Accept All Changes

EXT.  DUPONT CIRCLE – DAY

A cute urban park in the middle of a traffic circle.  Around a central fountain sit OFFICE WORKERS and HOMELESS PEOPLE, all enjoying the late-afternoon sun.

Biking through the middle of this bucolic scene is MIRA, 23, a bike messenger.  Clad in spandex, she pushes hard on her petals, a blur on wheels.  We glimpse brown skin, flowing dreadlocks and the glint of piercings.

INT. CUBICLE – DAY

DAVE, 30, looks like a yuppie.  He’s wearing Dockers, blue shirt, red tie, and an ID card around his neck on a lanyard.

On the wall over his head a clock reads: 6:10 PM.

Pulling away from his computer, he rubs his eyes.  He looks out the window at the beautiful day outside.

On the screen is a Word document, with the “track changes” feature turned on.  Hundreds of edits are visible from multiple authors – a sea of red over the neat lines of the document.

Dave SIGHS.

On the screen, he moves the mouse so that it hovers over the “ACCEPT ALL CHANGES” button.

He shares a cubicle with a coworker, ELIZABETH, 32.  She’s staring at her computer, lost in concentration.

DAVE
I’m crashing.

ELIZABETH
What?

Dave is looking out the window.

DAVE
It’s Friday.

Elizabeth takes off her glasses and looks out the window.

ELIZABETH
There’s always tomorrow.

DAVE
I need something.

ELIZABETH
There might be some bagels left at reception.  I mean, they’re from this morning, but…

Dave’s already gone.

EXT. DOWNTOWN STREET – DAY

Mira powers her way through traffic, veering between cars and racing through intersections.  She WHISTLES at PEDESTRIANS to get out of her way.

EXT. OFFICE BUILDING – DAY

Mira pulls up in front of an office building.  In one fluid motion, she hops off her bike and locks it to a parking meter.  It’s the building where Dave works.

INT. RECEPTION – DAY

The receptionist is gone.  Some picked apart bagels and empty tubs of cream cheese litter the counter of the receptionist’s station.

Dave has half a bagel in hand.  He’s scraping the bottom of various tubs of cream cheese with a plastic knife.  At last, he has enough cream cheese to coat his bagel.

DAVE
Success!

He covers the bagel and stuffs it into his mouth.  Just then, there’s a loud KNOCK at the door.

He tries to swallow the bagel before opening the door.

There’s another loud KNOCK.

MIRA
(o.s)
Package!  Open up!

Dave pulls open the door and sees Mira, her beautiful brown skin, her flowing dreadlocks, the spandex.  She’s sweaty, a little dirty, but beautiful.  His eyes go wide.  He waves her in.  He’s unable to speak because his mouth is full of half-eaten bagel.

As she barges in, Dave sneaks a peek at her ass.

Mira puts her messenger bag up on the counter and pulls out an envelope.

Dave at last has swallowed the bagel.

DAVE
Hey.

MIRA
(dismissive)
Yea.  You gotta sign for this.

Dave looks down at the envelope.  

DAVE
(reading the label)
“Documentation Associates.”  Yup, that’s us.

Mira thrusts her receipt pad out.

MIRA
Can you sign for this?

DAVE
Yea, but there’s something you have to sign too, some sort of sign-in sheet, I guess.

He’s looking through receptionist’s desk.

MIRA
C’mon, this is my last run.  I need to get out of here.

DAVE
Tell me about it.  I can’t find that thing.  I’ll sign for it.  

Dave comes from around the desk to sign her pad.  They’re close.  While he signs, Mira contemplates his neat hair, the cleanness of his shirt, the shiny ID around his neck.

After he signs, she looks down at the signature.

MIRA
What is this?  This is chickenscratch.  I can’t read this.

DAVE
It’s Dave.  See the “D”.

He bends back the pad to show her.

MIRA
Who taught you how to write?

DAVE
I actually have a Masters degree in Writing.

Mira finds this HILARIOUS.

DAVE
I paid a lot of money for that degree!  Not that I do anything with it…

MIRA
(looking at his signature)
Dave – I think you should ask for a refund.

Mira breezes out.

DAVE
(sarcastically)
Thanks, appreciate that.  Have a good weekend.

INT. COCKTAIL LOUNGE – NIGHT

Dave and Elizabeth are sitting at a small table in a fancy, half-empty hotel bar.  Elizabeth is drinking a Cosmopolitan.  Dave has a beer in a tall, expensive glass.

DAVE
I should just “accept all changes”.

ELIZABETH
What?

DAVE
In the documentation project.  Just accept every change from every reviewer.

ELIZABETH
But then the document wouldn’t make any sense.  You have to accept some, reject others, and make them all fit together into one coherent document.  That’s the job.

INT. DIVE BAR – NIGHT

Mira is in a grimy dive bar with other BIKE MESSENGERS.  Bikes are stacked against a wall.  Everyone is drinking Miller tallboys.  The jukebox is BLARING.  It’s a rowdy scene.

Mira is sitting at the bar while another messenger, STU, 43, massages her shoulders.  He’s bearded, heavily tattooed, and has grease under his fingernails.

MIRA
Writing degree.  Maybe I should do that.

STU
Waste of time – either you can write or you can’t.  

A MESSENGER comes up to Mira and Stu.  He’s holding a tupperware container filled with small bills and loose change.

MESSENGER
We’re collecting money for Mikey.  He got hit by a bus.

Mira and Stu both chip in some money.  The messenger leaves.

MIRA
Can’t do this forever.

Stu throws back a shot and looks around the bar.

STU
A degree in life – that’s the best training.

INT. RECEPTION – DAY

It’s Monday.  Dave is at the receptionist’s desk.  The RECEPTIONIST, 26, is beautiful and dumb.  She’s on the phone and looks, annoyed, at Dave.

RECEPTIONIST
Who does he think he is, poking me on Facebook?  I just met him once.  Let me call you back – like, some guy is here.
(after hanging up phone)
What?

DAVE
I signed for a package on Friday, after you left.

RECEPTIONIST
Okay.

DAVE
Do you know what messenger service sent it?

RECEPTIONIST
There’s like twenty different messenger services.  

Dave looks deflated.

EXT. STARBUCKS – DAY

Dave is in line for a late-afternoon coffee, a line of PEOPLE that extends outside the cafe and out onto the street.

He sees Mira go buy, in a blur of pedals and spandex.  He leaves the line and races after her.

EXT. DOWNTOWN STREET – DAY

Mira is on the sidewalk, weaving in out of PEDESTRIANS.

Dave sprints after her for a couple of blocks before she stops in front of an office building.  He’s sweaty and winded.

DAVE
(breathing hard)
Hey…

MIRA
You – the writer who can’t write.  How long have you been chasing me?

DAVE
(still breathing hard)
Two… blocks.

MIRA
(impressed)
For real?  Go ahead, dear, get your breath.

DAVE
That’s right, I’m the writer.

MIRA
I wanted to talk to you about a writing degree.

DAVE
Perfect.

INT. COCKTAIL LOUNGE – EVENING

Dave and Mira enter the fancy cocktail lounge.  Mira’s bike shoes CLIP-CLOP on the marble flooring.  She looks self-conscious.  They sit down and Mira tugs down her spandex shorts.

MIRA
This where you like to hang out?

Dave looks up, as if he’s never considered that question before.

INT. DIVE BAR – EVENING

Dave and Mira are sitting at the bar, while the bike messengers RAUCOUSLY PARTY around them.

They’ve had a couple drinks and Dave looks comfortable, despite the fact that he’s still wearing his tie and his ID.

DAVE
Yea, it can’t be taught, I think you’re right.  But it will look good on a resume.

MIRA
I don’t give a shit about that.

DAVE
Well, then, what do you need school for?  Just write.

Mira is lost in thought, mulling over what Dave has told her.  Then happiness blossoms across her face.  

Stu comes up.

STU
(to Dave)
I don’t think anybody told you but you can’t be here and wear that.

Stu grabs Dave’s tie.

DAVE
Take it!  Liberate me!

Dave takes off his tie and hands it to Stu.  Mira smiles.

STU
This guy is alright!

Stu wraps the tie around his head and heads back into the party.

Dave leans over and kisses Mira.  His hand grips her thigh.

INT. CUBICLE – DAY

Dave is looking out the window, at the beautiful day.  The clock reads 5:00 PM.

ELIZABETH
Are you done with section 2.2?

DAVE
Not yet.

He turns back to his computer.  His mouse hovers over the “accept all changes” button.  He clicks on it and the document magically assembles itself as he and Elizabeth watch.

ELIZABETH
You can’t do that.

DAVE
Elizabeth, darling, it hardly matters.  

Dave leaves.  Elizabeth shakes her head and returns to her editing.

EXT. DUPONT CIRCLE – DAY

Mira glides to a stop in front of a bench.  She gets off her bike and takes a notebook out of her bag.

She studies all the FACES around the fountain before frantically scribbling in her notebook.  She’s writing.

Dave comes walking up.  She stops writing to kiss him and press her forehead against his.  After a moment, she resumes writing while Dave happily watches the people of Dupont Circle.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *