In the fall of 2001, after I had decided to stay in school – having just returned to it – and not enlist in light of the September 11th attacks, I wrote a play for a class. It was rather short (I think seven pages) and titled 4200. The professor, Dr. Robert Schneider, had me rewrite it – take it seriously, he said – and suddenly it was 17 pages and had a new title: Without Distinction. It makes sense to me, but no one else seems to get it. Fine. Play got an A – mostly because Dr. Schneider liked a bit of direction that had a character glaring at another with "Hell's Own Fury" – but he encouraged me to give it another pass and see if there was anything else I wanted to say with it. Sure, but not if I wanted to be honest about anything. Then it occurred to me that I just had to be honest about how much Tim sucked and I could write whatever I wanted. At the same time, I could make the other roles more substantial (they aren't real people) and give them their own motivation. This allowed me to keep Tim mostly out of the first twenty pages (and arguably means that he is not the main character).
The finished product is essentially what it posted here. Sure, this was (sort of) rewritten for consideration of filming it as a short film in 2004. There is one very short added scene; Dr. Schneider liked the idea for it when it was a play, but there would be no way to stage it on the ultra-cheap, so out it went. I like to think, even though Tim is completely absent from it, it does more to showcase the complete and total disconnect he has from one of the primary characters. It also gives the character in the scene some level of emotional investment in what is going on. There was even someone slotted to play that role (we had four of the eight roles cast), and it wasn't an easy pitch to a twenty year old I just met – hey, I also need you to get naked for a twenty second scene.
This is not an attempt top recount anything that actually happened. This is a work of fiction. It was originally written with the idea that it would make sense to an audience aged 18-24 and at a college or university. As an adult, it sure paints the 'young adult' in a very poor light, but that is part of what people tend to fondly remember. I also want to point out that this was written well before Clerks II (2006) and Randle's rant at Dante. Oh, Kevin Smith, how you vex me.
Okay. There are some things in this that are straight out of real life.
1) Mike, his fraternity brother, and I went to the place in Iowa City that had two pound burritos and then the hospital. Turns out Mike had mono and was actually sick.
2) Parts of Mike's final speech are drawn from a rant directed at me in 1997 (specifically, he did not want to celebrate the anniversary with a drink...which is odd, because he didn't need an excuse to drink in those days).
3) No, I did not recognize my (at the time) most unfavorite person in the world when I saw her face to face. As one can infer from reading this, my dislike was entirely directed at an event and had nothing really to do with any actual person. I cannot say that I know anything about the character of the real person, but I do think I wrote a decent role for a nasty character.
4) I could not give completely accurate directions from 632 S. Van Buren to the residential hall, but they still could have gotten there without me (or so is my ongoing contention).
5) Yes, the Tim character is supposed to be unlikeable (much like the real Tim was at the time, and for some time after).
6) The tattoo is really just something I wrote on my hand from time to time – it has something to do with a Soul Asylum song. The real Tim is tattoo free, but it sure felt like it added the right amount of authentic creepy to include it in a shot.
On the other hand, very little of the dialogue is anywhere near true to real life events (save for parts of Mike's speech at the end). It being a work of fiction and all, there is a lot of putting words into the mouths of characters that, were they real and actual people, just wouldn't belong. Likewise, I know that at least two of the names don't correspond to any real people in regards to what one may consider source material for this story. I did try to get a correction recently, but since I was not given the courtesy of a response (have absolutely no contact with someone for 17+ years and then ask them for a favor...maybe not the best strategy). So, that leaves the story with Matt and Craig as creatures that are wholly of my devising (and thus should further convince anyone that this has little relation to anything that may have ever actually happened). I actually like much of the false dialogue I've crafted here. There is a line very early on that caught on amongst the few people who were going to make this a film.
[Speaking of films...I would love to see this acted out with puppets. That would probably be the best possible film version of it.]
Now, the problem that may exist is, "Have I been clear enough that this is a work of fiction?". I like for people to read what I write; not going to pretend that I don't have an ego or that I think I have nothing to say. I will admit some do it much better than I do, but I like to think I occasionally find a voice. But I do have some fears about this one coming back to bite me in the ass. This was written in 2001, and I'm sure there are those who could argue that is more than five years past any lifespan I earned to write about anything resembling this (this assumes a 1:1 ratio of experience of a thing to getting to lament about it). It being a whole decade later, I would like to think this is now okay to share. Having written that, I won't discourage people – if you make it all the way through this preamble and then the script – from sharing it, warts and all, with anyone whom it may offend (see former most unfavorite person in the world).
This is a work of fiction. This is a work of fiction. This is a work of fiction. This is a work of fiction.
Timothy Allen McNeil
INT. DORM ROOM – DAY
TWO WOMEN are in the room. AMY, an attractive college freshman, is standing next to her bed, sorting clothes to be laundered. She is less than enthusiastic about this task.
STEPHANIE, Amy’s roommate, is seated in a plastic desk chair in the middle of the room watching television. She is dressed to stay in.
Amy looks over at Stephanie.
(Amy’s) POV shot of Stephanie watching the television.
Amy drops the clothing in her hand and moves across the room to answer the telephone.
(Pacing about the room)
Hello? ...Okay. So, are you coming over
now? ...Well, no, probably not for a
while, but that doesn’t mean........No,
then.....Can I speak now? Okay?...
Listen, do whatever you want. I’ll be
here, though, so if Mike and his frat
brother still want to do something...
Fine, put him on.
Amy looks pleadingly over to Stephanie.
(Amy’s) POV shot of Stephanie still watching the television. Stephanie looks up for a second and slightly shakes her head.
Hey. ...No, I’m good, I’m fine actually.
....Yeah, hey, is he being an asshole to
you, too? ...Lucky you. Are we still on
Amy picks up a CD case with her spare hand and pretends to be interested in it.
No, she’s going out tonight. ...I doubt
it. Because Polly’s coming in to visit.
....Yeah, it’s spring break for them,
too. ...Probably some sorority thing.
You can understand that, Mr. Beta-Sigma-
Psi. Why don’t you just come over now?
Amy sets the CD case back near the stereo and walks over toward the closet.
No. No, don’t ask him...
Amy covers her face with her left hand and drops to her knees in exasperation. She runs her left hand through her hair as she slowly rises to her feet.
Of course he doesn’t. ....You ask him if
you’re that concerned about it. It isn’t
as though.....exactly. ...I don’t know,
then. Come over in about an hour. ....
Because I have some things I can be
doing and you haven’t seen him in a
while. ...Fine. Goodbye.
Amy turns off the phone and places it back in its cradle. She walks back to her bed.
(Amy’s) POV shot of laundry covering bed.
(picking at clothes)
That was Tim?
Yeah. And Mike.
I thought Tim didn’t call you. I know he
has a standing appointment to stop by
once a week, sometimes more than that.
But I don’t think he’s ever called here
Yeah, well I got wrangled into showing
Mike and his friend a good time. Tim
just wanted to know what time they
should be here.
That is the most inaccurate use of the
word “just” I have ever heard.
(raising voice slightly)
Shut up, Steph. Things aren’t all that
great between Tim and me right now.
Right now? Okay. I imagine that whole
stalker – stalkee relationship is a hard
one to manage.
He’s not like that anymore. It’s just
What? Is Greg giving you a hard time
about him? I though he and Tim settled
their problems months ago. Unless Greg
still doesn’t trust him.
I really don’t know. I guess he thinks I
shouldn’t be sleeping with other guys
while we’re going out...even if we are
three hours apart.
three hours apart.
Stephanie turns from TV and looks at Amy, wide-eyed.
Did I miss something?
Amy drops clothes and turns to face Stephanie.
What? No! God, Stephanie, you think I’m–
Don’t even try that with me, Amy. You
want to protest that issue, you better
do it with someone who knows a whole
hell of a lot less than I do. Speaking
of which, he’s seemed fine around me. So
what’s the problem between the two of
Amy looks away and refuse to make eye contact with Stephanie.
I don’t know. I don’t think either of us
know how to be friends, what with how
much there is between us. It’s like we
are...we are...I don’t know. And he
Shit or get off the pot?
Amy turns back to face Stephanie. She is smiling.
Oh, that’s tasteful.
Okay. Fuck or walk.
Amy stifles a laugh. She turns back toward her bed.
I’m suddenly very happy you are going to
be out tonight.
I’ll bet. Then you can have the room to
yourselves. But what will you do with
Amy spins around a glares at Stephanie.
(CU) Amy’s eyes.
Stephanie offers up a “no offense” gesture as she rises out of her chair. She walks over to her bed and sits, facing Amy.
I’m kidding, Amy. Listen, I’m not
against you and Greg. And it isn’t like
Tim is anyone’s idea of the perfect guy.
But he’s here and obviously interested.
Maybe you should make the call on
whether anything is going to happen or
not. ...I mean, if the best way he can
show you how he feels is by bringing a
porno over for you to watch—
Amy points an accusatory finger at Stephanie.
Hey, that was for you.
I’m so sure it wasn’t.
Amy relaxes and sits on her bed facing Stephanie.
Don’t give me that. You told him that
you had never seen one before. That’s
why he brought it over. Granted, it
didn’t help matters that we played it
You’re the one who was eager to put it
in the VCR as soon as you saw it. And it
probably didn’t help that we let
everyone on the floor wander in and
watch some. Or that it had that line.
Yeah. “Play with my la-bi-a.”
Stephanie laughs. She reaches out and squeezes Amy’s hand.
It might be time to stop dealing with
him with kid gloves. He’s a big boy. He
can take it. Probably.
Tim is not like everyone else, Steph.
I mean, he thinks he’s being respectful
when he refers to people as mister or
miss and their last names.
That is a little weird, but it is kind
of a guy thing. Calling people by their
last names, anyway.
But it isn’t just that. He’s perfectly
fine just sitting here quietly, out of
the way, and listening to us babble on
about meaningless shit.
That could be from being a stalker.
That’s not funny, Steph. It’s just that
he’s gone so far to get my attention,
and now that he has it, he won’t come
out and just say what it is he wants. Or
if I knew he was just fucking nuts.
Would it matter?
Amy looks quizzically at Stephanie.
If he told you what he wanted, not if
It would let me know just what he wants.
It would help us sort through all of
That’s not what I meant. Would it get
him any closer to what he wants.
Amy fall back on her bed and throws her hands in the air in exasperation.
I don’t know what he wants!
Stephanie reaches up and grabs a pillow. She throws it at Amy.
Amy bats it away and sit back up.
Yeah, you do. I think you just have to
decide if you’re willing to tell him
that you know and that it’s okay.
Amy reaches for pillow and throws it back at Stephanie.
Yeah. You try doing that and get back to
me on how well it went.
KNOCKING at door.
Amy slowly gets up from her bed.
Stephanie smiles at Amy and gets up from her bed. She walks over to the door and opens it.
(Stephanie’s) POV shot of door opening, revealing POLLY, a short but happy freshman from the University of Illinois. She is wearing a light winter coat and carrying a travel bag.
Polly steps into the room. She and Stephanie hug.
POLLY and STEPHANIE
Polly steps back and sets down he bag. She shifts on her feet while speaking.
Hey, guess what? You know that guy I
told you about...Matt? He’s here. Isn’t
Stephanie smiles but shrugs at the same time.
Amy walks towards Polly but is shaking her head.
Polly looks back at the door way before Amy can respond.
MATT, a boyish University of Illinois freshman enters. He is carrying more bags and wearing a bulky winter coat and scarf. His hair is mussed from wearing a knit hat, which is sticking out of one of his jacket pockets.
Honey, these are my friends. This is
Polly indicates Stephanie.
Matt attempts to extend his right hand to shake but cannot do so because it is restricted by a bag strap.
Stephanie steps forward to shake, but helps Matt remove the bag from his right arm first. The two tentatively shake.
Polly takes another bag from Matt and cheerfully shakes him by the shoulders.
Hey. Stephanie. I’m Matt.
Hey, Matt. Wow...Polly has told me a lot
about you. I’m really glad you could
make it out.
Matt blushes and looks at his feet.
Polly grabs the bags and moves them out of the way.
Polly settles next to Matt and hugs him close. She directs Matt’s attention to Amy.
And this is Amy.
Matt looks at Amy and then quickly looks away.
Amy gives Matt a vague wave and turns back to face her bed. She begins to pick through her clothes again.
(to Polly, in low tones)
Away for the weekend together, huh?
What would your parents say?
Polly and Matt both blush. Matt suddenly becomes uncomfortable being so close to Polly and tries to pull away.
Polly playfully pushed Stephanie.
No, I think it’s great, Polly. It’s not
like we’re under the watchful eye of
parental authority. We can do whatever
the hell we want. ...At least you’ve
Polly looks over Stephanie’s shoulder at Amy.
(Polly’s) POV shot of Amy sorting clothes on bed.
What, some crazy guy hasn’t latched onto
Jesus, Polly. I have to live with her.
Amy looks up at the three and listens.
(Amy’s) POV shot of Polly, Stephanie, and Matt.
Besides, there are a multitude of guys
worse than him out there. There is this
one guy she says...
Polly looks at Amy and then back to Stephanie. Stephanie quickly changes the subject.
I just don’t know if I’ll find someone
as good for me as Matt, here.
Stephanie reaches out and gives Matt a playful shake.
Matt flinches and tenses up again.
Polly smiles briefly then becomes serious.
That’s the other thing, Steph. We didn’t
...we didn’t come here alone.
What? Who else did you bring?
Polly shifts her feet and leans into Matt for support.
See, she said the that roads might be
bad because of the weather. And that
Matt and I might want some time for just
the two of us. And...
Polly looks to Matt.
Matt looks into Polly’s eyes. He slowly turns his head to face Stephanie.
She said you were all close. You, and
Polly, and Amy. ...She said that you
would be happy to see her.
Matt turns his head back toward the still open doorway.
(Matt’s) POV shot of INGRID, a self-assured, if cold & vindictive University of Illinois freshman, entering the room. She is wearing a light winter coat and a small overnight bag.
She hands the bag to Matt and begins to take of her coat.
Don’t overwhelm me with the warmth of
Matt puts her bag with the others and takes Ingrid’s coat. He helps Polly take off her coat. He then looks for somewhere to put them.
Stephanie points out the closet and Matt goes over and hangs up the coats. He takes his own off but folds it over his arm.
Hey, Steph! Surprised to see me?
Amy’s head snaps up. She spins around to see
and drops whatever clothes she was holding.
Yeah. More than a little surprised. I
thought you had to go home for a family
Nope. That’s not until summer.
Stephanie laughs nervously. She looks back at Amy.
Amy gives up on her laundry and moves over toward Matt. She takes his coat and hangs it up. Amy remains next to the closet.
Matt quickly moves back over to Polly.
Ingrid briefly looks over at Amy then turns her attention back to Stephanie.
So you decided to pay us a visit? Okay.
We can make room for you.
Oh, come on, Steph. We can’t be so
insensitive to Matt.
Ingrid looks over to Amy.
Amy, you know what I’m talking about.
What is he supposed to do if you and
Stephanie monopolize Polly’s time the
Yeah. You’re all kinds of conscientious,
aren’t you, Ingrid?
Ingrid smiles wickedly and makes a cat claw swiping motion.
Me-ow, Amy. I know for a fact that you
let people of far lower character than
me into this room with great frequency.
What? Am I ruing your plans for the
Amy leans against the wall and lolls her head back.
God, I hope not. I’d like to think that
you’d have better things to do than to
drive five hours and ruin a good time.
Yeah, tell me about it. You would think
that when it comes to driving for hours
and having a good time you would be
thinking about someone else. Someone
whose school is a couple of hours
closer. Especially if it’s a really good
time. ...I’m just here to enjoy some
Iowa ambience and spend some time with
my friends. Is that so bad, Amy?
Stephanie sighs and steps between Ingrid and Amy. She is noticeably uneasy.
Come on, you two. Lighten up. Ingrid’s
probably just worn out from the drive.
And Ingrid, Amy doesn’t need to be
reminded that Greg isn’t here this
Ingrid looks askance at Stephanie.
Amy huffs and looks away.
Ingrid looks at Amy.
Works out, though. Doesn’t it? I mean,
it would be really crowded with all of
us and Greg. And then none of us would
get to spend any time with you, Amy.
.....So, what are we doing tonight?
Amy pushes off the wall and stalks back toward her bed.
I’m sure I have no idea. Stephanie made
the plans for what she and Polly were
going to be doing tonight.
You aren’t going out with us, Amy? Why
Something better planned, eh?
Matt (POV) looks from Amy to Ingrid to Polly. He then looks back at his shoes.
Maybe she has some schoolwork to do.
It’s okay. We can still do...whatever.
Yeah. Come on, Ingrid. We can still have
a good time. The ZTA house is having a
low-key thing tonight. Just members and
a few guests.
Ingrid shakes her head and grins.
I don’t know. Maybe you were right
before, Steph. Maybe I’m worn out from
the drive. It might be nice to just
spend the night relaxing and catching
Amy isn’t going to be in tonight.
Amy glares at Stephanie.
Stephanie weakly smiles.
Ingrid glances back and forth at the roommates, still grinning.
So what are you doing then, Amy?
Amy starts to speak but stops. She sighs, looks away and then back at Ingrid.
Actually, if you really need to know,
I’m supposed to be playing babysitter
for some guys in from Iowa State.
...They don’t know where anything is in
town and I’m supposed to take them to a
Just some guys from ISU?
Amy shakes her head.
Amy and Stephanie share a knowing glance.
(looking at Ingrid)
Is it someone you know? Yeah. One of
them, anyway. Mike. And one of his
Mike? Mike who?
Ingrid’s eyes go wide and her jaw slack as she realizes which Mike.
Really? Just when I thought things
couldn’t get anymore interesting.
Amy spins around in a huff.
Stephanie half steps towards Amy and shoots an angry look at Ingrid.
Polly tires to step between Amy and Ingrid but is restrained by Matt.
Ingrid, come on. Back off a little.
(looking at Amy)
Is this something you want to endorse,
Polly? I mean, now that you have
Amy turns back to face Ingrid and interrupts her.
How’s that going for you, Ingrid?
Ingrid grimaces, nods her head, and takes a step back.
This isn’t about me and you know it. I
thought we has this conversation before.
You know how I feel about Tim. And now
you’ve gone and gotten yourself involved
Mike’s a friend.
(Over the next few lines, Amy interrupts Ingrid multiple times. Ingrid does not pause.)
Yeah. He’s Tim’s friend. He knew—
—I know, Ingrid—
—about the letters. He and Tim—
—I know, Ingrid—
—have been friends since forever. And no
matter why you’ve gotten yourself—
—I fucking get it, Ingrid!—
—with Mike, it’s going to come back to
Tim. And it’s going to fuck up your
relationship with Greg.
I have never done anything to threaten
my relationship with Greg.
Matt leans forward.
I think...maybe we should just wait
outside. This doesn’t really concern us.
Ingrid cocks her head toward Matt.
No, Matt. It doesn’t concern you. Your
interest here goes about as far as Polly
will let you get into her pants.
Polly looks shocked and blushes.
Matt is half-angry, half-confused. He looks about for cues as to whether he should speak up in defense of his honor.
Fine. Sorry. But I’m not the bad guy
You’re not the altruistic friend,
either, Ingrid. You really do derive
some kind of perverse pleasure from all
of this, don’t you?
Ingrid softens a little.
No, Amy. I don’t. I’m sorry if it seems
that I do, but this all has an air of
absurdity to it now. This is a nightmare
that has gone on too damn long.
It is none of your goddamn business,
Ingrid. What the fuck do you care who I
spend my time with? I don’t think he
wants to hang around with you, either. I
don’t even know if he knows who you are.
Polly laughs briefly. She looks apologetically at Amy.
Oh, I think he knows who Ingrid is. I
mean, how many people go around
indiscriminately attacking his character
and impugning his honor? He does have
friends. It must have gotten back to
Why is that my fault? All I did was not
keep silent on a subject where everyone
knows what is going on.
(to no one in particular)
Well, I know now. ...I can think of
better topics of conversation. But if
what she says is true...he sounds kind
Tim is most definitely not scary. A
little odd, sure, but he’s been like
that since grade school.
I just know what I heard.
You only heard what Ingrid had to say.
If I believed everything I heard, I
would be convinced that you’re a virgin
who’s as desperate to get laid as is
humanly possible. But having met you, I
can see that isn’t the case. You’re just
a little afraid of girls. And there’s a
bit of a difference between the two,
All shift awkwardly as silence builds.
Stephanie claps her hands and forces a smile.
Well, this is shaping up to be a
delightful evening. Can we stop with the
Yeah. And it probably isn’t a good idea
for all of us to stay in. Not if it’s
going to be like this.
Dammit, Polly. I don’t want to be
responsible for ruining anyone’s
You sure you don’t want to blame me for
Matt chuckles but hides his head in his chest.
Stephanie steps forward in between Amy and Ingrid.
We’re done with that, Ingrid. ...We
need to decide what we’re going to do
(to Ingrid and Polly)
We can still go out...or we can stay in
and just swap stories right here.
Okay? ...Why don’t you get ready for the
guys? You still have some time.
Amy (POV) looks back at her bed, then Ingrid, and then at Stephanie.
I don’t think anyone is that concerned
with your laundry. ...We can stay if you
Do whatever you want, Steph. I’ll handle
it when they get here.
EXT. STREET – NIGHT
TIM, a short, heavy freshman wearing a worn U.S. Army jacket and Detroit Tigers baseball cap, is walking with two other FIGURES down the streets of Iowa City. They are: MIKE, a tall, athletically built freshman who is wearing old, out of date clothes and a work coat, and CRAIG, a somewhat dazed sophomore who is wearing shorts and sandals. Mike is behind Tim’s left shoulder. Craig is further back, behind Tim’s right shoulder.
They are having a conversation as they approach Burge Hall, a dormitory.
...no, she totally believed me.
That’s because the Cyclones suck at
football. You could probably convince
half of the people here that you played
in the Iowa - Iowa State game.
That’s not the funniest one, though.
Dude, tell him about the girl from the
No. She was just dumb.
Oh, come on. Tell him.
This isn’t going to live up to the
billing, is it?
All that happened was I told a girl at
Subway that I bruised my uterus and she
said, “guys have those?”
That’s hilarious. That has to be the
funniest thing I have ever born witness
That is kind of sad, then, Craig.
What are you trying to say.
The three walk into Burge Hall.
INT. HALLWAY – NIGHT
I can’t believe that neither of you are
smart enough to follow written
Mike and Craig catch up to Tim and then stop.
Tim looks over his shoulder to Mike.
Okay. I can’t believe you can’t follow
Craig feigns being hurt. He clutches his light jacket to his body.
Don’t even give me that. You don’t know
the names of any of the streets. You
would have me wander around a strange
college town looking for a particular
dormitory? From what you told me, you
couldn’t even find your classes the
You couldn’t even find the school? What
are you, some kind of stupid?
Tim starts walking again.
At least I can read, Craig.
Mike and Craig follow Tim.
I know enough to be able to recognize
the kind of beer and porn I like. What
more do I need in life?
Tim looks over his shoulder at Mike.
He’s a winner.
You act like this is some kind of huge
imposition on you. What did you have
planned for tonight? Sit at home and
They don’t call it “must see” for
Craig rolls his eyes. He thumps his chest and stresses the word “us.”
Who are you to complain about it?
There’s no party without us.
That would be a shame. You would have to
sit in my apartment, drink my roommates’
Beer and drool over their Playboys.
Yeah. That isn’t that bad, either.
Mike reaches out and grabs Tim by the arm. Both stop. Tim turns to face Mike.
Craig stops shortly thereafter.
Seriously, why is this a problem for
you? It’s not like you’re not over here
Not the last couple of weeks. Not to see
her, anyway. I got out of there before
she came back. And that was only to get The
Princess Bride back from Stephanie.
Tim turns and starts walking again. Mike and Craig follow.
So...you’re avoiding her? That would be
Really? Something actually happened?
Well, praise be and ring the bells. You
actually did something.
No, I didn’t.
Why the hell not?
Because I’m not like you. I’m not going
to throw back a few beers and forget
about how my actions affect other
What a boy scout.
Tim stops. Mike and Craig stop immediately after. Tim turns to face them both.
Mike and I were both in the Boy Scouts,
That doesn’t mean you have to be
joyless. You don’t have to be such a wet
fucking blanket. Having a beer isn’t
going to kill you.
You wouldn’t even call her.
I wouldn’t call to make plans for you.
And I’m not really sure why I had to
call to verify those plans. You’re under
the delusion that you and Amy are
friends. You fancy yourself a lady’s
man. I would think that you would have
little need for me in this scenario.
They aren’t my plans. It isn’t me and
—She and I.
Fuck you, too.
It isn’t excluding you. It isn’t about
taking her away from you. It’s about
having a good time with friends. And
it’s “she and me” anyway.
(to Tim, in an annoying tone)
Don’t you want to be my friend?
My mind is made up, okay? And it’s
either “she and I” or “her and me,”
depending on whether it’s the subject or
the object of the sentence.
Jesus Christ, you anal retentive
bastard! I just want to go to a few
parties or something. I don’t think
that’s too much to ask.
Nothing wrong with fun.
You made these plans with her. She knows
you’re coming. My job is just to deliver
you and leave.
Tim starts walking again. Mike and Craig immediately follow.
I called her because you wouldn’t! What
the fuck, Tim? I thought all that petty
shit was behind the two of you. So
unless you actually have something
better planned you should come out with
us. ...Have some fun, for Christ’s sake.
Besides, won’t it just piss her off if
you’re not there with us?
Tim offers up a weak smile and shakes his head.
I don’t think so. Things just aren’t
that way right now.
Tim stops in front of a door. The number on it reads
Craig shifts back and forth uneasily waiting for Tim to knock.
So? Change them. That is why you came
here. Yeah, you’re an English major and
this is Iowa. But you’re here because of
her. So spend tonight with her and have
a good time.
Tim takes off his hat and brushes back his hair. He sighs and looks Mike in the eye.
I’m also here because no other school
would take me. Besides, “fun” means
different things to you and me.
Tim reaches out his left hand to the door. There is a
“99%” written beneath his thumb.
(CU) He stretches out his fingers and touches the door. He slowly curls his fingers into a fist and pounds the door three times.
(under his breath)
I don’t think you have any idea what fun
is. Or happiness.
Door opens. Tim is face to face with
Tim straightens up.
Tim? ...Come on in.
(Craig’s) POV of Tim and Mike walking into room. Stephanie backs away to where Polly, Ingrid, and Matt are. Craig follows.
INT. DORM ROOM — NIGHT
Polly, Matt, and Ingrid are sitting on sleeping bags laid upon the floor. They are watching television.
Stephanie shrugs as she looks from Mike to Tim. She motions them toward the two chairs in the room. One of the chairs is occupied with various school related object.
Stephanie forces a smile.
Have a seat.
(Camera pans) Craig looks to Mike, Mike looks to Tim. Tim closes his eyes and shakes his head.
Mike pats Craig on the shoulder.
Craig cautiously moves toward the open chair.
Stephanie happily turns and walks to her bed. She plops down upon it and half turns toward the television.
Matt acts as though he is oblivious to the new arrivals. Polly is comfortable in Matt’s arms, but becomes distracted by Ingrid’s reaction to Tim’s arrival.
Ingrid tenses up.
(quietly, to Polly)
I told you. I fucking told you.
Mike looks back to Tim and smiles.
Tim hangs his head and steps closer to Mike.
Just sit down, okay?
Mike jumps a little. He creeps over to Amy’s bed which is still covered with clothes. He sits at the mid point of the bed and spins so that he is laying down with his head on the pillow.
Mike puts his hands behind his head and smiles broadly.
Tim retreats to be near the door.
(quietly, to Ingrid)
Didn’t see that coming, did you?
(quietly, to Polly)
Oh, this was worth the drive.
INT. DORMITORY WASHROOM — NIGHT
Amy is in a shower stall. The water is on. Amy is facing the shower head. Shot is from the small of her back up.
Shot slowly tightens as it raises to her head and shoulders.
Amy turns to face camera. She is crying. She pushes hair away from her face. She slumps against back wall and slides down into a crouch; arms conveniently cover her breasts. She sniffs meaningfully.
(CU) Amy’s face. She wipes her eyes.
No. Not over this. I’m not going to cry
Amy sighs. She looks up and has to close her eyes because of the spray. She offers a light laugh.
BACK TO SCENE
Tim exhales and checks his watch. He gets Stephanie’s attention.
You can take it from here.
Stephanie looks shocked and rises from her bed. She meets Tim by the door.
Where do you think you’re going?
What do you want from me?
You can’t leave before she gets back.
Camera pans over to Polly, Ingrid, and Matt.
Ingrid leans over to Polly.
(quietly, to Polly)
What is she doing?
(quietly, to Ingrid)
I think she is asking him to wait for
Camera pans back to Tim and Stephanie.
I don’t need to be here.
Mike’s your friend.
Yeah, he is. But Amy invited him here. I
was supposed to drop him off.
(Tim’s) POV – Mike is reading a shirt on Amy’s bed.
There he is...dropped off.
Stephanie looks confused.
What about his friend? I don’t know him.
(raises his voice)
I don’t know him, either.
Tim composes himself.
And I don’t know what I’m supposed to be
doing here. I was supposed to bring Mike
over. He was invited tonight, not me. He
She said that? Or do you believe it
because she told Mike you were acting
like an ass?
She isn’t going to want me here, okay.
That’s a good enough reason for me to
Camera pans back to Ingrid & Polly.
(quietly, to Ingrid)
I wonder why she doesn’t just let him go
if he wants to go.
(quietly, to Polly)
I think there is something that we
missed. She’s hiding and he’s running.
What does that say to you?
Matt pulls Polly close and shushes the two young women.
Camera pans over to Craig. He is picking at something caught in the tread of his sandal. He looks very bored.
What’s going on?
I don’t know anybody here.
Mike sits up and gets Stephanie’s attention.
I’m sorry. This is my fraternity
(Mike’s) POV – pan of the room. Everyone looks confused as to what Mike is doing.
We’re just in town for the night. We
wanted to go out...go to some parties or
something...Amy was supposed to meet us
Nice to meet you, Craig. I’m Stephanie.
Stephanie slowly makes her way across the room and back to her bed. She introduces Polly, Matt, and Ingrid on the way.
This is Polly. And this is Matt, her
boyfriend. And this is Ingrid.
Tim’s head snaps up. He glares angrily at Stephanie, who is not facing him.
Tim looks to Mike. Mike barely shrugs.
Stephanie reaches her bed and sits back down.
Matt, this is Craig, Mike, and Tim. I’ve
known Mike and Tim since grade school.
Matt looks to Ingrid and then to the three guys.
Hey. Mike? Craig?
Matt cautiously looks over to Tim.
Tim? ...You’re Tim, huh?
(very quietly, anticipating Matt’s answer)
Oh. I’ve heard so much about you.
Matt flinches a little at Ingrid’s remark.
Well...hey. I guess the rest of you
already know one another, then.
Ingrid smiles evilly.
Yes, except for...
Craig nods but still looks disinterested.
Yes, the rest of us do know one another.
We went to the same high school.
Tim huffs and walks over to be between the two beds. Ingrid tenses up as Tim walks past her.
Polly leans over to say something to Ingrid, but Matt pulls her close and whispers in her ear. The two of them resume watching the TV.
(to Stephanie, quiet but angry)
Yeah. So what?
You don’t know?
Stephanie shakes her head.
She’s the one who told Jaime I was a
“total fucking psycho.”
Because of the letters.
Mike starts picking through clothes on the bed.
Your own fault, you know. And why did
you ever write more than just the one?
Tim glares at Ingrid.
If I had known it was her.....I can’t
If you knew it was her.
Just relax. You’re stuck here. You might
as well come out with us, then.
Yeah, Tim, it’s going to be okay. Ingrid
can’t do anything about tonight. She’s
just sitting over there watching TV.
She probably didn’t expect me to be
No. As a matter of fact, that was one of
the first things she asked Amy about.
Take it as a compliment and move on.
She’s maligned me enough in the past for
me to dwell on this a bit.
I don’t know if I agree with that. But
if you really want to know what she
thinks of you, try taking a long car
ride with her. ...Of course, if you just
want to settle the score, she’s sitting
right over there.
(Tim’s) POV – Ingrid watching TV. She briefly looks up and meets his glare with one of her own.
Or you could just grow up.
Mike shifts uncomfortably on the bed and digs an object out of the pile and tosses it to the floor.
Come out with us. Part of this whole
college experience, of being young, is
getting beyond the notion that enjoying
yourself is somehow wrong. There isn’t
much Ingrid can do to ruin your evening
if she’s stuck here.
I’m not going out with you and Amy. I
don’t want to go and she wouldn’t want
I’m sure she wouldn’t mind.
Tim hits his head against the wall behind him.
You just don’t like Greg.
That’s not what I—
I never heard that story.
It’s not a story. I just said that, when
I was drunk, that I really like Greg and
that Amy should marry him.
And that means you don’t like Greg.
No. Tim knows what I’m talking about.
Yeah, you don’t like Greg. And that
doesn’t make this right.
Well, he’s not here, is he?
I looked. He isn’t.
Mike picks out a pair of purple lace panties. He holds them up and shows them to Craig, Tim, and Stephanie.
Craig chuckles dumbly.
Tim slaps Mike’s hand. Mike drops the panties.
I don’t care. You don’t go digging
through somebody else’s dirty clothes.
Mike picks the panties back up and smiles.
(imitating Homer Simpson)
Worn panties. Sexy.
Mike sniffs panties.
Tim slaps the panties out of Mike’s hands again, much harder this time.
A little presumptive, isn’t he?
Mike? Or Tim? I think you’ve read this
(CU) — Door opens. Amy enters room. She is dressed in a beige bathrobe. She closes the door behind her.
Tim walks across the room and corners Amy near the door.
I thought you said Stephanie and Polly
were going to be out.
That’s what I was told, too. So what?
I didn’t know she was coming.
Tim gives Amy a look of disbelief.
I didn’t. I would have told you if I
knew. Listen, I know how you feel about
Ingrid. I wouldn’t have you two come
together without some kind of a warning.
I know she isn’t a big fan of yours,
either. This could be something really
unseemly, and I don’t want to have to
deal with the aftermath of that.
(Tim’s) POV – Mike and Craig.
Well, they’re here. You can do with them
what you will.
Tim turns to leave.
Amy reaches out and grabs Tim by the arm. She pulls him back so that the two of them are face-to-face.
You can’t just drop them off.
I keep getting that, but you and I
agreed that I would just drop them off,
Let me get dressed.
Tim stands, staring.
Tim nods and looks away.
Amy enters the closet to change clothes.
Tim walks back over between Mike and Stephanie on the beds.
Mike is going through prescription medicine bottles on the table next to Amy’s bed.
So...what do you think of Matt?
(not noticing Tim’s disinterest)
Polly called me about two months ago to
tell me about him.
Tim offers up a sarcastic “good for you” expression.
She was so excited. She had never been
kissed before. Not for real. She didn’t
even think he could be interested in
her, but I guess he’s kind of shy and it
took a while for things to develop.
Hey, great. Doesn’t really help me,
though, does it?
Hey, it offers hope to the least of us.
Tim notices Mike fiddling with a bottle of medicine.
Put the fucking medicine down! Now.
(to Tim, giggling)
Chill, dude. He isn’t hurting anything.
If it were something embarrassing, I’m
sure she wouldn’t just leave it out.
Tim glares at Craig. Craig looks away. Tim sighs.
(Tim’s) POV – Polly and Matt watching television.
Hey, Polly. I heard you guys were going
to be out tonight.
Polly smiles. Matt hugs her close.
Yeah, but Ingrid was tired. And we
didn’t want to risk the bars. So we
decided we could have just as good a
time if we stayed in.
Really? Well, if you’re not going
drinking, you probably are better off
staying in. I know I had planned to
Ingrid leans over and whispers to Polly.
I’ll just bet he did.
Amy emerges from the closet. She is wearing a sweatshirt, jeans, and white socks.
Camera pans room from trio on floor to Stephanie, then Tim, and finally Mike. Mike is again going through her medicine bottles.
Looking for something, Michael?
My throat is sore. I was hoping I could
Mike nods innocently and quickly sets the medicine back on the table.
Amy shoots and angry look at Tim and then to Mike.
Well, if you’re not feeling well,
perhaps we shouldn’t go out tonight.
Amy walks over to her bed.
(to Amy, forcefully)
No. You do not have me drag them here
from Ames and then decide you don’t want
to do anything. That’s not fair to them
or to me.
Amy cocks her head to indicate Ingrid.
Things have changed, Tim. ...Maybe we
could just hang out.
The eight of us? No thank you.
Amy stares at Tim.
Look, if you want us to go, all you have
to do is ask.
Tim reaches down and helps Mike out of Amy’s bed. They gather Craig out of the chair and start him toward the door.
Mike pauses to speak.
Nice to meet you.
(to the ladies)
Stephanie, Polly, Ingrid...goodnight.
Amy, ...I’ll call you later.
Craig reaches door and opens it. He stands waiting in doorway as Mike and Tim reach him.
Yeah, I think we’re just going to go to
Tim’s face brightens as he turns back to face the girls.
(with comic flourish)
Well, why didn’t you say so? And we were
just about to leave.
Ingrid looks surprised.
I knew it.
Polly smiles. Matt looks confused.
Stephanie stifles a laugh.
Amy glares at Tim with Hell’s Own Fury.
No? That’s a shame, because the numbers
Craig and Mike exit. Tim bows for effect.
Okay, then. Goodnight, all.
Tim exits and closes the door behind him.
INT. DORMITORY HALLWAY — NIGHT
Tim, Mike, and Craig stand outside the door. They begin their egress from the building.
You know, you’re going to pay for that.
She’ll forget about it. It isn’t like
I’m the center of her world. Besides,
I’ve already been forgiven for worse. I
doubt this is going to be the final
At some point, all these transgressions
are going to be enough. You would be
better off not acting like that.
You and that girl have something going
on, don’t you? That’s why you were all
pissed off that Mike had his hands in
Tim starts to answer but Mike cuts him off.
No, they don’t. Not anything like you’re
But tell me, Tim, do you think that’s
what Ingrid saw?
Hey, fuck her! If I knew it was her when
we went in there—
If you knew it was her? What the fuck,
Tim? How could you not know it was her?
You went to high school with her. She
was in our chemistry class. ...And what
would you have done anyway, huh? I’ll
tell you what. You would have sat and
stewed and not done a goddamn thing,
which is eerily similar to what just
happened! If you knew it was her. Maybe
it’s time you empower yourself in some
other way than in the hypotheticals in
All stop. Craig retreats a step. Tim and Mike face one another.
You have something to say? I sure could
use some advice from the guy who cheated
on his girlfriend the first weekend of
college, the guy who doesn’t know well
enough not to dig through other people’s
I wasn’t the problem in there!
The hell you weren’t! I wasn’t the one
causing a scene. I could have been at
Dude, your home’s back in Illinois.
Tim turns angrily toward Craig.
Hey, fuck you, too, booze hound! You’re
about as useful as tits on a bull. You
make people uncomfortable.
Craig steps up to confront Tim.
I was just chillin’ in there, dude. I
didn’t piss your girl off. She didn’t
ask me to leave. That was on you. Maybe
I should just—
Mike steps between Craig and Tim. Mike shoves Craig back.
Back off, Craig. You don’t appreciate
And neither do you. You don’t want to
hear it? Too fucking bad! I wasn’t the
problem in there. You could have stayed
home? That would have been helpful. You
didn’t come to Iowa to hide from her.
For Christ’s sake, everybody knows why
you’re here. Ingrid fucking knows. You
think not being there tonight is going
to quash suspicion in her mind? You
think that brooding and being unpleasant
says “she and I are just friends?”
You’re fucking kidding yourself.
I don’t need you telling me what to do.
But do you know why? ...Because you
never fucking do anything! The only
advice you would take is to be an
obstacle to your own success and
happiness. What did it matter that
Ingrid was there? You could have just
swallowed your goddamn pride and been
polite. Or gone off on her. What the
fuck do I care? You could have said,
“Amy, it would mean a lot to me if you
would still take Mike and Craig out.”
And she would have done it because you
asked. Instead you bark fucking orders.
You wouldn’t ask her and you never will.
You fucking pine for this girl and she’s
right there! You want to know something?
Not dating her, or fucking her, or
whatever you have in mind isn’t some
high and mighty moral act so long as you
really want to. And why don’t you? What,
are you afraid of Greg? So what. I’ve
seen you beat the hell out of guys twice
your size. And over what? And how long
were you upset about that? ...What then?
You think you and Amy wouldn’t last? You
You think you and Amy wouldn’t last? You
wouldn’t! You’ve never had anything
approaching a healthy relationship. But
that doesn’t mean you don’t try. You
can’t live with yourself if you lose
her? Then try being an actual friend and
put some energy into finding a girl of
your own. But it’s fucking time you grow
up and stop this pointless obsession! I
don’t want to hear about this for the
next decade, okay? I don’t want to raise
a glass with you to celebrate the
anniversary of her throwing you out of
her life. I don’t. I want you to be
happy, Tim, but it isn’t my job to do it
for you. I’m not here to tell you what
to do. You have to figure that out for
yourself. I didn’t ruin anything for you
here. She doesn’t look at me and see
But you were the one who got to fondle
Looks like you’ll never get to do the
Tim takes a step toward Craig. Craig takes a half-step back and stumbles and falls to the ground.
Tim turns back to face Mike.
You want to go back? Then do it. God
helps those who help themselves, you
We do what’s right because it’s right.
We don’t give thought to reward. I
thought some of that stuck with you.
No wonder you’re so miserable.
But you don’t do anything, Tim! Here is
your chance to make a difference in your
life. You can go back to her room and
say what you need to. You tell her what
you want and what she means to you. Or
we can all be in the same boat: outside
on a cold night with nothing to do.
Tim indicates Craig.
Wearing shorts like stupid, here.
What’s it going to be, Tim?
Tim scratches his chin and sighs.
I’m hungry. Come on, I’ll take you to
the place where they have those two
You’d rather get a burrito than go back
there and fuck that girl? You’re nuts,
I wasn’t kidding about my throat. I
wasn’t looking through those bottle to
be an asshole.
All three resume walking.
Well, then, I can add the University
hospital to the grand tour. You may as
well see the largest employer in the
Yeah, that’s a lot better than parties
and drinking and loose sorority girls.
You’ve got a great friend, here, Mike.
Sometimes. Sometimes it’s hard to tell.
You don’t think this is memorable?
Oh, no, it is. I was just looking for a
night I could forget.
All three walk out of frame.