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Deconstructing Harry

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l never could start one those fires.
Dad, are you gonna have chicken or meat?
Chicken's fine.
This is a brilliant article. Norman!
-You read Ken's article on China? -No, l haven't.
Terrific article.
And where is Ken?
He's in the house watching the Yankee game.
Your husband comes for a day in the country.
And heads straight forthe TV set.
Ken, come on honey!
How many chicken? How many hamburgers?
Two more outs. Three minutes.
Everybody's dying for a libation.
Make some of your famous Stoli martinis.
Janet, when are you going to have a child?
You've let your sister have a big head start.
Let Leslie practice viola 6 hours a day. lt's not so easy.
Leave her alone.
l came in to make drinks for everybody.
-What are you doing? Want a drink? -Sure.
l was.
This is nuts!
We gotta get out of here.
What? No, we'll get caught.
l see them by the lake.
They're deep in conversation.
Wait! There's Janet!
No. lt's okay.
You can't scare me like that.
l grind my teeth. Just don't scare me like that.
Just a false alarm.
Listen, try not to actually chew.
Wouldn't it be great to be off alone.
Just relaxed. You and me.
lt'd be so great.
Let's hang in. You never know.
Come on, open wide.
Turn the Yankee game off and come out here now!
l will. Just one minute. lt's almost over.
l'm done.
-Come any time you want. -Can l?
l'm done!
l'm ready!
Leslie, is that you?
Can you lead me down to the lake?
Just a minute, Grandma.
l'm making some martinis.
-Sure, dear. -l want to finish.
Ken? ls that you?
Finish what?
Hello!
-Come, Ken. -Come?
Come, lead me to the lake.
Ever since l lost my second eye...
l feel so frail.
You don't have to moan. lt's not that terrible.
Ken is hurrying, Grandma.
Would you do the olives? Could you do them quickly?
You can use onions, too.
l prefer onions, don't you, Ken?
Yes! Yes! Yes!
Boy, you must really love onions!
-Lucy? -You schmuck! You bastard!
l'd like to cut your head off.
You're upset, right?
You knew what'd happen!
What are you talking about?
Don't answer me, prick!
You knew! You just didn't give a shit!
Take your coat off.
How could you write that book?
Are you so selfish...
you don't give a shit who you destroy?
-l can tell you're angry. -You told our whole story!
You gave me away to my sister!
Marvin's left me. He's gone.
lt was loosely based on us.
Don't bullshit me, motherfucker!
Do you think you're talking...
to one ofthose retarded talk show hosts?
l lived through it with you. l know how loosely based it is.
What, are you telling me your blind grandmother...
caught us fucking?
Never!
Of course, you made a few stupid exaggerations.
or, as the critics say: "inspired comic flights".
But Jane recognized it. You'd have to be sub-mental not to.
And Marvin was crushed!
Jane has suspected us for so long.
l know! And l denied it!
And now, you've gone...
and confirmed it all for her!
Big fucking deal! You made Leslie shorter!
Big fucking deal!
But it's all here!
The schmuck country doctor, the violinist...
her sister in Connecticut cheating with her husband.
The picture window, for Chrissake!
Cruel observations about Marvin...
and his barbecue and chef's hat.
And of course, Jane, or as you so pathetically...
disguise her...
Janet.
Here it is:
"lt was not just that Leslie was numbed...
with the spate of leaden perceptions...
that passed for wit from Marvin.
Nor was the image she shared with Ken...
of Marvin's flaccid microscopic member...
jiggling up and down as he tiptoed naked...
across the icy floor oftheir home...
to close the storm windows.
lt was that she had never loved him...
but she wanted children to retaliate against her sister...
who was not maternal, and whose every inch, Leslie felt...
was occupied by gluttonous self-love.
Ken fondled Leslie's large breasts, mounting her from the rear."
Big fucking deal!
-You gave her large breasts! -Leslie...
Lucy!
l'm Lucy, motherfucker!
Not Leslie!
Except of course, l am Leslie...
because you didn't disguise it! You didn't give a fuck!
You didn't care enough to disguise it!
Please!
You pulled out two years ago. You broke my fucking heart.
You left yourwife and me...
for some little cooze!
Me and Janet!
Jane. Janet is the character in the book.
Now...
two years later...
your latest magnum opus...
emerges from this sewer of an apartment...
where you take our suffering and turn it into gold...
literary gold!
Everyone's misery, you even cause misery...
and use your alchemy...
to turn it into gold, like some fucking black magician!
l'm the one who wound up in Bellevue.
You deserve it and worse.
You ruined my life! l'll blow my brains out!
What's wrong with you?
ln front of you...
because you caused it. My brains on your carpet!
You're unstable!
Will you relax?
That's why l turn you on. Jane's crazy sister.
You're not going to kill yourself.
No. you're not, because it's not in you.
You're never were the dramatic type.
Jane is the dramatic sister. Jane is the solo violinist.
Relax, for Christ's sake.
You're right.
l don't have the nerve to kill myself.
l knew it as l came over here...
l said no.
Not me.
Better to kill him.
Pardon me?
Kill the black magician.
So he can't spin any more gold out of human misery.
What's wrong with you?
Shut up!
-Put it down. -You're so fucking verbal.
You talked me into giving you..
a blowjob at my father's funeral!
You stop right there!
Don't pull the trigger!
lf it makes you happy, my life's been going badly.
l've been miserable. My girl left me for a friend of mine.
lnsomnia. l've got herpes.
l squandered all l have on shrinks...
and lawyers and whores.
Fatigue syndrome.
l won't stand up here on this fucking roof...
with aworld-class meshugana cunt and beg for my life...
lf you want, shoot me! You interrupted me...
-Whose life were you exploiting today? -You'll be happy.
lt was re-writing.
An autobiographical thing from when l was first married.
Harvey Stern married too young...
to escape his parent's apartment, arent-controlled cornucopia...
of guilt, and sou-deadening criticism.
By day, he labored in a shoe store.
By night, he glowed intensely over his Remington portable.
Are you coming to bed?
l'm in the middle of a sentence.
-l lost my thread. -l feel rejected.
We never sleep together anymore.
l don't knowwhat it is. l'm just not attracted to her.
-What does she do to put you off? -lt's my fault, too.
l lie, telling her l'm too wrapped up in work...
when l'm actually hyper-sexually aroused. Just not for her.
Who for?
Anyone else.
Shehas a sister. l'm dying to fuckher.
A doll, thicklips.
Her friend Jennifer?. l dream of her.
l never cared about African history but she's spellbinding.
The truth is, l never see a woman..
that l donīt wonder what she's like in bed.
l met a great hooker!
A hooker?
Beautiful. From China.
Unbelievable body.
Schooled by tradition in the art of pleasing men.
Fifty clams.
lsn't that cheating on your wife?
No. lt's not cheating. She's a hooker.
lt's not like a love affair.
You don't feel for a professional like you do for yourwife.
She comes over, rubs on her oils...
Oils?
lnto the sack. She takes you to the moon.
Lay half a C-note on her she's history.
Where would you do it?
l couldn't have her at my apartment.
You get a hotel room. lt's what l do when the wife's home.
l don't have the dough. Fifty's a lot in itself.
Maybe a friend'll let you use his place.
You're always bitching about your sex life.
l'm trying to help.
l tell her you gave me the number?
Not my name! Don't use your real name.
Of course. Not the real name.
You borrow a friend's apartment, you use his name.
That way it'll be on the bell.
Good fortune smiled on Harvey.
One of his best friends, Mendel Birnbaum, was hit by a car,
and hovered between life and death at New York Hospital...
freeing up a great bachelor apartment...
for Harvey's tryst.
Donning the otherman's robe...
Harvey became the swinger Mendel Birnbaum...
and waited...
his Oriental passport to paradise.
You must be Mendel Birnbaum.
Did you enjoy it?
-Are you kidding? Be right back. -Where you going?
l'm going to check my pants for another 50.
l'd like to go again.
Yes?
-Mendel Birnbaum? -Yes.
Open.
Who is it?
Who are you?
l've come for you.
-What are you talking about? -l'm Death...
and your name is on my list.
No!
Wait a minute. You've made a mistake.
You don't have a minute.
l'm not Mendel...
Don't give me that bullshit!
Look at your monogram.
Mendel?
Who are you talking to?
Don't call me Mendel.
-Please. l'm just using his pad. -Right!
They always have an excuse.
Let's go!
Move it, you little putz!
l'm on the roof. She's pointing a gun at me...
we're out in the cold and l'm panicked.
l tell her a story l wrote when l was younger...
and she found it funny, thank God.
She laughed and relaxed and she puts the gun down.
So your writing saved your life.
lt's amazing to me, you know?
The interesting thing apart from the obvious sexual guilt...
that l had when l was young in the story...
is that nothing's changed.
lt's years later.
l had a shrink then and now...
l'm six shrinks later...
l'm three wives down the line.
And l still can't get my love life in order.
l still love whores.
lt's ideal. You pay them, and they come to the house...
and you don't have to discuss Proust or films or...
l don't knowwhat's happening to me.
l just have not grown up and l feel...
l see other guys my age.
l think of fucking every woman l meet.
l meet a woman in the bank...
or on the bus...
l think: What's she look like naked? Can l fuck her?
This is crazy.
l see guys l know that are lawyers and doctors...
with families and houses.
They're not so...
Does the U.S. President want to fuck every woman he meets?
Bad example.
l don't know.
Take Raoul Wallenberg...
Did he want to bang every waitress in Europe?
Probably not.
Tell me about your honoring ceremony.
That's bullshit.
The same school that threw me out years ago...
now wants to honor me.
Why'd they throw you out?
Because l was not interested in college.
l wanted to be a writer. Writing was all l cared about.
l did not care about the real world.
l cared only about the world of fiction.
Plus l tried to give...
the dean's wife and enema. They didn't like that.
The sad thing is...
l've gotta drive way upstate to be honored...
and l have to go alone. l got nobody to go with...
What about bringing your son with you?
l can't. lt's not my visiting time.
Joan is completely inflexible, so...
She won't trade dates with you?
l can't even get her on the phone.
She hates me and...
for the first time in my life l have writer's block.
Now this, to me, is unheard of.
l start these short stories and l can't finish them.
l can't get into my novel...
because l took an advance.
l don't know.
l find l'm taking more pills and medicine and...
You remind me of that story you were working on...
two months ago...
"The Actor"...
Something's wrong with this lens.
This one, too? l changed lenses!
What do you mean? Focus is off!
-l don't know why it's a problem. -The center's out of focus.
l checked all the lenses, they can't be soft.
Let's move it. lt's late.
l'm tryin' to shoot Mel and he's soft.
What?
-Where do you rent these lenses? -The lenses are fine!
-Mel's out of focus! -That's what l said.
Not the lens. l mean Mel himself.
Let me see! Get the hell out.
You're right. Mel's out of focus.
What are you saying?
l said the actor's out of focus.
How can this be?
ls something wrong?
Mel, come here.
l don't know how to say this...
but you're soft.
l've gained some weight.
lt's not that. You're soft.
You're out of focus.
l don't knowwhy. ls there anything we can do?
l can't adjust forthis.
Look at yourself.
You sure you're okay?
lt's fuzzy.
All right, look...
Mel's out of focus.
You're not in focus.
Nothing to do.
lt's 4 o'clock, anyway. Why don't we just wrap?
We'll wrap and we'll see what happens
Now look. l want you to go home.
And l want you to rest.
And see if you can sharpen up.
Grace, l'm home.
Hi, honey.
What's the matter? You look strange.
l'm out of focus.
Yeah...
You are. Just a little bit. You are.
And you look pale.
Daddy, you're all blurry!
Maybe you should lie down.
-l'll bring tea and toast? -Daddy's out of focus!
Daddy doesn't need that, okay?
Come on now, you be nice.
What happened at work today?
First they thought it was the camera...
Reuben! Stop it!
They thought it was the camera... but it was me!
-Really? -They send me home.
-lt's humiliating. -You eat anything strange? Shellfish?
No. This is not an allergic reaction.
You know what?
l just need to get a good night's sleep.
-l'm sure that's all it is. -What happened to you?
Get a good night's sleep. Turn in early...
and tomorrow you'll be fine.
But the following morning things did not improve.
ln fact, the situation was worse.
Mel was more out of focus than ever.
l gotta get to the doctor.
Never seen anything like this.
Nothing's wrong with you, except you're out of focus.
What's the matter?
lt's from looking at Mel. l'm a little seasick.
That's why l want everyone to try these.
-l don't wear glasses. -Wait, let's see.
l don't want glasses.
-Put 'em on so you can see me. -Better!
-l look stupid with these on. -Come on. Put 'em on.
-Daddy'll be much sharper. -Want to see Daddy?
Put those on and we won't get headaches.
Despite the fact children don't want to wear glasses...
they're forced to.
You expect the world to adjust...
to the distortion you've become.
l don't expect anything.
l'm going through something.
Forthe first time in my life l can't seem to write.
lt's not coming. And for me...
all l have in life is my imagination.
Ourtime is up.
Have fun at the honoring ceremony.
lt'd be good if you took your son with you.
Joan!
-You never return calls. -Leave me alone!
-How do l reach you? -Shall l call the police?
l've got a question.
-Will you stop? -No. l won't listen.
Tomorrow they honor me at my old school. l want to take Hilly.
-He has school tomorrow. -Trade a visitation day.
No! l have plans with him.
lt'd be good for him to see me honored.
l don't want him to. l don't want him to see you ever!
He'll have a day in the country. Will you stop?
A day in the country. What is so bad?
He is 9 years old.
Where does he learn phrases like "banging beaver" and " fuck God"?
What are you saying? From me?
Do l look like an imbecile?
l know your conversations with him...
and l heard about "Open School Week".
Beth Kramer was appalled.
Dad?
Why doesn't my penis look like yours?
Why doesn't your penis look like mine?
Because your mother and l...
never had you circumcised.
When l was your age, you know what kids used to do?
They used to name their penises.
l'm going to name mine Dillinger.
Dillinger is perfect! Dillinger is great!
Hilly, you're inspired. A genius.
Dillingerwas a genius in his chosen profession...
like Willy Sutton.
Remember how we discussed Freud once?
Freud said the two most important things in life...
are the work that you chose and sex.
Those two things.
Women...
are God.
God's awoman?
No. l'm not saying that.
We don't know ifthere's a God...
but there are women.
Not in some imaginary heaven, but right here on earth.
And some of them... some of them...
shop at Victoria's Secret...
Beth Kramer has never been so mortified in her entire life.
Beth Kramer's a tight-assed, busy body cunt...
and it's none of her business how l speak to my son.
She is a decent parent and great friend.
Bullshit! Just change one visitation day.
What is so terrible?
No! He is not going to miss school!
lf Hilly was sick he would miss school!
Yes, he would. But he's not sick...
and he's not spending the day with his pill-popping...
alcoholic...
beaver-banging excuse for a father.
Years ago you didn't say that about me.
-You were an easy-going spirit... -Put it in a book.
What am l saying?
You already did.
"Epstein had married his third shrink.
He'd confessed his feelings for her often.
She seemed to put it down to transference
But one day she surprised him."
l think it best...
that we terminate your treatment.
And then, l think we should...
give it a substantial period oftime.
Then, if we both feel the same way...
l think we can begin to see each other again...
socially.
"lt was, to Epstein thinking...
a match made in Heaven.
Here, at last, was a woman who understood him."
You know all my secrets,
every nuance of my psychic life.
l've admitted every feeling and desire in therapy.
Now it's your turn to explore me.
Yeah, but you accept all my perversions.
Being tied up, watching you with other women.
Feeling your spike heels in my mouth.
Non one can say l didn't know...
what l was letting myself in for.
The first two years were amazing.
They moved to a West Side apartment.
He wrote. She saw patients.
But her best insights were into his work.
What one comes away with is your total isolation.
Your fear of people, your panic over closeness.
And that's why your real life is so chaotic...
and your writing is so much more...
controlled and stable. You're unable to..
lt all went quite well...
until Helen became pregnant and gave birth.
From then on, as if she'd had a divine revelation...
She became what Epstein referred to angrily...
as "Jewish with a vengeance."
l rue the day l listened to you...
and l didn't have him circumcised.
Are you nuts?
We can still do it.
No!
He's too old.
-Sure. Now he's too old. -What is wrong with you?
You're like a born-again Christian except you're aJew.
l see my father's face in Hillel.
Hilliard. His name is Hilliard.
We didn't name him Hillel. Not after some rabbi.
Hilliard Epstein.
l'm sick of smug cynicism. There's value in tradition.
l thought it meant nothing, but nowthat l'm a mother, it does.
l see not only meaning in Judaism, but true beauty.
You're a scientist!
Einstein was a scientist!
And he was a Jew! And he was religious!
"Helen had taken on the obligation of daily prayers.
Jews, of course, fearing a wrathful and vengefulgod...
give praise and thanks for everything."
Baruch atah adonai elohenu melech ha-olam...
borei pree hagofen.
Hamotzi lechem...
min ha-oretz.
Vitzi-vonu l'hadlik nair shel shabat.
Boreh pree ha...blowjob.
And one day the inevitable happened.
A patient of Helen's, an lsraeli...
who had come to her, depressed that his wife had left him...
captured Helen's heart."
l think it best...
that we terminate your treatment,...
give it a substantial time.
Then, if we feel the same way...
start to see each other...
socially.
Lost in thought, l think.
l was just, l was thinking about a book l wrote.
-Well, l'm a mess. -What's the matter?
l'm going to the doctor. l have pains in my chest.
lt's nothing.
lt's indigestion or gallbladder or acid reflux...
l've got a family history. My dad died of heart attack...
my mother died of a massive coronary.
Both brothers died before they were 50 from heart failure.
Why waste time talking? Get an ambulance.
Are you busy?
l was going to see my editor.
l just hate going alone.
My mother died giving birth to me.
For which my father never forgave me.
lt's funny. l wish before he died, l had forgiven him.
But we're morbid. You think you're dying but you're not.
Today they got lasers, all kinds of...
Yeah, you and science, right?
Nothing wrong with science.
Between air-conditioning and the Pope, l'll take air-conditioning.
l'm scared. l'm really scared.
Can l change the subject? You know l have writer's block?
l know.
l have awriter's block.
First time in my life...
l can't come up with an idea, something to hold my interest.
Since Fay left you you've been having trouble.
l'm seeing Fay later for a drink.
l think is very good.
She's good for you. She's a lot better than...
a lot of those other crazies that...
My God! My arm!
l'm telling you it's nothing. Nothing.
l'm not scared.
-You're in great shape. -Really?
You just have a little bursitis in your arm.
That's fantastic! My God, thank you!
The loveliest words to hear are not, "l love you"...
but "lt's benign."
We could do more tests, but l don't think so.
Your heart's in great shape.
l hurt my back some weeks a go opening a sub-zero refrigerator.
-Let me buy a cup of coffee. -Let me schedule you.
-No. l don't have time. -Let me schedule you.
What are you doing tomorrow?
l'm busy. Why?
l'm going to my old school. The honoring me.
l'd like someone to come with me.
l can't get out of this thing...
but that's great.
Congratulations.
-You look great. -Thank you.
You look a little tired.
l'm struggling with this book.
Naturally, l spent the advance...
and l'm having atough...
a tough time.
l wanted to have this drink because...
Can l get a red wine?
Same thing she has, please?
l wanted to be the first to tell you that...
l'm getting married.
Don't say that!
-Why? -What do you mean?
Because...
l love you. How can you get married?
Don't!
-Who? ls it Larry? -Yes, it's Larry!
l knew it!
l don't fucking believe this!
This guy's allegedly a friend of mine.
lt's the Devil. And l introduced you.
When Larry's around. l smell burning sulfur.
Can we have your blessing?
No! You certainly don't have my blessing!
l don't want you to get married.
l don't want you to.
l should go.
l was your pupil.
lt was Henry Higgins and Eliza Doolittle.
That's what it was, and that's what you loved.
But it didn't work that way. What can l say?
Why did you fall in love with me?
You gave me endless lectures on love in the Western world.
l didn't think l could. l thought l was too damaged.
l woke up one morning, and l looked at you over breakfast...
and l thought to myself...
God, this is what they mean.
This is what they were talking about.
All those warnings not to fall in love with you!
But then l fell in love with you.
Thought you were another jerk fan...
l'd fuck you...
and move on to the next fan. But that didn't happen.
You were a fan...
and a follower...
and then a pupil...
and then you were a roommate.
And before l knew it...
you had control ofthe channel changer.
l loved you.
l was in awe of you.
But it wasn't in love with you.
My old university is honoring me, if you can believe that.
Come with me, let me try to talk you out of it...
Just one day.
l'm getting married tomorrow.
-Tomorrow? The day l'm honored? -Yes! Tomorrow!
l can't fucking believe this.
You're getting married tomorrow?
Yes. lt's been planned for months!
Don't do it!
"While Goldberg was asleep onenight...
the devil entered his apartment...
abducted his beautiful blonde love...
and took her to hell.
The next morning...
Goldberg noticed the odd smell of burning sulfur".
Harry Block?
You're Cookie?
Cookie Williams.
You wanted me here at ten?
You wanna, shall we get to it?
You don't want to talk a little first?
Talk? Why?
Really? Most guys don't like to jump into bed...
without talking. They think it's too businesslike.
Not me. l'm not...
that you'd tie me up.
Whatever you want! Let's settle the monetary part and then relax.
Absolutely.
-You get $200? -That's right.
So you want me to tie you up?
Yeah, tie me up.
l'd like you to hit me...
and give me a blowjob.
A blowjob, then you hit you.
No.
Hit me and then the blowjob.
lf the order's not right, it's no fun.
Tie me up, hit me, give me a blowjob.
What should l tie you with?
The truth is l thought you were going to wear stockings.
Cookie, you're a definite artist.
They should put your lips in the Smithsonian.
lt took you awhile. l didn't think you'd make it.
l was having a little problem focusing.
Finally, l got the right fantasy.
l thought of awoman l saw in the Sixth Avenue...
and l coupled herwith Svetlana Stalin.
lt's the daughter of the dictator. lt worked.
What do you take medicine for?
Me? Depression.
What are you depressed about?
Depressed. Don't you ever get depressed?
Doesn't yourwork get you down?
lt's okay. Beats the hell out of waitressing.
lt's funny.
Every hooker l meet says it beats the hell out of waitressing.
Waitressing's got to be the worst job in the world.
lt's unbelievable.
What are you sad about?
l'm spiritually bankrupt. l'm empty.
What do you mean?
l'm frightened.
l got no soul. Knowwhat l mean?
See, when l was younger, it was less scary...
waiting for Lefty than it is waiting for Godot.
You lost me.
You know that the universe is coming apart?
You know what a black hole is?
Yeah. That's how l make my living.
l gotta tell you, a great writer named Sophocles...
said it was probably best not to be born al all.
Honey, it's a little too late forthat.
l didn't want to come out. They had to come in and get me.
You want another blowjob?
How come?
On the house. No charge.
Because them pills you takin' sure ain't working.
l'm just in a peculiar mood tonight.
Because l had some bad news today.
Let me ask you, what are you doing tomorrow.
Hustlin'.
Yeah? Why don't you come with me?
Where?
l'm going to my old school. They're honoring me.
l got nobody to share it with.
l'm serious. Come with me.
l'll give you 500 bucks.
Sleep here, come up with me tomorrow.
Why you got all this money?
l always have hooker money because...
l once paid by check years ago and the lRS killed me.
Fay, when you get this message, if it's not too late...
don't get married...
because l love you...
and l want to marry you.
l was looking at...
my last book...
at the part where we met.
l tried to exaggerate it to make it funny...
but it was actually very romantic.
-She can't hear. -l'm in town.
Norman's meeting me for "Les Mis." l have a free hour.
l don't know if l can.
l got our usual place at the Wyndham. lt's been 2 weeks ago.
We gotta be fast. l can't make it believable for so long.
You'll be back in an hour.
l have to be done by then anyway.
Think l'll take awalk.
Now?
Yes, l thought that l would just...
just get some fresh air.
Okay.
Excuse me.
Are you Harry Block?
Yes.
-Your writing's so meaningful to me. -Thank you.
l can't believe l'm in the elevator with you.
lt's no big deal.
Are you staying here?
No. l'm meeting someone.
What is this?
lt's stuck again.
lfthis was one of my stories, this elevator would get stuck...
and you and l would start a major affair, and fall in love.
Promise you won't fall in love with me.
No?
Definitely not. Not a good idea.
Why?
Because...
l'm too screwed up.
l have...
too many quirks.
l have trouble being faithful.
l have too many phobias. l'm crazy.
Yeah, but l fell in love with you before l met you.
When l read you.
Yes, but you fell in love with my work.
That's a different thing.
l love yourwork. l love your imagination.
l love it.
But this is not a book. You know what l mean.
We're not characters in a fictional thing.
-So don't fall in love with me. -Kiss me.
-Promise you won't. -No, kiss me.
l promise.
Thank you.
The subway took forever. Sorry.
You said you weren't coming.
What do you mean?
-We said 10. l'm sure. -No.
l called last night, to say l got out of my thing.
You called? When?
At 9.30 last night. You don't remember?
l interrupted you writing.
-We spoke on the phone. -Absolutely.
My mind has been playing tricks.
This is Cookie Williams, Richard.
How ya doing?
What's so special about this honor?
He's being honored by the school that expelled him.
lf only Hilly could see me, he'd be so proud.
lt's sad, but short of kidnapping, he ain't coming.
Oh, dear!
Dad?
-Hilly, Where you going? -What are you doing?
Stop it!
lt's an emergency.
What are you doing? Come on!
You can't do this!
Hilly, get out ofthe car!
Somebody stop this man! He's a deviant!
Somebody stop him!
Somebody call the police!
-lt's fabulous up here. -Beautiful.
Look, a ferris wheel!
-Look at the swings! -Want to go?
Yeah!
Very good!
Would you like this?
Dad, high-five!
You want some ofthis joint?
No. l can't stand that stuff.
You see that place there?
That Red Apple Rest?
Years ago...
my then wife, Jane, and l...
were coming back from her sister's house...
and we had a fight.
She had her period, and we stopped to get water for Midol.
l don't want a child!
And don't bring it up in front of my parents!
-l don't understand. -We've discussed it!
-Don't l get a vote? -You have a child!
-Who l never get to see! -That's not my fault!
l like being a father.
l'm not Lucy. You knew that when you married me!
So your work means no children.
Since when are you a family man?
Don't think l don't see you staring at my sister Lucy.
What?
Don't play ignorant.
You watch her walk and sit.
You can't keep your eyes off hertoes!
Are you fucking nuts? What are you suggesting?
l wouldn't put it past you if you wanted to have athing with her.
She's a neurotic, suburban Hausfrau!
l have no interest in her. Zero. Nothing.
You're level of denial is a little intense.
You're suffering from a pre-menstrual nuclear meltdown.
You want a hit?
No. That smoke is killing me.
l'm going to go to the bathroom. Catch you later.
Cold fish, your third ex-wife.
She never would have made a good mother.
Who are you?
lt's me. Ken!
Look at this guy! You created me, now you don't recognize me?
l'm a little bit high because of her smoke...
How'd you ever hook up with Jane?
Jane was fine. Jane was just having her period. She was...
lt wasn't just her period.
She was a cold, selfish woman.
She's so self-involved she doesn't realize her sister hates her.
How do you know so much?
l'm just you, thinly disguised.
You gave me a little more maturity and a different name.
Are you saying that l knowthis?
Yes! That's why you picked her!
So it wouldn't work, and you'd never have to give up...
sport-fucking and chronic dissatisfaction and grow up.
l won't stand here and get lectured by my own creation.
You can't fool me.
l'm not your shrink. He only knows what you tell him.
l knowthe truth.
And her sister, Lucy.
Another head-case.
You sure can pick them.
But even she was better than Jane.
More maternal and she loved you.
You weren't there the day your bomb dropped on her...
but take a look.
He left me!
Our marriage is finished!
l'm sorry to hear that.
You shocked?
Yes and no.
Things have not been very good for some time.
l knew he played around.
Did you? You never mentioned that.
l don't like to discuss my private life.
First suspected Lynn, his editor. Then l thought...
it might be Allison Davis, a friend of ours.
l even thought he might have a crush on you.
Me?
You're beautiful and we've spent a lot oftime together...
and you two get along very well.
Obviously l knew you never would in a million years...
but l imagined he longed for you.
l even heard him mention your name in his sleep once.
My goodness.
That's absurd!
Really!
You're all red!
No!
Are you okay?
Since we're talking openly...
l have a confession to make.
Yes?
Life sometimes takes very strange twists and turns.
lt overwhelms us, and we can't help our feelings.
Our feelings are irrational.
But to hear from your husband that he found another woman!
He said that?
He said his future is all mapped out.
l'm going to be totally frank with you.
-Try to hang on and understand. -What? l'm being replaced.
But it doesn't have to be a nightmare...
ifwe're all just mature about it.
Replaced by a 25-year-old.
-Excuse me? -A 25-year-old.
A wanna-be writer. Fay Sexton is her sexy name.
What's the matter? Now you're white!
Lucy have you eaten anything today?
Have a drink. Finish that.
-How could l believe such a liar. -l'm weak!
What's wrong?
You'd think he dumped you.
-You feel bad, but can handle it. -Air!
l'm in shock today, but...
l want to speak to Fay.
lt's Harry Block. l've been trying to reach her.
No, it's an emergency. l gotta talk...
Tell her to call me back. lt's the car number.
Yes. The car!
-She's in love with someone else. -This guy is too old for her.
Younger than you.
l'm much too old for her. lt's ridiculous.
-But my immaturity makes me boyish. -ls it much longer, Dad?
-We just got done at the fair. -You're speeding.
-About how much longer is it? -lt won't be long.
Okay, my sister lives ten minutes from here.
We'll surprise her. lt'll be fun.
-You can eat and walk around. -She's your half-sister.
But it'll still be 10 minutes...
not 5, 'cause she's a half-sister.
lt's wonderful!
-lt is so funny. -Do you think?
-And it's so sad. -You're so sweet.
l love it.
You're so great. You're so kind to me.
You have such a sweet, kind instinct.
Don't do that.
l count on you to be critical...
to really be tough. You're too easy on me.
What's wrong with this?
What's wrong is that it had...
it had no energy.
l became discouraged with it.
lt doesn't release any power. lt's nothing.
l thought it was really touching.
You knew when the boy grew up he would never learn to love.
l think your problem is...
that you love too easily, and too much.
l think you're beautiful, and great...
and too kind to me, and lovely.
But you're not in love with me.
l told you not to fall in love with me.
But still haven't figured out why.
Why? Because l'm the boy in that story...
and l can't love.
So, l don't want you to get into anything.
You love Hilly.
What?
You love Hilly.
Sure. l love Hilly.
He's my son. lt's easy to love a little kid.
You love music.
And you love baseball.
Baseball's also easy, because it has rules, foul lines...
but women are complicated.
Happy birthday.
You're kidding!
Come on, open it up.
You didn't have to get me anything.
Another sweater, right?
A baseball signed by the 1951 Giants.
Really! That's so great!
Bobby Thomson!
They were the one genuine miracle of my lifetime!
When he hit that home run...
it was the only hint l've had there may be a God.
What made you think of it?
lt was easy.
You are the greatest.
lt's your birthday, so you get awish.
Anything at all that'll make your day special.
You are the greatest. l don't deserve you.
You're too...
Too what?
-We thought we'd stop in to see you. -Come in!
This is Richard. This is Cookie.
l'm your Aunt Doris. You won't remember me.
Remember Uncle Burt?
You haven't seen him in awhile.
lt's been a long while.
Something to eat? A cookie or something?
Come in the kitchen.
l gotta go to the bathroom. Where's the john?
The bathroom! You just go right through there.
So, l thought we'd drop in.
You're the last person l ever expected to see.
Don't say that, Doris.
-And what's with Cookie? -Cookie's the nanny.
You get her from an agency or massage parlor?
What are you picking on...
Still with the sex pots, the tramps, the vilda chayes.
She's got a Ph.D.
l bet she got an "A" on her oral exam.
Give me a break! l drive upstate...
and take the time to drop in to say hello.
Can you believe they're honoring me at Adair? l can't.
Not that l care, but it's great for Hilly to see me.
The last time l saw him he was six years old.
You don't exactly contact me either.
l know what you think of me.
Please Doris, don't start in.
Am l wrong? lt's all in your book.
"Too Jewish", "professional Jewish".
You attributed it to your ex-wife, but used the details of my life...
to depict herwith contempt.
-What are you talking about? -What am l talking about?
You portrayed your 'ex' as a horror.
And to make her unsympathetic, you used some of her,...
but mostly you caricatured my religious dedication.
Because it always enraged you that l returned to my roots.
What roots? You were a wonderful, sweet kid.
You got me through my childhood.
Then you go to Fort Lauderdale...
and you meet this fanatic, this zealot.
He fills you full of superstition.
lt's tradition.
Tradition is the illusion of permanence.
You have no values. Your life...
it's nihilism, cynicism, sarcasm and orgasm.
ln France l could run on that slogan and win.
l'm aJew. l was born aJew. Do you hate me because ofthat?
And if our parents converted...
to Catholicism a month before you were born, we'd be Catholics.
They're clubs. They're exclusionary.
They foster the concept of "the other"...
so you know who to hate.
That's enough!
A question: lf a Jew gets massacred...
does it bother you more than if it's a Gentile...
or a black or a Bosnian?
Yes, it does. l can't help it. lt's my people.
They're all your people.
Burt is right about you. You're a self-hating Jew.
l may hate myself, but not because l'm Jewish.
Not a self-hating Jew,...
but look how he talks about them in his stories.
Max and Dolly Pincus were married for 30 years.
They raised two children...
participated generously at family weddings and bar mitzvahs.
Max, How are you?
Mazel tov. Here, for Donald.
Thank you, Max.
Dolly!
You got a private minute?
Sure. We're leaving anyhow in a few minutes.
l don't know if l should tell you.
What? Tell me what?
Tell me, and l'll tell you if you should tell me.
My heart is heavy.
Nothing terrible happened to your husband Phil, did it?
He's been dead for so many years.
When l was in Florida last week...
l ran into a man...
who heard from someone who knew someone who...
Anyway...
it seems Max has some secret from his past.
You're talking about my Max?
-A dark secret. -What kind of a dark secret?
Dark!
What is by you dark?
l don't know.
What kind of dark secret? We've been married for 30 years.
You're his first wife?
Sure l'm his first wife.
Before me, he worked for...
What?
You heard something different?
l heard only a dark secret. Do l knowwhat?
Who told you?
Wolf Fishbein.
Be careful, Dolly.
That's all l want to say.
Dolly tried putting Elsie's words out of her mind...
but Max's dark secret plagued her.
Then one day she ran into Wolf Fishbein...
and the truth was revealed.
Try to breathe deeply.
Elsie, you were right.
Fishbein told me a tale.
Max, before l met him, lived in Florida.
He had a store. Groceries.
He was married.
Now it comes out!
To a woman...
with two children.
Max had other children?
No. The woman's children.
From a prior marriage.
He began an affair...
with the downstairs neighbor, a widow.
He probably had all his hair then.
Meanwhile, he got into debt.
Deeper and deeper.
And then carry on with the neighbor.
Oy, my heart!
He can't get himself out of a predicament.
So what does he do?
He stole money.
l should be so lucky!
He killed his wife!
No!
The man purchased an ax.
With an ax?
You know Max. He's nothing with tools.
He can't even hang a picture.
l'm dropping dead!
Plus her children!
Plus the neighbor!
Four.
Four people he killed in one night with an ax.
Your Max?
-And this is not the capper. -There's more?
More!
What more?
He ate them.
What, are you talking crazy?
He devoured them.
l can't breathe. Everything is closing in.
Whatever you do...
first hear Max's side.
Max has a side?
He kills his family and eats them up.
The man has a side?
He was a good husband and loving father for 30 years.
You have a daughter who went to college.
You have a son who's awriter.
Maybe the best course of action is to let sleeping dogs lie.
Honey, would you pass the sour cream?
You haven't touched a thing.
Nice weather.
lt's okay.
lt's not just okay. lt's nice.
All right. What are you getting so steamed up about?
What makes you such an authority on the weather?
Me?
-All l said was... -l know what you said.
The fish is delicious.
Wouldn't you rather have meat?
Since when do l eat meat?
With my arteries, you gotta watch the cholesterol.
-Uh-huh. -What is the "uh-huh"?
You've been very touchy lately.
Don't interrogate me...
Mr. Max Pinchick!
Where did you hearthat name?
Did you kill your first wife with an ax?
l got a headache.
Did you chop her up? Along with your mistress?
Okay.
lf l tell you why l did it, do you promise not to nudge me?
Wolf Fishbein said, in orderto hide the bodies...
you ate them!
So, what are you making a fuss?
Some bury, some burn...
l ate!
l remember "Max Pincus's Dark Secret".
And you don't see your sick view of our parents?
l wrote it when l was young.
The first of many anti-Semitic pieces ofwork.
Direct from the Wailing Wall.
Disrespectful. Shameful.
The Jews haven't suffered enough, you depict us as cannibals?
No spiritual center. He's betting on physics and pussy.
Excuse the expression.
He gets cancer, he's straight to the synagogue in a yarmulke.
Why should l get cancer? l eat broccoli.
You care about the Holocaust? Or you think it never happened?
Not only do l know that we lost 6 million...
the scary thing is that records are made to be broken.
l know what's out there. Do you?
He creates offensive Jewish stereotypes, like in "Der Sturmer".
Max is a version of Daddy, who you hated.
A man you accuse of being aterrible parent.
He was aterrible parent.
Thank you for dropping by.
Come again in another 4 years.
Wouldn't it be a better world if not every group...
thought they had a direct line to God.
He thinks l'm all Jewish paranoia.
No. l think you're the opposite of a paranoid.
l think you have the delusion that people like you.
-What's the matter? -Son of a bitch!
What's wrong?
You sick, sick, sick,...
fucking bastard!
What's wrong?
What's wrong? You've been having an affair with one of my patients.
Who?
You know what l'm talking about!
Don't speak!
She just told me the whole thing.
-Who? -Who? Who! Who!
Mrs. Pollack. Amy Pollack.
Can l explain something?
No. You cannot explain anything!
Will you calm down?
Don't tell me to calm down!
What's wrong with you?
What is wrong?
l treat this woman and she exits.
You meet her and you fuck her!
Suppose l told you that my fucking Amy Pollack...
was a disguised plea for more closeness with you?
l'd say you're a mental case!
This is like your first wife. You claimed you loved her.
All the while, you were having affairs.
My first wife. l told you...
we were in bed one night. l turned off her...
because the way the light was, she looked like Max Schmeling.
What do you want me to say?
She was pretty, but l couldn't get an erection after that.
Stop this tap-dancing. This is bullshit, understand me?
With you it's a different story. You turned off me!
That's what happened since Hilly was born.
We live platonically, like brother and sister.
Don't play "blame the victim"!
What are you talking about?
l'm as much a victim as you!
You think getting a blowjob...
from a big-bosomed 26 year old is pleasurable for me.
You're making me sick! l can't believe this!
-You're overreacting. -l'm not overreacting!
Are you telling me that every week for 4 months...
you've been with her in a hotel?
That's so crazy. No, of course not!
l rented an apartment.
l'm going to kill you!
Hello, Doctor. Sorry l'm late.
Mr. Farber.
Take off your coat. Come in.
l've been losing sleep at night.
l can't shut my eyes at night.
l think l should quit my job, but l can't bring myselfto do it.
Maybe because my brother-in-law treats me kindly.
But working for him is taking it's toll on me emotionally.
Could you excuse me?
What?
You fucked-up fuck!
l can't believe you did this. You fucking asshole!
You fucked my patient! You don't fuck somebody's patient.
Fuck you!
Continue, Mr. Farber.
Lost your thread? You were talking about quitting yourjob.
Right.
l discussed it with my wife.
While she seems to be supportive...
l know she'd rather l stay on.
She idolizes Gordon.
All she does is spend time with him anyway.
Excuse me one more second, Mr. Farber.
Again?
Continue. l can hear you from the hallway. Loudly.
l want you to get out of here.
Get all of your goddamn stuff together...
and get out of here.
l cannot understand why the most sophisticated of women...
can't tell the difference between...
a meaningless, hot, passionate sexual affair...
and a nice, solid, tranquil, routine marriage.
Tell me, was she the only one, orwere there others?
Amy Pollack was the only one. May God strike me dead if l lie.
You're an atheist, Harry!
We're alone in the universe. Gonna blame that on me too?
You turned off me first.
Oh, please!
No. l gave birth. When women give birth...
there's a period when their hormones go crazy.
But they settle.
So, if you're telling me you're settling, l accept that.
You accept that!
You are so fucking nuts!
Take it easy!
lf you're not happy in a marriage...
you don't cheat.
And with my patient!
That is a sacred trust! My patient!
What do you want? Who else do l meet?
l'm working here. We have the baby. You're always practising.
We never socialize.
So now you're blaming me...
because we don't go out enough places where you can...
meet strangers to fuck!
l was merely explaining...
why my choice, of necessity,...
is confined to your practice.
l knew you were mentally ill before we were married...
but l thought, as atrained professional, l could help you.
Now, please don't get down on yourself as a therapist.
Get your shit and your goddamn clothes...
and get the fuck out of here!
You are the most irresponsible person...
l've seen in my entire life!
Get out!
Continue, Mr. Farber.
Doctor!
And l mean tonight, motherfucker!
Dad! My Pepsi!
So you got even with your exwife and sister and l was born.
What do you mean?
From your pen. From your fertile imagination.
And l mean, imagination.
l wasn't getting even with Joan.
You created me as the shrewish, Jewish hybrid...
who goes off with a patient.
An Orthodox divorcee from Tel Aviv.
She shouldn't have married Burt. He's turned her into a zealot.
She loves you. lt's not her fault your father persecuted you.
She was fine until she wound up...
with this right-wing hawk.
So she disappointed you in her choice of husbands?
Fuck you! She loves Burt.
She was a great kid. She had a flair for physics.
Suddenly, she's kosher.
She loves you still...
despite your condescension towards her life.
Does she love me?
Want to hearwhat she says about you?
He's not so bad. He was a very good brother.
But Father never forgave him when his wife died.
The man is not aJewish man, that's all!
All right!
Poor Harry, he was always lost.
He never accepted there are some things you can't know.
The man is incapable of an act of faith.
Forthat, l pity him.
l'd like to hug him, like when we were kids.
lf l was upset, he was a real comfort to me.
What happens to us?
She can't hear you.
And as for Joan...
Joan hates me.
Shouldn't she?
Why? Because l was unfaithful?
No, because when she caught you, you weren't a man.
You turned into this double-talking,
wise-cracking, tap-dancing liar.
lf she hadn't been so enraged, we might have patched things up.
Listen to him delude himself!
Maybe it had tapered a bit after Hilly was born...
but you had sex pretty regularly.
l've no idea why l took up with her patient.
She was available and adorable.
My marriage was droning on.
What you call "droning on", most people would call "working".
lf that's "working", marriage isn't for me.
lt's not for everyone.
But then l get lonely.
What do you want me to say?
She gave me Hilly and for that l'm eternally grateful...
'cause l love him so much.
You can have any one you want.
Can l get two?
Tell you what, you can get three presents.
Pick any three presents you want. Satisfied?
Look what l found.
lsn't that cool?
This is the chemistry set you always wanted. lt's perfect.
Don't open it yet. Let me buy it first.
Larry! What are you doing here?
Buying my nephew a Power Ranger.
-When did you get back? -A couple of days ago.
This is Larry. l told you about Larry.
He's an old friend, colleague, peer.
-So you got back, when? -Two days ago.
l took a boat trip down the Amazon.
-Sounds exciting. -Unbelievable.
lf you don't mind malaria.
Butterflies the size of doves. Never seen anything like it.
l can live without that.
lt was astounding.
Sounds it.
So you got back two days ago?
We go back a long way.
We both wanted to be Kafka.
You got slightly closer than l did.
Yeah. l became the insect.
l'm very excited. l'm amazed.
We should go out.
Why not come to my house in East Hampton for a weekend?
Let's not get hysterical.
-l'd love to. lt'd be fun. -lt's beautiful.
lt's sand in the crotch, ticks...
You get this guy to leave his room.
He's never had atan.
l've always wanted to learn how to snorkel.
Snorkel! Where he lives, there are sharks.
You see photos of guys with stumps for legs and arms.
-Am l lying? -Yes. lt's fabulous there.
l'll take you to dinner.
No! We'll take you to dinner.
l'll tell you about the Amazon.
l'd love to hear it. Sounds amazing.
l'm writing a novel. l'll tell you about it.
l'm not into the Amazon. Know what the Amazon is?
Tiny little heads with lips sewn together.
Can you picture him this way?
We'll take you to dinner tonight.
l'm single, available, with the soul of a black man!
l smell sulfur. Do you smell sulfur?
Hilly, did you open the chemistry set?
Look! We're almost there.
Hilly, wake up.
Wake up. We're almost at the university.
Dad's being honored. Limited as my curriculum was.
-Richard, we're there. 5 minutes. -Wake up.
Something's wrong.
What's the matter?
l don't think he's breathing!
He's dead!
What?
l was at the doctor's with him. They said his heart was fine.
l'm scared.
Don't be scared, Hilly.
l'm fine, Dad.
Death is a natural part of life. You have to embrace them both.
What are we gonna do?
l don't know. Get back in the car.
l don't want to sit next to him.
Welcome to Adair University. l'm Professor Higgins.
We certainly hope you had a very pleasant trip here.
Would you like some refreshments?
ls he all right?
He's dead. You got one of them rubber bags?
We've made arrangements forthe body...
to be delivered to New York City.
l don't think he has any immediate family.
lf you prefer,...
we can call off the proceedings.
-l think that's the best idea. -No!
l do.
He'll be all right. He's here for a purpose.
l'll see that...
the funeral comes off.
l'll see that he's buried...
properly.
l understand.
Poor Richard!
The poor guy!
l'm not gonna make it. l can't go on.
Not if you keep drinking and popping those pills.
l can't believe this.
My school honors me. l turn up with a hooker and a dead body.
Take it easy. You're getting all wound up about nothing.
Look at me.
Look! l'm out of focus!
You look a little pale, but you're all right.
l'm out of focus. l'm soft!
Calm down. They'll be here any minute.
lt's humiliating. They're gonna honor me and l'm a blob.
You look fine.
l'll be sitting on the dais there, eating.
They'll get seasick and throw up.
Hold my hand. Now, relax.
You wanted your son to see you get honored...
and now you're acting like a jackass.
But don't you see? l'm a huge blur.
You're gonna be all right. l'll talk you down.
l've seen all kinds of guys O.D. Heroin, acid, crack.
l didn't take any ofthat. l have nothing.
But you're a pill popper.
That's not what it is.
lt's me. l'm OD'ing on myself.
-l'm a shit. -Have some coffee.
l don't want any coffee. l'm a shit.
Talk to me about something.
You like sports?
Sports? Yeah. l was a pitcher.
When the guy crowded the plate, l'd throw at his head.
l'm the worst person in the world.
-Honey, l've seen worse. -Who's worse than me?
Hitler!
Maybe Hitler, Goering and Goebbels, but l'm fourth.
Come on. Hold my hand.
-Can you feel my hand? -Yes, it's warm.
See? lt's just panic. You're not a blob.
l'm going to get over this.
l'm having a panic attack.
What sports do you like?
l like them all. l like baseball, l like basketball.
l was married to a woman who looked like Max Schmeling.
No, l'm not joking.
All right. lt's time.
l can't get through this without you. l mean it.
Don't worry about it.
-lf you didn't come with me... -Don't worry. Come on.
Straighten up.
l gotta get atie. l gotta get my tie.
All right. Let's go.
Are you ready to be immortalized by Adair?
We all know your work and characters. Even the obscure ones.
Good reading is a creative act.
Are you working on anything...
something we can sink our teeth into?
l'm in the midst of writing...
a thing on the Devil who kidnaps a man's true love...
and takes her down to Hell...
and he goes to retrieve her.
Since it's Hell, l'm able to...
settle lots of old scores.
What's the man like?
lt's me, thinly disguised.
ln fact, l don't think l should disguise it anymore.
lt's me.
Floor five...
muggers, aggressive panhandlers and bookcritics.
Floor six...
right wing extremists, killers, lawyers who appearon TV.
Floor seven...
the media.
Sorry, that floor is all filled up.
Floor eight...
escaped war criminals, TV evangelists and the NRA.
Lowest level...
everybody off.
What did you do?
l invented aluminum siding.
Dad!
Get me out. This is terrible.
You know how l hate hot weather.
What is he doing here?
He's condemned to eternal suffering.
Help me!
l don't understand. l demand to know the charges.
"Behaved unconscionably toward his son.
Said the boy committed a capital crime by being born."
Your wife, they told me, is dead.
But your son, he's thriving.
Why did he fight not to be born?
Look, l forgive him.
What's over is over.
lt's finished. Let him go to heaven, please.
l'm a Jew! We don't believe in heaven.
-Where do you want to go? -To a Chinese restaurant.
Take him to Joy Luck. l love him despite everything.
Looking for someone?
l'm here to get Fay.
She's not coming with you.
Because you're the head of the underworld...
you can abduct her and get away with it?
l'm going to kidnap her back.
-What are you laughing at? -You match your powers against mine?
-You want to knowwhy? -Yeah, l do.
l'm sorry. Forgive me for laughing.
Why?
l'm more powerful because l'm a bigger sinner.
Because you're a fallen angel...
and l never believed in God or Heaven of any of it.
l'm strictly quarks and particles and black holes.
All the other stuff is junk to me.
And also l do terrible things.
l've cheated on all my wives and none ofthem deserved it.
l sleep with whores.
l drink too much and l take pills...
and l lie and l'm vain and cowardly...
and l'm prone to violence.
l once almost ran over a book critic.
But l swerved at the last second.
You ever had two women at once?
Yes, l did. And l'll tell you something else.
l didn't care it was exploitive. And something else...
-They were sisters. -Really?
Yes! They were two blond WASP sisters.
-Not the Sherman twins? -Yes, the Sherman twins!
They're here.
The Sherman twins are here?
Unbelievable! Do you know Sandra Pepkin?
Do l know Sandra Pepkin? Only the best blowjob in the Hadassah.
So, if you know Sandra Pepkin...
l fucked her best friend, the cripple. Pearl.
-Pearl in the wheelchair? -Exactly.
Speaking of handicaps, do you know Marie Taylor?
Yes, but her l don't count. Marie Taylor is dyslexic.
She put her Tampax in her nose.
-Ever fuck a blind girl? -No, that l never did.
Oh, they're so grateful.
-Would you like a drink? -You're terrible.
Could l get some tequila?
l've got great tequila. Make yourself at home.
Want the air conditioner on?
-You're air-conditioned here? -Sure. Fucks up the ozone layer.
l could be very comfortable here.
l'll tell you something: l love it here.
l wouldn't be any place else.
-There you go. -Thank you.
l've had job offers in your world, but why be an employee?
Here, l'm my own boss. l'm free.
What jobs did they offer?
For two years l ran a Hollywood studio...
but you can't trust those people.
l agree. Better to rule down here...
than to serve in heaven. That's Milton.
To evil! lt keeps everything humming.
So you kidnapped Fay?
Yes, l did.
Some women are turned on by aggressive behavior.
So, if l kidnapped her back?
You, kidnap?
Not your style. You're not a fun guy.
You're too serious. Too angry at life.
l got a lot to be angry at.
Who doesn't?
But sooner or later, you gotta back off.
lt's like Vegas. You're up, you're down.
But in the end, the house always wins.
Doesn't mean you didn't have fun.
No, one thing you're not is a kidnapper.
Kidnapper!
Listen to me!
Out of my way! Can't you see you're with a kidnapper!
You're going to have to come with me.
You're under arrest, Mr. Block
l gotta put the cuffs on you.
-He's about to be honored. -How can l kidnap my own son?
We got drugs!
Let me go, bitch! Let me go!
-Get them in the car. -Get off me, bitch!
Can't l be honored, then arrested?
We can't do that. Sorry.
Kidnapping.
Prostitute in your car in possession of marijuana.
Possession of an unlicensed firearm.
l told you about the firearm. A crazy woman shot at me.
l got it away from her. l was gonna hand it in.
-l gotta make a phone call. -You made your call.
Doesn't count. lt was to my girlfriend's answering service.
-To stop her marrying. -You also called your sister.
My sister wasn't in.
You called your lawyer.
He was at Canyon Ranch. l can never get my lawyer!
Can l give you some advice?
You're in deep shit.
This time l think you've really had it.
-lt was your ideato kidnap Hilly. -lt wasn't my idea.
l made a joke. You don't act on every impulse.
You gotta tell me the truth. ls it better being dead?
No, it's not really. But there's one good thing.
You don't get jury duty. But you have no options.
lt's not for you.
l'm no good at life.
No, but you write well.
That's different. l can manipulate characters and plots.
You create your own universe, nicer than the world we have.
l can't function in this world. l'm a failure at life.
l don't know. l think you bring pleasure to a lot of people.
But even that's drying up.
Forthe last months...
l've been unable to come up with a meaningful idea.
Make peace with your demons...
and your block will pass.
lt sounds so trite...
but l just want to be happy.
To be alive is to be happy. Take it from me.
Block? Come on.
Some people put up your bail.
My bail?
That's right. This way.
You?
-We got the phone message. -Came right from our wedding.
-You did? -We're on our way to our honeymoon.
-You got married? -You have to ask?
l can't believe it! ln the end you chose him over me!
-l can't fathom this! -You'd insult me...
after we ran from the altar to bail you out.
l know you're claustrophobic.
Plus, you'll get buggered by every con in the cell block.
You should be in there!
Because you stole her from me.
He did not steal me.
l love him.
l can't fathom this.
l appreciate your coming, but...
why? Why not me?
You told me not to fall in love with you, so l didn't.
How could you listen to me? You know l'm crazy!
You were my mentor. That's why.
But you were sleeping with you mentor.
So? l slept with my gynecologist.
What has that got to do with it?
You gonna snorkel down the Amazon with him when you could've had me?
l'll never be the writer you are. l know that.
You put art into yourwork. l put it into my life.
l can make her happier.
l love you.
l do. lt's just that l'm in love with Larry.
l'm his wife.
l love you too, Harry. Give us your blessing...
so we can go and enjoy our honeymoon. Okay?
We'll be in Santa Fe a month. When we come back...
we'll go out. We're friends.
He's taking you to the desert for your honeymoon?
Yeah. You'd never take me to the desert.
The desert is cactus.
lt's Heela monsters, Gila monsters. Lizards, is the desert.
-Harry, please! -Give us your blessing, please?
Give 'em your blessings...
before l throw you back in the fucking cell and l bugger you!
l don't know what to say. l love you.
This guy...
l've loved...
l give up.
-We'll get you home. -What am l going to say?
Santa Fe you're going to take her? With the tacos?
What about the honoring ceremony?
We haven't had the ceremony.
The police interrupted.
What, am l dreaming?
Everybody dreams.
Come on!
Professor Clark has everything planned.
Can l bring Hilly?
lt's your dream.
Stebbins Hall?
Everyone is waiting to honor you.
After all, you created them.
l love all of you. Really.
You've given me some of the happiest moments of my life...
You've even saved my life at times.
And now, you've actually taught me things.
And l completely grateful.
The author's message is...
"know yourself", stop kidding yourself.
Accept your limitations and get on with your life.
lt's amazing. To me...
it's a really interesting character.
A guy...
who can't function well in life...
but can only function in art.
lt's sad in away and also funny. Good for a novel.
Your books all seem sad on the surface.
Which is why l. like deconstructing them.
Underneath they're happy. You just don't know it.
l tell you. l feel like l'm in a dream.
This, for me, is like the best dream l've had in months.
The happiest dream.
l like it!
A character who's too...
neurotic to function in life...
but can only function in art.
Notes for anovel.
Opening possibility:
Rifkin led a...
fragmented...
disjointed...
existence.
He had long ago come to this conclusion:
All people know the same truth.
Our lives consist of how we choose to distort it.
Only his writing was calm...
his writing, whichhad, in more ways than one...
saved his life.
DC Sniper 23 Days of Fear
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