Childish Gambino — Because The Internet Screenplay - Part 4
[VISUAL PLAYING "DEATH BY NUMBERS"]
*******[PLAY SONG "FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR" AT THIS POINT]*******
INT. HOSPITAL - DAY
The Boy wakes up. He's in a gown. His eyes feel heavy. The TV is on in his room. "Golden Girls" to be specific. One of the ladies just said something funny cause there's a lot of laughter
Sitcom laughs always freaked him out. Because most of those people are dead. Those are ghost laughs. Laughs that are supposed to be gone forever linger on earth after every mid 90s joke about teenage sex or someone saying "don't go there". Looking for their mouths, never finding them because they're gone. The laughs don't feel good because they're dead laughs. Those laughs aren't what they stood for anymore. They've been reappropriated. Now they're just sounds monkey descendants make when amused to cue other monkey descendants when to make the sounds at home
...my eyes feel heavy
A nurse comes in
WHITE GUY NURSE: Hello Mr.[EDIT]. How are you feeling?
THE BOY: Like I'm about to get talked to by someone about- (gestures) All this
Nurse gives a "yep" look
WHITE GUY NURSE: You're friends brought you in-
THE BOY: They're not my friends
WHITE GUY NURSE: I don't think they'd like you saying that
THE BOY: Doesn't matter. It's the truth. But also, they know. We're not friends. There's a mutual benefit to our relationship, but I can't trust them for shit
WHITE GUY NURSE: Then why save you?
THE BOY: Cause their lives are far easier with me around. It's survival
WHITE GUY NURSE: I think you should talk to someone
THE BOY: We're talking
WHITE GUY NURSE: A professional
THE BOY: Why? You don't care. You're not gonna make sure I do. (then) Our lives aren't precious, man
Silence. The Nurse begins to clean up
WHITE GUY NURSE: You done?
THE BOY: I was trying to be
WHITE GUY NURSE: No you weren't. Cause, guess what? It's not hard to do
INT. WAITING ROOM - LATER THAT DAY
The Boy walks out of the double doors. Steve, Swank, and Fam are sitting there. They look up wearily
THE BOY: I don't wanna talk. Let's just go be awkward and quiet together at Chipotle. Alright?
They all just stare. Swank gets up slowly and walks over
SWANK: Man...we didn't know if we should wait or tell you later, man
The Boy makes a ["WHAT?" EMOJI] face
SWANK (CONT'D): Man...your pops died, man. Got the call
THE BOY: Okay
(hum of a jet engine...)
*******[PLAY SONG "ZEALOTS OF STOCKHOLM" AT THIS POINT]*******
INT. JET PLANE - EVENING
The Boy lays his head against the plane window, the oil from his hair leaving grease smudges all over the window
His father died in Stockholm. A family member was needed. Didn't realize that they were each other's only family til this very moment. When you lose that, you basically lose most of your memories, at least the accuracy of your own memories
He wanted to be cremated
The Boy didn't really know anyone in Stockholm, but he also didn't want to be in his hotel room with his father for a day. Even if he was just ashes. So he decided to search through his followers for someone from Sweden
Some girl named "Hello_Pity_" Dm'd him back and they were supposed to meet up after all the whatever he had to do. Her profile bio said she was half french. She looked pretty in her avi: an inverted Hello Kitty. But that really doesn't mean anything at all, especially since her instagram was blocked, which is something he's learned not to trust at all
So he looked through her tweets, figured out a night she went to a club, used one of his dummy profiles and pretended that they'd met at the club that night. She had trouble remembering because, according to her feed, she was "fuckin turnt, [CRAZY TONGUE OUT EMOJI] lol". She added this made up dude as a friend on Facebook. Now The Boy could see her pictures
The rest of her pictures confirmed she was indeed pretty
This girl loves Justin Bieber though. New Justin Bieber. The "fuck you" Bieber. She loves Justin Bieber in the way you love that girl on Maury who's like "my favorite flavor popsicle is DICK!", which is close to sincere love, but nowhere near it at the same time
INT. STRANGE OFFICE - NIGHT
The Boy is sitting at a desk, across from a solemn man. An urn sits on the left side of the desk
The man slides it over to The Boy
SOLEMN MAN: I'm sorry for your loss
Silence. Don't you have to ask someone before you cremate their father? I don't know how these things work
SOLEMN MAN (CONT'D): These were found with him
He gives The Boy a large brown paper bag
INT. HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT
The Boy vapes on the foot of his bed. He's DMing back and forth with "Hello_Pity_" whose real name is Alyssa
thegoldmolar: where u at
Hello_Pity_: bar called box. meet u here?
Hello_Pity_: u should meet my boyfriend. he loves you
Hello_Pity_: [CRYING LAUGH EMOJI] LOL. Don't worry. It's not like that
Hello_Pity_: [CRAZY TONGUE OUT EMOJI] see u soon
He puts his phone down
EXT. STOCKHOLM STREETS - NIGHT
There's a buzz going on. Very pretty people walk hand in hand on the street. There are people saying things, giving opinions, feeling interesting. Everyone has a purpose tonight. It's a great time
A couple walk by:
SUPER HANDSOME GUY: Swedish blah blah blah roscoe's wetsuit hahahaha!
SUPER PRETTY GIRL: blah blah, swedish blah blah roscoe's wetsuit!
The Boy walks up to a pink, glowing, but very discreet sign that says "box". There's a big bald guy standing outside with no hat. There's steam coming off his head
A girl is standing outside smoking, at least trying to. She can't seem to get the cigarette lit. It's Alyssa
THE BOY: Hey
ALYSSA: Ah! It's you
She gives him a kiss on both cheeks
ALYSSA (CONT'D): Fancy meeting you like this, huh?
THE BOY: I don't know what you mean
She puts out her cigarette. After two big puffs
ALYSSA: Let's go
THE BOY: Didn't you want me to meet your boyfriend?
ALYSSA: Who? That guy?
She points to a corner of the building, a few steps from the front. A guy with long blonde hair (her boyfriend?)is making out with a girl in the cold
THE BOY: What am I getting into?
ALYSSA: Nothing. You're getting into nothing
EXT. STOCKHOLM STREETS - CONTINUOUS
The Boy and Alyssa walk slowly through the streets. It's very cold, so they're the only ones doing that
ALYSSA: What made you DM me?
THE BOY: I don't know anyone here
ALYSSA: Then why are you here?
THE BOY: My dad died. I have to pick him up
ALYSSA: R O U G H. How?
THE BOY: Doesn't matter at this point
ALYSSA: I know right? It's always "how'd he die?" Like if you know all the ways, you'll avoid it. Silly
ALYSSA (CONT'D): I don't believe in small talk. What's the longest relationship you've been in?
THE BOY: Five years
ALYSSA: Wow. What happened?
THE BOY: I'm still in it
THE BOY: She does private web shows. We're not together. But it's a relationship, for sure
ALYSSA: I don't get it
THE BOY: I used to watch her online a while back. Then she quit and started doing private shows. Then it just started turning into talking. Mostly
THE BOY: Wha?
ALYSSA: You're paying her to be your girlfriend or friend or whatever
THE BOY: Yes. But most people are paying for friends one way or another
THE BOY: Your boyfriend is making out with another girl right now. You don't really have room to judge
ALYSSA: I trust that I can never trust him. We're clear on that
THE BOY: Then why have him at all?
ALYSSA: Because he's honest. And I like that. He doesn't lie to either of us. That's special to me
INT. HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT
The two are sitting on the bed staring at the urn on the table
ALYSSA: So that's your dad
THE BOY: That's my dad. That's what's left of him
ALYSSA: You guys close?
THE BOY: No
ALYSSA: You wanna talk about it
THE BOY: No
THE BOY (CONT'D): I'm going to make a drink
The Boy gets up and goes into the living room. While he's in there, Alyssa gets up, takes the urn, and walks out of the room. The Boy hears the door slam
THE BOY: Alyssa?
*******[PLAY SONG "URN" AT THIS POINT]*******
EXT. HOTEL - NIGHT
The Boy runs out of the front doors. His breath, clouding in the night. He looks both ways and catches Alyssa turning a corner. He runs to the corner and meets her on the other side
THE BOY: What's going on
ALYSSA: Let's get rid of it. It's just bad for you
THE BOY: You have a TON of nerve judging me and my father's relationship, so much so, you just walk out with his ashes? I feel like what you're doing is against the law, but much like the fact he was cremated before I arrived, I don't know if it's illegal. I'm still pissed though
ALYSSA: We're gonna do this together
The Boy is pissed. He's trying not to blow up
ALYSSA (CONT'D): I had a sister. I did this when she died
THE BOY: Yes. That gives you the right
Alyssa digs in her pocket and pulls out her phone. She turns it on and the background is Alyssa and a girl that looks exactly like her. The Boy takes the phone
THE BOY (CONT'D): Twins
THE BOY: I know we agreed that it's dumb to ask since we're all headed that way anyway, but-
ALYSSA: Brain cancer. It was bad
ALYSSA (CONT'D): So crazy
She LOLs. They're still walking this entire time. They stop at the water. They stand there making small clouds for a moment
ALYSSA (CONT'D): You want to say something?
The Boy shrugs
ALYSSA (CONT'D): Alright-
THE BOY: Wait
The urn almost tips over the edge. She waits for him. He walks over and takes the urn and just holds it for a moment. Then he kinda hugs it. Laying his head on it, but turning his head so she can't see what he says:
THE BOY (CONT'D, whisper): I'm sorry we're alone
He pours out the ashes. He's gone
ALYSSA: How do you feel? Better?
THE BOY: I feel...the same
Alyssa and The Boy turn around. It's Alyssa's boyfriend
BOYFRIEND: What the fuck, bro?
ALYSSA: Oh, so you now you give a fuck
She pushes him back as he takes swipes at The Boy. The Boy is mildly annoyed. They're all yelling at each other
BOYFRIEND/THE BOY/ALYSSA: You're dead ass-hole!/ Relax, nothing happened/ Would you stop!
The boyfriend breaks free from her
BOYFRIEND: Do you know who the fuck I am?
ALYSSA: Please don't. Please don't do this
THE BOY: Nah, man. I don't know who you are
BOYFRIEND (CONT'D, scream): WHAT DOES THE FOX SAY! (silence) I. Wrote. That. That's my shit. I'm the nigga dressed like a fox. That's all me
THE BOY: What?
The boyfriend starts making the noises a fox makes in the song
ALYSSA (resigned, to The Boy): Like the song and video
THE BOY: I've never heard of it
ALYSSA AND BOYFIREND: What/wha?
ALYSSA: I thought you "were the internet"?
THE BOY: That's a tagline. No one is the actual internet. I just must've missed it when it was popular
BOYFRIEND: Uh, by "when it was popular" do you mean, uhhh, RIGHT THE FUCK NOW?!
THE BOY: Relax
BOYFRIEND: Two hundred and twenty million views on Youtube. Two hundred and twenty million. That's most of the earth
THE BOY: Not true
BOYFRIEND: An African village wrote to me-
THE BOY: The whole village did?
BOYFRIEND: -and told me that my song taught them about foxes. They don't have foxes there. I introduced the idea of a fox to an entire continent...(then) And you wanna fuck my girl?
THE BOY: I do not wanna fuck your girl. I don't want to be here. I am going home now
The Boy walks away. Alyssa and her boyfriend start a boring argument in the cold as he disappears
INT. LA VEGAN RESTAURANT - NIGHT
Fam, another girl, and The Boy sit in a booth at the restaurant. Fam and the girl are talking. The Boy is silent. Don't know if he's just bored or jet lagged from Sweden. Either way he's bumming everyone out
ANOTHER GIRL: My friend should be here soon
The Boy doesn't say anything. Fam and the girl look on
A girl walks up to the table. The Boy looks up. It's the girl from the party
The Boy doesn't say anything
ANOTHER GIRL: This is Naomi. (then) Hello?
FAM: He's dumb. You should just sit and ignore him
She sits down
NAOMI: You're the guy that almost hit my arm
THE BOY: Yes
NAOMI: You guys order?
THE BOY: No. I hate vegan. I think she's making us eat here
NAOMI: I'm the vegan. I asked to eat here
THE BOY: I hate vegan
NAOMI (saying it dumb): Duhh, "I hate vegan"
In his head, he was lol-ing. In real life, he just kinda looked down
NAOMI (CONT'D): What's the deal. Why you always act like your parents died
The Boy smirks
THE BOY: They did
ANOTHER GIRL: I'm so sorry
Fam and The Boy stare at each other for a moment. Then laugh. Another Girl and Naomi do not
FAM (to The Boy): Your parents are dead, man
THE BOY: My parents are dead yo
They slowly stop laughing. Naomi thinks The Boy is weird. But she doesn't run
INT. MANSION - NIGHT
Fam and Another Girl are sitting on the swings smoking and talking about something they will never remember and don't really care about
Naomi and The Boy sit in the living room
NAOMI: What did he do?
THE BOY: I don't know
NAOMI: How'd he afford all this?
THE BOY: I don't know
NAOMI: Then how can you afford all this? He leave you a lot?
THE BOY: Creditors were after him. I don't know if he had anything left. I'm not concerned. (serious) I'm gonna sell drugs
THE BOY: Fam can hook me up. I've been watching him for a minute. He runs out of here already
NAOMI: I don't think you need me to tell you you're an awful dealer
THE BOY: How would you even know?
NAOMI: You make everything feel awkward. You can't connect with anyone. How is anyone supposed to feel like they can trust you?
THE BOY: Yeah, that's what drug dealers are known for. Their comfort
NAOMI: They are, dumb-ass. You gotta know how people work. You're only good with people online
He slowly turns to her. "how does she know that?"
NAOMI (CONT'D): I looked you up
THE BOY: After the party or just now
NAOMI: Just now. I'm a writer too
THE BOY: Oh really
NAOMI: Yup. And I know I'm good cause people keep stealing my shit
She hits the vape
NAOMI (CONT'D): I tweeted this. (holds up her phone) Is that not my poem verbatim? I posted them together. This nigga just rapped this like it was his
THE BOY (looking at her phone): Your first mistake is being a poet past the year 1974, by the way
NAOMI: That's how good my shit is. I'm bringing the whole form back
THE BOY: You're cocky when you're high
NAOMI: No. I'm talkative when I'm high. I'm cocky all the time, but I'm silent for most of it...like you
He looks up. She lifts an eyebrow. He doesn't smile. She goes cross-eyed. No response. She stops, then sighs
NAOMI (CONT'D): You ever think we're in hell? This is all hell. Living on earth and being the only ones aware that it's all ending slowly
THE BOY: No
NAOMI: I read something that said more than likely we all just do this all again. It's all a cycle
THE BOY: I like that theory
NAOMI: Yeah. (then) See? You're not such a lonely boy
She LOLs and mushes his face with her hand. The Boy smh, but smiles