Riding the Bullet (2004) Movie Script

What are you talking about?
Alan, don't get so uptight!
You're telling me
you don't want to do this anymore.
-That's not what I'm saying.
-Then what are you saying?
What is it
with this morbid fixation of yours?
You've got talent, Alan.
I hate to see you squander it with
these adolescent monster movie images.
Why this obsession with death?
Everybody does life.
Maybe you haven't noticed,
my little deadly nightshade...
but it's a brand new age,
time to celebrate life...
the love and the beauty
of the world around us.
So why don't you draw what you see?
I do.
Yeah, more is the pity.
Life is beautiful, Alan.
This gruesome stuff isn't going
to get you anywhere.
That's what my grandmother says.
And a happy Hallow's Eve to you, my friend.
Tricky Dick, your war is sick!
Hell, no, we won't go!
I can't believe you're breaking up with me
on my birthday.
I'm not breaking up with you.
God, you're being
so Leave it to Beaver about this.
I'm sorry, Jessica, but I love you.
I thought you loved me.
I do.
I love everyone.
-You want to.
-No such luck.
Quit playing the Prince of Darkness
and kiss me.
I can't. Not now.
Suit yourself.
Happy birthday.
Yeah. Happy birthday to me.
Happy fucking birthday.
Fuck you, too!
Good idea, Alan.
You know, they don't appreciate you.
Show them how important you are.
Come on, Alan...
you know it's beautiful over here.
Just grit your teeth and cut!
That's it.
Show them, Alan.
Do it!
Happy birthday!
Why don't you guys give us some privacy?
What are you doing?
-Are you okay?
-I'm fine.
I am so sorry, Alan.
You know how much I love you.
I guess lunch is gonna have to wait
until round two.
That was a stupid fucking thing to do.
Jesus, Alan, I was only kidding.
I was trying to set you up
for your surprise party.
Guess I surprised you instead.
No shit.
Suicide is a very selfish act, you know.
Shit, one more life or death
seems pretty insignificant...
in the greater planetary scheme of things.
It makes a big difference to me.
Death isn't glamorous, Alan.
I guess I don't really know you.
You, and about four billion other people
on the planet.
Don't give me
that misunderstood artist bullshit.
We all have problems. We deal with them.
You know, you are whining.
You're being kind of a creep,
to tell you the truth.
I'm sorry.
I'm just in my "poor me" stage.
Call me an asshole.
Are you ever going to pull...
such a stupid, cruel, selfish stunt
like that again?
Promise. Cross my heart.
Now, who loves you?
-My mom.
-Who else?
Baby Jesus?
Funny. Who else?
But I guess you want proof of that,
don't you?
Proof is good.
It's a little late, but...
-happy birthday.
I like the artwork.
Let's see here.
"Rock 'n' Roll Revival,
Varsity Stadium in Toronto...
"starring John Lennon
and the Plastic Ono Band."
Jessie, where did you get these?
How do you cut yourself
shaving in a fucking bathtub?
That's just fucking clumsy.
Who shaves in a bathtub anyway?
Only chicks take baths, man.
-Shut up, Hector.
-Shut up?
Show him the picture you took.
He sold it to the school paper.
-Got $25, man.
-You going to split it with me?
-It is my naked ass in the paper.
-Just fucking with you, man. Lighten up.
-See? I told you.
He ain't depressed if he's fucking with you.
It was an accident.
Look, you don't accidentally
slice your wrists.
Hector Passmore here passed out
as soon as he saw a little blood in the tub.
I didn't pass out,
I just felt a little woozy, is all.
I'm a pacifist, man.
I don't dig the sight of spilled blood.
-Tell Archie it was an accident.
-I'd really rather not talk about it right now.
Whoa! Asshole!
Can I take a picture of your stitches?
Would you guys mind
getting the car for me?
Right, we'll get the car.
Can Alan come out and play?
Are you okay?
You weren't just setting me up, were you?
-It's okay, I'm not going to...
rip out my stitches or anything.
It's true, isn't it?
I care about you so much.
Then tell me the truth. I'll be okay.
I'm just trying to evolve here.
It's like you have a wall around you.
Like a moat to keep out your enemies.
I'm not your enemy.
I'm sorry, Jessica.
I figure we get fucked up...
go out, swipe a couple bags of candy
from trick-or-treaters...
then check out the Halloween party
at Kappa Gamma Nu.
-Far out.
-Who wants to go to Toronto?
As long as I can hold on
to my student deferment, I'm cool right here.
-They got Halloween in Canada?
-I don't know, but they got this.
What is it?
Only John Lennon
and the Plastic Ono Band.
-No way!
-Where'd you get them?
-From Jessica, for my birthday.
Isn't she going?
-You're okay to travel, right? I mean....
-Man, he's okay!
I told you it was an accident!
Tell him you're okay, Alan.
If everyone wants to know so bad that
I'm all right I'll take out an ad in The Voice.
John "I am the fucking walrus" Lennon!
-Can I touch them?
-Don't let him, he's fucked up.
-So are you!
-Yeah, but I can maintain better than you.
-You only got two tickets?
-Dibs. I got the car. I'm driving.
I got the tickets.
We'll all chip in and
buy the third ticket when we get there.
When do we go?
How about tonight?
You think the other Beatles might show up?
Lennon's there going,
"This is an oldie, but a goodie..."
and rips into I Want to Hold Your Hand
or something...
and Paul, George, and Ringo
walk on stage...
and everybody just goes fucking apeshit!
As far as I'm concerned,
it's anything-can-happen day.
The Beatles, man!
-You know what's going to be weird?
When they get old.
What's it going to be like...
when Lennon and Hendrix and Janis...
and Jim Morrison
and all the gods of rock 'n' roll are like...
old and fat and bald and shit?
lt'll be a world I don't want to live in.
Amen, brother.
Don't answer it. It's gonna be Jessica
and she's gonna want her tickets back.
-Don't be ridiculous. It is not.
-It is. Don't answer!
It's bad news, I know it.
-Hi, Alan. It's me.
I'm sorry I said what I said. I love you.
Let's run away to Toronto and forget
about the rest of the world for a few days.
Okay? Please?
Please don't answer it.
-Alan Parker?
That's right.
This is Janey McCurdy.
You know, next door to your mama?
Hi, Mrs. McCurdy.
What is it? Is my mom okay?
It was a stroke.
It happened in the restaurant.
Oh, Jesus.
I don't want you going off all halfcocked.
The doctors think she'll be okay.
-Who is it?
-Shut up!
Is she still in the hospital?
Yes, and under the best of care.
You are not going to Toronto
with Cheech and Chong here...
while your mom's lying in a hospital
120 miles away, maybe dying.
When do you think you'll be coming down,
Alan? Saturday?
Tell her I'll be there tonight.
Won't your mama be so happy to see you?
Thanks. Bye.
What is it?
It's my mom. She's in the hospital
down in Lewiston. She had a stroke.
Shit. I'm sorry, Alan.
What about Toronto?
You guys go ahead.
I got to make sure my mom's okay.
Look, Ma!
I got a gold star, Ma.
What's the matter, Mama?
Oh, baby.
It's gonna be okay, sweet pea.
Why are you crying?
It's your daddy.
A loving husband, a good father,
a generous friend....
It's just you and me now, baby.
Alan and Jean Parker against the world.
-Thanks for the ride.
-Not a problem, man.
-Where you headed?
-Down to Lewiston.
I can take you up to Hampton Center, man.
Far out. Thanks.
-You want to get high?
-No, that's okay.
What are you, a narc?
No, I'm not a narc.
No, because if you're a narc,
you'd have to say you're a narc, right?
What's in Lewiston?
I've gotta see my mom in the hospital.
Shit. What is she, sick?
No, she hangs out there,
pulls tricks for a few extra bucks.
Kind of a hobby.
She had a stroke.
That's a drag. My mom died in a hospital.
Heavy shit. She had lung cancer.
She weighed like 75 pounds when she died.
Thanks for sharing that, asshole.
I feel much better now.
I'm sorry.
Yeah, I ain't.
She was a real DAR bitch, you know.
Her and my dad really big on oppression.
Sieg heil, that whole thing.
Actually, my mom's
Another Mother for Peace.
Oh, that's cool. Were you in the service?
No. Student deferment. You?
Fuck, no, man.
They tried to drag my ass to Vietnam.
I'm not going down there, man.
I'm not going to go get killed. I dig life.
"Give peace a chance," right?
I'll tell you what, pretty soon all the over-30s
are going to be six feet under.
Then we'll see. Did you go to Woodstock?
-You missed out, bro.
Righteous weed, skinny-dipping,
naked chicks.
Here, take this.
What the fuck was that?
What a trip, man. Are you all right, brother?
-What's with the wig?
-Shit, man!
Hey, man. Shit.
-This yours?
You know, they called me a baby killer
I'm no fucking baby killer.
I'm not gonna be a part of that war machine.
Look at me. I'm one of you.
You're not one of me,
you weekend hippie asshole.
-And you're a shitty driver.
-What kind of attitude is that?
Where are you going, man?
Where's that joint?
What the fuck are you looking at?
Come on, let's move along.
Move along, please.
Hey, Alan, you need a ride?
What is it, hon?
How did Dad die?
He was killed in a car accident.
You know that.
Yeah, I know, but I never really knew how.
How did it happen?
He was coming home one night...
from a meeting he had out in Castle Rock.
And his car ran out of gas...
on Route Two, you know...
the middle of nowhere.
He was just walking down the road...
when someone just ran right into him.
When they finally found your daddy,
he was still holding on to the gas can.
I honestly don't know what I'd do
if I didn't have you.
Do you remember him?
Not so much.
I wish you could.
You're so much like him it scares me.
You get on up to Orono
and make me proud, okay?
Be careful, Al.
All right, son, let's perambulate along.
Nothing to see here.
What do you want?
Who are you?
She lied to you, you know.
-Hop on in, son. It's bugger-cold out there.
I'm heading on down to Bowdoinham.
He trying to catch something?
You know, my wife Aleka, bless her soul,
she used to say...
I would end up in a ditch with a knife
in my back picking up hitchhikers.
But every time I see
a young fellow like you...
standing on the side of the road,
I think of my younger days.
I appreciate it.
Yeah. Where you headed, son?
Central Maine General Hospital
down in Lewiston.
-My mother had a stroke.
I'm sorry to hear that.
-They think she'll be okay.
Stroke's what claimed my Allie,
not four years back.
She just started babbling stuff,
not making a lick of sense.
After a while she just sort of
petered out, you know.
I miss her terrible.
On long drives,
I can still see her face sometimes...
sitting right there where you are.
You know, I'd take you all the way,
but I promised my brother Ralph...
that I'd take him
over to that nursing home in Gates.
His wife's up there,
she's got that forgetting disease...
what do you call it,
Anderson's or whatever it is.
-Alzheimer's, yeah. That's the fellow.
Still, I suppose I could take you all the way.
Don't let him.
There's something wrong with him.
You don't have to do that.
I can get a ride from Gates easy.
Damn, damn truss!
Damn rupture!
You know, pardon my French...
but if you stick around
this old world long enough...
after a while all your works
start falling apart, you know.
It just seems like the longer you live...
the more God wants to kick you in the ass.
Still, it's good that you dropped everything
to go see your mom the way you're doing.
She's a good mom.
Okay, Mrs. Parker.
Well. This must be little Al.
Alan. Who are you?
This is Mr. Dalrymple from the ADC.
I think I have everything
I need for now, Mrs. Parker.
-Good. We'll be in touch.
-Thank you.
-Thanks for the coffee and cookies.
-You're welcome.
-What's ADC?
-He says it's Aid to Dependent Children...
but I think it's Awful Damn Crapheads.
Gotta pucker up
and smooch his white heinie...
just to make sure he writes a good report,
so we can get an extra $50 a month.
-"Awful Damn Crapheads"?
It's just you and me against the world, Al.
It got so my Allie...
didn't even know her own name.
She had that look in her eye,
like she's saying, "Let me out of here."
I mean, if she could think of the words
to say. You know what I mean?
There's nothing we can really do for her.
She's going to need someone to care for her
for the rest of her life.
That's your job,
which means quitting school, of course...
and any semblance of a life
that you may have had.
Yeah. I know what you mean.
Look at that.
Look at that harvest moon, son.
Ain't she a corker?
Make a wish on it, boy!
I wish my mom knows me
when I walk into her room.
That her eyes would light up
and she'd say my name.
I wouldn't fuck with wishes if I were you.
Remember The Monkey's Paw?
I wish my Allie was here.
Oh, to hell with Ralph.
Why don't I just take you right on down
to Lewiston with me, son?
Just take you right on down there with me.
What would you say?
Don't do it!
It's another 20 miles of the stink of piss...
and weaving across lanes
till we get hit head on by some Mack truck!
He's dying, man! Can't you smell it?
-What do you say, son?
-No, that's okay.
You take care of your brother. He needs you
as much as my mom needs me.
To hell with Ralph! To hell with him!
I'll take you right to the hospital door...
even though we never met before.
What do you say, son?
What do you say? I'll take you right there!
No, it's okay.
Thanks. I can go out that way.
I can get a ride in no time.
Yeah, best you do that.
Get a ride outside of town.
Nobody would give you a ride inside town,
you know.
You sure, now? A bird in the hand....
I'll be okay. Thank you.
Any time, son.
My wife Allie....
What's that?
What's the matter with you?
It was just a sad old man
with leaky plumbing in a sad old car.
There was nobody in there with him.
It was just a reflection or something.
What the hell were you so afraid of?
You were afraid you might
catch what he's got.
Sometimes it's right to be afraid.
I'm not afraid of death.
Oh, yeah, that's right.
You're the fucking Prince of Darkness.
Here we go.
Get a job, faggot!
Hey, fuck you!
Oh, shit!
There he is!
Go on! Go home!
Go on, go! Get! Go!
Don't you wanna see me before I die?
Of course I do, Mom.
Then why do you keep turning down rides?
Fun is fun and done is done.
Don't you love me?
-Look how high we are.
-Why did we do this?
-Mom, let's go.
I just want to go.
Al, you've been bugging me all weekend
to ride the Bullet.
I know. I just wanna go.
If you're gonna make me wait
in the freezing cold...
-you're going to go on the goddamned ride!
-I changed my mind. I can't.
That's it. That's the last time, buddy boy!
I've had it with your nonsense!
"George Staub."
Jesus, he died two years ago today.
Yeah, but he was born on your birthday.
-"Fun is fun."
-And done is done.
Oh, shit.
Mom's dead.
We're saving a place for you!
That didn't happen.
You're in a graveyard, on your way
to see your mom in the hospital.
You're riding with every maniac on the road.
You think you're in a horror movie,
but you're not.
You're just trying to get home to see Mom.
If you just walk out of here now
without looking back...
you can go on believing that
for the rest of your life.
Fuck that.
You know that's not what it said.
I just read it wrong.
It said, "Fun is fun and done is done."
-Mom's dead.
-Thanks for the ride.
-Not a problem.
-Headed up to the city?
-Sure am.
Cool. Me, too.
Maybe we should have taken another car.
-What are you doing up in the city?
-Don't tell him.
There's something's wrong here.
Don't tell him.
My brother's getting married.
I'm gonna be his best man.
Rehearsal's tomorrow,
plus a stag party after.
Your brother's getting married. That's good.
-What's your name?
Hector. Hector Passmore.
There's something really wrong here.
You're never gonna make it to Lewiston.
Mom's dead.
You're never gonna make it home.
And what's that awful smell?
Bet you got a lot of shit for that,
back in school?
Name like that. Hector Passmore.
Yeah, I guess so.
Shit, man. I'd have changed it.
Nice to meet you, Hector.
Name's George.
George Staub.
Formaldehyde! That's the smell!
The son of a bitch is dead!
The dead travel fast.
I can't let him know I know.
I dig this song, man. I really dig this song.
Why didn't I go with the old guy
in the truss? What was I so afraid of?
The dead travel fast.
That old fart never moved more than 45.
So, there's nothing like a wedding.
Yeah. Everyone should do it at least twice.
Easy! You can't let him know you know!
At least twice!
Yeah, sounds like my whole fucking family!
Yeah, mine, too.
-There's really nothing like a funeral, right?
-Shit. You said "funeral"!
He knows!
God, what's under that hat?
You said "funeral."
Wedding is what I meant to say.
We always say what we mean to say, Hector.
That's what I think.
Me and Sigmund Freud.
He's fucking with you, man.
He knows you saw his grave.
He knows you know he's dead.
Feel all right?
-You sure?
-I'm just a little carsick, I guess.
I think you should let me out.
Maybe if I get a little fresh air,
my stomach will settle down.
Someone else will come along.
Oh, no, I can't let you out here.
In the middle of nowhere? All alone?
Could be hours
before someone came along...
and even if they did,
they might not pick you up.
No way I'm letting you out here.
Crack your window a little.
I know it doesn't smell so great in here.
Hung up one of those air fresheners,
but those things don't work worth a shit.
Of course...
some smells are harder to get rid of
than others.
Reminds me of that story...
about that kid that buys
a brand-new Cadillac for $750.
You heard that story?
I think everybody's heard that story.
Kid wants to buy a car.
Sees a brand-new Caddy sitting out
in front of this guy's house.
"For sale by owner. "
Kid knows he can't afford no Cadillac car.
Can't get within a shout of a Caddy...
but he's curious, you know?
How much does something like this go for?
Kid, this is your lucky day.
$750 and you can drive it away.
Yeah, right. That's about as funny
as a screen door in a submarine.
No joke, kid.
Pony up the cash and she's yours.
Hell, I'll even take a check.
You've got an honest face.
I heard it was a Thunderbird.
T-Bird, Caddy, same shit.
It's a story.
I may only be 17, but I'm no idiot.
Nobody sells a car like this for $750.
I don't want her anymore, son.
She smells.
You can't get a smell like that out.
I've tried everything you can think of,
and some you can't.
You see....
I was on a business trip.
Gone a couple, three weeks.
She must have been dead
practically the whole time he'd been gone.
I don't know if it was a suicide
or a heart attack or what.
She's all bloated up...
and the car, it's filled with that smell...
and all he wanted to do was sell it.
That's some story.
Why wouldn't he just call home?
He's gone for weeks on a business trip...
he doesn't call home
to see how his wife's doing?
That's sort of beside the point, ain't it?
I mean, what a bargain! That's the point.
Who wouldn't be tempted?
Probably drive the fucking car
with the windows down, right?
It's a story. Fiction.
I thought of it
because of the smell in this car.
Which is a fact.
Check out this button. Thrill Village.
That's where I was today.
My girlfriend was gonna go,
but called and said she was sick.
You see, she gets these bad cramps
when she's O.T.R.
It's too bad...
but what's the alternative?
No rag at all? Then we'd both be in trouble.
So I went alone.
You ever been to Thrill Village?
When I was 12.
You didn't go alone, did you?
Not if you were 12, you didn't.
You didn't tell him that!
Not out loud! He's fucking with you.
You gotta just open the door,
tuck your head under your arms and jump!
He'd only reach over and grab me
and pull me right back in with him.
Yeah, my dad took me.
Your dad?
Did you ride the Bullet?
I rode that fucker four times!
Did you ride the Bullet, Alan?
You told him your name was Hector!
Don't let him know you know.
-Yeah, I rode the Bullet.
You didn't ride the Bullet.
I mean, you got in line and everything...
but you were with your mom,
not your dad. Remember?
The line was long...
your mom didn't wanna wait
out there in the cold.
But you kept hassling her all day.
And when you finally got to the head
of the line what happened, Alan?
You chickened out, didn't you? Didn't you?
When we got close...
and I saw how high it was...
how it turned over the top...
how they screamed when it came down...
I chickened out.
And she swatted me.
She wouldn't talk to me all the way home.
I never rode the Bullet.
Until now.
I stopped by the state line to get some beers
on my way home.
I was gonna give my girlfriend
this button as a joke.
But you probably know
what happened then.
Every Halloween, when the moon is full
and the wind is high...
you might see George Staub
on Old Ridge Road...
Iooking for souls. Like yours!
There's nothing like a funeral, huh?
Isn't that what you said?
Let me out. Please.
Do you know who I am?
You're a ghost.
Come on. You can do better than that.
Casper is a fucking ghost.
Do I float in the air?
Can you see through me?
I'm a kind of messenger...
fucking Western Union
from beyond the grave.
Guys like me come out
whenever the circumstances are right...
because we like to play with guys like you.
Because you are one of us...
the walking dead.
Surgeon did good work.
He must have liked you.
After all, it is your legacy, isn't it?
-What do you mean?
-You know.
Since your dad killed himself.
Do you know how many children of suicides
commit suicide themselves?
It's your heritage, man.
My father didn't commit suicide.
He was killed in a car accident.
-Is that what she told you?
-It's what happened!
No, Alan.
Let me tell you what really happened.
He painted Miss November with his brains.
That's bullshit!
Bullshit? You know it's not.
You know what I think?
I think whoever runs things
likes to be entertained.
He always wants to see
if you're happy with what you got...
or if he can talk you into
what's behind curtain number two.
But everything has to be just right.
And tonight it was.
You out there all by yourself,
needing a ride in the night...
in the dark, with your fucking wrist.
And your dad.
Your mother dying in the hospital.
She's not dying!
Yeah, right. Not yet.
None of this would've happened if I'd stayed
with the old man in the truck, would it?
That's hard to say.
Maybe he was dead, too.
There's no time to talk about that.
In five miles we're going
to start seeing houses again.
A few miles past that
is the Lewiston city line.
Which means you have to decide now.
Decide what?
Who rides the Bullet
and who stays on the ground.
You or your mother.
-I'm taking one of you with me, Al.
Who's it going be? You or your mom?
-What are you talking about?
-It's time for one of you to die!
The choice is yours. It's all up to you.
This shit isn't funny, man.
I'm serious.
I'm as serious as cancer.
You've got a choice to make.
You or Mommy.
So put on your thinking cap.
We had peach pie, so I saved you a slice.
Come here, hon.
It's you and me against the world, Al.
What do you say, Al?
-Time's a-wasting.
-I can't decide something like that.
-It's not fair to ask me.
-I know.
They all say that.
But if you don't decide
by the time we get to that first light...
I'll just have to take you both.
Take us where?
Come on, that's an easy one.
This is your meat, Al.
Life obviously doesn't mean
that much to you.
You just love death, don't you?
The romance, the mystery,
the dark fucking beauty of it.
What's the big deal? People die every day.
A shitload of people.
It is a big deal.
I see.
Have we had a little change of heart,
drama boy?
What was that,
just a cry for help, O Prince of Darkness?
-What the fuck were you thinking?
What's more valuable than your life...
all that there is in your future,
hell, right now?
Come on, just give mom the boot.
She's already got diabetes,
smokes like a chimney.
-She doesn't have long left anyway.
-This is bullshit!
Yeah, they all say that, too.
You know, I'd just as soon take two as one.
It's more points for me.
Go ahead, Alan, you're an artist.
Paint the walls, like I did.
Come on, Al.
We're running out of wilderness.
What do you say?
It's time to choose.
-I'm not going to do that.
-Okay. Then I'll do it for you.
This isn't a request, Al baby!
You're here for a reason.
It's not fair. You can't make me choose.
Hey, man, I didn't even have a choice.
You do.
I'd take it if I were you.
I'm only 21.
I've got a whole life in front of me.
48 is old. She's sick, real sick.
And it is only a matter of time.
Your mom worked her ass off for you.
All those shit jobs to put money away
so you could go to school.
Hell, so you could even eat.
Who the fuck are you anyway?
The angel on his right shoulder
or the devil on his left?
Then shut the fuck up!
Who's it going to be, Al?
You or Mommy? Or both?
They're coming to get you, Barbara.
Just settle back and enjoy the ride, Son.
Why didn't you come, Al?
Why did you let me die all alone?
We never quite made it to Toronto, man!
-Is that you?
-Of course it's me.
He brought me here.
You have to choose, honey.
You have to make the choice.
I can't do that, Mom.
You have to.
What's wrong with your hand?
You ripped the fucking skin off of it,
that's what's wrong!
You can't run away, Alan.
And you can't kill what's already dead.
Now quit pissing me off
and make your decision!
Hurry, Al. Speed it up.
That's the first house.
If you've got something to tell me,
you better tell me now.
How do you choose?
How the hell do you choose?
I've had it with your nonsense!
Just you and me against the world, Al.
I honestly don't know what I'd do
if I didn't have you.
Make me proud, okay?
Happy birthday!
Now, Al. Now!
Is it going to be your mother or you?
Now, Al!
Take her! Take my Mom, don't take me!
Pleasant dreams, Al.
Where are you headed, son?
-That works for both of us. Come on.
Thank you.
Good luck, son.
I hope your mom's on the mend.
Did you ride the Bullet?
I rode that fucker four times.
You all right, son?
You come over all shivery.
I'm okay.
Thanks again.
Hi, I'm here to see Jean Parker.
I'm sorry, visiting hours end at 9:00.
She's my mother. She had a stroke.
I hitchhiked all the way
from Orono to see her.
We can make the occasional exception
for immediate family, I think.
Thank you.
Let's see, that was Parker?
Right. Jean Parker.
Let me call Dr. Higgins.
He'll be here in just a minute.
Mr. Parker?
I'm sorry, Alan,
but your mother passed away at about 8:00.
Let's see, that was Parker?
Right. Jean Parker.
I've got to call Dr. Shustek.
-What is it?
-Hi, Dr. Shustek.
Jean Parker's son is here.
Dr. Shustek will be right here.
Mr. Parker?
I'm not going to lie to you.
Your mother is a vegetable.
A rutabaga. A banana squash.
She's fucked. And so are you.
Let's see. Here she is, in 487.
Let me call up and see
if it's okay for you to come up.
-Is she okay?
-Hang on a second.
Hi, Annie. Jean Parker's son is here.
Could he come up and see her?
Annie's just going down to check in on her.
It'll just be a minute.
It's real.
Then why isn't she dead?
Okay, Annie. I understand.
I will. Thanks.
Annie says you can come up,
but just for a few minutes.
Your mother's had her evening medication,
and she's a little soupy.
Mr. Parker? Hurry up, she's going.
-No, I just meant the sedative.
She's going to sleep, that's all I meant.
God, I am so stupid. No, she is fine, just....
-You're not going to faint, are you?
I know what you did, Al!
Now, don't you cry.
No need for that.
I came as soon as I heard.
Mrs. McCurdy called.
I told her that the weekend would be fine.
Yeah, to hell with that.
How did you get here?
I hitchhiked.
You have blood in your hair.
It's nothing, Mom. I bumped my head.
Not good.
You have to take care of yourself.
I think we should let her sleep now.
She's had a rough day.
I know.
I'm going, Ma.
I'll be back first thing tomorrow.
You get some sleep, okay?
Sleep. That's all I do.
I dreamed we were at that amusement park.
You did?
Waiting in line...
for the roller coaster...
that goes way up high.
Remember that one?
-The Bullet.
-The Bullet, yes.
You were so scared.
And I shouted at you.
Shouted and swatted you.
It's all right, Ma.
I'm so sorry.
That was a long time ago.
You never got your ride.
Mr. Parker, it really is time to go.
I'm gonna see you tomorrow.
-I love you.
-I love you, too.
So sorry.
There's nothing like a brush with mortality
to teach you to appreciate life.
A little bite of death
can help you grow up real quick.
Mom got out of the hospital a few days later.
She walked with a limp for a while.
About a month later she was back at work.
She tried to quit smoking
and for a little while, she did.
Then I came back for spring break
a day early and there she was....
We had a couple of pretty good years
after that.
I visited her most every weekend.
We'd play gin rummy or talk politics
until all hours.
Had a bucket-Ioad of laughs,
as she liked to say.
Then one night...
she stopped laughing.
I will never forget
and always regret the choice I'd made.
The memory of that night
out on the Old Ridge Road never faded...
and grew dreamlike, as I expected it would.
I'm sorry, Mom.
I can't help but think
that maybe George Staub...
if there really was a George Staub...
just teased me with a little more time...
a couple more years.
But I was glad to have them.
It unlocked my heart.
Jessica and I got married a year later...
but it didn't last.
It wasn't anybody's fault.
We tried, but nothing ever seems to last.
The Beatles never did get together
in Toronto back in 1969.
They never got together again.
John Lennon's life was taken
by a maniac with a gun...
George Harrison's by cigarettes and cancer.
And I never made a living as an artist.
But I still paint, because it's what I do.
I miss my mom
and I still think about her a lot.
I miss that time, too.
From the time of her stroke in 1969
to the time of her passing in 1972...
my world changed forever.
I think everybody's did.
Nothing seems to last...
but the Bullet.
The Bullet is constant.
The Bullet is always there.
You wait in line, that's all.
When it's your turn to ride the Bullet,
maybe you ride and maybe you run.
Either way, it comes to the same thing.
Fun is fun and done is done.
Nobody lives forever, but we all shine on.
You want a ride?
No, thanks. I think I'll walk.
Take your button and get out of here.