Spare Some Change

SPARE SOME CHANGE

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

Oh…I’m sorry. I don’t have any change on me. (Uncomfortable)

JOSEPH

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

ANTHONY pulls his hands out of the pockets of his pea-coat, opening them inside-out, proving that he has no change.

ANTHONY

Again, I have no change on me. I’m sorry.

JOSEPH’s cupped hands, which were once clenched together, now release their grip, falling to his hips.

JOSEPH

That’s fucking bullshit.

ANTHONY

Excuse me?! (Astonished)

JOSEPH

You heard me. I seen you.

ANTHONY

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

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.

EXT. OF BAGEL WORLD – NIGHT (PREVIOUS TIME):

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

JOSEPH (Voice Over)

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.

INT. TRAIN STATION – PRESENT:

ANTHONY

What — how did you see— (Disoriented)

JOSEPH leans in closer to ANTHONY, verbally cutting him off.

JOSEPH

I seen you last night too. You went out to dinner with your lady, VANESSA.

EXT. OF HOWLING WOLF TAQUERIA – NIGHT (PREVIOUS TIME):

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 (Voice Over)

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

INT. TRAIN STATION – PRESENT:

ANTHONY is quivering, a single bead of sweat rolling down his forehead.

ANTHONY

But — I paid with my card, I still don’t have chang–

JOSEPH cuts ANTHONY off again, moving his face closer to ANTHONY’s.

JOSEPH

And lest we forget five years ago, ANTHONY, back in college.

INT. OF SLEAZY, DIVE BAR – NIGHT (PREVIOUS TIME):

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 (Voice Over)

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.

INT. TRAIN STATION – PRESENT:

JOSEPH

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

Tears well in the corner of ANTHONY’s eyes.

ANTHONY

How the fuck do you know—

JOSEPH cuts ANTHONY off again, getting close enough to ANTHONY’s face that their lips are quite close.

JOSEPH

Your twelfth birthday, ANTHONY. Remember?

INT. HOME — MIDDAY (PRIOR TIME)

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 (Voice Over)

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 (Voice Over)

How…you’ve stalk—

JOSEPH (Voice Over)

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. (Acquisitory)

INT. TRAIN STATION – PRESENT:

JOSEPH’s hands are on his hips, he’s moved his face past ANTHONY’s and he is now speaking directly into his ear.

JOSEPH

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 is crying. His limbs are trembling; his shoulders heave with each belabored breath.

ANTHONY

How do you know this? Who are you?

JOSEPH suddenly takes a large step backwards.  

JOSEPH

I just want my change. I want what’s due. I’ve wanted to approach you for oh so long.

ANTHONY

Who — who?

JOSEPH

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

ANTHONY

What are you saying? (Clueless)

JOSEPH stretches his arms out towards ANTHONY.

JOSEPH

It’s me, ANTHONY. It’s Papa.

ANTHONY

Wh– no. No. No way.

JOSEPH begins opening and clasping his hands in a successive, rhythmic pattern, welcoming ANTHONY in for a hug.

JOSEPH

I’m sorry I never made myself present. But I’ve always been here. I’ve always been there for you.

ANTHONY is weeping, stumbling over his words. He is considerably at a loss for breath.

ANTHONY

Dad?!

JOSEPH

Bring it in, TONY. It’s time. Come to papa.

ANTHONY throws his arms out. The two men embrace one another. The passionately weep, rocking back and forth while hugging each other for the first time — the father-son relationship finally realized.

ANTHONY digs his head into the corner of JOSEPH’S neck.

ANTHONY

Mom never said why you weren’t around. I never knew!

JOSEPH

I’ve always been there, TONY. I’ve always been here for you. (Lovingly)

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 TO BLACK

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