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The Long Ride Home

INTERIOR CAB

We see the cab pull away from the corporate building. JACK KERR slumps in the back seat absentmindedly playing with the contents in the box. He reminisces.

(Flasback scene of Golf Outing, flirtatious, but nothing over the top).

(Flashback to confrontation in ANTHONY OSTERMANN'S office. We see an older man, of Mediterranean descent. He is looking through some papers as JACK KERR is led in. He looks up.)

ANTHONY
Jack...come in. Sit down.

JACK
Sir. I can expl-

ANTHONY
No Jack. You can't. If this had just come through HR again, we could have taken care of it. Put a nice little spin on it and made the whole thing go away. Hell we tried to do that the first time. This bitch saw through it. You're one of my best Junior VP's. Which makes this even harder.

JACK
But sir-

ANTHONY
Look...Jack. We've all been there. A little duck and weave after the alcohol's flowing. It happens.

(He stands and heads over to look out the window.)

ANTHONY (cont'd)
But this lady....she had it in for you Jack. She knew which cards to play. We were served papers and at the same time a notice was sent to our largest client. We call him Kinnecon Steel...but you know him on a more familiar level.

JACK sinks heavily in to his seat. The full weight of ANTHONY's words hitting him in the chest.

JACK
(under his breath)
Shit.

ANTHONY
Exactly. I've been on the phone all morning with your father-in-law. He's a man of high morals...very unusual in his industry.

ANTHONY turns again to face JACK.

ANTHONY
The good news is, as a firm, we managed to retain our largest customer.

JACK looks up.

ANTHONY
Which leaves us the bad news. You have to fall on your sword. Jefferson Kinnec was explicit in that condition. I have to let you go Jack. You'll have a full severance package, but I can't give you any letters of recommendation. That was also non-negotiable.

JACK nods, still in stunned silence. He stands to take ANTHONY's hand as it's offered.

CUT TO
CAB DRIVER
Yo...Mr.Roboto!...is this the place?

JACK snaps back from his daydream, somewhat disoriented and looks out the window.

JACK
Yeah.

He reaches in his coat to get his wallet

CAB DRIVER
It's all good man. This one's on ONF.

JACK nods, collects his box and exits the cab.

CUT TO

We are looking at an ornate front door from the inside. A long entry way leads to the door. Sunlight filters in through the sidelights as the door opens and JACK starts to enter his home.

JACK KERR
Susy Are you ho-

A vase comes flying through the air and smashes against the wall next to JACK's head.

SUSAN KERR (off camera)
YOU BASTARD!!! 5 years of my life....a newborn son...and you do this?!?

Walking in to frame now we see SUSAN KERR. A striking woman with a light auburn hair that started out perfectly coiffed today. In one hand a crumpled piece of paper that JACK recognizes as the same cover stock on the original complaint. In the other, another vase. Her eyes are red and puffy from crying, but there are no more tears. In her eyes, only anger. She hurls a second vase at JACK.

JACK KERR narrowly dodges the 2nd vase.

JACK
JE-SUS Susan! Calm down!! Can I explain what happened at least?

SUSAN
CALM DOWN?!?! Are you kidding me with that shit?! Calm down? Who the hell do you think you are to tell ME to calm down?!

JACK
Look it was all a--

SUSAN
So help me Jack, if you say misunderstanding I will kill you where you stand. She sent pictures Jack. PICTURES!!! Of you...and of her....TO MY FATHER!!

JACK
I...I didn't

SUSAN
No. You most certainly did. And I hope it was worth it. We're through Jack. Daddy's got a room for you at the Chelsea....I told him it was better than you deserved...you can sleep on a bench in Central Park at this point for all I care. But HE'S still got a shred of decency to not throw you in the street at least.

JACK
Where's Terry?

SUSAN
He's with my sister.

JACK
I want to see him. If you're taking me out of your life, at least let me say goodbye, Susan. You can do that much at least.

SUSAN
No. Oh HELL no. You are not a father, Jack. You're not a husband. Shacking up with that nerd whore. What the hell were you thinking?!? You're done. As far as our son is concerned, his father died when he was just a boy. You come with in 50 feet of him and you'll be arrested.

JACK
But Susan...

SUSAN
No Jack. We're through. You're through. You need to leave now. If you're not out of here in 5 minutes, I'm calling the police.

She turns to leave a stunned JACK in the hallway.His box of things from the office on the floor by his feet. Shards of broken glass all over the floor. He picks up the box and heads outside.
Stepping down the walkway, he finds the same cab waiting. He enters the cab and addresses the driver

JACK
How did you--

CAB DRIVER
We got 2 calls dispatched back to back. One was a drop off this address. The other was a pick up. Figured I'd make it easy on my dispatcher and handle both. Where to?

JACK
The Chelsea Hotel, it would seem.

CAB DRIVER
Damn...buckle up. We're in for a drive.

JACK
Don't s'pose Ostermman's picking this one up, too, are they?

CAB DRIVER
No Bub....this one's all you.

JACK
That's what I figured.

JACK settles back in to the seat and stares blankly out the window as the cab pulls away. The box of personal effects again by his side. He seems to remember something and digs in the box until he finds the piece of paper that Cynthia placed in the box and pulls it out. Unfolding it, he sees

"IF YOU NEED A FRIEND: CYNDIE (646)555-1124"

He refolds the paper and puts it in his wallet. And then resumes staring out the window

JACK
(to himself)
Never know when I'll need a friend.

The cab continues through the city. As Jack starts to drift off to sleep, the screen fades to black. It snaps back in full focus with the face of the Cab Driver

CAB DRIVER
Hey. Sleeping Beauty. We're here.

JACK
(stretching)What's the damage?

CAB DRIVER
Nothing a wrecking ball couldn't fix. But your fare is seventy-four fifty.

JACK
Nice.

Jack reaches in his suit coat for his wallet. Opens it and pulls out five twenty dollar bills. He hands them to the cab driver, scoops up his box with one hand and reaches for the door handle with the other.

CAB DRIVER
Yo, Rockefeller, I gotta far drive back you know.

JACK
Yeah. That's why you have a twenty-five dollar tip on a drive that should have been over twenty minutes ago.

CAB DRIVER 
(under his breath) Asshole.

Jack exits the cab and walks in to the Chelsea Hotel.
INT HOTEL
Jack walks up to the front desk and rings the bell. A HIPPIE comes up.

HIPPIE
Yeah?

JACK
Jack Kerr. I'm guessing you have a reservation for me.

HIPPIE
(checking laptop) Lucky guess man. Karma must be good to you.

JACK
Yeah. Or my soon to be ex-father in law is a sadist.

HIPPIE
Hey man. Whatever works. Not my place to judge. You're in the Kristoffersen Suite.

He hands Jack a key.

JACK
Of course I am.
JACK turns and heads to the elevator.

HIPPIE
Aww. Sorry dude. 'Vater's cashed. Stairs still work.
JACK checks the key, "469."

JACK
Thanks.

HIPPIE
No problem bro.

JACK
By the way, I think your bong tipped over.

HIPPIE
Huh? Oh SHIT....shit shit shit....

JACK smiles as he headed toward the stairs.

JACK
(under his breath)I friggin' hate hippies.

CUT TO INT HOTEL ROOM DAY

Looking from the inside of the hotel room, we hear a key in the lock, see the knob turn and the door opens as JACK walks in. He looks around,slowly. Taking stock of the room. He set the key down on the counter next to the TV. He sits on the bed and plops the box on the bed next to him. He stares at the phone, as if expecting it to ring. He seems oddly disappointed when it doesn't.

JACK
Ain't this about a bitch?

JACK falls back on the bed. We're not sure how much time passes (day turns to night outside as the room gets dark).

JACK reaches from the bed and turns on the lamp beside the bed. There is a sickly yellow glow now in the room.

We see JACK sit up. He stretches and looks around. Sometime in the slumber, his suit coat has been crumpled at the edge of the bed. He reaches for it and pulls out his wallet.

He takes out the paper with Cyndie's number on it, looks then reaches for his cell phone and starts dialing. When he is done dialing, he puts the phone up to his ear.

JACK
Dad. Yeah. It's me, Jack. (pause)...Yeah. I know. I told you, I was out of the country for business (pause)...no it doesn't make it goddamn right, but it makes it what it is...(pause) yeah (long pause)...Look, Dad. I'm in a bind and I need a favor. (pause) OK.Yeah.(pause) OK. (pause) Alright, I'l see you tomorrow.

He hangs up and picks up the paper with Cyndies number and puts it back in his wallet.


FADE OUT

FADE IN 
INTERIOR DAY KITCHEN TABLE

At the kitchen table, back to us is JOHN KERR. From the back we can tell he is a shorter, hardened version of his son.

He looks up as JACK stands and heads to fill his coffee mug.

JOHN
What'd you do Jack?

JACK
I got caught Dad.

JOHN
Dipping your ink in the company well, huh?

JACK
Something like that.
(he fills his coffee and offers the pot to his dad)
JACK (cont'd)
Pretty sure the bitch had it in for me, though

JOHN
They always do, Jackie boy.
(he nods off the offer of a fresh cup and takes another sip)

JOHN (cont'd)
They always do. Where the hell were you calling from last night?

JACK
The Chelsea.

JOHN
Jesus, I thought I had it rough.

JACK
It's fine. It was some kind of joke by Susy's old man. But...whatever. The old goat paid the room through the end of the month and the bedbugs haven't hit there yet.

JOHN
Hmmph. Well, all your shit's still here. Your mom was gonna get rid of it. I guess there's one good thing about the cancer. Once less person telling me what the fuck to do.

JACK
Nice.

JOHN
Eh. It is what it is Jackie. You know where home is. Rooms clean. The neighborhood's gone to shit, but at least it's not the fucking Chelsea. Never knew why the hell Cohen ever wrote a song about that flea trap.

JACK
Pretty sure it's because Janis Joplin blew him in the elevator there.

John Kerr was in mid-sip as his son imparted this knowledge and nearly did a spit take, instead partially choking on his coffee through the laughter.

JOHN
Oh, that might do it then.

He laughed through the cough that came with the early stages of emphysema.

JACK
Alright. I'll get my shit together and look at coming home. I still have a few angles to work first.

JOHN
Of course you do. I'll be here.

JACK
Talk to you soon Dad.

He set the empty coffee cup in the sink and headed out of the kitchen. JOHN barely acknowledges his departure.

JOHN KERR
A'yup.


He said, taking another sip of coffee and reaching for the morning paper.

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