Over Easy

INT. MARGE'S DINER - EARLY MORNING HARRY, a washed up, old detective who has seen it all, and LUKE, his younger and dispassionate partner, are sitting at the counter after a long night. Fade in Silverware clinks against plates and mugs. Some old cowboy is crooning on the radio. HARRY (slurps coffee, slowly as to avoid burning himself) I've been thinking. LUKE (chewing) Seems like that's all you do. (smacks lips) I can't even enjoy my eggs without you thinking about everything. (smacks lips) HARRY I don't know how you can eat after you saw what we saw. Never have been able to stomach breakfast working this job. LUKE (still chewing) Well, that's the other problem with you. It's just a damn job. HARRY Some job. That's why I've been thinking… LUKE (Puts down fork. Drinks and swallows a few gulps of coffee the sets the cup down.) Ok. I'm listening. This better be worth my eggs getting cold. I'd have ordered my yolks hard if I knew we'd be having such an intimate conversation at 5:30 in the morning. HARRY You're a good partner. I should know. I've had a dozen of them… LUKE …Aww HARRY Don't patronize me. Every one of them ended up like you. Indifferent. Desensitized. Hard. LUKE (Picks up fork and pushes the eggs around, scratching the plate.) Heck, I'm surprised you aren't. See a human being all torn up the way we did and there must be something wrong with you, I figure, if you don't harden up. (Changes his mind and puts the fork back down) HARRY I've been thinking I've seen so many of them that… (Takes a long sip of coffee) …That maybe there *is* something wrong with me. LUKE (He was nursing his coffee, but now he slams the cup back onto the saucer.) Aw, Christ, you said that last time, after we found the old broad who was locked in the closet by her daughter in law. HARRY Yeah, well I wasn't wrong then either. MARGE (sweetly, in a Southern kind of way) You fellas need some more coffee? HARRY Please and thank you, Marge. LUKE Sure, thanks. Marge pours the coffee and Harry clears his throat. Luke pours some sugar and stirs his cup. Another customer calls for Marge. MARGE Be right there hon… HARRY I think maybe the hardness came and went. It don't make much sense, but I think that's what happened. Left me all soft and sick on the inside. LUKE You may be sick, but you didn't go soft. HARRY Says you, "lew-ten-ant". LUKE Sheila's mother had to stay with us so I could find the time to study for that damned Lieutenant's exam. Seems like I'd be a good judge of who's hard and who's soft around here after *that*. HARRY Never quite understood how a sweet old lady could rattle a hard-ass like you. Didn't even flinch when you saw what they did to old Joe DaSilva when he didn't pay his protection money last week. LUKE The mob's got nothing on my mother in law. That bitch is the hardest of them all. Anyway, you can't just go soft after seeing what you've seen. What we've seen. (scrapes fork, groans) What a waste of good eggs. The heat keeps cookin' 'em, even when they're off the grill. Waste of toast too. Nothin to dip 'em in. HARRY You ain't seen a tenth of what I've seen. Maybe not even a hundredth. (Sips coffee briskly) And why not just get sunny side up, if you want runny egg yolks? You get 'em over easy, and you know damn well that just cooks the sonsabitches even longer, and from *both* sides. Seems to me that you oughta be doing some thinking too, what with your yolk problem. LUKE You've got it all wrong. Figures, for a guy who doesn't eat breakfast. I bet you used to enjoy a nice runny yolk… HARRY …hmph LUKE …all fresh and sweet, like melted butter for this dried out corner of toast here. But if you want to enjoy something so soft and delicate, you've got to protect it. HARRY Mmhmmph? LUKE Cyril in the back will cook you up a sunny side up that would make you want to marry him, but by the time Marge… MARGE (Far)Be right there… LUKE (Far) It's ok Margie! (normal) …by the time *they* get to the table, you might have to mop up a spill with your toast. Plus, that egg-white is all soft and rubbery. Even has kind of a… uh… an *unusual* texture, ya know? HARRY (Sips coffee briskly) I *really* don't think I do. LUKE (Immediately) Get 'em over easy and you can fry that white so hard that it's crisp, but you've *still* got the soft yolk all protected inside. So when you cut into it, you've got your toast all ready and you had your sip of coffee and you can just make the best of a slice of something dry and bland. HARRY (pouncing) *You* said the yolk keeps cooking inside! It's just gonna get harder and harder until you wish you just ordered a boiled egg instead! LUKE You can't wait all day to cut into it, Harry. You can't wait all day to enjoy what's inside. But you *can* do everything it takes to make sure that you don't waste a drop when you do. Once they turn hard, you can never get 'em soft again. That's why I order 'em over easy. HARRY (Sips coffee slowly) That really all you care about? After a night like the one we had? Getting your toast all wet? LUKE (Pushes plate aside and stands up) (Far) Thanks Margie. MARGE (Far) See you boys later… LUKE Over easy, Harry. You should try 'em some time. I'll be in the car. (Bell rings on door as he exits the diner) MARGE You ok, hon? HARRY takes the last sip of coffee and puts the cup back on the saucer. He places some bills and some change on the table. HARRY I guess I just got to thinking there was something wrong with me. (He pulls on his coat) MARGE (Already clearing dishes) Nothing wrong with you, sugar. You've been my most regular customer for twenty years, even if you only order a cup of coffee… HARRY …More like three and a half MARGE Nothing wrong with a couple cups of whatever soothes you best after a hard night on the job. HARRY Don't I know it. Later Margie. (Exits diner) A customer calls for Marge's hospitality. MARGE (Far)Be right there… Fade out.
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