Inner Struggle

RAILROAD BRIDGE – AFTERNOON

 

The scene opens with a montage of shots of the surrounding forest. A shot of an abandoned, railroad tunnel comes into view with a large bridge looming on the other side. The camera quickly pans through the dark tunnel. When it reaches the end, a camera shot from up in the sky reveals the old, decaying railroad bridge in its entirety. A pair of adolescents sitting on a metal grate platform on the bridge can be barely made out from up in the sky. The camera transitions to a view of from the bridge right behind the teens. The pair is sitting down, looking out into nothingness, talking about whatever comes to mind.

 

                        PAUL

Man, I am so glad that we found this spot. The bridge, the tunnel, the forest, all of it is so sick. I could stay here forever.

 

                        NICK

Yeah, I mean I guess it’s pretty cool.

 

                        PAUL

You guess? This place is awesome. Just look at that view.

(gestures towards the river flowing below them and the immense blue in front of them)

How can you not like this?

 

                        NICK

Yeah it is awesome, isn’t it?

 

                        PAUL

Yeah it is, but I feel like you’re just saying that to appease me. What’s been up with you man? You’ve been moping around all day, and you are really bumming me out.

 

                        NICK

 It’s nothing, man. I’m fin-

 

                        PAUL

Don’t give me that bullshit, dude. I know when you are lying to me, and I can easily tell you are not your normal self. You usually love cool spots like this, and this is the best one we’ve found yet. You cannot tell me there isn’t something wrong.

 

            NICK

Just leave it alone, man.

 

            PAUL

No I won’t leave it alone. You’re my friend, and I don’t wanna see you feeling shitty. Now tell me what’s wrong.

 

NICK doesn’t respond. Silence envelopes the pair unit PAUL finally cannot take it anymore.

           

            PAUL

Come on, man, you’re starting to piss me off. Just tell me what the hell is wro-

 

            NICK

I’m fucking depressed, all right!? I’m tired of everyone and everything! Do you feel better now!?! Can you go to sleep soundly tonight knowing that I hate my life!?!

 

            PAUL

I… I’m sorry man…

(looks down in shame and sits silently for several minutes)

Do you have any idea what the cause is? I get that depression is more than just a singular cause that can be fixed, but maybe identifying what’s wrong will get you on the right track to beating it.

 

            NICK

I don’t know man. I’m just bored with it all. The things I used to love just aren’t doing it for me anymore. I can’t focus on my studies, basketball is more of a chore now than a passion, and I don’t feel like being around anyone except for you. Everything is just so damn boring. Nothing interests me anymore, and I don’t know why.

 

            PAUL

That’s it? All that is troubling you is that you’re bored with everything you are doing at this point in time?

 

            NICK

Is that it? Is that it?! Being bored with everything in life is fucking awful. How can you act like it isn’t a big deal?!?

 

            PAUL

Boredom isn’t a bad thing, man. Boredom can be an enormously beneficial tool, if you look at it in the right light.

 

            NICK

You’ve gotta be fucking kidding me! How can being bored be even remotely positive? I have come to loathe everything that I used to love. Do you know how awful that feeling is? You know what basketball means to me. It’s the one thing I’ve always been good at. It’s more than just a game. It’s my way of coping with life. Anytime something is bothering me, I’ve always been able to fall back onto basketball. It’s always been there for me. But it isn’t the same anymore. I’m even thinking about quitting the team and giving up my college scholarship. How on Earth can you tell me that boredom can in any way be positive?

 

            PAUL

Boredom is one of the most useful things we have at our disposal. It is within boredom that we can think things through clearly and come to a sense of clarity. I keep deleting all of my social media accounts for that reason exactly. I have discovered that my time is better spent inside of my mind rather than in the Internet.

 

            NICK
I thought you were doing that because you were tired of all the idiotic people that overpopulated them?

 

            PAUL

I’m not going to lie, I don’t miss all the infinite selfies and mindless tweets that almost everyone in our grade posts daily, but that’s not the main reason. It was taking up too much of my time with pointless information. I checked all of those sites automatically, and most of the tweets, post, and pictures I looked at were filed out of my brain within a minute of closing the app. I figured my time was better spent being bored.

 

            NICK

Seriously? I check Twitter all the time because I don’t want to bored. It doesn’t matter that most of the information is pointless. It takes up my time and keeps me occupied, so I use it.

 

            PAUL

You’re looking at it all wrong, man. Boredom doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It is all about how you view boredom. If you think that being bored is a terrible experience, then that’s exactly what it will be. But it doesn’t have to be terrible; boredom can actually be very beneficial if you utilize it correctly.

 

            NICK

Ha ok man, I’ll humor you. How should I be spending my boredom?

(rolls his eyes)

 

            PAUL

I’m not going to tell you how to do anything. You have to come to this view on your own. But, I will tell you about how I deal with boredom. Remember back to when I was thinking about becoming a doctor?

 

 

            NICK

Of course I do. But you ended up hating it and giving it up. What’s that have to do with boredom?

 

            PAUL

It has everything to do with boredom. When I started taking anatomy, I was bored out of my mind with how bland and monotonous it was to try to absorb all the information about every muscle, bone and nerve in the human body. The one night I was trying to study for an exam, my mind began to wander. At first I began to think about how extremely bored I was, but then I began to think about being a doctor. I realized that if I hated the most basic level of becoming a doctor, then how would I be able to survive college, let alone medical school without dying from boredom. So, the next day, I dropped the class. After tha-

 

            NICK

I still don’t see what that has to do with boredom? All you did was move on from something that you didn’t enjoy. So what you’re saying is I should just drop all the things I love because I don’t really like them anymore? I can’t do that man. At this point, I think I would rather di-

 

            PAUL

Don’t say that man. Don’t even joke about tha-

 

            NICK

I don’t think I’m joking man. I used to think that depression was controllable and the people that let it go for months, years even, were just being victims and letting themselves fall into the depression. But, it isn’t a choice, man; it really isn’t. These thoughts have become so overwhelming that I can’t find any relief. I’m running out of options on what to do, and ending it is sounding better and better by the day.

 

            PAUL

Don’t talk like that, man. You only get one life man. You take it, and that’s it. We are only seventeen; we have so much longer to live and so much more to live for.

 

            NICK

What’s the point of living if you don’t enjoy anything and everything is boring? I don’t think I can go live another year if I am not interested by anything I’m doing.

 

            PAUL

I don’t want to lose you man, but I can’t stop you. I’m not going to tell anyone about this either, because I don’t wanna force anything onto you that you don’t want. Will you at least listen to what I have to say about boredom? I know what I have to say isn’t life changing, but it could help you look at things in a different light.

 

            NICK

Sure man. Like I said, I can’t think of anyway to beat this myself, so maybe what you say can be the boost I need to get back on track.

 

            PAUL

Ok, so where was I? Oh yeah, so I dropped my anatomy class. Later that day, after school, I began to think about how easily I was able to figure out that I didn’t want to be a doctor. I was trying to think of what made it so easy while I was doing my homework, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. I kept trying to figure it out, but I couldn’t. It was driving me crazy. Finally, I gave up. But, when I went to go to sleep that night, I thought about it one last time. And it finally clicked. When my mind was clear, I was able to figure out what it was that gave me clarity. Boredom was what allowed me to make that final decision about becoming a doctor. I actually laughed at how ironic it was that I came to this realization. I needed to be bored in order to realize that boredom was what I needed to clear my mind and think things through.

 

           NICK

So, what you’re telling me is that you use boredom to think everything over? I mean I guess that makes sense…

 

            PAUL

Just think about it. With all the technology we have, it is nearly impossible to find a moment of rest. So, I use boredom as a type of reflection. Being bored can be annoying, but it is a moment that comes without the distractions that we are constantly exposed to. That’s why I got rid of social media too. I would rather spend the time mindlessly looking over pointless information looking at myself and making decisions on what I’m doing with my life. Ever since I began to think about boredom as being positive, I’ve become much happier with my life.

 

            NICK

So I should begin to evaluate what is going on in my life when I’m bored instead of just focusing on how much I hate being bored?

 

            PAUL

Exactly.

            NICK

But what if I realize that I don’t want to do anything that I’ve been doing with my life? Should I just drop it all and start fresh? I appreciate what you revealed to me about boredom, but if this type of boredom makes me have to revamp my whole life, I don’t see how that is any better.

 

            PAUL

I don’t think that you are going to have to change your whole life, man. I think that something has been bothering you, but you haven’t been able to pinpoint it and it is affecting your whole life. Once you find what that thing is, I am willing to bet you will begin to feel like your old self again.

 

            NICK

You know what, man, maybe you’re right. I’m gonna to give this a shot. I hate feeling this way, and something has to change before these feelings finally do overcome me.

 

The camera rises up into the sky. A bright light dominates the screen and everything fades from view. The screen goes dark.

 

JOHN’S BEDROOM – EARLY MORNING

 

The camera becomes JOHN’s eyes, blinking quickly as it adjusts to the light. The camera switches to being at the foot of the bed. JOHN sits up in his bed. Tears of joy are streaming down his face. He doesn’t understand why it happened, but his dream gave him hope. He reaches under his bed, and pulls out a small, black pistol.

 

RAILROAD BRIDGE – EARLY AFTERNOON

 

The camera shows JOHN’s upper body with only blue sky in the background. The gun can be seen in JOHN’s right hand. JOHN reaches his arm up and releases the gun. The camera shifts a to a close up directly overhead. JOHN is standing on the same metal platform as NICK (NEGATIVITY) and PAUL (POSITIVITY) were having their discussion on in his dream. The gun falls quietly down the several hundred foot drop. The camera closes in on JOHN’s mouth. A smile of joy crosses his lips as the gun splashes into the river below.

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