SIX FEET UNDER

"An Open Book"
(2001)

Written by Alan Ball
Directed by Kathy Bates

Chalkline-Red

Peter Krause...............................Nate Fisher
Michael C. Hall...........................David Fisher
Frances Conroy.............................Ruth Fisher
Lauren Ambrose...........................Claire Fisher
Freddy Rodríguez..................Federico 'Rico' Diaz
Mathew St. Patrick.......................Keith Charles
Jeremy Sisto...........................Billy Chenowith
Rachel Griffith.......................Brenda Chenowith
Joanna Cassidy......................Margaret Chenowith
Robert Foxworth..................Dr. Bernard Chenowith
Veronica Hart..........................Viveca St. John
Terence Knox................................Larry Wadd
Tim Maculan................................Father Jack

Chalkline-Red

 


                 

           1   INT. SAN FERNANDO VALLEY APARTMENT - DUSK (DAY 1)              1   

               Bobbie Gentry SINGS "FANCY" on a stereo.

               We're in a tiled bathroom in an apartment that's seen much 
               better days. A BUBBLE BATH slowly fills the tub. Candles, 
               incense. ELECTRIC CURLERS heat up on a crowded counter above 
               the tub.

                                     VIVECA (O.S.)
                         God, I hope things work out with this 
                         one.

               VIVECA ST. JOHN enters. A faded beauty in her forties, she's 
               wrapped in a towel and smoking a joint. She's talking to 
               somebody in the other room.

                                     VIVECA (CONT'D)
                         He's kind of a dork, but he seems real, 
                         at least. And he's kinda rich, I think. 
                         Kinda.

               She turns off the faucet, drops her towel. She's in good 
               shape, and she's had a very good boob job.

                                     VIVECA (CONT'D)
                         'Course, so was Kadeem, and that was a 
                         fucking waste of two years of my life. 
                         You know what? I knew you never liked 
                         him. So I'm going to bring this guy home 
                         to meet you, and this time, I swear I 
                         will pay attention to what you think.

               She looks at herself in the mirror and is pleased with what 
               she sees.

                                     VIVECA (CONT'D)
                         I am one fucking hot shit bitch and he'd 
                         be fucking lucky to have me.

               She steps into the tub. Relaxes. Takes a hit off the joint, 
               smiles. These are the good times.

                                     VIVECA (CONT'D)
                              (calls off)
                         Hey, Tito, come hang with me, okay? It 
                         helps me figure shit out when I talk to 
                         you.

               No response.

                                     VIVECA  (CONT'D)
                         Tito? Honey? Please?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                         2.


               She makes SMOOCHING SOUNDS. After a beat, a very well fed 
               CAT pads in, jumps up on the counter, moves around, looking 
               for the optimum spot.

                                     VIVECA  (CONT'D)
                         Thank you.  Who's my lover?

               Tito arranges himself and stares at her.

                                     VIVECA (CONT'D)
                         Aren't you glad I rescued you? You better 
                         be fucking glad, it cost me eight hundred 
                         bucks in vet bills. At a time when things 
                         were particularly tight for mommy, I 
                         might add.

               Tito stands, stretches.

                                     VIVECA (CONT'D)
                         I'll tell you one good thing about this 
                         guy tonight, he's got a big fat dick and 
                         he fucks like a jackhammer.
                              (ruefully)
                         Those never last.

               Tito, stretching, dislodges the ELECTRIC CURLER HEATING UNIT, 
               which tumbles into the tub. SPARKS FLY when it hits the water.  
               Viveca jerks and twitches horribly for a few seconds longer 
               than it's comfortable for us to watch, then stops.

               Tito looks down from the counter above the tub, curious for 
               a moment or two before he starts licking his paw, bored.

               FADE TO WHITE.

               MAIN TITLES

               FADE IN:

           2   EXT. ALL SOULS EPISCOPAL CHURCH - (DAY 2)                      2   

               Establishing. We HEAR a CHOIR SINGING "O FOR A CLOSER WALK 
               WITH GOD."

           3   INT. ALL SOULS EPISCOPAL CHURCH - CONTINUOUS (DAY 2)           3   

               David sits next to his mother, watching the choir sing. Ruth 
               listens respectfully. David leans forward in his seat 
               listening somewhat more intently.

               HIS POV: IN THE CHOIR, an impossibly beautiful YOUNG MAN 
               SINGS. He suddenly looks right at us.

               Snagged, David looks away, suddenly interested in the stained 
               glass window beside him.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                         3.


           4   INT. ALL SOULS EPISCOPAL CHURCH - MOMENTS LATER (DAY 2)        4   

               FATHER BART delivers his sermon from the pulpit.

                                     FATHER BART
                         And that's what Christ is asking us, 
                         every day. Do we really appreciate the 
                         miracle that is our life? And do we really 
                         actively participate in it?

               David sneaks a look back the young man in the choir.

               His POV: The Young Man is still looking at us. He smiles.

               Stricken, David tries to smile back, but he just looks 
               uncomfortable.

           5   EXT. ALL SOULS EPISCOPAL CHURCH (DAY 2)                        5   

               Father Bart shakes hands as people file out of church.

                                     FATHER BART
                         Nice to see you... That's a new haircut, 
                         isn't it?...

               David and Ruth are next in line.

                                     FATHER BART (CONT'D)
                         David, I'm so glad to see you here. It's 
                         always nice when someone comes back to 
                         the fold.

                                     DAVID
                         Oh, I've been going to church, I was 
                         just... going to a different church.

                                     FATHER BART
                         Really? Which one?

                                     DAVID
                         St. Stephen's?

                                     FATHER BART (CURIOUS)
                         In the Palisades?

                                     DAVID
                         Uhm... no. St. Stephen's in West 
                         Hollywood.

               Father Bart smiles. Warm, compassionate. Makes the connection.

                                     FATHER BART
                         Well, I hope you'll always feel as welcome 
                         here as you did there.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                         4.


                                     DAVID
                         Uh... thanks.

                                     FATHER BART
                         You know, I just thought of something. 
                         Your father was a deacon here, and we 
                         still haven't replaced him. I think it 
                         would do this church good to listen to a 
                         younger voice when we're making decisions. 
                         If you're at all interested, I could 
                         submit your name to the bishop.

                                     RUTH
                         Oh, David, that's wonderful. Your father 
                         would be so proud.

                                     DAVID
                              (flattered)
                         Well, sure. I'd be honored to be 
                         considered.

                                     FATHER BART
                         Ruth, how are you holding up?

                                     RUTH
                         I'm doing okay, Father. Each day's just 
                         a little bit easier.

                                     FATHER BART 
                         That's what I love hearing.

               David steps away, a little puffed up. The JUNIOR LEAGUER 
               suddenly appears next to him.

                                     JUNIOR-LEAGUER
                         Well, what a small world! Do you go to 
                         this church?  I just joined, I was raised 
                         Catholic, so I like the whole, you know, 
                         ritual part of it. Oooh, you smell good, 
                         what is that?

                                     DAVID
                              (exasperated)
                         Who are you?

                                     JUNIOR-LEAGUER
                         Oh my God, I can't believe I never 
                         introduced myself, it seems like we've 
                         known each other forever.. I'm Tracy 
                         Montrose Blair.

               She extends her hand.

                                     DAVID
                         Hi. I'm David--

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                         5.


                                     TRACY
                         David Fisher, I know. I know who you 
                         are.

               David looks at her oddly.

                                     DAVID 
                         Okay, why?

                                     TRACY
                         Because my uncle Walt was buried at your 
                         funeral home.
                              (off his blank look)
                         Old guy? Cancer? Had a tattoo of a 
                         roulette wheel on his back?

               David remembers this.

                                     DAVID
                         Oh, yes.

                                     TRACY
                         I have a tattoo. A butterfly.

                                     DAVID
                         So I'm just going to be direct here. 
                         Tracy. What exactly do you expect to 
                         happen between us?

                                     TRACY
                              (taken aback)
                         Well, I don't know. I don't really have 
                         any expectations, I really wouldn't 
                         flatter myself if I were you

                                     DAVID
                         I'm sorry, I'm not.., trying to be rude, 
                         or presumptuous, I just think you should 
                         know that I'm not really... available.

                                     TRACY
                              (disappointed)
                         You have a girlfriend.

                                     DAVID
                              (it's just easier this 
                              way)
                         Yes. 

                                     TRACY
                         Serious?

                                     DAVID
                         We're engaged.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                         6.


                                     TRACY
                         Good for you! Most men your age are so 
                         commitment-phobic, it's pathetic.

                                     DAVID
                         Yes, men are pigs.

                                     JUNIOR-LEAGUER
                         Or they're gay. Well, I'm certainly glad 
                         to find cut you're not gay.

                                     DAVID
                         I have to go, my mother's waiting.

               He crosses to Ruth.

                                     RUTH
                         She seems nice.

                                     DAVID
                         She seems nuts.

           6   EXT. BRENDA'S PARENTS' HOUSE - (DAY 2)                         6   

               The deadwagon pulls up and parks in the driveway. Nate gets 
               out and heads up the steps toward the house.

           7   INT. CHENOWITH HOUSE - CONTINUOUS (DAY 2)                      7   

               The front door is open. Nate enters.

                                     NATE
                         Hello?

                                     BRENDA (O.S.)
                         Out here.

               We FOLLOW HIM OUTSIDE, where Brenda swims in the pool, wearing 
               a swimsuit.

                                     NATE
                         Hey.

                                     BRENDA
                         This is the life, huh?

                                     NATE
                         Apparently. Just how often do Mommy and 
                         Daddy go away?

                                     BRENDA
                         Oh, constantly. They're very important 
                         people, with very important places to 
                         go. Lucky for them I have absolutely 
                         nowhere to go. How are you?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                         7.


                                     NATE
                         I'm good. Went for a run up in the hills 
                         this morning. It's chilly today, aren't 
                         you cold?

                                     BRENDA
                         Nope.

                                     NATE
                              (dips hand in water)
                         Jesus. It's like a hot tub in here.

                                     BRENDA
                         Mommy and Daddy keep it this hot all the 
                         time. Even in the summer. They're very 
                         wasteful.

                                     NATE
                              (already kicking off his 
                              shoes)
                         That's just wrong.

           8   INT. CLAIRE'S ROOM - THE SAME TIME (DAY 2)                     8   

               Claire sits in bed, still in her pjs, reading. There's a 
               knock at the door. Claire pays no attention. Ruth enters 
               still wearing what she wore to church. Claire still pays no 
               attention.

                                     RUTH
                         So what's on your agenda for today?

                                     CLAIRE
                         I thought I'd bend space and time with 
                         my mind, and then I'd go to the mall.
                              (then)
                         I'm just reading. Kinda into this book.

                                     RUTH
                         Really. What's it about?

                                     CLAIRE
                         Uhm... these kind of, like, information 
                         vampires, in this whole sort of fascist 
                         cyber state.
                              (off Ruth's blank look)
                         It's science fiction.

                                     RUTH
                         Is it very violent?

                                     CLAIRE
                         Not really, because it takes place in 
                         the future when all consciousness has
                                     (MORE)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                         8.


                                     CLAIRE (CONT'D)
                         migrated to machines. There is this whole 
                         thing called brain-rape that's kind of 
                         cool, though.

               Ruth stares at her, worried, then heads out quickly.

           9   EXT. CHENOWITH HOUSE - THE SAME TIME (DAY 2)                   9   

               CLOSE ON Nate's clothes, piled on a lounge chair. We PAN 
               over to th, pool, where Brenda and Nate are both in the water, 
               kissing.

                                     NATE
                         Oh, man... you are...

                                     BRENDA
                              (enjoying this)
                         Yes?

                                     NATE
                         You are unlike any other woman I've ever 
                         met.

                                     BRENDA
                         Good.

                                     NATE
                         Maybe. You scare me a little.

               She pulls back from him, smiling.

                                     BRENDA
                         Why?

               ON NATE, looking at her. We suddenly FLASH on:

          10   EXT. FUNERAL HOME/FRONT PORCH - NIGHT (FLASHBACK)             10   

               From Episode #103:

               The empty house across the street is going up in blazes.

          11   EXT. CHENOWITH HOUSE - CONTINUOUS (DAY 2)                     11   

               Nate's still looking at Brenda oddly. She LAUGHS.

                                     NATE
                         I don't know. There's just... so much I 
                         don't know about you.

                                     BRENDA
                         Me? I'm an open book.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                         9.


               She leans back seductively. Nate LAUGHS, and moves toward 
               her. She swims away from him; he quickly catches up to her. 
               They kiss, start getting into it

               ANGLE ON a well-dressed, fifty-ish COUPLE standing at the 
               edge of the pool, looking down at them.

                                     MARGARET
                         I'm so glad you're bringing friends home. 
                         You haven't done that for years.

               Nate and Brenda break apart. Nate's totally embarrassed, 
               Brenda seems unfazed.

                                     BRENDA
                         What are you doing here? You said you'd 
                         be gone through the weekend.

                                     MARGARET
                         Yes, well, it's Sunday. That's the end 
                         of the weekend.

               This woman is Brenda's mother MARGARET CHENOWITH. She's 
               attractive, charming and formidable. Her husband BERNARD 
               wears glasses, always looks vaguely perturbed.

                                     BRENDA
                         Nate, these are my parents, Margaret and 
                         Bernard Chenowith. Margaret and Bernard, 
                         this is Nate Fisher, the man I'm having 
                         sex with.

                                     MARGARET
                              (to Nate, friendly)
                         Hello. Brenda has told us absolutely 
                         nothing about you.

                                     NATE
                              (flustered)
                         You know what? I'm not surprised. I'm 
                         not sure there's that much to tell.

                                     BRENDA
                         Don't be so modest. 
                              (to parents)
                         Nate's studying for his funeral directors' 
                         license.

               A beat.

                                     BERNARD
                         Well, Nate, you'll have to tell us all 
                         about that. Will you stay for lunch?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        10.


                                     MARGARET
                         At least a drink or two.

                                     NATE
                         Oh, I'd like to, but... I really have to 
                         study.

               Suddenly bored, Brenda gets out of the pool and walks into 
               the house. Margaret discovers Nate's clothes on the lounge 
               chair, moves them aside, sits.

                                     MARGARET
                         Well, then, you'll just have to join us 
                         for dinner some night this week.

               Nate smiles, desperately trying to think of a way out of 
               this that won't sound like another lie.

                                     NATE
                         Ah... that sounds great!

               And Margaret and Bernard just smile at him as he treads water, 
               trying not to feel naked.

          12   INT. HIGH SCHOOL GUIDANCE COUNSELOR'S OFFICE - (DAY THREE)    12   

               Ruth and Claire are seated on a couch. Across from them, GARY 
               DEITMAN sits behind his desk. He's earnest, overworked.

                                     GARY
                         Mrs. Fisher, I asked you to come in today 
                         so we could talk about your relationship 
                         with Claire...

                                     CLAIRE
                         Yeah, I told her it wasn't my idea.

                                     GARY
                         Now, Claire feels that, being the youngest 
                         child, perhaps she might have "missed 
                         out" on a time when the family was happier --

                                     CLAIRE
                         No, you think that. I told you I didn't 
                         think there was ever a time when this 
                         family was happy.

               Ruth stares at her, suddenly stricken.

                                     RUTH
                         That is not true. There was lots of 
                         happiness. When the boys were young. 
                         When you were young, Claire. You were a 
                         very happy little girl, and you know it.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        11.


                                     CLAIRE
                         That's just because I was too young to 
                         realize what freaks we were.

                                     RUTH
                         Why would you come into this man's office 
                         and tell him we were never happy?

                                     CLAIRE
                         I don't know. Because I grew up in a 
                         house that was usually filled with total 
                         strangers who were crying all the time?

                                     RUTH
                         Oh, boo hoo. I grew up in a two-room 
                         apartment over a barber shop, and I spent 
                         my teenage years taking care of my 
                         grandmother after one and then both of 
                         her legs were amputated. Life's hard.

                                     GARY
                         Mrs. Fisher --

                                     RUTH
                              (to Claire)
                         You had a roof over your head, you didn't 
                         go hungry.

                                     CLAIRE
                              (to Gary)
                         See, she gets up on this cross, and then 
                         there's just no talking to her.

                                     RUTH
                         You did not have to beg for food on the 
                         streets of Calcutta.

                                     CLAIRE
                         What, just because I wasn't dropped in a 
                         dumpster somewhere, I'm supposed to not 
                         want things to be better?

                                     GARY
                         This is good. This is good for you two 
                         to talk like this. These are obviously 
                         things you need to say.

                                     CLAIRE
                         So... we're just supposed to fight, and 
                         get on each other's nerves? I prefer the 
                         not-talking thing.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        12.


                                     GARY
                         I think you should try to have more of a 
                         dialogue. Make time for it, schedule it. 
                         Remember, any relationship is work.

               He stands, grabs his jacket.

                                     GARY (CONT'D)
                         Excellent session.

                                     RUTH 
                         That's it?

                                     GARY
                         Well, that's up to you now, isn't it?

               And he's gone. Ruth and Claire stare at each other.

                                     CLAIRE
                         He does this for like five different 
                         schools.

          13   EXT. FUNERAL HOME - (DAY 3)                                   13   

               Establishing.

          14   INT. WISTERIA ROOM - (DAY 3)                                  14   

               David sits across from ROSS MICHAELS, a robust guy in his 
               late fifties. He's crying. David holds a clipboard and a 
               pen.

                                     ROSS
                         She should look spectacular, that's the 
                         most important thing.

                                     DAVID
                         We'll make sure she looks her best.

                                     ROSS
                         She was the real deal, you know? She was 
                         a star.

                                     DAVID
                         And I can assure you, we will give her a 
                         funeral that befits the star she was. 
                         And always will be.

                                     ROSS
                         You know who she is?

                                     DAVID
                              (Lying)
                         Absolutely. And I'm a big fan of hers.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        13.


          15   INT PREP ROOM - A SHORT TIME LATER (DAY 3)                    15   

               The body of Viveca St. John lies naked on the prep table as 
               Federico busies himself embalming her. On her back, her 
               surgically enhanced breasts point off to the sides at strange 
               angles. Nate enters, carrying a case of embalming fluid.

                                     NATE
                         Hey, Rico.
                              (re: breasts)
                         Holy moly.

                                     FEDERICO
                         Feel 'em, they're really hard.

                                     NATE
                         Uh, no thanks.

                                     FEDERICO
                         Like a rock. And see how they're all 
                         cock-eyed? They got this low-cut flimsy 
                         thing they want her in, and they've said 
                         absolutely no bra. I don't know what I'm 
                         going to do.  Maybe I can stitch 'em 
                         together somehow.

                                     NATE
                              (re: embalming fluid)
                         Where does this stuff go? I put it in 
                         the wrong place, David'll bitch at me 
                         for a week.

                                     FEDERICO
                              (nods toward cabinet)
                         Top left, above the green stuff.

                                     NATE
                              (re: Viveca)
                         She looks familiar.

               David enters, with clipboard, upbeat.

                                     DAVID
                         Well, boys, this just might be our highest-
                         profit-margin funeral this year.

                                     NATE
                         She's rich, huh?

                                     DAVID
                         The guy who's paying for it is.

                                     NATE
                         She looks so familiar to me.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        14.


                                     DAVID
                         She's an actress. Viveca St. John.

                                     NATE
                         Oh my God, you're right. That's her.

                                     DAVID
                         Apparently she was quite talented.

                                     NATE
                         David, she was a big porno star, like 
                         back in the mid-to-late eighties.

                                     DAVID
                              (horrified)
                         What?

                                     NATE
                         She was huge. Come on. You never saw any 
                         of her videos?

                                     DAVID
                              (stares at him)
                         No, Nate. I missed those.

                                     NATE
                         This chick fucked a snake. This chick 
                         fucked like, thirty guys at one time.

                                     FEDERICO
                         Oh man. I saw that. My cousin Ramon showed 
                         me that when I was like, twelve. On the 
                         diving board, right? They were all just 
                         lined up around the pool?

                                     NATE
                         Yep.
                              (re: Viveca)
                         Jesus. She's got to be like fifty now. 
                         Not bad.

                                     DAVID
                         Could we please not talk about the 
                         deceased this way? This is -- frankly, 
                         this is ethically outrageous.

                                     NATE
                              (to Federico)
                         You ever see the one where the guy's 
                         riding this motorcycle that she's strapped 
                         to, so he's fucking her while he's riding 
                         around in circles?

                                     DAVID
                         Nate, can I speak to you outside?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        15.


               He steps into the corridor. Nate follows him. Federico looks 
               at Viveca with new-found respect.

          16   INT. CORRIDOR OUTSIDE PREP ROOM - CONTINUOUS (DAY 3)          16   

               David shuts the door_

                                     DAVID
                         Damn it, Nate. The woman on that table 
                         is just as deserving of dignity as anyone 
                         else we prepare. And Federico is an 
                         employee. It's up to you and me to set 
                         an example for him. All right?

                                     NATE
                              (chastened)
                         All right. I'm sorry.

                                     DAVID
                         Show some respect. These are human lives 
                         we're dealing with. These are not organic 
                         blackberries or granola in bulk.

                                     NATE
                         I said I'm sorry.

                                     DAVID
                         I don't want you to be sorry. I want you 
                         to remember that what we do here is 
                         serious. Because it really sucks for me, 
                         always having to be the spoilsport.

                                     NATE
                         Okay.

                                     DAVID 
                         Thank you.

               He heads up the stairs. Nate just stands there feeling 
               foolish. His CELL PHONE RINGS.

                                     NATE
                              (answers)
                         Hello?

          17   INT. CHENOWITH HOUSE - CONTINUOUS (DAY 3)                     17   

               Bernard and Margaret Chenowith are seated out by their pool.  
               Margaret has a cocktail; Bernard speaks into a phone.

                                     BERNARD
                         Nate? Bernard Chenowith.

               INTERCUT WITH NATE IN THE CORRIDOR OUTSIDE THE PREP ROOM:

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        16.


                                     NATE
                              (overly cheerful)
                         Hi.

                                     BERNARD
                         Margaret and I were wondering if you 
                         would join us for dinner tomorrow night.

                                     MARGARET
                         Tell him we won't take no for an answer.

                                     BERNARD
                         You hear that?

                                     NATE 
                         Well, I --

                                     MARGARET
                              (takes phone from Bernard)
                         Nate?  We'd really love to be able to 
                         get a sense of who you are. And I'm sure 
                         you're curious about us as well, right?

                                     NATE
                              (laughs)
                         Uh --

                                     MARGARET
                         Good. Let's say seven-ish.

               Nate frowns, wishing he could get out of this, but... 

                                     NATE 
                         Can I bring anything?

                                     MARGARET
                         Just your appetite!

          18   INT. CLAIRE'S ROOM - 'DAY 3)                                  18   

               CLOSE ON A COMPUTER SCREEN: We're in an animated COMPUTER 
               GAME. Moving around an apocalyptic landscape. Hideous MUTANTS 
               FIRE at us. We FIRE back. Their heads explode in a geyser of 
               blood and slime.

               Claire sits at her computer, playing a video game.

                                     CLAIRE
                         Suck on that, you ugly fuck.

               Ruth enters, without knocking. She holds a COUPLE OF VIDEOS 
               from Blockbuster. She watches Claire's game for a moment, 
               disturbed. Finally, she CLEARS HER THROAT.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        17.


                                     CLAIRE (CONT'D)
                         Hello?  There's a thing called knocking, 
                         it's like, protected in the first 
                         amendment?

                                     RUTH
                         I rented some videos, I thought you and 
                         I could watch them tonight.
                              (off Claire's blank look)
                         Remember when you were in middle school, 
                         you and I used to go the movies, every 
                         Monday night? Remember how much fun that 
                         was?

                                     CLAIRE
                         I remember seeing a lot of really bad 
                         movies. What did you get?

                                     RUTH
                              (holds up videos)
                         Runaway Bride and The Nutty Professor.

               Claire tries to hide her distaste, but she just can't.

          19   INT. KEITH'S APARTMENT - EARLY EVENING (NIGHT 3)              19   

               David and Keith are seated at the table in Keith's small 
               dining alcove, finishing up dinner.

                                     DAVID
                         It'd be good for business, too. Dad was 
                         a deacon there. It's a big congregation.  
                         People die. Their families don't know 
                         where to go. The church sends them our 
                         way.

                                     KEITH
                         Do they know you're gay?

                                     DAVID
                         I think Father Bart has a pretty good 
                         idea.

                                     KEITH 
                         Hmm... think he likes you?

                                     DAVID
                         Keith.

               Keith gets up and heads into the kitchen.

                                     KEITH
                         So does this mean you're not going to be 
                         going to church with me any more?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        18.


                                     DAVID
                         Well.., if they make me a deacon, I'll 
                         have to go there all the time, yeah.

               He gets up and goes into the kitchen, where Keith is rinsing 
               plates.

                                     DAVID (CONT'D)
                         Sorry. I know that Sundays have been 
                         sort of our day.

                                     KEITH
                              (genuine)
                         I think it's great. I really do. One of 
                         the things I love about you is the fact 
                         that your religion means something to 
                         you.
                              (then)
                         And it might be kinda hot, too, you know? 
                         Dating a man of the cloth?

               David LAUGHS. They kiss.

                                     KEITH (CONT'DU (CONT'D)
                         But I want you to do something for me.

                                     DAVID
                         What is it, my son?

                                     KEITH
                         You know that gay police and fire officer 
                         club I belong to? We're have a party in 
                         Laguna this weekend. I want you to be my 
                         date.

                                     DAVID
                         Your date? Will I get a corsage?

                                     KEITH
                              (serious)
                         I want you to start meeting my friends, 
                         David.

               A beat.

                                     DAVID
                         I'd like that.

               Keith smiles, pleased. More kissing.

                                     KEITH
                         Bless me, father, for I am about to sin.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        19.


          20   INT. FUNERAL HOME - SUN PORCH - (NIGHT 3)                     20   

               CLOSE ON A TELEVISION SCREEN: The dinner scene from The Nutty 
               Professor. Eddie Murphy, in multiple roles, belches, farts 
               and talks about sex.

               REVERSE ANGLE on Ruth and Claire, watching. Ruth is appalled. 
               Claire is bored.

                                     RUTH
                         This is an entire movie about expelling 
                         gas.

                                     CLAIRE
                         Yeah, well, I think that's why people 
                         like it.

                                     RUTH
                         I don't want to watch this.

                                     CLAIRE
                         Good, 'cause neither do I.

               Ruth turns the television off. An awkward beat.

                                     RUTH
                         Claire... look, I knowthat you probably 
                         think I'm old and stupid.

                                     CLAIRE
                         No, I don't. 

                                     RUTH
                         But I love you just as much as I ever 
                         did. And I'm worried about you. And I 
                         don't know how to help.

                                     CLAIRE
                         I don't need help! Why does everybody 
                         keep acting like I'm in the trenchcoat 
                         mafia?

                                     RUTH
                         You stole a foot. A human foot!

                                     CLAIRE
                         Okay, you want to know why?  Because 
                         some guy who totally scammed me into 
                         having sex with him because I thought he 
                         cared about me told the entire school I 
                         sucked his toes. And then, when I 
                         confronted him about it, he showed 
                         entirely no remorse. So when I saw Nate 
                         drop that foot on the floor I just grabbed
                                     (MORE)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        20.


                                     CLAIRE (CONT'D)
                         it, to get back at that asshole, okay?  
                         It was not premeditated, I'm not Jeffrey 
                         Dahmer, I don't get off on hacked-up 
                         body parts.

                                     RUTH
                         You're having sex?

                                     CLAIRE
                         Oh, no, No.  I really cannot have this 
                         conversation with you.  I'm sorry.  And 
                         I'm sorry, but I just don't ever see us 
                         ever having one of those touchy-feely 
                         mother-daughter relationships you see in 
                         the movies or on TV.  Because you know 
                         what, Mom?  Those don't exist.

               She gets up and leaves.  Ruth watches her go, trying to 
               remember the last time she felt this helpless. 

               FADE TO WHITE. 

               FADE IN:

          21   EXT. CHENOWITH HOUSE - EARLY EVENING (NIGHT 4)                21   

               Establishing 

          22   INT. CHENOWITH HOUSE - CONTINUOUS (NIGHT 4)                   22   

               Margaret Chenowith, sits in a modernistic chair, reading, 
               cocktail in hand. Bernard, holding a bottle of wine, enters 
               with Nate in tow.

                                     BERNARD
                              (impressed)
                         1985, no less.

               He exits. Margaret stands, extends her hand.

                                     MARGARET
                         A man who knows his wine. I'm liking you 
                         more and more, Nate.  

                                     NATE
                         Well... : worked at a food co-op in 
                         Seattle for a long time, I learned a 
                         little bit.

                                     MARGARET
                         Co-op. So you've got a little hippie in 
                         you. Well, that makes sense.
                                     (MORE)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        21.


                                     MARGARET (CONT'D)
                              (off his blank look)
                         Brenda would find that attractive. She 
                         likes to think of herself as being wildly 
                         counter-cultural. I think she's always 
                         been a little jealous that Bernard and I 
                         were actually hippies. Briefly. Can I 
                         offer you a drink?

                                     NATE
                         Sure, do you have any beer?

                                     MARGARET
                         Mmm... no. Vodka, scotch, bourbon?

                                     NATE
                         I'll have a little bourbon.

                                     MARGARET
                         Manly, but not elitist. Just her type.

               Nate smiles, unsure of how to respond.

                                     NATE
                         So... where is Brenda?

                                     MARGARET 
                         Oh, she's not coming tonight.

                                     NATE
                         Really.

                                     MARGARET
                         Well, she felt -- and I have to agree 
                         with her -- we'd all have a better chance 
                         of getting to know each other if she 
                         weren't here. You know how she tends to 
                         take up center stage, so to speak.

                                     NATE
                         Huh. I kinda wish somebody had thought 
                         to tell me about this.

                                     MARGARET 
                         I'm sorry. I assumed she did.

               She smiles as she pours him a drink.

          23   INT. ALL SOULS EPISCOPAL CHURCH - THE SAME TIME (NIGHT 4)     23   

               An office inside the church. Father Bart sits next to David. 
               The BISHOP of the Diocese sits across from them, scowling.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        22.


                                     FATHER BART
                         David was raised in this church. He was 
                         christened and confirmed here, he served 
                         as an altar boy and was president of our 
                         youth ministry in high school.

                                     BISHOP
                         How old are you, David?

                                     DAVID
                         I'm thirty-one.

                                     BISHOP
                         What do you do for a living?

                                     DAVID
                         I'm a funeral director.

                                     BISHOP
                         Ah.

                                     FATHER BART
                         David's father served as a deacon for 
                         over a decade. He just recently passed 
                         away.

                                     BISHOP
                         So you see this as a sort of passing the 
                         torch?

                                     DAVID
                         No sir. I see this a chance to serve 
                         God.

                                     BISHOP
                         Well, I'm glad to hear you say that, 
                         because that's what it is. Being a deacon 
                         is more than just having access to the 
                         church mailing list and passing out your 
                         business cards after mass.

               A beat.

                                     DAVID
                              (choosing words carefully)
                         Sir, I won't deny that I run a business 
                         providing service to people in times of 
                         need. But : would never exploit my 
                         relationship with the church for marketing 
                         purposes. Frankly, I would consider that 
                         to be a pretty grave sin.

               The Bishop leans back in his chair, impressed.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        23.


                                     BISHOP
                              (to Father Bart)
                         All Souls is an old church, a conservative 
                         church. A church that doesn't need to 
                         have its boat rocked.

                                     FATHER BART
                         Which is precisely why I feel David is a 
                         good candidate. How many men his age 
                         have values as strong as his? I think 
                         he'd be an excellent role model.

               The Bishop studies David.

                                     BISHOP
                         Are you married?

                                     DAVID
                         No, sir.

               A beat.

                                     DAVID (CONT'D)
                         I was engaged, briefly. 

                                     BISHOP
                         Is there anything else you'd like to 
                         tell me about yourself before I consider 
                         this?

                                     DAVID
                         No, sir.

               A beat.

                                     DAVID (CONT'D)
                         Is there anything specific about me you'd 
                         like to ask?

               A beat. 

                                     BISHOP
                         No.
                              (to Father Bart)
                         I'll let you know my decision in a few 
                         days. 

               He stands and leaves.

                                     FATHER BART
                         You impressed him.

                                     DAVID
                         You think? 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        24.


               As Father Bart shows David to the door:

                                     FATHER BART
                         Oh, by the way, one of our parishioners 
                         just lost her father to liver cancer. 
                         Sharon Murdoch. I gave her your name, 
                         you might be getting a call.

          24   INT. CLAIR'S ROOM - THE SAME TIME (NIGHT 4)                   24   

               Claire sits at her desk, studying. Ruth enters suddenly.

                                     CLAIRE
                         Again with the not knocking.

                                     RUTH
                         Pack some things, we're going to San 
                         Bernardino.

                                     CLAIRE
                         What?

                                     RUTH
                         We're spending the night at my cousin 
                         Hannah's.

                                     CLAIRE
                         But, Mom... I'm doing homework.

                                     RUTH 
                         Well, stop.

                                     CLAIRE
                         I have school tomorrow.

                                     RUTH
                              (erupts)
                         I'll write a note!

               She exits, SLAMMING the door. Claire sits there, baffled.

          25   INT. CHENOWITH HOUSE - LATER (NIGHT 4)                        25   

               Nate, Margaret and Bernard are the only ones seated around a 
               circular dining table that would easily seat twelve.

                                     MARGARET
                         You know, it's been a long time since 
                         Brenda has wanted us to meet any of the 
                         men in her life.

                                     BERNARD
                         What was that last one? The chiropractor?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        25.


                                     MARGARET
                         He was a rolfer.

                                     BERNARD
                         He was an idiot.

               An awkward pause.

                                     NATE
                         Well, to be perfectly honest, I'm not 
                         sure Brenda meant for us to meet. I really 
                         don't think she expected you guys to 
                         come home that day.

                                     MARGARET
                              (laughs)
                         Nate. Where Brenda is concerned, there 
                         are no coincidences.

                                     NATE
                         You think she planned all this?

                                     MARGARET
                         Of course. She is a master manipulator. 
                         I love her dearly. But you should know 
                         what you're getting yourself into. More 
                         wine?

                                     NATE 
                         No thanks.

               Another awkward pause.

                                     NATE (CONT'D)
                         Can I ask you guys something?

                                     BERNARD
                         As long as it doesn't involve asking us 
                         for money.

                                     NATE
                         Uh, no, it doesn't. Does the name 
                         "Nathaniel" have any significance to 
                         you?

                                     MARGARET
                         Well, sure. Nathaniel and Isabel.

               Nate looks at her, confused.

          26   INT. CHENOWITH HOUSE - MOMENTS LATER (NIGHT 4)                26   

               A crowded book shelf. MARGARET'S HAND REACHES IN to pull out 
               Sseveral old CHILDREN'S BOOKS. Each of the books' covers 
               shows an illustration of a tall skinny girl with pigtails

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        26.


               and a shorter, younger boy with glasses and overly large 
               ears. In whimsical script are the books' TITLES: NATHANIEL 
               AND ISABEL IN SPACE, NATHANIEL AND ISABEL SET SAIL, NATHANIEL 
               AND ISABEL DOWN UNDER  

               Margaret shows the books to Nate.

                                     MARGARET
                         Brenda adored these books as a little 
                         girl.

                                     BERNARD
                         She could read by the time she was two.

                                     NATE
                         What are they about?

                                     MARGARET
                         Two orphans who have adventures. They 
                         ran away from an orphanage, there's a 
                         malevolent nurse who's always hunting 
                         them down, but they always outsmart her. 
                         Typical infantile wish fulfillment.

                                     NATE
                         I've never even heard of them.

                                     BERNARD
                         They're British. Quite dark. People die 
                         in them all the time.

                                     MARGARET
                         When Brenda's brother was born, we 
                         expected serious displacement anxiety 
                         from her, but... there was none. She 
                         would sit next to his crib, reading these 
                         stories to him for hours. She was what, 
                         Bern? Four?

                                     BERNARD
                         Five at the most.

                                     MARGARET 
                         It's all in the book.

                                     NATE
                              (confused)
                         This book?

               Margaret and Bernard share a look.

                                     MARGARET
                              (amused)
                         Oh, so she didn't tell you about that 
                         either?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        27.


          27   INT. CLAIRE'S HEARSE - THE SAME TIME (NIGHT 4)                27   

               Claire drives, Ruth is in the passenger seat.

                                     CLAIRE
                         Am I allowed to ask what we're supposed 
                         to accomplish on this little trip?

                                     RUTH
                         No.

          28   INT. PREP ROOM - THE SAME TIME (NIGHT 4)                      28   

               Darkness. David enters and switches on a light. Viveca St. 
               John's embalmed body lies on the prep table. David crosses 
               to the desk, pulls a few forms out of a drawer, puts them in 
               a clipboard. On his way out, he stops to inspect Viveca.

                                     VIVECA
                         So these tits do nothing for you, huh?

                                     DAVID
                         Well... I can appreciate they're 
                         beautiful. In their own completely 
                         artificial way.

                                     VIVECA
                         Men loved 'em. Well, real men.

               David smiles.

                                     VIVECA (CONT'D)
                         You think God cares that you're gay?

                                     DAVID
                         You think God cares that you fucked thirty 
                         guys at once?

                                     VIVECA
                         Oh, so you equate being a fag with being 
                         a whore.

                                     DAVID
                         No.

                                     VIVECA
                         One's okay, but one isn't.

                                     DAVID
                         I think God appreciates it when there's 
                         love involved.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        28.


                                     VIVECA
                              (laughs)
                         Honey, I loved every man I ever fucked, 
                         while I was fucking him.

          29   INT. HANNAH'S HOUSE - LATER (NIGHT 4)                         29   

               A middle class suburban home. Comfortable, almost stylish. 
               Ruth and Claire are seated in the den along with Ruth's cousin 
               HANNAH and her daughter GINNIE. They're watching TV and eating 
               Kentucky Fried Chicken out of a bucket.

               Hannah's in her late forties, attractive, together. Ginnie 
               is twenty, smart and pretty. They're both remarkably fit.

                                     HANNAH
                         Ruth, I'm so glad you caned. Ginnie and 
                         I would never allow ourselves this kind 
                         of food unless it were a special occasion.

                                     GINNIE
                         We are definitely going to have to do an 
                         extra spinning class this week.

                                     HANNAH
                         Tomorrow morning?

                                     GINNIE
                         Who's teaching?

                                     HANNAH
                         Derek.

                                     GINNIE
                         I am so there.
                              (laughs)
                         Mom and I have the hugest crush on this 
                         spinning instructor at the Y. He is hot 
                         hot hot.

               Ruth and Claire smile weakly.

                                     GINNIE (CONT'D)
                         Claire, have you thought about college?

                                     CLAIRE
                         Some. I'd love to go to N-Y-U or Columbia, 
                         but we could never afford it, and I 
                         seriously doubt I could ever get in.

                                     GINNIE
                         There's some great schools in L-A.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        29.


                                     CLAIRE
                         Yeah, but... why would you want to go to 
                         school in the same town you grew up in?

                                     GINNIE
                         I go to Cal State right here in San 
                         Berdoo.

                                     CLAIRE
                         Well, whatever rocks your boat.

                                     RUTH
                         Claire.

                                     GINNIE
                         Hey, I love it. By living at home I'm 
                         saving a ton of money for grad school. 
                         I'm not stuck in some crappy dorm where 
                         people are smoking pot and playing loud 
                         music all the time. I don't have to call 
                         campus police to walk me home from the 
                         library so I don't get raped. And I get 
                         to stay close to my mom.

                                     HANNAH
                         That translates as I get to do her 
                         laundry.

                                     GINNIE
                         Not true. I love my mom and I'm not 
                         ashamed of it.

                                     HANNAH
                         Thanks, honey. I love you too.

               Ruth looks a Claire pointedly, as if to say "See?" Claire 
               just looks disgusted.

          30   INT. VENISE BUNGALOW - THE SAME TIME (NIGHT 4)                30   

               Brenda opens the door, to reveal Nate. We HEAR The Cowboy 
               Junkies' "COMMON DISASTER" on the STEREO. He looks at her, 
               obviously angry. She just shrugs and walks away.

                                     BRENDA
                         So how was it?

                                     NATE
                         Oh, it was quite informative. I know 
                         what Nathaniel means now. I know you 
                         have an IQ of one eighty five. And I 
                         know you had a book written about you.

               Brenda grabs a book from the coffee table, hands it to him.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        30.


                                     BRENDA
                         I signed it for you.

               ON THE BOOK IN NATE'S HANDS: On its cover is a shadowy 
               silhouette of a little girl walking away from us. Above this 
               illustration are the words CHARLOTTE LIGHT AND DARK by George 
               Feinberg PhD.

                                     NATE
                         Why didn't you just tell me about this?

                                     BRENDA
                         Because people always change toward me 
                         after they read it. I was just trying to 
                         make the fun part last.

                                     NATE
                         So you're kind of scarily brilliant. So 
                         what? I can handle that.

                                     BRENDA
                         Good.

                                     NATE
                         What I can't handle is the way you seem 
                         to get off on making me jump through 
                         hoops for your entertainment. That's 
                         really starting to piss me off.

                                     BRENDA
                         Well, I'm sorry I'm not some well-behaved 
                         little nothing who never challenges you. 
                         But if that's what you're looking for, 
                         you might as well leave right now.

               A beat.

                                     NATE
                         So, what? You're trying to drive me away?

                                     BRENDA
                         Yeah, Nate. That's it. I'm trying to 
                         drive you away.

                                     NATE
                         Then what the fuck was tonight all about?

                                     BRENDA
                         It was my mother's idea that I not be 
                         there. Plus, I don't really enjoy their 
                         company.

                                     NATE
                         She said it was your idea.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        31.


                                     BRENDA
                         Of course she did. She probably believes 
                         that. She's out of her fucking mind.

                                     NATE
                         You could have warned me what I was 
                         walking into.

                                     BRENDA
                         And then you wouldn't have gone. I just 
                         wanted to get it all out of the way. The 
                         book, the whole... them. Everything. Why 
                         put it off any longer?

                                     NATE
                         Yeah, well, I felt like a fucking lab 
                         rat.

                                     BRENDA
                         That's what they do.

               A beat.

                                     BRENDA (CONT'D)
                         Six years old, I score through the roof 
                         on some standardized, culturally biased 
                         test, and my parents just hand me over 
                         to strangers. "Experts," who wanted to 
                         analyze me, quantify me, define me. There 
                         is fucking film of me going to the 
                         bathroom!

               She paces about, agitated. Nate just watches, silent.

                                     BRENDA (CONT'D)
                         And it was all so they could control me. 
                         So I made shit up and did things just to 
                         throw them off track, which of course 
                         was just a more complicated way of letting 
                         them control me. It's a fucking trap. 
                         It's a fucking law of physics that the 
                         very act of observation changes that 
                         which is being observed. And I had no 
                         fucking say in the matter. I was a child.

               She lights a joint.

                                     BRENDA (CONT'D)
                         And now you're going to read that book 
                         and think you know me. Well, you don't.

                                     NATE
                         Yeah, because you won't let me.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        32.


                                     BRENDA
                         Okay, fine. What do you want to know? 
                         Ask me anything.

               A tense beat.

                                     NATE
                         Did you burn down that house we made 
                         love in?

               Brenda stares at him. Bursts into gale of LAUGHTER.

                                     BRENDA
                         You think I burned down that house? 
                         Really? That's so weird. What do you 
                         think, I'm like, crazy?

                                     NATE
                              (embarrassed)
                         What am I supposed to think? You set it 
                         up so my brother and I take a ride on 
                         the bus that killed our father. You seduce 
                         me in a funeral home where my mother can 
                         just walk in --

                                     BRENDA
                              (overlapping)
                         Yeah, you had nothing to do with that.

                                     NATE
                              (not stopping)
                         You get weird phone calls from screaming 
                         people that you won't tell me anything 
                         about. And now you're trying to make me 
                         feel stupid for being suspicious? Well, 
                         give me a fucking reason not to be.

               She looks at him, silent.

                                     NATE (CONT'D)
                         If you hated being tested so much, why 
                         do you keep doing it to me?

                                     BRENDA
                         Because I need to know... I want to know 
                         if I'm just a stop along your way.

               A beat.

                                     NATE
                         Okay, look. We obviously have an intense 
                         sexual connection. Which is great. And 
                         yes, I would like for there to be 
                         something more than that. But that can't
                                     (MORE)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        33.


                                     NATE (CONT'D)
                         ever happen until you trust me. Which 
                         apparently, you don't.

                                     BRENDA
                         Should I trust you?

               A beat. This moment has some weight-

                                     NATE
                         Yes.

               Brenda studies him for a long time, then crosses to him and 
               kisses him passionately.

          31   INT. HANNAH'S HOUSE - DEN - THE SAME TIME (NIGHT 4)           31   

               Ruth, Claire, Hannah and Ginnie are playing Scrabble.

                                     HANNAH 
                              (places tiles))
                         R-A-K-E.

                                     GINNIE
                         Oho, triple letter score for K. Good 
                         one, Mom!

                                     CLAIRE 
                              (places tiles))
                         H-E-L-L.

               An awkward beat. Ginnie places one tile on the board.

                                     GINNIE
                         H-E-L-L-O. Hello! Now it's Ruth's turn.

                                     RUTH
                              (places tiles)
                         D-E-F-T.

                                     GINNIE
                         Deft? What is deft?

                                     HANNAH
                         It's a laundry detergent from when Ruth 
                         and I were kids.

                                     RUTH
                         No, it's a word. It means "skilled."

                                     GINNIE
                         Really? I've never heard of it. Use it 
                         in a sentence.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        34.


                                     RUTH
                         "He deftly juggled his responsibilities."

                                     GINNIE 
                         Deft. Huh.

               A beat.

                                     CLAIRE
                         "Deft, where ith thy thting?"

               Ruth LAUGHS at this. Hannah and Ginnie smile, not really 
               getting it.

          32   INT, HANNAH'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - A SHORT TIME LATER (NIGHT 4)  32   

               Hannah rinses off dishes, Ginnie dries. Ruth and Claire sit 
               at a dinette, watching.

                                     HANNAH
                              (gently)
                         So how are you both doing? You know with 
                         Nathaniel passing.

                                     RUTH
                         Better every day.

                                     CLAIRE
                         Yeah. You know. Shit happens.

                                     HANNAH
                         It's such an awful thing, losing someone 
                         you love.

                                     GINNIE
                         In terms of stress, it's right up there 
                         with moving and getting fired.

                                     HANNAH
                         When Ed and I split up, I was devastated. 
                         Didn't even want to get out of bed. Just 
                         wanted to curl up and die.
                              (chokes up)
                         All I can say is thank God for my precious 
                         daughter.

                                     GINNIE
                         I wouldn't let her mope. Just wouldn't 
                         let her. Dragged her ass, pardon my 
                         French, out of bed and took her to 
                         spinning class with me.

                                     HANNAH
                         I hated her for it at the time, but it 
                         really got me back on track.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        35.


                                     GINNIE
                         You know, endorphins really are nature's 
                         anti-depressants.

                                     HANNAH
                         Life goes on, but it doesn't go on by 
                         itself. Sometime you've just got to give 
                         it a little kick in the butt.

                                     RUTH
                         Yes, but... Ed didn't die.

               A beat.

                                     RUTH (CONT'D)
                         He's still alive, you can still see him. 
                         When Ginnie gets married, you both will 
                         be there. When she has children, they'll 
                         be able to know him. He's not gone 
                         forever.

                                     HANNAH
                              (uncomfortable)
                         Well, sure, but in terms of the impact 
                         it had on both our lives, it's... similar.

               Am awkward beat. Ruth just stares at her.

                                     GINNIE
                         Okay, I have the greatest idea. You guys 
                         are coming to spinning class with us 
                         tomorrow morning, bright and early.

                                     CLAIRE
                         Uh, no offense, but I'd rather drive 
                         rusty railroad spikes into my skull.

                                     GINNIE
                         Just try it. Once. You might be surprised 
                         how it changes the way you feel.

                                     CLAIRE 
                         I feel fine.

                                     HANNAH
                         Ginnie, that's an absolutely inspired 
                         idea.
                              (then)

                                     HANNAH (CONT'D)
                         Well, ladies, we'd better get to bed, 
                         because if your butt isn't on that bike 
                         by 6 a.m., Derek won't let you in.

               FADE TO WHITE.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        36.


               FADE IN:

          33   EXT. WOODS - EARLY MORNING (BLACK AND WHITE, MOS)             33   

               We're MOVING down a path in the woods. Ahead of us is a LITTLE 
               GIRL about eight years old, wearing a white dress. She looks 
               back at us and smiles, beckoning us to follow her. A MAN 
               walks into frame, following her, his back to us. He's naked. 
               He's having trouble walking in his bare feet, and we see the 
               PATH IS SPRINKLED WITH SHARDS OF BROKEN GLASS AND MIRRORS.

               REVERSE ANGLE: (from the waist up):  It's Nate. He looks 
               confused and intrigued at the same time.

               His POV: The little girl has become a grown woman. She looks 
               back at us -- it's Brenda. She laughs and races off down the 
               path.

               CLOSE ON NATE as he stops walking, unsure whether to pursue 
               her or not. 

          34   INT. VENICE BUNGALOW - EARLY MORNING (DAY 5)                  34   

               CLOSE ON NATE'S EYES POPPING OPEN as he wakes from his dream. 
               He takes a moment to figure out where he is... then discovers 
               Brenda seated in a chair across the room, staring at him. 
               It's still dark outside.

                                     NATE
                         What are you doing?

                                     BRENDA
                         Watching you.
                              (off his look)
                         I couldn't sleep. 

               She smiles at him. He smiles back, uneasy.

          35   INT. HANNAH'S HOUSE - GUEST BEDROOM - THE SAME TIME (DAY 5)   35   

               CLOSE ON Claire as she lies sleeping.

                                     RUTH (O.C.)
                         Claire, wake up. 

               Claire opens her eyes, groggy. Ruth stands above her, fully 
               dressed.

                                     RUTH (CONT'D)
                         Get dressed.

                                     CLAIRE
                         Why?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        37.


                                     RUTH
                         We're leaving. Hurry.

                                     CLAIRE
                         Jesus, Mom. I'm starting to feel like 
                         Anne Frank.

                                     RUTH
                         If we don't get out of here fast, we'll 
                         have to go spinning.

               Claire hops out of bed quickly and starts quietly gathering 
               her stuff.

          36   EXT. HANNAH'S HOUSE - MOMENTS LATER (DAY 5)                   36   

               The sun is just coming up. Ruth and Claire come out the front 
               door and walk stealthily toward Claire's hearse, overnight 
               bags in tow. A LIGHT IN THE HOUSE COMES ON, and they start 
               running.

          37   EXT. ROSE CAFE - MORNING (DAY 5)                              37   

               David and Keith are seated at a table on the terrace, perusing 
               menus, wearing sweaty workout clothes.

                                     DAVID
                         What's good here?

                                     KEITH
                         Mmm, the Dana Plato, the Tonya Harding... 
                         I'm a little partial to the Dennis Rodman.
                              (off David's look)
                         Six egg whites and a turkey patty. 
                         Excellent post-workout fare.

                                     DAVID
                         I'm too nervous to eat. I'll just drink 
                         coffee until I start twitching and 
                         sweating.

                                     KEITH
                         Why does being deacon mean so much now? 
                         It wasn't even a consideration for you a 
                         week ago.

                                     DAVID
                         I know you think its naive, but... I see 
                         it as a chance to make a difference. 
                         Help make the world a little more 
                         tolerant.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        38.


                                     KEITH
                         David. We already have our church in 
                         West Hollywood. Which means the other 
                         churches in the diocese don't have to be 
                         tolerant. And frankly, I resent the notion 
                         that I need to be "tolerated."

                                     DAVID
                         So, what, we should just allow ourselves 
                         to be ghettoized?

                                     KEITH
                         Why are you so eager to embrace an 
                         organization that doesn't embrace you?

                                     DAVID
                         The church embraces everyone.

                                     KEITH
                         Oh, right. Hate the sin, love the sinner. 
                         The operative word being "hate."

                                     DAVID
                         What's with you? Yesterday you said you 
                         liked the idea.

                                     KEITH
                              (looking at his menu)
                         I've had time to think.

          38   INT. ROSE CAFE - THE SAME TIME (DAY 5)                        38   

               Nate and Brenda are seated at a table inside, having finished 
               breakfast. Brenda signs a credit card receipt.

                                     NATE
                         Thanks for buying me breakfast.

                                     BRENDA
                         Thanks for fucking my brains out last 
                         night.

                                     NATE
                         Any time.

               She puts her wallet back in her purse.

                                     BRENDA
                              (smiles)
                         Oh, I have something for you.

               She pulls a key out of her purse and holds it out to him.

                                     NATE
                         Wow.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        39.


                                     BRENDA
                         Oh come on, it's just a key.

               She puts it on the table, stands and starts out. Nate grabs 
               the key and follows her.

                                     NATE
                         No, this is great.

          39   EXT. ROSE CAFE - CONTINUOUS (DAY 5)                           39   

               Brenda comes out onto the porch, followed by Nate.

                                     NATE
                         I'm -iust a little surprised, that's all--

                                     BRENDA
                              (spots something)
                         Isn't that your brother?

               Nate looks.

               HIS POV: David and Keith at their table.

                                     NATE
                         Uh, yeah.

               ANGLE ON DAVID AND KEITH at the table.

                                     DAVID
                         Okay, look. Can we just have breakfast, 
                         without me feeling like I'm George Will 
                         and you're Cokie Roberts with P-M-S?

                                     KEITH
                         You probably like George Will.

                                     NATE (O.C.)
                         Dave.

               Startled, David looks up to see Nate and Brenda.

                                     DAVID
                              (flustered)
                         Uh, hi. Keith, you remember my brother 
                         Nate, don't you?

                                     KEITH
                         How's it going?

                                     NATE
                         Hey. This is Brenda. My, uh, my 
                         girlfriend.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        40.


                                     BRENDA
                         I prefer the term fuck puppet.

               David LAUGHS awkwardly. Nate shoots Brenda a look.

                                     NATE
                         So, what are you guys doing here? You 
                         just play racquetball?

               A beat. Keith eyes David.

                                     DAVID
                         Uh...

               He glances at Keith, sighs. Then looks up at Nate.

                                     DAVID (CONT'D)
                              (a certain frankness)
                         No. No, we just worked out.

                                     NATE
                         Oh, so you guys work out together.

                                     DAVID 
                         Yeah. We do.

               He smiles and puts his hand on Keith's shoulder. Nate suddenly 
               gets it.

                                     NATE
                              (trying to be cool)
                         Oh Well, that's great. Great.

               David just smiles.

                                     NATE (CONT'D)
                         Okay, well, you guys have a great day!

                                     DAVID
                         You too.

               Nate smiles too big and quickly walks off.

                                     BRENDA
                         Bye, David.

               She follows Nate off. Keith grins at David, pleased.

                                     KEITH
                         Hallelujah, baby.

                                     DAVID
                              (a little rattled)
                         This ought to be worth some brownie 
                         points.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        41.


               ANGLE ON Nate and Brenda, as they walk toward her car:

                                     NATE
                         Oh my God. I think David is gay.

                                     BRENDA
                         I think David is lucky. Did you see that 
                         guy?

          40   EXT. FUNERAL HOME - A SHORT TIME LATER (DAY 5)                40   

                Claire's hearse pulls into the driveway.

          41   INT. CLAIRE'S HEARSE - CONTINUOUS                             41   

               Claire turns off the car, looks at her mother beside her.

                                     RUTH
                         Claire, I had an affair.

               A beat.

                                     RUTH (CONT'D)
                         For the last two years I was seeing 
                         someone. Your father never knew about 
                         it. At least, I hope he didn't. And I 
                         called it off after he died. 

               A beat.

                                     RUTH (CONT'D)
                         It's not something I'm proud of.

                                     CLAIRE
                         Why are you telling me this?

                                     RUTH
                         Because ot's the truth. And whatever 
                         relationship you and I have, I want it 
                         to be honest. Even if it means you hate 
                         me. 

                                     CLAIRE
                         Mom... I don't hate you
                              (quietly)
                         I remember going to the movies on Monday 
                         night, too. 

               Ruth looks like she might cry.

                                     CLAIRE (CONT'D)
                         But I'm seventeen years old now, I have 
                         my own life.  I need to figure things 
                         out on my own.
                                     (MORE)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        42.


                                     CLAIRE (CONT'D)
                         That's kind of like, normal.
                              (off Ruth's look)
                         And yes, I know stealing a foot is weird, 
                         but hello. Living in a house where a 
                         foot is available to be stolen is weird.

               A long beat.

                                     CLAIRE (CONT'D)
                         I have to get to school. 

                                     RUTH
                              (nods)
                         Well, thanks for going with me last night. 

                                     CLAIRE
                         Hey, it was fun.  In a please-let's-don't-
                         ever-do-that-again kind of way.

               Ruth smiles, gets out of the car and walks toward the house.  
               Claire watches her go, sadly. 

          42   EXT. ROSE CAFE - PARKING LOT - THE SAME TIME (DAY 5)          42   

               David and Keith walk toward their parked cars, LAUGHING.

                                     DAVID
                         Did you see his face?

                                     KEITH
                         Oh, man, I shouldn't be laughing, but he 
                         just looked so... stupefied.

                                     DAVID
                         And the way he was all, "Great, geat.  
                         I'm hip.  I'm cool." 

                                     KEITH
                         I'm proud of you, David.

               David smiles, embarrassed.

                                     KEITH (CONT'D)
                         So listen, the thing in Laguna is this 
                         Saturday night. I got us a room at the 
                         Surf and Sand, have you ever been there?

                                     DAVID
                              (suddenly subdued)
                         Uh, no.

                                     KEITH
                         Oh, you're going to love it.  Fireplace, 
                         overlooking the ocean...

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        43.


                                     DAVID
                         Keith, I don't think I can make it after 
                         all. 

               Keith just stares at him coolly.

                                     DAVID (CONT'D)
                         I shouldn't miss church.  Not while 
                         they're considering me for deaconship. 

               Keith says nothing.

                                     DAVID (CONT'D)
                         I'm sorry.  I know how much this meant 
                         to you. 

                                     KEITH
                         But not to you.

               A beat.

                                     KEITH (CONT'D)
                         Fine. We'll come back Saturday night.

                                     DAVID
                              (brightening)
                         That'll work. 

                                     KEITH
                         And I'll come with you to church on 
                         Sunday.

               A beat.

                                     DAVID
                              (miserable)
                         That's not a good idea.

               Keith smiles.

                                     KEITH
                         This whole thing hasn't been a good idea 
                         from the beginning, has it? Fine. Let's 
                         just cut our losses and call it quits 
                         right now.

               David is stunned.

                                     DAVID
                         What?

                                     KEITH
                         As long as you feel the need to keep our 
                         relationship a secret, you're still
                                     (MORE)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        44.


                                     KEITH (CONT'D)
                         ashamed of it. And I ain't having any of 
                         that, not any more.

                                     DAVID
                         I just came out to my brother!

                                     KEITH
                         Yeah. One step forward. But now you want 
                         to take a giant leap backwards into the 
                         fucking nineteenth century, straight 
                         into the arms of the enemy.

                                     DAVID
                         The enemy? The Oh, please. Just because 
                         we've been demonized, does not mean we 
                         have to demonize others.

                                     KEITH
                         What does it mean, then? That we should 
                         march willingly to our execution?

                                     DAVID
                              (angry)
                         So now I'm a Nazi collaborator? You know, 
                         a lot of African Americans might say the 
                         same thing about you being a member of 
                         the L.A.P.D.

               Keith is furious. David steps back from him instinctively.

                                     KEITH
                         You fucking coward.

               He gets into his car.

                                     KEITH (CONT'D)
                         Goodbye.

                                     DAVID 
                         Keith, please don't--

               He drives away, leaving David standing there.

          43   INT. VENICE BUNGALOW - THE SAME TIME (DAY 5)                  43   

               Vallejo's "SNAKE IN THE GRASS" plays on the STEREO. We HEAR 
               a KEY TURNING in the front door, then it's opened by Nate. 
               He enters, followed by Brenda.

                                     NATE
                              (re: key)
                         It works.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        45.


                                     BRENDA
                         You're sure you're not freaked out?

                                     NATE
                         About David? A little, maybe. It certainly 
                         makes him more interesting.

                                     BRENDA
                         I meant about me giving you a key to my 
                         place.

                                     NATE
                         What do you think I am, some aging Peter 
                         Pan, incapable of anything deeper than 
                         initial infatuation, who's going to 
                         disappear at the first sign of something 
                         a little more permanent?

                                     BRENDA 
                         Well, yeah.

               Nate laughs, takes her in his arms.

                                     NATE
                         You're one to talk. You couldn't even 
                         allow me to refer to you as my girlfriend_ 
                         They kiss.

               ANGLE ON BILLY CHENOWITH (28), standing in a doorway, watching 
               them, smiling. He's wearing only a towel around his waist 
               and his hair is wet.

                                     BILLY
                         Don't mind me.

               Nate and Brenda break apart. Nate stares at Billy, confused; 
               Brenda seems irritated.

                                     BRENDA
                         I thought we agreed that you would call 
                         me before you came over.

                                     BILLY
                         I did. The hot water in my building is 
                         out, and I needed to shower.
                              (off her look)
                         Aw. Don't be mad. You know I hate it 
                         when you're mad at me.

               Brenda hits a button on her ANSWERING MACHINE.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        46.


                                     BILLY (CONT'D)
                              (on machine)
                         Hi, it's me. I need to use your shower, 
                         okay? Besides, I haven't seen you in a 
                         while, and it's a fucking gorgeous day.

               The answering machine BEEPS, then clicks off.

                                     BILLY  (CONT'D)
                         Satisfied?

               An awkward beat. Nate looks at Brenda, who just shrugs.

                                     BRENDA
                         I'm going to make some tea.

               She exits into the kitchen.

                                     BILLY
                              (calls after)
                         Hey, I'll take one of those. 
                              (to Nate, friendly)
                         Hi. What's your name?

                                     NATE
                         Nate.

                                     BILLY
                              (extends his hand)
                         Nice to meet you, Nate. I'm Billy.

                                     NATE
                         Hi.

                                     BILLY
                         How long have you known Brenda?

                                     NATE
                         A... few months.

               A beat.

                                     NATE (CONT'D)
                         So, uh...

                                     BILLY
                         Who am I, and why am I in your 
                         girlfriend's house, practically naked? 
                              (grins)
                         She's my sister.

               He suddenly slaps himself.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        47.


                                     BILLY (CONT'D)
                         She's my mother. 
                              (slaps himself)
                         My sister.
                              (slaps himself))
                         My mother.

               Nate just stares at him, uncomfortable. Billy LAUGHS good- 
               naturedly.

                                     BILLY (CONT'D)
                         Sorry. Nobody's ever laughed at that, I 
                         should know better.
                              (then)
                         She really is my sister. You can relax.

                                     NATE
                         Oh. Nice to meet you.

                                     BILLY
                         You met the parents yet?

                                     NATE
                         Yes. Last night.

                                     BILLY
                         Wow. You've made it pretty far. So why 
                         haven't I heard about you?

                                     NATE
                         No idea.

               A beat.

                                     BILLY
                         Well, I'd better go put an some clothes.

               He heads out of the room. 

               ON NATE, suddenly spotting:

               HIS POV: The name ISABEL is tattooed on the small of Billy's 
               back, just above the towel around his waist.

               BACK ON NATE, disturbed.

               FADE TO WHITE.

               FADE IN:

          44   INT. SLUMBER ROOM - (DAY 5)                                   44   

               The slumber room has been converted into a makeshift chapel. 
               A crowd of about a hundred mourners are seated in rows of

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        48.


               folding chairs. LARRY REEMS, a sleazy-looking GUY in his 
               fifties approaches a flower-bedecked podium.

                                     LARRY
                         Hello. I'm Larry Reems.

               There is a smattering of APPLAUSE.

                                     LARRY (CONT'D)
                         Thank you.

               He takes a folded paper from his coat pocket, puts on a pair 
               of glasses to read it.

                                     LARRY (CONT'D)
                         I met Viveca St. John before she even 
                         made her first video... she was a fluffer 
                         on the set of "DIRTY LARRY 3." Now, I've 
                         been fluffed by a lot of chicks, and 
                         usually?  They're not into it. Some of 
                         them out and out resent it, and let you 
                         know about it, if you know what I mean. 
                         But not Viveca. She was a real pro, 
                         friendly and eager, and I can honestly 
                         say, I've never received a better blow 
                         job in my life. And nobody was even 
                         filming her.

               ANGLE ON Ross Michaels as he dabs at his eyes with a 
               handkerchief.

          45   INT. WISTERIA ROOM - CONTINUOUS (DAY 5)                       45   

               David sits with a conservative-looking COUPLE in their 
               forties. He's filling out a form on his clipboard.

                                     DAVID
                         ...now, Mrs. Murdoch, we can either hold 
                         the service here, or at the church...

                                     MRS. MURDOCH
                         Oh, I don't know...

               She starts to cry. Her husband squeezes her hand.

                                     DAVID
                         Some people prefer the solemnity of a 
                         church. And All Souls is a beautiful 
                         setting. Here, however, one is a little 
                         more free to customize the service...

               A thirty-ish PORNO ACTRESS pokes her head through the door. 
               Asian, with bleached-blonde hair and a dress that showcases 
               her large breasts.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        49.


                                     PORNO ACTRESS
                         I'm sorry to interrupt you, but I just 
                         have to tell somebody. Viveca looks so 
                         great. Her tits have never looked better.
                              (on the verge of tears)
                         She was like a sister to me.

               The MURDOCHS stare at her, appalled. David quickly gauges 
               the situation, then stands and crosses to the Porno Actress.  
               We should think he's going to yell at her... but instead, he 
               takes her hand.

                                     DAVID
                              (kindly)
                         I'm glad you're pleased. We want to 
                         remember her at her very best, don't we?

               The Porno Actress nods.

                                     DAVID (CONT'D)
                         Now, I'm sorry, but I'm helping some 
                         other people right now. I'll talk to you 
                         after the service.

               He shows the Porno Actress out, then turns back to the 
               conservative Couple.

                                     DAVID (CONT'D)
                         We're burying a woman today who was an 
                         actress in pornographic films. Some other 
                         establishments might have refused to 
                         handle her funeral, but I won't turn 
                         people away in this time of need.  
                         Whatever sins she may have committed are 
                         between her and God.

               The MURDOCHS look at him, impressed. He retrieves his 
               clipboard and sits back down, the picture of dignity. From 
               the slumber room, we suddenly hear a raucous WHOOPING

                                     MRS. MURDOCH
                         I think we'll have Dad's service at the 
                         church.

          46   INT. FUNERAL HOME - MOMENTS LATER (DAY 5)                     46   

               Ruth walks down the stairs and approaches the slumber room.

          47   INT. SLUMBER ROOM - CONTINUOUS (DAY 5)                        47   

               The Porno Actress now stands at the podium, weeping.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        50.


                                     PORNO ACTRESS
                         --and I had never gone down on a girl 
                         before, so naturally I was nervous. But 
                         Viveca was so warm and relaxed about it, 
                         she really put me at ease...
                              (laughs)
                         Well, her and the two Xanex she gave me.

               Scattered LAUGHTER from the crowd.

               ANGLE ON Ruth, watching through a crack in the door at the 
               back of the room, mortified.

                                     PORNO ACTRESS (O.C.) (CONT'D)
                         And then the first time I ever had to do 
                         a double penetration, I was a total wreck, 
                         but Viveca--

          48   EXT. FUNERAL HOME - CONTINUOUS (DAY 5)                        48   

               Nate sits on the front porch in his suit, reading Charlotte 
               Light and Dark, brow furrowed. Ruth emerges from the house.

                                     RUTH
                         Nate. What the hell is going on in there?

                                     NATE 
                         A funeral.

                                     RUTH
                         For whom? A prostitute?

                                     NATE
                         A woman who was a star of adult videos.

                

                                     NATE (CONT'D)
                              (off her horrified look)
                         Mom. We're going to clear almost eight 
                         grand from this. We can finally pay for 
                         all that air conditioning work.

                                     RUTH
                              (rattled)
                         I'm just glad your sister is at school.

          49   INT. HIGH SCHOOL GUIDANCE COUNSELOR'S OFFICE - THE SAME TIME 
               (DAY 5)                                                       49   

               Claire sits across from Gary Deitman.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        51.


                                     CLAIRE
                         It was awful. They were like best friends, 
                         only they were both like, cheerleaders 
                         for this totally plastic way of life, 
                         like, spinning class solves everything. 
                         And they were like, hot for the same 
                         guy, it was creepy.

               A long pause. Claire looks like she might cry.

                                     CLAIRE (CONT'D)
                         My mom is so... she's so fucking sad. I 
                         just wish I could help her.

                                     GARY 
                         So help her.

               Claire stares at him.

          50   INT. SLUMBER ROOM - THE SAME TIME (DAY 5)                     50   

               Nate and Federico are seated in the back of the room.

               Their POV: Viveca St. John lies in her casket, her breasts 
               pointing straight up.

                                     NATE
                              (sotto)
                         How'd you get her breasts synchronized? 
                         Some sort of industrial epoxy?

                                     FEDERICO
                              (proudly)
                         I stuck a can of cat food under each 
                         one.

               Ross Michaels gets up and approaches the podium. He's been 
               crying non-stop and he looks like hell. When he finally 
               speaks, he's barely audible.

                                     ROSS
                         I'm not a religious man. But I do believe 
                         in God. And if I were to make a list of 
                         the things I thank God for the most, 
                         fucking Viveca would be at the top of 
                         that list.

               David enters and sits near the back.

                                     ROSS (CONT'D)
                         She was a goddamn force of nature and I 
                         loved her. And I know that God loved her 
                         too. After all, he made her.

               CLOSE ON DAVID, listening.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        52.


                                     ROSS (CONT'D)
                         And I think he knew just what he was 
                         doing, and how much joy she was going to 
                         bring the world...

               SMASH CUT TO:

          51   INT. ALL SOULS EPISCOPAL CHURCH - (DAY 6)                     51   

               CLOSE ON DAVID (from the same angle), standing, listening.

                                     FATHER BART (O.S.)
                         For David James Fisher, chosen deacon in 
                         your Church, we pray to you, 0 Lord.

                                     CONGREGATION (O.C.)
                         Lord, hear our prayer.

               Father Bart speaks from the pulpit.

                                     FATHER BART
                         That he may faithfully fulfill the duties 
                         of this ministry, build up your Church, 
                         and glorify your Name, we pray to you, 0 
                         Lord.

                                     CONGREGATION 
                         Lord, hear our prayer.

               David closes his eyes, praying.

                                     FATHER BART (O.S.)
                         That by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit 
                         he may be sustained and encouraged to 
                         persevere to the end, we pray to you, 0 
                         Lord.

               Ruth, Claire, Nate and Brenda are seated in one of the front 
               pews.

                                     RUTH/CLAIRE/NATE/CONGREGATION 
                         Lord, hear our prayer.

                                     FATHER BART
                         For his family, that they may be adorned 
                         with all Christian virtues, we pray to 
                         you, O Lord.

               ON DAVID, as he suddenly spots...

               Hiram Gunderson, seated in the congregation.

                                     HIRAM/CONGREGATION 
                         Lord, hear our prayer.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        53.


               ON DAVID, as he suddenly spots...

               HIS POV: Seated in the very back of the church is Viveca St. 
               John. She smiles and waves, then blows him a kiss.

                                     FATHER BART
                         For all who fear God and believe in you, 
                         Lord Christ, that our divisions may cease 
                         and that all may be one as you and the 
                         Father are one, we pray to you, O Lord.

               BACK ON DAVID, his face unreadable.

                                     CONGREGATION 
                         Lord, hear our prayer.

          52   EXT. ALL SOULS EPISCOPAL CHURCH - A SHORT TIME LATER (DAY 6)  52   

               Everyone is gathered outside the church, congratulating David. 
               Nate hugs him awkwardly.

                                     NATE
                         Good for you, Dave. Now all I've gotta 
                         do is join the Kiwanis Club and Fisher 
                         and Sons will have all our bases covered.

               David smiles obliquely.

                                     NATE (CONT'D)
                         Hey, where's Keith?

                                     DAVID
                         Why would he be here? 
                              (off Nate's look)
                         He's just a friend, Nate.

               He crosses off. Nate stands there, confused. 

               ANGLE ON RUTH AND CLAIRE:

                                     CLAIRE
                              (offhand)
                         So Mom, what are you doing tomorrow night?

                                     RUTH
                         Nothing as far as I know. Why?

                                     CLAIRE
                              (offhand)
                         I thought you might want to go see a 
                         movie, or rent a video, or something.

               Ruth smiles at her, deeply touched.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        54.


                                     CLAIRE (CONT'D)
                         Okay, but if you start crying, the whole 
                         thing is off.

               ANGLE ON DAVID AND FATHER BART:

                                     FATHER BART
                         And we do an outreach program for the 
                         homeless, providing hot meals, and 
                         counseling, you might be interested that 
                         as well.

                                     DAVID
                         I would be, Father. I'm... finding myself 
                         with a little more free time these days, 
                         I'd like to do something to help people.

               Tracy Blair (the Junior Leaguer) approaches them.

                                     TRACY
                         David!  Congratulations! I'm so proud of 
                         you!

                                     DAVID 
                         Thank you.

                                     TRACY 
                         Where's your fiancee?

               David stares at her, uncomfortable...Father Bart gives him a 
               quizzical look.

               ANGLE ON NATE AND BRENDA:

                                     NATE
                         Thanks for coming today. I know you must 
                         have found this all...

                                     BRENDA
                         It was mildly diverting. Nice stained 
                         glass.

                                     NATE
                              (puts his arm around her)
                         Well... it was kind of cool being here 
                         with you in front of God and everybody.

               Brenda smiles at him and leans against his shoulder. It's a 
               warm, affectionate, comfortable moment... then:

                                     BRENDA
                         You don't really believe in God, do you?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                        55.


                                     NATE
                         Well... yeah. I mean, I don't believe in 
                         some bearded old white man up on a cloud, 
                         but... I believe in something. Some sort 
                         of undefinable, creative force.

                                     BRENDA
                         I think it's all just totally random.

                                     NATE
                         Really.

                                     BRENDA
                         Yeah. We live, we die, and ultimately, 
                         nothing means anything.

               Nate looks at her, disturbed.

                                     NATE
                         How can you live like that?

                                     BRENDA
                         I don't know. Sometimes I feel so fucking 
                         empty I wish I'd never been born.
                              (laughs)
                         But what choice do I have?

               She kisses his cheek and walks away, happy. 

               ON NATE, unsettled, watching her go. 

               FADE TO WHITE.