THE STORY OF A SAFE-HOUSE. Screenplay created by Male Survivors of Sexual Violence.
Nothing Left to Lose
It makes you dangerous.
It is monumentally stupid to corner people into a place from which there is no escape.
A cure would be one form of escape.
We have all seen the hope for it come and go so many times, I’m not sure we would believe it when the actual thing arrives.
Personally, I just don’t see that train coming. I will be dead, and everyone I know will be dead long before it gets here.
Kilian had been badly beaten in Ireland. Wrong neighborhood. Wrong time.
Sometimes, I go back, and visit the places I have lived. What Truman Capote got like nobody else was what it’s like to be a human being in a time and in a place because he had grown up hearing all those stories.
In this story, the people are imperfect. Kilian is not the same. The old Kilian is gone. This Kilian is tough as a old saddle leather. He takes absolutely no shit from anyone. Kilian and Eavan have been together a long time.
Kilian is still very organized. It just takes him longer, and he is less tolerant of people who are not organized. Not being organized was your problem, not his. Eavan mourned the old Kilian because the old Kilian cleaned up after him. Eavan had to learn how to wipe his own butt.
We see a helicopter shot of swooping down to just above the lake and making a bead for the morning sun.
The frigid air of Lake Lure’s morning was a cunning stillness even as the Canadian Geese landed causing the glass of the lake to break its mirror’s hush. The chopper is intrusive. Then, it’s gone. We rarely make it the whole way around the lake, but we follow the path like the bears do.
There was a black bear on the path ahead of us. We had seen him and held off. Putting more distance between us and him, we sat at a covered picnic table, and listened to a storm rumbling in through the Blue Ridge past Bat Cave.
People often laugh. Bat Cave.
Another Fantasy of mine worthy of outright scorn.
But this Bat Cave is where the term bat cave comes from. It has been in these mountains longer than Hollywood has been making movies.
Bat Cave is Blue Ridge living. The back yard is littered with rusted cars and old refrigerators, and time is a Baptist missionary with a gun. Hope does not live here. It would be greeted with contempt. Do not go out there on your own. You do not just go wandering around. Appalachia is poor. As a photographer, I am not sure I will get over my reticence at exploiting other people’s poverty, and in Appalachia they will allow you in, and sometimes they are amused, and sometimes they’re angry, and they have trucks and guns.
The upside is that suspicion buys you a barrier between you and them — outsiders — Appalachia is you and them. It’s a secret in plain sight.
Like a toothache.
The Scottish roots are not thrifty. They’re fucking lost.
Kilian and I had to dash back to the vehicle because it started to pour. My favorite sound is listening to the sound of rain hitting the soft top of the jeep. I have no idea why I love that sound, but I love it. I love how it is the rain that made Lake Lure. The lake sits in a valley that has been here tens of millions of years. The Blue Ridge is ancient. It is silent like an old worn tooth. The people of the hollows are lost in a world made mean like Bobcats fighting among themselves for whatever scraps they can steal from the hills, mostly rabbits, and territory itself is a shattered, vigilant surveillance, through the fissures and the bars and the parking lots along the river at night where the train to Asheville screams weight through here, and coal cars for the power plants and Grandma had to choose, would they have a Christmas or pay the light bill of the trailer, it is always either or.
HIV has ravaged this place like nothing else. So here we are like a hushed grave. A blind man’s aurora. And I don't wanna beg your pardon. Surreptitious. And I don't wanna ask you why. But if I was to run my own way. Deleterious. Would I have to pass you by.
I know when Kilian is pondering. Weighing one situation against another.
It was what he did in France sometimes with a vengeance. He would only march in organized demonstrations. He rated them one through ten.
Now, he would be committing highway robbery.
“But ripping off a delivery truck.”
Kilian was dubious.
“I didn’t even know that just plain old UPS delivered drugs to drugstores.”
“This delivery would be to a hospital pharmacy.”
Tal and I had laid it out.
“I thought maybe an armored car with guys with sawed off shotguns.”
“No. It’s just a UPS truck with packages. Just a guy with a hat and a clipboard.”
“How come they’re not ripped off every minute of every day. That’s a lot of drugs. I never heard of it.”
“That is why they’re rarely ripped off. No one ever heard of it, and when they do, they can’t believe it.”
“So what are we going to do, Tim. Just walk up to this guy and say give us your packages. It’s absurd.”
“That is essentially how it would work. Atripla is made in China. It’s flown to Los Angeles, and then to different distribution points. At the distribution points, it’s trucked to smaller distribution centers. From there it’s put in packages your average UPS driver delivers to a pharmacy. The system is the same for all the fun drugs, too. I would not call Atripla a fun drug.”
Atripla is an antiretroviral.
“You mean like Oxy.”
“Oxy will do. Same system. Same truck. Same guy with the same hat, same clipboard.”
“What if we say give us your drugs and the driver says no.”
“The driver has no idea what’s in the packages. All he knows is that he needs a signature. We never use the word drugs. So then, we shoot him and take the drugs.”
“Mary will be doing flip flops into the pool.”
“She’s already doing flip flops. There is no pool. Only my head. Tristan says it’s kinda like a movie.”
“So how much would we get.”
“Enough to last maybe six months.”
“Then, we’ll have to do it all over again, right.”
“Kilian frowned. “I dona trust him. I don’t trust Tal.”
“You’re only saying that because he used to be with Chrestien. Tristan was with Chrestien, too, remember.”
“Youra the one with the bad memory. No one trusted Tristan but you.”
“The world breaks everyone.”
“Yada, yada, yada.”
“I trusted Tristan with my life.”
““What else did you have to trust Tristan with. I trusted Tristan for as far as I could see him.”
“That isn’t fair.”
“Tristan didna stop hustling just because the sex was over.”
“Yes, he did.”
“When it comes to Tristan, Tim, you are out to lunch. Those underpants you keep in your bag are disgusting. I am not opposed to violence, god knows. But this whole plan sounds fishy to me.”
“All you have to do is drive the car.”
“Kilian looked up at the sky and took in a deep breath.
“Allyagotta do is drive the friggin car.”
“I said nothing but just listened to the sound of the rain hitting the soft top.
Kilian muttering allyagotta do is drive the friggin car about ten thousand times. “If anyone gets hurt, or anyone gets busted, I’m blaming you.”
Fade to black.
CONTINUED AT: PART SEVEN