EXT. DINER - HANNA + NEIL AT A TABLE
HANNA: Seven years in Folsom. In the hole for three. McNeil before that.
NEIL nods agreement.
HANNA: McNeil as tough as they say?
NEIL: You looking to become a penologist?
HANNA: You looking to go back? You know, I chase down some crews... guys just looking to fuck up, get busted back. That you?
NEIL: You must’ve worked some dipshit crews.
HANNA: I worked all kinds.
NEIL (pause): You see me doing thrill-seeking liquor-store holdups with a “Born to Lose” tattoo on my chest?
HANNA: No, I do not.
NEIL: Right. I am never going back.
The adversarial intensity is eye-to-eye.
HANNA: Then don’t take down scores.
NEIL: I do what I do best, I take scores. You do what you do best, trying to stop guys like me.
HANNA: So you never wanted a regular-type life?
NEIL: What the fuck is that? Barbecues and ball games?
HANNA (smiles): Yeah.
NEIL: This regular-type life like your life?
HANNA: My life? No, my life... No, my life’s a disaster zone. I got a stepdaughter so fucked up... because her real father is this large-type asshole. I got a wife. We’re passing each other on the down slope of a marriage... my third... because I spent all my time chasing guys like you around the block. That’s my life.
NEIL: A guy told me one time: “Don’t let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner”. Now, if you’re on me, and you gotta move when I move... how do you expect to keep a -- A marriage?
HANNA: Well, that’s an interesting point. What are you, a monk?
NEIL: I have a woman.
HANNA: What do you tell her?
NEIL: I tell her I’m a salesman.
HANNA: So then, if you spot me coming around that corner... you’re just gonna walk out on this woman? Not say goodbye?
NEIL: That’s the discipline.
HANNA: That’s pretty vacant, no?
NEIL: Yeah, it is what it is. It’s that, or we both better go do something else, pal.
HANNA: I don’t know how to do anything else.
NEIL: Neither do I.
HANNA: I don’t much want to either.
NEIL: Neither do I.
Both of these guys look at each other and recognize the mutuality of their condition. Hanna’s light laughter.
HANNA: You know, I have this, uh, recurring dream. I’m sitting at this big banquet table and all the victims of all the murders I ever worked are sitting at this table and they’re staring at me with these black eyeballs... because they got eight-ball hemorrhages from the head wounds. And there they are these big balloon people... because I found them two weeks after they’d been under the bed. The neighbours reported the smell and there they are, all of them just sitting there.
NEIL: What do they say?
NEIL: No talk?
HANNA: None. Just... They don’t have anything to say. See, we just look at each other. They look at me. And that’s it, that’s the dream.
NEIL: I have one where I’m drowning. And I gotta wake myself up and start breathing, or I’ll die in my sleep.
HANNA: You know what that’s about?
NEIL: Yeah. Having enough time.
HANNA: Enough time to do what you wanna do?
NEIL: That’s right.
HANNA: You doing it now?
NEIL: No, not yet.
HANNA: You know, we’re sitting here... you and I, like a couple regular fellows. You do what you do, and I do what I gotta do. And now that we’ve been face to face... if I’m there and I gotta put you away, I won’t like it. But I’ll tell you... if it’s between you and some poor bastard whose wife you’re gonna turn into a widow... brother, you are going down.
NEIL: There’s a flip side to that coin. What if you do get me boxed in and I gotta put you down? Because no matter what, you will not get in my way. We’ve been face to face, yeah... but I will not hesitate. Not for one second.
HANNA: Maybe that’s the way it’ll be. Or who knows?
NEIL: Or maybe we’ll never see each other again.
They look at each other for a moment. Neil’s wry smile.