Friday, March 24, 2017

sixtynothing Episode 23 Yes, No, Maybe

FADE IN
HELEN DRIVES AND INEZ RIDES SHOTGUN.  HELEN'S PHONE RINGS AND SHE HITS SPEAKER

HELEN
Hi Emmy honey.  How goes it?

EMMA (over phone)
I'm fine Mommy...

HELEN
Mommy, huh?  How much do you need?

EMMA
I don't just call you Mommy when I need money.  I always call you Mommy.

HELEN
Uh huh...

EMMA
But...you know with the snowstorm I was off work for three days...

HELEN
How much?

EMMY
Maybe a hundred?

HELEN
Can you just buy what you need with a card?

EMMY
Yeah, sure.  The Travel Rewards?

HELEN
Nah.  I think that one's close to maxed out. Use the Amex.

EMMY
Thanks Mom.

HELEN
See. Now it's Mom.

EMMY
Oh quit it.  Are you driving?

HELEN
Yup.  Nezzy and I are going to a restaurant preview.

EMMY
Cool.  Your favorite.  Free food.  But what about your diet?

HELEN
Been good.  Won't embarrass you at graduation.  Eating well and walking five miles a day.  Plus the price of cigarettes doubles on April first and I am absolutely positively not buying any more.

INEZ ROLLS HER EYES

HELEN
Fuck off Nezzy.  I mean it.

EMMY (sarcastically)
Yeah Nezzy, she means it!

HELEN
Fuck you too!  

EMMY
Where's the restaurant?

HELEN
Highland Park.  York.  Remember where The Castanet used to be?

EMMY
Oh no!  The Castanet is gone.  I loved their machaca.  God the whole neighborhood's gone hipster.

HELEN
Yup.  This one's "modern Jewish food." Called Tchotchke.  Young gal chef who used to work for Roy Choi.  And we're driving up now. Remember to use the Amex and not the Travel Rewards card.  I'll talk to you tomorrow. Love you!

EMMY
Love you too MOMMY.  Bye.

INEZ
Helen, you know that if you ever need any money you just have to ask.

HELEN
I wish I could say that it will never come to that, but you never know.  How humiliating to be sixty years old and still be juggling bills and borrowing money.

INEZ
Yeah, well I know how different things would be it your pop believed in paying taxes.

CUT TO
HELEN AND INEZ MINGLE WITH EASTSIDE HIPSTERS AT A STARK MODERN RESTAURANT AS HORS D'OEUVRES AND DRINKS ARE PASSED.

A YOUNG TATTOOED GIRL AND HER FRIEND APPROACH HELEN

SUNNY
Hi Helen!  Remember me?

HELEN
Of course!  How are you Sunny?

THEY HUG

SUNNY (TO HER FRIEND)
Remember Hannah McIntyre from Marshall?

FRIEND
Oh, are you Hannah's grandma?

CUT TO
INEZ AND HELEN CONTINUE TO MINGLE AND SAMPLE THE FOOD BEING PASSED

AN OLDER WOMAN APPROACHES HELEN

WOMAN
You're Helen Holloway, right?

HELEN
Yes.  But I've been Helen McIntyre for over twenty five years.

WOMAN
I used to eat at your Dad's restaurant when I was a tiny girl.  It was so glamorous and full of movie stars and they used to fillet the fish and toss the salads right at the table. Then you took over, right?

HELEN
Yup.  I did.

WOMAN
I was so sorry when it closed.

HELEN
Me too.

CUT TO
1962

A LARGE BUSTLING RESTAURANT WITH TUXEDOED WAITERS AND CROWDED WITH BOISTEROUS CUSTOMERS IN EVENING CLOTHES.

A SIX YEAR OLD HELEN SITS AT THE BAR NURSING A SHIRLEY TEMPLE.

HAL (to bartender)
Cut her off the Shirley Temples Nick.  Switch her to Tab.  Her mother says she's getting fat.

HAL (to Helen)
Daddy has to work a little longer.

HELEN
But you said we were gonna go.  

HAL
I know Dolly but it's really busy and two waiters are out.  Daddy has to work to make sure Mommy gets her check.

HAL WORKS THE ROOM, GREETING CUSTOMERS, SHAKING HANDS, SLAPPING BACKS AND KISSING WOMEN.  A TIPSY COUPLE SITS ON BAR STOOLS NEXT TO HELEN

MAN
You know Hal's name isn't really Holloway.

WOMAN
Oh?

MAN
Yeah, it's Hirshfield, or Hebestein or something.

WOMAN (to Helen)

Are you the daughter?

HELEN
Hal's my dad.  He owns this restaurant.

WOMAN
Is your mom the first or second wife?

HELEN
The first.  The second is my stepmother.

WOMAN
You should tell your Mommy to straighten your hair.

MAN (TO WOMAN)
Yeah.   She looks like a schvartze.

CUT TO

YOUNG HELEN IS SLEEPING WITH HER HEAD ON THE BAR.  HAL IS SEEN IN THE BACKGROUND TALKING TO A WAITRESS.  SHE IS UNHAPPY.  HE REACHES INTO HIS POCKET AND SLIPS HER A FEW BILLS.

HAL GENTLY WAKES HELEN WHO LOOKS AT HIM WITH BLEARY EYES

HAL
Dolly, Daddy has to stay late.  There's a big wedding tomorrow and I have to help them get ready in the kitchen.  Connie is going to take you to sleep at her house.  It will be like a slumber party.  You'll have so much fun.

HELEN BEGINS TO WEEP

HAL
Dolly, you'll have a swell time with Connie. Daddy promises.  And I'll come early and get you and we'll go have pancakes at Dupar's before I take you back to Mommy.

CUT TO
PARKING LOT OF HOLLOWAY'S. CONNIE IS BEHIND THE WHEEL AND YOUNG HELEN IN THE PASSENGER SEAT CRYING.

CONNIE
Don't cry Helen.  I have the new Beatles record.  We can play it!

HELEN
Where's my suitcase?  It was in Daddy's office.

CONNIE
I'm sure Daddy will bring it when he picks you up tomorrow.

HELEN (wailing)
It has my nightgown.  And my toothbrush.  And my Barbies.

CONNIE
Ok honey.  Wait here.  I'll run in and get it for you.

CUT TO HAL AND A VERY SHAPELY YOUNG WOMAN. THEY LEAVE THE HOLLOWAY AND WALK TO HIS CAR. HE OPENS THE DOOR FOR HER AND KISSES HER NECK AND SLIDES HIS HAND DOWN HER REAR AS SHE GETS IN THE CAR.


CUT TO RESTAURANT OPENING.  SERVERS OFFER HELEN ITEMS FROM TRAYS AND SHE SADLY REFUSES. THE FEMALE CHEF LEAVES THE KITCHEN AND APPROACHES HELEN.

CHEF
Helen!  It's really an honor to have you here.

HELEN
Me?

CHEF
Will you come into the kitchen with me for a sec?

CUT TO 
THE CHEF OFFERS HELEN A SPOONFUL OF SOUP.

HELEN
Wow!

CHEF
Get it?

HELEN
It reminds me of my borsht.  Lovely.  Oh. There's sorrel.  So nice.  And all of the other food is amazing.

THE CHEF REACHES TO A SHELF AND PULLS DOWN A TATTERED DOGEARED COOKBOOK.  "HOLLOWAY" BY HELEN HOLLOWAY

HELEN
Oh my God. That was like 1979.

CHEF
Sorry it's so dirty but I use it all the time. I can't tell you how much I love it. Would you mind signing it?

SHE HANDS HELEN A PEN.  HELEN SIGNS THE BOOK.

HELEN
You've done a wonderful job dear.  It's absolutely spectacular.  Mazel Tov!

CHEF
The truth is that I'm terrified.

HELEN
Tell me about it.  But, you'll be fine.

CHEF
Do you miss running a restaurant?

HELEN REFLECTS ON THIS FOR A MOMENT.

HELEN
Yes....No...Maybe...