Music Within (2007) Movie Script

All of our
earliest memories are lies,
family mythologies
handed down to us repeatedly
until they become as real
as what actually happened.
Get the door, Mama.
You may be king, you may
possess the world and it's gold
But gold won't bring you happiness
When you're growing old
The world still is the same,
you never change it
Get the damn door, Mama.
As sure as the stars shine above
No one in the family can say
exactly when my mother went crazy.
According to Grandma,
she was always that way.
Get the damn door, Mama.
Dad said it started
when she lost the babies.
Seven miscarriages in eight years
can tend to do that to a person.
That's why my arrival on the scene
came as somewhat of a surprise.
I was born with the umbilical cord
wrapped around my neck.
I've been pissed off ever since.
The world still is the same,
you never change it
The miscarriages had taken
such a toll on Mom
that she somehow got it in her head
that she'd lost me as well.
Well, you're nobody 'til somebody loves you
So find yourself somebody to love
Shortly after I was born,
my mother drove me to California
and placed me in a Catholic orphanage.
I wish I could tell you
about my earliest memories there,
but the truth is, no one knows.
Back home, she claimed I had died at birth
and couldn't tell anyone where I was.
Two years later, after another miscarriage,
she suddenly remembered
where she'd left me.
Despite all of Mom's craziness,
Dad never stopped loving her.
But they divorced,
and I was passed around
like an unwanted Christmas fruitcake.
Eventually, my mother decided
she needed to be a full-time mom again,
and that we needed a fresh start.
I disagreed.
- You'll have your own room.
- I already have my own room.
I'll get you bunk beds.
But why do I need bunk beds?
I'm an only child.
It wasn't all bad.
The best thing in my life was my dad.
His name was Dell Fong,
and he was Chinese.
I identify him as being Chinese,
because his race
is the most vibrant memory I have of him.
Richard, that's not safe.
Come on, time to work.
Maybe you can be a cook, too, someday.
I could never be a cook like my father
because I'd already made
my career choice.
As a superhero, you occasionally
have to deal with something annoying,
like Kryptonite.
My Kryptonite was called home.
My mother had this ritual.
Every year, she'd celebrate the birthday
of each of the children she miscarried
by buying them a birthday card
and taking an overdose of sleeping pills.
That happened seven times a year.
I wouldn't call her successful at suicide,
but she was punctual.
My dad's Kryptonite?
Soy sauce.
"Most people go to their graves
with their music inside them. "
What was Mr. Holmes saying?
Come on, guys, it's not that hard.
He's saying that most people die
without discovering their own genius,
without expressing the uniqueness
that makes them special.
And that's what
this little exercise is about.
I want you to give me three minutes
about something, anything that you know,
that your classmates may not know.
Mr. Pimentel, I like your spirit.
Come on up.
Butt kisser.
Funny how things happen.
Only in hindsight do you realize how
something as small as raising your hand
can change your entire life.
Well, have any of you ever eaten
chicken at the Golden Dragon,
the Rickshaw Gardens
or the Chinese Gardens?
Well, you know the restaurants
don't buy live chickens, right?
They buy dead ones.
And you know where they get those
chickens and how those chickens die?
I do, 'cause I killed them.
I killed your dinner.
I've chopped the head off chickens
for every Chinese restaurant in the city.
You find the biggest knife you can find,
then you have to grab the chicken
by the lower of its neck and swing...
I could've talked for hours.
Mr. Parks was almost as happy as I was,
because he ran the speech club.
Warnings of
approaching missiles over the Arctic.
And in other news, Soviet Premier
Khrushchev has made great strides
in his policy towards peaceful coexistence
with non-Communist countries.
And I believe Premier Khrushchev
has made great strides
in his policy towards peaceful coexistence
with non-Communist countries.
I may not have been
the most original speaker,
but I became a star.
Forget that superhero dream,
now I knew what I really wanted to be.
I forget whose birthday it was this time.
I just know it wasn't mine.
My mother ended up surviving
only to leave me a few months later.
It didn't matter, though,
because I had plans.
Things didn't happen
as quickly as I expected.
A few years after high school, I got a job
working in the kitchen of a go-go bar
to earn money for college.
Richard, I need that order 10 minutes ago.
I don't pay you to stand around.
I still had my dream,
but there were a few distractions.
Bambi was a visual effect
that would only be rivaled years later
by my first viewing ofStar Wars.
Tiff, you're exposed.
What are you working on?
There's a tournament
at Portland State University,
and it's open to anybody.
So I figured if I went there and I
did really well, I might get noticed,
and who knows, maybe a scholarship.
No shit.
- What are you gonna wear?
- I don't know. Probably a sweater.
Oh, honey, no way.
You see that guy over there?
He owns the biggest men's store in town.
Did you hear about the midnight rambler?
Everybody got to go
Did you hear about the midnight rambler?
Well done.
Yeah, thank you, sir.
Mr. Pimentel?
I'm Ben Padrow with the University.
I'm chairman of the Speech Department.
Hi, Dr. Padrow, I know who you are.
Well, congratulations. I'm impressed.
Nice suit.
Oh, thank you very much.
Where do you go to school?
Actually, sir, I'm not in school right now.
I'm a little strapped financially.
But I'd love to come to State.
Well, we have scholarships
and financial aid. We'd love to help.
Come see me.
Yes, sir.
You're late.
I'm sorry. I was over at the admissions...
No time for apologies.
On the stage, let's go, come on.
I picked three speeches, like you asked.
Now, which one do you wanna see first?
The good one. Tick, tock. Come on.
All right.
Last meal's been eaten.
Last prayer has been said.
The prisoner is strapped
into the electric chair...
My black brothers will gladly sacrifice
for freedom overseas
when there's freedom in Birmingham...
...until my right to vote in this country
precedes my obligation to die for it.
Just sit down there, please. Right here.
You like it up there?
Yeah, I...
I like it better than anything.
I don't know.
Stop right there.
That's the first honest thing you've said,
"I don't know. "
You don't know why you're up there.
You don't even know what you're saying.
Sure, you're talented and passionate.
You could fool some blue-haired judge
in high school, but not here.
This is another league.
Wait a minute, I...
I've won every single tournament
I've ever entered.
You didn't think that I was good?
I think you're the most gifted,
natural speaker I have ever seen,
and you have incredible potential.
And you are completely full of shit.
Hold on, wait a minute. So that's it?
I've been working towards this
for the last six years, all right?
I'm not asking... It doesn't have to be
a full scholarship. I can...
Look, my advice? You're not ready.
Go live a life. Fill yourself up.
Find out what's important,
earn a point of view.
- I...
- Earn.
Earn a point of view. Then come back
when you've got something to say.
"Get a life,"my ass.
I had a life, and there was no way
I was going back to it.
Fortunately, the government
had this program
where you could gain valuable
life experience and see the world.
They would guarantee your education
in exchange for services rendered.
It was called Vietnam.
Now my girl you're so young and pretty
And one thing I know is true
My reaction may have been a bit hasty.
After six months in country,
life in Portland didn't seem all that bad.
Watch my daddy in bed a-dyin'
Watched his hair been turnin'grey
He's been workin'and slavin'his life away
Oh, yes, I know it
- He's been workin' so hard
- Yeah
- I've been workin' too, baby
- Yeah
Every night and day
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
We gotta get out of this place
If it's the last thing we ever do
We gotta get out of this place
'Cause girl, there's a better life
for me and you
So we're gonna move off this hill
before they decide to take it from us.
I need four volunteers to stay behind.
This is your chance to be a hero.
I always wanted to be a hero.
All right, there we go. I need three more.
Watch my daddy in bed a-dyin'
- Yeah
- Every single day
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
We gotta get out of this place
If it's the last thing we ever do
Sector One. Sector One. We need help!
Under fire in the sector. Over.
Let's move!
We're out. Let's go. We're out.
What you did out there took courage.
Know your outfit is proud of you.
I just wanted you to understand
that I'm personally proud of you.
I got something planned for you
you can enjoy,
while you're right here in Vietnam.
Carry on.
Come here, sister
Papa's in the swing
Oh, the mother lode.
Who needs a medal, huh?
I don't want a medal, man.
He ain't no drag
To surviving the surviving.
Papa's got a brand new bag
Come here, mama
And dig this crazy scene
He's not too fancy
But his line is pretty clean
He ain't no drag
Bring it on, gooks.
Papa's got a brand new bag
Richard! Point to where it hurts.
Can you hear me?
You got tinnitus. It's ringing in the ears.
I can't hear you.
You're lucky.
You only lost half your hearing.
Your friends lost theirs completely.
If I'm deaf,
why do I hear this noise all the time?
You lost your upper register,
and hearing aids won't help.
By the time you can hear
those high sounds,
the low sounds will be so loud,
you'd go crazy. You understand?
Can you just make the noise stop?
I can't. That's tinnitus.
Some days will be better than others,
but it won't stop.
This is my letter of acceptance
to the university.
And I also brought
a couple of recommendations.
No, no, I can't authorize this.
I'm sorry. Could you speak up
and look at me when...
Thank you.
I can't authorize government funds
to send you to college.
You're deaf.
I'm what?
It's a deaf joke.
You're worse than deaf, you're confused.
You can hear only vowels, no consonants.
Well, if you can only hear vowels,
you've got two choices,
learn to read lips or move to Hawaii.
I don't wanna go to Hawaii,
I wanna go to college.
Listen, even if you graduate,
they won't be able to place you.
Why? 'Cause I'm deaf?
Helen Keller was deaf and blind.
She had a job.
- No.
- No, I know she had a job...
No, because of the ringing.
- Night and day, right?
- Yeah.
- In both ears?
- Uh-huh.
You won't be able to concentrate.
You'll forget what you've read.
You won't have any friends.
You'll be incompetent
and you'll be foul-mouthed.
No shit?
You know what?
Who the hell are you, huh?
You got a desk and a clipboard.
You don't know me.
'Cause if you did, you'd know
how close I am to coming over that desk
and shoving that clipboard
up your fat, pompous ass.
I'm gonna go to college, and I'm gonna
graduate, and then I'm gonna get a job,
and you can stick that
in your goddamn chart.
You ungrateful piece of shit!
Get your hands off me, bro!
- Don't touch me.
Get the hell out of here.
Don't fucking touch me.
- Don't come back.
Hey, bro, could you hold it a sec?
- Yeah.
- I'll be right back.
What the hell's wrong with you?
Thanks, man.
Damn thing only lights half the time.
Hell, I only work half the time myself.
You don't say much. Got a light?
Buddy, you got a light?
Hey, man, you deaf?
Yeah, I am.
I heard that. I lost a wheel.
Fucking peaceniks.
I'd hate them a lot more
if I didn't agree with them.
You wanna get a beer?
A beer. A brew. Cold one.
It's 10:00 in the morning, man.
No, no thanks.
Mike Stolz.
Like Nixon?
That's awesome. Here you go, bro.
That shit's good for you.
They overran us. Swarmed us, bro.
And it's just me and Jimmy left,
and I'm like...
I'm fucking gone. Fuck Jimmy, bro.
And I fucking stand to run,
and Jimmy pulls me down
and greases this guy that was right on me.
I never saw him.
Jimmy saved my life.
Then I look over, tell him, "Let's go, bro. "
And Jimmy's head was just gone.
He saved my life.
And God forgive me, bro,
I was gonna leave him there.
What the fuck, man?
Can nobody afford a decent roach clip?
Look at this shit.
What the fuck is this, bro?
Clearly, Kesey's expressing
his hatred for conformity.
Yeah, he's celebrating the individual,
but I think it's more about
the abuse of power.
The individual is disengaged
from the society, although...
I think it's more about the abuse of power.
As a result, he acts
as a spiritual and emotional...
...authority figure, right?
I forgot something.
Hey, watch it.
You come by anytime.
- Thanks, Dr. Padrow.
- Sure.
Look like you have a coke problem.
May I?
I don't...
Yeah, don't bother, all right? I'm deaf.
I can read lips, but not that well.
Those are gonna make me seasick.
You're welcome.
All right.
Damn boy scout.
You think you're too good to talk to me?
Wait a minute, I understood that.
You want a fucking medal?
No, I wanna hug you.
How about I shake your hand? Richard.
You better wash your hands.
This may be contagious.
You wanna sit down, Einstein?
Yeah, sure.
You wanna...
The only person on the planet
that I could hear
was a wickedly obscene genius
with cerebral palsy.
And the only person that could
understand him was a deaf vet.
We were like a traveling freak show.
How old is that chair, anyway?
I saw tanks in Nam
smaller than that thing.
Why the hell would I need a new one?
There's nowhere for me to go.
Hey, watch it!
Oh, sorry.
Can't you go forward in that thing?
Yeah, sure, if you blow me.
What? What's so funny?
What'd she say?
Oh, she just wants to blow me.
What did that spaz say?
Art is what I'm called.
A work of art, some would say.
Support Art and blow me.
He said he's very, very sorry,
and he'll try to be more careful.
- Yeah, right.
- Freaks.
Oh, and blow him.
This reminds me of my childhood.
You used to skate?
I used to sit here with the grandmas
and watch everyone else skate.
Times they are a-changing.
Are you a good skater?
Oh, hell no.
It's your thing
Do what you wanna do
Oh, yeah.
I can't tell you
Who to sock it to
It's your thing
Do what you wanna do
I can't tell you
Who to sock it to
If you want me to love you
Maybe I will
I need you woman, it ain't no big deal
Go faster, go faster.
You need love now, just as bad as I do
Make's me no difference now
Who you give your thing to
Oh, it's your thing
Do what you wanna do
- Whoa, watch it.
- Hey!
Art! Honeyman, stop!
I can't tell if he's hurt or not.
Art, are you okay?
I was kicking ass
till this chick knocked me down.
She's dangerous.
You okay?
- Yeah, next time use a blinker.
- Ah, yeah.
Wait here.
You're a lousy date.
Are you listening to me?
You wanna repeat that to my face?
- What?
- What did you say?
- What?
- You heard me.
No, I didn't, actually, I'm deaf.
But I can see
what you're saying from over there.
Hey, easy, tiger.
Don't get your knickers in a twist.
First of all, you're eavesdropping
on a private conversation.
Secondly, I can say whatever I want.
Yeah? So can I. You're an asshole.
My friend is not a retard.
Actually, he's probably smarter
than the three of us put together.
He's certainly smarter than you.
He's got cerebral palsy.
See, it affects his motor skills.
It means that his brain
is perfectly functioning
while his body is more or less useless.
If you have a little trouble
wrapping your head around that,
think of it as the opposite of you. Asshole.
Who the hell is this guy?
I'm sorry about my friend.
Yeah, I'm sorry for you, he's a jerk.
You didn't have to threaten him.
That was puerile.
What'd she say?
She said you're a dick.
You know what, why don't you
just head back over to your friend?
The two of you deserve each other.
What is your problem?
You believe that?
She's a fox.
You should've asked her out.
What are you talking about?
She just called me a dick.
Actually, she said you were immature.
How come you said "dick"?
Because it was funnier.
Sunshine came softly
through my a-window today
Could've tripped out easy
a- but I've a-changed my ways
It'll take time, I know it
but in a while
Oh. You.
Yeah, remember me? Lmmature guy.
Yeah. I got class.
Oh, I'll walk you.
No, thanks.
You're going to be mine
I'll tell you right now
Any trick in the book now, baby
All that I can find
It's sold out.
How are we going to get in, genius?
We'll figure that out.
What if that guy's coming?
Then the two of you can hold hands.
Don't worry about it.
Okay, here she comes.
No. You're Richard?
Oh, my God, this is so trippy.
What are the odds?
Where's your friend? He's not coming?
Nikos? Nah.
Aw, man.
I don't think this is a good idea.
Come on. You need the gas money,
we need the ride.
Look, come on, I'll be nice.
I promise. Please?
Yeah, well, if you're mean, I'll leave you.
All right, that sounds fair.
Art, that sound fair to you?
- Art thinks that's fair.
- Oh, come on, baby. I'll drive.
I like to dream
Yes, yes, right between my sound machine
On a cloud of sound I drift in the night
Any place it goes is right
Goes far, flies near,
to the stars away from here
Well, you don't know what we can find
Why don't you come with me, little girl
On a magic carpet ride
You don't know what we can see
Why don't you tell your dreams to me
Fantasy will set you free
Are you guys coming?
Yeah, we'll be right in.
Pardon me.
You better not molest me back here.
I have a plan. Bite me.
Do what?
Oh, my God, he's got me! Help!
Help! For the love of God,
somebody help me! Help!
No, no, he's contagious. He'll get you, too.
Go, go get help. Hurry!
When the truth is found to be lies
And all the joy within you dies
You didn't have a ticket, did you?
You didn't have a ticket, did you?
Don't you need somebody to love?
Wouldn't you love somebody to love?
Hey, hey. I really can't see
anything from here.
You better find somebody to love
That is so uncool.
Yes, and your mind
Your mind is so full of red
Don't you want somebody to love?
Don't you need somebody to love?
You knew it was me, didn't you?
All my signs disappeared off the campus
and you're the only one that called.
I like that.
I need to shower.
You know, I just can't stop
thinking about last night.
Jesus Christ!
Hey, morning, Tarzan.
I'd invite you in, but I don't think
there's room for both of us in here.
- Hey, babe.
- Hey. You remember Richard.
What, do you guys, like, live together?
- Yeah.
- Yeah.
What, are you guys, like, friends or what?
We have an open relationship.
You look a little confused, man.
You need me to draw you a picture?
You just spent the night with me
and you sleep with this guy, too?
I'm not confining myself.
So are you trying to get back at me?
No, Richard, this is my life.
We had fun last night, right?
I like you, but I like Nikos, too.
Yeah, I like you. I like you a lot.
I can't handle this shit.
Richard, I know you hear me.
Look, I guess I should've warned you.
Maybe before I looked in the shower.
Well, let's just have fun. I mean,
we don't even know what we have yet.
I think what we have
is one too many sausages in the bun.
Look, I like to have fun, too, but
your idea of fun is a testicle tag team.
No, that's... Wrong guy.
You're old-fashioned. That's cute.
Am I going to see you again?
Here's how this works.
If you're with me,
when you're with me, you're with me.
I don't wanna hear about him,
I don't wanna see him,
I don't wanna smell him.
That's fair.
Well, I don't know why I came here tonight
I got the feeling that something ain't right
I'm so scared in case I fall off my chair
And I'm wondering
how I'll get down the stairs
Pass the towel, baby.
Clowns to the left of me
Jokers to the right
Here I am
Stuck in the middle with you
Yes, I'm stuck in the middle with you
And I'm wondering what it is I should do
It's so hard to keep this smile from my face
Losing control, yeah, I'm all over the place
Clowns to the left of me
Jokers to the right
Here I am
Stuck in the middle with you
Well, you started out with nothing
And you're proud
that you're a self made man
Your grades are excellent.
You're a decorated veteran.
You mind telling me
where you were wounded?
I don't usually divulge that information
till the second date.
So what do you wanna do
with your life, Richard?
I wanna help people.
And make a lot of money.
After graduation,
I lied about my experience
and got a great job
with an insurance company.
They had no idea I was deaf.
Right here.
Where do you want this?
Yeah, right... Over here.
- What do you think?
- I love it.
Nobody's asking for handouts, man.
All these cats here,
they all wanna work, bro.
They just need somebody
to front them, you know?
Some buttoned-down asshole who's
already got his nose up the man's ass.
Somebody with a job, bro.
Yeah, somebody like me.
Good idea, bro.
I will give you those things
you thought unreal
Follow me now and you will not regret
New shirt?
Baby, the phone.
Wait, whose birthday?
They better be
the best pancakes on the planet.
Forget it, I'm not hungry anymore.
Oh, that's funny.
- You know what else is funny?
- What?
A guy with CP
rolling down a flight of stairs.
Hey, buddy, can you hold that for...
Thank you, appreciate that.
Just here.
Yes, your highness.
- You want your coat on or off?
- Off.
All right.
You need a menu?
No, no. I...
I know what I want.
Good evening.
I mean, good morning.
Hey, we'll just have the pancakes.
Actually, my manager
told me that we can't serve.
- You can't serve pancakes?
- Why? They...
They got them.
Look, I don't want to sound rude...
No, no, no. You're not rude, it's...
I'm the only one who understands him.
I'm trying my damnedest
to not make this a scene.
Good. I don't feel there is one.
I think you two need to leave.
You're making the other customers
very uncomfortable.
Hey, we can refuse to serve
whoever we want here.
You gotta be kidding me.
It's my friend's birthday.
All he wants is pancakes.
I... I think
she needs some hot man love.
Maybe. I'll ask her,
but I don't think she's your type, Art.
Okay, don't you dare.
You are the ugliest,
most disgusting thing I have ever seen.
I thought people like you died at birth.
How do you expect people
to eat around you?
Normal people
shouldn't even have to look at you.
Listen, lady.
sorry if I'm
doing your job for you.
He says he's very sorry
for turning your customers' stomachs.
- That's obviously your job.
- Yeah.
Okay, you know what? You guys can
leave, or I can call the police.
Oh, oh, wait.
Call them.
That night we were arrested for
violating what was known as an Ugly Law.
This law made it a crime
for anyone to appear in public
who was diseased,
maimed or deformed in any way
so as to be
an unsightly or disgusting object.
Hey, hey, buddy.
Watch it, dickwad.
No parkin'by the sewer sign
Hot dog, my razors broke
Water drippin' up the spout
But I don't care, let it all hang out
Let it all hang out
Let it all hang out
Let it all hang out
That horrible waitress
had done me a huge favor.
I'd been trying to hide from my past.
She made me embrace it.
I quit my nice, high-paying job
and went to work for a real jerk.
I cold-called every business
in the phone book.
I wouldn't take no for an answer.
I found jobs for every vet I knew,
and in the process,
I found a life calling for myself.
All right, Richard,
let's see how this sounds.
Dr. Collins,
please call extension 21-10, stat.
Dr. Collins, please call extension 21-10.
At that time, the only people
vets trusted were other vets,
so I got a job at a government agency
helping them find work.
What is it that you're afraid of,
that he can't work with you,
or that you can't work with him?
You had to stop
and think about that, didn't you?
As soon as I was hired,
Mike said he wanted a job.
Nothing tickled him more
than trying to tear down a system
that made no sense to him.
Mike was a natural headhunter.
I'm like Chinese water torture, lady.
I'm gonna keep calling you back
till you pull your head out of your ass.
Listen, lady, listen to me.
I left my leg in a rice paddy.
I get a big, fat check every month.
I don't need to be
begging work for these guys.
But they need me.
And they need
somebody like you with balls
to give them a freaking chance
to make your company better.
Yeah? Well, amen, sister.
Listen, maybe you and I
could get a drink sometime.
All right, maybe not. All right, take care.
The word was out.
I could find jobs for any disabled person,
veteran or otherwise.
She's a file clerk and she hasn't missed
a day of work in 20 years.
Sounds good.
- Tell him I'm a dwarf. Tell him.
- Can she start tomorrow?
- Yeah. And she's a dwarf.
- A what?
- A dwarf.
How the hell can a dwarf be a file clerk?
She specializes in L through Z.
- I have a step stool, stupid.
- She got a step stool. Come on.
- Okay, I'll give her a shot.
- Right.
- Have her come in tomorrow.
- Great.
Is this the Governor's office?
Yeah, well, this is Richard Pimentel.
I have a note to return a call.
Yes, sir.
Thank you, sir.
Thank you very much. I certainly try.
'Cause you're an ungrateful piece of shit.
'Cause you're selfish.
What kind of offer?
What? You wanna fucking take me on?
You wanna take me on, tough guy?
Yeah, I would love
to talk about that. Absolutely.
I don't give a shit, man.
Okay. Thank you very much.
Listen, bro, how about
I come down there right now
and I beat you to death
with my plastic leg?
What? When?
You can start tomorrow?
He'll be there.
Hey, bro, listen, you're doing
a great thing for a vet, man.
Don't fuck it up.
- To our future.
- Absolutely.
So, when the Governor's office
called me last week...
Whoa. Excuse me?
I guess his office
had heard something about me.
I don't remember the exact words,
but something like innovator or genius.
- But you don't remember?
- No, not the exact words.
Anyway, the upshot is
they want me to create a program
to train employers to hire
and work with the disabled persons.
- Seriously? Honey, that's amazing.
- That's what I thought.
What were they doing before?
There is no before.
This is the first time they've done this.
- I'd be starting from scratch.
- Well, you little groundbreaker, you.
You heard about this for a week
and you never told me?
Well, I didn't know
it was going to be definite yet.
And the bad news is
I'd have to quit my job.
But the good news is,
is that once the program was created,
they wanna send me around
the country and train all the trainers.
So the good news is you'll be traveling?
Yeah. If you want to,
you could come with me for some of it.
What's wrong?
I just... Nothing. Nothing.
Well, come on, you seem bummed.
I'm not bummed. It's...
It's just that I hardly see you now as it is,
so what's it going to be like
when you start traveling?
No, no. This... Look,
this is a completely different job. Okay?
When I'm in town, I'm gonna be at home.
I've been working a lot lately
and you've been really great about that.
This is a really big deal.
I know.
Okay. I'm proud of you.
So when are you gonna tell Mike
you're leaving?
Mike's the hardest worker you got, okay?
He's a little bit volatile.
He's a ticking time bomb.
He's effective.
That's the important thing, right?
He's completely out of control.
What happens when you're not here
to baby-sit him?
As it is, no one wants to work with him.
The people that he got work for
will work with him.
Look, I'll talk to him. This job is his life.
I don't care.
I want him gone.
I'm on time, bro. I'm never late.
I wear nice clothes.
Who's placed more people than me,
even more than you?
No doubt, I know.
You got an unorthodox style, man.
It makes management nervous.
So when are you leaving, man?
I go in a week.
Fucking A, brother. You're gonna be great.
Look, man, I don't have to do this
if you're not...
No, don't worry about me.
I'm a survivor, brother. I'm gonna be fine.
Sometimes late when things are real
And people share the gift of gab
between themselves
Some are quick to take the bait
And catch the perfect prize
They wanted me to write
the book on hiring the disabled.
I finally had something to say,
I just didn't know how to say it.
But oz never did give nothing
to the tin man
That he didn't, didn't already have
And cause never was the reason
for the evening
Come on, guys.
Now, I don't wanna see text in your eyes.
Has he told you yet you're full of shit?
'Cause if you're any good he will, trust me.
Ladies and gentlemen,
meet Richard Pimentel,
the best student I never had.
That's all for today, thank you.
Tilting at Windmills. You a Quixote fan?
I was reading it one night
and I had an epiphany.
You know, the hardest thing
about being disabled
is the way that other people treat you.
Employers, they don't wanna
hire people with disability.
Why is that?
They lack confidence in us.
- I think you may have that wrong.
- What do you mean?
You don't need to change their minds
about people's disabilities,
you need to change their minds
about themselves.
I wanna show you something.
- Lithium?
- Yeah.
I'm what they call a manic-depressive.
That medicine you're holding
allows me to function.
I don't share that with a lot of people.
For years,
I didn't wanna accept what I was.
The day you auditioned for me
was not a good day.
No, I got a life 'cause of you.
- You could've lost it because of me.
- I make my own decisions.
I lost my hearing.
I gained a superpower, lip-reading.
I can spy on conversations
a hundred feet away.
I could have some fun with that
at those god-awful faculty lunches.
- So you don't wear hearing aids?
- No, they don't help.
I get them from the government, but I just
pass them out like candy for Halloween.
Do me a favor,
I want you to meet someone.
- Richard?
- Yeah.
Bill Austin. Come on back with me.
- Right in here, please.
- All right.
No offense,
but this is all kind of a circle jerk.
I'm just here to humor Ben.
See, I have this ritual with Uncle Sam
every year where he tells me
how much more deaf I am
than the year before,
and then I cash his disability checks.
Well, there doesn't seem to be
too much purpose
in living a life with a hearing problem
if we can find the right solution.
Wait, wait.
What are you gonna do with that thing?
I'm going to stick it in your ear,
unless you have another place
you'd rather I stick it.
Ear's good.
Now we're ready to try
the new hearing aids.
Is that them?
They're like a contact lens for the ear.
We've found that
smaller's better.
We get a more efficient coupling
for the ear when the aid is in the canal.
Can you hear me, Richard?
How does it sound? Can you hear me?
Can you hear me?
Oh, yeah. That's great.
Wash away my troubles
Wash away my pain
With the rain in Shambala
Wash away my sorrow
Wash away my shame
Once I started writing again,
it was like I tapped a vein.
My central focus was
to change the attitudes of employers
about persons with all disabilities.
It took me a year to write.
Ah, ooh, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Everyone is helpful
Everyone is kind
On the road to Shambala
Everyone is lucky
Everyone is so kind
On the road to Shambala
What page are you on right now?
I'm on page shut the fuck up.
I've got CP, I'm not deaf.
All right, come in.
Come on, man. Say something.
Why did you want me to read this?
'Cause I don't think
I know what I'm doing, Art.
But I never would've written that
if I hadn't met you.
Now, you're the smartest guy that I know,
and if you don't think that's any good,
I'm just gonna tear it up.
You don't have
a clue...
- All right, shit.
- No, let me finish.
You don't have a clue how good this is.
You know what we cripples want
besides getting laid?
To be seen.
When they look at me out there now,
you know what they see?
I'm ignored.
How can you ignore this?
But they ignore me,
I am so disturbing
to their definition of human,
that I make them feel.
I love that.
What you've created
will help to make them see us.
If you try to tear this up,
I'll kick your ass.
All right.
I threw myself into my career.
I was changing lives and ignoring my own.
I was keynote speaker for
the US government, training every agency.
CIA, NASA, the VA, all of them.
My own subversive little goal
was to make the federal government
into the biggest employer
of disabled persons in the country.
Mike would've dug the irony.
Richard, we made plans
for this months ago.
Why did you wait till now
to tell me you can't go?
- I just forgot all about it. I'm sorry.
- So tell them that.
It's an important conference,
I'm the speaker.
I can't just not show up,
people count on me.
And I don't?
They're strangers at a convention,
an audience.
They applaud, you eat it up.
So I have to wonder,
are you doing this for them or for you?
I'm doing it for them
and I'm doing it for me.
We'll do something special
when I get back.
Richard, this is important to me.
I'm asking you not to go.
Stop it! I am not doing this right now.
I'll call you from the hotel.
Until you've seen
this trash can dream come true
You stand at the edge
while people run you through
And I thank the lord
There's people out there like you
I thank the lord
There's people out there like you
While Mona Lisas and mad hatters
Sons of bankers, sons of lawyers
Turn around and say good morning
to the night
For unless they see the sky
Hey, baby, it's me. I know it's
late, but pick up if you're there.
Hello? Just wanna say that
today went really well
and I wanted to see how you were doing
and tell you that I miss you a lot.
Pick up if you're there 'cause I
really wanted to tell you that I...
I think I messed up.
Oh, boy.
The minute I turn my back,
you come sniffing around.
You just don't get it, do you?
Just go get Christine
before I have your visa revoked.
It's okay, Nikos.
You've been seeing him behind my back?
No. I'm just here until I find my own place.
I'm not getting back with Nikos.
- Does he know that?
- Of course.
You two sleeping
in the same bed together?
- Jesus. You don't get it.
- What?
I just want you to come home.
- I'm not coming home.
- Why?
Is this because
I don't give you enough attention?
No, it's because
I don't give me enough attention.
I've always depended on men like you
to make me feel better
and take care of me.
I need to be on my own.
All right, well, be on your own.
Be on your own with me.
I mean, I'm traveling,
I can give you all the space you want.
I'm flailing here, okay?
I don't know what you want me to say.
- I love you. I wanna be with you.
- You don't wanna be with me.
You just wanna win me and put me
on a shelf to remind you that you won me.
That's not a relationship, Richard,
I think we need to be apart.
I need to figure out who I am and...
And I think you need to figure out
what's important to you, too.
Margaret, you have a visitor.
Hi, Mom.
How you feeling?
The doctors tell me I'm doing well.
But I don't feel like it, and neither do I.
Schizophrenia humor. That's good, Mom.
You know what I miss?
You know who was a good dancer?
Not really.
He took foxtrot, cha-cha, tango lessons.
I used to take him to the nightclubs.
Oh, we had so much fun.
No, Mom, actually, I didn't.
No 12-year-old boy
really wants ballroom dancing lessons.
That's a lie.
- Why'd you do it for two years?
- So that I could be with you.
I wanna take a nap now.
- But your son came so far to visit you.
- That's all right.
That's all right. That's okay, it's fine.
Here, I wanna give you something.
This is a new standard for disability
training for employers nationwide,
and I wrote it.
I don't feel like reading anything.
Well, I just wanna tell you, Mom,
I'm doing great.
I love my job, I'm making a difference.
What do you want?
You want me to pat your hand,
say you're a good boy?
I'm not wired that way.
The average able-bodied person
doesn't give a damn about the disabled.
Would we care about women's rights
if they hadn't mobilized?
We're not gonna care about
disabled people
until they set aside their differences,
stop being invisible,
and come together
for the passage of the ADA.
That would be the Americans
with Disabilities Act, am I right?
Yes, exactly,
Americans with Disabilities Act.
This bill, simply put, says that
you can't discriminate against people
simply because they don't look like you.
Okay. Why don't we hold that thought
right there until...
Now that the election
has come down to Bush and Dukakis,
I have it on very good authority
that the very first candidate who
comes out publicly in support of the ADA
is gonna get the disabled vote.
The whole thing, all of it.
Everybody, which is
millions of votes for the first candidate
that has the balls
to come out and support this.
- Richard, please, just...
- One second.
Rumor has it that one of our senior
elected officials was told by his advisors,
okay, "Sir, we have a problem.
"There is a horrific disease.
"It is infecting homosexuals
and drug addicts at an alarming rate,
"and it is always fatal. "
And you know what he said?
You know what his reply was?
He said,
"What did you say the problem was?"
That is the kind of Nazi Germany
mentality that we're looking at
here in America, in the late 20th century.
That's it. We're off the air, all right?
Somewhere along the way
I realized my heart wasn't driving me.
My anger was.
I think Art noticed it first.
You're a complete asshole.
You used to be a partial one,
but you graduated.
How the hell did you get in here?
When you're not looking, I can walk.
So you're too busy
to see your friends anymore?
Too deaf to hear the phone ring?
You know what?
Don't bring your wobbling ass in here
and try and guilt-trip me, all right?
You know who I lectured last week?
I do.
The CIA, man. Fucking CIA.
I'm doing great.
But you don't look great.
Yeah? Well, who's this?
"But you don't look great. "
Who's this?
Hey, Mr. Hot Shit Phone Recorder.
I feel like an asshole talking to this thing.
Listen man,
stuff's kinda snowballing here, you know?
Hey, bro, let me ask you something.
You remember what it felt like
on the plane home from Nam?
Like you had survived hell and from
now on it didn't matter what happened
'cause just being alive was a blessing,
and you had your whole life ahead of you.
Fuck it. I tried.
Later, bro.
Mike. Mike. Hey.
I'm gonna do whatever it takes
to make sure the disabled
are included in the mainstream.
For too long they've been left out,
but they're not going to be
left out anymore.
It's Bush. Bush, Bush, Bush.
If Bush wins, you know what that means?
That means I'm gonna have to
renovate this whole place
just to service these retards.
You know what that's gonna cost me?
No, what's it gonna cost you?
I'm just talking about
this Disabilities Act, it's gonna...
Yeah, what's it gonna cost you?
It means I have to put in ramps, I have
to put in all these kinds of things.
It's gonna wind up...
It's gonna be a big deficit.
Right. You might have to spend, what,
$1,000 to get a wheelchair ramp
and widen a toilet stall
so somebody can take a piss?
I don't mean anything by it, all right...
Yeah, you do.
I'm one of those retards, okay.
I lost my hearing in the war.
You wanna talk about
how much that's gonna cost you?
Tell you what, go ahead.
Go ahead, talk about it, all right?
I won't listen. Say something funny.
Tell him.
Why don't you tell him a joke
about a guy who's got a 180 IQ
but he a has a brain disorder
so he can't tie his shoe?
Or a world-class skier who breaks her neck
and now she needs a machine to breathe?
That's funny stuff.
And poor you, 'cause now you gotta
sink a little bit of money
into this piece-of-shit restaurant.
You know what? Here you go.
Sorry for the inconvenience.
Buy yourself a conscience.
Richard? Richard, it's me.
Hey, Christine.
It's been a while. How are you?
Good, yeah, I'm just...
I'm meeting some friends.
So are you still
leading seminars, traveling...
Yeah. Yeah, it's good,
- it's going really well.
- Yeah? I'm glad. How's Art?
The same old Art. Is that your husband?
No? You know, it's strange to see you.
I was thinking about you
just the other day.
Thinking about you a lot, actually.
I... Well...
I was remembering the trip to Seattle.
I'm engaged. He's my fianc.
Well, is it hot in here
or is my life going up in flames?
- Richard...
- I'm kidding.
Well, I'm gonna go.
Are you okay?
Yeah, absolutely.
He's just an old friend.
Mr. Pimentel, it is urgent that you
call us back regarding your mother.
I'm right here, man.
Richard, open the door!
- Hey.
- There's a gas leak. Can't you smell that?
What are you doing, Richard?
Why would you do that?
She died.
My mother finally died.
It's okay.
It's hot.
I feel like an idiot.
All the shit I've dealt with,
and the thing that gets me
is I can't get some mentally ill woman
I barely know to ever love me.
Well, that's not your fault.
She's the one that was damaged.
And she missed being close
to a really great person.
What are you doing here, anyway?
I was worried about you.
And I came to thank you.
If not for you, I wouldn't be
as happy as I am now.
I don't think that's a compliment.
No, it is, it is.
I learned a lot from you.
And I came to apologize.
I never told you how glad I am
that you're a part of my life.
So after spending my whole life
trying to prove myself
to someone that was not capable
of accepting me,
I finally realized I actually had
something in common with my mother,
that neither of us much cared
whether or not I lived.
But I didn't like that.
So I did what she could never do.
I accepted myself.
Two years ago,
the Americans with Disabilities Act
was passed through Congress.
And last week it became a reality.
Congratulations. You did that.
My teacher, Mr. Parks, would say
that I've been able to find my music.
Now does that mean that I became
a superhero? No, I don't think so.
Although, I do like to wear spandex
and a cape around the house sometimes.
The differences that you make
that are the ones of lasting importance,
they're the little differences that
you make in the life of another person.
And all of these people
that I got to tell you about tonight,
they all made a difference in my life,
and I can only hope that somehow
I made a difference in theirs.
And that after years and years and years
of trying to become larger than life,
I'm now working on maybe
being a little smaller.
Hey, you're late.
Blow me, Ironsides.
Last one in pays.
All right, easy there, Andretti.
Come on, cowboy.
Follow me.
Is this one okay?
Yeah, if you're big tippers.
He's paying,
but he's a cheap son of a bitch.
But if you play your cards right,
you could have a ride on my chair, baby.
He says I'm buying
and I'm a cheap son of a bitch,
but if you play your cards right,
you can have a ride in his chair.
Honey, only if you promise to go real fast.
No, thank you.
I think we know what we want.
You got a live one, Honeyman.
Here you go.
Thank you.
Well, that's the slowest service
I've ever seen.
It only took us 20 years to get these.
Be cool.
You're gonna get us arrested again.
And I probably wouldn't mind.
I think he likes it.
Oh, yeah.
So, I guess this one's mine, huh?
Happy birthday to you
You've gotta be kidding me.
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday, dear Richard
Happy birthday to you
Hey, come on, make a wish.
- Hey, Richard.
- Yeah?
There's something I have
always wanted to ask you.
What's that?
Does this wheelchair
make my butt look big?
I'll see you around, Art.
Everyone pretends there's
nothing there to reach for
Why am I knocking on your door?
It never opened for me before
Up against the glass
I wonder what it's like
For ordinary people
Running through your life
Don't you wanna fly?
Ordinary people
Why am I knocking on your door?
It never opened for me before
Sometimes I feel
I shouldn't be, I couldn't be
Sometimes I feel
I shouldn't be here
You go the other way
I thought I heard you say
You wish you'd never come
Tearing through the time
Would you try to right
the wrong that has been done?
Why am I knocking on your door?
It never opened for me before
Sometimes I feel
I shouldn't be, I couldn't be
Sometimes I feel
I shouldn't be here
Is everybody lost before they're found?
I don't wanna be forgotten this time around
No, no, no
Sometimes I feel
I shouldn't be, I couldn't be
Sometimes I feel
I shouldn't be here
I shouldn't be here
Sometimes I feel
I shouldn't be, I couldn't be
Sometimes I feel
I shouldn't be, I couldn't be
Sometimes I feel like I shouldn't be
Sometimes I feel like I couldn't be
Sometimes I feel like I shouldn't be here