Home Stretch by R. J. Cardullo | Script Revolution

Home Stretch

An old couple anxiously make their last move, from the city to the countryside, to await what the future may bring.

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Page Count: 
9pp

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Based On: 
“In the Home Stretch” (1916), a poem by Robert Frost.
Synopsis/Details: 

An old woman, dressed for the outdoors rather than the indoors, stands in the kitchen of her new home and looks out the window at what she describes as a dilapidated view. Confusion is caused in her home not only by movers, who stack furniture haphazardly atop other furniture, but also by the change in the woman’s surroundings. The new home, a farmhouse, is isolated in the countryside, fifteen miles outside the city where she and her husband, Joe, used to live.

The woman is not happy with the move, though she is unwilling to admit as much, and this is a slight source of tension between the old couple. In conversation with her husband, she reflects on her own mortality as the years will come and go in this house. Joe encourages his wife to move away from the window, where, he thinks, she sees too much. He persists in asking if she likes the new house, but she manages to avoid a response. Instead the old woman talks about how they will treat the place, which is better than the movers have.

Joe tells the movers that city-work is for people who can do nothing else, since he believes these men could be good farmers. The French boy among the movers says they are giving their chances at farming over to Joe and his wife. The vulnerability the couple feels lies precisely in their apprehension at trying a whole new way of making a living—not so much in their disorientation at arriving in a new home. They are shaken by the reality of their situation in such a wilderness; they feel lonesome, even as two, in the “home stretch” of their lives.

The old woman and the old man begin to speak of things taken away and of what cannot be taken, such as the many meals they have eaten over the years. There is thus a return to the basics, such as food, light, and sleep. The couple will sleep in their own beds tonight, albeit in a different place, and they will be as much at home as if they had always been here. They will also just be passing one more moment, in the journey of their lives. As these two go upstairs to bed, they leave a kitchen whose only light comes dancing from the stove, in wriggles, onto the ceiling.

Submitted: January 20, 2021
Last Updated: January 20, 2021

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R. J. Cardullo's picture

The Writer: R. J. Cardullo

A former university film teacher, I turned to screenwriting several years ago. I have also written film criticism for many publications. A New Yorker by birth, I grew up in Miami and was educated at the University of Florida, Tulane, and Yale. My last U.S. address was in Milford, Connecticut; I am now an expatriate residing in Scandinavia. Many of my scripts (both long and short) are adaptations of lesser-known works by well-known authors. I am happy to re-write, collaborate, or write on demand. Thanks kindly for any attention you can give my work. Go to bio

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