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INT. MENTAL INSTITUTION- JIMMY'S BEDROOM-NIGHT


JIMMY, seventeen years old, scrawny and pale, sits in his dark room. He scratches at his glasses which have tape holding them together on the side. He writes vigorously in his notebook with a dull pencil.


JIMMY, V.O

I count the days until I breathe the fresh air of freedom. I count the seconds until the doctors tell me I'm cured...


He is interrupted by screaming in the hallways. A patient has left his room and the orderlies are trying to get him back. It quiets...


Jimmy goes back to his writing..


JIMMY, V.O

It smells like antiseptic and true lunatics in this place, and I fear I will beco--


The screaming starts up again, this time closer to his room.


PATIENT

You can't contain me! Fools! Fools!


ORDERLY

Beckett! I'm not kidding, get back here!


This time Beckett, the patient, is outside of Jimmy's room. Jimmy sees him through the window. Jimmy watches intently, he has never seen anyone give the orderlies this hard of time before. It scares him.


BECKETT

You will never lock me up again! I am UNCONTAINABLE! Don't you see?!


Two orderlies charge BECKETT in the hallway. Jimmy watches.


BECKETT

Get your hands off of me! No!


They shove him against Jimmy's door and Beckett's face hits Jimmy's small window. The two of them make eye contact. Jimmy is frozen in contact with Beckett.


ORDERLY

That's it, you're going straight back to solitary.


Beckett smiles right at Jimmy. He calms.


BECKETT

Okay. Okay. I'm sorry, guys. You're right. I lost my head. I'm done.


The orderlies take him back to his room.


Jimmy sits there, frozen in his bed.


Flashback: Int. Jimmy's house, a few months before


Close shot on a wall. A vase of flowers explodes onto it.


We are in a home, modest, but well kept.


JIMMY

Fuck you both!


MOTHER

(in tears)

Jimmy! You're not well!


FATHER

You're scaring your mother,son!


JIMMY

I'm NOT GOING!


FATHER

Yes, you are!


Jimmy's Father grabs his arm. His father is a big man, much bigger than Jimmy. He grabs Jimmy's notebook off the table.


JIMMY

Drop that!


Father

It's for your own good.


Jimmy's Father throws his notebook in the burning fire place.


Jimmy looks on in horror.


JIMMY

NO! (tears well up in his eyes)


Int. mental institution- Rec area- The next day.


JIMMY sits at a round table, quietly by himself, writing in his notebook.


A calm smile comes over his face as he writes something down he really likes.


Beckett, the guy from last night, plops down at the table next to him. He has a cut on his face, that he didn't have before.


Beckett is about twenty-two, strong, but skinny. Thick ratted hair and even paler than Jimmy.


Beckett just stares at Jimmy, smiling.

Beat.


JIMMY

Can I help you?


BECKETT

Probably not.


Jimmy waits. Beckett says nothing. Jimmy goes back to writing.


BECKETT

What are you writing?


JIMMY

It's personal.


Beat.


BECKETT

You're new.


JIMMY

I've been here for a month.


BECKETT

That's new.


JIMMY

I've never seen you before.


BECKETT

That's not true.


Beckett smiles. He lights a cigarette. Offers one to Jimmy, but Jimmy declines. Tries to keep writing.


BECKETT

So are you depressed? Suicidal? Agoraphobic, what?


JIMMY

No.


BECKETT

Quite the talker.


JIMMY

I just don't have anything to say.


Beckett waits. Makes a move to grab Jimmy's journal. Jimmy hangs onto it with a death grip.


JIMMY

Don't.


BECKETT

Relax kid. I'm just trying to get to know you.


JIMMY

Well don't.


BECKETT

What's your name, kid?


JIMMY

(hesitates)

Jimmy. You?


BECKETT

I hear those white coat fucks give you Valium. I got Librium. Want to make a trade?


JIMMY

What?! No. They hand them out. How would we even--


Beckett grabs Jimmy's journal again, but this time is successful.


JIMMY

Give that back!


Beckett holds him off. The two of them get the attention of the orderlies, so Jimmy settles down, but is furious.


BECKETT

(reading)

Antiseptic and true lunatics... That's poetic.


JIMMY

Thanks.


BECKETT

Listen James--


JIMMY

Jimmy.


BECKETT

Listen, James. They are never going to believe you're better until you stop writing in this stupid thing in public.


JIMMY

I don't care.


BECKETT

Hey-I'm trying to help, stop with the attitude-I'm the good guy here.


Beat.


BECKETT

Plus, James, you're not going to become who you want to be if you write about the crazies in here. Real poets write about... women and sex and Paris... Not these jerk offs.


Cut to: Pan around the Institution. A bunch of adults playing with toys. Screaming. Drooling.. Etc.


Beckett and Jimmy stare at each other. Beckett hands back his notebook.


JIMMY

(actually curious)

How do you know what I want to be?


BECKETT

(smiles knowingly)

It's all over your face, James.


Beckett puts out his cigarette on the table. Get's up and starts to walk away.


JIMMY

It's Jimmy.


BECKETT

James is better. James is a King. Jimmy is a little boy, that's never going to get what he wants, because they won't give it to him.


Jimmy closes his notebook. Looks around. He starts fixing his hair.


INT. Mental Institution- Doctor's office - sometime in the future, now present


Smooth Cut: Jimmy fixes his hair. Camera pulls out and we see Jimmy, in a nice shirt and slacks. He is sitting next to his mother and father. They sit across the desk of the Doctor.


DOCTOR

Jimmy has made a lot of progress in the last few weeks. We are confident his release will be successful. Isn't that right Jimmy?


Jimmy nods.


MOTHER

That's wonderful.


FATHER

So.. It's over. No more notebooks? No more crazy words?


DOCTOR

Jimmy?


JIMMY

No sir. I think I'm quite over the whole thing.


MOTHER

I'm so glad to have my boy back.


Mother hugs Jimmy.


Ext. Mental institution- parking lot


Jimmy exits the building with his mother and father. Father carries Jimmy's suitcase.


Jimmy holds onto a plastic bag filled with a few things.


Jimmy turns and looks back at the building.


Beckett is staring out the window at him.


Beckett gives him the thumbs up. Jimmy cracks a smile back at him.


MOTHER

Who is that?


JIMMY

Nobody, mother.


They get in the car.


INT. Car- moments later, driving


Jimmy sits in the backseat and looks out the window.


FATHER

Listen Jimmy-


JIMMY

Dad.. Can you call me James?


His Father and Mother look at each other with a minimally concerned look, but drop it.


FATHER

Sure... James, uh.. Your mother and I were talking. We think it would be good for you.. if..


MOTHER

We are sending you to live with your Aunt in Paris for the summer. We think it will be just what you need after this whole mess.


Silence.


FATHER

How do you feel about that, James?


Close up on James: He tries to contain his feelings. A smile cracks onto his lips.


JAMES

(unenthusiastic as he can be)

Okay.


Tight shot on James as his eyes light up. Words swirl into his eyes and images of Paris and poetry fill his soul.


CUT TO BLACK.

THE END

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