Barton Hawkins - act 1, scene 1
a state mental hospital
A conversation between Patient 17 and Patient 804 inside Barton Hawkins State Mental Hospital, also known to patients and staff as The Nut Canister.
INT. BARTON HAWKINS STATE MENTAL HOSPITAL - CAFETERIA - DAY
The cafeteria is sparse. Most patients have already eaten and gone. Few remain scattered and seated alone throughout the tables, including Patient 17, diagnosis - unspecified dissociative disorder, and Patient 804, diagnosis - unknown.
17: (yells from across the room to 804) Hey! Hey you!
804 glances up from her food and makes eye contact with 17. She looks behind her and then back at 17, pointing to herself with question.
17 (CONT’D): Ya, you! C’mere!
804 picks up her lunch tray and relocates to 17’s table.
17: What’s wrong with you?
804: In what sense?
17: Corpse, you’re rotting. You gotta go to work.
804: (confused) I can’t.
17: Why not?
804: (looks at her surroundings in gesture of the answer) Because I’m here.
17: (nods) Probably so.
804: In what sense?
17: Don’t worry about it. Me, too.
804: What are you talking about?
17: See, it’s like this - women always want pockets, right? But when they get them, they don’t fill them. It’s a philosophical thing. Is that the same as a philosophy?
804: Why wouldn’t it be?
17: Never mind. It’s a big picture thing. It’s not talking about literal pockets and literal items in pockets. It’s talking about the big picture that women always want the pockets, like the big thing, but then they get it and they realize they’re not happy with it, I guess. Is that what it’s referencing? So maybe you just don’t know what you want, so stop wishing for pockets.
804: Why do you think I’m wishing for pockets?
17: Look man, I’ve been here a while, a long while, a lot longer than you. I pay attention.
804: How is this related to rotting?
17: What I’m saying is pockets and rotting are one in the same.
804: But in what sense?
17: It’s not literal rotting or being buried in the ground, like items in a pocket. It’s wishing you were. Wishing you were in the ground because you made it to this lovely place or had the pockets. But you need to work to realize you’re worth something. Give back to yourself. The work is there, like pockets are there.
804: But I can’t work. Not while I’m here and not until I get an evaluation and they tell me how long I’m forced to stay. But I don’t want to be buried either. Cremation only. But you were right about the pockets. I am wishing for one. A small one at least for my chapstick.
17: (laughing) “…for my chapstick.” Who the fuck needs a pocket for their chapstick, Corpse?
804: (pausing) Why do you keep calling me Corpse?
17: Because you look like hell.
17: Noticed you right away when you came in yesterday. The Canister is fillin’ up quick. There are more loonies on the loose than they thought. What are you in for?
804: The same as you I presume.
17: And what do you think that is?
804: Being nutty.
17: You sneaky bitch. You sexy sneaky bitch. Anyway, lunch man, I feel like the burrito today didn’t have a lot of hot sauce until now.
804: There’s no hot sauce in it.
17: Oh. I don’t know what’s happening. (laughing) Oh, maybe I ate a jalapeño.
804: There’s no jalapeños in it.
17: There’s some kind of pepper.
804: There’s a pepper, but it’s not a jalapeño.
17: (laughing) Is it a fucking bell pepper? The not hot pepper that I’m thinking is hot? Why are bell peppers peppers?
804: I don’t know.
17: All peppers are hot.
804: Not true.
17: That’s what I’m saying. The bell peppers are not.
804: So not all peppers are hot.
17: I’m just saying, because it’s the odd man out, it should be booted from the pepper community.
804: They’re not going to kick out bell peppers. They’re bigger than most, so they rule the land.
17: What the fuck?
A nurse with a clipboard enters the cafeteria and walks toward Patient 17 and Patient 804.
NURSE: Mr. Monroe. Shouldn’t you be practicing on the field right now?
17: Probably so.
NURSE: Well, get going. A team can’t play without its captain.
17: (to 804) See ya around, Corpse.
Patient 17 stands and exits the cafeteria. The nurse scribbles something on her clipboard. She then makes eye contact with Patient 804, smiles, then exists. Patient 804 sits alone once again.
END SCENE 1
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