Everybody falls in love with
image. I'm tired of that. I want meaning. I want to look in somebody's
eyes and see life.
~ Donovan Baker
EXT. NEW YORK CITY AT SUNRISE
A clear SUMMER morning. The
stainless top of the Chrysler Building glows pink. Dissolve to a series
of shots of the city waking ending on a high rise apartment building.
INT. HIGH RISE APARTMENT KITCHEN
It is an upper floor, 35th
to the 40th floor...A coffee maker with a timer. The clock changes
from 7:03 to 7:04 and the coffee begins brewing.
INT. APARTMENT BATHROOM
A man stands in the shower,
water pounding on his face. He turns the shower off, and throws open
the curtain and grabs a towel. He is DONOVAN BAKER. He is 41, trim
and roughly handsome, not pretty.
INT. BATHROOM - BAKER'S FACE IN MIRROR
His face is lathered. The razor
scrapes across his throat to his chin. He sloshes the razor in the
sink and checks his watch.
INT. KITCHEN - ON CUP
Coffee is poured into the cup.
INT. KITCHEN - ON TOASTER
An English muffin pops up in the toaster. Preserves
are spread on the muffin.
Baker sits at kitchen counter
eating the muffin and reading the paper. He pops the last bite in
his mouth and puts the plate in the sink. He grabs the paper and his
coffee and leaves.
INT. APARTMENT - BAKER'S DESK AREA
Baker sits at his desk. The
desk is situated in front of a window covered with blinds. The blinds
are closed. He checks his daily calendar, makes notes then checks
his watch. He reaches over the desk and opens the blinds half way
revealing another high rise building. The building is situated directly
across the Avenue and is bathed in morning light. He leans back in
his chair, sips his coffee, looks at his watch and waits. His waiting
gaze scans the building. He studies the activities of the building's
inhabitants. A woman is trying to choose the correct business attire
for the day. She is in the throes of indecision. A man lifts weights
in one apartment, in another, a man in his middle 60's, a corporate
CEO wearing an expensive suit, stands at the window, a cordless phone
to his ear. He is engaged in a heated conversation. A woman waters
the plants occupying her balcony. A couple ride side by side on matching
exercise bicycles. Baker takes all this in. His gaze now moves deliberately
to one specific corner apartment two floors below his. It is sparsely
furnished. There is a queen sized iron frame bed in the middle of
the room. The bedspread, now crumpled, is of a bright floral print.
Beautiful silk scarves hang everywhere, on the bed frame, over lamps.
Oriental patterned rugs are scattered on the floor. There is a dresser
in front of the window. Perhaps a couple of potted palms. Baker again
checks his watch. The anticipation fills his gaze as it returns to
the apartment. Satisfaction, a WOMAN appears. She wears only panties.
She walks to the dresser, stops and stares off down the avenue. She
stretches and yawns. After a moment she opens the dresser, removes
a loose fitting pull over top and slips it on. She turns and leaves
the room. Baker sips the last of his coffee.
FADE TO BLACK:
INT. LANDMARK TAVERN - EVENING
Donovan and Carl Rainey are
seated at a corner of the bar in this 11th Avenue establishment. Rainey
is a Detective and a very old friend of Donovan's. He is 5'9",
stocky and about 58. He is an immovable sort who could most likely
pull your arms off, if he so chose. He possesses a pleasant manner
with which he disarms people. He loves his work and is good at it.
He and Donovan worked together sixteen years ago, before Rainy became
a cop. They wear coats and loosened ties. They are drinking beer and
eating from a large plate of chicken wings.
Yeah. Every morning at 7:40.
You're shittin', she just stands there?
She know you watch?
She good looking?
You mean she's a dog.
No...No, look, she's a nice looking woman,
she's just not a model or anything.
You're shittin' me, right?
Mr. "I got a drop dead gorgeous blonde
on my arm or I'm not seen in public," has got
the hots for some average looking woman
he watches through his Levalors.
What's happening here, Baker?
I don't know.
I don't know? You need to get laid. How long's it been?
A while? What's that mean?
It means a while. It's not about getting
laid, Rainey. That's the point.
I'm changing. My priorities are changing.
This some kind of mid-life crisis, Baker?
No, Rainey, it's not a fucking mid-life crisis.
Look, I've always liked being with beautiful
women. But I think it's because that's what
I thought I was supposed to do.
You've always liked fucking their beautiful bodies.
True, but, it's really about what we think
we're supposed to do. Doin' what's hip
and hip is bullshit.
"Hip is bullshit". Was that Aristotle, Jung or Dennis Hopper?
I'm serious, Rainey. Being hip was supposed to
be about being free. But it's like being in a fucking
straight jacket. I realize I've always made decisions
on who to be with by what was on the outside
not the inside, because it was the hip thing to do.
You telling me you don't like that pink wet inside?
You're disgusting. And I'm trying to be serious.
Couldn't resist. Go on.
I never really knew any of those women. All those
women, all those years...it seems like one long stream
of meaningless fucking. I mean that was great, in
one sense, but...in another sense, it all feels
pretty stupid, disgusting.
That's why women think men are assholes.
We are. Everybody falls in love with image.
I'm tired of that. I want meaning. I want
to look in somebody's eyes and see life.
You looked in this girl's eyes yet?
So what's different about this girl?
It's about a lack of vanity, I think. She doesn't
seem to be aware of the fact that somebody
might be watching. I don't think it's important to her.
You mean she just doesn't think she's attractive.
I think she's beautiful.
You're hooked. What's vanity got to do with it?
There's no attitude. Everybody's got attitude now,
everybody's always on, like they think they're going
to be on TV, always got one eye on the mirror.
Not her. There's something innocent, something
honest and trusting about her. That's refreshing and I like it.
But you don't even know her.
I feel like I do.
What is it twenty years I know you, and I
never knew you were a voyeur.
You like watchin' this girl. That's kinda kinky.
I feel bad about watching her.
But you still do it.
True. I just like looking at her. I'm attracted to her.
I can't not look at her. I'm happy when
her. Maybe I am in love with her.
It's illusion, Donovan. If you met her she'd never live
up to your fantasy, your expectations.
I don't think so, Rainey. Sounds crazy,
but I don't think so.
Time will tell.
Can't hurt to watch.
So, when you gonna invite me over for breakfast?
When hell freezes over.
INT. BAKER'S APARTMENT - NIGHT
The apartment is dark. It is
later that night, 10:30. The door opens. Donovan enters removes his
coat and tie and gets a beer. He goes to his desk and turns on his
computer and waits for it to come up to speed. He opens the blinds
and surveys the building. Many apartments are dark, many flicker with
blue TV light. Lastly his gaze falls on the GIRL'S apartment. She
is on the balcony in a red silk robe. She is not alone. A MAN in loose
slacks and a shirt also occupies the balcony. The shirt has been pulled
from his pants and unbuttoned, it blows in the evening breeze, as
does her loosely tied robe. She has one hand around his neck, the
other rubs his belly. She kisses his chest. He pulls her face to his
and kisses her passionately. She takes him by the hand and leads him
inside to the bed. He stops her, they talk and she nods her head,
then goes to the dresser. She opens a drawer, removes something and
returns handing him the contents, silk scarves. He kisses her then
turns her around and blindfolds her. He unties her robe, slides it
off her shoulders and lets it fall to the floor.
INT. DONOVAN'S APARTMENT - ON DONOVAN
He opens a desk drawer and removes a pair of
INT. DONOVAN'S APARTMENT - ON GIRL'S APT. THROUGH BINOCULARS
The MAN helps her into bed.
She stretches out on her back. He ties her wrists and ankles to the
bed with the silk scarves. He looks at her a moment, then whispers
something in her ear and leaves the room.
INT. DONOVAN'S APARTMENT - ON DONOVAN
He takes the binoculars away from his eyes.
He watches, curious as to the MAN'S departure. He waits, nothing.
Where did he go?
INT. DONOVAN'S APARTMENT - ON GIRL'S BUILDING
His attention wanders to other
windows. A light comes on in an apartment three floors above the girl's.
A man in his middle sixties wearing his silk robe, passes through
the living room and goes down the hall toward the door. He is the
CEO we saw engaged in a heated phone conversation this morning. A
moment later he backs into the room, his hands raised in the air.
He is followed by a man with a gun. The gun is pointed at his head.
The man in the robe talks to the man with the gun as if he knows him.
He pleads with him. The man with the gun motions the man in the robe
toward the window. As they near the window Donovan realizes the man
with the gun is the MAN from the girl's apartment. He looks back to
her apartment. She is still tied to the bed. He looks back to the
other apartment. The man in the robe is kneeling on the floor near
the window, the gun pointed at the back of his head. The MAN with
the gun says something then fires the gun twice. Donovan sees two
flashes of light, blood splatters the window. The MAN in the robe
slumps out of sight. The MAN with the gun looks out the window. He
looks in Donovan's direction. Donovan freezes as he meets the man's
stare. The MAN scans the building, turns and leaves. Donovan turns
his attention to the girl's apartment. She is still tied to the bed.
After a moment the MAN enters, nude, drying his hair with a towel.
He climbs into bed and begins kissing her body. He turns to untie
one of her ankles, as he does he looks directly at Donovan. Donovan
closes the blinds.
FADE TO BLACK:
In black the sound of the coffee maker brewing.
INT. BAKER'S APARTMENT - DESK AREA
Donovan sits at his desk sipping
coffee. It is the next morning and he wears the same clothes as last
night. He opens the blinds half way and focuses on the girl's apartment.
The MAN is on the balcony buttoning his shirt. The GIRL steps onto
the balcony wearing the red silk robe. She carries a cup of coffee.
She hands the coffee to the MAN, he refuses it and they continue an
argument apparently begun inside. He storms into the apartment, grabs
his jacket and leaves. Donovan looks down at the building entrance
at street level. The MAN exits the building, hails a cab and is gone.
As the cab pulls away two squad cars and two unmarked cars pull up
in front of the building. Donovan's gaze moves to the apartment where
last night's murder took place. Moments later the police burst into
the apartment. They move to the window and stare down at the body.
Donovan looks back to the GIRL'S apartment. She leans on the dresser
FADE TO BLACK:
EXT. SIDEWALK CAFE - DAY
Donovan is seated at a table.
From this table he can see the entrance of the GIRL'S apartment building.
He drinks an iced cappucino and reads a tabloid newspaper. The headline
reads, "CEO EXECUTED". He puts down the paper and goes to
a pay phone.