Away From Her (2006) Movie Script

She said,
"Do you think it'd be fun
if we got married?"
And what did you say?
I took her up on it.
I never wanted to be
away from her.
She had the spark of life.
When did we last
wash that sweater?
Right after the war.
In the '50s sometime or the '60s.
Shut up.
I'll go make the fire.
"You climbed the bank and said,
"'This is how you touch
other women,
"the grass cutter's wife,
the lime burner's daughter.
"And you searched your arms
for the missing perfume
and knew..."
Don't worry, darling.
I expect I'm just losing my mind.
"What good is it to be
the lime burner's daughter,
"left with no trace
"as if not spoken to in the act of love,
"as if wounded without
the pleasure of a scar.
"You touched your belly
to my hands in the dry air
"and said, 'I am
the cinnamon peeler's wife.
Smell me."'
When I look away,
I forget what yellow means.
But I can look again.
Sometimes there's something
delicious in oblivion.
I think you're supposed to be able
to put your fingers
inside the curled petal
and feel the heat.
I can't be sure.
I can't be sure if what I can feel
is the heat or my imagination.
The heat attracts the bugs.
Nature never fools around
just being decorative.
I don't quite know
how to introduce myself.
I used to see your husband
at Meadowlake.
I'm a regular visitor there myself.
Those are lovely flowers.
I've never seen
those purple ones before.
The earth there must
really appeal to them.
You could just open the drawers.
Remind yourself.
Maybe all the labels and lists
are defeating the purpose.
If you stopped thinking about things
the moment you write them down,
maybe that's the end
of your need to recall.
I heard a story at a dinner party
about the German soldiers
on border patrol
in Czechoslovakia during the war.
I heard it from that
Czech student of yours.
We spoke once at a dinner party.
Don't be nervous.
It's a good story.
She told me that each
of the German patrol dogs
wore a sign saying "hund."
"Why?" said the Czechs.
And the Germans replied,
"Because that is a hund."
It was one of those craft shows
where you look around and wonder
that the laws of supply and demand
can allow for the production
of so many macram ducks.
Oh, God, those things are everywhere.
- What do you do with them?
- Come on, Phoebe, you've got one of those.
You use it as a... what do you call it...
a light fixture holder or som...
- I do not.
- Phoebe, in the...
Oh, yes. Wait a second, I do.
Fiona gave it to me.
Yes, I did.
Would anybody like some more?
Wai... Wain...
No, but I'll have a touch of wine.
Yeah, Fiona, that would be lovely.
Some more wain.
The thing is...
half the time I wander around
looking for something
which I know is very pertinent.
I can't remember what it is.
Once the idea is gone,
everything is gone.
I just wander around
trying to figure out what it was
that was so important earlier.
I think I may be
beginning to disappear.
And what year is it?
Fiona, if you found a letter on the street,
addressed, with a stamp on it,
what would you do with it?
I'd mail it.
And where would you put it to mail it?
And if there was a fire
in a movie theater,
and you were the first person
to spot that fire,
what would you do?
Well, we don't go
to the movies much anymore,
do we, Grant?
All those multiplexes showing
the same American garbage.
Have you seen my coat?
There it is, dear.
It's on your chair.
Oh, yes.
Fiona, would you mind
if I asked you a few more questions?
Would you mind taking a seat?
I was just feeling
a little cold, that's all.
What an ugly baby.
When did we move into this cottage?
Was it last year
or the year before?
No. It was longer than that.
It was when I left the university,
Well, that's shocking.
Let's just see how it goes, shall we?
How is your husband doing?
He and my wife struck up
quite a close friendship.
I heard about that.
So, uh,
I'd like to speak to you
about something.
If you have a minute.
My husband did not try
to start anything with your wife,
if that's what you're getting at.
He did not try to molest her.
He's incapable of it.
And anyway, he wouldn't.
From what I hear, it was the other way around.
No, uh, that isn't it at all.
I didn't come here with any complaints.
Oh, well, I'm sorry.
I thought you did.
Maybe you should come in.
It's not as warm a day as it looks.
"Never let a person make you feel guilty
for your anger with God."
Hmm. Random.
I can't even see what the point is.
We can't be certain this is what...
You're far too young.
"Should the patient
afflicted with the disease
"remain at home...
the caregiver will very often be the spouse."
"The caregiver must preside
over the degeneration
"of someone he or she
loves very much,
"must do this for years and years
"with the news always
getting worse, not better,
"must put up sometimes
with deranged
"but at the same time
very personal insults,
"and must somehow learn
to smile through it all.
"Caregivers must be able to diagnose
"a wide variety of ordinary ailments
"under extraordinary circumstances.
"Imagine the person
you love the most
"suddenly upset about something,
"but completely unable
to communicate the problem
or even to understand it himself."
Sounds like a regular marriage.
Hello, there!
Hello, there.
We are at that stage, Grant.
We are at that stage.
if we do think of it...
if we do...
then it must be as something
that isn't permanent.
A kind of experimental treatment or...
a rest cure of sorts.
All right.
All right.
We can think of it that way.
We have to sit in the kitchen,
where I can hear Aubrey.
Well, you might as well
have a cup of coffee.
Thank you.
My son put him on the Sports Channel
a year ago Christmas.
I don't know what we'd do without it.
Must be a struggle.
Well, you know.
You know what
struggle is by now.
- You're sure?
- I'm sure.
You don't want to just get
a sense of the place?
I don't want to make
this decision alone.
What place?
Just kidding!
Fuck off.
You're not making
this decision alone, Grant.
I've already made up my mind.
It's time to go home now.
- No, no.
- Mrs. Taylor...
- Hi. Is this your son?
- Yeah. I'm her son.
Hi. I'm Betty. It's time for your bath.
- Bath.
- Yeah.
You have to have a bath now.
Mr. Andersson?
Madeleine Montpelier.
- I'm the supervisor here at Meadowlake.
- Hi, there.
I'm just going to take you
on the quick tour of the facility,
and then we can sit down
and discuss Mrs. Andersson's condition
and the appropriate time
for admitting her.
As you can see,
we get a lot of natural light.
Yes, I can see that.
This is my favorite room.
Look, over there, as you can see,
they have a puzzle on the go.
They always have
a puzzle on the go.
- This works.
- You know, it's real important to us here
that our residents
maintain social function,
so a lot of our activities
and our whole layout
is really geared toward...
Hello, there, Miss Madeleine.
Hello, Michael.
Now, as you can see,
we're coming into our common room,
and again, we're really emphasizing
everybody being social.
So you can bring the family.
Everybody can come and visit.
We have a state-of-the-art
entertainment system
so the residents can gather
and watch together.
- Hi, Madeleine.
- Hello, ladies.
- Hello, Madeleine.
- I got a Christmas sweater.
Aren't you festive!
And this is our quiet corner
for crafts and reading and reflection.
We have a lot of activities
for physical activity.
Balloon badminton and sit and fit.
And here we have our
lovely new dining room.
We can accommodate
any dietary preferences or restrictions.
We're just serving up a little Christmas dinner
early for the families.
The old Meadowlake is just next door,
and that's a day center
now, but, um...
this for the permanent residents.
This is brand-spanking new.
So let's go upstairs, shall we?
Just taking my tea for a ride.
Oh, look at this one, Flo.
He's a real charmer, isn't he?
Would you say,
are you a charmer?
I think you could say
I was kind of a charmer.
You're a rascal.
Mr. Andersson is here about his wife, Eliza.
Behave yourself.
I should have known it.
At this age, it's...
What do the kids call it, Flo? It's...
It's a real clusterfuck.
All the charmers are taken.
Or dead. Mostly dead.
You're kind of charming
yourself, sweetheart.
Shall we?
This is our second floor,
the extended care wing.
The elevators, of course,
have the lockdown system,
and this is where
the patients can move to
once they become more progressed.
Interesting choice of words.
Why don't I show you some of the rooms here,
while we're at it?
Then we can go back down
and see the regular rooms
where Mrs. Andersson will be living.
No, that will not be necessary.
My wife will not be
progressing to this floor.
All right.
Who chooses the music?
I'm sorry?
I'm assuming it's not the residents.
I don't see any of them
singing along.
Yeah, well. You know the rooms on the regular
floors all have their own stereo systems
so the patients can listen
to whatever they like.
How kind.
Now, we don't admit anyone
during the month of December,
so Mrs. Andersson will
have to wait till January
to make the big move.
Just December, Christmas, you know, too
many emotional pitfalls.
- Right.
- Sorry to interrupt, Madeleine.
I'm looking for those documents
on Aubrey Burke.
Sure. Go ahead.
Mr. Andersson, this is Kristy,
our new managing nurse.
Against some people's
better judgment.
Now, now.
Mr. Andersson is here about his wife,
Mrs. Andersson,
who will be joining us in January.
- Hi, there.
- Hi.
We also have a policy,
which I'm sure you saw
in the brochure,
that our new residents
are not allowed visitors
or receiving phone calls
during the first 30 days,
just to give them a chance to settle in.
What sort of visitors?
Everyone. Even close relatives.
I couldn't just leave her here.
We understand,
it is very difficult
to leave a loved one
in a new environment for so long,
but most people need
that time to settle in.
Before we had this rule in place,
residents would forget
again and again
why they were being left here.
Whereas we find,
you give them the month
to settle in,
and they're happy as clams.
And after that, a little visit home
every now and then, perfectly fine.
We'll take good care
of her, I promise.
- Knock-knock.
- Oh, no! Not again.
Knock-knock. Boo.
- She's bringing two babies.
- Two babies?
She's got a new baby,
four months old.
Smells good.
I was going to go for a ski,
but I thought I shouldn't chance it,
what with the Alzheimer's and all.
Why didn't you wake me?
What are these, Grant?
Those are the documents
you're supposed to sign
if you decide to go to Meadowlake.
That is exactly
what I have decided.
You were to go and sign these
and leave them there.
I wouldn't be allowed
to visit you for 30 days.
after 44 years.
I don't think I like the place.
I don't think we should be looking
for something we like, Grant.
I don't think we'll ever find that.
I think all we can aspire
to in this situation
is a little bit of grace.
I suppose I'll be
dressed up all the time.
It will be sort of like... in a hotel.
How do I look?
Just like always.
Just as you've always looked.
And how does that look?
Direct and vague...
sweet and ironic.
Is that how I look?
Oh. Remember?
Surprised, Grant?
No, I'm not surprised.
I'm just grateful
you can remember that.
I'm not all gone, Grant. Just...
There are things
I wish would go away.
But won't. You know.
Things we don't talk about.
You never left me.
You still made love to me,
despite disturbing demands elsewhere.
But all those sandals, Grant.
All those bare female toes.
What could you do but be a part of the time
you were a part of?
All those pretty girls.
Didn't seem like anyone
was willing to be left out.
I think you did all right,
compared to some
of your colleagues.
Those who left their wives.
And the women who
wouldn't put up with it.
I think people are too demanding.
People want to be in love
every single day.
What a liability. And then that silly girl.
That silly girl Veronica.
Girls that age
are always going around
saying they're going
to kill themselves.
But that was that.
Promised me a new life.
We moved out here,
that is exactly what you gave me.
How long ago was that?
God, that's shocking.
So you see, I'm going...
but I'm not gone.
- Fiona.
- Grant.
Don't go.
That's what is happening, Grant.
It's happening... right now.
Hello. I'm checking in today.
My name is Fiona Andersson.
Yes, Mrs. Andersson.
We have your room
all ready for you.
- Perfect.
- We'll have our supervisor,
Mrs. Montpelier, show you.
I'll go fetch her. She's expecting you.
Thank you.
I can't go away from you like this.
We had nothing
to tie us down, Grant.
You could have just driven away
and forsaken me.
But you didn't.
I thank you for that.
- Mrs. Andersson.
- Oh, hello.
- How do you do? I'm Madeleine.
- Hello.
Should I give you two a moment?
- No, thank you.
- Yes, please.
All right, then, well,
we'll get you settled in your room,
and then I'd like to give you
a tour of the facility.
- That'd be lovely. Thank you.
- Right this way.
So, as you can see,
we get a lot of natural light.
Here we go.
Yes. This'll do just fine.
Good. I'm so glad
you like it. Now, is...
is this all you brought
with you today?
- For now.
- We'll see how it goes.
Well, if you need any help arranging things,
you just let me know.
Thank you, Mrs. Montpelier.
Now, if you wouldn't mind, I'd like to say
good-bye to my husband.
We haven't been apart for a month
for the last 44 years.
It could be quite something.
Please, Fiona.
You know what I'd like?
I'd like to make love,
and then I'd like you to go.
Because I need to stay here,
and if you make it hard for me,
I might cry so hard
I'll never stop.
Go now.
Go now.
"All of the officers
"were from outside
the local area,
"and it probably had not
entered their minds
"that almost all of us
were named McDonald.
"Nobody moved except for
the shuffling of feet.
The red roo"...Hey.
- Hello, there.
- Kristy. We met on your tour.
How's Mrs. Andersson?
Has she settled in?
I'm wondering if I could have
a moment of your time
to ask your advice?
Oh, sure. I was just
reading to Mr. Burke here.
Maybe when we finish this chapter,
I can come find you
in the dining room?
Sure. That's fine.
"The red roof lights
revolved in the afternoon sun,
and even the dogs were
temporarily quiet."
Hi, there, Mr. Andersson.
Now, how can I help you?
Going down the center
of the dining room...
That's Frank. He used to be the play-by-play
guy for the Winnipeg Jets.
- Really?
- Yeah.
He loved his job too much to retire.
Frank's on the second floor.
I just... My wife has always been
sort of a different sort of person.
I've been told that Alzheimer's can't be
confirmed until after...
And on our way here today,
we passed this conservation area
where we went
for a walk last spring.
And there were these gorgeous flowers.
The skunk lilies.
Oh, those are
beautiful, aren't they?
Yes, they really made
an impression, see?
And even though the whole
place was covered in snow,
she said, "Oh, remember?"
Now, that was...
that was... quite recently.
And isn't the short-term memory
the thing that goes first?
Well, yeah, but not all at once.
And what's comforting
is the long-term memory sometimes
stays for quite a long time.
Yeah, her long-term memory
seems quite intact.
But when she mentioned that,
about the skunk lilies,
it was all I could do not
to turn the truck around.
What if this is just her
just being herself?
She's far too young to...
She is young.
And it is hard.
No doubt about that.
A month is a real long time.
I mean, between you and me,
I don't know about the policy myself.
I think it makes it easier for the staff
is what I think.
Look. I'll give you my pager number.
You can call me
whenever you want.
You can call me every day
if you feel like it.
I don't know what to do.
Mr. Andersson,
your wife wrote you this note,
and she asked me to pass it along.
Thank you so much.
"Throughout much of the thinking brain,
gooey plaques now crowd neurons
from outside the cell membranes."
"And knotty tangles
mangle microtubal transports
from inside the cells."
"All told, tens of millions
of synapses dissolve away."
"Because the structures
and substructures of the brain
"are so highly specialized,
"the precise location
of the neuronal loss
determines what specific abilities
will become impaired."
"It is like a series
of circuit breakers
in a large house,
flipping off one by one."
That's a great-Iooking coffee maker.
I always meant to get one of those.
I saw they had them on sale
at Canadian Tire.
They gave it to us, my son and his wife.
They live in Kamloops, B.C.
They send us more stuff
than we can handle.
Wouldn't hurt if they spent the money
to come see us instead.
I suppose they're busy
with their own lives.
Not so busy they couldn't
go to Hawaii last year.
I mean, you could understand it
if there was someone
in the family closer at hand,
but, uh... he's the only one.
People do get Ionely,
especially when they're deprived
of seeing someone they care about.
Fiona, for instance.
My wife.
I thought you said
you went and visited her.
I do.
No, that's not it.
She's really settling in well.
Good. Good.
Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow,
Mr. Andersson.
Right. So I'll see you
tomorrow morning, then.
Now, remember,
she may be a little surprised to see you.
Don't be shaken by that.
Just... She hasn't seen you in a while.
She's sort of settled in here.
I understand.
There you are. I'll walk you down to her.
Wow. Narcissus this early.
You must have spent a fortune.
We brought it back here.
Hi, Mr. Andersson.
It's great to see you.
I'm gonna help you find
your sweater, Mrs. Albright.
All right. Here we are.
There is her room, right over there.
You remember from last time
you were here, don't you?
Her nameplate's right on the door.
I'll leave you to it.
There she is. Now you just
go over and say hello,
and try not to startle her...
Remember, she may not...
Well, just go ahead.
Bridge. Deadly serious.
Quite rabid about it.
I can remember being like that
at college for a while.
My friends and I would cut class
and sit in the common room and smoke
and play like cutthroats.
One's name was Phoebe.
I don't remember the others.
Phoebe Hart.
Oh, you knew her, too.
Can I get you something?
A cup of tea?
I'm afraid the coffee's
not up to much here.
I don't drink tea.
I brought you some flowers.
I thought they might do
to brighten up your room.
I went to your room,
but you weren't there.
Well, no, I'm here.
So you've made a new friend.
Oh, that's just Aubrey.
The funny thing is I knew
him years and years ago.
He used to work in the store,
the hardware store where
my grandpa used to shop.
He and I were always kidding around,
but he never could get up
the nerve to ask me out.
Until the very last weekend,
he took me to a ball game.
But my grandpa showed up
to drive us home.
I was up visiting for the summer.
Visiting my grandparents.
They lived in a cottage on a lake.
Fiona, I know where
your grandparents lived.
It's where we lived. We live.
I'd better go back.
He thinks he can't play
without me sitting there.
It's silly. I hardly
know the game anymore.
I'm afraid you'll have
to excuse me.
Will you be through soon?
We should be. I mean, it depends.
If you asked that grim-Iooking
lady over there nicely,
she'll get you a cup of tea.
- No, I'm fine.
- I can leave you, then?
You can entertain yourself?
Must all seem strange to you.
But you'll be surprised
how soon you get used to it.
You'll get to know who everybody is,
except that some of them
are pretty well off in the clouds, you know?
Can't expect them all
to get to know who you are.
Hey, I've been thinking of dying my hair.
What do you think?
Do you think I'd look
good with red hair?
You caught her at sort of a bad moment,
involved in a game.
She isn't even playing.
Well, but her friend's playing, Aubrey.
Now, who is Aubrey?
That's who he is, Aubrey.
You know, they get
these attachments.
That kind of takes over for a while.
Best buddy kind of thing.
Sort of a phase.
Does she even know who I am?
No, she might not.
Not today, and then,
tomorrow you never know.
Things change back and forth all the time.
You'll see the way it is
once you get used to coming here.
You'll learn not to take it so personal.
Learn to take it day by day.
Oh, I'm sorry.
I'll have to go and fix that now.
Here's Yung Menenikenaha,
desperately clinging
to his one-stroke lead.
Here's the swing.
It doesn't look good.
Looks like he's pushed it
out to the right.
It lands 25 feet from the green.
This must be disappointing.
It doesn't look good
for Yung Menenikenaha.
He was three strokes
on the happy side of par
until these last three holes.
Look at you, Mr. Andersson.
I think you might be
one of our most frequent visitors.
Hi, Fiona.
Oh, you are persistent, aren't you?
I brought you some books.
They don't seem to have
an awful lot around here.
Letters from Iceland by Auden.
We always meant to read that together,
didn't we?
Do you think it'd be possible to talk alone?
Well, I don't know.
Um, Aubrey's card game
starts in a few minutes,
and then we usually go walking,
and then he does his drawing...
Or perhaps you can find
a bit of time later on.
Um, I'll stay here.
Or I'll come back in a few hours.
Oh, you are persistent,
aren't you?
Up comes Kapanen... Boy, oh, boy!
Here we are at the Spectrum in Philadelphia.
It's sudden-death overtime.
They're tied 2-2.
Here are the Leafs again,
led by Andreychuk.
He carries it over the blue line,
winds up a shot right on!
The bounce, the rebound
comes back behind the net.
McCabe couldn't get to it.
It goes back on the left wing
and here come the Flyers
led by Roenick again.
Roenick and Mitchell, what a twosome
this two has been.
A shot right on!
Oh, it just went wide.
- Go for it, Frank.
- Over to the right side.
Here we go again. The Leafs again.
Here's Sundin carrying it
up over the line.
Can't get a shot away
and it's cleared away by Philadelphia.
A loose puck grabbed by Philadelphia
over on the left wing...
I just came down to say
Aubrey is having his nap
if you'd like to, um, talk.
Oh, sure.
Can we go somewhere
a little more private?
...the side with Mitchell.
He shoots, he scores!
If... If you'd like.
And Philly wins this series
by a score of 3-2.
That's it this season for the Leafs.
Look at Phil Hitchcock.
Is he a happy coach.
Philadelphia wins 3-2.
The game is over
in sudden-death overtime.
Y-You said you had
some books for me?
Letters from Iceland.
Yes, yes.
You said by Auden.
Yes. That's right.
Now... where is Iceland?
Well, Iceland is
in the middle of the Atlantic.
It's an island.
Youngest country in the world.
It's constantly erupting.
Volcanoes, earthquakes.
It's always shaking itself off.
Wouldn't it be nice to come
from a young country?
You do. That's where you're from.
That's where
your people are from.
They immigrated here in the late 1800s.
But that's where you're from, Fiona.
And I teach... Well, I taught
the myths from there.
Norse mythology.
l-I must have been there, then.
Have I been there?
Why not? Wasn't I curious?
You were very curious.
Very curious.
You always said
there ought to be one place
that you knew about
and you thought about
and maybe even longed for,
but you did never did get to see.
Did I say that?
Yes, you said that.
Well, I'd better go and see to Aubrey.
He'll be wanting a little
walk around, I suppose.
It was nice chatting.
You'll be back again
tomorrow, I suppose?
Fiona, what are you doing...
What are you doing with Aubrey?
He doesn't confuse me.
He doesn't confuse me at all.
Well, it's been nice chatting.
I'll see you again
tomorrow, I suppose.
These affections between residents,
do they ever go too far?
Well, that depends
on what you mean.
The problem we have here, it's funny.
It's actually often the ones
who haven't been friendly
with each other at all.
I mean, they maybe
don't even know each other
beyond knowing, like,
is it a man or is it a woman?
And you'd think it'd be the old guys
trying to crawl in bed
with the old ladies,
but half the time
it's the other way around.
It's the old ladies
going after the old men.
It could be they aren't so worn out.
Now don't get me wrong.
I don't mean Fiona.
Fiona is a lady.
She's a real lady.
I sometimes wonder...
You wonder what?
I wonder if she isn't putting on
some kind of... charade.
A what?
Some kind of act.
Maybe some kind of punishment.
Why would she do that?
Are you getting tired?
- No.
- Are you certain...
Excuse me.
Yes, Mr. Andersson?
How can I help you?
Fiona's wearing someone else's sweater.
Well, it's pretty, isn't it?
No, it's not pretty. It's tacky.
- She would never wear it.
- Well, I'll tell you what.
You can talk to the duty attendant
on Mrs. Andersson's wing.
Boy, it's a marvel, really,
the way she's getting him up
and out of that chair.
Can you manage?
Will you be all right?
I'll be back in a second.
Fiona, I'm your husband.
Fiona, it's Grant.
We've been married for 45 years.
Look at me, Fiona.
That is not your sweater.
We had a good life together.
Those are your words,
Fiona, not mine.
That is not your sweater.
It's all right.
It's all right. It's all right.
I'm coming straight back.
I'm coming straight back.
It's going to be all right.
I'll see you again tomorrow, I suppose.
Please, please don't.
You're very persistent, aren't you?
I wish l...
Wish I knew what...
We'll see you again
tomorrow, I suppose.
You're not doing
too well, are you?
Well, no big surprise.
What we're handling isn't so easy.
I thought when I married,
I'd be with someone to the final stretch.
I'm betting you thought the same.
Well, didn't work out.
So, I, uh, think
you're here for a reason.
I'm the kind of person you can
say things flat out to, so shoot.
I wonder if you would consider
taking Aubrey back to Meadowlake,
maybe just for a visit.
Or I suppose I could take Aubrey
out there myself.
I wouldn't mind that at all.
No. No, I can't do that.
And the reason is
I don't want to upset him.
But wouldn't he understand
it was just a visit?
He understands everything.
Now, if I go to all that trouble,
I'd prefer to take him someplace
that'd be more fun?
It would make more sense
to take him to the mall
where there are kids and whatnot.
And then I'd have to get him all ready,
maneuver him into the car.
He's a big man. He's not that easy to manage.
Even if I agreed to do it?
You couldn't do it.
You don't know him.
You couldn't manage him.
And he wouldn't stand
your doing for him.
And after all that, what would he get out of it?
No. No, thanks.
What, did you never,
or did you quit?
I quit.
How long ago?
Oh, 30 years, maybe more.
I quit quitting.
Just made a resolution to quit quitting,
that's all.
So your wife's depressed, huh?
What's her name again? I forget.
And how old were you when you met?
She was 18.
Holy, that's pretty young
to get married, eh?
Wasn't my idea.
You mean she proposed to you?
Well, that's lovely,
that's what I think.
How'd she do it?
She hadn't planned it necessarily.
We were in Tobermory
waiting for the ferry to Manitoulin,
and it was miserable and rainy,
and she was in a good mood.
She didn't want any part
of my sour mood.
And what'd she do, what'd she say?
Well, she said,
"Do you think it'd be fun...
Do you think it'd be fun
if we got married?"
And what did you say?
I took her up on it.
I shouted yes.
I never wanted
to be away from her.
She had the spark of life.
You know, nothing can take away
what's happened to you
and what you've experienced.
I don't think so, anyway.
Even if it goes away somehow,
it's still there.
It's still what you are.
It's curious.
What's curious?
All of that "madly in love" business.
The beginning.
I hear myself tell the story,
and it all sounds so crucial.
I suppose it is.
But compared to what we ended up with,
until recently...
all of that seems
so superficial somehow.
Not such a fun place to visit, eh?
Excuse me?
Not such a fun place to visit.
Fucking depressing.
No offense.
None taken.
No one came to visit you, huh?
That must suck huge.
Well, it would suck huge,
but I don't live here.
I'm just visiting someone.
Who? Which one?
Beautiful woman with the shock of hair.
The one sitting with her husband?
- You might say that.
- Why wouldn't you?
I wouldn't say that
because I'm her husband.
So why aren't you sitting with her, then?
Just learned to give her some space.
She's in love with that man
she's sitting with.
I don't like to disturb her.
I just like to see her, I suppose.
Make sure she's
doing well, you know?
I suppose that must seem
rather pathetic.
I should be so lucky.
Come on.
She's not here.
She's sick.
He's not here, either.
I brought you a book.
It's all about Iceland.
Thought you might like to take a look at it.
Why, thank you.
Oh, what is it, dear heart?
What is it? Oh, I see.
Here. Here. Here.
Here, here, yes.
Do you by any chance have
any influence around here?
I've seen you talking to them.
We'll get to see each other.
You'll see. We have to.
I'll come and see you,
and you'll come and see me.
You know, I just wish his wife
would hurry up and get here.
I wish she'd get him out of here
and cut the agony short.
Should I stay?
Don't worry. She's not sick, you know.
To keep her company.
Well, they have to learn to get
over these things by themselves.
They've got short memories,
and that's not always so bad.
Fiona. Her name is Fiona.
And what's yours?
I don't think I was ever told that.
Oh, I'm sorry. It's Grant.
Hello, Grant.
I'm Marian.
Well, now that we know
each other's name,
I can tell you straight out what I'm thinking.
I don't know if he's still
so stuck on seeing your...
seeing Fiona.
I don't ask him, he doesn't tell me.
But I don't feel like
putting him back in there
in case it turns out
to be more than that.
I don't want him
getting hard to handle.
I don't have any help. It's just me here.
I'm it.
It is very hard for you.
Did... Did you ever consider
his going in there for good?
No. I'm keeping him right here.
Well, that's very good
and noble of you.
Oh, you think so?
Well, noble is not
what I'm thinking about.
No, but it isn't easy.
No, it isn't, but I don't have a choice.
If I pay to put him in there,
I won't hold on to the house,
and the house is the only thing
we own outright.
And it means a lot to me,
this house does.
It's very nice.
Well, I guess it's all right.
I've done a lot on it,
fixing it up, keeping it up.
Yes, I can see
that you have... you do.
- I don't want to lose it.
- No.
- I'm not going to lose it.
- I see your point.
See, the company
left us high and dry.
In the end, they said
he owed them money.
What do I think?
Well, he was pretty stupid.
But I'm not supposed
to ask, so I shut up.
You've been married, huh?
I mean, you are married.
You know what it's like.
And then, in the middle of all this,
he gets sick from this virus,
and he goes into a coma.
So that pretty much
takes him off the hook, hmm?
It's bad luck.
It's, no, just life.
Can't beat life.
Oh. Hello.
Perhaps you'd like me to read to you.
I don't have any books.
Oh, there are some.
Letters from Iceland.
"Isn't it true,
however far we've wandered
"into our provinces
of persecution,
"where our regrets accuse,
we keep returning
"back to the common faith
"from which we've all dissented,
"back to the hands,
the feet, the faces?
"Children are always there
and take the hands,
"even when they are most terrified.
"Those in love cannot
make up their minds to go or stay.
"Artist and doctor return most often.
"Only the mad will never,
never come back.
"For doctors keep
on worrying while away,
"in case their skill
is suffering and deserted.
"Lovers have lived so long
with giants and elves,
"they want belief again
in their own size.
"And the artist prays ever so gently,
"'Let me find pure
all that can happen.
"'Only uniqueness is success.
"'For instance,
let me perceive the images of history.
"'AII that I push away
with doubt and travel,
today's and yesterday's alike,
like bodies."'
To all the men and women
of the United States Armed Forces
now in the Middle East,
the peace of a troubled world
and the hopes of an oppressed people
now depend on you.
How could they forget Vietnam?
The air strike started again
at 5 A. M. this morning
and lasted for three hours.
Roadside explosions have killed
eight Iraqi civilians and one U.S. soldier.
Here you go.
Next time you do it, just go pick it up, okay?
Her muscles are deteriorating.
If she doesn't improve soon,
we're going to have to
put her on a walker.
I keep trying to get her walking,
but she doesn't seem
to want to go anywhere.
But, you know, once they get on a walker,
they start to depend on it,
and then they don't want
to walk much anymore,
just get wherever it is they have to go.
You're going to have to
work at her harder.
Try and encourage her.
Here you go.
Mrs. Andersson.
How would you like to go on a field trip?
They've kept it so like it was.
Who has?
The people who live here.
But everything...
Everything just reminds me of him.
It wasn't enough, I suppose.
Who, Fiona?
Who does everything remind you of?
I'd like to go home now,
if you don't mind.
Now, as you know,
we don't do extended care
on the first floor.
I mean, we do it temporarily
if someone isn't feeling well.
But if they progress too far,
we have to consider
moving upstairs.
Do you happen to have Aubrey's address?
I'm sorry?
Aubrey and his wife.
Where do they live?
Well, it was probably a mistake
putting him there in the first place,
but I wasn't going to get another chance
to get away, so I took it.
Well, so...
Now I know better.
Did your husband ever
work in a hardware store
in the summers
when he was going to school?
No, I never heard about that.
But I wasn't raised here.
No. I didn't think so.
Thank you very much
for your time, Miriam.
It's Marian.
What a jerk.
Yeah, maybe someone
could just drop in on her,
like, if the nurse is around.
All right.
No, I don't think there's much to it,
but I'd like you to call me back.
Thanks a lot. Bye-bye.
- Hey.
- Hi.
I think I want to ask you
about the second floor,
just to know a little more about it.
Well, it's for people
who've really lost it.
What do they do, then?
What happens after that?
After they've... Iost it?
You don't really want to know.
But, you know,
sometimes they get it back.
They go into their room for a year,
they don't know you from Adam,
and then one day, it's,
"Oh, hi. When are we going home?"
I mean, all of a sudden,
they're back to normal.
But it doesn't last for long.
You think,
"Oh, wow, back to normal,"
and then they're gone again, like so.
I haven't even asked you
about yourself.
You married?
Well, technically, yeah, I guess.
Got three kids.
Their dad lives in Alberta, I think.
He's making it rich, maybe.
I wouldn't know.
Must be quite a struggle.
It, uh... knocks the wind
out of you every now and then,
but you just pick yourself
back up like everyone else.
I suppose our lives
must seem easy to you.
We got through life
without too much going wrong.
What we have to suffer
now, when we're old,
hardly counts, I suppose.
That's what you must think.
Well, how would you
know what I think?
To tell you the truth, I'd rather be
the one that stayed
than the one that left.
I'll bet you weren't always
the doggedly devoted husband.
Am I right?
I mean, you said that you wondered
if maybe she was punishing
you for something?
I'll bet you had something
pretty specific in mind, didn't you?
You know, you see a lot
of things in this job.
You see the end of things
all day long.
And in my experience,
at the end of things
it's almost always
the men that think
that not too much went wrong.
I wonder if your wife
feels the same way.
I wonder that, too.
I bet you do.
Uh, hello, Grant.
I hope I got the right person.
I just thought of something.
There is a dance here in town
at the Legion on Saturday night,
and I am on the supper committee,
which means I can bring a free guest.
So I wondered whether you would
happen to be interested in that.
Call me back
when you get a chance.
I just realized I'd forgotten to say who it was.
Well, you probably recognize
the voice, the accent.
It's Marian.
I'm still not so used
to these machines,
and I wanted to say
I realize you're not single
and I don't mean it that way.
I'm not, either.
But it doesn't hurt
to get out once in a while.
Anyway, now I've said all this,
I really hope
it's you I'm talking to.
It did sound like your voice.
If you're interested, you can call me.
And if you are not,
you don't need to bother.
I just thought you might
like the chance to get out.
It's Marian speaking.
I guess I already said that.
Okay, then. Good-bye.
"The desires of the heart
"are as crooked as corkscrews.
"Not to be born is the best for man.
"The second-best
is a formal order.
The dance's pattern:
dance while you can."
Is there any way to let this go...
do you think?
If I let it go, it'll only hit me harder
when I bump into it again.
"Dance, dance, for the figure is easy.
The tune is catchy
and will not stop."
"Dance till the stars
"come down from the rafters.
Dance, dance, dance
till you drop."
Hello, Marian.
There you are.
Here I am.
Thank you.
What are you thinking?
Not an awful lot, really.
I'm more a thrill-seeker, I guess.
What are you thinking?
I'm thinking you never know
how things are going to turn out.
You almost know...
but you can never be quite sure.
Mr. Andersson?
Mr. Andersson?
Now, as you know, we're, uh,
we're going to have
to think about moving
Mrs. Andersson upstairs
fairly soon, I'm afraid.
She hasn't been out of that bed
for two weeks now, and...
I'm quite aware of your policies.
I'm more than aware
of your bloody policies.
Well, once again, Nurse Kristy is taking me
back to the second floor.
The area to my right
are the elevators,
and as we go on down the hall,
there's a man with a broken heart,
broken in a thousand pieces.
Well, we'll go to Madeleine's office,
past the lunchroom.
Hopefully, they're serving right now.
The cannelloni
was cold yesterday,
but let's see what it's doing today.
Let's have... I gotta have
some Cokes again.
That's what I'm going to do.
Wouldn't it be better if...
when we go out again,
to put Aubrey
back into Meadowlake?
Just for a day?
What do you think?
I'm thinking that sometimes you...
just have to make
the decision to be happy.
Just decide.
Things aren't ever
what you hoped they'd be.
Not ever, for anybody.
The only thing that separates
one kind of person from another
is there are some
who stay angry about it
and there are some who...
accept what comes their way.
And which kind of person are you?
I was pretty mad about it.
But now...
Iooking at what came my way...
I think I could be
the other kind of person.
Quite the philosopher, huh?
Look, why don't you pull over here?
Just... pull over, could you?
I know what you're doing.
It would be easier for me
if you could pretend a little.
Do you think you could do that?
Now, what were we talking about?
She was the only one in her family
who bothered to learn sign language.
Now she can't remember how,
or maybe even who she is.
Her daughter?
It's left her pretty stranded.
You know, I thought of you the other day.
You know that billboard out in front
of the United Church in Bradford,
they post all that biblical-type stuff?
The other day, it said,
"It's never too late
to become what you
might have been."
Doesn't sound all that biblical.
Well, maybe they're
getting creative on us.
See you soon, Aubrey.
Oh, yeah.
Would you mind
if I had a moment alone
before you come in?
To explain things to her?
I found this beautiful book
about Iceland.
You wouldn't think they'd leave
valuable books lying around.
People who stay here
aren't all necessarily honest.
And I think they got
the clothes mixed up.
I never wear yellow.
I seem to remember you
reading this to me.
You were trying
to make me feel better.
You tried so hard.
You're a lovely man, you know?
I'm a very lucky woman.
- Fiona?
- You've been gone a long time.
Are we all checked out?
I have a surprise for you.
Do you remember Aubrey?
Names elude me.
I'm happy to see you.
You could've just driven away.
Just driven away
without a care in the world
and forsook me.
Forsooken me.
Not a chance.