I was going to find a picture and write a story about that picture. I like writing that way. I like envisioning the scene in the world of the picture. Sometimes I like to close my eyes and compose pictures inside my head and then figure out little stories for them. For the different characters I see. Sometimes it works with real life. Bus stops are wonderful for this. You have these people stuck together, kind of frozen, siddled up alongside each other quite intimately for sometimes long spans of time, and it is also public. Public and private. Such characters in LA too. Its like the citywide recognized location for crazies. spandex bodysuit rollerskaters. Six foot three men in miniskirts with deep fuchsia lipstick ring-around-the-mouth. And teenagers. They love to wear black here. They look sometimes to me like they are in the crowd at a punk show. And then you have just plain old beautiful people who you know probably got a DUI. They are less in their element. But it is growing on them. You see a city so differently from the back of a city bus.
Once my friends from France came to NYC and they spent days riding the public transpo bus. They got to see neighborhood after neighborhood, hear the sounds, smell the smells, get off and on ... for $7 dollars or something. "All day fun pass." You're telling me.
Anyway, instead of finding a picture and writing a scene I decided to share someone else's. Like copying over another's words you feel them coursing through your head and fingers as if they are your own, ... I actually feel like I am learning something re-reading, formatting the text below and all. I hope you like.
EXTERIOR TREE-LINED RESIDENTIAL STREET –– NIGHT
MEDIUM CLOSE SHOT –– George and Mary.
The night is warm with a bright moon. George is dressed in jersey sweater and oversize football pantsthat keep wanting to come down. Mary is in an old white bath robe. Each is carrying their wet clothes tied into a bundle that leaves a trail of drippingwater. As they near the camera we hear them singing:
GEORGE AND MARY (singing)Buffalo Gals can't you come out tonight. Can't you come out tonight. Can't you come out tonight. Buffalo Gals can't you comeout tonight and dance by the light of the moon.
GEORGE Hot dog! Just like an organ.
CAMERA MOVES WITH them as they proceed down the street.
GEORGE And I told Harry I thought I'd be bored to death. You should have seen the commotion in that locker room. I had to knock down three people to getthis stuff we're wearing here. Here, let me hold that old wet dress of yours.He takes the bundle of clothes from Mary. They stop and look at each other.
MARY Do I look as funny as you do?
GEORGE I guess I'm not quite the football type. You . . . look wonderful. You know, if it wasn't me talking I'd say you were the prettiest girl in town.
MARY Well, why don't you say it?
GEORGE I don't know. Maybe I will say it. How old are you anyway?
GEORGE Eighteen? Why, it was only last year you were seventeen.
MARY Too young or too old?
GEORGE Oh, no. Just right. Your age fits you. Yes, sir, you look a little older without your clothes on.
(Mary stops. George, to cover his embarrassment, talks quickly)
GEORGE I mean, without a dress. You look older . . . I mean, younger. You look just . . .
(In his confusion George steps on the end of the belt of Mary's bath robe, which is trailing along behind her. She gathers the robe around her.)
GEORGE Oh-oh . . .
MARY (holding out her hand) Sir, my train, please.
GEORGE A pox upon me for a clumsy lout.He picks up the belt and throws it over her arm.
GEORGE Your . . . your caboose, my lady.
MARY You may kiss my hand.
GEORGE Ummmmm . . .(Holding her hand, George moves in closer to Mary)
GEORGE (cont'd)Hey –– hey, Mary.
(Mary turns away from him, singing "Buffalo Gals")
MARY (singing)As I was lumbering down the street . . .
(George looks after her; then picks up a rock from the street.)
GEORGE Okay, then, I'll throw a rock at the old Granville house.
MARY Oh, no, don't. I love that old house.
MEDIUM LONG SHOT –– old house. It is a weather-beaten, old-fashioned two-storied house that once was no doubt resplendent.
GEORGE No. You see, you make a wish and then try and break some glass. You got to be a pretty good shot nowadays, too.
MEDIUM CLOSEUP –– George and Mary.
MARY Oh, no, George, don't. It's full of romance, that old place. I'd like to live in it.
GEORGE In that place?
GEORGE I wouldn't live in it as a ghost. Now watch . . . right on the second floor there.
MEDIUM LONG SHOT –– old house. George hurls the rock at the house. We hear the SOUND of a window breaking.
EXTERIOR FRONT PORCH OF HOUSE –– Night
CLOSE SHOT –– We see a grumpy old man in shirt sleeves in a rocking chair on the porch. He looks up as he hears the breaking glass.
EXTERIOR STREET –– NIGHTCLOSEUP –– George and Mary.
MARY What'd you wish, George?
GEORGE Well, not just one wish. A whole hatful, Mary. I know what I'm going to do tomorrow and the next day and the next year and the year after that. I'm shaking the dust of this crummy little town off my feet and I'm going to see the world. Italy, Greece, the Parthenon, the Colosseum. Then I'm coming back here and go to college and see what they know . . . and then I'm going to build things. I'm gonna build air fields. I'm gonna build skyscrapers a hundred stories high. I'm gonnabuild bridges a mile long . . .(As he talks, Mary has been listening intently. She finally stoops down and picks up a rock, weighting it in her hand.)
GEORGE (cont'd)Are you gonna throw a rock?
MEDIUM LONG SHOT –– the old deserted house. Mary throws her rock, and once more we hear the SOUND of breaking glass.
GEORGE (cont'd)Hey, that's pretty good. What'd you wish, Mary?
(Mary looks at him provocatively, then turns and shuffles off down the street, singing as she goes. George hurries after her.)
MARY (singing)Buffalo Gals, can't you come out tonight . . .(George joins her in the singing as they proceed down the street.)
MARY AND GEORGE (singing). . . can't you come out tonight, can't you come out tonight. Buffalo Gals can't you come out tonight and dance by the light ofthe moon.
GEORGE What'd you wish when you threw that rock?
CLOSE SHOT –– man on the porch of house, listening to George and Mary.
MEDIUM CLOSEUP –– George and Mary have stopped walking and now face one another.
MARY Oh, no.
GEORGE Come on, tell me.
MARY If I told you it might not come true.
GEORGE What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say . . .
LONG SHOT –– full moon shining through the trees.BACK TO SHOT –– George and Mary.
GEORGE (cont'd). . . the word and I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down. Hey, that's a pretty good idea. I'll give you the moon, Mary.
MARY I'll take it. And then what?
GEORGE Well, then you could swallow it and it'd all dissolve, see? And the moonbeams'd shoot out of your fingers and your toes, and the ends of your hair.(pauses) Am I talking too much?
MEDIUM CLOSEUP –– Man on porch of house. As George finishes talking, he jumps up out of his chair:
MAN Yes!! Why don't you kiss her instead of talking her to death?
CLOSE SHOT –– George and Mary.
GEORGE How's that?
MEDIUM CLOSEUP –– man on porch.
MAN Why don't you kiss her instead of talking her to death?
CLOSE SHOT –– George and Mary.
GEORGE Want me to kiss her, huh?
CLOSE SHOT –– porch of house.
MAN Aw, youth is wasted on the wrong people.
(As he speaks, the man leaves the porch and goes into his house, slamming the front door.)
CLOSE SHOT –– George and Mary.
GEORGE Hey, hey, hold on. Hey, mister, come on back out here, and I'll show you some kissing that'll put hair back on your head. What are you . . .(Mary runs off scene. George has been once more standing on the belt of her bath robe, so as she goes, her robe comes off.)
GEORGE (looking around)Mary . . .(He drops his bundle of clothes and picks up Mary's robe. He cannot se her anywhere.)
GEORGE (cont'd)Okay, I give up. Where are you?
CLOSEUP –– bush at edge of sidewalk. We see Mary's face peering out from the leaves.
MARY Over here in the hydrangea bushes.
MEDIUM CLOSE SHOT –– George and Mary. George walks toward the bush.
GEORGE Here you are. Catch. (He is about to throw her the robe, when a thought strikes him.)
GEORGE (cont'd)Wait a minute. What am I doing? This is a very interesting situation.
MARY (from the bushes)Please give me my robe.
GEORGE Hmm . . . A man doesn't get in a situation like this every day.
MARY (impatiently)I'd like to have my robe.
GEORGE Not in Bedford Falls, anyway.(Mary thrashes around in the bushes. We hear her say)
GEORGE Gesundheit. This requires a little thought here.
MARY (getting mad)George Bailey! Give me my robe!
GEORGE I've heard about things like this, but I've never . . .
MARY (interrupting)Shame on you. I'm going to tell your mother on you.
GEORGE Oh, my mother's way up the corner there.
MARY (desperate)I'll call the police.
GEORGE They're way downtown. They'd be on my side, too.
MARY I'm going to scream!
GEORGE (thoughtfully)Maybe I could sell tickets. Let's see. No, the point is, in order to get this robe . . . I've got it! I'll make a deal with you, Mary.(Headlights flash into the scene, and the old Bailey automobile drives in, with Harry at the wheel, and Uncle Billy beside him)
UNCLE BILLY George! George! Come on home, quick! Your father's had a stroke! (George throws Mary's robe over the bush and gets into the car)
GEORGE Mary . . . Mary, I'm sorry. I've got to go.
HARRY Come on, George, let's hurry.
GEORGE Did you get a doctor?
UNCLE BILLY Yes, Campbell's there now.
CLOSEUP –– the hydrangea bush. As the car drives off, Mary, now wearing the robe, rises up from the bush and follows the car with her eyes. FADE OUT
from "It's a Wonderful Life" words by Mr. Frank Capra