Friday, September 21, 2001

Last Day at the Office

Open, office somewhere halfway up the WTC north tower. It's still early morning. JEFF and TIM -- two guys in their early 20s -- are fooling around, throwing Nerf football. ANN, meanwhile, is trying to get the copy machine to work.

ANN: 47...47. I want one copy, not 47. Why's it stuck on 47?

She makes a groan of frustration. Turns machine off and on.

TIM: 53, 22, 47 - HIKE!

Just as TIM shouts "47" the machine blinks back on. The copy quantity readout says 47. It blinks on the exact moment TIM shouts "47." ANN notices this and makes a face.

TIM hikes the ball back to JEFF then makes run across the office. JEFF throws the Nerf football to him, a totally wild shot, no chance JEFF will catch it. The screaming purple foam football boinks off cute little King Kong display on wire shelf over copy machine. (There are King Kong dolls and posters all over the place. The big old ape has been the office mascot ever since the remake -- in which Kong climbs the WTC -- came out in the 70s.)

ANN reaches down and picks up football off the floor. She straightens up KING KONG display, talking to it, dusting him off.

ANN: Sorry.

Cut to KONG's eyes. In a weird way, he almost seems to react.

ANN: You guys should show some respect.

JEFF and TIM make ape noises.

ANN: You're so immature.

JEFF: Lighten up. It's Monday.

ANN: It's Tuesday.

JEFF: Well for me that's Monday. Could we have the football back.

ANN: No.

She says no but throws him the football anyway. Reflexively, he catches it.

JEFF: Jesus, I knew you're going to do that. It's like I've been having this weird sense of déjà vu all morning. Anybody else?

ANN: Yeah, it's weird.

JEFF: Like synchronicity, is that the right word?

TIM: That's an album by the Police.

JEFF: Yeah, but I think it's the right word.

TIM: Sting is such an asshole.

ANN: Like you said "47" right when the copy machine went "47."

TIM: That's called a coincidence.

JEFF: I knew you were going to say that.

TIM: I don't believe in that Miss Cleo shit...

The second he says that a TV comes on. We hear MISS CLEO saying "Hi, I'm Miss Cleo! The card can reveal..."

ANN runs over, turns it off. TIM whistles "Twilight Zone" theme.

TIM: Who turned that on?

JEFF: This is definitely getting creepy.

JEFF throws the football across the room. It lands, exactly, inside a King Kong basketball hoop which lights up.

JEFF: See, normally I couldn't do that.

TIM just kinda looks at him.

JEFF: Now the boss is going to open that door.

TIM: Yeah. Like he does that every morning.

BOSS: It's time people.

JEFF puts his fingers to his temples in a psychic see-all gesture. ANN laughs. TIM shakes his head, tries not to laugh. They all go into the meeting. TIM's the last one in -- muttering "Why can't we have a 9 am meeting like everybody else....no I didn't say anything..."

Door shuts.

Go to -- INT, meeting room. BOSS, ANN, TIM, JEFF and BOSS's silent secretary are all sitting around a long conference table with panoramic view of New york skyline outside the windows.

BOSS: (gesturing with his hands) Wireless internet.

JEFF: (uninspired) Wireless internet.

BOSS: Come on, people, work with me. Wireless internet. How can we make that sexy?

JEFF: Put another hole in it.

BOSS: You're funny, you know that, you're pretty fucking funny, you should get a job as a comedian. (gesturing again) Wireless internet -- come on people, you had your fucking coffee yet? Free associate, OK? Gimme something.

TIM: (tiredly) Wireless...tireless.

BOSS shakes head in disgust.

JEFF: (looking out window) Jesus, that plane's coming in kinda low, isn't it?

TIM: Reddy Killowebb.

BOSS: Come on, let's focus, OK?

JEFF: Jesus, he's turning.

BOSS: Hey, stop looking out the window...hello! Focus! (he does an eyes front gesture with two fingers) Wireless web. I want everybody to really think about it.

JEFF: (turning away from window) Web, web...don't get tangled in the web.

BOSS: Yeah...no. There's something there, but...

JEFF: You know, web, spiderwebs, wires, traps. Tangled web we weave. There's that whole association.

BOSS: That's clever, Jeff. Too fucking clever.

JEFF: (nervously stealing glances out window) But that's what people hate. Plugging in, wires, Ethernet cards, LANs and all that...Jesus, does anybody else see that?

TIM: Wireless sets you free like...

BOSS: (cutting him off) Don't anybody say butterflies. Gates already did the butterfly with that MSN thing.

JEFF: Anybody else see that plane?

TIM: (rubbing eyes) What, yeah. There's a plane there. So.

BOSS: (pissed) Enough with the plane.

JEFF: The plane isn't supposed to be there.

BOSS: Then it'll turn around. Enough about the plane. What about wireless internet?

JEFF: I don't know. Get wired? Got wireless?

TIM: Get unwired. The internet unbound?

BOSS: Somebody did that.

TIM: You sure?

JEFF: (looking out window -- can't believe what he sees) It's not...

TIM: Pinocchio with his wires cut?

BOSS: I like.

JEFF: It's not turning around.

BOSS: (curtly) It's got to turn around.

JEFF: It's not.

BOSS: Could we stay on topic here?

JEFF: It's coming right for us.

TIM: (mocking -- because this is a line on "South Park") 'It's coming right for us.'

JEFF: No, seriously, it's coming right for us.

TIM: (finally looking) Shit, it's coming right for us, shit. This isn't happening.

BOSS: Goddamnit, guys, it's not --

He looks out window, sees plane, shuts up, freezes.

JEFF: I dreamed this. I know I dreamed this.

TIM: This isn't happening. He's gotta pull up.

JEFF: He's not pulling up.

For a few more seconds they all sit there at the conference table -- all of them frozen, deer-in-headlights style. The plane gets closer and closer, coming in straight on.

Some authority-figure gene kicks on in the boss. He stands up, takes charge, starts barking out orders.

BOSS: GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE, COME ON PEOPLE, LET'S MOVE IT, MOVE IT, MOVE IT...

Everybody except JEFF runs out of the room. He just stands there, frozen at the window as the plane gets closer and closer. Then something seems to tug him. He turns around. Sees ANN watching them.

Seconds left. They exchange looks. Both know they're going to die. It's suddenly, blindingly clear to JEFF that he loves her and she loves him, one of those office undercurrent things, though they never admitted it. They knew it all along, of course -- but they danced around the fact, both assuming there'd always be time for the dance.

Less the last second left and the barriers fall. He smiles, she smiles back. Each knows what the other's thinking -- barriers gone now, not that they were ever real in the first place -- time for one last look, eyes exchanging infinite knowledge just like Bonnie and Clyde yeah, exactly like Bonnie and

No comments: