She Always Looked Good in Hats was scripted in the thumbnail and sketching stages that I drew from my original outline. Then I transcribed everything I'd scribbled in the word balloons and margins and did a few rewrites to polish the dialogue. After an initial proofreading by my wife I started the final pages. Due to space restraints and whimsy I continued tinkering with the dialogue as I drew (and sometimes afterwards in Photoshop).
INT. FANCY GROCERY STORE - DAY ALICE JOHNS grabs free samples from the various kiosks. She rides down the escalator towards the exit, there's an easel with a sign reading "Summer Hats Coming Soon." A piece of paper is tacked to the bottom, it says "Now Hiring Summer Sales Rep" with phone number tags dangling from the bottom. NARRATOR Her granny always told her she looked good in hats. Alice stops and rips off one of the phone numbers. INT. GRANNY CAROLE'S LIVING ROOM - FLASHBACK EIGHT YEAR OLD ALICE wears a softball uniform and sits in front of her GRANNY CAROLE. GRANNY CAROLE You look so good in hats- Granny Carole snatches the cap from Alice's head. GRANNY CAROLE -if you'd just stop wearing these little lesbian league caps. JOANNA MOM! Alice's mother JOANNA JOHNS stands in the doorway, very pregnant, gives her mother a stern look, Alice grabs her hat back. GRANNY CAROLE What? INT. GRANNY CAROLE'S BEDROOM Granny sits on the bed while Alice is perched atop a ladder, pulling a hat box down from the bedroom closet. GRANNY CAROLE Your mother can't wear hats cause she was a forceps baby. Alice places the hat box on the bed and opens it. GRANNY CAROLE We got this one in San Francisco- Alice models the hat in front of the mirror. ALICE Can I wear it to my game tomorrow? GRANNY CAROLE No. INT. GRANNY CAROLE'S DINING ROOM Granny Carole, Alice and Joanna sit down to lunch. JOANNA I CAN wear hats, I just don't like to, it has nothing to do with being a forceps baby, Jesus mom. My head is not misshapen, I just have a lot of curly hair. Alice smiles. INT. ALICE'S APARTMENT - DAY Alice walks in the apartment and immediately kicks off her shoes, drops her bag, tosses her keys, takes off her bra, unbuttons her shorts and FLOPS on the couch. She types on her phone ALICE (TEXT MESSAGE) What are your thoughts on hats? She opens her laptop and takes a sip of water while she waits for a responce. AUBREY (TEXT MESSAGE) Wish I had short hair again so I could wear them. ALICE (TEXT MESSAGE) I'm thinking of taking a part time job at a hat shop. AUBREY (TEXT MESSAGE) Goodbye Geology? ALICE (TEXT MESSAGE) No way! I'm still applying for jobs, but I need to do something. AUBREY (TEXT MESSAGE) Just make sure it doesn't fuck up your unemployment checks. Can't live in LA on part time money. Alice stares at her phone, discouraged. EXT. SOFTBALL FIELD - FLASHBACK TEENAGE ALICE wears catchers gear, flips up her mask to yell. NARRATOR She played softball until she grew out of it. The TWO SOFTBALL TEAMS pass each other offering obligatory "Good-Game" low fives. NARRATOR Around the same time she didn't make the high school team. Alice doesn't find her name on the roster. ALICE This is bullshit. INT. ALICE'S DORM ROOM - FLASHBACK COED ALICE takes down a wall of baseball caps from her dorm room wall, throws them in a "FREE PLEASE TAKE" box. NARRATOR Her athlete's aesthetic drifted away in college Alice walks down the street wearing a vintage White Sox cap. NARRATOR She kept one cap but- SPORTS FAN GO WHITE SOX A SPORTS FAN cheers at her. NARRATOR -but sports people wouldn't stop talking to her about sports. Alice sits at a bar while a guy fails to flirt with her. SPORTS FAN You're not a White Sox fan? ALICE I only got this hat cause the pin stripes remind me of Peanuts. INT. COWGIRL BBQ RESTAURANT - FLASHBACK A TABLE OF BROS watch GRAD SCHOOL ALICE walk by with a tray of drinks, she wears a cowgirl outfit. BRO Yo, Cowgirl! ALICE I'm not a cowgirl, it's just a uniform. The bro motions to her hips. BRO Those saddlebags part of the uniform too or are they yours? His friends laugh, Alice fumes. INT. KITCHEN - EVENING Alice lights a match. ALICE 98,000 left. With the city I was paying it off at ten thousand a year. She turns on the gas on the stovetop. ALICE Debt free in ten years. Next year I would have gotten a raise, 6 years. She lights the hob, FWOOOSH ALICE On unemployment I can pay one thousand a year. A dash of salt into the water. ALICE Debt free in 98 years. A handful of spaghetti into the pot. ALICE $8 an hour at the hat shop I could pay $50 a month. Stirs the sauce. ALICE Debt free in 196 years. Alice sits on the couch with her dinner, watches a movie on her laptop. ALICE Grandma Lester lived to be 88. MOVIE ACTOR (ON LAPTOP) Don't forget your hat. ALICE Granny Carole is still kicking at 85... She notices the actor's hats. EXT. BUS STOP - DAY Alice wears a nice outfit, waits for the bus. She notices an ad on the side of the bus stop. A summer weight loss ad featuring a model in a swimsuit, "Work those thighs down to swimsuit size!" The model wears a large summer hat that gets Alice's attention. INT. BUS Alice stares out the window as the bus passes a closed construction site. Signs on the fence surrounding the site read "Vote YES on Prop 11," "Your Tax Dollars At Work" and "Subway to the sea!" Alice sighs. EXT. HAT SHOP Alice steps off the bus. ALICE Awful location... INT. HAT SHOP DING she walks in the door. The store is empty. ALICE Hello? She browses the hats. NARRATOR This was only the third hat shop she'd ever been in in her life. INT. DANCE HALL - FLASHBACK COED ALICE dances with a swing-costumed partner. NARRATOR The first was in college while looking for a hat to wear in swing class. INT. MALL HAT SHOP - FLASHBACK Alice enters a leather belts and hats shop, finds nothing but walls of cowboy hats. NARRATOR which turned out to be a challenge in the South West. ALICE This fucking town. EXT. CITY STREET - FLASHBACK Alice and her boyfriend stop at a posh hat shop window. NARRATOR The 2nd was with her ex-boyfriend when she was going through an orange phase. ALICE It's orange! INT. POSH HAT SHOP - FLASHBACK EX BOYFRIEND Whoa, that looks really good on you, you should wear more hats. ALICE How much is it? SHOP OWNER $600 ALICE HA Alice covers her mouth and throws the hat back at the shop owner. ALICE Holy shit we gotta go. INT. HAT SHOP - DAY Alice browses the stock, the owner, OLLIE, enters from the back. OLLIE You here about the job? Alice puts the hat she was looking at back on the shelf. ALICE Ollie? I'm Alice, we talked on the phone. OLLIE Strike one for not wearing a hat! Alice puts her hands to her bare head. OLLIE What are you, 'bout a seven and a quarter? ALICE I have no clue. OLLIE You look like a seven and a quarter. He places a hat on her head, gives a thumbs up. OLLIE Perfect fit, that's more like it. ALICE (INTERNAL MONOLOGUE) Oh god, is this his fetish? INT. ALICE'S IMAGINATION Alice and the owner share a passionate embrace. ALICE (INTERNAL MONOLOGUE) A perfect fit… The owner puts a hat on her that's too big. ALICE (INTERNAL MONOLOGUE) or maybe he'd rather He places a tiny hat on her head. ALICE (INTERNAL MONOLOGUE) they don't fit. INT. HAT SHOP Alice sits down in front of Ollie's desk in the back. OLLIE You look good in a hat, have you ever modeled? ALICE Hat modeled? Is that a job? OLLIE You fit the sample sizes. ALICE I've never been a sample size anything! A hat ad would probably crop out my double chin, not the bags under my eyes though… She tries to read Ollie's expression. ALICE -please just be a nice old man and not another creepy boss. He looks over her application. OLLIE You were working on the purple line extension, that was Prop 11 was it? ALICE Prop 11, yeah. OLLIE That passed, did it? ALICE No, it didn't. OLLIE Haha, I guess not or you'd still be there, huh? Sorry to tell you, I think I voted against that one. ALICE Most people did. OLLIE It's a shame, this city needs more public transportation. Well, you're a lot older than our usual summer hires. We tend to get a lot of teenagers. Alice's confident demeanor drains away. OLLIE Wow, our first PHD as well. She holds back her evil eye. OLLIE But I like that, means you'll be more responsible, I won't have to do inventory every damn day. EXT. HAT SHOP - DAY Ollie lets Alice out. OLLIE Come by next Monday and we'll load up the truck. Alice takes the hat off. ALICE Oh yeah, your hat! He refuses. OLLIE Keep it, break it in, you'll need it for work. ALICE Thanks. Alice holds the hat and looks at the hat shop. She takes out her phone. ALICE (TEXT MESSAGE) I got the job. She realizes. ALICE I have a job. Her phone buzzes, she reads the screen as she walks back to the bus stop. AUBREY (TEXT MESSAGE) Congrats, menial wage worker. Let's celebrate. Movie? EXT. SILENT MOVIE THEATER - DUSK Aubrey waits near the front of the line, notices Alice walking by, her head buried in her phone. ALICE (TEXT MESSAGE) Estoy aquí. AUBREY Alice! Alice keeps walking further down the line. AUBREY ALICE!! Alice follows the line towards the end of the block. AUBREY JODHPURS! Alice snaps around. Catches back up with Aubrey at the front of the line. AUBREY Where's your hat? ALICE At home with my heels, don't ask me why I wore heels to a summer job interview. AUBREY You stopped at home and you didn't change into your pajamas! Employement's changed you, maan. She fishes a pair of tickets from her purse, hands one to Alice. ALICE Aw, you didn't have to buy my ticket. AUBREY I bought one for Milton but he's working. His loss is your gain. ALICE I'll pay you back. AUBREY No you won't, you broke joke. Alice gets a text message on her phone. AUBREY Who's that? ALICE Jette called, so I invited her too. AUBREY That girl better keep her distance. ALICE What? Why? Jette's nice! AUBREY She's past nice. She's always snugglin' up with me like I'm a pug at the dog park. JETTE Alice! Ginny! ALICE She can get a little handsy. Aubrey gives a side eye to Jette as she walks up to meet them. AUBREY -is she wearing a sack? JETTE Where's your hat? She gives Alice a big hug, her hand down around Alice's bum. ALICE I hate hats. AUBREY Are you wearing a sack? JETTE It's a dress! I got it from Lady Eggplant. ALICE (under her breath) You're an eggplant. Jette traps Aubrey in a giant squeeze hug. JETTE You're the best huggler. AUBREY I'm not hugging you. Jette shows off her new dress. JETTE It's a cool shop, everything's handmade, they cater to all sizes. AUBREY (under her breath) I doubt that. JETTE The line goes around the corner, what time did you guys get here? ALICE I just got here, Ginny's the early bird. AUBREY I have to be, it's the only way to get a couch. JETTE They have couches here? Cool! AUBREY The seats are 80 years old, made out of iron and wood and they're fucking tiny. ALICE I can fit but they bruise the hell out of my thighs. AUBREY So they installed a few rows of leather sofas for the fatties but we gotta get here early. I left work at five. Aubrey and another large man give each other a head-nod. JETTE You had to leave work early just to get a seat? AUBREY A seat that fits, yeah. JETTE That's stupid! They should reserve the sofas for the people who need them! AUBREY Write your congressperson. Jette turns to Alice. JETTE So tell me about your hat job! ALICE There's not much to tell. It's a summer job, I sell hats, they only gave it to me cause I look good in hats. AUBREY Careful with that joke. JETTE Yeah, you already texted me that earlier. AUBREY Say the same self-deprecating joke too many times and it becomes sad instead of funny. ALICE Aren't I allowed to feel weird that I got a job based on how I look in a hat? AUBREY You got the job cause you're a step above a high school stoner. JETTE Why is that weird? What if you got a job based on your height? or your strength? or your butt? ALICE For what job would my ass be a requirement? AUBREY (under her breath) Porn. JETTE Furniture durability! Like those displays at IKEA. ALICE Machines do that. JETTE They'd didn't always have machines. ALICE They gave me a hat, so that was nice, they also gave me an old hat guide for all the different names and brands. AUBREY Hat homework! JETTE The line's moving. They enter the front door, below a sign reading Buster Keaton in College. AUBREY I hope this isn't another racist one, I don't need people looking to me for approval to laugh. JETTE Oh no, that doesn't really happen does it? INT. SILENT MOVIE THEATER - EVENING Still photos of silent movie stars, Alice notices their hats. Buster Keaton: Porkpie (editor's note, actually a custom modified fedora.) Harold Lloyd: Straw hat Roscoe Arbuckle: bowler Charlie Chaplin: bowler Rudolph Valentino: matador hat? Lilian Gish: ? The three walk past the head shots towards the couches at the front of the theater. JETTE I call middle! She cuts Alice off and squeezes between her and Aubrey. Aubrey fumes. INT. ALICE'S APARTMENT - NIGHT Alice pulls a box out of her closet and dumps it onto the bed, old hats. She gets her hat guide from her bag and looks at her collection: a cowboy hat, a dog hat with floppy ears, her retro baseball cap, a sherlock winter cap and a knit frog hat with flipper legs. Alice sits on the bed. ALICE These aren't in the guide. She flops on the bed, pulls the frog hat over her head, reads her hat guide. INT. HAT SHOP - DAY Alice and Ollie box up hats. ALICE I don't see a lot of old hats. OLLIE We don't do vintage really. You end up with a lot of stock gathering dust, waiting for some trend to come or go. ALICE What about new hats in old styles? Like a new bowler? He holds the door for her as she wheels out a stack of boxes. OLLIE Well that kind of veers into costume hats. Alice loads the boxes into a truck. OLLIE Which is great for Halloween but not a year round business. Generally, people aren't looking for old hats. Alice closes up the truck. OLLIE We've got a handful of reliable standards that do well and we stick to that. They get in the truck. OLLIE My son does repairs in the back and we do cleanings, that makes up a lot of our business actually. Driving. OLLIE My generation was the last one that really wore enough hats to support a hat shop. Stores like ours are a dying breed. ALICE That's sad. OLLIE That's business. They load their pop up stand into the entrance of the mall. ALICE But you still do this summer pop up shop? OLLIE Summer is a whimsical enough time for people to forget that they don't actually wear hats anymore. INT. MALL HAT POP UP SHOP - DAY Ollie and Alice stand in their corner kiosk. OLLIE If we set this up right everything should collapse into here at the end of the day. He hands Alice the key. OLLIE Pack it up, lock it up, do it all over again tomorrow. ALICE Any sales tips? OLLIE Don't bother people, bring a book, let the sunshine do the work for you. He waves goodbye on his way out the door. ALICE Will do. She stands for a bit in her kiosk. When no one comes by she takes a seat on the stool and twiddles on her phone. Locks up the cabinet at the end of the day. INT. MALL HAT POP UP SHOP - DAY Alice sits on her stool, reads a book. COSTUMER Do you have a mirror? Alice jumps up from her seat. A costumer is trying on a sun hat. ALICE What? Oh yeah! Alice opens a cabinet door to reveal a mirror. ALICE You can also wear it up, like Annie Hall. Alice flips the brim of the hat up. COSTUMER I don't think I will. She pulls out her wallet. COSTUMER Do you take cards? Alice's face lights up ALICE (INTERNAL MONOLOGUE) A SALE! She swipes the costumer's card on a wireless credit card machine. The costumer leaves wearing her hat. Alice perches on her stool, giddy. INT. MALL HAT POP UP SHOP - DAY A woman walks by. ALICE Six and a half. A man walks by with his son perched on his shoulders. ALICE Seven and a quarter, five and three eighths. Alice's sister Leslie presents herself in front of Alice. LESLIE You're getting pretty good at this. What's my size? ALICE (INTERNAL MONOLOGUE) Question mark. ALICE If you shaved your head we'd probably be the same size. LESLIE Ugh, mom's curly hair is a bitch. You know, if we BOTH shave our heads we could swap places, then I could chill here and catch up on my reading and you could bring me lunch. ALICE I thought you liked your job, you're too young to be this cynical about work. LESLIE You're never too young to be cynical about work. ALICE Well I think your workmates would notice. LESLIE I'm just a bit envious of the plush gig you've got here. Right at the entrance, you've got fresh air and just the right amount of AC. I need to wear a coat all summer in my office, the girl next to me has a space heater for fuck's sake. Fresh air and they don't even make you stand all day. ALICE This stool's not so comfortable, I need a double-wide like my bicycle seat. LESLIE Can you give me a hat? There must be some humorously oversized novelty thing I can stuff my fluff into. ALICE I can buy you a hat, but it would cost me three day's pay. You make twice as much as me. LESLIE They give you fourteen bucks an hour to sit there? ALICE Sorry… you make four times as much as me. An older man walks up between Alice and Leslie. OLDER MAN Excuse me, might you ladies know where I could get my hat repaired? ALICE Yeah, we can do that. LESLIE You can? ALICE Well I can't, but I can bring it to the shop for you. OLDER MAN Thank you, see the silk lining is coming apart. ALICE Yep, sure is. She hands the man a piece of paper and a pen. ALICE I'm going into the shop tomorrow, I'll drop it off then. Just give me your name and number and I'll call you when it's ready. OLDER MAN How much will it be? ALICE I don't know, I'll have the owner's son call you with an estimate before he starts. OLDER MAN Thank you, my wife said you wouldn't know what to do with an old hat. ALICE Glad we could prove her wrong. OLDER MAN See you next week. Leslie stands dumbfounded. LESLIE That was amazing! ALICE Oh come on. LESLIE I'm dead serious, if you showed that much initiative and independence in my office they'd fire you. ALICE That's sad. LESLIE It really fucking is. INT. ALICE'S APARTMENT - MORNING Alice does her hair. She tries to put on a works suit but it doesn't fit. She gasps for air. ALICE Fuck it, it's a Skype interview, you don't have to button. She takes of her elastic hair band and stretches it between the skirt hooks to bridge the gap. She sits at her table with her computer open and a glass of water, her work hat beside her. She takes a deep breath before accepting the call. INTERVIEWER Hi, Alice? Can you hear me all right? ALICE Crystal clear. INTERVIEWER Great, I'm Katherine with Radco, I'll be conducting your interview today. ALICE You're not with the university? INTERVIEWER The university uses us for the early application process, then we pass our selections up the ladder. ALICE Oh. INTERVIEWER So tell me about yourself, Alice, paint me a picture of your career thus far. ALICE Paint you a picture? EXT. FLEA MARKET - DAY Alice wears her White Sox hat, holds up a collage painting of hats to show Aubrey. ALICE Cool, check this out. AUBREY I didn't know you liked Juan Miro. ALICE Who's Juan Miro? Alice gets the attention of the salesperson. ALICE Excuse me, how much is this? AUBREY Where would you hang it? ALICE In my hat shop. SALESPERSON Twenty-five, but for a Southsider, it's thirty ha-ha. ALICE What? AUBREY Your hat. The salesperson doffs his Chicago Cubs hat to her. Alice puts the painting back. ALICE Oh… ok, well I can't afford either price, so thanks. AUBREY What's this about YOUR hat shop? ALICE There's no hat shop, I'm just daydreaming. There's an empty storefront off of Maltman that I think would be nice. AUBREY You're serious about this hat thing huh? ALICE I'm just enjoying myself. AUBREY How was the Vancouver interview? ALICE It was a headhunting agency, which means the job was probably already filled but the university was obligated to list the job publicly so they hired this company to do a bunch of mock interviews. I spent two weeks on that proposal. They exit the flea market towards the parking lot. ALICE We've lost Milton. AUBREY I'll text him. ALICE Tell him it's milkshake time. EXT. FLEA MARKET Milton stands at a booth filled with racist paraphernalia, lots of cartoonish depictions of blackface. He holds a racist doll in his hands. MILTON I love this kinda stuff but my wife would kill me if I brought it home. His phone buzzes. EXT. FLEA MARKET PARKING LOT Aubrey is texting. AUBREY We're trying to get pregnant. ALICE Whoa what? Really? Holy shit! That's crazy. AUBREY Calm down Jodhpurs, we're 33. ALICE I think my high school summer job is making me regress, I forget we're adults. AUBREY I just hope the next time someone tries to give me their seat on the bus I can graciously accept. INT. HAT SHOP - DAY Alice leans at the counter with a box of hats while Ollie's son Lawrence repairs a hat behind the counter. ALICE How come you guys don't have a website? LAWRENCE I made one for us in the 90's actually, but it wasn't worth the trouble to maintain so it's just a contact page now. ALICE I know some web designers if you wanted a new site. LAWRENCE I'm a web designer, it's just not really worth it, like the catalogue my dad printed in the 80's. You need to spend a lot to promote it. Local business is more reliable. Alice glances to the empty shop. ALICE Reliably empty. LAWRENCE The neighborhood's changed, this used to be a main street. ALICE You should move to my neighborhood, people would eat this shit up. LAWRENCE You live in Malasaña? ALICE Yeah. LAWRENCE We've been here forty years, our rent is dirt cheap. A month in Malasaña would be a year's worth of rent here. He boxes up the restored hat. ALICE Dang. LAWRENCE Yep. He place the hat box with her other box of hats to take with her. LAWRENCE Our last successful venture was supplying hats to period TV and movies. ALICE What happened? LAWRENCE The film industry dried up here, ten years ago they'd come shoot in our town and rent 500 hats for their 500 extras. Now they just come take pictures of buildings and build the town on a computer. Pixel people require no hats. ALICE Hope it's not annoying me asking about all this stuff. LAWRENCE You're the first employee we've had that's cared enough to ask. INT. MALL HAT POP UP SHOP - DAY Alice reads a book, notices an old workmate on the escalator. ALICE Oh shit. She buries her head in her book. OLD WORKMATE Alice? She looks up. OLD WORKMATE Hey! How are you? We missed you at the Iceland conference. ALICE Yeah, I couldn't make it. OLD WORKMATE So where are you now? ALICE Right here. OLD WORKMATE Oh! Sorry, I didn't mean- ALICE -it's ok. OLD WORKMATE I didn't know you hadn't found anything since the Purple Line shut down. Here's my email, I'll keep my eyes and ears open. ALICE Thanks. She hands Alice a card, walks off. OLD WORKMATE This is like the perfect fit for you. I mean, I know it's not Geo money, but you look sharp in that hat. ALICE Haha, thanks. Alice is left alone, she exhales. ALICE There's no reason to be embarrassed, she was cool, you're ok, tout est bien. She gathers herself back. ALICE tout est bien She tries to return to her book. ALICE tout est bien INT. LESLIE'S CAR - DAY Leslie drives while Alice is curled up in the passenger seat. ALICE Thanks for driving. LESLIE You don't have a car anymore. You left your one-bedroom for a studio, you sold your car, got rid of your TV and downgraded to a dumb-phone, what's next? ALICE Well you're looking for a roommate aren't you? LESLIE I most certainly am not. ALICE I could have taken the train and met you there. LESLIE That's dumb. Why aren't your wearing your hat? ALICE Because I'm not at work. LESLIE It's not like your old cowgirl costume, it's a nice hat. ALICE I like having that physical disconnect from work, I take off the hat and I don't need to think about work until I put the hat back on. Alice gets excited and animated. ALICE Harold Lloyd used his hat and glasses as a kind of secret identity, he was the inspiration for the Superman/Clark Kent disguise. LESLIE Who's Harold Lloyd? ALICE He's a silent film guy. LESLIE Of course he is, nerd. ALICE You're a nerd. LESLIE Good one. INT. GRANNY CAROLE'S HOUSE - DAY Leslie gives Granny Carole a hug while Alice waits her turn. LESLIE Hey Granny. GRANNY CAROLE Alice! -I mean Leslie, of course, how could I miss all that hair, how are you? INT. GRANNY CAROLE'S DINING ROOM - DAY Having lunch. GRANNY CAROLE -your uncle woke up to his friend screaming! He thought he'd gone blind! LESLIE What was it? GRANNY CAROLE Horse flies! Thousands of them covering his bug net. LESLIE Fuck! Alice laughs. Granny gets up from her chair. GRANNY CAROLE Alice can you help me in the kitchen? ALICE Sure thing. INT. GRANNY CAROLE'S KITCHEN Granny corners her in the kitchen. GRANNY CAROLE Here's some money dear. ALICE Aw Granny. I'm the oldest, you should give it to Leslie. GRANNY CAROLE That's dumb. Leslie has a good job and I have two good pensions, take it and be happy. ALICE Ok Granny. INT. MALL HAT POP UP SHOP - DAY A hot guy enters the mall, gets Alice's full attention. She sneaks glances at him over her book. ALICE Whoa. Hot guy takes the escalator. ALICE (TO HERSELF) Excuse me, sir, can I interest you in anything? My ass for a hat perhaps? She watches him leave. ALICE (TO HERSELF) This is why I need my own hat shop, so I can close up shop for five minutes to flick off in the back. A little boy with a chocolate ice cream cone walks up to the hats, Alice doesn't notice him pick up a hat and try it on. His mother comes up behind him. LITTLE BOY'S MOTHER Put the hat back, we're leaving. Alice notice the little boy returning the hat. ALICE Hey, there little man. LITTLE BOY Bye! ALICE Bye? Alice notices the hat, covered in chocolate hands. ALICE Oh balls. She turns just in time to see the hot guy walk out the door. ALICE Nutbags! I missed his exit! INT. ALICE'S APARTMENT - MORNING Coffee percolates while Alice checks her email and eats some toast. Her phone rings: Ollie. ALICE Hey Ollie. OLLIE Alice, have you left for work yet? ALICE Not yet. OLLIE Glad I caught you, you don't have to come in today, we're closing up the shop. ALICE The pop-up shop? OLLIE The pop-up shop, the whole thing really. Hat shop's closing so we're going to gather up your shop today. ALICE I'll come by, I'll help you close up. OLLIE If you want, we'll see you in an hour then. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Alice hangs up the phone. ALICE Fuck. She collapses in her chair. ALICE FUCK! INT. MALL HAT POP UP SHOP - DAY Alice loads the hats back into boxes with Ollie and Lawrence. ALICE Could you reopen in a new location? OLLIE This is the perfect opportunity to retire I think. We were in a unique spot, we couldn't afford another place. They load the cabinet into the truck. ALICE What'll you do with all your stock? OLLIE It'll go into storage, there's a few people who'll buy up our stock, other hat shops. Alice turns to the son. ALICE Have you thought about taking over? LAWRENCE I have a job. I was just helping with the shop. Ollie and Lawrence get into the truck. OLLIE Give us a week or so to get your last paycheck in the mail. ALICE Sure. OLLIE I'll try to include a little extra, for the short notice. ALICE You don't have to do that, thank you. Alice watches them drive off. She walks home, upset, stops in front of an empty shop with a For Rent sign in the window. Stares in the window. INT. DINER - DAY Alice, Aubrey, Milton and Donnie sit around a table with coffees and dessert. Aubrey wears the same dress that Jette wears in the next scene! DONNIE That's so cool! You're my hero. If a theater was closing and I had the money, I'd buy it up in a second. AUBREY But Jodhpurs doesn't have the money. MILTON I thought this was just a summer gig, not a dream thing. ALICE Does it have to be a dream? Can't it just be an opportunity? AUBREY This is an expensive bit of serendipity to chase after. ALICE Plus I still have school debt. AUBREY Plus that. DONNIE How much would it cost? ALICE Fifteen grand to buy all his old stock. Plus a hundred grand to get a shop up and running for two years. DONNIE Fuck me. MILTON Do you need to jump right into a store? Why not buy the stock and use it to open an Etsy shop or something. A buddy of mine bought a storage unit full of furniture at an auction and made a few grand selling it all on Craigslist. ALICE But the physical storefront is the whole point, that's what I want to do. AUBREY But with an online shop you could build a business over a few years, make money, get on solid footing for a loan. Alice pokes at her dessert. ALICE I just feel like there's all this momentum and if I spend a year in my apartment on an online shop I'll kill it. It felt so good to be out. EXT. EMPTY STOREFRONT - DAY Alice and Jette press against the window to peer into the empty shop. Jette wears the same dress that Aubrey wears in the previous scene. JETTE Which one is this? ALICE This one's not on the list, it's my dream space. JETTE I didn't think you could afford Malasaña. ALICE I know but it's my home! How great would this commute be? Just walk down the hill. JETTE It's a nice dream. They walk down the street. ALICE I lucked out finding a rent controlled building to live in, but there's no such luck with commercial space. Jette looks at their list. JETTE Can we walk to the next one? ALICE Yeah, it's in Chueca, and the one after's in Justicia. They're all on the gentrification wave, which sucks. I don't want to perpetuate gentrification. JETTE So open a shop in the suburbs- ALICE -fuck no. JETTE Just be a good community member. If you're working to improve the neighborhood WITHOUT kicking out the poor and minorities then you're not really gentrifying are you? ALICE I still would be, I think. JETTE Oh, well you can be a good community member anyway. INT. LESLIE'S APARTMENT - DAY Leslie sits on the couch with her computer, Alice wanders down the hall. ALICE Are you using your office? LESLIE Yes. Alice pokes around the office. ALICE Doesn't look like you're using it. LESLIE I'm using it. Alice perches on the couch behind Leslie. ALICE Apartment's looking pretty sparse. LESLIE Shouldn't you be preparing for your loan meeting? Alice flops over the couch. ALICE Mom's coming by soon to take me suit shopping. LESLIE What happened to all your city job suits, your closet was full of them. ALICE I got too tubs, they don't fit. LESLIE Pobre Jodhpurs. ALICE Pobre miyo. She spins around on the couch. ALICE So when am I moving in? LESLIE You're not moving in. ALICE But think of all the money we'd save! LESLIE I have money, I have savings. ALICE How much do you have saved? LESLIE About fifteen grand. ALICE Have I got the investment opportunity for you! LESLIE Do you think you'll get your loan? ALICE With both mom AND Granny co-signing I wouldn't call it my loan. LESLIE What about dad? ALICE Mom's credit is better. It'll be ok probably, maybe. Do you want to join the co-sign party? LESLIE I can't even wear hats. But what if you get the loan? Is your life all about hats now? Like it was all about rocks until two years ago? INT. MALL ENTRANCE - FLASHBACK Alice comes down the escalator like at the beginning of the story, but with different job signs at the bottom. LESLIE (VO) After eighteen months of unemployment, couldn't it have been any job? Hypothetical other jobs appear: Summer Ice Cream Shop NARRATOR Her grandfather had a dairy farm, in summers they would make ice cream... Summer Horse Riding Lessons NARRATOR When Alice was 7, she was given the choice between learning an instrument and learning to ride a horse... Summer Science Camp NARRATOR It wasn't a University faculty position, but at least her PHD wouldn't go to waste. INT. LESLIE'S APARTMENT Alice is thoughtful. ALICE Maybe, and if the hat shop was still in business I probably wouldn't be doing this either. This isn't a dream, it's an opportunity, it fell into my lap and it's fun. It might fall apart in six months and I'll spend the rest of my life paying off the debt, or maybe I'll have a good run for a few years or more, who knows! LESLIE Who's gonna watch the shop when you have to take a shit? ALICE God dammit! Leslie laughs. ALICE Will you stop winding me up? I'm fucking freaking out here. EXT. BANK - DAY Alice's mom drives up to the bank, stops out front. ALICE'S MOM The parking is around back, I'm going to let you out here, mom. Alice get out and help her. Alice helps her Granny from the car. ALICE Don't forget your purse. They walk towards the bank, Alice exhales nervously. GRANNY CAROLE Let's sit down. They sit on a bench. Alice notices a loose thread on her new skirt, tugs at it. ALICE Thank you for doing this Granny. GRANNY CAROLE Doing what? ALICE Helping with the loan, I wish I could have done it on my own. GRANNY CAROLE Alice, no one does anything on their own. I worked while your grandfather was in school, we supported your mom and dad when they were young, your mother cashed out her pension to start your dad's company. Independence is a fantasy. ALICE I guess- but I wish I could reach some point when I could pay anyone back. At least let me give you a hat. GRANNY CAROLE Jesus, don't let the banker hear you say that, haven't even opened your doors yet and you wanna give everything away. There's your mother, let's go in. They get up and walk towards the door. Granny notices Alice playing with the thread, smacks her hand. GRANNY CAROLE Leave that loose thread alone. You don't need to rip your new suit when goodness knows you'll outgrow it soon enough. ALICE Yes, Granny. Alice rolls her eyes, the thread still wrapped around her finger. INT. ALICE'S APARTMENT - DAY Alice pulls at a thread. Takes out a knife and removes the logo stitches from her retro ball cap, transforms it into a team-neutral hat. She puts it on, proud of herself, smiles. THE END.