Showing posts with label Brimstone and Treacle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brimstone and Treacle. Show all posts

Saturday, 28 July 2018


"The sacrifices are burnt on an altar. Why? 

Well, the smoke rises. 

Well, so what? 

Well, God’s up in the sky and if the smoke rises up there, he gets a whiff of it, he can tell what the quality of the sacrifice was. 

Job 5:7

And you can laugh about that and you can think about it as primitive, but it’s not primitive, it’s artistic and it’s beautiful and it’s accurate and here’s why. 

Because before the invention of the electrical light and maybe before the invention of fire, the closest a human could ever get to confrontation with the absolute unknown was to look up at the night sky. 

Because the night sky, especially when it’s sprinkled with stars, confronts you directly with the fact of the infinite. 

And to make the presupposition that God resides in the infinite, and you’re having a direct experience of the infinite at that moment, is not a primitive notion. 

It’s a very intelligent and creative hypothesis and so the notion that God occupies the sky, and the day sky being as equally impressive as the night sky, is not a primitive hypothesis. 

It’s a reflection of the nature of a certain kind of human experience. 

You burn something and you send the smoke up. 

God gets a crack at determining the quality of your offering, the quality of your sacrifice. 

Well, let’s be perfectly clear about this. 

If your sacrifices aren’t first rate, the nature of your relationship with the infinite is going to suffer dreadfully. 

And that’s exactly what the story of Cain and Abel reveals."

          The Stones "Sympathy for the Devil" kicks up as we wait...
          The doors split open and HARLING MAYS steps out. HARLING has
          a pony tail and a goatee and is probably wearing a Tommy
          Bahama button down shirt.
          We follow HARLING as he strides down the hall. With ear buds
          in, HARLING points a Sanyo pistol-shaped cam corder at the
          ATTENDING NURSE at the nurses' station, recording her...
                          HARLING MAYS
           I'm on the list baby girl. Check
           the list for Mr. Mays. Harling.
          The Stones continue to wail as Harling strolls on, adjusting
          the duffel bag he has slung over his shoulder.
          HARLING stands in the doorway looking in. He sees...
          The MORNING NURSE is helping WHIP to stand. HARLING points
          his camcorder at WHIP and the NURSE.
           HARLING MAYS (O.C.)
           If this is gonna turn into a sponge
           bath, I'll come back.
          HARLING immediately goes to WHIP and supports him.
           It's okay, Harling.
                          HARLING MAYS
           That's right honey, I'm on the
           list. Harling Mays. Some say they
           Harling knew me.
          HARLING boxes her out. She steps away.
           HARLING MAYS (CONT'D)
           Honey can you hustle us a couple of
           daiquiris and a cocktail weenie?
           On second thought just bring the
           booze. I brought my own weenie.
          No reaction as the NURSE collects the trash and towels.
          HARLING focuses his camcorder on the NURSE and leaves WHIP in
          an unsteady stance. HARLING films her and comments...
           HARLING MAYS (CONT'D)
           She's offended, and she should be. I'm a pig. And I hate me. That's  what we have in common Nurse Ratched...we both hate me.
          And she's gone. HARLING turns to WHIP.
           HARLING MAYS (CONT'D)
           Whip? What the fuck my man?
           They're sayin', "Sweet Jesus, what
           a fuckin' stud that pilot is."
           You're a hero, no shit. You will
           never pay for another drink in this
           life time. There is crazy news
           people all over, look at this shit--
          HARLING helps WHIP to the window...
          From WHIP's window we can see a slew of news vans with signal
          towers as well as reporters milling about -- a small zoo.
          HARLING and WHIP stare for a moment at the circus below.
          WHIP doesn't last long and slowly returns to the bed as
          HARLING continues to gawk.
                          HARLING MAYS
           Classic hero worship, you're a rock
           star man. You gotta see the video
           I've got -- I'm making a doc about
           you, well us, y'know?
          HARLING pulls an iPad out of his knapsack and flips it open.
          He lets a collection of videos run...
           HARLING MAYS (CONT'D)
           This is outside your condo...
          On HARLING's iPad we see footage of PRESS swarming outside
          WHIP's condo. We also see the crash scene footage.
           HARLING MAYS (CONT'D)
           Look that's me, and that`s Mark
  know that douchey
           talking haircut from local Atlanta
           channel 3? I said a few words.
           Just straight talk, y'know?
          WHIP's hands shake as he grabs the bed frame. HARLING takes
          notice and stashes the iPad...
           HARLING MAYS (CONT'D)
           You okay Captain Whitaker? Easy...
          HARLING helps him get settled. We see the beads of sweat on
          WHIP's lip and forehead.
           The meds they're giving me are
           fucking me up -- I'm all shaky and
           dried out. I can't sleep good.
          HARLING immediately picks up the small paper cup that holds
          WHIP's pain meds. He fishes out the two pills and stares at
          them. HARLING shakes his head.
                          HARLING MAYS
           Aprazolam? That's generic Xanax and
           this Hydrocodone is generic
           Vicodin. It's shit, prolly
          HARLING casually tosses the pills down his gullet and
          expertly swallows them without water. He grabs WHIP's
          medical chart and scours it as he prattles on...
           HARLING MAYS (CONT'D)
           We want the premium stuff. Blue
           label...not the fucking well shit.
           Where's the dihydromorphinone?
           Or just some fucking Palladone
           would suffice. What is this?
           Fucking amateur hour over here?
           Get that goddamned doctor in here.
           You just saved a 100 people from
           death, they should get your fuckin'
           meds right.
           (calls to the door)
           YO! ROOM SERVICE!
           Listen Harling, leave it alone.
                          (HARLING CHILLS)
           So you got my message and decided
           not to call me back? Did you bring
           me smokes?
                          HARLING MAYS
           I decided to come by instead. And
           yes I got your fucking message and
           yes I brought you smokes.
          HARLING hands WHIP a pack of smokes from his pocket. He also
          pulls out a carton of smokes from his backpack.
           HARLING MAYS (CONT'D)
           Here is a fresh carton, enjoy. You
           fucking earned it -- you smoke your
           nuts off, champion. If I were you
           I'd fire up right here in the God
           damn room. Fuck'em, you're
           immortal, you're a fucking God man.
          WHIP motions with his hands to "calm down."
                          HARLING MAYS
           Sorry Whip. It's just...this is
           big time, man. You're a hero in a
           time when we really need heroes.
           Shut the fuck up, Harling...Six
           people died.
                          HARLING MAYS
           96 people lived! When are you
           gonna take yes for an answer? Pick
           up the phone, man. Fuck.
          HARLING pulls something from his vest pocket and puts it in
          WHIP'S hand. WHIP looks at it and back at HARLING.
           HARLING MAYS (CONT'D)
           Here's a pint of Smirnoff and a few
           Red Bulls. You know what I'm
           sayin'? I know my customer.
          HARLING continues to pull items from the bag.
           Harling, take the vodka with you.
          HARLING freezes his frenzied energy with this odd command.
                          HARLING MAYS
           What?! Take the vodka? Dude, are
           you insane? I'm gonna just tuck it
           in the bottom of your-
           Take the fucking vodka!
          HARLING hears him this time and raises his hand and nods,
          putting the VODKA back in his own duffel. HARLING tosses a
          tee shirt, sweat pants and flip-flops on the bed, then...
                          HARLING MAYS
           Okay man. Check it out.
          HARLING holds up a silk Japanese Happi Coat, with elaborate
          stitching depicting colorful birds flying around Mt. Fuji.
           Look, I'm tired man.
                          HARLING MAYS
           I'm out. You rest up.
           You gotta come and get me,
          WHIP pulls his keys from the bag that CHARLIE gave him.
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           Here are my keys. Go to the condo
           and bring me some nice clothes I
           can wear, my phone charger and grab
           the veal outta my fridge. It's
                          HARLING MAYS
           The veal?
           Yeah, the veal that's in my
                          HARLING MAYS
           Done and done. What time you need
           me here?
           Tomorrow. I'll call you.
                          HARLING MAYS
           Send the mayday and you're outta
           here in 7 minutes.
                          (A SMILE)
           I got you a few stroke mags too.
           I've been in hospitals. I know
           what you need. JUGS, HOT MILFS in
           heat. ASSMASTERS. You should just
           stroke it all day. You're a hero --
           know what I'm saying? If I was in
           here I'd be jerkin' it all day
           long. See, there's a smile.
          HARLING puts his hand on WHIP's forehead in an attempt to
          reassure him. A quiet moment before HARLING slips out.
          WHIP wakes up in a cold sweat. He is breathing heavy as he
          scans the room. LIGHTENING FLASHES from outside the window.
          Thunder RUMBLES.
          WHIP looks to the night stand where we see a pack of nicotine
          gum has been chewed through. WHIP uses his hands to get to
          the edge of the bed. He roots through the duffle bag that
          HARLING left and finds a pack of smokes and a Bic lighter
          still in its package.
          Determined to smoke, WHIP eyes a WHEEL CHAIR that has been
          placed next to his bed. Leaning against the wheelchair is a
          medical cane.
          Wearing his Happi Coat (or robe), WHIP limps in to the empty
          hallway with the use of his cane. He checks the quiet
          corridor as he begins his quest...
          INT. HOSPITAL -- FIRE DOOR -- 11:38 PM
          The door swings open, and no one appears to be on the other
          side. Now WHIP fights to push the heavy door open again to
          slip through. A hand grabs the door and holds it. WHIP
          walks into the sanctity of the stairwell.
          We find the owner of the helping hand was NICOLE who returns
          to a quiet spot along the wall of the stairwell as she
          demurely smokes a cigarette.
           Thank you.
          WHIP leans his cane against the wall and carefully pulls a
          pack of smokes from his pocket.
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           I didn't think anyone would have
           the same devious thought about
           using the fire stairs to have a
          NICOLE smiles and looks down, awkward around men when she is
          not loaded. She drops her cigarette which we see was barely
          smoked as she maneuvers to leave.
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           Don't go. I'll be quiet.
          He offers her a cigarette, she takes it.
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           We don't have to talk. Be nice to just smoke with someone.

And they do. They sit in silence as the stairwell fills up with smoke. After a long beat... NICOLE Were you on the plane? WHIP studies her, she's beautiful in an exhausted way... WHIP Yeah, I was. Were you? Nicole shakes her head. NICOLE Where were you sitting? WHIP Up near the front. Again it falls silent as we let them smoke and think in the sanctity of the fire stairs. A VOICE breaks their silence. VOICE (O.S.) Tobacco's but an Indian weed, Grows green in the morn, cut down at eve; It shows our decay, We are but clay;...I love the smell of Nicotina in the morning. Smells like...victory. We hear a metallic rattle and WHIP and NICOLE look to the stairs. VOICE (CONT'D) Don't flee dear comrades! Really, wait for me, please. A GAUNT YOUNG MAN makes his way to their landing. He is dressed in a hospital gown and carrying an I.V. pole on which hangs a small bag of clear liquid. The man's hair has completely left him. His skin is gray. Eyes hollowed from his battle with cancer. GAUNT YOUNG MAN Can I bum a smoke? WHIP offers him a cigarette. He takes it and fires it up with a lighter he keeps stowed in the pocket of his gown. GAUNT YOUNG MAN (CONT'D) I should quit, my cancer might get cancer. (SILENCE) Joke. You guys in the plane crash? NICOLE He was. WHIP looks at the ground as the GAUNT YOUNG MAN studies him. GAUNT YOUNG MAN (it hits him) You're the fucking pilot. Nicole gives Whip a look. 55. GAUNT YOUNG MAN (CONT'D) I saw you on TV. Holy shit, man. Tough deal, but you walked away or it looks like you limped away. WHIP Yeah, I'm lucky. Goin' home tomorrow. GAUNT YOUNG MAN Home. Home for me is The Basement, they keep cancer treatment in the basement. I'm livin' here. WHIP You're living here? GAUNT YOUNG MAN No. I'm dying here. WHIP What kind of cancer?  
           Fibro-mixzoid sarcoma, soft tissue sarcoma. Very rare, God chose me.
          GAUNT YOUNG MAN laughs.
           God chose you? You believe in God?
           GAUNT YOUNG MAN
           Fuck yeah bitch. You're a stupid fucker if you don't believe in God.
          The GOD topic has silenced the stairwell...
           As soon as you realize that the
           random events in your life are
  will live a much better
           life. You spend your life
           believing that you have all the
           control over what happens.
           Bullshit. The plane you're flying
           goes down? Out of your control.
           God gives you cancer. I have no
           control over that. Did God give me
           cancer? You bet your ass God gave
           me cancer. You think if I begged
           for cancer God would have given it
           to me?
           No...because I assure you I have
           begged for God to take it away -
           and guess what? I have no control
           over that.
          GAUNT YOUNG MAN smokes the cig to the nub and rubs the
          remains against the smooth concrete wall.
           Can I get another smoke? What's
           wrong with you honey? You're
           beautiful, do you know that? Do I
           scare you? People either have to
           pretend they don't see me or
           they're drawn to me. It's funny
           because people see me as being
           close to the other side -- they
           feel like I have power or wisdom.
           They think I have the answers. Who
           knows? Maybe I do. Death gives
           you perspective. I lived my life
           so indecisive, in a haze. But now
           that I'm dying everything is so
           clear. It all makes sense somehow.
           I'm sorry but I can't get over how
           beautiful you are? Look at your
           arm, you an addict?
          NICOLE looks at him. She nods.
           What's your name?
           GAUNT YOUNG MAN
           What do you do in the world Nicole?
          She laughs, what a question.
           Not much. I was a photographer and
           then I was a masseuse and I wash
           hair at a salon sometimes.
           GAUNT YOUNG MAN
           Where is it? I'll come by, I'm
           easy, you can wash my head.
                          (SHE SMILES)
           Do you think you're gonna die?
          NICOLE laughs to keep from weeping.
           You're not. You're not gonna die.
          The men watch as NICOLE quietly cries, it's powerful.
           Don't you love her?
           I don't know her.
           GAUNT YOUNG MAN
           Bullshit, I do. Random act of God?
           Don't think so. Survive a plane
           crash to meet a gorgeous girl in a
           stairwell. Fuck you man.
           (he reflects, then...)
           I'm sure they're looking for me.
           My family just showed up from Utah.
           You know it's bad when they start
           flying in. Every morning is
           special now, I'm so grateful. It's
           a trip, wish I could bottle this
           feeling I have...about how
           beautiful every breath of life is..
          GAUNT YOUNG MAN starts laughing. WHIP joins him.
           Can I get a smoke for the road?
           Here's a pack.
           GAUNT YOUNG MAN
           Thank you, I'll pass them out in
           the cancer ward. Take care Nicole,
           you're gonna be okay.
          The GAUNT YOUNG MAN leaves, clanging away with his I.V. pole.
          NICOLE wipes away her tears, we see her hospital bracelet as
          well as her track marks.
           Chemo brain. Chemo makes you
           pretty foggy.
           They call it chemo brain, my mom
           used to slur her words and get all
           Your mom had cancer.
           Breast cancer, she was only 54.
          It's quiet.
           But why'd that guy ask you if you
           were gonna die?
           I dunno. I flat-lined twice in the
           ambulance. Heroin addicts who use
           needles tend to die. Especially
           women for some reason.
           Is that right?
           I have a pamphlet to prove it. A
           girl from AA just came to see me --
                          (IT'S QUIET)
           That guy was a trip. He made it
           feel like, I dunno...we were the
           last people left on the planet..
           (drops her smoke)
           ...and together we should save the
          NICOLE steps on her cigarette and puts the nub in her pocket.
          She begins to leave. WHIP stops her.
           Well, where should we live? If
           we're gonna save the world, where
           should we do that?
          NICOLE laughs.
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           You don't want me.
          WHIP laughs.
                          NICOLE (CONT'D)
           You don't want me either.
          NICOLE's laugh tapers off as she senses his honesty.
                          WHIP (CONT'D)
           Where do you live?
           Why you wanna come visit? It's
           (silence between them)
           I live in Bankhead, it's south
           Atlanta, near the bus station.
           The luxurious bus station?
           I'll come visit you.
           You're sweet.
           I will. What's your address?
          She measures him.
           I live at the Georgian Gardens on
           Taylor street.
           Georgian Gardens?
           How long are you staying here?
           Trying to stay as long as I can but
           I don't have insurance to cover
           rehab. I'll prolly be out
           Oh. Okay. And you're a masseuse?
           What kind of masseuse?
           I've been every kind of masseuse
           there is.
          There is strong tension between them. An orderly busts
          through the down the stairs. This breaks their stare.
           Good luck Nicole.
           You too.
          WHIP leaves NICOLE where he found her.
          WHIP is wheeled out of a service exit by an ORDERLY who also
          holds the duffle bag of WHIP's stuff around his neck. Whip no
          longer wears the eye patch but has a butterfly bandage over
          his left eye brow.
          HARLING jumps out of his 2001 Cadillac STS and immediately
          takes over, grabbing the duffel bag.
           Thanks Mike.
          The ORDERLY tries to hand WHIP a medical file. HARLING
          snatches it.
                          HARLING MAYS
           Yeah, thanks Mike.
           (Harling tips him)
           Here's 20 American.
                          ORDERLY MIKE
           Thanks. Good luck, sir.
          HARLING hugs WHIP who hangs on tight. The ORDERLY spins the
          chair around and heads back inside.
          HARLING uses his key fob to remotely pop the trunk and stow
          Whip's duffel.
                          HARLING MAYS
           This is how they get the Stones out
           of Madison Square Garden, man. 4
           smoked black limos fly outta the
           VIP driveway and the fans jump on
           the limos...mayhem. Those limos?
           Empty. Meanwhile, Mick and the boys
           go out the service exit into
           delivery vans -- casual, rock star
           type shit.
           HARLING helps him into the front seat and they pull away.
           The Stones, "Gimme Shelter" starts to play...
           As they drive off, we see media mayhem collected in front of 53
           the hospital. Trucks with towers, cameramen, stringers and
           newscasters add to catering trucks and coffee stands as the
           vultures wait for the carrion of sound bytes and footage of
           INT. HARLING'S CADDY -- DAY
           Whip watches through the rear window -- the "Media Circus"
           disappears as the Caddy rounds a corner. The back seat is
           piled with Whip's clothes, most of them still on hangers.
           HARLING lights a cigarette and hands one to WHIP who takes
                          HARLING MAYS
           I couldn't find any suitcases so I
           just put your shit in grocery bags.
           HARLING pulls a cold Becks from a cooler on the floor of the
           back seat and uses a bottle opener that's been screwed to the
           dash of his car next to the radio to open the beer. He
           offers the beer to WHIP who waves it off. HARLING gladly
           keeps it for himself... "Gimme Shelter" continues to play...