Jerry Laertes Season 1 Episode 1

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Jerry Laertes is an extremely serious man living in New York City, who has to deal with the pressures of everyday life, and pursue his love interest Chelsea.

(We start with Jerry in bed, dressed in jeans and a collared purple shirt. His alarm goes off. He turns it off, gets up and puts on his socks and shoes. He combs his hair, brushes his teeth, applies deodorant and goes downstairs. He makes coffee, drinks it and then goes out to his car. He starts it, pulls out of the driveway and drives to work. He arrives at work, and exits his car. A co-worker walks up to him.)
PAUL: Morning, Jerry.
JERRY: (Mellow.) Good morning.
PAUL: Did you see the way the Patriots played last night? Oh my god…
JERRY: No I didn’t. I’m not a big sports fan. I think sports are a perpetuating mindless entertainment industry that fabricates false conflicts to create profitable tensions to please Madison Avenue.
PAUL: …Oh. Okay, uh, did you see, Obama’s speech?
JERRY: I did. He made some good points, but he’s simply a spinster in the Oval Office who makes false promises he’ll never keep, and constantly caves to the interests of the rich and powerful to save his political life.
PAUL: …Right. See you later.
JERRY: You as well.
(Cut to Jerry at his desk. He is drinking coffee and he checks his E-mail. A woman named “Sarah” E-mailed him a Christmas card with animated dancing elves.)
JERRY: Jesus Christ…(He deletes the e-mail.)
(Another co-worker walks up to his cubicle.)
DANIEL: Hey, Jerry. So how was your weekend?
JERRY: Fine. How was yours?
DANIEL: Well I took this chick out on a hot date. And guess what?
JERRY: I’m really busy right now, Daniel.
JERRY: Jesus, Daniel.
DANIEL: (Laughs.) It was awesome.
JERRY: Leave me alone.
DANIEL: (Smiles fades.) Well you don’t have to be a dick about it. Dude, do you ever laugh?
JERRY: Go away.
(Daniel scoffs and leaves. Cut to the break room where Jerry is drinking coffee while talking to a woman.)
CHELSEA: So, how was your weekend?
JERRY: It was fine. I read a book and got my oil changed.
CHELSEA: Sounds exciting.
JERRY: Not really. What’d you do?
CHELSEA: I shopped for Christmas mostly.
JERRY: You have kids?
CHELSEA: No, it’s for my family. I haven’t even been in a relationship with a man that’s lasted more than a year.
JERRY: That’s unfortunate.
CHELSEA: You’re a very serious person, aren’t you?
JERRY: Well, with all the people in the world, deprived and unhappy…it just doesn’t seem fair to be cheerful.
CHELSEA: I understand.
(He picks up some milk for his coffee.)
CHELSEA: I think that’s curdled.
JERRY: I don’t care.
CHELSEA: Oh, okay. Do you ever laugh?
JERRY: Not really. Sometimes when I’m in the tub.
CHELSEA: Aw, that’s so sad.
JERRY: Well, I don’t like to think of it that way. Or maybe I do, I don’t care.
CHELSEA: I see. So I bet you don’t like how the Christmas party is mandatory, huh?
JERRY: I guess I don’t. I haven’t really thought about it. I’ve thought about you.
CHELSEA: I’ve thought about you too.
JERRY: So you’ll be there?
CHELSEA: Yes. I will.
JERRY: Alright. I should get back to work.
CHELSEA: Okay. Bye.
(Cut to Jerry at his computer. His boss walks up to his cubicle.)
MARK: Jerry, there’s been some complaints about your attitude on the phone.
JERRY: Excuse me?
MARK: Yes, they say you’re a little depressing.
JERRY: Well I don’t see how they could get that impression, I mean…
MARK: You told one of the women that it didn’t matter what pants she ordered because we’re all going to die anyway?
JERRY: Right…but you know…who doesn’t realize that?
MARK: Listen. I ‘ve known you for quite some time. I know you’re the most miserable bastard on this planet, but don’t show it over the fucking phones. You hear me?
JERRY: (Stares, gulps.) Yes sir.
(The MARK walks away.)
JERRY: God Damnit…(He logs onto CNN.COM and starts reading articles. Cut to Chelsea talking with a woman during lunch at a place called Rosa’s Café.)
CHELSEA: So, how are you liking the city?
LINDSAY: About as much as you can like the city. I mean, I’ve lived here before, just not for work.
CHELSEA: Oh, I see.
LINDSAY: When I was a little girl, I use to give cookies I made myself in my E-Z Bake oven to homeless people.
CHELSEA: (Starts laughing) You’re kidding?
LINDSAY: No, dead serious. (Starts laughing.) So, are you and Jerry dating?
CHELSEA: Pardon?
LINDSAY: I said, are you and Jerry dating?
CHELSEA: Oh, no, why would you get that impression?
LINDSAY: You seem to like talking to him.
CHELSEA: Oh, whatever, he’s interesting to talk to.
LINDSAY: He’s definitely not the funniest guy on the planet.
CHELSEA: Well…to me, I think people see too much in someone’s ability to be funny, you know?
LINDSAY: I would never date a man I didn’t think was funny.
CHELSEA: Right…well to me, if you’re a good-hearted person who is intelligent, that’s all that really matters to me. And Jerry is good-hearted and he’s very intelligent.
LINDSAY: So would you go out with him if he asked?
CHELSEA: If he asked? Yeah, I might.
LINDSAY: Would you ever ask him?
CHELSEA: Well, I don’t know…
LINDSAY: I don’t blame you. It’d be such a downer to go to dinner with him.
CHELSEA: (She gets a little peeved.) Well, I’m sorry if he’s not up to YOUR standards, but he likes to have intelligent conversations, not bullshit all day about reality shows!
LINDSAY: Chelsea baby, calm down! All I’m saying is that the guy is very serious!
CHELSEA: You know, it’s people like you, who make it so hard for intelligent people to get ahead. We’re not funny enough, so we get thrown by the wayside. Better an unfunny intelligent person than a funny idiot, I say. And if you have a problem with that, you can go straight to hell!
(She picks up her purse and leaves Lindsay dumfounded.)
LINDSAY: …What the fuck just happened?
(Cut to Jerry getting in his car to drive home. He backs out of the driveway, and drives out of the lot. Cut to his house. He’s sitting at his kitchen table alone with a cup of coffee reading the newspaper. He gets a call on his cell phone. He reaches into his pocket and answers.)
JERRY: Ellie?
CHELSEA: What? No, this is Chelsea.
JERRY: Oh. Hello Chelsea. What can I do for you?
CHELSEA: Well, I got in a big argument with my best friend about you, and uh…I kind of want to see you for lunch tomorrow.
JERRY: But tomorrow’s Saturday.
CHELSEA: (Giggles) I know.
JERRY: Oh, okay. That sounds good I’ll see you there.
CHELSEA: Okay. Bye.
(He hangs up the phone.)
JERRY: …Oh my god.
(Cut to Chelsea waiting patiently at Rosa’s Café for Jerry. She is wearing a black dress. Jerry comes in the restaurant and looks for her. Chelsea waves him over. Jerry is wearing a black sweater with a black and white checker collar underneath and jeans. He sits down.)
CHELSEA: Hey. Sorry, I feel a little over-dressed.
JERRY: No you’re fine. So tell me about this fight.
CHELSEA: I don’t know, we got into an argument about the importance of a guy being funny in a relationship, and I said that sometimes, being smart and interesting is more important than being funny.
JERRY: You think I’m smart and interesting?
CHELSEA: Well, yeah. Your outlook is very honest, and honesty is scarce in these times.
JERRY: Especially in Washington.
CHELSEA: (Giggles) Yeah.
JERRY: I made a joke there.
CHELSEA: That’s true. See, what people say about you isn’t always true.
JERRY: Well, I find that to most people in their daily lives, truth is an obstacle that gets in the way of their perpetual self-reassurance machine. They always want to look in the mirror and think to themselves, “I’m better than Joe” or “I’m better than Jane.” Because that makes them feel good on the inside. Little do they realize that Joe or Jane may say the same thing about them. That’s what racism is. Uneducated loons living in hovels looking down on those who are of a different skin color. Opinions are like assholes. But I’ve learned opinions are obsolete, because when they are challenged, you turn into an asshole yourself and you can hardly handle or understand the fact that someone thinks differently than you do.
CHELSEA: That’s true. I was probably an asshole yesterday when I stormed out on my friend.
JERRY: Perhaps.
CHELSEA: So, have you ever been in a long-term relationship?
JERRY: Yes. Mostly with the mentally unstable and manic depressives.
CHELSEA: I see. How was that?
JERRY: It was okay. They asked for money a lot.
CHELSEA: So, you seem to like coffee.
JERRY: Well, coffee is soothing to me. I know that’s the opposite of its intended effect, but I think I’ve grown an immunity.
JERRY: Well, what do you want to get?
CHELSEA: I’m getting the bacon club. And you?
JERRY: I’m not getting anything.
CHELSEA: You know, I rarely see you eat at work.
JERRY: I usually save my eating for the late hours of the night.
CHELSEA: That’s interesting.
JERRY: I suppose.
(Cut to Jerry and Chelsea outside his door.)
JERRY: So I guess I’ll see you on Monday.
CHELSEA: I guess. Goodnight, Jerry.
JERRY: Goodnight.
(Chelsea kisses him on the forehead and walks to her car and drives off, waving. Jerry sits down and leans his head against his door.)
JERRY: Holy shit…
(Cut to Jerry in a session with his therapist, Doctor Athirtin.)
JERRY: I feel like, she understands me, like nobody else does.
DOCTOR ATHIRTIN: I see. Well, I’m going to go get a bag and then you can stuff your cash in it.
JERRY: Okay.
(Doctor Athirtin leaves the room. Jerry stares at a painting in the office that looks like a young girl. The screen goes to black.)

Submitted: December 24, 2010

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