MY SO-CALLED LIFE 1.6 ''The Substitute'' Written by Jason Katims Directed by Ellen S. Pressman Transcribed by Pete Stevens(Pstev@aol.com) Characters: Angela: Angela Chase, fifteen year old high school student Patty: Patty Chase, Angela's mom Graham: Graham Chase, Angela's dad Danielle: Danielle Chase, Angela's ten year old sister Rayanne: Rayanne Graff, Angela's best friend Brian: Brian Krakow, Angela's fellow student and next door neighbor Rickie: Rickie Vasquez, Rayanne and Angela's friend and classmate Mr. Foster: School principal Jordan: Jordan Catalano, Angela's classmate and love interest Sharon: Sharon Cherski, Angela's classmate and former best friend Mr. Demitri: Angela's social studies teacher Student1: Classmate in Angela's English class Student2: Classmate in Angela's English class Student3: Classmate in Angela's English class Student4: Classmate in Angela's English class Student5: Classmate in Angela's English class Daryl: Classmate in Angela's English class Yvette: Classmate in Angela's English class Substitute: Substitute English Teacher who replaces Vic Vic: Victor Racine, Angela's substitute English teacher Angela(voice over): Maybe teachers have a hidden life. Where they're actually___like human. Where they have, I don't know, dignity.___Or maybe not. [Angela's English class. There is a boom box playing music. Angela is sitting at her desk resting her head. Brian is reading a book. Jordan is sleeping at his desk in the back of the room by the window. Sharon is having her hair fixed by the student behind her. Vic Racine enters and sits on his desk at the front of the room. He takes out toothpick and puts it in her mouth.] Vic: Oh, ah, sorry. [Offering one to the class] Tooth pick?___Anybody else?___Tooth pick? [The class begins to settle down. The music is turned off. People begin to return to their seats.] Student1: Way-way-wait. What did he say? Daryl: Yo. Speak up bro. Yvette: He said tooth pick. Right? Isn't that what you said? Student1: Tooth pick. Yvette: So, why you here. You the new substitute? Vic[starts to pace around the room]: Why am I here. Yeah, good question. I'm the new substitute. I'm the new substitute. Yes. I'm here quite simply to get paid. Student2: Yeah, right. Vic: Assuming all of you can read and write, I don't perceive any emergency situation.___That's all. Continue wasting your lives. [Vic takes a paper from his bag and sits on his desk.] Sharon: So, um, are we like, dismissed? Vic: Do you want to be dismissed? Sharon: No, you just said that__you just said that was all you had to say, so. Vic: Ah, I will be here for the next forty-seven minutes. Whether you will also be here for that time is, to be candid, your decision. Jordan: What's the catch? Vic: No catch. You don't want to be here. Go. I'm not going to stop you. [Jordan gets up and starts to leave.] Vic: Well, you know, there is just, you know, one catch. We will be discussing you in your absence. But, you know, if you don't mind that. [The class laughs.] Jordan: Yeah, right. Vic: Its no joke. I have no lesson planned. Trashing you in your absence, will help, uh, pass the time. [There is murmuring through the class.] Vic: Right? Yeah, ah, it could, ah, possibly be educational as well. [Jordan sits back down. Angela stares at Vic's socks as he pulls them up. One is white. The other is black. Vic notices Angela looking and she backs off]. Angela: So what are we suppose to do? Vic: Ah, I've known you all of five minutes and you want me to tell you what you are suppose to do?__Fine, follow your hearts and veer away from heroin. Angela: No, I meant in the next forty-seven minutes. Vic: I know what you meant. That was sarcasm._(to Brian) What? Brian: Um, one of the things we were suppose to do_ this semester was, uh, this issue of the literary magazine. Ah, like we each wrote something, and, ah, but Mayhew, that's our teacher , she, ah, like never approved the witting or whatever, cause she, just, she quit. So, well, we just never_ did it. Vic: That's a heart breaking tale. [Class laughs.] Brian: Well, what I meant was that, I know where they are. I mean the stuff we wrote. Its in there. So, ah, could you, just, at least, read it, so we could get credit for it. Vic: Why not. [In front of Angela's house, Graham and Patty are unloading a car full of groceries.] Graham: Wait, so, lets go over it one more time. Patty: Look you don't even have to be there. This should be me. Graham: Fine. Patty: Ill just take him out to dinner and make it clear well redo the job at cost. Graham: Fine. Whatever. Patty: Castro listens to me. He trusts me. I mean, you know, not that he, ah-- Graham: Oh, no no no. You're right. You should handle it. Patty: Anyway, I need you to take Danielle to the cookie booth and back tomorrow night. Graham: Cookie booth? Patty: Its girl scout cookie time again. I signed her up. Graham: Oh. You sign her up. I end up at the booth. Yeah, well. Fine. Ill call Neal and cancel our pool game. Patty: Oh. You had plans. Woo. Well, maybe you can call one of the other Moms and , ah-- Graham: Whaaat, and miss the cookie booth. Patty: Oh, I almost forgot. One of us has to call Angela's English teacher, I think her name is Mayhew, and see if they want us to print the Lit magazine again this year. I reserved the press time. One of us should call. You should. Graham: You forgot to buy kitty litter again. Patty: I thought you said you would.__You know what we need?___A wife. [Back in Angela's English class, Vic has just finished reading the some papers. He sits behind his desk with his feet propped up.] Vic: Well, um, I've had the privilege of reading your entries for the Liberty Lit. And, um, how shall I describe them. Good question. Let's see. Boring. The word boring comes to mind. Fake. False. Synthetic. Bogus. What do these words have in common?_You[looking at Jordan]. Jordan: Me? Vic: Yeah, what do these words have in common?__Yes-yes, I know what you're going to say. That they're synonyms meaning not genuine. Well, that's true, that's_that's absolutely true. But what else are they. I mean, how else would you classify them? Jordan: I don't know. Vic(raising his voice): Yes_you_do. You think I'm an idiot?[Vic walking back to Jordan and sitting on the desk in front of him] If I tell you that the class' work was safe, banal, homogenized, cutesy, appalling, all of which is true by the way. What sort of words am I using? Tell me. Don't give me that blank look. You're not fooling anyone. I'm on to you. You know this. You know this. Not verbs. Not nouns. But? Jordan: Ah, Adjectives. Vic(loudly): Ad_jec_tives. Wooo. Don't you dare play dumb with me again.__[walking to the open window] Now, as for the rest of you, um, how shall I phrase this. Brian(whispering to self): I don't believe this guy. Vic: This is the most God awful crap I ever read in my life. [Vic throws the papers out the window.] [Angela's house. There is a knock on the front door. Danielle answers it. Brian comes into the house. Graham is sitting on the couch sewing. ] Danielle: Hi. Brian: Hi. Danielle: You want to buy some girl scout cookies? Brian: Um, not really. Danielle: I mean, you can owe me the money. Graham: Danielle, leave him alone. [Brain shuts the door and looks at Graham sewing.] Graham: What? You never saw someone sew on a merit badge before? Danielle: It's not a merit badge. It's a proficiency badge. Patty[entering the room]: Hi, Brian. Angela. Brian's here. Danielle: Oh, come on. Just one box. You can freeze them, and eat them later-- Patty: Danielle. Danielle: Forget it. Patty: Sorry about that. [Patty sees a sheet of paper in Brian's hand] What have you got there? Brian: Um, just this thing Angela wrote that I found. Patty[taking the paper] : Her oak tree poem. I loved that one. Why does it have this_foot print on it? And where are the others? Weren't we going print them up? Brian: Angela didn't tell you? He threw them out the window. Graham: Who? Brian: This new substitute who's, like, mentally ill. Seriously. Angela[coming down the stairs]: No, he's not mentally ill. Patty: He threw them out the window? Brian: So, do you, like, want this? Or- Patty: I think that's terrible. Angela: Mom. Patty: I'm serious. You worked very hard on that poem. You put a lot of thought into it. Graham: It's true. You did. Angela: I don't know. I don't like it that much. Graham: Well, Honey, that's not the point. Patty: Exactly. I mean, I don't care if he is your teacher, he has to treat you with common courtesy. Graham: Haven't we always taught you to stand up for your rights? Angela(sarcastically): Thanks, Brian. [Angela's English class. The bell ending class rings. Vic collects papers from students as they leave. Jordan passes by.] Vic: Jordan? That's your name right. Look, I appreciate the fact you don't want to monopolize the discussion, but, I mean, come on. I need you. Do you understand. I need you to talk more. Jordan: Ok. Just, ok. Vic: Alright.[Vic picking a book up off his desk and walking to Jordan.] Yes, alright, by the way, you, ah, left this behind. Jordan: I didn't leave that. Vic[gives the book to Jordan]: Ye, just take it will you. We'll discuss it tomorrow. [Vic turns around and sees Angela still sitting in her seat.] Vic: What. Angela: I- Vic: What. Say it. Angela: I just think what you did yesterday wasn't right. I mean, in terms of common curtesy. I just think it showed a lack of respect. Vic: You mean when I threw your work out the window. Angela[standing up and getting ready to leave]: Yeah. I mean, that oak tree poem? That was mine. Vic: Oh. Angela: I put a lot of thought into that. Vic: Did you? Angela: Yes. I mean, why did you do it? Vic: Why did I do it. Good question. I did it to clear the slate. I did it to wake you up. I did it to do *something*. To find you. And now, guess what, here you are. Wide awake. Right in front of me. I mean. Wasn't that worth it? I mean, that, um, ah, poem. That, ah, Oak tree poem.[laughs] That was yesterday.___What are you going to write today. Angela:__Good question. [At the start of Angela's English , Angela walks in the room with Rayanne. Sharon, Brian and Jordan are already there.] Angela: Rayanne, you're not in this class. Rayanne: So. Neither are half these kids. Come on. You've been talking about him for three days. I got to view this guy. [Rayanne sits in the desk behind Angela. Vic walks in.] Vic: Get out your notebooks. Rayanne(whispers to Angela): Substitute my ass. He is the real deal. Vic: I want everyone to start over.[ The class groans.] From the beginning. Brian: Start over on what? Student3: Hey, I didn't bring a notebook. Student4: Can't you show a movie? Vic: Don't give me anything quaint. I don't want to see any domesticated animals, or_[to Angela]or greenery. I want anger. I want honesty. I want nakedness. Rayanne(whispers to Angela): I'm right here, baby. Brian: Um, excuse me. Can I say something? Vic[pacing the room]: Nope. Write it down. Whatever you feel like saying write it down instead. What you never told anyone. What you never even told yourself. And don't fear exposure. No one is to put his or her name down. This will be completely anonymous. Rayanne(whispers to Angela): Just how I like sex. Vic[sitting on the desk opposite of Rayanne](to Rayanne): What about you? Rayanne: Uh. I'm not in this class. Vic: You're not? Where are you? I mean, ah, how can you say you're not here. You're here. I see you. Get out your notebook. Rayanne: I never wrote anything for the Lit. Vic: Well, then you have an unfair advantage. [After class Angela, Rayanne, and Rickie are walking together down a set of stairs at school.] Rayanne(excited): Tell him about the toothpicks. Tell him about the socks. You got to hear about the socks. Angela: He always wears these white-- Rayanne: He always wears one white sock and one black sock. Rickie: I've *got* to see the socks. [Angela's English class. Vic is sitting behind his desk with his feet up. Angela, Rickie and Rayanne are looking at Vic's socks. Vic is holding a pile of papers.] Vic: Well, I, um, I read all your papers and, um, I'm beginning to see signs of life. Where do we go from here?__Good question. We go further. [Montage--Vic is seen walking around an overcrowded class room explaining something, with his shirt tail out and his tie undone. Several student's including Rickie, Angela's and Rayanne have toothpicks in their mouths. All the students are enraptured with what he is saying , except Brian, who looks disturbed. In the hallway, a group of students including Rickie and Rayanne, are shown gathered around Vic and laughing. In Angela's English class, the lights are out. There are lit candles everywhere. Rayanne, Rickie, and Angela are sitting, with other students, on the floor writing, while Vic walks among them. Brian stands by the door, not taking part. In Angela's English class, Vic is carrying around a paper bag filled with papers from which students are each taking one.] Vic: Ok. We'll start over here. Sharon: Just read it? Vic: Just read it. Sharon: Um, I can't read this person's writing. Vic: Yeah, read it anyway. Sharon[reading]: In the fitting room, price tags tickle my shoulder, as I slip on another dress. I know this one will fit. Rayanne(whispering to Angela): Angela. Sharon[reading]: This one will make me fly. Rayanne(whispering to Angela): Angela. Vic: Paint a picture. Just talk. Don't make it sound like writing. Daryl. Daryl[reading]: No one knows I come out here nights. I look up at your window, but you're never there. Rayanne(whispers to Angela): Angela. Daryl[reading]: Only your horrible dog who use to bite me. Rayanne(whispering to Angela): He changed the socks. Angela(whispering): Shut up. I'm trying to listen. Daryl[reading]: And I realize I'm not angry at you. Things change. Vic: If you don't know what you're writing about, no one else will. Yvette. Yvette[reading]: When I'm a mother I'll get revenge. I'll ask questions that miss the entire point. Vic: Forget grammar. Forget spelling. Forget the rules. Student5[reading]: My father decides how much cars were worth before they were totaled. That's his job. Daryl[reading]: I can forgive you, but I want to kill your dog. [Class laughs.] Vic: Yeah, remember, it isn't just emotion. You have shape the emotion. Yvette[reading]: I'll smile when you want to kill me. I'll throw away your favorite skirt and never admit it. Student5[reading]: If I drive myself and his car off a bridge, what would be the estimated damages? Vic: Notice he didn't just trash his father, he, uh, found an ingenious way to trash him. [Class laughs.] Rickie: Uh, this one has a title. It's called A Fable. [Angela looks apprehensive.] Rickie[reading]: Once upon a time there lived a girl. She slept in a lovely little cottage made of ginger bread and candy. She was always asleep. One morning she woke up, and the candy had mold on it. Her father blew her a kiss and the house fell down. She realized she was lost. She found herself walking down a crowded street. But the people were made of paper. Like paper dolls. She blew everyone a kiss good bye and watched as they blew away. [The class murmurs with laughter.] Vic: Hu? Why are you laughing? Yvette: Because it doesn't make any sense. Vic: Ah, yeah, yeah, that's true. But, um, it does better then make sense. It__makes you feel. It makes you wonder.__[looking at Angela] It wakes you up.__Ok, has everyone read?_Brian. Read. Brian: I'm not going to read this. Vic: Just read. Brian: Look, I really-- Vic: Read it. Brian: __It's called Haiku for Him? [reading] He peels off my cloths like a starving man would peel an orange. [The class reacts.] Brian[reading]: His lips taste my ju--juicy-- [The class reacts again.] Brian: I refuse to read this. [Vic takes the paper from him.] Vic[reading]: His lips_ taste my juicy sweetness. My legs tangle with his. We become_ one being. A burning furnace,_ in the cold cement basement_ of love.__(to the class)Hormones. What would we do without them. Comments. Questions. Student1: Who, ah, who wrote that? [Class laughs.] Vic: Ok. Is this a real haiku?__Jordan. Jordan: I don't know. Vic: Yeah, well, find out. Hu. [ Vic gets the dictionary and throws the it on Jordan's desk] Look up Haiku. Now. [Rayanne raises her hand.] Vic: Yes, the ever popular Miss Graff. Rayanne: Just cause its not a real haiku, that doesn't mean you're not going to print it in the paper right. Cause it's real, in-in the sense that it's true to life. Brian: You're going to print that in the Lit? Vic: I don't see why not. Rayanne: All right, Vic. [The bell ending class rings. Students begin to leave.] Vic: Yeah, come on. Get out of here. Give me your work back. Gently. One at a time. One at a time. Don't screw them up. Gently. Give me the work. Don't drop them on the floor. Pick them up. [As last of the students leave, Angela comes up from behind Vic] Angela: That was mine. Not the Haiku thing. Vic(distracted): Yeah. yeah, I know which one was yours.(to Jordan) Jordan. Come here. I'm not finished with you yet. [Sometime later Jordan is sitting alone , in the class room, with Vic next to him. Jordan is staring at an open dictionary. Jordan is struggling with it.] Vic: What's that word?__Don't look at the window. What's the word? [Graham appears at the door.] Vic:__Uh, what's the sound?__Ok. Finish the chapter and the next ten poems tonight. Jordan: What? Are you crazy? Vic(agitated): Yeah, good question. Look, this is haiku poetry. Haiku poetry contains only seventeen syllables per poem.. That ain't a lot syllables. Don't skip any. Get out of my sight. [Jordan storms out. Graham enters tentatively and sees Vic quietly fuming at the other side of the class room. ] Graham: My, ah, daughter is in your class. I mean, in the class that you're substituting for. Ah, my wife and I , we run a small printing shop. Well, actually she runs it. Ah, anyway, I've come by for the submissions? For the Lit? Ah, Angela, forgot to mention that they have to be at the shop by the morning , or-- [Vic picks up and slams a chair down in frustration.] Vic: You know that kid that just left here. That _extremely smart kid. Well, it seems nobody ever bother to notice that he never quite learned how to read._I mean, it pisses me off. [Vic takes out a toothpick then holds one up for Graham.] Ah, toothpick? [Graham takes one.] [In Angela's parents bedroom that evening. Graham and Patty are there. Patty is sitting on the floor surrounded by the students lit submissions.] Patty: Ok, we have to figure out which one is Angela's._So what is this substitute person like? Is Brian Krakow right? Is he mentally ill? Graham: Ah, possibly. I mean, he-he, um, didn't give me any kool-aid to drink, or anything like that. No, actually, he's a pretty cool guy. Patty: Cool? Cool is not what substitutes are. Substitutes have hard to pronounce last names and bad haircuts. Graham: Well, this substitute is cool. Patty: He's not a substitute. Maybe he's a narc. Graham: Maybe you're a narc. Patty: You know what we need? A sample of her handwriting. Graham: Who are we? The KGB. [ Graham lies on the bed and picks up one of the papers to read.] Patty: God, these are weird. I don't know what was wrong with the one about the oak tree. You don't suppose she wrote the one where they kill the dog. Graham[laughs nervously as he reads]: Uh, mayday. Patty: Is that Angela's? Let me see.[Takes the paper from Graham and begins to read to herself.] Oh_my_God. Graham: My juicy sweetness? Patty: Its the end of the world. _No. No way. I'm not going to print that. Graham: What happened to freedom of expression? Patty: Screw it. Ill call this substitute person and explain. Come on. That doesn't belong in the Lit. Graham[taking the paper back from Patty and reading]: In the cold cement basement of love. [ Graham and Patty eye each other as they wonder the same thing.] You don't think. Patty: No._ We don't even have a basement._Let me see that again. Graham: Hey. Get your own. [Patty enters Vic's empty classroom. Vic is by his desk.] Patty: Mr. Racine? We spoke earlier. I'm Angela's mother. Vic: Ah, yeah, yeah. Hi. Patty: Hi. Vic: Yeah, I , ah, met your, um, husband the other day. Patty: Right., um, what I wanted to talk about was, um- Vic: He's a lucky man. Patty: Uh, ah, [laughs] Thank you. Um, my husband and I read the stuff that the kids wrote. Vic: I hope it didn't give him a heart attack. Patty: Well. Vic: Only, you know, he seems a little *fragile*. Patty: Actually, it isn't my husband who had the problem. Vic: Really. Patty: I just think that___There's this one piece in particular that I-I just don't feel comfortable printing. Vic[taking the haiku poem from her]: Oh, ah, your, ah afraid that, ah, Angela wrote it. Patty: This has nothing to do with whether Angela wrote it. Vic: So, this is just censorship for censorship sake. Patty: What? Vic[taking the papers from her]: Ok. Hand them over. No, Ill, um, type them myself and Ill have them, uh, xeroxed. Patty: These are children. We are adults. This is not censorship. This is_guiding_adolences who need_guidence. Vic: Yeah, that was a very reasonable opinion. And very clearly stated. Unfortunately it is total manure. Patty: Excuse me? Vic: Its horse manure. I sense you're angry. Are you angry? Patty: Yes. Vic: Yes, I sensed that. Patty: Why is it manure? Vic: Good question. It is manure because this journal should be about giving students a voice. Its not about having their thoughts edited. If these kids aren't afraid of putting their hearts on the page why should we be afraid of them. Patty[becoming convinced]: __You should really teach full time. Vic: We have a difference of opinion. Fine. But you think you should be in the position of deciding because you have a printing press and I don't. Patty: You expect me to answer that question? Vic: Yes. Patty:___No._I don't. Vic[giving the papers back to Patty]: Neither do I. Patty:__So. __Did Angela write it? [Vic leaves without answering.] [A box is delivered to the administration offices and is put on a bench next to student5. Student5 opens the box and takes out copies of the Lit and starts handing them out in the hallway. Mr. Foster, walking down the hallway, begins to notice all the students with the Lit in their hands. He walks into the administrative office and sees all the people there are reading the Lit. He grabs a copy his secretary is reading and walks into his office. A moment later Mr. Foster yells for his secretary. She opens Mr. Foster's office door.] Mr. Foster: I want to see Mr. Racine after the final bell. Secretary: Yes, Mr. Foster. [Sharon is in the girls room with two other students. Sharon is brushing her hair. The two other girls have copies of the Lit.] Gir1l(to girl2): First of all, whoever wrote it had like zero self respect. Girl2: I know, I mean, to do it in your basement. Girl1: I know, my basement is, like, so filthy. Girl2: Hu, she has no self esteem or she, like, sign her name. Sharon: Look. He said not to sign it ok? [ A stall door opens and Rayanne is standing there. Sharon doesn't notice her.] He said it should be anonymous ok? It was, like, a rule he made in class ok? Girl1: Um, excuse me. Try your own conversation. Girl2: Plus a muscle relaxer. [The two girls leave. Rayanne walks out to Sharon.] Rayanne: Yooou? Sharon: So. Rayanne: You wrote that haiku poem? Yoooou? Sharon: Yes. Will you shut up about it. Rayanne: You wrote it? And you don't want people to know that you wrote it? Sharon(sarcastically): Oh no. I can't wait for people to find out. I'm looking forward to it. Why are you even talking to me. We have nothing to say to each other. Oh, God, do you know how over my life will be when people find out I wrote it. Rayanne: Do you know how over mines going to be when they find out that I didn't. Sharon: Really? You mean__people think you wrote it? Rayanne: Well yeah, I kinda gave off that impression. Sharon: So_why_can't_we_just_ let_ them_ keep thinking that. Rayanne: We could. Sharon: Is this a trick or something? Rayanne: No, it's not a trick. I mean, I want people to think I wrote it. I wish I had wrote it-written it. I mean, how did you write something____that good. Sharon: I don't know. It__just kinda came to me. Rayanne: My favorite part_is when they become the furnace. Angela[coming through the door. ]: Rayanne, you would not-- [Rayanne and Sharon both look awkward as if they are embarrassed to be seen talking together.] Angela: Hi. Sharon: Hi. Rayanne: Hey. Angela: So, oh my God, you will not believe this. (to Sharon) Actually, you should hear this too. Rayanne: Spit it out. Angela(to Rayanne): Foster has the Lit. Has it, like every copy except a few that people stole or something. He's refusing to allow us to distribute it. Because of your haiku thing. Rayanne: Really. [Angela's dining room. Angela is at the table eating diner with Patty, Graham, and Danielle.] Angela(excited): So Vic says we have several options. We could file a law suit, like, sue the school for denying us our constitutional rights. Or, you know, we could, like, stage a walk out. Danielle: You would not believe how many boxes of thin mints Mrs. Casteo bought. Nine. Angela(excited): Vic had the most amazing idea. We could stage a make believe book burning. Cause, you know, Nazi's burned books. So, I mean, is that what Foster's saying? That a school should burn books like Nazi's? Patty: Except that Mr. Foster hasn't actually burned anything. Has he? Angela: Has he burned anything. Good question. No, but it amounts to the same thing. Vic says that if somebody called a-a news station and read them our poem, we would have camera crews, instantaneously, all over the school._Is there anymore brisket? Danielle: You call your teacher Vic? Patty: You call him Vic? Angela: It's his name. And I, I know I've been talking a lot about him, but he's_I just respect him, you know. He's__he's smart. He's like__he's an adult I can look up to.__Finally.[Angela sees the stunned look on Graham and Patty's face.] What? Graham and Patty: Nothing. Patty: Look, sweetie, um, don't get carried away with this. Ok? Danielle: I'm going to count my money again. [Angela gets up from the table and heads for the steps. Patty and Graham trail behind her.] Patty: I mean I know how easy it is to get caught up in these things. It's exciting. Angela: Exciting? It's not exciting. It's important. It's an important issue. What? You think I'm doing this for excitement? For fun? Graham: Angela. Patty: The point is, we are concerned. We can't help it. We're concerned about your future. Graham: Exactly. We don't want you doing anything that could get you into trouble. Angela: I can't believe this. What about all those boring stories I had to sit through my whole life about how committed you were in the sixties. About how you believed in things. Graham: We did. Angela: Oh, right. Only now you're so terrified of causing trouble you can't even see what it means to me. [In Angela's noisy English class. Angela, Brian, and Sharon are there. Jordan is standing by the window.] Yvette: It's simple. I say we go to Foster and we tell him we want it. technically it's our property. It's our class work. He has to give it to us. Rayanne(to Rickie as they enter the class room) : What did you hear? Where is he? Rickie: Well, people are saying everything. That he was fired. That he was sleeping with a junior. That he was thrown in jail. Rayanne: Which junior? [The bell rings. Mr Foster walks into the class room.] Mr. Foster: Will everyone please take their seats.[the class settles down.] As some of you know, I have read the Liberty Lit and found certian materials in it unacceptable. Those of you who have copies will please bring them to the administrative offices. Angela[raising her hand]: Excuse me? Mr. Foster: Yes, the young lady right there. Angela: How can you say it's unacceptable if nobody is allowed to see it? Rayanne[the student's begin to stir]: Yeah, what's wrong with it? Brian: Can I just say something-- Mr. Foster: Alright, that's enough. I must hold school authorized publications to certian standards of decency. Anyone found distributing the journal will be suspended from school. That's a promise. A new substitute will be here in a minute to work with you until we find a permanent replacement. Is that clear? Jordan[looking out the window]: Hey, it's him. It's-it's Mr. Racine. [Students get up from their seats and gather around the window. Vic is walking down the steps at the front of the school. The student's begin to call his name. ] Mr. Foster: People that's enough. [Vic sees the people at the window and raises his fist in the air to them, then walks on.] Rickie: Vic___Where are going. Angela: Mr. Racine. Mr. Foster: There is nothing to see. Kindly take your seats. [The students slowly begin to move away from the window.] Brian: All that crap about honesty and truth. And he didn't even teach. Jordan(loudly): He did teach. Brian: What? Jordan: He was the best teacher I ever had.(quietly) Well, he was. [Angela, Sharon, Rayanne, and Rickie run out of the classroom after Vic. On the steps outside school they catch up to him.] Rayanne: Hey Vic. Angela: We're upset, you know, about what's been happening. Rayanne: Vic, is it true? Are you fired? Vic: Yeah, you could say that. Angela: I can't believe this. I can't believe you were fired because of one poem. Vic: Why? You think injustice like that doesn't happen? It happens every day. Wake up. [Vic walks away from them.] [In the administrative office, Mr. Foster's office door opens and Jordan walks out. Graham is sitting on a bench. He watches Jordan leave and then Mr. Foster shows Graham into his office.] Graham: Thank you for taking the time to , ah, ah, for taking the time. Ah, anyway, I'll make this brief. Mr. Foster: Let me see. You're daughter is, ah-- Graham: Angela. Angela Chase. She's a sophomore. She had a substitute teacher in English the past two weeks who I met, actually, and who actually seems kind of, ah-- Mr. Foster: Mr. Chase, there is no reason to go any further. Mr. Racine is out, and will no longer be substitute teaching at Liberty in the foreseeable future. Graham:___Look. I don't want_to make trouble. But my daughter, he got her thinking, you know. And questioning. Which is, I mean, isn't that what all of this is suppose to be about? Mr. Foster: Mr. Chase-- Graham: It's just that she-she was really shaken up. She believes you fired him. Mr. Foster: Well, that's fascinating. Because I didn't. Graham: You didn't fire him? Mr. Foster: Never had that particular pleasure. No. I was strongly considering it mind you and then he quit. Right after I showed him this.[reads from a piece of paper to Graham.] It's a copy of a subpena a-addressed to a Mr. Theodore Victor aka Victor Racine stating that the aforementioned Mr. Racine must appear in a New Hampshire court within sixty days for failure to pay child support to a family he deserted months ago etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.[gives the paper to Graham.] He took one look at that and walked out that door. Graham: He deserted his family. [In Angela's kitchen Patty and Graham are there preparing dinner.] Graham: So, that's the story of Mr.Victor Racine. Whatever his name is. God, I wish I didn't know. I wish he hadn't told me. Now, what do I do? Patty: You tell her the truth. She can handle it. Graham: Hm. Hm, I remembered to buy kitty litter. Patty: My hero. [Angela is lingering outside Vic's home.] Angela(voice over): It's so weird that teachers actually, like, live places. [Vic comes out to his car. He sees Angela.] Angela: I looked you up in the phone book. I couldn't believe you were just_right there. I'm sorry if that's not the right thing to do. Vic: Well, what a waste of a Saturday. Angela: Um. I heard you left your family. Abandoned them. Vic: I see. Angela: So, are you saying you didn't? I mean, what's the truth? Vic: Well, there are a couple of truths.__ One truth is I left my family. The other truth is my wife__is far better off without me.__Yes, I got out. I escaped. I broke out of a prison of my own making, and many, many people want to punish me for that. Maybe, including you. Angela: I don't want to punish anyone. I'm jus__ I'm trying to-- Vic: To what? To understand? Look. My struggle for freedom is mine. Get your own. Get out before its too late, Amanda. Angela: Get out? Get out of what? Vic: That mind control factory. That warehouse they store you in. Because they don't know what to do with you. Angela: You're telling me to__drop out of high school? Vic: Good question. Yes. Run for your life. Save your life. Let the walls of your ginger bread house come__crashing down.__Or not. Angela: __It's Angela.__And I have to say, I don't think leaving high school is the answer.__I don't think leaving anything is.___The thing is__is I kind of admired you. Vic:___ Come on. I'll-I'll drive you home. [Outside Angela's house, Brian is riding his bicycle when Vic pulls up in his car. Angela gets out and Vic drives away.] Angela: Like what? Brian: Nothing. So, is there, like, anyone's car you won't get into? Angela: Right. I live my life to annoy you, Krakow. You're, like, my world. Brian: Shut up. I mean, he's old. He's a teacher. Angela: What? You think I, like, did something with him? Brian: I don't know. How do I know? Angela: Are you demented? Do you just view everything in terms of sex? Brian: Not everything. Angela: I had things to say to him. We talked. He drove me home. Gawd. Brian: Ok._ I have a right not to like him. Angela: That's true. You do. [Angela goes into the her house. Patty and Graham are there in the dining room going through boxes of girl scout cookies. ] Patty: Are you ok? Angela: Pretty much. [Angela picks up a box of cookies and sits on the couch. A moment later Patty and Graham are sitting either side of her.] Graham: You know what this boils down to sweetheart. Every fight is not worth fighting. You're learning that-- Patty: Exactly. It's just__part of growing up. Graham: And-and sometimes you have to compromise. Patty: Well, no one should have to compromise their principles, but, ah, if you never learned to compromise at all, then-- Graham: Exactly. Be-because compromise is__Well, we all have to compromise. It's part of life. It's part of marriage. You're mother and I compromise all the time. Patty: Exactly. And you can't _win every fight. You just have to_pick your battles. Angela: I know. You're right. [Angela's English class. The new substitute is reading in front of a room full of uninspired students.] Substitute: And the Oak tree looks down on us still. Beautiful. Concise. Excellent grammar. Impeccable punctuation. It is a little difficult to read, of course, with this foot print. It should probably be retyped. Still... [Rayanne and Rickie are looking into the class room from the hallway.] Rickie: I had her as a substitute once. Vic was cool. Rayanne: Yeah, he was. Substitute: All in all an excellent example of creative writing. Ah, which one of you is Angela Chase?__Angela Chase? [Brian and Sharon look at Angela's empty seat.] [Angela is working at a xerox machine. In the hallway she starts to hand out the copies she has made.] Angela: Want a copy of the Liberty Lit. It's free. Liberty Lit? Want a copy? Liberty Lit? It's free. [Brian approaches her.] Angela: What? Brian: Nothing.__ I could take some of those and hand them out upstairs. Angela: Why? Brian: Because_I think you're right. I mean, I also think Vic is a complete degenerate, but, this is freedom of speech. Angela: You could get suspended. Brian: So. [Mr. Demitri approaches Angela and Brian.] Mr. Demitri: Miss Chase. May I speak with you? Angela: Ah, wanna copy of the Liberty Lit, Mr. Demitri? Mr. Demitri: Maybe later. Right now Mr. Foster would like to see you in his office. Angela: Ok. Brian: She's just passing out something our English class wrote. Since when is that a crime. Mr. Demitri: Would you like to join her, Brian? Angela: I can go by myself. [Angela leaves.] Mr. Demitri(to Brian): Where are you suppose to be? Brian: Computer. [Angela is waiting in the administrative offices outside Mr. Foster's office. Patty and Graham come in.] Angela: Oh, no. They called you? Patty: Of course they called us._I can see that you really took what we talked about the other day to heart. Angela: I did. Patty: Do you know what this means? This will go on your record. Angela: I want it to go on my record. Patty: You want it to? Graham: Ok. Let's just stay calm. We're in the principle's office here. Angela: I mean, what is the point of school if you can't say what you're thinking. Patty: Do you have to be the personal spokes person for the entire school? Angela: You told me to pick my battles. Well, this is it. It may not be, ah, a war protest or a civil rights demonstration, but it's all I've got.__That's not completely true. There are a couple of truths. You said I needed to decide what to fight for. I decided. I just think it's wrong to censor people, and I'm willing to get suspended for it. [Mr. Foster's door opens.] Mr. Foster: Mr. and Mrs. Chase. Angela. Graham[taking hold of Angela]: Listen. Mr. Racine. What he did. Walking out on his family. You know that can never happen in our family. You know that, don't you. Patty: Graham. Of course she knows it. Come on. Graham: Oh, God, I hate being called to the principle. [In Mr. Foster's office, Mr. Foster sits behind his desk across from Patty, Angela, and Graham. He holds Angela's record.] Mr. Foster: I believe I made it clear to you and your class mates that anyone caught distributing this issue of the Lit would be suspended. Do you remember hearing that? Angela: Yes. Mr. Foster: And yet not only did you distribute it, you reproduced it using school equipment and supplies. Isn't that right? Angela: Yes. Mr. Foster: And while you were suppose to be in English class. Angela: And I also cut Bio yesterday. Mr. Foster: Well. Is there anything you'd like to say in your own defense? Angela: No. Mr. Foster: Because I'm willing to listen. Patty: Ah, Mr. Foster, if I may interject because-- Angela: Mom.__There's nothing else I want to say. Mr. Foster: I see. Well[looking over her record]__I'm not going to suspend you.[Patty and Graham look relieved. Angela looks perturbed, as if she's been cheated.] I think Mr. Racine gave you kids very distorted ideas about right and wrong. Angela, this obviously isn't you. I'm willing to forgive about this one isolated incident. It's over. [In the hallway outside Mr. Foster's office Patty and Graham give Angela a hug and kiss good bye, and walk away from Angela, who looks disappointed.] Angela(voice over): Once upon a time there lived a girl. She slept in a lovely cottage made of gingerbread and candy. She was always asleep. One morning she woke up. She woke up. The End.