Caligynephobia

Posted: February 12, 2011 in Uncategorized

Caligynephobia

INT. POLICE PSYCHOLOGIST’S OFFICE – DAY

AGENT EVANS, maybe an interpol cop, is sitting in a chair, absorbed, smoking. Flashback to:

EXT. STREET – NIGHT OR DAY
Agent Evans in pursuit of a SUSPECT, who sprints until he’s cornered. He turns to face Evans, who slowly, trying to catch his breath, puts away his gun. The thief begins shaking his head, frantic.

THIEF
No… you don’t understand! She’s REAL!

EVANS
Who’s real? What are you talking about?

The suspect suddenly gasps, trying to tell Evans something, but cannot. He’s having a massive coronary. The suspect dies, and Evans rushes over, checks for vitals. He drops the suspect’s wrist, leans over, defeated.

INT. POLICE PSYCHOLOGIST”S OFFICE – DAY

In walks the PSYCHOLOGIST with a file. Her all-business attitude doesn’t leave much room for anyone to be taken in by her attractiveness.

PSYCHOLOGIST
Good morning, Agent Evans, thanks for coming in.

Evans just nods, still absorbed.

PSYCHOLOGIST
I read your file. And…

EVANS
Look, the guy had a heart condition. What do you want me to say?

PSYCHOLOGIST
Yes, but that’s not the reason you’re here.

Evans stares out the window, unresponsive.

PSYCHOLOGIST
Look, I realize you’re not happy about being here. No one ever is. But this shouldn’t take any more than twenty minutes. Then you can report back to work.

EVANS
Yeah well I don’t want to report back to work.

Evans gets up and walks over to a window. He smokes, then turns, looking at the psychologist, leaning on the sill.

INT. COMIC BOOK STORE – EVENING
Maybe Forbidden Planet. STAR, a tall, African-American woman with European features and striking beauty, browses the shelves, and comes across an image of a major female character resembling her in some way, possibly hearkening back to ancient legend. She ponders it for a moment, and walks on.

EXT – STREET – NIGHT
Star’s in the street, walking, different locations, past various versions of female deity, ancient and modern, including statues, posters of movie stars and singers, and religious art.

INT – APARTMENT – NIGHT
Star enters a room, with an incredible view of the city, and stands in front of the window, pondering her next move.

INT – BAR – NIGHT
Evans is talking with a BUDDY from work about chasing the suspect.

EVANS
He was wanted all over Europe for a bunch of stolen pieces of the Madonna. He was a… fanatic, I mean the guy had stuff from all over the world in his room. China, India, I swear he was like some kind of Indiana Jones.

BUDDY
So are they having you come in tomorrow?

EVANS
Yeah. Sucks. I don’t feel any kind of shock or guilt or anything. The guy had a heart condition. Simple as that.

BUDDY
Yeah. Simple as that.

Star walks in, and sits at the bar. Evans notices her, but continues his conversation.

EVANS
But it was like this guy was obsessed with this Madonna character, you know like how someone stalks a celebrity, but… I mean, no one stalks a religious figure, right? I mean, I gotta admit, the pictures he had of her were really…

STAR
Beautiful?

Star’s eyes are upon Evans, as Evans turns to her, in response. Evans is struck by her beauty. There’s something different about her, Evans’ buddy even takes note of it.

EVANS
Yeah.

STAR
Are you afraid of beauty? Does it terrorize you?

Evans looks at his buddy. “Is she serious?”

EVANS (casual, slow to respond)
No.

STAR (quickly)
It’s all right to admit it. It’s a natural reaction for all men. Did you know…

Star picks up the conversation like she’s got something to prove, lights a cigarette.

STAR (continuing)
… the Arabic word for “beauty” is really extraordinarily close to “fear.” ” Ra’a u” means to frighten, scare, alarm, and “Row’a” means Beauty… what do you think of that?

Buddy flashes a quick smile to Evans, it’s his cue to leave and let Evans handle this one.

EVANS
Look, uh, I don’t…

STAR
It goes back to Adam and Eve. You know? Adam was seduced by a woman, and he died as a result of it. So it’s natural for men to be afraid of women… at least when they are being seduced by one.

Evans turns around to find his buddy gone, talking with someone else.

Star smiles, toying with him.

The BARTENDER walks over, looking at Evans, humbly approaches Star.

BARTENDER
What can I get for you this evening?

STAR (to Evans)
Shots?

Evans smiles, reluctant but coerced.

EVANS
Yeah.

The bartender begins preparing the drinks.

EVANS
So, you believe in Noah’s Ark too? All those animals, you know, walking up in there —

STAR
Did you know the Chinese word for “ship” is actually made up of three other characters? Boat, eight, mouth. To the Chinese, the first ship was a boat carrying eight people. You know how many people were on Noah’s ark?

Evans smiles, defeated. Before he can say “eight,” Star is holding up a napkin with the number “8” drawn on it. She turns it sideways, points to one of the circles, and then the other, explaining:

STAR
The world before the flood, and the world after the flood. Only eight people survived. That’s how old this symbol is. And that’s what it means.

Evans is increasingly reluctant to continue the conversation, but Star’s clean-cut nature and her beauty keep him in his seat. She’s a whack job, but at the same time, she’s not.

EVANS
That’s very interesting. You speak Chinese too?

Star responds in perfect Beijing accent Mandarin.

STAR (MANDARIN)
Yes, I can speak Chinese.
(ENGLISH)
Mandarin, specifically. When you say Chinese, people may think you are talking about food. And Noah’s ark, you know it’s in the Hindu legend of Vishnu as well. He not only saved a family on a raft when the whole world was drowned, but Vishnu is the Sanskrit translation…

INT. PSYCHOLOGIST”S OFFICE – DAY
EVANS
So she just kept talking. And all I wanted to do was make love to her.

PSYCHOLOGIST
Were you intoxicated?

Evans eyes the psychologist with contempt.

EVANS
Yeah. And it was great.

INT. BAR – NIGHT
Evans continues drinking and listening to Star.

EVANS (V/O)
I thought she was one of those creationists, or fundamentalists, you know, but then she started sounding like some professor of ancient history. Once she talked about some translation of the Epic of Gilgamesh, but she talked about it like the guy got things wrong with the story… like she knew it better than anyone. Then she went on about more stories. Prometheus, who went up to the highest mountain and stole fire, which she said is a symbol of knowledge — and gave it to humanity, like Lucifer, and then there was this African legend of a spider named Anansi, which climbed to the top of the tallest tree, and couldn’t get all the knowledge for himself so in anger he cast the jar of knowledge to the ground, for all humanity to share.

INT. PSYCHOLOGISTiS OFFICE – DAY
PSYCHOLOGIST
So you’re saying these are all the same story?

EVANS
Exactly. Joseph Campbell, you where George Lucas got ideas for Star Wars, talked about how these different cultures all had similar stories, but he never talked about why.

Then I asked her:

INT. BAR – NIGHT
EVANS
Look, I don’t mean to be rude, but… how old are you?

Star stares at Evans, creating an awkward silence.

EVANS
I’m sorry, look, forget I asked that. What I really want to know is…

Star smiles.

STAR
If you come up to my place?

Evans wasn’t thinking that exactly, but it wasn’t far from his mind. At this stage they are just about the only people left in the bar, both more than slightly tipsy and free of inhibition. Before he can answer, Star answers for him.

STAR
Yes.

EVANS
Well, that’s it then.

They laugh.

INT. APARTMENT HALLWAY – NIGHT
Star stumbles along the hallway, held up intermittently by Evans, as they approach her door. Star laughs as she pulls out her key and opens the door.

INT. STAR’S APARTMENT – NIGHT
Star enters with Evans, leading him to the living room, turning on a light on the way. She puts on TAHITIAN DRUM MUSIC, but keeps the volume soft.

She stands up and walks over to Evans, who is standing, awaiting further direction. She lingers by him, and they are magnetically drawn into a kiss. She pulls away, smiling.

STAR
Um, I am going to change. The sofa is, well, really, really comfortable. Took me like a hundred years to find that kind of quality!

Star walks away to her bedroom to change, and Evans collapses on the sofa. He notices pictures by the lamp at Star’s desk across the room, of various incarnations of goddesses and idols from many cultures, many of them using the same symbology.

STAR (V/O)
You know, there’s this verse in the Bible people have asked me about.

EVANS (V/O)
Really? so now you’re gonna tell me you’re a priest?

INT. STAR’S BEDROOM – NIGHT
Star lies with Evans, just after having settled into a rest.

Star laughs at Evans’s question.

STAR
No… It’s when Jesus tells his disciples that if he wants John to live forever, it’s none of their business. You know,… if that’s really true, then he’s still out there somewhere, right now, walking around.

EVANS
Maybe he’s ordering a pizza downtown somewhere.

They laugh more. Star’s laugh fades, and she gazes into Evans’ eyes.

STAR
Yeah. Or maybe he’s a cop.

They kiss, more passionate, moving together on the bed.

INT. HOTEL ROOM – MORNING
Star’s bedroom is now a hotel room. Evans lies dreaming, his eyes moving in REM state, as the sound from the previous scene continues.

STAR (V/O, WHISPERS)
You make me feel like I was when the world was young.

INT. STAR’S BEDROOM – NIGHT
Star’s face, under low light, stares into the camera, and the picture BLURS and MUDDIES.

INT. HOTEL ROOM – MORNING
Evans begins to awake from his dream. He sits up, rubs his eyes, does not find Star. He shudders, shocked at waking up in a different place than he remembers going to sleep in. He calls out.

EVANS
Star?!

Evans gets up, and gets out of bed. He looks for any sign of Star, but she’s gone.

He turns his attention to the open window, and runs over to it to look out into the street below.

EXT. HOTEL STREET – DAY
There’s still no sign of Star.

INT. HOTEL ROOM – DAY
Evans returns his attention to the room.

INT. PSYCHOLOGIST’S OFFICE – DAy
Evans, looking outside, watching the bustling crowds of people.

EVANS
And she is still out there somewhere.

PSYCHOLOGIST
Look, Johnny… why are you trying to find this… woman, whoever she is?

Evans quickly turns to face her.

EVANS
Liz, I just want… An answer. That’s not crazy, is it?

PSYCHOLOGIST
And you… really want me to answer that?

Another cop comes in, interrupting the new tension between Evans and his psychologist. The officer escorts Evans from the room. As he leaves, Evans looks at her, and she avoids his eyes, he walks away, unfazed.

OFFICER
Well?

PSYCHOLOGIST
I’m diagnosing him with caligynephobia.

OFFICER
Cali – what?

PSYCHOLOGIST
The fear of beautiful women.

The psychologist leaves, followed by the officer.

OFFICER
Listen, you two should really try to get back together…

EPILOGUE
The world has long forgotten its way. Generation upon generation, the great truths have become watered down, lost, faded… It’s the way of things, as that old enemy time advances. The old gods have long left off meddling in the affairs of men, who have set their sights far beyond… Carried by Imagination, hope, humanity survived the worst conditions… Now life is more streamlined, regulated, civilization is taking over. You no longer run and hunt for food. Instead it is brought to your door while you later make up for not working for it with “exercise.” life is under control, but are you wise enough now to handle this new freedom? Be mindful, you have not defeated evil.
You’ve long since set your eyes on kingdom upon kingdom, domain upon domain, earth and heaven… And you shall have it, as every kind eventually does, as you should, for when a child becomes a man, he puts away childish things. The old gods are but youthful naïveté, flights of imagination to train the world into the place where you now stand upon your feet. And that place, not just the moon, or the planets which encircle you. Six quintillion IP addresses per square meter covering the surface of the earth indicate that yes, there are plans indeed. But you still have death to contend with. You boast of freedom. But you cannot be free of time, every second it presses upon your back, until you are crushed, defeated… we all fall down. And that is the one ending to every story we must all answer to.

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