The Screenplay-novel Manifestos

Less is more vivid

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


RECAP: After a rough first day at work, Paul arrives home, physically and emotionally exhausted.

He has one message on his answering machine. Its from his mother, and the final sentence in it is somewhat mysteriously worded something to do with her not hearing back for several days from her ex-husband -- his father.

Paul ignores the message and collapses on his bed, almost instantly falling asleep.


Paul lies on his bed, sleeping fitfully.

SFX: Traffic outside his window. We hear this for several seconds.

SFX: [loudly] The phone ringing.

PAUL: [sitting bold upright, startled into being awake] Whamphh?

SFX: The phone continues ringing.

PAUL: Jesus.

He gets up and grabs the phone, knocking the handset awkwardly off the cradle before picking it up properly.

PAUL: [mumbling] Hello?

WOMANS VOICE: Oh, hi, honey. Did I wake you?

PAUL: [still groggy] Oh, no, its okay. I just fell asleep for a few minutes. Really beat.

MOTHER: Oh, Im so sorry! I didnt know!

PAUL: No, no, its fine. Whats up?

MOTHER: Oh, nothing. I was just wondering how your first day was. Did you get my message?

PAUL: Oh yeah. Sure.

MOTHER: Have you heard from Dad?

PAUL: What? No.

MOTHER: Oh. He called me a few days ago and asked me to call him back. So I did. But he didnt answer. So I left a message. But now hes not calling.

PAUL: Yeah, well, you know Dad.

MOTHER: Its not as if I care! But he should call back. How will other people see him if he acts that way with them?

PAUL: I dont know if that many people really know or care about Dad anymore. Thats part of the problem.

MOTHER: [starting] Well, I dont --. [Biting her tongue] Anyway, if you hear from him, just tell him that I want to know what the problem is. Thats all.

PAUL: Sure.

MOTHER: And everything else? Its okay?

PAUL: Sure.

MOTHER: You didnt tell me how your first day was.

PAUL: It was fine. A little rocky at first. But then fine.

MOTHER: Im glad to hear it. Well, Ill let you get back to sleep, then.

PAUL: [without emotion] Yeah, sure. G'night.


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