The sound of heavy rain. It's day-time but dull enough to need the lights on.
JOE's typewriter is no longer on the table, but closed and standing on end on the floor.
HE's alone in the great room, playing solitaire.
MAX is at the organ, wearing his white gloves, playing.
HE looks up at the audience, breaks off from his game.
In December, the rains came.
One great big package, over-sized, like everything else in California;
And it came right through the roof of my room above the garage.
So she had me moved into the main house.
Into what Max called " The room of the husbands."
And on a clear day, the theory was, you could see Catalina.
And little by little I worked through to the end of the script.
At which point I might have left;
Only by then those two boys from the finance company had traced my car and towed it away;
And I hadn't seen one single dollar of cash money since I arrived.
(HE resumes his game;
All of a sudden NORMA sweeps out of her room and down the stairs.
SHE's holding a fat typescript in her hand. SHE snaps at MAX.)
(MAX stops playing.)
Today's the day.
What do you mean?
Max is going to deliver the script to Paramount.
You're really going to give it to De Mille?
I've just spoken with my astrologer.
She read De Millle's horoscope; she read mine.
Did she read the script?
De Mille is Leo; I'm Scorpio.
Mars is transiting Jupiter, and today is the day of closest conjunction.
Oh, well, that's all right, then.
(SHE hands the typescript to MAX.)
Make sure it goes to Mr. De Mille in person.
(HE leaves the house by the front door. There's a silence;
NORMA moves up and down in a state of heightened emotion;
JOE is steeling himself to broach a difficult subject.)
It's been real interesting.
Yes... hasn't it?
I want to thank you for trusting me with your baby.
Not at all, it is I who should thank you.
Will you call and let me know as soon as you have some news?
(NORMA frowns; SHE turns to him, her expression bewildered.)
Oh, but, you couldn't possibly think of leaving now, Joe.
Norma, the script is finished.
No, Joe. No. It's just the beginning,
It's just the first draft: I couldn't dream of letting you go, I need your support.
Well, I can't stay.
You'll stay on with full salary, of course...
Oh, Norma, it's not the money.
(NORMA now has a look of genuine panic on her face,
And JOE sees that some reassurance is essential.)
Yes, of course, I'll stay until we get some sort of news back from Paramount.
(HE's on his feet now, and NORMA grips his hand tightly for a moment.)
Thank you, thank you, Joe.
(SHE releases his hand and moves off leaving him a little shaken by this turn of events,
His expression rueful. HE turns to the audience.)
So, Max wheeled out that foreign bus
Brushed the leopardskin upholstery.
He trundled along to Paramount
To hand Cecil B. our hopeless opus.
My work was over
I was feeling no pain
Locked up like John the Baptist.
Last Update: December, 24th 2013