A friend of mine is staying at a hotel in New Orleans that leaves out peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and pitchers of milk in the lobby after 11 pm. It made me think of the following.
INT. Hotel lobby. 11:20 Beautiful, polished marble floors. Dark wood walls. Glittery chandelier. A young busboy with a meticulous haircut and a clean white jacket carries in a silver tray of peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches and sets it on the front desk. He walks away.
Close up of PBand J: the supermodel of all sandwiches.
Busboy walks back in with a pitcher of ice-cold milk and sets it on top of a circular cork placemat. He fusses to make the presentation neat. Exits.
Wide shot of lobby: floor, wood, chandelier, PB and J station. We hear the sound of husky, drunken frat boys, yelling/laughing OS. One guy comes half tumbling through the door, his overcoat fallen off to one side. The other two run in after him.
Told you Sam.
Shut the hell up Ranson.
Who the fuck are you? My Grandmother?
The hell is that?
Probably someone’s room service.
Ranson picks up a triangle and stuffs the entire thing into his mouth.
Sam takes one and stuffs it in his mouth. The two of them stand there, mouths completely full, staring at each other and chewing like apes. Robert, who has been hanging back, walks up to the tray and carefully selects one triangle. He wraps it in a paper napkin. He picks up a glass and sets it upright on the desk and pours himself a glass of milk, and then steps past his friends and heads toward the elevator.
Sam and Ranson eye the whole thing and then each other, still chewing. Sam turns to follow and gives Robert a shove. A splat of milk slaps onto the floor.
Where are you going douche?
Robert stares at him and waits for the elevator.
You’re a fucking child.
You’re a fucking child (mouth still completely full).
Still over at the desk, Ranson turns and walks towards his friends. He trips and falls on his face. The elevator arrives and the two others step in. We see a hand holding it open as they wait for Ranson to pick himself up and walk over. Door closes. Ding.
INT. Hotel Lobby. 12:07 am. Close up on splat of milk on clean marble floor. We hear footsteps. Move up to entrance of well-dressed couple, 40s. The woman walks ahead with the deliberate intention of an extremely drunk person. The man behind her staggers in 20 paces behind. He stops in front of the mirror at the entrance and stares at himself, swaying. The woman walks up to the desk.
Every time she says the word babe, she waits patiently for a response, though she appears to be hypnotized by the sandwiches.
Babe, you want one?...babe…Mmhavinglooksgood.
The man stares at his face in the mirror, his head lolling.
The woman chews the sandwich. Again, slowly and deliberately. She leans forward on the desk, her back to the man.
The man looks at his chin in the mirror with utter despair. He closes his eyes and lets out a sigh, the deepest longest sigh in the history of all time.
The woman sets her sandwich down on the desk and pours herself a glass of milk, half of it missing the mark. She takes a sip, sets it down next to the sandwich and walks towards the elevator. The man’s shoulders drop, he hangs his head and begins to weep.
The woman holds the elevator door.
Babe… Frank….Come on… Don’t be a jackass.
Frank turns and walks over to the elevator. The longest, slowest, saddest walk in the history of all time. He gets in. The door closes. Ding.
INT. Hotel lobby. 12:30. Woman walks in with a baby over her shoulder. She is pulling a suitcase and holding the hand of a 4-year-old sleepwalking boy. She walks over to the armchair next to the desk and sets the baby down, parks the suitcase next to the chair and picks up the boy.
He’s not coming.
Is he mad at me?
No my sweetie.
He lays his head on her shoulder and she walks to the desk.
Look at this….look what someone left for you.
A little sandwich. Look, you want one?
How did they know to make your favorite?
The boy eats his sandwich and the mother walks back to the chair opposite the first one and sets him down. She walks back to the desk and takes one. Then she picks up some napkins and wipes the spill on the desk and throws them out. Still eating the triangle, she grabs another pile and walks to the splat in the middle of the floor. She wipes it absently, throws the napkins in the can and goes to sit with her son on the chair. From OS we can hear the elevator doors open. Ding.