…continued from SHIPS IN THE NIGHT # 5
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
SHIPS IN THE NIGHT # 6
Thanks to those who have provided feedback. Much appreciated. Don't leap to conclusions too early. Yes, this is a 2nd draft work in progress. I am publishing each new segment as it comes off the production line. And yes, Ruth Harley believes that reading and assessing this screenplay (indeed any screenplay of mine) would place Screen Australia staff at risk. At risk of what, you might ask? Being bored? Being entertained? God knows! I have asked but neither Ruth nor the Screen Australia Board believe that I am entitled to an answer!
…continued from SHIPS IN THE NIGHT # 5
…continued from SHIPS IN THE NIGHT # 5
22 INT. TAXI. CITY STREET. NIGHT
MATT drives fast – the purple sedan a couple of hundred meters behind him. There is a curve in the road. The purple car disappears from Matt’s rear vision mirror. He sees a driveway, switches the car lights off.
23 INT DRIVEWAY. SUBURBAN HOME. NIGHT
MATT swings into the driveway, tires screeching, parks in front of the garage. Lights at the front of the house turn on.
MATT’S eyes are focused on the rear vision mirror. Nothing. More nothing and then…the purple car drives past the driveway. BLUE, in a state of shock, breathes a sigh of relief – his face breaking into a smile.
BLUE That was fucking awesome!
MATT ignores BLUE, tries to calm his breathing – his left hand on his racing heart. BLUE notices MATT’S bleeding knuckles and is about to say something when MATT holds his hand up to shut BLUE up. A MAN IN PAJAMAS opens the front door with a cricket bat in one hand and his mobile phone to his ear in the other.
MATT switches his lights on and backs fast out of the driveway. The mobile phone in his pocket rings. He ignores it.
24 INT. TAXI. CITY STREET. NIGHT
Back on the main road MATT turns in the opposite direction to the one taken by the purple car, drives off fast. The mobile phone stops ringing.
BLUE Thanks man!
MATT shakes his head, looks at his watch.
BLUE It’s just a bit of a…
MATT holds his had up: ‘shut up!’
BLUE …a misunderstanding.
MATT Shut the fuck up, Blue, and get out.
MATT pulls over to the side of the road, puts his foot on the brake, skids in the gravel. He calms his breathing, regains his composure, leans over BLUE, opens the passenger door – speaks politely – passive/aggressive!
MATT Now. Please Blue. Thank you.
BLUE looks at him in shock, opens the door, starts to get out. Tracy’s phone rings.
BLUE Anyhow, thanks, man I really appreciate it.
MATT answers Tracy’s mobile as BLUE walks off.
TRACY’S VOICE You got Blue?
MATT He’s safe…
TRACY’S VOICE Thanks, can you…
MATT Tracy, I need my phone. And Juliet’s number. Now. Please!
TRACY’S VOICE Okay, hang on…can ya put the dumb prick on? Gotta tell him something.
MATT shakes his head, sighs, calls out:
BLUE turns. MATT points to the phone. BLUE runs back to the car, takes the mobile from MATT through the driver’s window.
BLUE Hey, babe! You’re right. Matt is awesome. If it hadn’t been for him…
MATT leans close to the phone, speaks loudly.
MATT Juliet’s phone number, Tracy. Please!
TRACY’S VOICE Don’t get ya knickers in a twist, Tubba.
TRACY’S VOICE I googled you, Matt Patterson. I know everything about you now. Hey, I sent that cool photo of you to Blue. Get him…
BLUE He’s dropped me off. I’m cool now…
TRACY’S VOICE Where?
BLUE A few ks from Gluttons.
TRACY’S VOICE Blue, I need to talk to you in private.
BLUE nods, walks a little further up the road. MATT watches him as he listens to Tracy. He runs his fingers through his hair, inspects the crack in the windscreen. It seems to have stabilized. After a good deal of nodding, BLUE smiles, walks back to the cab, hands the mobile to MATT.
TRACY’S VOICE Matt, if ya want ya phone back, take Blue home and meet me at Gluttons in…
MATT No. I don’t care about my phone. You can keep my phone. Just give me Juliet’s phone number.
TRACY’S VOICE You take Blue home and I’ll give it to you.
MATT Don’t try and blackmail me, Britney.
TRACY’S VOICE I’m not trying to blackmail you, Tubba. I am blackmailing you. Now here’s the plan…
25 EXT. TAXI. CITY STREET. NIGHT
MATT drives in silence, BLUE in the passenger seat. MATT is in a foul mood. BLUE plays absent-mindedly with the silver ring on his middle finger. It is identical to the one Tracy was wearing. MATT notices.
BLUE You ever been addicted to anything? Cigarettes, Maccas…porn.
MATT shakes his head.
BLUE Not even to footie?
MATT I don’t want to talk, Blue, about anything! Okay?
BLUE You pre-menstrual or something. (A BEAT) I mean menopausal…men can get menopause too, ya know? When ya testosterone levels drop.
MATT There’s nothing wrong with my testosterone levels!
BLUE nods, his eyes on MATT’S bloody knuckles.
BLUE I believe you, believe me!
He holds up his hands in a playful gesture of surrender. MATT shakes his head; at the end of his tether.
Loved footie when I was a kid but I was skinny little cunt and…
MATT looks at BLUE; raises his eyebrows.
BLUE Yeah, okay, don’t rub it in! That’s what my friends called me before ‘Blue’ – ‘Skinny’.
MATT You’ve got some very observant friends!
BLUE (nods) Yeah, so how’d you get to be called Tubba?
MATT I was fat as a kid and my best friend called me ‘Tubalard’.
MATT Tub of Lard. Tubby.
BLUE And it hurt you heaps, ay?
MATT looks at BLUE, nods.
BLUE And ya cry yaself to sleep even if ya laugh along with it, ay? Just coz you’re a hopeless skinny little cunt doesn’t mean ya got no feelings…ay?
MATT looks at BLUE, sees him in a new light.
MATT Lucky for me being bigger than the other boys at 11 made me star of the footie team…And when it turned out I could run too and the puppy fat turned to muscle…
BLUE I’d die for a bit of puppy fat.
MATT What made you think I was addicted to something?
BLUE I’m a porn addict. Internet. Recovering, but…
Tracy’s phone rings.
BLUE Want me to get that?
MATT nods. BLUE answers phone.
SERENA’S VOICE I can see what you’re up against! What planet is that girl from?
BLUE She’s fucking amazing, ay, Serena?
SERENA’S VOICE Is that Blue?
BLUE ‘Blue’, ‘Skinny’, call me anything but just not late for dinner, ay!
SERENA’S VOICE You got Matt there?
MATT grabs the phone from BLUE.
MATT It’s more like he’s got me. Tracy and…I’ve been kidnapped.
SERENA’S VOICE You mean you’ve allowed yourself…
MATT (laughs) Yeah, yeah, yeah…Blue’s just about to tell me about being a porn addict.
BLUE leans close to the phone at MATT’S ear.
BLUE Recovering, Serena. I found the cure.
SERENA’S VOICE You want a job? Half my male clients are porn addicts.
BLUE Yeah, Trace told me you were a shrink…
SERENA’S VOICE Therapist…
SERENA’S VOICE Google?
BLUE Best cure there is!
SERENA’S VOICE Google! How’s that?
BLUE Fuck! Hard to know where to begin.
SERENA’S VOICE At the beginning’s usually best, Blue.
MATT Hey, I’m driving. I’m down to my last point. This is not a good idea.
BLUE Why don’t you have one of these hands free things?
SERENA’S VOICE Good question, Blue. Practical matters…hang on…gotta go. Got another call coming in…Tracy.
MATT Jesus! What are you two talking about?
SERENA’S VOICE Secret women’s business.
BLUE Me and Matt’s talking secret men’s business.
Serena laughs, hangs up. MATT looks at BLUE, incredulous.
MATT Okay, you and porn! Tell me…
BLUE Well, Trace is a porn star, see. Major! (A BEAT) Hot. (A BEAT) The hottest! (A BEAT) The best. Vegetables is her speciality. (A BEAT) Nah, just taking the piss Tubba…
BLUE Well, one night, see, I typed ‘p-o-r-n’ into google like I had heaps before but typed ‘p-o-r-b’ by mistake. Before I knew it I was looking at a map of a town in Poland called Szklarska Porbe but I didn’t have a fucking clue where Poland was so I typed ‘P-o-l-a-n-d’ into google and before I knew it I was finding out things about Poland I had no idea I wanted to know. Ask me a question about Poland and I’ll probably know the answer – like how Mount Kosciuszko is named after Tadeusz Kosciuszko …then there’s another Polish guy called Roman Polanski – a ped film director who got into trouble fucking an underage girl… So, next time I felt like looking at some porn I typed C-U-N…Y and instead of, you know, and next thing I’m looking at City University of New York and all the courses they have…4,000 fucking courses and it was then I realized how much I didn’t know and…google became my…you know…place to go when the old porn thing reared its ugly head. All I have to do is make a little spelling mistake and fucked if I know what I’ll be finding out about next! And that’s how I come
across this word I’d never fucking heard of – ‘serendipity’, you know…looking for one thing but finding something else that’s way better than the thing you were looking for and when I met Tracy at Gluttons one night – we both had double cheese burghers with the works - and I dropped ‘serendipity’ into the
conversation trying to show off and figuring she wouldn’t know what it meant and she grinned like a fucking Cheshire
cat…and there was this song on the radio…’Ships in the night’, and it was some fucking thing at first sight. Love or whatever…Soul mates or something, I don’t know and Trace and I disagree on it but…
BLUE starts singing. He has an awful singing voice!
“Like ships in the night
You keep passing me by,
Just wasting time, trying to prove who's right…” Yeah, I know, shouldn’t give up my day job, ay? It’s like…our song, know what I mean? Me and Trace.
MATT laughs, looks at BLUE in amazement.
MATT What is your day job, Blue?
BLUE Y’know how there’s some songs make you want to take all your clothes off, take a running jump off the roof, free fall 21 floors, land in the snow, make a snow angel, shiver from the cold, get hypothermia, DIE!, go the pearly gates, say “what’s up” to Saint Peter, do your secret hand shake with him, look in the directory for Buddha, find Him, ask Him to reincarnate you into a frog, meet a princess like Tracy, kiss her, turn into a prince…know what I mean? (A BEAT) Furniture removalist. You got anything needs moving, I’m your man…So that’s how I went looking for porn and found Trace. Beautiful Tracy. My soul mate. But…because…Can I ask your advice on something? Personal? Seeing as how you’re…well, old and everything? you’ve been in love, right?
MATT (smiles) I’m not that old…
BLUE Well, when a boy and girl are going out together and…
Tracy’s mobile in MATT’S pocket rings. MATT takes it out.
BLUE Want me to…?
MATT nods, hands the phone to BLUE.
TRACY’S VOICE Put Matt on.
BLUE Hey, babe…
TRACY’S VOICE Put Matt on.
BLUE Tracy wants to talk to you.
MATT looks in the rear-vision mirror and in his side mirror, takes the mobile reluctantly.
TRACY’S VOICE Change of plan. I want you to meet me in Paramatta. Serena’s cool with it.
MATT Great to know that you and Serena have sorted my life out for me.
TRACY’S VOICE There’s club called ‘Stardust’, do you know it?
MATT I’m a fucking taxi-driver, Britney, of course I know it.
TRACY’S VOICE Great, Tubba…see ya there in ten. Hey. That photo is so cool. You with a six pack!
MATT What photo?
TRACY’S VOICE I sent it to Blue. You didn’t get it!?
BLUE Sorry babe, I forgot. I’ll…Britney!
TRACY’S VOICE I’m not your babe, Blue!
BLUE takes out his mobile phone.
MATT Tracy, what photo are you talking about?
The sound of a police siren. The inside of the cab lights up with the flashing orange light.
MATT sees the police car in his rear vision mirror, pulls over, drops the phone into his lap, shakes his head. He can’t believe this is happening.
…to be continued…