EXT. TOWN SQUARE – DAY
They arrive on their bikes at the little town square. OLIVER buys a pack of cigarettes, Gauloises. He lights one up, then offers one to ELIO.
You want to try one?
ELIO nods and OLIVER cups his hands very near Elio’s face and lights his cigarette.
Not bad, right?
(drawing on it)
Not bad at all. I thought you didn’t smoke.
(taking another drag)
They walk their bikes towards the little World War I memorial in the center of the square which is dedicated to the youth of the town who perished in the Battle of Piave. They pause a moment to read the plaque.
World War II? Did the Allies fight near here?
No. This is World War I. You’d have to be at least eighty years old to have known any of them.
Is there anything you don’t know? I never heard of the Battle of Piave.
ELIO looks at OLIVER. He hesitates, then bursts out:
I know nothing Oliver. Nothing, just nothing.
(looking at him steadily)
You know more than anyone around here.
If you only knew how little I know about the things that really matter.
What things that matter?
ELIO looks him straight in the eye for once, summoning up his
You know what things. By now you of all people should know.
Why are you telling me all this?
Because I thought you should know.
(he repeats ELIO’s words slowly, playing for time as he considers them)
Because you thought I should know.
Because I want you to know
(blurting it out)
Because there is no one else I can say this to but you.
There is a magnificent view. A tiny bus works its way uphill, with some bikers struggling behind it. To buy time, OLIVER turns to look at it before replying:
Are you saying what I think you’re saying?
Now that he’s spilled the beans at last, ELIO takes on the laid-back, mildly exasperated air which the felon has, once he surrendered to the police, when he confesses how he robbed the store.
OLIVER looks at ELIO for a long moment, then gestures towards the shop front where he takes his manuscript to be typed up.
Wait for me here. Don’t go away.
(looking at OLIVER with a confiding smile)
You know I’m not going anywhere.
Two buses stop nearby to unload their passengers – older women arriving from adjoining villages to shop. ELIO turns to read the names listed on the monument. OLIVER returns.
They’ve mixed up my pages and now they have to retype the whole thing. So I have nothing to work on this afternoon. Which sets me back a whole day. Damn!
ELIO looks as if it has been his fault the typist made a mistake.
I wish I hadn’t spoken.
I’m going to pretend you never did.
Does this mean we’re on speaking terms - but not really?
OLIVER thinks about this.
Look, we can’t talk about such things, we really can’t.
He slings his bag with its papers around him and the two are
off down hill.