Barcelona Transcript

Also see the main Barcelona page

This transcript was typed up by Brad Steiner.

You can purchase the complete script, together with that of Metropolitan, published in 1994, at Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.

EXT. RAINING; A TAXI PULLS UP TO A BUILDING IN THE EIXAMPLE – NIGHT

TED (V.O.)

I couldn’t believe my cousin Fred would just show up that way. On the other hand, it was absolutely typical. I was furious, but tried not to show it.

TED

Jesus, you could have called.

FRED

I did call. From one of those pay phones that cut you off and swallow your change.

TED

Oh, you called once from the airport.

FRED

At least once. I would not, not call.

INT. TED’S LIVING ROOM

TED

How long do you plan to stay?

FRED

Good question.

TED

More than three days?

FRED

Oh, yeah.

TED

You know what Dr. Johnson said?

FRED

No.

TED

“Guests, like fish, begin to stink on the third day.”

FRED

Yeah, that sounds about right. Actually, I think you’ll find that I begin to stink on the first day.

INT. A BAR

TED

I saw the prettiest girl at the trade fair today.

FRED

You spoke with her? Of course not.

TED

I’m beginning to reconsider my whole attitude toward female beauty. I think it’s very bad. You see a beautiful girl and you’re immediately subject to all these emotions – some of them very powerful, almost uncontrollable.

FRED

Yeah, but I...

TED

They are. You haven’t even spoken with a girl and already you want to marry and spend the rest of your life with her.

FRED

I think that...

TED

No, this inordinate concern for physical beauty has wrecked more lives...

FRED

Wrecked lives?

TED

Yeah. At the lake? Charlie Johnson?

FRED

Alright, that was pathetic.

TED

There are so many cases. In our family, the whole “beautiful Boynton sisters” thing.

FRED

Is this related to you and Betty?

TED

No, that was different.

EXT. THE STREET

FRED

There are really attractive girls in there.

TED

Yeah, this is where the cool trade fair girls come.

FRED

Great. (taking notes) “Cool Trade Fair Girls.”

TED

Actually a lot of people come here. It’s quite popular.

FRED

I suppose if you wanted to meet cool trade fair girls, you could go to the fair itself.

TED

Yeah, but the atmosphere’s not so good and the trade fairs are intermittent, while the girls come here all the time.

FRED

“Trade fair girls off season.” Cool. Thanks. This is great stuff.

TED

Yeah, allot of them studied in London and speak English with these really terrific English accents.

FRED

That’s good? I hate that.

WOMAN ON STREET

Facha!

MAN ON STREET

Yankees forra!

FRED

Jesus, what was that all about? What does facha mean?

TED

It’s slang for “fascist.”

FRED

Fascist?

TED

Come on. Don’t worry, they call everyone that. I mean you comb your hair, you wear a coat and tie, you’re facha. A military uniform? Definitely facha.

FRED

Well, so, facha is something good, then. Because if they were referring to the political movement Benito Mussolini led, I’d be really offended. Men wearing this uniform died ridding Europe of fascism.

INT. TED’S CAR

TED

That’s the cathedral.

FRED

Uh-huh.

TED

These are remnants of the old Roman walls.

FRED

Uh-huh.

TED

This is the palace of the Catalan government.

FRED

Uh-huh.

TED

That’s the City Hall.

FRED

Uh-huh.

TED

Listen, let’s call it a night. You’re obviously very tired.

FRED

After what happened? I’m far too worked-up to call it a night. We had a very close call back there. It could’ve turned really ugly. They obviously didn’t mean “facha” in the positive sense.

TED

With all the controversy over NATO, I’m not sure this is the best time for a fleet visit. There’s a lot of anti-NATO feeling here.

FRED

Anti-what?

TED

Anti-NATO.

FRED

Anti-NATO?

TED

Yeah. Well actually, here it’s OTAN.

FRED

They’re against OTAN?

TED

Yeah.

FRED

What are they for? Soviet troops racing across Europe eating all the croissants?

TED

What exactly are you doing here?

FRED

I’m sort of an advance man for the 6th Fleet. The last fleet visit was a disaster, so they thought it would be a good thing to get someone in early to smooth things out and make sure nothing goes wrong.

TED

That’s gonna be really tough. It’s an assignment that will require a lot of diplomacy and tact. I’m really surprised they gave it to you.

FRED

Well, it doesn’t require that much tact.

TED

This is my favorite Barcelona avenue: Paseo de Gracia. It’s sort of the Michigan Avenue of Barcelona.

FRED

Yeah, nice. You know, after all that’s happened tonight, I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep without something more to drink.

TED

The avenue up here is Diagonal. Actually, it’s more like Michigan Avenue.

INT. A BAR

TED

I just think this thing of always falling in love with incredibly attractive girls is really bad. Maybe by resolving to go out only with plain, or even rather homely girls, I can avoid all that. I’ve got a real romantic illusion problem. Instead of a fantasy built on the pretty slope of an eyebrow or curl of an upper lip, to see the real person, maybe even look into her eyes and see her soul.

FRED

What?

TED

I resolve to go out only with plain, or even rather homely girls.

INT. TED’S CAR

FRED

What if – and this is a hypothetical – the one girl in the world with whom you’d be happiest, the one girl with the most wonderful personality, or soul, imaginable, also happened to be incredibly attractive? According to your theory, you wouldn’t even look at her.

TED

Oh, I’d look at her. I just wouldn’t go out with her.

FRED

Your one chance at ultimate happiness would be gone.

TED

I don’t buy that – that there’s just one girl who’s right for you. Things don’t work that way. I’m sure there are a lot of terrific plain or homely women.

FRED

Right, well, what if you don’t meet any of those plain or homely girls? What if the only women you meet and like, also happen to be incredibly attractive?

TED

Do you think I’m an idiot? Of course if the only women I meet that I like are attractive, I’d make an exception. God, why did I tell you anything about this? I must be drunk.

FRED

No, you can confide in me.

TED

It was just an idea.

FRED

Good, because it sounded really pathetic. Crazy.

TED

Thanks.

EXT. THE STREET

FRED

Cerdos? Pigs? They’re calling us pigs. That’s meant to hurt.

TED

Come on, let’s go.

FRED

Do you have any paint or a marker of some kind?

TED

No! Forget it.

FRED

I’m not going to forget it! People have forgotten things for far too long.

TED

This is not our country. You shouldn’t be doing that. We’re guests here.

FRED

How blind can you be? People like you make me sick!

TED

Okay. That’s it, Let’s go?

FRED

And just leave it like that? “Yankee pigs go ho-em”?

TED

Oh my god, are you going to paint the whole wall with a ballpoint pen?

FRED

It’s a felt-tip.

TED

Give me a break. I’m going. Listen, I’m going. I’m out of here. Um, ciervo is with a “v” not a “b”.

FRED

Well it’s correct phonetically.

TED

“Yankee deers?” I don’t see how that’s much of an improvement – “Yankee deers go home.”

FRED

Would you prefer to be called a Yankee pig or a Yankee deer?

MARTA

Ted? Ted? What are you doing here? You are going to the same party as we.

FRED

Yes.

MARTA

Good. “Cierbos Yankees”?

FRED

I don’t think we’ve met, you’re a royal personage of some kind?

MARTA

Isabel de Farnesio.

TED

This is my cousin Fred. Marta works at the trade fair.

MARTA

I like your costume. Have you no costume, Ted?

MAN IN CAR

Bamanos.

MARTA

Oh, we must go.

FRED

Why don’t we split up. I’ll go in your car and the princesses in Ted’s.

MARTA

Yes?

TED

Okay. Bene con migo.

FRED

Where in England did you learn English?

MARTA

Providence, Rhode Island.

INT. A CLUB

FRED

He’s not at all the way he seems. He might seem like a typical American, like a big, unsophisticated child, but he’s far more complex than that.

MARTA

Really?

FRED

Have you ever heard of the Marquis de Sade? Ted’s a great admirer of de Sade. And a follower of Dr. Johnson. He’s a complex and in some ways dangerous man. He has a serious romantic illusion problem. Women find him fascinating. His nickname is “punta de diamante,” point of a diamond. See that odd expression on his face? Under the apparently very normal clothes he wears are these narrow leather straps drawn taut, so that when he dances...

WOMEN

What?!

FRED

Please, don’t mention this. He’d feel I violated a confidence.

TED

Thank you very much.

ALL

Hi!

WOMAN

Sit here.

TED

Gracias. What’s wrong?

FRED

I was just telling them your nicknames.

TED

You’re kidding.

FRED

No, Marta wanted to know them.

MARTA

Yes, Ted, what are your names?

TED

Don’t get into that.

FRED

I only remember two others.

TED

Don’t get into that.

FRED

Oh come on, what difference could it make now?

TED

I mean it. Really. Don’t.

FRED

Give me a break, I’m supposed to be the childish one.

MARTA

If he doesn’t want to talk about it...

FRED

No, it’s the principle of the thing.

TED

The principle?

FRED

“Crusty Fusty” and “The Big O.” There, is that so bad?

TED

You jerk!

MARTA

What does that mean?

TED

I don’t believe you.

FRED

What is the big deal?

TED

It’s just... lousy.

FRED

Oh, give me a break! Don’t go.

TED

You’re right. You do stink on the first day. Good-bye.

FRED

That guy really gets to me. OK, I admit it, I tend to act like a jerk around him, but he provokes it.

MARTA

What do those names mean, they are related to his sadomasoquismo?

FRED

No, it’s something else... Did you hear that crack he made about my intelligence?

MARTA

No. Well, should we dance?

INT. MARTA’S BEDROOM

FRED

Sometimes we think – we almost always assume that we’re going through life surrounded by people. And then something happens and you realize: We’re entirely alone. Tonight, while I was shaving – I always shave against the direction of the beard because I understood you got a closer shave that way. I started thinking about this razor commercial on TV which shows the hair follicles like this, going this way. The first of the twin blades cuts them here. Then the hair snaps back and the second blade catches them down here, giving you a closer, cleaner, possibly smoother shave. That we know. But what struck me was: If the hair follicles are going in this direction and the razor is too, then they’re shaving in the direction of the beard, not against it. Which would mean that I’ve been shaving the wrong way all my life. I mean, maybe that’s not so, maybe I misremembered the ad. But the point is: I could’ve shaved the wrong way all of my life and never have known it. And then I could have taught my son to shave the wrong way, without him ever knowing it either.

MARTA

You have a son?

FRED

No. But I might someday. And then, maybe I’ll teach him to shave the wrong way.

MARTA

I think maybe my English is not so good. Did you know that your costume has your name in it?

FRED

Where? God. How odd!

INT. RAMON’S BEDROOM

RAMON

Perfecto.

MONTSERRAT

Perfecto?

RAMON

Que sible perfecto.

INT. TRADE FAIR

TED

First, we check with Seat and Opel...

AURORA

Hola, Ted.

TED (V.O.)

Fred’s thesis that I’d never meet any terrific plain girls was already proving inoperative. Aurora, one of the princesses with Marta at the costume party had invited me to a Lionel Hampton concert she had tickets for Thursday night. Fred began his advance work with a visit to the consulate, which he thought was less than a complete success.

INT. CONSULATE

FRED

I saw it more as a judgment call.

CONSUL

You were unaware of this order?

FRED

Well, I thought it just applied to the khaki uniform. I didn’t realize it meant the blue one, too.

CONSUL

You’re ROTC, aren’t you?

FRED

Yes, I am. This order, I must admit, I’m troubled by it. Men wearing this uniform died ridding Europe of fascism. I am proud of this uniform. It seems a bit cowardly to...

CONSUL

Come on.

FRED

The thing is, I don’t have any good civilian clothes.

INT. TED’S BEDROOM

FRED

The blue one, I think. You really don’t mind my borrowing it?

TED

No.

FRED

Really?

TED

It’s okay.

INT. TED’S BATHROOM

TED

Spanish girls tend to be really promiscuous.

FRED

You’re such a prig.

TED

No, I wasn’t using “promiscuous” pejoratively. It’s just a fact. They have a completely different attitude towards sex.

FRED

Well, I wasn’t using “prig” pejoratively.

TED

Okay, I’m a prig. But, now I’m speaking sociologically. The sexual revolution reached Spain much later than the US, but went far beyond it. Now, I don’t know what it was like in other cities and towns, but here in Barcelona everything was swept aside. The world was turned upside down and stayed there.

FRED

Has it ever occurred to you that maybe the world was upside down before, and now it’s right-side up?

TED

No. I don’t think that’s it.

INT. TED’S LIVING ROOM

TED

I’m doing something with Aurora Thursday, and so I thought I’d just do some reading tonight.

FRED

Aurora?

TED

The very nice, rather plain girl with Marta last night. She had extra tickets for a jazz concert at the Palau.

FRED

Jazz concert? That’s tough. You really are polite.

MARTA

Lista?

FRED

This is the way you dress to go out?

MARTA

Yes.

TED

But your trade fair outfit’s so cool.

MARTA

Those clothes are awful.

TED

Really? I think they’re cool.

FRED

I don’t get it, why do we always look so much better in mirrors than in photographs?

MARTA

I like your outfit – very New Wave.

FRED

You sure you don’t want to go?

TED

No.

FRED

Good.

TED (V.O.)

Except for work, I’d been in a serious funk for some time. I would never mention something like that to Fred. He was the last person to trust with a personal confidence of any kind. I don’t know whether I had found God since coming to Barcelona or was just going through a religious phase. It all began shortly after the incredibly sad and guilt-ridden break up with Betty with whom I’d gotten deeply involved, including carnally, despite never having really loved her. The almost irresistible attraction of physical beauty had transformed a good friendship into another horrible pre-marital situation. All this had led pretty directly to the Old Testament. Two Old Testament books in particular included advice on romantic matters, some of it very tough. After what happened with Betty, I resolved not to sleep with any girl until I met the one I wanted to marry and spend the rest of my life with. I had no idea if I’d ever meet such a person or if she even existed, plain or not. My aspiration was to free romance from the chains of physical beauty and carnality and to stop doing harm.

FRED

What’s going on?

TED

What are you doing here?

FRED

What is this, some strange Glenn Miller-based religious ceremony?

TED

No, Presbyterian.

FRED

Oh, this your Presbyterian church.

TED

Well, Protestant.

MARTA

Protestant churches are like this?

FRED

Pretty much. Listen, I didn’t get a chance to change any money today.

TED

How much do you need to change?

FRED

Would a hundred dollars be possible? I don’t actually have the dollars on me now, I’m waiting for a transfer from American Express.

TED

If you want to borrow 10,000 pesetas, just say so.

FRED

I could give you a check for it.

TED

What I’d like is the money back.

FRED

Of course.

MARTA

Lista?

FRED

You’ll get it back.

TED

Sure.

MONTAGE

TED (V.O.)

What made my isolation in Barcelona bearable was my work for IHSMOCO, the Illinois High-Speed Motor Corporation. Like nearly everyone else, I’d seen Arthur Miller’s play, and as a youth, had the usual sneering, deprecating attitude to the world of business and sales. All that changed senior year when the charismatic professor Woodward Thompson’s business course convinced us that even the apparently mundane world of business had its romance. A job interview with IHSMOCO led to employment and its training program. We were supposed to rotate between departments, but I arrived in sales just as a flu epidemic struck and never left. In sales I found not just a job, but a culture. Franklin, Emerson, Carnegie and Bettger were our philosophers and thanks to the genius of Carnegie’s theory of human relations many customers also became friends.

TED

I don’t consider high-pressure sales sales at all. It’s a form of fraud. In true sales, you’re providing a real and constructive service, helping people make their lives more agreeable, or their companies more efficient – and in so doing, creating wonderful economies of scale from which everyone and the whole economy benefit.

TED (V.O.)

The classic literature of self-improvement really was improving.

TED

Here’s something really good. It’s Bettger quoting George Matthew Adams. “The wisest and best salesman is always one who bluntly tells the truth about his article. That is always impressive. And if he does not sell the first time, he leaves a trail of trust behind. Being bluntly honest is always safe and best.”

TED (V.O.)

Other books, magazines, and audio tapes mixed practical tips with home truths.

VOICE ON CASSETTE

“...Try this: each time you handle a paper, mark it with a red dot. If you later encounter papers with three or four dots, you could be working more efficiently. Try to dispose of each paper the first time you handle it.”

TED (V.O.)

The enthusiastic, unsophisticated tone of much of this literature did open it up to the facile ridicule of half-wits.

FRED

Maybe I could use some of the same self-motivational techniques you use in sales in my Navy career. “Every day, in every way, I’m becoming a better and better lieutenant junior grade. Every day...”

TED

What you are referring to is autosuggestion, popularized by Coué during the twenties, but totally unserious. What I’m talking about has nothing to do with that.

INT. TED’S OFFICE

TED (V.O.)

I loved coming into the office early and catching up on the overnight telex traffic. The telex line was our umbilical cord to Chicago and confirmations for the bigger sales came through it, too.

CO-WORKER

What’s wrong?

TED

Dickie Taylor’s going to be supervising sales.

CO-WORKER

The Dickie Taylor of Marketing?

TED

I can’t believe it. Work for that guy? I’m sure he’s going to get me fired.

CO-WORKER

No. You are the best they have. They cannot do that.

EXT. OUTSIDE THE PALAU DE LA MÚSICA

TED (V.O.)

I really looked forward to seeing Aurora that night. I had this image stuck in my mind of looking into her eyes and maybe seeing her soul. But she was late, which was actually not that common in Barcelona.

MONTSERRAT

Oh, it’s you. Um, Aurora can’t come. Please excuse my retard.

INT. IN THE PALAU

MONTSERRAT

Two weeks ago Aurora had a flechazo.

TED

What’s a flechazo?

MONTSERRAT

It means suddenly dropping crazily in love with someone, as if an arrow had entered your heart, shot by one of those little boy angels. Aurora had a crazy adventure with this very handsome man, but he got too serious. She was about to begin an adventure with you.

TED

An adventure?

MONTSERRAT

But her boyfriend got angry and pressured her.

TED

Aurora has a boyfriend?

MONTSERRAT

Yes.

TED

“Vinyl Hampton”? I was sure that Aurora said “Lionel Hampton.” I’ve never heard of Vinyl Hampton.

EXT. THE STREET

TED

How could you tell I felt that way?

MONTSERRAT

During the whole concert your expression was like this.

TED

You’re very perceptive.

MONTSERRAT

What?

TED

You’re very perceptive.

MONTSERRAT

What?

TED

You are very perceptive.

MONTSERRAT

Oh, thank you.

TED

I don’t really like perceptiveness of that kind.

INT. A BAR

TED

It’s a typical pretty-girl thing – using observation for ridicule, as if impertinence were cute and charming. Now, my impression of Aurora is that she would be more apt to use observation for comprehension.

MONTSERRAT

You don’t think Aurora’s pretty?

TED

Well, no.

MONTSERRAT

But she’s beautiful.

TED

Um, physically?

MONTSERRAT

Yes. Her eyes...

TED

You think she’s beautiful because of her eyes?

MONTSERRAT

Yes. She also has a beautiful...

TED

Figure?

MONTSERRAT

Yes. Apparently, you are just the sort of dangerous, foreign man she likes.

TED

What do you mean?

MONTSERRAT

Your brother told her about your interests.

TED

What?

MONTSERRAT

You know.

TED

No.

MONTSERRAT

The Marquis de Sade, games of leather, weekends of fun. The straps under your clothes.

TED

He said that? That’s completely untrue, I can’t believe it. He promised he wouldn’t say that anymore. He’s not my brother.

MONTSERRAT

You don’t know anything about the Marquis de Sade at all?

TED

No.

MONTSERRAT

Well, I don’t believe you.

INT. A CLUB

MONTSERRAT

So you’re not wearing them tonight. That doesn’t prove anything. Maybe they’re at the cleaners.

TED (V.O.)

It turned out we both loved disco music of the late 1970s, despite what everyone else thought. We talked about all kinds of things.

TED

Well, you know how at parties people always talk about marketing?

MONTSERRAT

No. I’ve never heard people at a party talk about marketing.

TED

Well, this idea of marketing being a science, if you look at the evidence, it’s all anecdotal.

TED (V.O.)

I think it was during a Donna Summer song that it really happened – or at least that I realized it had. Everything was completely different now.

INT. TED’S APARTMENT

FRED

The things they say about us. I know we’re not to take it seriously, but after a while, it really hurts.

TED

I don’t believe you! Just once I’d like to go out with a girl not convinced I’m encased in black leather underwear.

FRED

That bothers you?

TED

The exact same story over and over again?

FRED

Well, it’s not exactly the same. I always vary it a little.

TED

Great! It wasn’t even Aurora, but this terrific friend of hers from the trade fair. She’s never met you but was still full of your stupid stories.

FRED

Frankly, I don’t care for your tone. You should get down on your knees and thank God that you have a cousin who makes up interesting stories about you. I’m the best P.R. guy you’re ever going to have. Do you think any even mildly cool trade fair girl would give you the time of day if she knew the pathetic Bible-dancing goody-goody you really are? You’re far weirder than someone merely into S & M. At least they have a tradition. We have some idea of what S & M is about – there’s movies and books about it, but so far as I know, there is nothing to explain the way you are.

EXT. THE STREET

MONTSERRAT

Hi, Ted. Go to the front and we will come down.

INT. A BAR

FRED

Haven’t you noticed the way he always making little digs at my intelligence?

MONTSERRAT

No.

FRED

You see, in the US, we take these tests called College Boards to see whether we go to a university that’s selective, highly selective, or not at all selective, which is where I went. My Board scores were very bad.

MARTA

But you seem very intelligent for an American.

FRED

Well, I’m not. The worst part was Ted getting 800 Boards, perfect scores. But since then I’ve met other people with 800 Boards and they don’t seem particularly intelligent either.

MONTSERRAT

So Ted is very smart.

FRED

Well, he tests well.

MARTA

I think it’s true that the height of the sexual revolution is over. I don’t go to bed with just anyone anymore, I have to be attracted to them sexually.

TED

But I always thought women had to have some kind of profound emotional bond with a man. A secure, romantic relationship, before they became interested in a relation of that kind.

MARTA

Oh, no.

INT. TED’S BEDROOM

TED

Taking advantage of his position to get involved with a 15-year old student?

MONTSERRAT

Actually, nothing really happened until summer, and by then I was 16.

TED

Oh, well, 16.

MONTSERRAT

Also, I had something to do with it.

TED

Still. Just from the little you’ve said. I really hate that guy.

MONTSERRAT

In truth, much of what you say reminds me of Ramon then. Ramon soon left from teaching to return to the newspaper. He had read the works of Philip Agee, so he was an expert on the American CIA and its involvement in the internal affairs of every country.

TED

Terrific.

MONTSERRAT

Then one year, the correspondent of fashion of his newspaper fell ill before the collections of Milan and Ramon was sent in her place. Ramon came back from Milan with a new idea, which he referred to as the “idea of physical beauty.”

TED

What’s that?

MONTSERRAT

His thought was that beauty is the closest thing to divinity that remains in the modern world. All the old gods are dead. There is no God that we know. But in beauty, the memory of divinity remains. For always after beauty was the subject Ramon wanted to dedicate his journalism to.

TED

Um, he wanted to write about flowers and things?

MONTSERRAT

No. It was the beauty of the female face and form that fascinated Ramon.

TED

Oh.

MONTSERRAT

He transferred to the Style of Life section of the newspaper where he did serieses on photographers’ models and on the young women who aspire to be actresses. The articles were accompanied by photos, and as Ramon is a good writer, they were very popular with readers.

TED

That makes sense. I mean, there’s something powerful about the idea of physical beauty. He’s not stupid.

MONTSERRAT

It was important for Ramon’s career as a journalist. He started appearing on television. He spent part of each month in Madrid. But, our physical relation ended almost completely. He wanted an open relation and encouraged me to go with other men.

TED

What?

MONTSERRAT

He thought I should go with other men.

TED

But you refused.

MONTSERRAT

No.

TED

When did you break up?

MONTSERRAT

“Break up”?

TED

Um, separate. Break apart as a couple.

MONTSERRAT

We haven’t broken apart. We live together.

INT. TED’S APARTMENT

SOUND OF EXPLOSION

FRED

Jesus, what was that?

TED

I don’t know.

FRED

Jesus, that’s where the USO is.

TED (V.O.)

A sailor from Brooklyn died in the USO bombing. Fred thought we should wait with the sailor’s friend for the midnight plane that was going to take the casket home.

INT. AIRPORT CARGO TERMINAL

FRANK

He had a good voice. Very deep. He liked to sing those old Johnny Cash songs.

FRED

I really like those. Ring of Fire.

TED

Yeah.

FRANK

He hoped to be sort of a Brooklyn Johnny Cash.

TED

God, what a shame.

SPANISH GUY

Johnny Cash?

FRANK

Yeah.

TED

Where’d you get the Old Crow?

FRED

Ah, the Consul.

TED

So he’s not such a bad guy.

FRED

Well, we should get started. “Our Father, preserve us from the dangers of the seas and the violence of enemies. Bless the United States. Watch over those upon the deep and protect the inhabitants of the land in peace and quiet.” “All hands bury the dead.”

TAPS PLAYS

FRED

“Unto Almighty God we commend the soul of our brother departed.”

INT. TED’S CAR, THE NIGHT OF SAN JUAN

MONTSERRAT

There are very many parties tonight. At least three we should go to.

TED

Three parties?

MONTSERRAT

Or four.

TED

Will that guy be at any of them?

MONTSERRAT

I’m sure.

INT. A PARTY

TED

Um, Montserrat. That guy’s here.

MONTSERRAT

Yes.

TED

Wanna go?

MONTSERRAT

No.

WOMAN

You can’t say Americans are not more violent than other people?

FRED

No!

WOMAN

All those people killed in shootings in America?

FRED

Oh... shootings. That doesn’t mean Americans are more violent than other people. We’re just better shots.

TED

Jack refocused IHSMOCO on what he saw as its real business. “This means motors and they must be fast,” he’d say. Jack’s one of those magnetic personalities from the World War II generation. He was with Wild Bill Donovan in the OSS and parachuted into Sicily before the Allied landings. He’s supposed to come to Barcelona this summer. I hope you can get the chance to meet him.

MONTSERRAT

Why do you think I should meet him?

TED

Well, he’s one of the last of the greats.

MONTSERRAT

It must be wonderful having work you like and a boss you admire so.

TED

Actually lately, there have been some problems. I don’t know what’s going on. I haven’t heard from Jack in ages and he’s put this terrible guy from marketing over us. Dickie Taylor. He’s this incredible jerk who...

FRED

Jesus!

TED

What’s wrong?

FRED

This music. I don’t get it, how can anybody dance to this?

MONTSERRAT

It’s not dance music.

FRED

Well, that explains it.

TED

What is it? It sounds familiar.

WOMAN

It’s Vinyl Hampton.

TED

Oh, God.

FRED

Isn’t there any dancing at parties here?

WOMAN

It’s too early for dancing.

FRED

No.

WOMAN

You don’t like jazz?

FRED

No.

WOMAN

I’ve never heard of anyone who didn’t like jazz.

FRED

Really? How odd.

WOMAN

You really hate jazz?

FRED

My jazz rule is: If you can’t dance to it, you don’t want to know about it.

FRED

Come on. Come on.

TED

You know this is almost impossible to do.

FRED

I always forget that. Maybe it is too early.

INT. A RESTAURANT

TED

Take hamburgers. Here, hamburguesas are really bad. It’s known that Americans like hamburgers, so again, we’re idiots. But they have no idea how delicious hamburgers can be. But it’s this ideal burger of memory we crave not the disgusting imitations you get abroad.

FRED

We can’t even call ourselves Americans. They love to correct you, saying, ‘South Americans are Americans too.’ I mean, give me a break.

MONTSERRAT

‘Norteamericano’ is the correct term.

FRED

But that makes no distinction between us or Canadians. ‘Yankee’ and ‘gringo’ are obviously pejorative, but it’s the standard dictionary term that’s the most insulting of all – ‘Estadounidense.’ Dense. D-E-N-S-E. It’s the same spelling – dense, thick, stupid. Every time you hear it, Estadouni- dense dense dense. It’s like a direct slap in the face. It’s incredible.

MONTSERRAT

I think you are too sensitive.

FRED

Oh great! Now we’re too sensitive!

EXT. OUTSIDE THE RESTAURANT

TED

Fred, listen. I’m sorry. Are you joking? Fred? You weren’t really offended by that, were you?

FRED

No, I like being called dishonest.

TED

I did not call you dishonest.

FRED

When we were kids, I borrowed some things. It was never, ever theft. In each case, I either told you or was about to.

TED

I was joking. You’re really overreacting.

FRED

You’re right, I somewhat overreacted. Before I realized it, I was already out the door and it would have been really embarrassing just going back and sitting down again. There’s something strange about the coffee here.

TED

In Barcelona?

FRED

I think it’s really messed me up. And you were so condescending. You think I went into the Navy because I was too dumb for finance or something, that I washed out at Shearson.

TED

I had no idea what happened in New York.

FRED

I didn’t wash out. There was no disgrace. They said I could go back. I hated the idea of being stuck indoors for 40 years with two weeks off to go snorkeling annually. The Naval officer is one of the only white-collar jobs where you really must deal intensively with the physical world all day long, and it counts. It is not theoretical. You dominate the elements in all four dimensions without a slip-up, or it gets very wet. And then there is all the fighting for freedom, defending democracy, “shining city on the hill” stuff, which as you know, I really buy.

TED

Jesus. That’s right. You do.

MONTSERRAT

The bill has come.

EXT. THE STREET

FRED

Must have been like this the night Francis Scott Key wrote the Star-Spangled Banner.

TED

Yeah.

MARTA

You have already finished?

TED

Yeah, it’s like two am.

MARTA

Ramon was talking so fascinatingly, I stayed to listen to him.

FRED

What was so, ah, fascinating?

MARTA

He was talking about the AFL-CIA and the American labor unions.

INT. TED’S CAR

MARTA

He described how, after World War II, representatives of the American labor union, the AFL-CIA, were sent to Europe to crush progressive unionism.

TED

How’d they do that?

MARTA

With sacks of money and the anti-Communist tactics of your senator Joey McCarthy.

FRED

The AFL-CIA?

MARTA

America’s largest union, terribly right wing and facha. You have not heard of it? It’s amazing the things Americans don’t know about their own country.

EXT. ROOFTOP PARTY

TED

There’s no such thing as the AFL-CIA. It’s the AFL-CIO. Actually, it’s the A.F. of L.-C.I.O. It was formed when the American Federation of Labor merged with the more militant CIO.

MONTSERRAT

How do you know so much about it?

TED

Chicago is the probably capital of 20th century American trade-unionism. The American labor leaders who came to Europe then – Jay Lovestone and, um... were giants.

MONTSERRAT

So what Marta said was partly true.

TED

Well, what do you mean, “partly true”? I mean, they were people.

MONTSERRAT

I’m sure I’ve heard of the AFL-CIA. There is some important American labor union of that name.

FRED

Oh, so now it’s late enough to dance.

TED

There’s an empty room where you could work during the day.

MONTSERRAT

Are you proposing we shake up together?

TED

Shack up together. You use the expression “shacked up” when you don’t like one of the people involved. You and Ramon were shacked up. We would just be living together.

MONTSERRAT

What about Fred?

TED

He’s moving out.

MONTSERRAT

She’s a model he was interviewing.

TED

He’s just all work. The creep.

MONTSERRAT

Ramon might not be as bad as you think he is. There’s a reason he goes with so many women. He has a problem.

TED

What?

MONTSERRAT

After he knows a woman well, he can not have sex with her well.

TED

He has a sexual impotence problem of some kind?

MONTSERRAT

Of some kind.

FRED

That’s terrible. Poor guy. But I think it explains a lot.

TED

What?

FRED

I think it’s well-known that anti-Americanism has its roots in sexual impotence. At least in Europe. There’s no union called the AFL-CIA, is there?

TED

No.

FRED

Give me a break.

RAMON

This bombing reminds one strongly of the United States blowing up its own ship, the Maine, in Havana harbor as the pretext for starting the War of 1898.

WOMAN

But, an American sailor died in the bombing. I find it hard to believe even the Americans would kill their own people.

RAMON

No. The American elections are approaching. A quick attack on some foreign bogeyman, Libya or Iran, might rescue the American president’s reclining popularity. The American 6th Fleet, which was to have shown the pendant in Barcelona this week, is still sailing the South Mediterranean, awaiting such a pretext.

TED

Did you hear that?

FRED

Yeah. Poor guy.

TED

The most disgusting slanders you can imagine! Someone’s gotta say something.

FRED

No, don’t.

TED

No, this scumbag is going around saying that the USO bombing was arranged by the Americans themselves. That’s a lie!

RAMON

What?

TED

Everything you said.

RAMON

The Americans exploding of their own ship, the Maine, in 1898 is a historical fact, established well. The other is still a thesis, but an increasingly likely one.

TED

Both are disgusting lies.

MONTSERRAT

No, Ted. All the history books say that about the Maine.

TED

Scumbag.

FRED

Jesus, Ted. I’m the one who’s supposed to go berserk.

TED

You could’ve helped me out back there.

FRED

I can’t get into political arguments, and you did fine.

TED

Oh, yeah. I made a complete fool out of myself. It’s one of the first rules of sales: “Never get involved in matters of public controversy.” But I couldn’t not reply.

FRED

No. Listen, don’t get into a funk about it. Who was really listening? Four or five drugged up good timers at some party.

TED

Twenty people, at least.

FRED

Ok, so you made a fool of yourself in front of 20 or 30 people. So what?

INT. TED’S LIVING ROOM

FRED

No, I really like it here. I’m really comfortable.

TED

Well, it’s just that we talked about you staying three days. It’s already been much longer. I thought with the fleet delayed you’d want another place to stay.

FRED

No. This is nice.

TED

The thing is, I’m trying to get Montserrat to move in.

FRED

Well, that’s great. I really like Montserrat.

TED

Won’t you think of staying at Marta’s?

FRED

No. Since being here, I’ve begun to realize how important family is. You and I are family. I want to be with family now.

TED

Yeah. Well, I want to be with Montserrat.

FRED

I’m really surprised at you shacking up with her. I would have thought that was against your morals or something. You really want me out of here, don’t you?

INT. TED’S CAR

MONTSERRAT

I still need to pick up my music from his apartment.

TED

What music?

MONTSERRAT

My radio cassette and tapes of music.

TED

The situation is still pretty raw. You really need those things urgently?

MONTSERRAT

I really need them urgently.

TED

It just seems unwise to go back so soon after you broke apart.

FRED

(snorts)

TED

What’s that mean?

FRED

Suit yourself.

INT. RAMON’S HOUSE

TED

Who’s the girl?

MARTA

She’s a girl from the fair who wants to be an actress.

TED

What a creep.

EXT. RAMON’S GARDEN

MAN

What it is about is a big country, the United States, making war on a little country.

TED

In the US government’s view, which I’m not in any way endorsing, the US policy is... Well, maybe this will help. Maybe an analogy will help. Take these ants. In the US view, a small group, or cadre, of fierce red ants have taken power and are oppressing the black ant majority. Now, the stated US policy is to aid those black ants opposing the red ants, in hopes of restoring democracy and to impede the red ants from assisting their red ant comrades in neighboring ant colonies.

RAMON

That is the clearest and most disgusting description of US policy I’ve ever heard. The Third World is just a lot of ants to you!

MAN

Those are people dying, not ants!

TED

No, I don’t think you understand. I was reducing everything to ant scale. The US included – an ant White House, an ant CIA, an ant Congress, an ant Pentagon.

RAMON

Secret ant landing strips, illegally established on foreign soil!

FRED

Where are the red ants?

TED

There.

EXT. BY TED’S CAR

TED

That was really terrible.

FRED

You’re blowing it way out of proportion. Don’t take it so seriously, those red ants were bad news. They weren’t good for anybody.

TED

No, I was trying to convince them to look at Americans in a new way. And then in one stupid move, you confirm their worst assumptions.

FRED

I did not confirm their worst assumptions, I am their worst assumption.

MARTA

Now Ramon is certain you are CIA.

TED

“Where are the red ants?” – Whonk!

FRED

It was a joke! I’m not gonna apologize. The little bastards got what they deserved.

TED (V.O.)

Montserrat decided to ride back with Ramon to pick up her things.

FRED

Thanks.

MONTAGE

TED (V.O.)

Montserrat called at eight the next morning, but I’d already left for the office.

INT. A BAR

TED

Losing a sale doesn’t bother me so much. I’ll make other sales. But there’s this thought I can’t shake that’s really getting me down. Maybe I’m not cut out for sales. I thought I liked sales and was good at it, but maybe I’m not cut out for it.

FRED

What exactly is the problem?

TED

Spending your whole life doing something you’re basically ill-suited to. Wasting your life. It’s kind of depressing.

FRED

God. Maybe I’m not cut out for the Navy.

TED

I gotta get back.

FRED

You’re going back to work now? For someone not cut out for something, you’re pretty obsessed with it.

TED

Yeah, that doesn’t mean anything.

FRED

It’s okay if I stay another night?

TED

Sure.

INT. TED’S OFFICE

TED (V.O.)

The call from Chicago I’d been dreading came that evening.

TED

Uh-huh. Okay. Okay, good-bye. That was Dickie. He’s coming here to speak with me and won’t say what it’s about. I’m getting canned.

INT. TED’S APARTMENT

TED (V.O.)

Ramon’s article appeared the next day.

FRED

It’s incredible. The most disgusting slander. Incredible!

TED

(reading) “Yet again, Americans themselves suspected in USO bombing.”

FRED

And, where do they get this about us blowing up the Maine? I’m going to the Consul. They’ve gotta reply to this.

INT. TED’S OFFICE

FRED

God! I can’t believe it!

TED

What?

FRED

You’re not going to believe this. The Consul. That half-bottle of Old Crow? He accused me of stealing it.

TED

But he gave you that.

FRED

I thought he had. He was on this interminable phone call, so I went like this. I’m sure that he saw me and indicated it was okay.

TED

But you replaced it.

FRED

Yeah. Well, you can’t find Old Crow over here, so I got a bottle of Jim Beam, which actually costs more.

TED

The bottle in the kitchen?

FRED

Yeah.

TED

You’ve been drinking that.

FRED

I’m not going to replace a half-bottle of Old Crow with a full Jim Beam. I’m not an idiot.

TED

You haven’t replaced it yet? Don’t you see how bad that looks?

FRED

Oh, God, give me a break!

TED

You know, Fred, after a while the line between borrowing things and theft becomes awfully thin.

FRED

Take that back. Until you retract that, I’m not going to say another word to you.

TED

Okay.

FRED

What you’re referring to happened 20 years ago and not at all the way you’re implying. Your kayak was a death ship! I almost went down in that thing. Thank God it was me and not you – I was a stronger swimmer and able to get away. I probably saved your life.

TED

Oh, great. It wasn’t only the kayak.

FRED

God! You are obsessed with material possessions! Maybe the Spanish are right. This American materialism is terrible. You’re just like the Consul. Much more interested in your crummy possessions than in answering the most hideously false and disgusting blood libel.

TED

Were you like this at the consulate?

FRED

Do you know what the Consul intends to do? Nothing. He doesn’t want to jeopardize his relationship with the press.

TED

You gotta be more careful, Fred. You can’t go around mouthing off this way.

FRED

Mouthing off?

TED

Yeah.

FRED

These are vile lies. We know how disgusting they are, but nobody here does. We’ve gotta reply to this.

TED

We?

FRED

Yeah, I drafted a brief letter for your signature.

TED

(reading) I can’t say the article made me “want to vomit.”

FRED

Maybe that’s not a good way to open. I could put it at the end. What are all these tiny red dots on your papers?

INT. TED’S APARTMENT

FRED

Digui? Oh, hi. No, he’s not here. I don’t know, I just got in. Apparently he’s not home yet. No, he didn’t say anything. Okay, I’ll give him the message. Ciao. That was Montserrat. What’s going on there?

MARTA

Ted has not said anything?

FRED

No. He has been in a weird funk.

MARTA

Well, it is all his fault.

FRED

Really? Watch. I am taking just one 5,000 peseta note. You’re my witness. And I’m leaving my signed, personal IOU for that amount to be repaid within 24, well, 72 hours.

MARTA

Yes, it is true.

FRED

It’s actually better this way. He would have lent it to me, but this spares us the acrimony. You don’t mind waiting? I’ll just be a few minutes.

MARTA

No.

INT. A BAR

MARTA

Ramon is very smart. That evening, one by one, he broke down all her reasons for leaving him. For instance, he has returned to writing for the paper’s international section.

FRED

Yeah, I know. Great.

MARTA

He pointed up that no matter how well she and Ted were in Barcelona, at some point Ted would want to return to Chicago, which he considers to be the most beautiful city in the world.

FRED

No, that’s crazy. San Francisco is.

MARTA

Ramon is very persuasive, and he painted a terrible picture of what it would be like for her to live the rest of her life in America with all of its crime, consumerism and vulgarity. All those loud, badly-dressed fat people watching their 80 channels of television and visiting shopping malls. The plastic, throw-everything-away society with its notorious violence and racism. And finally, the total lack of culture.

FRED

It’s a problem.

MARTA

Ramon was very clever because he never said anything opposing Ted directly. He did not even mention the terrible thing about the ants. He simply pointed up how Montserrat would be separating herself from her family and friends forever. Even if she came back every year, her children would would grow up Americans, eating hamburgers. Finally, Montserrat was sobbing, what he was describing was so bleak.

FRED

You mean, she’s dumped Ted and gone back to Ramon because of some conversation?

MARTA

No, that is just it. She just wanted to have a serious talk with Ted, but the way he has acted he has practically forced her into the arms of Ramon.

FRED

She is in the arms of Ramon?

MARTA

No. I don’t know.

FRED

When you were in Rhode Island, was the crime and vulgarity really so bad?

TED

Oh, great.

INT. TED’S KITCHEN

FRED

God, what’s going on?

TED

I’m getting canned.

FRED

But you’re the best they’ve got. You always say so.

TED

Yeah, I know. This jerk Dickie Taylor is calling the shots now. I don’t know how Jack let it happen this way.

FRED

God! And on top of that thing with Montserrat. Are you sure you know what you’re doing there? Marta said you practically forced Montserat back into Ramon’s arms.

TED

She said that? I don’t know what happened. Everything was going so well, and then suddenly she never showed up that night after going to pick up her things at Ramon’s. Apparently they talked until dawn and she ended up sleeping on the sofa. Which, for all I know, is true.

FRED

Marta said he laid it on real thick with the violence and racism in the USA angle.

TED

But it wouldn’t change everything this way. Something spooked her. As if I had been crowding her. I was really playing it cool, too.

FRED

What makes you think that?

TED

Suddenly she doesn’t want to move in. She wants to have a “serious talk.” You know what that means.

FRED

Well, you should at least talk with her.

TED

No. That would be a disaster. Forever I would be the jerk who was crowding her, whom she had to talk to seriously.

FRED

But saying you have a work emergency...

TED

I do have a work emergency!

FRED

...And then you’re too busy to see her. I don’t know.

TED

Have you ever heard of Maneuver X? When you get deeply into sales, you realize that every major transaction involves a mini identity crisis for the buyer. You think, “A green carpet. Am I really a green carpet person?” In romance, the same thing applies but on a humongous scale.

FRED

But what is Maneuver X?

TED

It’s removing all pressure. Creating sort of a space that the customer has to affirmatively cross. Only by disappearing more thoroughly and inexplicably than Montserrat can I change the current dynamic. Will it? I don’t know. I think it will. If not, I’m dead.

FRED

Wow. You’ve really thought this through. That’s really impressive. I haven’t thought through anything about Marta. But isn’t Maneuver X just another way of putting what we usually refer to as playing hard to get?

TED

No.

FRED

Huh.

INT. TED’S OFFICE

FRED

I’m being followed.

TED

Give me a break.

FRED

There is a guy following me. Come here, I’ll show you. Not there. He’ll see you. Over here. Edge your eyes around. He’s on that pedestrian island, a little further down.

TED

He’s in the car?

FRED

What car? No. He’s gone. There really was a guy. Wherever I went, he went.

TED

What did he look like?

FRED

Well, you know, sort of suspicious-looking.

TED

What was he wearing?

FRED

He was carrying something. A camera, I think.

EXT. THE STREET

TED

The words to pop songs are about the only literature of advice we have on romantic matters. Most of the advice very bad.

FRED

Huh. Maybe you can clarify something for me. You know, since I’ve been waiting for the fleet to show up, I’ve read a lot, and...

TED

Really?

FRED

...and one of the things that keeps cropping up is this about “subtext.” Plays, novels, songs – they all have a subtext, which I take to mean a hidden message or import of some kind. So, subtext, we know. But what do you call the message or meaning that’s right there on the surface, completely open and obvious? They never talk about that. What do you call what’s above the subtext?

TED

The text.

FRED

OK, that’s right, but they never talk about that.

Jesus! The anti-Americanism here is incredible!

Oh, my God!

Jesus! (reading) “CIA Network Discovered in Barcelona. Operations Run by Fred Boynton.” How can they print this stuff?

EXT. IN FRONT OF CONSULATE

FRED

Oh, finally!

INT. TED’S CAR

FRED

God, incredible. God that was horrible. Blame the victim! There was even a call from the Pentagon, furious. This has been the worst day of my life. God, that Consul’s annoying!

That white car’s following us.

TED

Which white car? They’re all white.

FRED

The Renault.

TED

They’re all Renaults.

FRED

Oh, cut it out! That white Renault has been following me all afternoon. The last thing I need is more press coverage.

TED

It’s got Gerona plates.

A PARTY

FRED

Why are you always going to bathrooms with other people? I wasn’t born yesterday, you know.

MARTA

You were not born yesterday? I don’t understand you. You’re not in a very nice mood tonight.

FRED

You gave Ramon that information.

MARTA

I had no idea it was of significance.

FRED

Couldn’t you tell I was joking? I’m not in the CIA. It was obviously a joke.

MARTA

I have no idea what you are.

FRED

You promised not to repeat to Montserrat what I said about Ted.

MARTA

That he’s wanting to marry her so? I had to tell her, she is my friend. She already suspected something like that anyway. She was worried about getting involved with someone who thought in such extremist terms.

FRED

Extremist?

MARTA

I think there is something fascist about a boy who immediately talks of marrying a woman he likes.

FRED

I don’t think Ted is a fascist of the marrying kind.

INT. TED’S KITCHEN

FRED

You’re right, something did spook her. Apparently, I said something to Marta about you wanting to marry and spend your life with her, and...

TED

I never even told you.

FRED

Well, you never confide anything in me, so I have to extrapolate.

TED

Why did you tell her?

FRED

You’re in this conversation. It has this momentum. You want to tell the other person interesting or funny things, and you end up telling them things, which, maybe on reflection, you shouldn’t.

TED

This wasn’t just some “funny thing.”

FRED

I would take it back if I could. Montserrat’s gone to Paris to take the summer program at the Institute. I’m sorry.

I don’t know if this is the right time to mention this. Well, I’m sure it isn’t, but, I think I might be in love with Montserrat, too. What if you and Montserrat are not perfect for each other, what if Montserrat and I are? Am I supposed to give up any possibility of happiness? Of ever knowing whether she was precisely the one person in the world I was meant to be with, just because of the accident that you met her first?

TED

I hate your guts.

FRED

I know. I’ll never mention this again.

INT. TED’S LIVING ROOM

TED

I’ve gotta go to Milan this morning, but I was thinking of going up to Paris on Monday. There’s some IHSMOCO business I should take care of there.

FRED

You’ll call Montserrat before you go?

TED

I think I’ll just call her when I get there. You know, play it somewhat cool.

FRED

So, you’re keeping on with Maneuver X?

TED

Yeah. A modified X.

FRED

Oh, I forgot – I borrowed 5,000 pesetas the other night. Is it okay if I pay you back later?

TED

You have this very bad habit of borrowing things without informing the lender.

FRED

Sorry about that .

TED

(reading) “I owe you 5,000 pesetas to be repaid within 24... 72 hours. F.” So you’ve crossed over into real larceny.

FRED

What? I didn’t take it. I took just one 5,000 peseta note. The rest was all here.

TED

I don’t care. That’s enough.

FRED

You can’t think that I would really steal?

TED

How does it look?

FRED

Bitch. I will either get your money back or I will pay you back myself.

TED

Good.

FRED

Jesus! I don’t steal. I didn’t take your money. You’ve always been so self-righteous towards me, ever since we were ten. It is really unbearable.

TED

What happened when we were ten? You’re such a liar.

INT. TAXI

FRED

Every day, in every way, I am becoming a better and better lieutenant junior-grade. Every day, in every way, I am becoming a better and better lieutenant junior-grade. Every day in every way...

GUNSHOT

TED (V.O.)

Even the disasters that strike those we are closest to only reach us filtered through our own colossal egotism. My response to what happened to Ted was swamped in subjective emotion, mostly guilt. I prayed for him all the time, but with the constant doubt that I was probably just kidding myself. I was beginning to suspect my religious faith was largely bogus. I resolved to stay there all the time and do whatever I possibly could to improve Fred’s chances for recovery.

Fred was shot before one of the long summer weekends. By late Friday, the hospital’s entire senior medical staff seemed to have disappeared.

TED

I can’t believe you’re just going. There must be something more you can do.

DOCTOR

Don’t worry. Your buddy will get the best medicine care.

TED (V.O.)

For me, “don’t worry” is the most frightening phrase in the English language. “Don’d gworry,” even more so. It almost invariably means they’re not going to worry, but you better had.

Each hour Fred remained unconscious, his chances apparently got worse. I had heard that sounds of familiar voices could help, so I tried to keep up a steady stream of chatter in Fred’s room, and to arrange an around-the-clock vigil of friends to read to him. But it was hard to find books in English Fred might like.

TED

(reading)

“We seek him here, we seek him there.

Those Frenchies seek him everywhere.

ls he in heaven? Is he in hell?

That damned, elusive Pimpernel?”

TED (V.O.)

What was really disillusioning was how some people let you down when someone gets sick.

TED

(on phone) It’s 9:30, the situation’s really bad. I don’t understand why you haven’t shown up yet, you’re really needed here.

TED (V.O.)

Aurora turned out to be a real trooper. Marta never showed up. The Consul turned out to be a great guy. Terrific with the hospital administration. He couldn’t believe Fred had taken the thing about the Old Crow bottle seriously.

CONSUL

I was just kidding. I forgot guys who joke around a lot can be so sensitive themselves. I have no sense of humor so he must have assumed I was serious.

TED (V.O.)

Among the plainclothes Navy guards assigned to the hospital was our friend, Frank who, in his off-duty hours, helped me with the reading.

FRANK

(reading) “‘Wherever you are, depravity and evil are to be found,’ said Pierre to his wife. ‘Anatole, come with me. I want a word with you,’ he added in French.”

TED (V.O.)

Fred and I were both so-called “only cousins” – the only cousin each of us had. We didn’t hate each other our whole childhood. The summer we were 10 there was a 36 hour period we were on quite good terms. After we had both cut ourselves in a freak fishing accident we even took advantage of all the blood to become “blood brothers.” Later that afternoon, I went into town with my parents. I never saw my kayak again.

I was expecting Aurora. But the nurse said another woman was there who wanted to speak with me.

TED

Oh, hi. You got my messages.

We can go out. You probably want to with him alone for a while.

MARTA

No. Actually I am here to see you.

TED

It’s about Fred?

MARTA

No.

TED

I’ll walk you out.

WOMAN

Ted, you should go home, go to sleep. You look so tired. Greta and I can stay here. Greta has very good English and loves this book.

TED

Okay. Thanks. There’s still hope, you know. I mean, more than hope. He could come out of it any time and be bassically okay with very little consequences.

Or very few. Good-bye.

MARTA

Adéu.

WOMAN

(reading) OK, “That man is somehow...”

GRETA

(reading) Balé. “‘That man is somehow closely and painfully connected with me,’ thought Prince Andre. Suddenly he remembered Natasha as he’d first seen her at the ball in 1810 with her slender neck and arms, with her timid, happy face prepared for ecstasy.”

EXT. THE STREET

TED

Fifteen minutes don’t go by that I don’t think of her. I think about her all the time.

MARTA

That’s too bad. I thought you’d gotten over her.

TED

What do you mean?

MARTA

It was impossible. You had no chance.

TED

Why do you say that?

MARTA

It is only my opinion.

When Fred was shot, did he have envelopes of cash money with him?

TED

Yes.

MARTA

That money is mine and I need it back.

TED

What?

MARTA

I need that money back. I’m going on a journey.

TED

No, that money was taken from me. Fred was just recovering it.

MARTA

You suspect me of having taken that money?

TED

I’m sorry, you didn’t take it?

MARTA

Well, I did. But it was only 300,000 pesetas. Fred came he took more than those.

TED

What do you want?

MARTA

I want the money that belongs to me.

TED

How much is that?

MARTA

200,000 pesetas. I need that money. I’m going away.

TED

Where?

MARTA

The Maldive Islands.

TED

The Maldives?

MARTA

I’ve decided to change my life completely. But I need that money. From now on, I want to lead an exemplary life.

TED

Exemplary? What about Fred?

MARTA

Fred shall not want to see me. Something shameful happened. He did not tell you about it? And I think the one Fred truly liked was Montserrat, though he would never tell you.

TED (V.O.)

Fred had gone into convulsions while Aurora’s friend was with him.

INT. THE HOSPITAL

TED

It’s not your fault. You did everything right. It’s good you were there.

Can you hear anything, man? If you can pull through this you can rest at the lake for the rest of the summer. Try and think about the lake.

Do you mind? I feel sort of awkward with someone looking on.

AURORA

What?

TED

I was going to say something and it’s sort of awkward. It will only be 5 or 10 minutes.

AURORA

Oh, I am sorry.

TED

Oh, well, OK. You know some Catholic prayer?

WOMAN

Are you the boy who wanted to marry Montserrat?

TED

No. Who told you that?

WOMAN

What?

TED

That I wanted to marry Montserrat.

WOMAN

It was just the story of an American boy who fell in love with Montserrat and decided he wanted to marry and spend his life with her, while they danced to a Bee Gees song. Is he the boy who’s in love with Montserrat?

TED

No. I don’t think so.

WOMAN

Montserrat does know you. She called here shortly after you left and asked about both of you.

TED

What did she say?

WOMAN

I don’t know. Aurora took the call.

INT. HOSPITAL ROOM

TED

Why weren’t you in that article on the most beautiful women at the Trade Fair?

GRETA

You thought I should be?

TED

Sure.

GRETA

I loathe that fellow. You know him?

TED

We’ve met. That’s interesting, you loathe him. How come?

GRETA

I don’t have the English, but in Castilian, we’d say he’s “repelente.”

TED

“Repelling.” That’s good. What’s your name?

GRETA

Greta.

TED

That’s not very Catalan.

GRETA

Well, I’m not very Catalan.

TED

Who’s this? Oh. Are you religious?

GRETA

Quasi.

TED

You want to be an artist?

GRETA

No.

TED

Listen, you should get some rest.

GRETA

Do you think I should go?

TED

Well...

GRETA

I could stay longer if you like. Until Aurora comes.

TED

Actually I was thinking of sacking out here.

GRETA

“Sacking out?”

TED

Sleeping here. On the chairs, maybe.

GRETA

Oh. Do you really think he will become well? Are you convinced of that?

TED

Yes. It was great that you were here last night. Thanks for staying.

TED

Oh, hi.

MONTSERRAT

Hi. I’m sorry I didn’t come so soon. I only heard yesterday.

TED

You only heard yesterday?

MONTSERRAT

Is he any better?

TED

No. Not yet.

Fred was right. I persecuted him for trivialities. There were all these things that I blew way out of proportion. Things that seemed crimes at the time, but were really of no importance whatsoever. Maybe he did save my life going down in the kayak that way. And those Board scores, that couldn’t have been right. Before that, I always thought Fred was smarter than I was. Well, maybe not smarter, but... Maybe his explanation was true. Fred said that when he took the Boards, this incredibly annoying girl sat next to him who kept fiddling and fidgeting with her brassiere. Fred went to an all-boys school and found her fidgeting so distracting and annoying, he lost his place on the answer sheet.

MONTSERRAT

You thought that was not true?

TED

I always assumed it was false.

No. That’s the way it’s been. He moves and you think he’s come out of it, but he hasn’t.

MONTSERRAT

Should we go somewhere to talk?

TED

Until Fred comes out of this, I kinda made a resolution not to do or think about anything else. Maybe when Aurora comes.

MONTSERRAT

We came together. They’re in the cafeteria. I’ll get them.

TED

I’ll stay here with Fred.

Our Father, who art in heaven, please forgive us our sins. And please bring Fred back to full consciousness, with all his mental capabilities and everything reasonably intact. Please forgive my doubting, vainglory, and unworthiness...

FRED

Oh, give me a break.

TED

Fred? Fred?

Doctor!

How much can you remember?

Do you remember who I am?

Do you remember who I am?

FRED

Yes!

TED

Who am I?

FRED

Some civilian.

TED

Who am I?

FRED

The kid with the kayak, but older and fatter. Leave me alone!

TED

This is terrific. He’s going to have a complete recovery.

It’s amazing. This is really good. It looks like his recovery is going to be absolutely complete, wouldn’t you say?

DOCTOR

Yes. His memory...

TED

But over the long term?

DOCTOR

Yes. Over the long term.

TED

I mean, it looks like his recovery is going to be absolutely complete.

DOCTOR

Yes.

INT. TED’S BEDROOM

TED

Damn!

MONTSERRAT

You fell asleep.

TED

Typical of this guy to make me meet him at the airport.

MONTSERRAT

Who?

TED

Dickie Taylor, the terrible guy from marketing has it set up so I have to race off to the airport to get fired.

MONTSERRAT

I can’t believe that. They’re crazy.

TED

I don’t know. I’ve been having all these doubts. Can you stay at the hospital with Fred until I get back?

INT. AIRPORT

DICKIE TAYLOR

Thanks for coming out. I’m sorry to set it up this way, but the only connecting flight is at eleven.

I should get to what I’m here for. I’m afraid I have some really bad news.

TED

It is bad news?

DICKIE TAYLOR

Yeah.

TED

I thought so. Listen Dickie, let’s make this a lot easier. I quit. What I don’t understand is why Jack couldn’t call me and tell me himself. It’s not right.

DICKIE TAYLOR

What are you talking about? Jack’s sick. He’s gonna die.

TED

What?

DICKIE TAYLOR

Jack’s sick.

TED

God, I can’t believe it.

DICKIE TAYLOR

Yeah, the whole company’s devastated. Jack’s the last of the greats.

TED

He’s such a great guy.

DICKIE TAYLOR

Yeah, he is. I’ll admit, I always resented the incredible favoritism he showed you.

TED

There was no favoritism.

DICKIE TAYLOR

Oh, come on. Anyway, Jack’s very worried about the company. Dwight and Ron are older than Jack, and with Tom and Greg gone there is no middle generation to succeed them. Jack asked me whom in our class I could work with best. Naturally, I mentioned you. It’s great, the feedback you’ve been giving us in Marketing. It’s had a critical dimension, but basically I think you’re right – this idea of marketing as a science is pure myth. He wants pledges from both of us to stay with the company at least 5 years and he wants you back in Chicago as soon as possible.

TED

I thought you were here to fire me.

DICKIE TAYLOR

Yeah, What was all that “I quit” stuff about? For a moment I thought...

TED

Well, I’m so far behind on those sales targets you set.

DICKIE TAYLOR

I didn’t set them. Jack did.

TED

What?

DICKIE TAYLOR

You don’t know Jack’s theory about you. He thinks that basically you aren’t cut out for sales. That it’s not your life’s work. But as long as you thought you were behind, you’d struggle to keep up and not worry about whether you were really cut out for it or not.

TED

Jack doesn’t think I’m cut out for sales?

DICKIE TAYLOR

No, not the way Henry or someone like him is.

TED

Selling is more than a job one is cut out or not cut out for. It’s a culture, a whole way of thinking about experience, bringing to bear all of the insights of Carnegie and Bettger.

DICKIE TAYLOR

We all like Carnegie and Bettger. Sales is the heart of any commercial corporation. But have you read Drucker?

TED

I always thought of that as the cult of management.

DICKIE TAYLOR

No, Drucker’s terrific. You gotta read him. Here. The insight packed into this little book is incredible.

TED

I’ll slip into Kroch’s when I get back and pick up a copy.

DICKIE TAYLOR

No, keep it. I’ve practically memorized it and it’s much easier for me to go to Kroch’s when I get back.

TED

Thanks.

EXT. THE AIRPORT

TED

But you gotta admit, it looks like you’re well on your way to a complete and total recovery. It’s incredible.

FRED

Just cut out the “Pollyanna-Little-Miss-Mary-Sunshine complete recovery” crap. My god, you’re almost pathological. Sometimes I’d like to wring your neck.

TED

Well, the mood swings are new.

INT. AIRPORT CAFE

FRED

Rehabilitation is fine for houses but for people, it is unspeakably boring. Do you know what the whole basis for physical therapy is? Doing the same thing over and over and over again.

TED

But it really is important.

FRED

Oh, yeah. But what’s the upside? Learning how to do things you already knew how to do much better before?

TED

Um, you really should read Drucker.

FRED

You think it’s applicable to the Navy?

TED

Yeah. And to whatever else you do afterwards.

FRED

I started remembering things about that girl you talked about – Marta. Everything has gone so badly. I’m not going to be a cry-baby about this.

I remember something about a limbo stick.

TED

Yeah, there was a limbo stick.

TED (V.O.)

While I was in Chicago, Fred used my office to prepare the Fleet Information Sheet.

FRED

Great. Thanks. That’s really nice. Thanks.

TED (V.O.)

Barcelona and Chicago never seemed more beautiful than they did that fall. Commuting between them, I started routing the trip through London to fly into Chicago directly, avoiding New York and Madrid entirely. Twice I ran into Greta on the London leg. Apparently, she was visiting friends there. It was incredibly sad watching Jack’s decline. But he still had good days and the memory of these will always be incredibly important to all of us. When I got back to Barcelona, I had to move quickly to plan the wedding and wrap up my IHSMOCO work.

INT. TED’S CAR

FRED

You never said anything about getting married?

TED (V.O.)

Fred’s attitude really puzzled me. Initially, he seemed quite bitter.

FRED

I’ve never seen you like this. So cocky. Aren’t you taking alot of things for granted? The boyfriend’s still in the picture.

TED

I’m not taking anything for granted until the vows have actually...

FRED

Well, that’s it – you think wedding vows are gonna change everything? God, your naiveté is astounding. Didn’t you see “The Graduate”?

TED

You can remember “The Graduate”?

FRED

Yeah, I can remember a few things. Apparently you don’t. The end? Katharine Ross has just married this really cool guy, tall, blond, incredibly popular, the make-out king of his fraternity in Berkeley. When this obnoxious Dustin Hoffman character shows up at the back of the church and starts pounding on the glass, acting like a total asshole. “Elaine! Elaine!” Does Katharine Ross tell Dustin Hoffman, “Get lost creep, I’m a married woman”? No. She runs off with him. On a bus. That is the reality.

TED

Thanks a lot.

EXT. THE STREET

TED (V.O.)

Then Fred’s tone changed completely, and he became almost insanely positive about the approaching wedding.

FRED

Of course I like her. She’s great. The thing is, you’re right for each other. It makes sense. So she’s accepted and everything?

TED

Of course she’s accepted.

FRED

Well, that’s great, then.

EXT. BARRIO GOTICO

TED

Positive thinking is fine in theory. But whenever I try it on a systematic basis, I end up really depressed.

FRED

It hasn’t really worked for me, either.

Oh, God.

TED

Oh, good.

FRED

“Oh, good”? You invited that guy?

TED

He was great when you were in the hospital. I think maybe you misjudged him. He seems like a nice guy.

FRED

He’s paid to act that way.

CONSUL

Hi, how are you doing?

TED

Nice to see you.

CONCUL

How are you?

FRANK

Good morning.

CONSUL

How are you doing?

FRED

No one from the bride’s side.

TED

Her parents wanted to keep it really small.

FRED

They must be delighted having their daughter marry Estadouni-dense.

TED

No, they’re not that way. Her family’s terrific. Javier!

JAVIER

Hola. ¿Que tal? Ah, my father wanted me to explain you. “Sorry for the inconvenience. Please take coffee, we there be soon.”

TED

Everything’s fine with your sister?

JAVIER

Yes, everything’s fine. We not understand where she is, but, not a problem.

FRED

Oh, God!

JAVIER

No, not a problem. My sister is a very serious girl. Do you know that?

TED

Yes.

CONSUL

Let’s go to the Meson.

INT. MESON CAFÉ

TED

Things have been pretty tense. I’ve hardly slept in a week. Her old boyfriend resurfaced on Wednesday.

JAVIER

Not a problem.

CONSUL

I don’t think anti-Americanism is really all that significant a phenomenon. It’s certainly nothing to take personally.

FRED

Sorry if I take it personally.

TED

Well, what is it, then?

CONSUL

Let me use an analogy. The United States is like an enormous ant farm.

FRED

Oh, God, not ants!

CONSUL

An ant farm is a see-through plastic case enclosing an ant colony. It’s a toy sold to children so they can watch ants build their own little societies inside. I think the US is sort of like the ant farm for the rest of the world. But, people living in other countries can’t observe the ants directly. They must rely on journalists and commentators for a description of everything going on inside. The problem is, that these people all seem to hate ants.

EXT. THE STREET

CONSUL

You know, I don’t know if anyone has ever mentioned this to you before, but it looks to me like you could be shaving in the wrong direction.

FRED

I wonder about that all the time.

CONSUL

Your father never taught you?

FRED

You know, he uses an electric razor, so it never occurred to me to ask.

TED

Your father uses an electric razor? I never knew that.

FRED

Well, he’s light-haired, so it never really mattered. But I really have to shave. It’s no joke. So, what is the right way to shave, then?

CONSUL

First, you wash with a lot of hot water...

JAVIER

They have just explained me. All are coming now. Not a problem.

FRED

Listen, I know this is awkward, but you’re going to be leaving town soon. Now that everything seems set, I thought I should mention that I’m going to be calling Montserrat and asking her out. I can’t remember how everything was before I was shot, but since then I’ve had this incredible feeling for her which I’ve never had before, and it’s not some silly crush. I’ve seen her in all sorts of different situations and contexts – some of them really, really difficult. You clearly realized the way things were between you before she did, and that was very hard for her, as it was hard for you, before. We’ve spent hours on the phone together, and she’s so fascinating, that I can’t stand the thought of going back without her. And I’m sure she’d like San Francisco more than she’d like Chicago. And it would be great, going to the Lake summers with you and Greta there.

TED

God! You always do this.

FRED

I always do this? Couldn’t you just try and be a little sympathetic, a little cousinly? Pretend I’m one of your customers.

TED

Okay, okay, but Jesus. Do we have to get into this now? Things are a little tense. I’m getting married and the bride hasn’t shown up.

FRED

She’ll show up. She’s gaga for you.

TED

You think so?

FRED

I don’t think she spent all that time in the hospital just to see how “War and Peace” turned out.

TED

Greta’s actually looking forward to the 80 channels of television and the abundance of consumer products in the US. I mean, it doesn’t bother her at all.

FRED

Of course not. She’s terrific. You more than anyone should want Montserrat to have some chance of happiness in life.

TED

You’re Montserrat’s chance for happiness in life?

FRED

Maybe.

TED

So what’s your plan? You gonna play it somewhat cool?

FRED

I’m going to play it really cool.

RAMON

Hello. Please. I know some people think that the articles I wrote were in some way related to your shooting. I don’t agree that a journalist should be criticized for writing articles he believe to be true. But, if anything I’ve done has caused you harm in any way please accept my sincere regret. If there is anything I can do for you in the future please, do not hesitate. Hm?

FRED

Thank you very much. Actually, I think there might be something.

EXT. THE LAKE

GRETA

These go with these, and those with those.

MONTSERRAT

Fantastic! Incredible.

TED

You see, we’re not such idiots.

DICKIE TAYLOR

She’s really beautiful.

TED

Yeah.

FRED

I am not sure how important that is.

DICKIE TAYLOR

No, I really like her. There’s one thing, though – she keeps asking about my underwear, and then smirking as if I am supposed to know what she’s talking about. What are “weekends of fun”?

TED

Oh, that. Yeah, Montserrat was the same way. Apparently it’s some Barcelona girl thing.

FRED

It does sound familiar.

DICKIE TAYLOR

Odd.

TED

You see, that’s one of the great things about getting involved with someone from a foreign country. You can’t take it personally. What’s really terrific is that when we act in ways which might objectively seem asshole-ish, or incredibly annoying, they don’t get upset at all. They don’t take it personally. They just assume it’s some national characteristic.

FRED

Cosa de gringos.

TED

Yeah.

DICKIE TAYLOR

Fantastic.

TED AND FRED

Yeah.

Transcript formatted using Scrippets.