Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Faster Than You Can Say 'James Dean'
Hey there, crime kids. Happy Xmas times. It's time once again to take a trip to the dark side, where your most violent fantasies become sins of the flesh, right here, where the hardboiled action is non-stop, at the coolest crime joint in cyberspace ... at That Killing Feeling.
In Chapter 8 of FILLMORE, Clarence arrives in San Francisco to stay with his sister and her husband, who tell him he must go to school and get a job, much to his dismay. Later that day, Clarence's new friend Eddie shows him around, he's amazed to find out the water fountain isn't segregated ...
EXT. SAN FRANCISCO - TRAIN STATION - DAY
A big, beautiful, old, ornate train station.
Clarence steps off the train
with the other PASSENGERS.
Stares at everything with wonder.
Then he sees a WHITE BEGGAR (50’s)
pan-handling on the platform.
He shakes his head. Wow.
His older sister THELMA (30’s)
and her husband DON (40’s) walk up to him.
We see them exchange greetings.
EXT. SAN FRANCISCO STREET - DAY
Clarence walks down the sidewalk
with Thelma and Don.
He looks at all the fancy stores.
The fancy people.
Overwhelmed at all the sights and sounds.
He sees a MIXED-RACE COUPLE (20’s).
His eyes grow wide.
Another MIXED-RACE COUPLE walk by.
He watches them. Amazed.
INT. THELMA’S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - DAY
Simply furnished, but much nicer than
Clarence’s place back home.
Clarence sits on the couch.
Thelma counts a thick stack of cash.
Smiles. Puts it in her purse.
That sure was nice of Momma to give us money
pay for your expenses.
(hands him a credit card)
Here. This is for you to
buy some new clothes for school.
Now don’t go crazy.
We’ll know what you got
when we get the bill.
And don’t be thinking you’ll be
stealing cars or carrying on, Clarence.
That’s not going to happen.
You’re going to go to school
and make something of yourself.
And whatever you do, stay away
from that fast crowd on Fillmore,
You can’t be stupid.
You gotta have a better life for yourself.
After school you can work with me
as a plumber’s helper.
I’ve got bigger plans than that.
INT. BATHROOM - MOMENTS LATER
Slim flushes the toilet. Looks in the mirror.
That’s the last time a woman takes my money.
INT. THELMA’S HOUSE - KITCHEN - NIGHT
Clarence and Don sit at the kitchen table
a stack of books.
Clarence has a big math book open. Looks at it.
Then at Don, who looks at him expectantly.
Okay. Six-X minus-two plus two-X equals
minus-two plus four-X plus eight.
What’s the value of X?
Why do I have to know this?
It’s not easy to get in Lowell.
It’s a good school, and to get in,
you have to pass a TEST.
Why can’t I just go the regular school?
Well, as long as you’re staying in THIS house,
you’re gonna at least TRY.
The value of X is two.
INT. LOWELL HIGH SCHOOL - DAY
Clarence walks down a crowded corridor
with his new friend EDDIE (16),
a good-looking popular kid.
He points out to Clarence all
the different types of students.
Now those kids in the fancy
athletic jackets are the jocks.
The ones in the zoot suits are the jazz cats,
and the ones over there in
the motorcycle jackets are the greasers.
You wanna stay away from THEM.
They’ll cut you faster than
you can say 'James Dean.'
What about the water fountains --
Drink up. We ain’t segregated.
This is San Francisco.
I think I’m gonna like it here.