It’s Halloween and a costume party is kicking off. The room is filled with a priest, a clown, gum stuck under a chair, a missing sock, a sexy nurse, a civil war medic, Lenin, Spiderman, etc. Everybody is having a good time. Among the people stands Phil, dressed as the back of a horse from a two-man horse costume. He is talking to a woman dressed as a zombie.
ZOMBIE GIRL: So you’re supposed to be a horse’s ass, right?
PHIL: (sighing) No. My friend is supposed to be here as the front of the horse. He said he would meet me here, but I’ve been waiting for twenty minutes. I’m starting to look like –
ZOMBIE GIRL: A horse’s ass?
Rosco busts into the party, panting from running because of his lateness. Yet he too is wearing the rear end portion of a horse costume. He grabs a beer from a cooler and walks up to Phil.
ROSCO: Hey buddy. Sorry I’m late.
PHIL: Ros, what the hell are you doing?
ROSCO: Having a beer after I ran ten blocks to get here. I know I said I’d be here sooner, but there’s like no parking spaces around this neighborhood. I parked down on Adams and Vermont and then just booked it here. I certainly got some strange looks, even for Halloween. You’d think for a horse costume they would make it easier to run in. But at least I didn’t have to worrying about what to do with the head . . .
Rosco finally notices which end of the horse Phil is wearing.
ROSCO: Why are you wearing the end?
PHIL: Because I said I would be the end so you would get to be the head.
ROSCO: What are you talking about? I was going as the horse-butt because I made you shave your head last year so you could be Lex Luthor to my Superman.
PHIL: Why didn’t you tell me that earlier?
ROSCO: I wanted it to be a surprise! Why did you think that I’d screw you out of the cool part of the costume?
PHIL: Because you’ve been screwing me out of the good costumes for fifteen years!
ROSCO: Which was why I was gonna be the better man and let you take the lead.
PHIL: You should have told me!
ROSCO: You should have trusted me!
PHIL: (turning to Zombie Girl) Can you believe this guy?
ZOMBIE GIRL: (giggling) You both seem like asses to me.
ROSCO: (scoffing) It’s like there’s nothing you can do about that joke. It’s coming, and you just have to stand there.
PHIL: But she’s right! We’re just two losers who can’t coordinate now.
ROSCO: (putting his beer down) Maybe not. I have an idea.
Rosco edges towards Phil, who just stands there eying Rosco with suspicion. Rosco slowly hugs Phil, bringing the edges of the costumes together so they look like a horse made out of rear sections. They stand there, shifting slightly.
ROSCO: (turning slightly so his tail is pointing at Zombie Girl) Well? Do we look cool?
ZOMBIE GIRL: You look like an abomination.
ROSCO: We can work with that!
Phil pushes Rosco away.
PHIL: Get away from me.
Phil storms out of the party. Rosco leaves in the other direction. The Zombie Girl stands by herself. Rosco comes back in.
ROSCO: You’re a cute zombie. Don’t go anywhere. I’ll be back in a moment.
He finishes his beer in as few gulps as possible, and then leaves.
20 MINUTES LATER
Rosco, dressed as the front half of the horse now, is back as the party and talking with Zombie Girl. His arms are poking out of the costume, holding another beer.
ROSCO: – see now I’m just a fucked up centaur.
PHIL: (from the front door) YOU SON OF A BITCH!
Phil has also returned to the party and is also now dressed like the front of the horse.
ROSCO: You’ve got to be kidding me.
Phil begins to scream. Rosco pours the rest of the beer in his costume’s mouth, throws the beer to the ground, and also begins to scream. They run towards each other and start to fist fight, punching each other in the costume heads. Everybody at the party starts taking pictures of the two fighting.
20 MINUTES LATER
Phil and Rosco sit on the curb in front of the house. They each drink a beer while they look at photos on Rosco’s phone of the two of them fighting.
PHIL: I told you people would get a kick of it.
(based off of a joke I heard ten years ago.)
INT. OFFICE BUILDING – DAY
ROGER stands in front of a desk, waiting for ELAINE to answer. He’s a well built man, good looking but not dashing, just a normal guy.
Let’s say a guy named Roger is attracted to a woman named Elaine.
Elaine sits at her desk, looking at Roger, thinking. She is an attractive woman, almost out of Roger’s league.
He asks her out to a movie –
Elaine nods her head.
– she accepts –
EXT. MOVIE THEATER
Roger and Elaine come out of the movie theater. She is hanging on his arm and they are both laughing.
– and they have a pretty good time. A few nights later he asks her out to dinner, and again they enjoy themselves.
EXT. RESTAURANT – NIGHT
Roger and Elaine are sitting outside, eating at a table and enjoying each other.
They continue to see each other regularly, and after a while neither one of them is seeing anybody else.
INT. ROGER’S NIGHTSTAND – DAY
Along with his lamp, clock, phone and watch, a picture of Elaine is on top of his nightstand.
INT. ELAINE’S OFFICE DESK – DAY
Next to her computer and coffee cup, a picture of her and Roger smiling resides in a frame.
EXT. ROAD – NIGHT
Roger’s car zooms along the street as he takes Elaine home after an evening of fun.
INT. CAR – NIGHT
Roger and Elaine sit chatting.
And then one evening while they’re driving home, a thought occurs to Elaine.
Do you realize that, as of tonight, we’ve been seeing each other for exactly six months?
Roger doesn’t seem to react.
And then there is silence in the car. And to Elaine, it seems like a very loud silence. She thinks –
I wonder if it bothers him that I said that. Maybe he’s been feeling confined by our relationship. Maybe he thinks I’m trying to crush him into some kind of obligation that he doesn’t want or isn’t sure of.
And Roger is thinking –
Wow. Six months.
But I’m not so sure I want this kind of relationship either. Sometimes I wish I had a little more space, so I had time to think about whether I really want us to keep going the way we are. And where are we going? Are we heading towards marriage? Towards children?! To a lifetime together? Am I ready for that level of commitment? Do I even know this person?
So, that means it was . . . let’s see . . . February when we started going out, which was right after I had the car at the dealer’s, which means –
The odometer reads a high number.
– Whoa! I am way overdue for an oil change.
Roger is looks down a little, and then looks out the window a little perturbed.
He’s upset. I can see it on his face. Maybe he wants more from our relationship, more intimacy, more commitment. Maybe he’s sensed, even before I sensed it, that I had reservations. That’s why he’s so reluctant to say anything, he’s afraid of being rejected.
I’m going to have them look at the transmission again. I don’t care what they say, it’s still not shifting right. And they can’t blame it on the cold weather. What cold weather? It’s 87 degrees and this thing is shifting like a garbage truck, and I paid those incompetent thieves $600.
Roger looks irritated.
He’s angry. I’d be angry too. I feel so guilty putting him through this, but I can’t help the way I feel. I’m just not sure.
They’ll probably say it’s only a 90-day warranty . . . fuckwads.
Elaine looks out the window at the passing street. The sidewalks are empty.
Maybe I’m just too idealistic waiting for the knight to come riding up on his white horse, when sitting right next to me –
Roger is looks very upset, and he stares straight out in front of him and not paying attention to anything.
– a perfectly good person, a person I enjoy being with and truly care about and who seems to truly care about me; A person who is in pain because of my self-centered, romantic school girl fantasy.
Elaine looks down.
They want what? Warranty? I’ll give them one. I’ll take my warranty and shove straight up their –
Don’t torture yourself like this. Maybe I should have never . . . Oh God. I feel so –
Elaine starts to sob. Roger looks at her concerned, but confused.
I’m such a fool. I mean, I know there’s no knight. I really know that. It’s silly. There’s no knight, no horse.
(puzzled) There’s no horse?
You think I’m a fool, don’t you?
And Roger says –
– glad to finally know what the conversation was about.
It’s just that . . . I need some time.
Roger stops at a stop sign.
With the victory of his sure answer fading quickly, Roger thinks fast for a safe response.
Oh Roger, do you really feel that way?
That way about time?
Oh. (a beat) Yes.
Elaine turns to face him and gazes deeply into his eyes, causing him to be very nervous about what she might say next –
Elaine turns to face him, her eyes watery.
– especially if it involves a horse.
Thank you Roger.
Roger, relieved but confused, starts to drive again.
EXT. ELAINE’S HOUSE – NIGHT
Roger drives up in the drive way and let’s her out. She walks around to his side of the car. He rolls down the window, and she kisses him, long and sweetly. Then she goes to her front door and goes in, as Roger drives away.
INT. ELAINE’S BEDROOM – NIGHT
Elaine takes off her coat and lays down her purse. Then she falls on her bed, grabs her pillow, hugs it and starts to sob.
Roger takes Elaine home and when he leaves, she lies on her bed, conflicted and shaken, she weeps till dawn.
INT. ROGER’S LIVING ROOM – NIGHT
Roger, dressed in his pajamas, sits on his couch with a bag of chips and turns on the TV.
When Roger gets back to his place, he opens a bag of Doritos and immediately becomes deeply involved in a rerun of a tennis match between two Czechoslovakians he has never heard of before.
Roger stops paying attention to the game, and just stares off into space, thinking hard.
A tiny voice in the far recesses of his mind tells him that something major was going on back in the car, but he is pretty sure there is no way he would ever understand what, and so he figures it’s better if he doesn’t think about it.
Roger shakes his head and devotes his attention back to the TV.
INT. ELAINE’S KITCHEN TABLE – DAY
Elaine is sitting, with a cup of tea in her hands.
The next day Elaine calls her closest friend –
FRIEND 1 sits at the kitchen table, setting down some cheesecake.
– or perhaps two of them –
FRIEND 2 sits down next to Friend 1, setting down a plate of pepperoni, sliced cheese and crackers. The three women sit at the table, eating, drinking tea and talking.
– and they will talk about this situation for hours. In great detail they will analyze everything that was said, going over it time and time again; Exploring every word, expression and gesture for nuances, considering every possible ramification. They will continue to discuss the subject – off and on, for weeks, maybe months, never reaching any definite conclusions, but never getting bored with it either.
INT. RACQUETBALL COURT – DAY
Roger and NORM play a heated game of racquetball. Before his next serve, Roger pauses and looks at Norm.
Meanwhile, Roger, while playing racquetball one day with a mutual friend of his and Elaine’s, will pause just before serving, frown, and say –
Norm, did Elaine ever own a horse?
And that is the difference between men and women.