He does seem to have a certain radar for women who like that stuff. TERRY turns his head to look at the other couple again and shakes his head. TERRY I just don't get it, how she can let him do those disgusting things to her, and she still looks so--I don't know, unspoiled. ROBERTA laughs. ROBERTA You were expecting some kind of tweaked-out slut? TERRY Or something. I mean, look at her. She looks like a frickin' cheerleader! ROBERTA Or did you expect her to look sort of devastated like a crime victim? TERRY Maybe. ROBERTA I know what you mean, but the fact is, if she doesn't consider it a crime she doesn't feel like a victim. Just like I didn't. Whatever he does to her, she chooses. In bed, that is. TERRY shakes his head again. TERRY Maybe I'm naive or something, but I just don't get any of this. ROBERTA It does seem a little bizarre, I guess. . . .But you know what else? I think she's starting to have some kind of a mellowing effect on him. She's doing something for him that I never could. And not just what she lets him do to her in bed either. TERRY You think he's actually changing? ROBERTA He could be, in some ways. It's not impossible, you know. TERRY Hm. ROBERTA I guess it's even possible for somebody like him to find a compatible partner, and somebody who's not messed up like he is. TERRY Come on, she's gotta be messed up in some way! ROBERTA Maybe, but she just seems to have some way of managing him that I could never figure out. And she's feisty; she can hold her own in an argument. He considers this for a moment. Then he has another thought. TERRY I wonder if she even knows about him coming after you for the truck ROBERTA She might not. TERRY I mean, if she's so nice and doesn't want trouble, why would she let him terrorize you like that? ROBERTA It's not a matter of letting him, Terry; she doesn't have any control over his actions--at least not if he doesn't tell her where he's going. He could have given her some phony story about that; he can be quite a liar too, when it serves his purposes. TERRY Like he was lying about her rig being broken down. ROBERTA Well, we don't know for sure if he was lying about that, but he could have been. TERRY You always said you didn't believe it. ROBERTA It didn't really ring true, no. TERRY Then what is that truck business all about, if he doesn't really need it? ROBERTA Think about it. She owns that Dolphin that they both live in now. That gives her an edge over him that I never had. TERRY And that hurts his masculine ego? ROBERTA Sure. He needs to have something that he still owns, even if he's not using it. TERRY shakes his head. TERRY And even at the expense of your peace of mind. That's sad. ROBERTA Yeah, it is, if that's his only way of preserving his self-esteem. He doesn't have much in the world, Terry. He never really did TERRY OK, but I'm not gonna shed too many tears for him. He still has no right to treat you the way he does. Now TERRY looks thoughtful as he considers this some more. TERRY I always had a hunch it was some irrational reason like that. Because, logistically, how would he make it work? If he takes the truck, where's he gonna park it? He can't put the Dolphin on the back of it. So what use would it be to him? You'd be stuck with a camper shell and no place to put it, and he'd be stuck with a truck he can't use. It doesn't make any sense! ROBERTA You're right, it doesn't. He pretends he has some kind of a plan, but I don't know what it would be. . . .But don't forget, schizzophrenic people have a logic all their own, and they don't care if it doesn't make sense to other people. That's why he's called crazy, after all. TERRY muses over this some more, but he still can't take his eyes off the couple. And in spite of himself he can't help admiring MATTHEW's athletic grace just a little. TERRY Mary couldn't have messed up his pitching arm too bad, if he can still throw like that. ROBERTA She wasn't trying to injure him, just disable him long enough to get the knife out of his hand. But I'll bet he was sore for at least a while afterward. TERRY laughs a little. TERRY Well, if he was dumb enough to call her a "cunt" when she had him in a hammerlock, too bad. He's lucky she didn't break it! ROBERTA Yeah. But you know, it was a little painful to see him make a fool of himself like that. He was always so smooth and cool when we were first together. He always knew the right things to say and everything. TERRY Sure, when he was holding the reins and you weren't balking at his authority. But now he just might be finally running out of luck. INT. POST OFFICE LOBBY--DAY It is a few days later. MATTHEW and DARLENE walk in the door and head for MATTHEW'S mailbox. He takes out his key and opens it. There is just one envelope. He takes it out. He frowns as he looks at the return address. MATTHEW This is from the traffic court! He and DARLENE look at each other with puzzled concern. Then he tears the envelope open. As he reads the contents, his eyes widen in shock. MATTHEW I don't believe it! DARLENE What? MATTHEW It's a frickin' parking ticket--on the truck! DARLENE rolls her eyes. DARLENE Oh, Matthew, you might have known something like that was coming sometime. MATTHEW But how can they charge me for this, when she's the one driving it around?! I'm not responsible for where she parks! DARLENE (unperturbed) But you are responsible for the truck itself, because you're still the legal owner. And whose fault is that? MATTHEW But how could they-- DARLENE It looks like the cops are finally getting smart and doing their homework, instead of just slapping tickets on the windshield. MATTHEW shakes his head. MATTHEW I don't believe this! DARLENE How much is the fine? He looks at the ticket again. MATTHEW Twenty-five bucks. DARLENE Well, you can afford that just this once. Then it's time to sign the title over to her, Matthew. Wake up and smell the coffee. I'm really getting sick of this business. MATTHEW has begun to breathe heavily and is looking out at nothing in particular. That maniacal expression has appeared on his face again and it's clear that he has a major fit of rage coming on. DARLENE sees this is happening, but is not intimidated as ROBERTA would have been. She takes his arm and speaks in a confident, authoritative voice.. DARLENE You'd better let me do the driving for a while. Take a few deep breaths and quit hyperventilating; we're going to get through this. OK? Now he looks at her and is unable to manage any words, but merely nods. They head for the exit door. EXT. POST OFFICE ENTRANCE--DAY Once outside the building, they stop. MATTHEW leans against the wall as he consciously slows down his breathing, till his eyes begin to clear again. Then DARLENE decides to hazard a lighter touch. She speaks in a soft voice so no one else can hear, with a little playful smile on her face. DARLENE Now if you don't behave I'll put you in the handcuffs. MATTHEW Hush, lady! I've got it under control now. DARLENE Then how about a nice foot massage? MATTHEW I'll let you do that. Now let's get outta here. They resume walking toward her camper. INT. MARY'S KITCHEN--MORNING It is the morning of August first. FS the calendar which hangs on the kitchen wall. It is still on the July page. Then MARY's hands enter the frame, lift up the page and fasten it to the nail on the wall, now displaying the August page. MARY August first. Now the camera moves out to include her and ROBERTA in the frame, both looking at the calendar. Then they look at each other, each reading the other's thoughts. MARY So, you think he's tracked you down to this neighborhood yet? ROBERTA I don't know how he would. He can't afford to hire any spies. MARY Yeah, except he claims to have some kinda radar. ROBERTA He just says that to spook me. This neighborhood is so far from our usual beaten path, he's not likely to just stumble onto it. MARY smiles. MARY Well, feel free to hang out here then, if it makes you feel safer. But if I were you I'd call his bluff. ROBERTA I know, but I still can't help feeling a little nervous. MARY Well, I'll tell ya this too: I've alerted Tony to the situation. He has today off work, and he said he'd keep an eye on your camper, just on the outside chance. He lives on the first floor and he can see the street out his window. ROBERTA Well, that's sweet of him. MARY And believe me, he'll deal with the guy if he shows up too! He's not even afraida goin' to jail. ROBERTA Does he have a knife? MARY Sure. And he has friends he can call for backup in a heartbeat too. Don't worry, we look out for our friends around here. Now LAURIE, who has just gotten up, chimes in from the living room. LAURIE Yeah, we can have a regular neighborhood watch. We can sit on the front stoop and keep an eye on it. I don't have to work tonight either, so I could even watch in the evening. ROBERTA Thanks, but that probably won't be necessary. I'm sure he doesn't have a clue where I am. Now RUFUS has just gotten up and chimes in. RUFUS We don't need a bloodbath on this street either. That would just give the landlady an excuse to have all of us hauled away. Which we all know she's itching to do. ROBERTA I really don't think it's gonna come to that. MARY Well, I'm off to work, you guys. Good luck. She saunters out the door, while ROBERTA stares at the calendar some more. After a couple of beats of this, the phone rings. We hear LAURIE answer it in the other room. LAURIE Hello? . . . (then in a teasing voice) Yes, Terry, I know who you wanna talk to. Roberta, it's for you! INT. MARY'S LIVING ROOM--MORNING LAURIE hands ROBERTA the phone, and she sits down in the chair. ROBERTA Hi, hon. We hear TERRY's voice on the other end. TERRY Well, it's August first. Any sign of him? ROBERTA laughs a little. ROBERTA Thank you for remembering too! No, there's no sign of him, but it's early yet. TERRY You know I was only joking. Do you think for one second he's gonna show up there? ROBERTA Not really, but we're taking some precautions just in case. TERRY Well, besides being August first, it's also Friday. Now she looks a little uncomfortable. ROBERTA Yeah? TERRY Meet me at the soup kitchen tonight? She is hesitant. ROBERTA I don't know. It might be safer to lie low here. TERRY Oh come on, Roberta, you don't think he's gonna do anything in front of the church! ROBERTA He's bothered me there before. TERRY But he's not gonna do anything, even if he does show up. And I'll be there. She is still apprehensive. ROBERTA Why don't you come over here? TERRY Well, if I've got this right, Mary's already hosting three homeless people there, with two extra vehicles on the street. One more could bring it to the critical mass point, in a place that size. ROBERTA (sighing) You're probably right. TERRY Call his bluff and quit hiding, Roberta. I'll be there. You'll be OK. She pauses just a couple beats more. ROBERTA All right. I'll meet you about four-thirty. TERRY It's a date. See ya, love. And before she can change her mind, he hangs up. EXT. CHURCH GROUNDS--LATE AFTERNOON It is about 4:30 of the same day. The usual group of homeless people is congregating around the building for the meal. As yet there is no sign of any familiar vehicles. Then we see ROBERTA's camper come down the street adjacent to the building. INT. TRUCK--LATE AFTERNOON ROBERTA looks out the window as she drives slowly, looking for TERRY's camper and hoping not to see DARLENE's. She drives all the way around the block and sees no sign of either. She looks a little perturbed. Then she pulls over to the curb and parks. She continues to look apprehensively out the window from the driver's seat, wondering why TERRY hasn't yet appeared. Then after a few beats of this, she decides to go inside her camper to wait, so she won't feel quite so exposed. She gets out of the truck and goes to the back door of the camper. She looks around once more, still sees no sign of TERRY, and goes inside. INT. CAMPER--LATE AFTERNOON She sits down at the table and pushes the window curtain aside so she can look out at the sidewalk. Still seeing no sign of TERRY, she picks up a book and tries to read. But she has a hard time concentrating, and still keeps looking out the window. Then after a few beats of this, there is a knock on the door. She jumps. It's not a hard- sounding knock like MATTHEW's, so she doesn't think it's him. She stands up and goes to the door. ROBERTA (cautiously) Who is it? Terry? DARLENE No, it's Darlene. Please open the door. ROBERTA's eyes widen in fear. ROBERTA Darlene? Are you alone? DARLENE Yes, I'm alone, I swear. Please open the door; this is friendly business. ROBERTA is curious and mystified. She turns the knob and opens the door just a few inches, to see DARLENE standing outside holding up a piece of paper with a handwritten note. Now she is curious enough to open the door wide, and sees that DARLENE is indeed alone. ROBERTA Well, uh--come on in. DARLENE steps inside and closes the door, looking just a little nervous. She hands the paper to ROBERTA, who starts reading it aloud. ROBERTA "This is a written bill of sale for a 1969 brown Ford pickup, license plate number..." That's Matthew's handwriting, for sure. She is so shocked that she has to sit down again. DARLENE remains standing. ROBERTA looks up at her. ROBERTA This can't be happening! How did you-- DARLENE gives a little nervous laugh. DARLENE No, you're not dreaming. I finally talked him into it. ROBERTA takes a few seconds to digest this. ROBERTA So you did know about him coming after me for the truck. I wasn't even sure. DARLENE Oh, yeah. We had so many arguments about it. I was so sick of hearing him rant about how "unreasonable" you were, it was just getting in the way of our own lives too much. I finally convinced him it would be better to just let it go. ROBERTA So you knew about those times he hitchhiked up to the woods? DARLENE Oh, yeah, when he came back from that last time we had a big fight. I just don't need the headache, and if you wanna know the truth, he's getting tired of it too. . . All right, I'll tell you: the last straw was when he got a parking ticket on the truck. ROBERTA Huh? DARLENE Apparently some cop traced the ownership of the truck to him, so instead of bothering you again, they had the ticket sent to him through the mail. ROBERTA bursts out laughing. ROBERTA Poor baby! DARLENE Yeah, I thought you'd enjoy that. The poor baby whined and bitched for days about having to pay the twenty-five bucks, but he knew he had only himself to blame. Now ROBERTA is thoughtful. ROBERTA Come to think of it, the cops haven't bothered me in quite a while. So I guess they finally figured out who to go after instead! DARLENE Yep, that seems to be the case. ROBERTA reflects some more. ROBERTA You know, there was a day I was in court with two parking tickets, and there was this kind lady judge who asked me the name of the truck's owner. I didn't exactly tell her I was homeless, but I think she sort of read between the lines and figured it out. Because the cops haven't bothered me since that day--at least not with parking tickets. That must have been it! DARLENE Yeah, probably was. It's funny how those things work out sometimes. Then ROBERTA looks at her again. ROBERTA OK, now there's something else I gotta know: was your rig really broken down all those times he said it was, or was that a bunch of bull? DARLENE Well, it was partially true. We've had a few minor problems with it, but nothing we can't deal with; it still runs. No Roberta, he doesn't need the truck. Except to prop up his poor little ego. ROBERTA nods thoughtfully. ROBERTA You know, that's what I figured all along. She looks at the paper again. ROBERTA It mentions both of our names, but he hasn't signed it yet. DARLENE Right. What we need to do is make one more copy, so you and him can each have one. Then we need to have it signed by two witnesses besides you and him, to make it all legal. ROBERTA And I don't have to pay him any money? DARLENE Not for a thing like this, no; he doesn't want any money. If you can just cough up fifteen cents for a second copy of the document, it's yours. ROBERTA smiles. ROBERTA I think I can manage that. DARLENE So, I'll be one witness if you can get a second one. ROBERTA Well, I'm sure Terry would do it--if he'd just get his butt over here. She looks out the window again. ROBERTA I haven't seen his camper yet, but maybe we should go look for him. DARLENE Right. And there's a copy shop just a couple of blocks from here, so we can go make a copy and get it all done today. ROBERTA So you've got your rig here? DARLENE Yeah, it's parked right around the corner. Matthew's in there; he's just waiting. ROBERTA shakes her head. ROBERTA I still don't quite believe the nightmare's really over. DARLENE smiles. DARLENE Well, believe it! I want to have this done with as much as you do. Now ROBERTA stands up, still holding the paper. ROBERTA Let's go see if Terry's here yet. EXT. CHURCH GROUNDS--LATE AFTERNOON ROBERTA and DARLENE are walking slowly down the sidewalk. Then they see TERRY approaching from the other direction. He addresses ROBERTA as soon as he sees her from a few feet away. TERRY Sorry I'm a little late; I got hung up in traffic-- Then he stops dead still as he recognizes the person walking alongside ROBERTA. He inadvertently stares at her, too astonished to know what to say. ROBERTA I have some good news, hon. She holds up the paper. Now they are standing face-to-face. TERRY takes the paper and starts reading it. Then he looks at the two women with the same expression of open-mouthed shock that ROBERTA had. ROBERTA laughs a little. ROBERTA I know--doesn't seem real, does it? TERRY looks at the paper again, still speechless. DARLENE (matterof-factly) If you're willing to put your signature on it as the second witness, we can get it all done today. So I suggest we all walk down to the copy shop and make a second copy. Now TERRY recovers his voice enough to get a few words out. TERRY He's really going to sign this? DARLENE Yep, he wrote it out himself; it's all legit. You will be a witness, won't you? TERRY Well, of course! Then the next thing he knows, the two women have reversed directions and they are all walking down to the copy shop together. EXT. STREET--LATE AFTERNOON It is about half an hour later. The three of them are now standing outside the back door of DARLENE's motorhome. TERRY and ROBERTA look duly apprehensive at the prospect of seeing MATTHEW. DARLENE sees their expressions. DARLENE Please don't worry; I made him promise to be on his best behavior. He wants to get this overwith as much as you do, so just be cool and it'll be done before you know it. She opens the door and looks inside. DARLENE OK honey, I've got Roberta and a second witness, if you're ready. MATTHEW (in a flat voice) Bring 'em in. INT. CAMPER--LATE AFTERNOON The three of them step inside and DARLENE closes the door. They see MATTHEW sitting at the table, appearing to be at least outwardly composed. He shows no expression on his face as they nervously approach him, and doesn't seem the least bit surprised that TERRY is the witness. He doesn't offer them a seat, as the chair he's sitting on appears to be the only one in there. He notes their apprehension as they stand there in silence, not sure how to begin. Then he decides to play with their heads just a little, commenting drily to DARLENE: MATTHEW You forgot to lock the door. TERRY and ROBERTA both visibly jump with alarm. MATTHEW lets out a cynical laugh. MATTHEW Just kidding. Then he surprises them by holding up his hands away from his body, palms facing them with all the fingers open and spread apart. MATTHEW You can search me if you want; I'm not armed this time. Serious. No tricks. This breaks the ice a little. ROBERTA (with a nervous laugh) That's OK; we believe you. Now let's just get this overwith. She lays the two copies of the paper on the table as MATTHEW lowers his hands. MATTHEW Darlene always sits on the knife when we have company. TERRY and ROBERTA snicker a little at this. Then without further ado, MATTHEW picks up a pen and signs his name on the seller's line of both copies. Then he hands the pen to ROBERTA, who signs her name on the buyer's line. Then she hands it to DARLENE, who signs on the first witness line, then hands the pen to TERRY who signs on the second witness line. He lays the pen down. Then MATTHEW gives them another surprise. He looks up at TERRY with a hint of softness in his eyes and speaks in a voice that sounds sincere. MATTHEW Take good care of her. TERRY is so taken aback that he answers with an uncharacteristic stammer. TERRY Uh--well, I'll try. Then ROBERTA leans over, smiles at MATTHEW and gestures toward DARLENE. ROBERTA And you be good to her! Now MATTHEW's expression changes to a cynical smile that is more typical of him. MATTHEW I'm always good. Now get outta here! He is still smiling as he makes a shooing gesture for them to leave. ROBERTA picks up her copy of the paper and they turn to go. ROBERTA Thanks, Darlene. DARLENE Not a problem. Good luck, you two. EXT. STREET--LATE AFTERNOON TERRY and ROBERTA step outside the camper and close the door. They both let out a huge sigh of relief as they stand there looking at the paper, then at each other. TERRY Do you believe it's really over? ROBERTA I'm still not sure I'm not dreaming, but it feels like a thousand-ton weight's just been taken off my shoulders. Then they hear MATTHEW's voice at the open window. MATTHEW Hey, run along, you two! I don't wanna hear your chit-chat. TERRY (playfully) Blow it out your ear, buddy! MATTHEW So's yer mother! TERRY and ROBERTA both laugh heartily as they step onto the curb and start walking slowly toward the dining hall. TERRY This calls for a celebration, definitely! ROBERTA We've got the whole weekend to celebrate. They stop, embrace and kiss deeply, not caring who might be watching. Then they resume walking. TERRY is thoughtful. TERRY I guess you were right. She is having some kind of a positive influence on him. ROBERTA Yeah, and she doesn't seem to take any bull from him either. But I know that still wasn't the least bit easy for him. That was about all the civility he could manage-- which might not seem like much, but it was a lot for him. TERRY nods. TERRY He had to sort of ignore the fact that his pride was hurt, like he'd finally lost the battle. ROBERTA Sure. But that battle was really just with his own self. She finally convinced him he'd be more relieved to let it go, instead of hurt. His pride itself is what was hurting him. TERRY chuckles. TERRY And almost got his shoulder dislocated! Maybe that helped bring him to his senses too. ROBERTA Sure it did. TERRY I noticed he stopped short of making any apologies, though. Or showing any real comprehension of all the agony he put you through before. ROBERTA I don't think he does comphrehend it, and he probably never will. And did you really expect any apologies? TERRY No. I wasn't expecting any of this! ROBERTA He didn't do it because he was sorry about anything. It was just to save his own ass from getting more parking tickets, and to get Darlene off his back. Then TERRY reflects some more. TERRY (tentatively) Did you think, just for a second, that they might have been luring us into some kind of a trap? ROBERTA No. She wouldn't do that. TERRY I didn't think so either, but that comment about locking the door-- ROBERTA laughs. ROBERTA What, you thought he'd knock us both over the head and then go take the camper off the truck? TERRY Who knows what a sick mind like that might dream up? ROBERTA No, don't even go there, Terry; you know he just said that to mess with us. He might invent some elaborate plots in his head, but they're just fantasies. TERRY Come on, I saw you jump too! ROBERTA laughs again. ROBERTA Did I? That was just an old reflex then. . . .No, he just had to get in one last shot at us, so it wouldn't hurt him quite so much that he was giving up. TERRY (sarcastically) Along with that magnanimous gesture to show he was unarmed. Like we were supposed to be impressed and grateful. ROBERTA Yeah, like I've told you before, he loves to be melodramatic, pretending he's a character in some old movie. TERRY I can see that. But. . . . ROBERTA But what? TERRY Aren't there times when he confuses fantasy with reality? Like he thinks the movie is real? ROBERTA considers this for a moment. ROBERTA You mean like when he pulled the knife on you, he thought he was really hijacking a plane? TERRY Or something like that. ROBERTA No, I think you've seen the extent of how far his craziness goes. He makes unrealistic calculations sometimes, but he still knows which universe he's in. TERRY So he's not really what you'd call delusional? ROBERTA No, I think he knew it was just a truck, and you were just going a ways up the road and not to Cuba, and he was holding a pocket knife and not a machine gun. TERRY But you said he was schizzophrenic. So where do the delusions come in? ROBERTA That was the diagnosis, yeah. But I've never seen any evidence that he's seeing imaginary beings or hearing voices or anything. He sees the same things we do, just in a distorted way. TERRY You mean they don't all have delusions? Now I'm confused; I thought that was part of the definition of that illness. ROBERTA Well, if you're talking about hallucinations, I think there's a difference. TERRY looks puzzled. ROBERTA A hallucination is when you're seeing something that's literally not there at all. A delusion is when you have a distorted concept of what is there. At least those are my definitions. Every dictionary will tell you something a little different. TERRY In other words, you never saw him talking to invisible people. ROBERTA No, not at all. Some of the people they call schizzophrenic just have unpredictable mood swings that make them act irrational. He seems to be one of those. There's some kind of a chemical change in the brain when they have those fits, but it doesn't always change what their eyes are seeing. TERRY shakes his head. TERRY That sounds more like bipolar disorder to me. ROBERTA is reflective. ROBERTA You know, when I think about it, that's what he thought it was too, when he first applied for disability. But when they checked him out, they diagnosed him schizzophrenic. He didn't argue with the decision; he was just glad when they started sending him the checks. TERRY chuckles a little TERRY They could call him anything they wanted as long as he got his money. ROBERTA Sure. He needed it bad, Terry, he was in pretty awful shape at the time. I mean, this was before I ever met him, but he told me he'd been homeless without a regular income for a long time; he was pretty desperate. TERRY You mean he was even worse before?! ROBERTA Oh yeah, 'way worse. At least when he got the money he was able to buy a vehicle and get a little more control in his life. Before that he was literally sleeping on the streets. If he hadn't gotten that much, he might be dead by now. TERRY (half to himself) And maybe we'd all be better off. ROBERTA No, don't say that. He has a right to live too. TERRY Well, I guess I don't know that much about it. The mental illness, I mean. ROBERTA I don't either, really, even after living with him for three years. I'm not a psychoanalyst; I just know what I saw. Frankly, I don't think even the so-called experts know as much about it as they pretend to. They're still learning too, after all. TERRY That may be. Then, sometimes I have this nagging suspicion too. . . . ROBERTA What? TERRY Could it be that he ever pretends to be even crazier than he really is, just so he can get away with some of that behavior? ROBERTA Oh, I don't know about that, Terry. He is pretty disturbed. And he doesn't get away with everything either. Sometimes he really is out of control. TERRY shrugs. TERRY Well, whatever. He's her problem now. ROBERTA Yep, that game is all over. Now we've got this to prove there was no coercion from anybody. She chuckles with pleasure as she looks at the bill of sale again. This time she reads the signatures aloud, savoring the sound of each name. ROBERTA Matthew Grainger, Roberta Hughes, Darlene Shires, Terry Schroeder. It sounds so official, with all of our full names. TERRY And who would have ever thought all four of those names would be on the same paper? ROBERTA With all four of us in the same room to sign them! He gives her a one-armed squeeze. TERRY Let's celebrate! Now they have reached the dining hall. They pause outside as ROBERTA has another thought. ROBERTA Where shall we go after dinner? TERRY I don't know. Where do you want to go? ROBERTA Well, it occurred to me, we could go up to our picnic site again, now that we know he won't bother us there any more. TERRY hesitates just a little. TERRY I suppose we could, although it might bring back some bad memories for me. She reconsiders. ROBERTA Plus we'd need to be back in town early Monday morning. I have an appointment at the gynecology clinic. TERRY Oh, you don't want to blow that off! We gotta make sure that part of you stays healthy. ROBERTA And to get another six-month supply of pills. TERRY By all means, keep 'em coming! Now she looks at today's menu which is posted outside the door. ROBERTA So you don't think we should go to the woods this time? TERRY Why don't we fill up our bellies first and then we'll figure it out. I actually have an appetite now. ROBERTA For macaroni and tuna? TERRY It works. He gives her another squeeze and they go inside. INT. MARY'S KITCHEN--EVENING It is about an hour later. RUFUS is standing at the sink with his back to the camera, washing the dinner dishes. A few beats of this, then there is a knock on the door. He turns his head to face the door and calls out, unconcerned. RUFUS If your name isn't Matthew, come on in. But then the knock repeats, and he realizes the door is locked. He turns his head in the other direction and calls out toward the living room. RUFUS Laurie, could you get that? My hands are in the dishwater. LAURIE promptly enters the kitchen, walks over to the door and opens it. She sees MRS. PETRELLI standing there, who predictably glares at her. MRS. PETRELLI Mary here? LAURIE No, she's at her boyfriend's house. Then MRS. PETRELLI's eyes light on RUFUS. MRS. PETRELLI You still usa my water! RUFUS turns his head again and looks at her, exasperated. RUFUS Lady, if you say that to me one more time, I'm gonna "usa your water" to dump it on your head! If you don't want our help with the water bill, then shut the frack up! This speech has the desired effect of stunning her into silence. He has to resist the temptation to flick a handful of soapy dishwater in her face. LAURIE Do you expect Mary to eat off of dirty dishes? Still MRS. PETRELLI is silent. Then LAURIE tries to assume a more professional tone. LAURIE Is there any message you want us to give her for you? MRS. PETRELLI I want to know if she leave at end of month. So I get new tenant. LAURIE Of course she's leaving. What, you thought she'd put up some kind of fight? She's already moving in with her boyfriend--who has a much bigger place. RUFUS (sneering) Her German boyfriend, who speaks much better English than you. MRS. PETRELLI And you go too? LAURIE Of course we're leaving too. RUFUS (sarcastically) Don't worry, you won't have to spend your precious dollars to hire a constable. We'll be gone from this dump. LAURIE (a little bitterly) Not that you care where we're going. MRS. PETRELLI is silent again. LAURIE Anything else? MRS. PETRELLI No. But I bring people in to look. RUFUS Thanks for the warning. I feel sorry for whoever the new tenant is. She glares at him once more, then turns and walks away. As soon as LAURIE closes the door, RUFUS does flick some soapy water at it. RUFUS God, I can't stand that bitch! LAURIE Chill, honey. We won't have to look at her crabby face much longer. Rufus sighs, shakes his head and turns back to the dishes. LAURIE (half to herself) So where are we going? RUFUS (still exasperated) Who knows? Back to the woods--I don't care any more. Before LAURIE can react to this, the phone rings. She goes into the living room to answer it. INT. LIVING ROOM--EVENING She picks up the phone and remains standing. LAURIE Hello? She hears ROBERTA's excited, upbeat voice on the other end. ROBERTA Hi Laurie. I've got some great news! LAURIE Don't tell me--Matthew's in jail. ROBERTA laughs. ROBERTA No, this is even better. Are you sitting down? LAURIE looks a little surprised, then drops into the chair. LAURIE Now I am. So what is it? Are you and Terry engaged? ROBERTA laughs again. ROBERTA No, not quite yet, but now we're free to take that step whenever we want. Matthew signed over the truck to me! LAURIE is predictably thunderstruck. LAURIE No way! ROBERTA Yes! I have the bill of sale right here to prove it. LAURIE Well, that's great, but how did you-- ROBERTA I'll explain it all later. I'm just calling to let you know I won't be back tonight. Terry and I are going--I don't know, somewhere. LAURIE laughs. LAURIE Well, wherever you go, at least you know he won't be trailing you now. ROBERTA Yeah, that's the best part. LAURIE Well, have fun, you two. You certainly deserve it. ROBERTA We will! Take care; I'll see ya later. She hangs up. LAURIE Woa! I've never heard Roberta sound so happy! I almost didn't recognize her voice! Now RUFUS appears in the doorway, having rinsed off his hands, while LAURIE slowly hangs up the receiver. RUFUS Well, if Matthew's not in jail and they're not engaged yet, what is it? LAURIE He signed over the truck title to her. He also looks duly shocked. RUFUS Just like that?! LAURIE Apparently. She didn't explain what changed his mind. Just that she won't be back here tonight. RUFUS I don't believe it! Maybe he was holding a gun to her head and making her say that. LAURIE Don't be silly, Rufus, what would he do that for? RUFUS Well, think about it. If she said she's not coming back tonight--maybe she won't ever be back. LAURIE No, she wouldn't have sounded so happy if it wasn't for real. Something's changed. . . .Besides, she told me he doesn't own any guns. RUFUS But we know he has a knife-- LAURIE Just get off that, Rufus. Trust me, she's fine. He's out of her hair now. RUFUS If you say so. LAURIE And she and Terry will probably be gone all weekend--which means we have the place all to ourselves. Now a slow raunchy smile is appearing on her face. RUFUS quickly discerns her meaning. RUFUS And Mary will probably be at Eckhardt's all weekend too. LAURIE And even the landlady probably won't bother us again tonight. RUFUS grins, then walks over to the chair, leans over and gives her a deep kiss. LAURIE Whatever happens, we still have us, honey. RUFUS Just us and that big bed. EXT. CITY PARK--DAY It is the following day. This is the same park where RUFUS and LAURIE had their campsite, and where MATTHEW and DARLENE were playing frisbee. The camera is trained on the same section where the two tents of the unidentified homeless campers were the last time we saw the place. Now there are three tents there. A few beats of this so we can take in the meaning. Then the camera moves in a little closer, so we can see that there is a hand-lettered cardboard sign proppod up against the entrance of one of the tents. It reads, "WHERE ARE WE SUPPOSED TO GO?"
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