Road to nowhere

(from Suburban Misfits)

 

This full movie script. Like East Rider upon which is it modeled, it is really a western at heart, although very talkie Ė the product of me seeing too many Woody Allen movies in a row, but without his amazing wit. My humor is much more primitive.

The inspiration for this work comes from several monologues and numerous journal entries that can be found elsewhere on my website. Comments are welcome. So is any offer to direct or produce this as an actual film.

 

SCENE: 1

 

(KEN and HANK are working on an assembly line making furniture. Around them is a madness of noise, machines and tools, as well as raised voices of the other workers all speaking in Spanish. Many of the Latino workers are looking at Ken and Hank, shaking their heads. And it is clear from the opening scene that Hank and Kenís line is not functioning well)

 

HANK:

††††††††††† †Ah fuck!

 

KEN:

††††††††††† (shouting over the noise)

††††††††††† What is it now?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† (holds up a air drive nail gun)

††††††††††† I put another nail through the back of a chair

 

KEN:

††††††††††† (holding his hand to his ear)

††††††††††† What?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† (shouting even louder)

††††††††††† I screwed up another chair

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Another one? That makes a dozen today!

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Actually itís 14, but whoís counting.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† The boss is counting. Thatís who.

††††††††††† How are we going to make our quota if you keep messing up the product?

HANK:

††††††††††† I canít help it, Kenny.

††††††††††† Iím not good with tools.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† This isnít rocket science, Hank.

††††††††††† You just point and shoot.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† I admitted I screwed up. Letís not make a federal case out of it. We still have more chairs to work on.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Federal case?

††††††††††† Youíre gonna get us both fired. And the last thing I need to do is go home and tell Louise I lost this job, too.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† I canít afford to lose the job either.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Like hell you canít.

††††††††††† Ever since you inherited your fatherís money youíve been acting like a jerk, thumbing your noses at the bosses and daring them to get rid of you.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Come down from your high horse, Kenny.

††††††††††† You know Iím doing the best I can. This is the hardest job I ever worked and Iím so tired at night I have to take a nap before I can go out on the town.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Maybe thatís the trouble. Maybe you shouldnít go out drinking every night. If you stay home and sleep like most hard working people do, you might not make so many mistakes during the day.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† You live your life, Kenny, and Iíll live mine.

††††††††††† I donít get drunk. I just have a few drinks and socialize. If I didnít, I wouldnít have a life.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† All right, all right. Have your life.

††††††††††† Just donít screw up any more today.

 

 

 

SCENE TWO:

 

††††††††††† (A glassed in office over looking the factory where a leather-faced boss sites behind his desk, looking up when Ken knocks)

 

BOSS:

††††††††††† Come on in.

††††††††††† (Ken enters)

††††††††††† What can I do for you?

 

KEN:

††††††††††† I want another partner on the assembly line

 

BOSS:

††††††††††† Another partner?

††††††††††† I thought you and Hank are friends?

††††††††††† Didnít Hank get you this job?

 

KEN:††

††††††††††† Heís my best friend, but heís driving me crazy.

††††††††††† Hank screws up so often, he makes both of us look bad.

 

BOSS:

††††††††††† Frankly, Kenny, I canít break the two of you up.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Because weíre friends?

 

BOSS:

††††††††††† Because nobody else will work with him either.

††††††††††† Most of the men in this factory are family men, they rely on their bonuses to feed their families. They canít afford his screw ups.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Iím a family man, too. I got a wife and daughter at home.

 

BOSS:

††††††††††† I know. But thereís the language barrier, too.

††††††††††† Hank doesnít speak Spanish and neither do you. I need men working together who can communicate in case something goes wrong down there.

††††††††††† To tell you the truth, I hired you hoping you could help straighten Hank out.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† No one can.

††††††††††† Hank is a singer not a carpenter.

 

BOSS:

††††††††††† I understand that.

††††††††††† I would fire him but I would have to let you go, too.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† I need this job, even though Iím only barely scraping by as it is.

 

BOSS:

††††††††††† The only option I can see is that you take on more of the work load.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† You mean you want me to do some of Hankís job?

 

BOSS:

††††††††††† The less Hank has to do, the less chance he has of screwing up.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† I wouldnít bet on that.

 

BOSS:

††††††††††† Itís that or another job for both of you.

 

 

SCENE †3

††††††††††† (outside the factory, Hank waits in his 1967 Dodge Dart as Ken comes out and climbs into the passenger side.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Where have you been?

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Talking to the boss

†††††††††††

HANK:

††††††††††† About what?

 

KEN

††††††††††† About you.

 

HANK

††††††††††† Are you trying to get me fire?

 

KEN:

††††††††††† I wanted a partner who didnít fuck up as much as you do.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† I canít help it. Iím not good at this kind of thing

 

KEN:

What are you good at, Hank?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Youíre acting like I never had a job before

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Youíve never had a job youíve kept for more than six months. Except for the one at the laundry and you have Pauly to con the boss for you there.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† So what do you want from me, miracles?

 

KEN:

††††††††††† I want you to do your job so that we donít both get fired.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† I got you this job remember?

 

KEN:

††††††††††† I know I ought to be grateful. But things arenít good at home. Louise and I are arguing all the time, mostly over money. If I lose the job, Iím afraid Iíll lose Louise and the baby.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Maybe we can find better jobs.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† When would we have time or energy to look?

††††††††††† Maybe youíre not exhausted at the end of the day, but I am. I donít go home and take a nap, I conk out until morning, and still wake up tired.

††††††††††† This is the kind of work my uncles do, and I vowed a long time ago, never to repeat their mistakes.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Why donít we go see Pauly?

††††††††††† Heís always good for a few laughs.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† All the way out there?

††††††††††† Iíd be asleep before we got back.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† He doesnít live that far out any more. Heís back with his parents.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† What about Jane?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Paulyís not saying much, but I think theyíve broken up.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Okay. But donít let this be too long.

††††††††††† While I donít want to go home to an argument, I have to go home eventually.

 

 

 

 

SCENE† 4

 

(Pauly and Jane are standing inside the finished basement of a suburban home near the back door. Jane is about to leave. Pauly is holding onto her arm.)

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† I donít like the idea of youíre going off to this commune by yourself.

 

JANE:

††††††††††† I wonít be alone when I get there.

††††††††††† Iím going to see my sister, remember?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Why canít I come with you?

 

JANE:

††††††††††† Because I think we need some space.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† 3,000 miles is a lot of space to put between us.

 

JANE:

††††††††††† It might not be enough.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† For what?

 

JANE:

††††††††††† For you to decide whether or not to take us seriously.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† I do take us seriously.

 

JANE:

††††††††††† No, you donít.

††††††††††† You treat life like one big lark.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Well, it sort of is.

 

JANE:

††††††††††† †To you.

††††††††††† Most of us want to do something, accomplish something.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† I do, too.

 

JANE:

††††††††††† What?

††††††††††† And donít hand me any crap about your art.

††††††††††† If you took that seriously, you would have stayed in school.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† With that bunch of snobs?

 

JANE:

††††††††††† Yes, Pauly, even with the snobs.

††††††††††† Youíre a snob yourself, only you donít see yourself that way.

††††††††††† You think youíre too good to jump through all the hoops everybody else has to.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† The hoops are stupid.

 

JANE:

††††††††††† Maybe.

††††††††††† And maybe they are a right of passage, and once you get your degree and started on your career, you can thumb your nose at them.

††††††††††† But everybody has to start at the bottom, even someone with your talent.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Who says?

 

JANE:

††††††††††† Good bye, Pauly.

††††††††††† (Jane exits as Pauly watches her cross the gravel drive to the blue VW bug. She climbs in, and pulls out, and almost immediately, Hankís brown Dodge Dart rattles in and halts in the space Janeís car just vacated.

††††††††††† The car doors slam. Footsteps sound across the gravel and Hank and Kenny approach the door. Pauly eased behind the corner of an interior door where he can look but not be seen through the curtained glass. Hank taps on the glass with his keys. Pauly does not answer.)

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Maybe heís not home.

††††††††††† Wasnít that Janeís car we saw leaving when we pulled it.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† It was Janeís car, but Pauly wasnít it in. Thatís means heís home.

††††††††††† (Hank taps again on the glass with more insistence. Pauly steps out from hiding and shouts at the door)

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Canít you take a hint?

††††††††††† Go away!

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Itís us, Pauly.

††††††††††† Me and Kenny.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† I know who it is.

††††††††††† Thatís why Iím telling you to go away.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Ah, Pauly, stop joking and let us in.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Whoís joking?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Weíre not leaving until you let us in.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† (with a sigh, goes to the door, unlocks it, opens in, then walks back and into his basement room as Hank and Ken enter the house and follow him. The room is stuffed with art work and various images statutes from classic cartoons. On the bed, several suit cases are open and half packed.)

††††††††††† If either of you ask what Iím doing, Iíll call the police and have you hauled out.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† What ARE you doing?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† I warned you, Hank.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Are you moving out AGAIN?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† No, Iím not moving out.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† You must be packing for a reason

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Good going, Genius.

††††††††††† You can see Iím packing.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Are you going with Jane to the commune?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† How did you know Jane is going to a commune?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Yeah, how?

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Jane told Janet, and Janet told Louise

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Goddamn women canít keep anything secret.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† †You didnít answer the question.

††††††††††† Are you going with Jane or not?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Jane doesnít want me to come

 

HANK:

††††††††††† So that means youíll start unpacking

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Not in your life. I made contingency plans.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Jane said you couldnít go with her.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† But she said nothing about my meeting her there.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† That sounds like a technicality.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† The world is built around such technicalities, my boy.

††††††††††† If everybody lived up to the letter of the law, we wouldnít have any progress.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Does Jane know anything about this alternative plan?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† As a matter of fact, she does not.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Isnít Jane seeing somebody?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† (Glaring at Ken)

††††††††††† Another mere technicality.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† If sheís in love with someone else, I donít think sheíll like your showing up.

 

PAULY:

 

††††††††††† She doesnít love him. Sheís just using him to get even with me.

††††††††††† Heís not at all the right kind of person for Jane.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† How would you define the right kind of person?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† I donít need to define him. Heís me.

 

JANE:

††††††††††† And if Janet doesnít agree?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† She will.

††††††††††† Itíll just take me time to convince her.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† More time than an unwanted visit to the commune will take.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Iíve already worked that out, too.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Have you now?

††††††††††† Another one of your infamous schemes.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† You of so little faith.

††††††††††† A lot depends on you.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Me? How?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† You remember that little plan of ours about buying land where we can start over?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Donít tell me you reviving that crock.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Itís not a crock. Itís a good plan. In fact, I found someone willing to sell us a 100 acres, an old farm that just happens to be right near the commune Jane and Peggy are moving to.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† PEGGY?

††††††††††† Whatís that bitch got to do with any of this?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Itís her commune.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† And you want to buy land next to Peggy?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† I want us to buy land.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† What do you mean by us?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† I mean, Iím relying on you putting the money down on the land once Iíve checked it out with Alf.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Iím not buying any land. I have other plans for that money. Besides you already owe me a fortune from all the money Iíve lent you over the years. When am I going to see that money back?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Not for a while, Iím afraid, since Iím going to throw every cent I have into this project.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† You mean every cent you can pick out of other peopleís pockets.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Kenny, talk some reason into this fool.

††††††††††† This is a golden opportunity.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† I would have to see the land before I would invest anything in it.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Which is why Alf and I are heading up there.

I would take the two of you, but youíve both got jobs.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Thatís convenient. So youíre taking Alf along instead, Alf who will do whatever you tell him whenever you tell him as long as you buy him a drink first.

†††††††††††

PAULY:

††††††††††† This is an investment, Hank.

††††††††††† And since I owe you so much, youíre already entitled to a larger share of the land when we get it.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Damn you, Pauly.

††††††††††† But if youíre going off to speculate on land, Iím going with you.

††††††††††† Someone has to watch out for my investment.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† So you are interested?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† I just want to see what this is about.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† How can you?

††††††††††† We have work.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Maybe I can ask for a leave of absence

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Donít bother, Hank.

††††††††††† Weíre taking Alfís car, that foreign piece of shit. We just wonít have room.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† You and Alf are not going north to buy any land without me.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† You worry far too much, Hank. I wonít sign anything until you wire me the money.

††††††††††† Just trust me.

When we get up there, Iíll send you a post card.

 

 

SCENE: 5

††††††††††† (Hank and Ken outside the furniture factory the next morning)

 

KEN:

††††††††††† The boss is going to have heart failure seeing you come in this early since you started the job.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† I got to ask him for the leave before Pauly and Alf take off.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† But if Pauly says thereís no roomÖ

 

HANK:

††††††††††† If he wants my money heíll make room.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† All you have to do is sell your idea to the boss.

††††††††††† Iíll wait here.

 

(Hank strolls off into the building. Ken lights a cigarette, then when that is done, lights the next from the end of the first, going through several before Hank reappears.)

 

††††††††††† So what did he say?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† He said weíre both fired.

 

 

 


SCENE 6: (Paterson. Ken and Hank pull up in front of a house. Neither gets out of the car

 

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Something doesnít look right here.

††††††††††† The apartment is dark.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† It looks like no one is home.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† But thatís impossible. Where would Louise go?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Maybe she decided to visit Garrick. As you said, sheís pretty friendly with Janet.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† She would have told me ahead of time.†

††††††††††† Do you think she found out about my losing the job?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† How would she find out?

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Sometimes she calls me to have me bring something home from the store.

††††††††††† If she called late enough, someone might have told her I donít work at the factory any more.

††††††††††† She would be pretty pissed if thatís the case.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Only one way to find out and thatís to go in.

†††††††††††

(KEN gets out of the car from the passenger side while HANK gets out from the driver side, both head towards the front door. KEN fiddles with the keys, drops them, recovers them and eventually gets the door open. Both go inside)

 

††††††††††† Louise? Louise?

 

 

HANK:

††††††††††† It looks like sheís gone.

††††††††††† But boy, did she leave the place a wreck.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† It looks as if she was in a hurry

 

HANK:

††††††††††† So it would seem.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† (Holding up a womanís garment)

††††††††††† She even forgot some of her things.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† I guess she had to decide how much she could carry out with her and still managed the kid.

††††††††††† Peggy had the same trouble.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Peggy left stuff behind?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Sure.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† What did you do with it?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† I threw it all out.

††††††††††† The last thing I wanted was to be reminded of how much she hated me.

††††††††††† I advise you to do the same thing.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Louise didnít hate me.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Thatís why she ran out on you?

†††††††††††

KEN:

††††††††††† Itís the job thing.

††††††††††† She couldnít bear seeing the baby go hungry.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Peggy put me through the same crap and loved every minute of it.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Iím sure thatís not true.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† You donít know Peggy like I know Peggy. She wanted to get even with me for all my cheating.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† I never cheated on Louise.

††††††††††† But she must have left a note. She wouldnít leave without saying something.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Itís on the refrigerator door.

 

††††††††††† (Kenny pulls it off and reads it)

 

††††††††††† What does it say?

 

KENNY:

††††††††††† She called me at work, found out I got fired, then called Janet.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Does it say where she went?

 

KENNY:

††††††††††† It says Iím better off not knowing and that sheíll my motherís house when she gets settled, just to let me know that she and the baby were all right.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Never mind, I already think I know where she went. Come on.

 

KENNY:

††††††††††† Where to?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† If Louise called Janet Ė then it stands to reason, Janet called Peggy.

 

KENNY:

††††††††††† Are you telling me that Louise has gone up to that commune, too?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Maybe not. She might still be at Peggyís apartment. Letís go.

 

SCENE 7

(Hank and Kennyís car rushes up to a brick faced apartment building where they find Peggy packing up a van)

 

KEN:

††††††††††† There she is.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Fine. But let me do the talking. Sheís a witch with words and can twist you talk around on you, if youíre not wise to her ways.

 

(Both climb out of the car and approached Peggy)

 

PEGGY:

††††††††††† Well, if it isnít frick and frack.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Letís be civil about this, Peggy.

††††††††††† Whereís Kennyís girl?

 

PEGGY:

††††††††††† Not here.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† But you know where she is?

 

PEGGY:

††††††††††† Iím real sorry for you, Kenny. I had high hopes for you and her.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Donít sweet talk him when you donít mean it.

 

PEGGY:

††††††††††† Look whose talking about sweet talking?

††††††††††† Arenít there some teenyboppers somewhere you need to sweet talk into bed?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Donít start with that stuff again. Itís not fair.

 

PEGGY:

††††††††††† Itís fair and itís accurate.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Weíre not talking about us. Weíre talking about Ken and Louise.

††††††††††† Where is she?

†††††††††††

 

PEGGY:

††††††††††† On her way some place whether neither of you can get to her.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† You mean youíve kidnapped her to your commune along with Jane?

 

PEGGY:

††††††††††† Janeís driving her there. But Louise is going of her own free will.

††††††††††† It seems none of you men are any good.

††††††††††† Now why donít you go away before I call the cops and slap a restraining order on you again.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Weíre going. Come on, Kenny.

 

(Ken and Hank climb into the car)

 

KEN:

††††††††††† What do we do now?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† (Starting the car and shifting it into gear)

††††††††††† We catch up with Pauly and Alf if we can.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† You still mean to go north with them?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† I mean to do more than that.

††††††††††† Slap a restraining order on me, will she?

††††††††††† Letís see her slap a restraining order on the 100 acres of land when we buy it.

 

SCENE 8

 

(Hankís Dodge skids as it comes to a stop in front of Paulyís parentís house where Paulyís sister is standing at the curb. Hank and Kenny jump out).

 

SISTER:

††††††††††† Pauly and Alf left about an hour ago and Iím really worried about them.

††††††††††† Alfís car was smoking up a storm and Iím afraid it might blow up or something.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Damn!

††††††††††† I canít believe they left without us.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Well he did say not to come

 

HANK:

††††††††††† He always says that and I always come anyway. So he should have known to expect me.

††††††††††† (to Paulyís sister)

††††††††††† Did they say which way they were going?

 

SISTER:

††††††††††† Pauly said something about the Thruway.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Great! Come on, Kenny.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† What do you mean?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† I mean weíre going after them.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† All the way to Canada?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† If we have to.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† I think this is a bad idea, Hank.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Does that mean you donít want to see Louise again?

 

KEN:

††††††††††† I didnít say that.

 

HANK:†††††††††††

††††††††††† Come on then.

††††††††††† They only have an hourís head start. Once we catch them, then if you still donít want to go north, Iíll hop in with them and you can drive my car home. Is that all right with you?

 

KEN:

††††††††††† All right. Iíll come that far.

 

 

SCENE 9

 

(Alf and Pauly are seated in the disabled Volvo at the side of the NY Thruway. Pauly is staring out at traffic clearly angry)

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† This is all your fault.

 

ALF:

††††††††††† My fault?

††††††††††† How can you blame me for the engine seizing?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† I told you to check the oil before we left

 

ALF:

††††††††††† I did.

††††††††††† I told you there wasnít any.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† I thought you meant that you didnít have any extra in the trunk.

 

ALF:

††††††††††† Thatís stupid. People have spare tires in the truck not spare oil.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Regardless. You drove off knowing that the engine didnít have any oil in it.

 

ALF:

††††††††††† I thought we were going to fill it up when we got to the gas station\

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† We filled up on gas. I put the extra oil in the trunk.

 

ALF:

††††††††††† So what do we do now?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† One of us is going to have to walk back to a telephone to call for a tow truck.

 

ALF:

††††††††††† Weíre pretty far from the last exit. Are you sure youíre up to such a long walk

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† I meant you.

 

ALF:

††††††††††† Itís my car thatís disabled because you wanted to go chase your girlfriend into the woods. You should go make the call.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† I canít. I got a trick knee, canít walk a block.

 

ALF:

††††††††††† Then I donít know what weíre gonna do.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Weíll have to sit here and wait until a state trooper notices us. They do have troopers in New York State, donít they?

 

ALF:†††

††††††††††† I donít think that would be such a good idea either.

 

PAULY

††††††††††† You seem to be dead set against getting rescued. You donít want to walk or wait. Whatís wrong with you.

 

ALF:

††††††††††† Iím carrying, Pauly.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† †You brought dope?

 

ALF:

††††††††††† Just a few joints for the trip

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Well, get rid of them. You can throw them in the woods over there.

 

ALF:

††††††††††† Iím not throwing away good dope. Why donít we smoke them.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† And be high when the cops get here.

††††††††††† Sounds like a good plan for getting us busted or beaten up.

††††††††††† Damn it. Thereís a car pulling up. Eat the dope quick.

 

(tires sound on gravel, then brakes squeak, doors slam, and Pauly, rolls down the driver side window)

 

††††††††††† Sorry , officer Ö. Hank? What the hell? And Kenny?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Hi, Pauly. I know you said we couldnít come with you butÖ

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† To hell with that. Iím coming with you.

††††††††††† (Climbs out grabs his bags out of the back seat)

 

ALF:

††††††††††† What about me?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Itís your car. You wait with it. Weíll call a tow truck when we get to a phone)

 

 

SCENE 10

 

(PAULY, HANK AND KENNY seated in the booth of a truck stop diner, the remnants of a meal in front of them.)

 

HANK:

††††††††††† What do we do now?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† We drive north and look at that land.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† What about the women?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Weíll get to them eventually. But we need to have a plausible excuse first. So we have to look at the land, and if we like it, put a down payment on it.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† With my money?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Yes, with your money. Or are you having second thoughts about all this?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Of course, I am.

††††††††††† I was angry before, angry enough to want to stick that land up Peggyís nose. But I donít want to waste the money getting even with her.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† It wonít be a waste of money. Weíve always wanted to do this anyway. And besides, what better way to impress the women with how serious we are by owning land.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† What if they arenít there?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† What do you mean?

 

KEN:

††††††††††† We only have Peggyís word that Louise has gone there. And though Jane said she was going up there, too. How do we know they are actually there.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† If we have a phone number we could call.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† I have a phone number. I made Jane give me that before she left. But we canít just call them and say weíre on our way.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† No, but we could say we were worried about them getting there, and wanted to know if theyíre all right.

††††††††††† This way we get to talk to them.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† I donít like it.

††††††††††† I know Peggy. Sheíll suspect weíre up to something.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Maybe she will, but we canít drive all the way up there to find that they arenít there when we arrive.

††††††††††† Iíll call Jane.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† When youíre done. Iíll want to talk to Louise, too.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Sure, sure, anything you say.

 

(Pauly and Ken climb out of the booth and cross the diner to the phone, truck drivers at the counter eyeing them with hostility the whole way. Pauly dials, then in response to operator, drops the correct number of coins into the slots.)

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† This is Paul Garley. I would like to talk to Jane.

††††††††††† Sure, I can hold on.

††††††††††† (Holds his hand over the mouth piece)

††††††††††† Janeís there at least.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Remember. I need to talk to Louise, too.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† (into the phone)

††††††††††† Hey, Jane.

††††††††††† Yeah, I know you just got off the road. But I was worried about you.

††††††††††† (gives Ken a wink)

††††††††††† I just wanted to make sure you got there okay.

††††††††††† I still wish you would have let me come with you.

††††††††††† Okay, okay, weíve been through that. Iím an irresponsible artist. That doesnít mean I stopped loving you.

††††††††††† I know, I know, I heard all about him through the grapevine. Iím sure heís a wonderful guy, good with his hands and all that. But that doesnít mean heís the right man for you.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Ask if I can talk to Louise?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† (shoos Ken away)

††††††††††† I wish there was some way I could prove how responsible I am.

††††††††††† Say, thatís my money dropping down. Kenís here. We heard that you drove Louise up there with you.

††††††††††† He would love to talk to her if she would.

††††††††††† (To Ken)

††††††††††† Quick, get me more money. Janeís going off to get Louise for you.

††††††††††† (Kenny hands Pauly change, which Pauly drops into the quarter and dime slots, then hands Kenny the receiver).

 

LOUISE:

††††††††††† Hello?

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Itís me.

 

LOUISE:

††††††††††† I know. Jane told me.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† You took off so fast I didnít have time to say good bye.

 

LOUISE:

††††††††††† I couldnít face you, Kenny.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† But you could leave.

 

LOUISE:

††††††††††† I had to leave after hearing you had been fired again.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† It wasnít my fault this time.

 

LOUISE:

††††††††††† It doesnít matter whose fault is was. I couldnít bear hearing our hungry baby crying and not having anything to feed her.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† I can get another job

 

LOUISE:

††††††††††† Sure, until you get fired from that one and the next.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Not if itís a job I want.

 

LOUISE:

††††††††††† A job that may never come

 

KEN:

††††††††††† I have a right to be happy

 

LOUISE:

††††††††††† Even if our baby starves.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† She wouldnít starve. I would make sure of that.

 

LOUISE:

††††††††††† I donít want to argue about it.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† What about my seeing the baby?

 

LOUISE:

††††††††††† I donít think thatís a good idea. It would only confuse her.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† And how long did you figure on keeping her from me?

 

LOUISE:

††††††††††† Until we get settled.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† And how long will that be? I have a right to see my daughter.

 

LOUISE:

††††††††††† I canít deal with this right now.

 

(The line goes dead)

 

KEN:

††††††††††† (to Pauly)

††††††††††† She hung up.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Come on. Letís pay our tab. We have a lot of ground to cover before we get north.

 

 

SCENE 11 (Hank, Pauly and Ken are riding along a two lane highway in up state New York.)

 

HANK:

††††††††††† (seated in the passenger seat)

††††††††††† I knew you would get us lost

 

PAULY

††††††††††† (Driving)

††††††††††† Weíre not lost

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Then where are we?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Highway 21 in New York State

 

HANK:

††††††††††† (waving a wrinkled map)

††††††††††† There is no highway 21 on this map

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Must be an old map

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Or we might be in the wrong state

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Weíre not in the wrong state. I saw a sign. Why donít you let Kenny look at the map. He at least knows how to read.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Why donít you let me drive. At least I know how to drive

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† You drive too slow. I would take forever to get there

 

 

†HANK:

††††††††††† I can see how much progress youíve made. Weíre getting nowhere fast.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Give Kenny the map

†††††††††††

††††††††††† (Hank dump the wrinkled map into the back seat where Kenny looks it over)

†††††††††††

††††††††††† So where are we, Kenny?

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Route 21

 

PAULY:

 

††††††††††† I know that! Where in regards to where we have to go?

 

KEN:

 

††††††††††† You turned off the Thruway too soon

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Which means what?

 

KEN:

††††††††††† We either turn back and get back on the Thruway or we stay on this road which winds through half New York State before it gets us there.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Weíre not turning back.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Maybe we should

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Are you siding with this ďLet me do the drivingĒ jerk?

 

KEN

††††††††††† Iím not siding with anybody. I just want to get there alive

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† And what makes you think we wonít?

 

KEN:

††††††††††† This road takes us through redneck country

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† So?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Didnít you see the looks we were getting back at the diner? Some rednecks might get it into their heads they might like to beat us up.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Some parts of this state donít like hippies.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† For Christís sake, weíre not hippies

 

HANK:

††††††††††† We have long hair and for some rednecks that makes us hippies.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Thatís absurd. Hippies hang out in the cities, not out here.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† You can say that when you know perfectly well Peggy has a place out here. And she isnít the only one. A lot of hippies moved up this way after Woodstock and after the drugs got too bad in the Village.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Thatís not us.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† We are looking for land.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Not for communal living. Jane, Peggy and Louise might find that kind of thing attractive, but I donít.

††††††††††† Each of us will have our own little corner to live on.

††††††††††† Just like we have our own apartments now.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† But you donít have your own apartment. You live in your parentsí basement

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Thatís a temporary arrangement. Just pretend like I have my own apartment all right.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† That sounds pretty lonely to me.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Are you trying to tell me you actually WANT a commune?

 

KEN:

††††††††††† It would make me feel like I belonged to something

 

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Iím of the Groucho Marx school of Socialism.

††††††††††† I donít want to be part of anything that would have me as a member.

††††††††††† Itís each man for himself.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† If we ever get there.

 

 

SCENE 12

††††††††††† (Hank is snoring as Pauly drives. Ken is staring out at the passing landscape at farms and general stores from a time long ago)

 

KEN:

††††††††††† If we donít find land Iím going to have to get another job.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† I donít know how to break it to you, boy.

††††††††††† But if we do find land youíll have to get a job.

††††††††††† We all will.

††††††††††† We canít relay on Hankís inheritance to see it beyond the down payment.

††††††††††† Is Hank sleeping?

 

KEN:

††††††††††† From the sound of his snoring, I would say he is.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Wake him up.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† You wake him up. He bites.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† (Reaching over to shake Hankís shoulder)

††††††††††† Hey Jerk, wake up.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Huh?

††††††††††† Are were there yet?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† No, weíre not there yet.

††††††††††† You were asleep. Nobodyís allow to sleep on this trip.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† But itís taking so long.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Of course itís taking long.

††††††††††† The Canadian border is a long way from New Jersey.

††††††††††† Thatís the point. We want to live as far away from that place as possible.

††††††††††† I was just telling Kenny that weíre all going to have to work once we buy the land.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Work? Why? When I have my fatherís money.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† That money will barely cover the down payment on the land.

††††††††††† Weíll have a mortgage to pay and taxes, and not to mention the cost of building something on it.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† You mean youíll want all my money?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† For now.

††††††††††† Later, we can pay you back.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† But itís my money. I had plans for some of it.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Youíll just have to put those plans on hold for a while.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† The more I hear of this scheme of yours the less I like it.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Donít back out on me now, Boy. This is more than a scheme. Itís a dream come true.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Itís your dream, not mine.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Itís our dream.

††††††††††† We thought it up together when we were still working at the laundry.

††††††††††† Remember?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† That was a long time ago.

††††††††††† We were younger and foolish back then.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† We werenít foolish. We just didnít have the cash to pull it off. Now we do.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Money my father left me.

††††††††††† I donít think I ought to squander his lifeís savings on something weíll have to work to keep.

 

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Youíll squander it anyway.

††††††††††† I know you.

††††††††††† Youíll piss the money away a little at a time on drinking and women and have nothing to show for it in the end.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† So you would have me throw it all away at once.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Not throw it away. Invest it.

††††††††††† Youíll always have the land.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† But you said we would have to work

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† For a while, until we got it up and running.

††††††††††† After that, we each could do what we want to do to make money.

††††††††††† You with your music, Ken with his writing, me with my art.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† That sounds fine in theory. But I donít want to end up like my uncles.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† What do you mean?

 

KEN

††††††††††† They took over my grandfatherís business.

††††††††††† Some of them took jobs so they could keep the money coming in.

††††††††††† Eventually the jobs took over their lives.

††††††††††† I donít want to trade away my dreams for a pay check.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† But you just had a job. What was it? At the furniture factory.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† I hated it so much I knew I wouldnít be staying their long.

††††††††††† If Hank hadnít screwed things up so much, they wouldnít have fired us.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Me?

††††††††††† All I did wasÖ

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Letís not go through all that again.

††††††††††† I promise you, Kenny. If this pans out the way I think it will, you wonít have to worry about getting trapped in a job.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Maybe not. But we might have to worry about starvation.

 

PAULY:††††††††††

††††††††††† Let me do the thinking, Hank.

††††††††††† By the way, why donít you drive for a while.

 

 

SCENE 13:

†( Time passes, darkness grows. Ken stares out the window. Pauly is struggling to stay awake as Hank drives, but gives frequently dirty looks at Hankís lack of skill)

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Iím glad we came this way

 

HANK:

††††††††††† You mean you like getting lost?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† (groggy)

††††††††††† Weíre not lost.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Weíre in Godís country.

††††††††††† All farms and fields. Not a gas station or rest room in sight.

††††††††††† Iíd say thatís pretty close to getting lost.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† But itís real, Hank

 

HANK:

††††††††††† What exactly do you mean by real?

††††††††††† I think rustic fits better.

††††††††††† But you can tell that to the rednecks when they catch up with us.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Real or rustic, itís another place in time.

††††††††††† This is what New Jersey used to look like before the developers ruined it.

††††††††††† I havenít seen a townhouse since we got off the thruway.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Nor a house less than 100 years old either.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† What are you complaining about, Hank.

††††††††††† Do you mean to tell me you love overdevelopment?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Iím in love with civilization.

††††††††††† My dream was to live in Greenwich Village the rest of my life, sipping wine and listening to folk music Ė not spend my life over a jug of moonshine and playing banjo.

††††††††††† Do you really think anybody could be happy out here in the middle of nowhere?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† This isnít the middle of nowhere.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Not yet, maybe, but weíre getting close.

††††††††††† Iíll bet you nobody around here as even heard of a McDonalds.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† As usual, you exaggerate.

 

HANK:

But you are looking for some place remote?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Only so that we can escape all of the bullshit, Hank Ė all the malls and stuff.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† I like malls.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† I agree with Pauly.

††††††††††† Sure itís tough out here.

††††††††††† Most of the people here probably labor from dawn to dusk, and donít even make as much as did at the furniture factory.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† And you think thatís good?

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Maybe Iím just sick of fads, of hamburgers the way we like it, with pickles or without.

††††††††††† Maybe I ache for this life, the kind of life my grandfather knew before all the farms vanished and turned into K-Marts.

 

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Oh, come on.

††††††††††† You were as big on fads as everybody else back in 1967.

†All that peace and love stuff was fad.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Not to me.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Will the two of you shut up.

††††††††††† Iím getting a headache.

††††††††††† Where are we anyway? How far before we have to turn off?

 

SCENE 14:

††††††††††† (Still more time passes and the landscape becomes even more remote. Hank is still driving. Pauly is fast asleep. Ken has his eyes closed, too)

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Hey, Kenny.

††††††††††† Are you still awake

 

KEN;

††††††††††† Sort of.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Talk to me.

††††††††††† Iíd wake up Pauly and ask him to drive, but Iíd have to hear his mouth, and Iím too tired to put up with his bullshit right now.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Heís not so bad.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† I didnít used to think he was. But now he drives me nuts.

††††††††††† All this talk of getting back to the earth, when its all a scheme to get Jane back.

††††††††††† Nobody believes in that old hippie crap any more

 

KEN:

††††††††††† I still believe in those things.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Of course you do.

††††††††††† I expect it from you.

††††††††††† Youíre the universal hippie, some whoíll still be singing in the streets until youíre 70, and then wish you still could after that.

††††††††††† Thatís part of why you lost Louise.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† I lost Louise because you got me fired.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Bullshit!

††††††††††† You would have gotten yourself fired sooner or later and she would have left anyway.

††††††††††† Iím not blaming you for the way you feel. I wish I could be as pure as you are.

††††††††††† But Pauly, he doesnít have a bone like that in his whole body. Heís only doing this to impress Jane, using my money and your misery to do it.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Love has a way of making people believe

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Not him.

††††††††††† He wonít change.

††††††††††† He doesnít do anything unless he can get something out of it.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† I donít see how he can get anything out of this except a lot of hard work.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† I admit. I canít see him getting anything beyond Jane, but heís got something up his sleeve.

††††††††††† Half the reason I donít turn this car around is to see what heís up to.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† And if he isnít up to anything?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Oh, he is. Believe me. He is.

 

(Pauly stirs awake)

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Where are we?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Still in Godís country.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† How long was I asleep

 

KEN:

††††††††††† About an hour

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† And Hank didnít turn tail and head for home.

††††††††††† What did you do, Kenny, hold a gun to his head?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Stop joking, Pauly.

††††††††††† If I knew Peggy had picked such an awful place to set up her little experimental society I wouldnít have come.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† So turn back if youíre so inclined.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† I would butÖ

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† But you want to stick it to Peggy one last time by helping me crash her little party, eh?

††††††††††† You suspect there may be something valuable in this land deal and wouldnít want to miss out, even if it means giving up your dead dadís cash.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Is there?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Youíll have to wait and see.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† †Youíre turning into an even worse bastard than you were.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† And youíre turning into a fucking capitalist

 

HANK:

††††††††††† I am not

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Thatís why your hording your dead fatherís money because youíre NOT capitalist.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† He willed the money to be because he thought I would not squander it. If anyoneís turning into a capitalist in this car, itís you.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Wrong, Iíve always been a capitalist. Kennyís the only reasonably pure person in this car, and sometimes I have my doubts about him.

††††††††††† Need I point out how much you hated your father when he was alive and that your new found love for him came only when you found yourself in sole heir.

††††††††††† I suspect he willed the money to you because he knew that it would corrupt you, and prove just how shallow your belief were.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† You take that back or the whole land deal is off!

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† I wonít take it back.

††††††††††† Ask Kenny. He thinks youíre a capitalist, too.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† I never said that.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† But youíve thought it.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† What I think is my own business.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† (To Kenny)

††††††††††† You really think Iím a capitalist? After all our years bumming around in the village together?

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Capitalist isnít a word I would use.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† What word would you use?

 

KEN:

††††††††††† I think youíve changed.

††††††††††† You think a lot more about money than you used to, and sex.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† See! A capitalist

 

HANK

††††††††††† Shut up, Pauly.

††††††††††† So Iím older and a little worried about being secure††††††

††††††††††† That doesnít make me a capitalist

††††††††††† As for sex, Iíve always thought about that. Ask Peggy.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† You used to think about other things, too.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Like what?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† For Christís sake, Hank. Pay attention to the road.

††††††††††† Thatís a cow!

††††††††††† (Hank slams on the brakes, the car twists around in the middle of the road.)

 

HANK:

††††††††††† You drive, Pauly.

††††††††††† Iím too busy being a fucking capitalist.

 

 

Scene 14:

 

(More time passes and the landscape become even more remote, as if the car is traveling through time as well as space. Hank is a sleep. Pauly is driving and singing ďWeíre getting closer to our homeĒ then stops singing

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Hey, Kenny.

††††††††††† You still with me?

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Iím still awake if thatís what you mean.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Isnít this exciting exploring new worlds. Donít you feel like Columbus or Daniel Boone?

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Columbus was in it for the money.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† †A wise man, that Columbus.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† †Hank thinks youíre up to something.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Heís right

 

KEN:

††††††††††† What is it?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† If I told you, you would tell him and it wouldnít be a surprise.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Do you think itís fair to have him pay for the land and taunt him.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† He loves it. He pretends like he doesnít. But he does

 

††††††††††† (PAULY tunes in a rolling stones song on the radio)

††††††††††† Now thereís an oldie but goodie for you.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† I like the Rolling Stones

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Does it remind you of your protest days?

 

KEN:

††††††††††† I donít need to be reminded. Iím still there.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† So what are you protesting, Kenny?

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Unfairness.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Life is unfair. Are you protesting life?

 

KEN:

††††††††††† I donít see thing the same way you do.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† All right. Let me put it this way.

††††††††††† Our whole generation seems to be against everything.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† So?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† So nobodyís told me yet what we are supposed to be for?

 

KEN:

††††††††††† I donít get you

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Okay, letís start with capitalists. What are they for?

 

KEN:

††††††††††† †Money.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Thatís putting it a little a simply. But all right.

††††††††††† And the military?

 

KEN:

††††††††††† †They want to kill people.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Letís be fair.

††††††††††† We might not agree why they are fighting, but they are fighting for a reason.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† They want to stop communism and spread democracy.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Good, good.

††††††††††† So if capitalists want money and the military want to make the world safe, what do the hippies want?

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Thatís easy. We want to make love not war. (laughing)

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† (sighs)

††††††††††† Youíre almost as hard to talk to as talking to Hank.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† (waking up)

††††††††††† Who is as bad as me?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Kenny.

††††††††††† He wants to make love not war.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† So what do you want, Pauly?†††

††††††††††† Is Hank right? Do you have some money scheme up your sleeve with this land deal?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† You two have me all wrong?

††††††††††† All I want is a chance to do my art.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† And let someone else earn a living for you.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Go back to sleep, Hank.

††††††††††† We still have a long ways to go.

 

(Pauly starts beeping the horn to the beat of the Rolling Stones song.)

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Stop that.

††††††††††† Are you trying to attract trouble?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† What did I do?

 

HANK: ††††††††††

††††††††††† Weíre long haired people in Godís country and youíre calling attention to us. Stop it before someone notices.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† (Looking out the rear window as a police car puts on its flashing lights)

††††††††††† Too late.† I think weíre going to be pulled over.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Just what we needed.

††††††††††† Pull over, Pauly.

 

PAULY.

††††††††††† I am

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Faster before the cop thinks weíre not complying.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Look whoís talking fast, a man who stares at green lights until they go yellow.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Just pull over please. The man does not look happy back there.

 

PAULY.

††††††††††† (pulls the car onto the gravel shoulder)

††††††††††† Let me do all the talking

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Why? So we get a death instead of a life sentence?

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Stop arguing. The copís coming.

 

SHERIFF:

††††††††††† (Comes up to the driverís side window)

††††††††††† Howdy, boys.

††††††††††† Making a bit of a ruckus back there, werenít you?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† (Talking passed Pauly)

††††††††††† If you mean our beeping the horn, we can explain.

 

SHERIFF:

††††††††††† Beeping and weaving a little.

††††††††††† If it wasnít for your out of state plates I might have mistaken you for some of the local rough necks we get along here from time to time, always out to cause a little trouble.

††††††††††† In fact, we have a few boys who just love to cause havoc.

††††††††††† We also get some college frat boys that are even harder to control.

††††††††††† Now, if you three donít mind, Iíd like to see some id.

 

††††††††††† (All three pass out their paper work which the sheriff studies carefully under the illumination of a flash light, nods finally, and hands the paperwork back)

 

††††††††††† You know, there are some folks in these parts who donít particularly like hippies.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Weíre notÖ.

 

SHERIFF

††††††††††† (Holds up his hand to silence Pauly)

††††††††††† Iím not one of those people.

††††††††††† Never had a lick of trouble form any except to pick up few giggling fools who fell into a pond or such.

††††††††††† None ever pulled a gun or knife on me the way local boys have.

††††††††††† Sometimes I actually wish there were more of your kind around.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Does that mean youíre going to let us go.

 

SHERIFF:

††††††††††† I got nothing to hold you on.

††††††††††† But Iím leaving you with a warning.

††††††††††† We got some mean people on this road tonight, so I wouldnít go drawing any attention to yourselves by beeping the horn or doing any other foolish thing.

††††††††††† You get my meaning?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Certainly officer.

††††††††††† And Thanks.

 

 

SCENE 15

 

(More time passes. Pauly is still driving. Hank is awake and humming along with an Elton John song that can barely be heard for all the static on the radio. Ken looks out the rear window. A weaving set of headlights shows in the distance and advances fast, eventually bumping hard into the dodgeís rear bumper jolting Pauly out of half daze)

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† What the hell was that?

 

KEN:

††††††††††† I canít see too well inside the other car. But I hear them calling us fucking hippies.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Can we out run them?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† I doubt we could even if we werenít low on gas.

 

(the other car pulls up along side on the driverís side. Very drunken rednecks or college boys hang out the windows throwing beer bottles at the dodge, and shouting threats to kill them)

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Maybe we should turn around and try and find that cop.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† That copís long gone.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Then maybe we should stop.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Why?

††††††††††† To make it easier for them to beat us up?

††††††††††† Gas or no gas, weíre going to give them a run for our money.

 

(But before Pauly can stomp on the gas, the other car swerves into the side of the dodge.)

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Theyíre going to kill us.

††††††††††† Stop the car!

††††††††††† Better to get beat up than get driven off the road into something.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† They might kill us anyway.

(Pauly stomps on the gas and pulls ahead a little so the next attempt misses)

 

KEN:

††††††††††† I canít believe they had us so much.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Believe it.

††††††††††† And itís not just us.

††††††††††† They hate anything thatís different. Indians, Chinamen, blacks, they just want to stomp us out of existence.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† But if we canít outrun them, what do we do?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Hold on to your seats and Iíll show you.

 

(Again Pauly stomps on the gas, then almost immediately, slams on the brakes. Like earlier the car spins around to halt)

††††††††††† Out!

††††††††††† Grab whatever you can but be ready to fight!

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Fight?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Thatís right, Ken. Sometimes itís all war and no love.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Youíre crazy.

 

(But the three jump out of the car, Pauly holding a screw driver, Hank a cassette storage box, Kenny a portable radio.

But the other car keeps going, wobbling away up the highway until the red tail lights fade from view, and the three are standing in the dark under a sky full of stars next to an overheated and dented Dodge.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Well, thatís enough of Godís country for me.

††††††††††† Letís go home.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† No way.

††††††††††† I came out here for a reason and I intend to finish what I started.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† You mean you want to make sure we get ourselves killed?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† We still have to see the land.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† No land is worth all this.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† All right. So itís not just the land.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† You mean Jane?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Yes, I came out here to get her and thatís what I intend to do. And you want to bring Louise back, too, Kenny?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Thatís what this is all about? The women?

††††††††††† What about the land you went on and on about?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† That, too.

††††††††††† Jane came out here seeking to be closer to the earth.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Sure, she did.

††††††††††† Hooking up with that witch, Peggy.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† So what if we had earth of our own that they could be close to?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Youíd risk our lives so you could prove your farm is bigger than Peggyís?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† One incident and youíre ready to give up?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† I want to quit while Iím still breathing.

††††††††††† Besides, you two have more motivation than I do. You want your women back. I donít want my woman back, and the farther I am away from her the happier Iíll be.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Then think of the land.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† I donít want to live anyplace where I have to fear for my life.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Letís put it to a vote.

††††††††††† You want to turn back. I want to keep going.

††††††††††† What do you want, Kenny?

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Well, I donít want to get beat up.

††††††††††† Yet Iíll really like to see the land.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† There you go! Two to one. We go on.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Go on until weíre dead.

 

 

SCENE 16:

(Pauly is driving when dawn breaks, Ken and Hank are asleep. Pauly shouts)

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Wake up! Itís morning.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† You mean to tell me weíve driven all night? Where are we?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Iím not sure

 

HANK:

††††††††††† You mean to tell me you got us lost again?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Weíre not lost. Weíre on a country road. Iím sure itís on the map. Give Kenny time to find it.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† (After some time searching the map)

††††††††††† Itís here all right. Strangely enough, you got us pretty much where we had to go

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† See! Iím a regular pathfinder.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Pure luck.

††††††††††† What about gas?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Iím sure weíll come up with something soon. Say, isnít that a gas station, and a diner?

††††††††††† I sure could use a bite to eat.

 

(Pauly pulls the car to the pump. A man in overall ambles out, eyes them and the dented car, but complies when Pauly tells him to fill it up. Once Hank has finished paying, Pauly drives the car to the diner.

To every side, old farms spread wide in a rolling country that seems to go on and on, broken by nothing but the distant haze.)

 

HANK:

††††††††††† This is crazy. We canít live out here.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† †Why not?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Because weíre city boys. This is so remote we would grow beards to our knees before we got anywhere civilized.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† We are bringing our own civilization with us. Ask Kenny. He knows.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Kenny doesnít know any more than you do.

††††††††††† We need the city whether we like it or not. Weíll go stir crazy out here.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† †We canít have everything. We need land so we donít drive each other crazy. And we certainly canít afford to buy land where we live.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† But we need city life from time to time. I can't imagine trying to pick up a girl in a bar out here.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Oh, I get it now. Youíre talking about women -- and about all the picking up of women you do.

††††††††††† Havenít you ever heard the tales about the farmerís daughter

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Yeah, Iíve heard of them.

††††††††††† They always make them out to be frail and pretty, when Iím sure I would have a hard time telling the difference between them and a cow.

 

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Kenny, talk to this man. Tell him how wonderful this is, about how we need to be close to the earth and all that other rubbish you and Jane are always going out about.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† †I love the idea.

††††††††††† But I always figured this would be a cooperative effort.

††††††††††† You make is sound like itís every man for himself.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Thatís what life is.

††††††††††† Itís survival of the fittest.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† If thatís the case, weíre in big trouble.

††††††††††† Weíre not fit for life like this.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† †We could learn.

††††††††††† If Jane and the others can do it, why canít we?

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Weíre not sure they can do it.† We havenít seen their place yet.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† At lot of other people came out here from the city after Woodstock. You said so yourself.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† And a lot of them failed. You painting us out to be Daniel Boone.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† And whatís wrong with that?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Itís fiction.

††††††††††† Are you doing all of this just to show off for Jane?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Thatís not the only reason.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† But do you know all the problems weíre going to run into out here?

††††††††††† You canít just go off to the local Quik Chek to buy grub, we may have to grow it ourselves.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† I hadnít intended to be that primitive

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Then we donít need all this land. We could do just as well with separate apartments back home.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Letís be reasonable. Letís look at the land, before you give up on the idea.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Of course, Iíll look at the land. You donít think I came all this way to visit Peggy, did you?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Great. You go in and order food. Iíll call the owner.

 

(KEN AND HANK go into the diner, Pauly pulls open the door to the phone booth, drops coins in and dials a number from a wrinkled want ad he pulls out of his pocket. When finished he joins the others in the booth)

 

HANK:

††††††††††† So?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† The owner said heíll meet us there. Itís just down the road. Our property starts just after the big red barn. He said we need to pull onto a dirt road a half mile after that.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† A dirt road?

††††††††††† This sounds worse the more I hear.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† YE, of so little faith.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† I have a lot of faith that you will get us crucified before this trip is through.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† You might not be so wrong about that.

††††††††††† Thereís a few men at the counter giving us the evil eye

 

(The pack of men all have the tough look of field workers, grim faced and tanned from too many hours in the sun, dirt under their finger nails, and grease stained overalls hinting of aggravating wrestling matches with uncooperative field machines. One man Ė a squat character with dark hair and discolored front teeth snarls)

 

WORKER:

††††††††††† Look at them fairies.

††††††††††† Sitting right in front of us eating our food, pretending like they got a right to be in the same place with us.

 

(several of his companions nod and chuckle, voicing suggestions as to what they might do if they get the chance)

 

††††††††††† Beating them up is too good for them.

††††††††††† We should teach them a lesson they can take back to the city with them.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† (talking low to Hank and Pauly)

††††††††††† I think maybe it would be a good idea to get out of here.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† I would agree, but we have to walk right passed them to get out.

††††††††††† I think we should sit right here and wait until they leave.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† We canít wait.

††††††††††† The owner of the property said heíd meet us. If we donít show he made think weíre not interested.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Iím not interested in getting mauled on the way.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† They wonít hurt us.

††††††††††† Theyíll all talk

 

KEN:

††††††††††† I think youíre wrong about that. But the longer we sit here the more riled theyíll get and we might wind up in a fight we donít want.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† All right. If weíre leaving. Letís leave.

 

(PAULY rises first, leaves the bill for Hank, and strolls towards the door. The worker with the stained teeth grabs him by the arm.)

 

LENNY:

††††††††††† Where are you going, sweetie?

 

PAULY

††††††††††† (Joined by Hank and Kenny)

††††††††††† Iím not bothering you mister.

 

LENNY:

††††††††††† Youíre looks bother me.

††††††††††† What are you doing in these parts?

††††††††††† We donít have no war protests here.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Iím minding my own business. Just like I wish you would

 

LENNY:

††††††††††† Why you little fuckÖ

††††††††††† (Takes a swing, but the counter clerk grabs the arm)

 

CLERK:

††††††††††† Not in here, Lenny.

††††††††††† You want to pick on someone do it some place else.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Come on, Kenny, Hank. Hurry

 

(the three hurry out of the diner and climb into the car. Inside, Lenny and some of the others start to lumber out of the door, shouting at Pauly, Ken and Hank to stop. Pauly guns the car, sending a spray of gravel into the faces of the men, enraging them more)

 

KEN:

††††††††††† They do not look happy, Pauly. I wouldnít have done the thing with the stones.

 

PAULY:

Youíre acting like I did it intentionally. Iím just trying to get as much space between them and us.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Are they following us?

 

KEN:

††††††††††† (squinting out the rear window)

††††††††††† Theyíre getting into a pickup truck and pulling out.

††††††††††† Yeah, I would say they are coming this way.

†††††††††††

HANK:

††††††††††† Go faster, Pauly.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† No way.

††††††††††† We start running will blow right passed the property we came to see.

††††††††††† Weíre gonna pull off and let them pass.

††††††††††† Thereís a curve coming. Keep and eye out for anything I can turn into.

 

(The car moves around the curve, and out of sight of pursuit)

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Thereís a gravel road

 

(Pauly jerks the car right and into the drive, slamming on the brakes. A moment later, the pickup truck, now going very fast, flashing by them.)

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Well, thatís over with.

††††††††††† Letís go look at the land.

 

 

SCENE 17

 

(Pauly is driving again with Hank in the passenger side and Ken in the rear seat, all our on the look out for the landmarks. The land has a feeling of great age also seems timeless, full of buildings and stone walls that have seen generations, and that people from hundreds of years past would have found familiar. If not for the occasional car or truck on the highway, and the rusted ruins of some earlier 20th century machine sitting on pieces of property, this might have been any time period from before the American Revolution. Even the few strangers that appear in front of buildings or on the gray porches seemed part of that same lack of time Ė each person and piece of landscape clinging to something incredibly precious strangers from the city could not appreciate or even recognize in their hurry)

 

HANK:

††††††††††† So where is this barn youíve harped on about?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Will you stop worrying about it.

††††††††††† We got gas now.

††††††††††† It doesnít matter how far it is.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† It matters if we wind up landing on another planet.

KEN:

††††††††††† There it is!

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† I told you.

††††††††††† Now both of you keep a sharp look out for the dirt road.

††††††††††† I got to pay attention to this convoy coming this way on the other side.

 

(Convey is the wrong word to describe the parade of farm vehicles that were making their way to their various destinations, all of them of representing each time period the area had gone through, from the most primitive vehicles of early automotive to models that had been new a decade earlier, all showing the bruises of a hard life in dint and dents, and layers of mud, with men and in some cases women wearing the same sign of age and earthiness.)

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Do you have any idea how far away the nearest city is?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Kenny, look on the map for him.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† How big a city do you mean?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Some place with a night life, that wonít roll up its sidewalks after dark.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Buffalo is less than an hour a way.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† I mean a real city. Like New York.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Buffalo is a real city.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Maybe to you.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† I guess Quebec would be next.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Oh, fine! You would have me move to a place where I would have to leave my own country to pick up a girl?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† What are you complaining about?

††††††††††† Quebec is a wonderful city, very European. And you donít even need a passport to get there.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Perhaps not.

††††††††††† But I have an ugly feeling that Iím going to need a criminal defense lawyer before this over to defend me in court for murdering you.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Thereís the road.

 

(Pauly jerks the car in that direction, causing it to bounce over the rough ground and the three occupants to bounce inside the car. Ahead of the road, partially hidden by overgrown trees, a rusted and dented pick up truck waits, and old style vehicle that last saw active service during the 1950s and even then was a hold over from the 1940s. Once the car has stopped, a gray haired man climbs out, wearing overalls of a farmer although clean and clearly no longer too much in touch with the soil. Hank, Kenny and Pauly climb out of the car and meet him half way between the two vehicles.)

 

OWNER:

††††††††††† So youíre the boys that want to buy my property

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† We certainly are.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Weíre here to look over it anyway.

 

 

OWNER:

††††††††††† Well itís a good piece of land, even if my family hasnít done much with it for the last decade or so. Weíve owned it for more than 100 years.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Which makes me wonder why youíre giving it up.

 

OWNER:

††††††††††† Iím getting old.

††††††††††† Didnít much like farming even when I did more than I do these days.

††††††††††† And my kids, oneís a doctor, anotherís a teacher, like it even less

††††††††††† So with nobody to give it to when I did, I figure I might get something for it, and use the money for my other business.

††††††††††† If you get my drift.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Weíre right with you old man.

††††††††††† Do you think we could look the place over a little?

 

OWNER:

††††††††††† Sure.

††††††††††† You boys want to climb in the truck with me or follow along in your own† vehicle.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Weíll follow

 

OWNER:

††††††††††† This road gets a bit much later on.

††††††††††† Your vehicle doesnít much look like it could handle the strain.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† I can ride with you, lessen the weight on the car.

††††††††††† You can tell me about the land as we go Ė and anything else you think we ought to know.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Donít go making any deals without consulting us first, Pauly.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† (grinning as he climbs into the passenger side of the pick up truck)

††††††††††† Would I do a thing like that?

 

 

(Once everyone is in place, the two vehicles move, bumping over the uneven landscape of the direct road Ė a patch of grass appearing in the space between the wheels to suggest the land has not seen significant traffic, just enough to keep the road clear.

The deeper the vehicle goes the farther from civilization they seem to travel, coming upon a rusted out model T ford from nearer the turn of the century, as well as other items someone has dumped there over the years, but time has worn down so that they are unrecognizable only that they were once manmade. A few buildings dot this place, too, sheds mostly, here and there of that gray paintless wood that testifies to their long life. The foundations of several larger buildings show, but these are so overgrown with weeds and trees, they may have not housed people since the Civil War)

 

OWNER:

††††††††††† This is good land, despite how it looks, for anyone willing to work it.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† (Staring out in apparent awe, although it is an awe tinged with doubt)

††††††††††† No buildings?

 

OWNER:

††††††††††† Not any more. Nor anything worth keeping up even if it has four walls.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Where did you live?

 

OWNER:

††††††††††† Where I still live Ė on the upper 40. Subdivided this piece so I could be done with it.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† So weíll be neighbors?

 

OWNER:

††††††††††† Seems so if you boys decided to buy the place.

††††††††††† Iím sure the place will be bountiful with you as it has been to my family.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† You make it sound as if this land was a person

 

OWNER:

††††††††††† †Sometimes, I think thereís more soul in this place than in most people walking around on two feet.

††††††††††† Thatís the big thing thatís change in the world.

††††††††††† People used to think of land and animals and others as something equal if different from human kind, treating it with the same respect it would for any thinking and breathing being.

††††††††††† Until your kind came around, most folks treated land like dirt with no more in it than rocks they had to plow up in order to build something over it.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Our kind?

 

OWNER:

††††††††††† Hippies.

††††††††††† Lots of them came this way after Woodstock.

††††††††††† Some went away again when they found out how much work it took to live in these parts, and how cruel winters can be at times.

††††††††††† But some stayed.

††††††††††† Thereís a batch of your kind just down the road a piece.

 

(the truck bumps along as the road gets even more ragged, so that it is nearly impossible to tell the road from the under brush except for the two narrow ribbons of earth through which the tires roll. But even these are thick with sharp stones poking up, and huge dips that often make the ride seem more like a roller coaster than a road. Finally from behind, Hank beeps the horn and Ken waves out the window for them to stop)

 

††††††††††† I think your friends want to speak with you.

 

(The owner halts the truck. Pauly gets out, walks back to the driver side of the overheating dodge, where Hank shakes his head.)

 

HANK:

††††††††††† The car canít stand much more of this beating. The road is just too rough.

 

(the owner comes up behind Pauly)

 

OWNER:

††††††††††† Is there a problem?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Our car canít handle the track.

††††††††††† Is there much more to see?

 

OWNER

††††††††††† Some.

††††††††††† Got a small pond up younger. Some woods the other way. Even a bit of a hill you might think is a mountain. But youíve already seen enough to get a fair idea of what the property is about.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Indeed, Iíve seen enough for me to make up my mind.

††††††††††† We should get back to the road where I can talk to my partners here, and maybe check on the neighbors to see what we can expect and how theyíre getting on.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Neighbors?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† (Nodding for Hank to play along)

††††††††††† The man tells me that thereís some kind of commune nearby.

††††††††††† Iím sure they can fill us in on what lifeís like in these parts before we plunk down a deposit on this place.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Arenít you being a bit hasty about spending my money?

OWNER:

††††††††††† Well, folks.

††††††††††† I donít want to give you push on this. I hate when people push me into do something I havenít made up my mind to do. But thereís other folks coming to look at the place, and the first people to put a deposit on the land gets it Ė even though Iíve taken a shine to you boys.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† No problem, mister.

††††††††††† We wonít need a lot of time.

††††††††††† Weíll look around and weíll get back to you in an hour or so when weíve discussed this a bit.

 

OWNER:

††††††††††† Fine with me.

††††††††††† You got my number.

 

 

SCENE 18

 

(Ken, Pauly and Hank are back in the car on the two lane highway headed in the direction of the commune)

 

PAULY

(Driving)

††††††††††† So what do you think?

 

 

HANK:

††††††††††† I think we would be crazy to buy it.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Are YOU out of your mind?

††††††††††† Did you see all the land weíre getting for the money.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† It is a lot of land.

††††††††††† But what do we do with it?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Donít turn sour on me now, Kenny.

††††††††††† Weíll live on it.

††††††††††† Do what we want.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† What about a house to live in? Electricity to light it. And what did you plan on doing for toilet facilities, shit in the woods?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† We can build something easily enough.

††††††††††† Havenít you ever heard of pre-fab?

††††††††††† As for services, the man said the place once had houses on it. That means the pipes are still underground and power lines still come in from the road.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† A house doesnít guarantee plumbing and electricity.

††††††††††† From the look of the old man, his kin may have lived on the land before any of those things existed.

††††††††††† Do you really want to step back in time to the pioneer days?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Maybe.

††††††††††† Isnít Kenny always harping on about how much better things were before industry took over the planet?

 

KEN:

††††††††††† I said industry was harmful.

††††††††††† I didnít say I wanted to live like a caveman.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Donít be snide, Kenny.

††††††††††† All I mean is that we have lived an easy life up to this point.

††††††††††† Maybe we need to earn our happiness a little.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Look whoís suddenly a convert!

††††††††††† You might be trying to make Jane happy with all this. But Iím not convinced.

††††††††††† Frankly, I think Jane would be happy if you went out and got a job or went back to school.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Youíre starting to piss me off, Hank.

††††††††††† I just want you to listen to reason.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† I will as soon as I hear some.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† All right. What about this?

††††††††††† Weíll go down the road to Peggyís place, talk to them and see how they handled everything up here.

††††††††††† If they give us a bad report, weíll call the whole thing off.

††††††††††† But if they say everything okay, then you give us the money for the deposit.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† You want me to talk to Peggy?

†††††††††††

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† No, Iíll do the talking. You listen.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† It still sounds risky.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† What do you have to lose?

†††††††††††

HANK:

††††††††††† My fatherís inheritance.

 

 

SCENE 19

 

††††††††††† (The sense of moving back in time is exasperated by their approach to the commune. Everything seems from an older generation, with all signs of contemporary 1972 extinguished. Buildings long out of date elsewhere still function such as the general store and the gas station with its round-topped pumps and window signs advertising companies that have long ceased doing business.

††††††††††† People look at the Dodge as it passes, not in a friendly way, grim working men and angry younger men who have just started on the hard life the landscape requires for survival, all of them trapped in the landscape they way there are in their own lives, looking with resentment at the car full of hippies for whom this visit is little more than a joy ride.)

 

KEN:

††††††††††† I donít want to sound alarmist, but the natives for some reason seem less friendly than they did.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Thatís because we getting deeper into the muck.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Nonsense. Both of you are imagining things.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Maybe.

††††††††††† But Iíve seen these looks before from construction workers and soldiers back in the city. And Iíd be very surprised if we would find ourselves welcome if we decided to stop for gas again or to get something from the store.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† We got gas, and we just ate. So unless you have to go to the toilet, we donít need to stop.

††††††††††† Iím sure if you have to go, the commune will have a toilet.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† I wouldnít bet on it.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Will you stop being so negative and look for the road?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† I am looking.

††††††††††† They all look the same.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† The old man said the road is marked by a large boulder.

††††††††††† That may be it up ahead.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Thank you, Kenny.

††††††††††† Iím glad I can count on somebody.

 

(Pauly slows the car and comes to a halt at the gravel opening that marks the intersection with the highway. This road is even worse than the ones they had traveled on with the old man, marked with dips that showed large swashes of mud, and significant walls overgrown from either side.)

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Weíre supposed to drive down that?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† This is a farm, Hank. Donít expect Times Square.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† I expect level roads.

††††††††††† How do people get around in this place, by pack mule.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† I admit. Things are a little rugged. We might have to get some sort of pick up truck if we move here.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Oh good!

††††††††††† Weíre already planning to turn into hillbillies. Next weíll be coming around the mountain with a banjo on our knees.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† There is someone on the road, waving at us to stop.

††††††††††† And he has a gun.

 

(Pauly halts the car as a long-haired man steps to the side of the car, rifle under one arm, pointed down, yet apparently ready for use in necessary. The character is a strange mix of hippie and hillbilly, wearing farmerís coveralls, but no shirt nor shoes, looking more than a little dusty for his contact with nature)

 

MAN:

††††††††††† What do you want?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Weíre old friends of Peggy. Weíve come up from New Jersey to see her.

 

MAN:

††††††††††† Friends?

††††††††††† Peggy didnít say anything about expected visitors.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Well, we didnít exactly tell her we were coming. We wanted it to be a surprise.

 

MAN:

††††††††††† People around here donít like surprises. Iíll have to ride the rest of the way in with you.

 

††††††††††† (the man waves towards the pushes, suggesting that other people, perhaps also armed are hidden there. When he climbs into the back seat with Ken, Hank makes a face suggesting the man was in need of a bath.)

 

††††††††††† Go slow.

††††††††††† The road gets pretty bad ahead.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Worse than this?

 

MAN:

††††††††††† †A lot worse.

 

(under Paulyís not so steady hand, the car edges ahead, but even at a crawl, it shudders and bang as the gaps in the road appear, holes so large as to swallow the tire and jerk the steering wheel out of his hands. This goes on for some time, with Hank grimacing over each bump).

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Does this go on forever?

 

MAN:

††††††††††† Itís not far now. But it gets a little treacherous ahead.

 

(The trees part, and the road becomes a kind of gully twisting and turning as it makes its way down into some gully that eventually opens into fields. Ken stares at the side window. Armed men who look much like the man in the car scurry along either side through the trees.

Finally, structures show on as the land opens up into fields, farm and grass land stretching out to either side, the vale of some ancient waterway with the farm at its bottom. The man gets out)

 

MAN:

††††††††††† Wait here.

 

(the man hurries off towards one of the nearby structures, the remains of an old farm house half of which has collapsed over time, hastily repaired with new pale lumber mingling with the ancient gray wood of the original building.)

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† This is weird!

 

HANK:

††††††††††† †Youíre telling me!

††††††††††† Did you see the others running along side of us?

 

KEN:

††††††††††† I saw them.

††††††††††† They all had guns.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† What have you gotten us into, Pauly?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Me?

††††††††††† This isnít my commune.

††††††††††† Go ask your ex-girlfriend. Iím sure sheíll explain how her peace and love bunch turned into the Hatfieldís and McCoyís.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Ask her yourself. Here she comes.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† She does not look happy to see us.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Neither is the tall guy sheís with.

††††††††††† Who is he?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† He calls himself Gandalf. Heís one of the old crowd from the village.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† A Charlie Manson look-alike, eh?

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Shush. Their here.

 

(Peggy and the tall, Gray-haired man name Gandalf arrive at the car)

 

PEGGY:

††††††††††† What the hell are you people pulling now?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† We were in the neighborhood and we thought we would drop by.

 

PEGGY:

††††††††††† Bullshit.

††††††††††† This is nowhere near anywhere you live.

††††††††††† What are you three up to?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Paulyís telling the truth.

††††††††††† Weíre up here looking to buy some land and thought weíd stop in here to check out how your commune made out.

 

PEGGY:

††††††††††† Is this true, Ken?

††††††††††† I know youíll tell me the truth.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† We just came from looking at a property a few miles from here.

 

PEGGY:

††††††††††† A bit convenient, isnít it?

††††††††††† With the whole state of New York to choose from, you happened to pick a property near ours.

 

GANDALF:

††††††††††† Donít be harsh with them, Peggy.

††††††††††† They have come a long way and we have not welcomed them properly. They must be tired and perhaps hungry.

††††††††††† Let them settle in, then we can ask them questions.

 

PEGGY:

††††††††††† I know these three, Gandalf.

††††††††††† They mean us no good by coming here.

 

GANDALF:

††††††††††† None the less they are here, and our guests.

††††††††††† Bring them along.

 

 

SCENE† 20

 

(Pauly parks the car among a handful of vehicles, a pick up truck, an old yellow school bus painted in the traditional hippie colors, but faded and dusty, a more modern van apparently rented for the trip here, and Janeís blue VW bug. Pauly pauses near this then follows the other towards a group of structures that had a strange tribal look to them, some half buildings, some tents, with a larger newer metal structure rising up from behind them that soon reveals itself as a partially completed dome still under construction.

Around them is a confusion of dusty people, all bearing the same half clothes and barefooted look at the man who had met them on the road, though the children are totally naked and a bit wild rushing around with the dozens of dogs as if part of their pack.

In total, the population of this small village was several dozen, with many of the women pregnant.

Pauly, Hank and Ken are brought to a larger tent in which park like picnic tables have been set up, and where some people are eating chunks of home made bread and bowls of brown rice. All sit, Peggy, Gandalf, Pauly, Hank and Ken, as others bring them bowls and bread as well. Pauly looks disgusted. Hank doesnít look at all. Kenny breaks off some bread the nibbles)

 

GANDALF:

††††††††††† Welcome to our little community.

††††††††††† It is not often we welcome guests, although as of late, we have added a few new residents Ė a very rare thing indeed.

 

PEGGY:

††††††††††† Okay, the friendly stuff is over.

††††††††††† Why are you hear?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† We told you.

††††††††††† Weíre looking at land.

 

PEGGY:

††††††††††† Bullshit!

††††††††††† Jane and Louise come up here and within a day the three of you show up.

††††††††††† Thatís no coincidence.

††††††††††† And frankly, I would have you run off. But Gandalf is a kinder person than I am. But I still think you should leave.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† For whatever reason we came, it would be a shame that we couldnít see Jane and Louise.

††††††††††† After all, we did come along way.

 

PEGGY:

††††††††††† And if they donít want to see you?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† I havenít hear either one of us saying that, only you.

††††††††††† Are you their caretaker as well as their friend?

 

PEGGY:

††††††††††† Donít give me your twisted logic, Garley. Hank may fall for it. But I wonít.

 

GANDALF:

††††††††††† No, Peggy. Heís right.†

††††††††††† It would be wrong for us to speak for their loved ones.

††††††††††† Go ask them if they wish to see our guests.

 

PEGGY:

††††††††††† And if they say no?

 

GANDALF:

††††††††††† Then we will let our friends rest, then send them on their way.

 

PEGGY:

††††††††††† Very well, Iíll go ask.

 

††††††††††† (PEGGY stands and storms off)

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Iím confused by all the people carrying guns. One of your people met us with a gun on the road. And I saw others running along side the car in the woods when we came in.

††††††††††† It is clear they are not hunting.

††††††††††† I thought this was a peaceful community.

 

GANDALF:

††††††††††† It is a peaceful community.

††††††††††† But it is also a community under siege.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† By whom?

 

GANDALF:

††††††††††† By packs of thugs that would drive us out from this land.

††††††††††† Most are young hot heads, but they are supported by older folks who do not wish to see our kind coming into their community.

 

 

KEN:

††††††††††† But you arenít hurting anyone.

††††††††††† If anything, you seem to be keeping up the traditions of the area, raising crops and children just the way people always have here.

 

 

GANDALF:

††††††††††† It is hard to explain the meanness in peopleís hearts.

††††††††††† Some see their way of life vanishing, and blame us as the cause. Some feel trapped in their own lives and need to make us feel small in order that they feel important.

††††††††††† Some welcome us. But most donít. Some ignore us, but others lay in wait for us, or sneak onto our land and cause trouble.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Which explains the guards.

††††††††††† My God. This is as bad as living back on the Lower East Side among the junkies.

 

GANDALF:

††††††††††† Untrue.

††††††††††† We were trapped in cells in the city, locked away from each other, forced to pay rich men rent, greedy grocers for food, and monstrous utilities for our heat.

††††††††††† Here, we can grow much of our food, live rent free, and use the sun and natural products for heat in winter.

††††††††††† It is not an easy life. But it is much freer than in the city, and over time, this generation of hate will fade where as in the city the hate percolates and becomes more intense as people fight other people for space.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† But there are things you donít have hear, conveniences that some of us might consider necessary.

 

GANDALF:

††††††††††† We have what we need.

††††††††††† But enough of talk. Here come the women you came to see.

 

 

(Peggy, Jane and Louise Ė with holding the toddler Ruby by the hand Ė make their way from elsewhere in the village toward where Pauly, Ken, Hank and Gandalf sit. All four rise when the women reach the tent. Jane looked particularly skeptical, shaking her head slowly.)

 

JANE:

††††††††††† I canít believe you came anyway

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† We just happened to be in the neighborhood.

 

GANDALF:

††††††††††† I think maybe we should leave these people alone.

††††††††††† Come Peggy.

 

(PEGGY seems reluctant to leave)

††††††††††† Peggy. Come

 

PEGGY:

††††††††††† All right. But you, Hank, youíre coming with me.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† What for?

 

PEGGY:

††††††††††† For a talk.

††††††††††† Pauly might have thought up this little scheme, but you went along with it.

 

(Peggy, Gandalf, Hank and the handful of others from the commune exit the tent, leaving Pauly and Jane at one table,

Ken with Louise and Ruby stroll out the other side the tent and walk along the field back towards where the cars are parked)

 

LOUISE:

††††††††††† Why did you come here?

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Because I needed to explain what happened and to see my daughter again.

 

LOUISE:

††††††††††† You donít need to explain anything. Weíve been through it all before. Youíre the way you are and youíll never change.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Probably not.

††††††††††† At least not in the way you mean.

††††††††††† But I still care about you and Ruby.

 

LOUISE:

††††††††††† If you cared so much, you would provide for us.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† I will as long as I donít have to feel miserable about it.

††††††††††† Why donít you come home. Iím sure I can hold onto a job sooner or later.

 

LOUISE:

††††††††††† I canít take that chance, Kenny.

††††††††††† I have to think of whatís best for Ruby.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† This place is best for Ruby?

 

LOUISE:

††††††††††† (looking around)

††††††††††† Strangely it is. People look out for each other here, and provide for each other. We donít have to worry about the landlord putting us out or not having enough to eat.

††††††††††† Thatís reassuring to me.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† But itís so remote and Ė well, primitive.

 

LOUISE:

††††††††††† I suppose. But I heard you were looking to buy land nearby.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† One of Paulyís schemes. I like the land. But I think I agree with Hank. This is no place for us.

 

LOUISE:

††††††††††† Iím sorry to hear that.

††††††††††† I was thinking maybe you might find a place here with us.

 

(back in the tent, Pauly shakes his head)

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† You canít be happy in this place?

 

JANE:

††††††††††† Why not?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Because youíre as suburban as I am, and will go crazy living hand to mouth like this.

††††††††††† Ken and Louise might do it.

††††††††††† Theyíre much more basic than we are.

 

JANE:

††††††††††† This is coming from a man who plans to buy the farm next door to us?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† WAS going to buy.

††††††††††† Not now. Not after seeing this and you.

††††††††††† Come back to New Jersey with me. We can start over.

 

JANE:

††††††††††† Start over?

††††††††††† We canít start something again we didnít have in the first place.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Youíre confusing me.

††††††††††† I thought we had something once.

 

JANE:

††††††††††† You thought. But you never asked me.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Are you saying you never loved me.

 

JANE:

††††††††††† Not more than you love yourself.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† That hurts, Jane.

 

JANE:

††††††††††† The truth hurts sometimes.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† So youíre going to stay here living like Grizzly Adams.

 

JANE:

††††††††††† No, youíre right in that regard.

††††††††††† This isnít my kind of life. But being with you isnít either.

††††††††††† Iím just here until I figure out where to go from here.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† But it wonít be with me?

 

JANE:

††††††††††† No, Pauly.

 

(Peggy and Hank hold back a little from the small crowd walking through the heart of the little commune village.)

 

PEGGY:

††††††††††† You really are a pip, you know that?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† I didnít come here to fight with you.

 

PEGGY:

††††††††††† Then why did you come?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Pauly needed an excuse to see Jane. Kenny needed to say good bye to his wife and kid.

 

PEGGY:

††††††††††† So you just tagged along?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Kidnapped would be a better description.

 

PEGGY:

††††††††††† But you never thought maybe you would like to see me again?

 

HANK:

 

(halts, looks squarely at Peggy)

††††††††††† Of course, I thought about you.

††††††††††† I think about you all the time. I miss you all the time.

 

PEGGY:

††††††††††† Thatís why you cheated on me all the time?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† I donít know why I cheated on you.

††††††††††† Somethingís wrong inside me I guess, some hunger that I can never satisfy.

 

PEGGY:

††††††††††† So youíre saying I was never enough for you?

 

HANK

††††††††††† (laughs sourly)

††††††††††† You were always too much to handle for me.

††††††††††† You were also always too good for me.

 

PEGGY:

††††††††††† My God!

††††††††††† Is this repentance I hear coming out of the mouth of Hank Sterns?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† You said you would recognize truth if I spoke it. Well Iím speaking truth.

††††††††††† I guess I always felt a little overwhelmed by you, and went looking for girls I knew didnít expect as much from me as you did.

 

PEGGY:

††††††††††† Iím not sure I like your confessions any better than I liked your lies.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Iím not really confessing or repenting. Iím just setting the record straight.

††††††††††† Sure, I love you. But Iím never going to be kind to you or loyal Ė not the way this guy Gandalf appears to be.

††††††††††† He seems legitimate.

 

PEGGY:

††††††††††† He is.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Iím glad.

††††††††††† I wouldnít want to dump you off onto anyone like me.

 

PEGGY:

††††††††††† Hank, if you donít stop this, Iím going to slug you.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† (laughs)

††††††††††† Iím done.

††††††††††† I think maybe itís time for us to leave.

 

PEGGY:

††††††††††† But you three just got here.

††††††††††† Iím sure the other two have a lot to talk about before theyíre ready to go.

(looks back towards the tent, squints)

††††††††††† Pauly and Jane are headed off to her tent. I canít see Ken or Louise, but I suspect theyíre going to hers. One of the other women is holding Ruby.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† (Staring in the same direction)

††††††††††† You mean?

 

PEGGY:

††††††††††† Weíre not stuffed shirts here. People sometimes do need to Ė well, you know.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Yeah, I know.

 

PEGGY:

††††††††††† What about you?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† I donít get you?

 

PEGGY:

††††††††††† I donít think anyoneís using my tent at the moment.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† What about Gandalf? And all that talk about loyalty

 

PEGGY:

††††††††††† I said weíre not stuffed shirts here, Hank.

††††††††††† Gandalf will understand. He knows how I feel about you.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Well, Iíll be a monkeyís uncle!!!!

 

 

SCENE: 21

 

†(Ken and Louise reappear later, as do Hank & Peggy, Pauly & Jane, joining the community in the big tent for the evening meal. Gandalf and others are seated at the tables, and all seem strangely content although weary from their daily chores. Someone is singing an old folk song, not an anti war song, but something from the 1930s dealing with work and life. It fills the air and adds to the sense of having traveled back in time, or perhaps, creating a bubble of past in which these people live out their lives believing values no longer popular in the world beyond their bubble.)

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† (to Jane)

††††††††††† Weíre going to have to leave soon.

 

JANE:

††††††††††† Tonight?

††††††††††† You canít wait until morning?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† If I spend the night, I wonít want to leave in the morning.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Me neither

 

LOUISE:

††††††††††† Then why go if they think you would like to stay?

†††††††††††

KEN:

††††††††††† I wouldnít like it here.

††††††††††† I would feel as trapped here as I would if I worked for my family again or in any job I hated. But I would stay because youíre here, and be miserable.

 

PEGGY:

††††††††††† Whatís your excuse, Hank?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† You know me.

††††††††††† I would start to get restless, and would wander off somewhere anyway.

††††††††††† Better I leave now, while we still feel good about each other than stay and have us hate each other again.

 

PEGGY:

††††††††††† I wouldnít hate you, Hank.

††††††††††† I think Iím beyond that now. I would just feel sorry for you.

 

JANE:

††††††††††† But youíll come back? The three of you?

 

KEN:

††††††††††† If Iím welcome, Iíll come back.

††††††††††† I need to see my kid, donít I?

 

JANE:

††††††††††† What about you, Pauly?

††††††††††† Do you think you can find time in your busy life to come visit me?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† If youíre still here.

 

GANDALF:

††††††††††† I think if youíre going tonight, youíd better leave soon.

††††††††††† The road gets thick with drunken workers after dark, and I wouldnít want to see you get caught up with them.

 

SCENE 22:

 

(the dodge pulls out of the mouth of the road from the commune. The guards fade back into the shadows, looking a little like native American Indians from another time slipping back into the woods. PAULY is driving. The radio is on, playing some staticky Peter, Paul and Mary song. No one is singing or yet talking, apparently each is lost in his own thoughts. The road is dark ahead and behind with only a few lights to indicate a building at intervals and a flashing yellow light in the distance to indicate a more major crossing of farm roads. The headlights seem to illuminate a cone ahead of the car into which each man stares intently. Pauly finally speaks)

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Okay, which one of you jerks is going to say it?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Say what?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Tell me what a bad idea all this was coming up here.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† What makes you think it was a bad idea?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Because we came all this way and weíre going back without leaving a deposit on the land.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Come off it, Pauly.

††††††††††† We all know it would never have worked.

††††††††††† Weíre all too lazy for that way of life.

††††††††††† Kennyís the only one of us who would appreciate a life of brown rice and navel gazing.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† No, even I couldnít handle life here with them or with you two.

††††††††††† We would drive each other crazy within a week.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† But it was a nice idea, wasnít it?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† It was a whacky idea.

††††††††††† Now the question is, can be find the thruway again so we can go home.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† I still got the map. Iíll get us there.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Weíre going to have to stop for coffee.

††††††††††† I wonít be able to keep my eyes open without some.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Thereís no Quik Chek here.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Weíll stop at the diner, and get more gas, too.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Do you think thatís a good idea after what happened there yesterday?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Come on, Kenny.

††††††††††† You donít think that crew is still there?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Kenny might be right.

††††††††††† Is it wise to tempt fate?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Just trust me, okay.

††††††††††† The guy and his friends wonít be there.

 

(Pauly drives on. The diner shows in the distance on the left, a lone glowing icon shinning brightly into the night, along with the lights outside the filling station next door. The lot is filled with pick up trucks when Pauly pulls the dodge into the lot.)

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† You get the tank filled while I go get our coffee

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Do you want one of us to go with you?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Iím a grown man, Kenny. I donít need you to hold my hand.

 

(PAULY gets out of the car and crosses the lot to enter the diner as Hank tells the attendant to fill up the tank)

 

KEN:

††††††††††† This wasnít a wasted trip, you know.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† What makes you say that?

 

KEN:

††††††††††† I got to say good bye, and maybe if I find a job I like, she might come back.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† I wouldnít hang your hat at that. Life has a way of getting away from people after enough time passes. She might meet someone up here. You might meet someone down there.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† I wonít meet anybody like her.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† (paying the gas station attendant for the gas)

††††††††††† Never say never, Kenny.

††††††††††† I figured I would never like Peggy, and look what happened.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† What did happen with you two?

††††††††††† She was actually being nice to you at the end.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Never mind the details. Just take my word that strange things happen when you least expect.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Speaking of strange things. Isnít that Pauly running out of the diner?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Sure is, and he forgot our coffee.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† (yanking open the driverís door and jumping in)

 

††††††††††† We got to get out of here quick

 

KEN:

††††††††††† The guy was in there, and he remembered me, and heís howling up a storm trying to get everybody in the place to come beat us up.

††††††††††† Thereís going to be a convoy out here a minute.

†††††††††††

(True to his words, a very drunk Lenny staggers out from the diner door followed by a crowd of hooting and howling men, all of them cursing and calling out ďhippiesĒ into the night. Pauly guns the gas and pulls the dodge back out onto the highway, steering wildly.

 

KEN

††††††††††† Youíre going the wrong way!

††††††††††† The thruway is the other way along this road.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Now you tell me

 

(turns the car onto the shoulder in a high speed u-turn just as the first of the pick up trucks reaches that spot. The faces of the workers glare at them through the windshields as the dodge passes, their curses lost in the rush of air.)

 

HANK:

††††††††††† What do we do now?

††††††††††† Weíre not going to outrun are we?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Weíre going to try.

††††††††††† If we can get onto the thruway, maybe theyíll give up

 

KEN:

††††††††††† I wouldnít count on that. Theyíre turning around and coming after us.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Donít destroy my car, Pauly.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Right now, Iím less worried about your car than I am about saving your silly neck. Hold on, folks. This road wasnít built for the speeds we need to do.

 

(Pauly floors the gas pedal and the car charges ahead, bounding over the broken asphalt nearly flying in spots, a galloping image that could have been a steed from long ago. Behind them, the pick up trucks pick up speed and the sound of their pursuit hums through the normally silent night like background music. A Monkeys song makes its way through the static on the radio, talking about houses that look all the same and a suburbia that is light years away from where the three of them are at the moment.)

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Some of the them are starting to catch up. Canít you go any faster.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Not without tearing off the bottom of the car.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Maybe we should have headed back to Peggyís commune.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† That wouldnít have done any good. These guys would have come in after us, and that would have started a war.

††††††††††† No, weíre better off getting out of this on our own. Once weíre away from this place, we donít have to worry. Those folks have to live with these fools.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Something just pinged against the car.

††††††††††† Are they throwing stones or something?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Stones my ass.

††††††††††† Someone is shooting at us.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Oh, God!

††††††††††† And I once told Jane I thought Easy Rider was a fairytale

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Just keep driving, Pauly.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† I canít outrun bullets, Hank.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Maybe theyíre run out of ammo soon

 

KEN:

††††††††††† If weíre still alive when they do

 

(More pinging sounded against the car. Then a small hole appeared in the rear window.)

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Thatís it!

††††††††††† Iíve had enough. Maybe we should forget the thruway and head to Canada.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Weíre a lot closer to the thruway.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Closer or not, the thruwayís not close enough. Youíre going to have to pull some magic trick like you did before, Pauly.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Trick? You mean find a convenient driveway to hide in?

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Exactly.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† And how exactly do I do that in the dark?

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Maybe if we turned around?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† What for? To give them better range to shoot us?

 

KEN:

††††††††††† If they think weíre crazy they might leave us alone.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† And how exactly did you plan to make them think that?

 

KEN:

††††††††††† I used to play chicken on my bicycle as a kid.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† You mean head right at them?

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Exactly.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Not with my car, you donít.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† (Making another sweeping turn with the car on to shoulder to face the oncoming pickup trucks.)

††††††††††† What do you want to save the car for, Hank, you heirs?

††††††††††† (Pauly screams and punches the gas)

††††††††††† KARABUNGA!!!!!!!

 

(the pickup trucks part as the dodge plunges head long at them, the round headlights of each truck bounding as the vehicles roll into the drainage ditch or into the fields on either side.)

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Turn back!

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Back towards them?

 

KEN:

††††††††††† Thatís the way to the thruway.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† What if they shoot us as they pass?

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Donít worry. There might be a hospital on the way home.

††††††††††† (Pauly turns the car again at high speed and head back in the direction of the scattered pickup trucks. This time dark shapes of men in the road, leaping out of the way as the dodge roars passed)

 

KEN:

††††††††††† That did it!

††††††††††† Theyíre cursing, but none of them are making to follow us.

 

PAULY:

††††††††††† Not right now. But once they get their wits they might

 

KEN:

††††††††††† By then we should be on the thruway. Just donít stop.

 

HANK:

††††††††††† Yeah, donít stop until we get to New Jersey.

††††††††††† God, I never want to leave that place again.

 

KEN:

††††††††††† You will, Hank. We all will.††††††

††††††††††† But I agree. We need to get home, and itís a long way home.

 

 


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