Quid Pro Quo Script - Dialogue Transcript

Voila! Finally, the Quid Pro Quo script is here for all you fans of the Nick Stahl and Vera Farmiga movie. This puppy is a transcript that was painstakingly transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of the movie to get the dialogue. I know, I know, I still need to get the cast names in there and all that jazz, so if you have any corrections, feel free to drop me a line. At least you'll have some Quid Pro Quo quotes (or even a monologue or two) to annoy your coworkers with in the meantime, right?

And swing on back to Drew's Script-O-Rama afterwards -- because reading is good for your noodle. Better than Farmville, anyway.

Quid Pro Quo Script

You're listening to
FM 93.8,


Up next, a special edition
of "Downtown Local"--

Stories of life in the
city with Isaac Knott.

This is P.R.N.Y.--

Public Radio
New York.

From W.P.K.V.
In New York

It's "Downtown Local."
I'm Isaac Knott.

I don't remember any of
what I'm about to tell you.

I only know what the police
and coroner's reports say--

That on the morning
of April 5th, 1989,

a high-speed
car crash occurred

on a rural highway
in Upstate New York.

There were
two fatalities:

My mother died
on impact,

my father died of hemorrhaging
from a torn pulmonary vein

and massive
internal injuries.

I'm listed as
"male survivor,

eight years of age."

We were going
down a road.

Nobody'd said
much of anything yet.

The road was supposed
to have been longer.

I did a story a while back
about a kid who thought

something his father
had left him

was magically
making him run faster.

He shows me the patch
and my first thought is,

it doesn't look
like magic.

It's black.
The edges are frayed...

and I have to confess,
I thought I was

A little crazy myself. But
then I made two discoveries.

The first had to do with
the way people looked at me.

I'd always gotten
the stares--

You know, the ones
people give you,

or avoid
giving you?

But once in a while,

wheeling in and out of
the current of people,

I'd catch someone
looking at me

And I'd see something
else in their eyes--


They were
jealous of me,

jealous that I got to
sit down and they didn't.

Does that sound
crazy to you?

Because the second
thing I found

was a pair
of magic shoes.

But I'm ahead of myself.

P.R.N.Y. is a small

The whole office has to share
one production assistant.

But I got around that by
moving my desk next to hers.

- Hey, I got you a date.
- No, thanks.

Listen to me, forget Raine.
Raine is over.

Charlene kicks
Raine's ass.

Is this Charlene A.B.?

Is she Able-Bodied?

She's also H.B.-- Hot-Bodied.

And she's a lawyer.
She's H.B.L.-- Hot-Bodied Lawyer.

Hey, Isaac...

Does Charlene know
about the wheels?

What, are you Frankenstein?
You're hot.

I'm calling her right now.

Last week a man apparently
walked into Bayside Hospital

and bribed a doctor into
chopping off his leg.

What was wrong
with his leg?


It's weird.
I can't look away.

It's the kind
of story I like.

But the caller has
a specific request.

Well, they always do.

She wants
to meet Isaac.

Lady, if they're
chopping off good legs

for money,
that's hard news.

She wants
to meet Isaac.

This is my purview,

I'll check it out.
If it's true,

if it really happened,
I'll call her back.

I know a guy can find
anything on anybody.

I also
know someone

in pathology
over there.

So call him, see who
gets the story first.

A man walks into
a hospital

and asks a doctor
to chop off his leg.

The caller who gave us this
tip left her email address--

"ancient chinese girl."

I know it all sounded
like some elaborate joke.

My contact at Bayside
was on duty that night

and I was half hoping she'd
tell me nothing had happened.

Then the doctor came in
and the guy goes to him,

"I want you to
amputate my left leg."

And the doctor
goes, "why?"

Sounds like
a joke, right?

So the guy goes, "because I'll
give you $250,000 if you do."

Candy, no one will know
you're my source.

Nothing happened,

We said no
and the guy ran out--

like, literally ran.

Are you telling me

a first-year Resident turned
down a quarter million dollars?

It's not easy to cut
off a leg, you know.

It takes more
than two people.

Does this happen
a lot--

People coming in
complaining they've got legs?

This guy was creepy,

said, uh...

"I want a transtibial amputation
just below my left knee,"

like he was ordering
off a menu or something,

like he knew exactly what part
was him and what part wasn't,

and the part that wasn't
he wanted gone.

Well, if any doctor
ever does take the money,

call me.

Whoa whoa, Tommy.
Come on.

- It's okay.
- You gotta watch out.

Hey, it's okay.

All right, so the first time
I saw these shoes

I thought they
belonged on Fred Astaire

stepping out of
a 1950 Desoto--

wingtip, cartouche.

They used to call them

My ex-girlfriend
is a P.W.D.,

Which stands for "a
Person With Disability."

She broke up with me
because I was too.

Blind dates can get dicey
between A.B.S and P.W.D.S,

but I was assured
that this blind date

didn't care
about the chair.

And if you're

yes, I can
have sex.

I just can't
catch a cab.

Need some help?

No, I'm fine.

Don't worry, I'll be
your girlfriend.

- Sorry?
- My parents used to

hitchhike Upstate
before they were married.

He'd hide
in the bushes

and she'd
thumb the rides.

Sounds like something
my parents would do.

Don't worry about it.
I'd rather be late

than give
these hacks a dime.

Don't run anybody over.

Thank you.
I'm expecting one more.

Her name is
Charlene Coke.


Hello, Charlene Coke.

Oh, here comes
the look...

followed by
the triple-axel-

a-better-person shrug.

Very nice.
Not an easy maneuver to pull off.

You can clear this.
I'll be dining alone tonight.


"It was supposed to go
straight to the incinerator,

comma, but an orderly
found the unmarked leg..."

I'll let you
catch up.

"...in the freezer

and sent it
to pathology instead."

She lied to you,
your contact.

You think that
can be a problem?

'Cause I can see how
it can be a problem.

Seriously, is it
hard to get people

to take you seriously
when you interview them?

Oh, Janice, write me
a different intro--

something, uh, icky...

and sexy.

I mean,
don't blame me.

You had your shot.

He has a crush on me. That's why
he hates you. He thinks I like you.

Do me a favor,
set him up with Charlene.

Don't to me about her.
I'm never speaking to her again.

Yes, is Candy Reed
working in the E.R. Today?

You can--

So this email was
from the same caller

who'd given me the tip
on the amputation story.

I got there
and I remember thinking,

"somewhere in this
building there are others--

not one, but others who
want it to be amputated."

It never
occurred to me

that "others" could mean
something else entirely.

Last week you were
talking about

hurting yourself.

I came out
to my therapist.

Well, that's--

it might have been
a mistake.

She told me
when I use my chair

I stay the same height
as a child.

You don't need a therapist
to tell you that.

What I need is
Ginger Jake.

Then I wouldn't need therapy.
I'd be perfect.

Ginger Jake
will kill you.

You think because you
came out to your therapist

- you're ready
for Ginger Jake?

Have you found us?

I hope so.

Ask him how he found us.

Uh, I got an email--

- "ancient chinese girl."
- That's her.

That's her email.

She is not here,

but since you are,

why don't you tell us
how you describe yourself,

your relationship
with your chair?

Well, I have

a paraplegic injury

so I guess
you could say

my chair and I
are pretty tight.

It's all right.

It's okay.

You know
we're wannabes?

I don't know
what that is.

We want to be
like you.

I'm not comfortable
using around him...

Not until I find out
why she sent him.

Tell us what
you think of us.

What's it like to spend
all your time in a chair?

They don't say
"in a chair."

Sit "on a chair."

We just want people
to accept us,

especially people
like you.

I'm happy to answer any
questions that you have.

Tell us what
it feels like

not to feel.

Well, I have pretty
good sensation, actually,

not too much atrophy.

My last running dream
was 1992.

I don't believe
in hope

but I hope to walk again someday,

if that makes
any sense.

I work out
every day--

stim machine.

I swim.

I stay strong

so I know when the day
comes my legs will be there.

You are perfect.

I have to say, uh...

my name is
Isaac Knott

and I work for...

...Public Radio
New York.

- What?
- Isaac Knott.

He tells stories
on the radio.

Yes, it's true.

I want to tell
your stories,

all of you.

No, please...


Just please--

You said you want

Let me put you on the radio.

You can make
your case.

This is what
I remember:

We are
on our way home,

returning from
a little league game.

My team lost.

We're going
by the tulip farms

because my dad hopes the
drive will cheer me up.

The weather conditions
are normal

for a spring day
in Upstate New York--

cloudy with showers
on the way.

My mother's eating
hard candy

she keeps in a bag
in a glove compartment.

She kisses my father.
She turns to me.

She throws me
a piece of candy.

This is where
I stop remembering.

Wake up.

Did I tell you I'm having
my housewarming party

- and that
you're invited?

If you pity me,
Musslewhite, I will kill you.


Isaac Knott's desk.

One moment, please.

- This is Isaac.
- Isaac Knott?



Hi. It's
ancient chinese girl.

You never
called me back.

Uh, sorry
about that.

I-- we get a lot
of anonymous calls

around here.
I got your email.

I've been studying these
people for a long time.

- Anonymity is everything to them.
- Are you a psychologist?

No, I study them
because, uh,

I want
to understand why.

Why what?

Why they want
to be paralyzed.

Do you want
to understand why, Isaac?

Listen, can we--
can we meet sometime--

like say, now?

- Hi.
- Hi.

I've never actually seen
one of these up close.

Is it hard to get
a cab around here?

For me it is.

Hop in.

I'm Fiona.

- Isaac.
Mind if I record?

Why record me?

Have you eaten lunch?

There's a great place

Um, well,

why don't we go someplace
neither of us has ever been?

I thought you said
you'd never been here.

I haven't.

I love the culture. I
specialize in Chinese art

and Chinese ice cream.
Oh, man,

I recommend ginger.
It's very good.

Now last night
they were talking

about someone named Ginger Jake.
Is she Chinese?

Uh, Jamaican,
I think.

What's the deal?
People go to her

to get paralyzed?

As I understand it,

What does she do
to them?

You know what, pal?

I'm not
the case study here.

You talk first.

What do you want
to know?

Tell me how you became

I was eight.
My parents were driving.

They died.
I lived.

The other driver
was underage,

so the records
were sealed.

I call her
"the pompom girl"

Because I remember
seeing these pompoms.

by a cheerleader.

Your turn.

So talk about
your friend.

What makes him
want to be like me?

You know, I've never
talked about this to anyone.

So why do you think someone
would want to be paralyzed

who isn't?
Give me your working theory.

I can't believe
I'm talking to you.

- About this?
- Yes. No. Yes.

No no no no, I mean,
it's you, you know?

I mean, you're, like,
the radio guy.

Say whatever you want.
Whoever your friend is,

they'll never know
I'm quoting you.

Okay okay, um...

it's just-- it's harder
than I thought it would be.

- Why?
- Okay, all right, all right.

Here's the deal,
all right?

I want to know why my friend
wants to be a paraplegic, okay?

So this for me is all
about understanding you.

And, you know, then I'll
tell you whatever you want.

So, Quid Pro Quo.

I want your life, pal,

as a paraplegic,
in detail.

You want my life?

All right.

At my work
I have this guy

who hates me.

Because you're

No, because
he's a dick.

I have one of those
at my job.

Where do you work?


I'm a conservator.
I freelance.

Right now I'm doing
the new collection

- at the van Platt Museum.
- There you go.

I'm sure Al Qaeda
has someone

who comes to the cave every
morning and somebody whispers,

"that guy has no
self-awareness whatsoever."

Well, maybe he thinks
you're a dick.

No, he thinks
I'm a gimp.

What is that?
Is that, like, a reporter thing

where later
you'll say,

"mentioned the word 'gimp'
and she laughs."

- Yes.
- Yes?

I'm painfully aware, okay?
I'm too aware.

Well, then you know
I like you.

Uh-oh, that means
you are weird.

No, I'm easy.
I like anybody who likes me, so...


What if I introduced
you to my friend?

Then I'd like that.

Then the question is,
what will you do for me?

Oh, right.
It's always Quid Pro Quo with this girl.

Don't touch
that vase.

It's worth more
than this building.


I want
to know more.

You know how you have
apartment fantasies

when you're
a teenager?

Mine was
to get a place

so I could shut
the curtains all day

and walk around
in my Milwaukee brace.

And you know what?

It's better than
I ever imagined.

So this is a sexual
thing for you mainly.

People who get off
on braces and wheelchairs

are called devotees.

They're a joke.
They're the bottom rung.

Above them are
the pretenders.

They wear the braces,
they push the wheels,

but they don't belong
to their chairs.

Still, if they want
to fantasize,

that's their choice.

Then there are
the wannabes.

You saw how crazy
they are.

What makes you

than a wannabe
or a pretender?

I'm a unique case.

I don't want to be

You don't?

I already am

I'm just trapped in a
walking person's body.

You make me
so nervous.

The other day
I decided

that nervousness
is shame

someone catches you

And I ask myself,
why am I ashamed?

And if you are,
why do you continue

to do this?

I can't.
I can't.

I guessed you were a
T12 or a T11 incomplete.

- What was it, a lumbar lesion?
- Not that.

Listen, that's not
the problem.

I can have sex.

The problem is,
there's someone else.


She's paraplegic.

I don't know
why I just said that.

I don't describe people
by their injuries.

her name is Raine.

Is she
your girlfriend?

Sort of.
I asked her to marry me.

I don't know
if that counts.

She said no.
She has this idea

that one person
in every marriage

should be able
to walk.

So that doesn't

that doesn't
really count.

This is good news.

I'm sure she'll
change her mind.

I hope so.

And if she doesn't,
she's crazier than I am,

and how crazy is that?

It's not you, Fiona.

You probably think I'd jump
anything in a wheelchair.

No, I don't.
I'm just trying to understand.

I've never shown
any of this

to any living soul,

There are some things
you're not supposed to show.

Oh, well.

I don't have to go.
You can talk to me.

I need to use
my chair right now

and I can't do that
in front of you.

You can trust me.

I've been completely
honest with you.

Tomorrow I'm gonna use
my chair in public

for the first time

and you, pal,
are cordially invited.

And now I want
to thank you

for a wonderful,
so wonderful day.

there are not hundreds
but thousands,

all of them invisible,
unlike the pretenders,

the fetishists,
the perverts.

Even the amputee wannabes
get a name--

"body integrity
identity disorder,"

but for
paralysis wannabes

there is no
known pathology.

The disorder
is order.

This is a strange
new American dream--

A way to improve yourself
a few dead limbs at a time.

But why?

What makes someone want
to be paralyzed who isn't?

Oh, good shot.

My friend Dave and I
met at a Jesuit seminary

where I landed after a
long series of foster homes.

I think we never
really figured out

if he was a brother
or a father figure,

But he's the only family
that I really have.

Dave fell asleep
at the wheel of his car

when he was 17.

You haven't
mentioned Raine.

I haven't seen her
in six weeks.

Did you two have a fight?

Sort of.

I asked her
to marry me.

- What did she say?
- She broke up with me.

Apparently, I'm not
husband material.

You'll never guess why.

You ever have
anyone confess

they wanted to be
an amputee

or paralyzed?

You'd be surprised
what some people

want to do
to themselves.

I'm doing
this story...

I can't discuss
what I hear in confession,

not even with you.

No, I wouldn't


There's a lot of mixed-up
people in this world.

Raine is only
one of them.

Um... Yes,
there he is.

Okay, thank you.

Thank you.


Are people staring?

I can't tell
if it's just me.

a little of both.

Yeah, well, this was
a good suggestion.

Thank you.

Oh My God, that woman
is staring at me.

This is
an incredible feeling.

Oh, God.
This is so incredible.

You know,
I have dreamed

about this moment
for so long.

It felt like 20 years
just to get a cab.

Welcome to hell.
I'll introduce you to the staff.

I want you to stop me if I'm
doing anything wrong, okay?

- You're doing fine.
- No, seriously,

I want you to tell me
if there's anything

I should be doing differently
or shouldn't be doing at all.

- Hi.
- Hi.

Fiona, this is--
this is Raine.

- Who?
- Raine.

Oh. Oh!

- Hello.
- Hi!

Isaac has told me
so much about you.

He talks about you
all the time.

This is my friend Fiona.

I'm the ex.

- Hi.
- Apparently, we haven't decided

who gets to keep
the restaurant yet.

- Fiona: right.
- Nice chair.

Thank you.
It's a good ride, eh?

We were just leaving.

- Who was leaving?
- Oh, Scott and I.

Who's Scott?

Yeah, he's just

Hi, Scott.

Raine, you have
to help me.

Isaac and I were just
talking about flying to Nevis.

It's a wonderful island.
Have you been?

- No, I haven't.
- Oh, well, he won't budge.

I really want to get out of the
city, but he just won't do it.

Encourage him.

- What the hell, you should do it.
- He should.

- Yeah, we'll see.
- Yeah, he won't budge.

Raine, it's a real
pleasure to meet you


Good to meet you,

It was good
to see you.

Oh My God.

Was I okay?

I said something wrong, didn't I?

You didn't feel me kicking
you under the table?


Just hold on
one second.


You forgot this.

- I'm so sorry.
- Don't be.

I've had the most
incredible day.

Same here.

Isaac, I finally stopped
worrying and just started being.

And I found out
that I can do anything.

Oops. Oops.

You know what?

I got stuck
in a building

that had the power door
in front but no ramp

and then a ramp in back
with no power door

and it pissed me off.
I yelled at some city guy

for more curb cuts.

You know what?
I was just heading out.

Where are you going?


I was gonna go talk

to the door guy
or brooster.

You were gonna go talk to
the door guy or brooster?

About what?

I just didn't
want to be alone.

Wake up.

My first thought is,

"there's something in
my shoe besides my foot."

Then I feel
a pin dart,

then waves
of hot pins

up my legs.

The urge to stand
is overwhelming.

Should I call 911?

But what would I say?

"come quickly,
I'm being healed"?

And then it hits me--
maybe I'm not.

When I take
the shoes off

the hot pins turn to
ice and then disappear.

I might as well be
trying to move mountains.

This is fucked up.

Holy shit.

You have to
trust yourself.

Don't worry
about it.

Where can I find
Fiona Ankany?

It's a surprise.


Oh, God.


I have
the coolest news.

I have some
pretty cool news myself.

Um... I don't know
if I should tell you.

- What?
- Okay, you first.

You scratch mine,
I scratch yours.


I have decided

to come out

about my wheelchair.

I'm going to tell
my mother.

Yeah, I'm going
to tell her

and then I'm going
to tell everybody.

I'm going to be in
my wheelchair 24/7.

Oh, God,
that would be heaven.

That would be
so heaven,

but I'm so nervous and
you have to come with me.

I wouldn't miss it.

You wouldn't?

- Do you want to hear mine?
- Yes.

Okay, but it's
kind of... visual.


Should I be scared?

Oh, God.

I'm so sorry.
I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

I shouldn't have
surprised you like that.

- I just couldn't resist.
- Oh My God, no.

Wait wait wait wait wait.
What? How?

- It was our sex last night.
- Shut up.

I don't know how it happened.
The point is, I can walk.

Oh My God, oh My God.
I'm shaking.

Look, you're making me shake.
Look what you're doing to me.

- Look at your hands.
- No. Okay, you are weirding me out.

And that is not
easy to do.

It's like,
did you ever sneeze

and feel like it was
a second chance?

You know,
I'm walking,

I'm seeing a drunk
puke his ass

and then three steps later I'm
standing in front of a Van Gogh,

and I don't know which
one is more beautiful.


I've never used
my chair at work.

Oh, that's fantastic.

It was a scene

of perfect
symmetric insanity--

the walking paraplegic

pushing the paralyzed

It was also one of the
happiest moments of my life.

I can't move.

I can't move.

Her mother's house was
on Long Island.

The plan was to get the chair
out as soon as we arrived.


No, not yet,
not yet.

Hi, Mama.

Hi, Fiona.

I've just filled
the barbeque.

I needed to see
her face

When she found out
why we were there.

Let's slide in.

So Isaac is doing a piece
on me for Public Radio.

I don't know what made
me think of a barbeque.

I'm glad. I almost
stopped to buy some beer.

No, Isaac,
I've been sober for almost 16 years.


how's work?

Oh, I am conserving

the most beautiful
porcelain elephant, Mama.

It is turning out
beautifully, so beautiful.

You know what?
I should do more sculpting.

- I didn't know you sculpt.
- Oh, yeah.

I've been thinking of
making a porcelain elephant

like the one
I'm working on.

You don't
really sculpt.

I could be that good
if I had the time.

You're comparing yourself
to the master sculptors?

Why not?
There are steps to everything.

I can just follow the
steps and in, like, 10 years

I can be that good.
It's easy. Anybody could.

It's one thing
to scrape the dirt

off someone else's
work. I would think

you would at least need
to take a drawing class.

Okay, I will.
And then I'll take a sculpture class.

And then I'll take
whatever class is necessary

and eventually I will be
at least that good.

You can be whatever you want to be.


But what?

Why are we even
arguing about this?

You know what, Mother?

Who are you
to tell me

that I can't make a
beautiful porcelain elephant,

as beautiful
or even more beautiful

than anyone else can make
a porcelain elephant, hmm?

Who died and made you final
arbiter of who can and cannot be

a fine sculptor of beautiful
porcelain elephants?

- Not one single drawing class.
- That's not fair.

Fiona, you never said you
wanted to be a fine artist,

- not once.
- so?

I mean, wh-- why
do I have to say it?

What if I'm saying it now?
Is it too late?

Did I miss the cutoff?
I don't understand.

It's better to list
your accomplishments

after you've done them.
Don't you agree, Isaac?

- Don't bring him into this.
- I'm just stating the obvi--

Well, it's not fair!

If you want to walk,
people expect you to hurry.

I'm doing my best.

I don't feel
like driving.

I've never used
a foot break.

You really want to cap this
day off with a car accident?

Just give it.

You know what?

I'm a joke.
I'm a wannabe

just like everyone else
in that pathetic group,

so pathetic.

Why don't you do
a story on yourself?

I'm not the story.

Oh, you're not
the story?

Oh, that's right.
That's right--

"Why Fiona Wants
To Be Paralyzed"

by Isaac Knott.

Is that funny?


No, it's not.

You just said
"wants to be paralyzed,"

But you used to say that
you thought you already were.

Oh, come on, Isaac,
do I look paralyzed to you?

Why do you care so much what
your mother thinks about you?


I'm just thinking
how easy it is

to get used to
a miracle.

I shouldn't have
come up.

You can use
my chair.

We both know how
this is going to end.

- We don't know what's going to hap--
- Oh, here it comes.

Listen, pal, you can
feel sorry for me.

Let's not pretend
that's caring.

I don't feel
sorry for you.

No, I know how you feel
about me-- "she's not normal."

What's normal?
"Normal" is a setting on a washing machine.

No, I don't think it's a
setting on a washing machine.

I think we all know
how to point and say,

"See? That's normal."

And I don't want anyone pointing
at me because I'm normal.

I mean, I--
I mean, I do.

Fiona, I think
you have the right

to be whatever
you want to be.

I don't want to be
a wannabe anymore.

You think I don't know
what it's like to pretend?

I'm pretending
right now.

Look, I could
sit down right now,

take off my shoes

and my legs
would be gone.


These shoes
are making me walk

even though
I know they can't

any more
than a patch

can make a kid
run faster.

Shut up.

What does it feel like
when you take them off?

Like you've just
taken a deep breath,

but before
you can exhale

steals it away.

Oh, Isaac.

Please don't.

Shh, it's okay.

- I wonder what they'll do to me.
- I asked you, please don't--

Shh, it's okay.

Are you making
this up?

Or do you have to
wear them both?

- Nothin'.
- Please take them off now.

Do you think
maybe they

pinch a nerve
in your foot

or stimulate

Now you know.


If you can just toss me my
shoes, I can dry off here.

It's the worst--

Handling my own
wet legs.

It's like trying to nail
jell-o to the ceiling.


Come on.

Are you gonna
make me crawl?

I thought it would go
away when I met you,

but it didn't.

And then when I saw that
you weren't paralyzed

and you were so happy

it made me want
to be happy walking.

And I almost was.

You know, I mean,
I tried.

- I really did, I tried.
- Can you just toss me my shoes?

I will...

After you help me
become a T12 paraplegic.

Like you're ordering
off a menu.

It's important to be
an authentic person

if at all possible.

Paralyze yourself.

No, it has to be you.

Why does it
have to be me?

"Why Fiona Wants To Be
Paralyzed by Isaac Knott."


- Wait.
- So do we have a deal?

Why would someone want
to be paralyzed who isn't?

I can't answer that.

You think I choose
to be this way?

Do you have any idea how
many people in my life

I've lost because I
revealed myself to them?

I'll tell you why

as soon as you tell me
where those people went.

I need to find
Ginger Jake.

Why would you need
Ginger Jake?

Making arrangements
for a friend.

Ginger Jake's
effectiveness is variable.

it's not me asking,

so let's say
it's not you telling.

I just need to know
where to find her.

"I can't eat.

I can't talk.

Been drinking Mean Jake,
Lord, now I can't walk.

Ain't got nothing
left to lose,

a Jake-Walking Papa
with the Jake Walk Blues."

#...I can't eat,
I can't talk #

# been drinking Mean Jake,
Lord, now I can't walk #

# ain't got
nothing now to lose #

# 'cause I'm a Jake-Walking Papa
with the Jake Walk Blues... #

a true wannabe knows
every possible way

to become paralyzed.

Auto accidents are thought
to be too unpredictable.

There are drugs to render
your bones so brittle

that a wrong twist getting out
of your chair will do the trick.

Or you can puncture
your vertebrae

with a four-inch
spinal needle.

But there's one path
to paralysis

that excites a wannabe's
imagination above all others.

It's called
TriOrthoCresyl Phosphate.

They use it
to soften plastic.

This is
Ginger Jake.

It'll paralyze
your legs, your arms.

If you wanna fuck yourself
up, you be my guest.

Okay, I'm not
being a bitch,

but I will give you
back your shoes

in little cut-up pieces of
leather if you don't help me.

- I'm not helping you.
- You will.

Come to my apartment.
We'll do it there together.

Fiona, whatever fucked-up
thing happened to you,

you don't deserve
to be paralyzed.

Oh, but you do?

You still have
no idea, do you?

I never talked
about this.

So why do you think

someone would want
to be paralyzed?

Give me your
working theory.

I can't believe I'm talking to you.
- About this?

No. Yes.
No, it's you.

No. Yes. No.
You know, it's you.

...It's you, right?
I mean--

Driving by the tulip farms.

The flowers are red.
The pompoms are...

red and white.

Wake up.

You said
you knew a guy

who could get anything
on anybody, right?

Yeah. Me.

Look, I need to know
if Fiona Ankany

is the girl who crashed
into my parents' car

18 years ago.

The records
were sealed.

Well, did you
ask her?

I don't think
she'd tell me.

- What did she tell you?
- I didn't ask her anything about that.

Well, you know, I don't
want to lecture here,

but it's kind of

You know, you have
to ask the questions,

unless you really don't
want to know the answer.

Are you okay?

You think I'm fucked in the head.

No, I think you're
gangbanged in the head.

Okay, you are wigging.

You hurt me

and I hurt you-- that's
what this is about.

I've tried to imagine what
it must have looked like

to you
in the back seat.

At the police station my
mother told me you had survived.

She said that you'd be
stuck in a wheelchair

the rest
of your life.

But I was glad,
because when I left you,

you were lying on the road
and I thought you were dead.

You keep the shoes.

- You're hysterical.
- I'm about to be hilarious.

Hysterical blindness,
hysterical pregnancy--

You have hysterical

Isaac, how many doctors have
you let examine you in your life?

What makes a person
want to be paralyzed

who isn't?

I used to think
if aliens landed

and they saw all
the able-bodied people

and then they saw the
people on their wheelchairs,

they would say
that those must be

the Kings and Queens

because they have
special ramps

and they never
have to get up.

I have this fantasy
that maybe someday

after we haven't seen
each other in some time...

I'll hear you say
that you forgive me...


on the radio--

you know,
say my name


That was the last time I saw her.

I went back
to her apartment,

but she'd moved out
almost overnight.

There was
no forwarding address.

I know a guy who can
find anything on anybody,

and even he doesn't
know where she went.

Her mother
doesn't know either.

I went to see her and
we talked about that day,

the morning
it happened.

"Do you feel any
responsibility for the crash?"

She just
stares off,

contemplating the
fairness of a question

she will
never answer.

Now it's November, two
months since I've seen her.

This is the second time in my life

she's crashed into me
and then vanished.

I find myself going back to
places we'd been together--

Not in the way you do when
you can't get over someone,

I just go
to think about her

and to feel...


Isaac Knott,

Public Radio
New York.

Special thanks to SergeiK.