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INT. JACK’S APARTMENT - MORNING A small one-bedroom in an unnamed city. A somber JAZZ tune is playing, something a person could wake up too. Stacks and crates filled with Jazz records dominate the room- making it nearly uninhabitable. Other than the records, the apartment includes- a mattress with sheets haphazardly thrown on it, a sad kitchen table with a half-drank bottle of wine, a small closet with a lone tweed suite jacket, and of course a record player- incidentally the best looking thing in the room. Jack, a 30-something bookish fellow, mopes around his small place. He dons the tweed jacket- a tight fit. He peeks around one of the crates and pulls out a colorful looking record. He half nods at it and puts it in his messenger bag. EXT. SHANICE’S BLOCK - MORNING The JAZZ MUSIC picks up, taking on a happier tone. Jack walks half a block down the street and knocks on a door. The door opens. RUSS- an 8-year old boy is smiling. Jack pulls the record out of his bag. Russ is enraptured by it’s colors and detailed graphics. Behind Russ approaches SHANICE- a lovely, petite dark-skinned woman also mid-30’s. She smiles deeply at Jack. Russ disappears into the house- transfixed by his new gift. SHANICE Did you just give him Bitches Brew? JACK (shrugging) He can’t read, can he? She shakes her head, smiling. They embrace each other and share a heartfelt kiss. They chat for a bit, then Jack heads down the block out of frame. INT. NEWSPAPER HEADQUARTERS - DAY Jack sits in a cubicle on the outskirts of the workforce bullpen. On the outer-wall of his cubicle we see “Jack Bare“The Bare Essentials””, his weekly jazz column for the paper. He has pictures of great jazz musicians hanging up, as if his small cubicle was a teeny-bopper’s bedroom. He is wearing huge headphones hooked up to a more contemporary record player cramped next to his desk. He is typing away furiously on a computer screen. On break, Jack eats a sandwich at his desk. His coworkers are in cliques- sports guys, business guys, literary types.
2. They are all dressed better than Jack. He is the bottom of the totem pole. He looks around at these cliques. He turns his headphones up louder. A calm comes over him- he returns to typing. EXT. SHANICE’S BLOCK - EVENING Jack exits a city bus and walks up the block happily. He sees something that slows his stride. TROY- a mid-30’s African-American male is sitting in front of Shanice’s house in a very nice car. Troy is nicely dressed, along with some expensive accessories (see also: bling). Russ kisses Shanice and runs into the passenger seat of the car. Jack approaches Shanice’s stoop. He waves to Troy who barely nods back. Troy’s car takes off fast. Jack turns to Shanicewho has donned a waitress-like outfit. JACK Where’s Russ going? SHANICE Oh, Troy’s just gonna watch him while I’m at work. JACK I could’ve watched him. SHANICE Oh, you’re sweet. But I think Russ should spend a little more time with his father. (beat) You wanna come in for a little? JACK (muttering) Guy drives like an asshole. INT. SHANICE’S HOUSE - EVENING Jack enters the house. He seems slightly perturbed. JACK I still don’t get what you saw in that guy anyway... Troy. SHANICE (with an eye roll) Again Jack? I was young, we all make poor decisions.
3. JACK I know, I know. But a rapper? Ugh, I can barely listen to that garbage. Shanice leans up to Jack and puts a finger to his mouth “shhing” him. SHANICE Producer. He’s a producer Jack. And unlike you I’ve enjoyed other genre’s of music throughout my life. She pecks him on the lips and continues getting ready for work. Jack leans against a dresser- smiling looking at her. JACK (sarcastically) Hey, I just listen to good music. Jazz till I die, baby. Maybe I’ll get that tattooed on my back. She grabs her pocketbook and scoots Jack out the door. SHANICE I gotta go to work baby. JACK Skippppp it. Don’t make me go home alone. SHANICE (smiling) Jack c’mon. I need the money. JACK Eh I know. I know. Well, when’s the next time I’ll see you? SHANICE (thinks for a moment) Umm... I have a thing during the day tomorrow- so tomorrow night? JACK Sounds splendid. They exchange a goodbye kiss and head opposite ways down the block.
4. INT. JACK’S APARTMENT NIGHT Jack sits in his dimly lit apartment. He made himself a microwavable dinner. JAZZ MUSIC is blasting from the record player. He looks lonely. Perhaps the records that once enveloped his life have lost part of their prestige. He constantly looks out the window down the street- presumably towards Shanice’s house. He lays in his bed frustrated. He looks out the window several more times. No Shanice. He lays in his bed, closes his eyes and falls asleep to the crackles of a finished record still spinning. INT. NEWSPAPER HEADQUARTERS - DAY Jack is typing away in his cubicle- headphones and tweed jacket on again. A receptionist stands at the entrance of his cubicle. She sheepishly calls Jack several times and finally taps him. Jack jumps nearly out of his seat. She looks concerned. RECEPTIONIST Harry wants to see you. JACK (nervous, shocked) Harry? Harry Harry? RECEPTIONIST Yes. The Harry. JACK I was hoping you meant janitor Harry. I like him. Nope. RECEPTIONIST
Jack wipes runs his hands over his face and hair. He thanks the receptionist. Jack makes his way to the other side of the bullpen. He knocks on a door that reads “Harry Mattlin: CEO Mattlin Press Inc” INT. HARRY’S OFFICE - DAY JACK (feigning confidence) Heyyyy Harry.
5. HARRY Jack Bare. How are you? Please take a seat. Harry is a big business man. He’s not fat, but he’s definitely big. Let’s say he could easily palm a basketball. His suite is expensive. His office is decorated nicely. Jack sits tentatively in a chair across from him. HARRY (CONT’D) Jack I’m going to be honest with you. It’s something we all knowbut try not to acknowledge. The newspaper business is a sinking ship. JACK (trying to salvage the statement) Well... sales may be down but the newspaper is a classic medium. It’s not going anyHARRY We’re shutting down “The Bare Essentials” immediately. Jack is stunned. JACK But... you can’t... My father started “Bare Essentials” the day this place began! It’sHARRY Jack, I’m sorry. Cuts are being made all over the place. It’s time. Jack is despondent. His eyes well up. JACK Harry- when my dad died you guys let me take over.... I didn’t go to college. I’ve never had a “real job”... I... I can’t DO anything else! HARRY It was a very difficult decision, Jack. We’re all struggling through these hard times.
6. JACK Then why am I the only one GETTING FUCKED?! HARRY Jack, please lower your voice. JACK No Harry. Fuck you. Harry’s patience has been tested. His sympathy fades. He is strictly business. HARRY It’s not the 60’s er- 50’s. Jazz is dead. It’s been dead for a long time- And you should be thankful we kept you here this long and gave you work in the first place. JACK I should be thankful?! “The Bare Essentials” is a staple in this fucking city! HARRY Was a staple. When people gave a shit about jazz. Jack sits back in his chair, shaking his head. He is biting his nail. HARRY (CONT’D) (his tone has softened) What we can do is offer you an exclusive freelancing position. We would need to tailor the column a bit, and have you cover more.... contemporary stuff. Local acts and such. Neither of the men say anything. Jack refuses to make eye contact with Harry. He continues to chew intently on his nail. HARRY (CONT’D) We can get you started on it immediately. Harry slides over a CD. The artist is “Dizzy P”. Jack grabs the CD and flips it over. He reads the fine print at the bottom and sees “Produced/ Mixed: Troy J.” Jack shakes his head.
7. JACK You’ve got to be fucking kidding me. HARRY Jack- this guy is big around here. He’s all my kids talk about. Dizzy P this, Dizzy P that. Jack throws the CD at a porcelain statue on a bookshelf. It breaks. It’s loud. The room is tense. Jack gets up and picks up the CD. He snaps it in half and tosses it on Harry’s desk. JACK Your kids are fucking retarded. A long beat. HARRY Get the fuck out. JACK Fuck you Harry you sonnofabitch. The tension builds for another second. Jack doesn’t move. Harry jumps up and makes his way around his desk. Jack bolts for the door. Harry’s a big dude. INT. NEWSPAPER HEADQUARTERS - DAY Jack is gathering his things at his cubicle- unpinning the pictures and stacking them on top of the record player. A man known as SPORTS GUY VINCE ROSHER walks by and whispers: SPORTS GUY VINCE ROSHER Dude, shoulda let Harry hit you. Coulda got a prettyyy penny out of that settlement. Jack gives a half smile then returns to packing his stuff. He gingerly starts go walk out with his things on top of the record player, the Receptionist stands in front of him. RECEPTIONIST Hey Jack.... I’m SorryJACK Oh. Don’t be, it’s not you’re fault.
8. RECEPTIONIST (Now CHERIE) Oh... Well actually I’m sorry but the record player belongs to the company. JACK Wha... No one here even owns a record. Cherie points behind her at Harry- staring stone cold at Jack with his arms crossed. Jack nods and puts the record player back into his empty cubicle. Here. RECEPTIONIST
She quickly and secretly hands him a crumpled piece of paper. It reads “Johnston Temp Agency” and an address. Jack smiles and mouths “Thanks”. He trudges out of the office. INT. JACK’S APARTMENT - DAY The pictures from his office cubicle are now taped on his refrigerator. Jack calls Shanice several times- but it goes straight to voice mail. He peeks out the window compulsively. The last time he peeks, he sees Troy’s car pull up. Shanice and Russ get out. They wave good-bye and Troy pulls away. JACK (to himself, shocked) What the... Jack crosses the street and walks half a block to Shanice’s door. He knocks. She answers, surprised. SHANICE Jacky! What are you doing home so early? JACK What was that? SHANICE What was what? JACK (whispering but still intent) You and Russ. I just saw you two get out of Troy’s car.
9. She exhales a bit. SHANICE Russ’s class had a presentation at school today, all the parents were invited. JACK So you decide to keep it a secret from me? SHANICE I know, I know. But Russ brought it up to Troy so many times. I thought it might be... weird if you both went. I figured it’d be better if I didn’t even bring it up... Sorry. She smiles in a sarcastically bashful kind of way. She hugs him. JACK Bah. It’s okay. It’s just been... an awful day. SHANICE Wait- why are you home so early? INT. SHANICE’S KITCHEN DAY Jack went over the whole firing story with Shanice. They sit in a sad silence. SHANICE (hopeful) Oh! Oh! Why don’t you start up you’re own magazine? You’ve been talking about that for months! You could name it “The Bare Essentials Weekly” JACK Shanice, I don’t even own a computer. And I just lost my only pitiful source of income. How am I supposed to start up a magazine? SHANICE Well... maybe you should invest in a laptop or something? You could start up a blog?
10. JACK Guh. That whole blog scene makes me sick. Bunch of amateurs babbling. SHANICE (perturbed) Well... then what are you going to do? JACK (shakes his head) I don’t know. I always thought I’d do the column my whole life. Like my dad did. A silent, sad beat. Shanice tentatively breaks it. SHANICE Listen, I know you’re not gonna like it... but I could talk to Troy, he knows some people in the music business... JACK (upset) Shanice, please I don’t need any hand outs from him. Jack’s attention turns to something on the table. It’s a gas bill, in Troy’s name. JACK (CONT’D) Speaking of which... what’s this? Jack holds up the bill. Shanice snatches it from him. SHANICE What? It’s our gas bill... JACK He pays for your gas? SHANICE Yeah... he pays for all my utilities. Jack is surprised. SHANICE (CONT’D) Jack, I’m a waitress. I can’t support this house and Russ on those wages.
11. JACK I just... didn’t know you guys were so attached still. SHANICE We’re not. Stop it. Jack looks down. Shanice gets up from the table. SHANICE (CONT’D) I’m gonna start making dinner. Dinner is prepared and they start to eat. Jack seems distant, vacant. Shanice and Russ have a conversation. They are laughing. Shanice looks at Jack who obviously is not paying attention. She seems concerned for a moment then focuses back on Russ. Later, Jack washes the dishes in Shanice’s kitchen. She approaches and helps dry them off. They are silent. JACK (quietly) Why are you even with me? Shanice thinks for a moment. SHANICE Because... you can tell the year of any jazz recording just by listening. And you’re with me because I’m the only woman that finds that sexy. SHANICE (CONT’D) (beat) And because I love you. She looks directly at Jack. SHANICE (CONT’D) You have to trust me with this Troy thing. JACK Yeah. I know. I just... I don’t want to lose you. I’ll have nothing. I feel like I’m... nothing. SHANICE Jack. Don’t think like that. Don’t even talk like that. I’m all yours.
12. She smiles and hugs him. A slight reassurance comes over Jack’s face. He pulls out a piece of paper. JACK A receptionist gave me an address to a temp agency. Maybe I’ll swing by there tomorrow. SHANICE (face brightens) There ya go! Jack Bare- back on his feet already! They kiss. JACK I’m gonna head home and rest up, those places open up early. SHANICE Alrighty- go get some sleep. Shanice returns to the dishes. Jack creeps slowly past Russ, who’s passed out in a lazy boy. On his way out, Jack notices something on the end table near the door. Scattered amongst Russ’s school things is a Polaroid of Shanice and Troy holding Russ- who’s donned a Native American costume. Jack’s face is emotionless. He puts the picture in an inner pocket of his tweed jacket. He heads for the door. INT. TEMP AGENCY - EARLY MORNING The Temp Agency is bustling. It looks like a cold government building. Jack is sitting in a row of chairs, on both sides of him are clean cut 20-somethings in business suits. They look eager and ready. Jack looks tired and old. LADY WORKING AT TEMP AGENCY Bare! Jack Bare! Head to the back. Jack sits at a desk across from a male Temp Agent. The Temp Agent is stares curiously at Jack for a moment but masks it with friendly professionalism. They share introductions. Jack opens his bag and pulls out a resume- with his one job on it. TEMP AGENT That’s a long time at Mattlin Media. Not bad. Normally we like to see a more, eh diversified portfolio, but that’s a pretty reputable company. Let me just call you’re supervisor as a reference.
13. JACK (nervous) Ahh, well you don’t really have to do that right? He’s probably busy right now. TEMP AGENT Heh, sorry bub. Gotta follow protocol. JACK Yeah but at Mattlin... we don’t really do reference things. Maybe you could email... someone or... TEMP AGENT Well, I’m sorry Mr. Bare but I have to follow proper protocol or elseJack reaches out and grabs the resume. JACK Just gimme that. What kinda work do you got where I don’t need work experience then. The Temp Agent is taken aback. He punches some numbers into the computer and prints out a piece of paper. He hands it to Jack. Jack exhales and walks out of the office. INT. UNFINISHED HOUSE - DAY Jack is on his knees nailing floorboard into a living room. All the other men on the site are dressed for the job, unlike Jack who has his tweed jacket tied around his waste. Jack is alone in the room aside from a large fat WORKER at the other end with a boombox by his side. Jack is morose. His face alternates from anger to sadness. His nail gun makes a loud THUNK every 5 seconds or so. His surroundings become irritatingly loud. Buzz saws, hammering, stomping, nailing, but most of all creeping up Jack’s spine is blaring RAP MUSIC. It gets louder and louder, bringing Jack to near physical pain. It’s coming out of the boombox at the end of the hall. The fat WORKER next to it is eating a sandwich. Jack makes his way over rubbing his head.
14. JACK Hey man- can we, uh, maybe change the station? Put on something a bit more... universal. WORKER (still chomping) No can do. We listen to 97.6 around here. JACK Ah. Well do you think you could turn it down a bit maybe? WORKER Eh, sorry guy. If I do the guys downstairs can’t hear it. And that’s not fair to them is it? JACK Well is it fair that I have to listen to this garbage? Just put on a station that’s not entirely rap. WORKER HEY. Sometimes you just gotta work with what you’re dealt. Can’t have your cake and eat it too. Don’t.... uh... there was another one I was gonna say but... Just- let me enjoy my sandwich willya? Jack is emotionless. He turns around and heads back to his position. He exhales and kneels back down. He picks up his nail gun but his hands are shaky. He presses it to the wall and awkwardly shoots a nail in- bent. His surroundings slowly become louder again. In the background, the fat Worker is hounding his sandwich like it’s his last. It’s as if the song is actually in Jack’s head. It’s too loud. LOUD SAD HORNS slowly envelope the scene. Jack’s eyes are wide. His grip hardens around his nail gun. White knuckles. The HORNS reach a final crackling precipice. Jack turns. THUNK. CUT TO:
15. CLOSE-UP WORKERS FACE His eyes are wide- horrified. Some of his pastrami sandwich falls out of his mouth. His eyes finally move- they glance down to his left- there sits his boom box with a nail right in the center of it. Jack walks up slowly to the stunned, petrified worker. Jack picks up the remnants of the mans sandwich. He winds back real big, pro pitcher style, and BAM he chucks that sandwich right in the fat fucker’s face. The worker grips his nose in pain. JACK There’s yr fuckin cake. Jack exits the room. INT. TEMP AGENCY - DAY Jack is sitting across from the same Temp Agent as before. Temp Agent is reading a piece of paper and shaking his head. TEMP AGENT We can’t do anything for you Jack. Normally we issue first strikes... but this is possibly intent with a deadly weapon. I mean, this could be serious. JACK (fired up) I told you! The gun went off by itself- it was my first time ever using one! You think I’d be able to aim one of those things? TEMP AGENT Yeah but this worker... Jerry- he says you assaulted him with a sandwich at one point? JACK I don’t even know who that is! That dude probably just wants to get money for his shitty boombox that I broke by accident. TEMP AGENT Actually, we’re docking your pay and putting it towards a new boombox. (MORE)
16. TEMP AGENT (CONT'D) Honestly Jack, you’re lucky the man isn’t taking this to court. (on the side) Probably too embarrassed by this sandwich fiasco. Jack bites his nail. The Temp Agent adjusts some papers and stamps one on top then slides it over to Jack. TEMP AGENT (CONT’D) I’m sorry but I’m going to have to ask you to leave now. I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors. JACK Wait... wait c’mon man I need this money. Just gimme another shitty job or something just... help me out. TEMP AGENT I’m sorry but you have to leave. JACK Then how the FUCK and I supposed to live? How do I make money? TEMP AGENT Well, In a couple weeks you should be able to file unemployment. As for now- do you have anything you could possibly part with? Jack frowns. His face looks pained. INT. JACK’S APARTMENT - NIGHT A montage of shots. Jack is pacing around his small apartment, holding a phone to his ear in one hand and a record in the other. We hear bits of his one sided conversations. JACK Eric? Eric Toya what’s happening man? Haven’t seen you in awhile. Listen I got some records I’m looking to sell- perfect for your collection... Oh you’re not collecting anymore? Alright.
17. JACK (CONT’D) Patrick Riggs! What’s up man? I got a mint Donald Byrd LP with you’re name on it! I know you were into him for awhile, and I think this one would be..... Oh... Strapped for cash? Yeah I hear ya. JACK (CONT’D) (losing steam) Bruce Whaler- Hey man. Listen I got an offer you can’t refuse- dozens of LP’s... You.. Just got rid of all yours? Well do you want new ones- cuz I got some good... Yeah. Alright man. See you around. JACK (CONT’D) (defeated) Duane... I just need you to buy this shit from me. Or... can you just lend me some money for a little while? Duane? Duane? Jack takes a seat on the edge of his bed and rubs his face and hair. He lays down and we FADE OUT. INT. RECORD STORE - MORNING It’s the next day and Jack is trying to sell some records to a hipster looking dude behind the counter. There is a large collection of records in a wagon behind Jack. Jack looks defeated. Empty. He’s taken on a new face. JACK (exhales) Are you. fucking. kidding me? That’s a first pressing Thelonius Monk. CLERK 15 bucks man. JACK Fuuuuuhhh- fine. What about thisColtrane’s first LP. Wasn’t even on Blue Note yet. CLERK (inspects the record) 25 bucks.
18. JACK You’re fucking with me right? Honestly? CLERK Dude. Just put this shit up on eBay then. JACK I don’t have a computer. CLERK Who doesn’t have a computer. JACK (at a loss for words) ...Me... Me I guess? How the fuck am I supposed to answer that? CLERK Listen man- I’ll give you 25 bucks for that. I can’t sell this shit around here anyway. JACK But this is a record store? It says it outside. CLERK Yeah that’s more of a title now than anything you know? Like movie places don’t really have movies, they have DVD’s. Jack is blank. He doesn’t say a thing. He slowly begins to look around the store. He reaches in his pocket for his wallet and pulls out the Polaroid. It angers him. His face tightens. He stares at the half-baked Clerk with despise. He begins to looks up at the ceiling behind the register. He looks behind him. No cameras. He looks at the register. LOUD SAD HORNS. Sweat beads up on his forehead. The last customer in the store has made his way out. It’s just Jack and the clerk. Jack swallows deep. The clerk looks uneasy. JACK I, uh.... I’ll do 30. What? CLERK
JACK 30 for the Coltrane.
19. CLERK JACK
Jack is embarrassed at himself. He feels weak and stupid. He bends down and picks up another record to haggle. JACK (CONT’D) How much for the whole lot? We see Jack walking out of the store with an empty wagon. He leaves the wagon behind him and walks off. INT. JACK’S APARTMENT - NIGHT Jack is sitting with his head in his hands on the side of his bed. The stacks of records have dissipated- only several records are scattered around his record player now. The room feels barren. His eyes are red, baggy, and slightly watery. He takes pulls at a bottle of wine. Shanice texts him “At Work. Sry.” Jack looks out his window habitually. He pulls out all of the money he got from the record store. It disgusts him. He throws it across the room. JACK Fuck man....fuck.... That’s not even rent... goddamnit. He takes the pictures of his idols off the fridge. His apartment is unbearably bleak without all of the clutter. He sits by the window. Jack begins to pace around his small apartment. He steps on something, today’s newspaper. He scans the paper. His section has been replaced with a column by The Sports Guy Vince Rosher. Jack tries to place his face, then remembers the conversation he had with him. He shakes his head a bit. JACK (CONT’D) Damnit Vince, I shoulda let Harry hit me. He plops down on his bed. Face down. Time passes, the sound of a city bus’s brakes catches Jack’s attention. Shanice walks up the street, tired after work. Jack is relieved- and about to head outside when he sees Troy’s car pull up. Troy gets out of the car and picks up Russ, handing him off to Shanice. She thanks him- putting her hand on his arm. Jack’s eyes sharpen onto this.
20. A quick LOUD SAD HORN. The two depart and Troy leans in and gives her a cheek to cheek kiss. The HORNS SPIKE. Jack is broken. His expression is frozen. He moves away from the window to the kitchen table. He screams around his apartment. The sound is covered by LOUD SAD HORNS. He looks primordial. He lands face down onto his mattress. He’s not necessarily crying, but he’s making some noise. He lifts his head up to the side and he is eye to eye with The Sports Guy Vince Rosher’s picture in the newspaper. A revelation comes over Jack’s face. He grabs a yellow pages and searches through it manically. He reaches a certain page and celebrates when his finger lands on something. He receives a phone call from Shanice but silences it. He puts on his tweed jacket and heads out the door. EXT. PARKING LOT - NIGHT We see a sign for “Quarter Past Studios”. Troy’s car is sitting in the parking lot. Eventually Troy exits the studio, alone. Jack is excited at the sight of this. His tweed jacket is inexplicably torn, and his face muddied. He calms himself. He prepares for his next action. He stretches a bit and runs about halfway down the block. Troy’s car begins to pull out of the lot and onto the street. Jack watches intently. JACK (to himself) Pick up speed. Pick up speed. C’monn. Jack readies himself. He closes his eyes and runs out into the street. He does this prematurely and Troy is able to stop easily. Jack’s eyes are closed tight and he’s all clinched up. Troy rolls down his window. TROY What the fuck are you doing man? JACK (confused) What? TROY What the fuck are you doing man? Troy gets out of his car and approaches. He recognizes Jack.
21. TROY (CONT’D) Jack, right? Wh- what? JACK
TROY What are you doing man? Jack snaps back to his fucked-up reality. His plan failed. JACK No.. NO NO! FUCK! FUCK YOU! Troy is beyond confused. Jack is panicky and pacing, still muttering and cursing. He is on the opposite side of the car as Troy stomping his foot on the ground, with his shin hitting against the bumper. Jack stops for a moment, and looks down at the bumper. Jack takes a step back and kicks the front headlight with all of his might- shattering it. Troy is taken aback- shocked even more. TROY YO! YO MAN! THE FUCK! Jack gives the bumper the same treatment than quickly jumps on the hood. He is stomping up and down, denting the hood. Troy tackles his legs, then swings him to the asphalt. Jack lands head first, fucking his face up pretty good. Troy is standing over Jack. TROY (CONT’D) MAN WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU? JACK We don’t want you around anymore TROY! What? TROY
JACK You heard me. Why don’t you fuck off to somewhere else. TROY Listen man, I’m only ‘around’ for Russ... my kid.
22. JACK He doesn’t want you either. You’re out. I’m in. I’m the better man. I’m a better man than you’ll ever be. TROY (shaking his head) Man, you’re fucking crazy. Troy turns around to get back into his car. Jack gets up and pushes him. Troy shoots him a look. He’s dead serious. TROY (CONT’D) Don’t. Fucking touch me. Troy turns around to go back into his car and Jack pushes him harder. Troy spins around and swings, hitting Jack in the face. He punches Jack several times, knocking him to the floor. Troy sees Jack lying there. He shakes his head, gets in his car and speeds away. Jack gains his footing and starts walking. A smile slowly comes over his face. EXT. SHANICE’S BLOCK- EARLY MORNING Jack is dropped off by a cop car. He is haphazardly bandaged up. He waves to the cops as they drive away. He is really selling his injury. He knocks on the door. Shanice answers in pajamas. She puts her hands over her mouth in shock and embraces Jack- who winces in pain when she touches him. They head inside. INT. SHANICE’S KITCHEN - DAY Jack and Shanice sit at the kitchen table. Russ is watching TV nearby. Shanice has her head in her arms. Jack filled her in on “what happened”. SHANICE (upset, baffled) ...So... where is Troy now? JACK In a holding cell for the time being. We’re still working out details for the trial. Jack leans in and grabs Shanice’s hands. He puts on a hopeful smile.
23. JACK (CONT’D) ... But Hey- with the settlement I’ll be able to help out with you and Russ. And before you know it I’ll really be back on my feet making some good money. Shanice is silent. JACK (CONT’D) You know... I may even be able to start my magazine. And maybe we could move outta here too. You me and Russ get a place. The schools out here areSHANICE (sternly) I don’t want to move. JACK What... What’s the matter? SHANICE Why were you there? At Troy’s studio? JACK I told you- I went there to patch things up with him. (in a lower voice, trying to be honest) And I was actually going to ask him about helping me out with a job... I thought I’d surprise you with the news and you’d be proud of me.. SHANICE But why were you there at midnight? In the street? JACK Shanice. What is this? I knew he’d be there at that time. The guy chased me down the road with his car! Shanice finally makes eye contact with Jack. Her eyes are teary. SHANICE (whispering intently) I... just don’t know. (MORE)
24. SHANICE (CONT'D) I don’t get it. He never had a problem with you at all. And he’s Russ’s father, and now he might go to jail! Shanice starts to cry. Jack is surprised by this reaction. JACK Shanice... Look at what he did to me. He coulda killed me. The man is a danger to society. He snapped. Shanice can’t look at him. She is sobbing heavily. Russ comes over to console her. She grabs him and hugs him hard. Jack is sitting on the other side of the table, placid. He moves to the other side of the table and hugs her, kissing her head. She grabs his arm back. They embrace. SHANICE (through tears) Maybe we could find a close suburb. JACK (excited) Yeah? You wanna? We can go as soon as you want to. I have nothing in my house so I could pack everything up here for youJack is interrupted by a ringing in his pocket. He glances at his phone. His face brightens. JACK (CONT’D) Ah. It’s the officer calling me back. See hunnie? This’ll be over before you know it. Shanice smiles slightly and nods her head. Jack takes the call in the other room. INTERCUT - SHANICE’S LIVING ROOM/ POLICE OFFICE - DAY On the other line is Jeffery Garnick, Jacks officer on the case. All we see is him sitting at his desk. JEFFERY GARNICK Jack- It’s Jeffery Garnick, we met earlier about your case... JACK Jeffery of course, how are you?
25. JEFFERY GARNICK Well Jack, I’ll be honest with you, not too good. Jack’s facade melts. JEFFERY GARNICK (CONT’D) Turns out more evidence was presented on your case- a uh, videotape to be exact. The camera pans out on Jeffery Garnick in his cubicle. He has a television in front of him playing security footage of the incident. On the screen we see Jack- manic, screaming and kicking Troy’s car. We cut back to Jack. He is pale, empty again. JEFFERY GARNICK (CONT’D) We’d like you to come down to the station immediately and clear some things up. The possibility of a counter suite from Troy is likely. This isn’t a... Jack is staring off into the distance. The phone slowly sinks away from his ear and onto the ground- Garnick still talking on the line. Jack’s head is down. He kneels to the ground and rubs his face and hair. He breathes in deeply. He begins to sob slowly. SHANICE What is it Jack? Shanice startles Jack. He didn’t notice her standing several feet behind him. JACK Uhm- Nothing. SHANICE What happened Jack? Nothing. JACK
SHANICE Jack. Tell me what really happened. JACK Nothing- let’s get out of here what do you say? We’ll start packing-
26. Jack turns around and masks a smile. Shanice sees that he was crying and is shocked. She’s nervous. Then she’s angry. SHANICE What’d you do?! What’d you do to Troy?! JACK I didn’t do anything to Troy?! SHANICE Jack you sonnofabitch! JACK (breaking) I just. I just want to be with you and Russ! I can be his father! Shanice you’re all I have. I sold my recordsSHANICE No one asked you to! No one asked you to sell your records! (calmer, honestly) And no one asked you to be a father. That’s it for Jack. He’s pale again. He’s sweaty. He slowly slinks towards the door- vacant and distant. He opens the door to leave. SHANICE (CONT’D) Jack. What the fuck happened? Nothing. JACK
Jack takes the Polaroid from his pocket onto the end table. He walks out of the house. Shanice picks up the picture and sobs. EXT. SHANICE’S BLOCK - DAY Jack is stumbling down the block. SAD HORNS are playing. He walks past Harry Mattlin- the shy receptionist cowering behind him. He walks past a smiling Sports Guy Vince Rosher. He walks past his Temp Agent. He walks past the fat Workerstill eating. He walks past the record store clerk lighting his records on fire.
27. He stands in front of the police station. The SAD HORNS spike. CUT TO BLACK
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