INT. GRAN TORINO—DAY

MARCUS

Is this it?  Seems like we could have turned back there and gone down the other street…  Shit sometimes the shortest distance between two points ain’t always the fastest. Sometimes you gotta go out of your way to save time.  You tryin’ to get me mixed up with all these turns?

THE GIRL

Yeah… and it always changes around.  They move it around.  Just gotta see the window.  Just like sometimes you gotta hate yourself to see the truth and once you do you find a way to love yourself again.  But not like it never happened.  That ain’t what forgiveness is all about even when you get it.  The truth is just the truth for a moment.  People just get all hung up looking ahead or behind it…  It’s between there.  Next one up.  See it in the window?

MARCUS

No… I feel like a nigger doing this.

THE GIRL

So?  Be one!  Just don’t be like all those other niggers out there thinkin’ it’s gonna be given to you.  You gotta take it.  Take it raw…  Ain’t no one law or promise to any given situation.  If there is it’s in the background in the shadows of your momentary truth.  To this that’s what’s happening now.  And that’s where it should stay…  It’s up here on my side.

MARCUS

Pull up here?

THE GIRL

Yeah… it’s that window.

EXT.  POT IN THE BOX EAST ST. LOUIS—DAY AUGUST 2005

You see the Gran Torino pull up to the curb.  It’s one of those mornings after it rained all the past day and now the sun’s out.  The trees are especially green and there’s a tree by the window the girl indicated.  It’s grown up in the cement a branch near the tenement housing window where the Gran Torino’s parked.  Outdoor toys like tricycles and bikes with training wheels, balls, and sand castle tools strewn about what’s not really a lawn but a patch of dirt with just a few tufts of grass squared away among the lop-sided sidewalks that lead to doors not even more than ten yards apart from each other some of them with the screens missing.  To the branch of this tree there’s a rope tied.  And that’s how you know the window.  There’s a Swisher Sweets cigar box on the windowsill and someone always sitting there—you see them through the pane.  And down comes the box.  The girl gets out and picks it up and puts the money inside, fastening the makeshift latch and securing the knot of rope.

That’s when you see Marcus.  Not behind the wheel still holding a beer can, but on his folk’s back porch.  They’re gone.  His daddy working two jobs and his momma working three.  You hear the pounding of workman’s hammers.  The next door neighbor’s roof being repaired.  Broken shingles falling to the ground like rain floating-like on their way down.  Marcus has a loaf of bread that’s molded.  He’s breaking it off into pieces and throwing it in the back yard for the birds.  There’s a tree in the back yard and Marcus can see the birds in it.  They aren’t singing over the hammers and they don’t come down to feed on the bread.  Marcus waits for a moment.  He even smokes a cigarette.  But the birds don’t come down.  They don’t feed on the bread.  You focus on it for a moment—the pieces of broken up bread.  Lying there in the grass.

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