Blogs I Follow
- Musings from a Sarcastic New Yorker
- Matt Lazarus Photography
- Thoughts along the way...
- Write for the Screen!
- Never Get Off The Bus
- Arctic Productions
- Cut That It Was Boring
- Eccentric is the New Sexy
- London, Hollywood
- Josh Mosey | Writer
- The Production Bunch
- Dreams of the Purple Koala
- the secret keeper
- The Hard Way to Hollywood
- Stephany Says...
- Journey to becoming a writer - Sam Hocking
- Oshitbritt on Things
- Vera Callahan
- Heather Taylor
- Scriptangel's Blog
- Words, Words, Words
- f/stop Fitzgerald
- Katy Burger
- Being Jazzybeatchick
- Drew Chial
- Jessica Lakis
- Maxi Bransdale: Author
- Cindy Grigg ~ Writer
- Ann Kimbrough
- Blood Sweat & DuctTape
- Gerald's space
- helen midgley
- Thin spiral notebook
- The Well in the Garden
- Stories by Mercilo Daviss
- a hundred hats
- A Story a Day
- Mrs Reckless Writes
- Gerald's Rather Strange Diary
- Ma Xavia
I received an e-mail today notifying me of my one year blogging anniversary. Though I’ve posted little of late, I’ve tried to keep up with what other bloggers are doing, and I’ve posted an occasional comment. I’ve been working ferociously on completing a first draft of my first attempt at writing a screenplay. I have about 116 pages, 28 scenes, completed, and I’ll need at least 10 additional scenes to get to where I need to be to logically complete the story.
I find one of the biggest challenges to be ironing out chronological flaws. Some things happening later in the story have necessitated me going back to alter earlier scenes. I don’t mind doing this. I view it as part of the learning experience. I’m not one to concern myself with word or page counts. I’m certain I’ll hear about it from other screenwriting buffs and bloggers. I suppose in some ways I am doing myself a disservice. It’s just that I’m having such a blast doing this, I don’t want it to conclude. I’m not really looking for advice or guidance. Just thought I might keep anyone who might be interested in the loop.
I have the last ten or so scenes outlined. I’m optimistic about where the story’s headed. I have no interest in rushing to finish. I’d like to craft the ending as carefully as I am able, wrap it all neatly up, and move on to rewriting and rewriting. I’ll focus more on formatting in the rewrites. To anyone who has followed this blog, I’m sincerely grateful.
For some reason, when the great rock and roll drummers of all time are discussed, this man’s name never comes up. Listen and enjoy.
When I need advice, I’ll ask for it.
“Sisters of Charity, my ass. They shoulda called ‘em Sisters of No Mercy. There was one, Sister Elise. The worst of all a them. Short, round and homicidal. She had these stubby little fingers she would dig into your hair, down to the scalp, and yank so hard, you thought the hair was gonna come outta your head.”
“Yeah, my brother had her for fifth grade.”
“That’s the one. Fifth grade. So you know about her.”
“Everybody knows about her.”
“So you know what I’m talkin’ about.”
“Anyway. Every afternoon at about one o’clock, we had this study period. Now we’re supposed to sit quiet for an hour and read.”
“Yeah. Fat chance a that.”
“Exactly. No fuckin’ way. So we’re all sittin’ in the back, ’cause that’s where we sat, in the back, so we could fuck around, me, Petey, Sal and Joey. “
“What a fuckin’ crew that was.”
“You don’t know the half of it.”
“I don’t wanna know.”
“So we’re duckin’ down, makin’ paper airplanes, passin’ shit around and checkin’ out the chick with the tits.”
“Girl had tits in the fifth grade?”
“That’s why we were lookin’.”
“So anyway. Back to the story. We’re fuckin’ around, havin’ a good time, thinkin’ Sister Elise doesn’t see shit. She’s sittin’ there, sittin’ there. Finally she gets up. Now everybody shuts up. So the book we’re supposed to be readin’ is this big heavy geography text book. Well she starts walkin’ down the aisle where Petey sits, stops in front of his desk and stands there lookin’ down at him for a second. Then all of a sudden, she picks the text book up in both hands, lifts it high in the air and wham! Right on top of Petey’s head. She puts the book back on his desk, turns and walks back up the aisle. Never says a word.
“You guys musta been dyin’.”
“Oh, we were fuckin’ rollin’.”
“Ain’t that the truth.”
“So we’re all out drinkin’, drivin’ around, and Petey gets sick. So no one wants to stop. We’re partyin’, havin’ a good time, and this is gonna fuck everything up. So Sal yells back at Petey to shut up. In the meantime, Petey’s not gonna shut up, because he’s sick, and he wants ta get out.”
“So what’d you guys do?”
“Well shut up, and I’ll tell ya.”
“Why you gotta tell me to shut up?”
“‘Cause I wanna finish the story.”
“You’re just tellin’ me to shut up, because Sal told Petey to shut up in the story.”
“Christ. Will you just let me finish?”
“Alright. Go ahead. Tell your story.”
“So we’re goin’ by the diner, and Sal says to pull in, because Petey’s gonna puke, and he doesn’t want him to puke in the car, because he just Armoralled the seats.”
“He Armoralled the seats?”
“That’s what I said, isn’t it?”
“I hate that shit. Makes you slide all over the fuckin’ place.”
“Will you just shut up.”
“Go ahead. Finish your story.”
“So we pull in the diner. Now it’s packed. There musta been some kind of party or somethin’. Everybody’s dressed up in suits, nice dresses. You know. Nice. Well here’s this little fuckin’ sixteen year old drunken asshole, stinkin’ of fuckin’ Scotch, pushin’ his way through all these people, tryin’ to get to the bathroom.”
“I can imagine. Fuckin’ asshole.”
“So he gets to the bathroom, but you know the Thruway diner, they only got one toilet, and somebody’s on it.”
“Holy shit. So what happened?”
“Yeah, shit’s the right word.”
“So he’s holdin’ it, and holdin’ it. Finally the guy comes outa the shitter, and Petey busts in like a maniac. Now he’s so fucked up, he doesn’t know whether to shit first or puke.”
“So what happened?”
“Listen ta this shit. He pulls his pants down, sits on the bowl, and while he’s takin’ a shit, he pukes into his pants.”
“Oh yes. Can you picture that shit? Now he’s gotta pull his pukey pants up and walk back out through all these nice people.”
“You shoulda seen the looks on their faces. He fuckin’ stunk. Oh man.”
“And you let him back in the car?”
“Fuck no. We made ‘im walk home.”
“That’s too funny.”
“Bet your ass.”
Joey stared down from the roof of his four story red brick apartment building at the two girls jumping double Dutch on the sidewalk. Fat Ellie went first: “five ten fifteen twenty twenty-five thirty thirty-five forty forty-five …” and on. Then skinny Jenny. More of the same chant from two friends spinning the ropes. Joey readied his water balloon and released it carefully over the side. Bull’s-eye. Right on the head. Splat! Drenched and in a rage, Ellie stared up at him, brandishing her big fist. “I’m going to beat your little white ass,” she screamed. ”Oh shit,” Joey cried, ran down the stairs, crashed through the door of his apartment and ducked behind his mother’s apron. “Save me, mom. Save me.”
Couple or so weeks ago, someone reading my blog commented that it probably wasn’t the greatest idea to publish a screenplay worded exactly the way I planned on submitting it to God knows who when complete. The reasoning was not so much that someone might borrow an idea or two, but that a producer was much less likely to want to make a film from a story that was already out. This made sense to me. I have about half a screenplay published on WordPress. The rest I decided to complete off line and be very protective of. If this all sounds very mysterious and secretive, well hell, I guess it is. I’ll try to fling some other, less structured, stream of consciousness, whatever the hell crosses my mind kind of stuff out there for kicks. Anything you’d like to fling back, feel free.
In an effort to reel in a few more viewers, I went ahead and changed the title of my screenplay in progress from “When Greasers Turned To Freaks” to “Peace, Love and Bombs.” Going into the “Reader” section of WordPress and clicking “Greasers” as a topic, I discovered, to my surprise, how little interest there was in the subject. Frankly, I’ve been disappointed in, what seems to me, a general lack of interest in a creation of mine I thought, for a first attempt, was coming out quite well. I thought a change of title might grab the curiosity of readers who might otherwise have skipped over my work for something more eye catching and closer to home.
I’ve never been one for taking pictures. If it were up to me, there would be no photographic history of my life. Nor do I want a tombstone to be remembered by. I’ll opt for cremation and having my ashes scattered to the wind. What I would like, is to have a story I’ve written, characters I’ve created, stand the test of time and live on after I’m long gone. I really should learn to take pictures, if for no other reason than to awaken the curiosity of other bloggers just enough to want to stop and take a look at what I’ve written. Maybe it’s old school, but the written word, to me, takes precedence over appearances. But then, maybe I’ve given too much weight to the written word, and haven’t given my blog’s look enough thought. Then there’s another, more disconcerting possibility. Maybe my writing stinks. It’s difficult to be objective about your own work. But on the other hand, if so few people have read anything I’ve written, and judging from the number of views on my posts, very few have, how would I know what people feel or think? I get few likes, virtually no comments, and no feedback. I was beginning to think my settings were wrong, or that something in my title or tags was not very interesting. Maybe if I provide a short synopsis.
The story takes place between the Summer of 1970 and the Fall of 1971. A twenty-four year old veteran Seabee, a Nixon Republican, a clean-cut, atypical greaser, falls head-over-heels in love with a twenty year old hippie girl. His initial impression of her being a flower child and peace activist suddenly changes after a bombing at a State University of New York campus. He begins to suspect her possible involvement in the bombing and membership in the Weather Underground. The story is further complicated by a sub-plot involving his father, a low level bookie who owes a large sum of money to a ruthless mobster. More than a story of political intrigue or one solely about the mob, I want to write about an unlikely couple, one bonded by a love so strong, no philosophical or political difference, no threat of physical harm or being ostracized by friends, could bring it down.
I hope, without having given too much away, this might at least motivate a few additional bloggers to take a look. If not, back to square one.
EXT. COLLEGE CAMPUS – DAY
Bianca and Franco exit the car. She immediately heads
for the gathering demonstration. He hesitates, watching
her. More vehicles enter the lot. Students continue
pouring in, swelling the ranks. He notices out of state
license plates, several from Michigan, a few from
Come on, Franco.
His name on her lips draws him to her. She waits and
firmly grasps his hand. They jog from blacktop onto
grass and blend into a crowd outfitted to engage any
and all opposing thought espoused along the way.
Banners unfurled, the throng begins to improvise a
No more bombings! No more war! No
more bombings! No more war! No more
bombings! No more war!
They move en masse from the east lawn onto concrete,
over walkways feeding into lecture halls and cafeterias,
courting more supporters as they forge a widening sweep.
A young man with shoulder length hair, a red, white and
blue headband and decorated special forces jacket,
breaks from the sea of marchers and sticks his head
between the couple from behind, wrapping his arms
around them both. A cloud of marijuana smoke streams
from his mouth.
Artie! When did you get here?
ARCHIBALD CUNNINGHAM, activist and political science
major, hands her a joint.
Get a hit.
Bianca takes the joint, tokes deep and holds it in. She
offers it to Franco, but he shakes his head. She
exhales, takes another hit and hands it back.
So when did you get here?
When did I get here? When am I not
Artie takes a few more tokes, snuffs the joint and
sticks it in his pocket.
Who’s your greaser friend?
I’m right here, boss. You can ask
me straight up.
Alright then. Who the hell are you?
Just a working stiff on a lunch
You two friends?
What’s it to you?
A sort of get to know one another
He has no business here.
Stick around. You’ll find out.
Artie, you’ve said enough.
Enough. You’ve said enough.
Enough what? What are you talking
A march on the administration
Franco looks at Bianca.
We’ve had ROTC recruiting on
So we don’t want them here.
Where’d you get the jacket, tough
Franco? How perfect is that?
What’s your problem?
How do you know me?
Christ. This is getting thicker by
Unseen by front line marchers, a convoy of National
Guard personnel carriers begins moving into the parking
lot behind the demonstrators.
How do you know my name?
I just do. Why does it matter?
He stops and pulls her from the ranks. Artie stops as
This doesn’t concern you. Keep
I’m ok. Go.
Artie clenches his fist, pumps it above his head and
rejoins the march.
No more bombings! No more war!
Why is it so important?
Was it an accident? Showing up when
you did today?
Like when you came in the store to
look at water pipes?
I was curious.
I’ll bet you were.
So why are you here? Why did you
You brought me. Remember? And how
do you know my name?
You said all your friends were
Irish, Italian, Catholic.
We’ve fallen behind. We have to
She takes his hand and starts to run, pulling him
along. As the couple battles its way to the front,
demonstrators draw close to the administration
building. They are met there and stopped by the college
president, who addresses the crowd through a bullhorn.
All of you, please listen
carefully. Assuring the safety of
every student participating in the
peaceful expression of free speech
on this campus being of primary
importance to the state, it is my
duty to inform you, that
approximately thirty minutes ago, a
bomb threat was called into my
office. Recent occurrences
throughout the country have taught
us to take all such threats with
the utmost seriousness. If what the
caller claims is true, the bomb is
set to detonate in the
administration building in roughly
ten minutes. All staff has been
safely evacuated, and the building
has been cordoned off. We ask for
your patience and sound judgment,
and that you bear with us until the
area can be swept clear of
suspicious devices and deemed safe
to reenter. I thank you all for
Still undetected by front-line demonstrators, National
Guard troops begin to deploy, advancing on the students
from behind. Some late arriving students run ahead to
warn the rest.
What do we do now?
Wait and watch. What else can we
This is bad.
A disturbance erupts behind them. Students turn to see
what’s going on. A young man running breakneck toward
them hollers out:
Franco grabs Bianca’s arm.
Come on. I know how these boys
play. We don’t want any part of
Yes we do.
Are you crazy?
Let go of me!
Caught between a bomb blast and advancing National
Guard, student leaders huddle to rethink their
I don’t know about any of you, but
I’m staying put. This is our
campus. Troops don’t belong here.
This may be our campus, but there
are outside agitators. This is
supposed to be a peace march. No
one invited them. At least I
From the rear, the first line of helmets, shields and
clubs can be seen advancing toward them. On the campus
perimeter, sirens blare. Countless numbers of state and
local police, heavily armed and in riot gear, begin to
Whatever we decide, we have to do
Bianca clenches her fist, turns and faces the advancing
troops. You could hear their boots pound the concrete,
hear the clatter of their shields. She raises her fist
high overhead, pumps it forcefully and starts to chant:
Kent State! Kent State! Kent State!
The marchers follow suit, pumping their fists and joining
Kent State! Kent State! Kent State!
The advancing Guard comes to a halt. The troops put on
gas masks. The chanting stops. An edgy silence takes
its place. Franco grabs Bianca’s shoulder.
This is no joke. Somebody’s gonna
Are you afraid?
Yes, I’m afraid.
For myself. For you.
A huge explosion obliterates the silence. Glass and
shrapnel rip through doors and windows of the
administration building. Stunned faces rocked by the
violent concussion turn toward the blast. Smoke billows
high above campus rooftops, raining debris onto cars
and lush green lawns.
EXT. TWO STORY BRICK BUILDING ON SUBURBAN STREET CORNER
THAT HOUSES SECOND FLOOR BILLIARD PARLOR – DAY
Franco’s Mustang pulls along the curb and parks. He
gets out and locks the door. His beat up work clothes
covered with dried mud and cement dust, he makes for
the poolhall entrance, but stops when he hears the
distinctive beep of a compact car’s horn. He turns and
sees the silver MGC. The young woman from the record
store pops her head out of the driver’s side window.
Did you fall in a ditch?
Franco stares down at himself and laughs.
I didn’t exactly fall in. I was in
one. I guess by choice.
Is that a guy thing?
Doesn’t have to be. You should try
Maybe I will. You busy?
Take a ride.
What’s in Purchase?
I want to show you something.
Can’t you show me right here?
I could, but cars might crash.
Then by all means…
What time you coming back?
Why? You have plans?
Not really. I’m taking the
Well come on then.
I might get your car dirty.
So what. Come on.
I might get you dirty.
I’m not. Just dirty.
He comes around and climbs in.
INT. MGC – DAY
Wow. This thing is low.
Bet your ass. Buckle your seat
She pulls from behind his Mustang into approaching
traffic, quickly putting distance between her car and
those in back, cuts sharply onto Main, shifting with
precise and steady thrusts, winds out third and bangs
it into fourth. Watching her shift, Franco shakes his
head and smiles.
What’s so funny?
She zips through traffic, passing car after car until
reaching the bend for I-95 north. She accelerates up
the ramp, merges into the right lane, then the center,
checks her side mirror and opens it up, cutting over
one more to the left. Once at cruising speed:
I love driving in the Fall.
I like being driven. You can sit
back and take it all in. By any
chance, you have a name?
It’s beautiful. Is that Italian?
It could be. But in my case, no.
How do you spell it?
Before it was Americanized, with a
But now with a c a.
My mother is.
But not your father.
He’s not Christian.
Where’s he from?
Why? What’s different about it?
Everybody I know is either Irish or
Well, my mother’s Irish.
But not Catholic.
Is that a problem?
Not for me.
Maybe with your IRA friends.
What are you talking about?
I feel like I’m being interrogated.
You’re right. I’m sorry.
What about you? Your family?
Nothing but Italians on my family
Your parents born here?
Yeah. My mother and my father. In
fact, both grandmothers were born
here. Both grandfathers, on the
So your family goes way back.
Late eighteen hundreds. Now that
that’s cleared up, you never asked
What makes you think I don’t know
What’d you say?
I’m getting on the Cross
Westchester. Hold on. It’s a wicked
She slows a bit, takes the ramp and downshifts into
third. The tach jumps, the engine revs, slowing the
two-seater just enough to drop another gear. She
navigates the sharp bend, Franco clinging to the door,
hits the straightaway and upshifts smoothly twice.
EXT. CROSS WESTCHESTER EXPRESSWAY – DAY
The MGC makes its way onto the Hutch, then exits at a
sign for Anderson Hill Road, S.U.N.Y. Purchase. She
drives to the main entrance and through, entering the
college campus. A long road leads to the parking area
near the east lawn. Throngs of students gather and
hoist banners, pump their fists and chant anti-war
slogans, as they begin a march across school grounds.
INT. MGC – DAY
She swings into a parking space and shuts the car off.
INT. CO-OP APARTMENT HALLWAY – DAY
Franco presses his ear to an apartment door. He hears
the muffled sound of a man’s voice and knocks, but no
one answers. He knocks harder. He hears activity,
someone stirring, then a clearer voice, very close.
Who is it?
There’s a pause.
Nobody with you?
Jesus Christ! Will you open the
Alright. Wait a second.
After about a minute, the door opens. FRANK GENOVESE,
in slippers, pajama bottoms and not-so-fresh v-neck
t-shirt, gestures for his son to come in and shuts the
door behind him.
Sit down. Relax. I’m on the phone.
There’s coffee in the kitchen. Help
Yeah, hello to you too, dad.
Franco pours himself coffee and sits down at the dining
room table. His father, a frail, olive-skinned man,
with thick black plastic framed glasses riding the end
of his nose, sits on a sofa in the living room, pen in
hand, scraps of paper strewn about a glass top table
and picks up the phone.
Go ahead. What? Nothing. Just my
son. Don’t worry about it. Of
course he knows. I got bettors on
hold. You wanna give me your picks,
or bullshit? Go ahead. Alabama and
Houston… let me see… Alabama,
So you want Alabama, minus five,
twenty times. What else? Missouri,
Colorado. Let’s see… Missouri…
minus ten. Yeah, ten. You want
Missouri, minus ten, twenty times.
What else? What do I like? I like
your mother’s ass. What the hell’s
the difference what I like? It’s
your bet. I like un gots. You
laugh. My son’s laughing. He’s a
little stu nod too. The both of you.
I heard that.
Father and son laugh.
Let’s see… Texas, Rice. Texas,
minus twenty. Twenty, yeah. It’s
not a lot of points. It’s not.
Twenty points is nothing in
college. You don’t want to lay the
points, don’t lay the points. Take
the underdog. I know you like the
favorites. Well make up your
fuckin’ mind. Yes. Texas, minus
twenty, twenty times. Good. What
else? Nothing? Nothing. Alright, I
gotta get off. Yeah. Bye.
Frank jots a few notes, then gathers his paperwork into
a neat pile.
So. It’s been awhile. What’s going
Franco carries his coffee into the living room and sits
in an expensive, worn out lounge chair. He smoothes over
the frayed material with his palm.
You got help at least?
Yeah, I hired a couple of vets.
They any good?
Oh, yeah. Seabees. They do
everything. Saves me a lot of time
You meet them over there?
That’s good. You look great.
I been stopping at mom’s. She likes
Frank’s eyes drop briefly to the floor, then back up.
How is your mother?
What do you think?
Does it matter what I think? Has it
The two men stare eye to eye.
Stay for lunch.
I thought you had calls coming in.
Not this minute. I just wanted to
get that son-of-a-bitch off the
What are we having?
What do you want? Wanna get a pie?
Frank picks up the phone and dials.
What do you want on it?
Anything. Doesn’t matter.
What do you want? Sausage?
Anything. Sausage. Meatballs.
Whatever you like.
Hello. This is Frank. Can you send
up a large pie, half sausage, half
meatball. Franco, you want
something to drink?
And a big Coke. About half an hour?
He looks over at his son. Franco nods.
Yeah. Fine. Half an hour.
Frank hangs up, stretches his arms and rests them on
the back of the couch.
They make a real good pie.
Dad, what do you know about
Frank’s face turns serious. He drops his forearms to
his knees and rests his weight.
Why do you ask?
It’s probably nothing.
Then why ask?
Maybe I should just shut up.
Don’t do that. Come on.
I should never have brought it up.
But you did.
Is there any reason he might want
to talk to me?
I don’t know.
No. Why would there be?
Well that’s the big question.
I’m sorry. I don’t have an answer.
You do know who he is.
Anyone in this business does. Look.
I’m gonna clean up. If the phone
rings, take it.
What if someone wants to bet?
I don’t know how to do this.
Sure you do. Just write down what
they say. The point spreads are
right there in front of you.
The favorites are minus the spread.
The underdogs, plus. You’ll be fine.
Frank closes himself in the bathroom. Within ten
minutes, the phone rings.
Franco, Frank’s son.
Where’s your father?
In the bathroom. I’ll take it.
You got tomorrow’s pro spreads?
Yeah, I have ‘em.
What’s the Giants?
Giants are plus three.
Good. Give me the Giants, a hundred
You got it. Anything else?
No. That’s it for now. Tell your
father to call me if the spread
Frank steps out of the bathroom with a big smile on his
How hard was that?
There’s a knock on the door.
I got it.
EXT. SUBURBAN BUSINESS AREA – NIGHT
Little Sal’s Eldorado pulls up and parks across the
street from Dominick’s gourmet deli and bistro. The
headlights go dark.
INT. CADILLAC – TWO SHOT
What time you got?
Quarter of. He locks up around ten,
then spends half an hour cleaning.
We’ll wait. Let him clean up.
TONY STARAPOLI, an imposing figure, muscle for big Sal,
laughs at the comment.
How’s your wife doing?
A lot better. Thanks.
What ‘d she have, a lump?
Yeah, a small tumor in the side of
They do a biopsy?
It was benign.
Thank God for that. No surgery
No, she had surgery. She wanted it
How ‘d that go?
Fine. She’s home, resting. Doctor
said everything went great.
I’m glad to hear that, Tony. You
need anything. Anything.
I know, Sal.
No. I mean it.
I appreciate it. Hey, look. He’s
locking up. Everybody’s going home.
Good. Give ‘im a couple of minutes.
The two sit quietly for several minutes, watching.
Alright. Let’s go
EXT. EMPTY STREET – DARK QUIET NIGHT LIT ONLY BY DIM
OVERHEAD STREET LAMPS
The two men cross, approach the bistro doors and knock.
Spotting them from inside, a look of terror crosses
Dominick’s face. He comes to the front, unlocks the
door and opens it slightly. Tony sticks his foot in.
Hey, Sal. What’s up?
Open the door.
I was just closing up.
It’ll have to wait. Open the door.
Sure, Sal. I didn’t mean anything.
What was that?
I didn’t say anything.
You getting smart with me?
No. I swear.
The two men bull their way inside.
INT. UPSCALE EATERY – NIGHT
Lock the door.
Sure, Sal. Sure.
DOMINICK D’AMATO, a soft, partially bald, heavy-set man,
does as he’s told.
You got a place we can sit?
(pointing to a
The three men sit down close together, Dominick in the
middle. Sal rests his arm on Dominick’s shoulder.
Tell me, Dom. What would you do if
a friend came to you in trouble,
pleading with you, and as a good
faith gesture, you agreed to help
that friend out of a jam, loaning
him a large sum of money, but then,
when it came time for that friend
to repay you for your generosity,
he says fuck you, I’m not gonna
pay. What would you do?
I’ll tell you what you’d do. You’d
bust his fuckin’ head wide open.
I don’t know, Sal. I…
Shut the fuck up! I don’t wanna
hear another fuckin’ word outta
Sal massages the back of Dominick’s neck and pulls him
Look. There’s a way you can make
Anything. I’ll do anything.
(looking at Tony)
Tony, you hungry?
I could eat.
Dominick, why don’t you make us a
couple of nice sandwiches. Tony,
what do you want?
I don’t know. A nice combo.
Sounds good. Dominick, make us a
couple of nice combos.
Sal, I just cleaned the slicer. I
was gettin’ ready to go home.
You getting smart with me again?
No. I swear.
That fuckin’ mouth of yours. Fuck
your slicer. And fuck you. Make the
Sal grabs the back of Dominick’s shirt and yanks him to
Tony, what do you want on your
You got that, fuck face? Two
Sal pushes him toward the slicer. Fumbling
uncontrollably, Dominick sets out the bread and
condiments, opens the meat case and takes out a ham. He
peels back the casing and turns the slicer on. Sal
What would you say this deli makes
in a week? Eight? Nine? Ten grand?
Dominick says nothing, and continues working on the
sandwiches. When he finishes, he turns the slicer off.
Tony, what do you want? Oil and
Dominick spreads the condiments, cuts the sandwiches
and wraps them. Sal nods to Tony, and Tony steps behind
Dominick. Sal turns the slicer back on.
You never answered my question. On
an average week, what do you gross?
I don’t know. Eleven. Twelve grand.
Eleven or twelve grand. Wow! You
hear that, Tony?
I hear it, boss.
Then why is it you can’t meet your
I got expenses, Sal. I got kids in
college. A mortgage. Car payments.
And let’s not forget those other
little necessities. The horses. Oh,
those fuckin’ horses. And Monday
night football. The card games.
That high priced skank you like to
sit on your face. Let’s not forget
her. All that overhead. I think you
need a partner.
Sal, I barely got my head above
water as it is. I can’t take a
Tony grabs Dominick in a full nelson, and Sal sets the
cold cut slicer on high. Tony bends Dominick forward,
forcing his face toward the spinning blade.
Please God no!
You mother fucker. You see what we
got here? A fuckin’ situation. You
hear what I’m telling you?
Yes! Yes! Please God!
Tony pushes his face closer. Sal looks at Tony. They
You see what I’m saying?
You sure about that?
Yes! I’m sure!
Alright. Let ‘im up.
Tony lets him go. He drops to the floor, hands covering
his face, crying pathetically.
Get your sandwich, Tony.
Do the right thing. The next time
won’t be so easy. Now open the
Come on. Let’s go.
This is some sandwich, boss.
Yeah, not bad.
EXT. STREETS OF NEW ROCHELLE – DAY
A black 1967 GT 500 Shelby Mustang with silver-grey
hood and trunk stripes tears around a corner from a
side street near the Pelham border and heads east on
INT. MUSTANG – DRIVER’S POV
Franco winds out second gear and shifts smoothly into
third, cutting past slower cars and easing the Hurst
shifter into fourth. Cruising around 50, he checks his
rear-view mirror for a tail and smiles, opening up to
65. Ahead, he spots the silver MGC along the curb,
downshifts twice, pulls up behind it and stops. He sits
a minute, head resting on the steering wheel, engine
idling, drops the stick into reverse, pulls the parking
brake and shuts the car off.
I gotta be outta my mind.
He gets out and walks toward the corner shop. Dressed
in a black leather jacket over a tight fitting light
blue cotton crew neck shirt, neatly pressed black
woolen dress pants and black shoes, he enters the head
shop, his thick brown hair combed back and styled
INT. RECORD STORE/ART GALLERY/HEAD SHOP – DAY
Inside, he stops and takes a breath, spotting plumes of
jasmine wafting from an ornate thurible. The sound of
Dylan’s, “Subterranean Homesick Blues” cranks from
speakers posted perfectly around incongruously clashing
No patrons in the shop, the register unattended, he
ventures deeper in, stopping at a rack overstocked with
books, magazines and newspapers. Captivated by the
tangle of prison bars, train tracks, dollar signs,
cages and fantastical images emblazoned on the cover,
he picks up a copy of the “East Village Other,” dated
October 6, 1970, and begins flipping through the pages.
A young woman dressed in a red-violet poncho, strings
of multi-colored beads, blue jeans and black work
boots, her reddish brown hair so plentiful you could
see but a glimmer of chalk white skin between adeptly
parted waves, emerges from a back room and sits down at
the register, not seeing he had wandered in.
Franco puts the paper down and reaches for a water
pipe. Hearing him, she leans over the counter to take a
look, pulls back and ducks her head behind the
register. Crouching out of sight, she gathers herself
and breathes deep. When she pops up to take another
look, he’s holding the pipe above his head, not knowing
what to make of it.
Something I can help you with?
Oh, hi. No. I mean yes. Maybe.
His answer makes her smile, though he barely sees her
I have more, if you’d care to see
(placing the pipe
No. I’m just looking. Maybe a
record album. Yeah, a record album.
You’re sure about that?
She throws back her hair, so he could briefly see her
What do you like?
That doesn’t exactly narrow it down.
You tell me.
Doo wop? You have doo wop? Or R and
B? Motown? You don’t have that kind
You might be surprised.
She leads him down an aisle stocked with albums.
R and B. Soul. Motown. They start
with A over here.
And end up with the Zs on the other
side. All the 50s stuff, doo wop,
acappella, starts over there.
As he turns to look, his eye catches one of several
paintings mounted on the wall. It shows the back of a
woman, nude from the waist up, seated on a stool,
staring into a mirror at a black miniature poodle
sitting behind her, watching her brush her long brown
Pardon my asking, but are these
You know art?
(shaking his head)
Not at all.
She moves close to him, gently pressing her leg against
his. A petite five foot four, she loops her hair around
her ear and stares up at him, allowing him to look deep
into her green eyes.
You must see something you like.
I suppose I do.
He turns and stares at the painting again.
For one thing, she’s beautiful. Her
hair. Her back. Her skin.
(back to Bianca)
I wonder what the artist had in
Something of herself, perhaps.
But why the dog?
I don’t know exactly. Sometimes the
artist doesn’t know.
Maybe the dog is like the frog that
turns into a prince.
I don’t know.
A customer comes in the store.
That’s ok. I can’t stay.
Come back. I’m sure you’ll find
what you want.
I never seem to.
Could be your luck’s changed.
(holding up two
EXT. CASA NAPOLI – EARLY EVENING
Marked by screeners enforcing decorum, elegantly
attired patrons stream through the front door, one or
two, not dressed to code, politely turned away. Two
large men in fitted suits patrol the street, preventing
cars from parking at the curb, directing them to swing
around the back. A custom aqua and white Cadillac
Eldorado stops in front. The passenger side window
opens, revealing a strikingly beautiful young woman.
Hey Tony. How you doing?
Hey Teresa. Look at you. Gorgeous!
Hey professor, you comin’ in?
SALVATORE “LITTLE SAL, THE PROFESSOR” BASSO, groomed
and dressed to a T, flashes a contagious smile.
Yeah, we’re comin’ in. But do me a
favor, will ya, Tony?
Save us a walk.
Sure thing, Sal.
TONY opens the door for TERESA, shuts it as she gets
out and walks around to the other side of the car.
Little Sal gets out and turns the car over to Tony,
handing him a twenty dollar bill. As Tony pulls away,
Little Sal takes Teresa’s arm, and they enter the club
INT. CASA NAPOLI – DINNER HOUR
A striking couple, each fair-skinned with dense black
hair, Sal in a fine black tailored suit and crisp white
shirt, Teresa in a snug black halter dress, trimmed
artfully with sequins and white lace and split down to
the floor, some joke they could be twins. Holding hands
and looking so alike, they glide in perfect sync across
the parquet floor, to bossanova masterfully performed
by a quartet uprooted from Sao Paolo, Brazil.
They course their way through fervent dancers, sweating
under swirling lights, lock step in time to waitresses
and waiters squeezing by. Smiling, laughing and out of
breath, they stop at the end of the bar.
Clad in a paisley green, two-button suit, fitted to
augment her stretchy, olive-colored blouse, the barmaid
tosses back her bright red hair, the tight, sheer,
low-cut nylon top surrendering a tasteful hint of
cleavage for the passing eye.
(tapping on the
What do you have to do to get a
drink around here?
Sal! Oh, Sal! And Teresa! What a
KAITLIN CONNELLY, bodacious barmaid, greets the couple
with hugs and kisses and takes hold of Teresa’s hands.
(staring at the
I’m so excited for you guys. Have
you set a date?
Probably next Spring.
That’s great, honey.
I love your earrings by the way.
Sal helped me pick them out.
Not to break up the conversation,
but is my father here, Kate?
As far as I know.
Is he alone?
He should be.
You mind, sweetheart?
No. Go ahead.
(smiling at Kate)
We’ll find something to do.
Sal makes his way to the office, opens the door and
pokes his head in.
Hide the books.
(rising from his
Ho! There he is.
You in the middle of something?
Always. Come in.
They meet in the center of the room and embrace.
Teresa with you?
At the bar.
You better watch her.
No. She’s good.
(putting a hand
on his son’s
Of course. Sit for a minute.
The two men take seats on opposite sides of Big Sal’s
I’m glad you came by. We need to go
over a few things.
What we talked about. Your mother
doesn’t want it. She thinks after
six years of grinding it out, you
should be on your own.
I understand. She means well.
She loves you.
I know, dad.
She wants what’s best for you.
And I respect that.
Dad, with all I’ve learned, I can
be a help to you. We can make it
legitimate. The books open.
Everything up front.
You can do that?
You think you shelled out all that
money for nothing?
What about your mother?
She doesn’t have to know. Her son’s
a CPA. She’s happy.
And your other ventures?
Little Sal smiles wolfishly.
Little Sal gets up and moves to the other side of the
desk. His father hugs him and kisses his cheek.
You always had a way with your
Now let’s go see that beautiful
EXT. ON THE STREET OUTSIDE THE ELEPHANT TREE – NIGHT
Franco exits the bar and approaches the black Lincoln
parked along the curb. The passenger side door opens,
and a large, grim-faced, heavy set man in a light grey
sharkskin suit gets out, eyes him up and down, and
climbs into the back. Franco places a hand on the roof
and stares in at the driver.
Do I know you?
I don’t know. Do you?
Franco doesn’t answer.
You don’t know who I am?
Look, you want to talk, talk.
Franco looks around, stares into the back seat and sits,
his feet still on the sidewalk.
Get in and close the door. Nothing’s
Franco swings his legs in and shuts the door.
You really don’t know who I am?
No. I really don’t.
(back to Franco)
You went to school with my son, Sal.
Franco sits, expressionless.
Salvatore? Basso? You know my son.
Sal’s your son? Yeah, I know him.
He’s a businessman now. In business
for himself. He’s ambitious, that
kid. And you?
I do what I have to.
I understand your parents got
divorced. It’s a shame. Beautiful
woman, your mother. Debt can wreck
You seem to know a lot.
I’m in the business of knowing. I
know about the excavation job down
Davenport Neck. You’re a hard
I’m in the business of working hard.
Maybe it doesn’t have to be that
way. Maybe it can get easier for
you, easier for you family.
(pulling out his
Here, take this. I’m at the
restaurant in Wykagyl. Leave a
message. I’ll get back to you. I’m
running late. I gotta go. We’ll
Franco takes the business card and gets out. Seth joins
him on the sidewalk. The sharkskin suit moves back to
the front seat. Franco reads the words, “Casa Napoli,”
as the car pulls away.
He tears the card up and tosses the pieces in
INT. ELEPHANT TREE BAR/RESTAURANT – NIGHT
Players and patrons cram the barroom floor. More stream
through an opened front door, squeezing into spaces
barely wide enough to breathe in. Waitresses hoist
pitchers overhead, maneuvering this way and that to
tables packed with celebrating fans. Michael Jackson’s,
“I Want You Back” cranks on the jukebox.
Franco’s at the bar, wedged between one unabashedly
buxom blonde and a bouffant brunette, both very drunk
and coming onto him. At the pool table, Peaches mows
down shooter after shooter, stuffing twenties in his
pockets until there’s no more room. The whole team’s
drinking, telling tales and laughing. The atmosphere’s
Kenny, Nicky and Patrick occupy a table with their
wives. Lean, slick fielding first baseman, SETH
MARKOWITZ, a chiseled, good-looking distance runner
with hair down to his shoulders, stands alongside with
his girlfriend, Sarah. They talk about the shot.
I’ve never seen anything even close.
So how far do you think?
I don’t know. Five hundred feet?
Close to it.
You know what the record is?
What is it?
I don’t know. I’m asking you.
Oh, I thought you knew.
No. I don’t.
What the fuck!
I think it’s something like five
hundred twenty feet. Some guy
playing in a tournament down in
Alabama. Big Guy! Like six foot six,
two hundred and sixty-five pounds.
Yeah, a lot bigger than Franco.
his head toward
I don’t know where he gets his power.
I wouldn’t doubt it. Hey, we’re
goin’ outside. We’re gonna get some
So you girls live close by?
I do. She’s across town.
I’m in walking distance.
Is that so?
Good to have friends, in case you
can’t make it home.
Seth appears on Franco’s shoulder.
Some guy outside wants to talk to
What guy? Who?
I don’t know. Some guy in a Lincoln.
I never saw him before.
Excuse me a second.
Where you going, sweetie? Shit!
EXT. PARKING LOT – NIGHT
Patrons move in and out of the diner, to and from their
cars. Unseen behind the dumpster, Franco sits huddled
on the ground, his back against the fence. He checks
his watch. It’s after midnight. He gets up and starts
He walks for miles over broken sidewalks, past large,
turn-of-the-century homes, not stopping until he
reaches a ball field behind a school. Hands in his
pockets, collar raised, he sits on the cold bleachers,
staring first around the infield, then out into the
deepest corners of the park. He lifts his head, gazes
at the star resplendent night and shuts his eyes.
EXT. BALLFIELD – LATE SUMMER – UNDER THE LIGHTS
Friends, family and onlookers pack the bleachers to
witness the final game of the Queen City softball
championship. Bang Gang Demoliton in the field,
Rochelle Billiards at bat, the noise is deafening.
Franco sits between teammates, rousing the offense.
Someone taps him on the shoulder.
You just getting here?
Bottom seven. We’re down eleven
Jesus Christ! What the hell you
(looking at the
These boys can play. What can I
How many out?
Christ! You get any hits?
What do you think? You’re talking
to me, Peach.
PATRICK DOWNS, a burly, freckled, handsome player with
lots of red hair on his thick forearms, turns to
acknowledge their late arriving friend.
(holding out his
Hey Peaches, what’s up, buddy?
The two bump fists.
Check it out.
Peaches singles out a young woman walking alone between
the backstop and the opposite bench. Dressed in a tight
red sleeveless t-shirt with strings of beads around her
neck, and a rawhide headband that struggles to contain
her swarming reddish brown hair, she stops behind the
catcher to watch the game.
Fuckin’ hippie broads. Look at that
shit. No fuckin’ bra.
Patrick refocuses on the game, but Franco seems
These people got no morals.
KENNY, a wiry player with shaved head, lines a
single to center. Fans rise to their feet.
Franco, I’m on deck. Coach third.
Still mesmerized, Franco takes NICKY’S spot at
third. Nicky digs in at the plate, looks at two
pitches, then scorches a double down the left field
line. Kenny rounds third and scores standing up. Patrick
follows, placing the first pitch he sees down the right
field line for another double. Nicky scores easily. The
place is rocking.
Kenny, get third. I’m up.
The young woman watching, Franco steps to the plate. He
takes the first two pitches for strikes, then gets under
one, sending it high, deep and out of play. He steps
from the batter’s box and looks behind the backstop.
She’s still there.
Come on, Franco!
Franco shuts his eyes, summoning deep within, and sets
himself. The next pitch drops in his wheelhouse. The
swing pure poetry, the ball screams off his bat, soaring
far, high and very very deep, carrying and carrying to
right center. The entire crowd rises, hushed.
Looking up, Franco breaks for first, pumping his fist.
Opposing players freeze to watch the ball’s majestic
flight. When it lands, far from the field of play, he
hears the buzzing crowd. He rounds third, arms raised in
victory. Raucous fans and teammates gather at the plate.
He looks for the young woman as they greet him, but
INT. POOLHALL STAIRWAY – DAY
Franco hastens toward the first landing, hears the
heavy glass doors open and the sound of two
men talking loudly as they enter the building from
the street. He hesitates, almost turns back, then
mutters to himself and continues slowly down.
SALVATORE “BIG SAL” BASSO, a large, thick set man
accompanied by a no less formidable associate, makes
his way upstairs. Dressed in dark sports jackets with
open collars and black spit-shined leather shoes, the
two men leave little room to pass.
Oh, as fate would have it.
A little off your beat, aren’t you,
Good to get out and about, right?
No harm in that.
Not answering, Franco attempts to pass between them.
The associate grabs his forearm.
in the eyes)
The truth is; I saw your car
outside. Thought you might want to
Franco stares at the associate’s hand and pulls his arm
You sure about that?
Franco pushes past them, hurries down the stairs and
almost out the door.
By the way, how’s your old man?
I heard he’s got a nice cushy
apartment in Scarsdale.
Franco stops, about to answer back, but refrains,
and slips out through the doors onto the street.
EXT. SIDEWALK – DAY – FRANCO’S POV
The driver’s side door closes on the silver MGB. He
hears the engine fire up. He jogs to the corner as it
speeds away. He watches it fade gradually, then
INT. POOLHALL – DAY
At first indistinct, the glare from hanging overhead
lights slowly sharpens, revealing the decrepit white of
an antiquated ceiling. Beneath, pool balls lay scattered
on a bright green felt. A young man’s steady hands
caress a lacquered cue and poise to take a shot.
PEACHES, a blond-haired, fair-skinned Italian, nicknamed
for his tendency to flush pink when engaged, deftly
strokes the cue ball into the five nestled against the
rail, striking it with just enough force and English to
drop it in the corner pocket and set up for the six.
Franco sits on the sill of an oversized window, staring
down at the street through heavy drapes, his attention
split between his friend’s game of nine-ball and
something happening outside. His hair cropped short,
he’s meticulously groomed.
Peaches sinks the six, then the seven and eight, setting
up an easy shot to win.
Nine in the side.
He strokes the cue into the nine, dropping it softly into
the side pocket.
VINNY G, his non-descript, overmatched opponent, slaps a
crumpled twenty dollar bill down on the table.
I’m tapped out.
Let’s just play.
Nah, I’m done.
(looking over at
What about you?
(not all there)
(shaking his head)
EXT. CORNER RECORD/HEAD SHOP – DAY – FRANCO’S POV
A silver MGB pulls along the curb. A young woman gets
out, walks to the corner store and disappears inside.
INT. POOLHALL – DAY
Franco jumps to his feet and starts putting on his
What’s up? Where you going?
I just remembered something.
I’ll talk to you later.
INT. SPEEDING VAN – NIGHT
A half dozen mid-twentyish partyers lie passed out across a bare
mattress in a disheveled heap of wildly colorful clothing. A
flood of street lights flickers sporadically through the van’s
dark tinted windows, illuminating then erasing the
expressionless face of the only passenger not asleep.
FRANCO GENOVESE, 6’1″ and powerfully built, struggles to his feet
and crouches to avoid striking his head. He makes his way forward,
dropping into the empty passenger seat. His hands hard from years
of manual labor, he steadies himself against the dashboard and
stares out through the windshield.
TWO-SHOT – FRANCO AND PAULIE MALATESTA
PAULIE, a smaller man with black hair and olive skin, continues
navigating the van, just mildly distracted by the presence of his
Pull in here.
EXT. DINER PARKING LOT – NIGHT
The black van pulls into the entrance.
Stop. Let me out.
Franco exits the van. Dressed in a short black leather jacket
with a small white peace sign painted on the back shoulder,
he walks toward a dumpster resting in the shadows. His thick,
dark brown, shoulder length hair covers the collar of his jacket.
The worn blue jeans accent the power in his legs. With both
hands, he grasps a chain link fence separating the diner from
a gas station and stares down at the ground. He stays that way,
not moving. A car pulls in the entrance behind the van. Paulie
taps the horn.
Franco looks up at him but doesn’t answer. The driver waiting
not so patiently behind the van hits his horn.
Franco, come on.
Franco looks at him and waves for him to go. The driver blasts
his horn a second time. Paulie gestures angrily, drives around
the diner, onto the street and away. Alone, Franco lifts his
head and eyes, his face immersed in the glow of an overhead
As much as I enjoy putting pen to paper, I have to confess to not knowing widgets from lugnuts. I guess it’s a generational thing. Studying literature in college at the State University of New York back in the seventies, we typed our papers on 8 1/2 x 11 typing paper, and that was that. Times have certainly changed.
Somehow, back in the eighties, the real world crept in, my writing aspirations got sidetracked, and I found myself moving from warehouse worker to tractor-trailer driver. Nothing particularly wrong with that, I guess. For the most part, I actually enjoyed it. It’s all part of the journey of finding oneself.
So here I am. The world’s changed around me, and rather than continuing to fight it, I’ve decided to acquiesce. But boy do I need help! Text is all I’m able to contribute at this point. The rest will come. Whatever it takes, I’ve made up my mind to at least attempt. So how about a drum roll? Budda boom! Budda bing!
I was going to post something personal today, then realized this is not the time. An event occurred in Connecticut that strikes all of us hard in the gut, a senseless act that can’t be rationalized no matter how long or exhaustive our efforts to understand. We can pray for the victims and their families. This is what we do. But my sadness for these kids and teachers is mixed with anger, because I know there is an answer. How do you deter a mass-murderer ready to put a bullet in his own head, or a suicide bomber so fervent in his beliefs he is willing to blow himself to bits? Maybe coming to understand will take a far greater effort than we’ve been willing to make. Let’s stop this now, before it happens again.