“A Love That Never Was”
(Working Title for Screenplay by Libby Olsen © 2018)
“A Love That Never Was,”(*) set in 1970 New York City, is the story of a soul-crushing love affair between a teenage hippie girl (Libby) who is naïve but adventurous and a middle-aged, drug-abusing musician (Gabriel) while he is recording a rock album at The Hit Factory.
It’s Fall, 1970. LIBBY is 18, a “hippie” girl from a middle-class family in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. GABRIEL is a middle-aged, heroin-using musician who is recording a rock and blues album at The Hit Factory in New York City. Libby naively believes that they are in love with each other since they had sex while he was doing summer concerts in Washington.
Libby gets a call at her parents’ house from Gabriel in September, asking her to come to New York with him. She is thrilled and agrees to come.
Libby arrives at the Port Authority Bus Station, one suitcase in hand. She walks the mile up to The Hit Factory where Gabriel has a session. She has a bare-footed “Flower Child” look that is unusual in New York, so people stare at her.
Libby watches Gabriel in adoration as he sings and plays his guitar in the studio. He ignores her until the session is over, long after midnight. This scene is repeated many times.
Libby and Gabriel walk down to the Garment District where Gabriel lives. It is a filthy, mice-infested apartment built into an old warehouse.
Gabriel has a voracious sexual appetite, which is desirable to Libby. She mistakes this for love; he does not. There are many and varied scenes repeating this theme.
Gabriel habitually shoots heroin. He offers it to her for the first time, and she likes it. Gabriel then habitually shoots Libby with heroin also. There are several scenes repeating this theme.
The producer, engineer, and other musicians at the studio worry about Libby. They tell her it’s a bad idea to stay with Gabriel, but she does not understand. Several scenes repeat this theme.
In late November, Libby overhears Gabriel talking on the phone. It sounds as if he is talking to a woman. After he hangs up, Gabriel and Libby make love. Afterwards, he tells her that she has to leave because he is going back to his wife in North Carolina. Libby is shocked, crushed.
Gabriel gives Libby money to take a bus back to Maryland. She arrives at her parents’ house gaunt, pale, depressed. She feels as though she will never get over the heartbreak…
(*) Working title is from “Long Long Time” by Linda Ronstadt (1970)
(c) Bette Ojala, Sept. 3, 2018