“Larry, June, And The Year Of The Cat” — A Screenplay, Part Fifteen

Posted: February 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

Entire contents trademarked TM  and copyrighted (c)  by Ryan Carey, 2013. That means if you want to reproduce or use this material for any reason,  you have to ask me real nice.



LARRY and JUNE have just finished dinner and are walking down the trail by the river toward her house. Both seem a little tipsy but certainly not drunk. LARRY has his hands in pockets slightly loose, while JUNE’s arms hang freely at her side. They are conversing as they walk and we join them in what appears to be mid-conversation.

LARRY : Well, I appreciate you leaving the tip.

JUNE : Sure. Speaking of tips — too bad we didn’t run into Chris before you ordered the salmon.

LARRY : Ennnhhh — it wasn’t really that bad.

JUNE : Or that great?

LARRY : Or that great.

LARRY reaches into his shirt pocket for a cigarette.

LARRY : Mind if I —?

JUNE cuts his off mid-sentence.

JUNE : Go ahead. (pauses) Actually, I’m sorta impressed. That’s your first of the evening.

LARRY lights up, takes a drag, exhales.

LARRY : Don’t be. If these places still had smoking sections like they used to, it’s probably be my fifth or sixth.

JUNE : That all?

LARRY (pauses before speaking) : Okay, I’m being conservative in my estimation.

JUNE : Thought so. When’s the last time you tried to quit?

LARRY stops walking for a moment, pausing to consider.

LARRY : Depends on what you mean.

JUNE : What do you mean, what do I mean?

LARRY resumes walking, quickly trying to catch up with JUNE.

LARRY : Well, the last time I tried to quit, I did.

JUNE : Right. You did try.

LARRY : No, no, I mean it — I did quit. For eight years.

JUNE : No, you stopped for eight years. You didn’t quit. Obviously.

LARRY takes a drag and exhales before speaking.

LARRY : Fair enough.

JUNE : So when did you start again?

LARRY : When? Not why?

JUNE : The why you can tell me if you want to. The when is all I asked for.

LARRY takes a drag and exhales before speaking.

LARRY : Well, let’s see (pausing to consider) — six years ago? Seven? Something like that? I was at a convenience store for —-shit, I dunno, somethin’ else, and they had a 2-for-1 deal goin’ on Winstons, an’ that was my old brand, so —

JUNE cuts him off mid-sentence.

JUNE : And you thought “what the fuck?” and never looked back?

LARRY : Never set out to start again in the first place, I guess, but yeah — never looked back, either.

LARRY takes a drag and exhales.

LARRY CON’T: How about you? When’d you give it up?

JUNE : What makes you think I ever started?

LARRY : Just figgered —most people our age, ya know.

JUNE (gives a mock sigh) : You’re right, you’re right. I quit about the same time I moved here, actually. Was too damn broke at the time to keep it up.

LARRY (chuckling) : I’ve found that to be true about life in general — it helps to be broke sometimes.

JUNE : In retrospect, yeah. It always sucks at the time, though.

LARRY takes a drag and exhales.

LARRY : Hindsight’s 20/20 an’ all.

JUNE (smiling slightly) : yup — you’ve got the free cliche thing down.

LARRY : Whaddaya know? There’s hope for me yet.

JUNE stops in her tracks and LARRY follows her lead.

JUNE : Let’s do that silence thing again. Lemme just look at the river for a minute.

JUNE breathes in deeply and rhythmically as she faces the river, while LARRY alternates between looking at it and looking at her. She closes her eyes for a few seconds, continuing her deep breaths, then reopens them and turns to face LARRY.

JUNE : Believe it or not, I do love living here.

LARRY : Told’ja it wasn’t boring.

JUNE (smiling) : I never said it was. I asked if you were bored here. Big difference.

LARRY drops his cigarette but t to the ground and puts it out with his foot.

LARRY : Well, there’s just less goin’ on in general than I’m used to, but I dunno — I can see the appeal.

JUNE : The days don;t go by too fast. I like that.

LARRY, somewhat clumsily but attempting his best  to be nonchalant about it, gently takes hold of JUNE’s hand as she turns back toward the walking path.

JUNE : Now I’m gonna smell like smoke, too.

LARRY : I can always let go.

JUNE : Nah.

LARRY and JUNE continue walking the path towards JUNE’s house.

LARRY : Figgered if I didn’t take hold a’ your hand I’d regret it later.

JUNE : Know what my grandpa told me on his deathbed?

LARRY : What’s that?

JUNE : Two things : regrets aren’t worth a damn, an’ when you hit the end of the road, you spend a lot more time regretting everything you didn’t do than the stupid things you did.

LARRY : Sounds like a wise man.

JUNE : Not really. He was a wife-beating lush who damn well should have regretted an awful lotta what he did. (pauses) But he was still right, goddamn ‘im.

LARRY : Guess wisdom from an unwelcome source is still wisdom.

JUNE : Gotta take it where you can find it.

LARRY : ‘Specially since it seems ta be in such short supply these days.

JUNE stops for a moment and LARRY does likewise.

JUNE (smiling) : Awww, please don’t tell me you’re one o’ those old curmudgeons! “Back in my day, we knew the value of a day’s work,” an’ all that.

LARRY and JUNE resume walking.

LARRY : Nah, I know the old days sucked. It’s just that people in general nowdays don’t seem like the brightest bunch, either.

JUNE : Can’t argue with that. But I actually think the overall intelligence level of folks  keeps going up.

LARRY pauses briefly to consider her point before speaking again.

LARRY : It probably does. Sometimes they just hide it well, ya know?

JUNE pauses briefly before resuming speaking.

JUNE : I could be wrong about that, though. Maybe it’s not goin’ up, it’s just gettin’ more specialized.

LARRY : Explain.

JUNE : Well, my grandpa, wife-beating lush that he was, built every house he ever lived in. Wired ’em for electricity, too. How many people can do that anymore?  But if you handed him one o’ these smart phone things, I guarantee he’d be totally fucking lost. (pauses) So he could do the big things, ya know? Big projects. And there wasn’t anything too special about him. Everybody could do that kinda thing back then. But now, what we need to know to get by, it’s less general, more specialized.

LARRY : Well, maybe what it means is not that we’re gettin’ any dumber or that we’re gettin’ any smarter. Maybe it just means us people are an adaptable lot. We have a knack for knowin’ what we need to know in the times that we live in. If that means knowin’ how to build a house 60 years ago or 80 years ago or whatever, then that’s what we did. If it means knowin’ how to upload home videos to our computer now, then that’s what we do. Maybe we really haven’t changed much at all. We just sorta figger out how ta do what it takes to get by in the world we live in, an’ it’s the world itself  that’s changed.

JUNE pauses for a long moment to consider this.

JUNE : That makes real good sense except for one thing.

LARRY : What’s that?

JUNE : We’re the ones who are responsible for the world changing. It doesn’t just happen on its own. Okay, we don’t need to know how to build a house anymore, but that’s because we’ve changed the world, by our actions over time, into one where that kinda knowledge isn’t necessary. And the things we need to know now, computers  an’ tablets an’ iphones an’ whatever  — we need to know all that because we’re the ones who made the world into one where you haveta know that kinda stuff.

LARRY pauses, very briefly, considering her point.

LARRY : Well —somebody did. I don’t remember being a party to the conversation.

JUNE laughs and points up the hill toward her house, now visible in the near.

JUNE : Here we go. I’m home.

JUNE turns to face LARRY.

JUNE CON’T : Now don’t fuck up the moment by getting nervous or fumbling your way through the question or whatever it was you were planning on doing — or   woulda done without naturally without even planning. Just come on up.

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