Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot (2018) Movie Script

Corky, why don't you
tell us your story.
Well, as you know,
my story is not a
"really tragic" story,
boredom is tragic.
I, um...
you know, I was married.
I had every comfort
you could ask for.
I thought that's what was gonna
make my life meaningful.
I just stopped wanting
to go to parties, and...
play tennis...
with my girlfriends.
For the record,
I'd like to say
that I think
I'd rather iron sheets
than play tennis any day.
[German accent] When I was,
uh, about 11 years old,
I lived with my grandmother
near the Black Forest, and...
in a little house,
second floor...
and I had a cat.
Her name was Fifi.
Well, I did get an Oregon
Cultural Heritage Award.
[Hans] Ah, these awards
are not important.
- Please.
- [Donnie] Okay.
I got a prescription
for Valium,
which at least
made the days go...
by quicker.
[laughs] Yeah, okay,
there's this rock
that was about this big
that had these grooves in it,
like, uh, you know,
little bumps, and I said,
"Well, Aunt Janey,
what is this?"
And she said, "What?
You don't know what that is?"
And I was like, "No."
And she's like,
"Well, that's my titty rock."
And I was like,
"Your titty rock?"
- She was like, "Yeah, my titty rock."
- [Mike chuckles]
"That's for when
you get in fights with girls.
You punch 'em
in the tit with it."
Not joking, not kidding.
Then one day, I just, like,
took off all my clothes
and walked down the street.
the mailman...
found me and...
he brought me home and
called my husband,
like I was a child.
And I, you know, I'm still
wearing my wedding ring, but...
divorced now, and I'm...
I'm much happier.
Maybe life's actually
not supposed to be...
as meaningful
as we think it is.
- Thanks, Corky.
- [Mike] Thanks, Corky.
[Reba] Mm.
[theme music playing]
Ladies and gentlemen,
please welcome to the stage
Portland's celebrity cartoonist
John Callahan!
[crowd cheering]
Hi. My name is John,
and I'm an alcoholic.
[all] Hi, John.
It's good to be here.
The last day that I walked,
I... I woke up
without a hangover.
The last day I walked,
I woke up without a hangover.
I was still loaded
from drinking the night before.
[quiet laughter]
[birds chirping]
[water running]
I knew I had an hour or so
of grace before the...
of withdrawal symptoms set in.
What if I lost control,
flipped out?
The closest store
where I could buy booze
was near a major intersection.
[horns honking]
- [John] How are you?
- Staying cool?
- It's hot out there, isn't it?
- Yeah.
- Good beach weather.
- Yeah. Whew.
[John] I tried to talk to the
owner of the store
and act real casual.
I work for Alvarado
house painter.
- Oh.
- We got tons of work.
Oh, you know, like I had
everything under control.
But... [laughs]
they'd have to be blind
not to see my hand shaking.
Yeah, I guess I'll just
take that, uh, Tres Abuelos.
Yeah, tequila.
Hey, how's it going?
Wow, pretty groovy day, huh?
Oh, yeah.
- Surf's coming up.
- Yeah.
Sky gets any bluer,
it'll be singing
a Muddy Waters tune.
I'm a songwriter.
I listen to a lot
of different music.
- Um...
- Want a drink?
I'm... I'm good.
Um, I'll see you around
sometime, okay? [sniffles]
Oh. All right.
[John] You've got
a problem, Callahan.
[ship horn blows]
I know three things
about my real mother:
she was Irish-American,
she had red hair,
she was a school teacher.
Oh, yeah.
And she didn't want me.
- Four things.
- [laughter]
The way with illegitimate
Catholic babies in those days
was to remove them
from the mother of birth...
...and put them in the care
of the nuns for six months
in case the natural mother
should change her mind.
Was my mother a queen?
Was she a whore?
Could I locate her
and surprise her,
say, at a bank teller's window?
"Yeah, I'd like
to cash this check, Mom."
[fast pace music plays]
[grunts, gasps]
Oh, fuck. Help!
- [John] Oh, hey.
- Dude, you wiped out.
- Nice.
- Can you help me up?
- Yeah, all right.
- Easy, though.
- Okay.
- All right, now, nice and easy.
Don't try and show off.
Yeah! Oh!
Here, come around, turn around.
- Here we go.
- All right.
- Okay.
- Watch it.
- Careful, careful.
- There we go. There we go.
- Yeah, lift him up.
- [overlapping chatter]
- You guys smell that?
- Oh, what's that smell?
- Oh, that-that reeks, man.
- Oh.
Yeah, pull up that
right leg right there.
- Right here?
- [John] Yeah.
- You got it, dude.
- Yeah.
Yeah, you lift up
that right pant leg there.
- [boys groan]
- Be brave.
Yeah, just attach that
into the white thing.
- All right.
- [boy groans]
- [John] Thank you.
- You draw this?
- [John] Yeah.
- Whoa.
- [John] You get it?
- Awesome. Dude.
- [boy] Yeah.
- [boy] Yeah.
[wind whistling softly]
Don't worry, boys.
He won't get far on foot.
[boy] It's a wheelchair.
He can't get far
because he's injured, right?
- That's right. Yeah.
- Okay, all right!
- [laughter]
- Yeah, well, you know,
my grandmom's
in a wheelchair, so...
- [John] Oh, yeah?
- Yeah.
- [John] Sorry about that.
- Yeah.
I draw these for a living,
but, you know,
people get mad at me
'cause of the subject matter.
- Not us.
- That's ridiculous.
- These are awesome.
- [John] All right. Cool.
- Is that a car crash?
- [John] Yeah.
- What is that?
- There's, like, a dead guy
- under the car.
- Are those all booze and stuff?
[boy] Whoa.
There's a five-dollar bill
in my left shirt pocket.
Go get me a short case.
[engine hissing, clicking]
[man shouting indistinctly
[mouse squeaking quietly]
Oh, they could do it
and they'll do it over there!
[man continues
shouting indistinctly]
Hey, Snickers.
How was your day?
Did you find any time
to get in some exercise?
[door opens]
You fucking asshole!
You're fucking late!
I've been sitting here
all goddamn day!
It's been fucking wet!
I got shit all over my pants
and there's no fucking drinks!
You didn't leave me
a goddamn fucking drink!
It's been three fucking hours!
What do you
actually fucking do?
[Tim] I signed up to be
your attendant, not your slave.
Bossing me around, you fucking
don't even give me five seconds
before you're telling me
what to do.
I told you I fucking hate it
when you give me orders.
I'm gonna get to it
when I feel like it, John.
All right?
How would you like it
if I started pushing
you around all day?
[Tim sighs]
I'll give you a bath
in a minute.
I need to wind down.
Here you go.
Celebrate your independence.
[reporter over TV]
President Carter's standing
in our NBC News Associated
Press poll has declined again.
Not much, but the decline
has been steady.
This is one of the findings
in our latest telephone sample
of the opinions
of about 1,600 people
around the country last week.
[mechanical thumping, clicking]
[water splashing]
[Tim sighs]
[John] I drink,
I hit rock bottom.
And I'd drink more
and hit rock bottom again.
I had to admit to myself that
I was powerless over alcohol.
I was searching
for something else.
[Tim] You sure you want to go
to an A.A. meeting, John?
I've never really believed
in their whole thing.
[lively chatter]
Oh, I'm sorry,
but, uh, we can't have anybody
quite this grotesque in here.
For the love of God, I'm Reba.
Oh, hi. I'm John.
Welcome to the Alano Club.
I thought you were serious.
No dogs, no quads.
No. Come on, now.
[chatter quiets]
God, grant me the serenity...
[all] To accept the things
I cannot change,
the courage to change
the things I can,
and the wisdom
to know the difference.
Anyone under 90 days?
Hi, I'm Felix,
and I'm an alcoholic.
Hi, Felix.
- Hi, guys. Uh...
- Welcome.
This is day 14.
- [applause]
- Good job.
Uh, hi. I'm Joseph.
I'm an alcoholic.
Hi, Joseph.
Today, I have 56 days.
- [applause]
- Awesome.
It's tough, 'cause,
you know, out there,
I feel like people want to hear
how many years
you've been sober.
But, uh, you know, coming here,
I'm reminded how special it is
that I'm where I'm at, so...
I remember a time when I didn't
think 30 days was possible,
but here I am, so... thank you.
Anyone else want to speak?
My name's John Callahan,
and I don't know
who my real mother is,
and I was paralyzed
in a car accident.
and I'm an alcoholic.
Hi, John.
Good to know you,
John Callahan,
who is an alcoholic.
You're in the right place,
I think.
I'm Donnie,
and I'm an alcoholic.
Hi, Donnie.
Hi. [chuckles]
And when I first entered
the program,
I had two pairs of pants,
one with shit in them
and one without.
[others chuckling]
And I didn't care which one
of them I was wearing.
[others chuckling]
Today, I celebrate mediocrity.
I woke up and I put on
a non-shitty pair of pants.
- [chuckling]
- And I walked to get a cup of coffee,
and it was fucking delicious.
And my day's been pretty good,
until I came in here
and saw all of you.
Continue your story, John.
Oh, right.
The story. Um...
Well, I got back to
the house around 4:00,
and saw Jesus Alvarado, my...
John, what's up?
I want you to meet Bill.
- Hey.
- Hey.
My small-town experience was...
limited concerning disability.
- How you doing? John.
- Good, good.
[John] Jesus wanted me
to look at the guy's pen.
Check that out.
Got to turn it upside down.
[all chuckling]
Uh, I went inside for a drink.
[Terry and Bonnie
laughing, chattering]
I'm coming back for events.
- Oh, my God, I've lost it.
- [Terry] Ah! Yes!
- What's going on?
- I've lost the touch.
- My shoe!
- Hi, John.
- This is Bonnie.
- Oh, hi.
I hear you're from,
um, Oregon.
That's right.
What do you guys
do up there for fun?
Well, there's not a lot to do
in Oregon, you know?
So a certain percentage of
the population drives down here
to Long Beach to look for jobs.
[Terry] We are going to a party
tonight, if you want to come.
Oh, really?
- [Bonnie] Uh-huh.
- Yeah.
- Well...
- Want to drive us there?
- I mean, I... Ooh.
- [Terry] Oh. [laughing]
[Bonnie laughing]
[laughs] We're...
We're getting
in trouble tonight.
[Virginia] Am I happy?
- No. So...
- [chatter, music playing]
Divorced? Yeah.
I'm seeing a couple guys now.
I've been going to therapy.
Have you ever gone?
It'd be so good for you.
Just gotten off meat.
Been kicking dairy.
I'm gonna do life
without eggs now.
Hey, um, I just need to use
the bathroom really quick.
- Will you... will you be here?
- Uh, yeah. Okay.
[music and chatter
continue in distance]
- [man whoops]
- [music playing]
Hey, Terry, where's that girl
I was just talking to?
- [Terry] Um, the redhead girl?
- Yeah.
I think she just left
with some friends.
- She left the party?
- Mm-hmm.
- Well, good for her.
- [women chuckle]
- You guys are still here.
- She got places to be.
- You're stuck with us.
- Yeah.
- Nah.
- Far fucking out. Dexter.
I'm Dexter.
Hey. I'm Dexter.
- John.
- Yeah.
How 'bout that girl?
Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho, ho.
She left.
- She was digging you, man.
- Yeah.
Yeah. Take you home,
have a little sophisticated
L.A. sex.
No, all she wanted to do
was talk about her colon.
That's what all people in L.A.
talk about, their colons.
And that's 'cause
they're all assholes.
- Yes. Where are you from?
- ["Maggie's Farm" by Bob Dylan]
Ah, shit.
Turn that shit off, man!
- Making me sick!
- What are you talking about?
- Too much Dylan!
- Too much Dylan?
- You don't know what you're talking about.
- Oh, the answer,
- my friend, is blowin' in the wind.
- He's a poet, man!
The answer, my friend,
is getting blown
- In the wind
- You sound like an idiot.
- What are you...
- The answer's getting blown
- In the wind.
- [laughing]
Guy's getting blown,
- and he's whining about it!
- [laughs]
He's not talking about
getting blown.
- Getting blown in the wind, you fucking moron!
- I know!
I was fucking with you!
[both laugh]
You think I don't know?
Johnny, Johnny,
- listen to me, listen to me.
- [laughs]
I know a party that's ten times
better than this shit-bag.
Let's go there now.
There's ten times hotter babes.
We plow the Milagro Beanfield.
[John laughs]
Huh? You and me.
Come on.
What a promise.
I guess we thought
that "the babes"
were fairer
on the other side of town.
So I left Terry
and her friends,
and we headed
to the next party.
But not before we got
even more wasted.
Hey. Clink it.
["She's Not Mama's Little Girl
Anymore" by Lou Roberts plays]
Keep 'em comin', bro!
[laughs loudly]
[sighs] Oh.
- Some people tell me I look like Burt Reynolds.
- [coughing]
I don't see it.
Do you see it?
- Yeah. I do.
- Thank you.
- You're a sexy man.
- Thank you, man!
- [laughs]
- You're a sexy man.
Can you keep 'em comin'?
I don't want to say it.
I know you got a lot of people
up and down to take care of,
but 'member
who the main customer...
- How 'bout the whole bottle?
- [laughing, coughing]
How 'bout the whole bottle?
How 'bout the whole bottle?
Is that good enough?
- Hey. Don't get sad.
- No.
There's so many more.
Keep 'em comin', bro.
We talked about this.
Take the wheel.
I'm back.
Wash it down?
Guess who you're driving with.
I'm the cunnilingus king
of Orange County, man.
I just love yodeling into it.
[yodeling, warbling]
Oh, shit!
That's Scott's Adventure Land!
That's Scott's Adventure Land!
[laughs] What's
Scott's Adventure Land?
You never been
to Scott's Adventure Land?
I never been to...
Let's go there.
Make a U-turn.
Just fucking jump
over the wall, man.
[crowd cheering in distance]
- [retching]
- Oh, yeah. Oh, God.
[man] Draw!
Oh, really?
Don't be a fool, buddy.
You just tussled
with the wrong cowboy.
- [gun clicks]
- [Dexter shouts]
- [kids laughing]
- You son of a...
- [crying]
- [John] No!
["Young and Dumb"
by Lou Ann Barton playing]
- My car, I drive.
- You're in no condition to drive, my friend.
- My car, I drive.
- I'm gonna take the fucking keys.
- Hey. Hey.
- I'm gonna take the fucking keys.
- You guys are in no condition to drive!
- Aah!
- [mimics engine revving]
- [laughs]
[mutters] Babes.
[John] And that was it.
Dexter had mistaken a Con
Edison light pole for an exit
and slammed into it
at 90 miles an hour.
[Nurse] Let me know
when you're ready. I think...
On three. One, two, three.
[people chattering nearby]
Hello, John. I'm Dr. Mirione.
Bright, bright lights.
Surprisingly noisy, isn't it?
Well, there's very little
peace and quiet for the dying
and nearly dying.
I'm dying?
The average survival time for
catastrophic patients here is 12 hours.
Nasty accident you had
in that Volkswagen.
I saw the car.
Looks terrible.
Looked terrible.
[John whispering]
I can't hear you. Talk louder.
What happened to the driver?
What happened to Dexter?
Oh, Dexter Marzynski?
He walked away
with a few scratches.
He was very, very lucky.
Jesus Christ.
My heart really
goes out to you.
I mean, possibly paralyzed
for life.
Nice sunrise, though.
[groans softly]
[woman over P.A.] Susan Henry
to the nurses' station.
[Doctor] Hey.
Let's see here.
This is a C5, C6,
which is a complete
cervical six lesion.
Uh, good shoulder movement.
Uh, complete paralysis
of the body and legs.
No finger movement,
but good, uh...
I'm not an imposter.
- I'm a real quadriplegic.
- [Doctor] Spinal cord severed
between the fifth
and sixth vertebrae,
counting down from the top.
Somewhere between decathlon
champion and rigor mortis.
...half his deltoid,
half his, uh, diaphragm.
But if he's not careful,
he can choke to death. Yeah.
Uh, this patient over here is
a C4-5 neurologically intact.
Uh, a tibia plateau fracture.
Not as catastrophic an injury.
[Annu] [Swedish accent]
Hi, John.
My name is Annu.
You're very good-looking.
How are things
going here, John?
It's bad.
It's really bad.
I can't move.
I can't feel my body,
and where I can,
it just hurts.
I can't take a whiz
or anything.
I just feel like
I'm going fucking crazy.
[Annu] Yeah.
Yeah, it doesn't sound
like it's going too well.
No, it doesn't.
It's awful.
I just don't even know
how I'm gonna, like...
I don't know how I can live
any life after this.
I just feel like
I'm not gonna have any future.
And the doctors
don't tell me anything,
but it looks like I'm just
gonna be like this for life.
I can't understand this.
Doesn't seem fair.
John, you're a very
special person.
I feel it.
I brought you some flowers.
I hope you like them.
Thank you.
Can I smell them?
That's nice. Thank you.
Would you like me
to rub your shoulders?
Yes, please.
It was a lovely day out.
Very hot.
Drove here in my convertible.
Do you really think
I'm good-looking?
Yes, you're very good-looking.
That hasn't changed.
And you have
tremendous strength.
You'll go on to have
a wonderful life. I can tell.
I pray that I will.
I make prayers to God,
you know.
I remember
all the promises to God
and pacts with the devil
made by characters in Dickens
or, like, "Rosemary's Baby,"
to, you know, like, change
history and make things better
or escape horrible fates.
And what do you say to God?
I say, "Please,
don't let me be paralyzed."
I just can't be paralyzed.
Things work out
for John Callahan.
I'm just not one of the ones
who ends up paralyzed.
I just can't be.
And what about when you're
talking to the devil, John?
I say, "I'll give you anything.
Anything you want,
just change this."
And you're from Oregon?
That's your home?
Yes. The...
The Dalles.
It's sort of a hick town.
- [birds chirping]
- [woman yodels]
We're a bunch of gomers.
Gomers? What is "gomers"?
I like how you say it.
[Annu chuckles]
I don't know.
I think it just...
you know, it, like, means
you're from the country.
It's derogatory.
Where are you from?
From Stockholm.
There's a lot of fishing there,
lots of salmon.
Oh, same with The Dalles.
- Yeah?
- Yeah, lots of salmon.
Now we have something
in common.
I think we have
a lot in common, John.
Yeah. Salmon.
And we're both gomers.
And what else, John?
I look at the sunrise.
- The sunrise is nice.
- Mm-hmm.
It's very calming.
I've been watching
the gymnasts out there.
I have to go to my next
appointment now, John.
But I'll be seeing
you again soon.
- When?
- One day next week.
Very nice to meet you, John.
I like meeting you, too, Annu.
Thank you.
Thank you for my flowers.
See you soon.
I'm glad I met Annu.
What about us, John?
Aren't you glad you met us?
John doesn't like us.
Well, of course I like you.
I just can't get laid
with any of you.
- Have you tried?
- [Reba chuckles]
Well, have you tried?
One, two and three.
Here we go.
All right.
Adjust him on three.
One, two, three.
- There we go.
- There you go.
All set.
That's the power button
right here.
- [thump]
- Oh.
[wheels squeaking]
- [grunting]
- [basketball bouncing]
[man chattering]
Ah, nice shot.
- Hey, man. How you doing?
- Pretty good. How you doing?
[Charles-Marie] Pretty good.
We're just shooting some hoops.
Fucking "A."
I'm John.
- Charles-Marie. Welcome.
- Nice to meet you. Thanks.
[indistinct chatter]
[projector whirring]
[man over video] Sexual
activity is an opportunity
to get to know yourself again.
It's an opportunity
to build confidence.
After your accident, John,
your body doesn't have
ordinary psychogenic
erections anymore,
so you have to use
reflexogenic erections.
Reflexogenic erections.
Sounds sexy.
So, how would I go about
achieving that?
- Can you demonstrate?
- Behave.
Have you thought about
asking that little nurse
of yours
to sit on your face
some night, John?
Hey, Lilly,
may I ask you a question?
Sure, yeah.
Ask me anything. Anything.
Can you sit on my face?
That's a shocking
yet wildly exciting idea.
But no. I mean...
Would that be appropriate?
Who cares if it's appropriate?
You're thinking about it.
- [John sighs]
- Good night.
Did you hear that?
You scored.
Not quite.
She'll be back.
My job's
to get you the erection.
That's all I care about.
Worse she could say is no,
and if she says no,
then you come back and ask me.
That's a deal.
Reflexogenic simply means
that it has to be
from the touch, okay?
If she sits there...
...the touch will stimulate
blood flow to here,
hence causing an erection.
- Really?
- But you can't just think about it.
You can't just
imagine it anymore.
- [Margie] Are you feeling me?
- [John] Yeah.
That's where my dick
used to be.
[mechanical whirring]
[Nurse] Pull it.
I'm trying to get
further and further.
And down.
Can you do it?
Annu, sometimes
I just want to drink.
You know, it doesn't seem fair
that we can't have a drink.
But, you know, we can go
to Tiny's Tavern
on the weekends
and drink as much as we want.
Might give it to us for free,
you know, 'cause
they feel bad for us.
You know, we milk it.
Oh, you're not gonna believe
what happened the other night.
So, we're coming back
from Tiny's Tavern,
me and Charles-Marie,
and we're crossing
the railroad tracks
on our way back here.
And Charles-Marie's chair
got stuck
- in the railroad tracks.
- [bell dinging, horn honks]
And he said, "Let me die.
Let me die.
It's better this way."
Just let me die!
It's better this way!
Grab on to my chair.
Grab on to my chair!
[horn blaring]
And you know what's funny?
He meant it.
I think, in that moment,
he really wanted to die.
That's not very funny, John.
That sounds dangerous.
[horn blaring]
[Charles-Marie screams]
All in a day of being a quad.
[line ringing]
[phone ringing]
Hey, uh, is this Donnie?
Yeah, who's this?
Hey, Donnie,
this is John Callahan.
I'm the neon cripple
from outer space.
Oh, the man
with the tangerine hair?
Well, I always thought
of my hair as electric orange,
but, yeah, that's me.
Uh, look, I got your number
off the board.
I'm calling because
I need a sponsor.
I do have a lot of piglets
at the moment.
What are piglets?
I need a sponsor.
My sponsees are piglets.
[John laughs]
That's funny.
- Wow.
- You want me to help you get sober.
Well, I saw you speak, and, uh,
I really like
what you had to say
about the two pairs of pants
and the woman's...
See, John, I know. I just...
And I don't know
if you're serious.
Oh, Jesus Christ.
Oh, I call him Chucky.
I don't know, John Callahan.
I don't...
I'm serious. I am serious.
I... you know,
sometimes I just, I make jokes
'cause I get nervous, but I'm,
I-I need, I need something.
You know... [sighs]
every day,
like clockwork at 4:00 p.m.,
I get massively depressed.
[John] Well, I'm depressed
from the moment I wake up,
- so got you there.
- [chuckles] Listen.
We're having a group talk,
my place on Saturday.
Why don't you drop by?
Ooh, a talk?
We'll talk about Chucky.
The other piglets
are coming by at 1:00.
4014 Northwest Johnson.
- Don't be late.
- Tim.
4014 Northwest Johnson.
- 1:00 p.m.
- Are you talking to me?
- All right, thank you. I'll see you then.
- Okay.
Drink water. Bye.
40... Wait, what was it?
- [Tim] 4014 Southwest Johnson.
- Okay.
- [mutters] Let's go.
- [whistle blows]
Hey, Sam, get back
and clean up this mess.
And get out of here
and go grab some PT.
You grab some PT.
- Hi.
- Oh.
- Oh, hi.
- Oh, sorry.
- That's okay.
- Hi.
Hi. I'm Debbie.
- Hi, I'm John.
- Hi, what's up?
Um, I'm gonna go out
to the park.
- Do you want to come with me?
- Uh...
fuck, today is Monday.
- Fuck yeah.
- Yes?
- Oh, yeah. [chuckles]
- Thank you. Good, let's go.
["Gonna Have a Funky Good Time"
by James Brown playing]
Gonna have
a funky, good time...
You did it. You did it.
Gonna have
a funky, good time
Gonna have a funky,
good time
Take 'em up
Gotta take you
- [Debbie laughs]
- Gotta take you higher...
[John laughs]
Gonna have
a funky, good time...
Got it. Yeah.
Gonna have
a funky, good time...
You got it. You got it.
- Hey, you're a good dancer.
- Oh, well...
Play it, Georgia
Gonna have
a funky, good time
Take 'em up
Gotta take you
Gotta take you
[quiet chatter]
[man] Hello.
Hey, is-is Donnie here?
- [man] Yeah, he is.
- Oh.
- Hi, I'm John.
- Hi, John.
- I'm so sorry we're late.
- How you doing?
John, welcome to the group.
Hi. Thanks. Sorry we're late.
- Oh...
- Tim thought it was Southwest.
- Why'd you think Southwest?
- It's okay.
[Tim] Yeah, Southwest,
but we got here, didn't we?
[Donnie] This is Reba,
who I think you've met.
- Hello.
- Martingale, Corky, Hans, Mike.
- Hi.
- Hello.
That's Tim.
- [Mike] Welcome, Tim.
- Tim.
- [Hans] Hi, Tim.
- [Martingale] Hello, Tim.
And now that we're
getting all acquainted,
how was everyone's week?
Anybody want to speak?
Um, I have something
to talk about.
Oh, John, just so you know,
since you're new here,
I'm a poet.
A street poet.
And a gay activist.
So, I was
at the Pendleton Round-Up,
and I took the opportunity
to read one of my poems,
which has in it a number
of references to young cocks.
This is it.
in the summer sun.
Working all day, hustling hay.
It's getting harder
and harder
and harder...
ready to pop
out of their button fly.
We got it. Pop!
- Pop! It's all about penises, please.
- [Corky] Oh, stop.
And just like that,
some cowboy stops me
and says my poem is X-rated.
And you don't think it was?
No. It wasn't.
It was a red-blooded,
American poem.
- [Reba] All right.
- [chuckles]
So, the cowboy tells me
to stop, and I say to him,
"I'm an American
reading an American poem
about an American institution."
He didn't like that.
He accused me of being drunk.
I say to him, "I've been sober
now for three years.
I'm a proud member of A.A."
And I walked off.
[Donnie] Anyone want to respond
to Martingale's story?
Well, the poems make
straight guys angry.
- I'm not angry, Hans.
- See?
But here's the thing:
that kind of anger
can get in the way
of your recovery.
I think we can all agree
that being out there
and having a good time...
not drinking, we get it...
feels really good.
But it's one thing
to read your poems
in front of people
that you know
in your Greek cafes
late at night,
but it's another to read it in
front of rednecks at a rodeo.
It's a little bit dangerous.
- I think he was really brave.
- [Mike] Mm.
- Yeah, I do, too, Martingale.
- Yeah.
- I mean, I...
- Fuck the rednecks, right?
- That's right.
- Hey. I'm a mullet-haired redneck,
and you know
I'll kick your ass.
You know I can kick your ass.
- [Donnie] John, any comments?
- [John] What?
What I want to know is,
with all the poems
that you have,
they can't all be
about penises.
I mean, you probably got
some pretty ones, I'm sure.
- [laughs]
- [Donnie] Well, what I believe
is we all have led,
in our non-sober periods,
somewhat chaotic lives.
And I think there's
a very fine line between
creating chaos
because of the adventure
and creating chaos because
of the dependency on it.
Now, John isn't
speaking very much,
so perhaps he thinks
he's better than us.
So, John, do you want
to tell us about your drinking?
- Oh.
- [Reba clears throat]
Is this... Do I say,
"John, I'm an alcoholic"?
Just tell us
about your drinking.
Well, I, um,
I started drinking
when I was, uh, 13.
I-I stole a bottle of gin
from my Aunt Diane.
And, um, I liked it.
A lot.
And I never stopped.
[Donnie] Okay.
[John] Um, yeah...
Keep going.
I mean, I-I kept drinking,
I guess,
maybe because I was adopted.
I was adopted.
And, um,
maybe it made me
not care as much about that.
I-I don't, I don't really know.
- Yeah...
- Corky drank 'cause her name is Corky.
I drank 'cause my shoes
were too tight.
- [laughter]
- [John] You know,
I'm glad you find this amusing.
John, what we're trying
to point out
is that we all have excuses.
I resent you characterizing
such a painful part
of my childhood,
such as being an orphan,
as an excuse.
[chuckles] I mean,
it is a fact, among others.
Like, for instance,
I can't move
one fucking muscle
below my chest.
- [laughter]
- Would that qualify as an excuse?
- What are you laughing at?
- We were waiting for that.
We just knew you were gonna
say that, that's all.
- You fucking cow!
- Oh.
You wouldn't know pain
if it crawled up
your fucking ass
and devoured you!
How dare you!
I'm sorry.
[laughs] Well...
[Reba clears throat] a matter of fact,
I have cancer of the heart.
And just let me
tell you something
about your "poor me" s, okay?
You keep it up,
"poor me, poor me,"
and you're gonna
find yourself saying,
- "Pour me another drink."
- [Martingale] Mm.
And for the record,
when I first came here,
I was a fat, worthless cow.
But I worked these 12 steps,
and I carved out a little bit
of a life for myself.
I'm sorry, Reba.
I'm sorry, everybody.
- It's okay.
- It's expected.
It's okay, John. [laughs]
You're right on schedule,
And I'm glad you're here.
I want to tell you that.
- [John] Thank you.
- [Reba] I'm glad you're here.
I like you guys.
- [Reba laughs]
- You're fucking crazy.
- [Mike] We like you, too, man.
- [Reba clears throat]
Well, wait till
you get to know me.
[talking quietly]
[sirens wailing in distance]
Hey, bro.
Shot of that wine?
Goddamn it, I haven't even had
my first fucking drink.
There's one
in my right shirt pocket here.
The jacket here. Go get it.
It's another quart.
[Katz] Okay, great.
Thanks, now.
Mr. Katz will see you.
Oh, thank you.
Good afternoon.
Thanks so much for taking
the time to see me.
Not at all.
- What can I do for you?
- My name is John Callahan.
I was born in 1950 at the old
Saint Vincent's Hospital.
I know three things
about my real mother:
she was Irish-American,
she had red hair,
- she was a school teacher.
- Mm-hmm.
Oh, yeah.
And she didn't want me.
So, four things.
Anyway, I was hoping
you could help me find her.
I-I made this sketch of what
I think she might look like.
Maybe it'll help you out.
[Katz] It's very nice.
Yeah, John.
Old Saint Vincent's Hospital.
Well... let's see.
That's really my file?
All right. This is the one.
That's it? Let me look at it.
Yeah, we'll go back over.
All right.
What's it say?
[Katz] Uh...
Well, Mr. Callahan,
there's little I can do.
Wait. No, you saw something.
- Mr. Callahan. Mr. Callahan.
- What's in there? What'd you...
The state of Oregon has a law.
Forget the state of Oregon,
man. Come on.
Mr. Callahan,
I could lose my job.
- There's just nothing I can do.
- Wait, what does that say?
Is that... is that
"Maggie Lynch"?
- I can't say, Mr....
- Is that her name?
- Maggie Lynch?
- Mr. Callahan, I can't say.
What do you mean you can't say?
It's written down right there.
I just saw it.
Is that her name, Maggie Lynch?
Mr. Callahan, I am not
gonna lose my job.
Screw your job, man.
You've probably been
sitting behind this desk
- for 25 fucking years.
- Mr. Callahan,
- get out.
- You have a miserable life.
- Be a man!
- Get out.
Aw, go fuck yourself.
Maybe it's your battery
or a connection or something.
There you are.
- Could you spare a quarter?
- Yeah.
- 234...
- [dialing]
Here you go.
- Thank you, sir.
- [line ringing]
You bet.
[woman over phone]
Disability Resource Center.
Hey, it's John.
Just a moment.
[phone rings]
This is Suzanne.
Hey, Suzanne. It's John.
My chair broke down.
- Could somebody come down here to help me?
- John?
John, this is the third time
in a couple of months
this has happened.
You know, we have cutbacks
ever since the
new president came in.
- We have our own problems.
- Oh, please don't start.
Please don't start.
John, I'm sorry,
I do not make the rules.
What did I do to you?
What did I do
to piss you off so much?!
- Why you got to treat me like this?
- You know,
I hear you're putting a lot
more mileage on that wheelchair
than the average quadriplegic.
Yeah, because
I'm an active worker!
I'm not a fucking
nursing home vegetable!
So I'm just asking for
a little bit of goddamn help!
- Take care, John.
- Suzanne,
please, please,
I fucking beg you.
- I ask for forgiveness!
- Take care of yourself, please.
Please, please!
[Donnie] One of
the objectives of group
is to provoke a new awareness
to unwanted
or unnecessary emotional
problems that we sit with.
And left unprovoked,
we sit alone
with these problems,
and they can fester into...
drinking habits,
drug habits, gambling.
Other bad habits.
What are "other bad habits"?
I mean, it could be anything.
It could be hoarding,
bank robbing, suicide.
It happens, amiga.
Why don't you tell us
your story.
Talk about your employment;
start from the beginning.
What was the name
of the company?
Burnside Exploratory
Systems Technology.
And we called it BES for short.
[sighs] I, uh...
had an administrator there
I didn't care for very much.
Once a war going on,
and she didn't care
whether we were winning
or losing when I worked there,
and we were handed
a lot of bullshit.
Slow down, Mike. Y-You...
- "She," meaning your administrator?
- Yeah.
Yeah, and she...
would just keep to herself
up in her cubicle.
Then we'd hear
her prerecorded voice
come over the loudspeaker.
Can you tell us a little bit
about this administrator?
[chuckles] Yeah.
Yeah, well, first the sentry
in our, uh, attack unit was...
[sighs] Uh, fuck.
I'm sorry, Donnie, can we, uh,
can we talk about
something else?
How did she make you feel?
Well, we were like family.
You know, you spend enough time
with your family, you...
end up wanting to strangle
your mom, you know?
May I ask something?
Go ahead, Corky.
Were there any women
in your operation?
The administrator,
but we never saw her.
I'm curious why there's a lack
of women in your stories.
In your childhood, growing up,
in your company.
There must have been women
in your command unit.
[Mike] Because women
can't handle it over there!
- [Donnie] Hey! Hey!
- Okay? Let me tell you,
- neither of you would've
- Hey!
- lasted two fucking seconds over there!
- Hey!
- Mike, hey! Hey.
- [Martingale] Mike. Mike.
- This is group.
- [Mike] Yeah.
Martingale, sit down.
Mike, sit down,
or you'll be thrown
out of the group.
[groans] I'm sorry.
- [Tim] You all take this so seriously.
- I'm sorry, Donnie.
If you just went down
to Saint Luke's Church
on Sunday services, I'm pretty
sure you'd be able to find
the salvation
that you're looking for.
Tim, you are very fucking cute.
Now shut the fuck up,
'cause no one asked you, okay?
Everyone, breathe.
Mike, you okay?
Tim, you think you can
pull my pants down
so I don't have to speak
through my fucking fly?
[Tim sighs]
[thunder rumbling softly]
There you go, buddy.
[door opens]
- Hey, you forgot to open the bottle!
- [door closes]
- Tim!
- [lock clicks]
Don't lock the door! Tim!
Oh, fuck.
Bet you could open
this bottle, Snickers.
- [mouse squeaks]
- Fuck.
[gasps] No!
Oh, fuck.
[groaning softly]
Fuck. Fuck.
[grunts] Fuck!
[rain falling outside]
[groans] Oh.
Oh, God, you son of a bitch.
[sobs softly]
[whispers] Please, please,
please, please, please.
[softly] Mom.
Where are you?
You fucker.
You tart.
You left me here.
[voice breaks]
I'm a cripple.
[sobs softly]
Where are you?
You are a good person, John.
You can help yourself.
You can stop drinking,
and you can become
happy and healthy.
I know you're calling for me.
I love you.
Just please
don't call me a tart.
[mouse squeaking]
[door opens, closes]
Hi, Tim.
really profound
just happened to me, man.
Yeah, that's, uh...
that's great.
[whispers] I don't think
I'm gonna drink anymore.
You mind if I have
some of these cookies?
Can I?
Yeah, man.
- Knock yourself out.
- Thank you.
What the fuck happened in here?
It's a wreck.
What... where's Snickers?
I mean,
there's really no reason
why you should believe me.
[quiet chatter]
Donnie, why do you
call them piglets?
'Cause I'm a triple Aries,
And 'cause they let me.
See you.
And 'cause a piglet
is a small, timid animal
who tries to be brave
and occasionally
conquers his fears.
Look, there's just four things:
keep going to meetings;
read this book I'm giving you;
don't drink; and if you think
you're gonna drink,
call me first, never after.
Last two weeks,
we were talking about
art and craft.
All art has craft.
All craft has art.
But craft seeks
full perfection.
And art seeks full expression.
That's why...
the craftsman's job is
every time always the same.
Repeat every time.
That's why we don't have
two "Mona Lisa."
And "Mona Lisa,"
by the way, one can say
is a controlled accident.
While working through the steps
of the fellowship,
I began to feel
a huge rush of energy.
I suddenly realized
that I had been,
or should have been,
a cartoonist, a gagman,
all along.
[John chuckling softly]
- Here you go.
- Thanks.
I refer to my higher power
as Chucky,
when the word "God"
doesn't suffice.
You know, like the character
from the horror movie.
Not because I'm terrified
of my higher power.
It's 'cause I find my
higher power is unpredictable.
The thing for you to grasp,
my little piglets,
is that we don't control
the universe.
And, in fact,
it will go on in our absence.
We can't ask for help
if we don't think there's
anyone out there to give it.
You have to grasp this concept.
And that doesn't have to be
fucking Jesus Christ
or Buddha or Vanna White.
So, can I choose the genitalia
of Raquel Welch?
I would advise against that,
'Cause it's not a fucking joke.
If you can't look
outside yourself
and you can't find
a higher power, you're fucked.
- [Donnie] Yeah.
- Thanks, Donnie.
- Of course.
- See you, John.
- Bye, John.
- Bye, Hans.
[Donnie] Beat yourself
with a feather, not a bat.
[Tim] Be outside.
I'm gonna have a smoke.
[Donnie] Don't linger
too long on belief.
Just jump in, do the work.
Trust God. Clean house.
Take this book.
Lao-Tzu. Check it out.
There's some valuable
proverbs in there.
Um, you need any information?
Yeah, can you take a look
at this cartoon for me?
- Give me your thoughts.
- Yeah, let me...
Let's see.
[reading under breath]
[John] Mm.
- It's pretty good. Pretty...
- I can tell you don't like it.
Here, look at another one.
[clears throat]
Let's see.
- [chuckles]
- You like that.
- [laughs] Yeah.
- Okay.
That's good. [laughs]
- Yeah, that's one of my favorites.
- [laughs] Yeah.
- Aw, thank you.
- Very good. [laughs]
Hey. Annu?
- John?
- Is that you?
[laughs] Look at you.
You're looking very handsome.
[John] Oh.
- [stammers]
- How have you been?
Good. I mean...
God, you look beautiful.
- [laughs]
- What-what is this?
Oh, I have a new job now.
I work for Air Scandinavia.
- Wow, "Air Scandi-nah-via."
- [chuckles]
Really something.
- [laughs] Yeah?
- Yeah.
I was promoted.
I'm group captain now.
- Group captain.
- Mm.
Wow, yeah, so you're just up
in, uh, first class
- with all the hot businessmen?
- Yeah.
- Yeah.
- But I don't really like them.
Are-are you...
are you flying out?
Are you in town for a while?
Do you, do you want to
get something to eat?
Yeah, I'm on layover.
- Really?
- That'd be really nice.
Yeah, well, let's find a place
to, you know...
"Let me put it this way,
don't buy
any hacky sack balls."
That's really funny.
- It's you. Yeah?
- Yeah.
Wait, are you... you-you
really think it's funny?
- You sure?
- Yeah.
[Annu panting, moaning]
I'm gonna, I'm gonna come.
I'm coming!
- I'm coming! [moaning]
- Oh, Jesus!
- Oh! Jesus Christ! John, I'm...
- [John and Annu laughing]
I'm so sorry.
God, I am so sorry.
[Annu laughing]
You have to promise
that Tim will walk in
to serve breakfast
at the same time every morning.
[whispers] Okay.
[jet engine roaring in distance]
[birds chirping]
Donnie, I see gymnasts
in the park.
Mm. Maybe they're preparing
for the Olympics next year.
I'm fucking serious.
I've been seeing them
since my physical recovery.
Oh, maybe
they're manifestations
of your sobriety.
We first saw them
in the emergency ward.
Maybe they're sticking around
to get what they want.
Well, what the fuck
do they want?
For you to come with them.
Yeah. Where to?
'Cause they're waving to me,
you know?
To the big park in the sky.
They could be calling
from the other side.
Yeah, that's
what I'm afraid of.
I don't want to go
to the park in the sky.
Callahan, don't obsess
over the gymnasts.
Go to meetings, don't drink,
read the book.
That's all
you have to focus on.
And you have to work on
the second step.
Like, you have to believe that
a power greater than yourself
- can restore you to sanity.
- [exhales]
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
I know, I know, I know.
And besides, how are you gonna
do gymnastics anyway, Callahan?
[both laughing]
- Honestly.
- Oh, that's so funny.
Oh, tomorrow
I fly to New York City
to get my boogie on.
Yeah, good for you, man.
- You deserve it.
- Thank you.
So, will I be able
to reach you, though?
[quiet laughter]
You drew this?
Yeah. Oh, which one's that?
I mean, yeah,
I drew 'em all, but...
Oh, yeah. That's my dad.
This is good stuff, man.
This is really great.
You got it, man.
We'd like to give you a panel.
[camera clicks]
Hey, Officer,
take a look at this.
Very nice.
Very nice, right?
Thank you.
- Hey.
- [woman] Hey, John. How are you, hon?
Really good.
Take a look at this.
What you got?
Oh, hon. Lisa, look-it,
John's in the "Vanguard."
[woman] Hmm.
[woman chuckles]
- Thank you.
- I like the shading.
You want to see?
Look, puppy, look at that.
- You drew that?
- Yeah.
That's offensive.
Hey, some fellow artists.
Check this out.
Look at this.
No, I'm not trying
to sell you anything.
I just want you to look at...
They published my cartoon,
you fuckers!
["Shake Your Groove Thing"
by Peaches & Herb playing]
Shake it, shake it
Shake it, shake it
Groovin' loose
Or heart to heart
We put in motion
every single part
Funky sounds, wall to wall
We're bumpin' booties,
having us a ball, y'all
- Shake your groove thing
- [phone ringing]
Shake your groove thing
Yeah, yeah...
[clears throat]
I just can't fucking do this.
I'm gonna kill Tim.
I'm gonna kill my attendant.
You know, Callahan,
you can't ask for help
if you don't think there's
anyone out there to give it.
Yeah, I'm asking you
for help, Donnie.
- That's why I'm calling you.
- Well, tough shit.
Donnie's on a plane to
New York City in half an hour.
And I'm not gonna
be back till Monday.
There's this new gay disco
there called The Saint,
and I'm gonna be having
the time of my life
with Howard Rosenman
and Andy Warhol,
- getting discovered, so...
- I don't give a fuck
about your sex life, Donnie.
Tell me what to do.
What are the first three steps?
Donnie, come on.
That, one?
One, that I'm powerless
over alcohol
and my life has
become unmanageable.
Two, I came to believe that
a power greater than myself
can restore me to sanity.
And three, I made a decision
to turn my will and my life
over to the care of God,
as I understand it.
So you believe
you're powerless?
You believe that a higher power
other than yourself
can restore you to sanity?
And you made a decision
to turn your will and life
over to the care of God,
as you understand him,
in your case,
Raquel Welch's snatch.
And remember, this is
a choice of higher power
I don't approve of.
- Yes.
- Great.
Now, wouldn't you like to turn
this immediate problem
over to Chucky?
Don't you feel better already?
Okay, yeah, but, Donnie,
you tricked me.
I know what you just did.
No, Callahan, no. Fuck.
Make a God basket.
Write your problems
on paper, crumple them up,
and throw them into the basket.
- Drink water.
- [line clicks]
I'm afraid.
Who will protect me?
Tim. Tim?
Hey, man.
Can you pick up
that piece of paper
and toss it in the God basket?
Oh, yeah. Yeah.
Hey, you know, this is
actually pretty fun.
John, as the editors
of the Portland State
some of us really
enjoy your humor,
but some of us are worried
that things might have
gone too far.
We have 55 letters here
from the student body
complaining about
your cartoons.
"Mr. Callahan, I am appalled
by your simplistic scribbling,
your misinformed ideas
about humor,
and the audacity you have..."
- That's real?
- " think the public enjoys your work."
Yes. It's from
Woodburn, Oregon.
We have many of them.
All right, look, guys,
I-I know that people have
come by the editorial offices
to register complaints
about me...
Christians, queers, teachers,
foreign nationals,
janitors, lab rats
all find me offensive,
which, uh, you know...
It's a good...
Is it a good thing?
We have a small pile
of threats.
[editor] There's one here
from the "Willamette Week."
- [John sighs]
- John, this is, frankly, shocking.
What, the paper that
Gary Larson draws cartoons for?
Yes. And they would
like to give you
your own series.
We think that's
going too far. [chuckles]
Are you serious?
- [laughter]
- Uh...
Can we get a mop?
Can we get a mop?
- [John] What happened?
- Oh. - Oh.
- Grab a mop, please.
- Uh...
Wait, well,
don't do it with the...
- Don't-don't put the urine in the picture.
- Oh, yikes.
They're publishing
your cartoon.
We're absolutely serious.
- I thought you guys were playing with me.
- No, no.
In the Funny pile.
Put this one for Annu.
That's real funny.
[birds chirping]
Why do you call it Chucky?
Why not?
You know, the day
I stopped drinking...
I felt a hand on my shoulder.
But when I turned
to look at it, there was...
nothing there,
but I didn't imagine it.
"Look at it,
but you cannot see it.
Because it is formless,
you call it invisible.
Listen to it,
but you cannot hear it.
Because it is soundless,
you call it inaudible.
Grasp it, but it is
out of your reach.
Because it is subtle,
you call it intangible."
Uh, who's that?
Is that Elton John?
Chucky. [chuckles]
Oh, hubba, hubba, hubba.
New heartthrob, Donnie?
Oh, no, no.
Pretty boy, small penis.
Maybe you were weakened
so you could
become strong, Callahan.
You ever think of it like that?
Path to enlightenment
is to know yourself.
How do I know myself?
Forget yourself.
Oh, what'd the doctor say?
I was gonna tell you about
when I was in India.
Just let me finish
so I don't forget.
I was driving north, to Bombay.
I was meeting
a group of teachers
- at the Bombay Hilton...
- Oh, yeah, no,
you told me this story already.
Have I?
With the girl beggar.
I don't remember telling it.
What did the doctor say?
I'm fucked.
I need to drink more water.
Mmm. That feels good.
Thank you.
[Annu] "Dear Mr. Callahan,
we regret to inform you
that although your cartoon
shows promise,
it's not the caliber of work
that we're used to
at "The New Yorker."
Thank you for your submission."
Who reads "The New Yorker"?
"Mr. Callahan, you should
draw with your other hand
or become a plumber."
"Sincerely, Robert."
Well, that's original.
do you think the joke is better
if I go with paramecium,
dogfish, chimpanzee,
Neanderthal, human?
Or should it be...
paramecium, trilobite,
raptor, lemur,
Neanderthal, human?
I don't know.
Let's put that
in the Not Ready pile.
[John sighs]
- [knocking]
- [TV playing quietly]
[Suzanne] Hello.
John, can I come in?
What a lovely surprise.
Where'd you get the money
for these posters?
Friends, family.
You got to write it down.
You have to report it...
any gift or donation.
I bummed a cigarette
down at Old Town the other day.
Should I report that, too?
Mr. Callahan, I'm sorry.
Do not make the rules.
Simply trying
to get you to understand
the gravity of the situation;
your cartoon earnings
could force your benefits
to be terminated.
Well, h-how do I avoid that?
I-I don't know.
But, uh... it doesn't
look good for you.
Uh, who do I speak to
about the specific
regulations on this?
I mean, how can I be penalized
for making a little money
this month?
Mr. Callahan,
we have reason to believe
you're a bit of
a shady character. Okay?
I just don't want
your benefits to be terminated.
Every letter
starts out the same way.
It's always your fault.
You know, I-I...
I-I knew, um,
a-a guy that was
a former caseworker.
He's since become a buddy.
And he revealed to me
that any assertive client
was written up in his file
as a fucking
unstable troublemaker.
You fucking believe that?
An unstable troublemaker.
[Donnie sighs]
John, this isn't
the complaint department.
We don't want to hear
about your caseworkers.
Tell your story,
talk about yourself.
Well, it is my life.
I rely on them for everything.
I don't, I don't know
what you mean.
What I mean is
that what about them
makes you complain?
It's not about
the counselor herself.
Keep going.
I mean, I can't walk.
Why can't you walk?
[John scoffs]
Because I was in an accident.
'Cause the fucking asshole,
fell asleep
at the fucking wheel.
Why'd he do that?
'Cause he was fucking drunk.
Okay, and why
were you in the car?
'Cause we were
going to the next party.
He was the one
that was driving.
I don't know why I-I...
- Okay, but why...
- I couldn't drive.
Wait, Callahan, why did you
get in the car with him
- if you knew he was drunk?
- I don't know,
'cause I was a fucking kid!
You don't make mistakes?
Why did you
get in the car with him
if you knew he was drunk?
Why would you do something
like that?
Would you do that right now?
Would you get in the car with
someone who you knew was drunk?
[John exhales]
Why did you do that?
I don't know why.
I... I was so fucking drunk.
I was so fucking drunk.
I was drunk
since I was a fucking kid.
I was so embarrassing.
I know, 'cause I didn't...
I didn't feel loved,
I didn't feel wanted,
so I tried
to cover up my feelings.
And it worked.
I was born in 1951.
At the old
Saint Vincent's Hospital.
I know three things
about my real mother.
She was Irish-American.
She had red hair.
And she was a school teacher.
[clicks tongue]
Oh, yeah.
And she didn't want me.
[sobbing softly]
My alienation from my father...
I hated his guts
since I was 11...
extended itself
to my whole family.
One Christmas... [sniffling]
at the dinner table...
there was a... disturbance.
And Tommy,
who was some five years
younger than me,
Whenever my dad
punished one of my siblings...
instead of me,
it gave me
a guilt-free excuse to...
condemn him.
I guess that was
a big thing, you know?
I never felt a part of them.
I never felt like
I was one of them.
I thought I'd fucking
drink my way
out of those feelings.
I became such a fuck up...
that I won't ever forgive them.
Oh, I mean that...
I mean, they won't
ever forgive me
for all the...
stupid shit I did.
What'd you just say?
That they won't...
forgive me for
all the stupid shit I did.
[door slams]
That they won't forgive you
or you won't forgive them?
That they won't forgive me.
You said that
you won't forgive them.
Okay, well, wh-what would
I have to forgive them f...
forgive them for?
For making you feel
like a black sheep.
For not being
your real parents,
for having other children.
Forgiving your birth mother
for giving you up.
Think about me!
I won't forgive them.
You're right on time, John.
You're approaching
the ninth step,
which is where you get to go
face-to-face with these people
and forgive them in person.
That's it?
I mean, uh... [sniffles]
I kind of thought that my...
group story would end
with an epiphany.
Like, you know, I'd...
break down and cry,
and-and, uh...
be cured forever.
No, I don't feel
that different now.
I don't...
I don't feel like
I had the big moment.
This is the big moment.
There's no lightning bolt
that shoots you
and cures all your shit.
There are discoveries
and epiphanies
and moments of clarity.
But this doesn't just go away.
You have to wrestle
with this shit every day.
Some of that pain
will remain there forever.
Some of that shame will
remain there forever.
But you have to fight with it,
or you'll fucking die.
Thank you.
Mr. Levine?
It's been so long.
Uh, hey.
- How you been doing?
- All right.
- You still drawing?
- Yeah.
I remember you back
in high... in high school,
you had problems with sketches.
But then you got
into oil colors,
- and it sort of reversed on itself.
- Yeah.
You were quite
the student back then.
Hey, um...
Hey, I just want to apologize.
Apologize for what?
Well, I was...
I caused some troubles
in class, and...
and you didn't deserve that.
And, uh, I felt bad
about it, and...
I just want to make amends.
Well, that's great
you should say that, John.
Teenagers, you know, you go
through these stages, so...
I could see potential in you.
That was the main thing.
I stole a shirt from this store
ten years ago,
and I'd like to
make it up to you.
It would really
screw up our books.
just give five dollars
to a charity,
and that'll make it good, son.
Hey, John.
What do you want from me, John?
Yeah, I was just thinking,
you know,
we've had a pretty contentious
relationship, and, um...
Probably made you
feel bad a lot.
And, um...
I realize that it must be
a really hard job, actually.
And, uh, I probably made it
more difficult.
And, um...
and I wanted to apologize.
Well, uh, th... thanks
for apologizing. I...
And, uh... sure.
I forgive you.
Hey, I made
this drawing for you.
Oh, boy. [laughs]
[John] Well... I don't know,
maybe you can help me.
I'm trying to do something
with Klansmen,
like... you know,
just make them, like,
more human, you know?
- 'Cause everyone always talks about...
- Klansmen?
Well, no, because people
always think about...
racists as, like,
just this, like, pure evil,
but they're your neighbors.
I don't know, I guess...
what I like about sheets
is they're sort of, like,
warm and fluffy when
you get 'em out of the dryer.
[crickets chirping]
Don't you love it
when they're still warm
from the dryer?
[Dexter] What's the matter
with the crowd I'm seeing?
'Cause you know that
you're out of touch
["It's Still Rock and Roll
to Me" by Billy Joel playing]
Should I be a fucking
straight-A student?
'Cause you're out
and you think too much...
- [John] Dexter?
- Can't you see much...
[song continues over stereo]
You can't dress trashy
till you spend a lot of money
Everybody's talking
'bout the new sound...
You don't remember me?
- How you doing?
- [exhales]
What's the matter
with the car I'm driving...
[snaps fingers]
Um, you know, I'm, uh...
fucking living.
I'm just fucking
doing my thing here.
Nowadays you can't be
too sentimental...
How you doing?
I'm good.
I'm really good.
I'm sober now.
- No shit?
- Yeah.
And, uh... it's good.
It's really good.
I been doing it, too,
on and off,
- for, like, the last seven years, but...
- Is that right?
I'm fucking...
I'm a fuck up, though, man.
- I don't...
- Ah, it's okay.
I don't stick to it, but...
Buddy, I came this fucking
close to reaching out to you,
but, uh, you know,
I just chicken shitted out.
I'm so fucking glad
you're here.
Yeah. You've been
on my mind, too.
I just didn't know
what to fucking say.
I was fucking...
I mean,
there's nothing I can say.
There's nothing I can say.
You know, what I've been
learning is...
I fucked my shit up.
And it started
long before I met you.
It's all right.
It is. Don't feel bad.
No, I actually want
to tell you that I was sorry.
What do you mean?
You're not s...
What are you sorry for?
Hey, man,
I'm responsible, too,
and I'm sure that
it's probably
really difficult for you.
I mean, all those years,
I imagine.
I don't want you
to feel guilty or feel bad.
You need to know
I had a good life, man.
Things are good.
It's really good.
- No shit?
- Yeah.
I've had a fucking
shitty fucking life, man.
It's fine.
I'm coming in. I'm coming in.
[both laugh]
Ah, ah, it's all right, man.
Hi, Mom.
You look pretty.
[breathes deeply]
I guess I have to forgive you
more than anyone.
I've cursed you.
I've screamed at you.
I never considered what it...
might have been like for you.
Might be it was
really difficult to give me up.
Or maybe it wasn't.
[chuckles softly]
And that's okay, too.
I guess...
I guess I'll never find you,
no matter how much I search.
Looking up every
Maggie Lynch that I could.
You know, I even found
someone that knew you.
I got close.
But, Mom...
wherever you are,
I need you to know...
I forgive you.
[whispers] It's okay.
What's that painting, Donnie?
I don't know.
I got it the same way I got
all this shit, inherited it.
It's, like...
my grandparents were, like...
fucking really rich.
So, like,
my parents grew up rich,
and then, like,
I grew up really rich.
It's, like, so stupid.
[both laugh]
It's nice, but it's stupid.
Have you visited everyone
you felt you wronged?
Forgiven everyone
you wanted to forgive?
what, I'm all cleared up, huh?
Step ten, next?
What about yourself?
What do you mean?
It's not all about your mother.
You have to
forgive yourself, too.
Forgive yourself
for listening to Dexter,
forgive yourself for
going with him that night.
- [tires screech]
- [horn honks]
[horn honks]
[tires screech]
[John] Hello, Brenda.
Hello, all my friends.
How are you?
It is a great day today.
[Brenda] Hey, what's happening?
What's up, John?
Ah, nothing much.
You know, the usual.
Thought you might want
to take a look at this.
What's this?
Oh, nothing.
[Brenda] Mm-hmm.
That's funny.
What is this?
Oh, wow, that's nice.
- [John] "Oh, well, that's nice"? That's it?
- It's great.
"This area's patrolled
by lesbians."
What are you saying
about lesbians?
Are they intimidating
or something?
No, it's not...
I'm just saying, you know,
well, maybe they're, like,
naked construction site
Very educational article.
Well, it's just a cartoon.
- I mean, it's just supposed to be funny.
- [man] Hey, John!
- John!
- Yeah?
What do you got?
[man groans quietly]
- Are you ready?
- Yeah.
Take a look.
All right, let me check.
Okay, that's funny.
- It's funny.
- It's funny.
- Yeah.
- Yeah.
It is funny. Well, why do
you think it's funny?
- Oh, wow.
- It's, uh...
It's funny
'cause it makes you laugh.
It's not that funny.
[man 2] The joke is funny
because of the sign
suggesting that lesbians will
kick your ass if you cross.
- It's-it's unexpected.
- [chuckles]
It's-it's like a warning sign
for attack dogs,
- but instead it's lesbians.
- [John] Thank you.
I mean, for the-the readers
of "Penthouse,"
these men, this-this plays on
this shared fear of women.
Just this unexpected
mutual fear.
I mean, it's...
Wow. I mean, what's scarier
than a group of women
that don't need men?
It's also just...
really fucking funny.
- That's what I think.
- That is funny.
- I didn't even think about it.
- The "lesbian,"
- exclamation point.
- I don't know...
You guys want another beer?
- Let me buy you guys a beer. What are you drinking?
- Uh...
- Gherkin.
- Cerveza?
- Yeah.
- You want a cerveza?
- Same. Yeah.
- That's fine.
Hey, can I get three cervezas?
You know what?
Beer for everybody!
[cheering, excited chatter]
Hey, John.
What you got for us?
- Yes.
- [laughs]
This one's great.
- This came for you, John.
- Awesome. Thank you.
Hey! Callahan!
Loved that lawyer joke!
- Hey. I loved your Jesus joke, man.
- Ah, really?
Thank God it's Friday.
Your cartoons are sickening.
You should be dropped
from the paper!
She was really mad.
Yeah. I like those reactions
the best, though.
You know? She's really
telling it like it is.
- Over here?
- [rock music playing]
- You want to see?
- Mm.
I've been in
ten different bands.
- [man] Yes!
- [excited chatter nearby]
That's what I'm talking about.
"Harmonious male backpacker..."
Oh. My God, Annu, look at this.
"Harmonious male backpacker
into making 16th century
stringed instruments
seeks radical feminist
household which will not
tease me about my testicles."
I mean, is this fucking real?
It doesn't seem
that strange, John.
It doesn't?
You're just living in the past.
I'm living in the pa... Oh.
Bye for now.
[car door opens, closes]
[Annu laughs]
[John laughs]
I got you.
[birds chirping]
Are you working
on your sobriety?
Still working on it, man.
Finishing all the levels?
I spoke at a meeting last week.
- John.
- Yeah.
- [exhales] That is great.
- [chuckles]
I love step 12.
Yeah, I mean...
I was nervous, still, but...
I don't know, giving back.
You forgive yourself yet?
I think so.
What'd you forgive
yourself for?
I forgave myself for...
looking for better babes.
Did I ever tell you
how I stay sober?
Tell me again.
I was with someone
for a long time.
He was great.
He was a really sweet person.
But I was...
I was very selfish.
I was very fucked-up.
And, uh...
he... uh, he came home one day,
and I was having a seizure
on the floor.
When I get close
to wanting a drink,
I... I don't think of myself
or my life.
I think of him.
His face.
[Donnie crying softly]
I don't know how many, uh...
more of these talks
we're gonna have, 'cause...
I'm seeing the-the gymnasts
on the lawn, John.
Don't say that.
Big part of this program
is losing people
you don't want to lose.
Being a model to the world...
eternal virtue will be yours,
and you return
to the boundless.
Chuck E. Cheese.
[both laughing]
I think I'm still
a little selfish.
I was helping
you guys a lot, 'cause...
it was helping me.
My 12th step, being a sponsor.
You were such
a pain in the ass, John.
[chuckles softly]
I'm sorry.
You're the best, Donnie.
You really helped me.
You helped all of us.
It is hard
teaching people faith.
Give me a hug.
Come here.
Drink water.
You, too.
- It doesn't work.
- [laughs]
It really doesn't.
[Donnie sniffles]
Adios, amigo.
- [John] Yeah.
- [boy] Yeah.
[John] He used to wear these
really, really cool scarves.
Yeah, he looks like a wizard.
[John] Yeah, Donnie got
really sick over time.
- And they discovered he had AIDS.
- Mm.
That was the last time
I saw him before he died.
- Oh.
- The truth...
- Yeah, the truth hurts.
- Yeah. Yeah.
- [chuckles]
- Unfortunately.
So, do you want to come
to the skate ramp with us?
- Yeah.
- [John] Yeah, absolutely.
Where is it?
Uh, it's down the block,
- [John] Show me the way.
- Yeah! It's there.
[excited chatter]
- That way.
- [John] That way?
[John whoops]
[purring softly]
[John] I'd like to thank
all those who made it possible
for me to be here tonight.
I feel...
[clears throat]
...stimulated, magical.
At night, I seem
to think more clearly.
I work hard, but it doesn't
feel like work to me.
[grunts softly]
The intellectual clutter
of the daytime hours
dissolves from my mind,
which moves in an almost...
instinctual, animal way.
I'm happy.
I don't care that the job
or the welfare office
is giving me gray hairs,
ideas and images
are flowing through me
and onto the paper.
I'd like to thank
all those who made it possible
for me to be here tonight.
Because if it weren't
for you...
I don't think
I would have made it.
[applause continues]
- Yeah!
- Yeah!
- That was good.
- Yeah, John.
Get it!
- Yeah!
- Whoo!
- Oh. Uh-oh.
- [John] Oh!
[John laughs]
- Gnarly!
- You all right?
Let's go, get him up.
- Get his, get his shoulders.
- You okay?
Here. Hold up.
[boy laughs]
[soft music playing]
["Texas When You Go"
by John Callahan playing]
I met you
on a highway night
Inside a Texas rain
The year that Mama
lost her mind
And Papa went insane
And Papa went insane
You took me
on a Texas trail
Laredo to Larue
It took me
all those Texas towns
To fall in love with you
Fall in love with you
The babies came
in winter time
You settled by the stove
You played a song
that seemed so long
About a road you drove
bout a road you drove
Once you spoke of Paris
And Mama said to you
There's a Paris far away
And one in Texas, too
And one in Texas, too
The moon is set
inside the pines
Your sleep is often slow
When you leave me,
leave me here
In Texas when you go
In Texas when you go
[music ends]