Friday, December 16, 2011

Without Distinction — Revised (2011)

     Not much in the way of changes.  I did check to make sure that the obvious spelling and formatting errors didn't reappear.  Also, I am nearly positive that the height and weights of most the characters shouldn't match the real world inspirations for them.  In that regard I am going to continue with my assertion that all of this is fiction.
     If you haven't read the 2001/2004 version, well you don't need to go back and read it.  There is nothing extra there.  To be fair, there is no real reason for me to make so minor a revision to this script.  An honest look at it would let me rip it to pieces, keeping only a few of the lines I like. 

The inspiration for the Mike character, not so coincidentally named Mike.  I do have a better picture I could have stolen for this, but I didn't want to dig out the photo album and scan it.  I can live with the bad transfer from a yearbook.
“Without Distinction”
2011 Revision

Written by
Timothy Allen McNeil



It is mid-March of 1994. The dormroom is painted a yellowing shade of white. There is a metal window grate over the windows painted in the same shade of paint, but has several chips exposing the black metal. There are two beds in the room, both against the back wall with the windows between the beds. Directly under the windows is a single desk cluttered with papers and notebooks. There are no books on the desk, but there is a telephone with a portable handset. There is a single desk chair at the desk.

There are dressers at the feet of each bed, with the one closer to the door being pulled further away and has a television set and small stereo system on it. The other dresser has a small dorm issued microwave on it. There is a small refrigerator next to this dresser. Just beyond the refrigerator is a sink with two cups on its small back lip, each holding a single toothbrush. There is one tube of toothpaste and a small box of dental floss on the same lip. There is a mirror above the sink. There are small, cheap rugs under each dresser and a large, faux Persian rug in the center of the room.

The walls of the room are largely bare. Above the bed closest to the door is a 2' x 4' piece of corkboard. It is covered with pictures, papers, and artwork. Most out of place on it is a crayon drawn dinosaur signed by Jeffrey in the lower left hand corner. There are several wallet size photos along the right hand edge. There are a couple of small posters (8.5" x 11") are various locations on the wall, including a promotional one for Soul Asylums’s GRAVE DANCERS UNION located in the corner by the far bed.

Opposite the wall with the windows is a large closet (approximately 3' deep and 6' across). The closet doors are painted a shade of pale yellow and have no decorations or adornments. Past the closet is the entrance, with the door recessed back to the depth of the closet.

TWO WOMEN are in the room. AMY, an attractive college freshman (5'4", 105 lbs.; shoulder length brown hair that has a slight curl at the end; green eyes), is standing next to her bed, sorting clothes to be laundered. She is less than enthusiastic about this task. She is dressed in wrinkled t-shirt and sweat pants.

STEPHANIE (5'7", 145 lbs.; curly dirty blonde hair; brown eyes), Amy’s roommate, is seated in a plastic desk chair in the middle of the room watching television. She is dressed to stay in (a none-too-fresh University of Iowa sweatshirt, loose jeans, and slippers).


Amy looks over at Stephanie.

(Amy’s) POV shot of Stephanie watching the television.

Amy drops the clothing in her hand steps towards the desk to answer the telephone. She answers it on the third ring.

              (Immediately pacing about the
     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.

                   AMY (CONT’D)
     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
     for tonight?

Amy picks up a CD case next to the stereo with her spare hand and pretends to be interested in it.

                   AMY (CONT’D)
     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.

                   AMY (CONT’D)
     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.

                   AMY (CONT’D)
     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 turns back to her bed.

(Amy’s) POV shot of laundry covering bed.

                   STEPHANIE (O.S.)

              (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.

              (softer tone)
     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 can’t imagine that he and Greg have
     had any discussion on the matter. If
     they had, I’m sure I would have been
     given some grief – extra grief – by one
     of them. I can’t say I don’t understand
     Greg’s concern. I guess he thinks I
     shouldn’t be sleeping with other guys
     while and we’re going out...even if we
     are 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, Tim’s seemed fine around me.
     So what’s the problem between the two of
     you now?

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. Whatever it is
     that is between us. We haven’t defined
     it. It’s like we are...we are...I don’t
     know. And he should either...

     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 don’t want somebody
     around who is going to put the choice
     to him in such a stark manner.

     I’ll bet. So, we’ll be out and you can
     have the room to yourselves. But what
     will you do with Mike?

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
     right away.

     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 we kept repeating
     that line.

              (slightly laughing)
     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. Maybe.

     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.

                   STEPHANIE (CONT’D)
     If he told you what he wanted, not if
     he’s crazy.

     It would let me know just what he wants.
     It would help us sort through all of
     this shit.

     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.

                   STEPHANIE (CONT’D)
     Or not.

     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 (5', 115 lbs.; loosely curled black hair extends just past her shoulder; brown eyes). 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
     that great?

Stephanie smiles but shrugs at the same time.

Amy walks towards Polly but is shaking her head.

     Hey, Amy.

Polly looks back at the door way before Amy can respond.


MATT, a boyish University of Illinois freshman (5'9", 150 lbs.; short brown hair) enters. He is carrying more bags and wearing a bulky winter coat and scarf. His gelled 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.

              (almost mumbling)
     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.

Stephanie laughs.

Matt relaxes.

     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
     found someone.

Polly looks over Stephanie’s shoulder at Amy.

(Polly’s) POV shot of Amy sorting clothes on bed.

                   POLLY (O.S.)
     What, some crazy guy hasn’t latched onto
     you yet?

                   STEPHANIE (O.S.)
     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.

                   STEPHANIE (CONT’D)
     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.

                   STEPHANIE (CONT’D)
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 (5'5", 100 lbs.; short blonde hair; blue eyes), 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.

              (to herself)
     Don’t overwhelm me with the warmth of
     your greeting.

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.

                   INGRID (CONT’D)
     Amy, you know what I’m talking about.
     What is he supposed to do if you and
     Stephanie monopolize Polly’s time the
     whole weekend?

     Yeah. You’re all kinds of conscientious,
     aren’t you, Ingrid?

Ingrid smiles wickedly and makes a cat claw swiping motion.

     Really, 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 with the meager hope of
     the chance to ruin somebody else’s good

     Yeah, tell me about it. Though I would
     like to 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? You remember that you and I are
     friends, right?

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?

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
     few parties.

     Just some guys from ISU?

Amy shakes her head.

                   POLLY (CONT’D)
     Who, then?

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
     fraternity brothers.

     Mike? Mike who?

Ingrid’s eyes go wide and her jaw slack as she realizes which Mike.

     Really? Just when I though 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
     with Mike?

     Mike’s just a friend.

(Over the next few lines, Amy interrupts Ingrid multiple times. Ingrid does not pause.)

     Yeah. He’s somebody’s friend. 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
     being about 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. Being
     trapped and having to deal with him in
     high school is one thing, but to keep
     it up now is some sort of endorsement of
     the situation. 

     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. Maybe if any of
     you had the courage to confront him, all
     this bullshit would be over by now.

              (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
     of scary.

     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,
     isn’t there?

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
     personal attacks?

     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.

Amy huffs.

Stephanie steps forward in between Amy and Ingrid.

     We’re done with that, Ingrid. ...We
     need to decide what we’re going to do
     about tonight.
              (to Ingrid and Polly)
     We can still go out...or we can stay in
     and just swap stories right here.
              (to Amy)
     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.

                   STEPHANIE (CONT’D)
     I don’t think anyone is that concerned
     with your laundry. ...We can stay if you

     Do whatever you want, Steph. I’ll deal
     with them when they get here.

                                                CUT TO


TIM, a short, heavy freshman (5'6", 160 lbs.; raggedy brown hair with an underdeveloped beard; hazel eyes) wearing a worn U.S. Army jacket, a Detroit Tigers baseball cap, dark blue jeans, and hiking boots (with worn and damaged laces on the left boot) is walking with two other FIGURES down the streets of Iowa City. They are: MIKE, a tall, athletically built freshman (6'3", 165 lbs.; short light brown hair; blue eyes) who is wearing old, out of date clothes and a work coat, and CRAIG (6', 210 lbs.; dirty blonde hair; light brown eyes), a somewhat dazed sophomore who is wearing a long sleeve t-shirt, cargo 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.

                   MIKE, 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 ovary 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.

                                                CUT TO


     I can’t believe that neither of you are
     smart enough to follow written

Tim stops.
Mike and Craig catch up to Tim and then stop.

Tim looks over his shoulder to Mike.

                   TIM (CONT’D)
     Okay. I can’t believe you can’t follow

Craig feigns being hurt. He clutches his light jacket to his body.

              (to Tim)
     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
     first day.

Craig chuckles.

     You couldn’t even find the school? What
     are you, some kind of stupid?

Tim starts walking again.

              (looking forward)
     At least I can read, Craig. But, for the
     record, I had trouble finding where one
     of my classes was supposed to be when I
     went looking for it the Sunday before
     classes started.  Yeah, it made me feel
     kind of stupid, but seeing as how I had
     no orientation and couldn’t just follow
     the herd of other students out of a
     dorm, I think it isn’t as bad as it
     sounds at first.

Mike and Craig follow Tim.

     Well, at first it makes you sound like
     an idiot who can’t find where he’s
     supposed to go.

     And I’d like to think, given all the
     facts, it doesn’t sound that bad. Just
     like how, at initial examination, your
     inability to follow slightly incomplete
     directions makes me think you don’t have
     the mental faculties to get through

     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
     watch TV?

     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. I’m
     not ruling that out as a back-up plan.

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
     every week.

     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
     my copy of “The Princess Bride” back
     from Stephanie.

Tim turns and starts walking again. Mike and Craig follow.

                   MIKE’re avoiding her? That would be

     Something happened.

     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
     people. You may think that cheating on
     your girlfriend isn’t a big deal, but
     I’m not going to put somebody else in
     that position. I’m not going to be that

     What a fuckin’ 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,
     Craig. I took some of that oath to
     heart. There is something to being
     respectful of others, in not being out
     for yourself above all else.

              (to Tim)
     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.

Tim grimaces.

                   MIKE (CONT’D)
     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?

              (to Mike)
     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.

              (to Mike)
     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.

     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. I can honestly say
     that she and I have never gone out or
     even made plans to go out to do
     something. The limits of my privileges
     in her life has been to be allowed the
     occasional visit. Things aren’t even
     accommodating that 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.

                                           SCENE BECOMES


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.

     All yours.

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 lying 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.
                                                CUT TO


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
     over this.

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.

Tim smirks but doesn’t look Stephanie in the eye.

     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.

                   TIM (CONT’D) 
     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.

                   TIM (CONT’D)
     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
     and Craig.

     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?

Polly shrugs.

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.

              (to Mike)
     What’s going on?

Mike shrugs.

                   CRAIG (CONT’D)
     I don’t know anybody here.

Mike sits up and gets Stephanie’s attention.

     I’m sorry. This is my fraternity
     brother, Craig.

(Mike’s) POV – pan of the room. Everyone looks confused as to what Mike is doing.

                   MIKE (CONT’D)
     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

              (to Craig)
     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.

                   STEPHANIE (CONT’D)
     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.

                   STEPHANIE (CONT’D)
     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.

                   MATT (CONT’D)
     Tim? ...You’re Tim, huh?

          (Sensing that he has already been

           (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.

                   TIM (CONT’D)
     She’s the one who told Jaime I was a
     “total fucking psycho.”

     Jaime? Why?

     Because of the letters.

Mike starts picking through clothes on the bed.

              (to Tim)
     Your own fault, you know. And why did
     you ever write more than just the one?

Tim glares at Ingrid.

              (to Stephanie)
     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, all you need to do is
     take 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.

                   MIKE (O.S.)
     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.

                   MIKE (CONT’D)
     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
     me there.

              (to Tim)
     I’m sure she wouldn’t mind.

Tim hits his head against the wall behind him.

              (to Stephanie)
     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. I
     told him about how when I was super
     drunk, I told Amy about how great I
     thought Greg was and how they should get
     married.  And that I felt like a total
     ass for telling her that once I sobered
     up because I think that Greg is pretty
     bad for her.  And that she may have some
     better options out there.

     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.

                    MIKE (CONT’D)

Craig chuckles dumbly.

Tim slaps Mike’s hand. Mike drops the panties.

     Behave yourself.

     I’m bored.

     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.

                   INGRID (O.S.)
     A little presumptive, isn’t he?

                   POLLY (O.S.)
     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?

     And Ingrid?

     I didn’t know she was coming.

Tim gives Amy a look of disbelief.

                   AMY (CONT’D)
     I didn’t. I would have told you if I had
     known. Listen, I know how you feel about
     Ingrid. I wouldn’t have you two come
     together without some kind of a warning.
     Fuck, were it up to me, the two of you
     would go the rest of your natural lives
     without any interest or involvement with
     one another. 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.

                   TIM (O.S.)
     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.

     People keep telling me that. But you and
     I agreed that I would just drop them
     off, didn’t we?

Amy huffs.

     Let me get dressed.

Tim stands, staring.

                   AMY (CONT’D)

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.

              (to Tim)
     So...what do you think of Matt?

     Not much.

              (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.

                   STEPHANIE (CONT’D)
     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.

                   TIM (O.S.)
     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. You know,
     trying out the I.D.s at a different
     campus and all. So we decided we could
     have just as good a time if we stayed in.

                   TIM (O.S.)
     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.

              (very quietly)
     I’ll just bet he did.

Polly flinches.

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.

                   AMY (O.S.)
     Looking for something, Michael?

     My throat is sore. I was hoping I could
     take something.

                   AMY (O.S.)

Mike nods innocently and quickly sets the medicine back on the table.

Amy shoots and angry look at Tim and then to Mike.

                   AMY (CONT’D)
     Well, if you’re not feeling well,
     perhaps we shouldn’t go out tonight.

Amy walks over to her bed.

               (to Amy, quiet but 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. I would think
     that you could find some way to
     appreciate that. ...Maybe we could just
     hang out here.

     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.

     Please leave.

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.

              (to Matt)
     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.

                   AMY (CONT’D)
     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

              (mock outrage)

Craig and Mike exit. Tim bows for effect.

     Okay, then. Goodnight, all.

Tim exits and closes the door behind him.

                                                CUT TO


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.
              (Normal tone)
     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 straw.

     At some point, all these transgressions
     are going to be enough. You would be
     better off not acting like that.

              (to Tim)
     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
     her panties.

Tim starts to answer but Mike cuts him off.

              (to Craig)
     No, they don’t. Not anything like you’re
              (to Tim)
     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
     your head.

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
     personal property.

     I wasn’t the problem in there!

     The hell you weren’t! I wasn’t the one
     causing a scene. I’m not the one with no
     fucking sense of proper boundaries or
     showing the minimal amount of respect to
     somebody by not digging through their
     personal belongings. I could have been
     at home.

     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.

              (to Craig)
     Back off, Craig. You don’t appreciate
     the situation.
              (to Tim)
     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. Everything else gets written
     off with some twisted belief that not
     owning up to what you are feeling is the
     same thing as being a good person.
     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? I can’t believe
     that. 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 wouldn’t! You’ve
never had anything approaching a healthy
relationship. But that doesn’t mean you
     shouldn’t try. Or start trying, if
     you’re serious about ever being with
     anyone. 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 you.

     But you were the one who got to fondle
     her privies.
              (to Tim)
     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.

Mike laughs.

Tim turns back to face Mike.

     You want to go back? Then do it. God
     helps those who help themselves, you

     I thought some of the actual moral code
     would have stuck with you.  We are
     supposed to do what is right because it
     is the right fucking thing to do. We
     aren’t supposed to be worried about what
     we get out of it.

     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
     pound burritos.

     You’d rather get a burrito than go back
     there and fuck that girl? You’re nuts,

     It doesn’t much matter what I’d rather,
     Craig. The situation is one that I don’t
     think I can step back into right now...
     with or without the audience we’d have.

     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.

                                                FADE OUT


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