THE SUMMER JOB

Written by Mark Schnug Story by Ed Radtke

markschnug@gmail.com Austin, TX 512-680-7953

FADE IN ON: INT. BEDROOM - EARLY MORNING A high school boy’s bedroom in darkness. Digital clock reads 7:00am. Unintelligible posters on the wall. A modern boycave of online fantasy and debauchery. SAM SAWYER, a high school junior is tucked in bed with his laptop. His face is illuminated only by the laptop screen. His phone buzzes. He answers but doesn’t say anything. Another high school boy on the other end: VOICE And? SAM Cool. VOICE I told you. Hot. Sam is completely disinterested in the phone conversation: his eyes glued to the screen. VOICE (CONT’D) God, she’s like a wild aminal. SAM Did you say the word “aminal?” VOICE I don’t know. I can’t even talk. Sam continues to watch until he hears breathing on the phone. He’s distracted. SAM (disgusted) Dude I can hear you breathing. Sam hangs up. He watches the screen intently.

Then picks up his phone and speed dials. SAM (CONT’D) Did you get the new password? Oh, yeah. VOICE That’s why I called.

This gets Sam’s attention.

2.

VOICE (CONT’D) Conquer The Cougar. One word. SAM Is it more cougar stuff? VOICE Nope, vintage cheerleader stuff. SAM You got cougar on the brain. VOICE I can’t help it that they want us all the time. Sam sighs, ends the call. He types on his keyboard. A new light shines on his face. We hear the soundtrack of a ‘70s porn video and he quickly turns down the sound a notch. We catch a flash of a grainy clip: this one is cheerleader sex, but with a dark haired girl unusually pretty for porn. Back on Sam’s face: he slowly drinks in the video. Tighter on his face as he becomes entirely entranced in his viewing. KNOCK at the door: Sam jumps. SAM’S DAD (O.S.) Let’s go! SAM (blurts out) I’m coming! Chill! INT. SAM’S KITCHEN - MOMENTS LATER Sam’s not a bad looking kid, but he's a bit of a nerd. him a nerd with hope. SAM Last minute homework. He gets out a yogurt from the fridge and sits beside his little brother, NICK. Even at 11 years old, Nick is way cooler than Sam, seemingly from another gene pool. Nick has an unreasonably large portion of bacon on his plate, with eggs. On his second bite, Sam looks at his brother’s plate. looks at Sam’s yogurt. Nick Call

3.

NICK (before Sam can comment) That’s gay. Sam looks at newspaper; there’s some writing in the margin and a SALES EXECUTIVE ad is circled. Sam’s dad walks in the kitchen. SAM Sales executive? SAM’S DAD That’s for me. SAM Why are you looking at jobs? thought you liked your job? I

SAM’S DAD Just curious. Always looking ahead. Sam, remember our talk last night? The look on Sam’s face: not really. SAM'S DAD Either find a summer job on your own or you can work at your uncle Dan’s butcher shop. SAM I'm gonna pass on cutting up dead animals and arranging entrails artfully in a meat case. SAM'S DAD Working at a butcher shop doesn't mean you'd be cutting meat. You'd have to work up to that. SAM (incredulously) Seriously? Do you even hear yourself? SAM’S DAD (scolding) You’re not a child, Sam. Get a job. You’re almost eighteen. Time to pitch in. And you’re both going to be late. Get a move on!

4.

SAM Who cares if I’m late during the last week of school? I do. SAM’S DAD Go have fun. SAM Right... INT. HIGH SCHOOL - DAY Sam stands at his incoherently messy locker but his attention is on a girl down the hall. A buzzer sounds and the sea of teenagers between them parts, revealing his object of desire. At least for today. He closes his locker. He takes out his pack of Listerine breath strips but his hands are sweaty and the strip sticks to his fingers. He tries to get it in his mouth once, twice-hell with it, except it’s stuck to his fingers so he tries to shake it loose. He runs his fingers through his hair. Now the Listerine strip is dangling from his hair. He swags his way over to JESSICA: a thin, underdeveloped girl. Not exactly a prize, but good enough. She catches him stealing a smell of his minty fresh fingers. Bad start. SAM Hi. JESSICA Hi. SAM Hi. (already uncomfortable) So did you write a paper for robotics class or did you actually build something? Jessica glances at the Listerine strip in his hair; she decides not to say anything. JESSICA I wrote a paper. I'm no good at building things.

5.

SAM I went ahead and built an entire model of a robot, which took about a hundred thousand hours. JESSICA Wow, does it work? SAM Well, when I went to Home Depot to get some spray paint, my little brother shot it up in the back yard with his BB gun. QUICK CUT: EXT. SAM’S BACK YARD - DAY A meticulously built model robot is perched upon a tree stump. At the POP of a BB-gun, an arm falls off. CUT BACK TO: INT. HIGH SCHOOL - DAY JESSICA (unanimated) Oh, no... SAM Yeah, apparently one of the byproducts of permissive parenting is that my house is exempt from the city ordinance against BB guns. Come to think of it, there’s been a couple violations of fire ordinances, too. QUICK CUT: EXT. SAM’S GARAGE - DAY With a view from the driveway the garage door is open on a peaceful Saturday morning. Suddenly, a loud POOF and a FLASH, followed by billowing black smoke pouring out of the garage. The figure of an 11 year-old kid runs out with the leg of his jeans smoking profusely as he hops in a circle on the driveway trying to put it out. CUT BACK TO:

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INT. HIGH SCHOOL - LATER THAT DAY SAM (CONT’D) Truth is, I’m trapped in an asylum of Libertarian lawlessness, ruled by a 11 year-old tyrant with night sweats and a scary addiction to Ritalin. Blank stare from Jessica. SAM (CONT’D) He's a total derelict. We've got a whole effe'd up good-son-bad-son thing going on. Of course, guess who gets all the attention... Jessica really doesn't care because she sees BRIAN, a big, good-looking kid who walks behind Sam and SMACKS him in the back of the head as he goes by. BRIAN Don't be late for the assembly, fuck-twat. SAM (falsely cheery) Wassup, Holmes? Brian walks down the hall and works the combination lock at his locker. Sam sarcastically yells back. SAM (CONT'D) I'll be there. Football is my life! (to Jessica) Pep rallies remind me of Beneath The Planet of the Apes, where they all kneel down and worship the atom bomb, remember that? JESSICA (looking at Brian) I haven't seen it. How do you know him? SAM Oh we go way back. Not so much lately...mostly in grade school. My parents were friends with his parents and I was forced to play with him. By “play” I mean being subjected to psychological abuse and moderate physical torture.

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JESSICA (still gazing at Brian) I see. SAM Unfortunately, he's not too bright...he doesn't have a lot going for him, so he tends to get aggressive. I work with him best I can. JESSICA You know our quarterback? Isn’t he getting a scholarship to play at UCLA or something? Sam conveniently ignores her defense of Brian. SAM One time our parents went out to dinner together and I was stuck with him the whole night. The only time the beatings let up was when he was making out with the baby sitter. Sam shakes his head as he looks back at Brian. finally looks intrigued by this story. SAM (CONT’D) Even then, a pitiful cry for attention. Brian closes his locker and walks back. He shoves Sam out of the way and moves in close to Jessica. She's startled, but passive. Brian pulls her close and without saying a word, kisses her on the lips. SAM (CONT’D) Dude. Come on. (beat) She's not my girlfriend. Sam nervously looks around. SAM (CONT’D) I hardly know her. We have one class together. The kiss drags on. Jessica starts to curl her leg up and her shoe starts to fall off her foot. SAM (CONT’D) Okay... Jessica

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After the world's longest kiss, Brian looks into her eyes as he slowly pulls away. He smirks at Sam and removes the Listerine strip from his hair. He walks down the hall. Jessica tries to hide her excitement as she steals glances of Brian walking away. SAM (CONT’D) I'm sorry. He's such a fucking asshole. (beat) I'm really glad they made us read and sign the sexual harassment policy. As usual, the people who need it most don’t take it seriously. They might wanna rethink that big idea. Sam looks at his feet. It's plenty awkward.

SAM (CONT'D) (concerned) I hope you don't think I should kick his ass or anything. He's pretty big. JESSICA Do you have his number? text him. Sam has a pained look on his face. intact. I need to His winless streak is

ROBBIE joins Sam in the hall. He’s a scrawny kid, his hair is out of control, and braces seem to be doing little for his prominent teeth. Robbie was the voice on the phone from earlier. They walk together down the hall. ROBBIE Dude, we should totally go to San Diego for comic-con this year. You know there's gonna be loads of hot cougars hanging around there. SAM I don't know. My dad probably won’t let me go. ROBBIE I'll dress like The Joker if you dress like Wolverine. Robbie runs his tongue over his lips like the Heath Ledger as the Joker. It’s not a good look for Robbie.

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SAM I don't know. Don’t do that. ROBBIE I saw a web site that said tons of hookers come in for comic-con and hang around the convention center. It's like the most hookers per capita of anywhere in the world. More than Vegas. SAM Yeah...you know, that doesn't seem too flattering. INT. HIGH SCHOOL GYMNASIUM - LATER The entire school is stuffed into the bleachers of the large gymnasium for a football pep rally. Cheerleaders are on the floor doing routines, and several football players are the center of attention. ROBBIE I scored a prepaid card. Sam perks up. down. Robbie holds out three fingers and counts them

ROBBIE (CONT’D) I’ve narrowed it down to three. Teacher porn, prison porn, or furries. Sam holds Robbie’s hand down and looks around to see who might be listening. SAM (quietly) Dude, get off the furries thing already! Seriously, is nothing safe around you? ROBBIE Speak for yourself, “Mr. Bigger, more powerful penis in 30 days.” Did you get your money back yet? Sam looks down at the pep rally disinterested in the activities, but keenly interested in one particular girl: an interesting, dark haired girl in tight jeans who is working the sound board for the event.

10.

The noise of the pep rally evaporates in Sam’s head and is replaced with the sound track of the cheerleader porn from earlier in the morning. The image of the porn cheerleader’s face in Sam’s head is eerily close to the girl he’s watching. The porn sound track fades. SAM Teacher. Robbie nods approvingly. Brian is at the podium with the microphone, his voice reverberating off the gym walls. BRIAN And now I'd like to announce the honorary “cheerleader of the year." Sam notices the girl at the sound board rolls her eyes while Brian talks. That’s enough for Sam to love her, right there. SAM What’s her name? sound board... The chick at the

ROBBIE Dude, that’s Megan Miller! I told you I had her in French class. You can stop looking at her, she easily has a top five ass. Maybe in the top three. Smart. And a senior. On her way out of here. Stanford, I think. Sam does not stop looking. ROBBIE (CONT’D) (bored) If I had one of those suicide pills that they give to CIA guys, I swear I would take it right now. BRIAN And the honorary cheerleader of the year is... (beat) Sam Sawyer! Sam freezes. Robbie's mouth drops open. Most of the kids look around wondering, "who's Sam Sawyer?"

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ROBBIE (reacting like a school girl) Oh my God you won something! BRIAN Come on down, Sam! I know that none of you know who Sam is, but he's actually been here for three years. Shake it bro, we have something for you. With nowhere to hide, Sam stands up and walks down the bleachers. Despite being a pep rally, no one applauds; in fact, it's eerily quiet. Sam cautiously approaches the podium. Brian takes out a paper bag. BRIAN (CONT’D) (into the microphone) Sam is going to help us out. He's going to play a special part in our next skit. So sit tight and check out the drill team while we go get Sam ready. Brian reaches in the paper bag and pulls out a blonde Dolly Parton wig. Robbie finally figures out this ain’t good. ROBBIE Oh, shit. The crowd comes to life with applause. Then he pulls out a cheerleader outfit, and finally, a tube of lipstick. He holds up the skirt to Sam's waist. The crowd erupts wildly. We see the crowd: boys are fist-pumping, screaming for blood. When we pull back, we see a few minutes have passed and Sam has been transformed: blond wig, fake breasts under a cheerleader’s sweater and skirt, and lipstick. The crowd can’t get enough. He looks ridiculous and is not enjoying the moment in any way. He catches a glimpse of Megan, her expression is “I can’t believe you’re doing this!” Brian adjusts one of Sam’s lopsided breasts and the crowd roars even louder. Megan finally starts laughing too. INT. HIGH SCHOOL BATHROOM - MOMENTS LATER Sam is washing the lipstick off his face when he gets a text. A picture of his little brother flipping off the camera pops up. It says NICK above the pic.

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TEXT WTF? Sam looks disgusted and pockets his phone. INT. SAM'S CAR - LATER THAT DAY Sam is driving his old Toyota, the paint almost entirely sunblistered off the hood and roof. His brother Nick stares intently at Sam from the passenger seat. SAM Fuck off. NICK It still looks like lipstick to me. SAM Drop it. Nick checks his phone. NICK I’ve been sent four different pictures now. (he holds his phone sideways) Five. Sure looks like a fucking dress to me. By the way, you’re up to 84 “likes.” Sam stares straight ahead, not giving Nick the satisfaction of looking in the rear view mirror to check for a trace of lipstick forced upon him earlier in the day. NICK (CONT’D) If you're getting into weird shit, I have a right to know. SAM What are you gonna do, move out? Nick raises his eyebrows as if to say, "yeah, watch me." INT. SAM’S ROOM - LATE NIGHT Sam lies in the his bed in the dark with his laptop. We know the drill: the screen lights his face in the dark. He’s on the phone. SAM Girls hate us.

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ROBBIE’S VOICE Forget girls, everyone hates us. SAM I’m serious. ROBBIE’S VOICE I am serious. High school girls are immature. We need older women. SAM Like a prostitute. ROBBIE’S VOICE Better than that. A cougar. Sam slips into his porn-coma: we catch a glimpse of his screen and it’s MILF/cougar porn. We move in on Sam’s face and we know a plan is hatched. INT. HEALTH CLUB - DAY Sam opens the door of a health club and walks to the front desk. We see him hand a paper to the manager; the club is busy with people working out around them. He looks over Sam's application, his tight shirt showing off his huge biceps. He looks at Sam and does a double-take. MANAGER Have you ever been in a health club before? Sam thinks. SAM Not counting today? CUT TO: INT. EXAMINATION ROOM AT A VETERINARIAN'S OFFICE - DAY A veterinarian in a white lab coat is reading Sam's application. Sam stands by a stainless steel examination table where a cat is sitting. Sam reaches to pet the cat, which hisses and swipes Sam with a front claw. Sam jumps back, falling against the wall.

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VET (impressed) I’ll be damned, we thought that old cat was blind! CUT TO: INT. LIFE AFFIRM IN SAN DIEGO - DAY Sam sits alone in the manager's office of an assisted living facility. Seemingly everything in the room from the coffee cups on the table to posters on the wall, are branded by the company name, LIFE AFFIRM. He can see a couple of elderly people shuffling along down a hallway, not at all the vibrant seniors depicted in the posters in Victoria’s office. He sticks his nose in the air and makes a face; the place has a smell. VICTORIA, the facility manager, enters the room and puts her laptop down on her desk. She's a woman in her 50's: starched, pressed, and accessorized. She’s an uptight manager with a passion of maximizing revenue for Life Affirm. VICTORIA Thanks for waiting...is it Sam? SAM That's right. No problem. VICTORIA So you’re going to be a senior next year? SAM Yup. VICTORIA Great. And turning eighteen shortly... SAM That’s right. VICTORIA Good, that’s going to make a difference in what you’re able to do here. Victoria is disinterested in small talk because she’s about to present the litmus test for all Life Affirm employees.

15.

VICTORIA (CONT’D) Sam, do you consider yourself a nurturing person? Clearly a question Sam has never once considered. SAM Umm, yes. Definitely. nurturing. I guess. Super-

His answer seems inadequate; he’s really grasping at straws now. SAM (CONT’D) I’m totally into breast feeding. Is that what you mean? Realizing he’s missed the mark, he tries to save the conversation. SAM (CONT’D) In a supportive, non-creepy way. It’s the first time that Victoria has heard that response, but she continues. VICTORIA It’s very important to us here at Life Affirm to be nurturing. You see, we're like a family here. A big, happy family. Do you know why Life Affirm is the fourth fastest growing assisted living service provider in central Texas? SAM Umm...because it's cheaper? VICTORIA Oh, it's not cheaper. Not by a long shot. I'll tell you why, Sam: we don't have patients. We have family. Do you see what I'm saying? You have a family don't you Sam? SAM My dad and my little brother. And I have to admit that when it comes to my family, I don't have patience either. Victoria thinks for a moment.

16.

VICTORIA No, I said patients, not-SAM That was a little joke. VICTORIA Oh. Victoria doesn't laugh. his hands in his lap. Victoria's phone rings. number. Sam brushes his pants legs and folds She glances at the incoming phone

VICTORIA (CONT’D) Let me take this real quick. (in a falsely pleasant voice) Hello, this is Victoria at Life Affirm. (listening) Yes, I already made that notation in your account. (listening) No, I'm afraid not. Victoria glances at Sam and sheepishly turns away and lowers her voice. VICTORIA (CONT’D) (feigning enthusiasm) Oh, I'm glad to hear that. (listening) No, a cashier's check. Don't be late. It’s a small town until you’re trying to track down a taxi. The red light on her phone goes out. She glances at Sam.

VICTORIA (CONT'D) (faking) Thank you for calling Life Affirm. She hangs up the phone. VICTORIA (CONT'D) Where were we? SAM The thing about having family instead of patients.

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VICTORIA Right. Sam, if you had to name one thing above all else that connects your family, what would it be? SAM Ahh...dinner? VICTORIA No, the thing every family has to have to keep harmony and balance? SAM X-Box! VICTORIA (giving up) Love and respect. SAM Oh my God, I was going to say that first, but then I went off on the dinner thing! VICTORIA That's what we have here at Life Affirm: respect. That's the only thing we ask of ourselves every day. SAM Right. VICTORIA Sam, is there any reason you would not be able to perform the duties as outlined in the Life Affirm employee brochure, including lifting a weight of up to 40 pounds above your waist? SAM Um, no? VICTORIA Will you consent to a legal and financial background check as well as possible periodic drug testing at the discretion of Life Affirm? SAM I guess so.

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VICTORIA Given this is only summer employment, will you agree to waive the 30 day performance review and extend the probationary period to 75 days? SAM Uh...sure. VICTORIA Can you swim? Finally, a genuine credential. SAM Like a fish! I’m on the water polo team! VICTORIA Really? (surprised as she looks him over) That's excellent. Can you start Monday at 3PM sharp? SAM (shocked) Sure! VICTORIA Good, then welcome to our family! Victoria and Sam shake hands. INT. RESTAURANT - EVENING Sam is at a chain restaurant with his dad and brother. beaming with excitement. SAM'S DAD (ecstatic) You're kidding me! Oh my God! SAM Yup, I did it! SAM'S DAD Where? SAM Life Affirm. He's A miracle.

19.

SAM'S DAD Life what? SAM Life Affirm. It's a...what do you call it...a funeral home. Sam's brother stops eating in mid-bite. Sam's dad freezes.

SAM'S DAD A funeral home? With dead people? SAM Wait, what? No...I guess you call it a retirement home place. And a nursing home, too. Some of them are old and some of them are super old. SAM'S DAD And what exactly is the job? SAM I'm a nursing aide. NICK Wow Sam, a nursing aide? homo-riffic. SAM'S DAD (scolding) Nick! NICK No kidding, Sam. Congratulations, that's gay-tastic. SAM'S DAD (ineffectually scolding Nick) Being a nursing aide is not necessarily gay. NICK Unless you are gay. SAM Shut up, ass-rat. Boys! SAM'S DAD We are in a restaurant! That's

Sam’s dad is still focused on the obvious mismatch of the job.

20.

SAM'S DAD (CONT’D) Exactly what are you going to be doing? SAM I'm not sure. You know, just helping out the blue hairs and doing old folks stuff. I start Monday. SAM'S DAD And how much does this pay? SAM Are you ready? $9.75 an hour! Friggin' home run! Sam high fives to no one. SAM'S DAD That’s great, Sam. I’m really proud of you. We’ll talk about your contribution to monthly bills after your first check. What? SAM Forget that!

His dad’s last comment tarnishes Sam’s moment in the sun. Sam looks to his little brother who mouths the word "fag." INT. LIFE AFFIRM - DAY First day of work: Sam is in Victoria’s office looking at a bulletin board with schedules and papers tacked all over. A girl walks in. MEGAN You must be the new guy. Sam turns around and he's stunned. MEGAN is the dark-haired girl Sam fantasized about at the pep rally. He puts his hands in his pockets and then quickly takes them out. This just became the greatest job ever. Sam smiles and gives her a little wave because it would be weird to shake her hand. SAM Hi, I’m Sam. Sam raises his eyebrows in anticipation of some reaction from Megan, but none is forthcoming.

21.

SAM (CONT’D) Sam Sawyer. Megan has a blank look. SAM (CONT’D) From school. MEGAN Washington High School? SAM (a little deflated) I’ll be a senior. MEGAN I just graduated from Washington! I’m Megan. SAM I know. Megan knows she should be able to place him, but who is he? Then she remembers. MEGAN You’re the cheerleader! Sam winces a painful smile. MEGAN (CONT’D) Sorry, took me a minute, without your wig and all. SAM (mumbles) It wasn’t my wig. MEGAN Just kidding. Megan reaches up and takes some charts off the bulletin board, exposing a little tattoo just above her belt line. MEGAN (CONT’D) I've only worked here two weeks, but it's pretty straight-forward. We just sort of mingle with the patients and then stuff just happens and we usually get really busy.

22.

SAM Like what kind of stuff? MEGAN Oh, you'll see. Tons of stuff. Doris in 103 will need another blanket, Marcy in 107 can't get her coffee maker to work, Margaret wet her pants--it's always something. SAM Umm, yikes about that last one. MEGAN There's pool time, dinner time, and rec time, but so far, people really just sit around and do nothing. SAM Well, they're...old. MEGAN Not all of them are that old, but some are really old. SAM Where’s Victoria. She left. morning. MEGAN She’ll be back tomorrow

INT. LIFE AFFIRM RECREATION HALL - NIGHT Sam stands by a round table with four old men playing poker. A TV is playing in the background. For some select patients, Life Affirm comes alive at night. SAM Can I play? The old guy shuffling the cards barely glances at Sam. MOREY, a tough old Jew. MOREY Got twenty bucks? SAM Uh...no. Morey deals the cards completely ignoring Sam. He’s

23.

SAM (CONT’D) I’m Sam, the new guy. MOREY Who the fuck cares? Sam hangs on like a puppy. MOREY (CONT’D) Action to Skip. SKIP is an old black guy. SKIP I fold. Skip nods to Sam, the first inkling of recognition. SAM So how many people are here, about twenty? MOREY I dunno, why don’t you go take inventory? Dead ones don’t count. SAM (not giving up yet) And there's two wings of rooms, ten in each wing? Just as the men are in the middle of ignoring Sam, a middleaged woman wrapped in a robe named LINDA walks by the table. She’s holding the robe tight across her waist and butt. She’s got a great figure but we can’t see much of her face. LINDA Hello, boys. All the men smile and enjoy watching Linda walk. After she’s out of sight, the men slowly shake their heads with a sublime smile, as if each is enjoying a warm memory. SAM Who’s that? MOREY Your mother. Nothing else is going on, so Sam continues to search for a conversation.

24.

SAM So are the men in one wing and the women in the other? Finally, Skip throws him a bone. SKIP Naw, there aren't that many men here. SAM How many are there? SKIP We're it. SAM You're it? Four men and sixteen women? Why's that? Again, the men look at each other. disgust. SKIP Men die. SAM (surprised) They die? SKIP I don't know why, but they do. TELLY, a small wiry senior has a raspy voice and his fists are clenched: TELLY Women squeeze the life out of us! SAM (bewildered with this bad news) They do? SKIP Don't go tellin' the boy nonsense. TELLY What nonsense? Then why do we die first? SKIP Honestly, I figured it was 'cause we got worked to death. Morey shakes his head in

25.

MOREY What's the difference, dead is dead. Just as the conversation dips to a morbid low, Megan comes by and hands a schedule to Sam. MEGAN Here's the new schedule for the rest of the summer. SAM Thanks. Sam looks over the page. He looks confused.

SAM (CONT'D) Wait, I think there's a mistake... MEGAN What? SAM This says I work from 7PM to 7AM. MEGAN Yeah? SAM Well, usually during some of that time I'm sleeping. You know, when I’m not partying. Oh? MEGAN Got a lot of parties?

Sam shrugs his shoulders. MEGAN (CONT’D) Those are the hours. Seriously? all night? SAM I'm going to be working

MEGAN Right. We're the Monday-throughFriday night shift team. It's just us two. Unless you wanna swap shifts with someone else. SAM No, I’m good.

26.

Sam sinks back into his seat and Megan walks away. All four of the old men crane their necks to watch Megan walk away. Sam notices their interest in Megan and doesn’t know whether to be amused or creeped out. MOREY She's got the hardest ass I've seen in 75 years. SKIP Pulling night duty with Megan, that ain't bad. MOREY Who's got pool duty? Sam takes the schedule out of his pocket. SAM It says I do. The men collectively GROAN. TELLY I'll pay ya twenty-five bucks if you can get her to do pool duty with you. Fifty if she wears a swim suit. MOREY Yeah, I'll pitch in twenty-five. SAM I'll see what I can do. MOREY Now go get me some chocolate milk and the peanut butter crackers. The other men at the table nod and raise their hands in agreement. MOREY (CONT’D) (looking at his cards) Bring the whole fuckin’ box. INT. LIFE AFFIRM KITCHEN AREA - LATE NIGHT Sam walks by the kitchen and sees someone in there. in. SAM Can I help you get something? He stops

27.

LINDA Oh, hello. I was just going to make some cocoa. Linda is in jeans and a slim blouse. Her hair is down and she’s clearly a beautiful woman. She moves a bit slow due to a medical condition. SAM Here, you sit down and I'll get some cocoa going for you. LINDA Do I look so old that I need to sit down? SAM (apologetic) No... Linda finds her way into a chair at the table. LINDA You must be Sam, the one I've been hearing about. I'm Linda in room 109, on Megan's wing. SAM You've been hearing about me? LINDA The place isn’t that big. SAM Aren't you up a little late? LINDA I've always been a night owl. habit. Old

Sam takes a coffee cup of water from the microwave and stirs in a cocoa mix. For the first time he notices that Linda is very pretty and in fact, not that old. He steals a couple of glimpses. SAM How come you live here? LINDA I’ve got a little...condition. I’m here temporarily. I had some experimental treatments and this is a good place for me to take it easy for a while.

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Sam’s eyes catches Linda’s cleavage. issue before with men. LINDA (CONT’D) What are you lookin’ at? SAM What?

She’s dealt with this

LINDA Were you looking at my tits? SAM (flustered) No! Of course not! Linda doesn’t let Sam off the hook: she’s locked eyes with him. SAM (CONT’D) I wasn’t, honest! I just was looking... LINDA At the space between my tits? counts as tits. That

Sam can’t believe this is happening, he’s nervously stirring the cocoa. SAM I’m really sorry. LINDA No big deal. Boys look at tits. That’s what kicks off the whole circle of life thing. Didn’t you see The Lying King? SAM I don’t remember anything about that in The Lion King. LINDA No, The Lying King. movie. Sam looks confused. LINDA (CONT’D) Never mind, you weren’t old enough. Not one your mom would have taken you to see. Not the Disney

29.

Sam is relieved to be off the topic. LINDA (CONT’D) Megan told me about you. Sam stops stirring for a moment and then tries to act like he doesn't care. He puts the cup on the table. Oh, Megan? SAM She seems okay.

Linda’s not fooled by Sam’s feigning disinterest in Megan. SAM (CONT’D) What did she say? LINDA She said you’re on the cheerleading squad at school. SAM Did she say anything else? LINDA About what? SAM I don’t know. About anything...besides that? About you? LINDA Let me think...

Sam hopes for the best and Linda enjoys the game. LINDA (CONT’D) No. INT. PATIENT’S ROOM EVENING

Sam approaches an open door and knocks on the door jam. An old woman, ETHEL, is talking with CLYDE; she turns around in her chair. SAM I brought your blanket from the laundry. ETHEL Who are you? SAM Sam, I’m the new guy.

30.

ETHEL Oh, wonderful. Sam looks at Clyde: he’s about 30, wearing overalls and a ball cap. He’s standing beside a plant stand under her window holding what appear to be five marijuana plants. CLYDE (to Ethel) No more watering, all right Ethel? I always do the watering. ETHEL They don’t seem to be flowering yet. CLYDE Oh, they will. As Clyde leaves the room, he puts his arm around Sam and walks him out. Sam peeks over his shoulder. They sure look like weed plants. Clyde closes the door behind him. this way. CLYDE (CONT’D) Sam? SAM Clyde? CLYDE That’s right. I’ve got a good feeling about you. You’re the type who likes to live and let live. Am I right? You don’t have to answer because I know I’m right. Who was it who said...something about can’t we all just get along? I can’t remember the exact words. I know what you’re thinking. They stop walking. CLYDE (CONT’D) You’re thinking “I hope Clyde is hooked up for a while ‘cause those babies aren’t gonna be ready for harvest for another five or six weeks.” Not what Sam was thinking. He walks Sam down the hall

31.

CLYDE (CONT’D) Yeah, well the last 120 days has been rough with my new P.O. and I’m not gonna lie. I am not hooked up. So watchya say bro? Can you help me out? No ditch weed though. Life’s too short. SAM Sorry, I really don’t know anyone... CLYDE (turns very serious) Dude! How can you not know anyone? What are you, the captain of the chess club? SAM (confused) How old are you? CLYDE Thirty-one. Four. You don’t know anyone? Just to hold me over? SAM Sorry. Sam shrugs his shoulders as he makes his escape. him by the arm. CLYDE Our little secret, right? Clyde takes on a serious tone. Sam nods. Clyde grabs

INT. VICTORIA'S OFFICE - EVENING Victoria, Megan and Sam are sitting around a small table in Victoria's office. VICTORIA We'll meet every Monday before your shift. I've got just a few things to cover. Let’s see...we have a few changes. The two male patients in Sam's wing have requested a transfer to rooms on Megan's wing. No surprise there. But Sam, don't despair, Linda has requested to be transferred to your wing. (MORE)

32. VICTORIA (CONT'D) Mrs. K is willing to swap rooms to Sam's side, too. So we're all good. (looking up) You kids have made quite an impression, apparently.

Megan and Sam nod. VICTORIA (CONT'D) We have an intercom system, but we find younger people like yourselves prefer to just use their cell phones if they need each other. You know, if you need to tell your teammate something and they're somewhere else in the building, you can just text or whatever. Is that okay? Another break for Sam; he can barely contain his excitement. SAM (to Megan) I don't have your number. Cornered, Megan hesitantly writes down her number on a piece of paper. She doesn't ask for Sam's. VICTORIA Now, no "sexting," you two. Victoria laughs but Sam and Megan don't. VICTORIA (CONT'D) I just saw a piece on the news last night about this sexting thing. I hadn't heard of that before. Anyway-SAM (interrupting) I missed that. What's this sexting about? Megan looks at him as if to say "are you that stupid?" VICTORIA Ah...well, it's something that young people seem to... Sam cracks a smile.

33.

VICTORIA (CONT'D) You're pulling my leg, aren't you... SAM Just giving you a hard time, "L-OL." Megan rolls her eyes. VICTORIA You're quite the live wire, Sam. SAM I guess. Is that good? VICTORIA We'll see. (beat) One last thing. If you administer a sponge bath to a patient, don’t forget to update their chart. Sam is stunned by the words “sponge bath.” enjoy the effect. INT. ROBBIE’S APARTMENT - DAY The door opens. ROBBIE’S MOM smiles at Sam. mom, wearing tight jeans. ROBBIE’S MOM Come on in, Sam. He’ll be out in a minute. SAM Okay. ROBBIE’S MOM What are you guys doing today? SAM Dunno. I guess we’re gonna hang at the river for a while. Sam looks at some of the photographs on the wall, art photos. SAM (CONT’D) Are these new? ROBBIE’S MOM Yeah, pretty new. She’s a young Victoria seems to

34.

Sam studies the black and white photos. bare trees, stark and simple. SAM You’re really good. sell these.

They’re mostly of

You should

Robbie’s mom stands next to Sam and smiles. ROBBIE’S MOM Thanks, I have a whole bunch in this series. Wanna see them? SAM Yeah. Robbie’s mom bends over and opens a trunk that doubles as a coffee table in her modest apartment. She gets on her knees and digs out some mounted photos. Sam looks at the small of her back as her shirt creeps up. ROBBIE’S MOM Here. The idea is to show the texture of the bark against the grey sky. Sam looks at the photos. SAM There aren’t any birds anywhere. No animals. ROBBIE’S MOM (flattered) That’s right, I wanted them to be void of life, just the trees. That’s good, Sam, most people never notice that. She looks at Sam and smiles. ROBBIE What are you doing? SAM Your mom’s photos are cool. ROBBIE Let’s go. Robbie’s mom gathers up the photos quickly and puts them back in the trunk. Robbie walks into the room.

35.

Robbie leads Sam out the door without saying anything to his mom. They scamper down the apartment steps and Robbie stops at the door going outside. ROBBIE (CONT’D) Dude, don’t talk to my mom. SAM (defensive) What! I was just looking at her photos. ROBBIE It freaks me out. Whatever. SAM She’s nice.

ROBBIE What the fuck? SAM You always make her out to be the bad guy. That’s just because of the shit your dad said when he left. Robbie shoves Sam in the shoulder, knocking him off balance. ROBBIE Your dad talks smack about your mom, too. SAM That’s different, she’s dead. They look at each other, squared off, looking like they could start fighting. Until Robbie diffuses the situation with a confession. ROBBIE I should have gone to live with my dad. Robbie busts through the door and Sam follows. EXT. RIVER WALK - MOMENTS LATER We see Sam and Robbie from behind as they walk along a path by the river on a beautiful afternoon. Two attractive girls in skimpy swim suits are coming their way. Robbie takes a shot as the girls pass.

36.

ROBBIE Hello, ladies! They predictably ignore him as they pass. Robbie stops. ROBBIE (CONT’D) (to Sam) Seriously, I get zero love. is the deal? After a few steps,

What

Sam stops too. Now we see Robbie in his full glory: he’s wearing ridiculously large sunglasses...his long baggy shorts show off his scrawny white legs and he’s wearing a brown tshirt with the periodic table of elements on the front. He’s hopeless. Sam thinks of a lie. SAM Maybe it’s your braces. Robbie cocks his head and thinks. ROBBIE Huh. Yeah, after five years, I’ve sorta forgot I even have ‘em. They start walking again. ROBBIE (CONT’D) How’s it goin’ with Megan. SAM Hopeless. ROBBIE What about the cougar? Sam smiles. SAM I get a feeling with her. Like maybe something’s goin’ on. ROBBIE Dude, that’s cougar 101. They eat studs for breakfast. They want it all the time. SAM Are you still talkin’ to that same one online?

37.

ROBBIE Yeah. I’m thinking about setting somethin’ up. SAM Seriously? ROBBIE Summer of the cougar, bro. INT. LIFE AFFIRM, LINDA’S ROOM- DAY Linda’s room is large with a bed, television and dresser. A DOCTOR sits on the edge of Linda’s bed; Linda is propped up with pillows. LINDA Usually I feel pretty good. DOCTOR I know, we talked about this. you still up for it? Are

Linda sighs, like she’s making a big decision. Knock at the door. Sam pokes his head in.

SAM I brought you some towels. LINDA Thanks, can you put them in the bathroom? Just hang ‘em up and you can take the ones on the floor. Sam goes into the bathroom. LINDA (CONT’D) (hushed tone to the doctor) What are the real chances with this? DOCTOR Anyone’s guess. You need to stay in bed for 7 days. You’ll probably feel light headed. Stay out of the shower, I don’t want you passing out and falling. Meals in bed, if you can. Three pills a day until they’re gone.

38.

LINDA No showers? That kinda cramps my style, doc. The doctor smiles. DOCTOR They can send someone to freshen you up. And don’t worry, you have plenty of style. He smiles hands Linda a bottle of pills and she hesitantly accepts them. DOCTOR (CONT’D) Let’s just hope for the best. CUT TO: INT. LINDA’S BATHROOM Sam is folding the towels but slows down when he hears this statement. CUT BACK TO: INT. LINDA’S ROOM The doctor smiles and slings his book bag over his shoulder. LINDA Thanks. INT. LIFE AFFIRM KITCHEN - NIGHT Megan walks into the kitchen and tosses down a chart from the bulletin board. MEGAN You’ve got a sponge bath tonight, partner. Sam freezes: deer in headlights. SAM (not thinking rationally) You know what? N F W! MEGAN Could be worse, at least it’s Linda.

39.

Sam remains frozen, concerned on a whole other level with the mention of Linda’s name. Megan notes Sam’s odd reaction. MEGAN (CONT’D) (sighs) Do you want me to do it? Sam gets it together. SAM No, I can swing it. INT. LINDA’S ROOM - NIGHT Sam knocks on the door with a couple white towels on his shoulder, holding a small pail. LINDA Come in! Linda is in bed wearing her robe; she’s happy to see him, but she’s tired and run down. SAM Are you okay? LINDA It’s just the medication I have to take for a week. It knocks me pretty hard. I haven’t hardly left my bed in three days. Sam approaches apprehensively, fear on his face. LINDA (CONT’D) What’s the matter? SAM Listen...I have a little confession. LINDA If I had a nickel for every time I've heard a man say that. Sam nervously looks at his pail and sponge. SAM I’ve never really... LINDA (interrupting) You know what? (MORE)

40. LINDA (CONT'D) Nothing good ever came from a confession. Go fill the pail with hot water. Not too hot.

Sam goes into the bathroom and runs the water. He fills the pail. When he returns, he stops in his tracks startled: Linda is naked on the bed. LINDA (CONT’D) You can’t do it from there. Sam tries to act cool and approaches the bed. He’s careful to keep his eyes diverted. Linda appreciates his modesty. LINDA (CONT’D) I’m afraid you’re gonna have to look. Sam nervously looks her over, starting at her breasts. LINDA (CONT’D) Pretend you’re an artist, and you’re painting me. You need to know what you’re painting. Pretend I’m young, if it helps. Can you do that? A tiny smile from Sam lets Linda know she didn’t miscalculate his interest. SAM It’s okay... Sam blushes a bit and then takes his time as he looks her over. Linda enjoys this but Sam is too nervous to notice. Linda takes Sam’s hand, dips the sponge into the pail, and pulls it out. LINDA Squeeze. Sam does what he’s told and squeezes the water out of the sponge. She guides his hand to her shoulder. She lies back against her pillow. LINDA (CONT’D) Okay? Sam nods.

41.

INT . SAM'S HOUSE - NIGHT Sam lies on the couch watching a movie with his little brother. His eyes get droopy and he falls asleep. SAM DREAMING: Camera pans around a $3,000/night hotel penthouse suite high above the Las Vegas skyline. There’s a baby grand piano...a large aquarium of fish...french doors leading to a 30th floor veranda. Two steps lead up to the bedroom. Noise comes from the bedroom. The double doors flow open and we enter to see an unrealistically large bed where Linda lies on her back, her legs wrapped around Sam's waist and her long silver hair spread on the red satin bedspread as they have sex. Linda’s face looks absolutely beautiful, like she’s 26 years old. Sam stands at the foot of the bed, his pants are around his ankles and he's shirtless, except for a small leather sheriff's vest and a silly cowboy hat. LINDA (moaning) That’s my cowboy! Sam smiles as he goes at it. To his horror, suddenly appearing beside the bed are his dad, his little brother Nick, Robbie, and Megan, all invading his dream and watching everything. His dad covers Nick's eyes. Nick pulls his hand away. From their POV Linda looks horribly different: the camera pans up her waist, past her silk blouse to her face, which looks a lot like a 77 year-old Willie Nelson. SAM'S DAD Sam! What are you doing in that vest? Forget the vest, where did you get the grandma? For God's sake son, she looks like Willie Nelson! MEGAN (heartbroken) Sam! You can't have sex with the patients! Didn't you read the handbook? Nick turns his attention to Megan and eyes her up and down. He's impressed.

42.

NICK (TO MEGAN) (all sexy) Hey. I’m Nick. BACK TO PRESENT: Sam tries to wake from his disturbing, primal dream. mutters something with his eyes still closed. SAM Her name is Linda...she’s not even a grandma...I don't wanna be a cowboy anymore...where are my pants? Sam starts to open his eyes as he mumbles those incriminating words in the presence of Nick. Sam makes a jarring, clean break from his dream and sits up. He gets his bearings. He's unsure if he said those things out loud. Sam glances at his crotch and pulls his knees to his chest. Nick is watching. SAM (CONT’D) (to Nick) What! NICK Look. I don't know what you're into. I don't care. But I still have high school ahead of me. If you end up doing something more bizarre than impersonating a cheerleader in front of the entire student body and ruin the best years of my life, I swear to God, I'll kill you in your sleep. Probably with a baseball bat. And when I tell my story, the judge will give me two weeks in juvi, maybe less. SAM Fuck off! Sam scuttles off to the kitchen. INT. SAM’S KITCHEN - AFTERNOON Sam has just gotten out of bed and opens the refrigerator. Suddenly the kitchen light goes out. Sam turns around: his dad and Nick walk in with a small birthday cake. One candle is positioned in the middle. Nick turns the light back on. Nick shakes his head. He

43.

SAM’S DAD Happy birthday! Sam rolls his eyes. He’s really not into this.

SAM’S DAD (CONT’D) Let’s have a piece of cake. SAM Come on, don’t do this. NICK He got me out of bed for this shit, eat the cake. Sam plops down in a chair. His dad gets out plates and the three of them sit together eating cake. Sam’s dad smiles, but Sam doesn’t make an occasion for joy. He’s withholding and stubborn as they eat in silence. NICK (CONT’D) (to his dad) What do you think mom’s doing? Sam stops eating. answer. His dad looks at his plate and doesn’t

They continue to eat in silence. Sam steals glances of his dad, who won’t look up. Sam gets up and puts his plate in the sink. INT. LIFE AFFIRM - NIGHT Sam walks into the kitchen; Megan is already there. MEGAN Hey, what’s up? SAM My little brother is gonna stop by tonight to use the pool, so heads up. Nick? Sam’s concerned. SAM He did? MEGAN He got here an hour ago.

44.

MEGAN Yeah I think he’s with the poker club on the patio. SAM Oh shit! Nick can get on your nerves in two seconds. Morey will kill him! Sam runs out of the kitchen. CUT TO: INT. LIFE AFFRIM PATIO - MOMENTS LATER Close up: Morey’s face, pissed off and squinting. crowd is chanting “Nick, Nick, Nick...” A small

We pull back to see Skip, Telly, Clyde and Linda, all crowded around a patio table. Sam looks on surprised. Morey cuts the cards and shows a five of spades; the table laughs and high fives one another. Nick cuts the cards: seven of diamonds. Everyone cheers. Nick scoops up a bunch of dollar bills and fist pumps them in the air. Nick jumps up on his chair and strikes a rapper pose. NICK Come on gramps let’s go again! MOREY Twenty bucks this time, ya little shit! Nick hops back down and puts down $20. Morey throws in a twenty. He starts to shuffle the cards. Everyone starts chanting again: “Nick, Nick, Nick...” SAM (yells) What the hell’s going on? Sam puts his hand down over the cards. looks at him; it gets quiet. Everyone stops and

The interruption exposes the unmistakable sound porn that’s playing on the TV next to the table. An extension cord is draped across the patio and through the door. Everyone looks at the TV they forgot was on.

45.

SAM (CONT’D) (disgusted) Guys, he’s a minor! CLYDE (pointing to Nick) He’s the one who brought it! Sam looks back at the screen. at Nick. It looks familiar. Sam looks

NICK I borrowed it. I was coming back from Roger’s house, I had it in my backpack. You have a thousand, not like you missed it. CLYDE He warned us you’d be sore for dippin’ in your stash. NICK He’s sore from spankin’ it three times a day. Everyone snickers. SAM Shut up. Linda catches Sam’s eyes and mouths the question “three?” couple of the guys look at her but she puts on a straight face. SAM (CONT’D) (to Nick) What are you doing? Clyde realizes he’s holding a joint and he discreetly folds his hands behind his back. Telly slowly shoves an ash tray down the table that also has a lit joint in it. NICK Cutting cards with Morey, is that against the law? SAM (flustered) Probably! Sam goes to the TV to turn it off. A

46.

MOREY Hey! Hands off, some of us haven’t seen this one. (to Nick) I’m shuffled up. Sam doesn’t know what to do but he leaves the TV on. LINDA (getting back in the groove) Need some more luck Nick? Linda props up her prominent breasts with her hands, increasing her cleavage. NICK Why yes I do! Nick leans his head across the table towards Linda’s breasts. SAM (pissed) Nick! NICK (backing off) I’m good. Morey cuts: ten of hearts. cheers. Nick cuts: a king. Everyone

INT. KITCHEN AREA OF LIFE AFFIRM - NEXT NIGHT Linda is sitting at a table. Sam is opening a Coke.

Sam sighs and sits down with Linda. SAM You were up late last night... LINDA I’m fine, my week with the medication from hell is up. (beat) Do you and Nick really share the same mother? SAM (sighs) Yes...

47.

LINDA What does she do? Sam’s face gets tight. shrugs his shoulders. Linda knows she’s hit a nerve. Sam

LINDA (CONT’D) Not around? Sam shakes his head. LINDA (CONT’D) You live with your dad? SAM Yeah, it sucks. LINDA Why’s that? SAM He’s a huge loser. Linda sees this is getting dark and she switches it up. LINDA So how’s it going with Megan? SAM What do you mean? I’m not...

LINDA (interrupting) Are you kidding me? SAM It’s not obvious.

It’s obvious.

LINDA Does she know you’re a porn dog? SAM Oh my God, you did not just say that! LINDA So you like girls. other stuff? Or is there

Sam’s trapped on whether to answer.

48.

SAM (defensively) No, girls. I’m not...weird, I’m just... He regrets starting that statement. anticipation. LINDA Horny. SAM Can we not talk about this? Sam blushes at his admission. LINDA Do I make you uncomfortable? SAM No. (beat) Maybe a little. INT. DINING HALL AT LIFE AFFIRM - EVENING Skip and Telly are eating dinner at a long table. Linda walks by with her plate and sits down next to Skip. SKIP Good evening, Linda. LINDA Hello Skip. Linda looks down at her plate. LINDA (CONT'D) Forgot my iced tea. SKIP I'll get it for you-LINDA (hopping up) That's okay, I got it. Linda returns and sits down with her tea. SKIP Darling, you’re getting around pretty well! Linda is smiling in

49.

LINDA (reflecting) You know what, I’m feeling pretty good. Skip smiles. EXT. OUTDOOR MALL - DAY Sam and Robbie sit at a table with hot dogs and sodas. ROBBIE You into feet? SAM Feet? ROBBIE Yeah, I downloaded some if you’re into that. SAM (a little bewildered) No? ROBBIE Got some security cam stuff, too. SAM People doin’ it on a security cam? ROBBIE Yeah. SAM (disinterested in security cam porn) Watch my food, I'm gonna pee. EXT. OUTDOOR MALL - MOMENTS LATER Sam walks down sidewalk to the bathroom, looking at his phone as he walks. Nobody is around this part of the mall as he leans his back to the bathroom door and slowly pushes it open while he reads his phone. When he silently looks up, he's accidentally interrupted a sexual encounter; a young guy scrambles up from his knees and stands at a urinal. Another guy zips up his pants and runs past Sam out the door. Sam's intuition is to turn and leave, but then he does a double-take. He recognizes the guy left behind. It's Brian, the football God from school.

50.

SAM Brian? Brian looks straight ahead and pretends not to hear him. He pretends he's peeing, but his pants are zipped up. His face starts sweating with abject humiliation. SAM (CONT'D) (shocked, but starting to chuckle) Dude... BRIAN (mutters to himself) Jesus... Awkward silence between them. BRIAN (CONT'D) (finally facing Sam) You tell anyone and I'll beat the shit out ya! Sam has been subordinate to Brian and others his whole life but for the first time, the tables are turned. He gets his courage together like he had it all along: SAM You know what? I don’t think you’re in a position to be threatening me. You touch me and I’ll tell everyone. Sam points to the corner of his own mouth, like "you have something on your chin." Brian quickly wipes his chin with his t-shirt, looking in the mirror to see if he got it. Flustered, Brian busts past Sam, out the door. EXT. OUTDOOR MALL - MOMENTS LATER Sam returns to the table with Robbie. dazed at what just happened. ROBBIE How about gasping? SAM (still distracted) What? ROBBIE You know, gasping. He sits down, a little

51.

Robbie shows a choke hold around his neck with one hand and simulates masturbation with the other. Sam is a little put off. SAM Dude, don’t people die doing that? ROBBIE If you’re stupid, maybe. SAM So you got a new password? ROBBIE Dude, I emailed it to you yesterday. Oh. SAM I’ve been kinda busy.

ROBBIE No shit, what’s going on with you? How can you be too busy for Prison Bitch Breakout? Sam looks guilty and Robbie knows something is up. ROBBIE (CONT’D) Did something happen? Sam plays dumb. ROBBIE (CONT’D) With the cougar at your job? Sam thinks for a moment. SAM Naw... Robbie looks at him, suspecting he’s lying. ROBBIE I got a it set up. SAM What set up? ROBBIE The cougar I’ve been talking to. She’ll meet me in a public place whenever I’m ready.

52.

SAM Are you gonna do it? INT. LIFE AFFIRM KITCHEN- EVENING Sam walks into the kitchen where Megan is unloading the dishwasher. Hey. SAM How was your weekend? MEGAN Eh, okay. SAM (sensing trepidation) Oh yeah? Megan pauses. MEGAN I was sort of seeing this guy and I cut it off this weekend. It just didn’t feel right...and I didn’t want it to drag on like that. Sam is surprised to hear personal thoughts from Megan, and he’s not skilled in this kind of conversation. Oh. SAM Jeez, sorry about that. MEGAN Thanks. Megan closes the dishwasher and leaves the kitchen. Sam thinks about trying to stop her but doesn’t know what to say. INT. VICTORIA'S OFFICE - AFTERNOON Victoria takes her place at the table for staff meeting with Megan and Sam. VICTORIA Just a couple of things today...pool attendance is way up, so that's terrific. And Linda is going off two of her medications, so Sam, be sure to check her new charts. I'm so pleased about that, she's really doing well. She really looks great.

53.

Victoria closes her notebook. VICTORIA (CONT'D) Listen. You two have brought a really positive energy this summer. The patients see it. And they're responding to it. I'm sure you feel it too. I like it! Keep it up. INT. KITCHEN AREA OF LIFE AFFIRM - MOMENTS LATER Sam follows Megan into the kitchen. Megan starts to make some fresh coffee. Linda is sitting at the table with her cup of coffee. MEGAN (to Sam) That was nice, what Victoria said. SAM Yeah, that was weird, she almost went hippie on us. MEGAN Do you have trouble taking compliments? SAM I don’t know yet. Embarrassed, Sam scurries out of the kitchen. Linda smiles and shakes her head. Megan sits down next to Linda, a bit flustered. MEGAN He drives me crazy sometimes. It’s like there’s a canyon and on one side there’s a really nice guy and on the other side there’s a total loser and I can’t decide which side he’s on. LINDA You can’t tell? MEGAN I don’t know... LINDA Sweetheart, I don't think you're going to be very happy until you learn how to tell the difference.

54.

INT. LINDA’S ROOM - NIGHT Linda is lying in bed, though she’s looking very fresh; her makeup fresh. The pail and sponge sit on her night stand. She reaches over and picks up her “life alert” pendant and presses the button: it alerts Sam’s phone. CUT TO: INT. LIFE AFFIRM KITCHEN - MOMENTS LATER Sam’ phone rings. He takes it out of his pocket and the name LINDA flashes on the screen; he bites his lip. INT. LINDA'S ROOM - MOMENTS LATER Linda’s door is open a crack and Sam walks in as he knocks. The room is dim, only lit by candles. He has a couple white towels over his shoulder. SAM Did you buzz? Linda is in her bath robe. She looks much better than the first time Sam gave her a sponge bath. LINDA Yeah, I just thought maybe for old time’s sake. Linda nods at the pail on her night stand. Sam cracks a smile and goes into the bathroom and fills the pail with water and soap. When he comes out of the bathroom, Linda still has her robe on. LINDA (CONT’D) I’ve got a birthday present. Sam can see there’s no present, so he has a pretty good idea what’s about to happen. Linda gets off the bed, takes the pail from his hand and places it on the night stand. LINDA (CONT’D) It’s your turn tonight. Linda grabs the bottom of his t-shirt. LINDA (CONT’D) Arms up.

55.

Sam freezes at first, but then raises his arms and Linda pulls off his shirt. She undoes his belt. She slips out of her robe and drops it to the floor. Sam nervously takes off his pants. Linda motions to the bed and Sam lies down. Both naked, Linda squeezes out the sponge and starts to wipe down Sam’s chest. LINDA (CONT’D) How’s that? Sam smiles and nods. Linda climbs into bed and kneels over him, straddling his legs. She tosses the sponge into the pail. LINDA (CONT’D) Happy birthday, Sam. Linda disappears from the frame; Sam closes his eyes and breaths heavily. INT. SAM'S BEDROOM - NIGHT Sam lies in his bed in the dark. His hands are folded behind his head as he stares into the ceiling. He’s got a lot on his mind. INT. LIFE AFFIRM DINNING HALL - EVENING The four men are sitting together at the end of a long table eating dinner. Linda walks by with her tray of food, looking sexy. Telly watches as she walks by. TELLY Tell me something. SKIP What? TELLY What’s it like? The men look at one another. SKIP Well, not to kiss and tell, but pretty much what you’d imagine. TELLY I never really noticed until lately. (MORE)

56. TELLY (CONT'D) I don’t know if it’s because she’s more beautiful than ever, or...

MOREY Or what? TELLY Or that I’m just now realizing that I’ll never be with a woman again. Telly looks down and pokes at his food. This comment touches Skip; it’s a melancholy sentiment he’s thought of, too. INT. LIFE AFFIRM, SAM’S WING - NIGHT We see the reflection of a red flashing light on the wall. Sam leans against that same wall with a somber look on his face. We see Victoria talking to an emergency medical technician down the hall; she’s in her street clothes, having been called in at night. One of the patients opens her door and looks down the hall, having been awakened by the commotion. PATIENT Is it Karen? Sam nods. She slams her door.

Two EMT’s slowly wheel out a stretcher with the body wrapped in a sheet. We see Sam’s face as the body passes before him: he’s chilled. Victoria notices and approaches Sam. VICTORIA Are you okay? Sam nods. VICTORIA (CONT’D) (quietly) You know, none of us get out alive. INT. VICTORIA'S OFFICE - EVENING It's the start of their shift and Sam and Megan are looking over some charts on the bulletin board. MEGAN I just saw Mrs. K: she wants some help in the shower.

57.

SAM Mrs K? MEGAN I told her you would be there in a minute. SAM Right now? Megan looks at Sam with disgust. SAM (CONT'D) Okay, I'll be right there. Sam doesn't look good. He walks out of the office like a zombie and starts down the hall. INT. MRS. K'S ROOM - MOMENTS LATER Sam is sitting in a chair in Mrs. K's bathroom. His head is in his hands. Mrs. K is in the shower, out of sight. The mirror is fogged behind him. The shower stops and Sam's head pops up. He stands up holding a towel apprehensively. Mrs. K wipes the steam on the glass shower door so she can peek at Sam. SAM Are you all right? MRS. K I think so. Get ready, I'm coming out! The shower door flies open, startling Sam like an errant shot from a firing squad. We see Mrs K from the front: immensely obese, naked, wrinkled, her short hair dripping in her face. Sam holds out the towel at the corners, which is hopelessly dwarfed by the size of Mrs. K's torso. SAM (mutters) I think we're gonna need a bigger boat. What? MRS. K I can't hear you!

SAM (louder) Let me get another towel!

58.

MRS. K Help me to the toilet. fan!

Turn on the

Sam rolls his eyes and flips on the fan. INT. KITCHEN AT LIFE AFFIRM - NIGHT Linda and Megan are sitting at a table in the kitchen drinking a cup of coffee. It's late and it's quiet. LINDA Can I ask you something? (beat) What do girls want from boys these days? MEGAN I suppose...I suppose I just want someone to love me for who I am. I want someone honest. LINDA I guess some things don't change. LIFE AFFIRM - EVENING

Linda sits down at dinner with Skip. LINDA You know who I haven’t seen lately is Telly. SKIP You didn’t know? He’s been having a rough time. Pancreatic cancer, you know. LINDA Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. SKIP He’s been taking it hard lately. He’ll reminisce about something and then wonder if he’ll never see or do that thing again. That’s the kind of thinking that eats you up, because after all, one day you’re right. LINDA I never thought about it that way.

59.

SKIP It’s not your nature to think that way. (smiles) I’m glad. INT. LIFE AFFIRM DINNING HALL - EARLY EVENING Balloons are hanging from the ceiling and the tables are pushed against the wall to make room in the center of the dinning hall for dancing. Most of the patients are in their Sunday best. Some are sitting and some are at the punch table filling their cups. A couple of them are in wheel chairs. Morey is at a table with a phonograph, changing records. Sam and Megan are dressed up too; Megan looks great and Sam looks more awkward than the seniors. SAM Morey really knows how to rock the house. I was gonna bust out some vintage Dre but he said, fuck no, homie, we're riding with Glen Miller tonight cause that's how I roll. MEGAN (Nearly enjoying Sam) I don't think Morey really said that. SAM I paraphrase. MEGAN And no, he does not rock the house. Morey puts on a slow song. Several old ladies take the opportunity to go out on the dance floor and start to sway to the music. The men are huddled together near Morey like seventh grade boys at a dance. MEGAN (CONT'D) Oh my God, isn't this adorable? SAM Not really. Linda appears in front of Sam and Megan; she has a nice dress on, she's wearing makeup and her hair is up. She's kicked it up another notch, and everyone can't help but notice.

60.

LINDA Good evening. SAM Hi. MEGAN Linda, you look so beautiful! LINDA Thanks, sweetie. (beat) Sam, would you do me the honor of this dance? SAM (deer in headlights) I don't think so. LINDA Please, Sam? Don't make a lady beg. SAM Ah...I don't really dance that much. Ever. LINDA It's a slow song. It’s easy.

MEGAN (enjoying Sam's predicament) Oh, go ahead, Sam. Have some fun. I'll watch the punch bowl and if anybody starts making out, I'll call you over to break it up. Linda takes Sam's hand and pulls him out on the floor. They stop in the middle of the floor as Sam scans the surroundings. The lights are dim but it's still way too public for his comfort. SAM (loud whisper) Haven’t you figured out, nothing is easy for me. LINDA (whispers back) I'll show you. Sam is compelled to confess what he hopes will save him, in a whispered but deliberate tone.

61.

SAM I've never danced with a girl before. LINDA You hadn’t done a sponge bath before, either. And I have a feeling that was the first time you... SAM (interrupting) Okay let’s not recap the whole summer. LINDA I was cutting to the good parts. Sam’s checks to see if anyone can hear. Linda smiles, takes his hand and puts it on her waist. Sam reluctantly complies. LINDA (CONT’D) Right hand over my shoulder and left hand on my back. Listen to the music. There are four beats. Move your feet with me. There's no escaping now, and as Sam glances around the room he sees he and Linda have become the spectacle he dreaded. He moves with Linda, a bit awkward. LINDA (CONT’D) Good. SAM (whispers) I'm a mess. LINDA Hush. Listen to the music. (beat) You're tall. That's good. You can't teach tall. In fact, you’ve got a couple things you can’t teach. Sam blushes and shakes his head. SAM You can’t help yourself, can you? LINDA I call it like I see it.

62.

SAM Yes you do. They continue to shuffle together, improving. As the song goes on, Linda and Sam get closer. Finally, Linda's head rests against his shoulder. Sam gains some confidence. The music fades and Linda pulls back only slightly, looking contentedly into Sam's face. LINDA (whispers) Thank you. Sam looks at Linda, amazed that what started so badly ended so nicely. The onlookers are all smiling, including Megan. Linda and Sam stay close. Skip approaches Sam and Linda on the floor. SKIP Sam, would you mind if I danced with this beautiful woman? Sam looks a little hazy, still lost in the moment. SAM Sure. LINDA (smiling) The luckiest girl at the dance... Sam steps off the floor with most of the women still watching him. Megan looks at him curiously, not sure what she just saw--maybe she’s impressed by Sam’s increasing confidence, or maybe she perceived his vulnerability; but she’s intrigued. INT. ROBBIE’S BEDROOM - NIGHT Robbie stands in his dark room in front of a mirror with a somber look on his face. His shirt is off and he’s tying a necktie around his neck, except when he’s done, the skinny end is way longer than the fat end. He admires his work in the mirror: it’s how he intended to tie it. He pulls it tight--uncomfortably tight. He looks over to his open closet door: clothes are pushed aside leaving the exposed bar, void of hangers. There’s a chair with his laptop playing, positioned to be seen from the closet. He presses a key and we hear a porn video.

63.

INT. LIFE AFFIRM, TELLY’S ROOM - NIGHT Telly stands in front of his mirror in his room: he’s dressed up, checking himself out. Knock at the door. Telly opens the door and smiles. up and looking beautiful. It’s Linda, equally dressed

TELLY I don’t know what to say. I do. LINDA You look wonderful.

TELLY You don’t have to say that. I was just looking at myself in the mirror. (beat) Can I tell you something? Linda smiles and nods. TELLY (CONT’D) The fact that you came here...it really means a lot to me. I want to thank you. Linda stands behind him and they both look into the mirror. LINDA I see a man who was a good provider to a wife for many years. He had a successful career. He’s a good father and he put three children through college. All three have made their way in the world. He’s a good grandfather. He’s made a lot of friends and he’s lost a few along the way, and he doesn’t forget a one. If you’re worried about not being attractive, stop. Any woman in the world should be so lucky. Tell smiles and turns around nervously. Jesus, Like a wasn’t when I TELLY I’ve been nervous all day. kid again. Except there ever a girl like you, even was a kid.

64.

LINDA (smiles) Come here, kid. INT. GAME ROOM AT LIFE AFFIRM - NIGHT The four men and Sam are playing poker at a table. Each has a stack of chips and there's a large pile of chips in the center of the table. Sam is dealing: he's wearing an oldtime Fedora with one and five dollar bills stuck around the band of the hat. Morey peers at his cards and then moves a stack of chips into the pot. He moves another stack in right behind the first. Whoa. SAM That's a string bet, Morey.

MOREY Who are you, head of the rules committee? What do you know about a string bet? SAM You're the one who taught me. You have to move chips in together. You did one stack and then the other. SKIP He's right, Morey. MOREY Isn't that great? All of the sudden the little bastard is an authority on the rules and the schfartza jumps right in to back him up. SAM What's a schfartza? MOREY The nigger! Sam is shocked at the N-word, but among the elders, he's unsure of how to respond. SAM Dude... MOREY Now what?

65.

SAM Come on, the N-bomb... MOREY Relax, I don't mean anything by it. TELLY Are we gonna finish the hand or should I leave these aces in my will? Sam tries to shake off the whole interaction. SAM Morey, take back your second stack. Disgruntled, Morey obeys. SAM (CONT'D) Action to Skip. SKIP Fold. Skip slides his cards to the middle of the table. Sam's eyes. SAM I fold too. Sam looks over to Skip and Skip looks away. INT. SKIP'S ROOM - LATER THAT NIGHT Sam walks by Skip's room and his door is open. Skip is sitting at his small table with a bottle of whiskey as he reads the paper. Sam stands at the door. SAM How did you come out tonight? SKIP (looking up from his paper) A little bit ahead. SAM Good. Skip takes a drink. He catches

66.

SAM (CONT'D) That was crazy tonight. (beat) You know, that bullshit from Morey. (beat) I don't think he means it. He's just old school. SKIP How did you come out? SAM I was down about five bucks, I guess. Skip slides the bottle of whiskey to the edge of the table towards Sam. Sam sits down, and takes a quick swig. He winces. SAM (CONT'D) So where did you get the name Skip? Skip puts down the paper. SKIP When I was a kid I played drums for Charlie Parker. I was pretty bad, though. He said I'd be a decent drummer if I could ever learn to keep a beat. He started calling me Skip. For skip a beat. SAM You played with Bird Parker? SKIP Only for a summer. SAM You must have been pretty good to play with Charlie Parker. SKIP It was an accident. (beat) Actually, my big brother was his real drummer. Now, he could really play. Skip stares blankly into his whiskey. SKIP (CONT’D) But one night he filled himself up with heroin. And that was that.

67.

SAM He died? Yeah. SKIP He was 19, I was 17. SAM I'm sorry. SKIP They had a gig that weekend and I filled in. I stayed on for the summer. I never had the chops, though. Skip closes his eyes for a moment. We see compassion on Sam’s face. Skip takes a sip of whiskey. SKIP (CONT’D) I don't know why Morey is what he is. It ain't my place to judge. SAM Things are different today. You don't hear that shit from young guys. The world is different now. SKIP (looking into his glass) Maybe. Maybe not. INT. SHOPPING MALL - DAY Sam and Robbie are walking along; Robbie is quite animated. ROBBIE Are you shitting me? times? Sam smiles, blushes. A few. SAM And as many more as I want. How many

ROBBIE (puts his hands on his head) Holy shit! Sam smiles but looks around to see who might be hearing this.

68.

ROBBIE (CONT’D) Can I come and visit you at work? I gotta see her. SAM I guess. ROBBIE I don’t believe this! Who gives a shit about Megan Miller when you got a cougar! SAM Megan’s nice. They stop walking. code word. Robbie contemplates whether “nice” is a

ROBBIE She’s nice? What the hell! Have you been doing it with her too? No! SAM We’re friends.

Sam starts walking again but Robbie is stunned. ROBBIE (incredulously) You’re friends with Megan Miller? INT. SAM'S BEDROOM - NIGHT Sam lies in bed down the hall. and slowly puts we’d expect for room. reading a book. Suddenly, SCREAMS echo from It's Nick SCREAMING HYSTERICALLY. Sam sighs down his book: a far more calm reaction than the emotional outburst heard outside his

Sam gets up, opens his door and starts to walk down the hall. His dad opens his bedroom door as well and steps out. He's groggy, just awakened from a sound sleep. SAM (looking back) I got it, dad. SAM'S DAD Do you mind sport? SAM Go back to bed.

69.

Sam opens Nick's door. He turns on a lamp at Nick's dresser. Nick is sitting up in bed. He's breathing heavy, his pajamas are stained with sweat, and tears roll down his face. Sam gets in bed with him and Nick wraps his arms around him. Sam puts his hand on his head and they lie back down together on the pillow. SAM (CONT'D) Shhh...it’s okay. EXT. CITY STREETS - DAY Robbie peddles his bike madly across streets and along sidewalks. After several blocks he arrives at a donut shop parking lot. Leaning his bike against his hip he calls Sam. ROBBIE (a little out of breath) Hey. SAM’S VOICE Hey. ROBBIE So I’m doing it. SAM’S VOICE Doing what? ROBBIE I’m meeting that MILF I told you about. SAM’S VOICE Shit, are you serious? ROBBIE She wanted to meet in a public place first. I’m gonna call my mom to double check that she’s at work, but if the coast is clear, we’ll go to my house, if she wants. SAM’S VOICE Have you even traded pictures? ROBBIE No. She’s way on the down low. Plus, I told her I’m 21.

70.

Dude.

SAM’S VOICE You should have said 19.

Robbie gets all the more anxious and nervously looks around. ROBBIE Shit. I guess I didn’t think it would go this far. SAM’S VOICE (making something up) So just don’t shave and you’ll look older. ROBBIE I don’t really shave. Yet.

SAM’S VOICE So how will you know her? ROBBIE She’ll just be sitting in the donut shop having coffee. Shouldn’t be hard to figure out. SAM’S VOICE Wow... ROBBIE I’m so goddam nervous! (beat) Later. SAM’S VOICE Okay. Robbie walks up to the side of the donut shop. He checks his watch: still ten minutes. He leans his bike against the building. Looks around. Robbie paces with nervous energy. clears his voice. ROBBIE Mom. ROBBIE’S MOM VOICE Hi sweetie, what are you doing? ROBBIE Just stupid stuff. going to be home? So when are you He takes out his phone and

71.

ROBBIE’S MOM VOICE The usual time Robbie, is that okay? ROBBIE Sure. (beat) So regular time? ROBBIE’S MOM VOICE Honey, I have to run to a meeting, do you need anything? No. ROBBIE’S VOICE See you later.

The camera pans to the window: inside the donut shop is mostly empty, just two customers. The camera settles on one youngish, middle-aged woman sitting alone at a booth with coffee. As we get closer to the woman in the booth, she turns her head and we see it’s Robbie’s mom on her phone. WOMAN Do your homework early, I don’t want you staying up late. ROBBIE’S VOICE Okay. Bye. WOMAN Bye. She hangs up and looks around nervously. We pan back to Robbie. He puts his phone in his pocket. He stares at the door, building courage, and reaches for the doorhandle. INT. ROBBIE’S APARTMENT, KITCHEN - MORNING Robbie sits at his kitchen table with a bowl of cereal. He looks like he’s been run over by a bus. We hear the rattling of pans off camera. Robbie lifts a spoon of cereal occasionally to his lips without really eating. His mom plops down at the other seat, sitting sideways to not face him. They both pick at their food for an excruciating amount of time. It’s the most uncomfortable predicament either could imagine.

72.

After this prolonged torture, Robbie’s mom breaks the silence. ROBBIE’S MOM Can you understand that sometimes a person can get lonely? Robbie doesn’t answer, he can’t handle this conversation. ROBBIE’S MOM (CONT’D) Anybody can be lonely, Robbie. Including you and including me. Robbie can’t take it and he calmly gets up and puts his bowl in the sink, like he’s been taught to do, and leaves the kitchen. His mom starts to cry. INT. LIFE AFFIRM, LINDA’S ROOM- NIGHT Sam pokes his head through the door into Linda’s room. The TV is the only light. Linda is sitting in bed under the covers. She smiles at Sam. Sam closes the door and locks it. He puts a bowl of popcorn on the bed stand and plops down beside Linda, slipping under the covers. SAM Totally dead out there. LINDA North by Northwest is on at midnight. SAM (glancing at the clock) Two minutes. Cary Grant, right? LINDA Very good, I’m surprised you even know who Cary Grant is. SAM I’m not a kid, I’m 18. LINDA And wise beyond your years. Sam smirks at Linda. SAM I dunno about that...

73.

Okay.

LINDA How about...

She rolls over on her side facing Sam. LINDA (CONT’D) You’re big for your age. Sam smiles. He takes off his t-shirt and throws it on the floor. Sam sinks his head back into the pillow. Kicking under the covers, he pulls his knees up and then throws his pants on the floor. While Linda looks at the TV, again he pulls his knees up and this time tosses his boxers to the floor. EXT. LIFE AFFIRM PARKING LOT - SATURDAY MORNING Skip slowly slides into the passenger seat of Sam's car. Sam closes the door for him, walks around and gets in. Sam has a bit of smile. SKIP You're still not gonna tell me? SAM Not yet. INT. SAM'S CAR - MOMENTS LATER Sam merges onto a highway. Skip curiously looks about.

SKIP You're one whacked-out cat. Traffic builds up on the highway and they slow way down. SKIP (CONT'D) At least give me a clue. Okay. SAM Think downtown...

SKIP Son, we can't go downtown today, it'll be a madhouse...Obama's in town! Sam smiles as he drives.

74.

EXT. DOWNTOWN SAN DIEGO - LATER Sam and Skip slowly are making their way through a sea of people. Skip walks slowly and Sam is checking his phone. SAM We're almost there! Skip is taking in the crowd, enjoying the excitement. Sam peers over the crowd and waves to someone. It's Robbie, standing next to two folding chairs placed on the sidewalk. ROBBIE Hey. Hey. SAM Robbie, this is Skip. SKIP Hello! ROBBIE Hi. Well, this is the spot. I gotta go. You guys have fun. SAM Thanks, bro. ROBBIE Sure. Robbie hands Sam a camera, waves and disappears into the crowd. SAM (TO SKIP) We got a few minutes. Have a seat. Suddenly the crowd escalates from noisy to fever pitch. People are cheering and jockeying for position. Police are everywhere. Sam pokes his head through the crowd and looks down the street. Police try to hold the line of people on the sidewalk. President Obama is just a short way down the road. He's on foot, shaking hands and stopping for pictures. Freed from his chair, Skip steps out in front of Sam to get a better look. The joyful crowd noise gets even louder.

75.

INT. SAM'S CAR - LATER Sam drives along the highway back to Life Affirm. Skip pensively looks out the window. Signs whiz by. The orange sky meets the San Diego bay. Cars pass, decorated with Obama markings and stickers. Skip looks at Sam and smiles. and glances over. SAM What? Skip nods his head. SKIP All right... Sam smiles. He looks content. Skip looks out the window with a slight smile. As the signs fly by, he blinks and covers his mouth with a hand. His eyes become watery. INT. LIFE AFFIRM, LINDA’S ROOM- DAY Linda’s doctor is back. They sit together Linda’s round table; there is a drink poured for both of them and a bottle of scotch between them. For a moment we think that the doctor has been the lucky recipient of Linda’s affection, but as they sit, we see it is a much more solemn occasion. The doctor reaches in his bag and puts a folder on the table. DOCTOR Here are all the reports. The blood count history we talked about is all there. He looks apologetic as he takes a drink. DOCTOR (CONT’D) What are you going to do? LINDA I’ll stay here. That’s why I came here. It’s turned out to be a rather interesting place. Sam senses he’s being watched

76.

DOCTOR (manages a smile) Linda, anyplace is an interesting place when you show up. You make it a better place. Linda smiles and they reach out and hold hands. EXT. THE RIVER - DAY Sam and Megan walk along the river. SAM I’ve told you about my boring family, so how about yours? Megan stops walking. She faces the water and folds her arms.

MEGAN My story is weird. Sam stands beside her. SAM Okay. MEGAN About five years ago my dad had an affair with one of his employees at work. She was a college intern. SAM Ouch. MEGAN Yeah. He was about forty-two at the time and she was twenty-two. Everybody knew about it, and he and my mom got divorced. He moved in with this girl and it was really embarrassing for my mom. It lasted a few months and it was over. So I didn’t get to see him much during all that, but now I’m getting to know him again. SAM Pretty crazy. MEGAN It was really hard on my mom, she was so angry. (MORE) He shrugs his shoulders.

77. MEGAN (CONT'D) I asked my dad why he did it, and he said he regrets it. But he said sometimes you love someone for the way they make you feel.

Megan shrugs her shoulders. MEGAN (CONT’D) I never thought of it that way, but I think that’s why we love people, for the way they make us feel. Sam nods. MEGAN (CONT’D) He spends a lot of time with us now. He’s around on weekends, and he sleeps over. It’s sort of working out. They keep walking along, slowly, like friends. MEGAN (CONT’D) I’ve never told anyone that before. INT. LIFE AFFIRM, LINDA’S ROOM - EVENING

Several people are crowded into Linda’s room, led by FRANK, a 60 year-old guy with expensive sunglasses and gold jewelry. A much younger woman is with him and two other well-dressed men. LINDA Jesus Frank, for once show some class. No disrespect, Tanya. FRANK She’s my girlfriend, deal with it. I’m not gonna leave her in L.A., besides, she wanted to meet the famous Linda Lovely. LINDA She wanted to see what happens to women who are dumb enough to marry you. The girlfriend smiles. FRANK You ain’t dumb sweetheart.

78.

LINDA Too late to start being nice. Sam pokes his head in the door but hesitates when he sees all the people. LINDA (CONT’D) Come in Sam, I want you to meet my ex. This is Frank. He’s a movie producer. His work is very well known to perverts who hang around peep show booths. Frank looks at Sam and smiles. They shake hands.

FRANK (to Linda) This is Sam? That you email about? Linda shoots him a look. FRANK (CONT’D) What! I didn’t say anything. Okay kid, well good for you. This is Tanya. And Benny and Jimmy. SAM Pleased to meet you. LINDA Sam, not everyone in Los Angeles has gangster names, just people who work for Frank. Sam smiles. FRANK Your mom wants you to call. This statement changes Linda’s mood. FRANK (CONT’D) I don’t want her callin’ me. talk to her. Linda is disgusted. FRANK (CONT’D) I’m not gonna take the blame for every little thing you did. LINDA Alright, give it a rest. my ass already. (MORE) Get off You

79. LINDA (CONT'D) (to Sam) I know what you’re thinking: how could something so beautiful ever end badly?

FRANK Hey baby, we had our moments. LINDA (nodding to Tanya) Not in front of the children, Frank. INT. SAM’S HOUSE - DAY Sam’s watching TV in the living room when Nick plops down on the couch. NICK So what happened to Robbie? SAM What do you mean? NICK Why was he in the hospital? SAM (shocked) What are you talking about? NICK Why am I the one who knows this? INT. ROBBIE’S APARTMENT - LATER THAT DAY Sam runs up the steps to Robbie’s door and knocks. Robbie’s mom opens the door. She looks rattled, but tries to compose herself. ROBBIE’S MOM Hi Sam. SAM Hi. ROBBIE’S MOM (awkwardly) He’s in his room. I’m going to the store. (MORE)

80. ROBBIE’S MOM (CONT'D) (yells back to Robbie’s room) Robbie, do you want anything?

Robbie is irritated, he’s had plenty of mothering lately. ROBBIE No! His mom leaves. Sam enters Robbie’s room cautiously. is propped up in his bed and is wearing a neck brace. SAM What the Fuck! Robbie shrugs his shoulders and winces from the pain. SAM (CONT’D) It’s been a while since I’ve seen you. ROBBIE No shit! SAM (not knowing what to say) You okay? ROBBIE Am I okay? Well this morning you missed the little talk I had with the doctor and my mom about the dangers of depriving your brain of oxygen while masturbating. That was followed by a lengthy Q & A session. They had a few questions, you know, like how long I’ve been doing it, how often, what do I think about, that sort of thing. No big deal. Then some shrink stops in and wants to know if I’ll be in her study. Because now I guess I’m so fucking interesting I need to be studied. Oh, and everyone wants me to know that jacking off is perfectly normal. That is until you fuck it up and end up in the hospital. Then they want you for a study. And no, I don’t happen to have a girlfriend. That seems to be a pressing question on everyone’s mind. So yeah, everything’s okay. Robbie

81.

Robbie closes his eyes and thinks. ROBBIE (CONT’D) I hate my mom. You’re lucky you don’t have a mom. SAM I have a mom. Robbie looks at him surprised. ROBBIE I thought she died. SAM She lives in California. I haven’t seen her since I was eight. She writes me at Christmas. Most Christmases. I don’t know why I tell people she’s dead, I guess it’s just easier. ROBBIE I didn’t know. SAM Your mom’s just freaking out. That’s what they’re supposed to do. Robbie’s eyes get glassy. ROBBIE This has been a really shitty summer. INT. LIFE AFFIRM KITCHEN - NIGHT Megan is in the kitchen and Sam walks in. SAM You need me for anything? MEGAN Nope, it’s pretty quiet. SAM Okay, I’ve gotta do something for Linda. INT. LIFE AFFIRM KITCHEN - MOMENTS LATER Clyde walks into the kitchen holding two pillows.

82.

CLYDE Mrs. K borrowed these pillows but I can’t remember where they came from. MEGAN Oh, those are from Linda’s patio chairs. Leave ‘em here, I’ll give them to Sam. Clyde leaves them on the table. INT. LIFE AFFIRM, LINDA’S ROOM - MOMENTS LATER Sam walks in, ready for his usual late night action. LINDA What’s it like out there? Quiet. Good. Sam rips off his shirt and drops his pants. his gusto. LINDA (CONT’D) Can I ask a favor? SAM Sure. Sam slips into bed naked. LINDA Could we do something a little different tonight? Sam looks hesitant. LINDA (CONT’D) Would it be okay if you just held me? SAM Okay. Linda rolls over on her side, back facing Sam. LINDA Get close. Linda notices SAM Megan’s in the kitchen. LINDA

83.

Sam snuggles in tight. He tentatively puts his arm around her. They stay that way for a few moments. Linda stares off into space. Sam inches closer, cuddles up tight and he closes his eyes. Linda holds his arm tight and takes comfort in the embrace as she closes her eyes. EXT. LIFE AFFIRM - MOMENTS LATER Megan walks out the back door into the warm night with the pillows in her arms. Clyde is on the patio smoking a joint and smiles at her. He enjoys watching her as she walks across the outside patios that adjoin each patient’s room. She stops at one of the patios and props the pillows into two chairs. There’s a sliding glass door to Linda’s room and the shades are open enough: Megan’s eye is drawn to the dim inside light. She sees the outline of Sam’s naked torso spooning with Linda. Megan’s reaction is deadpan, hiding her shock, dealing with her confusion. We pull in tight on her face in the darkness as she’s flooded with thoughts about what this means. INT. LIFE AFFIRM KITCHEN - MOMENTS LATER Megan goes back to the kitchen, walking in a trance. She slowly unloads the dishwasher, obviously impacted by what she’s just seen. EXT. LIFE AFFIRM REC ROOM - EVENING Sam sits down at the poker table. Morey is shuffling the cards but all the men are looking at Sam. MOREY So Clyde tells me you’re getting to be friends with a special someone. SAM Yeah, I guess so. MOREY Good for you. Like my dad told me, get a lot while you’re young. SAM It’s not like that, we’re just kinda getting to know each other. Telly has a smirk on his face. his statement. Sam sees Telly and adds to

84.

SAM (CONT’D) I mean, I know I don’t stand a real chance with her or anything. SKIP Deal ‘em up. Morey starts dealing the cards out. MOREY We’re lucky to have her. TELLY Damn straight. Skip looks at Sam’s face, realizing he’s confused with who this conversation is about. SKIP (changing the topic) How much did you win last time, Morey? MOREY Not enough. SKIP I fold. SAM I fold. INT. LIFE AFFIRM, SKIP’S ROOM - LATER THAT NIGHT Sam enters Skips room. SAM You wanted me to stop by? SKIP Have a seat. Sam sits down. SKIP (CONT’D) Son, does the name Linda Lovely mean anything to you? Sam thinks.

85.

SAM Linda Lovely the porn star? She’s old school but I know the name. Seen some of her stuff. Sam doesn’t get it. Skip raises his eyebrows.

SKIP Linda Lovely. Sam’s face goes white. SAM No fucking way! SKIP Son, you’ve been diddling with one of the most famous porn queens of VHS history. You telling me you didn’t know that? SAM Wait, who says I’ve been doing anything with Linda? SKIP Sport, this is a small place. You didn’t think you were gonna have a little secret to yourself, did you? Sam is horrified. SKIP (CONT’D) I think Clyde was the first to see you going in her room late. Sam’s mind is racing with what this means. SKIP (CONT’D) It’s nothing to be embarrassed about. We’ve all been there one time or another. This snaps Sam back to reality. SAM What? SKIP (shrugs his shoulders) She’s a giver, nothin’ wrong with that. A lovely woman. Aptly named, even if it’s only a stage name.

86.

Sam is even more disturbed. Wait. SAM What are you saying?

Skip realizes there’s more bad news to break to Sam. SKIP Sam, did you think you were the only guy who got a little private time with Linda Lovely? SAM Stop calling her that. SKIP (nods) Linda, then. SAM Who else? SKIP Hell, I guess anybody Linda likes. SAM You? SKIP I ain’t ashamed to say I’ve been there a couple times. Enjoyed every minute. She made me feel like a king. Holy shit! SAM Who else? Oh,

SKIP Well, I know Morey for sure. and I guess Telly. SAM Telly!?

SKIP Just lately. Real sweet of her. Not Clyde though. Sam has his head in his hands. SAM Who knows about this?

87.

SKIP About Linda’s career? everyone but you.

I guess

SAM Who knows about me and Linda? SKIP I don’t know, it ain’t hard to figure out. The men know, that’s what they were talking about at the poker game. SAM Shit, I thought they were talking about Megan. SKIP Yeah, I figured. talkin’. That’s why we’re

Sam’s mind continues to reel. INT. LINDA’S ROOM - EVENING Megan knocks on Linda’s door and pokes her head in. The reaction from Linda is telling; it’s the visit she never wanted. LINDA Hi sweetie. Come on in. Megan closes the door behind her. She looks like she’s been crying. She rubs her shoulders nervously. She looks around the room like maybe she’ll leave, but she summons her courage. MEGAN I saw you. And Sam. I didn’t mean to but I saw you through the glass. Linda sighs. A thousand thoughts fly through her mind. LINDA Oh, Megan. The implied acknowledgment is crushing to Megan. LINDA (CONT’D) I think you should talk to Sam.

88.

Megan looks pathetic and betrayed. leave. But Linda catches her. Sweetie? LINDA (CONT’D) Hold on.

She opens the door to

Megan cautiously re-enters and closes the door. LINDA (CONT’D) I used to be pretty, too. In the scheme of things it doesn’t last very long, and it doesn’t mean very much. I had a man that loved me when I was pretty, but when things went bad, it wasn’t enough. When I lost my health I needed a man who loved me as someone real. That’s what everyone needs. The only thing that matters is if Sam will be that kind of man for you. Megan is glassy-eyed and leans against the door as though the weight of standing is unbearable. EXT. SAM’S HOUSE - MORNING Sam drives up to his house, a small place that’s not in the best repair. Sam is distracted by a fresh “FOR SALE” sign in the yard. He busts inside. INT. SAM’S HOUSE - MOMENTS LATER His dad sits in his chair. SAM What’s with the sign? SAM’S DAD I’ve been looking at smaller houses. SAM Smaller than this? SAM’S DAD We’ll see if we get any offers. SAM What the hell? I don’t wanna move! How can you just sell the house without telling me?

89.

SAM’S DAD Look, things are pretty tight right now. SAM (pissed off) So what? We’re not just gonna sell the house! Jesus, what’s with you? Sam. A beat. SAM What does that mean? SAM’S DAD Behind on payments. Sam’s dad sighs and looks down. something serious is going on. Suddenly Sam realizes that SAM’S DAD I’m a little bit behind.

SAM’S DAD (CONT’D) I lost my job. SAM (stunned) Shit. When did you find out? Sam’s dad slowly shakes his head as he looks down. SAM’S DAD Last March. Sam looks at him funny. SAM What are you talking about? That’s...months ago. You went to work yesterday. SAM’S DAD No. I go to the library. Or I visit your uncle Dan sometimes. Sometimes I have interviews. Something will turn up. Don’t worry about it. Sam looks at him like he’s nuts, but hurt that this charade has been happening without his knowledge.

90.

SAM (angry) You know what...I don’t need this right now. Sam storms off to his room and slams the door. INT. VICTORIA’S OFFICE - NEXT DAY Sam sits down at Victoria’s table for staff meeting. Victoria sits down with her note pad. VICTORIA How was your weekend? SAM Okay. VICTORIA Well this won’t take long. I’ve got a temp coming in later to fill in for Megan. Sam’s face flushes, and Victoria notices. VICTORIA (CONT’D) You talked to Megan, right? About her leaving early for college? It’s not Sam’s nature to lie, and he doesn’t want to admit he didn’t know. Victoria looks down at her note pad, sympathetic to the jolt Sam just suffered. VICTORIA (CONT’D) She wanted to take a couple weeks before heading to school. Right. SAM That’s cool.

VICTORIA Can I count on you for the next two weeks? SAM Sure. INT. SKIP’S ROOM AT LIFE AFFIRM - NIGHT Skip and Sam sit at Skip’s table. whiskey. Skip has poured some

91.

SAM She told Megan. SKIP You mean Megan found out. SAM What’s the difference? She quit.

SKIP I heard. I didn’t know you and Megan had a thing. We don’t! SAM We didn’t.

SKIP Son, she up and left and said goodbye to everyone. Everyone but you. That’s a thing. SAM If she cares about anything I do it’s news to me. Skip looks at Sam with a little disgust. SKIP Did you talk to Linda? SAM (indignant) No. I’m not talking to her about this. Or anything else. Skip acts surprised. SKIP Why not? SAM Because she’s fucked everything up. SKIP Oh, I see. Did she trick you into the whole thing? SAM Of course not. who she was. But I didn’t know

SKIP And now you know?

92.

SAM Hell yeah, I know. Sam takes a sip of whiskey and winces. SAM (CONT’D) Thanks a lot, Linda Lovely. SKIP And there’s something wrong with Linda Lovely? SAM I’m chilling with a broken down porn queen and the hottest chick in school just left. Yeah, there’s something wrong. Skip leans back in his chair. something. What? SKIP How come you never asked Linda about her life? SAM I asked why she was here once-SKIP (interrupting) I don’t mean chit-chat in the hallway. Whern she did things for you that nobody else was willing to do, I didn’t hear any complaints. I’m talkin’ about the courtesy of getting to know her. SAM Yeah, well apparently she did it for everyone. SKIP Not everyone. Skip is getting irritated. SKIP (CONT’D) Son, who would you rather be, me or you? Sam shakes his head. Sam knows he wants to say

SAM (CONT’D)

93.

SAM I’m not playin’ that game. SKIP You. Because my life is behind me and your life is ahead. I ain’t complainin’, I’ve lived my life. But for a couple evenings, Linda made me feel young again. Made me feel how I used to be. And as far as Morey? And Telly? What do think any of us got left? You think we’re gonna go to college and meet pretty girls? Go to parties? Take a young girl for a drive on a Saturday? Sam looks down. SKIP (CONT’D) But you wanna make this into something dirty. A scandal we shouldn’t talk about. SAM Why did she do it? Skip takes a swallow of whiskey. SKIP Maybe you should ask her that. Hell son, you still don’t know why she’s even here. SAM (irritated) Okay, why is she here? that old. SKIP She came home to die. Sam presses back in his chair. that possibility. SAM (solemnly) What does she have? SKIP Cancer. She’s got no time left. If any of us do. He hadn’t even considered

She ain’t

94.

SAM She looks normal. SKIP She looks great. of you. SAM (curious) What do you mean? SKIP It’s a two way street. Linda’s gonna live on her terms. But anybody can see, she’s been happy lately. Especially under the circumstances. Sam looks down. SKIP (CONT’D) There sure is a lot goin’ down right under your nose that you don’t even see. INT. LIFE AFFIRM KITCHEN - EVENING Sam grabs a drink from the refrigerator and is about to leave the kitchen when Linda walks in. It’s a hard moment for both of them. LINDA Hi. SAM Hi. LINDA You want to come by and talk later? SAM I don’t know. I’ve got a thousand things to do. It’s been really busy. Maybe tomorrow. LINDA Okay. Maybe tomorrow. (beat) Megan came by. She asked me some things. I was honest. Just so you know. Probably because

95.

Sam nods and squeezes out the door. Linda sits down at the table with her coffee cup, troubled over the interaction. EXT. LIFE AFFIRM PATIO - NIGHT Sam is outside sitting in a chair looking at the night sky. Everything has fallen apart and his body language shows it. Clyde comes out the door and sits down in a chair next to Sam. This makes Sam uncomfortable and just before he gets up to leave, Clyde interrupts him. CLYDE I notice Linda’s really going downhill lately. SAM I dunno, I haven’t seen her much lately. CLYDE I noticed that too. Sam’s irritated with this conversation, still mad at Linda and uninterested in advice from Clyde. SAM Yeah, you can have her to yourself. CLYDE Me and Linda? Clyde lights a joint and smiles. CLYDE (CONT’D) Not once, not ever. And don’t think I would jump on the chance. This is curious information and Sam pauses. CLYDE (CONT’D) Consider yourself lucky in that department. I dunno what she sees in a pussy like you. Clyde smiles at Sam, not being antagonistic. SAM I’ve got some stuff to do. CLYDE Sorry, I didn’t mean to embarrass you.

96.

Sam sighs. SAM Never mind. It’s been a weird summer. Sam gets up and starts to walk inside. CLYDE Don’t beat yourself up kid. None of us get to choose our desires. Sam pauses at the door and then slowly walks through. INT. LIFE AFFIRM TV ROOM - LATER THAT NIGHT Sam is watching TV; all is quiet. His phone buzzes. He opens it and the screen says LINDA. He closes it and puts it back in his pocket. We pull in close to Sam’s face distracted, but eyes on the TV. CUT TO: INT. LINDA’S ROOM - MOMENTS LATER We pan across the room: the bed is empty. A glass of water has been knocked over on the night stand. Linda is on the floor unconscious, her medical alert button in her hand. EXT. LIFE AFFIRM FRONT ENTRY - EARLY MORNING An ambulance sits with the lights flashing, the back doors open. Two EMTs load Linda into the back on a stretcher. She has an IV in her arm. The doors close. Victoria stands next to Sam with her arms folded. VICTORIA (sternly) My office, Sam. INT. VICTORIA’S OFFICE - MOMENTS LATER Victoria sits behind her desk upset. looking down. Sam sits in a chair

97.

VICTORIA Can you tell me precisely what happened? SAM I found her on the floor. VICTORIA The system says she paged you before midnight, how was she then? Sam pauses, signaling guilt. VICTORIA (CONT’D) Sam? Did you check on her when she paged you? SAM No... Sam! VICTORIA Why not!

SAM I didn’t think it was serious. I thought she just wanted to see me. VICTORIA What? SAM That it wasn’t important. VICTORIA You thought she just wanted to see you? INT. SAM’S ROOM AT HOME - DAY Sam is lying on his bed, and for once, his laptop isn’t open. Knock at his door: SAM Yeah? Sam’s dad comes in and sits down at the end of his bed. SAM’S DAD Everything okay sport? Sam sighs and then lies.

98.

SAM Sure. SAM’S DAD I’m sorry about the house. And I’m sorry about my job. And especially about not telling you. I wanted to protect you from everything, but that was the wrong way to do it. I treated you like you were a little kid that needed to be shielded from the world. But you’re not a kid. You’re a capable young man and you can take the truth. Even if it’s embarrassing to your old man. SAM I got fired. SAM’S DAD What happened? SAM I just messed up. Sam’s dad can tell he’s not going to get the details and he can empathize. SAM (CONT’D) I was gonna help with the money, you know so we could keep the house. I’m sorry. Sam’s dad smiles in support. INT. SKIP’S ROOM AT LIFE AFFIRM The lights are low. phone. - WEEKEND

Skip is huddled over his old land line

SKIP It’s Linda. If you want to see her you need to go. SAM’S VOICE I don’t think so. Skip sighs. SKIP I’d like to ask you a favor. Silence.

99.

SKIP (CONT’D) Even if you decide not to see her, would you take me to the hospital? I’d like to say goodbye. INT. HOSPITAL - LATER Sam walks into the hospital with Skip. Skip looks around and spots and information desk and makes his way over. We see him asking directions. He looks back at Sam. the cafeteria. Sam shakes his head and walks off to

Sam buys a Coke and sits at a lonely table, quiet and empty. He’s left to himself. We see the events weigh on his face as he becomes glassy-eyed. He slowly gets up. INT. LINDA’S HOSPITAL ROOM - MOMENTS LATER A door is half open and Sam slowly pokes his head in. He sees familiar faces and enters. Linda’s ex-husband Frank is there, her doctor is there, along with Skip and Megan. Several other people are crowded into the room; people Sam has never seen. The mood is somber; there have been some tears. Linda lies propped up in a hospital bed. FRANK (musters a smile) Hi Sam...thanks for coming. Sam is suddenly the center of attention but it’s not like when he was dancing with Linda; this time he doesn’t shun the attention. Sam tries to smile. The people in the room part in front of Linda’s bed. Linda looks old and tired, not like she’s ever looked before. Her eyes are closed. This is clearly her death bed. Frank holds her hand and whispers to her. FRANK (CONT’D) Linda, Sam is here to see you. Linda slowly opens her eyes without expression. Sam steps up beside her bed. They look at one another for a long time. Linda faintly smiles. Sam takes off his jacket and drops it on the floor. He slips off his shoes one at a time.

100.

He lifts up the sheet and climbs in bed next to Linda and pulls the sheet up. He slides down and puts his head on the pillow. Linda shifts to her side and puts her hand on his head and holds him. She closes her eyes and faintly smiles. The boldness of his compassion brings comfort to the whole room, even Megan. INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY - DAY The first day of school: Robbie is the center of attention because of his neck brace. A crowd draws a crowd as more and more kids stop in the hall wondering what happened to him. Robbie’s face shows panic. help him. Sam stands to the side, unable to

STUDENT Dude, so what happened? Robbie sweats bullets. crowd. Suddenly, Brian pushes through the

BRIAN (to Robbie) You doing okay? ROBBIE (cowering) Yeah... Brian faces the kids. My dad’s an EMT. He was the first one who got to Robbie’s apartment the night of the gas leak. Robbie got a whole bunch of people out. He got hurt climbing out carrying some kid. The kids are not particularly impressed with the story, but satisfied enough to leave one by one. Sam walks over to Brian. SAM Was your dad really the one to find Robbie? BRIAN Oh yeah. I got the whole story. Who knew the dude was such a little freak? SAM Thanks for covering.

101.

BRIAN. Look. I don’t know if it matters to you, but I didn’t do it because you got the goods on me. ‘Cause the truth is I knew you’d never squeal. You’re just not that kind of guy. (beat) I guess I've finally outgrown the need to make you feel shitty. Sam appreciates that and smiles as Brian walks away. EXT. BUTCHER SHOP - AFTER SCHOOL Sam is washing the windows at his uncle’s butcher shop when a reflection in the glass catches his eye: He sees Megan parked by the curb, leaning against her fully packed car. Sam slowly walks up to her. SAM Looks like you fit everything in there. MEGAN So maybe next year I’ll see you at Stanford. SAM (smiles) Maybe if a hacker breaks in and changes my grades. MEGAN There are lots of other schools in California. Don’t you have family there or something? Sam nods. Megan smiles, gets in her car and drives away. Summer’s gone.

The wind blows Sam’s hair. THE END