Monday, May 11, 2009

The Fugitive Generation (xxiv)

INT. WRITE-ON OFFICE—DAY

Write-On Supervisor sits behind desk across from Jim.

WRITE-ON SUPERVISOR: I’m glad you got paid for that dissertation. ‘Cause we decided to shut down our office here. There’s not enough business for us in Ann Arbor year-round to compare to what we earn from the Harvard students in Cambridge.

JIM: That’s too bad. I don’t know what I’ll do to get money here now.

WRITE-ON SUPERVISOR: Move out of Ann Arbor. Go to the West Coast. Or go to the East Coast. Go to Cambridge. The auto plants ain’t hiring in Michigan anymore. So you sure ain’t gonna find work in Michigan these days.

INT. JIM’S ROOM—DAY

Jim is reading want ad section of newspaper, while sitting on the mattress. There’s a knock on the door. Jim stands up and walks toward door.

JIM: Who is it?

LANDLORD (V.O.): It’s the landlord.

Jim opens door. Landlord stands opposite Jim.

LANDLORD (CONT’D): Do you have the rent for August? This is the second month in a row that you’ve been late on the rent.

JIM: I’m having trouble coming up with it this month.

LANDLORD: Well, if you don’t get it to me by August 31, I want you out of the room by September 1. Understand?

JIM: I’ll do my best.

INT. FAST FOOD RESTAURANT—DAY

Clean-shaven FAST FOOD RESTAURANT MANAGER looks over Jim’s application inside restaurant, as Jim stands nearby. Then he glances at Jim and shakes his head.

INT. GROCERY STORY—DAY

GROCERY STORE MANAGER shakes his head at Jim.

INT. BOOKSTORE—DAY

BOOKSTORE MANAGER shakes his head at Jim.

EXT. CAMPUS DIAG AREA—DAY

Jim walks across campus.

INT. JIM’S ROOM—DAY

Jim looks at a mirror. Then he starts to cut and shave off his beard. He also cuts off his long hair. He now looks more like the high school graduation picture of the clean-shaven Greenberg that Kelly showed Mr. & Mrs. Bernstein in Bronx.

INT. OFFICE TEMP OFFICE—DAY

Well-dressed women, each between 20 and 24 years of age, are sitting in the office. Clean-shaven and short-haired Jim is now wearing a sport jacket, tie and dress shirt. He hands an application to OFFICE TEMP RECEPTIONIST. She looks over the application. Then she shakes her head and Jim leaves the office.

INT. HALLWAY OFFICE—DAY

Still dressed-up, Jim stands in front of door marked “LIBRARY PERSONNEL OFFICE.”

INT. LIBRARY PERSONNEL OFFICE—DAY

LIBRARY PERSONNEL INTERVIEWER looks at Jim’s application. Then she shakes her head.

INT. HALLWAY—DAY

Jim stands in front of door marked “University of Michigan Personnel.”

INT. INTERVIEWER’S OFFICE—DAY

U. OF MICHIGAN INTERVIEWER, 28, is white woman who wears dress. She looks at Jim’s application, while sitting behind her desk.

U. OF MICHIGAN INTERVIEWER: We have a dormitory receptionist position that you might be qualified for on our North Campus. Have you ever done that kind of work before?

JIM: (quickly makes up cover story) The clerk-typist job I had at Kent State for two years involved a few hours of receptionist work each day. I had to meet and greet the students who were being surveyed by the sociology department. And keep track of their completed questionnaires.

U. OF MICHIGAN INTERVIEWER: I see. Would you be able to go up to the North Campus this afternoon and speak with Mr. Landry about the job?

JIM: (smiles) Yes, I would.

U. of Michigan Interviewer writes some information on a piece of paper and hands it to Jim.

INT. DORMITORY OFFICE—DAY

MR. LANDRY, 48, is a white man who wears a suit and tie. He sits behind desk opposite Jim.

MR. LANDRY: Well, I’d love to hire you for the position. But we’re under intense pressure to hire “a minority person.”

JIM: Oh. The personnel office didn’t mention that. If it had, I wouldn’t have bothered coming to speak with you.

EXT. ANN ARBOR SAVINGS AND LOAN BUILDING—DAY

Jim is again dressed in jeans and a T-shirt. His hair is longer and he looks more unshaven. Jim enters bank.

INT. ANN ARBOR SAVINGS AND LOAN BUILDING—DAY

Jim hands his bankbook to TELLER, 22, a well-dressed white woman.

JIM: I’d like to close my bank account now.

Teller looks at the bankbook, hands Jim paper to sign and buts bankbook through machine. She counts out $59.30 in bills and change and hands money and voided bankbook to Jim.

TELLER: Have a good day!

INT. HALLWAY OUTSIDE JIM’S ROOM

While carrying his duffel bag and guitar case, Jim bumps into Joey, as Joey is leaving bathroom. Joey glances at Jim and smiles.

JOEY: Time to move on, huh?

JIM: Yeah. It’s too hard to find work in Ann Arbor these days.

JOEY: I imagine it would be for somebody like you. The straights don’t want to hire anymore freaks in Ann Arbor. It’s a good thing for me that Ann Arbor still has a lot of students with rich parents. Otherwise I wouldn’t have much of a market around here anymore…Where you heading to now?

JIM: The West Coast. California, I hope.

JOEY: That’s a good scene to go to. If things hadn’t worked out for me here, I might have ended up in California myself.

JIM: Well, I gotta get going now, since it’s a long hitch to the West Coast. Maybe we’ll bump into each other again someday in California.

JOEY: (smiles) Who knows?

Jim glances at Joey.

JIM: It’s been good knowing you, brother.

Jim then pats Joey on the shoulder and walks toward stairs.

JOEY: Keep the faith, brother!