Family Obligations (2019) Movie Script

David Steele was my father.
I'm so sorry, Peter.
So sudden like this.
Thank you, Mr. Hearst.
They said it was a
drunk driving accident.
I hope they catch the guy.
Just terrible these days.
There was no other driver.
It was a one-car accident.
It was a tree.
Oh, well.
I should probably go.
What's this?
Your dead father's ashes.
I know what it is.
Why do I have it?
It's normal for the remains
to travel with the family
for the final resting place.
Can you hold that?
Good morning, Peter.
Did we get a callback from Westchester?
How are you?
Remember, like we've been working on.
Good morning, Stephanie.
Did we get a callback from Westchester?
Eye contact.
I just wanna know you're trying.
That phone is hilarious.
You're looking mighty fancy today.
What's the occasion?
My father's funeral.
So I'm expecting to get a
callback from Westchester today.
Stephanie, no.
No, Stephanie.
Please, please, please,
please, please, please.
Do you remember when you cry,
I get a call from Paul in Human Resources,
and then I have all that
paperwork to fill out.
I'm sorry, I'm sorry.
You know, I'm not good at this.
I know.
It's okay.
Don't you wanna take the
rest of the day or anything?
No, I'm fine.
I just need to leave in a
few to check his house out
and figure out what to do with it.
I will be able to be reached on my cell.
You mean your house.
No, I haven't lived there for years.
So what?
You're gonna go pack up
old childhood memories,
and look at old family photos.
Westchester let me know if they call.
You have 12 new messages.
This is a
message for David Steele.
Message deleted.
Message deleted.
Mr. Steele
this is Leonard Wolfing
at the county assessor's office.
- We have important.
- Message deleted.
Message deleted.
Well, I'm sure you got a
lot to think about right now.
- I'm sorry to bother you.
- There's nothing
we can do about that.
I'm afraid not.
As such, none of this is really in order.
But the good news is it's
all pretty straightforward.
Your father kept things pretty simple.
He had a small equity line
which you'll cover easily if
you choose to sell the house.
I'd like to just sell it
as soon as possible if I can.
I understand that you
probable wanna get back to...
I'm sorry where is it you live?
That close, huh.
Why did I think it was Chicago
or someplace like that?
Have you been around recently?
Alright, excellent.
Well, as I said, you have a house to sell.
He had a few small assets,
retirement savings, checking,
but really no other major assets.
He had a small line of credit
card debt and a car loan.
But little things here and there.
But all and all the
market value of the house
you should be able to
clear a comfortable sum
after fees etcetera, so.
Did he have a will?
- Excuse me?
- Is there something
I have to sign?
No, I'm afraid not.
You have to forgive me
this is not my area of law.
I'm not really doing this
in any official capacity.
Essentially, as the only child
with your mother predeceased,
you're the only person
with a claim to the assets.
Hey, Peter.
When's the last time you saw him?
Has he paid you?
What is your fee in all of this?
Oh, no, I'm doing this as a friend.
No charge.
Is there anything else
I can help you with?
Actually if you know anyone
in real estate to show the house.
I'll have my assistant
give you a list of agents.
Thank you.
He was proud of you Peter.
Did he mention me?
Well, sometimes words don't...
Thank you, Mr. Hearst.
You wouldn't
happen to know the latest
tax assessment on the property, would you?
And the plumbing and
electric are they the original?
I don't know.
Did he do any measure of work recently?
Any work orders or permits?
No idea.
Alright, I see.
Well, based on comparables,
you could probably see high fours
or maybe just over 500,000.
Good news for you is that
you're entering a hot season.
Come spring and summer
families are looking to move.
They wanna get their
kids into better schools,
and this neighborhood is great for that.
So if you rip out the carpets
maybe a fresh coat of paint on the walls,
you could probably list
it at 525 maybe even 550.
What are we looking at as is
with furniture and everything?
Uh, well.
I would list it at 475.
You'll get some people in the door.
Let's do 450.
Are you sure?
You'd be leaving a lot
of money on the table.
I'd just like to get this over with.
Would you be open to rentals...
- No.
- To get it occupied?
I understand the memories
must be difficult.
Very difficult.
- Mr. Steele I'm calling from
- Have a nice day.
Northshore University
Hospital Outpatient Services.
We just wanted to confirm with you
the date and time of your appointment.
Please be sure to arrive 15 minutes prior
to the scheduled time to update paperwork.
- Hello.
- Mr. Steele?
Yes, can I give you a different
address and phone number.
I'm not gonna be checking
my father's house regularly.
Excuse me?
I figure you have
insurance forms and bills
from the hospital from the accident.
I was looking for David Steele.
That's my father.
Is this not about his accident?
Right, David Steele is
listed as the family contact
for Francis Steele.
Mr. Steele, are you there?
This is Peter, Peter Steele.
David Steele is my father.
He's deceased.
I'm sorry for
your loss, Mr. Steele.
Francis Steele, Frank.
Are you calling about my Uncle Frank?
Yeah, that sounds correct.
Mr. Steele your Uncle Francis Steele
receives outpatient
treatment on a regular basis.
Your father would routinely
bring him in for his sessions
and take him home.
He's unable to drive himself.
I didn't know Uncle Frank was alive.
Be that as it may, Mr. Steele,
Francis Steele is scheduled
for his outpatient procedure
tomorrow at 11:00 a.m.
Is there some other member of the family
I should be having this conversation with?
Just me.
Will you be
able to bring Mr. Steele
in for his procedure tomorrow?
Yes, I can.
Okay, thank you.
Please remind him that he
should not have anything
to eat or drink after midnight.
I'm gonna need an address.
We're located at 1000
Plaza Drive, Building Four.
I'm gonna need my uncle's address.
Don't you usually wear shorts?
Excuse me?
Where's the package?
Mia, hey, you have to ask.
You have to ask who's at the door.
Sorry, sorry about that.
How can I help you?
I'm looking for Frank Steele.
Yeah, two floors up, 4P.
I buzzed this apartment, right?
Yeah, yeah.
No, people have to buzz here
'cause he broke his buzzer three times.
- Thank you.
- Mm-hmm.
- Congratulations.
- What?
Your shirt you're pregnant.
No, this.
No, it's laundry day.
It's fine.
It's totally fine.
No, it's totally fine.
How come you're here to see Frank?
I'm taking him to the doctor.
Doesn't someone normally
come by and take him?
They're kind of loud, sort of mean?
That's my father.
Oh, I'm sorry.
I'm sure you just have to get
to know him then it's great.
No, actually you don't
need to get to know him.
He's dead.
- Jesus.
- No, it's all right.
- I'm so sorry.
- It's all right.
- It's all right.
- Okay.
This is one of the most
awkward conversations
I've had in a very long time.
It is not the most
awkward one I've had this week.
My father died.
Yeah, I'm coming.
- Uncle Frank?
- Yeah.
Peter it's David's son.
I know who you are,
and I don't like the beard.
The hospital called.
Yeah, where's your father?
Where's your father?
I'm sorry we didn't reach you.
- Who's we?
- Me.
Me, I'm sorry I didn't reach you.
I didn't know how to reach you.
Reach me?
Yeah, I didn't have a current address.
I've lived
here in this apartment
since you were 12-years-old.
Yeah, right, sorry.
Besides, I
wouldn't have been any
use to you anyhow.
You could've been at the funeral.
Oh, God no.
Don't get me wrong.
But when you get to where
I am you go to a funeral,
feels like the barbershop.
You hang around long enough
and you're a mess with a cut.
That's funny.
No, it's not.
About the only
privilege to being old and sick
you get to do whatever the hell you want.
People stopped telling me what to do.
Sounds pretty good.
You want something to drink, anything?
I'm fine.
Good, 'cause I'm pretty
sure this is my last one.
The hospital said you shouldn't have
anything to eat or drink.
What's it gonna do, kill me?
Let's go, on your feet.
You know where the hell you're going?
Mr. Steele.
Whoa, what are you doing?
You getting a shot back there
today I don't know about.
Sit down, kid.
I don't need you to
hold my hand back there.
So where are you taking me for lunch?
Yeah, lunch what'd you think
you were gonna just drop me
unceremoniously back at the house?
Yeah, right.
I don't really know
any places around here.
There was only one place your
father and I could agree on,
a Chinese joint up by my
house not far from me.
What, you got a problem with Chinese?
You afraid to get a little
rice stuck in your beard there.
Sounds great.
What's this?
That's his.
He gets the paper here?
The guy from the newsstand
next door banned him.
Do you know why he was banned?
Shoplifting couple of times.
If that ain't anti-Semite.
You're not Jewish.
So what can I get you?
Listen, kid.
You think you can run to the
OTB place a few bets for me?
Why, you get banned from there too?
That one was complete BS.
Yeah, the food here is terrible.
Best to just stick with the soup.
So let me know when
the next appointment is...
Don't worry about it.
You sure?
I said don't worry about it.
I'm a big boy.
If I need to get there,
I'll figure it out.
Okay, but.
Do you wanna know what this is?
Yeah, you?
It's a G.
At least I think it's a G.
I've only had two lessons.
Mia, don't be terrorizing the building.
Go practice in your room.
- Hi.
- Hi.
Hi, hey, how was the doctor?
Well, I mean, it's so kind
that you're taking him.
I don't think he needs me.
Well, everyone needs someone, right?
I mean to say I don't
think that he wants me.
Probably means that
he needs you even more.
When is your next appointment?
We're eating someplace else.
No we're not!
Are you with Mr. Steele?
- Yes.
- Come on back please.
Is he almost ready?
Yes, they're finishing
up with him right now.
He should be out shortly.
I just wanted to address a few
concerns we have regarding his treatment.
Do you know if he's been taking
his medication on a regular?
No, he hasn't, or no you don't know?
What about his diet?
How about that how's that been?
Steele, you can call me Peter please.
Mr. Steele how long has it been
since you last saw your uncle?
Are you familiar with
Acute Myeloid Leukemia?
Just from the pamphlet in the lobby.
Well, I'm afraid we're past
the point of treating his disease,
and now we're in a course of
pain and symptom management.
He's terminal?
I like to put it this way.
We're reshaping what
time he does have left.
How much time is that?
Well, that's where it gets tricky.
If he takes his medication,
comes to his treatments,
and stays relatively healthy,
he might have a year or more.
But if he's not taking
his treatment seriously,
there's simply no one of
telling what he's in for.
I appreciate that.
But I don't know how to
communicate with my uncle.
I don't know how to talk to him,
and even if I did, I'm
pretty sure he wouldn't talk.
Mr. Steele, I'm not here to judge.
I'm certainly not in a position to have
a philosophical debate
about how he lives his life.
I just thought I'd try to
enlist your help on our side.
I mean no disrespect,
but how do you know
how he should approach his treatment?
I understand, Mr. Steele.
I just thought it
warranted your attention.
How about bone marrow?
Bone marrow?
I read in the pamphlet
that there is treatments.
I'm afraid we're past that option.
Could I have been a
donor as a relative of his?
We would've started there.
You know, I have some
information in the lobby that
explains all that to you, you
want me to grab it for you?
No, there's no point.
You always breathe like that?
You know, you can talk.
You can talk to me.
Do you really think you're dying?
Okay, we don't need to talk.
I mean, does it feel like you're dying?
That's what I've been told many times.
Do you believe it?
I feel like shit everyday.
Some days worse than others.
I realized one thing.
I am going to die sooner
rather than later.
You talk to anybody other it?
Your father.
Did he say anything?
Your father had qualities.
Emotional support wasn't one of them.
I think, we all have those moments.
What do you mean?
When you're lying there
staring at the ceiling
wondering how it's gonna end.
Is this it?
Is this the beginning of the end?
Or am I thinking that because
I don't know what's next?
Maybe you're the one that
needs to get checked out.
When the end comes, I'll know it.
You seem very sure of yourself.
And I hate it when I'm right.
Is there anything I could do?
- No.
- Can I do anything for you?
No, I'm pretty wiped
out after these things,
and I just wanna lay down.
Can you?
Can you?
The medicine they give me.
I hate it, and they want me
to take it like every night.
It's supposed to help with the bruising
and the clotting and
staving off infection.
That's good.
No, it makes me sweat
like a whore in church.
My sheets.
Say no more.
It'll just be a few more days.
I will text you the house number,
and you could forward all calls there.
Thank you, Stephanie.
- Hi.
- Hi.
Hi, again.
You're still at it.
Well, yeah.
She has this lucky pair of socks now,
and she has to wear them every
time she has a math test.
She has a math test tomorrow, so.
I use to have an owl shirt that I loved.
First thing I wore out
of the wash every time.
So you understand the gravity
of this situation.
Kids are so weird.
I was 27.
Mrs. Sloan?
Mrs. Sloan, this man
was using that machine.
Doesn't look like it.
He's standing in front
of it with laundry.
What else would he be doing?
Maybe he was taking his
clothes out of the machine?
He's not.
Do you even live here?
He's helping Frank.
Do you know Frank?
He's on the fourth floor.
He's really, really sick.
He's helping him out
he's doing his laundry.
Isn't that so nice, you know,
people helping people, love thy neighbor?
Community building that's
what it's all about, right?
We are the world.
We are the children.
Bye, Mrs. Sloan, have a great day.
Thank you for saving me
from the sweet looking lady.
Oh, no problem.
Mrs. Sloan has just
approved of my existence
ever since the single mother moved in
with a slightly loud little girl.
I kind of feel like if you can't play
off the level of contempt she has for me,
then I'm sort of missing
a comedic opportunity.
I'm trying to be nice to Frank
because I'm straying from my usual path.
Oh, what's your usual path?
You ever do anyone else's laundry?
Are you kidding me, like
one T-shirt in here is mine.
What's he doing now?
- Mm-hmm.
- He's sleeping.
You have somewhere to
be while you're waiting?
Well, do you wanna
come up while you wait?
I don't wanna be a bother.
It's not trouble?
No, it's really no trouble at all.
I mean, I don't know how much
stuff I have in the house.
But I have coffee, a nice
collection of herbal teas.
I don't have anything stronger, I'm sorry.
I don't really drink anything stronger.
Oh, you know what though.
I have just the thing to
soothe the weary soul.
I can't get it to.
You are very good at this.
Yeah, well, there's a
real learning curve here.
I mean, I think, that if
you stopped Donkey Kong,
you could be a very formidable opponent.
I like the snack table.
I haven't seen one of those in ages.
We haven't eaten dinner
in our actual kitchen table
in like 10 days.
Do you wanna go again?
Why is that?
Why don't you eat at the table?
She's gotten really
into Monopoly recently,
so the table is covered in
this huge sprawling game
that we started a week and a half ago.
I admire the commitment.
No, no, no.
It's gotten really out of hand.
We don't know whose money is who's.
We don't even know
whose property is who's.
It's really more about
keeping the game alive
at this point than pursuing victory.
That seems to run counter to the whole
capitalist spirit of the thing.
Yeah, well, she's seven.
She likes the different
colors of the money.
Right, right.
So do you live around here?
Not far.
How come I've never
seen you around before?
I haven't been around before.
- Actually...
- No, no it's fine.
I really didn't wanna pry.
Doesn't feel like prying
if we don't make eye contact.
It's kind of like confession,
like a kid in church.
Not quite comfortable with
where that puts me, but okay.
So you're around now.
I haven't seen my family in years.
Then I got the call that my
father died, and now I'm here.
Helping your uncle.
Well, my father was the
only one there for him,
and I don't think there's any other names
on that list after mine.
How long had it been
since you were last around?
Seven years.
No, eight years.
I'm sorry.
We were not close.
Well, fathers can be challenging.
I hear some fathers are nice
to watch a ball game with.
Or go fishing.
Sometimes I like to think that he and I
didn't have enough time to
find the thing, our thing.
Definitely didn't know
the last time I saw him
would be the last time I'd see him.
I thought you guys
didn't play this without me.
I'm sorry.
I know.
I know, I promise this was
just the one exception.
- Hi.
- I heard
you play violin the other day.
Can I take your picture?
My parents got her this camera
for her birthday last
month and she's obsessed.
She wants to take everyone's picture.
My mom got me a telescope
when I was her age.
I used to ask all the
adults to look through it
and tell me what they saw.
- Really?
- Yeah, it turns out
adults don't really know
anything about constellations.
So there was a lot of
awkward conversations.
Did the telescope eventually go away?
Tell me it went away.
I'm like really on the brink of
needing this camera to go away.
I used the telescope
every day for years.
There she is.
Do I say cheese?
Act natural.
Just like act natural.
Act like you normally would every day.
I'm trying.
This is nerve-racking.
Is that it?
No, that was just her turning it on.
Did you do it?
Thank you for inviting me in.
Yeah, of course.
Hey, how's he doing?
I have no idea.
Okay, well, anytime you
ever need to kill time,
just knock on the door.
We're usually here.
Thank you.
I'm Peter by the way.
I'm Melanie, hi.
Hi, Melanie.
- And that is?
- That's Mia.
- Mia.
- Mm-hmm.
It was nice to meet both of you.
You too.
Hey, did they
call that prescription in
for me from the office?
I think so.
You think so.
You know what thought did?
He shot his pants but
only thought he did.
I don't know what that means.
My mother used to
say that to me all the time.
You never met her, did you?
I was probably for the best.
What is that?
That is a picture of me.
- What?
- I was about to ask you
a question then I realized
I should probably know the answer already.
What do you mean?
Did you ever have a family, kids, wife?
No kids, thank God.
Could you imagine?
I was married once?
Yeah, two years.
I met her overseas and
brought her back here.
God she hated it here.
Never should've happened.
I was a kid it was stupid.
This was years and years ago
right after your mother
and father got married
before you were born.
But nothing after that?
I make the most sense alone.
Your father did too, to be honest.
What do you expect we were
practically raised by wolves.
I don't remember our old
man saying two words to us.
That's the God's honest truth.
Nah, alone, kid, just the way I came in.
- Hi.
- Hey, Melanie.
Are you free for dinner tonight?
Is it a sinner?
- I'm sorry.
- No, no, no.
Don't be sorry.
Alright, I got five more questions.
She's making her communion
so she has all these
little assignments it's like a whole.
Hold on M-O-R-T-A-L.
I just have to make a call.
Can you wait until I put
her to bed, like 8:15?
- Yeah.
- Cool.
So I'll meet you out front at 8:15.
- M-O-R.
- Yeah.
- Wait.
- T-A-L.
You have serious work to do.
- Thanks.
- What's purgatory?
Good luck.
- Oh, hi.
- Hey.
- Hi, sorry I'm late.
- No trouble.
You okay?
Yeah, you look great.
So where are we going?
What if I told you that I
don't know any restaurants
in the area except for horrible Chinese?
I would say that I don't
go to any restaurants
that don't have crayons on the table.
What can go wrong?
Alright, we'll figure it out.
Thank you.
Is your chair okay?
Yeah, it's just.
- It's okay.
- Wobbly?
No, they didn't put it.
The table's at a weird.
It's okay.
So, what do you do when
you're not doing laundry?
This is always a crowd pleaser.
Alright, here we go.
I do telemarketing for
web and SEO services.
You call strangers and
sell them web services?
Yes, is the only accurate
answer to that question.
How would you get interested in that?
I'm not.
I'm really not interested in that.
I mean I don't think anyone who
does it is interested in it.
Basically, it's just a job.
I needed a job when Mia was born.
I wanted to work from home.
I couldn't really bear
the thought of leaving
and leaving her with someone
and getting a regular job.
So, I got this one and then
I was there for a year.
And then that became two years.
Yeah, they do let me pick my own hours.
They pay for my phone and internet.
Basically, I sold myself
to a huge corporation
for the price of a laptop
and a phone to plug in.
Everyone does that.
You're making it work.
Yeah, I don't know.
I mean, hope I end up somewhere better.
I keep thinking it'll get
easier as she gets older.
But, she's seven.
What'd you do before her?
Nothing, I didn't do anything.
Well, I was in school.
I was a student.
I did have a part-time job
folding sweaters at the Gap.
- Ooh.
- Yeah, wow.
This was not the plan.
What was the plan?
I wanted to be an art teacher.
I always thought that seemed cool.
You could still do that, right?
Technically, yeah, I would
need a lot more credits.
So the idea of going back to school,
but also having a job
so I can pay the rent
and keep the lights on
it doesn't seem possible
at this point in my life.
She seems awesome?
Mia, yeah?
She is a lot.
She's a lot all the time.
She kind of just like throws
everything at you all at once.
I mean, she asks me.
The questions that she asks me.
I would actually not like
to talk about Mia tonight
if that's okay?
I just spend basically all
my time thinking about her
and making decisions for her
and then questioning the decision
and beating myself up
over every little thing
- about her, so.
- No, Mia.
- Understood.
- Yeah, thank you.
You already had a question about her.
- Right?
- No, it's okay.
Go ahead.
- You wanna know if...
- She has a father?
Is that always the question?
Always the question.
So, yes.
Obviously, Mia has a father, right.
She wouldn't like recognize him.
If she ran into him on the street,
he would not recognize her.
They've never met.
He left before she was
born, which sounds awful.
But really, I mean, it's not like he said
he was going out for milk
and then never came back.
He ended it face to face.
He was as humane as you can be.
It was rough at the time.
But it's been seven years,
and I've lived every
single day without him.
And I can very safely say
that he made the right call.
For him, yes, probably.
For us, definitely.
I mean, I don't think
it would've made sense
or been good for Mia if
we had just kind of like
stayed together and pretended
like that was the plan.
I'm sorry, this is a lot.
No, it's okay.
I just wanted
to at least get to desert
before giving you my sob story.
I don't mind listening to you.
I'm glad you don't mind listening to me.
Listen, I'm feeling a little
exposed to be honest with you.
I feel like I just gave you
all my emotional baggage
all that once and I don't
know anything about you.
Can you just even if it out.
I don't really have anything.
Just something weird,
something weird about you
or something embarrassing.
- Anything.
- Yeah, yeah.
- Okay.
- Okay.
When I take a shower,
I usually wash my face last.
Sometimes I get so caught
up in my train of thought,
whatever I'm thinking
about, that I don't remember
if I washed my face yet or not.
So I'll stand there,
water beading down on me
for five whole minutes,
debating with myself
whether or not I should wash my face again
if I hadn't, in fact, washed it before
or if I should get out of the shower
not having washed my face at all.
That was the worst.
That was the worst.
That was the worst.
Yeah, I just bared my soul to you.
I just told you about
raising a kid on my own
and about my thwarted dreams
of being an art teacher.
You are telling me about washing your face
or not washing your face in the shower.
It's not my fault you went first.
How did you know that's so weird.
So, when do you sleep usually?
I don't usually.
Do you wanna hear the routine?
- Yes.
- Okay.
I get Mia off to school at 7:45.
I get a couple of hours in then.
Then I do the phone for a couple hours.
Then I'll do some housework or whatever
until she gets back, and then she's back.
So we do her homework.
We watch a TV show together.
We eat dinner, bath,
story, bedtime routine.
Get her off to bed.
Put my little headset
on that's for dialing.
I'll try to squeeze in a
couple more hours of sleep then
because she wakes up for
breakfast hit or mess.
- Wow.
- Yeah.
I know, I've moved
further and further away
from any kind of normal routine
the longer I've done this.
You're doing it.
You're on your terms together.
Yeah, I don't know.
I wish I could say that this
was all some conscience act
of defiance to choose to live
outside the mainstream thing.
Whatever, but this is just the job I have.
Most of the time I'm on autopilot.
You're on a different level.
You're making decisions
for another person.
I don't even make decisions.
I'm just carrying out actions,
muscle memory: eat, sleep, work,
that shower thing I told you about.
No one tells me to do anything.
But, what am I doing?
I'm impressed.
Believe me, I make it look very hard.
I make enough to pay
rent to keep our place,
and then my parents pay her
tuition at Catholic school.
And once a year they'll take
us on a little vacation.
That sounds nice.
Yeah, it actually is nice.
Most of the time I'm able to look past how
disappointing the state of
affairs is for all of us.
We did not envision this as our set up.
Your daughter has people who love her.
Someone's always there for her.
A lot of nights though I end up
just wide awake watching shitty TV
or staring at my computer
screen or whatever.
I find 3:00 to 5:00 a.m.
to be a difficult time.
I'm back at my father's house.
I'm sleeping in my childhood bedroom.
It's creepy.
I can't seem to get to sleep.
But for some reason I keep going back.
You grew up here?
- Yeah.
- Hmm.
And I moved.
And, my mother died when I was nine.
So it was just my father and I.
We'd see Uncle Frank
on holidays sometimes,
but for the most part it was
just me and David Steele.
He pretended to keep
it together pretty well
until I was about 11.
It wasn't happy, but it wasn't bad.
We greeted each other.
We exchanged pleasantries.
When I think about it now,
I shouldn't have taken it personally
because he was just
dealing with everything,
this new world without
her, as best that he could.
But I did.
I took it personally.
When I was 13, we openly
acknowledged the fact that
the house was a miserable place to be
especially when we were both there,
and so he instituted a new rule.
You don't have to come home on Fridays.
"In fact, don't come home on Fridays"
that's how he said it.
And it seemed like a
good idea at the time.
You know, we both were looking
for something like that.
So, I had this one friend,
this one good friend,
this one friend, Matt Rockcamp.
We were the tech guys in the school play.
We'd do the soundboard and the line board
and all those switches.
And we had play rehearsals
on Saturday mornings.
So Friday like clockwork,
we'd go to Matt's house after school.
We'd watch Monty Python
movies and order pizza
and sometimes we'd sleep
on the screened in porch
that he had.
In the morning, Mrs. R
would wake up and make us
bacon and eggs and these
homemade cinnamon rolls,
not even from the can.
You could put on all the icing you wanted.
When I have any fun inkling of that age,
that's what I think of.
But, of course, the
worse is when I went home
after play practice.
My father would smoke these cigars
and always have the TV glaring
like four bars too loud.
I remember getting in the front door
and catching that smell and hearing the TV
and just being so sad
that I was back home.
Then the only thing
that was actually worse
was when I'd get home and he wasn't there.
And then Saturdays turn into Sundays.
And Sundays turned into Wednesdays.
And he was gone more and more.
Now Frank is dying of cancer.
And Matt Rockcamp I heard
that he moved to Seattle,
and he's an architect now.
I think, you're doing a really good job
with that little girl.
I can't believe you
told me that shower story
while you were sitting on that.
This was fun.
Yeah, thank you for coming out.
Oh, my god, thank
you are you kidding me.
I never have a reason to actually leave
this apartment building.
I like invent reasons
to leave the building.
I go to the store, get
something I already have,
or go to the Post Office for new stamps.
I don't know I take Mia to the park.
She doesn't even like
going to the park anymore.
I'd go to the park.
It's a little late,
but maybe another time.
So I can't invite you up.
I'm not gonna invite you up.
- No.
- Sorry to just say that.
I just wanted to be direct
because I feel like Mia's upstairs,
and if she were to hear us come in.
She'd get the wrong idea.
You don't want her to bring
strange men into the apartment.
Questions, I don't wanna
deal with her questions.
I'm gonna head home and get some sleep
before I have to drive
Frank in the morning.
Okay, rest up.
I will.
Stop by tomorrow if you
want after the doctor.
- Goodnight.
- Thank you.
So was how was treatment today?
What did they tell you about me?
Don't play dumb with me.
What did they tell you about me?
They asked me again if you
were taking your medication
and how you diet went.
What are you gonna
want a stool sample next?
I didn't say anything.
You know, I've lived
my life on my terms,
and I'll see it end on my term.
It is okay.
Why won't you at least try?
You know, your father never
gave me shit about this.
He did it the right way.
No pain, no suffering, no
lingering in the hospital.
Just enough Scotch to
make the lines blurry.
The tree does the rest.
You don't know how long
I've been doing this?
How many doctors, how many treatments.
I get bent out of shape
over every instruction,
and then what the hell
am I supposed to do.
I listened.
For a long time I listened.
I just can't.
I just can't listen anymore,
and I would kindly ask
you to respect that.
When I don't even care enough
at this point to do that.
- Hi.
- Hi.
I didn't know you were here.
Come in.
What's up?
My father's house?
Would you want it?
Are you kidding?
No, maybe it would help.
Peter, I can't afford a house.
What if you didn't
have to worry about that?
Okay, there's a light
switch outside my bathroom.
It's like one of those
pull light switches,
and it broke months ago.
And I just leave the light on.
All the time it's always on.
So I can't take care of a whole house.
And also Mia's in school,
so we can't just like move.
Of course.
Of course, you're right I'm sorry.
Are you okay?
I should probably go.
I'm sorry to bother you.
I was knocking for like 15 minutes.
I was wondering where you were.
I thought maybe, huh?
I was dead?
Getting ready to turn
it over with this, kid.
Come on we gotta get going.
- Pass.
- What the hell do
did you do in here, Frank?
It smells like you took a dump in here.
But you'll never find it.
Hurry up, come on.
Or what?
You're not listening.
I'm not going anywhere today
or any other day for that matter.
You're doing really well, Frank.
No, no you're doing really well.
You got a nice little record
of on-time deliveries,
and I'm sure the doctors are
all so very proud of you.
It's a game.
It's just a game.
I'm not even a player.
I'm a piece, I'm a pawn.
Move him there, move him here.
Give him this, try that.
And I realize I have one move left,
and I choose not to play.
I'm sorry you're not
feeling well, Frank.
Don't you dare.
Don't you dare pity me.
I was dying before you
walked in this house,
and I'll be dying when you walk out.
On your feet we're going, Frank!
Or maybe I'll get lucky.
Or maybe I'll just be dead.
I'm not just gonna sit
here and watch you die.
Then go!
I didn't ask you to come here.
I didn't ask you to take care of me,
and I'm sure as hell not going
to ask for your permission.
Why are you doing this?
I'm not doing it to you, kid.
Peter, this is Kevin and Renee.
This is their second look,
and, I think, I'm pretty confident to say
you got serious buyers here.
That's great.
I'm so glad
you popped in, Peter.
They were asking me, but
I'm sure you know better.
How are the schools in this district?
I don't really know.
I have to I'm sorry.
You know what kid you're
really starting to piss me off.
I was at my desk.
I was at the office working on an email
when the phone rings.
The call came in that he had died.
I didn't have an answer to
what it's gonna be again?
One afternoon the phone rings
and that's how I find out it's over.
Come on what you
think that by being here
it's not gonna happen.
You're getting that call, kid.
One way or another
you're getting that call.
I don't want that.
So what are you gonna do
put a mirror under my nose
every time I go to sleep?
Where are you going?
Well, you're here, right?
Take me to the store I need stuff.
Oh, hey, where are boys going?
To the beach.
You wanna come?
Please, mommy, please.
We're gonna eat clams,
french fries, milkshakes.
You have homework.
Just a little and I take pictures.
A little favor for a dying old man.
Works every time.
I thought you had to
get stuff from the store.
Better opportunity presented itself.
- Hi.
- Hi.
We're here.
You okay?
Mommy, they don't have
my booster seater here.
Yeah, well.
You're gonna have to make
an exception this time.
They keep these kids in their car seats
until their wedding night.
When I was kid, we didn't have car seats.
You sat in somebody's lap
with somebody who smoked,
and they blow that smoke in your face.
If the car hit a bump,
you banged your head.
You turned out just fine.
He's just mad at me 'cause I'm dying.
Mommy, is he really dying?
That's not such a good question to ask.
Because they don't want
you to hear the truth.
Who's getting hungry?
- Me.
- Great.
Let's go.
What the heck?
I'm taking pictures of the ocean.
Yeah, but why are you taking so many.
It's all the same.
Because I wanna get all of it.
But you can't
get all of it, it's huge.
Well, maybe I can get most of it.
What do you got there?
- My wallet.
- Oh, yeah.
How much you got?
11 bucks, one five and six ones.
Oh, yeah, let me show you something.
See, you take your money.
You take your big bill, your five.
Then you wrap the ones around it.
This way when people see it,
they think you only got a dollar.
Otherwise they see a big bill,
they'd knock you on the
head and they'd take it.
Mom, are they really gonna knock me
in the head for my money?
Thanks, Frank.
Thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you.
Have a clam.
It's good, huh?
When I was a little boy,
I use to come here with my brother
and we would dig them out of
the wet sand and eat 'em raw.
Ew, really?
Oh, yeah, it's the best way to eat 'em.
One day couple of years ago I was digging,
and this bozo comes up to me.
He says, "The fishing rights
on this beach are protected,
"and you can't do that."
So I said, "Oh, yeah.
"I'm a veteran and I"
What did you do?
I stopped.
Well, that's good.
You wouldn't wanna get in trouble.
What's going on with him?
He didn't go to treatment this morning.
He said he doesn't wanna go anymore.
Then he told me to leave.
So you grabbed him and
brought him to the beach?
No, I left.
And then you came back.
Okay, look, Peter, I know you're
trying to do something good here.
- I get that.
- Believe me,
he's said that earlier.
You have to let him choose now,
whether you like it or not.
Why does he get to choose?
Because it's his life.
He's my family.
Can I stand idly by and watch?
I think, it's time maybe for
you to start saying goodbye.
No, no.
No one's asking you to save them.
Is this about what I
said about the house?
I mean, sort of.
You come in here and you act
like you wanna save the day.
I mean, to be honest with you
it's a pretty obnoxious idea
when you really think about it.
He is a human being.
We are human beings.
We have dignity.
We're trying to make the
best of what we have.
We don't need your judgment.
I never judged you.
I don't judge him.
But you can't invite me into your lives
then ask me not to touch anything.
I'm not a child.
I finally have some power, some ability.
- Finally, I can do something.
- Jesus!
- I could change things.
- Peter, no.
You are not that powerful.
You don't have a magic wand
that you can just wave in the air
and make all the bad stuff go away.
So what do I do?
Be careful, okay.
Be careful thinking that you
have the answer to something
that isn't your question to begin with.
Alright, it's time to go.
All right, bye guys.
Take care of yourself, Frank.
Yeah, that was good.
I had fun.
I haven't been to the beach
in God knows how long.
Glad you're happy.
Yeah, that's where I should go.
You just went.
No, no, that's where
they should bury me.
You know, not bury me.
Scatter me, you know
like when they burn you?
Yeah, cremate me.
Cremate me.
But scatter my ashes on the beach.
Let old Frank
get lapped up by the ocean
I would like that.
Hey, kid, what's up?
The house sold.
Mm, good, good for you.
You get that money.
After bills and such
it's really not that bad.
Well, good, you deserve it.
Now put it to good use.
I'll think something.
I should ask you if you wanted anything
anything of my father's from the house?
Nah, besides what
would I do with it now?
I'm sorry, Frank.
What are you
apologizing to me for?
Well, a lot of things.
Now you don't need to be sorry to me.
Thanks, Frank.
You're a good kid.
You go home and get some rest.
Take care of yourself.
You too.
I'll see you around, kid.
Hey, Peter.
We missed you around here.
It is good to be back.
We were all thinking about you.
Thank you.
You know, it's times like
these you need family the most.
How are things?
Are things okay?
Thanks for asking.
Hello, Peter.
Hey, Kid.
What's up?
I got a call from the hospital.
They said you made an appointment,
but you needed your kid to pick you up.
Yeah, I didn't know
how to get a hold of you,
so I figured the hospital
could track you down.
Your kid?
I actually said that
kid with the dirty beard.
You must have changed it.
I don't wanna go just yet.
Okay, we can just hang out and then.
Yeah, that's good.
You okay?
Yeah, I'm fine.
Starting to think I did this all wrong.
What do you mean?
All this.
I thought I could do this my way.
You know, when they find my
body in a couple of week,
when the mail piled up and the
stench reached the hallway.
Now I'm thinking that
wasn't such a good idea.
Take a deep breath, Frank.
It's gonna be okay.
Listen I'm trying.
It's hard.
I know, I'm here.
Thanks, kid.
Remember what I told you about
how when the end is coming,
I think, I'll know it?
And what did I say?
I hate being right.
I don't know.
It just hit me the other day.
I didn't know what to do,
so I called the hospital.
I couldn't think of anything else.
Frank, look at me.
I'm glad they got me.
Thanks, kid.
Frank Steele.
Want me to go to the
store and get you something?
No, I just need to.
I just need to sit down.
You know what help me up.
I need to go to bed.
Okay, I got it.
Can you get me some of that soup
I like from the place?
Yeah, I can go and get that.
But not right now.
I'll wait until you fall asleep.
What do you know, kid.
I guess, I was wrong.
You just gotta
get some rest, Frank.
I gotta hand it to you, kid.
Your old man was a rat bastard.
But you are all right.
You turned out okay.
You said it yourself.
He should've been alone.
Nah, screw that.
Nobody should be alone.
Anyone who says that it's a cop out.
It's easier just pushing people away.
Sounds like you're getting
soft in your old age, Frank.
- Hi.
- Hi.
Can I come in?
I'm sorry.
I should've said that
sooner, but I didn't.
And it was just because I...
You were trying to help.
Yes, I don't know the
first thing about helping.
I don't know the first
thing helping someone
especially like you.
To be truthful, I don't
know how you do what you do.
I wouldn't know a normal family dynamic
if it hit me in the face.
And I came in here and just.
Hey, you were trying to help.
I'm not very good at that.
How's Frank?
Frank is.
I'm sorry.
He is full of surprises.
I never thought there
was a difference between
wanting together be someone
and just not wanting to be alone.
I've been alone,
and I don't know if it's
because I've wanted it
or just because I just haven't
done anything about it.
Yeah, I know what you mean.
Oh, hi, Peter.
Thanks for all the great stuff.
I'm glad you liked it.
I hope you put it to good use.
Come on I have the telescope all set up.
It's too bright out now.
But later we'll see lots of stars.
Do you know any of them,
any of the constellations?
I had a book when I was a kid
that had all the constellations in it.
And there was a list that
I'd cross them off with
whenever I identify them.
That's sounds awesome.
Okay, we'll get you the book.
I told you we'll take care of it.
I'll go get my camera.
Thank God she has not stopped bugging me
about this telescope since she set it up.
She wants this chart.
She wants this book thanks to you.
I mean, she basically wants
to survey the entire universe.
Hobbies die hard.
You know a lot of people
think that you can't see
anything through a telescope
during the daytime.
But that's not true.
Even where we were in the time of day.
There you are, hello.
That's Venus.
- No way?
- Yeah.
I can show you.
Now do you see that little crescent
to the left of those clouds?
That is Venus.
That looks like the moon.
No, no.
That to the right much
bigger that is the moon.
- Really?
- Yeah, really.