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The Ice Storm Movie Script

Writer(s) : James Schamus

Genres : Drama

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EXT. TRAIN - DARKNESS BEFORE DAWN

Suburban Connecticut, outside of New York City, 1973. The
still after a terrible storm. Trees dripping, their branches
torn, the air warming just before the break of a new day. The
train lies dark and motionless, a few flashing yellow
emergency lights up front, as a work crew removes debris from
the track.

INT. TRAIN. PRE-DAWN

Various passengers, huddled uncomfortably, cold, asleep.

On Paul Hood, 15-and-a-half, stoner-preppie look, hunched up
in his seat under the faint emergency exit light. He reads
his Fantastic Four comic book by the pale light of the
emergency exit sign.

Suddenly, the lights begin to flicker on and the hum of the
train's engines returns.

The conductor enters the car, blasting forth in his classic
nasal voice.

			CONDUCTOR 
	Good morning ladies and gentlemen --

He sounds like a baseball announcer.

			PASSENGERS
		(mumbling, ad lib)
	What ladies?

			CONDUCTOR 
	-- this train originating at New
	York's Grand Central Station is
	back in service - next stop will be
	New Canaan, Connecticut. New
	Canaan, Connecticut, next stop!

He moves on to the next car.

The train begins to move.

Paul rubs his elbow against the window and looks out into the
still-dark early morning.

He looks back down at his comic book.

On the comic book: Reed Richards (also known as Stretch) has
zapped his young son with a cosmic ray gun to neutralize the
destructive energy that Annihilus has implanted in him. 

The Thing, Medusa, Flame, and Richards' wife Sue Storm look
on, stunned.
	"THEN YOU'VE TURNED HIM INTO A
	VEGETABLE. YOUR OWN SON." "DON'T
	YOU SEE, SUE? HE WAS TOO
	POWERFUL... IF HIS ENERGY HAD
	CONTINUED TO BUILD, HE WOULD HAVE
	DESTROYED THE WQRLD!"

Paul looks up again, thinking.

			PAUL (V.O.)
	In issue number 141 of The
	Fantastic Four, published in
	November 1973, Reed Richards has to
	use his anti-matter weapon on his
	own son, who Annihilus has turned
	into a human atom bomb. His son is
	the result of Richards' coupling
	with the earthling Sue Storm, and
	the problem is that the cosmic rays
	that infused Richards and the rest
	of the Fantastic Four on their
	aborted moon mission have made
	young Franklin a volatile mixture
	of matter and anti-matter.

EXT. TRAIN BRIDGE. PRE-DAWN

The train moves slowly through a suburban, semi-forested
landscape.

			PAUL (V.O.)
	And that's what it is to come from
	a family, if you analyze it
	closely. Each of them is negative
	matter for the other ones. And
	that's what dying is -- dying is
	when your family, which is in fact
	your personal negative matter from
	which you emerge -- it's when the
	family takes you back, thus hurling
	you back into negative space...

INT. TRAIN. CONT'D.

On Paul, as the sun breaks over the horizon. His face glows
warmly in the yellow light. He looks down idly at the comic
book.

			PAUL (V.O.)
	So it's a paradox -- the closer
	you're drawn back in, the further
	into the void you're thrown.

EXT. CONRAIL STATION. EARLY MORNING

The train slowly pulls in.

The train doors open, and Paul, weary from the long night,
emerges. He sees his family gathered at the other end of the
platform -- Ben, 40, a bit worse for wear but still retaining
traces of his boyish looks; Elena, 37, distant and elegant
even in her oversized sweater; and Wendy, 14, a sullen
suburban Lolita.

He pauses, regarding them.

They stand, silent, even dignified, awaiting him.

EXT. ST. PETER'S SCHOOL. MORNING

To establish. A typical New England prep school.

INT. PAUL AND FRANCIS'S DORM ROOM. MORNING

Cramped, a mess, but quaint. Paul shares the room with
Francis Davenport IV, a dissolute, smart-ass son of money.

Paul's alarm clock rings. He slams his hand down on it and
jumps out of bed, fully clothed in his rumpled preppie
uniform of frayed khakis, loose tie, shirt with one tail
untucked in, etc. Across the room, Francis beckons from his
desk, as he finishes loading up a four-foot-high bong.

			FRANCIS 
	Arise and shine, young Hood.

			PAUL 
	I hope you changed the water in
	that bong from last night.

			FRANCIS 
		(finishing a hit)
	The water, as you call it, is a
	special mixture of amaretto and
	Ben&Ben blended for just the exact
	chemical interaction with the last
	of our precious Thai stick.

Paul reluctantly walks over and takes a hit. He coughs,
spewing uninhaled smoke.

			FRANCIS (CONT'D)
	Waste not Master Hood -- that was
	$20 for the bag.

			PAUL 
		(gathering books, papers,
		 almost talking to
		 himself)
	Man, Francis, you are one drug
	addled elitist freak, and when the
	revolution comes I do not want to
	be lined up with you and shot,
	'cause you're fucking ripe for
	political reeducation, you know,
	like in the fields.

			FRANCIS 
	Paul, cancel your mental
	appointments, baby. What are you,
	like still stoned from last night?

			PAUL 
		(spraying some chloroform
		 mouth spray)
	I gotta get to English class.

INT. ST PETERS' CLASSROOM. DAY

An English class in progress.

Paul Hood sits blankly, hardly listening, until he hears the
teacher call out.

			TEACHER 
	Libbets?

			LIBBETS 
	What Dostoyevsky is saying here is
	that to be a Christian is to
	choose, because you have to choose
	of your own choice, but since you
	can't choose to be good because
	that would be too rational you have
	to choose to be bad -- it's
	existential.

			TEACHER 
	Thank you Libbets, that's a very
	compelling summary, but --

Paul looks at her, smitten. Marge, Paul's friend, notices his
look.

INT. ST. PETER'S HALLWAY. DAY

As class lets out, Paul accosts Libbets.

			PAUL 
	Um, Libbets. Hey, Dostoyevsky, I'm
	also really a fan, and what you
	were saying, you know, have you
	ever read The Idiot?

			LIBBETS 
	The Idiot?

			PAUL 
	If you liked Notes from
	Underground, you'll love The Idiot.

			LIBBETS
		(turning to go)
	Great, thanks for the tip.

			PAUL
		(after her)
	The Idiot.

INT. ST. PETER'S HALLWAY. DAY

Paul walks with Marge.

			PAUL 
	I'm in love with Libbets Casey.

			MARGE 
	Yeah, well, you've been in love
	with like every other girl here, I
	was wondering when you'd get around
	to Libbets.

			PAUL 
	It's beyond mere physical
	attraction.

			MARGE 
	That's good, because I don't think
	Libbets is capable of the sex act.

			PAUL 
	Truly? Do speak.

			MARGE 
	My diagnosis is messed in the head.
	A poor little rich girl -- I mean
	check out the jeans and fur look.
	And lend your ears to this
	brutality. Like her mom and step
	dad and her step-sisters are going
	to Switzerland to ski over
	Thanksgiving break -- and like they
	didn't invite her!

			PAUL
	How do you know this shit?

			MARGE 
	They did it last year too. It's
	like traditional or something.
	They've got this humongoid Park Ave
	apartment and she just holes up
	there with a wad of cash. 
		(beat)
	Aren't the hugely wealthy sad?

			PAUL 
		(pause)
	You think Francis is going to beat
	me to the punch here?

			MARGE 
	Since he sleeps with every girl you
	ever show an interest in, why don't
	you just keep your Libbets thing a
	secret from him?

			PAUL 
	Good thinking Marge.

INT. SCHOOL PARTY. NIGHT

Paul, Francis and friends enter the dark, crowded room.
Various kids are awkwardly dancing to some progressive fm
style undanceable rock (Jethro Tull, etc.) Francis hands Paul
the tail end of a joint, but Paul waves it away.

			PAUL 
	No more man. I'm about to drop as
	it is.

			FRANCIS 
	See ya.

			PAUL 
	Where you going?

			FRANCIS 
	Paul, let me enlighten you about
	something.
	You and I exist on two opposite
	sides of a great existential
	divide, that being your pathetic
	virginity on the one hand and my
	astonishing number of sexual
	conquests on the other. I'm off to
	get laid. See you.

			PAUL 
	Flame on, asshole.

			FRANCIS 
	And remember, with your erogenous
	zones lubricated as such with the
	mighty herb, do not attempt
	terrestrial contact with members of
	the opposite sex -- because you
	drone on like a motherfucker when
	you're stoned.

He waves his fingers toward Paul's eyes, in the classic
"stoned" gesture, then wanders off.

Paul looks on at the gathering. Marge waves to him from the
dance floor.

						LATER:

INT. SCHOOL PARTY. CONT'D

Paul wanders, stoned, through the party. He sees Libbets from
across the room. She seems to be surrounded by friends.

INT. PARTY. CONT'D

Paul has cornered Libbets and is talking over the music.
There are just a few people left, most of them making out
with each other.

			PAUL 
		(stoned)
	-- because I've been reading
	Kerouac and Ginsberg and those guys
	were creating beat culture and
	traveling and sleeping wherever,
	and, of course, with all kinds of
	people, but when you read carefully
	the various contemporary accounts
	of their lives, and, uh, these guys
	didn't bathe much, I mean they were
	really filthy, with like genital
	crabs, lice, exceptionally strong
	body odor...

Libbets smiles through her yawn.

EXT. SCHOOL BENCH. NIGHT

Paul sits alone on the bench, freezing cold, eating a donut.
Some kids from across the lawn yell good-night to him.

INT. DORM ROOM. EVENING.

Paul is at his desk. Francis enters, wrapped in a towel,
fresh from the shower.

			PAUL 
	How can you do that man?

			FRANCIS 
	Do what?

			PAUL 
	Sleep all day. I mean, look, it's
	already getting dark outside, and
	you're just getting up.

			FRANCIS 
		(beat)
	Um, Libbets Casey.

			PAUL 
	What?

			FRANCIS 
	Aha! I could sense the vibe.

			PAUL 
	What do you mean?

			FRANCIS 
	Am I right or am I right?

			PAUL 
	Shit. You're not planning --

			FRANCIS 
	My man, I speak to you solely as a
	comrade in arms offering
	unconditional aid. I've been giving
	this one a lot of thought, and I
	believe that the two of you
	together might just reach that
	higher ground that --

A knock at the door.

			STUDENT  (O.S.)
	Hood, telephone.

Paul rolls off his bed, opens the door.

			PAUL 
	Don't mess with Libbets. I mean it!

INT. DORM HALLWAY. NIGHT

Paul walks to the pay phone at the end of the hall.

			PAUL 
	Hello?

INTERCUT - HOOD HOUSEHOLD. NIGHT

It's a modern (shag carpet, geometric-patterned wallpaper,
etc.) suburban house.

Ben Hood talks on the phone, a drink in his hand.

			BEN 
	Paul?

In the background, we can see Wendy watching Richard Nixon on
TV.

			PAUL 
	Hi dad.

			BEN 
	Hey guy. Things ok up there? You
	all right?

			PAUL 
	I'm fine dad.

			BEN 
	Well good. Just confirming. You'll
	be on the 3:50 Wednesday afternoon.

			PAUL 
	Well dad, actually I thought I'd
	take the morning train on
	Thanksgiving -- got a lot of
	studying, papers, you know, lab
	experiments --

			BEN 
	Lab experiments? Right smart guy --
	Paul, you know your mother's gonna
	be disappointed not to see more of
	you -- In fact, let me make this
	more than a simple request guy, I
	think you should...

IN THE BACKGROUND:

			NIXON
		(on TV, from San Clemente
		 press conference) 
	Well, with regard to the questions
	as to why Americans feel we were
	wrong to make the tapes, that is
	not particularly surprising. I
	think that most Americans do not
	like the idea of taping
	conversations and, frankly, it is
	not something that particularly
	appeals to me...

			BEN 
	Hold on for a second.
		(turning)
	Wendy, you want-to say hi to your
	brother?

She frowns.

			BEN (CONT'D)
	Come on!

She gets up sullenly and goes to the phone.

			WENDY 
	Charles.

			PAUL 
	Charles. Have you been keeping out
	of my shit? Have you refrained from
	entering the sacred precincts of my
	room?

			WENDY 
	I have not touched your sh--
		(looks at father)
	Stuff. You watching this?

			PAUL 
	Watching what?

			WENDY 
	Nixon, doofus! It's incredible. He
	should be shot.

			BEN
		(overhearing)
	Hey, that's the president of the
	goddam United States you're talking
	about, Wendy!

From the kitchen, Elena overhears. She's dressed to go out,
but in the process of making a Kraft macaroni and cheese
dinner for Wendy.

			WENDY 
	He's a liar!
		(still talking more to her
		 father than into the
		 phone)
	Dean told him on March 21st about
	Kalmback and Hunt, all about the
	payoffs to the Watergate burglars,
	so you tell me where the so-called
	"Dean Report" is, but you can't
	because it doesn't exist, because
	he lied about Haldeman and
	Erlichman and the April 17 tape,
	that's why! Liar!

Ben retreats, going to the wet bar to pour another drink.

			BEN
		(muttering)
	OK, OK, the defense rests.
		(to Elena in the kitchen)
	Want another?

			ELENA (O.S.)
	No thank you. We should be off.

			BEN 
	Gotcha.

He puts the bottle back down without pouring.

INTERCUT BACK TO PAUL:

			PAUL
		(on the phone)
	Hey Charles. Charles, calm down --
	I wasn't in on it.

Elena, putting on her coat, comes into the den and gives
Wendy a kiss on the forehead as Wendy mumbles her good-byes
to Paul on the phone.

			ELENA 
	Dinner's on the counter. We'll be
	at the Williams's -- you know the
	number. 
		(takes the phone from
		 Wendy)
	Paul. Hi. Is there anything you'll
	want, any particular kind of food
	or snack or anything we can stock
	up on?... You're all right? ... OK.
	See you next week. I love you.

Back to Nixon on the TV.

			NIXON 
	We must recognize that one excess
	begets another, and that the
	extremes of violence in the 1960s
	contributed to the extremes of
	Watergate...

On Wendy as she regards the TV, hearing her parents'
farewells as they leave through the front door.

EXT. WILLIAMS HOUSE. NIGHT

A large New England Colonial, with a few modern additions and
touches. We hear the sound of dinner chatter.

INT. WILLIAMS DINING ROOM. NIGHT

The kitchen door swings open into the dining room, and Mikey
and Sandy Williams emerge, each holding platters of food.
Mikey, 15-and-a-half, lost in space, and Sandy, 14, a sullen
and barely pubescent boy, each have towels draped over their
forearms -- they are the evening's "waiters".

They move unsteadily to the table, at which sit their parents
Janey (38, a hard-edged, sharp-witted beauty) and Jim (43,
large and a bit goofy, a genius inventor), together with
their guests, Ben and Elena Hood, and neighbors Dorothy and
Ted Franklin.

We jump cut through the evening's conversations, seen mostly
from the furtive POV's of the boys.

			BEN 
	His brother came back --

			DOROTHY 
	From where?

			BEN 
	Vietnam.

			DOROTHY 
	Oh. Are we going to talk about
	this, about...?

			ELENA 
	You should hear. It's very sad, he
	was --

						JUMP CUT:

Janey is whispering something into Mikey's ear, who returns
to the kitchen.

			JIM 
	It was a benefit for the ACLU or
	something, and Harry Reems himself
	was there --

			DOROTHY 
	The man with the -- from Deep
	Throat?

			JIM 
	The very one -- something about a
	first amendment defense fund --
	well I believe in it --

			DOROTHY
	Ted took me to see it.

			JANEY 
	Ted, how romantic.

			DOROTHY
	I have to say, the movie didn't do
	much for me. But being in that
	theater, surrounded by all those
	horny young college boys and
	perverts, there was something in
	the air that --

						JUMP CUT:

The boys are pouring wine.

			JIM 
	-- pulls right up to the pump,
	jumps out like there's no gas
	shortage, oblivious, and by this
	point everybody in line's piling
	out of their cars ready to kill the
	guy, when they notice it's that
	Reverend Edwards --

			BEN 
	The Unitarian? The new one?

			JIM 
	Yeah -- claims he pulled off Creek
	Road and didn't notice the line
	going back Mill Street for half a
	mile.

			BEN 
	He's either got his head in the
	clouds or up his --

			DOROTHY 
	I hear he's slept with half the
	women in his congregation --

			TED 
	Lucky bastard!

As this is said, Mikey accidentally spills some wine on Ben.

			BEN 
	Hell! -- I mean, no problemo there
	Mikey. Here, I --

Janey leans over with her napkin and attempts a cursory wipe
of Ben's pants. Is there a just barely noticeable frisson
between Ben and Janey as she removes the napkin? If there is,
Elena doesn't -- or pretends not to -- notice.

						CUT TO:

The boys, now in pajamas (Sandy's with padded feet, Mikey's a
combination of t-shirt and pj bottoms) are bringing out
coffee and dessert. The adults eye Mikey's handling of the
coffee pot with some nervousness.

			DOROTHY
		(unconvincing)
	So fascinating. Do you get free
	tickets to the movies, that kind of
	thing?

			BEN 
	No, my job is just to analyze the
	entertainment stocks and advise our
	institutional investors on where to
	put their money. It's --

			ELENA 
	Don't be so modest, Ben. It's a job
	that requires a certain prescience
	with regards to entertainment
	trends. You were the first to
	predict that Billy Jack would be a
	hit --

			BEN
		(with a bit too much
		 conviction) 
	And as usual no one believed me...

Silence.

						CUT TO:

The dinner party has moved to the living room for after
dinner drinks. Elena remains behind to help Janey pick up the
table. She stacks a plate on top of another.

			JANEY 
	Please don't.

			ELENA 
	It's not a bother.

			JANEY 
	I insist.
		(beat)
	Don't touch them.

Elena realizes that there's an edge to Janey's voice.

			ELENA 
	Oh.

			JANEY
		(realizing she's gone too
		 far)
	It's really quite all right.

			ELENA 
	Of course.

INT. WILLIAMS LIVING ROOM. NIGHT

The party progresses. Mikey and Sandy are lying on their
stomachs at the top of the stairs, out of sight.

			DOROTHY 
	And to think -- they met at a key
	party of all things.

			ELENA 
	A key party?

			DOROTHY 
	You know, it's a California thing.
	That scuzzy husband of hers dragged
	her kicking and screaming to one
	when they were out in L.A. you
	know, the men put their car keys in
	a bowl, and then at the end of the
	evening the women line up and fish
	them out and go home with whoever's
	keys they've got. Anyhow that's how
	she met this Rod person or whatever
	his name is and he's left his wife
	and she's packing for California.
	Irwin is devastated. It's so
	ironic.

			JANEY
	Ironic? 

			DOROTHY
		(caught out)
	Well, um, yes. Ironic. His name is
	Rod.

INT. WILLIAMS FRONT HALLWAY. NIGHT

The guests are leaving. The men shake hands, the women kiss,
and the men and women awkwardly peck each others' cheeks.

			ELENA 
	Thank you Janey.

			DOROTHY 
	It was lovely!

			BEN 
	Hey Jim, next time you've got to
	fill me in on whatever it is you're
	up to these days.

			JIM 
	Will do.

INT. STAIRWAY. NIGHT

At the top of the stairs, a rather dejected Sandy and Mikey
finish spying on the leave-takings below. Mikey nudges Sandy,
and they silently head back the upstairs hall.

INT. MIKE'S ROOM. NIGHT

They enter Mike's room -- the door has a "nuclear waste 
positively no admittance" sign on it.

As Mikey reaches his bed, he doubles over, groaning, and
starts to make retching noises. He then throws himself onto
the bed, his head leaning over the far side.

Sandy walks over and sees a pile of vomit next to the bed.
Taken aback for a moment, he then reaches forward and picks
it up -- it's fake plastic vomit. He throws it on top of
Mike's back, but Mikey doesn't take notice.

			SANDY
	Stupid!
		(pause, looking sullenly
		 at Mike's back)
	Is Wendy Hood your girlfriend?

			MIKEY
		(not looking up, but
		 alarmed)
	Who said so?

			SANDY
	No one.

			MIKEY
	I don't have a girlfriend.

Mikey returns to his reading -- a copy of The Sensuous Woman,
obviously well pawed over. He absentmindedly picks his nose.
As he flips the pages, a beautiful, almost electrical HUMMING
SOUND begins to fill his ears. He frowns and pauses to listen
to it.

Sandy, who has picked up a balsa wood miniature plane,
obviously doesn't hear it.

Mikey focuses on the plane as Sandy waves it through the air.
Perhaps the hum is the sound of its engines as it soars
through the sky...

INT. WENDY'S BEDROOM. NIGHT

There is a large poster of a cartoon version of Richard Nixon
"Tricky Dick" -- on her wall. Wendy is on the phone to her
friend Beth.

			WENDY 
	-- he knows that when the March
	24th tape -- you know with Dean,
	where Dean tells him that there's a
	cancer growing on the presidency --

She pauses as Beth asks a question.

			WENDY (CONT'D)
	Who? No way. He's like a big
	infected whitehead wearing jeans. I
	wouldn't --

She hears the downstairs door open.

			WENDY (CONT'D)
		(whispering)
	-- shit, it's my parents.

She turns her light out.

INT. HOOD UPSTAIRS HALLWAY. NIGHT

Ben and Elena walking past Wendy's room to their bedroom.

			BEN 
	You'd think she'd learn how to cook
	a chicken, eh? My drumstick was
	still frozen when you cut inside
	there. I'm probably going to get
	whatever that disease -- and Jim,
	how that guy ever became a
	millionaire --

He pauses before a hall table, and, with his eyes, traces the
telephone cord under Wendy's room.

			BEN (CONT'D)
	Hmm. I knew she'd still be up.
	Watch this --

But Elena simply continues into the master bedroom.

He starts to pull gently on the cord. And continues pulling.
No response for a few seconds. Then:

CONTINUED: 25

			WENDY (O.S.)
		(yelling behind her door)
	Dad stop it!

			BEN 
	Get to sleep young lady -- and I
	mean it.

Wendy opens the door to her room.

			WENDY 
	Fascist!

			BEN 
	If I were a fascist I would have
	sent you to one of those Southern
	military academies a long time ago.
	Now get to bed.

She slams the door.

He opens it.

INT. WENDY'S BEDROOM. NIGHT 

Ben enters the room, angry.

			BEN 
	Hey!

Wendy jumps into bed and under the covers, pulling them up
over her head. He stands over her, looking down at the
crumpled pile of sheet and blanket.

			BEN (CONT'D)
		(softening)
	Hey, kiddo. Sleep well, huh.

He places his hand where her cheek should be, and caresses
the sheet.

			WENDY
		(without pulling the sheet
		 down, but nicely)
	Good-night dad.

			BEN 
	Good night kiddo.

Ben turns to the door, where he sees a silent Elena standing
in her nightgown, a slight smile on her face.

INT. HOOD BEDROOM. NIGHT

Elena is sitting cross-legged, eyes closed, on her side of
the bed. We hear the toilet flush from the master bath, and
see Ben emerge in his boxers. He pauses in front of the bed,
looking at Elena.

			ELENA
		(without opening her eyes)
	You're staring at me.

			BEN 
	I wasn't star--

			ELENA 
	I've been thinking, Ben, about
	Wendy. I was going to ask if she'd
	come with me sometime to meet Dr.
	Woolens.

			BEN 
	That shrink -- the one you always
	wanted me to see? I thought you
	dropped him.

			ELENA 
	I did, but -- somebody should
	probably see her, talk to her...
	You think she's ok?

			BEN 
	Why shouldn't she be?

Elena just gives him a look, more sad than angry.

			BEN (CONT'D)
		(pause)
	Then again, why should she be? I
	mean with us, with our...

			ELENA 
	So maybe you'll come too?

			BEN 
	Oh not again Elena! If we've got
	problems, why can't you just come
	out and talk about them.

			ELENA 
	It's you Ben who needs to talk.
	I've had my say, and I'm waiting to
	hear back from you.

			BEN 
	Yeah but Elena, even you don't
	believe all that "I'm OK. You're
	OK" stuff you keep babbling about --
	you say so yourself. I've been all
	ears for about ten years now on his
	subject, and --

			ELENA 
	-- And you haven't moved out yet.
	It's because you're too lazy, Ben.
	Too scared or lazy to either deal
	with us or simply make a decision --

			BEN 
	Elena.

Silence.

			ELENA 
		(sighing)
	Sleep in the study? Please.

Ben picks up a pillow and walks out, pausing wistfully at the
door.

			BEN 
	Good night.

			ELENA 
	Good night.

INT. WENDY'S ROOM. NIGHT

Wendy hears her parents' door close and sees a strip of light
illuminate under her door as the hall light goes on, then
off.

EXT. MANHATTAN OFFICE BUILDING. DAY

A nondescript, cleanly "modern" building. Engraved on the
doors: "Shackley and Schwimmer, Securities Brokerage -
Established 1964"

INT. SHACKLEY AND SCHWIMMER CONFERENCE ROOM. DAY

Ben, seated, is finishing a brief presentation to a small
group of men, which includes George Clair, mid-thirties,
unctuously handsome.

			BEN 
	But what, exactly, is stagflation,
	this mixture of inflation and
	stagnation, and how should we in
	the securities industry understand
	and accommodate it? Well -- and I
	hope I'm not out of bounds here -
	think of the money supply as a
	large male organ, continuously
	inflating, and yet, the societal
	vaginal cavity simply wants more.
	As the vicious circle of higher
	returns without real satisfaction
	continues, the money-organ may seem
	to be in demand, but in fact even
	the most inflated capital is
	unwanted. This is why I suggest
	that while we engage this mawing
	abyss for the highest returns, we
	at the same time fantasize, so to
	speak, of the safe harbor of
	capital appreciation.

The aging boss nods agreement.

			SHACKLEY
		(more or less mumbling)
	Brilliant, brilliant.

George Clair just grins.

INT. BEN HOOD'S OFFICE. DAY

Ben is gathering papers, readying to leave. He looks up to
see George Clair in his doorway.

			GEORGE 
	Hey there Benjie, you're becoming
	quite the in-house philosopher.
	When do you have time to think up
	all that stuff -- Shackley sure
	eats it up.

INTERCUT HALL IN FRONT OF BEN HOOD'S OFFICE

As we see that Clair is deftly fondling Hood's attractive
secretary as she is seated in the cubicle beside the door to
his office. She looks up coyly at Clair, hidden for the
moment from Ben's view.

Ben comes out of his office, pulling his coat on. Clair and
the secretary pull back, but it's clear that Ben has some
sense of what's transpiring between them.

			BEN 
	George, I'm just trying to get a
	global view of things -- can't just
	look at the small picture.

There's an obvious rivalry between the two of them.

			GEORGE 
	And speaking of which, you have
	those market share charts Mr.
	Shackley was asking about?

			BEN 
	Gotcha George, not a problem.
	Tomorrow. Hey, you want to start
	covering the old filmed
	entertainment sector yourself?

			GEORGE 
	Ben you know that's your territory 
	- and I wouldn't dream to trespass 
	- you're the expert. Hey, how do
	you think Paramount's gonna do with
	that Blatty novel, what's it
	called? The Exorcist?

			BEN 
	Overpriced bomb, cost over $6
	million -- no stars, and no one's
	into the horror genre these days
	anyway. I'm advising the company
	recommend reducing positions there.
	It's disaster films that are gonna
	stay at the top.

			GEORGE 
	Brilliant. Hey, you heading out a
	little early today?

			BEN 
	Got a meeting uptown.

			GEORGE
		(already moving off)
	Right o'.

			BEN 
	Up the organization!
		(then, to himself)
	Bastard.

The secretary pretends not to hear.

EXT. UNIVERSITY CLUB. DAY

An august New York institution. To establish.

INT. CLUB RESTAURANT. DAY

A stuffy, Ivy League atmosphere. A decades-old tradition of
serving overcooked American food. Ben is seated across from
his father, Harold Hood, a retired curmudgeon. There is a
walker parked by Harold's chair.

			HAROLD
		(waylaying a passing
		 waiter) 
	I'd asked for that double martini
	about three hours ago!

			WAITER 
	Coming right up, sir.

			HAROLD 
	So asking me out for lunch -- what
	prompted this exceptional event? --
	Of course I'm paying.

			BEN 
	We don't have to always go to your
	club, dad.

			HAROLD 
	And why are you still calling me
	dad? You're forty years old
	already, and --

			BEN 
	-- Well what am I supposed to call
	you?

			HAROLD 
	That's besides the point.

The martini arrives, along with Ben's beer.

			BEN 
	I was actually trying to see about
	getting a little advice, you know --

			HAROLD 
	Advice? I'm supposed to be getting
	the stock tips from you, Ben.
	Unless - have you quit your job?
	They fired you?

			BEN 
	You know, dah--

He looks up and sees his father slurping his martini, not
paying attention.

			BEN (CONT'D)
	Actually it's not about work, it's
	advice about --

			HAROLD 
	Oh for crying out loud Ben, you
	don't mean to tell me that your
	marriage is going down the drain
	now --

			BEN 
	Well, Elena and I have kind of been
	talking, not really talking, but --

			HAROLD
	-- Your mother, God bless her,
	stood by me for forty-two years --
	we never once contemplated divorce 
	- I assume you're talking here
	about divorce? The very thought --

			BEN
	But dad, you guys truly hated each
	other, I mean really hated each --

			HAROLD 
	-- Waiter! Where's my cobb salad? 
		(back to Ben)
	You want advice Ben? If your big
	brother were still alive I'd have
	him go out into the back yard and
	beat some sense into your head.
	Look kid, you married that woman
	against my advice --

			BEN
	-- What advice? You never --

			HAROLD
	That's besides the point. The point
	is if I'd had any sense in me I'd
	have divorced your mother 40 years
	ago, and that's the truth, and here
	it is, 1972 --

			BEN
	-- 73

			HAROLD
	-- 73, and divorce is as easy as
	paying off a traffic ticket, and
	for crying out loud, Ben, be a man
	and just get it over with. I would
	have if I'd had the chance.

Ben ponders, as the food arrives.

			BEN 
		(weakly)
	But...

			HAROLD 
	But what?

			BEN 
	But I -- well maybe I love her.
	Elena.

His father rolls his eyes and stabs his salad with a fork.

			HAROLD 
	Christ Ben! Make up your mind and
	eat your lunch.

INT. BOOK STORE. DAY

Elena browses the self-help section. A longish-haired,
slightly gone-to-seed, but still handsome clergyman pauses
next to her. He's wearing an ecclesiastical collar and bell
bottoms.

He pulls out a copy of Me, Myself and I, glancing again at
Elena.

			PHILIP 
	Elena. Elena Hood, am I right?

			ELENA 
	Yes.

			PHILIP 
	Reverend Edwards. Philip Edwards.
	You came by and checked out the
	congregation a couple of times last
	year.

			ELENA 
	Yes, it was -- I ended up --

			PHILIP
		(smiling)
	No need to make excuses --

EXT. NEW CANAAN HIGH SCHOOL FIELD. DAY

A cool gray afternoon. A group of boys are playing flag
football on the field, while two groups of girls are gathered
underneath the bleachers at either end, warily smoking
c1garettes.

Wendy, Beth, and a couple of other girls are gathered in one
group.

			BETH
		(referring to one of the
		 girls gathered in the
		 other group)
	She said you licked Dave Brewster's
	weenie in the third floor bathroom.

			WENDY 
	She's a liar. I wouldn't touch Dave
	Brewster's dick if you paid me.
	It's probably crawling with v.d.
	after he put it in her, which he
	did.

The conversation peters out at this point, as the two groups
of girls give each other the hairy eyeball from afar.

Wendy looks through from beneath the bleacher seats onto the
field where the boys are playing.

A group of boys break from a huddle, Mikey among them.

The quarterback takes the hike and Mikey runs out for a pass.
As he runs, his breathing increases in volume, filling his
ears, and transforming into the humming sound he'd heard
before.

The quarterback spots him and throws a long one.

He runs in an oblivion of beautiful white sound.

The ball drops next to him as he continues, in a world of his
own, to run.

Suddenly, the humming ends and he stops and turns around, to
see all the other kids just standing there looking at him.
One of them makes a pot-smoking gesture, as if that's the
explanation.

			MIKEY
		(as he returns to the
		 group, ball in hand)
	Did anybody hear that?

The other kids snicker. Wendy looks on, and catches Mikey's
eye for a fleeting moment.

			WENDY 
	I gotta go.

She takes hold of her bicycle and pushes off.

INT. COFFEE SHOP. DAY

Elena and Philip are seated at a booth.

			PHILIP
	It's been a tremendously
	transformative year -- maybe a
	little controversial of course, but
	we're breaking down the old
	Unitarian barriers --

			ELENA 
	I suppose my reluctance was the
	group aspect of it -- I've never
	been much of a joiner, although I
	still consider myself a somewhat
	religious person --

			PHILIP 
	Well I of course flatter myself
	that our church is not exactly what
	most people would call organized
	religion -- at times it's the
	disorganization that's liberating --
	and of course I've begun to
	minister much more in what one
	might call therapeutic
	environments, in small groups, and
	one on one, couples --

Elena looks outside the window, and sees Wendy speed past on
her bicycle.

			ELENA 
		(cutting him off)
	My daughter. I haven't been on a
	bike for years.
		(still not really looking
		 at him)
	When was the last time you rode a
	bike?

			PHILIP
		(a bit taken aback by the
		 abrupt topic change)
	They say you never forget.

			ELENA
		(jarred back to his
		 presence) 
	Forget what?

			PHILIP 
	Forget how to ride a bike.

Silence.

			ELENA 
	No, of course you don't, you're
	right.

EXT. FIVE AND DIME STORE. DAY

Wendy pulls her bike up to the back, locks it, and walks in.

INT. FIVE AND DIME STORE. DAY

Wendy moves with a certain amount of stealth through the
aisles, arriving at the candy selection.

She looks around.

She takes a package of twinkies and slips them into the
oversized pockets of her painter's pants.

She turns around, and her breath goes out of her -- an OLD
WOMAN has been watching her shoplift. The woman looks sadly
at her, but says nothing. Wendy slowly walks past her and out
the back door of the store. The woman looks on.

EXT. FIVE AND DIME STORE. DAY

As she walks her bike onto the sidewalk, Wendy comes across
Sandy.

			SANDY
	Hey Wendy.

			WENDY
	Hey Sandy.

			SANDY
	Mikey was looking for you.

			WENDY
	Yeah? See ya.

She pushes off on her bike.

Sandy gazes after her. He takes his G.I. Joe out of his coat
pocket, and points it at her.

			SANDY 
	Bam.

EXT. SUBURBAN STREETS. DAY

Wendy flies along on her bike. It's a desolately beautiful
fall day.

EXT. SILVER MEADOWS PSYCHIATRIC INSTITUTE. DAY

Wendy rides by the front gates of the posh grounds of the
private psychiatric clinic. A security guard leans against a
booth.

Once a bit past the gate, she gets off her bike and walks it
into a grove of trees near the front drive.

EXT. SILVER MEADOWS. DAY

Mikey is waiting amid the trees next to his bike as Wendy
arrives.

			MIKEY 
	Want some gum?

			WENDY 
	Sure.
		(pulling them out of her
		 pocket)
	Twinkie?

			MIKEY
		(opens his mouth,
		 displaying the gum on his
		 tongue)
	I'm chewing.

She puts the Twinkies back, and pops the gum in her mouth.

They stand together chewing.

			WENDY
		(after a pause)
	Did you tell Sandy?

			MIKEY 
	Tell Sandy? What?

Wendy doesn't say anything.

			MIKEY (CONT'D)
	You didn't tell him either, did
	you?

EXT. SILVER MEADOWS SWIMMING POOL. DAY

The wind is picking up and the light is fading. Mikey and
Wendy climb the fence around the pool, which is empty and
half-covered in dead leaves and twigs.

They climb down into the concrete recess and walk into the
deep end, leaning against the far wall of the pool.

They each matter-of-factly take their gum out and put it
behind their ears.

They begin not so much to kiss as to place their tongues in
each others' mouths.

We see them from high above the pool, as the dead leaves
swirl lightly around them, Mikey groping under Wendy's
poncho.

EXT. WILLIAMS HOUSE. DAY

To establish.

INT. WILLIAMS GUEST ROOM. DAY

A couple are in the final throes of lovemaking. We see Janey
Williams's face, more or less enjoying the proceedings. The
man gives a final heave and groan, and rolls off to reveal
himself to be -- Ben Hood.

						JUMP CUT TO:

Janey smokes a cigarette. Ben is babbling.

			BEN
	We were golfing, and you know,
	golfing to me is something I'm
	supposed to enjoy, and I was on the
	goddam golf team in college, so
	it's something one would assume I
	do well -- I used to do well -- but
	basically these days golfing for me
	is like hoeing, or plowing.

Janey smiles briefly at this.

			BEN (CONT'D)
	It's like farming. I am basically
	chewing up large tracts of
	expensively landscaped scenery with
	overpriced sticks, and George Clair
	has obviously, in the mere two
	years since he joined the firm, he
	has obviously been taking secret
	lessons with a golf pro, and I
	assume the entirety of his
	disposable income has been devoted
	to humiliating me on the golf
	course. And the guy talks -
	incessantly -- throughout the
	entirety of the miserable 18 holes 
	- on topics that are the supposed
	domain of my department --

			JANEY
	Ben--

			BEN
	Yeah?

			JANEY
		(gently)
	You're boring me. I have a husband.
	I don't particularly feel the need
	for another.

			BEN
	You have a point there. That's a
	very good point. We're having an
	affair. Right. An explicitly sexual
	relationship. Your needs. My needs.
	You're absolutely right.

			JANEY
	You should probably get dressed.
	The boys will be home soon.

			BEN
	Gotcha.

She wraps a blanket around herself and gets up.

EXT. BACK OF WILLIAMS HOUSE. EVENING

Ben cautiously walks out he back door and heads for the side
gate.

INT. HOOD KITCHEN. EVENING

Wendy enters the house as Elena is finishing supper
preparations.

			WENDY 
	Hi mom.

			ELENA 
	Hi Wendy.

Without waiting for instructions, Wendy starts pulling out
plates and silverware and setting the table.

			ELENA (CONT'D)
	I saw you on your bike today.

			WENDY 
	With Mikey?

			ELENA 
	Who?

			WENDY 
	Nobody.

			ELENA 
	Mikey Williams?

			WENDY 
	We were just riding around.

Elena takes this in.

			ELENA 
	Well, you looked very -- free --
	when I saw you.

Wendy continues setting the table.

			ELENA (CONT'D)
	Weightless almost -- as if I were
	seeing my own memories of being a
	girl. There was something internal
	about it.

			WENDY 
	Mom. Are you ok?

			ELENA 
	Wendy, of course. I'm sorry. You
	must think I'm ripe to be checked
	into Silver Meadows.

			WENDY 
	You're not a psycho!

			ELENA 
	The people at Silver Meadows aren't
	psychos.

			WENDY 
	I know. They're rich drug addicts
	and celebrities. When I saw James
	Taylor there, and --

			ELENA 
	We've been through this Wendy 
	James Taylor was actually at that
	clinic up near Boston.

			WENDY 
	Well, I saw what I saw, and if you
	don't want to believe me --

			ELENA 
	Oh Wendy.

Wendy frowns.

			WENDY 
	They need the money for my band
	uniform at school.

			ELENA 
	I thought you quit the band - I
	never hear you practice anymore.

			WENDY 
	I don't really need to practice. I
	just play a few notes, you know, so
	I thought maybe I'd stay in.

			ELENA 
	Well, I'm sure your father and I
	would love to hear what you're
	playing these days. Maybe after
	dinner.

INT. HOOD LIVING ROOM. NIGHT

Ben and Elena take their seats on the sofa. Wendy stands
before them holding an enormous trombone, with a music stand
and sheet music in front of her.

She puffs a series of seemingly disconnected notes in waltz
time.

When she's done, she looks up from the sheet music to her
parents.

They applaud.

			BEN
	Can't wait to see how it fits in
	with all the other instruments.

Elena gives him a look.

INT. HOOD KITCHEN. NIGHT

Elena is sorting through bills and writing checks at the
kitchen table. Ben comes in and fills a glass with ice.

			ELENA
	The Halfords have invited us again
	this year.

			BEN
	You want to go?

			ELENA
	What do you think?

			BEN
	Well, it is a neighborhood
	tradition.

He comes up behind her, looks down at the checkbook.

			BEN (CONT'D)
	I'm, uh, going to bed.

			ELENA
	So early?

			BEN
	Rough day. Good night.

He leans over and kisses her on the cheek. She sniffs.

			ELENA
	Is that a new aftershave?

He recoils a bit.

			BEN 
	Oh yeah. Musk, or something. You
	like it?

			ELENA 
	Hmm. Good night.

He walks uncertainly from the room. Does she suspect?

INT. MIKE'S ROOM. NIGHT

Mikey is painfully at work writing an English essay. Sandy
comes to the door with a geometry textbook.

			SANDY 
	Mikey?

			MIKEY 
	Yeah?

			SANDY 
	Geometry?

			MIKEY 
	Sure, anything but this English.

Sandy puts the open textbook in front of him.

			SANDY 
	Why are you so good at math but not
	in English?

			MIKEY 
	I'm not good at math. Just
	geometry.

He looks at the book.

			MIKEY (CONT'D)
		(drawing out his examples
		 on a piece of paper) 
	It's like, you know when they say
	"two squared"? And you think it
	means 2 times 2, equals 4? But
	really they really mean a square. A
	square with a side of two. And the
	area of the square is four. Like
	every time you use the word, like
	squared, or cubed, it's really
	space, it's not numbers, it's
	space.
	And it's perfect space, but only in
	your head, because you can't draw a
	perfect square, like in the
	material world, but in your mind,
	you can have perfect space.
		(pause)
	You know?

As Mikey goes on, we see his geometric doodles, and hear
faintly the HUMMING SOUND under his voice.

			SANDY
	Yeah. But I just need some help
	with my homework.

A knock at the door. Jim stands in the doorway with a
suitcase in his hand.

			JIM 
	Hey guys, I'm back.

			MIKEY
		(honestly confused)
	You were gone?

Sandy looks at Mikey as if pondering a lost cause.

			JIM
		(a look of
		disappointment) 
	Yeah Mikey. Yep, I was in Houston,
	working on some great new ideas
	about silicon, which comes from
	sand, very conductive. How you guys
	doing? How's school?

Mikey's still flustered.

			MIKEY 
	Uh, I dunno. OK I guess.

			JIM 
	Hmm. Alright!

He walks off.

			SANDY 
	You really didn't notice? Man, he's
	been gone for three days.

INT. WILLIAMS BEDROOM. NIGHT

Janey is reading, still dressed, on the bed. She nods to Jim
as he enters with his suitcase.

			JANEY 
	Good trip?

He nods and puts his suitcase down, then sits heavily on the
side of the bed.

			JIM
		(as he sits)
	You bet.

It turns out it's a water bed, and his weight creates a wave
that nearly pushes Janey off her edge of the bed.

			JANEY 
	Jesus, Jim!

			JIM
		(jumping up, which only
		 creates another wave)
	Sorry honey. Hell, we've got to
	trade this thing in for a normal
	bed.

			JANEY 
	Just be careful.

			JIM
		(as he begins to unpack)
	You notice anything with Mikey
	lately? The kid seemed a little out
	of it tonight, eh?

			JANEY 
	Tonight? Jim, he's been out of it
	since he was born.

			JIM 
	Hell, I guess he takes after me,
	huh?

He laughs to himself.

She gives him a look.

INT. COFFEE SHOP. DAY

Elena and Philip Edwards are having coffee again.

			PHILIP 
	In many ways, the church-bound
	tradition of the father, son, and
	holy ghost is simply a version of
	the parent-child-adult triad within
	us all. It's a primitive set of
	symbols for our inner psychology.

			ELENA 
	You're saying that Christ is the
	child, and --

			PHILIP 
	-- And God the angry parent, and
	the Spirit the hope of an
	integrated adult self.

			ELENA 
	All well and good -- But tell me
	again what is it exactly that you
	believe in?

			PHILIP 
	You ask what the point is?

			ELENA 
	That's right.

			PHILIP 
	Self-realization. Ministering to
	help people reach their fullest
	potential. Would you believe me if
	I told you I want you to see
	yourself reach your fullest
	potential and self-realization?

			ELENA 
	I would say it sounds like you're
	trying to get me into bed.

			PHILIP 
	If that's a potential you see
	yourself fulfilling... I mean... 
		(flustered)
	My, I sound a bit --

			ELENA 
	I'm sorry. That was stupid of me. I
	didn't mean to be so rude.

			PHILIP 
	You weren't. You actually, for some
	reason, you have the effect on me
	of making me feel just a tiny bit
	ashamed of myself.

			ELENA 
	But not too ashamed.

			PHILIP 
		(smiling)
	Now you are being rude.

			ELENA 
	And you're still trying to get me
	into bed.

			PHILIP 
	Ouch.

Just then, Dorothy Franklin passes by their table, a smirk
firmly implanted on her face.

			DOROTHY 
	Hello you two. Am I barging in on
	some kind of religious study group?
	Elena, you look marvelous. Will I
	see you and Ben at the Halford's?

			ELENA 
	I suppose we'll make an appearance.

			DOROTHY 
	And Reverend Edwards? Did you make
	the list?

			PHILIP 
		(laughing)
	I believe so Mrs. Franklin.

			DOROTHY 
	With the two of you there it will
	be positively a revival! I'm off!

She scurries out of the coffee shop.

			PHILIP 
	I'm afraid she's something of a
	gossip, isn't she?

			ELENA
		(gathering her things to
		 go)
	I'm afraid people around here
	provide her with quite a bit to
	gossip about. 
		(getting up)
	Take care.

			PHILIP 
	That I will indeed.

INT. CLASSROOM. DAY

Mikey is reading his English paper before the class.

			MIKEY 
	Because of molecules we are
	connected to the outside world from
	our bodies. Like when you smell
	things, because when you smell a
	smell it's not really a smell, it's
	a part of the object that has come
	off of it -- molecules. So when you
	smell something bad, it's like in a
	way you're eating it. This is why
	you should not really smell things,
	in the same way that you don't eat
	everything in the world around you 
	- because as a smell, it gets
	inside of you. So the next time you
	go into the bathroom after someone
	else has been there, remember what
	kinds of molecules you are in fact
	eating.

An embarrassed silence.

INT. SCHOOL MUSIC ROOM. DAY

Band practice. The New Canaan High School band is doing a
wind version of a popular rock tune.

In front, there's Wendy, in halter top and hip-hugging bell
bottoms, incongruously blowing away on her trombone -- this
being her one stab at extracurricular activities.

In the flute section directly behind her is Sandy, piping
away on a tiny piccolo. He sits on a riser slightly elevated
above her.

He directs downward at Wendy a protracted regard, a look of
intense concentration on his face.

SANDY'S POV:

Wendy's backside, her pants pushed outward in the back,
affording Sandy a libido-charged view of the top of her bum
crack.

Push in on a close-up of this cherished abstract landscape,
then back to Sandy's furrowed face.

INT. CLUB RESTAURANT. DAY

Ben and Harold are at their table again. Lunch is being
cleared.

			HAROLD
	It's not the taxes I object to.
	It's all the fines and penalties.

			BEN 
	Alright dad. But you sold the
	house, you didn't tell anyone,
	including the IRS, and I'd of
	certainly liked to have seen if
	there was any old stuff --

			HAROLD 
	It was all junk!

Another pause. Ben decides not to pursue an overworked topic.

			BEN 
	Oh. Elena wanted to know when we
	could expect you on Thanksgiving.
	It's just going to be you this
	year.

			HAROLD 
	Ben, I'm going to Florida. I hate
	Thanksgiving and I hate the cold. I
	have a new nurse. She's a negro,
	she weighs three hundred pounds,
	and I've decided to leave my entire
	estate to her.

Ben spits his drink out.

			BEN 
	What?

			HAROLD 
	Jesus, Benjamin, you're still as
	gullible as ever.

			BEN 
	That was a joke? You don't tell
	jokes.

			HAROLD 
	I thought I'd start trying. If you
	don't mind. But I am going to
	Florida and I do have a new nurse.

INT. TRAIN. EVENING

Ben sits in the moving train, commuting home. He puts down
his paper to look at this fellow passengers. [NOTE: He is in
the same seat as was Paul at the beginning of the film.]

INT. HOOD DEN. DAY

Elena sits in a yoga pose.

INT. HOOD GARAGE. DAY

Elena enters the garage from the kitchen and turns the light
on.

She finds an old bicycle and pulls it out.

EXT. SUBURBAN STREETS. DAY

Elena rides her bike into town, infused with the girlish
sense of freedom she imagined for her daughter.

Suddenly, there's a pop -- a tire is blown out. She slows
down and gets off the bike. As she bends to look at the
wheel, a station wagon slows near her. The driver's side
window rolls open. It's Janey Williams.

			JANEY 
	Need a lift?

INT. JANEY'S CAR. DAY

Elena sits in the passenger seat. The two women are obviously
uncomfortable with each other.

Silence.

			ELENA 
	Thanks again. For the dinner.

			JANEY 
	Thanks for eating it. I don't know
	why I even pretend I can cook.

			ELENA 
	I used to know how to cook.

			JANEY 
	It's not like we're too busy.

They smile, barely.

			ELENA 
	I'm thinking of going back to
	school.

			JANEY 
	Social work?

			ELENA 
	How'd you know?

			JANEY 
	Educated guess.

			ELENA 
	I'm that predictable? No, you don't
	have to answer that. It's just that
	with the kids almost grown --

			JANEY 
	You don't have to apologize. I'm
	too much of a cynic. You actually
	seem to be trying to figure things
	out -- don't mind me.

She pulls the car over.

EXT. FIVE AND DIME STORE. DAY

Janey's car pulls to the curb.

INT. CAR. CONT'D

			JANEY
	Here you are.

			ELENA
		(opening her door)
	Thanks for the lift. If the bike's
	any bother--

			JANEY 
	None at all. I'll leave it in front
	of your garage. Happy Thanksgiving.

EXT. FIVE AND DIME. CONT'D

Elena watches the car pull away. She turns and walks into the
store.

INT. FIVE AND DIME. DAY

Elena moves through the aisles, putting various sundries into
a basket.

She pauses in front of the lipsticks.

She picks up a lipstick, looks at it, then quietly places it
in her pocket.

We see her reflection in the security mirror above the aisle,
as she quickly exits the store.

The middle-aged lady behind the counter watches her leave.

EXT. FIVE AND DIME. DAY

In a wide shot, from across the street, we see Elena leave
the store, followed by the shopkeeper who runs behind her and
taps her on the shoulder. They converse for a minute, and
Elena is accompanied back into the store.

Through the store windows we see her take the lipstick out of
her purse. She's obviously distraught -- offering to pay,
talking quickly, etc. The shopkeeper is holding a telephone,
not yet decided on whether to call her in.

			PAUL (V.O.)
	To find yourself in the Negative
	Zone, as the Fantastic Four often
	do, means that all everyday
	assumptions are inverted -- even
	the invisible girl herself becomes
	visible, and so she loses the last
	semblance of her power.

INT. TRAIN. DAY

Close on images from The Fantastic Four.
	"HERE IN THE NEGATIVE ZONE, HIS
	POWERS ARE HALVED. WE CAN DO
	NOTHING BUT WAIT... AND PRAY" "BUT
	WHAT ABOUT FRANKLIN? HE'LL BE
	KILLED!"

Paul sits reading on his way home.

EXT. WILLIAMS HOUSE. DAY

Janey pulls up in the driveway. As she gets out of the car,
she hears a small explosion from the back of the house.

EXT. HOOD BACKYARD. DAY

Janey comes around the back to discover Sandy stuffing a
model airplane with m-80 firecrackers. He lights them and
runs back a safe distance. The plane explodes, its wreckage
joining the debris from a few other dolls, models, and toys.

			JANEY 
	Sandy!

Sandy looks up -- busted.

Janey marches over to him.

			JANEY (CONT'D)
	You little idiotic prick, you could
	blow yourself fucking sky high with
	all this demented crap.

Sandy looks on the verge of tears. She softens and bends down
to him.

			JANEY (CONT'D)
		(sighing)
	Hey.
		(picking up the
		 firecrackers)
	I'll take this stuff.

			SANDY
	You going to tell dad?

			JANEY
	Would it matter?
		(sees something else lying
		 on the ground)
	And what's that?

			SANDY
		(sniffling)
	You know, it's the whip -- the one
	uncle Frank got me from Mexico.

			JANEY
	It's not packed with explosives, is
	it?

			SANDY 
	No!

			JANEY
		(going into the house)
	Play with the whip.

INT. WILLIAMS LIVING ROOM. DAY

Mikey and Wendy are in front of the TV, watching a rerun of
Divorce Court.

			JANEY
	Oh. Hi Wendy.

			WENDY
	Hi Mrs. Williams.

			JANEY
	Mikey, have you heard the
	explosions coming from the
	backyard?
		(he stares blankly at her)
	Do you know what Sandy's been up
	to?

			MIKEY
		(honestly oblivious, as
		 usual)
	I dunno.

She pauses, then walks into the kitchen.

EXT. WILLIAMS BACKYARD. DAY

Sandy flicks his enormous whip in the direction of a small
bush.

One by one, he snaps off its leaves.

INT. WILLIAM KITCHEN. DAY

Janey hauls a turkey out of a bag and into the fridge.

INT. WILLIAMS LIVING ROOM. DAY

Mikey and Wendy are still in front of the TV.

Janey comes in again and looks at them.

			JANEY
	Don't you kids have homework?

			MIKEY AND WENDY 
		(without looking up, in
		 unison)
	Thanksgiving break.

She walks out of the room again.

Sandy comes in, whip in hand, looks over at Mikey and Wendy,
then walks over to them, and, without a word, slumps down
beside them and watches the TV.

EXT. TOWN STREET. DAY

Elena walks unsteadily, pausing to rest against a brick wall.
She takes a deep breath, then walks to a corner where a local
taxi station wagon sits idling. She gestures to the driver,
who beckons her in.

INT. WILLIAMS LIVING ROOM. DAY

Later, still mentally devolving in front of the TV, but with
various junk food detritus surrounding them and a different
show, a rerun of the original Highway Patrol.

Sandy wanders off.

						CUT TO:

Later.

Wendy gets up, goes upstairs, and wanders down the hall to
the bathroom.

She gets to the door just as Sandy gets there from the
opposite direction.

			WENDY 
	After you.

Sandy hesitantly opens the door, as Wendy still hovers by it.

			SANDY 
	Well, you can...

			WENDY 
	Hey Sandy, what were you blowing up
	out there? Your mom was pretty
	p.o.'d.

			SANDY 
	All my model planes.

			WENDY 
	The ones you built?

			SANDY
	They were old. And they couldn't
	fly anyhow. I'm going to get a
	radio-controlled airplane at
	Christmas, and then I'll stuff it
	full of m-80s and then fly it into
	Mrs. Burgess's English class and
	blow it up.

			WENDY 
	I have to go to the bathroom.

			SANDY 
	Yeah.

But he stays put, unaware it seems that he's blocking the
doorway.

Wendy looks around -- no one in sight.

			WENDY 
	I'll show you mine if you show me
	yours.

Sandy goes wide eyed, and almost against his will backs into
the bathroom like a feather.

INT. WILLIAMS LIVING ROOM. DAY

Mikey looks up from the TV, wondering where Wendy is. He eats
another Pringle.

INT. WILLIAMS BATHROOM. DAY

Wendy flips up her dress for Sandy.

He slowly unzips, his hand unsteady. We can tell from the
look on Wendy's face that she's feeling a bit sorry for the
little guy.

Suddenly Sandy turns beet red, and bursts into tears.

			SANDY 
	What do you want?! What do you
	want? Get out! Get out of here!

The door flips open -- and Janey Williams appears.

			JANEY
		(sizing up the situation) 
	Shit.

INT. MASTER BEDROOM. DAY

Janey is giving Wendy a lecture

			JANEY 
	A person's body is his temple,
	Wendy. This body is your first and
	last possession. Now as your own
	parents have probably told you, in
	adolescence our bodies tend to
	betray us. That's why, in Samoa and
	in other developing nations,
	adolescents are sent out into the
	woods, unarmed, and they don't come
	back until they've learned a thing
	or two.

INT. WILLIAMS HOUSE DOORWAY. DAY

Wendy is led to the door by Mrs. Williams.

Wendy trades a glance with a sullen Mikey, who sits in the
living room pretending to ignore her.

EXT. STREET. DAY

Wendy walks her bike with the wind in her face.

From behind her, Mikey rides up on his bike and rides
alongside her.

She doesn't look at him.

Trying to stay on his bike, but moving slowly, he wobbles,
nearly falling off.

			MIKEY 
	I don't ever want to see you.

			WENDY 
	Then why'd you come after me?

EXT. HOOD HOUSE. DAY

The taxi pulls up. Elena gets out and pays the driver.

INT. HOOD KITCHEN. DAY

Ben is in front of the open freezer, trying to get something
out. He hears Elena come in the front door.

			BEN 
	Elena. I need some help here if
	this thing's gonna defrost by
	tomorrow.

She comes up and together they tug and pull until they
succeced in extracting a large, frozen turkey. As they pull
it out, it slips from their hands and, after a dull thump,
slides along the floor.

They smile.

Elena bends over to pick it up. Ben observes her. She notices
his look.

			BEN (CONT'D)
	Here.

He goes over and picks up the turkey, placing it in the sink.
He looks back at her and notices her vaguely distraught look.

			BEN (CONT'D)
	You all right there?

			ELENA 
	Oh. Sure, I -- Did you remember to
	pick up the cranberry sauce?

			BEN
	Um, yes.

They stand together, his concern and her vulnerability
forming an awkward attraction between them.

			ELENA 
	Because you like it on your turkey
	sandwiches.

			BEN 
	I do. I'm -- are you...?

			ELENA 
	I... I think I am...

			BEN 
		(pause)
	You know Elena, I've been thinking--

			ELENA
	Ben, maybe no talking right now? If
	you start talking, you're going to--

She kisses him as if she needed him.

INT. HOOD HALLWAY. DAY

Ben and Elena enter their bedroom. Elena closes the door
quietly behind her.

INT. HOOD BEDROOM. DAY

Ben and Elena undress shyly.

They make love. Elena's face is almost fearful.

						CUT TO:

Elena and Ben lie in bed side by side in the pale afternoon
light. Neither speaks. Ben turns on his side, and notices a
small tear forming in Elena's eyes.

			BEN 
	You crying?

			ELENA 
	I'm just sad Ben -- I mean it
	was... you were, but, you know. I
	just don't know...

			BEN
		(gently making light)
	Whatever that means Elena -- And
	you complain about me not
	communicating... I thought it was --

			ELENA 
	No, I didn't mean to sound
	negative. It was -- But Ben. 
		(beat)
	What is going to happen with us?
	Have you --

			BEN 
	You have to bring this up now?
	What? Did I do something here? Is
	that it? Is it something I did?

			ELENA 
	I wasn't accusing you, Ben. It's
	just that we've got to be honest.
	Not just with ourselves, but with
	the children.

			BEN
		(pause, sitting up)
	Hell, I know. I -- I guess if you
	want to accuse me, you've got --
		(looks at watch)
	Oh hell! I've got to pick up Paul.
	I almost forgot.

He gets up and starts to get dressed.

			ELENA
	You were saying?

He smells the armpits of the shirt he's putting on.

			BEN
	Yikes -- I was hoping to wear this
	thing to the Halford's Friday.

			ELENA
	That shirt?

			BEN
	What?

			ELENA
	Leave it -- I'll wash it for you.

He looks at her ruefully.

EXT. HOOD STREET. DAY

Wendy walks and Mikey rides along.

			WENDY
	You have to follow me?

			MIKEY
	I dunno. I --

They're now in front of the Hood's house.

EXT. HOOD HOUSE. DAY

Ben exits the house in a rush, and sees Wendy and Mikey on
the street in front.

			BEN
	Hey there Mikey, how's business?

CONTINUED: 85

			MIKEY
		(tripping off of his bike)
	Business? Uh, I dunno.

Ben grimaces, fiddles for his car keys.

As Mikey remounts and rides off, Wendy passes her father on
the driveway.

			BEN
	I'm picking up Paul at the station 
	- want to come?

			WENDY
	Nah.

			BEN
	What you been up to?

			WENDY
	Nothing.

INT. HOOD LIVING ROOM. DAY

Wendy enters the house and climbs the stairs.

She sees the crumpled bed sheets in her parents' room and
hears Elena in the shower.

EXT. NEW CANAAN STATION. DAY

Paul walks to the parking lot with his father, who carries
his duffel bag.

EXT. STREETS. DAY

Ben's car heading back to the house with Paul.

INT. HOOD CAR. DAY

			BEN
	So how's school treating you?

			PAUL
	All right.

			BEN 
	Classes?

			PAUL
	Good.

			BEN 
	Grades?

			PAUL
	Fine.

			BEN 
	Anyone special? You know...

			PAUL
	Hnnn.

			BEN 
	Well it's good to see you -- we
	miss you around the house and all,
	but this St. Peter's, it's top of
	the line, eh?

			PAUL
	Yeah.

			BEN 
	You know Paul, I've been thinking,
	maybe this is as good a time as any
	to have a little talk, you know,
	about -- well --

He makes a sharp turn. Paul puts his arms up on the dashboard
to steady himself.

			PAUL
		(nervous)
	About?

			BEN 
	Well, the whole gamut. Facts of
	life and all. Some fatherly advice,
	because, I tell you, there's things
	happening that you're probably old
	enough... well...
		(pause)
	For example, on the self-abuse
	front -- now this is important -
	it's not advisable to do it in the
	shower -- it wastes water and
	electricity and because we all
	expect you to be doing it there in
	any case -- and, um, not onto the
	linen, and not on your sister's
	underwear or any clothing belonging
	to your mother --

He pauses to gauge the effect of his monologue on his son,
then continues.

			PAUL 
	Uh, Dad --

Just then Ben runs a stop sign and almost slams into another
car.

			BEN 
	Holy! Well. If you're worried about
	anything, just feel free to ask,
	and, uh, we can look it up.

			PAUL 
	Uh, dad, you know I'm 16.

			BEN 
	All the more reason for this little
	heart to heart... great.

EXT. HOOD HOUSE. DAY

The car pulls up. Paul gets out, looking shell-shocked. He
sees Wendy waving to him from a second floor window. He nods
back.

			BEN 
	Um, Paul. On second thought, can
	you do me a favor and pretend I
	never said any of that.

			PAUL 
	Sure dad.

			BEN 
	Thanks.

In the doorway, Elena waits.

INT. HOOD HALLWAY. DAY

Paul knocks on Wendy's bedroom door. She opens it.

			PAUL 
	Hello, Charles.

			WENDY 
	Greetings, Charles.

INT. WENDY'S ROOM. DAY

Paul and Wendy sit on the floor.

			PAUL 
	How are the parental units
	functioning these days?

			WENDY 
	Dad's like doing his Up With People
	routine, mom hasn't been saying
	much.

			PAUL 
	I don't know. Dad seems a little
	weird.

			WENDY 
	Yeah well wait till mom opens her
	mouth.

They both ponder silently. Then:

			PAUL 
	May I operate your telephonic
	apparatus?

			WENDY 
	Why don't you use the phone
	downstairs?

			PAUL 
	Calling an individual, Charles, in
	New York. Confirming a social
	outing for Friday night.

			WENDY 
	Can I come?

			PAUL
	It's a one-on-one kind of date
	thing.

			WENDY
	With who?

			PAUL
	Her name's Libbets.

			WENDY
	Libbets? What kind of a name is
	Libbets?

EXT. HOOD HOUSE. DAY

Morning. To establish.

INT. HOOD BEDROOM. DAY

Elena is coming out of the master bathroom in a robe, a towel
wrapped around her head.

			ELENA
	The turkey in?

			BEN
	Stuffed and baking.

INT. HOOD HALLWAY. DAY

Ben Hood pads down the hall in his bathrobe, tries the
bathroom door. It's locked.

			BEN
	Anyone home?

INT. HOOD BATHROOM. DAY

The shower is running, but Paul is standing by the open
window, puffing on a joint and trying to blow the smoke
outside.

			PAUL
	I'll be out in a second.

Ben walks back to the bedroom, smirking.

			BEN 
	Sure you will.

INT. HOOD DINING ROOM. DAY

One by one, each member of the Hood carried in a final item
to place on the overstuffed Thanksgiving table. Then, one by
one, they each silently take their seats.

They look over the table. No one moves.

			BEN 
	Well, it's great we can all be
	together. And this Thanksgiving, no
	hysteria, no yelling, especially
	with grandpa not here, although we
	miss him. So let's do it right and
	actually, Wendy, why don't you say
	grace. You used to love to say
	grace, remember.

Wendy grimaces, as they all bow their heads slightly.

			WENDY 
	Dear Lord, thank you for
	Thanksgiving, and for letting us
	white people kill all the
	Indians...

Everyone looks up.

			WENDY (CONT'D)
	... and steal their tribal lands
	and stuff ourselves like pigs

Mutterings and groans: "Wendy!" "For Christ's sake" etc.

			WENDY (CONT'D)
	... while children in Africa and
	Asia are napalmed and --

			BEN 
	Jesus all right enough!

They all unceremoniously start to dig in.

						FADE OUT:

INT. WILLIAMS GUEST ROOM. DAY

Janey Williams is pouring Benjamin Hood a drink from a bottle
of vodka. Benjamin is already unbuttoned and shoeless; Janey
still fully dressed.

			JANEY 
	Here.

			BEN 
	After the Thanksgiving I had, I
	need it. You having one?

			JANEY 
	In a bit.

She sits next to him, he kisses the back of her neck.

			BEN 
	You know, I think Elena might
	suspect something.

Janey gives him a rather contemptuous look.

			BEN (CONT'D)
		(thinking aloud)
	Maybe it's all for the better, you
	know?
	Yesterday, at dinner, well, she
	hasn't said anything... has she
	acted funny to you, I mean, have
	you noticed anything?

			JANEY
		(almost ironic)
	Have I noticed anything? I'm not
	married to her Benjamin, you are. I
	think you've probably a better
	vantage point from which to observe
	her.

			BEN 
	Yeah, but, I -- I've been working a
	lot lately, and -- No, that's not
	it. I guess we've just been on the
	verge of saying something, whatever
	it is, just saying something to
	each other. On the verge.

Janey gets up.

			JANEY 
	I'll be back.

Benjamin looks at her quizzically.

			BEN
	Huh?

			JANEY
	Birth control.

			BEN
	Right. Gotcha.

She leaves the room.

He leans back onto the bed. Sits back up. Takes a sip of
vodka. Puts the glass down. Takes his socks off. He's now in
just his jockey shorts and shirt.

Faintly, he hears a door close. The front door?

He takes another sip.

He hears another sound.

			BEN (CONT'D)
	Janey?

Nothing.

He goes to the door and carefully opens it.

			BEN (CONT'D)
		(quietly)
	Janey?

He hears, quite audibly, a car door open, close, Janey's car
start and pull out.

He runs to a front window just in time to catch a glimpse of
her driving off.

			BEN (CONT'D)
	Shit.

INT. GUEST ROOM. LATER

Benjamin sits on the guest bed, still in his underwear,
drinking from the bottle.

He gets up and starts to wander around the house, still
holding the bottle.

INT. MASTER BEDROOM. CONT'D

Benjamin saunters through. He presses on the king-sized bed --
it undulates.

			BEN
	Water bed! Dig it!

He wiggles comically, making more waves.

						JUMP CUT:

Ben idly goes through Janey's drawers.

INT. WILLIAMS MASTER BATHROOM. CONT'D

He rifles through the bathroom cabinet, checking out the
medicines.

INT. WILLIAMS BEDROOM. CONT'D

He notices a garter belt hanging from the walk-in closet
door. He picks it up and twirls it.

INT. MIKEY'S ROOM. CONT'D

Benjamin walks in, an obvious look of distaste.

He sorts through a few of Mike's things -- monster eyes that
glow in the dark, The Sensuous Woman, etc.

He twirls the garter belt absentmindedly, then tosses it into
the back of Mike's closet.

INT. GUEST ROOM. CONT'D

He finishes putting his clothes back on. As he reaches for
the door, he hears voices and quickly steps back in again.

Teenage voices. Mikey and Wendy.

			MIKEY (O.S.)
	See, no one's here. Maybe you want
	to go to the basement?

			WENDY (O.S.)
	Maybe we can just watch some TV.

			MIKEY (O.S.)
	There's a TV in the basement.

Hood hears their steps down into the basement.

INT. BASEMENT. DAY

Wendy and Mikey stand in the middle of the semi-lit basement.

			MIKEY 
	Maybe we can mess around. You know,
	only if you want to...

			WENDY
	I don't know.

			MIKEY
	Why did you -- with Sandy?

			WENDY
	I don't know.

			MIKEY
	You like him? He worships you.

But Wendy doesn't seem to hear -- she's drawn to an object
lying next to a bean bag chair off to one side.

			WENDY
	Hey, what's this?

With a look of utter fascination, she picks up a Nixon mask,
looking at it as though it were an archeological find.

			WENDY (CONT'D)
	Wow!

			MIKEY
	Wendy!

She puts the mask on.

			WENDY
		(from behind the mask)
	I won't take my pants off. But I'll
	touch it. That's as far as it goes.

Mikey looks totally confused.

Remaining fully clothed, Wendy loosens Mike's belt, showing
no excitement from behind her mask, and lets him climb on top
of her for a dry hump.

Just then, a shaft of light hits them from the top of the
stairs -- Ben towers above them, looking down.

Mikey flips over immediately and pulls his clothes together,
grabbing a TV Guide as Wendy stands up, the mask still on.

As Ben descends Mikey, still stuffing his shirt-tail into his
pants, pretends to flip through the TV Guide.

			MIKEY
		(muttering)
	When worlds collide.

			WENDY 
	Huh?

			MIKEY 
	4:30 movie. When Worlds Collide.

Ben arrives, folds his arms.

			BEN 
	What the hell are you kids doing
	down here?

			WENDY 
	What do you think we're doing, dad?

			BEN 
	What do I think? I think you're
	probably touching each other. I
	think you're touching that reckless
	jerk-off, for god's sake, and I
	think he's trying to get into your
	slacks. I think, at fourteen years
	of age, that you're getting ready
	to give up your girlhood --

			MIKEY 
	Hey, hang on there, Mr. Hood --

			BEN 
	Don't you direct a single word at
	me, Mikey. I don't want to hear it.
	I'll be speaking with your parents
	about this situation very soon. Bet
	your ass on that, son. Young lady?

			WENDY 
	Talking to me, dad?

			BEN 
	Who else would I be talking to? And
	take that thing off!

			WENDY
		(pulling off the mask)
	Well, then forget all this stern
	dad stuff.

			BEN 
	I'm not interested in your smart
	ass remarks now, lady. Let's go.
	Right now. You and I can discuss it
	on the walk home.

She stands next to Mikey for a moment, both on the verge of
tears.

EXT. STREET. EVENING

Hood and Wendy walk through a cold drizzling rain.

He looks at her from time to time, then takes her arm.

			BEN 
	Look, kiddo, don't worry about it.
	I really don't care that much. I'm
	just not sure he's good enough,
	that's all.

			WENDY 
	Huh?

			BEN 
	I mean, he's not serious, he'll end
	up living off Janey and Jim, you
	watch.
	It's just that you develop a sense
	when you get older, if things are
	going to work out or if they won't,
	and sometimes it's not worth the
	mess...

She looks at him. They keep walking. She walks through a
puddle.

			BEN (CONT'D)
	Your toes cold?

			WENDY
	Yeah.

He stops and lifts her in his arms.

			BEN
	I'll carry you up the drive.

She puts her arms around his neck and he lifts her up.

On her face, as he carries her -- a look of blank but real
intimacy.

INT. HOOD FRONT HALL. EVENING

Hood and Wendy enter, wet and cold, muttering hellos.

			ELENA (O.S.)
		(from the kitchen)
	Dinner in ten minutes.

			BEN
	You go dry off now.

Wendy heads for the stairs, Hood following.

INT. HOOD BEDROOM. EVENING

Hood finishes taking off his wet clothes as Elena enters and
turns on a light. She stands watching him.

			BEN
	Never guess where I found her.

Not much response From Elena.

			BEN (CONT'D)
	In the basement over at Janey and
	Jim's. With that weirdo Mikey. Not
	even a TV on.
	And they're on the floor and he's
	got his trousers down though thank
	goodness she's still dressed. Well,
	I really let him have it! 
		(a nervous laugh)
	... and Wendy came home
	peacefully... Hey, should I dress
	for the Halford's now, or - give me
	your -

			ELENA 
	Up to you. I'd like to go early and
	leave pretty soon after that.

			BEN 
	I get you loud and clear... hey,
	you look nice.

			ELENA 
	So what were you doing in the
	Williams' basement anyway?

			BEN 
	Oh, just dropping off a coffee cup.
	Jim left it, last time he was over.
	It was on the dash of the car. You
	were, you know, reading, thought
	I'd just catch some air. Let's eat.

			ELENA 
	Oh right. The mustache coffee cup.
	The one that was sitting on the
	dash.

			BEN 
	Yeah, that one.

			ELENA 
	That one.

She walks down to the kitchen, Benjamin following her.

INT. KITCHEN. EVENING

Wendy is already in the kitchen, fishing through the drawers
for silverware and napkins.

Paul enters.

			PAUL
	See you. 

			BEN
	Stay out of trouble.

			ELENA
	You'll be on the 10:30 train?

			PAUL
	11:30?

			ELENA
	Paul --

			BEN
	Ah let the guy have his fun. What's
	the name of this girl with the Park
	Avenue address?

			PAUL
	Libbets. Libbets Casey.

			BEN
	Libbets? What kind of name is
	Libbets?

INT. KITCHEN. NIGHT

A silent dinner of turkey sandwiches with Elena, Benjamin,
and Wendy. The turkey carcass sits, embarrassed, in the
middle of the table.

Wendy, finished, gets up from the table. Opens the fridge,
but finds nothing. Then goes to the candy shelf and grabs
some Hot Tamales, leaving the room without a word and going
into the den.

INT. DEN. NIGHT

Wendy turns the TV on.

			TV
	... and that ends today's highlight
	coverage of the Watergate affair.

			WENDY
	Shoot.

INT. KITCHEN. NIGHT

Hood and Elena rise from the table with their dishes.

			BEN
	What's for dessert?

			ELENA
	See for yourself.

			BEN
	No advice from the experts, huh?

His plate slips out of his hands into the trash. He fishes it
out and sets it on the counter.

			ELENA
	Don't start.

			BEN
	You think I --

			ELENA
	I have no idea.

			BEN
	What's on your mind? Don't --

			ELENA
	It wouldn't make a pleasant
	evening, if that's what you're
	after. I don't want to talk about
	it. Stupid mustache cup.

			BEN
	What do you mean?

			ELENA
	Don't be dim.

			BEN
	Elena, what are you're talking
	about?

			ELENA
	I'm not surprised.

			BEN
	Listen, Elena, if you're gonna pull
	that passive aggressive stuff on me
	again --

			ELENA
	Your unfaithfulness -- that's what
	I'm trying to talk about. Your
	unfaithfulness. Your betrayal. Your
	dalliance. And you won't do me the
	dignity of being up front about it.

			BEN
		(quieter)
	Am I unfaithful? Is that what
	you're trying to say?

			ELENA
	It's a starting place.

			BEN
	Well, what kind of faithfulness are
	you after?

			ELENA 
	If you're going to insult me --

			BEN
	What else could I be? What else
	could I be? We're not living in the
	real world here. You're living out
	some fantasy land from the past, or
	some advice or something from those
	psychoanalysts... there are some
	hard facts here.

Silence.

			BEN (CONT'D)
	It's the law of the land... the
	government, the world, those two
	guys on the Yankees... And I'm not
	having any fun at it, I can tell
	you that. I'm not...

INT. DEN. NIGHT

Wendy puts the volume of the TV up, to drown out a
conversation she can almost overhear but doesn't want to.

INT. KITCHEN. NIGHT. CONT'D

			ELENA 
	Oh lord. You think I'm so dense.
	And now you want to be seen with
	your dense wife at the cocktail
	party. You want to wear that
	ridiculous shirt which doesn't go
	with those pants at all. You want
	to wear that, and you want me to
	shake hands with your friends and
	make conversation and dress up in
	an outfit that shows a lot of
	cleavage and you're not going to
	accord me the respect of talking
	honestly about this... You don't
	really know what this feels like.

			BEN
		(whispering)
	Sure I do. Do I know what
	loneliness feels like? Sure I do. I
	know a lot about it, if that's what
	you mean.

			ELENA 
	Benjamin. That's supposed to
	explain it?

Seemingly tired, he stands before her. Silence. Elena sighs,
then walks into the den.

INT. DEN. NIGHT

			ELENA 
	We're going to the Halford's. The
	number's on the calendar in the
	kitchen. We should be home around
	11.

			WENDY
		(eyes still glued to the
		 TV)
	Is it a big party? A big
	neighborhood party?

			ELENA 
	I suppose. Why?

			WENDY 
	Just curious. If there's a problem,
	I guess I'll just call you there to
	interrupt.

			ELENA 
	What sort of problems are you
	planning exactly?

Elena kisses the top of her head.

			WENDY
		(still watching the TV)
	Oh I thought I'd steal the station
	wagon, drive up to a commune. Or
	set the house on fire. You know.

			ELENA 
	Just bundle up. It's supposed to
	freeze tonight. We'll see you in
	the morning.

EXT. HOOD HOUSE. NIGHT

Elena and Ben emerge from the house, and look up at a
darkening, foreboding sky. A light rain falls. They jog
toward their car.

INT/EXT. HOOD CAR. NIGHT

The car moves slowly through the rainy suburban streets.

Inside, Elena and Ben don't speak.

EXT. HALFORD HOUSE. NIGHT

Their Firebird pulls up. There are already many other cars
parked on the lawn and driveway.

INT. HALFORD FOYER. NIGHT

Hood and Elena enter. Dot Halford accosts them.

			DOT 
	Ben, Elena. Wonderful! Wonderful!
	So wonderful to see you.

Finishing the last of a celery canoe, she kisses the air next
to Ben's ear and gives Elena a manic hug.

Then, picking up a white salad bowl from the hall table:

			DOT (CONT'D)
	Would you care to play? New this
	year.

Close on: the bowl full of keys.

			DOT (CONT'D)
	Strictly volunteer, of course. You
	can put your coats in the library
	if you like.

			ELENA
	Oh, damn. Uh, I've left the --

			BEN 
	You've...

			ELENA 
	In the car.

			BEN 
	Oh, yeah. Yeah, we'll be right
	back, Dot.

INT./EXT. CAR. CONT'D

Ben and Elena climb back in the car and close the doors,
shivering.

			ELENA 
	This just isn't the best moment for
	this.

			BEN 
	I know, I know. I had no idea --

			ELENA 
	That this was going to be a key
	party?

			BEN 
	Yeah, well, if we'd understood we
	could have invented some kind of
	excuse. A key party -- did you see
	how stuffed that bowl was already?

			ELENA 
	Well?

			BEN 
	I think we're here and we don't
	have to stay -- we ought simply to
	put in an appearance and then we
	can head home.

			ELENA 
	Damn it, Ben --

			BEN 
	I'm not staying at this party so we
	can go home with someone else's
	wife. That's not why we're here,
	right? We're simply being neighbors
	here, and I think we should do just
	that --

			ELENA 
	You're not going to --

			BEN 
	I'm not.

			ELENA 
	You have some marker, that's what I
	think, if you want to know the
	truth.
	You have some marker and you're
	going to put it on the house keys
	so that Janey can find them and
	then when I get back to the house
	I'll find the two of you in there
	and Wendy'll be able to hear you
	and Paul will be back and he'll
	hear you and I'll catch you, that's
	what I think. She'll be swearing
	and banging against the wall and
	I'll catch --

			BEN 
	Elena.

She rubs her eyes.

			BEN (CONT'D)
	Elena, it's not what you think.
	It's not a big plot. Honestly.
	Honestly. I don't know if you want
	to go over this now, but it's just
	something that comes over me. I
	don't feel good about it. I know
	I've done what I didn't want to do.
	I don't know --

			ELENA 
	Well, I'm really pleased to hear a
	confession.

			BEN 
	Elena, you're just getting wound up
	to get wound up.

			ELENA 
	Thanks for the diagnosis, Ben.
	Thank you. So let's just go to this
	fiasco if that's what you want to
	do. Let's just go on in. I'd rather
	talk to anyone else but you.

She pulls the keys out of the ignition, gets out of the car,
and slams the door. He follows her.

INT. HALFORD FOYER. NIGHT

			ELENA 
	Oh, Dot!

Elena, entering the house again, tosses the keys at Dot
Halford, who looks surprised.

Hood slides in behind his wife.

Dot drops the keys into the bowl.

Slow-motion, close up: the keys, on their equine chain, fall
in with a THUNDEROUS CRASH.

INT. HALFORD LIVING ROOM. CONT'D

The room is crowded with nervous, expectant couples and
various groupings.

Elena slips into a side room.

Benjamin heads over immediately to the drink table and pours
a stiff one, turning around to find at his elbow none other
than George Clair.

			GEORGE 
	Benjie!

			BEN 
	Clair, George Clair! What the hell
	brings you to New Canaan?

			GEORGE 
	Well, it's the funniest thing. I've
	been talking to some investors -- a
	little outside venture, you
	understand, between you and me --
	about a scheme to manufacture a new
	Styrofoam packaging. Little peanut
	like pieces that can really keep an
	item free from trauma during
	shipping. Miraculous. Anyway, it
	turns out the genius behind the
	whole project is your neighbor, Jim
	Williams. How about that!

			BEN 
	Well, hey, isn't that a one-in-a
	million coincidence. A real
	dreamer, Jim Williams, eh?

			GEORGE
	Darned right. Look here, Benj,
	whaddya make of this sequel to The
	Godfather? You think it's gonna
	work?

			BEN
	Don't see how. I think the public's
	had its fill of this gangster
	stuff. No, trust me -- disaster
	pics. And air hockey.

			GEORGE
	Yeah, good.

Benjamin catches a glimpse of Janey, voluptuously attired,
across the room.

			GEORGE (CONT'D)
	Well, gonna make a break for the
	hors d'oeuvres guy.

			BEN
	Yeah, see you bright and early
	Monday am.
		(beat)
	Say, where's the wife?

			GEORGE
		(winking as he goes)
	In Rhode Island with the folks. I'm
	a free agent tonight.

At this, they both notice Elena slowly gliding across the
other side of the room. Clair gives Ben a sideways glance,
then moves on.

Ben makes straight for Janey, who pretends to be preoccupied
with a plant.

			JANEY 
	Oh jeez, Benjie. Well, here you
	are.

			BEN 
	Damn right, but where the hell were
	you?

			JANEY 
		(looking around)
	What are you talking about?

			BEN
		(whispering, but too
		 loudly)
	Don't bullshit me around, Janey.
	Jesus Christ, I waited around for
	more than half an hour, in nothing
	but my boxer shorts, and -- and
	what's all that about? What the
	hell happened?

Janey takes a sip of her drink.

			JANEY 
	A prior engagement overcame me.

			BEN 
	What?

			JANEY 
	Listen, Benjamin Hood. I have
	obligations that precede your...
	from before you showed up. One or
	two, you know, good-natured
	encounters, that doesn't mean
	I'm... I'm not just some toy for
	you. When I remembered some chores
	I wanted to get done before the
	party, I just did them, that's all,
	because I wanted to do them before
	I saw Jimmy.

			BEN 
	Jimmy? Jimmy? I don't know how to
	take this. And what do you mean,
	Jimmy? I thought you said you and
	your husband --

			JANEY 
	How you take it isn't all that
	interesting to me, Benjamin. I'm
	sorry --

			BEN 
	I just can't believe you could be
	so --

Stalling, he watches her take another sip of her drink and
wander off.

The air is filled with talk of Watergate, Billie Jean King,
the Oil Crisis, the Mets.

Benjamin goes over to the couch, where Dave Gorman is
chatting up an attractive younger woman.

			GORMAN
		(lighting up a joint)
	Welcome to the Monkey House has
	been a seminal influence on me --
	hey Benjamin -- give it a try? This
	stuff will make some sense out of
	those larger questions.

			BEN 
		(waving it away)
	Thanks for the advice Dave.

But then, Benjamin changes his mind.

			BEN (CONT'D)
	Uh, well, what the hey...

Taking the joint, he tugs on it, holding the smoke in his
lungs.

			BEN (CONT'D)
		(coughing)
	Good shit.

			GORMAN 
	Sure is good shit. It's opiated. I
	had it in my chamber for a while. I
	was smoking this other --

			BEN 
	It's what?

			GORMAN
	Don't fret, Benjie, it's --

			BEN 
	Darn it, Dave.

He rises unsteadily, weaving through the room's
conversations.

			JACK MOELLERING 
	Take California. They've got their
	own airline in-state that's not
	subject to the fare controls.
	Compare Sacramento to L.A. on the
	controlled airlines and you'll see
	what Friedman is saying -- supply
	and demand, less restriction.

Benjamin walks over to a window. The outdoor lamps illuminate
a new and heavy downpour of frozen sleet.

INT. CONRAIL TRAIN. NIGHT

Paul is seated, reading the latest number of The Fantastic
Four comic book. The cover displays a lurid, atomically
glowing baby.

The conductor walks through the cabin.

			CONDUCTOR 
	Approaching our final stop, Grand
	Central Station.

Paul looks out the window at the tenements of Harlem, barely
visible through the walls of sleet. Soon the train enters the
tunnel toward the station.

EXT. PARK AVENUE APARTMENT BUILDING. NIGHT

Paul gets out of a cab and heads inside. He's met by the
doorman.

			PAUL
	Libbets Casey, please.

			DOORMAN
	Your name?

			PAUL
	Paul Hood.

			DOORMAN
		(a smirk)
	Elevator on the right. Eighth floor
	-- she's waiting for you.

INT. HALL IN FRONT OF LIBBETS' APARTMENT DOOR. NIGHT

Paul rings the bell.

			LIBBETS (O.S.)
		(from the other side of
		 the door)
	Open it Paul!

Paul opens the door, and enters the apartment.

INT. LIBBETS' APARTMENT. NIGHT

It's half dark, has an air of old wealth.

Libbets skids across the parquet floor to him.

			LIBBETS 
	Excellent. We were waiting!

She turns and runs into the den.

			PAUL
		(under his breath)
	We?

And there, in the den, cleaning an ounce of dope on an open
copy of Nixon's Six Crises, is -- Francis.

			FRANCIS
		(lifting the book up)
	You oughtta read this Hood, Nixon,
	our leader, all ye need know about
	the travails of life. Check out the
	Checkers speech stuff.

			PAUL
		(all hope drained from
		 him) 
	Francis. You gonna leave the seeds
	in there? In the binding like that?

			FRANCIS 
	All will be revealed, baby.

The television is turned on to a weather report about the
coming ice storm.

			FRANCIS (CONT'D)
	Awesome sleet and rain.

			LIBBETS 
	Major.

			FRANCIS 
	Howdy there. You, young knight. Can
	you check on the mead? Can you
	sally forth and secure us some more
	mead?

			PAUL 
	Huh?

			FRANCIS
		(nasal voice,
		 impersonating a TV
		 character)
	Moisture! Moisture!

			LIBBETS
		(pointing)
	Beer. In the pantry.

Paul trudges disconsolately out of the room.

INT. LIBBETS KITCHEN. NIGHT

Paul, after wandering a maze of halls, enters the kitchen,
where he takes a six-pack out of the fridge and returns to
the living room.

INT. LIBBETS LIVING ROOM. NIGHT

He enters the room with the beer.

			LIBBETS
	Frankie opens them with his teeth.

			PAUL 
		(handing him a beer)
	Hey, it's a sellable skill.

Francis licks closed a second joint, then takes the beer and
opens it with his rear molars.

			FRANCIS
	Hell on the fillings.

Paul opens the other two beers and hands one to Libbets. They
light up a joint.

			FRANCIS 
	Everything's gonna freeze, the big
	freeze.

			LIBBETS 
	Yeah, Paul, are you gonna get home
	okay?

Paul and Francis exchange a look.

She puts an Allman Brothers tape on the 8-track and turns the
TV down.

INT. HOOD BATHROOM. DAY

Wendy enters the bathroom.

She fills the sink with water, then turns off the tap. She
takes a razor blade from the counter, and slowly,
determinedly, holds it to her wrist.

She presses it into her skin, drawing a small drop of blood.

			WENDY
	Ouch!

She drops the blade and splashes water on her wrist, grabbing
some toilet paper and holding it against the tiny wound.

			WENDY 
	Stupid.

She hears the phone ring and walks downstairs.

INT. HOOD DEN. NIGHT

Wendy picks up the phone.

			WENDY 
	Hood residence.

INT. WILLIAMS KITCHEN. NIGHT

Mikey is on the other end of the line.

			MIKEY 
	You're parents at that party?

						INTERCUT:

			WENDY 
	Yeah. Yours?

			MIKEY 
	You get in trouble?

			WENDY 
	Maybe. Can't really tell yet.

			MIKEY 
	I'm sorry if I got you into
	trouble. Maybe we don't have to,
	you know... unless you really want
	to.

			WENDY 
	Yeah.

			MIKE 
	I'm going to Silver Meadow, check
	out the ice storm... You wanna
	come.

			WENDY 
	Maybe.

			MIKE 
	Yeah. OK.

INT. WILLIAMS HOUSE. NIGHT

Mikey, bundled up in a huge orange ski parka and cap, heads
for the door.

			SANDY 
	Where you going?

			MIKEY 
	Out.

			SANDY 
	It's freezing.

			MIKEY 
		(pausing)
	Yeah. When it freezes, I guess that
	means the molecules are not moving.
	So when you breathe, there's
	nothing in the air, you know, to
	breathe in to your body. The
	molecules have stopped. So it's
	clean.

Sandy just looks at him. He walks out into the night.

INT. HALFORD'S. NIGHT

Elena sits on a couch, talking to no one, barely looking up,
when someone stands in front of her.

			ELENA 
	Reverend Edwards.

			PHILIP 
	Perhaps you might find it in your
	heart to call me Philip?

He sits beside her.

			ELENA 
	You're here... I'm a bit surprised.

			PHILIP 
	Sometimes the shepherd needs the
	company of the sheep.

			ELENA 
	I'm going to try hard not to
	understand the implications of that
	simile.

Philip's about to reply, but thinks better of it.

They sit glumly next to each other for a minute. Then Philip
rises.

			PHILIP
	Forgive me.

He walks swiftly to the hall and hurriedly fishes his keys
out of the bowl, then heads for the door.

			TED FRANKLIN
		(passing by)
	I hope those weren't my keys.

He laughs at his own joke as Philip rushes out the front
door.

Back to Elena, even more forlorn than before.

INT. LIBBETS APARTMENT BATHROOM. NIGHT

Paul enters the bathroom. We hear Francis' and Libbets'
voices from the other room, laughing.

He pees.

At the sink, he pauses in front of the medicine cabinet, then
opens it.

			PAUL 
	Eureka.

He pulls out some bottles.

			PAUL
	Valium. Seconal. Uh,
		(can't quite pronounce
		 this one)
	Par-er-goric?
		(a beat, looking into the
		 mirror for effect)
	Francis Chamberlain Davenport the
	Fourth -- tonight you sleep the
	sleep of the just.

He pockets the Seconal and turns out the light.

INT. LIBBETS APARTMENT DEN. NIGHT

Paul re-enters the den to find Francis alone.

			PAUL 
	And whence has yon virginal maiden
	absconded?

			FRANCIS 
	Like into one of the other 20 or so
	bathrooms they've got in this
	place.

Paul takes out the bottle and opens it.

			PAUL 
	Check it out. Not for the faint of
	heart.

			FRANCIS 
	Pharmaceutical! You are a god.

			PAUL (CONT'D)
		(picking up beer, trying
		 to hurry before Libbets
		 returns)
	One for you and one for me.

He hands a pill to Francis, then pretends to pop one into his
mouth and takes a swig of his beer. As Francis downs his own,
Paul pockets his unswallowed pill.

			LIBBETS
		(in the doorway)
	No candy for me?

			FRANCIS 
	Groovy.
		(to Paul)
	Young master of the revels, a treat
	for our hostess?

			PAUL 
	Well, uh, I don't, it's really --

			LIBBETS 
	What is it?

			FRANCIS 
	Come on Paulie, share the wealth.
	You copped 'em from her mom's stash
	anyway.

			LIBBETS 
	Let's see!

			PAUL
		(hand in pocket)
	Libbets, you really shouldn't mix
	and match, you know with the beer.
	I'll put 'em back.

Libbets reaches into his pocket and pulls out the bottle.

			LIBBETS 
	Oh far out, Paulie. Hey look, these
	expired like five months ago. You
	think they're better aged?

She opens up the bottle and takes one out.

			PAUL 
	Maybe you should have just a half.

			LIBBETS 
	Thanks for the advice dad.

She takes the pill.

Paul looks on, thwarted.

INT. HALFORD'S. NIGHT

Ben is back at the bar, pouring another tall one. Mark Boland
sidles up next to him.

			BOLAND 
	Benjie, feeling no pain.

			BEN 
	As the Indian saying goes, pain is
	merely an opinion.

			BOLAND
		(nodding across the room)
	Hey -- check it out. Maria Conrad's
	brought her son.
		(walking off)
	I wish some of the gang had brought
	their daughters!

Ben feels a wave of distaste at the joke.

He looks across the room as Maria and her son Neil (stringy
hair, acne, tie-dyed turtleneck, patched jeans) are engaging
Janey and Philip Edwards in conversation.

INT. LIBBETS' APARTMENT. NIGHT

Paul, Francis, and Libbets sit on the floor, listening to the
music blasting at full strength.

Libbets and Francis are obviously on the verge of
unconsciousness. Paul regards them with a look of
apprehension on his face.

INT. HALFORD'S. NIGHT

Neil has now cornered Janey.

			NEIL 
	As Werner says, there is nothing to
	get. That's It. When you get that
	there's nothing to get. That's the
	training, when you ask yourself,
	the question, "What is is?"

			JANEY 
	Wait, this is the training, where
	they don't let you go to the
	bathroom?

			NEIL 
	That was the hardest part. But I
	did it. And you get into some far
	out shit.

INT. LIBBETS' APARTMENT. NIGHT

Libbets puts a blanket over a sleeping Francis, who's crashed
out on the floor in a corner. Francis alternates between
snores and various mumbled delirious ravings.

			FRANCIS 
	The foot... the foot... toeclipper
	man...

Paul is sitting on the couch, and Libbets comes back and sits
at his feet, facing up to him.

			PAUL 
	I guess he's just real exhausted
	from, you know, tests and stuff.

Libbets is herself somewhat in dreamland.

			LIBBETS 
	Yeah.

			PAUL 
	You know Libbets, I really feel,
	you know, like a real connection to
	you --

			LIBBETS 
	Yeah but you don't even know me
	really.

			PAUL 
	Sure I do, you know, like your
	aura. That you give off.

			LIBBETS 
	My what?

			PAUL 
	It's like very positive, and I feel
	a real special feeling, because you
	really --

			LIBBETS 
	And I have a special feeling too,
	because I do. It's special.

			PAUL 
	You do? I'm glad. Because I feel
	for you --

			LIBBETS 
	And I have a feeling for you too,
	because you're just like -- I feel
	for you like you're -- you're just
	like --

			PAUL AND LIBBETS
		(simultaneously)
	-- like a brother.

			PAUL 
	Yeah, you're not alone with that
	line.

			LIBBETS 
	I do.

			PAUL 
	Right. Cool. So, how about we take
	a bath together?

			LIBBETS
		(consciousness fading
		 fast)
	Hah hah you're funny. A bath. Like
	a brother and sister. Oh man, I'm
	so wasted.

Her head bobs and weaves, her eyes close, and suddenly her
head falls forward with a whoosh toward the couch -- smack
dab between Paul's legs.

She begins to snore instantly, her open mouth nuzzling into
his crotch.

Paul doesn't move, doesn't even breathe. Then, slowly, he
leans his back into the couch, without shifting the rest of
his body.

He looks as though he has simultaneously won the lottery and
received a lobotomy.

INT. HALFORD'S. NIGHT

The crowd's a bit thinner than before.

As Dot Halford begins calling out for everyone's attention, a
few couples make their last-minute way to the door.

			DOT 
	OK everyone. We have a little
	business to attend to now. So
	everyone who'd like to stay, please
	gather in the living room.

She scoops up the bowl and places it on a high end table
which has been put in the middle of the room.

			BEN
		(walking up to Elena)
	Ready to go?

			ELENA
	We're not going anywhere.

Elena waves at Janey Williams, who is standing across the
living room.

Janey looks back without expression.

INT. LIBBETS' APARTMENT. NIGHT

Libbets and Paul in the same position whence last we saw
them.

Paul delicately leans to one side of the couch and picks up a
phone. He dials a number.

						INTERCUT:

INT. HOOD LIVING ROOM. NIGHT

The phone rings. Wendy picks it up.

			WENDY 
	Hood residence.

			PAUL
		(whispering)
	Charles, what time is it?

			WENDY 
	Is this Charles?

			PAUL 
	What time is it?

			WENDY 
	Um, ten-o-five. Why? Where are you?

			PAUL 
	I'm, uh, in the midst of a moral
	dilemma. And I was wondering,
	because I know you're a very moral
	person, and --

			WENDY 
	And?

			PAUL 
	Shit. I can't really talk about it.
	I guess I better get to the train.

			WENDY 
	Right.

			PAUL 
	What are you doing at home on a
	Friday night?

			WENDY 
	I have plans.

Paul hangs up the phone and looks down at Libbets.

Libbets' Allman Brothers tape has run out. The machine makes
a repeated clicking sound as the take up real continues to
circle. The only other sound is the noise of the wind and
rain lashing against the apartment's windows.

EXT. HOOD HOUSE. NIGHT

Wendy emerges from the house and gets on her bike, but the
ice makes it too slippery. The storm is now in full swing.
She gets off and walks.

EXT. STREET. NIGHT

Wendy walks, barely keeping her balance in the wind.

INT. HALFORD'S NIGHT

All the couples are now gathered for the key selection
process, men on one side of the room, women on the other. The
storm can be heard outside.

			DOT 
	Well, what shall the order be,
	alphabetical? In order of
	appearance?

			PIERCE SAWYER 
	Golf handicap! Lowest handicap does
	the honors.

Nervous laughter.

			DOT 
	Golf handicap? Ladies, isn't it up
	to you?

			MARIA CONRAD 
	Oh I'll go first, damn it. Let's
	just line up and get it over with.

Maria chooses Stephen Earle. Hands the keys to him. A
smattering of applause as she takes his arm and they leave.

			MARIE EARLE 
	Good luck!

Neil watches his mother's exit.

						JUMP CUT TO:

A few more couplings.

						JUMP CUT TO:

Helen Worthington approaches the bowl. Helen Worthington has
the size and shape of a sumo wrestler.

There is a nervous shifting of weight on the male side of the
room.

Helen delicately reaches into the bowl. Her hands emerge with
a key chain.

George Clair steps forward, obviously depressed, as a
collective sigh of relief goes up from behind him. Ben looks
on, momentarily triumphant.

Elena smiles to herself.

						JUMP CUT TO:

The Gadds choose each other.

			MRS. GADD 
	Oh, my own husband. Isn't that
	against the rules?

			DOT 
	Try again?

			MRS. GADD 
		(relieved)
	Oh, I think not.

Mr. Gadd smiles as they leave, obviously happy to go.

Finally, only Mark Boland, Neil Conrad, Janey and Jim
Williams, Rob and Dot Halford, Sari Steele, Benjamin and
Elena.

			DOT 
	Getting down to the wire!

Elena steps forward. Benjamin is obviously agitated.

Close on Janey's hands selecting -- away from Ben's equine
key ring.

She lifts up another key ring -- Neil Conrad, the teenager.

She hands the self-important-looking Neil his keys and they
turn to go.

Jim Williams smiles mysteriously to himself.

Ben suddenly lurches forward, semi-drunkenly, trying to
separate Neil from Janey.

			THE GROUP
		(ad lib)
	Hey hey Ben, hang on there a sec.

He backs off, ashamed, and, taking a step backwards, trips
over the coffee table.

Mark Boland helps lift him up.

			BEN 
	Sorry... maybe I should... the
	bathroom?

			DOT
	Right down the hall, Ben.

			BEN
		(muttering)
	Sorry, I'm sorry. Uh, I'll be back.

Dot follows Mark Boland down the hall behind Ben.

Suddenly, it's just Elena and Jim Williams, and Sari Steele
and Rob Halford.

			ROB HALFORD
		(taking Sari's arm)
	Actually, we didn't put our keys in
	at all. But you won't spread it
	around? It's my party, and Dot
	isn't... hey, we're just going to
	slip upstairs for a while. You
	folks like a cup of coffee or
	something before we go?

Elena and Jim look at each other.

			ELENA 
	Rob, we'll fix it for ourselves.
	You two go and get acquainted.
	We'll let ourselves out the front
	door.

Jim and Elena stand there alone.

			JIM 
	Well, I have to say I don't have
	much faith that my car keys are
	still in that bowl. Doesn't seem
	entirely safe, leaving your car
	keys around?

			ELENA 
	Let me.

She takes the bowl and dips her hand in. Two sets are left.
One, her own, she avoids. She takes out Jim's keys and walks
across the room, handing them to him.

			JIM 
	Thanks, but -- oh, I don't think
	so. It's been kind of a
	discouraging evening.

			ELENA 
	You couldn't have hoped for much
	better when you came up the walk.

			JIM 
	Somehow it was different in my
	imagination when I thought about
	it. Actually, I didn't think about
	it at all, really.

They sit down on the sofa.

			JIM 
	You want coffee or something?

			ELENA 
	Well, maybe they have one of those
	filter jobs in the kitchen --

			JIM 
	Look, Elena, the fact that we're
	neighbors... you know, close
	friends, well it sort of makes this
	a little strange, don't you think?

			ELENA 
	My husband is probably passed out
	in the bathroom, or at least he
	wishes he were. I've been married
	to him for 17 years and I don't
	have any intention of going in
	there to get him... so what I'm
	proposing is that since your wife
	has gone off with a boy, and since
	you are standing here alone, I'm
	proposing that you and I do what
	makes sense. Stay warm. Pass some
	time. That's all.

They both look at their hands.

			ELENA 
	Now don't make me feel as if I'm
	being too forward, OK? If you don't
	--

			JIM 
	What the hey. Let's go for a drive.

			ELENA 
	Okay. Shall we clean up around here
	first? Do you think it's all right--

			JIM 
	Nah, that wasn't in the contract.

But they still walk around turning off lights.

In the hallway, Elena looks a bit mournfully at the light
seeping from underneath the bathroom door. She hears the
sound of running water from inside.

Then she goes into a sideroom and joins Jim. They pick up
their coats.

EXT. HALFORD HOUSE. NIGHT

Elena and Jim walk outside into the freezing, pelting rain.

Covering their faces, they jog to his car, an oversized
Cadillac. A thick glaze of ice forms on his windshield.

INT. JIM'S CADILLAC. NIGHT

They climb in.

			JIM 
	We're going to have to defrost this
	thing for a while.

He turns on the ignition, and the vents start to blow cold
air at them.

He leans over and kisses her.

			ELENA 
	Do these seats go back?

That starts it. He jumps at her, unbuckling her and unzipping
himself.

They tangle uncomfortably for a few seconds. And then,
comically, he's in her.

With a groan, it's over in a flash.

Jim pulls himself off, readjusting his pants.

			JIM 
	That was awful, really awful. I'm
	so sorry, Elena.

Elena has somehow worked herself into the cavity of the glove
compartment, and is trying to figure out how to extricate
herself.

			JIM 
	Things are really rotten at home.
	You wouldn't believe how rotten.
	Janey's sick. She's unstable, I
	guess... it's not the right time to
	tell you... but that's it -- it's
	like I can't make her happy, the
	boys can't make her happy, she just
	doesn't --

			ELENA 
	Jim, maybe we should just go. I've
	got to look in on the kids. Paul is
	supposed to be coming back in from
	the city.

			JIM 
	Jesus, let me make it up to you --
	I can do better than that, honestly
	--

			ELENA 
	Well, we can talk about it.

			JIM 
	That's fine. I wouldn't expect you
	to see it any other way.

			ELENA 
	Maybe you just need -- look, can
	you wait here a sec, I need to tidy
	up -- just a minute, I'll be right
	back. You'll wait?

			JIM 
	Of course.

She opens the door and walks back to the house.

INT. HALFORD'S. CONT'D

Elena hesitantly walks to the bathroom.

She opens the door. Ben's sitting on the floor, next to the
toilet, woozily flipping through the pages of a magazine.

			BEN 
	Elena.

			ELENA 
	Ben, I've got a ride home. Maybe
	you should sleep this one off on
	the couch here?

			BEN 
	I'll drive you --

			ELENA 
	Ben.

She sits on the toilet next to him, stroking his hair.

			ELENA (CONT'D)
	You're in no condition to drive.
	We'll talk in the morning, OK?

He sits, accepting and quiet.

			ELENA (CONT'D)
	You'll get some sleep on the couch
	out there?

			BEN 
		(looking up at her, with
		 gratitude)
	Sure. I'll try. And we'll talk in
	the morning?

			ELENA 
	We'll talk in the morning.

EXT. WILLIAMS HOUSE. NIGHT

Wendy walks up the drive in the rain, pauses, then goes to
the front door and knocks lightly. The door swings ajar. She
pushes on it, and lets herself in.

INT. WILLIAMS HOUSE. NIGHT

			WENDY 
	Anyone home? Hello.

Wendy wanders into the living room, then climbs the steps.
The sound of the wind and the darkness begin to scare her.

She goes into Mikey's room -- it's even more of a disaster
zone than usual.

She sees on the wall his dark-light poster of the 12 (sexual)
positions of the zodiac.

She notices the black garter belt on the floor, and picks it
up, absentmindedly swinging it in her hand as she walks out
of the room.

She walks back down the stairs and into the kitchen, leaving
the garter belt on the counter.

She opens the refrigerator, grabs a jar of peanut butter, and
scoops some up in her finger. As she puts her finger in her
mouth --

			SANDY 
	Wendy.

She gives out a little yelp.

			WENDY 
	Sandy, you scared the shit out of
	me.

			SANDY 
	What are you doing?

			WENDY 
	Just thought I'd stop by.

			SANDY 
	Mike's out -- I think he went to
	Silver Meadow to see if you were
	hanging around there.

			WENDY 
	Yeah.

			SANDY 
		(pause)
	Are you his girlfriend?

			WENDY 
	No.

INT. JIM'S CADILLAC. NIGHT

Elena gets in. They drive off silently.

EXT. STREETS. NIGHT

The car moves haltingly through the sleet and ice, inches up
a hill, then falters and slides back silently, circling a
couple of times before crashing into an embankment.

INT. CAR. NIGHT

As the car slides and crashes amid Jim's and Elena's screams.

Silence.

			JIM 
	You okay?

			ELENA
	Yeah. You?

			JIM 
	Yes. Well, I guess we can walk from
	here.

EXT. CAR. NIGHT

Jim and Elena get out, shaky, from the car.

They pause for a moment.

The street lamp above them sizzles, but stays on.

They start to walk.

INT. LIBBETS' APARTMENT. NIGHT

Paul and Libbets, still frozen in the same position. Finally,
Paul gently pushes Libbets' head back.

It slides off his leg and, as Paul lurches forward in a
failed attempt to grab it, Libbets flops backwards, her head
hitting the carpet with a dull but decidedly loud thump.

			PAUL
	Oh shit!

Paul gets up, looks down at her.

She snores.

He runs over to a side table and sees the clock: 11:10.

			PAUL (CONT'D)
	Oh shit oh shit.

He grabs his comic books and runs for the door.

INT. TAXI. NIGHT

The driver impassively inches down Park Avenue.

			PAUL 
	Oh shit oh shit. C'mon!

INT. GRAND CENTRAL STATION PLATFORM. NIGHT

Paul sprints down the platform just as the doors are closing.
He barely makes it into the train.

INT. TRAIN. NIGHT

Paul walks through the nearly empty train car and finds a
seat. He pulls his Fantastic Four comic book out of his coat
pocket.

INT. HALFORD KITCHEN. NIGHT

Ben makes his way to the kitchen, pours himself a cup of
coffee.

He sees himself reflected in the black glass of the cabinets.

INT. SANDY'S ROOM. NIGHT

Sandy and Wendy are sitting on the floor. He grabs his G.I.
Joe.

			SANDY 
	Check this out. He's supposed to
	talk all kinds of stuff, but he's
	like malfunctioned.

He pulls the dog tag on the doll, and G.I. Joe emits a
plastic macho voice.

			G.I. JOE 
	Mayday! Mayday! Get this message
	back to base!

			SANDY 
	Same thing. Again and again.

Wendy takes the doll and yanks the cord.

			G.I. JOE 
	Mayday! Mayday! Get this message
	back to base!

			SANDY 
	It's gonna get a lot colder
	tonight, I predict. Probably a
	blackout. Do you have candles in
	your house?
	I know where the candles are, and I
	have my own flashlight. Over there.
	Also, I know where every emergency
	exit is on this floor.

During the course of his monologue, as Wendy looks on, Sandy
calmly ties a noose for his doll.

			SANDY 
	This knot's called a bowline.

He puts the noose over the doll's head, as Wendy holds him.

			G.I. JOE 
	Mayday! Mayday!

			SANDY 
	Let's hang him.

Sandy drapes the noose over the edge of a dresser drawer.
G.I. Joe dangles. They both look at him in silence.

The silence continues.

			WENDY 
	He's dead.

			SANDY 
	If it wasn't raining we could take
	him outside and blow him up.

			WENDY 
	He wouldn't blow up. He'd just get
	all mangled or twisted.

She takes him down and lays him flat on the bed. And then
begins to remove his clothes.

Sandy looks on, desirous.

			WENDY 
	Well.
		(noticing his lack of
		 anatomy) 
	It looks like someone got to his
	private parts before us.

			SANDY 
	Communist Viet Cong.

			WENDY 
	They left it in the jungle.

They speak with high seriousness.

Wendy slides up on the bed where Sandy sits, a pillow on his
lap, and one by one, with exaggerated slowness, she removes
her snowboots, as if they were stiletto heels.

			WENDY 
	Can I get into your bed? 
		(pause)
	With you?

Sandy begins to shake.

			SANDY 
	We -- we have to go to the guest
	room. We can't stay in here. What
	if Mikey? My parents?

			WENDY 
	Don't worry about them. They're at
	that party, getting drunk and
	falling all over each other and
	making jokes about McGovern and
	stuff.

Sandy begins to cry.

			SANDY 
	It's just -- it's just --

She takes his hand, and they walk out of the room and down
the hall, into the guest room.

INT. GUEST ROOM. NIGHT

Wendy and Sandy enter. She sees the vodka bottle on the
dresser.

			WENDY 
	Want a drink?

			SANDY 
	Vodka?

			WENDY 
	You never tasted the stuff?

She fills the glass to the brim and hands the bottle to
Sandy.

They clink and each toss back a sip -- Wendy almost the
entire glass.

Sandy coughs and gags, but swallows.

			WENDY 
	Try again.

He does.

			SANDY 
	It feels warm.

			WENDY 
	One more shot?

			SANDY 
	Okay.

They drink.

			WENDY 
	Under the covers.

Under they go, and soon every layer of clothing emerges.

			WENDY
		(feeling her way)
	Get 'em off.

Sandy begins to laugh, and soon Wendy joins him.

They roll around on top of each other for a while.

			WENDY 
	Have you ever had a nocturnal
	emission?

			SANDY 
	Huh?

			WENDY 
	That's the name for when you wake
	up and find this little pool of
	sticky stuff, like after a sexy
	dream.

Sandy shakes his head.

			WENDY 
	They didn't tell you this stuff
	yet? What planet do you live on?

Sandy doesn't answer, but climbs back on top of her and
kisses her neck.

			SANDY
	I love you.

			WENDY 
	That's nice. Are you drunk?

			SANDY 
	I don't know. How do I know?

			WENDY 
	I don't know either. You spin
	around, when you lie down.

Sandy rolls off her and lies on his back.

			SANDY (CONT'D)
	I don't think I'm spinning.

They cuddle up together.

He yawns. She yawns.

EXT. SILVER MEADOW. NIGHT

Mikey walks along the edge of the empty pool in the rain. He
climbs up on the diving board and bounces lightly on it, but
then gets off and stands, looking down at the pool again.

EXT. SILVER MEADOW. NIGHT

Mikey walks across the field.

EXT. STREET. NIGHT

The storm has let up. Mikey walks along. With a running
start, he slides on the ice down a hill.

He walks back up and slides again, hollering with joy. He is
an image of a tiny yet absolute and positive freedom.

The streetlights sputter on, then off.

INT. WILLIAMS GUEST ROOM. NIGHT

Sandy and Wendy lie asleep.

EXT. STREET. NIGHT

A power line is down. It hisses and HUMS -- a humming very
much like the humming Mikey has been hearing earlier.

The humming takes on the same transcendent tonality to which
Mikey has become so accustomed at such moments.

Mikey sits down on a metal street guardrail, to ponder the
sound and the snaking coil of electricity.

A strange look of almost religious wonder overcomes his face,
as the power line connects to the guardrail.

			MIKEY 
	Oh shit.

Glued by an electrical pulse to the rail, he shakes as the
current flows through him.

After a minute, his body slumps and slides down the road.

INT. TRAIN. NIGHT

As Paul sits reading on he moving train, the lights inside
begin to sputter, and the train begins to slow. After a few
moments, the train grinds to a halt, and Paul and his few
fellow late night passengers are left in near total dark,
with only the light of an emergency exit sign above Paul's
head to light the scene.

The train is eerily silent.

EXT. HOOD CAR. NIGHT

Ben drives home.

EXT. STREET. NIGHT

An emergency vehicle, lights flashing, crawls by Ben's car.
He drives on slowly.

EXT. STREET IN FRONT OF WILLIAMS HOUSE. PRE-DAWN

Jim and Elena arrive on foot.

			JIM 
	You want to come in, get a cup of
	coffee -- warm up? I can either
	walk you home, or you could crash
	in the guest room.

			ELENA 
	Sure. Maybe coffee.

INT. WILLIAMS KITCHEN. PRE-DAWN

			JIM 
	Phone's out. I hope the pipe's --

He walks into the kitchen. The pipes have begun to burst.
There's a water leak running down the walls, forming a puddle
on the floor.

Elena has walked into the kitchen behind him. She leans
against the counter, picking up the garter belt without
thinking for a second, then putting it back down.

			JIM 
	Oh well. Why don't you put on some
	dry socks -- and we've got some
	rain boots in the guest closet back
	there. Last room upstairs -- back
	of the hall.

Elena climbs the stairs in her bare feet.

INT. WILLIAMS GUEST ROOM. CONT'D

Elena opens the door, and discovers Wendy and Sandy asleep.
She stands before the bed, and gazes down on them.

They look almost angelic.

Wendy, sensing her presence in the room, opens her eyes,
slowly coming out of sleep.

			ELENA
		(heartbroken, softly)
	Get dressed.

Elena walks out of the room, back to the kitchen.

Wendy gets out of bed quietly, leaving Sandy sleeping
peacefully.

She looks at him lovingly, and tucks the blanket back up
around him.

INT. WILLIAMS KITCHEN. DAWN

Elena and Jim are drinking coffee.

			ELENA 
	You should let him sleep.

Wendy enters. She looks inquisitively at the two adults.

			WENDY 
	Where's dad?

INT. HOOD CAR. DAWN

Ben continues to drive slowly. He looks out his side window,
and sees something. He puts on his brakes.

EXT. STREET. DAWN

Ben gets out of the car, and stands on the top of an icy
embankment. In a clump of bushes is the orange glow of a
parka.

He walks hesitantly toward it. Mike's body lies face down in
the wet ice.

Ben leans down and turns the body over, then stands back in
amazement and saddened shock.

He stands there for a moment, then picks Mike's body up,
carrying him over the hill and onto the street. We see now
that he is parked just a short block from the Williams's
house.

He bypasses his car and walks directly down the street toward
the house. The effort is obviously enormous. He falls from
time to time, then gets back up.

INT. TRAIN. PRE-DAWN

Various passengers asleep.

Paul, hunched up in his seat under the faint emergency exit
light, cold. He reads his comic book by the light of the
emergency exit.
	"DON'T YOU SEE, SUE? HE WAS TOO
	POWERFUL... IF HIS ENERGY HAD
	CONTINUED TO BUILD, HE WOULD HAVE
	DESTROYED THE WORLD!"

Suddenly, the lights begin to flicker on and the hum of the
train's engines returns.

The conductor enters the car, blasting forth in his classic
nasal train conductor voice.

			CONDUCTOR
	Good morning ladies and gentlemen --

On Paul, squinting in the harsh light.

EXT. TRAIN BRIDGE. PRE-DAWN

The train moves slowly through a suburban, semi-forested
landscape. On the street below the bridge, an emergency
highway crew is removing a fallen tree, their trucks aglow in
flashing yellow lights.

INT. WILLIAMS KITCHEN. DAWN

Elena pours Wendy a cup of coffee. They're both in their
coats.

			WENDY
	I don't like coffee.

			ELENA
	It'll warm you up.

Elena sits next to her. They both raise their cups and sip
the coffee, not noticing the simultaneity of their movements.

INT. GUEST ROOM. DAWN

Jim watches the sleeping Sandy, picks up the half-empty
bottle of vodka, pours himself a drink. The noise wakes Sandy
up. Jim sits down on the bed at his feet and takes a sip.

			SANDY
	Dad?

Jim looks at him.

INT. KITCHEN. DAWN

Elena and Wendy hear a hollering from outside, get up to see
what it is.

EXT. WILLIAMS HOUSE. DAWN

Elena and Wendy come out the front door, as Ben lays Mikey's
body onto the ground before the front steps.

			ELENA 
	Ben?

He's too breathless to speak.

They stand there, looking down at Mikey.

Behind Elena and Wendy, Jim appears.

He pushes softly by them toward the body of his son.

			BEN
	Jim -- he was just up --  in Silver
	Lane -- I think maybe -- a power
	line --

Jim picks up his son.

He carries him silently into the house.

Sandy, now standing inside the foyer, pushes himself back
against the wall as they pass, without expression.

After a moment, from outside, the Hoods can hear Jim's
wailing.

			BEN 
	Do you think? Maybe we should call
	someone --

			ELENA 
	The phone's out.

			BEN (CONT'D)
	Yeah. Well, we can just --

			ELENA 
	Ben, I don't think he wants us
	here.

Wendy has been watching Sandy through the screen door.

			WENDY 
	Wait, I --

She turns back up the front steps and gently goes in --

INT. WILLIAMS LIVING ROOM. CONT'D

on the living room floor, Jim is hugging Mike's body, his
shoulders shaking uncontrollably, sobbing.

Wendy walks and stands next to Sandy, who is filled
momentarily with a brief inexplicable rush of anger toward
her -- but she takes him and gives him an awkward, childlike
hug, then turns and runs out the door, joining Ben and Elena
on the driveway. Sandy watches her go, his face wet with
tears.

EXT. WILLIAMS HOUSE. CONT'D

			ELENA 
	Oh you know, for a minute I thought
	it was --

			BEN
	Paul? Yeah. You think --

			WENDY 
	He's probably been waiting all
	night at the station.

			BEN 
	C'mon.

EXT. STREET. DAWN

Elena, Wendy, and Ben reach the car and get in. The car
starts and drives off.

There are more crews out cleaning up the storm's debris and
fixing the power lines as they drive.

EXT. CONRAIL STATION. EARLY MORNING

The train slowly pulls in. The Hood family walks down to the
end of the platform.

The train doors open, and Paul, tired and a bit cramped,
emerges. He sees his family gathered at the other end of the
platform, and walks to them.

They stand, silent, even dignified, awaiting him.

When he joins them they all walk silently to the car and get
in.

INT. HOOD CAR. EARLY MORNING

Sunlight floods in and temporarily blinds Ben as he starts
the engine.

He squints, his eyes tearing a bit from the light.

He looks around, first at his wife, then at his two children
sitting in the back seat.

He turns off the engine. Quietly, he begins to cry.

He turns to the back seat.

			BEN 
	There's something -- your mother
	and I -- have to tell you two --

Elena puts her hand out, almost touching him.

			ELENA
		(softly)
	Ben.

Paul looks at Wendy, silently asking her what's happening.

She casts her eyes downward, as does he.

			ELENA (CONT'D)
		(her hand still not yet
		 touching him)
	Ben.

EXT. STATION PARKING LOT. MORNING

From above:

The car, the first morning light shining upon it.

				  THE END