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"Coffee Shop" Booth - Interior evening

Once again, Travis is sitting in one of the peepshow booths in front of the mirror that becomes a window as Jane comes through the door and switches on the light. This room is decorated like an American coffee shop. Today, Jane is wearing a short black dress. She seems to be in the same happy mood she was the day before.

JANE
Howdy.

TRAVIS
Howdy.

Jane sits down on the bar stool next to the "counter".

TRAVIS
Can I tell you something?

JANE
Sure. Anything you like.

TRAVIS
It's kind of a long story.

JANE
I got plenty of time.

Jane may possibly have recognized the voice of yesterday's visitor, but she doesn't show it. Travis takes his chair and turns it around so that he is sitting with his back to the window. Jane, of course, is not aware of this. Now neither of them can see the other.

TRAVIS
I knew these people... [ 1s 19Ko]

JANE
What people?

TRAVIS
These two people. They were in love with each other. The girl was... very young, about seventeen or eighteen, I guess. And the guy was... quite a bit older. He was kind of raggedy and wild. And she was very beautiful, you know?

JANE
Yeah.

TRAVIS
And together, they turned everything into a kind of adventure, and she liked that. [ 6s 98Ko] Just an ordinary trip down to the grocery store was full of adventure. They were always laughing at stupid things. He liked to make her laugh. And they didn't much care for anything else because all they wanted to do was to be with each other. They were always together.

JANE
Sounds like they were very happy.

TRAVIS
Yes, they were. They were real happy. And he... he loved her more than he ever felt possible. [ 5s 93Ko] He couldn't stand being away from her during the day when he went to work... so he'd quit. Just to be at home with her. Then he'd get another job when the money ran out, and then he'd quit again. But pretty soon, she started to worry.

JANE
About what?

TRAVIS
Money, I guess. Not having enough. Not knowing when the next check was coming in.

JANE (rit)
I know that feeling. [ 2s 32Ko]

TRAVIS
So he started to get kind of... torn inside.

JANE
How do you mean?

TRAVIS
Well, he knew he had to work to support her, but he couldn't stand being away from her, either.

JANE
I see.

TRAVIS
And the more he was away from her, the crazier he got. [ 2s 44Ko] Except now, he went really crazy. He started imagining all kinds of things.

JANE
Like what?

TRAVIS
He started thinking that she was seeing other men on the sly. He'd come home from work and accuse her of spending the day with somebody else. Then he'd yell at her and start smashing things in the trailer.

Jane is suddenly very startled. Perhaps, deep down, she knew all along that it was Travis who was talking to her. But now she is sure.

JANE
The trailer?

There is a long pause in the conversation. Travis is also not sure whether he hasn't betrayed himself, and whether he can continue to tell the story in the same way.

TRAVIS
Yes, they were living in a trailer home. [ 3s 61Ko]

Jane allows him te preserve his anonymity.

JANE
Excuse me, sir, but were you in to visit me the other day? I don't mean to pry.

TRAVIS
No.

JANE
Oh, I thought I recognized your voice for a minute.

TRAVIS
No, it wasn't me.

JANE
Uhm. Please go on.

She plays her part well. Travis smiles.

TRAVIS
Anyway, he started to drink real bad. And he'd stay out late to test her. [ 1s 31Ko]

JANE
What do you mean, "test her" ?

TRAVIS
To see if she'd get jealous.

Jane has to laugh at that.

JANE
Huh! Uhuh.

TRAVIS
He wanted her to get jealous, but she didn't. She was just worried about him, but that got him even madder.

JANE
Why?

TRAVIS
Because he thought that, if she'd never get jealous of him, she didn't really care about him. Jealousy was a sign of her love for him. [ 2s 44Ko] And then, one night... one night, she told him she was pregnant. She was about three or four months pregnant, and he didn't even know. And then, suddenly, everything changed. He stopped drinking and got a steady job. He was convinced that she loved him now because she was carrying his child. And he was going to dedicate himself to making a home for her. But then a funny thing started to happen.

JANE
What?

TRAVIS
He didn't even notice it at first. She started to change. From the day the baby was born, she began to get irritated with everything around her. She got mad at everything. Even the baby seemed to be an injustice to her. [ 3s 55Ko] He kept trying to make everything all right for her. Buy her things. Take her out to dinner once a week. But nothing seemed to satisfy her. For two years he struggled to pull them back together like they were when they first met, but finally he knew that it was never going to work out. So he hit the bottle again. But this time it got... mean. [ 4s 70Ko] This time, when he came home late at night, drunk, she wasn't worried about him, or jealous, she was just enraged. She accused him of holding her captive by making her have a baby. She told him that she dreamed about escaping. That was all she dreamed about: escape. She saw herself at night running naked down a highway, running across fields, running down riverbeds, always running. And always, just when she was about to get away, he'd be there. He would stop her somehow. He would just appear and stop her. And when she told him these dreams, he believed them. [ 3s 50Ko] He knew she had to be stopped or she'd leave him forever. So he ned a cow bell to her ankle so he could hear her at night if she tried to get out of bed. [ 5s 84Ko] . But she learned how to muffle the bell by stuffing a sock into it, and inching her way out of the bed and into the night. He caught her one night when the sock fell out and he heard her trying to run to the highway. He caught her and dragged her back to the trailer, and tied her to the stove with his belt.

During the course of his story, Jane cries. The tears roll down her face.

TRAVIS
He just left her there and went back to bed and lay there listening to her scream. And he listened to his son scream, and he was surprised at himself because he didn't feel anything anymore. All he wanted to do was sleep. And for the first time, he wished he were far away. [ 4s 72Ko] Lost in a deep, vast country where nobody knew him. Somewhere without language or streets. He dreamed about this place without knowing its name. And when he woke up, he was on fire. There were blue flames burning the sheets of his bed. He ran through the flames toward the only two people he loved.... but they were gone. [ 9s 152Ko] His arms were burning, and he threw himself outside and rolled on the wet ground. Then he ran. He never looked back at the fire. He just ran. He ran until the sun came up and he couldn't run any further. And when the sun went down, he ran again. For five days he ran like this until every sign of man had disappeared. [ 10s 169Ko]

Jane slowly sits up, wipes the tears from her face, then stands up and walks over to the mirror. She kneels down in front of it and places her hands on the glass.

JANE
Travis?

Right until the end, Travis had been speaking with his back to the window. Now, as he hears his name, he turns around to Jane who is right in front of him with her face pressed against the glass. He shifts his chair so that they are face to face. His features are reflected in hers.

TRAVIS
If you turn off the light in there, will you be able to see me?

JANE
I don't know. I never tried.

She gets up, walks to the door and switches off the light. Travis turns the table lamp so that it shines directly on his face. It works: the mirror reverses, and now Jane can see him, while Travis can only see himself. Jane kneels down in front of her window again.

TRAVIS
Can you see me?

JANE
Yes.

TRAVIS
Do you recognize me?

JANE
Oh, Travis.

TRAVIS
I brought Hunter with me...

Jane leans back, stunned. She is at a loss for words.

TRAVIS
Don't you want to see him ?

JANE
I wanted to see him so bad that I didn't even dare imagine him anymore. Anne kept sending me pictures of him until I asked her to stop. I couldn't stand the pain of seeing him grow up and missing it.

TRAVIS
Why didn't you keep him with you, Jane?

JANE
I couldn't, Travis. I didn't have what I knew he needed. And I didn't want to use him to fill up all my emptiness.

TRAVIS
Well, he needs you now, Jane. And he wants to see you.

JANE
He does?

TRAVIS
Yes. He's waiting for you.

JANE
Where?

TRAVIS
Downtown. In a hotel, The Meridian. Room 1520... 1520.

He starts to replace the receiver. Startled, Jane gets to her feet.

JANE
You're not going, are you? She pounds against the window with both fists.

Travis raises the receiver again. A long pause follows.

TRAVIS
I can't see you, Jane.

JANE
Don't go yet. Don't go yet!

She picks up the little loudspeaker from which Travis' voice emerges, and sits down with her back to the window like Travis did before.

JANE
I... I used to make long speeches to you after you left. I used to talk to you all the time, even though I was alone. I walked around for months talking to you. Now I don't know what to say. It was easier when I just imagined you. I even imagined you talking back to me. We'd have long conversations, the two of us. lt was almost like you were there. I could hear you, I could see you, smell you. I could hear your voice. Sometimes your voice would wake me up. It would wake me up in the middle of the night, just like you were in the room with me. Then... it slowly faded. I couldn't picture you anymore. I tried to talk out loud to you like I used to, but there was nothing there. I couldn't hear you. Then... I just gave it up. Everything stopped. You just... disappeared. And now I'm working here. I hear your voice all the time. Every man has your voice.

TRAVIS
l'll tell Hunter that you're coming.

JANE
Travis?

TRAVIS
What?

JANE
l'll be there.

TRAVIS
Good.

JANE
Meridian Hotel?

TRAVIS
Yeah. Room 1520.

He hangs up the receiver - this time for good - and leaves quickly. Jane remains seated for a long time with her head resting on the loudspeaker. Then she gets up, switches the light back on, and leaves the room. Only the mirror remains.


Sources
. "Paris, Texas" - Script, photos and credits - ROAD MOVIES/GRENO - 1984
. "Paris, Texas" - Soundtrack by Ry Cooder - Warner Bros. Records Inc. - 1988
Original content and site design 2000-2001 Forban.
Paris, Texas 1984 Road Movies GmbH, Berlin - Argos Films, Paris.
This fan site is intended for non-official non-commercial educational purposes only.
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