gripping drama involving two middle aged sexual compulsives. Matt is a
struggling screenwriter who is hiding from the authorities due to past
monetary obligations. When he meets the the thrice divorced Eileen in a
bar their commiseration quickly turns to a sexual encounter that draws
them into a toxic relationship marked by gratuitous sex and betrayal.
WHAT THE CRITICS SAID:
riveting drama that hits all the marks of a visceral relationship gone
bad. Simonelli displays remarkable insight into the human condition as
it pertains to two dysfunctional people trying to cope with life, love,
and self preservation. not to be missed!
Joe Franklin - Bloomberg Radio
'A vivid drama filled with sexual tension!"
Richmond Shephard - Performing Arts Insider
Excerpts "Wretched Asylum" (Adult content and language warning
Wretched ASYLUM By
Joe Simonelli (Screenplay)
Copywright 2009 Joe Simonelli
INT. BAR - EARLY EVENING A small town bar somewhere in Central New Jersey. The bar is empty save for two men at the far end who chat with Paul the bartender while a fourth man, Matt Fennel, mid forties, sits nursing a drink on a barstool located closest to the entrance. A woman, Eileen, Mid forties enters. She is dressed provocatively in a tight, low cut dress. The three men ogle her as Matt continues to watch television, oblivious to her. Eileen quickly sizes up the situation and chooses to sit next to the man who seems to be uninterested. She always likes a challenge. Paul the bartender comes over to her.
PAUL What can I get you?
EILEEN A bag with a million dollars in it and a new boyfriend. Matt glances at her and likes what he sees.
MATT In that order?
EILEEN In any order you like honey.
MATT So, what's your pleasure?
EILEEN Wouldn't you like to know.
MATT What would you like to drink, it's on me
. EILEEN Look at that, I'm five bucks closer to a million.
PAUL (sarcasm apparent) Take your time, it's a slow night. EILEEN Vodka tonic, light on the tonic.
Paul turns to mix her a drink. As Eileen pulls out a lipstick pencil and starts to apply it.
EILEEN (CONT'D) You live around here?
MATT Pretty close. I'm Matt by the way.
EILEEN Hello Matt.
MATT (Dragging it out of her) And you are?
Paul places vodka in front of her which she quickly drinks.
EILEEN Thirsty, can I have another?
PAUL You driving lady?
EILEEN I can walk home, just set me up again. Thank you.
Paul turns to make another drink.
MATT Should I make up a name?
EILEEN Sure, or just call me what my soon to be ex does. Drunken, bitch whore..
MATT What a coincidence, I used to call my wife the same thing.
EILEEN No kidding.Bet it really turned her on.
MATT Not as much as the rough sex that followed.
EILEEN Wow, you've got some imagination and sense of humour. You really weren't kidding weren't you?
MATT Always keep em guessing.
EILEEN What did you say you did for a living?
Paul places another drink in front of him
. MATT I didn't. I'm a writer.
PAUL And I'm really an 'A' list actor moonlighting as a bartender.
Eileen downs another drink.
EILEEN No one asked you barkeep. (to Matt) I never met a real writer before.
PAUL Another drink?
EILEEN No thanks. (To Matt)) Come on, let's get out of here, you wanna get laid or not? You drive.
MATT Lets go.
Matt throws some cash on the bar and they exit.
EXT. BAR. Eileen kisses Matt. As they walk to his car.
MATT This is it. Hop in.
He opens car door for her and she enters. He quickly gets in drivers side door.
INT. CAR. Matt is driving as Eileen grabs at his crotch.
EILEEN Ohh, nice package.
MATT Take it easy, I'm trying to drive here. She stops and sits up.
EILEEN Sorry. How old is this heap?
MATT It's a ninety six.
EILEEN Six more years and you'll have yourself a classic. She opens electric window.
MATT Don't open that. Shit.
EILEEN Why not? I want a cig.
MATT Once you open it it won't close again unless you push on it.
EILEEN Shit, time for a new car.
MATT You think?
EILEEN How many miles on this relic?
MATT I don't know, the odometer broke a few years ago at a hundred and fifty.
MATT This is what you wind up driving when you're fucked over in a divorce. Doesn't matter, Volvo's run forever. You just have to keep changing the oil and check the water levels. Here we are, the Fennell Mansion.
They car pulls up in front of a large house.
EXT. MATT'S BLOCK.
EILEEN Hey, nice house.
MATT Yeah, it is. But it's not mine. Folllow me. He takes her hand and they start walking down the block.
EILEEN I don't get it. There's plenty of parking around here. Why don't you park in front of your house?
MATT I've got my reasons.
EILEEN Maybe this isn't such a good idea.
MATT Relax will you. Where's your sense of adventure?
EILEEN Now I'm intrigued.
They turn the corner and continue walking.
MATT I just don't like certain parties to know when I'm home.
EILEEN What, are you in the CIA or something. You got a stalker?
MATT Something like that.
He stops in front of another large house.
MATT Here we are.
WIDE SHOT - EXT. LARGE HOUSE.
EILEEN Hey, this place looks nicer than the other one.
MATT Not here. Through the back. I rent the back bungalow. And keep it down my landlord is sleeping.
They make their way past the house to a small cottage on the back of the property.
MATT REACHES FOR HIS KEY AND OPENS THE DOOR.
EILEEN All this cloak and dagger is really turning me on.
She grabs him and kisses him, grabbing at his crotch as THEY ENTER. INT. MATT'S BUNGALOW.
EILEEN Wait, slow down...do you have a condom?
MATT Condom? Yeah sure. Two seconds.
He scrambles to check wallets and drawers.
MATT Shit, I think I'm out.
EILEEN (rummaging through purse) Shit, me too. Look, no condom, no sex. She peruses apartment.
EILEEN Ya got a cigarette, I left mine in your car.
MATT I don't smoke.
EILEEN (she sits on the couch) No condoms, no sex, no cigarettes...sounds like a country western song. I guess a joint is out of the question?
MATT Definitely out of the question. (He sits on couch next to her)
EILEEN No vices huh?
MATT If you don't count having sex with attractive strangers I only met a half hour ago, then no.
EILEEN But not without a condom. So no, it doesn't count. I may be a bit buzzed and very horny but I'm not careless. She picks up a small medal on a chain from end table.
EILEEN I thought boy scouts were always supposed to be prepared?
MATT Who said anything about boy scouts? Nope. All I had was the nuns and Father Patrick, and the only thing he prepared me for was..
. EILEEN A life of sexual frustration. You sexually repressed Catholic boys are all the same...probably why you don't have any condoms in the house. It would mean you actually wanted to get laid.
MATT Hey, just knowing that you would have slept with me is a moral victory. Let's just call it quits now and we're ahead of the game. We can avoid all the bullshit. Courtship, a relationship, a nasty break up.
EILEEN Nice try but you don't get off that easy. You bought me a few drinks and now I have to put out. Those are the barfly rules.
MATT Really, I never read the barfly rules.
She gets up and starts inspecting the apartment. She picks up a stray sock.
EILEEN Maid's day off?
MATT I wasn't exactly planning on company.
EILEEN Tell me about it. She tosses the sock behind the couch.
MATT Thanks, that's exactly where that goes.
EILEEN So can a girl get a drink around here, or is alcohol forbidden too?
MATT No, that I have plenty of. What's your pleasure?
EILEEN What have you got?
MATT Beer or scotch?
EILEEN You're Catholic, shouldn't you have some wine?
MATT I don't do that much entertaining. And when I do they tend to be the shot and beer types.
EILEEN Doesn't matter. I don't really drink wine. I'll take a scotch...neat. He crosses to the bar to prepare two drinks.
EILEEN Neat...straight up, no ice. Geez, how can you be a scotch drinker and not know that? What is it you said you do again?
MATT Sales. I work in the exciting world of office supplies.
EILEEN Don't tell me you work at one of those big chain stores and wear one of those goofy polo shirts with one of those 'ask me for help' name tags...the last thing any of you want to do is actually help a customer.
MATT No, I work in the city as a wholesaler. I sell direct to business.
He hands her a drink and sits besides her.
EILEEN I thought you told me you were a writer?
MATT I did tell you...and I do write. Plays, screenplays, short stories, poems...Well since sex appears to be off the table I guess we'll just skip ahead to pillow talk. The truth won't hurt. Okay, so truth? Truth is, I haven't actually sold anything yet. So if you're an aspiring actress who only came home with me in the hopes of scoring a roll then this is going to be a big letdown for you. But in the interest of trying to salvage my prospects, I can also truthfully say I'm getting some good feedback and interest in a couple of plays.
EILEEN No kidding, well maybe I'll stick this out a little longer...at least until my drink is done. So. Were you an English major?
MATT I did go to college, but not for English.
EILEEN Why not, I mean if that's your passion.
MATT My father thought it was best if we all had solid business backgrounds. Sure, he encouraged our creative sides, but he was a bit of a pragmatist. He thought we should focus on financial stability first. You know, have something to fall back on.
EILEEN Makes sense. So what did your realist father do for a living? Let me guess...banking?
MATT Close, he was a stand up comic.
EILEEN Get out of here. (seeing he is not joking)
Stand up comic. Have I ever heard of him?
MATT No, probably not. He did mostly clubs and private parties. Does some voice over work too.
EILEEN Tell me more 'Son of Seinfeld.' Honestly, you were losing me with the whole business sales thing, no offense. So how do you go about writing these future smash hits?
MATT You know what they say, "Write what you know."
She gets up from couch and walks towards his desk. She glances at his computer screen.
EILEEN Oh, so you write about the exciting world of office supplies.
Matt follows her to desk.
MATT No, but that's funny. Actually I write about...well, it's hard to explain. People, life, relationships...
EILEEN Sounds juicy. You know the whole mild mannered office drone by day and sexy hot writer by night is an incredible turn on. Tell me more.
MATT (flustered) Look Ei, there's nothing to tell Really...
EILEEN Ohh, you called me Ei. I like that. My brothers used to call me Ei...
MATT Yeah, habit I guess. I grew up in an Irish neighborhood. Lot's of Ei's and Col's.
EILEEN And what's your last name?
EILEEN Like the vegetable?
MATT I think it's an herb actually. Could have been worse, could have been broccoli or zucchini.
EILEEN Fennel. Irish neighborhood you said, but you look more English. I didn't know there were any English Catholics. Aren't they usually Anglican?
MATT Actually I'm Italian. My father shortened his name from Fennelli. For business purposes.
EILEEN Yeah, monkey business probably. So tell me about writing. I mean what's your process? Do you just pick up a blank piece of paper and start typing?
MATT You really want to know about this? (she nods) Okay...well first I think you need to be passionate about your subject. Then you have to translate that passion to dialogue on paper. For me, I listen to the conversation in my head. You know, when something sounds great in your head but when you say it, it comes out all wrong? Or you think of the perfect comeback after the moment has passed? Well, writing gives me a chance to come up with the smartest, wittiest version of a conversation. It's like... (stopping) Sorry, I get carries away. But you did ask. Now, if this were a play.
I'd have you talk! But I don't know you well enough to know what you'd say!
EILEEN You know you like me enough to bribe me with alcohol at a dive bar, bring me back to your messy apartment thinking you'd get lucky! What more do you need to know?
MATT First, I didn't bribe you - I was being polite by offering you a drink. Second, I didn't think it was such a dive. And last, if not for the missing condoms, would I really have been wrong about getting lucky?
EILEEN Come on, you were slumming and you know it.
MATT No, I was doing research...for a story!
EILEEN Yeah, and I was searching for a prom date. Look, we were both attracted to each other. You don't have to pretend that there was some higher moral imperative. MATT Okay, okay...guilty as charged. And in the interest of full disclosure, I have to add that the thought of being naked with you outweighed any moral imperative!
EILEEN Wow, now we're cutting right to the chase.
MATT So what's your story?
EILEEN You really want to hear it?
MATT You reallywant to tell it?
EILEEN It's hardly original. My father bypassed the whole pragmatist, stand up comic thing went straight to raging alcoholic. He used to beat up my mother and on several occasions he tried to sexually molest me. Thanks to his parenting skills I suffer from low self esteem, low grade depression and, lucky you, sexual compulsion. I hang around dive bars waiting for men to pick me up so i can have gratuitous sex with them. I have a son from my second marriage who the courts decided should live with his father because I'm such a terrible role model for him. I've been in therapy for the last ten years which means I have a lot more insight, a lot less cash, and the same old problems. Can I get another drink?
MATT (somewhat at a loss for words ) You know I read somewhere that a borderline personality will tell you their whole life story in the first ten minutes of conversation.
EILEEN Really? Well that's not me since I didn't tell you everything. So you want to know, or you want me to leave? She gets up from couch.
MATT No. I don't want you to leave. What, you think your story shocks me? Everybody's got a story Ei. You don't live forty plus years without one. And everyone's story has a few bad things in it.
EILEEN Really, well I left out a really important thing...i happen to be very, very good in bed. So what are your bad things? MATT I prefer to keep them private thank you. Or maybe hide them in my stories..Oh shit..I just thought of something! EILEEN What?
MATT I just remembered where they are.
EILEEN Where what are?
MATT The condoms.
EILEEN Ahhh, we're back to where we started!
MATT They're keeping them fresh at the seven eleven. There's one down the corner. Ten minutes tops!
EILEEN Forget it. That will take forever...and besides, there's plenty we can cook up without a rubber. Which way to the kitchen?
MATT There are fewer sharper objects in the bedroom, so if it's all the same to you...walk this way please... He leads her off to the bedroom.
INT. MATT'S APARTMENT. NEXT AFTERNOON Matt is sitting alone on couch and speaking on the telephone
MATT (Into telephone) Hey big brother. How are my nephew's doing? No kidding, Two touchdowns, that's great. I don't know, thanksgiving is a tough day to travel. No, still no bites on the screenplay although there may be some interest in L.A. Girlfriend, me? No, no one special..the same story, I have too much financial baggage. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a hermit. As a matter of fact I met someone pretty interesting just last night.
CUT TO: INT. TOM'S DEN Wide shot of Matt's brother Tom playing Texas Hold'em on his computer. A football periodically whizzes by the entrance of the den.
TOM So bring her over for Thanksgiving and we'll check her out. (a look of anquish) Shit, this moron just raised me all in on fourth street. (he yells at computer) You shithead! You think you can move me off two pair!
MATT (via phone) What happened?
TOM I just got rivered by some asshole.
(A football flies into the room. Tom rises, grabs football and tosses it back the other way.)
Hey guys, enough with the football in the house. Take it outside before you break something and I have to hear it from your mother. (Back to phone)
So what do you say, bring the new squeeze over for Thanksgiving.
CUT TO: MATT I doubt that would be a good idea although it sure would be an adventure. Don't count on it. I didn't even bother top get her phone number.
TOM (via phone) Well we're going to see you regardless right?
MATT You know I never miss Thanksgiving. I'll talk to you soon. Love to Kathy and the kids. Matt rises and goes to desk, turning on the computer. He sits and starts to write. There is a knock at the door. A tense look of concern as he checks his watch. He turns out the light on his desk and slowly slides from his seat and cowers next to the desk to be hidden from anyone trying to peak through the window. The knocking persists until...
EILEEN (Behind door) Matt, are you in there? It's Eileen...y You know, from last night.
MATT (Relieved)I Eileen?
He gets up, turns on light and opens door. Eileen stands there holding a large canvas bag.
MATT. Hey Ei! What's up?
EILEEN I think I left my watch here last night. I didn't have your phone number so I figured I'd take a chance and stop by. Have you seen it?
MATT No, I haven't seen a watch around. How did you know I was home?
EILEEN I saw your car parked around the block. I know your hiding spot, remember. Can I come in? She walks past him. MATT (Taken aback) Sure, why not.
EILEEN Maybe I left it in the bedroom.
She grabs his arm and pulls him into bedroom as she starts to kiss him.
MATT Whoa, hold on a second.
EILEEN Come on, you really didn't think I came here to find a watch did you?
She digs in her canvas bag.
EILEEN Here, I brought you a present.
She tosses him a box of condoms which he catches.
MATT Thanks. But I kind of had plans...say, if you knew you didn't leave the watch then why did you come over?
EILEEN (Stroking his face) Isn't it obvious. I kind of missed you. I had a nice time last night, talking...and everything else. Didn't we have fun last night?
MATT Yes, it was nice, and fun...but that was last night.
EILEEN (She pulls her hand away) I know. I know...There was actually another reason I came over.
MATT And what's that?
EILEEN (she pulls a small manuscript out of her bag) I wanted your opinion on something. (she hands him manuscript) I was taking a night class on creative writing at the college.
MATT (looking over paper) "Anarchy and the co-dependant mind." You wrote this for class Ei?
EILEEN Yeah, I wanted your opinion...if it's not too much trouble.
MATT No, no trouble at all. Hey why did you ask me all those questions about writing last night when you're a writer yourself?
EILEEN Just picking your brain I guess. Besides, I'm not a real writer like you. I'm just taking a class.
MATT How would you know? You never read any of my stuff. Sit, sit down. You want a drink or something?
EILEEN It's a little early.
MATT Coffee? I just made some. He starts to get up but she places har hand on his shoulder to re-seat him.
EILEEN (as she rises) I'll get it, you read.
INT. KITCHEN She walks in and notices four cup electric coffee pot filled with coffee. She searches cabinets till she finds coffee cups.
EILEEN Milk and sugar?
Cut TO: INT. LIVING ROOM MATT (absorbed in essay) Huh?
EILEEN (from off in kitchen) How do you take your coffee, milk, sugar?
MATT A little milk, no sugar. He continues reading as Eileen enters carrying two cups of coffee which she places on coffee table.
EILEEN (sipping coffee) So what do you think?
MATT (also drinking coffee as he continues reading) Eileen, so far I am very impressed. You said you never attended college?
EILEEN I never said that. I went for three semesters after high school then dropped out.
EILEEN I got pregnant, got married, and had a kid.
MATT I guess it happens. Wait, didn't you say you had a kid from your current marriage too. How many children do you have? EILEEN One from each.
MATT So two?
EILEEN Three. MATT You were married three times?
EILEEN (jumps up excitedly) Are you judging me Matt?
MATT No, not at all.
EILEEN Because I don't see what gives you the right to judge me.
MATT Nothing does. I'm not judging you, just trying to get the facts straight. Don't be so damned defensive.
EILEEN I'm a bi-polar manic depressive. I get defensive. And paranoid.
MATT At the same time? (He rises) Thanks for the warning but you're not scarring me Eileen.
EILEEN I didn't realize I was trying to.
MATT Oh I think you do. Or I think you're trying to see if I will scare. You're laying out your bullshit baggage a page at a time to test my threshold., to see at what point you're going to get rejected so you can minimize the hurt. Well guess what? I don't operate that way.
EILEEN Thanks for the analysis, doctor fucking Freud. But I already have a shrink.
MATT Take it easy. All I'm saying is from where I sit I see a very funny, sexy, talented woman. I mean this takes talent, doesn't it? (indicates manuscript)
EILEEN But I'm not educated like you. I don't have a college degree.
MATT So what? Lose the low self esteem already. I just told you few people can write something like this. This is good enough to be published.
EILEEN (genuine excitement) You really mean that? You're not just bull shitting me, are you Matt? Don't you dare bull shit me.
MATT I wouldn't say it if I didn't mean it. You're a talented writer. Just accept it. Did you hand this in yet?
EILEEN Yeah, a couple of weeks ago. MATT What did your professor say about it?
EILEEN About the same as you.
MATT Well there you go!
EILEEN Right. Whatever. Her cell phone rings and she answers. EILEEN (CONT’D) Excuse me, I have to take this. (she turns away as Matt continues reading) Hi Mommy. (Matt glances up at her) Yeah, how are my kids? No place...just visiting a friend. He's just a friend! Okay mommy, see you later. (to Matt as she puts cell back in bag) That was my...
MATT I heard, your mother.
MATT Aren't you a little old to be calling her mommy?
EILEEN It's a term of endearment..it makes her feel better.
MATT It makes her feel better. (looks at her skeptically) In this essay, you talk about the 'adult child.' What's That all about? EILEEN The adult child carries with them the issues that were never resolved in childhood.
MATT Such as?
EILEEN Alcoholism, physical or mental abuse, molestation. Actually, it's just a nice psychological term for having a totally fucked up childhood.
MATT Write what you know...hey, how long have you been divorced from your third husband?
EILEEN I'm not, we're separated.
MATT Separated? You know i usually don't date women who aren't single or divorced. I mean I like you and all but...okay, just how far along in the process are you?
EILEEN I retained a lawyer.
MATT How long have you been separated?
EILEEN Physically or emotionally?
MATT Take your pick
EILEEN Physically a year. Emotionally forever. Besides silly boy, we're not dating. We're just having fun.
MATT Yeah that's right. I guess when you put it that way...
EILEEN What you said before...about me being sexy. Did you mean that too?
MATT Of course I did. I find you very sexy. EILEEN
She pushes him down on couch and starts to kiss him.
EILEEN I find you kind of sexy too. So you want to play some more?
MATT You mean right now?
EILEEN Yeah, right now.
MATT I would love nothing more, but I have a gig. I'm sitting in tonight with a friend's band. (he rises from couch) Hey, you want to come?
EILEEN (still lying on couch) That's the general idea.
MATT I mean to the gig.
EILEEN I didn't know you were also a musician.
MATT There's a lot of things you don't know about me. I've still got a few tricks up my sleeve, despite my day job.
EILEEN Good to know. My husband is the biggest snore going. Comes home from work and falls asleep in front of the couch...At least that's what he always did...and from what the kid tells me nothing has changed.
MATT So what do you say? You up for the gig?
EILEEN Definitely! But first.. She opens the condom box and drapes them around his neck.
MATT I guess I have a little time
EILEEN Okay, that's more like it. She starts to remove his shirt as they kiss and move into bedroom. They fall on the bed together as they start to remove each others clothes.
MATT Wait a sec. You know I don't have any money right?
EILEEN (she gropes his penis) So what...you have a big dick.
MATT Works for me.
EILEEN No, works for me.
They resume as camera fades. INT. A SMALL CLUB Matt's band is on stage playing a song (crazy girls by Johnny Simms)as Eileen is dancing with a guy. She switches to another guy during the song dancing with anyone who will give her attention. CUT TO: BAND STAND The bass player moves towards Matt
CLIFF Is that your girlfriend man! She's the life of the party. Better keep an eye on her. The song ends and and Cliff speaks on microphone.
CLIFF (CONT’D) The band is taking a short break so everyone stick around, especially that lady! (he points to Eileen)
The band members jump off stage as Matt approached Eileen and plants a kiss on her.
MATT Having a good time out there I see.
EILEEN I love to dance. You are one sexy guitar player. Wait till I get you home tonight. I'm gonna tie you up with guitar strings! Johnny Krepps, the drummer, walks over.
JOHNNY So is this the new squeeze?
MATT Eileen. This is Johnny, our drummer.
EILEEN Ohh, I always had a thing for drummers.
JOHNNY Really, that's good to know for future reference.
A tall blonde see's Matt, calls and waves.
EILEEN Who the fuck is that?
MATT An old flame.
SHEILA Hey Mattie, when are you gonna call me. I miss you.
EILEEN (planting a big kiss on Matt) Fuck off sister he's with me!
(to Matt) Let's get a drink. She pulls him towards bar as camera fades.
INT. MATT'S APARTMENT. NEXT MORNING: Matt and Eileen are huddled on couch.
EILEEN You are a very sexy man. Do you know that? When I saw you playing guitar last night I got wet.
MATT Really? (They kiss) That's the kind of music we play, the get your girl wet blue's!
EILEEN Very funny Mr. Screenplay writer. I read your script.
MATT What? When did you do that?
EILEEN This morning. I got up early. It was sitting right on your desk. I didn't think you'd mind. Besides, I loved it. I can see it now, you walking the red carpet, me on your arm waving to the crowd!
MATT Thanks. I hope. I could use the money. I'm thinking of moving to L.A. To be closer to the right people.
EILEEN (slightly upset but trying to mask it) Why would you do that?
MATT Well Hollywood is where they make the movies, isn't it. An agent out there is pretty hot on my first draft, thinks he can get me a deal
. EILEEN (she rises and walks towards desk) They make movies in new York too ya know.
MATT A few I suppose.
Matt follows her to desk as she is nervously fumbling with different items. He gently hugs her and she turns and kisses him.
EILEEN Well you're not going just yet, are you?
MATT No, not to California, just to the bathroom. Are you going to be here when I get back?
EILEEN If you're a good boy.
MATT I'm always a good boy.
He starts for bathroom.
EILEEN Hey what's that contraption you have set up in the corner of the bedroom. Some kind of tape recorder?
MATT That's my digital multi trac recorder.
EILEEN Really, what's that for?
MATT Original songs that I record.
EILEEN Wow, I'm impressed. So are you ever gonna right a song for me?
MATT We keep having sex like last night and I'll write you a boatload sexy.
He exits to bathroom as she reaches in her handbag for her cell phone. She checks to make sure that Matt is out of 'earshot' as she's dialing then walks to far end of the room.
EILEEN (into cell phone) Hi, this is Eileen Ferguson, is Mr. Abromowitz in? Well, I'd like to retain him for a divorce. I was referred by Janet Logan. Yeah, if he can do for me what he did for her I'd be very happy. I hear her ex is walking around with a barrel around him. Sure I can come in Friday. What time? Great. It's Eileen Ferguson. Right 'son', I'll see you then. She hears Matt singing "Back inn the saddle Again'in the hall way and quickly puts her phone away.
MATT I was a good boy.
EILEEN Well good boys get rewarded! He goes to kiss her but she stops him
EILEEN But first I want to know something Mr. Sexy writer.
MATT Yeah, what's that?
EILEEN Who, or what are you hiding from?
Matt walks to his guitar and starts to strum.
MATT Who says I'm hiding?
Eileen follows him.
EILEEN It's obvious. This place, a cottage on the back of someone's property. You don't answer your door to find out who's knocking. You park your car around the block so no one knows your home. What's the big secret?
MATT (puts down guitar and sits at desk) It's nothing. You're being paranoid again
. EILEEN No I'm not. What is it? Tell me?
MATT (turns to face her) Not now. When I know you a little longer. Okay?
EILEEN (upset) Oh I see. You can know about all my psychotic shit, but you feel you need to keep secrets. It doesn't matter that we just fucked six ways to Sunday. Look Matt, I'm not going to run screaming into the night at anything you tell me. What's the big mystery?
MATT (also a little upset) I have a lot of financial baggage, okay. I told you I don't have a lot of money.
EILEEN No shit? Yeah, you already told me, and frankly you didn't have to. This place isn't exactly the Taj Mahal. So who's after you Matt? You owe money to a loan shark or something? Are you some kind of compulsive gambler or something? God, my first husband was, that prick.
MATT No, it's nothing like that. (he paces) Alriht, alright. I owe a lot of back alimony and child support. I cut a real shitty deal when I got divorced five years ago and I've been trying to fix it ever since.
EILEEN What do you mean?
MATT Okay, before I sold office supplies I was a real estate broker. I did alright, not filthy rich, but comfortable. When I got divorced I had an unfortunate pang of guilt, a very large pang, and agreed to pay my ex-wife much more than I could afford. EILEEN You Catholic boys are so fucked up. Didn't your lawyer tell you not to?
MATT Yes he did but I didn't listen.
EILEEN Why not?
MATT I just told you, because of a boatload of guilt. Leaving a wife with two young kids. I wanted to take care of them so I gave everything. The house. The brokerage account. I walked out of that marriage with the clothes on my back and my guitar. i didn't leave enough to take care of me. When the real estate job went away, it was impossible to keep up with the payments.
EILEEN How much do you owe her?
MATT Over six figures.
EILEEN Holy shit! How much are you supposed to give her each month?
MATT Five thousand.
EILEEN What! Donald Trump doesn't pay that much.
MATT He probably had a better lawyer.
EILEEN Five thousand a month! When I broke up with my first husband I didn't ask for shit. I just wanted the bastard out of my life.
MATT Thank you Eileen. Do you know how many times I've heard that story from other women I've dated? "I just wanted him out, I didn't care about the money." I fucked up okay? I made a bad deal, I don't need to be reminded of it.( He picks up phone and hands it to her).) Here, call my ex and tell her that. "Hey Michele, this is Matt's new girlfriend. Aren't you just glad to get rid of that bum? Why don't you be a nice little ex-wifey and tell the court to arbitrarily lower the payment so he can take girlfriends like me out to fancy dinners, and I can come home and fuck his brains out." You think that will work Ei? And then in six months when you dump me for a guy with more money you can call her and congratulate her for screwing me.
Eileen starts to head for the door.
EILEEN That was a shitty thing to say. I am out of here buster. I don't need to be treated like that.
MATT (Moves to stop her) No wait Eileen, please wait. I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said that. Please stay.
They sit back down on the couch.
EILEEN Alright, I'll stay...if you promise to be nice.
MATT Well just how nice should i be?
EILEEN As nice as you were last night.
MATT I'll try..and speaking of last night...
MATT Was it my imagination or were you coming on to the drummer when we were on a break?
EILEEN What do you mean?
MATT You looked like you were a lot more interested in just his musical ability.
EILEEN Oh come on. I was just being friendly. What's the matter, are you the jealous type? Besides, i don't remember us having any conversation about being exclusive, do you?
EILEEN We've been together twice. Three times if you count now.
MATT Well you have to admit we get along great and the sex around here has been...hey, you weren't lying when you said you were good in bed.
EILEEN You'll never catch me in a lie.
MATT You never lie Eileen. Not even little white ones/
EILEEN I didn't say I never lie. I said you'd never catch me in one.
MATT Very good counselor! So where's you learn that little technique?
EILEEN You ask, I answer. You can't take the truth, stop asking questions.
MATT You really do intrigue me ..tell me again why you left husband number three?
EILEEN (extremely defensive as she rises) EILEEN (CONT’D) Who said I left 'him,' maybe he left me, you ever think of that? MATT I'm sorry..
He rises and gently escorts her back to the couch.
MATT Come on and sit. You need a hug?
EILEEN Yes, I do. (He kisses her)
MATT Feel better? EILEEN Yeah. (a beat) Matt? MATT Yes? EILEEN Do you really want to know why I broke up with my husband? MATT Which one? EILEEN Number three. MATT Only if you want to tell me. EILEEN (she rises again) He stopped paying attention to me. MATT Look, don't take this the wrong way. I mean I don't want to sound judgemental. But is that really a good reason to break up a marriage? I mean you do have a child together. EILEEN (annoyed) And your point is? MATT It's your third marriage. Didn't you learn anything from the first two? EILEEN Yes I did. I learned I'm attracted to men with addictive personalities. The first one gambled, the second one drank..
MATT And the third?
EILEEN A workaholic. With a lot of money who doesn't spend any time with his wife. Now what's your story mister 'holier than thou'? Massive mid life crisis?
MATT Look, I'm sorry. I have no right to grill you about your marriages. It's really none of my business.
EILEEN It's fine, we've all got issue's kiddo. Any other things you want to know while we're laying all our cards on the table? Want to know if I cheated on him? Want to know the last guy I fucked before I met you? It was my husband's first cousin during a family birthday party at a a catering hall. We found an empty room where they stored the liquor and we fucked our brains out.
MATT Didn't you think he'd find out?
EILEEN I was counting on it! (two beats)
MATT So what! To hell with them, right? Screw your husband and his cousin and your ass hole ex-husbands. You know what we should do?
EILEEN No, what should we do?
MATT Two talented people like us? We should write something.
EILEEN Write something? You mean together! MATT Yes together!
EILEEN Really Matt! Do you mean that?
MATT Can't you see it? We'll write a stage play together. A love story..
EILEEN How about a comedy? I love a good comedy!
MATT Okay, a romantic comedy. Written by Matt Fennel and Eileen...hey, what last name 'are' you using?
EILEEN O'Malley! My maiden name. Eileen Joan O'Malley!
MATT E.J. O'Malley...that even sounds like a writer's name.
EILEEN Hey, can we put a dumb blonde in the play? I love a good dumb blonde!
MATT What, like a Marilyn Monroe type?
EILEEN No, more like a Jean Hagen. Or better yet, Judy Holiday, like in 'Born Yesterday!' You know. (imitating Judy Holiday) "ya big jerk." Ya got no right to treat me like that, ya big jerk."
MATT (laughing) Hey, that's pretty good. Do some more. Will ya?
EILEEN (still in character) "Some more what, ya big jerk."
MATT You're killing me. Did you make your husband laugh like that?