“Brained”

SCENE: Two mid-twenties guys sitting at coffee shop bar. Russ is dressed in a blue sport coat, tan jeans, and white dress shirt adorned with a red and angled blue striped tie.

Alex sports a Metallica And Justice for All t-shirt and stone-washed black jeans. Although it is near dusk, leaving more clouds than shade, Alex wears his dark plastic rimmed sunglasses that cover completely around his eyebrows and mid-way down his chin.

They sit in outdoor courtyard at 5 p.m. Monday evening in early April. It was brighter when they left, but the early evening fade was in full force.

A late-20s brunette walks into Alex’s field of vision. She bends over to pick pet a toy dog of some sort. Alex – happy with his decision to grab his sunglasses on the way out – was in a lightly caffeinated trance. Later, after coffee drinks turned to cold beers, he would tell Russ “her ass was like a fucking tractor beam, dude.” Russ would laugh at this joke the first three or four times that Alex forgottenly repeated it, but would then grow tired of it as the cold beers turned to whatever.

This particular night happened to be “Jaeger Bomb” night. Jaeger Bombs removed more than standard inhibition. Russ would be reminded of this upon waking to find one of his friend’s bottom teeth lodged in the underbelly of his wrist.

Alex would have sudden bursts of flashback throughout the day. He saw fists of various size, shape, and color. An occasional bright faded blip would appear each time he laid back down in bed and closed his eyes, nursing what Alex would forever after refer to as an “eye-slicing” hangover. He heard muffled “oh no”-s and distant screams, laughs, coughs, and “holy FUCK”-s. Each time he laid back, a sharp throb at the top of his spine would bring visions of a ceiling quickly backing away. Russ tried to describe how it looked watching Alex fall backwards, neck first, into a bar stool after getting a direct jab under and into the nose. Alex would plug his ears and say “yeah yeah yeah…keep laughin’ Fatboy” when Russ got to the part where Alex was laying on the ground, slurring “…I’m alllllright, fuckerrsss. Just gimme a seccun. I’mmm fine.” Russ could never finish this part of the story because he would lose the story into maniacal laughter and the eventual coughing fit.

(First draft: 11/11/96. Revisions started: 1/9/20)

——————————————————————————————–

Scene: Two mid-twenties guys sitting at a dive bar. Mitchell is drinking a shaken margarita and smoking a Kool. Brett is drinking a Miller High Life Light and eating a bag of Hot Fries, his snack of choice.

The afternoon creeps over the hills seen through a 15 foot wide window carved out in a cheap mauve particle board covered wall.

A light reads “Summaloes” in cursive, resembling a title shot from an early-80s teenage sex comedy movie.

The sound of screeching and honking cars are heard in background amidst the hum of five older men sitting around the bar drinking and telling lies.

Mitchell: …I called his dog a piece of shit. (Takes a gulp from his glass)

Brett: His dog? That crazy old fucker should have been put to rest 5 years ago.

Mitchell: He thought I was talking about his cousin.

Brett: That makes no sense. I thought you said his dog.

Mitchell: I did. (Takes a gulp)

Brett: Then why his cousin?

Mitchell: He has nothing to do with it.

Brett: You lost me.

Mitchell: WILL YOU LET ME FINISH?!?!

(Brett exaggerates closing his mouth by acting like he is zipping his lips. He looks down at his cigarettes, then up, then down again. He pulls one cigarette out, looks up to Mitchell, then waves the cigarette like a wand, indicating that he can continue)

Mitchell: I SAID…!

(Mitchell clears his throat, takes a gulp, gargles, and puts one finger out indicating for a second to regroup)

Mitchell: I said, Balto is a piece of shit. Which he is. And really old, which probably gives him good reason to be a piece of shit, but, regardless, he thought I was talking about Basho.

Brett: Who’s Basho? His cousin? Is his cousin Italian? He or she? (takes a drag) If its a she, is she hot?

Mitchell: Some haiku poet from the East…a zen poet or some shit like that…this guy was talking about all his knowledge of poetry and shit since he is one of those “think I know everything” college kids who was a “think I know everything” high school kid” who talked trash on everyone, wrote notes to the girls in the classes, played sensitive type to try and score but only ended up achieving friend status, and ended each night by jerking off to his dad’s porno mags or current yearbook photos of his fantasy girls. Give me one of those…

(Mitchell grabs the bag of Hot Fries from Brett’s hand, lifts the bag to his mouth, pouring the remaining pieces in his mouth)

Brett: What the fuuuuccckkk, man? I just bought those.

(Brett slaps the bar, grabs the empty bag from Mitchell’s hand, and punches him in the shoulder. Brett waves his empty bottle and bag of Hot Fries to Russ the bartender indicating an refill order.)

Mitchell: … one of those “know it all” pieces of dog shit that plays the cool role at school and rinks from his dad’s liquor cabinet and chain-smokes cigarettes while jumping on and off new bandwagons in order to find new groups of people who might take him in until they realize “hey look guys…I’m a piece of shit”.

Brett: I don’t know where you are going with this, but I’m lost, dude. Totally frickin’ lost.

(Brett looks toward the table of old-timers. He was focused on an overweight man with tinted glasses laughing and pounding his fist on the table. The other men were laughing also, but it was hard to tell if they were laughing at the joke as much as they were laughing at him, laughing at the joke.)

Mitchell: …that ONE guy that used to go to the bathroom FIVE…maybe six times a day…and the only reason…and you fucking KNOW it…is because you had him in most of your classes and so you knew how many times he left class. You see what I mean???

(Mitchell pauses, looks towards Russ and raises his glass to signal another)

Mitchell: Hey, Russsty. Don’t put as much of that mix in it this time. I wanna taste the Tequila this time, Mooo-chacho!!!

(Mitchell starts to talk again, but notices Brett is in a trance. He pokes Brett in the shoulder, bringing him back to present. Brett’s cigarette has nearly burned down. He grabs another from the pack and lights it with the remainder of his previous cigarette)

Mitchell: And you know where that fuck is goin?

(He grabs Brett’s cigarettes, light one, inhales, and obliviously blows a cloud of smoke in Brett’s face)

Mitchell: That bastard fuck is going to blow a FUCKING load in one of the toilet stalls that one of us… you…me… were going to use later in the day. That SICK FUCK!!

(Mitchell pounds his fist on the bar with extreme drunkenness)

Mitchell: That sick FUCK was going to jack off and wash his cum hands out of the same goddamn sink…rub his goddamn unborn kids, thank God, all over the same levers that one of us (he grabs Mitchell’s shoulder and shakes him) was going to use to wash our goddamn hands. How do you think of that??? What kind of BULLshit is that?

(Brett nods his head, then looks at his watch)

Brett: Maybe we should get outta…

Mitchell: (looking side to side as if he has an audience listening to his story) The same fucking switch, man.

Brett: Switch?

Mitchell: Switch! The fucking…switch…the ….

Brett: The lever?

Mitchell: (Slams his hand on the bar) The lever! Of course. Our hands were going to be on that goddamn lever! We think we are cleaning our hands, but, little do we know…

(Mitchell takes a gulp and gasps)

Mitchell: Holy shit, Russterford, my man! Now that’s a goddamn margarita!

(Brett sips his beer. While Mitchell is still facing Russ, Brett gives the throat slash “cut him off” signal, but Russ just nods and ignores his request)

Mitchell: (turning back towards Brett, this time with a face of extreme seriousness. He puts his hand on Brett’s shoulder and leans in as if he is giving sound advice) The same lever that you and me were forced to touch again AFTER cleaning our hands. Covered in goddamn jizz. How many goddamn times?

To be continued…*

*(This one looks like it was started in the late 90s. My pre-cellphone number was listed in the cover page. The script was formatted from an older version of a screenwriting program I remember checking out from the public library. The original title of the script was “How to Untie One’s Shoe (or, Why one should never order a margarita in an Italian restaurant)”. I don’t know why.)

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