Paradise

Wrote a ten-page script as a school assignment, but it suddenly made it to a stage reading. Check it out to see an actor singing The Stairway to Heaven, faking a British accent and enjoying his role.

Synopsis:

A cheap hostel on South Beach in Florida. Joachim, a backpacker from Germany, meets Jimmy, a middle-aged former naval officer. Always drunk, Jimmy tells Joachim about his life. He seems to be enjoying his vacation in Florida, calls this place a paradise, and wants to stay there forever. But later we discover that, finally gained, paradise can so easily be lost…

 

Select episodes of the script. 

***

JOACHIM

When did you start drinking?

JIMMY

Ten years ago. I mean, I became an alcoholic ten years ago.

JOACHIM

Did you drink before?

JIMMY

Yeah. But just like a regular guy. Only on weekends.

JOACHIM

So why did you become an alcoholic?

JIMMY

There’s a thing. It’s called "willpower." If you have it, you just say "no." I didn’t. They gave us pills to kill pain in the Navy. I always threw them away. I just drank.

JOACHIM

Have you tried crack?

JIMMY

Yes. And I must say, don’t try it. Don’t try it at any cost. I tried it back in the 80s. Just -- you know -- was smoking, watching porn, and j*ing off...

JOACHIM

Phew.

JIMMY

So don’t try it. If you have willpower, just stay away. My dad never told me about it. Drinks? He thought, "OK, I hope he knows." Sex? He thought, "Hope he knows about it." He was a great dad. In winter, we went fishing, and I always wore skates. We made several holes, and I was skating and checking them...

JOACHIM

(checking the time on his phone)

It’s time to go to bed.

JIMMY

(getting up and grunting)

Yes. I’m so tired. You are a nice guy, Jack. You really listen to what I say. Let’s meet at nine for breakfast. Nine for breakfast, OK? Promise? I f*cking like you. You really listen to me. So, 9 am for breakfast. They have pancakes. But I don’t like that f*cking chocolate on them. I just want pancakes. Pancakes and maybe some syrup. That’s it. Don’t forget, 9 am at the lobby. Let’s get pancakes. No chocolate. Just pancakes. Psch-chooh!

***

Jimmy sits on a patio chair. He sees two girls going to the beach and shouts.

JIMMY

Hey girls, you are beautiful!

JOACHIM

Are you married?

JIMMY

I used to be.

JOACHIM

Have kids?

JIMMY

A son. He is 31 now.

JOACHIM

Are you in touch with him?

JIMMY

No. Haven’t been speaking for a long time. I understand his hesitancy. I’m an alcoholic.

JOACHIM

Why don’t you find a girlfriend?

JIMMY

Look at me. I’m old. Fifty three. And I’m short. Girls I like are taller than me. I want to look at her eyes, not her breasts.

JOACHIM

So many girls over here...

JIMMY

I found one. Started talking to her. And she asked me for two hundred dollars.

***

JOACHIM

You told me you get nightmares. What are they about?

JIMMY

I see kids. Kids from Iraq. They ask me where their fathers are. I can’t tell them. Because I killed their fathers. I killed forty seven people.

JOACHIM

Really?

JIMMY

Forty seven. But they killed my friends. If you do something bad to me, I will do something bad to you. But, a hundred times worse.

***

JOACHIM

What does your tatoo mean?

JIMMY

Which one?

JOACHIM

The one on your shoulder.

JIMMY

That’s "Irish." I’m Irish. I’ve never been to Ireland, but I am f*cking proud I’m Irish. Although people think I’ve got a British accent.

JOACHIM

Why don’t you go to Ireland?

JIMMY

I need a passport. To go abroad, you have to get a travel passport. But they don’t give them to people with open court cases.

JOACHIM

You got a court case?

JIMMY

Mine is September 30th. I need to show up in Boston for it. Then I will go back to Florida. Florida is amazing. It’s a paradise. You don’t need to shovel when it snows. Forget about that stuff. Just relax. It’s a paradise.

JOACHIM

Why were you given a court case?

JIMMY

I was drunk. I caught a taxi to get home. And when I closed the door, the cab driver told me the price. Twenty dollars! Twenty dollars! If I wasn’t drunk, I could get home by walking. And he asked for twenty bucks. I was gonna get out, but he locked the doors. Just locked the doors! If you do something bad to me, I will answer a thousand times worse...

JOACHIM

What did you do with him?

JIMMY

I just punched his nose.

JOACHIM

Did you break it?

JIMMY

No, just made it bleed. But he was over sixty five. If you beat someone who is over sixty five, it’s considered a felony.

JOACHIM

What is felony?

JIMMY

It means, they can put me in prison.

JOACHIM

Prison?

JIMMY

Yes. So I should be in Boston September 29th to get ready for the court case. But they know I’m an alcoholic, I’m a veteran, and I’m coocoo.