Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Fugitive Generation (xvii)


AIR FORCE COLONEL WASHINGTON, 53, is standing on stage, behind speaker's podium. University of Michigan PRESIDENT FLAME, 61, sits in chair behind podium. Dressed-up people over 40 years of age are sitting in audience listening attentively.

Jim, Marlene, Rachel and other People Against The Air War members enter the auditorium. Quietly, they sit down in rear of the auditorium.

AIR FORCE COLONEL WASHINGTON: We have an obligation not only to ourselves, but to future generations, to keep our New Military the strongest military in the world. And I am sure that the University of Michigan will continue to serve our great country. By continuing to provide the Department of Defense with the technology it needs to do its job in the future.

The audience applauds. While it's applauding, Marlene walks down the side aisle of the auditorium quickly and onto the stage. She is carrying slide show equipment. Once on the stage, she puts slide show equipment on the floor.

MARLENE: Hello. Some of us from the People Against The Air War came here tonight because we're opposed to what the Air Force is continuing to do in Indochina. We want to show you our slide show about the automated air war which continues to be waged in Indochina.

President Flame stands up and walks to podium, next to Air Force Colonel Washington.

PRESIDENT FLAME: People came tonight to hear the speaker talk about "The New Military and The University." Not to hear a debate on the war. If you people want to show your slide show, you can hold your own meeting some other time.

The audience applauds President Flame. After applause ends, Jim stands up in rear of auditorium.

JIM: (shouts out) Let her show her slide show! People at this meeting have a right to see the slide show! And students on this campus have a right to ask this guy why his military is still bombing our sisters and brothers in Indochina?

The People Against The Air War students applaud. An ELDERLY VETERAN, in a suit and tie, starts to yell from his seat.

ELDERLY VETERAN: (yells) Sit down, ya bum! We didn't come to listen to you!

JIM: The Colonel had his chance to speak. Now People Against The Air War should get a chance to show you the slide show.

Elderly Veteran gets up from seat and approaches Jim in an enraged, menacing way. Marlene quickly runs off stage, blocks Elderly Veteran's path towards Jim, and positions her body in a self-defense, karate stance. Elderly Veteran attempts to push past Marlene. But Marlene pushes him back. Elderly Veteran pushes harder again against Marlene. But again Marlene shoves him back.

After the second, longer shoving exchange with Marlene, the Elderly Veteran clenches his fists. But by then, four male anti-war students have surrounded him. Elderly Veteran looks at them and returns to his seat.

President Flame confers with Air Force Colonel Washington on stage, then faces audience again.

PRESIDENT FLAME: On behalf of the University of Michigan, I'd like to apologize for this disgraceful disruption. Because of this disruption, we've decided to cancel the question and answer period we had scheduled. Let's thank our speaker for his informative lecture.

Some scattered applause. Then people begin standing up and leaving.

MARLENE: Let's go to the "Michigan Daily" office and tell them what happened.


Marlene is being interviewed by WOMAN EDITOR of "Michigan Daily." Jim, Rachel and some other members of People Against The Air War are conversing near office door.


Jim helps Marlene put slide show equipment in back office. They're each laughing.

JIM: Do you feel like going out to get some coffee and cake with me? To celebrate you protecting me from that right-wing hothead.

MARLENE: O.K. That sounds like it would be fun.

Marlene switches off office lights.


Marlene and Jim are sitting in a booth, talking and laughing while eating cake.

MARLENE: What do you do when you're not doing anti-war work?

JIM: Well, I'm actually a musician. A folksinger.

MARLENE: I guess that's more fun than being a student.

JIM: A lot more fun. But I don't really write folk songs for money. I do it either to use music to raise consciousness or to just express my feelings.

MARLENE: Those sound like good reasonss. But what brought you to Ann Arbor?

JIM: I couldn't afford Berkeley. And I wanted to get away from the East Coast. So it was either Madison or Ann Arbor. And Ann Arbor is closer to the East Coast than Madison is. The only place to live these days is in a youth ghetto. Even though it is a fantasy world.

MARLENE: What do you mean when you say "fantasy world"?

JIM: Once you get off-campus and have to work 9 to 5, you're involved in a real death culture. The campus world is a fantasy world. The real world of 9 to 5 work is a death culture.

MARLENE: Where are you living?

JIM: Just a few blocks away. On Joseph Place. I rent a room in a divided-up house. Do you want to walk over there and check it out?

MARLENE: O.K. But I can't stay too long, since I have to get up early. For a women's student union meting tomorrow morning.

The WAITRESS places check on table. Jim picks up check.

MARLENE: I'll pay half the check.

Jim reads check.

JIM: Your share, with the tip, is a dollar-fifty.

Marlene hands Jim $1.50. Jim places $3.00 on table. Then they leave coffeeshop.


Marlene and Jim walk slowly, while laughing and talking.


Marlene and Jim go inside.


Jim and Marlene stand in front of door to Jim's room. Jim turns key.

JIM: It's not too large a room. But it's comfortable.

Jim opens door.


Marlene smiles.

MARLENE: So this is where you live.

JIM: Have a seat!

Jim motions for Marlene to sit down on the chair, takes off his jacket and sits down on the mattress. Marlene leaves her coat on.

JIM (CONT'D): Tell me, Marlene. What keeps someone like you so committed to the anti-war movement? I mean, where do you get all your energy for activism from?

MARLENE: It's the people. The people you meet in the anti-war movement seem to be better people. They're the people I most like to have around me. It's the people that keep me going.

JIM: I guess I feel that way, too. Maybe that's why we were meant to do anti-war work together.

MARLENE: Well, that's one way of explaining it.

Marlene gets up from chair.

MARLENE (CONT'D): I should get going now. If I want to be able to get up for that meeting tomorrow.

Marlene walks toward door, while Jim stands up.

JIM: You sure you don't want me to walk you home?

Marlene shakes her head.

MARLENE: It's only a few blocks away.

Marlene and Jim then exchange glances. Marlene gives Jim a kiss and a big hug. Jim kisses and hugs here in return. They kiss and embrace each other passionately by the door. Marlene then suddenly steps back.

MARLENE (CONT'D): Goodnight, Jim. I'll see you by the table Monday morning.

Marlene opens door.

JIM: Have a good meeting tomorrow, Marlene.

Marlene leaves. Jim closes door and takes out guitar.


Jim writes on a piece of paper. Then he puts paper on floor, picks up guitar and reads from paper as he sings softly.

JIM: (sings softly)

"Oh, you've won my heart
With your softness
Kind, gentle blond-haired
Marlene, Marlene, Marlene, Marlene,
Marlene, Marlene, Marlene.

It's been so long
Since I felt love
Compassionate, soulful
Marlene, Marlene, Marlene, Marlene,
Marlene, Marlene, Marlene.

I'm a working-class lover
You're the fairest I see
I got sisters and brothers
You're the one most like me.

(more verses)

Hearing your voice
Feeling you close
Makes me just think of
Marlene, Marlene, Marlene, Marlene,
Marlene, Marlene, Marlene.

Watching you shine
Moves me inside
Wanting to just kiss
Marlene, Marlene, Marlene, Marlene,
Marlene, Marlene, Marlene.

Against the war
Serving the poor
Overwhelmed by your beauty
Marlene, Marlene, Marlene, Marlene,
Marlene, Marlene, Marlene.

So brave and strong
Romance reborn
I'm madly in love with
Marlene, Marlene, Marlene, Marlene,
Marlene, Marlene, Marlene.


Maloney drives car, with Kelly in front seat, on Long Island Expressway.


Car leaves Long Island Expressway.


Car stops in front of high-rise Queens apartment building.


MALONEY: What's the address again?

Kelly looks at paper in his hand.

KELLY: One-Eighty-Nine-O-Four.

MALONEY: Which one of these buildings is that?

KELLY: That one on the right.

Maloney parks car.


Maloney and Kelly walk into building lobby.


Maloney and Kelly stand in front of apartment mailboxes.


MALONEY (V.O.): There are six different apartments where the last name is "Greenberg" in this building.

KELLY: The Greenberg we want lived in apartment 1-G.

MALONEY: Let's see if their neighbor knows anything.