My Life Without Me Script - Dialogue Transcript

Voila! Finally, the My Life Without Me script is here for all you quotes spouting fans of the Sarah Polley and Mark Ruffalo movie.  This script is a transcript that was painstakingly transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of My Life Without Me. I know, I know, I still need to get the cast names in there and I'll be eternally tweaking it, so if you have any corrections, feel free to drop me a line. You won't hurt my feelings. Honest.

Swing on back to Drew's Script-O-Rama afterwards for more free movie scripts!

My Life Without Me Script


  

  

 

                   

This is you.



 

                   

Eyes closed,

out in the rain.



 

                   

You never thought you'd be doing

something like this.



 

                   

You never saw yourself as,



 

                   

l don't know

how you'd describe it, as...



 

                   

like one of those people



 

                   

who like looking up at the moon,



 

                   

or who spend hours gazing at

the waves or the sunset or...



 

                   

l guess you know what kind of people

l'm talking about



  

                   

Maybe you don't



  

                   

Anyway, you kinda you kinda

like it being like this,



  

                   

fighting the cold



  

                   

and feeling the water seep

through your shirt



  

                   

and getting through to your skin.



  

                   

And the feel of the ground



  

                   

growing soft beneath your feet



  

                   

and the smell.



  

                   

And the sound of the rain

hitting the leaves.



  

                   

All the things they talk about

in the books that you haven't read.



  

                   

This is you.



  

                   

Who would have guessed it?.



  

                   

You.



  

                   

Lesson  .



  

                   

Dialogue.



  

                   

Catch this.



  

                   

You give me the big one.



  

                   

OK.



  

                   

Don't you even...



  

                   

So how come you always get...



  

                   

why do you always

get the big one?



  

                   

I deserve the big one...



  

                   

Maybe you should just try

and you know



  

                   

to get chalk of the blackboard.



  

                   

Laurie...



  

                   

Oh, l'm trying to bIow it

away from you.



  

                   

-l thought you were quitting.

-l am quitting. l'm quitting, quitting.



  

                   

That's great.



  

                   

l can't quit smoking



  

                   

and quit eating at the same time.



  

                   

You don't have to quit eating.

Why would you have to quit eating?



  

                   

You just don't understand.



  

                   

You Iose weight

just by thinking about it.



  

                   

I swear you're slimmer now

than you were a month ago.



  

                   

-No, you're imagining it.

-l am not.



  

                   

When you're fat

like l am,



  

                   

the only thing you see

is other women's bodies.



  

                   

lt's the only thing you see.



  

                   

Laurie, you're crazy.



  

                   

You're not fat at all, okay?



  

                   

l know fat people. You're not one

of them. Look at this tummy.



  

                   

It's not the tummy of a fat person.



  

                   

As for me,

l'm eating the same as always.



  

                   

Yesterday,

I ate a whole litre of ice-cream.



  

                   

l haven't had ice-cream

in so long.



  

                   

Say,



  

                   

you're not following one of those

ice-cream diets are you?



  

                   

Yeah, Ben and Jerry's

miracle diet.



  

                   

Really?



  

                   

No.



  

                   

You know

what l'm thinking of right now?



  

                   

What?



  

                   

Corn on the cob.



  

                   

With lots of salt, lots of butter.



  

                   

Just talking about diets

makes me hungry.



  

                   

See you tomorrow.



  

                   

-All right. See you tomorrow.

-Tomorrow.



  

                   

Bye.



  

                   

ls Don going to look for another job?



  

                   

Don's always looking for another job.



  

                   

l could try and get him

something at the hotel.



  

                   

That's okay.



  

                   

Last thing l need is for you two

to fight there as well.



  

                   

Why do you have

to listen to this stuff?



  

                   

Why can't you listen to music

like normal people?



  

                   

No one's normal, Mom.



  

                   

No such thing as normal people.



  

                   

Some muffins for the girls,

for breakfast.



  

                   

They're a littIe squashed,

but they're fine.



  

                   

Who rented Nathan's house?



  

                   

l don't know.

Someone's moving in on Sunday.



  

                   

Barry Manilow.



  

                   

What?



  

                   

Barry Manilow.

He's normal.



  

                   

Good night, mom.



  

                   

Come on. Move over, buddy.



  

                   

Are those your feet or are you rubbing

ice-cubes down my legs?



  

                   

Yes, they are ice-cubes.



  

                   

Okay, warm them up.

That's my only choice.



  

                   

l'm cold up here, too.



  

                   

l'm cold everywhere.



  

                   

Did you put all the laundry

in the basket?



  

                   

-Yes.

-Thank you.



  

                   

Are you tired?



  

                   

Okay.



  

                   

No!



  

                   

I think you're too little.

l'll tell you when you're older.



  

                   

You guys want some more milk?



  

                   

Please, please, teIl me now.



  

                   

Drink up your milk. We've going to go

in about five minutes, all right?



   

                   

You've spilt your milk.

I told you, you're too Iittle.



   

                   

Shit, Patsy, can you not drink a glass

of milk for once without spilling it?



   

                   

No, no, no.



   

                   

What are you doing?



   

                   

Daddy, why don't the Flintstones

ever go to the beach?



   

                   

l don't know. Don't change the subject.



   

                   

Where does Mommy

keep your sweaters?



   

                   

Mommy, l ate all my cereal

and Patsy didn't.



   

                   

lt's okay, we have accidents.



   

                   

OK. Under the girls' bed,

in the green box,



   

                   

there's another sweater under there.



   

                   

Okay, put up your arms.



   

                   

Come on, we've got to take this off,

okay girlie?



   

                   

Got a little bit of milk on you.



   

                   

Are you stuck?



   

                   

Where's Patsy? l don't know.

There's Patsy.



   

                   

There you go. Here you go.

Put that on.



   

                   

Lance's brother rang me last night.

He said he might have something for me.



   

                   

No way!

Great!



   

                   

Where are the keys?

l can't find the keys.



   

                   

-They're still in the ignition, l think.

-They are?



   

                   

Girls, you've got to put on

your jackets.



   

                   

Mommy, do l have to tell Patsy

where babies come from?



   

                   

-l think she's too little.

-She is too little.



   

                   

Can you put on your jacket first?



   

                   

They opened a swimming pool

business in Wilmington Drive.



   

                   

-No way.

-Yeah.



   

                   

I know.



   

                   

-Good luck.

-Yeah, thank you.



   

                   

Can you...

You pick up the girIs from school,



   

                   

because l might not be back

till later.



   

                   

-Yeah, sure. No problem.

-Okay. Guys?



   

                   

Put on your hats

and gloves, okay?



   

                   

l'm going to warm up the car and we're

going to be gone in two minutes, okay?



   

                   

Two minutes. Yes!



   

                   

l want you to help Patsy

with hers as well, okay?



   

                   

So get yours on and help.



   

                   

-Bye, guys. Have a good day.

-Bye, Mom.



   

                   

l got you, l got you.



   

                   

Ann,



   

                   

l'm hanging out some wash. You got

anything you want me to hang out?



   

                   

Ann, are you in there?



   

                   

Put your cIothes in the bag,

and put on the robe.



   

                   

Do you know

if this is going to take long?



   

                   

-l'm supposed to pick up my kids.

-l really have no idea.



   

                   

Can l just go teII my Mom

to pick them up for me?



   

                   

We can't make any exceptions.



   

                   

Is your mother outside?



   

                   

Yeah, she came with me.

Ann Matland.



   

                   

-l forgot to tell her.

-l'll see what I can do.



   

                   

Now if you could get undressed

or you really will be here aIl day.



   

                   

Thank you.



   

                   

John,



   

                   

Charlie Bob, Seymour,



   

                   

Jack and Bill.



   

                   

Follow me, please.



   

                   

Hey, do you know if the other nurse told

my mom she had to go pick up my kids?



   

                   

l was supposed to go

and pick them up today and...



   

                   

Who'd you tell it to?



   

                   

The other nurse.

I don't know her name.



   

                   

Do you know how many nurses

we have working in this hospital?



   

                   

Do you know what it's like to be waiting

at the school gate all on your own,



   

                   

with your nose freezing to death



   

                   

while aII the other kids

get picked up by their moms?



   

                   

Yeah, l do.



   

                   

I'II go see if l can find

your mother.



   

                   

Hi Ann.

l am Doctor Thompson,



   

                   

l'll be looking at the results

of your ultrasound.



   

                   

Why are we doing this again?



   

                   

How are your kids?



   

                   

l'm kind of worried, actually,



   

                   

I was supposed

to pick them up today so...



   

                   

Let's not worry about thatjust now.

This will be over in a few minutes.



   

                   

Ann, would you excuse me for a moment?



   

                   

Yeah, sure. lt's your hospital.



   

                   

Ann, this is Doctor Stuart

and Doctor Lance.



   

                   

Hi! Do you know if someone told my mom

about picking up my daughters?



   

                   

We're onIy gonna take

a few minutes, okay?



   

                   

Does your husband Iive with you?



   

                   

Yeah,



   

                   

he.. he builds swimming pools.

He was out all day today.



   

                   

And you work at the university.



   

                   

Yeah. l clean the university. Nights.



   

                   

And you're twenty-three...



   

                   

l'll be twenty four in December.

l'm an Aquarius.



   

                   

How about you? What star sign are you?

What the hell is happening to me?



   

                   

We've done the scan

three times and...



   

                   

Are you sure you wouldn't prefer

to call your husband?



   

                   

No. l would prefer not to call him.



   

                   

We've done the scan three times,

and l've ordered a... a pre-biopsy...



   

                   

So, what?



   

                   

You have a tumour.



   

                   

In both ovaries.



   

                   

lt's reached your stomach and it's

beginning to spread to your liver.



   

                   

Wow. That's pretty far gone, eh?



   

                   

Ann, if you were twenty years older,



   

                   

the whole thing would be spreading

more slowly we could operate on it.



   

                   

But... your cells are very young.



   

                   

Too young, in fact



   

                   

and l'm afraid there's...

there's nothing we can do.



   

                   

Wow. How long?



   

                   

Two months, maybe three.



   

                   

Here's me thinking

l was pregnant...



   

                   

No, l'm afraid not.



   

                   

l knew it was something pretty serious

when you sat down here beside me.



   

                   

They're renovating my office,

changing the air-conditioning and...



   

                   

No, that's not true...



   

                   

l can't sit down in front of someone

and tell them that they're gonna die...



   

                   

l've never been able to...



   

                   

the nurses are beginning

to mention it.



   

                   

Your family might wanna see

another doctor,



   

                   

they might want

a second opinion.



   

                   

Someone who tells me the exact same thing

as you, but looks me right in the eye?



   

                   

Can l get you a coffee?



   

                   

No.



   

                   

Bourbon?



   

                   

Let me guess,

you're goinna offer me a cigarette?



   

                   

No.



   

                   

Do have a piece of candy?



   

                   

A piece of... ? Yeah.



   

                   

It's pretty good...



   

                   

what flavour is that?



   

                   

Ginger.



   

                   

It's pretty good.



   

                   

lt's a bit hot, but it's okay.



   

                   

l've... l've prepared some leaflets,

which more or less



   

                   

explain everything,



   

                   

and some recipes



   

                   

to help ease the nausea,



   

                   

and l'd like to see you

next week.



   

                   

I've given you an appointment

and my direct line



   

                   

in case you need to call me.



   

                   

Yeah...Okay.



   

                   

Do you have another piece of candy?

One for the road?



   

                   

I'm sorry, that was my last one...



   

                   

Next week

l'll have more... candy.



   

                   

Your Dad used to drink a bottle

of bourbon and call it breakfast.



   

                   

You get wired if you drink

so much as a beer.



   

                   

You didn't even take drugs

during high school,



   

                   

just the odd drag

of Don's joint.



   

                   

Without inhaling, like that guy who used

to be President of the United States,



   

                   

that guy Bill Clinton.



   

                   

So, were they waiting long?



   

                   

Oh, good.



   

                   

Good, thanks a lot, Mom.

I owe you one.



   

                   

No, no, they're doing

blood analysis.



   

                   

Apparently l've got anaemia...

that's why l've been fainting.



   

                   

You know they're like, once they've

got you, they don't want to let you go.



   

                   

Trying out some new machine,

they're like little kids.



   

                   

You know, l should go, Mom,



   

                   

'cause the nurse is coming to get me,

l've got to go.



   

                   

Okay, bye, thanks a lot.



   

                   

Now you feel like you want to take

all the drugs in the world.



   

                   

But all the drugs in the world

aren't going to change the feeling



   

                   

that your whole life's been a dream

and it's only now that you're waking up.



   

                   

"But l like to eat cake in a tub",

laughed the cat.



   

                   

"You should try it sometime",

laughed the cat as he sat.



   

                   

And then l got mad,

there was no time for fun.



   

                   

l said "Cat you get out!"



   

                   

Hi, Mommy.



   

                   

Hi. You've been good?



   

                   

Mom, can you tell us a story?

Daddy says it too fast.



   

                   

Hey. Thanks a lot. You little monster.



   

                   

l don't read them too fast.



   

                   

-How are you?

-Good. l've got anaemia,



   

                   

that's why l've been fainting,



   

                   

so they gave me some iron and vitamins.

How did it go with Lance?



   

                   

l start on Monday.



   

                   

Hey, no way! That's so good.



   

                   

Yes. I know, and there's enough work

for a year at least.



   

                   

-That's so great!

-l know, it's great.



   

                   

-Did you give the girls something to eat?

-Daddy gave us milk shakes and fries.



   

                   

He said we mustn't telI you.

lt was so nice.



   

                   

Mommy, l ate all my fries

and all my milk shake.



   

                   

Fries are vegetables, right? They're

potatoes, which is a very good food.



   

                   

lt's one of the food groups.



   

                   

I'm sorry,



   

                   

it was a little treat. l just got a job.



   

                   

-What is wrong with you?

-l'm sorry.



   

                   

-Okay. The rafters, in a second.

-Can l stay, or should l go?



   

                   

You can stay.



   

                   

That's okay. Good night, you two.



   

                   

Close our eyes.



   

                   

Close our eyes.

We're setting off. Okay?



   

                   

Oh, no!



   

                   

lt's getting wavier and wavier

and we...



   

                   

and then we splash down in the water.



   

                   

No,



   

                   

-what's that?

-ls that a shark?



   

                   

lt is a shark.



   

                   

They're really really mad at us.



   

                   

They thought

that this river was the ocean.



   

                   

They're really mad!



   

                   

Here, l think you should eat those.



   

                   

Are you going to go to work?



   

                   

Yeah, l'll go in.



   

                   

Your mother said she could get

a lift back if you want to rest.



   

                   

No, l should go in.



   

                   

l thought you were pregnant.



   

                   

Yeah. Me too.



   

                   

You sure you're all right?



   

                   

Yes, l'm good,

l'm just a little bit tired, that's all.



   

                   

You know, next month when l get

my paycheck we could go to Whalebay Beach.



   

                   

Would you like that?



   

                   

Yeah,



   

                   

that'd be nice.



   

                   

Patsy hasn't even been

at the beach before.



   

                   

Yeah. l've got a good feeling

about things,



   

                   

with the swimming pooIs, l mean.



   

                   

l really do.



   

                   

Thinking.



   

                   

You're not used

to thinking.



   

                   

When you have your first kid

at seventeen with the only man



   

                   

you've ever kissed in your life,



   

                   

and then another kid when you're

nineteen, with the same man,



   

                   

and you live in a trailer

in your Mom's backyard,



   

                   

and your Dad's been in jail

for ten years,



   

                   

you never have time to think.



   

                   

Maybe you're so out of practice

you've forgotten how.



   

                   

-What is this?

-lt's coffee.



   

                   

-Yes. l asked for an espresso.

-The espresso machine ain't working.



   

                   

So if the espresso machine

wasn't working,



   

                   

then why didn't you tell me

the espresso machine wasn't working?



   

                   

l figured you wanted coffee.



   

                   

You brought me a coffee.

I asked for an espresso.



   

                   

Okay, just relax.



   

                   

Come back next week,

we'll have espresso.



   

                   

-Hey, could you please lend me a pen?

-Sure, honey,



   

                   

just tell me what you want first,

so as l can write it down



   

                   

and then l can lend it to you,

that way we'II aIl be happy.



   

                   

Okay, l'll have...



   

                   

Don't say espresso because

the espresso machine ain't working...



   

                   

don't say cappuccino

'cause it's the same machine.



   

                   

Okay, l'll have a...



   

                   

a Danish.



   

                   

Got no more 'til tomorrow.



   

                   

Can l get then a coffee and



   

                   

just something sweet, like anything

you have that's sweet.



   

                   

Pineapple cheesecake?



   

                   

lt's the sweetest thing we got.

Actually it's the only thing we've got.



   

                   

That's fine, that's great.

Pineapple cheesecake.



   

                   

Okay.



   

                   

There you go,

the world's sweetest cheesecake.



   

                   

You can keep the pen

for as long as you need it.



   

                   

I already filled

in the Iottery ticket earlier.



   

                   

What are you going to do if you win?

Have you decided?



   

                   

Have l ever, honey.



   

                   

l want to be like her.



   

                   

l want her nose,



   

                   

her mouth, her eyes,



   

                   

her hair, her waist...



   

                   

l'm going to be so much like Cher



   

                   

that folks are gonna stop me

in the supermarket and say



   

                   

"Wasn't it terrible what happened

to dear old Sonny?"



   

                   

What do you think?



   

                   

l think that's

a reaIly fucking stupid idea.



   

                   

l'm just kidding.



   

                   

I think Cher is great.



   

                   

Penny, Patsy, l'm making

a big heap of pancakes.



   

                   

lf you don't come right this second



   

                   

l'm going to eat all of them

all by myself.



   

                   

l'm coming, Mommy.



   

                   

-Morning, buddy.

-Hi, Mommy.



   

                   

l guess Patsy doesn't want

any pancakes, eh?



   

                   

No pancakes for Patsy.



   

                   

ls it Sunday yet?

ls it my birthday?



   

                   

No, but you know what?



   

                   

Last night l dreamt



   

                   

that you woke up

like hungry lions



   

                   

and you ate lots of food.



   

                   

I'll cut it up for you. There you go.



   

                   

Are you going to take

the kids to school?



   

                   

The biggest lion of them aIl.



   

                   

Go get him, Patsy.



   

                   

Bye. l Iove you, my little lions,



   

                   

l Iove you so much.



   

                   

l love you.



   

                   

l kind of want...



   

                   

something different.



   

                   

Different...



   

                   

To what l've got at the moment, l mean.



   

                   

l could do you braids,

but it wouId take all day...



   

                   

and l'm on my own here

on Wednesdays, so...



   

                   

Not braids.

No way.



   

                   

Well, you've got good hair

for braids.



   

                   

And you asked for something

different, so...



   

                   

Braids are fine.

They look great on you, but...



   

                   

l was thinking of something more...



   

                   

How about blonde?



   

                   

Blonde?



   

                   

Something to kind of...



   

                   

-brighten up my face a bit.

-Something bright.



   

                   

Like this?



   

                   

l was also wondering

about faIse nails.



   

                   

l don't have any nails and...



   

                   

The girI who does the nails

doesn't come in Wednesdays.



   

                   

You what then, why l don't just

come back tomorrow then.



   

                   

We can do it all at the same time,

can't we?



   

                   

Braids as well?



   

                   

l'll think about it. Ok,

l'll see you tomorrow. Bye.



   

                   

l had two conventions today



   

                   

and l had to make a cake

for three hundred people



   

                   

in the shape of a tyre.



   

                   

I'm beat.



   

                   

Even my hips ache.



   

                   

l think l'm going to make an appointment

to see the doctor tomorrow.



   

                   

My knee's acting up again as well.



   

                   

That damn cake must have

weighed    pounds.



   

                   

How about you? You feeling any better?



   

                   

Yeah, I'm feeIing fine.



   

                   

They say it's going to snow

this weekend, but l don't think so.



   

                   

l hate the snow.



   

                   

l like the snow

even less than l like the rain.



   

                   

...because you'll never be anything

but a common frump



   

                   

whose father lived over

a grocery store



   

                   

and whose mother took in washing.



   

                   

With this money, l can get away from



   

                   

every rotten stinking thing that

makes me think of this place or you.



   

                   

You must think l'm on a string.



   

                   

Go away, Veda,

come back, Veda .



   

                   

lt isn't that easy.



   

                   

Alone.



   

                   

You're alone.



   

                   

You've never been

so alone in your live.



   

                   

Lies are your only company.



   

                   

GONE TO THE LAUNDROMAT.

WE'RE OUT FO CLEAN CLOTHES.



   

                   

-Can l get you something?

-Can l get a MoIson Canadian, pIease?



   

                   

Hi!



   

                   

Hi.



   

                   

-l haven't seen you here before.

-No.



   

                   

l'm sorry about the thing

with the braids this morning.



   

                   

l shouldn't really have suggested it,



   

                   

but l was having

a kind of weird morning...



   

                   

you ever get those?



   

                   

You know, when youjust

can't face the world?



   

                   

lt's very stressful being

a hairdresser,



   

                   

people expect a lot from you



   

                   

and sometimes

you can't stand the pressure.



   

                   

People want you

to make them beautiful



   

                   

but sometimes

it's just not possible.



   

                   

You know what?

Don't worry about it,



   

                   

l wasn't having

a great morning either, so...



   

                   

Now, can l ask you

a personal question?



   

                   

Do you Iike Milli VaniIIi?



   

                   

You mean those guys in shorts

who didn't sing.



   

                   

Oh, you're wrong there.



   

                   

They did sing, but their producer

wouldn't let them.



   

                   

He practicaIly blackmailed them



   

                   

and said he would teII everyone

their secret,



   

                   

and he got

all the royalties.



   

                   

lt was so unfair.



   

                   

And later they showed

that they could sing,



   

                   

but you know no one listened to them.



   

                   

They were too fragile

for the music industry.



   

                   

-What kind of music do you like?

-Music?



   

                   

God, l haven't Iistened to any music

in so long.



   

                   

l used to like Nirvana.



   

                   

l went to one of their concerts...



   

                   

actually it was

their last concert.



   

                   

That's actually where l met Don,

my husband.



   

                   

He was...



   

                   

Hold that thought,

Ijust got to get up and dance.



   

                   

The DJ's a friend of mine.

l'll be back.



   

                   

l'm going to go get

a cup coffee next door.



   

                   

l was wondering if maybe

you wanted me to go and get you one too?



   

                   

No, thanks.



   

                   

Yeah, actually, please, yeah.



   

                   

Sure. Milk and sugar, please.



   

                   

Thanks.



   

                   

Your coffee's cold.



   

                   

l was kind of tired.



   

                   

l washed,

folded your Iaundry.



   

                   

Thanks.



   

                   

l didn't forget the softener,

did l?



   

                   

No, you forgot the soap.



   

                   

Were you watching me

while l was asleep?



   

                   

Yeah, for a littIe whiIe. Sorry.



   

                   

Why?



   

                   

l was snoring or...?



   

                   

No, you were drooling.

You drool when you sIeep.



   

                   

Are you that girl? That girl



   

                   

at the coffee shop



   

                   

that was writing in a journal

the other day?



   

                   

Thanks for the jacket.



   

                   

lt's yours, isn't it?



   

                   

Yeah, you can keep it if you want.



   

                   

lt's mighty cold out there

and l'm used to it.



   

                   

I was in Alaska for three years,

l lived there, l mean, two and a half.



   

                   

It's all right.



   

                   

l really like the cold.

lt makes me feel really alive.



   

                   

l've got to run. l've got

two young kids. You know how it is.



   

                   

Sure.



   

                   

Thanks.



   

                   

-l'll see you around.

-My name's Lee.



   

                   

Ann.



   

                   

Are you sure that

you don't need the jacket?



   

                   

No, no. Go ahead, take it.



   

                   

Okay. l've never been to Alaska.

l always really liked the sound of it.



   

                   

-l'll bring the jacket back, don't worry.

-No. l want you to have it.



   

                   

l like the idea of you wearing it.



   

                   

That's nice.



   

                   

l'll bring it back, don't worry.



   

                   

You see things clearly now.



   

                   

You see all these all these

barrelled lifes, barrelled voices.



   

                   

Milli Vanilli everywhere.



   

                   

You look at all the things

you can't buy,



   

                   

now you don't even

wanna buy.



   

                   

All the things that will still

be here after you're gone.



   

                   

When you're dead.



   

                   

And then you realize

that all the things



   

                   

in the bright window displays,



   

                   

all the models

in the catalogues,



   

                   

all the colours,

all the special offers,



   

                   

all the Martha Stewart

recipes,



   

                   

all the piles

of greasy food,



   

                   

it's just all thereto try

and keep us away from death.



   

                   

And it doesn't work.



   

                   

So, it turns out that she loved

her daughter so much



   

                   

that she didn't tell her

that she was her mother,



   

                   

because she didn't...



   

                   

she thought

that would be better,



   

                   

the boy's parents

would accept her better



   

                   

and the boy would ask her

to marry him,



   

                   

which was what she wanted

most in the whole world.



   

                   

But it was a huge sacrifice,



   

                   

and she suffered a whole lot,



   

                   

Mommy, Grandma toId us

a beautiful story about a mom



   

                   

who has lots of bad things happen

to her, and it's reaIIy sad.



   

                   

Goodness, how unusual.



   

                   

l bathed them



   

                   

and Penny ate three sIices

of banana bread



   

                   

and Patsy drank some miIk.

Lately she's been kind of off it.



   

                   

Grandma's story's a movie,



   

                   

Mommy, and she says she Iikes it a lot.



   

                   

-ReaIly?

-Yeah, Joan Crawford.



   

                   

Joan Crawford, that's great!

Okay, let's go, guys.



   

                   

Patsy, put that down.

Patsy. We're going.



   

                   

l just wanted to keep them entertained,

you know, so they don't watch so much TV.



   

                   

Next time l'll keep my mouth shut.



   

                   

Mommy, l don't want to go

to school tomorrow.



   

                   

-l don't want to.

-l know, I know.



   

                   

l said thanks, okay?

So just drop it.



   

                   

-I don't need your thanks.

-Okay, so l'll take them back then.



   

                   

All l did was watch your kids

while you did your shopping.



   

                   

You asked me to.



   

                   

Yeah, l asked you to.

l didn't ask you to fill their heads



   

                   

with stupid stories about mothers

making dumb-ass sacrifices.



   

                   

What kind of stories

do you want me to tell them?



   

                   

Cinderella?

About murderous step-mothers?



   

                   

-ls that what you want?

-Yes!



   

                   

There's times that you're

just like your father,



   

                   

and let me tell you,

it's not something I like.



   

                   

You're wrong, there's times

that l'm just like you,



   

                   

and it's not something l like either.



   

                   

I'm sorry, it's just really tangled.



   

                   

Patsy's aIways whining.



   

                   

Penny, please don't pick on her.



   

                   

You always complain

when l brush your hair too.



   

                   

-Why do you have to do that?

-l wasn't picking on her.



   

                   

And telling me

that she's always complaining,



   

                   

that's not picking on her?

l think so.



   

                   

l wasn't picking on her.



   

                   

l'm not always complaining.



   

                   

Okay, that's enough, guys.



   

                   

Go to bed, okay?



   

                   

Okay, good night, monkey girl.

You got kitty?



   

                   

-Yeah.

-There you go. You've got some covers.



   

                   

'Night, buddy.

You don't want me to kiss you?



   

                   

l wasn't picking on her.



   

                   

Penny, that is enough,

l said, okay?



   

                   

lt's true you're just

like Grandma.



   

                   

Hey. Do you want some leftover chicken?



   

                   

Aren't you going to say hello?



   

                   

How many beers have you had?



   

                   

WeII, one or two or...



   

                   

four. l don't know.



   

                   

-You want some chicken or don't you?

-l want a kiss.



   

                   

l want a big, juicy kiss.



   

                   

Here's some chicken.



   

                   

Great. Chicken.



   

                   

lt's good.



   

                   

Have the girIs been

in bed long?



   

                   

Yeah, a little while.



   

                   

Penny's was picking

on Patsy again.



   

                   

l told her not to

and she got kind of mad at me.



   

                   

-She did?

-Yeah, a little bit.



   

                   

We started

a pool out at Rushmore today.



   

                   

-Oh yeah?

-Yeah. lt's crescent-shaped.



   

                   

lt's going to look wild.



   

                   

These people,

they got a three-story house,



   

                   

a porch out of "Gone With the Wind"

and everything.



   

                   

lt's beautiful.



   

                   

Are you happy?



   

                   

With the swimming pool thing, l mean.



   

                   

Yeah, it's good.



   

                   

lt's not like the factory

but it's better than nothing.



   

                   

l'm going to get to work.



   

                   

You not just going to leave me here alone

gnawing on a coId chicken bone, are you?



   

                   

lf you like you can always heat it up,

but l thought you really loved cold food.



   

                   

Why don't you just eat it cold?



   

                   

Will you sing to me?



   

                   

No, l have to go to work.



   

                   

You know how much l love it

when you sing to me.



   

                   

Please.



   

                   

Just sing to me.



   

                   

Hi.



   

                   

Hi.



   

                   

Bye...



   

                   

Bye...



   

                   

Hey, my buddy Penny.



   

                   

l'm not going to be

at your birthday party,



   

                   

but there's nothing l'd like more

in the whole, wide world.



   

                   

l bet Grandma's made a special

birthday cake just for



   

                   

you with your name on it

in big chocolate Ietters.



   

                   

Penny, l want you to know

that the day that you were born



   

                   

I held you in my arms



   

                   

and that was the happiest day

in my whole life.



   

                   

l was so happy

l couIdn't even speak.



   

                   

l just stroked your tiny little feet

and l cried with happiness.



   

                   

Without you l could have never found out

that lions eat pancakes



   

                   

or that the bed

could be a raft.



   

                   

Try and look after Patsy, okay?



   

                   

l know it's hard 'cause sometimes

she makes you mad and everything.



   

                   

l know it's not easy being a big sister,

but l know that you can do it, okay?



   

                   

Mommy sends you millions

and millions of kisses.



   

                   

Happy birthday,

my darling Iittle Patsy.



   

                   

Now you're five!



   

                   

I'II bet that Penny Iooks after you now.



   

                   

l bet that she doesn't pick

on you anymore.



   

                   

Honey, l don't want you to be sad

that l'm not at your birthday, okay?



   

                   

Promise?



   

                   

l remember your first birthday

really well, you know?



   

                   

l remember how you started to cry



   

                   

and you wouldn't stop because you didn't

like how we were singing "Happy Birthday".



   

                   

Every time we started to sing,

you'd just scream and yell



   

                   

because you didn't Iike

how we were singing.



   

                   

Happy birthday, my little buddy.



   

                   

Mommy loves you to bits.



   

                   

Buddy, I want you to be happy.



   

                   

l know sometimes

it's not easy 'cause



   

                   

sometimes things happen



   

                   

and people aren't always

like you want them to be.



   

                   

Talk to your Dad

if there's things bothering you, okay?



   

                   

He knows more

than you'd think, seriously,



   

                   

if there's something bothering you

and you're not sure about something,



   

                   

just ask him and he'll tell you.

Grandma knows a lot of things, too.



   

                   

l reaIIy hope

she'll explain them to you.



   

                   

Try and be patient with her, OK?



   

                   

She is a good person, even if sometimes

it doesn't always seem that way...



   

                   

None of the things she's aIways dreamed

about ever came true, you know?



   

                   

Try and understand her.

Don't let her make you mad.



   

                   

lf you get a new Mom,

try and love her, okay?



   

                   

Don't make life impossibIe for her

just out of some loyalty to me



   

                   

or something like that.



   

                   

Just l don't know...



   

                   

l know it's not the same.



   

                   

...and whatever happens,

you finish school,



   

                   

even if you think it sucks,

and you don't know



   

                   

if you can take it anymore,

you just finish school.



   

                   

l'd like to be able to tell you

stuff about boys



   

                   

and boyfriends and relationships

and that kind of stuff,



   

                   

l think

l wouldn't be much heIp.



   

                   

l was seventeen

when you were born, Penny,



   

                   

exactly how old

you are right now.



   

                   

You have to have faith in yourself.



   

                   

You have to have faith

in your ability to do things,



   

                   

to just make a go of it.



   

                   

Lots of kisses and cuddles,



   

                   

even though l know you're not

a small little thing anymore.



   

                   

Ann, is something wrong?



   

                   

What is it?



   

                   

ls it that diet you're on?



   

                   

How come you're throwing up?



   

                   

You're not taking

those slimming pills, are you?



   

                   

You want to know why l'm throwing up?



   

                   

You really want to know?



   

                   

l'm throwing up because

when l was eight years old



   

                   

the girl who was supposed to be my best

friend toId everyone l was a slut.



   

                   

I'm throwing up 'cause

when l was fifteen years oId



   

                   

l didn't get invited to the only party

l ever wanted to go to in my entire life.



   

                   

l'm throwing up because when

l was seventeen l had my first kid



   

                   

and l had to grow up

overnight.



   

                   

And l've got no more dreams.



   

                   

Without dreams

you can't fucking live.



   

                   

l'm throwing up because since they put

my dad in jail l haven't seen him.



   

                   

l don't have anything from him,



   

                   

I don't even have

a single fucking postcard.



   

                   

And in all the commercials

everybody is so fucking happy



   

                   

and all day long my two littIe daughters

sing those stupid fucking songs



   

                   

from those stupid fucking commercials.



   

                   

lf l beg you,



   

                   

if l get down on my knees

to beg you...



   

                   

please, don't give me the name

of that diet you're on.



   

                   

l didn't wake you up, did I?



   

                   

lt's Ann.



   

                   

Can l bring you back

your book now?



   

                   

Yeah, right now.



   

                   

Yeah, okay, l know where that is.



   

                   

l should have given you

a raincoat. Come on in.



   

                   

-lt's got a bit wet.

-Don't worry about it.



   

                   

What happened?



   

                   

You didn't keep up the payments on your

furniture and they took it all away?



   

                   

No.



   

                   

Well, actuaIIy, I was



   

                   

pIanning on getting

some furniture one day,



   

                   

l just didn't really have the time.



   

                   

Sorry, l'd offer you something,

but l don't have anything.



   

                   

l don't even have any glasses.



   

                   

Not even like a cookie or something?



   

                   

Nothing.



   

                   

if I knew you were coming,

l would have bought something.



   

                   

l can live without cookies.



   

                   

Who took

all your furniture?



   

                   

Someone...



   

                   

took it... yeah.



   

                   

You don't want to get anymore

because you think she might come back?



   

                   

You wanna sit down?



   

                   

Thanks.



   

                   

Are they okay?



   

                   

What did you do in Alaska?



   

                   

l'm a surveyor.



   

                   

l survey land for building highways,

bridges and things like that.



   

                   

Before that l was in



   

                   

Chile.



   

                   

And before that l was in



   

                   

North Carolina,



   

                   

and before that Halifax.



   

                   

What are your daughters caII?



   

                   

Penny and Patsy.



   

                   

Would you Iike to see a photograph?



   

                   

Okay.



   

                   

They look happy.



   

                   

They look like you.



   

                   

Do l look happy?



   

                   

Not happy.



   

                   

You look beautiful.



   

                   

You look like your girls.



   

                   

You've been thinking about me?



   

                   

Yeah.



   

                   

I've been thinking about you a lot.



   

                   

Too much.



   

                   

l've got a sister, you know, who...



   

                   

she works for this radio

company up north.



   

                   

And she makes these tapes for me

that she sends to me,



   

                   

music that she likes and



   

                   

l've got the latest one



   

                   

out in my car right now.



   

                   

We could go listen to it,



   

                   

if you want...



   

                   

lf you don't kiss me right now,

l'm going to scream.



   

                   

Shut up!



   

                   

lf you don't kiss me right now,

l'm goinna fucking scream.



   

                   

Hello, Ann.



   

                   

This some kind of therapy

to get over your shyness?



   

                   

Something like that.



   

                   

So you didn't come Iast week.



   

                   

There didn't seem to be a Iot of point.



   

                   

l have to give you a further scan

and a fuller biopsy.



   

                   

No, l'm sorry.



   

                   

l don't want any of those things, okay?



   

                   

I need to feel

like l've got some control.



   

                   

So l don't want any more tests

if they're not going to save me.



   

                   

l don't want to die here.



   

                   

l will not have the only thing my kids

remember about me be a hospital ward.



   

                   

So why are you here?



   

                   

lt's this package.



   

                   

l want you to Iook after it for me.



   

                   

l don't know. What is it?



   

                   

l've recorded birthday messages

for both of my daughters,



   

                   

for every birthday

till they're eighteen.



   

                   

And you want me

to give these, don't you?



   

                   

Why don't you ask your husband?



   

                   

'Cause...



   

                   

'cause Don, you know, he'd Iose them



   

                   

or maybe he'd give them to them next year,

and maybe the year after that,



   

                   

or maybe he'd give them to them

all at once.



   

                   

They wouldn't understand

a thing if he did that,



   

                   

so... please tell me

you'll do it, please.



   

                   

l'll only do it

if you promise to come here



   

                   

every week

and l have to give you medication.



   

                   

l would imagine that the nausea's

got worse, you're not eating.



   

                   

Dying's not as easy as it looks.



   

                   

But there's no need for you to have

to feel terrible all the time.



   

                   

lt's just...



   

                   

lt's just l'm kind of afraid



   

                   

I'm going to come in here one day

and l'm never gonna leave...



   

                   

and l've got to so much

I have to do before l die,



   

                   

l have so many things l have to do.



   

                   

l have to do them, or...



   

                   

lt'Il only bejust some painkillers.



   

                   

l promise we won't do any more tests,

just something to ease the pain.



   

                   

And anyway...



   

                   

l brought you some candies.



   

                   

-So you'll look after it for me?

-Of course.



   

                   

Let's just say it's part

of your therapy.



   

                   

God. These candies are so good.



   

                   

l don't get it.



   

                   

I've been counting my caIories today,

and l can't have eaten more than     



   

                   

and in theory l need     

so in theory l shouId have lost weight,



   

                   

and l just weighed myself

before l left the house



   

                   

and l weigh nearIy a pound

more than l did yesterday.



   

                   

lt must be my metabolism.



   

                   

They should give us compensation

for slow metabolisms,



   

                   

give us some kind of allowance.



   

                   

Laurie, you want to come over

for dinner tomorrow night?



   

                   

Yeah, l'd love to.



   

                   

Great.



   

                   

Diet food, l hope.



   

                   

l don't want to ruin my diet.



   

                   

lt's cold in the supermarket,

and you like it like that.



   

                   

People always read the labels of their

favourite brands really really carefully



   

                   

just to see how many chemicals

they have,



   

                   

and then they just sigh

and they put them in their cartanyway,



   

                   

like they're saying sure

it's bad for me,



   

                   

it's bad for my family but we like it.



   

                   

No one ever thinks

about death in a supermarket.



   

                   

Sixty dollars and forty eight cents.



   

                   

Girls, you finish

those mashed potatoes, okay?



   

                   

Oh, God. These ribs are so great.



   

                   

How did you get them

so tender?



   

                   

l leave them soaking in my fridge

in milk for a couple of hours.



   

                   

You leave them soaking in milk

in the fridge for a couple of hours.



   

                   

l must try and remember that.



   

                   

Patsy, stop playing with your food.



   

                   

Ann, tell Patsy to stop playing

with her food.



   

                   

You do what your Dad tells you to do,

okay? Stop pIaying with your food.



   

                   

Try and eat a littIe more.



   

                   

lt's more fun playing with it

than eating it.



   

                   

You know



   

                   

that eating food can be fun too?



   

                   

Why?



   

                   

Well because...



   

                   

because you're doing new things,



   

                   

you're trying new things

and that's fun.



   

                   

Mashed potatoes isn't new.

lt's more fun doing things with it.



   

                   

Laurie, why don't you have

some more sauce?



   

                   

Here, Don made it himself.



   

                   

Goodness me.



   

                   

l didn't know your husband cooked.



   

                   

l didn't know there were husbands

that cooked.



   

                   

lt wasn't really cooking.



   

                   

l just added honey

to a bottle of barbecue sauce.



   

                   

Well that's better than nothing.



   

                   

You could have lied,

said you made the whole thing.



   

                   

No, Don would never lie.

He wouldn't even know how.



   

                   

How did you two guys meet?



   

                   

We met at a Nirvana concert.



   

                   

ActualIy

it was the last Nirvana concert



   

                   

before Kurt Cobain...



   

                   

No, my God.



   

                   

Did you save the tickets?

They must be worth a fortune by now.



   

                   

No, no we didn't save them.



   

                   

No, we were sort of too excited

to keep them.



   

                   

Ann spent the whole concert crying.



   

                   

l didn't really like Nirvana back then,



   

                   

so I was this kind of bored

and l was looking around,



   

                   

and that's when l saw Ann.



   

                   

She was this beautiful girl

just crying her eyes out,



   

                   

so l went up to her

and l offered her a handkerchief,



   

                   

but l didn't have a handkerchief,



   

                   

l didn't even have a paper one,

so l just...



   

                   

l took off my T-shirt

and I gave it to her.



   

                   

Thats how we met.



   

                   

That's really romantic.



   

                   

-Do you have any more mashed potato?

-Yeah, sure.



   

                   

You're a pig.



   

                   

She's basically a nice person,

you know?



   

                   

Oh Christ, Ann.



   

                   

Don't talk so Ioud.



   

                   

Penny's right.



   

                   

l mean, the woman ate eight ribs.



   

                   

And they were fucking huge ribs.

Did you see those things?



   

                   

l know, but...



   

                   

Fucking huge.



   

                   

Her fiancÚ dumped her

the day before her wedding, you know.



   

                   

He invited her to an All You Can Eat

and they wanted to charge her triple?



   

                   

That's not funny, Don.

That's not funny.



   

                   

Food can be fun.



   

                   

Food can be fun.



   

                   

She's a really nice person.



   

                   

Lately she's got this obsession.



   

                   

Yeah, lately you seem to have

the opposite.



   

                   

lt's the anaemia.



   

                   

Gonna go get more vitamins this week,

go to the hospital.



   

                   

Do you want me to come with you?



   

                   

No, don't worry, l can manage.



   

                   

Ok.



   

                   

Tonight l realized how lucky we were

to meet that night.



   

                   

l mean, in spite of everything,



   

                   

in spite of living in this shit hole,



   

                   

in spite of never having anything new,



   

                   

in spite of never going

on vacation.



   

                   

You never compIained once,



   

                   

not once.



   

                   

l would...



   

                   

l would like to be better for you.



   

                   

l love you, you know that?



   

                   

Don't you ever forget that.



   

                   

l love you.



   

                   

What are you doing?



   

                   

I'm sweeping up.



   

                   

-What are you doing?

-l'm the queen witch



   

                   

and l'm teaching this little witch

how to make spells.



   

                   

-I'm the little witch.

-Really?



   

                   

And what kind of spells

are you doing?



   

                   

Oh, just normal spells,



   

                   

turning frogs into cars

and turning lizards into airplanes.



   

                   

You know how to do that?



   

                   

-Are you going to teach me?

-Sure!



   

                   

Hi, there.



   

                   

l'm Ann.



   

                   

l see you've already met

Penny and Patsy.



   

                   

-Yeah. l'm also Ann.

-Oh yeah?



   

                   

There you go.

Nice to meet you.



   

                   

-So you just moved in or..?

-Yeah, a few days ago.



   

                   

l was just trying to do some gardening

or something.



   

                   

-Looks great.

-They're so sweet.



   

                   

Their little gets ups on.



   

                   

Listen,

this is kind of a weird question



   

                   

since we just met and everything,

but l was wondering,



   

                   

l'm just heading out for about half

an hour'cause both my husband



   

                   

and my mom aren't back yet.



   

                   

l was wondering if there was any chance

of you keeping an eye on them



   

                   

for the next half hour if you're around.



   

                   

-Of course. No problem.

-Are you sure?



   

                   

Yeah, l'm going to be here all day



   

                   

and they were going to show me

how to do some speIls, so...



   

                   

There you go.

They're very good at speIIs, so...



   

                   

-Okay.

-Thanks a lot.



   

                   

Bye, guys.

You behave yourselves, okay?



   

                   

Ann's gonna watch you for a Iittle bit.



   

                   

-Thank you so much.

-lt's okay.



   

                   

So, help me here.

Who's Patsy and who's Penny?



   

                   

My body hurt

thinking you weren't gonna come.



   

                   

l wasn't gonna come.



   

                   

l'm glad you did.



   

                   

ls this one of your sister's tapes?



   

                   

Yeah.



   

                   

Would you like to dance?



   

                   

...and then the Little Mermaid

said to the Taxi Driver



   

                   

"l wanna see New York City.

Please, show me New York."



   

                   

'Cause it's so big. You can't...

you can't just walk around New York.



   

                   

So the taxi driver took her

to the Empire State Building,



   

                   

and you know it's so high

it has two elevators



   

                   

because they couldn't find

just one cable to build one, you know?



   

                   

They had to build two.

So he got on the first elevator



   

                   

and then on the second elevator

that's as fast as a space rocket,



   

                   

and they got to the top

of the Empire State building



   

                   

and the Little Mermaid was looking down

and she said



   

                   

"Oh, my God. People look like ants,

they're so small..."



   

                   

Hey, guys. Hello, there.



   

                   

We pIayed witches and princesses.



   

                   

And Ann did our braids.



   

                   

Oh, they look beautiful. Thank you, Ann.

l'm sorry l took so long.



   

                   

No, that was fine.

We had a great time.



   

                   

-Were you guys good?

-Yeah.



   

                   

Good. Want your witches hats?



   

                   

Tomorrow can you finish the story

about the mermaid



   

                   

-and the taxi driver?

-Of course. My pleasure.



   

                   

Give Ann a kiss goodbye.



   

                   

We have to go have bath

and supper time now,



   

                   

but maybe we can come back

and hear the end of that story, okay?



   

                   

Thank you so much, Ann.

Let's go.



   

                   

-Hey, Ann?

-Yeah?



   

                   

l was just going to make some coffee.

Do you want to come over?



   

                   

Great.



   

                   

Just let me finish doing this.



   

                   

Okay.



   

                   

-Do you take sugar?

-No, no it's alright.



   

                   

You're not on a diet, are you?



   

                   

No. Why? ShouId I?



   

                   

No. l just have this friend

who's obsessed with diets



   

                   

and calories and...



   

                   

Boring.



   

                   

No, and I've seen too many people

sick with anorexia and bulimia.



   

                   

-l'm a nurse. That's why.

-ls that so?



   

                   

So l'm not reaIIy bothered.



   

                   

You know, you've got really cute kids.



   

                   

Yeah, they're great, aren't they?



   

                   

What about you? You want kids?



   

                   

No, l don't think so.



   

                   

Why not? l mean,



   

                   

you think it's stupid

to bring them into the world, or...?



   

                   

Just haven't found

the right guy, or...?



   

                   

No, l haven't.



   

                   

No, but it's not that either, no.



   

                   

Do you think you can't?



   

                   

No. Well,



   

                   

l don't know, actually.



   

                   

But...



   

                   

l was in my last year

of nursing college.



   

                   

We were doing some work experience

in a paediatric hospital.



   

                   

l'd decided to specialize in kids,

because l've always liked them.



   

                   

Maybe because l was an only child.



   

                   

l don't know. Anyway,



   

                   

one night l was on duty,



   

                   

and they called me in

to heIp with a birth.



   

                   

This woman was overdue,



   

                   

she was expecting twins,

and the babies were in danger.



   

                   

So they decided to do

a caesarean



    

                   

and the mother was put

under a general anaesthetic.



    

                   

And...



    

                   

it turned out they were Siamese twins.



    

                   

They were born without one torso...

one set of lungs...



    

                   

they hardly cried.



    

                   

They weren't horrible to look at.



    

                   

No, they were just Iike any other baby.



    

                   

But



    

                   

there was no way

they were going to survive.



    

                   

lt's impossible.



    

                   

So we put them in an incubator

while the doctors talked to the father



    

                   

about what they shouId do.



    

                   

The father didn't even wanna see them.



    

                   

So they decided to take them out

of the incubator



    

                   

and wait for them to die.



    

                   

And l offered



    

                   

to be with them until they...



    

                   

l couldn't bear the thought of them

dying alone



    

                   

in a cold hospital room.



    

                   

They lived thirty hours.



    

                   

l held them in my arms thirty hours.



    

                   

l sang every song l knew,



    

                   

songs from the world

they could never see, but...



    

                   

Anyway, they just grew smaller

and smaIIer in my arms.



    

                   

First the boy died, and...



    

                   

six hours later the girl died.



    

                   

So... since then l've specialized

in geriatric nursing.



    

                   

l'm so sorry, Ann.



    

                   

l don't know

why l told you this story.



    

                   

Thanks for the coffee.



    

                   

You know what? l better be going.

No, l'm sorry.



    

                   

Do you want to come over

for dinner next week?



    

                   

-Are you sure?

-Yeah, no, l would realIy love you to.



    

                   

l know the girls

would reaIIy love it too,



    

                   

because you have to tell them

the end of that mermaid story,



    

                   

they love that story.



    

                   

I'd love to, Ann.



    

                   

And you know,

that story is happy.



    

                   

Thank you so much,

l'd love to.



    

                   

Read me something.



    

                   

Read me something

that you're reading right now.



    

                   

I'm reading a very sad book

at the moment.



    

                   

Beautiful, but sad.



    

                   

It can't be as sad

as the story l heard today.



    

                   

Tell it to me.



    

                   

l can't.



    

                   

It'll make me too sad.



    

                   

You don't wanna teII it to me

because its part of your Iife,



    

                   

and you don't want me to know

anything about your Iife.



    

                   

I like it that you don't ask me

anything about my life.



    

                   

l don't ask you anything

because l've learned not to.



    

                   

When you look at somebody,



    

                   

you might see



    

                   

fifty per cent



    

                   

of who they are,



    

                   

and wanting to know the rest,

that's what destroys everything.



    

                   

That's what l learnt.



    

                   

Whoever took away your furniture

really taught you a lesson, eh?



    

                   

That's all she left me.



    

                   

-You really want me to read you something?

-Please.



    

                   

Read me something.



    

                   

Okay.



    

                   

Pick something.



    

                   

"To the Wedding"

by John Berger.



    

                   

"Her capacities go out one by one,



    

                   

and there's no night,



    

                   

no stars,



    

                   

onIy a cellar from which

she can never walk



    

                   

and which nobody else

can stay.



    

                   

She's given medicines

which make her ill,



    

                   

but would stop her dying.



    

                   

For a little while.



    

                   

They're scared.

l'm scared."



    

                   

You know, I don't think it was that bad.



    

                   

No, I like it.



    

                   

ljust don't want to read right now.



    

                   

l lied.



    

                   

When l said that when you look at

somebody you know fifty per cent.



    

                   

l guess when l look at you l see,



    

                   

l don't know, maybe ten per cent...



    

                   

and that ten per cent is...



    

                   

lt's not so bad. ls it?



    

                   

lt's my birthday today.

Wish me a happy birthday.



    

                   

Happy birthday, mom.



    

                   

Aren't you going to start the car?



    

                   

l've got something to tell you, Mom.



    

                   

lt must be serious, otherwise

you'd tell me while you were driving.



    

                   

l need to know

where my Dad is.



    

                   

Are you going to go and see him?



    

                   

Because that bugs you?



    

                   

No,



    

                   

not even that can make me mad anymore.



    

                   

This time last year,



    

                   

this very same day,

my birthday,



    

                   

l thought l should do something,

l don't know why.



    

                   

So l... l put on some makeup



    

                   

and the least old cIothes

l could find



    

                   

and l went to a bar.



    

                   

And l ordered a whisky



    

                   

and started talking to

the bartender.



    

                   

He was just a kid,



    

                   

he'd just started at the hotel,

it was his first job,



    

                   

and we chatted about this and that,



    

                   

and l told him it was my birthday.



    

                   

About five minutes later



    

                   

he presented me with a bowl of peanuts

with a candle in.



    

                   

And l...



    

                   

l started to cry.



    

                   

I cried so hard the kid got scared,



    

                   

and he blew out the candle,

and hid the bowl of peanuts,



    

                   

and l said

"No, don't blow out the candle.



    

                   

Don't hide the peanuts."



    

                   

And all this year,

all l could think about was



    

                   

that bowl of peanuts

and how l started to cry.



    

                   

So this year,

l baked myself a cake.



    

                   

'Cause l knew if l went back to that bar,

l'd give that kid a heart attack.



    

                   

Start the car.



    

                   

Five minutes.



    

                   

You're almost done, too.



    

                   

-Am l hurting you?

-No, not at all.



    

                   

She's great with nails.



    

                   

Now, don't you ask her to give you

a perm or braids or anything,



    

                   

but with naiIs, she's the best.



    

                   

l've got a manicure diploma



    

                   

and everything. l'm not interested

in hair or heads.



    

                   

Give me hands every time.



    

                   

So do you like Milli Vanilli as weII?



    

                   

l'm from Segovia. We don't have

any Mili Vanilli in Segovia.



    

                   

Milli Vanilli is universal.



    

                   

-Thank you very much.

-Thanks.



    

                   

So, see you soon.



    

                   

No.



    

                   

No?



    

                   

You know,



    

                   

braids realIy suit you.

They look really great on you.



    

                   

You think so?



    

                   

Yeah.



    

                   

Bye.



    

                   

Hi...



    

                   

Hi.



    

                   

How are you, Ann?



    

                   

This is Penny and this is Patsy.



    

                   

Penny's six and Patsy's four.



    

                   

They're very pretty young girls.



    

                   

You haven't been wasting your time.



    

                   

You could say that.



    

                   

What about your husband?



    

                   

Don?



    

                   

Ah, he builds swimming pools.



    

                   

Swimming pools, no less?



    

                   

Yeah, he's doing pretty good.



    

                   

l got work here, you know.



    

                   

Sewing sports shoes together.



    

                   

You know, a sports shoe can take up to

   different pieces. Did you know that?



    

                   

No.



    

                   

We sew the side pieces on here,

and then



    

                   

in another jail they finish them off.



    

                   

lt's good work.



    

                   

Sure.



    

                   

People are always gonna want to

need shoes, huh?



    

                   

Ann, l suppose your mother

still hates me.



    

                   

Dad, Mom hates everyone.



    

                   

Yeah, l bet she hates me

the most.



    

                   

Sometimes, yeah.



    

                   

Some of us...



    

                   

just can't live the kind of life

that other peopIe want us to live.



    

                   

No matter how hard you try,



    

                   

you just can't do it.



    

                   

l guess.



    

                   

-You believe me, don't you?

-Yeah.



    

                   

l believe you.



    

                   

lt's hard.



    

                   

Like you know



    

                   

you love someone

and you can't make them happy.



    

                   

lt's kind of like you love them, but...



    

                   

you can't Iove them

the way they wanna be loved,



    

                   

you know what l mean?



    

                   

lf you send me the kids' shoes sizes,

l can make some shoes for them.



    

                   

Okay.



    

                   

I want to touch your face.



    

                   

I remember how it used to feel.



    

                   

l've forgotten a lot of things.

l remember that.



    

                   

l remember,



    

                   

you used to before you'd leave the house

you'd put on this record of ringing bells



    

                   

and then you'd just leave

the house like right away.



    

                   

l used to like to hear

the music from the house



    

                   

as l was walking down the street.



    

                   

lt was really pretty.



    

                   

It was?



    

                   

lt was aIways the same record.



    

                   

lt was the Mule Serenade.



    

                   

lt was really pretty.



    

                   

Take care of yourseIf, Dad, okay?



    

                   

Yeah, you too.



    

                   

And remember to send me

the girIs' shoe sizes, okay?



    

                   

Yeah, l will.



    

                   

Going to have a good day

at school? Give me a kiss.



    

                   

Okay, have a good day.



    

                   

l hope you feel better, Mommy.

l want you to feel better, yeah.



    

                   

-Okay. You have a good day, all right?

-Bye.



    

                   

Hey, Patsy.



    

                   

-Give me a cuddle, Mommy.

-I'II give you a cuddle.



    

                   

-How's that for a cuddle?

-Okay.



    

                   

-l need to go now.

-You have to go to schooI now?



    

                   

Okay. l know,

you're in a bit of a hurry.



    

                   

Are you sure this is anaemia?



    

                   

Maybe we should go see

another doctor?



    

                   

No, l know it's anaemia.

They did Iike a million tests



    

                   

and l've been taking all the vitamins.

They just told me l need to rest.



    

                   

l took care of all of you guys

when you were sick,



    

                   

it's your turn to take care of me.



    

                   

Okay.



    

                   

l think l'm going to like

taking care of you.



    

                   

Yeah? Let's see

if you're any good at it.



    

                   

Okay. Bye.



    

                   

Don,



    

                   

l want you to understand

why l didn't tell you l was goinna die.



    

                   

lt was like...



    

                   

lt was like the only present

l could give you and the girls,



    

                   

to save you all the trips to the hospital

and all the stress



    

                   

and the waiting around in waiting rooms

and l know if you think about it,



    

                   

you'II know that l'm right.



    

                   

Now you have to be happy,



    

                   

and you have to look after the girls,

you have to make them happy too.



    

                   

Dream up a heaven for me.



    

                   

Don't let them be sad

when they remember me.



    

                   

You just remind them

of all the great things we did together.



    

                   

l Iove you, Don.



    

                   

You'll always be the guy who took off

his T-shirt to wipe away my tears...



    

                   

Sorry it's so out of key.



    

                   

It always kind of was, though.



    

                   

Hi, Mom.



    

                   

Well, l guess you're never

going to forgive me



    

                   

for not telling you

l was going to die.



    

                   

So, it's just one more thing to blame

the world for, I guess.



    

                   

l love you.



    

                   

l know you love me.



    

                   

l know you adore the girls,



    

                   

so please



    

                   

tell them that.



    

                   

Try and show like you love them

just a little bit every day.



    

                   

And try to enjoy life,



    

                   

you know, a littIe, just a littIe bit.



    

                   

l mean, maybe at some point

you could go on a date.



    

                   

That wouId be fun,



    

                   

or you could put an ad

in the paper or anything.



    

                   

l just think

you couId have a little fun.



    

                   

You're really beautiful

and you've got a great heart



    

                   

and just try



    

                   

and enjoy stuff more.



    

                   

Please help Don.



    

                   

You can tell the girls

any stories you like,



    

                   

even Joan Crawford movies.



    

                   

Your sister really knows

how to pick a song, hey.



    

                   

-You like it?

-Yeah, it's great.



    

                   

lt's Blossom Dearie.

You ever heard of her?



    

                   

No. What's that?



    

                   

Blossom Dearie?

Oh, she's amazing.



    

                   

She's still singing

and she's    years oId.



    

                   

  ?



    

                   

And she plays in this little club



    

                   

behind a Chinese lounge



    

                   

and



    

                   

she has this tiny little voice,



    

                   

this tiny little body

and such personality and...



    

                   

-  .

-Yeah, she's   .



    

                   

l'd love to take you there.



    

                   

Ann, there's so many places

l'd Iike to take you.



    

                   

TeII me about all the places

you'd like to take me.



    

                   

Okay.



    

                   

ln the south of Chile,

there's a desert,



    

                   

it's stunning,



    

                   

pure white and flat

as far as the eye can see



    

                   

and the only thing that breaks

the line of the horizon



    

                   

are these robin-egg

blue little houses



    

                   

and in the morning,

the sky goes



    

                   

completely green.



    

                   

lt's unworldly.



    

                   

And in Argentina,



    

                   

a glacier lake,



    

                   

and in the spring

when the thaw comes on,



    

                   

these huge blocks of ice,

l mean huge,



    

                   

the size of apartment buiIdings,



    

                   

come sliding off the glacier

into the lake



    

                   

and then your heart is pounding out

of your chest, it's terrifying.



    

                   

And Mexico and Alaska...



    

                   

Are you OK?



    

                   

What's the matter?



    

                   

I'm not going to see these pIaces.



    

                   

What is it?



    

                   

What's the matter?



    

                   

You don't wanna tell me?



    

                   

l'm so sorry, Lee.



    

                   

-l really need to get out of here.

-Okay.



    

                   

Waiter!

Can l get the check?



    

                   

Thank you.



    

                   

l always wanted to come here.



    

                   

Could you get them to put this

in a doggy bag for me?



    

                   

Sure.



    

                   

Thanks.



    

                   

Okay, l'll meet you outside, okay?



    

                   

You have to go.



    

                   

He's gonna be here any minute.

He works nearby.



    

                   

lt's better if he comes and picks me up.

This happens occasionally, so...



    

                   

Ann, there's something that l have

to tell you, and l have to tell you now.



    

                   

l love you.



    

                   

l'm in love with you...



    

                   

and the world seems less terrible

because you exist.



    

                   

l feel like l wanna be with you

for the rest of my life,



    

                   

and all that, the palpitations,

and the nerves,



    

                   

and the pain, and the happiness,

and the fear...



    

                   

l wanna...



    

                   

l wanna touch you all the time.



    

                   

l wanna take care of you,

and your girls and...



    

                   

and even find your husband

a decent job and get you a house



    

                   

-that doesn't have wheels and...

-Careful.



    

                   

That sounds like a classic case

of falling in love.



    

                   

l am in love.



    

                   

l'm classically in love.



    

                   

The classic husband

who's gonna be here any minute,



    

                   

and the classic depression that sets

in every time you go off with him,



    

                   

and the crying



    

                   

and the tears and everything.



    

                   

l'll go.



    

                   

Though I don't want to see you

driving off with some guy, you know?



    

                   

Someone you don't know.



    

                   

So, l'll be watching.



    

                   

Unless of course it's your husband.



    

                   

Ann, l feel terrible.



    

                   

l invited you over to dinner

and now you have to do all the work.



    

                   

That's okay,

ljust have to heat up this.



    

                   

So l still don't understand



    

                   

why you had to go to the restaurant

in your condition...



    

                   

l told you l thought

l was feeling better.



    

                   

A bad case of anaemia isn't something

you should take lightly. You should rest.



    

                   

Yes, listen to Nurse Ann, Ann.



    

                   

And you know what?



    

                   

l think you couId go wash your hands,

'cause this is ready.



    

                   

Go wash up, girls.



    

                   

-Don...

-Yeah?



    

                   

-You too.

-All right, yes ma'am.



    

                   

You pray that this will be

your life without you...



    

                   

you pray that the girls

will love this woman



    

                   

who has the same name as you,



    

                   

and that your husband

will end up loving her too,



    

                   

and that they can live in the house

next door, and the girls can play



    

                   

doll houses in the trailer,

and barely remember their mother



    

                   

who used to sleep during the day,

and take them on raft rides in bed.



    

                   

You pray that they will have moments

of happiness so intense



    

                   

that all of their problems

will seem insignificant in comparison.



    

                   

You don't know who or what

you're praying to, but you pray.



    

                   

You don't even regret the life

that you're not gonna have,



    

                   

because by then

you'll be dead,



    

                   

and the dead don't feel anything,



    

                   

not even regret.



    

                   

My darling Lee,



    

                   

l guess by the time you get this tape

you'll know that l'm dead



    

                   

and, well, all that...



    

                   

Maybe you're angry with me,

or hurt or sad or upset



    

                   

or maybe you're all of it together.



    

                   

l just want you to know

that l fell in love with you.



    

                   

l didn't dare tell you 'cause



    

                   

l thought you kind of knew,



    

                   

and l didn't realize

l had so little time.



    

                   

Actually, time is the one thing

l haven't had enough of recently.



    

                   

Life is so much better

than you think, my love.



    

                   

l know, because



    

                   

you managed to fall in love with me

even though you saw,



    

                   

what was it,

you said ten per cent?.



    

                   

Five maybe?



    

                   

Maybe if you'd seen it all,

you wouldn't have liked me.



    

                   

Or you would have liked me

in spite of everything.



    

                   

l guess we'll never know.



    

                   

Oh, and one last thing... Lee,

for God's sake



    

                   

just paint your walls

and buy some furniture.



    

                   

Alright? l don't want

the next woman you take home



    

                   

to get the wrong idea about you



    

                   

and run off before she gets

a chance to know you.



    

                   

Not everyone's as crazy

as l am.



    

                   

l loved dancing with you.











  

 
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