child abuse

Look Away: Script

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SCREENPLAY- LOOK AWAY

Open INT on Boy Scout patrol, troop 19, Minneapolis,  reciting  the Scout Law and  oath*. include MICHAEL age 11,GEORGE  age 12 and scoutmaster WILL.  They continue recitation in background as scene moves to EXT  San Francisco about 1964;  then to outline map of San Francisco 1981, and two subsequent maps, revealing numbers and locations of AIDS cases. 1981: 127 cases; 1984 1027 cases; 1996 20,756 cases.

INT BEDROOM EVENING. 1986 San Francisco Castro district.
noises of oxygen generator motor and O2 moisturizer
bubbling.  Furniture sparse. A bookshelf. chair and table
with four battered brown spiral notebooks on top. IV stand,
2 bags of infusion, piggybacked. Hospital type  wheeled
over-bed table. toilet commode. Bedside table with two pill
bottles on top, and bedpan, urine collector below. empty
wheelchair. Walker. TV on but with only a blank grainy screen
and static no signal.

GEORGE OLSEN of age mid 50’s with obvious severe
wasting illness sitting in recliner. Oxygen by nasal prong.  IV. Breathes with effort. wet productive cough, spits into
Kleenex and pokes it at a paper bag. Is looking at blank TV
when MICHAEL MORSE  same age medium
build, balding. enters carrying a tray with soda
crackers, a pitcher of water, glass, and soup.

MICHAEL
Here. You look like you need this.

GEORGE
(waves him off, looks away and
speaks at the window shade.)
I can’t talk much let alone eat.

MICHAEL
I’ve never heard of pneumo-whatzit.

GEORGE
Pneumocystis.  Pneumonia but they
can fix it. A week maybe.  Or three. Who knows. I won’t
live long either way.

MICHAEL
Why? What is it, why didn’t you
call sooner?

GEORGE
Didn’t want to talk about it.  Now I
do; In need to. I’m too sick not to.  Or you can read it.

MICHAEL
Read?

GEORGE
(waves at table, notebooks.)
In those notebooks. They go back a
long ways.

MICHAEL
I don’t read. It’s against my religion. Why can’t you just tell me?

GEORGE

What religion!  You’re  religious sausage. But I’ll try to tell you.  The notebooks  there, and my death, can speak for themselves. Res ipsa loquitor.

MICHAEL
Shit.You always were a nerdy bastard!   Your Death! I was shocked to hear from you after so many years, and were so sick.  All I knew is you were a stock broker in San Francisco. Merrill  Lynch?  But OK I’ll read it. But  for now eat something.  What’d  you write about?   I didn’t know you liked to write.
(Picks up the notebooks and opens one.)

GEORGE
I don’t. Wrote  what  we all know but never speak of.

MICHAEL
All know?  Who all?

GEORGE
Troop 19.

MICHAEL
What! Scouts!

GEORGE

Don’t act dumb. It’s me, George!  I know you know. You know I know. I know you know I know you know.   Or something like that!

MICHAEL ( Looks away, slightly uncomfortable, and shifts focus of the conversation.) OK never mind for now. Eat. Let me read.

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