Chapter 2, Scene 4: Molly

INT. MUSIC CLUB – WILLIAMSBURG/BROOKLYN – NIGHT

A gritty, industrial atmosphere with concrete floors, infrequent lighting, and a musty smell that has lingered for at least 100 years.

A crowd of about 100 people stands in front of a short stage, enjoying, or perhaps enduring, the loud, discorded, techno-funk-alternative-rock music blasting from VILLE NOIR, a local NYC group.

A tall, thin woman in her late 30s, with long black hair streaked with flashes of silver, leans on a microphone stand while singing a mixture of words and hauntingly deep ‘oooohhhs’ and ‘aahhhs’. Her metallic-flaked pants and jacket, slightly too big for her frame, complement the fedora hat drawn down low on her forehead.

The rest of the band rounds out an eclectic mix of styles, from the grunge-honoring lead guitarist to the hair-band leftover on bass to the nerdy-looking black kid working two laptop computers and a keyboard. The drummer is a spot-on double for Dennis the Menace at 30 years old.

The concert-goers represent a cross section of this hip, artistically-inspired section of Brooklyn. Most are in their 20s or 30s, ethnically diverse, and slightly on the better side of the privilege curve.

We pan over these music fans with their subtle shoulder and head movements, grooving to the musical vibe, to find Mitch, sitting on a tall BARSTOOL in the corner, leaning back on the walls.

The WAITRESS drops off a MIXED DRINK. Mitch gives her the empty GLASS from the previous one.

A small group to his right decides to move on to their next spot. That clears a big spot on the floor along with two barstools next to Mitch.

An older couple, 60s, notices the empty stools and moves to the corner. The husband puts his drink on the small wall shelf next to Mitch’s. They both politely smile at Mitch and say Hi. Mitch returns the greeting.

The three of them together stand out from the rest of the crowd, but it doesn’t appear to matter to any of them.

LATER

The band takes a break. A good portion of the audience heads outside for a smoke, others line up at the bathrooms on the other side of the room.

The lead singer makes her way to the old-folks corner and embraces the older couple — obviously her parents.

She and Mitch make eye contact, more than just a quick glance. Then she returns to the conversation with her folks.

Before she goes back to the stage, she turns her attention back to Mitch.

       LEAD SINGER
I hope you’re enjoying the show.

       MITCH
It makes me all warm and happy on the inside.

She laughs and moves back to the stage.

The OLDER HUSBAND looks at Mitch, not sure how he should take Mitch’s comment.

       MITCH (CONT’D)
I’m serious… they’re great.

       HUSBAND
Sixteen years of classical piano lessons, and eighty thousand dollars at Cornell… That’s what it’ll buy you.

       WIFE
Felix!

       FELIX
What?

       WIFE
Stop saying that.

       MITCH
Look at it this way, Felix. She could have ended up much worse… as an investment banker or political consultant, or…

       WIFE
Or an attorney.

She points to Felix and laughs.

       FELIX
Public defender.

Felix laughs as well, a good sport about it all.

Mitch extends his hand, Felix does the same, and they shake hands.

LATER

The band strikes it’s final chord of the night, met with plenty of grateful applause from the audience.

Mitch begins to put on his COAT. Felix turns to him, says something we can’t hear and points to something outside.

INT. 24-HOUR DINER – WILLIAMSBURG, BROOKLYN – NIGHT

Mitch, Felix, and his wife, MARGO, sit in a booth chatting up the night.

       MARGO
And she wouldn’t learn to drive — still doesn’t know how, at thirty-six years old.

       FELIX
What teenager doesn’t want to drive?

       MARGO
So we drove three hours from Albany to Ithaca to pick her up every weekend. Through ice and snow a few times.

       FELIX
What are you going to do?

       MITCH
You do what you have to do, am I right?

       FELIX
You’ll find that out, too. Right?  Two daughters?

The waitress brings a fresh pot of coffee around. Margo slides her cup out, the international sign of ‘yes, please’.

       MITCH
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m right there with you.

The waitress then gestures to Mitch.

       MITCH (CONT’D)
No thanks. If I have caffeine right now, I won’t sleep for days.

The lead singer, YVONNE, enters the diner and approaches the
booth.

       FELIX
Hey, there she is.

       YVONNE
Sorry it took so long. We didn’t have any help.

       FELIX
You going to sit with us for a minute?

       YVONNE
No… I’m sorry, the producer’s throwing an after-party. Part of the deal.

She looks at Mitch.

       MITCH
Hi, I’m Mitch.

       YVONNE
Yeah. Mr. Warm and Happy.

       MITCH
Right.

       MARGO
He just moved to New York. He’s a filmmaker.

       YVONNE
Is that right?

       MITCH
I’ve done one short. It’s not much, just something I thought your folks would like.

       YVONNE
So you’re artsy, is that what you’re saying?

       MITCH
Artsy. Fartsy. Take your pick.

       YVONNE
You should come to the after party.

Mitch holds eye contact with her for a few beats, calculating the pros and cons of her invitation.

Finally…

       MITCH
Sure… yeah… where is it?

       YVONNE
Just come with. I’ll show you.

Mitch grabs his coat and starts getting out of the booth.

Felix’s “dad instincts” kick in. He stares down Mitch with a bit of a scowl.

       MITCH
Uh – oh. I know that look.

       FELIX
What?

       MARGO
Oh, for Pete’s sake. You guys go have fun.

       FELIX
(to Yvonne)
You’re coming by the hotel in the morning for breakfast, though.

       YVONNE
Yes, of course.

Felix looks back at Mitch.

       FELIX
Not you.

       MITCH
Felix, you’re a man after my own heart.

       YVONNE
Dad. Be cool.

       MARGO
Felix.

And with that, Yvonne and Mitch take off.

EXT. WILLIAMSBURG STREETS, BROOKLYN – NIGHT

Yvonne and Mitch walk along Bedford Avenue. The sidewalks are mostly empty, with only a few other stray walkers passing by.

       YVONNE
You’d think so.

       MITCH
What, no Daddy issues?

       YVONNE
Not even close. Mommy either.

       MITCH
So where does all the creative angst come from?

       YVONNE
Unresolved homosexual curiosity.

       MITCH
Of course.

She laughs as she takes out a pack of cigarettes and a lighter.

       YVONNE
It would make so much more sense to them if that were the case. Some explanation as to my unreasonable choice to live alone.

She offers Mitch a cigarette.

       MITCH
No thanks.

       YVONNE
Doesn’t mean I stay lonely.

She lights her own cigarette.

       YVONNE (CONT’D)
Don’t smoke?

       MITCH
Nope.

       YVONNE
Weed?

       MITCH
Nope.

       YVONNE
Never have or never will?

       MITCH
Never have.

       YVONNE
Before New York?

       MITCH
Before anything.

       YVONNE
Time for something new?

       MITCH
It’s one o’clock in the morning. I certainly don’t need anything that’s going to put me to sleep.

She leads him over to a doorway in front of a hair salon. She reaches into her purse and pulls out a small plastic bag containing a few pills.

       MITCH (CONT’D)
Wait, I didn’t mean –

       YVONNE
It’s just a little Molly. Think of it as some Sudafed with plenty of love for everyone.

She takes two pills out of the bag.

       MITCH
Thanks for the offer, but it’s not really my thing.

       YVONNE
Mitch.

She puts one of the pills in her mouth.

       MITCH
I stay plenty busy abusing alcohol, I don’t need to –

And she boldly kisses him, grabbing him behind the neck with a passionate lock. He doesn’t resist.

After an extended time of this kiss, she finally breaks it off.

Mitch moves his jaw around. The pill has been shuttled to him during the kiss.

She smiles at him.

       YVONNE
You’re going to want that. Trust me.

He ponders it for a few more seconds.

She pops the other pill into her mouth.

He swallows.

       YVONNE (CONT’D)
Now we’ll see how warm and happy you get on the inside.

They resume walking on the street. She gives him a playful slap on the ass.

INT. LOFT APARTMENT – WILLIAMSBURG, BROOKLYN – NIGHT

Mitch and Yvonne dance at a crowded party held in a large loft in this converted-warehouse-to-luxury-apartments building.

The music here is just as loud as the club, but more tribal, with a strong beat and a thumping, grinding, forceful energy.

Both of them move freely and energetically, with no reserve or inhibition. Mitch has shed his coat, and Yvonne has peeled off the suit jacket – only a tank-top undershirt keeps her from being topless.

Mitch’s POV: the lights dance in a psychedelic explosion of color and electric fun.

They keep dancing, moving to the driving beat:

… she grabs the sides of his waste and moves closer

… she spins around and backs up to him, her arm wrapping around the back of his neck.

… Mitch puts his hands high in the air, leans his head back

… both of them work up a good sweat

… she raises her chin up and kisses him.

EXT. LOFT APARTMENT – WILLIAMSBURG, BROOKLYN – NIGHT

Mitch sits with a few people, mostly 30s and 40s, outside on the patio overlooking the Manhattan skyline. Yvonne talks with some fans nearby.

It’s nippy out there, and Mitch has his coat back on, but plenty of propane lamp-style heaters knock off the chill.

He’s locked in a conversation with one guy, dressed very hip and stylish – one of the music producers for the band.

Mitch’s mannerisms are all hyped up – his hands are overactive and he pumps his right foot, making his knee bounce up and down.

       MITCH
I’ve been thinking of pitching it as a pilot, right? – take the senior-citizen angle, set it in – um, one of those, those assisted living facilities, you know – not a nursing home, but for retired people who still function – and it hits family issues and, and um.. life challenges – but funny and dark – kind of like a Parenthood meets Golden Girls – but with some grit to it, you know… not just pancakes and syrup.

       MUSIC PRODUCER GUY
That could work, I think. Not much coming out to target that market.

The producer keeps looking around, not deeply into the topic.

       MITCH
Right… and don’t set it in Florida… I mean… Right? Put it here in Brooklyn or Queens.

       MUSIC PRODUCER GUY
This is where it’s at.

       MITCH
Who should I be talking to? You know, just an introduction… that would be freakin’ fantastic.

       MUSIC PRODUCER GUY
I don’t run in those circles.

       MITCH
Well if you’d like to read something –

       MUSIC PRODUCER GUY
I wouldn’t be the right person for that. Talk to Yvonne. She knows lots of people across the business.

Producer Guy gets up from his chair.

       MITCH
Yeah, yeah, yeah… right. Sure… hey congratulations on the new album.

       MUSIC PRODUCER GUY
Thanks. Glad you’re enjoying the party.

INT. LOFT APARTMENT – WILLIAMSBURG, BROOKLYN – NIGHT

Mitch bounces back into the apartment. The music has switched to something more mellow and transcendent, back closer to the amorphous sounds of VILLE NOIR.

The crowd has thinned as well, and it’s starting to feel like the party might be winding down.

Mitch checks his phone: 2:55 am, but he’s still zinging along, nowhere near ready for sleep.

He wanders through the remaining crowd, looking for Yvonne.

He approaches the massive island in the open kitchen, finds a large, clean glass, fills it with water, and chugs it.

He resumes the search, moving toward the opposite side of the big open room to a narrow corridor which leads to some bedrooms.

As he passes the bathroom, the door opens and a DRUNK GIRL, 20s, stumbles out and nearly falls into Mitch. He catches her, getting a strong whiff of weed and whiskey on her breath.

       DRUNK GIRL
Oh, fuck!

       MITCH
I got you, I got you.

       DRUNK GIRL
Where’s Shawn?

       MITCH
I don’t know Shawn.

She tries to stabilize on her feet. Mitch still holds her arm. She pushes his hand away.

       DRUNK GIRL
Hey… no touching.

       MITCH
Fine. Fine.

She stumbles away, back toward the open part of the loft.

       DRUNK GIRL
Creepy perv.

       MITCH
Skank.

IN THE BATHROOM

Mitch steps into the bathroom and closes the door, moves in front of the toilet, and prepares to empty his bladder.

He stands there, at the ready, but nothing happens.

A KNOCK ON THE DOOR

       MITCH (CONT’D)
Hold on… I’ll be out in a sec.

And now the pressure really mounts – he needs to pee, but can’t.

After a few more beats, there’s another KNOCK ON THE DOOR.

       MITCH (CONT’D)
Okay… Jesus.

He gives up, zips up, and turns to the sink. He quickly washes his hands and splashes some water on his face.

He puts his hand to his neck, checks his pulse, his heartbeat racing.

       MITCH (CONT’D)
Shit.

BACK IN HALLWAY

Mitch walks back toward the loft. The music is muffled with the sound of Mitch’s heartbeat pounding in his ears.

He emerges from the hallway and looks around, agitated, trying to find some clue of Yvonne’s whereabouts.

He peers out the windows that border the patio. From there he can see Yvonne, out on the patio, kissing some younger guy, much hotter than Mitch.

       MITCH (CONT’D)
Good grief.

And with that resolved, Mitch bolts out the front door.

EXT. WILLIAMSBURG STREETS, BROOKLYN – NIGHT

Mitch bounces down the sidewalk toward the subway entrance.

He puts his earbuds and tries to attach the cord to the jack on his phone. His hands are shaking so much he can’t get it in there.

He stops, closes his eyes, and takes a couple of big cleansing breaths. That centers him enough to attach the cord to the phone. He swipes through his song list, then finds one.

       MITCH
Ah… perfect.

CUE MUSIC: James Brown, I Got the Feelin’

And once again, he’s a bundle of energy gliding down the sidewalk.

       JAMES BROWN (SINGING)
I got the feelin’
Baby, Baby,
I got the feeling’

INT. SUBWAY STATION – 14TH STREET AND 7TH AVENUE – NIGHT

CONTINUE OVER MUSIC

       JAMES BROWN (SINGING)
You don’t know… what you do to me
People are heavy, down in misery

Mitch exits the L train onto the platform and climbs the steps, two or three at a time toward the waiting area for the #2 train.

He continues to move to the music and begins singing and dancing.

       MITCH AND JAMES BROWN (SINGING)
Hey, yeah, alright
Hey, hey, good lord

He punctuates the funky syncopated rhythm of the song with sharp shoulder, head, and hip movement.

The handful of other travelers give him a wide berth, but are content just to watch the show.

He moves like a man possessed, athletic, confident.

       MITCH AND JAMES BROWN (SINGING)
(CONT’D)
I got the feeling, alright
Baby, baby, baby
Baby, baby, baby
Baby, baby, baby
Baby, baby

The dancing and singing continues. At one point, he slides near the edge of the platform, getting a little too close to falling down onto the tracks. He doesn’t let it affect his moves.

       MITCH AND JAMES BROWN (SINGING)
(CONT’D)
I got the feeling, baby
Baby, sometimes I’m up
Sometimes I’m down
My heart, I’m around the town
I’m level with the ground, baby
I said level with the ground
Well, baby, you treat me bad

A few more bystanders have gathered, all absorbing the unexpected display of energy from this poor fool.

       MITCH AND JAMES BROWN (SINGING)
(CONT’D)
No, no, I know no, you don’t mean it now
Sometimes, I roam
But I’ll be coming back home
Sometimes, I seem to be fly
I just don’t know when to say bye bye

Finally, the song comes to an end. Mitch tones it down from his animated dance to merely some nervous hand and shoulder movement.

After waiting for a short while more, he looks down the tracks to see if a train might be approaching. Then he looks at the subway map and decides he’ll just walk home from there.

EXT. TIMES SQUARE – NIGHT

Mitch strolls through the middle of Times Square with the giant screens blazing. It’s just after 4:30 am, and the activity there buzzes along as if it were 8 pm.

He doesn’t break stride, but makes it a point to offer greetings to everyone he passes.

       MITCH
Hey… how you doin?

What’s up, dude?

How are you?

Good to see you, my friend.

I like that hat, my dear!

And just as he crosses 47th street, still zipping north on Broadway, he stops and turns back to the glitz of Times Square. He thrusts his arms into the air.

       MITCH (CONT’D)
Thank you, New York! You’ve been great!!!

EXT. RIVERSIDE DRIVE – NIGHT

Daylight silently creeps into the eastern sky.

As Mitch treks north, he glimpses the hint of the coming sunrise through the apartment buildings that run along 91st, 92nd, and 93rd streets.

He stops on the corner of 95th, across from his apartment building, to wait for some cars to pass.

While he waits, he feels his breathing slow, his hands calm down, and he yawns, the widest and longest yawn of his life.

One last glance up 95th, to the east, above the horizon at Amsterdam, with the golden edge of the sun, pushing into a new day.

And then it hits him. An urge… nature’s unmistakable calling.

He dashes across the street and into the entrance to his building.

INT. HALLWAY OUTSIDE MITCH’S APARTMENT – CONTINUOUS

Mitch steps back and forth from one foot to another as he juggles his keys, finally finding the one he needs, and opens the door.

INT. ENTRANCE – MITCH’S APARTMENT – CONTINUOUS

He bursts through the front door and lunges into his bathroom.

We hold on a shot of the entrance.

We hear the sounds of Mitch wrestling with his belt and pants, and then finally a firm and steady stream flowing into his toilet.

       MITCH
Ohhhh…. Thank you, New York… you’ve been great.

INT. BEDROOM – MITCH’S APARTMENT – CONTINUOUS

With the sound of the flushing toilet in the background, Mitch wearily steps into his bedroom, peels his coat off, and falls onto his bed.

END OF SCENE

 

molly

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