Spare Some Change

FADE IN:

INT. TRAIN PLATFORM – MORNING

Amidst the backdrop of a winter-stricken Salem, MA, ANTHONY, a young, late 20-something Eastern European-complexioned male stands at the edge of the train platform, expecting his Boston-bound train to arrive soon. Every few seconds he fidgets around, digging his hands further into the deep pockets of his pea-coat, shuddering at the frigid, harsh gusts of wind carried inland from the Atlantic. Heeding little attention to those around him, he turns at an abrupt racket of phlegm soaked hacking and sniffling.  Besides him exists a distressed, potbellied, unshaven, 50-odd year old homeless man, JOSEPH, whose imbalanced mass is hunched over his thoracic vertebrae.

JOSEPH: Excuse me, sir. Do you have any change? Any amount would help.

ANTHONY: (Noticeably uncomfortable) Oh…I’m sorry. I don’t have any change on me.

JOSEPH: Please, sir. (Cupping his hands together) Anything will do. Whatever you have.

ANTHONY: (Pulling his hands out of the pockets of his pea-coat, opening them to the air, proving  he has no change) Again, I have no change on me. I’m sorry.

JOSEPH: (His cupped hands now clenching and falling to his hips) Fucking bullshit.

ANTHONY: (Astonished) Excuse me?!

JOSEPH: You heard me. I seen you.

ANTHONY: (Distressed) What? Wh–What are you saying?

DISSOLVE TO:

The two men are now facing one another, JOSEPH staring deep into ANTHONY’S face, wrought with a brooding grimace.

JOSEPH: I seen you earlier today, after you left your apartment, before you came here.

CUT TO:

EXT. OF BAGEL WORLD – NIGHT:

ANTHONY is exiting the cafe, holding a bagel and coffee.

JOSEPH: You bought yourself an everything bagel and a 16 oz. coffee over at Bagel World, you liar.

ANTHONY walks off from the cafe. JOSEPH is seen crouching behind a mailbox, watching ANTHONY closely.

CUT TO:

TRAIN STATION – PRESENT:

ANTHONY: (Disoriented) What — how did you see—

JOSEPH: (Leaning in closer, cutting ANTHONY off) I seen you last night too. You went out to dinner with your lady, VANESSA.

CUT TO:

EXT. OF HOWLING WOLF TAQUERIA – NIGHT:

Seated besides the main window of the taqueria sits both ANTHONY and his significant other, VANESSA, a similarly aged brunette woman. As they are eating, JOSPEH is watching them from across the street, standing under a streetlamp, watching them with a fervor in his eyes.

JOSEPH:  The two of you binged, breaking your usual frugality, sharing a platter of al pastor and grilled shrimp tacos.

CUT TO:

TRAIN STATION – PRESENT:

ANTHONY: (Now quivering, a single bead of sweat rolling down his forehead) But — I paid with my card, I still don’t have chang–

JOSEPH: (Again cutting off ANTHONY, moving his face closer to the others) And lest we forget five years ago, ANTHONY, back in college.

CUT TO:

INT. OF SLEAZY, DIVE BAR – NIGHT:

ANTHONY and his college buddies are sat around a circular table, clinking their glasses of beer together, yelling and chanting. JOSEPH leans against the corner of the bar, a hat pulled over his brow, studying each of ANTHONY’S PURCHASES.

JOSEPH: Jennifer had just cheated on you. You were depressed. So you and your friends drank profusely. You bought four beers, each $6 a pint. That’s $24, ANTHONY. You gave the bartender $30 and you tipped him $3. That’s $3 of change that you stuffed in your pocket.

CUT TO:

TRAIN STATION – PRESENT:

JOSPEH: But I suppose, you don’t have any change…

ANTHONY: (Tears welling in the corner of his eyes) How the fuck do you know—

JOSEPH: (Cutting ANTHONY off once again, now so close to his face that ANTHONY can feel JOSEPH’S stale breath) Your twelfth birthday, ANTHONY. Remember?

CUT TO:

A young, pimpled, rail-thin ANTHONY, sat in the middle of his family’s living room, opening gifts as his family stands around him. We see his mother sitting next to ANTHONY, with no father, or prominent male figure, to be seen in the room. An older woman, his grandmother, hands ANTHONY a birthday card. JOSEPH watches between the cracks in the blinds, perched in the old maple tree in the front of ANTHONY’s childhood home.

JOSEPH: Grandma Nowak gave you $75 that year. You went out the next day, bought yourself a new XBOX game and three 12-can pack of Dr. Pepper.

ANTHONY: How…you’ve stalk—

JOSEPH: (In a harsh, acquisitory tone)  That game, with taxes, cost you $53.50, while those three 12-packs of soda were $3.99 a piece, with the bottle deposit making it come out to $4.59 a piece. That’s a total of $67.27.

CUT TO:

TRAIN STATION – PRESENT:

JOSPEH: (His hands on his hips, his face so close to ANTHONY’S that their lips are almost touching) Well fuck me, ANTHONY, that makes for $7.33 in change. But I guess you have nothing to give me. Can’t help me out.

ANTHONY: (Actually crying, his limbs trembling, shoulders heaving with each belabored breath) How do you know this? Who are you?

JOSEPH: (Taking a step back) I just want my change. I want what’s due. I’ve wanted to approach you.

ANTHONY: (Visibly seen to wracking his brains for a memory) Who — who?

JOSEPH: It’s been long enough. I can’t keep living like this.

ANTHONY: (Clueless) What are you saying?

JOSEPH: It’s me, ANTHONY. It’s Papa.

ANTHONY: (Wiping his eyes) Wh– no. No. No way.

JOSEPH: (Extending his arms towards ANTHONY, opening and clasping his hands in succession, welcoming him in for a hug) I’m sorry I never made myself present. But I’ve always been here. I’ve always been there for you.

ANTHONY: (Weeping, stumbling over his words while at a loss for breath) Dad?!

JOSEPH: (Extending his arms towards ANTHONY’S shoulders, his eyes also begin watering) Bring it in, TONY. It’s time. Come to papa.

ANTHONY throws his arms out, the two men embracing one another, the two of them both weeping, rocking back and forth while hugging each other for the first time, the father and son relationship finally becoming realized.

ANTHONY: (His head dug into the corner of JOSEPH’S neck) Mom never said why you weren’t around. I never knew!

JOSEPH: (Softly, lovingly) I’ve always been there, TONY. I’ve always been here for you.

PAN OUT:

The two men continue hugging one another, embracing the revelation. As the camera pans out, viewing the train station from an exterior, the train finally arrives. The two men, both quite small due to the current perspective, do not break their grasp on the other. The camera now swings away from the train station, looking over the skyline of Salem, focusing out across the coast towards the Atlantic Ocean.

FADE OUT.

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