"HOOKER & BEAR"

 

                           by

 

                     Charles Deemer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                   3550 SW Pomona St.

                                   Portland, OR 97219-7518

                                   charles@charlesdeemer.com

                                   1-503-452-8277


 

 

 

FADE IN:

 

 

EXT. NOB HILL BAR & GRILL - DAY

 

A bar and cafe in a suburban neighborhood.

 

 

INT. NOB HILL BAR & GRILL - TABLE - DAY

 

At a table are Robert BASS, known as "Bear", and Red HOOKER.

Two retired old men over breakfast. They've done this

thousands of times before.

 

They eat a moment in silence. They know one another so well

they don't have to talk much.

 

Hooker pushes an envelope across the table.

 

                         HOOKER

             Happy birthday. You don't look a

             day over eighty.

 

Bass stares at the envelope. It clearly contains a card.

 

                         BASS

             How long have we known each other?

 

                         HOOKER

             Fifty years or more.

 

                         BASS

             Fifty-two. I don't remember ever

             getting a birthday card from you.

 

                         HOOKER

             Who said it's a birthday card?

 

Bass opens the envelope and finds...

 

A GREETING CARD

 

showing an airplane trailing a sign that says "Bon Voyage!"

 

                         BASS

             You're taking a trip?

 

                         HOOKER

             We are. The original manuscript

             of Kerouac's "On the Road" is on

             display at the Smithsonian all

             month. I think we should go see it.


                                                            2.

 

 

                         BASS

             Drive three thousand miles to go

             to a museum.

 

                         HOOKER

                  (he uses "asshole"

                  affectionately)

             It's an icon, asshole. A 120-foot

             scroll that changed history.

 

 

EXT. NOB HILL BAR & GRILL - DAY

 

They come outside.

 

                         HOOKER

             We always talked about taking a

             cross-country trip together.

 

                         BASS

             That was before senility. I was

             going to write my novel this summer.

 

                         HOOKER

             Bear, you've been saying that

             every summer for thirty years.

 

Hooker sees disapproval in Bass' change of expression.

 

                         HOOKER

             Just think about it. Give me a

             call when you change your mind.

 

 

EXT. NEIGHBORHOOD - BASS' APARTMENT - DAY

 

Bass drives a economy car, which pulls into an apartment

parking lot.

 

 

INT. APARTMENT - MAIL BOXES - DAY

 

The mailman is delivering mail.

 

                         BASS

             Why don't we eliminate the middle

             man and you just deep six my junk

             mail for me?

 

                         MAILMAN

             You got a personal letter today.

 

Bass looks at him in disbelief.


                                                            3.

 

 

INT. BASS' APARTMENT - KITCHEN - DAY

 

Bass drops a pile of junk mail and one personal letter on

the kitchen counter. He picks up the latter.

 

The return address reads: "Farmington Detective Agency."

 

He opens the envelope.

 

A letter and a second, smaller envelope are enclosed. He

glances quickly at the cover letter and rips open the small

envelope.

 

A hand-written letter. He reads:

 

                         STEPHANIE (V.O.)

             "Dear Robert, Hello. I really

             don't know where to start with

             this letter. It has come to my

             attention that you have been

             trying to get in touch with me. I

             don't know why, after all these

             years, you have an interest in me.

             I can only assume that you are

             trying to make amends for the

             past. However, I am not at all

             ready to make amends with you.

             About 3 years ago I had a memory

             recall regarding my visit with

             you in Maryland. In that recall I

             remembered an incident of sexual

             abuse that occurred between you

             and I. It has taken me a long

             time to begin coming to terms

             with this memory, though I have

             absolutely no doubt that the

             incident did, in fact, take place.

             I want no part of you! I am

             asking that you respect my

             boundaries and stay away.

             Sincerely, Stephanie."

 

Bass stares at the letter. He picks up the small envelope.

The return address is from College Park, Maryland.

 

Bass goes to the phone. He punches a number from memory.

 

 

INT. BOARDING HOUSE - HOOKER'S ROOM - DAY

 

Hooker lives in a small studio apartment in a boarding house.

Small but immaculate. A soldier's room.

 

The phone rings.


                                                            4.

 

 

INTERCUT

 

                         HOOKER

             Hooker.

 

                         BASS

             Let's do it.

 

                         HOOKER

             All right! That was quicker than

             I expected.

 

                         BASS

             How soon can you get ready?

 

                         HOOKER

             First you're not interested, now

             you're in a sprint.

 

                         BASS

             Will first thing in the morning

             work?

 

 

EXT. COLLEGE CAMPUS - FACULTY PARKING - DAY

 

Bass' car pulls into a college parking lot.

 

 

EXT. COLLEGE CAMPUS - QUAD - DAY

 

Bass walking across campus. He passes PROF. ADAM SHELL, a

former colleague.

 

                         BASS

             Adam.

 

                         SHELL

             If I didn't know better, I'd

             think you were heading to the

             library. I thought retirement

             meant you did a lot of fishing.

 

                         BASS

             Inquiring minds never rest.

 

 

INT. COLLEGE CAMPUS - LIBRARY - DAY

 

Bass at the computer. He's brought up a list of books under

the subject "Childhood Sexual Abuse." They have titles like

"Sexual Healing", "Michelle Remembers", "Too Scared To Cry",

"Dancing With Daddy".


                                                            5.

 

 

Then a different title changes Bass' expression.

 

 

INT. COLLEGE CAMPUS - SHELVES - DAY

 

Bass looking for a book. He finds it and grabs it.

 

The book is "The Myth Of Repressed Memory: False Memories

And Allegations Of Sexual Abuse" by Dr. Elizabeth Loftus.

 

 

INT. COLLEGE CAMPUS - TABLE - DAY

 

Bass reading the book.

 

                         DR. ELIZABETH LOFTUS (V.O.)

             "...memory fades with time,

             losing detail and accuracy; as

             time goes by, the weakened

             memories are increasingly

             vulnerable to 'post-event

             imagination' -- facts, ideas,

             inferences, and opinions that

             become available to a witness

             after an event is completely over.

             ... Once these details were

             inserted into a person's mind

             through the technique of exposure

             to post-event information, they

             were adopted as the truth and

             protected as fiercely as the

             'real,' original details."

 

 

INT. COLLEGE CAMPUS - COPY MACHINE - DAY

 

Bass copying pages from the book.

 

 

EXT. COLLEGE CAMPUS - LIBRARY - DAY

 

Bass coming down the stairs.

 

A woman catches up with him. This is MARY, 60s.

 

                         MARY

             Robert Bass?

 

Bass stops and turns.

 

                         MARY

             It is you! Mary Warner.


                                                            6.

 

 

                         BASS

             Mary? My God, it is you.

 

                         MARY

             I kept staring at you in the

             library. I couldn't believe it

             was you. How long's it been?

             Thirty years?

 

                         BASS

             More. Do you live here?

 

                         MARY

             I came down from Seattle to visit

             my daughter. Over thirty years.

             Listen, do you have time for coffee?

 

 

EXT. SIDEWALK CAFE - TABLE - DAY

 

Bass and Mary over coffee at a sidewalk table.

 

                         MARY

             Did you keep in touch with anyone

             from Chesapeake?

 

                         BASS

             Hardly. Given the circumstances

             of my departure.

 

                         MARY

             It was a crazy time, wasn't it?

             After Sally came out, about a

             year after you left, I felt

             guilty about not being your

             friend. Once I understood she was

             a lesbian, everything made sense.

             You needed a friend then. I let

             you down.

 

                         BASS

             I let myself down. I should have

             left quietly.

 

                         MARY

             Quiet you weren't. Your scandal

             kept the cocktail parties buzzing

             till the thing happened between

             Jim and Stacy.

 

                         BASS

             Don't tell me they split up. They

             were everybody's favorite student

             couple.


                                                            7.

 

 

                         MARY

             Of course, you wouldn't know.

             Remember cute little Carrie?

             Apparently Jim molested her.

 

As Mary talks silently on, Bass is lost in thought. The

subtext is clear: if Jim molested Carrie, might he also have

molested Stephanie?

 

 

EXT. CHESAPEAKE - FARMHOUSE - NIGHT (FLASHBACK)

 

SUPER: "Chesapeake, Maryland. Summer, 1972."

 

Dozens of cars parked around an isolated farmhouse.

 

 

INT. FARMHOUSE - KITCHEN - NIGHT (FLASHBACK)

 

A younger Bass, 30s, mixing a drink in a noisy, crowded

kitchen.

 

Sitting at the breakfast bar is STEPHANIE, 8, plain and

looking out of place.

 

                         BASS

             Jim! Here you go!

 

JIM, 20s, takes the drink.

 

                         BASS

             Have you met my daughter, Stephanie?

 

                         JIM

             No. Hi there, Stephanie!

 

An embarrassed Stephanie turns away.

 

                         BASS

             She's a little shy.

 

                         JIM

             But what a cutie.

 

 

EXT. SIDEWALK CAFE - TABLE - DAY

 

Mary leaning toward Bass.

 

                         MARY

             Robert, I asked if you could come

             to dinner tomorrow night. I'd

             like you to meet my daughter.


                                                            8.

 

 

                         BASS

             I'm leaving on a trip tomorrow.

 

                         MARY

             Where are you going?

 

                         BASS

             To see the Kerouac Scroll at the

             Smithsonian.

 

                         MARY

             A literary pilgrimage! How exciting.

 

 

EXT. STREET - DAY

 

Bass walking with Mary. She stops at a car.

 

                         MARY

             This is me. Will you send me a

             postcard?

 

                         BASS

             I need an address.

 

She already is fetching a business card. She hands it to him.

 

                         MARY

             Maybe you can visit me in Seattle

             some time.

 

                         BASS

             I'd like that.

 

She leans forward and kisses him on the cheek.

 

                         MARY

             It's so great to see you again.

             Have a wonderful trip.

 

Bass looks stunned by the kiss.

 

 

INT. BASS' APARTMENT - NIGHT

 

Bass sitting by the phone. He looks indecisive, as if he's

been sitting there a long time.

 

 

INT. FARMHOUSE - KITCHEN - DAY (FLASHBACK)

 

Bass with SALLY, 20s, tall, striking. Through the kitchen

window, Stephanie alone, twirling around to amuse herself.


                                                            9.

 

 

                         BASS

             I feel so awkward around her. I

             wish she was a boy. We could play

             catch.

 

                         SALLY

             I could take her shopping with me

             if you like.

 

                         BASS

             Would you do that? It'd give me a

             chance to get some writing done.

 

Sally touches him on the cheek.

 

                         SALLY

             She doesn't bite.

 

                         BASS

             I feel like we're from different

             planets.

 

                         SALLY

             I'll take her off your hands for

             the afternoon.

 

                         BASS

             What would I do without you?

 

They kiss.

 

 

INT. BASS' APARTMENT - NIGHT

 

Bass picks up the phone. He doesn't dial. He sets down the

receiver.

 

 

EXT. HOOKER'S BOARDING HOUSE - DAY

 

Hooker sitting on the steps with a small suitcase.

 

Bass' car pulls up.

 

Hooker puts the suitcase in back and climbs in.

 

The car pulls off.

 

 

EXT. INTERSTATE - DAY

 

Bass' car on the interstate, leaving the city.


                                                           10.

 

 

EXT. TRUCK STOP - DAY

 

Pulling into a truck stop.

 

 

INT. TRUCK STOP - BOOTH - DAY

 

Bass and Hooker after breakfast.

 

Bass looking at a small notebook. Hooker is smoking.

 

                         BASS

             Okay, here's the itinerary: we

             use only four interstates, 84, 80,

             76 and 70, which takes us to

             Boise, Salt Lake City, Cheyenne,

             Lincoln, Des Moines, Iowa City,

             South Bend, Toledo, Cleveland,

             Pittsburgh and Washington D.C. I

             figure a week to ten days to get

             across the country. I don't want

             to push it with my bad back. Here,

             this is for you.

 

He hands Hooker an envelope.

 

                         HOOKER

             What's this?

 

He takes out money. Big bills.

 

                         BASS

             So you have spending money.

 

                         HOOKER

             What do you get in return?

 

                         BASS

             We stay in no smoking rooms.

 

                         HOOKER

             You're getting off cheap.

 

Hooker pockets the money.

 

                         BASS

             It's Hollywood's money.

 

                         HOOKER

             You're still whoring for them?


                                                           11.

 

 

                         BASS

             I don't have to. I won't live

             long enough to spend what they

             already paid me.

 

 

EXT. INTERSTATE - DAY

 

Back on the road. Bass driving.

 

 

INT. BASS' CAR - DAY

 

Hooker starts to light up.

 

                         BASS

             Ah-ah. That's what rest stops are

             for.

 

                         HOOKER

             The next one then.

 

 

EXT. INTERSTATE - REST STOP - DAY

 

Bass pulling in.

 

 

EXT. INTERSTATE - REST STOP - DAY (LATER)

 

Bass pulling out.

 

 

EXT. INTERSTATE - ANOTHER AREA - DAY

 

Cruising in the slow lane.

 

 

INT. RESTAURANT - BOOTH - DAY

 

Finishing burgers.

 

Bass pushes his daughter's letter in front of Hooker.

 

                         BASS

             Read this.

 

Hooker starts reading the letter.

 

                         HOOKER

                  (still reading)

             Helen put her up to this.


                                                           12.

 

 

                         BASS

             That never crossed my mind.

 

                         HOOKER

             She hated you for leaving her for

             Sally.

 

                         BASS

             I left her before I met Sally.

 

                         HOOKER

             Not in Helen's eyes.

 

He returns the letter.

 

                         HOOKER

             Where's your daughter now?

 

                         BASS

             College Park, Maryland.

 

Hooker thinks a moment.

 

                         HOOKER

             You're not on this trip for

             Kerouac. You're going to see your

             daughter.

 

                         BASS

             Wouldn't you?

 

                         HOOKER

             Damn right. A man's character is

             the most important thing he has.

 

                         BASS

             I have a suspect. I found out a

             student I knew molested his step-

             daughter. He was at our house

             parties all the time. He could've

             gone upstairs to Stephanie's room

             and nobody would've known the

             difference.

 

                         HOOKER

             Tell your daughter that.

 

                         BASS

             It may not make a difference.


                                                           13.

 

 

                         HOOKER

             This is such bullshit, Bear.

             Makes me sick Helen would pervert

             a kid's mind like this. If you're

             a child molester, then I'm a

             raging drag queen.

 

The WAITRESS has appeared and overhears this. She looks

shocked at what she's heard.

 

                         HOOKER

                  (to Waitress)

             Does he look like a pedophile to

             you?

 

Bass and the waitress are both stunned.

 

                         WAITRESS

             Pardon me?

 

                         HOOKER

             We're brain-storming a new movie

             idea. A man's accused of molesting

             his daughter, only he's innocent.

             But of course, the damage is done,

             you're guilty until proven

             innocent in the world's eyes.

             Would you see a movie about that?

 

                         WAITRESS

             You make movies?

 

                         HOOKER

             He writes them. I'm just an idea

             man.

 

                         WAITRESS

                  (to Bass)

             You write anything I might have

             seen?

 

                         HOOKER

             You see "Rain Main"?

 

                         WAITRESS

             I love that movie!

 

Hooker smiles and points at Bass. Bass manages to grin.

 

                         WAITRESS

             I can't believe this!

                  (to Bass)

             Can I get your autograph?


                                                           14.

 

 

EXT. RESTAURANT - DAY

 

Walking to the car.

 

                         HOOKER

             You didn't want her to think

             you're a pervert, did you? I

             rescued you, asshole.

 

 

EXT. INTERSTATE - DAY

 

Back on the road.

 

 

INT. BASS' CAR - DAY

 

Hooker, riding shotgun, sees something ahead.

 

                         HOOKER

             Check this out.

 

 

EXT. INTERSTATE - DAY

 

They pass a hitchhiker. This is ANGEL, 20s, wearing all

black, Gothic, with pink spiked hair and jewelry hanging off

her flesh everywhere.

 

 

INT. BASS' CAR - DAY

 

Hooker turns around to stare at her.

 

                         HOOKER

             God damn, man, can you believe

             that shit? You ever get students

             like her?

 

                         BASS

             The style is called Gothic. She's

             yesterday's news, to tell the truth.

 

                         HOOKER

             What the hell can she be thinking?

 

 

EXT. INTERSTATE - REST STOP - DAY

 

Bass takes the turn off into a rest stop.


                                                           15.

 

 

INT. REST STOP - BATHROOM - DAY

 

Bass at the sink. He stares at himself in the mirror. He

looks old.

 

 

EXT. REST STOP - DAY

 

Hooker sits on a picnic table, smoking. Bass arrives.

 

                         HOOKER

             That hitchhiker we passed ... I

             think she had a nose ring. If she

             has a cold, do you think she

             blows bubbles?

 

Hooker laughs like hell.

 

 

EXT. INTERSTATE - DAY

 

Back on the road.

 

 

INT. BASS' CAR - DAY

 

Bass driving.

 

                         HOOKER

             Jesus Christ! Are we there yet?

 

                         BASS

             We've barely begun.

 

                         HOOKER

             Tell me about it.

 

                         BASS

             We need some way to pass the time.

             How about we rap?

 

                         HOOKER

             Rap? While you weren't looking,

             Bear, the sixties went long gone.

 

                         BASS

             They didn't die, they got usurped

             by the mainstream. That's the

             genius of this country. If

             something threatens, incorporate

             it as your own.

 

                         HOOKER

             So what would we rap about?


                                                           16.

 

 

                         BASS

             Whatever. Pick a topic.

 

                         HOOKER

             This sounds like "The Canterbury

             Tales."

 

                         BASS

             Or "Tuesdays With Morrie."

 

                         HOOKER

             Heavy, heavy.

 

                         BASS

             Let's rap about something light.

             Sports. You want to start?

 

                         HOOKER

             You start.

 

 

EXT. INTERSTATE - DAY

 

The car drives on.

 

 

INT. BASS' CAR - DAY

 

Picking it up.

 

                         BASS

             Jocks today have no class. Some

             lineman sacks the quarterback.

             Big deal. That's his job. So he

             struts around like he's just won

             the Super Bowl.

 

                         HOOKER

             And those end zone dances after a

             touchdown!

 

                         BASS

             They're the worst. What assholes.

             Can you imagine Huge McElhenny

             doing a dance after scoring? Or

             Alan Ameche?

 

                         HOOKER

             Joe Perry? Gayle Sayers? Jim Brown?

 

                         BASS

             No way. Players today are arrogant

             dicks.


                                                           17.

 

 

                         HOOKER

             And millionaires.

 

                         BASS

             There are millionaires sitting on

             the bench.

 

                         HOOKER

             When McElhenny turned pro, a

             reporter asked him to compare it

             to college ball. He said, "I like

             pro ball all right but I don't

             like the salary cut."

 

 

EXT. SMALL TOWN - CAFE - DAY

 

The car parked in front of a cafe in a town off the interstate.

 

 

INT. CAFE - TABLE - DAY

 

Bass and Hooker over pie and coffee.

 

                         BASS

             You know what I like to watch

             these days? Women's sports. You

             still get a feel for the old days.

 

                         HOOKER

             Not to mention all those sweet

             young things running around in

             shorts. Sports as mental

             masturbation.

 

                         BASS

             Everything doesn't reduce to sex.

 

                         HOOKER

             Of course it does.

 

                         BASS

             At my age, it doesn't.

 

                         HOOKER

             The mind never ages. You've got a

             decrepit body with the mind of a

             horny teenager, just like me.

 

They eat.

 

                         HOOKER

             Poker. There's a neglected sport.


                                                           18.

 

 

                         BASS

             Poker isn't a sport. It's a game.

 

                         HOOKER

             Same difference.

 

                         BASS

             A sport is not the same thing as

             a game.

 

                         HOOKER

             What are you, playing the

             intellectual snob card? To most

             people, they're the same. Miss!

 

He waves at the WAITRESS. In so doing, he knocks his cup of

coffee to the floor.

 

The WAITRESS hurries over and sees the mess.

 

                         HOOKER

             I need a smoke.

 

Hooker is out of there. Bass closes his eyes. The waitress

rushes off for a mop.

 

 

EXT. CAFE - DAY

 

Bass comes out. He sees Hooker up the street, waving his arms.

 

 

EXT. LIBRARY - DAY

 

Bass joins Hooker in front of a small building, the library.

 

                         HOOKER

             Follow me.

 

 

INT. LIBRARY - DAY

 

Hooker leads Bass to a large dictionary on a table. He opens

it to a marked place and reads.

 

                         HOOKER

             "Sport: physical activity engaged

             in for pleasure."

 

He turns to a second marked place.


                                                           19.

 

 

                         HOOKER

             "Game: activity engaged in for

             diversion or amusement." I rest

             my case.

 

                         BASS

             Let me see that.

 

He looks at the entries himself.

 

                         BASS

             You editorialized. "Game: a

             physical or mental competition."

             Sport is always physical.

             Obviously poker is mental, so

             it's not a sport.

 

                         HOOKER

             Let me see that.

 

Hooker reaches for the dictionary but Bass stops him. They

wrestle for control of the book -- and in the process...

 

RIIPPPPP! ... a page gets ripped out.

 

PATRONS look up. A shocked LIBRARIAN rushes their way.

 

                         HOOKER

             I need a smoke.

 

And he's out of there.

 

Bass has his wallet out when the librarian arrives. He drops

a pile of bills on the open dictionary.

 

                         BASS

             This should cover it.

 

 

EXT. LIBRARY - DAY

 

Hooker is smoking on the steps. Bass comes out.

 

                         HOOKER

             The hell poker isn't physical.

             I've seen fights break out during

             a game. I've seen people get shot.

             Not physical, my ass.

 

 

EXT. MOTEL - NIGHT

 

The car parked at a motel.


                                                           20.

 

 

INT. MOTEL - ROOM - NIGHT

 

Two beds. Bass' bag on one, Hooker's on the other.

 

 

INT. RESTAURANT - NIGHT

 

Over dinner.

 

                         HOOKER

             Rap two: sex and lust.

 

                         BASS

             Oh, boy.

 

                         HOOKER

             The cliche is right. Men trade

             love for sex. Women trade sex for

             love.

 

                         BASS

             It's more complicated than that.

 

                         HOOKER

             We're animals, Bear. The Puritans

             understood this and condemned

             everyone to hell unless they

             controlled their natural instincts

             and bought into Jesus. Your

             beloved sixties knew this and

             everybody partied. That's what I

             miss about the sixties. Easy sex.

 

                         BASS

             There was no AIDS.

 

                         HOOKER

             What's your best sex ever? Sally,

             right?

 

                         BASS

             That was so long ago. But of

             course. And you?

 

                         HOOKER

             There've been so many, I hardly

             know where to begin.

 

                         BASS

             I thought it would be that grad

             student you had an affair with.

             You wrote pretty hot letters

             about her.


                                                           21.

 

 

                         HOOKER

             Maybe. Or...

 

                         BASS

             Who?

 

                         HOOKER

             I don't know if I should tell you

             this.

 

                         BASS

             We tell each other everything.

             Eventually.

 

                         HOOKER

             Sally.

 

                         BASS

             Sally what?

 

A moment of comprehension.

 

                         BASS

             I don't believe you told me that.

 

                         HOOKER

             It was after you'd split up, for

             Christ's sake. I was back east on

             business and decided to drop down

             to the shore and say howdy. I

             didn't give a shit if she was a

             lesbian or not. Imagine my

             surprise when she seduced me.

 

                         BASS

             Yeah, right.

 

                         HOOKER

             I swear to God I didn't start it.

             You said she was a lesbian. And

             she was. She used me to get back

             at you for screwing her student.

             She just didn't figure it would

             take me thirty years to tell you.

 

Bass stares off.

 

 

INT. MOTEL - ROOM - NIGHT

 

They are both in bed watching TV.


                                                           22.

 

 

                         BASS

             Well, at least we can say we've

             both been to bed with the same

             woman. In all those years, she's

             the only one.

 

                         HOOKER

             Different tastes and good sense.

 

                         BASS

             I can see Sally doing that. She

             was so pissed at me. And rightly

             so. I should've left quietly

             without causing a scandal.

 

                         HOOKER

             No scandal? Wouldn't be the Bear

             everyone knows and loves.

 

A silence.

 

                         BASS

             I wonder what Sally would say

             about Stephanie. She was there,

             maybe she saw something I missed.

 

                         HOOKER

             She'd know you wouldn't do such a

             thing. You should use her as a

             character witness. A man's

             character is the most important

             thing he owns.

 

 

EXT. MOTEL - DAY

 

Hooker out front smoking.

 

Across the way, a car door opens. And Angel comes out of the

back seat. She carries a suitcase and a guitar.

 

She strolls out to the road and sticks out her thumb.

 

Hooker fascinated by her.

 

A truck pulls over. Angel climbs in.

 

Bass comes out.

 

                         HOOKER

             You'll never guess what I just saw.


                                                           23.

 

 

EXT. INTERSTATE - DAY

 

Back on the road.

 

 

INT. BASS' CAR - DAY

 

Bass driving.

 

                         HOOKER

             I bet he got a blow job.

 

                         BASS

             Who?

 

                         HOOKER

             The trucker who picked her up.

 

                         BASS

             You sound jealous.

 

                         HOOKER

             Of a blow job? What a concept.

 

 

EXT. INTERSTATE - DAY

 

Cruising in the slow lane.

 

 

INT. BASS' CAR - DAY

 

Hooker perks up.

 

                         HOOKER

             Rap number three: Wives. I'll

             start. The first truism about

             wives: they never turn out to be

             the woman you thought you married.

 

                         BASS

             Hear, hear!

 

                         HOOKER

             They become this different person,

             this social construct, this wife.

             Wifeís rule number one: rule the

             nest! Keep it in order. The wife

             is a boss first and foremost.

             Itís biological. She protects the

             nest.


                                                           24.

 

 

                         BASS

             So you come home from work tired,

             wanting nothing more than to

             relax, have a drink, think of

             nothing or at least nothing that

             involves work or responsibility.

             And what happens? The wife meets

             you with a list of things to do.

 

                         HOOKER

             A faucet's dripping, the lawn

             needs mowing, the roof leaks.

             Blah blah blah.

 

                         BASS

             Blah blah blah.

 

 

EXT. INTERSTATE - DAY

 

The car cruises along the interstate.

 

                         HOOKER (V.O.)

             Wives are born meddlers. They

             don't know shit about plumbing

             and now they're telling you how

             to change a washer.

 

                         BASS (V.O.)

             They're thirty pounds overweight

             and bitch about you over-eating.

             Meddle, meddle, meddle.

 

 

EXT. INTERSTATE - REST STOP - DAY

 

Pulling into another rest stop.

 

The car parks. Bass and Hooker get out.

 

                         HOOKER

             Well, looky here.

 

Across the way, Angel sits at a picnic table.

 

Hooker starts toward her.

 

                         BASS

             Hooker?

 

Hooker ignores him. Bass heads for the rest room.


                                                           25.

 

 

INT. REST STOP - REST ROOM - DAY

 

Bass doing his business.

 

Bass staring at himself in the mirror. Still old.

 

 

EXT. REST STOP - DAY

 

Bass sees Hooker talking with Angel. He walks to the car.

 

Bass leans against the car, waiting.

 

Finally Hooker approaches.

 

                         BASS

             No.

 

                         HOOKER

             Just to Cheyenne.

 

                         BASS

             No.

 

                         HOOKER

             Too late. I already offered.

 

And Angel arrives. She's a trip: the spiked pink hair, lip

rings and nose rings and earrings, dressed entirely in black.

But the guitar case is gone.

 

                         ANGEL

             Hey, man.

 

                         HOOKER

             This is Bear. This is Angel.

 

                         BASS

             Hey.

 

                         HOOKER

             Allow me.

 

He opens the back door.

 

                         ANGEL

             I really appreciate this.

 

                         HOOKER

             What happened to the guitar?


                                                           26.

 

 

                         ANGEL

             You passed me before, right? I

             thought it was you. I left it in

             a truck. I'm so pissed.

 

She crawls in.

 

Hooker grins at Bass. He has a signature grin, full of the

suggestion of mischief.

 

 

EXT. INTERSTATE - DAY

 

On the road again.

 

 

INT. BASS' CAR - DAY

 

Angel leans forward.

 

                         ANGEL

             Where you guys headed?

 

                         HOOKER

             To our nation's capital to honor

             the Kerouac Scroll with our

             presence.

 

                         ANGEL

             What's that?

 

                         HOOKER

             Professor, you want to fill her in?

 

                         BASS

             Be my guest.

 

                         HOOKER

             The original manuscript of "On

             the Road," which Jack Kerouac put

             through his typewriter in one

             long continuous sheet of teletype

             paper, over one hundred feet long.

 

                         ANGEL

             That's awesome! I love it! If I

             write a book, that's what I'm

             going to do.

 

                         HOOKER

             And what would your book be about?

 

                         ANGEL

             My wild and crazy life.


                                                           27.

 

 

                         HOOKER

             For example?

 

                         ANGEL

             I've spent the last two years

             doing legal tricks in a house in

             Winnemucca. I've had a lot of

             weird experiences, believe me.

 

                         HOOKER

             You don't look old enough to be a

             hooker.

 

                         ANGEL

             I hate that term. I provide human

             services.

 

                         BASS

             Male services.

 

                         ANGEL

             Human services. You'd be surprised

             how many couples and ladies come

             to a house.

 

                         HOOKER

             Angel, you write the book, and I

             guarantee you I'd read it.

 

He grins at Bass. Bass just stares at him.

 

 

EXT. INTERSTATE - DAY

 

And the long drive continues.

 

 

INT. BASS' CAR - DAY

 

Angel napping in the back seat.

 

                         BASS

                  (softly)

             Only as far as Cheyenne.

 

                         HOOKER

                  (softly)

             Calm down. Think of what a

             blessing this can be. Doing a

             favor for a hooker.

 

                         BASS

                  (softly)

             Christ, Hooker.


                                                           28.

 

 

                         HOOKER

                  (softly)

             You're a prude all of a sudden?

 

Bass doesn't reply.

 

                         HOOKER

                  (softly)

             Just don't let your attitude

             screw this up for me. I mean it.

 

                         BASS

                  (softly)

             Cheyenne. No farther.

 

 

EXT. INTERSTATE - REST STOP - DAY

 

The car parked.

 

Hooker and Angel in the distance at a table.

 

Bass comes out of the men's room.

 

Hooker meets up with him. Angel stays at the table.

 

                         HOOKER

             Actually Cheyenne is only where

             she picks up the interstate to

             Denver. After some personal

             business there, she's on to New

             York.

 

                         BASS

             Why are you telling me this?

 

                         HOOKER

             I'm getting her a room in Cheyenne.

 

                         BASS

             And you're spending the night

             with her?

 

                         HOOKER

             She likes the idea, so why not?

 

                         BASS

             Do you realize how crazy this is?

 

Hooker grins at him.


                                                           29.

 

 

EXT. MOTEL - NIGHT

 

The car parked in a motel lot. There's an adjacent restaurant.

 

 

INT. RESTAURANT - NIGHT

 

Bass sits in a booth across from Hooker and Angel. They act

like lovers, sitting close, whispering, giggling.

 

Bass slides out. He picks up the bill.

 

It takes a moment for them to notice him.

 

                         BASS

             I want to start early in the

             morning.

 

                         HOOKER

             Aye, aye, sir!

 

Angel laughs.

 

Bass turns and leaves.

 

 

INT. MOTEL - BASS' ROOM - NIGHT

 

Bass on the bed, watching TV.

 

Next door, giggles from Hooker and Angel.

 

Bass gets up and turns up the volume of the TV.

 

But his curiosity gets the best of him. He puts his ear to

the wall.

 

 

INT. MOTEL - BASS' ROOM - DAY

 

Morning. Bass getting dressed. A knock on the door.

 

                         BASS

             Just a minute.

 

Buttons up, opens the door. It's Hooker, who enters.

 

                         HOOKER

             Sit down.

 

                         BASS

             What's going on?


                                                           30.

 

 

                         HOOKER

             Just sit the fuck down.

 

Bass does. Hooker hovers over him.

 

                         HOOKER

             Change of plans. I know you don't

             like it, but let me explain. I'm

             renting a car and we're driving

             to Denver together, then on to

             New York. I'll catch up with you

             at the Smithsonian.

 

                         BASS

             You crazy old--

 

                         HOOKER

             Let me finish.

 

He's searching for words.

 

                         HOOKER

             There's no way to say it but to

             say it. I have cancer, Bear. In

             the pancreas and spreading.

             Terminal. That's my secret motive

             for the trip, just as yours is to

             see your daughter. I wanted us to

             do something special together. I

             know what you're going to say.

             The thing is, we still can do

             that, on the way home. But I

             can't turn this down, Bear. Put

             yourself in my shoes. I think she

             really is an angel. I have to

             ride this pony for as long as I can.

 

A silence.

 

                         BASS

             Damn, Hooker.

 

                         HOOKER

             Hey, no grief. I've lived longer

             than I had any right to expect,

             the way I've partied all my life.

             And to get this blessing on top

             of it all. Because that's what

             she is to me. A blessing. So we

             need to pick a day and time to

             reconnect at the Smithsonian.

 

                         BASS

             Damn it, let me think a minute.


                                                           31.

 

 

Silence.

 

                         BASS

             How long will her errands in

             Denver take?

 

                         HOOKER

             A few hours.

 

                         BASS

             You care if we continue on together?

 

                         HOOKER

             I'll still be spending nights

             with her.

 

                         BASS

             Remind me not to get the room

             next door.

 

Hooker grins.

 

                         HOOKER

             Thanks, brother. I was hoping

             you'd see it my way.

 

                         BASS

             Get out of here and let me finish

             dressing.

 

Hooker leaves.

 

Bass changes as soon as Hooker is gone. Grief pales over his

face. He sits down and fights back tears.

 

 

EXT. DENVER - INTERSTATE - DAY

 

Bass' car approaching the Denver skyline.

 

 

EXT. DENVER - BEAUTY PARLOR - DAY

 

Pulls up in front of a beauty parlor. Angel hops out.

 

 

INT. BASS' CAR - DAY

 

Angel at the window.

 

                         ANGEL

             Will fourish work?


                                                           32.

 

 

                         HOOKER

             Bear?

 

                         BASS

             Whenever you want.

 

                         ANGEL

             Great. See you guys then.

 

She trots off to enter the beauty parlor.

 

                         BASS

             We have time to kill.

 

A SERIES OF SHOTS

 

Bass and Hooker playing tourist in Denver.

 

--walking around a mall.

 

--driving past Mile High Stadium.

 

--walking through a museum.

 

 

INT. DENVER - LIBRARY - DAY

 

Reading in a library.

 

Bass gets up.

 

                         BASS

             Want to get a coffee?

 

Hooker shakes his head. Bass makes note of the book he's

reading: "From Here To Eternity."

 

                         BASS

             I'll be back in a few.

 

 

EXT. LIBRARY - DAY

 

Bass comes out. He heads up the street.

 

 

EXT. COFFEE SHOP - DAY

 

Bass comes out with a cup of coffee. Heads back toward the

library.


                                                           33.

 

 

EXT. STREET - PAY PHONE - DAY

 

Bass passes a pay phone. Stops and goes back to it.

 

He takes out his wallet and finds a business card.

 

Drops coins in the phone and dials.

 

Ringing.

 

                         MARY (FILTERED)

             Hello, this is Mary.

 

Bass frozen.

 

                         MARY (FILTERED)

             Hello?

 

                         BASS

             Hey.

 

                         MARY (FILTERED)

             Who is this?

 

                         BASS

             Robert Bass.

 

                         MARY (FILTERED)

             Robert! Where are you?

 

                         BASS

             Denver.

 

                         MARY (FILTERED)

             What a surprise to hear from you.

 

Bass is silent.

 

                         MARY (FILTERED)

             Robert, is something the matter?

 

                         BASS

             He's dying. He has cancer, and

             they can't operate and--

 

Bass stops, trying to control himself.

 

                         MARY (FILTERED)

             I'm so sorry. Robert, it's so

             good that you can spend time with

             him now. I know it must be hard,

             but this is the best thing you

             two can do together.


                                                           34.

 

 

                         BASS

             I'm sorry. I shouldn't by laying

             this on you.

 

                         MARY (FILTERED)

             No, I'm so glad you called. Truly.

             You can call me any time, day or

             night.

 

A silence.

 

                         MARY (FILTERED)

             Robert?

 

                         BASS

             I'd better go. I left him in the

             library.

 

                         MARY (FILTERED)

             Call me any time. I mean it.

 

 

EXT. LIBRARY - DAY

 

Bass approaches to find Hooker having a smoke outside.

 

                         HOOKER

             You ready to rumble?

 

 

EXT. DENVER - VARIOUS STREETS - DAY

 

Cruising, passing time.

 

 

INT. BASS' CAR - DAY

 

Bass driving.

 

                         HOOKER

             You okay?

 

                         BASS

             Under the circumstances.

 

                         HOOKER

             I didn't plan this, Bear. She

             dropped into my lap. What's the

             cliche? Don't look a gift horse

             in the mouth.

 

                         BASS

             I'll be fine.


                                                           35.

 

 

                         HOOKER

             She's a pro. If you want time

             with her, just holler.

 

Bass stares at him. Back to the road.

 

                         BASS

             I'll be fine.

 

 

EXT. DENVER - BEAUTY PARLOR - DAY

 

They park outside the beauty parlor. Hooker gets out and

goes inside.

 

 

INT. BASS' CAR - DAY

 

Bass takes a deep breath. Holding it together.

 

Hooker climbs in.

 

                         HOOKER

             She's at the hospital visiting

             her father.

 

 

EXT. DENVER - HOSPITAL - DAY

 

The car pulls into a pickup circle at the hospital. Slows to

a crawl.

 

 

INT. BASS' CAR - DAY

 

Bass and Hooker looking for her.

 

                         HOOKER

             I guess we'd better park.

 

As they pull away:

 

                         ANGEL (O.S.)

             Hey!

 

                         HOOKER

             Stop!

 

                         ANGEL (O.S.)

             Hey, it's me!

 

Bass stops the car.


                                                           36.

 

 

Angel rushes up to the car. She has totally changed: short

dark hair, no piercings, a young lady looking like a co-ed.

 

She gets in the back seat.

 

                         ANGEL

             No cracks, okay? My sister talked

             me into doing this for the

             benefit of my father. As soon as

             I get to New York, I'm going back

             to normal.

 

Bass catches Hooker's eye.

 

                         BASS

                  (softly)

             Normal.

 

 

EXT. DENVER - INTERSTATE - DAY

 

Back on the road.

 

 

EXT. INTERSTATE - COUNTRYSIDE - DAY

 

The interstate cuts through farmland.

 

 

INT. BASS' CAR - DAY

 

Hooker turns to Angel in back.

 

                         HOOKER

             Make room, I'm coming back.

 

                         BASS

             Hooker!

 

Angel helps him. It's no easy matter for a man Hooker's age

to crawl over the seat.

 

Hooker lands in back. He and Angel laugh and embrace.

 

Bass watches them in the rearview mirror. Hugging, kissing.

 

He looks back to the road. A hint of jealousy.

 

 

EXT. INTERSTATE - COUNTRYSIDE - DAY

 

Bass drives on.


                                                           37.

 

 

INT. BASS' CAR - DAY

 

Bass looking in the mirror again.

 

My God! Angel's bare back faces him. She appears to be

straddling Hooker, rocking back and forth. They appear to be

making love back there.

 

Bass in a panic. This can't be happening.

 

In the mirror: rocking, rocking. Gasps of pleasure.

 

Bass turns up the radio. A country song. Music to screw in

the car by.

 

Bass looking more worried than ever. Suddenly: a HONK.

 

A car has pulled beside them. FOUR TEENAGERS are getting an

eyeful and enjoying the show. Honking and thumbs up.

 

Bass finally has to say something.

 

                         BASS

             Will you people stop it?

 

As if on cue, Angel lets out a loud gasp and slides off Hooker.

 

Hooker sees the fan club alongside the car.

 

                         HOOKER

             Out run them, Bear!

 

 

EXT. INTERSTATE - COUNTRYSIDE - DAY

 

Bass pulls away. The other car moves behind.

 

 

INT. BASS' CAR - DAY

 

Bass frantic.

 

                         BASS

             What the hell do I do?

 

                         HOOKER

             Pull off as soon as you can!

 

                         ANGEL

             I'll keep them occupied.

 

She gets up on her knees, facing the rear window. She

flashes her breasts at the teenagers in the car behind them.

Improvising a little dance for them.


                                                           38.

 

 

EXT. INTERSTATE - EXIT - DAY

 

An exit approaches. Bass takes it.

 

 

INT. BASS' CAR - DAY

 

The car following stays on the interstate, honking as it

passes.

 

 

EXT. INTERSTATE - EXIT - DAY

 

Bass pulls to the shoulder and stops.

 

 

INT. BASS' CAR - DAY

 

Bass looks exhausted.

 

                         BASS

             New ground rule. You can't make

             love in the car.

 

 

EXT. MOTEL - NIGHT

 

The car parked in a motel lot.

 

 

INT. MOTEL - BASS' ROOM - NIGHT

 

Bass tossing and turning.

 

A knock on the door.

 

Bass stirs. Another knock. He sits up and turns on the

bedside lamp.

 

A knock.

 

Bass, in shorts and T-shirt, goes to the door. He opens it.

It's Angel, wearing only a shorty see-through nightie.

 

Angel falls in, immediately embracing him. She gives him a

lip-lock of a kiss.

 

Bass back-peddles until they fall onto the bed. Angel lies

on top of him. She finally releases the kiss.

 

                         BASS

             What do you think you're doing?


                                                           39.

 

 

                         ANGEL

             Doing you a favor.

 

                         BASS

             Get off. Get off!

 

Angel, puzzled, scampers off him. She sits on the edge of

the bed.

 

Bass jumps up and escapes across the room before turning to

her.

 

                         BASS

             When I saw you, the first thing

             that entered my mind is that

             Hooker had a heart attack.

 

                         ANGEL

             I'm sorry.

 

                         BASS

             It happens to men his age, you

             know. Men our age.

 

                         ANGEL

             He's been fine. I can go more

             slow if you--

 

                         BASS

             That's not what I mean! I don't

             want to have sex with you.

 

                         ANGEL

             Okay.

 

A tense silence.

 

                         ANGEL

             If you're gay, that's fine.

 

                         BASS

             I'm not gay.

 

                         ANGEL

             You don't find me attractive?

 

                         BASS

             You don't need me to tell you

             you're attractive. I have things

             on my mind.

 

                         ANGEL

             Well, I didn't want you to feel

             left out. Sorry for waking you up.


                                                           40.

 

 

Looking despondent, she goes to the door.

 

                         BASS

             Wait a minute. I don't mean to

             insult you. I'm just not in the

             mood for this now. I'm still

             dealing with ...

 

                         ANGEL

             Your friend dying?

 

                         BASS

             He told you?

 

                         ANGEL

             Yes. I didn't know you knew.

 

                         BASS

             Of course I'd know. When did he

             tell you?

 

                         ANGEL

             Our first night. He calls me his

             angel.

 

                         BASS

             I think I'd like to go back to

             bed now. Don't say you're sorry.

             Just go.

 

Angel leaves, closing the door behind her.

 

Bass stares at the closed door.

 

 

EXT. MOTEL - DAY

 

Bass leaning against the car, waiting.

 

Down the way, Angel comes out of a motel room. She walks to

the car.

 

                         BASS

             Good morning.

 

Angel gets in the back seat.

 

Hooker comes out and comes to the car.

 

                         BASS

             Good morning.

 

                         HOOKER

             Fuck you.


                                                           41.

 

 

Hooker gets in the front seat.

 

Bass, puzzled, gets behind the wheel.

 

 

INT. BASS' CAR - DAY

 

Bass starts the car. He looks at Hooker.

 

                         HOOKER

             Just drive, for Christ's sake.

 

 

EXT. INTERSTATE - DAY

 

Bass' car in the slow lane.

 

 

INT. BASS' CAR - DAY

 

Silence. Bass drives. Hooker stares out the window.

 

In back, Angel naps.

 

 

EXT. INTERSTATE - REST STOP - DAY

 

The car parked in a rest stop.

 

 

EXT. REST STOP - MEN'S ROOM - DAY

 

Bass and Hooker at adjacent urinals.

 

                         BASS

             Would you please tell me what's

             going on?

 

                         HOOKER

             You just had to fuck it up for me,

             didn't you?

 

                         BASS

             I didn't sleep with her.

 

                         HOOKER

             Exactly.

 

Hooker zips up and flushes. He leaves without washing his

hands.


                                                           42.

 

 

EXT. RESTAURANT - DAY

 

The car parked in front of a restaurant.

 

 

INT. RESTAURANT - BOOTH - DAY

 

Silence around the table.

 

Hooker sits next to Angel but there is distance between them.

 

Angel slides out.

 

                         ANGEL

             I'm going for a walk. Meet you at

             the car in twenty minutes.

 

She's gone.

 

                         BASS

             Whatever's going on between you,

             it's not my fault.

 

                         HOOKER

             She thinks she's hurting your

             feelings by sleeping with me. So

             she won't fuck any more.

 

                         BASS

             I never told her that. I rejected

             her, for God's sake. I meant it.

             I don't want sex with her.

 

                         HOOKER

             Couldn't you have let her blow

             you for my sake?

 

Bass looks dumbfounded.

 

 

EXT. MOTEL - PARKING LOT - NIGHT

 

The car parked.

 

 

INT. MOTEL - BASS' ROOM - NIGHT

 

Bass watching TV.

 

 

EXT. MOTEL - DAY

 

Angel smoking outside near the car.


                                                           43.

 

 

Bass comes out of his room.

 

                         BASS

             Is Red ready?

 

                         ANGEL

             I'm really sorry this happened.

             It's all my fault.

 

                         BASS

             What is?

 

                         ANGEL

             He got drunk last night.

 

                         BASS

             Where is he now?

 

                         ANGEL

             Probably getting a drink. He left

             while I was in the shower. Is he

             an alcoholic or something?

 

                         BASS

             We both are.

 

                         ANGEL

             I didn't know. I wouldn't have

             wanted champagne last night if I

             knew.

 

                         BASS

             It wouldn't have made any

             difference.

 

                         ANGEL

             After the first bottle, he kept

             buying more. I couldn't stop him.

 

                         BASS

             I'm sure he's in the nearest bar.

             Let's find him.

 

 

INT. RESTAURANT - COCKTAIL LOUNGE - DAY

 

Hooker alone at the bar over a Bloody Mary.

 

Bass and Angel appear alongside him.

 

                         BASS

             Time to hit the road, Red.


                                                           44.

 

 

                         HOOKER

             What's the hurry? Kerouac's not

             going anywhere.

 

                         BASS

             I mean it.

 

                         HOOKER

             Well, as you can see, I'm a

             little busy right now.

 

                         ANGEL

             I'm taking a bus the rest of the

             way.

 

She heads for the exit.

 

                         HOOKER

             Hey, wait a minute! You don't

             have to take a bus.

 

He gulps down the drink.

 

 

EXT. INTERSTATE - DAY

 

Back on the road.

 

 

INT. BASS' CAR - DAY

 

Bass glances at Hooker beside him. He is nodding off, close

to passing out.

 

In back, Angel stares out the window.

 

 

INT. MOTEL - NIGHT

 

Bass watching TV.

 

Hooker enters with a six-pack.

 

                         HOOKER

             I'm sleeping here tonight.

 

                         BASS

             I don't want beer in here.

 

                         HOOKER

             Yeah, well tough shit.

 

He sets the six-pack on a table and opens one. He plops down

into a chair.


                                                           45.

 

 

                         BASS

             Why are you doing this to yourself?

 

                         HOOKER

             I'm already dead, Bear. What

             difference does it make?

 

Bass has no answer. He stares at the TV.

 

Hooker drinks.

 

 

A SERIES OF SHOTS

 

continuing toward D.C. on the interstate.

 

--through Indianapolis.

 

--through Kansas City.

 

--through Columbus.

 

 

EXT. INTERSTATE - DAY

 

Bass' car takes an off-ramp.

 

 

EXT. MOTEL - DAY

 

The car parked in the lot of a motel-restaurant complex.

 

 

INT. RESTAURANT - BOOTH - DAY

 

Bass and Angel eating dinner. No Hooker.

 

                         BASS

             We ought to be just in time for

             rush hour in the Big Apple.

 

                         ANGEL

             It's no worse than anywhere else.

 

                         BASS

             Where do you want to be dropped off?

 

                         ANGEL

             I have to make some calls first.

 

 

INT. RESTAURANT - BAR - DAY

 

Bass looks into the restaurant's cocktail lounge.


                                                           46.

 

 

Hooker sits alone, drinking.

 

Bass turns away.

 

 

INT. MOTEL - BASS' ROOM - NIGHT

 

Bass watching TV.

 

Hooker enters with a six-pack. He takes out a beer and opens

it.

 

One sip.

 

                         HOOKER

             This tastes like shit.

 

He goes into the bathroom with the bottle.

 

Bass hears the sound of beer being poured into the sink.

 

Hooker returns. He takes the rest of the six-pack and puts

it in the garbage can.

 

                         HOOKER

             Tip for the maid.

 

He goes to the door.

 

                         BASS

             Where are you going?

 

                         HOOKER

             We get there tomorrow, right? I'm

             begging Angel to let me spend the

             last night with her.

 

 

EXT. MOTEL - DAY

 

Bass comes out. He stretches.

 

 

EXT. MOTEL - DAY (LATER)

 

Bass leaning against the car, waiting. He looks at his watch.

 

A motel door down the way opens. Hooker and Angel approach,

holding hands.

 

Hooker opens the rear door for Angel. She slides in, and

Hooker gets in beside her.

 

Bass shakes his head and gets behind the wheel.


                                                           47.

 

 

INT. BASS' CAR - DAY

 

Bass looks in the rearview mirror.

 

Hooker and Angel are kissing.

 

Bass' mouth opens but no speech comes. He changes his mind.

 

 

EXT. NEW YORK - DAY

 

On the highway into the Big Apple. A nightmare of traffic.

 

 

INT. BASS' CAR - DAY

 

Bass catches Angel's eye in the mirror.

 

                         BASS

             Where do you want to be dropped off?

 

                         ANGEL

             Grand Central Station.

 

 

EXT. NEW YORK - DAY

 

Onward in the heavy traffic.

 

 

EXT. GRAND CENTRAL STATION - DAY

 

Bass' car near the station.

 

 

INT. BASS' CAR - DAY

 

Angel leans forward.

 

                         ANGEL

             Anywhere is fine. I can walk from

             here.

 

                         HOOKER

             What kind of outfit do you think

             this is? We offer door-to-door

             service.

 

                         ANGEL

             I bet you do.

 

More kissing. Bass watching in the mirror.


                                                           48.

 

 

EXT. GRAND CENTRAL STATION - DAY

 

The car pulls up. Angel gets out. Hooker gets out.

 

YOLANDA, 20s, rushes to Angel. She has the same Gothic

appearance of the earlier Angel.

 

                         YOLANDA

             Oh my God! What happened to you?

 

                         ANGEL

             I visited my father in the

             hospital. Don't worry, I'll be

             normal again.

 

They embrace.

 

Hooker stands by looking sheepish. Angel turns to him.

 

                         ANGEL

             Well...

 

                         HOOKER

             Well...

 

They embrace.

 

Angel goes to the car window. She hands Bass a slip of paper.

 

                         ANGEL

             This will be my number. I want to

             know how he's doing.

 

Bass nods.

 

                         YOLANDA

             I'm double-parked.

 

                         ANGEL

             Thanks for everything!

 

They rush off.

 

Hooker waves but Angel doesn't turn to see him. He climbs

into the car.

 

 

INT. BASS' CAR - DAY

 

They sit a moment.

 

                         BASS

             You going to be okay?


                                                           49.

 

 

                         HOOKER

             Let's get out of here.

 

 

EXT. NEW YORK - DAY

 

Heading out of NY, still stuck in traffic.

 

 

INT. BASS' CAR - DAY

 

Both visibly fried.

 

                         BASS

             I can't imagine living in this shit.

 

 

EXT. NEW YORK - DAY

 

Farther away, on a freeway leaving the city.

 

 

EXT. INTERSTATE - DAY

 

He takes an exit. A motel ahead.

 

 

EXT. MOTEL - DAY

 

Parking. Both get out.

 

Hooker looks across the way. A mini-mall in the distance.

 

                         HOOKER

             I'm grabbing some smokes.

 

Bass sees a gigantic LIQUOR STORE sign in the mall.

 

                         BASS

             Red...

 

                         HOOKER

             I'm not getting booze. I'm

             getting smokes.

 

                         BASS

             I'll be in the room.

 

 

INT. MOTEL - ROOM - DAY

 

Bass stretched out on the bed.

 

Hooker enters, carrying a small paper bag.


                                                           50.

 

 

                         HOOKER

             See? No hidden bottles. Asshole.

 

 

INT. RESTAURANT - TABLE - NIGHT

 

Bass and Hooker silent over dinner. Finally:

 

                         HOOKER

             I think she really was an angel.

 

Bass nods.

 

 

INT. MOTEL - ROOM - NIGHT

 

Both in bed, watching TV.

 

Bass rolls over.

 

                         BASS

             Goodnight.

 

                         HOOKER

             This bother you?

 

                         BASS

             I'm beat. No way.

 

                         HOOKER

             Night, Bear. Thanks.

 

 

INT. MOTEL - ROOM - DAY

 

Morning. Bass awakes. Hooker out like a light in the other bed.

 

 

INT. MOTEL - BATHROOM - DAY

 

Bass brushing his teeth.

 

 

INT. MOTEL - ROOM - DAY

 

Bass finishing dressing.

 

Hooker still out cold.

 

                         BASS

             You going to sleep all day?

 

No answer.


                                                           51.

 

 

                         BASS

             I'm getting coffee.

 

 

INT. RESTAURANT - TABLE - DAY

 

Bass reading the paper over coffee. He looks at his watch.

 

 

INT. MOTEL - ROOM - DAY

 

Bass enters. Hooker still in bed, out cold.

 

                         BASS

             Red! Time to get going.

 

He goes to the bed.

 

                         BASS

             Hey!

 

He touches Red. Then shakes him. No response. Shakes him

harder.

 

                         BASS

             Red, for God's sake! Red!

 

Nothing.

 

Bass rushes to the phone. Tries to dial 911, screws it up,

calls the office.

 

                         BASS

             How the hell do I call 911?

 

 

EXT. MOTEL - DAY

 

An ambulance parked at the room.

 

Hooker carried out on a stretcher.

 

                         BASS

             Is he okay?

 

                         MEDIC #1

             He'll survive.

 

                         MEDIC #2

             We found two empty sleeping pill

             bottles in the bathroom trash.

 

Medic #2 holds them up for Bass to see.


                                                           52.

 

 

INT. HOSPITAL - EMERGENCY ROOM WAITING AREA - DAY

 

Bass waiting. Fidgety, stressed out.

 

LATER

 

A DOCTOR enters the area. Bass stands up.

 

                         DOCTOR

             You're with Mr. Hooker?

 

                         BASS

             A good friend, yes. How is he?

 

                         DOCTOR

             Well, he's alive.

 

                         BASS

             Can I see him?

 

                         DOCTOR

             He's sleeping. We're going to

             keep him for a few days. Do you

             have a number where I can reach you?

 

                         BASS

             I want to stay on top of this.

 

                         DOCTOR

             I understand. If I could have

             your number--

 

                         BASS

             We're on the road.

 

                         DOCTOR

             Why don't we do this?

 

He takes out a card. He starts writing something on the back.

 

                         DOCTOR

             This is the number of my nurse.

             If you call after four, we can

             keep you informed.

 

                         BASS

             When can I see him?

 

                         DOCTOR

             I can't say at the moment. He

             needs to see a counselor and have

             more tests. Is there something

             you could do for a few days?


                                                           53.

 

 

INT. BASS' CAR - DAY

 

Bass holds the envelope from his daughter. He looks at the

address.

 

                         STEPHANIE (V.O.)

             About 3 years ago I had a memory

             recall regarding my visit with

             you in Maryland.

 

The same number is in huge letters on a high rise building

across the street.

 

 

EXT. COLLEGE PARK, MARYLAND - BUILDING - DAY

 

Bass pulls into the building's underground garage.

 

 

INT. BUILDING - ELEVATOR - DAY

 

Bass takes the elevator up to the main floor.

 

 

INT. BUILDING - MAIN FLOOR - DAY

 

Bass looks at a directory on the wall. The only STEPHANIE he

sees is listed as DR. STEPHANIE COMPTON. Third floor.

 

 

INT. BUILDING - THIRD FLOOR - DAY

 

The elevator door opens and Bass steps out.

 

He walks down the hallway. Finds the office and enters.

 

 

INT. BUILDING - OFFICE - DAY

 

Bass in an empty office. Plush carpet. Soft classical music.

 

At a desk, a RECEPTIONIST. She looks up from doing her nails.

 

                         RECEPTIONIST

             May I help you?

 

                         BASS

             I'm here to see Dr. Stephanie...

 

He stops. Panic. He forgot her last name.

 

                         RECEPTIONIST

             Do you have an appointment?


                                                           54.

 

 

                         BASS

             No. I'm her father. I've driven

             three thousand miles to see her.

 

                         RECEPTIONIST

             Oh! Just a minute.

 

She hurries through a closed door.

 

Bass looks around. He is sweating. Fidgety.

 

The door opens. Only the receptionist steps through it.

 

                         RECEPTIONIST

             I'm sorry, sir. You have to leave.

 

Her voice is tense. She looks frightened.

 

                         BASS

             Pardon me?

 

                         RECEPTIONIST

             I'll call security if you don't

             leave immediately.

 

Bass starts to speak, stops himself. He turns and goes.

 

 

INT. BUILDING - HALLWAY - DAY

 

He stops in the hallway outside the office. He closes his

eyes. Deep breath.

 

                         CONCERNED WOMAN

             Sir, are you all right?

 

Bass opens his eyes to find a CONCERNED WOMAN looking at him.

 

                         BASS

             I'm fine. Thank you.

 

 

INT. BASS' CAR - DAY

 

Bass sits in his car in the underground lot. He's reading

the letter from his daughter.

 

                         STEPHANIE (V.O.)

             In that recall I remembered an

             incident of sexual abuse that

             occurred between you and I.


                                                           55.

 

 

EXT. INTERSTATE - DAY

 

Bass' car back on the interstate.

 

 

EXT. INTERSTATE - BRIDGE - DAY

 

Going over a bridge over Chesapeake Bay onto the Delmarva

Peninsula.

 

 

EXT. EASTERN SHORE - HIGHWAY - DAY

 

Driving south along the peninsula of Maryland's Eastern

Shore. Flat as a boxing ring.

 

 

EXT. HIGHWAY - DAY

 

Passing a sign, "Entering Chesapeake."

 

 

EXT. CHESAPEAKE - MOTEL - DAY

 

Bass' car parked at a motel.

 

 

INT. MOTEL - DAY

 

Bass on the bed, staring at the ceiling.

 

 

EXT. CHESAPEAKE - OYSTER BAR - NIGHT

 

Bass parks in the lot behind a small bar and restaurant

called the Oyster Bar.

 

 

INT. OYSTER BAR - NIGHT

 

He enters. COUPLES at small tables that line the wall.

 

Bass finds a vacant stool at the bar and takes it.

 

A BARTENDER comes over.

 

                         BARTENDER

             Name your poison.

 

                         BASS

             You still have Oysterman on tap?

 

                         BARTENDER

             Sure do.


                                                           56.

 

 

                         BASS

             And a bowl of stew.

 

 

INT. OYSTER BAR - BAR - NIGHT (LATER)

 

Bass finishing his oyster stew. STACY appears behind him.

 

                         STACY

             Robert Bass?

 

He turns to her.

 

                         STACY

             It's Stacy Evans. Well, Stacy

             Williams then.

 

                         BASS

             Stacy.

 

They awkwardly embrace.

 

                         STACY

             Will you join us?

 

 

INT. OYSTER BAR - TABLE - NIGHT

 

At the table is LARRY, Stacy's husband.

 

                         STACY

             It is him!

                  (to Bass)

             This is my husband, Larry. Robert

             Bass.

 

                         LARRY

             Nice to meet you.

 

                         BASS

             Yes.

 

They shake hands. Bass and Stacy sit down. Larry stands up

with the check.

 

                         LARRY

             Sweetheart, why don't I let you

             two talk old times? Give me a

             call and I'll pick you up later.

 

                         STACY

             Or Robert could give me a ride.


                                                           57.

 

 

                         BASS

             I could do that.

 

                         LARRY

             Nice to meet you.

 

They watch him go.

 

                         STACY

             What on earth are you doing here?

 

                         BASS

             It's a long story.

 

                         STACY

             Is there a short version?

 

                         BASS

             Actually I was thinking of

             looking up Sally.

 

Stacy's expression changes.

 

                         BASS

             You don't approve?

 

                         STACY

             I assume you mean calling her first.

 

                         BASS

             I could do that.

 

                         STACY

             I recommend it.

 

                         BASS

             Do you see her often?

 

                         STACY

             Sally and I live in different

             worlds now.

 

                         BASS

             You mean because she's...

 

                         STACY

             She's become very political.

             She's actually something of a

             controversial figure now. You

             remember how conservative

             Chesapeake is.


                                                           58.

 

 

                         BASS

             Oh yes. I'm the guy who

             scandalized the college, remember?

 

                         STACY

             I remember you were on everybody's

             shit list. I owe you an apology

             about that. After Sally came out,

             suddenly what you did had a

             different spin. You became a

             sympathetic character.

 

                         BASS

             Too bad I wasn't here to enjoy it.

 

                         STACY

             I had no idea how hard it was for

             you.

 

Bass attempts a smile. Not entirely successful.

 

                         STACY

             It was all so long ago.

 

Bass looks away, remembering.

 

 

EXT. CHESAPEAKE - FARMHOUSE - DAY (FLASHBACK)

 

SUPER: "35 years earlier."

 

Bass, 30s, on the front porch of a Victorian farmhouse.

Fields of crops surround it.

 

Sally, 20s, comes out, carrying two gin-and-tonics. As slim

and gorgeous as ever. She hands a drink to Bass and sits down.

 

                         SALLY

             Bobby, we need to talk. I met

             someone.

 

Bass stares at her, waiting.

 

                         SALLY

             I can't explain it. It just

             happened.

 

                         BASS

             Who is he?

 

                         SALLY

             She.

 

Bass looks puzzled.


                                                           59.

 

 

                         BASS

             What are you telling me exactly?

 

                         SALLY

             I met a woman, Bobby, and I found

             myself attracted to her. I think

             this is a part of myself I need

             to explore.

 

                         BASS

             You fucked her?

 

                         SALLY

             You would make it sound crude.

 

She stands up.

 

                         BASS

             Either you fucked her or you didn't.

 

                         SALLY

             I won't bring this down to your

             level.

 

She goes back inside.

 

Bass stands up. He slings his drink into an adjacent field.

 

 

INT. OYSTER BAR - TABLE - NIGHT

 

Stacy looks at her watch.

 

                         STACY

             I have to get home. Can you come

             to dinner tomorrow?

 

                         BASS

             I'm not sure how long I'm hanging

             around.

 

                         STACY

             How about breakfast?

 

                         BASS

             I might be gone before sunrise.

 

 

EXT. STACY'S HOUSE - NIGHT

 

Bass' car pulls up outside a modern house in a residential

area.


                                                           60.

 

 

INT. BASS' CAR - NIGHT

 

Bass turns to Stacy.

 

                         BASS

             Remember Mary Warner? She told me

             about Jim.

 

                         STACY

             Such an ugly time.

 

                         BASS

             The thing is, I got this letter

             from my daughter. She thinks I

             molested her that time she

             visited. I swear to God I didn't

             touch her.

 

                         STACY

             My God. Jim.

 

                         BASS

             What happened to him?

 

                         STACY

             Last I heard he was working on

             Oyster Island. That was years ago.

 

                         BASS

             My daughter won't talk to me.

             She's convinced I did it.

 

                         STACY

             I'm so sorry, Robert.

 

She gives him an awkward embrace.

 

 

EXT. STACY'S HOUSE - NIGHT

 

Stacy gets out and waves. Bass pulls away.

 

 

INT. BASS' CAR - NIGHT

 

Bass lost in thought.

 

 

EXT. MOTEL - DAY

 

Bass' car in the lot.


                                                           61.

 

 

INT. MOTEL - ROOM - DAY

 

Bass on the phone.

 

 

INT. HOSPITAL - HOOKER'S ROOM - DAY

 

Hooker in bed on the phone.

 

INTERCUT

 

                         BASS

             How are you feeling?

 

                         HOOKER

             No complaints. Did you talk to

             your daughter?

 

                         BASS

             She wouldn't talk to me. I'm in

             Chesapeake now.

 

                         HOOKER

             Did you talk to Sally?

 

                         BASS

             Not yet. I'm following my lead. I

             may stay down here another day or

             two. You okay without me?

 

                         HOOKER

             They want me to talk to a shrink.

             Don't say it, Bear. I know I

             fucked up. We'll talk about it

             later. You go defend your character.

 

                         BASS

             I'll be in touch.

 

He hangs up.

 

 

EXT. CHESAPEAKE COLLEGE - DAY

 

Bass' car enters campus. He parks.

 

 

EXT. CHESAPEAKE COLLEGE - QUAD - DAY

 

Bass walks across campus toward a large ivy-covered brick

building.


                                                           62.

 

 

INT. CHESAPEAKE COLLEGE - BUILDING - DAY

 

Bass walks down a hallway. He approaches an open doorway.

 

 

INT. CHESAPEAKE COLLEGE - SALLY'S OFFICE - DAY

 

Bass appears in Sally's doorway.

 

Now in her 60s, SALLY is still trim and pretty. She pages

through a book. She looks up and sees Bass in the doorway.

 

Her hand snaps to her heart, as if she might be starting a

stroke.

 

                         SALLY

             Jesus God, Bobby. What are you

             doing here?

 

                         BASS

             I know you don't want to talk to

             me but this is important.

             Stephanie thinks I molested her

             that time she visited. She had

             this memory recall thing.

 

Sally just stares at him.

 

                         BASS

             I talked to Stacy and she told me

             about what happened to Carrie. So

             I was thinking maybe it could

             have been Jim. I was wondering

             what you thought.

 

                         SALLY

             What the hell do you want from me?

 

                         BASS

             Sally, I didn't molest her.

 

                         SALLY

             Fine. But you're molesting me now.

             Are you leaving or do I have to

             call security?

 

                         BASS

             I'm so sorry. Losing your

             friendship is the last thing I

             wanted to happen.

 

Sally picks up the phone.


                                                           63.

 

 

                         BASS

             I don't understand why we can't

             be friends.

 

                         SALLY

             Yes, this is--

 

                         BASS

             I'm gone.

 

He hurries out of the office.

 

 

INT. CHESAPEAKE COLLEGE - HALLWAY - DAY

 

Bass, in a daze, strides down the hallway. He almost runs

into a FORMER COLLEAGUE.

 

                         FORMER COLLEAGUE

             Bass! What the hell are you doing

             here?

 

Bass staggers on without replying.

 

 

EXT. ROAD - DAY

 

Bass' car on a country road on the sandbar of the peninsula.

 

 

EXT. BAYSIDE TOWN - DOCK - DAY

 

Bass pulls into a parking lot next to a ferry dock.

 

 

EXT. DOCK - POSTAL BOAT - DAY

 

Bass and a DOZEN TOURISTS board the postal boat.

 

 

EXT. POSTAL BOAT - DAY

 

Bass on the deck as the postal boat pulls away from the dock.

 

A FEMALE PASSENGER, middle-aged, comes next to Bass.

 

                         FEMALE PASSENGER

             Do you know how long it is to the

             island?

 

                         BASS

             Less than an hour.


                                                           64.

 

 

                         FEMALE PASSENGER

             It's so beautiful. Isn't it?

 

                         BASS

             Lovely.

 

But his thoughts are clearly elsewhere. The woman waits for

a conversation. Getting none, she moves on.

 

 

EXT. OYSTER ISLAND - BOAT - DAY

 

The postal boat approaches Oyster Island.

 

The boat pulls into the dock. Bass watches from the deck.

 

 

EXT. OYSTER ISLAND - LAND - DAY

 

The tourists disembark. Bass is the last one off the boat.

 

He follows the group on the short walk into town.

 

 

EXT. OYSTER ISLAND - MAIN STREET - DAY

 

Bass stops at a phone booth. He looks in the phone book and

finds an address.

 

Walking on, he sees a sign for BIKES FOR RENT. He enters the

store.

 

 

INT. STORE - DAY

 

Bass goes to the counter.

 

                         CLERK

             May I help you?

 

                         BASS

             I'm looking for an address, and I

             may need a bike.

 

 

EXT. OYSTER ISLAND - ROAD - DAY

 

Bass on a bike. He is surrounded by stretches of flat land

with the bay in the distance.


                                                           65.

 

 

EXT. ROAD - MAIL BOX - DAY

 

Bass arrives at a mail box, the one he's been looking for.

He turns off the road onto a dirt road leading to a shack in

the distance.

 

 

EXT. SHACK - DAY

 

Bass pushes his bike to the shack.

 

On the porch, a large woman in a worn house dress. This is

TINA, 50s. She sits in a rocking chair, staring out at Bass,

clutching a coffee cup.

 

                         BASS

             Hello!

 

Tina stares at him.

 

                         BASS

             I'm looking for Jim Williams.

 

                         TINA

             You a friend of his?

 

                         BASS

             Yes. I was. I haven't seen him in

             thirty years.

 

                         TINA

             He's on the bay checking pots.

             He'll be home soon for lunch.

 

                         BASS

             Can I wait?

 

                         TINA

             Why not?

 

Bass sets down his bike. He approaches the edge of the porch.

 

                         BASS

             I'm Robert Bass. I knew Jim at

             Chesapeake College.

 

                         TINA

             I'm Tina. There's coffee inside.

             You can help yourself if you like.

 

                         BASS

             Thank you, I will.


                                                           66.

 

 

                         TINA

             In the cupboard above the sink is

             a bottle of whiskey. Bring it out

             with you. I could use some

             sweetener.

 

Bass nods. He climbs onto the porch and enters the shack.

 

 

INT. SHACK - DAY

 

Inside is a war zone. Old papers and magazines scattered

everywhere. A sink full of dirty dishes. Bass grimaces at

the musty odor everywhere.

 

He finds a large coffee urn. Opens the cupboard and takes

out a cup and the whiskey bottle. He blows in the cup.

 

 

EXT. SHACK - DAY

 

Bass comes out. He sets the bottle next to Tina.

 

                         TINA

             Help yourself.

 

She pours whiskey into her coffee cup.

 

                         BASS

             Too early for me, thanks.

 

Bass looks around for a place to sit. Chooses the edge of

the porch.

 

                         TINA

             I don't know too much about Jim

             going to college.

 

Bass nods. He can't hide discomfort.

 

 

EXT. DIRT ROAD - DAY

 

A beat-up pickup comes rattling down the dirt road.

 

 

EXT. SHACK - DAY

 

The pickup parks at the shack. JIM, 50s, gets out. Still a

small wiry man.

 

                         TINA

             Look who here's to see you!


                                                           67.

 

 

Jim stares at Bass.

 

                         JIM

             Oh my God! Bear! What the hell

             are you doing here?

 

He rushes forward and grasps Bass in a bear hug.

 

                         BASS

             I came to see you.

 

                         JIM

             Man, it's been years! Let me get

             a glass and catch up on the party.

 

                         BASS

             I need to talk to you about

             something.

 

                         JIM

             We've got all kinds of catching

             up to do.

 

                         BASS

             It's important. Can we go

             someplace quiet?

 

Jim is confused by this.

 

                         JIM

                  (to Tina)

             How's the booze holding up?

 

                         TINA

             Once you two get started, I know

             we'll need more.

 

                         JIM

                  (to Bass)

             We'll make a quick run to town.

 

Jim goes to the pickup. Bass fetches his bike.

 

                         BASS

             Might as well return this.

 

 

EXT. BAYSIDE TOWN - MAIN STREET - DAY

 

The pickup is parked in front of the store. Down the way is

a cafe with outside tables.

 

Bass waits outside. Jim comes out with a bottle of booze in

a paper sack.


                                                           68.

 

 

                         BASS

             I need to ask you something.

 

                         JIM

             What's that?

 

Bass looks around. Tourists walk the street.

 

                         BASS

             Let's walk.

 

They start off along the sidewalk.

 

                         JIM

             Bear, you're acting a little

             weird here. What's going on?

 

                         BASS

             I talked to Stacy. I heard about

             what happened to Carrie.

 

Jim stops.

 

                         JIM

             What the fuck did you come here for?

 

                         BASS

             The same thing happened to

             Stephanie when she visited. You

             remember my daughter? She thinks

             I did it. But I didn't, Jim.

 

                         JIM

             And you think I did?

 

Bass doesn't reply, as if waiting for him to answer his own

question.

 

                         JIM

             Fuck you, man.

 

Jim thrusts out and a flat hand hits Bear's chest. He steps

back.

 

                         JIM

             You come all this way after all

             these years to lay that old shit

             on me? I can't believe it.

 

                         BASS

             My daughter won't speak to me.

             I'm not judging you, Jim. I just

             need my daughter to understand

             that I'm innocent.


                                                           69.

 

 

                         JIM

             By putting the blame on me? Fat

             chance, Red Rider. I'm as innocent

             as you are.

 

                         BASS

             I know what happened after I left.

             I know--

 

                         JIM

             You don't know shit. I'm innocent.

             You get it? I'm innocent.

 

 

INT. STACY'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - DAY

 

Bass and Stacy over coffee in her kitchen.

 

                         STACY

             Of course he'd say he's innocent.

             He signed a confession, Robert. I

             can show you.

 

                         BASS

             You don't have to. What was I

             thinking? As if he'd tell my

             daughter he molested her.

 

                         STACY

             But I'm sure he did. Give me her

             address. I'm going to write her.

 

                         BASS

             You don't have to do that.

 

                         STACY

             I want to. Maybe it will help.

 

 

EXT. STACY'S HOUSE - DAY

 

Stacy walks Bass to his car.

 

                         STACY

             When will I see you again?

 

                         BASS

             I think this is goodbye. I'm not

             sure I have another cross-country

             trip in me.

 

She embraces him.


                                                           70.

 

 

                         STACY

             I'm going to write her right away.

 

Bass nods.

 

 

EXT. HIGHWAY - DAY

 

Bass' car heading north across the peninsula.

 

 

INT. BASS' CAR - DAY

 

Bass lost in thought.

 

 

EXT. FARMHOUSE - NIGHT (FLASHBACK)

 

Dozens of cars parked.

 

 

INT. FARMHOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT (FLASHBACK)

 

A large loud party in progress. Music playing.

 

Bass, 30s, at the record player, looking through albums. Jim,

20s, comes by.

 

                         BASS

             What do you feel like hearing,

             Jimbo?

 

                         JIM

             Dylan! I'm going upstairs to use

             the can.

 

                         BASS

             Check the noise level up there

             for me. I don't know if Stephanie

             can sleep through this.

 

 

INT. FARMHOUSE - UPSTAIRS HALLWAY - NIGHT (FLASHBACK)

 

Jim comes upstairs. The music easily heard up here.

 

He moves down the hallway. A light through an open door

spills out ahead.

 

Jim reaches the doorway. He looks inside.

 

STEPHANIE, 8, in bed, awake, the light on.


                                                           71.

 

 

                         JIM

             Hey, there.

 

                         STEPHANIE

             Hi.

 

                         JIM

             Music too loud to sleep?

 

                         STEPHANIE

             Yes.

 

 

INT. FARMHOUSE - BEDROOM - NIGHT (FLASHBACK)

 

Jim steps inside the room. He closes the door behind him.

 

                         JIM

             Is this better?

 

He smiles at Stephanie.

 

                         JIM

             I think it is better, don't you?

 

 

INT. BASS' CAR - DAY

 

Bass driving. He exhales, as if ridding himself of the memory.

 

 

INT. HOSPITAL - HALLWAY - DAY

 

Bass moves down a hospital hallway. He reaches the room he's

looking for.

 

 

INT. HOSPITAL - ROOM - DAY

 

Bass steps inside. Hooker is sitting up in bed, watching TV.

He sees Bass.

 

                         HOOKER

             Bear, I'm being held against my

             will.

 

                         BASS

             What's the problem?

 

                         HOOKER

             They want money. I should've been

             taken to the V.A.


                                                           72.

 

 

                         BASS

             I'll take care of it. How are you

             feeling?

 

                         HOOKER

             First things first. Get me out of

             here.

 

A NURSE steps in.

 

                         NURSE

             Are you the infamous brother Bear?

 

                         BASS

             Don't believe a word he said.

 

                         NURSE

             Can we speak a moment?

 

She gestures for them to go into the hallway.

 

                         HOOKER

                  (after him)

             Don't believe a word she says!

 

 

INT. HOSPITAL - HALLWAY - DAY

 

The nurse and Bass.

 

                         NURSE

             It looks very bad.

 

                         BASS

             I think we already knew that.

 

                         NURSE

             He's very cantankerous. He

             doesn't want to go to a hospice.

 

                         BASS

             The thing is, He wants to die in

             God's country.

 

                         NURSE

             Pardon me?

 

                         BASS

             There's nothing worse that could

             happen to him than to die on the

             east coast. We have to get back

             to the Pacific Northwest.


                                                           73.

 

 

                         NURSE

             I see. Well, you'd better take a

             lot of pain pills with you. I can

             get you some.

 

 

EXT. HOSPITAL - DAY

 

Bass and Hooker come out. Hooker walks with a cane. Bass

carries a small bag, the pills.

 

                         HOOKER

             Sorry to put you back so much.

             They were supposed to take me to

             the V.A.

 

                         BASS

             They shouldn't have had to take

             you anywhere.

 

                         HOOKER

             I screwed up, I already admitted

             that.

 

 

EXT. HOSPITAL - PARKING LOT - DAY

 

They reach Bass' car. Bass looks at his watch.

 

                         BASS

             Ready for Kerouac?

 

                         HOOKER

             Absolutely.

 

 

INT. SMITHSONIAN - DISPLAY CASE - DAY

 

THE KEROUAC SCROLL in a glass case, opened up to about

twelve feet. One long continuous roll of teletype paper,

typewritten with hand corrections on it.

 

Not much of a crowd at this hour. Bass and Hooker stare at

the manuscript in wonder.

 

                         BASS

             This may be the greatest paean to

             male friendship ever written.

 

 

INT. ENLISTED MEN'S CLUB - NIGHT (FLASHBACK)

 

G.I.s in uniform crowded around a table, drinking beer.


                                                           74.

 

 

SUPER: "Frankfurt Kaserne, Germany, 1958."

 

BASS, young 20s, is playing a guitar and singing a folksong.

 

In the crowd around the table is HOOKER, a few years older.

 

 

EXT. FRANKFURT KASERNE - NIGHT (FLASHBACK)

 

SOLDIERS are their way to the billets from the club.

 

Hooker catches up with Bass.

 

                         HOOKER

             I like your music.

 

                         BASS

             Thanks.

 

                         HOOKER

             Red Hooker.

 

                         BASS

             Robert Bass.

 

                         HOOKER

             People call you Bear, right? Big

             body, short legs. Bet you played

             linebacker in high school. About

             your music -- I wish you'd played

             more Woody Guthrie.

 

                         BASS

             I played what I knew.

 

                         HOOKER

             Well, man, learn more! He's the

             King.

 

 

INT. FRANKFURT KASERNE - MESS HALL - DAY (FLASHBACK)

 

Soldiers at breakfast.

 

Hooker joins Bass at a table. He has a book, which he sets

in front of Bass.

 

                         HOOKER

             Read this. I think you'll like it.

 

The book is "Bound For Glory" by Woody Guthrie.


                                                           75.

 

 

INT. SMITHSONIAN - DISPLAY CASE - DAY

 

Hooker touches Bass.

 

                         HOOKER

             You seen enough?

 

Bass nods.

 

 

EXT. INTERSTATE - DAY

 

Bass' car finally heading west.

 

 

INT. BASS' CAR - DAY

 

Bass driving.

 

                         BASS

             The scroll brought back some

             memories. Reminded me of how we

             met. You lent me "Bound For Glory."

 

                         HOOKER

             Then the Ramblin' Jack Elliott

             record of Guthrie songs came out.

             Doesn't get any better than that.

 

Bass nods.

 

                         HOOKER

             We've been through a lot of shit

             together, brother. I wouldn't

             trade for any of it.

 

                         BASS

             You got that right.

 

They exchange a glance.

 

                         HOOKER

             Just don't get sentimental on me.

             If I die before we get to Idaho,

             I'll never forgive your ass.

 

 

EXT. MOTEL - NIGHT

 

Bass' car parked in front of a room.


                                                           76.

 

 

INT. MOTEL - ROOM - NIGHT

 

Bass stretched out, watching TV.

 

Hooker in the bathroom, having a coughing fit.

 

Bass gets up and goes to the cracked door.

 

                         BASS

             You all right in there?

 

The door opens. Hooker stumbles out. He looks to be in pain.

 

                         HOOKER

             Takes a minute for these goddamn

             pills to kick in.

 

                         BASS

             We could ditch the car and fly home.

 

                         HOOKER

             I'll be all right.

 

He starts coughing, waves Bass off and returns to the bathroom.

 

Bass looks worried.

 

 

INT. RESTAURANT - BOOTH - DAY

 

Bass and Hooker at breakfast.

 

                         HOOKER

             You're right about Kerouac

             bringing back memories. You know

             what my favorite is?

 

                         BASS

             Pendleton.

 

                         HOOKER

             Asshole.

 

                         BASS

             Hey, if that didn't define our

             friendship, nothing did.

 

 

INT. APARTMENT - NIGHT (FLASHBACK)

 

Bass, 20s, and Sally, 20s, stumble into their apartment.

They've been drinking.

 

The phone is ringing.


                                                           77.

 

 

SUPER: "Eugene, Oregon. 1969."

 

Bass picks up the phone.

 

                         BASS

             Hello ... Hey, we just came in!

                  (to Sally)

             It's Red. ... What's up? ... No,

             don't do that. ... Damn it,

             Hooker, don't! Don't do a thing

             till you talk to me first. ... We

             can meet halfway. ... Pendleton

             it is. ... Right now, yes.

 

He hangs up.

 

                         BASS

             He's thinking of leaving Jennifer.

             I have to talk to him.

 

                         SALLY

             You just did.

 

                         BASS

             In person. We're meeting at the

             Pendleton Hotel.

 

                         SALLY

             I'm not sure what you mean.

 

                         BASS

             I mean, I'm driving to Pendleton.

             Don't try to talk me out of it

             because you can't. I'll be okay.

 

 

EXT. APARTMENT - NIGHT (FLASHBACK)

 

Bass and Sally at their VW. She embraces him.

 

                         SALLY

             Take your time. I want you back

             in one piece.

 

                         BASS

             I'll be careful.

 

They embrace again.

 

 

EXT. INTERSTATE - NIGHT (FLASHBACK)

 

The VW on the interstate.


                                                           78.

 

 

LATER

 

Bass pulls over and picks up a HITCHHIKER. A middle-aged man.

 

He opens the door.

 

                         BASS

             You mind driving?

 

Bass gets out and into the back seat. The hitchhiker gets

behind the wheel.

 

 

EXT. INTERSTATE - TURNOFF - NIGHT (FLASHBACK)

 

The VW pulls to the shoulder.

 

 

INT. VW - NIGHT (FLASHBACK)

 

The hitchhiker shakes Bass, who is asleep on the back seat.

 

Bass stirs.

 

                         HITCHHIKER

             This is where I get out.

 

 

EXT. PENDLETON - DAY (FLASHBACK)

 

Sunrise. The VW pulls into Pendleton.

 

 

EXT. PENDLETON HOTEL - DAY (FLASHBACK)

 

Bass parks in front of the hotel.

 

 

INT. PENDLETON HOTEL - DAY (FLASHBACK)

 

Bass goes to the front desk.

 

                         BASS

             Does Hooker have a room here?

 

The CLERK looks in the books.

 

                         CLERK

             Are you Mr. Bass?

 

                         BASS

             Yes.


                                                           79.

 

 

                         CLERK

             He's in room 412.

 

 

INT. PENDLETON HOTEL - ROOM 412 - DAY (FLASHBACK)

 

Bass enters.

 

The room is dark. Hooker in bed, snoring.

 

Bass takes the other bed.

 

LATER

 

The room is light. Bass on the bed, fully clothed. He opens

his eyes.

 

The other bed is vacant.

 

 

INT. PENDLETON HOTEL - RESTAURANT - DAY (FLASHBACK)

 

Bass enters the restaurant. Sees Hooker at a booth.

 

Bass slides in. Hooker is reading the paper.

 

                         HOOKER

             Sports?

 

                         BASS

             Sure.

 

Hooker gives Bass the sports section.

 

LATER

 

Empty breakfast dishes. Both still read the paper silently.

 

Hooker takes the check on the table and gets up.

 

                         HOOKER

             I'll get this.

 

He goes to the register.

 

 

EXT. PENDLETON HOTEL - DAY (FLASHBACK)

 

Bass waiting outside. Hooker comes out.

 

                         BASS

             Which way you heading?


                                                           80.

 

 

                         HOOKER

             North.

 

                         BASS

             Have a safe trip.

 

                         HOOKER

             You, too.

 

Bass starts toward his car.

 

                         HOOKER

             Thanks, brother.

 

Bass nods.

 

 

INT. RESTAURANT - BOOTH - DAY

 

Back to breakfast.

 

                         HOOKER

             I never met a woman who

             understands that story.

 

Bass smiles and nods.

 

 

A SERIES OF SHOTS

 

continuing west on the interstate.

 

--along farmland.

 

--at a rest stop.

 

--cruising a small town's Main Street.

 

--back on the interstate, mountains ahead.

 

--into the Rockies.

 

 

EXT. CLEARWATER RIVER HIGHWAY - DAY

 

Bass' car along the Clearwater River in northern Idaho.

 

 

INT. BASS' CAR - DAY

 

Bass driving.


                                                           81.

 

 

                         HOOKER

             There's just one thing I need to

             do in Orofino. Then it's on to

             White Bird.

 

                         BASS

             What's in White Bird?

 

                         HOOKER

             It's where my people are buried.

             I thought we'd camp and do some

             fishing.

 

Bass looks at him.

 

                         HOOKER

             A little time in the woods would

             be good for a city boy like

             yourself.

 

 

EXT. OROFINO - MAIN STREET - DAY

 

Bass' car crawls along Main Street.

 

 

INT. BASS' CAR - DAY

 

Bass driving.

 

                         BASS

             Should I park?

 

                         HOOKER

             You going somewhere?

 

                         BASS

             I thought you were.

 

                         HOOKER

             Where I'm going is straight

             through town.

 

 

EXT. OROFINO - MAIN STREET - DAY

 

The car continues along Main Street...

 

 

EXT. OROFINO - ROAD - DAY

 

...and climbs a hill outside of town.


                                                           82.

 

 

EXT. CEMETERY - DAY

 

Bass parks outside a small cemetery.

 

They get out and enter.

 

Hooker leads the way to a gravesite.

 

Two stones. The first reads: "Jennifer Elizabeth Moore

Hooker. 1935 - 1999."

 

The second reads: "Charles Oliver Hooker. 1955 - 1988."

 

                         HOOKER

             The meanest trick the gods have

             in their arsenal is letting a

             father outlive his son.

 

He kneels at the grave and turns silent.

 

Bass looks on.

 

Hooker gets up.

 

                         HOOKER

             I don't know how the hell she put

             up with me for so long. How many

             times did I tell you I was

             leaving her?

 

                         BASS

             Many.

 

                         HOOKER

             But I never did, did I? I think

             that tells you something.

 

He looks around.

 

                         HOOKER

             I thought long and hard about

             joining them up here. I always

             thought it was a pretty place to

             be put to rest.

 

                         BASS

             Then why not?

 

                         HOOKER

             One, I don't want to go through

             eternity arguing with her. Two, I

             know a place even prettier.


                                                           83.

 

 

EXT. SPORTING GOODS STORE - DAY

 

Bass and Hooker enter a sporting goods store.

 

 

INT. SPORTING GOODS STORE - DAY

 

Bass pushing a shopping cart. Hooker piles supplies into it:

two sleeping bags, a tent, lantern, fishing gear.

 

Hooker stops at a display case of guns. Pistols.

 

                         HOOKER

             When's the last time you fired a

             weapon?

 

                         BASS

             In the Army.

 

A CLERK comes up.

 

                         CLERK

             Help you with something?

 

                         HOOKER

             My friend here is looking for a gun.

 

The mischievous grin. Bass just shakes his head.

 

 

EXT. WHITE BIRD - SALMON RIVER ROAD - DAY

 

Bass' car drives along the Salmon River outside of White

Bird. Hills covered with pines and firs rise from the river.

God's country, to be sure.

 

 

INT. BASS' CAR - DAY

 

Bass driving. He looks moody.

 

                         HOOKER

             Say it. You don't approve of

             what's coming down.

 

                         BASS

             I can think of only one reason

             why you'd buy a gun.

 

                         HOOKER

             You bought it.


                                                           84.

 

 

                         BASS

             You insisted on it. I just paid

             for it.

 

                         HOOKER

             Bear, I need you to be on the

             same wave length about this.

             You're the closest man to me on

             the planet. If you don't

             understand what I'm doing, who will?

 

                         BASS

             I'm trying.

 

                         HOOKER

             That's all I ask.

 

Bass drives on, silent.

 

 

EXT. SALMON RIVER ROAD - DAY

 

The car pulls onto a road leading to a campground. Only a

few scattered campers in RVs.

 

 

EXT. SALMON RIVER - CAMPGROUND - DAY

 

Bass stops at a campsite along the river. No neighbors,

perfect.

 

A SERIES OF SHOTS Setting up camp.

 

--unpacking the car.

 

--blowing up air mattresses.

 

--putting up the tent.

 

--setting up the stove.

 

 

EXT. RIVER - DAY

 

Late afternoon. Bass and Hooker fishing on the river.

 

Hooker casts like an expert. Bass, in comparison, is clumsy,

a novice.

 

Hooker hooks a trout. He lets out a yelp.

 

He reels it in and nets it himself.


                                                           85.

 

 

                         HOOKER

             I got my dinner, Bear. Unless

             you're fasting, you'd better get

             busy.

 

 

EXT. CAMPSITE - NIGHT

 

Evening. Bass at the stove, frying up trout.

 

 

EXT. CAMPSITE - CAMP FIRE - NIGHT

 

Around the campfire.

 

Hooker makes a groaning sound.

 

                         BASS

             You all right?

 

                         HOOKER

             Give me a sec.

 

Hooker gets it together.

 

                         HOOKER

             We had a good day. Maybe we can

             get in a few more.

 

                         BASS

             I'd like that.

 

                         HOOKER

             So would I.

 

 

EXT. CAMPSITE - TENT - NIGHT

 

In their sleeping bags in the tent.

 

Hooker groans in his sleep. Rolls over. He appears to be in

pain.

 

Bass leans up, looks at Hooker next to him.

 

More groaning, then Hooker settles down. He starts snoring

again.

 

Bass relaxes.

 

 

EXT. CAMPSITE - DAY

 

Bass at the stove. Hooker down at the river.


                                                           86.

 

 

                         HOOKER

             Crank up the stove, Bear! I

             caught breakfast!

 

 

EXT. CAMPSITE - TABLE - DAY

 

Bass and Hooker eating fish for breakfast.

 

                         BASS

             Are we having fish every meal? We

             bought a case of beef stew.

 

                         HOOKER

             If I catch fish, I eat it. It's a

             law of nature.

 

                         BASS

             How about stew for lunch?

 

                         HOOKER

             How about both?

 

 

EXT. CAMPSITE - DAY

 

Bass does dishes. Hooker sits on the riverbank below.

 

                         BASS

             I'm going to the can.

 

Hooker waves acknowledgment.

 

 

EXT. CAMPSITE - REST ROOMS - DAY

 

Bass comes out of the men's room. There's a pay phone

outside. He takes out his wallet and finds a card.

 

 

INT. SEATTLE - MARY'S HOME - DAY

 

Mary is entertaining a MALE GUEST when the phone rings.

 

INTERCUT

 

                         MARY

             Hello?

 

                         BASS

             Hello. It's Robert Bass.

 

                         MARY

             Robert, hello!


                                                           87.

 

 

She winks at her guest and blows him a kiss.

 

A silence.

 

                         MARY

             Robert? Where are you?

 

                         BASS

             We're camping in Idaho. Along the

             Salmon River. His favorite spot.

             It's almost over.

 

                         MARY

             How'd he doing?

 

                         BASS

             He gets a little worse every day.

             Especially at night. He's popping

             morphine like candy.

 

                         MARY

             How are you doing?

 

         &n