Something more new



(We have a soft fade from the BOY, now a man, sitting in the auditorium, a worried look on his face. The worried look remains as we see the scenery around him morph into a well-appointed bar, the kind well-heeled people should be going to: lots of polished wood, brightly lit, designer beers and liquor everywhere to be seen. The bartenders are all attractive, and the TV is playing the latest contest between millionaires. All in all, it’s where anyone who is someone should be. We see the BOY jostled out of his torpor as two pints thud onto the table. His former BULLY and lifelong friend, in the red and gray sweater, thuds into the adjacent chair. He’s a free spirit, and immediately begins draining his beer.)

BULLY: (putting down a half full glass) Whoo! What a day! I went to a Battle Royale, and an Assembly broke out! Ha ha!

(The BOY doesn’t smile. He appears very lost in a particularly troubling thought.)

BULLY: (starts prodding) Hey, man, snap out of it! I’m gonna drink your beer!

(The BOY slowly blinks and comes back.)

BOY: (mumbling) Oh, sorry… guess I was just thinking.

BULLY: Man, when ain’t you thinking? Even when we were kids, it was “Jake, don’t go in there!” “Jake, don’t climb on that!” “Don’t eat that!”

BOY: It’s a miracle you’re still alive, you know.

JAKE: Pffft! (he takes another drink) Whatever, man. You gotta learn to take some chances!

BOY: I did once, remember? Stole April right out from under your nose.

JAKE: (grinning wolfishly) Yeah, and you’ve been worrying about it ever since. April must have to give you a rub down before you can sleep at night, eh? Or do you do the rubbing yourself?

(he winks. The BOY gives him a shove from across the table.)

JAKE: Oooh, was that a sore subject? When was the last time you two got frisky, eh? I know you must have at least once…

(BOY falls silent again, staring into his beer)

JAKE: Aw, hell, don’t clam up on me again! What’s with you lately?!

BOY: Dunno…

(he stares into the beer for a bit longer before looking up)

Jake, you ever think about… life?

JAKE: I remember to breathe every once in a while.

BOY: I mean… is this what life’s supposed to be? I go to work, I try to teach ungrateful kids who go and shoot up in the bathrooms, I go home, April and I have dinner, watch TV… she goes to bed, and I stay up three or four more hours just… I just stare at a wall sometimes. Is this what life is?

JAKE: Oh boy, here we go.

BOY: Weren’t we going to do something when we were kids? I was going to be President, you were going to going to play in the Super Bowl…remember? What happened? How did we wind up in this dead-end school teaching, well, nothing? Doing nothing?

JAKE: I’m sure April will be pleased with you calling her “nothing.”

BOY: I’m serious, Jake! I’m almost forty… what have I done with my life, huh?

(there is a pregnant pause as JAKE reaches across the small table slowly…very slowly. So slow that there is almost tension, so slow that we can see the BOY begin to blush slightly as the hand gets closer and closer to his face. What is this guy doing? Slower and slower, looking as if he’s reaching out to the BOY. It seems to take an eternity, then… JAKE gives the BOY a sharp rap in the middle of his forehead. The BOY immediately folds up, yelping with surprise more than pain.)

BOY: What the hell did you do that for?

(JAKE leans back in his chair, chuckling.)

JAKE: Little Billy Brown, still thinking too damn much.

BILL: Don’t call me that. You know I hate that.

JAKE: Sorry…Bill.

BILL: Billy and his Bully… story of my damned life.

JAKE: Yeah? Well this bully got you your girlfriend, your wife, your job, and he’s trying to get you out of this damn funk! I just don’t get what’s got you so worried all the time. It’s like you just can’t be happy, y’know? If you didn’t have a girlfriend, you whined about not having a girlfriend. If you had a girlfriend, you found something else to complain about. When you weren’t complaining about something, you were usually complaining that you were complaining! I just don’t get it.

BILL: I just…there’s so much the matter…with everything! The schools are broke, the politicians are crooked, the sports stars are getting arrested, the movie stars are getting divorced… it feels like the country’s going to pot, and there’s just nothing I can do about it! It stinks!

(there’s another pregnant pause. JAKE is obviously not swayed.)

JAKE: The world’s gonna suck no matter what, man. You can’t change it. All this idealism doesn’t work once you get outta college, you should know that…

(BILL still looks sour. JAKE heaves a sigh.)

JAKE: Forget it, man, forget it. You wanna know what’s wrong, you really wanna know?

(no answer)

JAKE: It’s not that you think too much, you just plain KNOW too much.

(another testy pause JAKE puffs out his cheeks and exhales.)

JAKE: How’s April?

BILL: She’s fine.

(another pause. JAKE finishes the beer and slams the mug down on the table.)

JAKE: You know what? Screw this morose teenage dreamer crap. You need some lightening up, even if it kills you.

(he gets up and leans in on the other side of the table)

JAKE: I’m going to go…and put on somethin’ rockin… and when I come back… we’re gonna rock. the fuck. OUT!

(he slams his hand down on the table again, causing BILL to jump, and then he walks over. As we see him fade out in the background, the camera focuses on BILL on the foreground. He leans back, frustrated, sighing angrily. We get a shot of his face as he closes his eyes in slow motion. We do not see him open them. There is an immediate cut to JAKE. His voice speaks the first lines on the way back to the jukebox.)

So I was sitting at the bar
and this guy came up to me and said,
“my life stinks,”
and I saw his gold credit card and I saw the was he was looking at people and I looked at his face, and you know what a good looking face, and I just said
“dude? Your perspective on life sucks.”

(JAKE starts bopping his hips to the beat as the music starts. He swings around as the lyrics start, back to the jukebox, leaning back, very racy… if it wasn’t a thirtysomething gym teacher.)

He’s got looks that books take pages to tell
He’s got a face to make you fall on your knees
He’s got money in the bank to thank and I guess
You could think he’s livin’ at ease

(He’s obviously mocking BILL, with actions along the same lines. It’s meant to be a little ambiguous as to whether he’s flirting or just being an ass. Other bar patrons bang their glasses and stomp their feet to the beat as JAKE prowls forward to BILL.)

Like lovers on the open shore — what’s the matter
When you’re sitting there with so much more — what’s the matter
While you’re wondering what the hell to be
Are you wishing you were ugly like me?

(he grabs a nearby waitress who is dressed provocatively)

Blame it on the girls who know what to do
Blame it on the boys who keep hitting on you

(he blows a melodramatic kiss to BILL, who frowns and pouts. JAKE still tries to be flippant and silly)

Blame it on your mother for the things she said
Blame it on your father but you know he’s dead

(other waitresses and bar patrons begin a dance, swirling round the bar with trays, mugs, and the like.)

Blame it on the girls
Blame it on the boys
Blame it on the girls
Blame it on the boys

(He gets in BILL’s face now, even more mocking.)

Life could be simple but you never fail
To complicate it every single time
You could have children and a wife, a perfect little life
But you blow it on a bottle of wine

(makes a popping sound, finger in cheek. He backs up on the next lines, crouched down, clapping, Jets v. Sharks style. The patrons, who fell silent after the chorus, join in again in kind.)

Like a baby or a stubborn child — what’s the matter
Always looking for an axe to grind — what’s the matter
While you’re wondering what the hell to do
We are wishing we were lucky like you

Blame it on the girls who know what to do
Blame it on the boys who keep hitting on you
Blame it on your mother for the things she said
You’d blame it on your father but you know he’s dead

Blame it on the girls
Blame it on the boys
Blame it on the girls
Blame it on the boys

Blame it on the girls
Blame it on the boys
Blame it on the girls
Blame it on the boys

(after another dance, JAKE comes in and does a full cabaret, even going so far as to recline on BILL’s lap and sing semi-seductively into his face.)

He’s got looks that books take pages to tell
He’s got a face to make you fall on your knees
He’s got money in the bank to thank and I guess
You could think he’s livin’ at ease

(he gives JAKE playful slap and leaps back up for another dance number.)

Blame it on the girls who know what to do
Blame it on the boys who keep hitting on you

Blame it on your mother for the things she said
Blame it on your father but you know he’s dead

Blame it on the girls
Blame it on the boys
Blame it on the girls
Blame it on the boys

Blame it on the girls
Blame it on the boys
Blame it on the girls
Blame it on the boys

(And so on and so on, gradually fading out in sound and fading back to BILL, still sitting in the chair as he was before the music started. He’s juddered nearly out of his seat as the opening drum beats to Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” come crashing over the bar. Regaining his bearings, BILL glares over to the jukebox, where JAKE is pulling off the lamest dance moves in History.)

JAKE: Awwwww, yeah! Rock out, rock out!

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