Character voice


Father (protagonist), about 60 years old but craggily handsome, speaking to cute, young Vietnamese waitress: What’s your best phở on the menu?

Waitress: I like #5, with fatty brisket and round steak.

Father, with a slight smirk: Thẻ á (really)? Well, if you like it, I am sure I will like it. Give me the dặc biệt, nhé (the special, OK).

Waitress, fluttering: Wow anh (uncle), you speak good Vietnamese!

Father: Mọt chút thoi (just a little).

Waitress gives him a big smile: Oh no, you’re very good, anh! (She leaves for the kitchen).

Son (half-Asian, early 20’s): Nice, dad. So, you’re hitting on a waitress about 40 years younger than you.

Father: No, no, just trying to be friendly.

Son: I’ll bet you think she’s wringing out her panties in the bathroom she got so wet talking to you.

Father: What the hell are you talking about? Jesus…

Son: I know you’ve got this Asian woman fetish going on, all the fucking time. You married one, but you can’t stop there, can you?

Father: You can stop this bullshit anytime.

Son: I saw it on your fucking phone, Dad. Tell me the truth, you got girls over there in Vietnam? How many? Tell me, don’t fucking lie. Tell me the truth, or I will kick your ass. I may kick it anyway. Tell me! You’re cheating on my mother, right?

Father: It’s not your concern. You don’t know what I’ve been through. I love your mom but it’s been damn hard, dealing with her depression and anxiety, day in, day fucking out.

Son (rising in anger): Tell me, how many?

Father: It’s not your concern!

Son: Tell me, now, or I will fucking hit you, I swear.

Father (pleading): Michael…stop this…

Son: Tell me!

Father: OK, one.

Son: Fucking bastard. Who was it? What did you tell her? You just used her, right, you scumbag?

Father: That’s it, I’m leaving.

 

(Father gets up to leave, and walks outside the restaurant. Son follows him outside, and starts throwing punches at his father’s head. The father flees, with the son in pursuit. Just then, a police car happens by, and stops.)

 

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Character development


  1. The protagonist, an advanced middle-aged man, lands at LAX airport, and gets in a cab to meet his wife and two sons.

 

  1. Protagonist has just made love to a woman, and as she sleeps soundly next to him, he looks to the ceiling, gets up, and heads to the outdoor balcony overlooking the ocean. He lights a joint, sighs, and says, “Oh, shit, what the hell. What the hell happened?”

 

  1. Protagonist is walking on the beach on a bright moonlit evening, holding hands with a beautiful Thai woman. She speaks to him in a sultry sing-song voice. He smiles blissfully as the froth from ocean waves lap on his feet.

 

  1. Protagonist is in a bar in Bangkok with aging gray-haired men drinking Chang beer and watching naked brown Thai women swing languidly from poles to a driving rock music beat.

 

  1. Protagonist books air ticket for Bangkok online, with a determined look on his face.

 

  1. Protagonist drives his drug-addled son home from an emergency room visit. The son accuses his father of cheating on his mother, and as they get out of the car, the son throws punches at his father’s head. The protagonist tries to ward off the blows, and then flees. A police car stops, an officer gets out, and asks, “What’s going on?”