Bill Birney Screenwriter
Synopsis - Alone with His Thoughts
Alone with His Thoughts
We are in the mind of Nate Bundy, a 22-year-old musical/mathematical genius studying at MIT. His music can only be described as weird and troubling. And Nate is totally wrapped up in it and his theory that music and its effect on the human psyche can be quantified mathematically. His study unfortunately puts him at odds with most of humanity, including his friends, acquaintances, and teachers. At a party, he manages to alienate himself from everyone he meets, except Moe. Nate and Moe talk about Nate’s life goal of finding truth, purity, and the essence of life. Nate attempts to inject the goal with a touch of reality but doesn’t succeed.
Near the end of the school year, Nate is presented with an opportunity to stay in a cabin in Idaho to work on his theory over the summer break. Moe and his girlfriend Sam decline his offer to come along, so Nate embarks on the journey alone. Unfortunately, he leaves behind the pills which he takes for his psychosis.
The pace mellows considerably as Nate leaves the intense world of academia and dives headfirst into the silence and nothingness of rural Idaho. Everything is different. His extreme focus on the music shifts to an all-encompassing awareness of his surroundings – the emptiness of the nights and the awesomeness of the days. He is harassed by a bear, deals with massive thunderstorms and leaky rooves. But he discovers beauty and connects with Rachel, a local farmer. He also connects with a wise Voice on the radio that validates his theories and life goals and helps him achieve a certain amount of comfort in his new place.
Nate takes a risk and agrees to get a ride home from Dave, a cashier he meets at the convenience store. But Dave has a hidden agenda. He feels Nate would fit right in with the survivalist/right-wing militant group he’s associated with. When confronted with the group of 20-30 rednecks at the compound, Nate has a panic attack and tries to escape. He’s tracked down, knocked out and lectured by the leader on his militant goals for the nation. The experience transforms Nate’s world.
After Dave brings Nate back to the cabin, the radio Voice becomes more aggressive about taking an active role in changing the world, eliminating all those impure elements. Nate begins an ascetic exercise regime and studies books and online sources dealing with cleansing the race, eugenics, Nazism. Finally, he discovers that Rachel, the girl of his dreams, is married. This is the final straw that propels him over edge into full-on psychosis.
Nate’s troubled academic goals spring to life as he prepares for and attempts to execute a psychotic plan to eradicate the impure. He pulls together the information he needs and finds the tools. The Voice tells him how to build a still to produce poison, and how to administer it via the city water supply. Since Rachel is no longer among the pure individuals, he tests the poison by killing all her animals. As the plan proceeds, the Sheriff investigates the tragedy and pulls together bits and pieces of evidence to find a motive and track the killer.
On the day Nate is executing the plan, the caretaker of the cabin drives out there and discovers the chemical factory. The Sheriff sends a deputy to the pumping station, but he’s too late. Nate has already attempted to inject the poison but failed when high pressure water prevented him from tapping into the system. The rushing water also jars him back to reality. He confronts Rachel as she is about to leave her house. He is contrite, exhausted, and reduced to an empty shell. He invites Rachel to kill him with his gun if it would make her feel better. She chooses to call the Sheriff. He is no longer alone.