INT. KITCHEN – NIGHT
Jack and Tyler each stir a boiling pot.
As the fat renders, the tallow floats
to the surface. Remember the crap
they taught you in Boy Scouts.
Hard to imagine you in Boy Scouts.
This clear layer in glycerin. We’ll
mix it back in when we make the soap.
Tyler sticks a spoon into a pot, lifts up a scoop of the
glycerin layer. Then, he crabs a can, opens it.
Lye — the crucial ingredient.
(adding lye to mix)
Ancient peoples found their clothes
got cleaner if they washed them at a
certain spot in the river. Why?
Because, human sacrifices were once
made on the hills above this river.
Year after year, bodies burnt. Rain
feel. Water seeped through the wood
ashes to become lye. The lye
combined with the melted fat of the
bodies, till a thick white soapy
discharge crept into the river.
Tyler licks his lips until they’re gleaming wet. He takes
Jack’s hands and KISSES the back of it.
The first soap was made from the
ashes of heroes. Like the first
monkeys shot into space.
The saliva shines in the shape of the kiss. Tyler pours a
bit of the flaked lye onto Jack’s hand.
Without sacrifice, without death, we
would have nothing.
Jack’s whole body JERKS. Tyler holds tight to Jack’s hand
and arm. Tears well in Jack’s eyes; his face tightens.
This is a chemical burn. It will
hurt more than you’ve ever been
burned and you will have a scar.
Jack looks — the burn is swollen, glossy, in the shape of
Tyler’s kiss. Jack’s face spasms.
Tyler’s kiss was a bonfire on the
back of my hand.
Look at your hand.
Guided meditation worked for cancer,
it could work for this.
SHOT OF A GREEN MAPLE LEAF, GLISTENING WITH DEW. RESUME:
Tyler looks at Jack’s glazed and detached eyes.
Come back to the pain. Don’t shut
Jack, snapping back, tries to jerk his hand away. Tyler
keeps hold of it and their arms KNOCK UTENSILS off the table.
I tried not to think of the words
“searing” or “flesh.” I imagined my
pain as a ball of healing white light.
SHOT OF A FOREST, IN GENTLE SPRING RAINFALL. RESUME:
Tyler JERKS Jack’s hand, getting Jack’s attention…
Stop it. This is your pain — your
burning hand. It’s right here. Look
I was going to my cave to find my
SHOT OF THE INSIDE OF JACK’S FROZEN ICE CAVE. RESUME:
Tyler JERKS Jack’s hand again. Jack re-focuses on Tyler…
Don’t deal with this the way those
dead people do. Deal with it the way
a living person does.
SHOT OF INSIDE THE ICE CAVE – ON MARLA, LYING NAKED UNDER A
FUR COAT, TURNING HER HEAD TO LOOK TOWARDS US. RESUME:
Jack tries to pull his hand free. Tyler won’t let go.
Jack’s eyes glaze over again. Jack speaks, whiny from pain:
I… I think I understand. I think
I get it…
No, what you’re feeling is premature
SHOT OF A GREEN FOREST WITHOUT RAIN. RESUME:
Tyler SLAPS Jack’s face, regaining his attention…
This is the greatest moment of your
life and you’re off somewhere,
No, I’m not…
SHOT OF TREES ENGULFED BY A FOREST FIRE. RESUME:
Shut up. Our fathers were our models
for God. And, if our fathers bailed,
what does that tell us about God?
I don’t know…
SHOT OF EMBERS POURING FROM THE HELLISH FOREST FIRE. RESUME:
Tyler SLAPS Jack’s face again…
Listen to me. You have to consider
the possibility that God doesn’t like
you, he never wanted you. In all
probability, He hates you. This is
not the worst thing that can happen…
It isn’t… ?
We don’t need him…
We don’t… ?
SHOT OF INSIDE ICE CAVE – NAKED MARLA PULLS JACK DOWN ON TOP
OF HER – JACK KISSES HER – CIGARETTE SMOKE COMES FROM HER
MOUTH – JACK COUGHS. RESUME:
Jack is a wide-eyed zombie…
… Marla … ?
Fuck damnation. Fuck redemption. We
are God’s unwanted children, with no
special place and no special
attention, and so be it.
Jack looks at Tyler — they lock eyes. Jack does his best
to stifle his spasms of pain, his body a quivering, coiled
knot. He bolts toward the sink, but Tyler holds on.
You can go to the sink and run water
over your hand. Look at me. Or you
can use vinegar to neutralize the
burn, but first you have to give up.
First, you have to know that someday,
you are going to die. Until you know
that, you will be useless.
Jack spasms with a shiver of pain…
You … you don’t know what this
feels like, Tyler.
Tyler shows Jack a LYE-BURNED KISS SCAR on his own hand.
Tears begin to drip from Jack’s eyes. Tyler grabs a bottle
of VINEGAR — pours it over Jack’s wound.
Jack closes his eyes, holds his hand… slumps to the floor.
Congratulations. You’re a step
closer to hitting bottom.