Brian, Contra Episode 10

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

Brian is determined to get to the bottom of what’s bothering Nina. Spencer approaches the Gambinos, asking for permission to make a move on Annex. They have one condition. Jack is totally oblivious when a gay man hits on him at Annex, and he seeks to become his friend.

BRIAN, CONTRA

 

“HANDS ACROSS AMERICA”

 

TV-MA DLSV

 

“I wanna be with you, I wanna to be clear. But each time I try, it's the voice I hear. I hear that voice again! Oh, I'm listening to the conversation. Judge and jury in my head. It's coloring everything. All we did and said”

  • Peter Gabriel

 

(We open on a series of close-ups; hands interlocking. White hands, black hands, everything in between. Then a wide shot of a long line of New Yorkers forming a human chain along the George Washington Bridge. There are photographers snapping pictures and a series of cars slowly driving by, honking in support. Cut to Brian and Nina, forming two links in the human chain. Brian is smiling, but Nina looks distracted. Brian looks around and nods. He looks at Nina and smirks. She half-heartedly smirks back)

 

BRIAN: I think we’re really doing something good here.

 

NINA: …Yep.

 

BRIAN: What is this for?

 

NINA: …I don’t know, I didn’t really know it was happening until Savannah told me about it.

 

(Brian gets up on his tiptoes)

 

BRIAN: SAVANNAH! (Several links down the chain, we see Savannah holding hands with Lindsay. She is looking way down the chain, however) …SAVANAH!!!

 

LINDSAY: Savannah, Brian is trying to get your attention.

 

(Savannah looks at Brian)

 

SAVANNAH: Hold on, Brian, I think I see Yoko Ono down there somewhere!

 

NINA: Ugh- I hate that bitch.

 

SAVANNAH: Why?!

 

NINA: She broke up The Beatles!

 

SAVANNAH: No, she did not! Why does everyone think that!?

 

BRIAN: Yeah, Nina, hasn’t she been through enough?

 

NINA: Why, what happened to her?

 

SAVANNAH: Seriously?!

 

NINA: Oh, right. John.

 

SAVANNAH: Yeah.

 

NINA: I never really listened to The Beatles, so I forgot that happened.

 

BRIAN: Then why do you care that she broke up The Beatles?!

 

NINA: Because everyone else does!

 

(Suddenly, a Cadillac pulls up and Spencer rolls down the window)

 

SPENCER: Good on you guys! We can beat homelessness if we just work together!

 

(Nina tenses up)

 

BRIAN: Oh, is that what this is for?

 

LINDSAY: Fuck off, Spencer!

 

(Spencer pulls up to Lindsay and Savannah)

 

SPENCER: I can understand why you love bums so much, Lindsay. Pretty soon, you’re gonna be one.

 

LINDSAY: Do you think I live at Annex?

 

SPENCER: You don’t think I’m gunning for landlord, too?

 

(Spencer smiles, rolls up his window, and inches forward. There is still major traffic to contend with)

 

SAVANNAH: He thinks he’s gonna become our landlord? Why?

 

BRIAN: Just ignore him, guys!

 

(Nina shakes her head and lets go of Brian’s hand)

 

NINA: I’m not feeling great, I’m gonna go home.

 

BRIAN: How? Are you gonna walk home?

 

NINA: I’ll take a cab.

 

(Nina starts to walk away. Brian grabs her arm)

 

BRIAN: Are you sure-?!

 

(Nina jerks her arm away from him)

 

NINA: YES! YES, I’M SURE! JESUS!

 

(Nina walks away and tries to hail a cab. Brian furrows his brow, sighs and joins hands with the next guy down- some middle-aged mechanic type)

 

MECHANIC: Women!

 

BRIAN: Don’t get me started, brother.

 

(Establishing shot of Nina’s apartment building. Run-down as ever. Cut to Nina in her kitchen dropping a slab of butter in a pot full of Kraft Macaroni and cheese. She stirs it in as we hear her kids laugh and play in the other room)

 

NINA: Guys, put down the NES, dinner’s almost ready!

 

JASON: (OS) Okay!

 

JILLIAN: (OS) Coming!

 

(Cut to Nina walking out of the kitchen with a pot full of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. Jason and Jillian sit at the table with bowls in front of them. Nina scoops out the mac & cheese and place in each of their bowls)

 

JASON: Thanks, mom.

 

(Nina gives each of them spoons and they dig in. She scoops some out for herself as well)

 

NINA: You guys need to give that NES back to Riley. You’ve been borrowing it for a month.

 

JILLIAN: He said we could!
 

NINA: For a week.

 

JASON: Well, we just haven’t run into him since then.

 

NINA: Because you’ve been avoiding him.

 

JILLIAN: Yeah.

 

(Nina shakes her head and starts to dig in. But then comes a knock at the door)

 

NINA: Maybe that’s Riley now!

 

JASON: Quick! Hide the NES!

 

(Jillian rushes toward the NES. Nina points at her)

 

NINA: STAY RIGHT THERE! (Jillian stops right in front of the NES and puts her hand up) It could also be Brian, looking to argue with me. (Nina walks up to the peephole and sees Brian through it) Yep, it’s the second one.

 

(Nina unlocks the door and opens it)

 

BRIAN: Can we talk?

 

NINA: We just sat down to dinner.

 

BRIAN: I just wanna talk. (Nina takes a deep breath. She clears the way. Brian walks in and waves half-heartedly to Jason and Jillian) Hey, guys.

 

JASON: Hi, Mr. Sarandon.

 

JILLIAN: Do you wanna play NES with us?!

 

BRIAN: Can we talk in your bedroom, Nina?

 

NINA: Okay. (Brian and Nina walk toward the bedroom. Jason and Jillian look let down) One second, lovelies.

 

(They walk into Nina’s bedroom and close the door)

 

BRIAN: Listen, I’m sorry, I have to know what’s going on with you.

 

NINA: What are you talking about?

 

BRIAN: What am I talking about?! You’ve been moody and distracted for like, two months!

 

NINA: I’m just tired-

 

BRIAN: Goddamnit, I’m tired of hearing that excuse! “You’re tired, you’re tired”- we’re all fucking tired! The nature of life is to be fucking tired!

 

NINA: (Loud whisper) Keep your voice down! My kids are in the other room!

 

BRIAN: Tell me what’s really going on!

 

NINA: I HAVE TWO FUCKING JOBS, BRIAN! I DON’T JUST SIT ON A BARSTOOL SCHEMING WITH LINDSAY ROYCE ALL DAY!

 

BRIAN: Oh, that’s- great, thanks.

 

NINA: So, YES! I’M. TIRED.

 

BRIAN: Of me? Are you tired of me?

 

NINA: Yes, I’m tired of you, I’m tired of Lindsay, I’m tired of the whole fucking thing! And- (Nina pushes Brian) how DARE you scream at me in front of my kids! Get the FUCK out of here!

 

(Brian takes a big gulp)

 

BRIAN: …Okay.

 

(Brian walks past her, out of her bedroom, and through the living room, where Jason and Jillian are sitting at the table, staring daggers at him as he walks out the door. Nina walks in)

 

NINA: I’m sorry about that, guys.

 

JILLIAN: It’s alright.

 

JASON: Made me feel like dad was still here.

 

(Nina walks over and holds Jason and Jillian’s heads in her hands. They lean against her leg. Cut to Brian getting in his car outside Nina’s building. He takes a deep breath and rests his head on the steering wheel, bitterly)

 

BRIAN: Fuck. (Brian lifts his head up) There must be something. (Brian starts up his car and backs out of his space. Cut to Annex that night. Jack is organizing glasses on the shelf and Lindsay is cleaning the counter with a rag. There are only a dozen or so patrons. Brian walks in and sits at the bar, right in front of Lindsay) Do you wanna go to Five-Alarm tomorrow morning?

 

LINDSAY: Why would I want to do that? To see if it’s possible to catch airborne herpes?

 

BRIAN: No. Nina’s not gonna be on duty and I think she’s up to something, and I want to find out what.

 

LINDSAY: Wow, snooping on your girlfriend. Classy.

 

BRIAN: We’ll just ask around, super casual.

 

LINDSAY: And how do you know they won’t know you’re her boyfriend?

 

BRIAN: The strippers there aren’t allowed to mention their boyfriends so that all the patrons can think they have a chance.

 

LINDSAY: But how do you know she didn’t anyway?

 

BRIAN: I don’t. That’ why you’ll be asking the questions. (Brian takes out a pair of glasses and a fake mustache) Don’t you love our schemes and capers?!

 

(Lindsay smirks. Cut to Spencer driving out of the Holland Tunnel in Jersey City in his Cadillac. Melinda, now seventeen, is in the passenger’s seat, staring forlornly out the window. “Red Rain” by Peter Gabriel is playing faintly on the radio. Spencer lights a cigarette, rolls the window down and ashes it. Melinda tenses up and embraces herself)

 

MELINDA: Can you close the window, please.

 

SPENCER: It’s 80 degrees!

 

MELINDA: But the wind is annoying.

 

(Spencer scoffs and rolls up the window)

 

SPENCER: What’s with you? You were sullen all weekend, and you didn’t even say “hi” to your brother when I stopped to harass him on the bridge.

 

(Melinda sighs)

 

MELINDA: …If you want to know the truth, there’s a girl at school who’s really bothering me.

 

SPENCER: Oh no…you’re not a lesbian, are you?

 

MELINDA: NO! Dad!!

 

SPENCER: Sorry, sorry, you gotta ask!

 

MELINDA: No, you do not!

 

SPENCER: How’s she bothering you, if not sexually?

 

MELINDA: Why would you go to that first- anyway, no! It’s this girl named Tammy Pegden bothering me, because after her ex-boyfriend asked me to prom and I said “yes”, she started spreading all these rumors about me.

 

SPENCER: What kind of rumors?

 

(Melinda scoffs and shakes her head)

 

MELINDA: …She said I was sleeping with teachers for good grades, stuff like that.

 

(Spencer white-knuckles his steering wheel)

 

SPENCER: That bitch.

 

MELINDA: She also said my dad was a whoremonger.

 

(Spencer bangs his steering wheel)

 

SPENCER: JESUS! You know, it’s one thing to go after my daughter, but to go after ME?!

 

MELINDA: What?

 

SPENCER: I mean- they’re obviously both bad, but this cannot stand! I’ll talk to your principal, see what I can do.

 

MELINDA: Dad, you’re just gonna make it worse-

 

SPENCER: No, Melinda, I’m sorry! No one messes with a Sarandon and gets away with it. (Spencer turns to Melinda) We’re a FAMILY. We stick together.

 

MELINDA: Dad- LOOK OUT!

 

(Spencer looks forward and slams on the brake at a crosswalk, where a family of four were crossing. They tense up as Spencer’s Cadillac comes to a halt inches from them. Spencer rolls down his window and leans out of it)

 

SPENCER: Sorry about that! Move along.

 

(The family glares at them, but then crosses to the other side of the street. Cut to Spencer sitting in his office at Sarandon S&L the next day. He stubs out a cigarette and picks up his phone. He dials a number and waits. Cut to a thin man in his early 50s, with bushy eyebrows and a bald head, sitting in an office plastered with framed paintings of nature, that appear to be painted by High School students. There are numerous pennants for “The Dickinson High Rams” and the plaque on his desk announces the name- “Principal Stefan Florakis”. His secretary buzzes in)

 

SECRETARY: (OS) Mr. Florakis, a Mr. Spencer Sarandon is on the phone for you, he says he’s Melinda Sarandon’s father.

 

PRINCIPAL FLORAKIS: Put him through. (Florakis’ phone rings and he answers) Mr. Sarandon, good to hear from you.

 

(Cut to Spencer in his office. Intercut between the two)

 

SPENCER: Hi, Mr. Florakis, it’s been a while, how are you?

 

PRINCIPAL FLORAKIS: Can’t complain- just wish I could get these eyesores that the art students painted out of my office.

 

SPENCER: Right. Well. I was just calling because my daughter was complaining about a girl at school who was spreading these really nasty rumors about her. Maybe you’ve heard her name before, it’s Tammy Pegden.

 

PRINCIPAL FLORAKIS: Yes, I know who she is, she’s quite popular here.

 

SPENCER: Yes, well, that makes it even worse, doesn’t it? People trust her, and she’ saying horrible things about me- AND my daughter.

 

PRINCIPAL FLORAKIS: Mr. Sarandon, I’m really sorry to hear that, but I find that the best thing to do in these situations is to let it alone. This will die down in no time, I find that female attention spans are short, especially in their teenaged years.

 

SPENCER: Excuse me? This little tramp is defaming MY daughter and your solution is to do NOTHING?!

 

PRINCIPAL FLORAKIS: Listen, sir, even if we did bring her in here, it’s her word against your daughter’s! We can’t drag her into a kangaroo court and convict her with no due process, this isn’t the Soviet Union and Tammy isn’t black.

 

SPENCER: Listen, Florakis, if you don’t do something about this Tammy Pigeon slut or whatever her name is- you’ll never hear the end of it from me, I have friends in high places, you know!

 

(Florakis laughs)

 

PRINCIPAL FLORAKIS: With all due respect, Mr. Sarandon, who the fuck do you think you are?! Don’t you work at a small-time S&L outfit?

 

SPENCER: Yeah, but-

 

PRINCIPAL FLORAKIS: You think you’re goddamn Robert Moses? Fuck off.

 

(Florakis slams the phone onto the receiver. Spencer grips the phone with utter fury. Spencer slams the phone several times into the receiver and pushes the phone onto the floor. Joanna rushes in)

 

JOANNA: Spencer, are you okay?

 

SPENCER: Yes, I’m fine-

JOANNA: Do you need me to jerk you off?

 

SPENCER: Wow, keep your voice down- and no, thank you. Please save this talk for after work. (Joanna nods and walks out. Spencer grips his face with his hands. Spencer perks up and removes his face from his hands) Joanna, come back here!

 

(Joanna walks in)

 

JOANNA: So now you want it?

 

SPENCER: No! For Christ’s sake, just get me some quarters, I need to use the phone booth outside our building.

 

JOANNA: Okay.

 

(Joanna grabs the purse from her desk and starts fishing through it. Spencer gets up and grabs his jacket from the coat rack. Cut to Spencer inside a red phone booth outside his office building. He’s on the phone, nervously tapping the broad top of the call box. We can hear someone pick up on the other side)

 

PATRIZIO: (OS) Hello?

 

SPENCER: Pat, it’s Spencer, I want to talk to John about Annex. Can we set up a meeting?

 

PATRIZIO: (OS) You want an audience with the big guy?

 

SPENCER: Yes. I want to talk business, now that the Lovemans are out of the way. I have a plan for Annex. Please, I just want a meeting.

 

(Long silence on the phone. Spencer leans forward nervously)

 

PATRIZIO: …I’ll see what I can do.

 

SPENCER: Thank you! Thank you, Pat, I really appreciate- (Click) …it.

 

(Spencer hangs up and pumps his fist enthusiastically. Cut to Jack adding a slice of lime to a Dark & Stormy and pushing it toward an athletic young man with short dirty blonde hair, an earring and a light blue polo shirt. He picks it up and takes a sip)

 

LANCE: Thanks, Jack.

 

JACK: You’re welcome. Hard day?

 

LANCE: You have no idea. My coach is a hard ass through and through, but that’s what it takes sometimes.

 

JACK: I remember watching those guys swinging around and around on those bars and landing with barely a step- how the heck do you do that?

 

LANCE: You talking about in ’84?

 

JACK: Yeah!

 

LANCE: It’s hard! I almost made the team for the L.A. games, by the way.

 

JACK: Wow! You must be really athletic.

 

LANCE: Hey, maybe I should show you some of my moves some time.

 

(Lance pats Jack’s hand. Jack smiles and nods obliviously)

 

JACK: Yeah, that’d be really cool!

 

(Nina walks over)

 

NINA: Hey, can you help me make a Long Island Iced Tea?

 

JACK: Sure. One second, Lance.

 

(Nina and Jack head over to the back of the bar and Nina starts making a Long Island Iced Tea by pouring vodka, tequila, light rum and triple sec into a glass)

 

NINA: That guy’s been talking to you a lot.

 

JACK: Yeah, he seems really cool! I was thinking we could hang out!

 

NINA: Yeah, that’d be great, Jack, but-

 

(Nina splashes some Cola into the drink)

 

JACK: It doesn’t seem like you need help with this-

 

NINA: Don’t you think he might be gay?

 

JACK: What? (Jack looks over at Lance thoughtfully sipping his dark & stormy and taking out a small mirror to check himself out) I don’t think so. (Jack turns back to Nina) Remember, you thought Lindsay was gay and you turned out to be wrong about that!
 

NINA: That’s because other people told me he was, but I just get a vibe from this guy.

 

JACK: Gay people are usually in movies, though, right?

 

NINA: Jack, believe it or not, they also exist in reality.

 

(Jack shakes his head)

 

JACK: Fine, but I don’t think he’s one of them.

 

(Jack goes to leave, but Nina touches his arm)

 

NINA: Hold on! Where’s Brian and Lindsay?

 

JACK: They said they went out to scout for a new location just in case they lose Annex. They’ll be back soon.

 

(Jack breaks off and goes back to talk to Lance. Nina furrows her brow, but shrugs and serves Bertha her Long Island Iced Tea)

 

BERTHA: Thanks, babe!

 

(Cut over to Jack and Lance)

 

JACK: You know, I’ve been dying to check out that water park in Jersey, and I was looking for someone to go with!

 

LANCE: Are you kidding?! I LOVE water parks! Are you talking about Action Park in Vernon?

 

JACK: Yeah, you’ve heard of it?

 

LANCE: Yeah, I heard it’s great, but isn’t it pretty dangerous?

 

JACK: Only for scaredy-cats, and you don’t strike me as one of those!

LANCE: Hell no, I’m not, let’s do it!
 

(Jack and Lance high-five. Cut to Brian sitting in the corner of Five-Alarm cabaret wearing a fake mustache, tweed jacket, newsboy cap and smoking a pipe. Lindsay sits across from him, completely undisguised, with a cigarette in hand. He’s squinting at Brian)

 

BRIAN: (Vaguely Slavic accent) Oh, what a treat to take a load off at my favorite cabaret, don’t you agree, Ivan?

 

LINDSAY: What are you doing?

 

BRIAN: I can’t be recognized by one of her friends, now can I? Put your disguise on.

 

(Lindsay sighs, takes off his Mets hat and puts on a fedora)

 

LINDSAY: Mine seems really low effort.

 

BRIAN: I ran out of money at the costume store. Just go talk to her friends and report back.

 

(Lindsay gets up as Brian takes a puff of his cigar- only to violently hack and cough when it hits. Cut to Emily and Ruth, two of Nina’s co-workers, smoking cigarettes in their dressing room and talking. Emily is black and curvy, whereas Ruth is white, with a sort of heroin chic thing going on)

 

RUTH: It was definitely the fuckin’ CIA.

 

EMILY: Then who was Lee Harvey Oswald?

 

RUTH: Some fuckin’ guy, I don’t know! They picked a dude who had been to Russia and was like- you’re our dude. Get him.

 

EMILY: And then they shot him.

 

RUTH: Duh!

 

(Lindsay walks in, but then halfway closes the door)

 

LINDSAY: Oh! Sorry. Didn’t mean to-

 

EMILY: Wait- come in!

 

RUTH: Yeah, what’s your deal, handsome?

 

(Lindsay walks in and closes the door behind him)

 

LINDSAY: I’m David, I work for Thomas Loveman, the owner.

 

(Ruth and Emily rise to their feet and stub out their cigs)

 

EMILY: Such a pleasure, honestly-

 

(Emily shakes Lindsay’s hand. Ruth bows her head)

 

RUTH: You rule, thanks for, running a strip club.

 

LINDSAY: Please, ladies, relax. Have a seat. (Ruth and Emily sit down. Lindsay sits down at one of the dressing room mirror stations and faces them) We’re doing performance evaluations, and we wanted to get some quotes about how some of the girls get along with the others. Before we start, I just wanna emphasize that we discourage the two of you from sharing that this interaction occurred with anybody else.

 

EMILY: Of course.

 

(Ruth holds up two fingers)

 

RUTH: Scout’s honor.

 

LINDSAY: Great. (Lindsay takes a piece of paper out of his pocket and uncrumples it as Ruth puts her hand down) This is my official questionnaire. (Ruth reaches for it, but Lindsay pulls it away) Nuh-uh, we’ll keep this right here, I’ll just be reading off the questions and I’ll record your responses.

 

EMILY: Go ahead.

 

LINDSAY: Alright. (Lindsay clears his throat as he looks at the piece of paper- which is clearly just a paper copy of Annex’s menu) “Do you get along with your co-worker Nina Bonaccorsi”?

 

EMILY: We love Nina.

 

RUTH: She’s such a great dancer, for sure.

 

EMILY: Most popular girl outside of Ruth and me.

 

RUTH: She’s definitely much more popular than me, I had a guy fall asleep during a lap dance one time. (Emily pinches Ruth on the leg) OW!

 

LINDSAY: Has she seemed distracted at all, recently? Is anything troubling her?

 

(Emily shrugs)

 

EMILY: Not that she’s told us, but she’s definitely been a lot quieter recently.

 

RUTH: She used to gab like it was going out of style, talk, talk, talk, but now she’s all shy like not-talking was just modeled at Fashion Week or some shit. And it wasn’t, I think it was shoulder pads or something like that.

 

EMILY: THE POINT IS, she’s been real quiet. And a lot less flirty with the customers, too.

 

(Lindsay nods thoughtfully. Cut to Lindsay sitting across from Brian at the booth. Brian grips his glass as fury flashes in his eyes)

 

BRIAN: FLIRTY?!

 

LINDSAY: Relax- why are you yelling?

 

BRIAN: You’re telling me she’s FLIRTING with guys in here?!

 

LINDSAY: She’s doing it less, but, YEAH! OBVIOUSLY!

 

BRIAN: Obviously?!

 

LINDSAY: How are you shocked that your stripper girlfriend occasionally crosses the boundaries of monogamy? Her job is to DANCE NAKED in front of people!!

 

(Brian growls and gets up. He sees a skeevy patron walking by and grabs him by the collar)

 

BRIAN: DID YOU FLIRT WITH MY GIRLFRIEND, YOU SICK FUCK?!

 

PATRON: She said she was single, man, I don’t know!

 

BRIAN: WELL, SHE’S NOT!

 

(Lindsay runs up and pulls Brian off of him)

 

LINDSAY: GET A HOLD OF YOURSELF!

 

BRIAN: THIS PIECE OF SHIT GOT WITH MY GIRLFRIEND!

 

LINDSAY: What was her name, creepazoid?

 

PATRON: Dementia.

 

BRIAN: What?!

 

PATRON: I think it’s a stage name, but she goes by Dementia.

 

(Ruth ambles over and puts her hand on the small of the patron’s back)

 

RUTH: Did somebody say my name?

 

(Ruth smiles lethargically. Brian takes a deep breath)

 

LINDSAY: Alright, well, Professor Schumacher, we should get out of here.

 

BRIAN: (Bad German accent) Yes, maybe we should. Maybe one more drink and then we’ll go-

 

(Hunter walks over and points to the exit)

 

HUNTER: Get the fuck out of here.

 

BRIAN: Okay, let’s go.

 

LINDSAY: Yep.

 

(Cut to Brian and Lindsay standing in a crowded subway. There are multiple homeless people milling about, and one black dude break-dancing on a flattened cardboard box in the middle of the car while a nearby boombox plays “It’s Tricky” by Run-D.M.C. Brian and Lindsay are hanging onto the poles for dear life)

 

BRIAN: Why didn’t I see it? Nina must be distracted because she’s cheating!

 

LINDSAY: Come on, dude, even if that’s true, it’ll come out on its own! Trust me, I’ve been in that situation before.

 

BRIAN: Somehow, I don’t think Nina’s just gonna casually bring it up like your girlfriend did.

 

LINDSAY: You never know! Bitches be crazy, like the rappers say.

 

(The break-dancer finishes with a “laying-down” pose, and the car applauds, and dispense money into his hat, which is sitting on the ground. Lindsay takes out some bills and put them into his hat)

 

BRIAN: No, I’m gonna get to the bottom of this. That’s why we’re going to Queens, I know a guy there who does P.I. work.

 

LINDSAY: How do you know him?

 

BRIAN: He used to operate in my hometown.

 

LINDSAY: What’s his name?

 

(The camera closes in on Brian)

 

BRIAN: Robert Zimmerman.

 

(The camera zooms out again)

 

LINDSAY: …Bob Dylan?

 

BRIAN: No, not that Robert Zimmerman.

 

(Cut to an establishing shot of a Queens office building. We pan up and pass through a window into the offices of Robert Zimmerman, P.I. Robert, who is about 35 with unkempt black hair and a goatee, is leaning back in his office chair, with a cigarette blazing in his ashtray, as Brian and Lindsay sit before him)

 

ROBERT: Classic situation, it seems. The girlfriend with a dark secret. She been too tired for sex of late?

 

BRIAN: Yes! Most nights I have to finish myself in her bathroom.

 

LINDSAY: God! Dude, I’m eating here!
 

BRIAN: No, you’re not.

 

LINDSAY: Yeah, but I will be eventually, and I don’t think I ever can again!

 

ROBERT: If you want me to follow her, I warn you, the fee is heavy.

 

BRIAN: How much?

 

ROBERT: Most P.I.s charge $50 bucks an hour, but not to toot my own horn, but I’ve been around the block a few times. I was hired to follow the Mayor around to see if he was sleeping with guys.

 

LINDSAY: Was he?

 

ROBERT: No, but I was nonetheless hired to do that. So, I charge a hundred an hour.

 

(Brian takes a deep breath)

 

BRIAN: How much is that per day?

 

ROBERT: 1,600 per day. I’ll dedicate the whole day to her. Trust me.

 

(Brian looks at Lindsay. He shrugs)

 

BRIAN: …Okay, but I can’t pay you upfront. I’ll find a way.

 

ROBERT: No problem. I know you, Brian. I trust you. And my son George loves you.

 

BRIAN: He’s a cute kid.

 

(Brian and Robert get up and shake hands. Cut to John Gotti sitting at a lonely table in the back of an empty Italian restaurant. He has a plate of linguini before him. Patrizio, Sammy Gravano and a guy in his late 40s named Robert DiBernardo are standing in the shadows on either side of John, with their hands behind their backs, looking menacing. John twirls some linguini on his fork and takes it to his mouth. There’s a knock at the door)

 

JOHN: Pat, let him in.

 

PATRIZIO: Yes, boss.

 

(Patrizio walks to the front door of the restaurant and opens it. Spencer walks in, and Patrizio pats him down)

 

SPENCER: Hey, buy a guy dinner first, huh?

 

(John slams his fist on the table and stands up)

 

JOHN: Don’t EVER say that shit again!

 

(Spencer puts his hands up, as Pat finishes patting him down and stands aside)

 

SPENCER: Mr. Gotti, I am so sorry.

 

JOHN: It’s fine, it’s just- it’s a cliché, man. Come here.

 

(John sits down as Spencer approaches John. Spencer nods to Sammy)

 

SPENCER: Sammy.

 

SAMMY: Hello.

 

(Spencer looks at Frank DiBernardo)

 

SPENCER: I don’t believe we’ve met- where’s Frank DeCicco?

 

(Everyone tenses up)

 

JOHN: His car was bombed, don’t you read the news?

 

SPENCER: No, Mr. Gotti, it’s too depressing. Sorry to hear that.

 

ROBERT: He was a good man. (Robert steps forward and extends his hand) I’m Robert DiBernardo, good to meet you.

 

JOHN: I’m fuckin’ talking here, Robert, goddamn.

 

(Robert steps back. Spencer turns and nods to Robert, then turns back to John)

 

SPENCER: Listen, John. I know Annex is a decent source of income for you. But it’s run by two idiots. I should know, one of them is my son. Now that the Lovemans are out of the picture, if you give your blessing, I will turn Annex into a profitable venture and triple the tithe that it’s paying you.

 

JOHN: Can we see your five-year business plan?

 

(Spencer appears surprised)

 

SPENCER: Um. Actually, yeah. Do you have a-? (John nods and gestures toward Patrizio. Patrizio opens a closet and wheels out a projector. He turns it on and places a sheet of clear laminated paper on it. He hands Spencer a marker. Spencer takes the marker and draws two arrows going upward) First, we would renovate the whole space. (Spencer draws bowties and champagne glasses) Remarket the whole thing as more of a high-end ballroom for fancy people to spend big money. It makes more sense with the location. (Spencer draws several dollar signs) Soft open of the new Annex in early 1987, hard open by the summer. (He draws a little sun and stick figures of people dancing) Plus, we’d book musical acts less geared toward Gen X and more toward Boomers and Silents. No more of that faggot dance shit. (He draws a sketch of Prince and crosses it out) More Elvis, Everly Brothers and Crickets- (Spencer turns to John, who now has glasses on) and other white artists that will appeal to our customer base. By 1991 at the latest, it’ll be the number one club in Manhattan for people who make six figures or more.

 

(John nods)

 

JOHN: I see. (John takes off his glasses) Does anyone have questions for Mr. Sarandon? (Silence, for a while) …Don’t make me call on people!

 

SAMMY: …Will it, uhhhh, have drinks?

 

(Spencer nods)

 

SPENCER: …Yeah.

 

JOHN: Great. I’ve heard enough. I’ll sanction this, Spencer, on one condition.

 

SPENCER: Anything, sir.

 

(John takes a polaroid of Brent Loveman out of his pocket. In the picture, Brent is blackout drunk posing in front of a pair of bare breasts, laughing. He puts the picture on the desk)

 

JOHN: Find this man.

 

(Spencer furrows his brow)

 

SPENCER: …Mr. Gotti, all due respect, if you can’t find him, why do you think I’d be able to?

 

JOHN: Tom doesn’t know you’re with us. You can get close without him suspecting a thing. That’s valuable. So, you get us Brent’s location, we’ll lean on O’Halleran to sell Annex to you.

 

(Spencer takes a deep breath and thinks)

 

SPENCER: …I can try, but I have a condition of my own.

 

ROBERT: Who says you get conditions?

 

JOHN: Shut the FUCK up, Robert. (Robert is startled, and takes a step back) …Is leaning on O’Halleran not good enough for you?

 

SPENCER: I’m not asking much. You have connections in Jersey, right?

 

JOHN: Yeah, why?

 

SPENCER: My daughter goes to school in North Jersey. This piece of shit principal refuses to do anything about this classmate that’s tormenting her with vicious rumors. That is, until he gets a visit from some DeCavalcante toughs.

 

(John trades looks with some of his guys, and then flips off Robert for seemingly no reason. Robert looks confused. John looks back at Spencer)

 

JOHN: I’ll talk to John the Eagle about it. Unless something changes, you got yourself a deal.

 

(John extends his hand. Spencer walks over and shakes it)

 

SPENCER: Thank you, John.

 

JOHN: Robert really fuckin’ sucks.

 

SPENCER: …Okay, John, I got it.

 

(Cut to Brian and Lindsay on the subway again, heading back to Manhattan. A blind homeless guy is playing a violin nearby)

 

BRIAN: Can you spot me some of the money for this Robert guy?

 

LINDSAY: No, dude! I don’t approve of this whole thing, plus, I’ve been reinvesting most of the profits back into Annex so we can save it from ruin. You’re on your own.

 

(Brian sighs and rubs his eyes. He looks at the blind guy playing the violin)

 

BRIAN: How much do you think that violin is worth?

 

LINDSAY: You’re gonna steal a blind dude’s violin?

 

BRIAN: I’m just spit balling!

 

(Cut to an establishing shot of Action Park in Vernon Township, New Jersey. “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper comes in as we see John and Lance in their bathing suits, straddling a sled while sliding down a winding chute made of concrete, careening over bumps, and twists and turns very dangerously, and laughing the whole way. Cut to John and Lance, both with bandages covering their bruised noses, bobbing around in the wave pool, surrounded by hundreds of people, splashing one another playfully. A huge wave sends them underwater, where they playfully wrestle. Cut to a lifeguard giving mouth-to-mouth to Jack just outside the wave pool, as Lance stands by. Jack shoots up and vomits up some water. He then gets up and jumps up and down with Lance. Cut to Lance and Jack using the “Bumper Boats” attraction. They are both in small boats, along with several other participants, but Jack is too tall to fit in his so he’s resting his legs on the outside of the boat. Jack steers his boat toward Lance’s and bumps it. He laughs and bumps him back, on the side where his legs aren’t exposed. Then another boat, steered by a bratty-looking 13-year old with hate in his eyes, rams right into Jack’s legs- causing him to scream. As the song dies down, we see Jack and Lance walking into the Action Park parking lot- Jack doing so with a limp. They both get into Jack’s car. Lance turns to Jack)

 

JACK: That place is amazing! And such prompt medical service!

 

LANCE: I know, I had a blast. You know. (Lance smirks) You might have an even worse limp after tonight.

 

JACK: What do you mean? (Lance leans in to kiss Jack. Jack pulls away) Whoa!

 

(Lance backs off, mortified)

 

LANCE: Oh my God- are you not-?

 

JACK: No, I’m, I’m not-

 

LANCE: Oh my God, I’m so sorry!

 

JACK: No, it’s alright- are you? Or was that just a goof? (Lance quickly gets out of the car) No! Come back! (Lance closes the door and walks quickly away) I need to know! It was funny if it was!

 

(Cut to Robert sitting in his 1986 Dodge Charger outside of Nina’s run-down apartment building. “That Voice Again” by Peter Gabriel plays faintly over the radio. He’s intently watching the front of the apartment building. He takes a sip of his coffee, and then notices Nina emerging from the building with her purse. Robert starts up his car. Nina hails a cab, which pulls up quickly. She ducks into it, and it drives away. Robert eases the car forward and follows Nina’s cab from with three cars away. We cut to Nina’s cab pulling up to Spencer’s high-end building. She gets out, tips the cabbie and walks inside. We pan over to see Robert struggling to parallel park on the other side of the street. He goes in at an angle, then backs up and clips a vehicle behind him. Cut to inside his cabin)

 

ROBERT: Fuck!

 

(Robert goes forward and tries to straighten out. But he stops instead and takes out his camera with a telephoto lens. He snaps several pictures of the building, and captures Nina waiting in the lobby. Finally, an elevator comes down to retrieve her and she disappears into it, as Robert snaps several more pictures. Cut to Brian sitting at the bar at Annex, which is at about 25% capacity presently. Brian sips his beer, looking miserable. Jack comes over)

 

JACK: Are you okay, Brian? You don’t seem it.

 

BRIAN: I am IT, Jack, and I would encourage you to proceed with reverence.

 

JACK: …I don’t know what that means.

 

BRIAN: I’m fine! Okay? I just don’t feel like talking.

 

JACK: Is it money problems?

 

BRIAN: What would make you think that?

 

(Savannah walks over with a Root Beer in hand, and sits down)

 

SAVANNAH: Because despite Lindsay’s professed radical leanings, he’s a petty bourgeois class traitor who pays Jack three bucks and thirty-five cents an hour.

 

JACK: He told me that was a lot!

 

SAVANNAH: Jack, you poor, innocent soul.

 

BRIAN: Well, I’m a partner, so I make more than that.

 

SAVANNAH: How much more?

 

(Brian slowly takes a sip of his beer)

 

BRIAN: …Many dollars more.

 

(Awkward silence, as Brian looks around)

 

JACK: Brian, if you need help, there’s a guy sitting in the back who’s been offering people financial assistance.

 

SAVANNAH: What?

 

(Brian looks behind him and sees a thin man with big teeth and a blue suit sitting at the back, talking with some poor soul with his hat in his hand. Brian turns back)

 

BRIAN: I’m not a charity case.

 

SAVANNAH: Does that guy LOOK like a charity worker to you?!

 

JACK: Don’t worry, he’s not- he gives out loans, and you have to pay interest.

 

BRIAN: Okay, good-

 

SAVANNAH: No! DO worry, NOT good, he gives out loans, and you have to pay INTEREST.

 

JACK: What could go wrong?

 

BRIAN: Fuck it, I’m doing this.

 

SAVANNAH: Brian!

 

(Brian gets up and makes a B-line for the loan shark. By the time he arrives, the loan shark is shaking hands with the desperate-looking man)

 

DESPERATE MAN: Thank you, Mr. Talbot.

 

MR. TALBOT: You’re welcome, just don’t miss a payment, ya hear? Those legs are pretty, and I want ‘em to be able to walk the English Channel.

 

DESPERATE MAN: Yes, sir.

 

(Talbot pats him on the back and he walks away. Talbot turns to Brian)

 

MR. TALBOT: Can I help you?

 

BRIAN: I need money.

 

MR. TALBOT: You’ve come to the right shadowy corner. Have a seat.

 

(Brian sits down across from Talbot, who also sits down)

 

BRIAN: I need to pay this P.I. who I hired to follow my girlfriend-

 

MR. TALBOT: So sleazy, I love it.

 

BRIAN: But he’s pricey and I can’t afford him. I need him probably only for two days, so I need $3,200 dollars and that’s it.

 

MR. TALBOT: Fantastic! I can lend you three large and a bit, how does 1% interest per day sound?

 

BRIAN: One is a pretty low number in the grand scheme of things, I’ll do it!

 

(Talbot extends his hand)

 

MR. TALBOT: Put ‘er there, brother!

 

(Brian enthusiastically shakes Talbot’s hand. Cut to Nina sitting on the couch in Spencer’s apartment. Spencer walks in with two cups of tea and hands her one. He sits next to her and offers to clink the two cups together, but she pulls back and takes a sip of the tea)

 

NINA: What do you want, I already filled you in.

 

SPENCER: Oh, nothing, I was just wondering if I could get Brent Loveman’s exact location.

 

(Nina squints)

 

NINA: Why do you need that?

 

SPENCER: Do you know?

 

NINA: No! But even if I did, I wouldn’t tell you.

 

SPENCER: Nina, this relationship is built on trust.

 

NINA: No, this relationship is built on blackmail.

 

SPENCER: Exactly! I TRUST that you will do what I tell you, because of the blackmail.

 

NINA: Well, I don’t know where he is. I just know that he’s in a safe location where the Gambinos can’t find him. So that makes me wonder why YOU want to know.

 

SPENCER: If you want to know the truth-

 

NINA: Obviously, I do.

 

SPENCER: I want to broker a peace between him, The Gambinos, and the Russians.

 

NINA: You’re full of shit! (Nina puts the tea down and stands up) You’re working with the Gambinos, just like Brian is!

 

(Spencer stands up)

 

SPENCER: No! You’ve got me all wrong! Think of me as Gandhi, and I’m brokering peace between Israel and Egypt, or whatever!

 

NINA: Fuck off.

 

(Nina grabs her purse and heads out the door. Spencer throws up his hands and sighs. Cut to Robert in his car outside Spencer’s building. He spots Nina emerging from the building and hailing a cab. He quietly starts his car. A cab pulls up and she ducks into it, and it drives off. Robert inches forward and follows. Cut to Nina’s cab pulling up to Annex. Nina gets out of the cab and tips the driver. Brian walks out of Annex and sees her as the driver pulls away. They both stop in their tracks)

 

BRIAN: …Hey.

 

NINA: Hi.

 

BRIAN: Listen, I shouldn’t have acted that way in front of your- (Nina walks right past Brian and into Annex) …kids. (Brian sighs and makes his way toward the parking lot, where he climbs into his Mustang. Cut to Robert sitting on a bench in Central Park. Brian walks over to the bench and sits on the other end of it. Robert removes a manila folder from his jacket and scoots it over to Brian. Brian picks it up and looks at Robert) Thanks!

 

(Robert sighs)

 

ROBERT: Wha- dude, you’re not supposed to directly interact with me.

 

BRIAN: Why? Who would be watching us?

 

ROBERT: I don’t know- it’s just how this shit usually works.

 

(Brian opens the folder and looks through the pictures)

 

BRIAN: Oh my God!

 

ROBERT: Yeah, I didn’t think you’d like those photos.

 

BRIAN: Is that Nina?

 

ROBERT: Yes. Do you recognize that building?

 

(Brian closes the folder and nods)

 

BRIAN: That’s my dad’s building.

 

(Robert tenses up)

 

ROBERT: Yikes. You don’t think she’s-?

 

BRIAN: Stop, saying words.

 

(Robert shrugs)

 

ROBERT: Listen, I can investigate further to make sure it’s not that, but you’ll have to pay me for a few more days.

 

(Brian takes a bundle of cash out of his pocket and hands it to Robert)

 

BRIAN: Fuck no.

 

(Brian gets up and walks away. Robert swallows his upper lip and starts counting the money. Cut to Principal Florakis walking out of William L. Dickinson High School in Jersey City, toward the parking lot. He removes his keys from his pockets, when suddenly, a group of three Italian mobsters in track suits, one short, one tall, pour out of a Pontiac and walk up to him menacingly. Florakis stops in his tracks)

 

PRINCIPAL FLORAKIS: Whoa- what is this all about?

 

TALL MOBSTER: Calm down, egghead, we just wanna talk.

 

SHORT MOBSTER: (High-pitched voice) With our fists, if necessary!

 

PRINCIPAL FLORAKIS: Are you guys gonna rob me, outside a high school, in broad daylight?!

 

TALL MOBSTER: We’re not robbing you, you Fage-eating fuck.

 

PRINCIPAL FLORAKIS: Then what is this!? (The short mobster kicks him in the shin, and he falls onto the pavement, grasping his shin in pain) AGH!

 

FAT MOBSTER: You better come down HARD on that Tammy Pigeon cunt.

 

PRINCIPAL FLORAKIS: What?!

 

TALL MOBSTER: You heard us! If you don’t, a certain Italian American advocacy organization will have no choice but to pay a visit to your house and lodge our grievances formally.

 

SHORT MOBSTER: WITH FIRE!

 

TALL MOBSTER: Loud and clear?

 

(The tall mobster leans down and pats Florakis’ cheek condescendingly. They all walk away. Florakis seethes as he rises to his feet. Cut to Spencer leading an all-hands meeting at Sarandon S&L)

 

SPENCER: Alright, so, due to some H.R. stuff, we are no longer allowed to encourage our female staff to entice potential customers with sexual favors.

 

GAYLE: The FUCK?!

 

SPENCER: Please, Gayle, don’t curse, it’s not ladylike.

 

DEBRA: The culture of this place is insane.

 

(Fat Frank stands up)

 

FRANK: I won’t sit here and have my culture be insulted!

 

SPENCER: I would encourage you to go to H.R. with that, Frank.

 

(Joanna peeks her head into the room)

 

JOANNA: Mr. Sarandon, you have an urgent call from a Mr. Gottenheim.

 

SPENCER: Take a message, I don’t know a Mr. Gottenheim- (Joanna starts to leave) WAIT! (Joanna freezes) I’ll take that, actually. (Spencer steps out of the room, to a mumbled chorus of confusion. Cut to Spencer on the phone in his office) No, I’ve not been able to find him yet, but I’m close. Uh-huh. (Beat) Tom Loveman’s right in the other room, I swear. (Spencer pulls the phone away for a second) I’ll just be another minute, Thomas! Love the spread, by the way! (Spencer puts his phone back to his ear) Sorry about that, I’ll update you with my progress soon. Thanks, John.

 

(Spencer hangs up and takes a deep breath. He quickly dials another number and puts the phone to his ear. It rings several times)

 

NINA: (OS) This is Nina Bonaccorsi, I’m not home right now, please leave a message after the beep- unless you’re a guy I met at Five-Alarm, in which case, hang up call my super special number for fuck buddies only. It’s 555-555-5555. Thanks.

 

(Beep)

 

SPENCER: Nina, I have urgent business, please meet me at my apartment as soon as possible. Goodbye.

 

(Spencer hangs up, gets up, grabs his coat, and leaves the office. Cut to Jack at the bar, talking with Savannah)

 

JACK: So, what should I do? Ask him if it was a joke, again?

 

SAVANNAH: It was not a joke! Why are you hanging onto that?

 

JACK: Because I want to be his friend still!

 

SAVANNAH: You can! Gay people can have straight guy friends, and straight guys can have gay friends, and straight guys can also have no friends, like my brother Danny. You just gotta talk to him.

 

JACK: I can’t. He used to come in every night, since Action Park, he hasn’t.

 

SAVANNAH: Well. I know a place he might be.

 

(Jack furrows his brow. Cut to Jack and Savannah walking into HOT PEX- the gay bar from BCEP6. The patrons are rapt with an on-stage drag performance. Two men in drag with green wigs are strutting on stage in glittering purple bikinis and ostentatious makeup. One of the drag queens sets out a chair on stage. Jack and Savannah make their way toward the front of the stage)

 

JACK: What’s going on?

 

SAVANNAH: Just watch. It’s beautiful.

 

HYSTERIA: Welcome, welcome, welcome, faggots, dykes and Godless husks of all persuasions- feast your cum-crusted eyes on the Twins Mystic! I am Hysteria.

 

MYSTERIA: And I am Mysteria. Tonight, we will be conjuring queer magicks the likes of which you’ve never seen. But first, we need a volunteer.

 

HYSTERIA: Tonight, we’re feeling like a bear will do the trick.

 

MYSTERIA: Who’s the burliest bear in the house tonight?

 

(Savannah grabs Jack’s arm and thrusts it upward)

 

SAVANNAH: I caught one!

 

(The crowd goes crazy. Jack looks around, confused)

 

JACK: I’m-I’m not a bear, I’m a human!

 

HYSTERIA: Get up here, honey, I feel like I just stumbled upon a bear trap in the woods.

 

(Hysteria extends their arm, and Jack reluctantly takes it at Savannah’s urging. They pull him on stage and sit him in the chair)

 

MYSTERIA: Tonight, using the most powerful magicks we could purchase at Target, we will make this man’s pants DISAPPEAR!

 

(Hoots and howls from the crowd)

 

JACK: Are you really gonna-

 

MYSTERIA & HYSTERIA: Abraca-fag-ra!

 

(They throw up green glitter and rip off Jack’s pants in one fell swoop. The crowd goes wild and Jack is dumbfounded and mortified)

 

JACK: Oh my GOD! How did you do that?!

 

MYSTERIA: We know from experience, honey.

 

(Cut to Lance emerging from the bathroom and spotting Jack on stage, pantless)

 

LANCE: JACK?!

 

JACK: Who said that?! Who said my name?!

 

(Lance climbs onto a bar stool, and the whole bar turn their attentions to him)

 

LANCE: Jack, what are you doing here?!

 

JACK: I came here to find you!
 

(The crowd goes “awwwww” and Savannah clutches her heart)

 

HYSTERIA: Are you two star-crossed lovers?

 

JACK: Not star-crossed lovers, but I hope to be…star-crossed friends.

 

(A fresh round of “awwwws”)

 

MYSTERIA: That’s less interesting, but fine. Deliver him to Lance’s arms!

 

(Mysteria and Hysteria grab Jack by his arms and throw him into the crowd)

 

JACK: AHHH! (The crowd surfs him over toward Lance. Lance is laughing as they lower Jack in front of Lance. He lands on his feet, red-faced and smirking nervously) Listen, I know this sounds really weird since I’m pantless, but do you wanna just be friends?

 

(Lance nods enthusiastically and hugs Jack. Everyone cheers. Savannah wipes tears from her cheeks. Lance relinquishes Jack and offers his hand)

 

LANCE: Let me have this dance, at least.

 

(Jack nods and takes it. Patrons make way as they dance ballroom style to some synthpop that starts playing. Cut to Brian sitting in his car across the street from Annex. Nina departs Annex and hails a cab. After a few pass her by, one picks her up. Brian immediately starts the engine and quickly follows Nina. Up ahead there’s a stoplight, and the cab stops at it, but Brian screeches to a stop directly behind them. Nina squints and looks behind her. She sees Brian, who tries to lower himself in his seat so as not to be seen, quite unsuccessfully. Nina turns around, disgusted and confused)

 

NINA: Change of plans, take me to 303 East 83rd.

 

CABBIE: (OS) Sure thing.

 

(Cut to Brian following Nina in his car. Her cab turns right East 84th street. Brian squints)

 

BRIAN: What the hell!? (He follows her down the street and she turns right onto 2nd avenue) Oh, shit, this is my place- (Nina’s cab pulls up to Brian’s building, and Nina gets out, tips the guy and then points at Brian’s car as it pulls up. Brian gets out) Nina! What a pleasant surprise!

 

NINA: Why are you following me!?

 

(The taxi pulls away)

 

BRIAN: Following you? What?? Because I went to my apartment? Pretty paranoid, isn’t it?

 

NINA: No! I saw you lower down in your seat when I looked back, you were trying not to be noticed!

 

(Brian closes the door to his car and walks up to Nina)

 

BRIAN: Fine! Do you wanna know the truth?!

 

NINA: Why do people ask that? Obviously, I do!

 

BRIAN: You’ve been so moody and secretive lately, I decided to follow you, make sure you weren’t cheating! Is that so terrible?!

 

NINA: YES!

 

BRIAN: WHAT ARE YOU HIDING!? Don’t pretend like you’re just “tired”!

 

(Nina rubs her eyes)

 

NINA: I didn’t get a ton of sleep last night-

 

BRIAN: ENOUGH! Why were you at my dad’s building the other day?!

 

(Nina looks up at Brian)

 

NINA: …What?

 

BRIAN: I saw you at my dad’s building the other day, what were you doing there?

 

(Nina shrugs)

 

NINA: …I, uh, I heard they had great discounts on frozen food.

 

 

BRIAN: My dad’s apartment building?

 

NINA: Sorry, I forgot what we were talking about.

 

(A car pulls up, and Mr. Talbot emerges from it, with a bright smile)

 

MR. TALBOT: Mr. Sarandon!

 

BRIAN: Oh, wow-

 

(Talbot walks over to Brian)

 

MR. TALBOT: Day one! Where’s the 1%?

 

BRIAN: (Nervously) What? What do you mean, guys?

 

TALBOT: I’m just one guy, and I mean the vig on the loan! I need thirty-two bucks a day just so I know you intend to pay me back!

 

NINA: Who the fuck are you?!

 

(Talbot turns to Nina)

 

TALBOT: I’m Jimmy Talbot, pleased to meet ya.

 

(Talbot extends his hand. Nina regards him with disgust. Brian gets his attention)

 

BRIAN: I don’t have any cash right now, can you come back later?

 

TALBOT: Alright, but just know, I’m associated with some powerful people.

 

BRIAN: Okay, enough said-

 

TALBOT: A certain group of Italians!

 

(Nina grows furious)

 

BRIAN: Okay! I got it!
 

TALBOT: Some call them “the mafia”.

 

BRIAN: YEP!

 

(Talbot turns to Nina)

 

TALBOT: The Gambino Crime Family, specifically-

 

BRIAN: Oh, my God.

 

TALBOT: Founded as one of the Five New York City mafia families after the Castellammerese War in 1931.

 

BRIAN: We don’t need a history lesson! I’ll get you the money!

 

TALBOT: Fantastic!

 

(Talbot pats him on the back, gets back in his car and drives off)

 

BRIAN: I’m sorry about that. I was dumb, I took out a loan to pay for one of those cellular telephones-

 

(Nina points at Brian)

 

NINA: I know about you and the Gambinos.

 

(Brian squints)

 

BRIAN: What? No, he’s just an associate, he’s not a member-

 

NINA: No, no! I know about the tithes. I know that you’re partners with the- (Nina creeps forward at Brian) with the same MOTHERFUCKERS WHO KILLED MY HUSBAND!

 

BRIAN: No, Nina, it’s not like that, everybody has to do that-

 

(Brian walks forward, but Nina pushes him away)

 

NINA: Save your fucking breath. What are you, stunad?

 

(Nina spits at Brian’s feet and marches off. Brian’s expression sinks. Cut to Spencer smoking a cigarette on his balcony. He hears a knock at the door. He stubs out the cig)

 

SPENCER: Coming! (Spencer walks back inside, closes the sliding glass door and approaches the front door. He looks through the peephole and sees Brian) Oh. (Spencer opens the door) Brian, what are you doing here?

 

(Brian pushes past Spencer, clearly seething. Spencer closes the door)

 

BRIAN: …Are you fucking Nina?

 

SPENCER: What?

 

(Brian turns to Spencer)

 

BRIAN: She came by here. Why?

 

(Spencer scoffs)

 

SPENCER: Of course not. You may remember, I have bad experiences with Italian women. Isabella Rossellini tripped me at a premiere party once- intentionally! Also, your mother is a bitch.

 

BRIAN: Then why was she here? Also, when did you go to a premiere party?

 

SPENCER: I’m friends with Taylor Hackford- and you’d have to ask her.

 

(Brian steps forward and angrily mimics choking Spencer. His face contorts into ugly anger)

 

BRIAN: You piece of shit, why can’t you just leave Annex ALONE?! WHY CAN’T YOU LET ME HAVE SOMETHING!?

 

(Brian puts his hands down. Spencer takes a breath and sits down in front of his dining table)

 

SPENCER: …When I was a kid, your grandpa Floyd would burn his trash in the backyard. We had fallen a few rungs since my great Uncle Jeffrey went to jail and lost the Sarandon fortune, so my dad would just toss our trash into a pile and torch it. (Spencer rubs his nose) So one day, your Uncle Anthony was in class when they brought in this fire martial for a Q&A. Anthony mentioned that his dad burned trash in his backyard, the fire martial said it was illegal. The Principal actually reached out to my father, trying to make sure he wasn’t endangering our lives with these hardly controlled burns. My father took it like a knife in the heart, that his firstborn son would sell him out like that. He locked Anthony in the basement all weekend as punishment. Fed him three meals a day, gave him water, but he had to stay in the basement, twiddling his thumbs. He took me aside, he warned me, “Spencer, if you ever sell out this family, you can expect the same fate as your brother”. That’s the rule. We stick by our own. Somebody messed with Melinda at school, and I dealt with it. I had her back.

 

BRIAN: …What did I do to you?

 

(Spencer scoffs)

 

SPENCER: Do you really have to ask that?

 

BRIAN: What, because you can’t control me, now you wanna destroy me? You’re a sad guy, you know that?

 

SPENCER: I’m not the one who betrayed my blood. Everything’s fair game. (Spencer takes out a cigarette and lights it. He chuckles as he exhales smoke) Including having sex with Nina if I want.

 

(Rage flares in Brian’s eyes and he takes a swing at Spencer. Spencer is blindsided, and he hits the dining table with a WHAM as his cigarette hits the ground. Brian takes a kick to Spencer’s gut, but Spencer tackles Brian instead and tries to pin him on the ground. Brian unloads several blows on Spencer’s head, until Spencer grabs his arm and pins it to the ground. Brian headbutts Spencer, and this sends him tumbling onto his back. Brian straddles Spencer and levies a flurry of blows on his face, bloodying and bruising his father’s face in the heat of pure wrath. Spencer flails his arms trying to gouge out Brian’s eyes, but it’s fruitless and his arms drop to his sides. Brian takes several deep breaths and lays off his dad. He staggers to his feet and spits upon Spencer. Brian wipes the blood off his mouth)

 

BRIAN: There’s more where that came from if you touch Nina OR Annex. (Brian walks toward the door, then turns back) OR Lindsay, Savannah, Jack- or really anybody I’m friends with.

 

(Brian leaves, slamming the door behind him. Spencer takes several pained breaths and sits up, wiping the blood from his nose. He staggers to his feet, and while steadying himself on furniture, he ambles towards the phone. He dials a number and puts the receiver to his ear. The phone rings several times)

 

NINA: (OS) Hello? (Spencer takes a breath) …Hello?

 

SPENCER: If you don’t get me Brent’s location by next week, I’m going to the police about Logan.

 

(Spencer hangs up and drops to the ground like a ton of bricks. “That Voice Again” comes on as we cut to credits)

 

THE END


Submitted: March 19, 2021

© Copyright 2021 NEONETWORK. All rights reserved.

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