Screenplay: Episode 1, Scene 5: Saturday Evening

Chapter 5 Saturday Evening

[INT. TIMELESS, FRONT LOBBY]

TRACE: I was hoping I’d catch you…Mouse.

(Trace emerges from the shadows. Trace leans on a counter casual-seductively)

CHRISTINE: Christine.

TRACE: Right. Let’s just stick with Mouse. You know, you never should have hit that stage without seeing me first. I need to take care of you.

CHRISTINE: Take care of me?

TRACE: There’s paperwork, forms to sign. Step this way, please, miss.“

CHRISTINE: But I was just…

(Trace points to a hand-made sign that says “These premises monitored by video surveillance AT ALL TIMES! The world is watching. Be warned.”)

TRACE: That’s the first thing. I assume she told you we livestream those practices to the website? You’ll have to sign off on that, and other publicity stuff. If, of course, you’re going to play?

CHRISTINE: Well, I just played. Did that get broadcast on your livestream?

TRACE: Of course.

CHRISTINE: So, if I don’t sign, you guys are in breach already, right?

TRACE: I suppose. Listen, Christine, I ask because I really hope you will join us. You’re obviously talented, quite…pretty, just what we need to round out the show. Please, say you will?“

CHRISTINE: Why don’t you give me the stuff you want signed?

(Trace watches Christine, then slides over a folder with a stack of papers inside. Christine flips through them distastefully.)

CHRISTINE: You people want me to sign my life away.

TRACE: Just any liability we might have for it. You take responsibility for yourself in these walls, and you let us use what we record. That’s what this jargon means. Are you in?

CHRISTINE: I don’t know if I’m, uh, in, exactly. But if I don’t sign all these, I can’t play again, is that what you’re saying?

TRACE: That’s right.

(Christine picks up the pen and signs each paper. Trace indicates places to initial and date. Trace stacks the papers neatly into the folder)

TRACE: You live with Chris? Bash’s friend from school?

CHRISTINE: Yes.

TRACE: A nicely proportioned man, your Chris, quite attractive. We miss seeing him around here. For awhile he was here all the time. Now, not at all.

CHRISTINE: Really?

TRACE: Bash misses him, but I don’t think Chris was ever coming here to see Bash. Actually, I don’t think we’ve seen him since Luca left.

CHRISTINE: Who’s Luca?

TRACE: Luca, our diappearing sound tech. She and Chris seemed close, but then, she left, and now, you’re here, so mystery solved! Maybe we’ll see more of Chris again if you’re going to be around? Well, I’ve got everything I need. We’re done here. Off you go.

(Christine turns to leave)

TRACE: Welcome to Timeless!

CHRISTINE: Um, thanks?

(Christine exits)

[EXT. CITY STREET, DUSK]

(Christine walks quickly through a dicey neighbourhood, clearly aware of her vulnerability. Christine hears fast-approaching steps and begins to speed up. Trix lopes up beside Christine and throws her arm around Christine’s shoulder, taking Christine by surprise)

TRIX: Hey, Mouse, so what do you think?

(Christine reacts to the nickname, pulling away)

TRIX: What? You don’t like me calling you Mouse? What would you have your nickname be?

CHRISTINE: I don’t want a nickname.

(Trix stops. Christine stops. Trix leans down to look Christine in the eyes)

TRIX: Tell me your secret name.

CHRISTINE:  Sun.

(Trix chuckles, taking Christine’s chin in her hand to inspect  the scar on her neck)

TRIX: Yes, little one, you might be a giant in there somewhere. How to let it out without the burn, hmm?

(Christine pulls away. Christine and Trix resume walking)

CHRISTINE:  Why Mouse?

TRIX: Small as a…cute as a…

(Trix tickles Christine’s tummy in a playful way. Christine giggles in surprise, then pouts)

CHRISTINE: More like, quiet as a…or mousey…

TRIX: (snorts) I don’t think anyone would take it that way…well maybe as an irony. No one could describe you as mousey, Christine. You’re quite lovely. Surely you know you’re beautiful?

CHRISTINE: Well, I know you think I’m hot. What was THAT last night? I don’t even know you and you’re coming on to me in front of my boyfriend?

TRIX: “That”? That’s who I need to be at a nightclub, and you got my attention, little girl. Wherever I am, whatever I’m doing, I just am who I need to be for that. It’s a trick you could learn, you know. You might be happier. Anyway, Chris is a big boy, he can handle it. And surely I didn’t hurt your pride, either?

(They walk in silence)

TRIX: So, you’ll play, then, for sure on Friday. Right?

CHRISTINE: I don’t know the music.

(Trix tosses Christine a cd from her jacket. Christine looks unimpressed)

CHRISTINE: How can I practice? I don’t have a guitar.

TRIX: A true musician needs no instrument to practice. Listen. Contemplate. Ready yourself.

CHRISTINE: What are you, Yoda?

TRIX: (laughs) You can use my Gibson when you’re here until you have your own. At home, try my way. Listen to the music. Imagine yourself inside it. Your body can follow with what you’ve taught it so well.

CHRISTINE: You’re too tall to be Yoda.

TRIX: So you will come? I need to know today.

CHRISTINE: Okay, I’ll come.

(Trix seems very happy and also relieved)

TRIX: Good. Practice every day at 1pm. Don’t be late.

CHRISTINE: Every day? All afternoon? Trix, I can’t. I have to find a job.

TRIX: What? Getting your ass pinched waiting tables at the hard rock cafe?

CHRISTINE: Yes, or something. In the short term. Later I can look around for…I don’t know. Movie background music? Maybe teach?

TRIX: And that is the extent of your aspirations?

CHRISTINE: Who am I to have aspirations? A steady income will do.

(Christine stumbles and falls. On the ground, Christine begins laughing, slightly hysterically. As Trix bends to pull her up, the bus drives by. Christine and Trix laugh while Trix helps her up. They walk, hand in hand, to the empty bus stop, the bus having pulled away. Trix turns Christine toward her.)

TRIX: Look, it’s hard to get beyond ourselves, beyond where we’ve been and what we think is wrong with us, to imagine what’s possible. I know you’re still behind that wall, but you mustn’t give up. I can see your potential.

(Christine does not respond)

TRIX: Christine? This is no big deal for you. One night on a stage for a big crowd! To feel that way is rare. Why wouldn’t you want that? I don’t understand your hesitation.

CHRISTINE: I said I’ll come.

(Trix rests her forehead on Christine’s forehead.)

TRIX: Don’t let me down.

(Trix raises her head and looks around)

TRIX: Mouse, why are we standing at a bus stop?

CHRISTINE: So I can go home?

TRIX: I’ll take you home. Come on!

(Trix takes Christine by the hand and the two run back the direction they came)

(Cut to Trix and Christine riding an old Indian motorcycle. Gorgeous blue-lit side-shot against graffiti’ed brick.)

[EXT. STREET OUTSIDE CHRIS’ APARTMENT, EVENING]

(Trix and Christine pull up on the street outside student-grade century apartments. Trix turns off the bike and dismounts in time to catch loose-legged Christine. )

CHRISTINE: Whew! I’m a bit whoopdazzled from that ride!

TRIX: Whoopdazzled! I love it. Good album title, maybe.

CHRIS (off camera, through the window of the top floor apartment): (laughs loudly)

CHRISTINE: Do you want my phone number? I mean, we can’t have you emailing Chris every time you want me.

TRIX: No, we can’t have that. Okay, zap it to me.

(Trix and Christine fiddle with their phones)

CHRISTINE: What about you?

TRIX: I know how to find you. You can get me on email.

CHRISTINE: You won’t give me your number?

TRIX: Okay, I will, but I’ll warn you now – don’t bother texting me.

(Trix fiddles with her phone)

CHRISTINE: Why not?

TRIX: I get a thousand a day. I never look at them.

CHRISTINE: So, what, I’m supposed to call you? That seems rude.

TRIX: Either I’m available or I’m not. Call back twice, fast, and I’ll figure it’s an emergency and answer. So, don’t call twice fast unless it’s an emergency. Got it?

CHRISTINE: Got it.

(Trix and Christine stand in silence. Christine hands Trix the helmet.)

CHRISTINE: Thanks for the ride!

TRIX: Are you okay with the world the way it is, Mouse?

CHRISTINE: What? Where did that come from?

(Trix watches Christine. Christine shuffles uncomfortably)

CHRISTINE: I don’t know. The world is the way it is. What’s that got to do with me?

TRIX: Aren’t you in the world?

CHRISTINE: Yes, but it’s going to go on just the same with or without me.

TRIX:You don’t think you can make a difference?

CHRISTINE: I don’t mean that, exactly. Look, I get confused when I think about this kind of…existential stuff. I feel upset, so mostly I just try not to think about it. I know that makes me shallow.

TRIX: Shh, don’t stress. It’s just conversation. You’re an interesting specimen, Mouse. I’ll see you at practice tomorrow.

CHRISTINE: Trix, I have to see, okay? Let me listen to the music. I have a life to rebuild, Chris…and I don’t know if I can take this on. I think I want to, but music is complicated for me, I can’t think when I’m in its grasp, you know? You’re so…and it’s all really…but my head is too full.

(Trix waits, unimpressed.)

CHRISTINE: Look, if I don’t come tomorrow, can I come anyway, another day? Or is that it, I’m blackballed?

TRIX: ‘If he came yesterday and we weren’t here you may be sure he won’t come again today.’

CHRISTINE: Um…Waiting for Godot?

(Trix smiles)

CHRISTINE: Fine! But what do you mean?

TRIX: When you come, we’re there. I have the cheese – I saw how you held my guitar, sweet Mouse. You’ll be back. But, I hope you come tomorrow.

(Trix kisses Christine’s cheek then mounts the bike and begins kickstarting it. Trix motions Christine to the door and waits until she goes in before speeding off.)

 NEXT

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