Ext.Roger’s park Car park.late morning
The taxi pulls up to park in front of a wooden bollard in the car park, the gravel crunching beneath its wheels. DOUGIE opens the passenger-side door and steps out. He closes the door and then retrieves his pack from the back seat. ERN rolls down the passenger-side window and leans over the seat.
You good to go, Doug? Got everything you need?
Yeah. What’s the meter at?
Fifty-five and twenty-four cents. Call it fifty.
DOUGIE pulls out a wad of notes from his pocket and counts out fifty dollars in notes. He pauses, and then he puts all the money together and hands it to ERN.
Here you go, pal. Buy yourself something nice, huh?
DOUGIE smiles and ERN looks at him with something like concern.
Come on, pal. I can’t take all your money. Here.
ERN tries to hand back some of the cash, but DOUGIE just heaves on his pack and begins to walk away.
I’ll see you on the other side, pal.
ERN watches as DOUGIE rounds the corner of the track that leads into the forest beyond the park.
EXT.ROGER’s Park Forest track.same time
We see DOUGIE looking back towards the car park as he sets off on his journey to Roger’s hut. He chuckles to himself as he walks. The gravel crunches under his boots and the sound of birdsong echoes in the trees. He looks up to the tree-tops and grins when he sees BIRD 1 puffing out its chest and calling out for a mate.
DOUGIE dumps his pack on the ground and unzips it. He rummages around in it until he finds one of his bottles of whiskey and then he pulls his pack on again.
My feathers are big and colourful! My nest is big and safe!
He unscrews the cap and takes a big gulp, and then he holds the bottle aloft.
And he’s got a giant pecker!
BIRD 1 looks down at DOUGIE from his perch.
DOUGIE looks momentarily bemused, but then he smiles.
Alright, good luck, fella.
DOUGIE lifts the bottle to his lips again and turns to walk off down the track. He retrieves a lighter and his pack of cigarettes from his pocket and lights up, clumsily cradling the whiskey in the crook of his arm.
My nest is big and safe! And so is my penis!
DOUGIE hums the tune to ‘Paint It Black’ as he walks down the track. The sun shines through the leaves of the trees, creating golden god-rays and colouring the leaves a glowing emerald. He sips from his bottle and finishes his smoke. He pauses to stub it out on the sole of his shoe, and then he deposits the butt in the pocket of his coat. He carries on.
A young woman out on a morning run passes DOUGIE by, and she briefly smiles as she makes eye contact with him. He smiles back instinctively. The young woman’s smile quickly fades once she is past him.
Eventually the forest opens up and DOUGIE comes to a swing bridge in the track. It spans the width of a rushing, foaming river and passes above a stretch of rapids. DOUGIE makes his way to the middle of the bridge, then he stops and leans on the railings, looking down at the water, dangling his bottle of whiskey over the edge. After a moment, he spits over the side of the bridge and lets the saliva drip slowly down until the strand breaks and a glob falls and disappears into the foam.
DOUGIE smiles and continues along the bridge, bouncing as he steps, so the bridge undulates along its length. He jumps off the end and lands on the dirt track on the other side of the bridge, stumbling and kicking up dust as his pack overbalances him. He regains his footing and carries on into the next stretch of forest. We see him disappearing into the forest with his bottle raised to his lips again.
EXT.ROGER’S Hut.Early Afternoon
We see Roger’s Hut in the middle of a grassy clearing in the forest. It is located at the top of a bank that slopes down into a slow-flowing river littered with boulders. DOUGIE walks over a small wooden bridge that stretches across it, and then he sets his bag and bottle down, leaning his bag against the side of the hut.
DOUGIE stretches out his back and breathes out an exaggerated sigh, then he walks down under the bridge to the river. He cups his hand and drinks from it several times before he splashes his face and rises, reaching for his lighter and another cigarette. DOUGIE hears a commotion in the hut and realises there are people inside.
I don’t care! I told you we had to get back by four, didn’t I?
Did I, or didn’t I?
Alright, so let’s go!
There is some low, indistinct muttering from the MAN.
Yeah, well, you can come back and do it with your buddies if you want. I’m not going to stick around for that. Either you come with me or you can stay here by yourself.
More indignant, indistinct muttering from the MAN.
Yeah, well, sometimes I have my doubts.
The WOMAN marches out of the hut with her pack on and sees DOUGIE staring at her from down by the river, smoking his cigarette. She is dressed in a purple polar-fleece jumper and stripey leggings. She is wearing a headband that holds back her red, shoulder-length hair.
The MAN exits the hut next, with his own pack slung over his back. He looks frustrated and dejected. He has short black hair and is wearing shorts and a black wind-breaker. He looks at the WOMAN, and then follows her gaze. The MAN’s expression quickly brightens as he sees DOUGIE, and he waves.
It’s the afternoon.
DOUGIE raises his hand in greeting.
Fine day for it!
Oh, for sure. You heading home today?
Yeah, just a one-night-er for us. Yourself? You going further up? I heard there’s a slip on the track past the Falls turnoff.
No, just planned on a one-night-er myself. Just as well, I suppose.
All by yourself?
The MAN glances at the WOMAN quickly.
You don’t want some company by any chance?
DOUGIE looks at the WOMAN, who turns to glare at the MAN. Eager to send them on their way, DOUGIE speaks before she can.
Buddy, I’m just looking to find a place where I can jack off in peace. You know what I mean?
The WOMAN’s jaw drops and she frowns at DOUGIE’s remark, but the MAN laughs heartily and starts to usher her towards the bridge.
Okay, buddy. You do what you gotta do, huh. We’ll leave you to it.
Thanks a million.
DOUGIE salutes the MAN quickly, and the MAN laughs to himself again as he and his partner cross the bridge. They both disappear down the track into the forest, and the WOMAN can be heard indistinctly berating the MAN for indulging DOUGIE.