Friday, December 9, 2016

sixtynothing episode 10 Wonton Soup

FADE IN
HELEN IS IN HER KITCHEN SCOOPING FOOD ONTO A CAST IRON PAN.  IAN SITS AT THE KITCHEN TABLE READING.


HELEN
I'm putting this in the oven now.  When the timer rings...


IAN
Take the foil off and give it five more minutes and don't put the cast iron pan in the dishwasher.  I know.  What time is Hannah's flight?

HELEN
7:30.  I'm leaving in five.

IAN
I'm not crazy about you driving at night.

HELEN
I'm going to take San Fernando Road and then I'll have Hannah drive us to the party and home.

IAN
Not that you care what I think, but this airfare is pretty extravagant for a two day visit.  We just saw her at Thanksgiving.

HELEN
As usual my dear, you are 100% right.  I don't care what you think.  She hasn't seen Min for over a year.  Don't wait up.

CUT TO
LIVING ROOM OF SLEEK MODERN HOUSE.  HELEN, SIPPING WINE, IS CRAMMED ON A SOFA WITH OTHER SIXTY-ISH GUESTS.  JIM,  SITS IN A CORBUSIER ARMCHAIR HOLDING FORTH.

JIM
Mark Peel has always been an asshole. And a total hypochondriac.  You know that I represented Nancy Silverton in the divorce.  It's no surprise that she's doing so much better.  He just has that crap place at Grand Central Market. Nancy has a little empire.

HELEN
Nancy Silverton lived down the street when I was growing up in the valley and...

JIM HOLDS UP HIS PALM TO HELEN TO INDICATE THAT SHE'S NOT TO INTERRUPT HIM.  HELEN FINISHES HER WINE.

JIM
She has about five places now.  Partnered up with Mario Batali and Joseph Bastianich.  And she has that line of gelato that's gonna take off bigly...Hey, Helen, you got any weed?  Did Hannah bring you some?

HELEN
Nope.  Hannah can't fly with it.

HELEN LOOKS AT HER EMPTY WINE GLASS AND EXAMINES THE BOTTLES ON THE COFFEE TABLE AND FINDS THEM ALL EMPTY.  SHE LOOKS AROUND AND SEES THAT THERE'S NO PATH TO EXIT FROM THE SOFA.

JIM
We always get VIP treatment when we go to Mozza and last month when we were in New York we went to Babbo and they bent over backwards for us.  Walked right in without a reservation and got one of the best tables...chef made us a pasta that wasn't even on the menu.

HELEN PICKS UP AN ABANDONED HALF FULL WINE GLASS AND CHUGS IT.

CUT TO
HANNAH, DRINKING A BEER, IN ANOTHER CORNER OF THE VAST LIVING ROOM, IS CRAMMED ON A COUCH WITH A BUNCH OF TWENTY SOMETHINGS.  JASON, IN AN EAMES CHAIR, FACES THE GROUP AND HOLDS FORTH.

JASON
The City is so much cooler than San Jose. I have this awesome view of the Bay Bridge. The Google employee shuttle takes over an hour but they have snacks and I get a lot of work done.  Hannah, are you still in East Oakland?

HANNAH
Yup.  Still slummin' it.

JASON
Well, next time you're in the city you gotta come check out my new place.  I tried to get Nate to come by when he was playing at the Fillmore.  I wanted him to get me into the show but asshole didn't even answer my texts.

HANNAH
It was a benefit Jason.

HANNAH FINISHES HER BEER AND LOOKS AROUND.  THERE IS NO PATH TO EXIT THE SOFA.

JASON
Yeah, whatever.  No way I was gonna wait out on the street in line.  I tried to watch  that Amazon show he scored "Whole Life/Half Life" and it's totally soporific.  Dull as dirt...

HANNAH
I thought it was...

JASON HOLDS UP HIS PALM TO HANNAH TO INDICATE THAT SHE'S NOT TO INTERRUPT HIM.  HANNAH EXAMINES THE ABANDONED BEER BOTTLES ON THE TABLE, PICKS ONE UP, SHAKES IT AND CHUGS THE CONTENTS.

JASON
It was such a pretentious piece of crap.  Even Nate's score sucked. Hey, Hannah, got any weed?

HANNAH
Nope.  Can't fly with it.

CUT TO HELEN CRAMPED ON THE OTHER SOFA

JIM
And I think maybe Providence has lost some of their mojo.  We did the tasting meal there last week and the oysters were a little off-ish.

CUT TO CLOSE UP OF HANNAH WHISPERING IN HELEN'S EAR

HANNAH
Min just texted. She's totally fucked up with the time change and has to crash so she isn't going to make it.  I invited her for breakfast tomorrow morning.  Is that ok?

HELEN
Sure.  Fine.

HANNAH
She wants your cinnamon rolls. Can we please leave here? Please?

CUT TO HANNAH DRIVING AND HELEN IN THE PASSENGER SEAT

HELEN
For all Jim's blather about fine dining they sure throw a shitty party.  Trader Joe's cheese and crackers and bowls of unsalted nuts.  They didn't even have cocktail napkins. I'm starved.  Are you starved?

HANNAH
Let's do it!

CUT TO HELEN AND HANNAH APPROACHING THE WON KOK, A BUSTLING CHINATOWN DIVE.  THERE IS A DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH GRADE OF "B" IN THE WINDOW.

HELEN
"B" for Berry good!

HANNAH
Wow, they've come up in the world.

HELEN
But still don't touch the bannister and if need to go you better hold it until we get home.

HELEN AND HANNAH ENTER THE RESTAURANT.  AN ELDERLY CHINESE WOMAN GREETS THEM.

HOSTESS
The girl!  She so big!  Pretty girl!  She married?

HANNAH
Divorced!

HOSTESS
Funny girl.  Ha ha.  Still pretty.

THE HOSTESS SHOWS THEM TO A TABLE.  THE RESTAURANT HUMS WITH BIG HISPANIC FAMILIES, HIPSTERS AND UNIFORMED MARIACHIS RAVAGING GIANT PLATES OF FOOD.

HOSTESS
You want soup?

HANNAH
Oh yes!

HOSTESS
And the dan dan noodle?

HELEN
Extra spicy!

HOSTESS
Beer?  Tsing Tao?

HANNAH
A tall one!

HELEN
Too bad about Min but it'll probably be better for you to see her at the house than at that crap party.

HANNAH
I hated that party.  Jason has turned into his dad.  Brag.  Brag. Brag.  And he had the nerve to rag on Nate.

HELEN
How could anyone rag on Nate?  He's the finest person on the planet.

HANNAH
Jason wanted him to put him on the list for the show that he and Sufjan did at the Fillmore and Nate shined him on.  It was a benefit for MoveOn.org and Jason didn't want to cough up for the ticket.

HELEN
But you had fun with Nate right?

HANNAH
Oh yeah. The show was amazing then I stayed over night in his room at the Clift.  He took me to the Redwood Bar and everything.  And Sufjan is super nice.  He thinks Nate is the reincarnation of John Lennon.

HELEN
I listened to some Sufjan Stevens when Nezy told me that Nate was touring with him.  I get it.  Smart.  But sort of twee for me.

HANNAH
I know.  Mommy likes her rock hard.

HELEN
Just like my men.

HANNAH
You are a disgusting person.  And also you're completely transparent.

THE SERVER BRINGS A GIANT BOWL OF SOUP, A LARGE PLATE OF NOODLES AND BEER.  HELEN LADLES THE SOUP.

HELEN
What are you talking about?

HANNAH
Why am I here?

HELEN
Because your father and I had intercourse.

HANNAH
Oh stop it.  Would you really fly me down just to see Min?  

HELEN
You love Min and you haven't seen her forever.

HANNAH
And?

HELEN
What?

HANNAH
Even Emmy figured it out.  You got freaked out about the fire.

HELEN
Well, it's very upsetting.  It's the shittiest year ever and it doesn't take much to freak me out.  Even though I know you were safe I needed some Bananee in three dimensions.  God it was terrible.  I just can't stop thinking about those kids' mothers.

HANNAH
The people dying in Aleppo have mothers.  The Brazilian soccer team had mothers. 'Cause it's white college types closer to my vicinity are the mothers more aggrieved?

HELEN
You're right.  I know you'll think I'm condescending and maudlin but any tragedy just reminds me how afraid I am.  One that's close to where you live just exacerbates it.  The mother thing, and don't get pissed off when I say that you'll only understand it, if and when you become a mother, carries a intrinsic element of fear just woven in.  It's like a dumb schmuck like me doesn't deserve these two exquisite daughters so I worry. 

HANNAH
I'm getting my tubes tied.  No, really, I sort of get it.  But Oakland is weird now.  It's good to be here.  I never went to the Ghost Ship.  Some of my friends did I think.  I didn't know anyone who died.  It's a big city.  But suddenly everyone is claiming to have lost a best friend.  Why does everyone have to make everything about themselves?  It's like a slap in the face to those who have legitimate reason to grieve. 

HELEN
Attention whores I guess.  Maybe at least this will help make some progress on affordable housing in the Bay Area.

HANNAH
Jason was on my case about why I don't live in the City.

HELEN
What a little ass wipe.  And he's starting to get jowly like his old man.  I'm glad you got to see Nate.  He had a really nice time with Emmy last month too.  I miss having a gay best friend.

HANNAH
Gosh.  It's been almost a year since Uncle Pete died.  2016 was really the worst.  But one maybe not so bad thing, Nate says that Brandon isn't as reprehensible as we all think.  He says he gives Emmy real intellectual stimulation.  He says it's sort of like you and Pop.

HELEN
Your dad doesn't wear pearl earrings.

HANNAH
God, are you ever gonna let that go?  You're so superficial.

HELEN
Did Nate tell you about Nezy in Indiana?

HANNAH
Nope.  What?

HELEN
Well, maybe Nezy didn't tell him so keep your trap shut.  Nezy had a thing with the widower next door and now they're Skyping every day.

HANNAH
Get out!  Good for Inez.  Hope he likes cats.  

CUT TO TABLE WITH EMPTY PLATE.

HANNAH
God I'm full.

HELEN
I'm so full.

CUT TO: HELEN AND HANNAH ENTER THEIR HOUSE.  IAN, IN ROBE AND PAJAMAS, SITS IN A RECLINER READING.  FIDO PRANCES OUT WEARING A COLORFUL CHISTMAS SWEATER.

HELEN
You waited up!

IAN
Not for you.  For Bananee.

CUT TO HANNAH ON HER KNEES HUGGING FIDO

HANNAH
Why do you have her in that?  Poor thing.  She's embarrassed!

HELEN
She was cold.  And she's not a Jewish dog.

IAN RISES AND EMBRACES HANNAH.  FIDO STANDS ON HER HIND LEGS TO MAKE IT A GROUP HUG.

HELEN
There's ice cream!

HANNAH
Peppermint?

HELEN
You betcha!  But I don't have any fudge sauce and there's no whipping cream.

HANNAH
Then you totally suck.

HELEN (to Ian)
You want ice cream?

HELEN AND HANNAH (IN UNISON)
I already brushed my teeth.

CUT TO HELEN, HANNAH AND IAN SIT AT THE TABLE EATING ICE CREAM.  FIDO CIRCLES THE TABLE AND EACH GIVE HER A SPOONFUL.

CUT