Omniality: Screenplays

Winterlong

Selection From The Screenplay
About This Series

INT. THE LAST LEGAL DRUG - NIGHT

Half empty. Diehards sit at the bar in this dive, watching postseason baseball. MUSIC IS BLAND ROCK.

Harris sits at a two-top booth, glancing at a television hung over the head of the empty seat. It broadcasts CNN. He sips a clear drink with lime.

Alena comes in, carrying a laptop and textbooks. Without noticing him, she walks past to her own booth, sets her things down, and stops at the bar for a drink.

After she orders, she sees Harris watching TV. He doesnít seem to see her. But he knows sheís there.

HARRIS

Hello again.

She approaches, dumbfounded. Harris turns to her.

HARRIS (CONTíD)

Your shampoo. Smells like pen ink.

ALENA

Is that bad?

HARRIS

I like it.

She retrieves her things and sets them with Harris. He gives them a once-over while she grabs her drink.

Back at the booth, she settles under the TV. Stares. Sips this beer.

Harrisís eyes move as though heís reading the crawl, his face bathed in the screenís light. When heís done, he turns to her.

ALENA

You played my favorite piece.

HARRIS

It was written for cello.

ALENA

I know; I was surprised you pulled it off.

He tips his drink her way, and she does the same. They sip. Set glasses down. This is all very cautious.

ALENA

Are you okay? You donít look okay.

(beat)

Iím Alena, by the way.

HARRIS

(back to TV)

Iím having trouble sleeping, Alena.

ALENA

Lot on your mind?

He nods. She drinks. Settles back.

ALENA (CONTíD)

Gotta be healthier ways to get you to sleep than drinking.

HARRIS

Pharmacyís gone. Riding mowers, or... something.

ALENA

Tried sex?

Sets his drink to the side. Glances at her. She shrugs.

HARRIS

Iím flattered, but I have a girlfriend.

ALENA

And my girlfriendís asleep in my room. Donít be too flattered.

INT. ALENAíS DORM ROOM, CULVER COLLEGE - NIGHT

JEWELíS ďWho Will Save Your Soul?Ē PLAYS on her stereo. A roach of a joint lies smoldering in an ashtray.

JFK attempts a headstand, but crashes to the ground.

INT. THE LAST LEGAL DRUG - NIGHT

She waits for a rejoinder. Harris merely shrugs. Returns to his drink. Sips. Back to the TV.

ALENA

You donít talk much.

HARRIS

Lot on my mind.

ALENA

I heard. Like what—

DRINKER (O.S.)

—ĎScuse me.

They look up. This DRINKER, a tubby townie, stands by their booth. He stares intensely at Alena. She returns the stare but waits for him to speak first.

DRINKER

Gotta talk wichoo.

ALENA

Not right now.

DRINKER

(to Harris)

Can I borrow her a minute?

HARRIS

Think youíre drunk, sir.

DRINKER

(leans over to him, quiet)

Look. Iíll pay you back what I use.

She glares daggers at them both.

Harris glances at her briefly, then at him.

HARRIS

(to Drinker)

Two grand per hour and a minuteís gonna cost you thirty-three bucks and change.

DRINKER

(laughing)

Fuck you, two grand a hour.

Harris reaches into his pocket, and sets on the table a large bankroll.

HARRIS

Go away now.

Chastened, the Drinker leaves the bar. Harris watches him go.

BEAT. Before Harris turns back to her, he snaps his fingers and taps the table.

She tosses the swiped bankroll back on the table. He counts it quickly.

ALENA

Damn it.

HARRIS

Not THAT tired.

(beat)

Wasnít aware this conversation would cost me money.

ALENA

I DO do other things. I enjoy conversation.

He shrugs, drinks, returns to the TV.

ALENA (CONTíD)

(to herself, under breath)

Mosta the time.

He hears her. Returns his attention to her.

BEAT. She thrusts her chin at the bankroll, still in his fist. He pockets it.

ALENA

Must be some bar you own.

HARRIS

Thatís life insurance money.

ALENA

Who died?

HARRIS

My mother.

ALENA

Oh, my god. When?

HARRIS

Month ago.

She sits back, saddened.

ALENA

No wonder you canít sleep. Iím so sorry...

She stumbles for his name.

HARRIS

Harris. My nameís Harris.

ALENA

(beat)

Harris, Iím so sorry.

He nods graciously. Returns to the TV but remembers heís supposed to be paying attention. So he turns back to her, but shifts uncomfortably.

ALENA (Cont'd)

Whatíd she die of?

HARRIS

Cancer.

ALENA

What kind?

Too far; he casts a terse glare. She holds up her hands in tacit apology.

ALENA (CONTíD)

You probably want your mind off it.

(beat)

I can show you Ďround campus if you want. Friday night; should be fun somewhere.

HARRIS

Then weíd both be working. And I donít work on weekends.

ALENA

Neither do I.

HARRIS

(arched eyebrow)

Thatís interesting. Iíd think—

ALENA

—Those are the rules.

BEAT. Something in him shifts. More adrenaline; eyes wider. That comment meant something. Heís still tired, yet fired.

ALENA (CONTíD)

Howíd you be working?

HARRIS

You just met me, Alena. Why would you want to take me around to parties?

ALENA

(beat)

You appear to need it.

HARRIS

What I need is sleep.

ALENA

That costs money, Iím afraid.

HARRIS

Didnít say with you.

ALENA

Címon.

(beat)

Guys and girls, some your own age, with no money, no worries? Good music, everybody dancing like assholes?

HARRIS

(smirks)

Gives YOU a charge.

ALENA

I gave you a compliment. You got that asshole outta here. Címon. Thatís connection all over.

HARRIS

What about your schoolwork?

He gestures at her stuff with his drink.

ALENA

(shrugs)

Later.


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