"A PARADE FOR CINDY"
Synopsis of a Screenplay by Dr. Don E. Miller and Rebecca Joy Ryan
"A Parade for Cindy," is a funny/sad story in 117 pages about schizophrenics in Doc Brennan's
halfway house. Roy, a schizophrenic, is the main character, is one of Doc Brennan's residents. Doc is a laid back psychologist
who thinks that the best therapy for his residents is to tell them jokes, which they keep saying they've heard already. Roy's
life ambition was to be a rock star in a Hell's Angels band. As soon as he can get it together, he still plans to get a chopper,
join the Hell's Angels, and recapture his youth that was lost when he had his first psychotic break. Then, he meets Cindy,
a little neighborhood girl who is dying of cancer. Roy offers to take her to Disneyland but Cindy says that's what they always
do for little girls who are dying. Her last wish is to have her own parade. Roy abandons his motorcycle dream and starts working
on getting Cindy a parade. The other recovery home residents, Moonbeam and her imaginary pet spider, Selby and his many personalities,
George and his camouflaged clothes, all pitch in to help. Even Jeff, who sometimes imagines that human flesh is being served,
and Al, dressed in drag, get in on the plans to make Cindy's dream come true. They try their hand at jobs and when that fails,
they have a Tupperware Party, collect cans, and have a garage sale to raise money.
As Roy's relationship with Cindy grows, he develops a new degree of sensitivity. On an outing
in which Cindy's wheelchair is his make-believe Harley, he stops to pick up and hand Cindy an imaginary kitten she claims
he ran over.
Some schizophrenics seem to never grow beyond a state of perpetual childhood, their illness
somehow freezing them in time. So, Roy and Cindy's relationship place both of them at her level, though she more often comes
off as the wiser. This relationship would ordinarily be forbidden, since no sane parent would let a small child hang around
with an obviously emotionally disturbed person. But Cindy's grandfather compromises his values, because the residents of the
halfway house down the street who come to visit Cindy seem to be able to make his granddaughter laugh, something he hasn't
been able to do lately.
Roy loses control when Cindy's great aunt browbeats him. He hops a construction yard fence,
steals a backhoe, and smashes her car. This same Aunt Gladys had been trying to get Doc Brennan's halfway house closed down,
even though the schizophrenics were the only little joy left in Cindy's life. After smashing the car, and wanted by the police,
Roy bankrolls his escape with the parade money. While on the run, he can't forget his promise to Cindy to give her a parade.
In his quest to return to make the parade happen, he has to overcome great obstacles. He is locked up and escapes twice from
mental institutions. He disguises himself as a doctor and steals the doctor's car, and finally makes it back to Doc Brennan's
halfway house. He has spent the parade money, and now must make the parade happen with zero dollars.
Roy steals a Mother Goose Parade float from its storage area (not so absurd when you consider
the stolen tank ride that occurred in a San Diego Armory). He and the Schizophrenics decorate it in a bizarre fashion. He
recruits a junior high school marching band to play the music ("76 Trombones") and cons forty members of the Hell's Angels
to ride their motorcycles in the parade. Dancing on the float is Al, the transvestite in his Bikini. Also on the float in
a Bikini is Moonbeam, frozen in time by her illness as a '60s love child. With her is her imaginary pet spider, also in a
Bikini. The other residents perform around the float. Fat Jeff is dressed like a baby elephant. By the time it passes Cindy's
house, the parade is rounded out with four squad cars, sirens wailing and bullhorns bellowing, chasing Roy and the stolen
Mother Goose Parade float. Channel 10 broadcasts from the sidelines.
Earlier, Cindy had played "Red Light-Green Light" with the schizophrenics. At the end, Cindy
is dead. Roy dies in a motorcycle crash, trying to escape the duped Hell's Angels and the police. Cindy's voice is heard at
the crash scene yelling "Red Light." The action freezes. The only sound is a low wind. A vibrant and healthy Cindy, now walking
and dressed in resplendent white, wends her way through the frozen and unmoving crowd of police, band members, and Hell's
Angels. Roy comes to life, dressed in shimmering white Hell's Angel leathers. Roy and Cindy ride off together on the motorcycle.
When the chopper's taillights have almost disappeared, Cindy's voice is heard calling out "Green Light" and the sound and
action resumes. Roy's body is placed on a stretcher and wheeled into an ambulance.