the architecture of memory, part one

cold open:

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INT. diner - night

The space has aged poorly, with the modern world growing up around it. What might appear retro if polished seems simply outdated, dingy. Staffed by a slow-moving woman in her late 60s - the kind of Betty who has slung limp bacon in soft-soled shoes for decades because the comfort of complaining has become a solace. 

Betty moves behind the counter, pouring liquor into a mug, and taking a big swig. A slow night after a day-long rush has her relishing the silence of her lone customer:

A wide-eyed woman with a set jaw and bruised knuckles, she lingers somewhere between worlds. Her hair is wild. This is Lady.

Lady mindlessly stirs a straw in her cup. Her hair is unkempt and her eyes transfixed by some distant sight. She reeks of unattended beauty. Far from wherever her mind is now, a small bing signals the door's opening, and Betty's deep sigh indicates a customer has arrived, though she makes no move to greet them.

And then:

A man sits beside Lady, bringing her back into this moment. In an empty, barely lit nowhere, he chose that seat? Betty places a menu on the counter in front of him. Between Betty and his brimmed black hat, we can't see his face. But Lady can, and her terror is palpable.

This is Winston. His speech is pronounced, and there is certainty, assuredness, and power dripping from every word he speaks.

WINSTON

Tango?

LADY

(finding her voice through silent tears)

Tango is not for everyone.

Betty places a water nearby Winston and a piping hot, fresh, and ice cream-topped slice of pie in front of Lady.

A moment. Lady casually wipes her face, plays cool for Betty, moves to take a bite, and tries to keep it down.

WINSTON

You eat like my daughter. With a certain lucidity.

Lady smoothly spits the bite back onto the fork, pushing the plate away.

WINSTON (cont'd)

What's your favorite weapon? I like the garotte best. It is clean and neat. An Italian invention, I believe, though the word is French. Quick, but painful death. No noise, no blood, no bulge in your pocket.

LADY

Are there many little boys who think they are a monster?

WINSTON

But in my case I am right.

A moment.