Chapter 1, Scene 4: Friends

INT. SET OF “FRIENDS” – MONICA’S APARTMENT – DAY

MONICA, RACHEL, and JOEY sit at their small kitchen table eating from a PIZZA BOX.

Joey grabs another slice. Rachel slaps his hand away.

       JOEY
But I’m twice the size of you guys. Come on, you know you don’t actually eat this stuff.

PHOEBE bursts through the front door.

       PHOEBE
Oh, good, you’re home! You guys!
Oh, this is so great!

She waves her hands like a kid who can’t wait to tell the secret.

       MONICA
What is it, Pheebs?

       PHOEBE
I just met the sweetest guy down in the coffee shop.

       RACHEL
That’s great, sweetie.

       PHOEBE
He’s coming up to meet the rest of you.

       MONICA
Like now?

       PHOEBE
Yeah.

Monica begins to tidy up the kitchen. Phoebe opens the front door, leans into the hall, and motions for him to come on in.

       PHOEBE (CONT’D)
It’s fine… Yeah, I told them.

Monica and Rachel move toward the door to see their new FRIEND.

Mitch walks through the door, dressed in the same shorts, t-shirt, and BALL CAP he’s been wearing on his trip.

       PHOEBE (CONT’D)
Guys, this is Mitch.

Monica and Rachel reach out to shake his hand.

       MITCH
Nice to meet you.

       MONICA
Monica.

       RACHEL
Rachel.

       MITCH
Wow, this is surreal, actually.

Joey walks up behind them, carrying a piece of PIZZA. He wipes his hand on his pants and sticks it out. He has a full mouth of food.

       JOEY
(muffled)
Joey.

       RACHEL
Joey!

       PHOEBE
Guys, come on, let’s sit down.

They move to the sitting area. Rachel and Phoebe hang back.

       RACHEL
(aside to Phoebe)
He’s cute, Phoebe, but he’s a bit old, don’t you think?

       PHOEBE
Yes, but his soul is so much older.

AT THE COUCH:

       MONICA
So, Mitch, do I detect a little accent there?

       MITCH
I just moved to New York from Kentucky.

       MONICA
How exciting. What brings you to New York?

       PHOEBE
He wants to be a writer… for TV shows!

       RACHEL
Television… Eh.

       MITCH
Not just TV. Film and theater, too. I mean, I have a full-time gig as an IT Architect, but that’s just to pay the bills.

       MONICA
Hey, Joey’s an actor, maybe he can introduce you to some folks.

       MITCH
Yeah, I know.

       PHOEBE
Mitch knows so much about all of us already. I think he’s psychic, in a Carl-Sagan-Cosmos kind of way.

       MITCH
I wouldn’t say that.

       MONICA
Really? What can you tell us?

       MITCH
Phoebe writes these intriguing songs and pretends that she can’t sing that well, although she actually has a beautiful voice.

Phoebe blushes.

       MITCH (CONT’D)
Monica’s a control freak, but only because she cares so much for all of you. In fact, she has the biggest heart of anyone you’ll ever meet.

       MONICA
Aawww.

       MITCH
And Joey doesn’t share food.

Joey smiles and nods.

       RACHEL
What about me?

       MITCH
Oh, honey. You’re so pretty, and much more talented than you show… But so spoiled, truly a narcissist.

       RACHEL
Hey, bud!

       PHOEBE
He’s right, Rachel.

       RACHEL
Okay, well.

       MONICA
How do you know so much about us?

       JOEY
Yeah, do you sit in the back of the coffee shop and just watch us all the time?

       MITCH
Something like that.

       PHOEBE
I think it’s sweet.

       MONICA
What makes us so interesting?

       MITCH
Because you guys broke the mold. My generation had a pattern set for us: college, job, marriage, kids.  Don’t get me wrong, that’s a wonderful vision… heavenly, really… and it worked for a long time. But the “two-by-two” plan hasn’t shown the best of results. Divorce rates are insane. People get this wanderlust. Vows don’t mean much.

The Friends exchange a glance of discomfort.

       MITCH (CONT’D)
“Immediate” is the new “forever”.

       MONICA
That’s not how we feel.

       MITCH
I know. You guys built a different model. “Friends First!” Young and hopeful, fearless, living in the center of the universe, independent, but more like “inter-dependent”.  You gave us all a tight-knit unit to emulate, based on a social bond stronger than the traditional coupling model.

       JOEY
I don’t know. There are plenty of models I wouldn’t mind coupling with.

He smiles at Rachel.

       RACHEL
Joey!

       PHOEBE
See, guys. What’d I tell you?

       RACHEL
You know, I think he’s onto something. I mean, that whole thing must have been what I was feeling when I left Barry at the alter.

       MITCH
Rachel, this is not about you.

       MONICA
Ok, Mitch. We get it. I mean, it sounds like we are it, so getting it is like, built in or something.

       JOEY
Hey, I like that.

       MONICA
But that doesn’t explain why you’re here.

Mitch thinks for a second.

       MITCH
To have an authentic New York experience.

       PHOEBE
Well, we’re definitely that.

ROSS and CHANDLER enter.

       CHANDLER
Hey, you guys need to come down and check this out. There’s an old guy in a big U-Haul truck parked outside with his flashers on, blocking traffic. He’s sleeping in the cab.

       ROSS
I think he’s been sleeping there all night.

       CHANDLER
Or he’s dead.

       MITCH
Oh, no, that’s me.

INT. U-HAUL TRUCK – CAB – DAY

Just after dawn, a hint of sunshine starts to brighten the cab of the truck. Mitch rests in that same position, leaning against the door, legs stretched out, asleep.

We hear a loud TAPPING on the window.

Mitch startles himself awake.

       MITCH
Phoebe!

An OLD MAN stands outside.

       OLD MAN
You need to move so I can get out!

       MITCH
Yeah, no problem. Sorry.

Mitch wipes the sleep from his eyes and tries to orient himself after the dream.

He starts the truck and puts it into gear.

INT. COFFEE SHOP – UPPER WEST SIDE – DAY

Mitch takes a bag of pastries from the clerk along with two large coffees in a cardboard carrier.

       MITCH
Thank you!

The clerk pays no attention and is on to the next customer.

Mitch hustles out of the coffee shop.

EXT. 95TH STREET – MANHATTAN – DAY

Mitch shuffles briskly down the sidewalk toward the U-Haul, still in its same spot, still with FLASHERS ON.

As he nears the truck, we see ANGELICA RAMON, 26, a beautiful Brazilian woman, sitting behind the wheel of the truck, talking on her cell phone.

       ANGELICA
(thick Brazilian accent)
It’s a one-bedroom, with lots of windows. Five floor walk up, but close to the park. It will be gone by this afternoon…

She smiles at Mitch as he hands her one of the coffees and the bag of pastries.

       ANGELICA (CONT’D)
… I can show you in a couple hours … so you let me know.

She mouths the words “Thank you” to Mitch and continues with her phone call.

       ANGELICA (CONT’D)
No, no, no, no, no… that’s no problem. You call this guy and he’ll come install two new A-C units. He has the license.

Continuing her call, she reaches for some PAPERWORK and hands it to Mitch, then gives him a PEN. He looks over the lease.

       ANGELICA (CONT’D)
(into phone)
But I’m telling you that will not be a problem. Trust me on that, will you? … It’s normal … for the tenant to bring the A-C units … six, maybe seven hundred … no, no, no, no … for each one.

She points to the signature lines as Mitch signs the lease.  He gives her the signed DOCUMENT, and she hands him the KEYS.

Just then, another large truck with ‘HUDSON VALLEY MOVING & STORAGE’ painted across the side, pulls in behind the U-Haul.

       MITCH
Right on time.

INT. MITCH’S APARTMENT – DAY

SHOT FROM INSIDE the small apartment, empty, with a tiny kitchen, painted hardwood floors, and stark white walls.

The front door swings open, and Mitch enters, just a few feet, then stops.

Looking around, he takes a huge breath in and lets it out fully. This is his place now.

He steps into the room as if walking into church, taking it all in, even though there’s not that much to take in.

The moment lingers. A few streaks of sunlight leak in through the window in the living room, and all is quiet.

       MOVER GUY 1 (O.S.)
Hey! Mister?

The voice is loud, gruff, and very Russian.

       MITCH
In here!

The two husky, hairy, meat-eating movers, MOVER GUY 1 and MOVER GUY 2 bring in a BOOKCASE-SHELVING UNIT as the unloading process gets underway.

       MITCH (CONT’D)
Okay… that goes over there in the corner.

IN FAST MOTION, SHOTS of the movers bringing in BOXES, the BAR STOOLS, another BOOKCASE, and the PIANO… all of it being stacked into the corner, packed in tight like it was in the truck.

IN THE BEDROOM, STILL IN FAST MOTION: they bring the MATTRESS, HEADBOARD, FOOTBOARD, stacking them against the wall.

BACK IN THE LIVING ROOM: The movers bring in another stack of boxes and finish off the pile.

       MOVER GUY 1
OK… down to last thing.

       MITCH
Ah… Boomer.

EXT. 95TH STREET – MANHATTAN – DAY

Mitch and the movers walk past the cab of the truck, with Angelica still sitting in there, again on her phone, talking in Portuguese — something obviously has her all fired up.

Mitch passes her without stopping, turns around the end of the truck, and sees the last item in the truck.

SHOT FROM MITCH’S POV: A bright red, 1994 Honda Magna MOTORCYCLE, strapped to the back wall of the truck.

       MITCH
Ok, boys. You’re done. I’ve got
it from here.

He tips both of the movers with some cash. They climb into their own truck and take off to their next job, talking in Russian and laughing at an apparent joke.

WIDE SHOT FROM SIDE OF U-HAUL. We hear Mitch start the bike and REV THE ENGINE. Then the bike, with Mitch riding, appears from the back and rolls down the ramp to the street.

LATER:

Mitch pulls the door down on the truck, closing it up one last time. Angelica walks up to him.

       ANGELICA
So, Mitch. All is done, no?

       MITCH
All is done. Thanks for your help.

       ANGELICA
It was a long search. I’m glad we found this one.

       MITCH
They say the three hardest feats for a human to accomplish are hitting a major league pitch, landing a fighter plane on an aircraft carrier at sea, and finding an apartment in New York City.

       ANGELICA
And you did one of them!  It’s a tireless job, let me tell you… Do you need anything else?

       MITCH
No. Thanks again for sitting in the truck.

       ANGELICA
I do it all the time.

       MITCH
I have to take this truck in. Can I drop you off anywhere?

       ANGELICA
No, no, no, no… I am taking the train down to the Village. This woman, she’s so crazy, she wants a two-bedroom with a dishwasher in the Village for under four thousand. I have to go. Best of luck, and take good care.

She smiles, twirls her backpack up to her shoulder and walks back up 95th street toward the subway station.

CUE MUSIC: New Sensations by Lou Reed

As the long lead-in to the song rolls, Mitch cracks a smile, shakes his head, and climbs into the cab of the truck.

CROSS FADE

INT. MITCH’S APARTMENT – DAY

The lead-in to the song continues over Mitch’s action.

LIVING ROOM: Mitch looks at the huge pile of boxes in the corner. Where to start?

       MITCH
The first thing to do to get life back on track? Make the bed.

BEDROOM: He starts to put the bed frame together and realizes he needs a wrench.

BACK IN LIVING ROOM: He opens one box, looking for his tools, but only finds some BOOKS. He moves a couple of boxes to get to a PLASTIC TOTE BIN.

       MITCH (CONT’D)
Ah… here we go.

As he digs into the bin to get the WRENCH, he sees another box to his side labeled “FRAMED PHOTOS”. He opens that box, and takes out a few PHOTOS, unwrapping the PAPER around them.

The first one he finds is a picture of Mitch with several friends from a previous job. He smiles at the memory.

Then he unwraps two similar frames with individual pictures of Rebecca and Chelsea. He places them on an open spot in a bookcase.

Then he notices the corner of one frame sticking out of its wrapping. He unwraps that one to show a picture of RON, sitting at an outdoor table, next to the San Antonio Riverwalk.

       MITCH (CONT’D)
Never far away, are you, my friend?

He places Ron’s photo back in the box, leaving it open, grabs the wrench and heads back to the bedroom.

IN THE BEDROOM:

Mitch works on getting his bed put together…

       LOU REED
(singing)
I don’t like guilt, be it stoned or stupid
drunk and disorderly, 
I ain’t no cupid.
Two years ago today, I was arrested on Christmas Eve.
I don’t want pain, I want to walk, not be carried.
I don’t want to give it up, I want to stay married.
I ain’t no dog tied to a parked car.

Ooohhh, new sensations.
Ooohhh, ooohhh, new sensations.

Talkin’ ’bout some new sensations.
Talkin’ ’bout some new sensations.

FADE OUT

END OF SCENE

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