Permanent Vacation (1980) Movie Script

Father Christmas
My name is
Aloysious Christopher Parker
and, if I ever have a son,
he'll be Charles Christopher Parker.
Just like Charlie Parker.
The people I know just call me Allie,
and this is my story -- or part of it.
I don't expect it to explain all that much,
but what's a story anyway,
except one of those connect the dots drawings
that in the end forms a picture of something.
That's really all this is.
That's how things work for me.
I go from this place, this person
to that place or person.
And, you know,
it doesn't really make that much difference.
I've known all different kinds of people.
Hung out with them, lived with them,
watched them act things out in their own little ways.
And to me...
To me, those people I've
known are like a series of rooms,
just like all the places where I've spent time.
You walk in for the first time
curious about this new room --
the lamp, TV, whatever.
And then, after a while,
the newness is gone,
And then there's this kind of dread,
kind of creeping dread.
You probably don't even
know what I'm talking about.
But anyway
I guess the point of all this is that
after a while, something tells you,
some voice speaks to you,
and that's it. Time to split.
Go someplace else.
People are going to be basically the same.
Maybe use some different kind of refrigerator or toilet
or something.
But this thing tells you,
and you have to start to drift.
You may not even want to go,
but things will inform you.
So here I am now in a place where I don't
even understand their language.
But, you know, strangers are still always just strangers.
And the story, this part of
the story, well,
it's how I got from there to here.
Or maybe I should say from here to here.
Where have you been?
I haven't seen you since Thursday.
Just walking around.
I can't seem to sleep at night.
Not in this city.
Doesn't seem like you sleep at all.
Well, I have my dreams while I'm awake.
You know, sometimes I think
I should just live fast
and die young.
And go in a 3-piece white
suit like Charlie Parker.
Not bad, huh?
She has dropped a roll of
paper from her breast.
A stranger picks it up,
shuts himself in his room all night,
and reads the manuscript,
which contains the following:
When she ventured out with her silk net
on the end of a russ,
chasing a wild, free hummingbird...
send me one and I, in return,
will wreath a garland
of violets, mint, and geraniums.
I was not present at the event
of which my daughter's
death was the result.
If I had been,
I would have defended that
angel at the cost of my blood.
Maldoror was passing with his bulldog.
He sees a young girl sleeping
in the shade of a plain tree.
At first, he took her for a rogue.
It is impossible to say which
came first to his mind --
the sight of this young girl
or the resolution which followed.
He undresses rapidly like a man
who knows what he is going to do.
He opens the angular claws of the
steel hydra;
and armed with a scalpel
of the same kind,
seeing that the green of the grass
had not yet disappeared beneath
all the blood which had been shed,
he prepares, without planning, to dig
his knife
courageously into the unfortunate child.
Wide and hoe, he pulls out
one after one...
... corpses sleep again in the shade.
Pig-snouted brutishness
covered him with its protective wings
and cast loving glances at him.
I'm tired of this book. You can have it.
I'm finished with it.
I'm tired of being alone.
Everyone is alone.
That's why I just drift, you know.
People think it's crazy.
But it's better to think that you're not
alone when, you know, you're drifting,
even though you are.
Instead of just knowing
that you're alone all the time.
Some people, you know, they
they can distract themselves with ambitions
and motivation to work, you know,
but it's not for me.
They think people like myself
are crazy.
Everyone does.
'cause of the way I live, you know.
I don't know. I guess you can say it's
But it's the only way for me, you know.
My mother was like those kind of
telling me it's bad to be like that.
And she ended up crazy herself,
you know --
after my father was gone.
But I don't care anymore, you know.
I don't want to think about it.
I know that when I get the feeling,
you know, the drift is going to take me.
I have this feeling...
inside my head that's been
haunting me for a long time.
Up until now.
Because I've decided to...
go visit someone I haven't seen in a long time.
I'm going to go back and see my mother.
I haven't seen her in over a year.
She's in an institution.
But first I'm going to go back to
where I was born,
the building that my mother
and father lived in.
It was blown up during the war.
I'm going to walk through the rubble there.
And just look at it one more time.
Look at how the building is all bombed out.
Walk through the rubble
of the building where I was born.
What are you talking about?
What war?
The building was blown up during the war.
Blown up by who?
The Chinese.
Incoming round!
What's the matter?
Hey, that's an enemy plane!
Get on the ground!
Take it easy, man.
They're not even planes;
they're choppers.
The Cong doesn't have choppers.
Come on, man. Take it easy.
Get up.
You see? Those are American.
You want a cigarette?
Hey, you want to hear a funny story?
The other day, I was walking over by, uh,
where I used to live, you know,
a long time ago.
And...right in front of my house
was this big car.
Really shiny.
You know, one of these old cars, two tone,
and very shiny car, lots of chrome, you know...
Really beautiful,
like a bubble car.
Very big and round, you known, like that.
It was the most beautiful car I ever saw.
And I wanted a car just like it.
It was really bad.
And then today, you know, I woke up,
and I couldn't believe it.
I walked out of my house,
where I live now,
and the same car -- I saw it.
The same exact car.
Wow, I really flipped, man.
It lit up like a bomb, this car,
you know.
It was so great.
Really like a "Batmobile."
Like a gangster car. Just like that.
It was bad.
So what do you say to that?
I live back there.
Oh, yeah? Humm. Some place to live.
Should get out of here, man.
Should get away from here --
go someplace different.
That's what I'm going to do.
Take it easy.
I'm going to get out of here, too.
Come on now. Don't be scared.
Let's go. Come on.
You can walk right. Come on.
Mrs. Parker's your mother? Um-hum.
This is the room. Thank you.
Mom, it's me,
Aloysious Christopher Parker.
Mom, it's me. Your son.
Mom, it's me, Allie.
I'm here to see you.
My son's here to see me.
How are you? Have you been alright?
Do you feel alright here?
I know who you are.
I know you are my son.
I know because the thighs aren't yours.
And they don't belong to you.
They were taken out
of your father's head.
Uh, mom, you're crazy.
I can hear the planes sometimes.
I haven't heard them since the
war when we were bombed.
Is there another war going on?
Excuse me, ladies.
It's time for your medication.
Would you mind leaving the room
for a few moments,
and then you can come right back.
Yeah, sure.
Is there another war?
[Speaking in Spanish...]
Are you alright?
What are you singing?
I want you to leave.
Get out of here.
Why? I just wanted to
know what you are saying.
[Speaking Spanish]
You got to... you got to be quiet.
Get out! Get out!
All right. All right.
Hi, I'd like to buy some popcorn.
Uh, 75 cents.
Do you think I would like this movie?
The Quinn Eskimo film?
Um, well, the only parts that I remember
were, uh, the first part where,
uh, he's eating -- they're eating --
maggots and
the second part where the old lady tells
the pregnant daughter, uh,
that the first-born, if it's a boy, um,
they rub it with blubber for good luck.
And, the second, if it's a girl, uh,
they stuff snow in its mouth and kill it.
Hey, have you ever heard of the Doppler effect?
The Doppler effect.
Yeah, yeah, I've heard of it.
Yeah, sure, it's, uh...
I know it's... it's, it's when Saturn
changes, when it moves.
Yeah, that's the Doppler effect.
That's right.
That's the name of my joke.
The Doppler effect.
The Doppler effect.
You, see, back...
Back in the 50s there was this guy
who played a sax.
He played a mean sax. Oh, yeah!
But he was out of his time.
His sound was different, way out,
too advanced for all those others.
He couldn't get no work 'cause
he didn't want to, he didn't want to
conform to the traditional style of playing.
Times was rough for him.
So his friends got together and they said:
"Look, Ned, you ought to go on over to Europe...
...see, over there they play a different sound."
"You know, they... you fit in.
You'll be able to play."
And they, uh, got together some money
and bought a ticket to Paris.
So he goes over there, and when he gets over there
-- huh, it's the same old thing.
His sound is too advanced for them.
Nobody know where he coming from.
And he couldn't get no job playing
'cause he...he still doesn't want to
conform to the traditional style of playing at the time.
So he gets real depressed, gets upset.
And he's broke. He ain't got no money.
So he's got to go out in the street to start playing.
He plays all day, and he gets into junk.
All kinds of stuff.
And it's just too much for him. He's not making it.
So one day he decides
to climb up some stairs and go up on a roof
and jump off. End it all.
He up there, and it's a... it's a grey day.
Everything is grey. The sky is all grey.
And, uh, looking down,
then he looked up. And,
just as he was about ready to jump,
skies open up,
and there's this ray of light
hit him
like a spotlight.
For no reason at all, he just...
he picked up his horn,
and started playing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."
And that's as far as he got.
He couldn't remember no more.
He just kept on playing that same
song over and over and over again...
He couldn't remember no further.
Just couldn't.
Then, all of a sudden, people... people all around
gathered around, and started
looking up at him.
And the... And the police
come up to the roof,
sneaking up on him from the back.
And he's still trying to remember the next phrase.
He turn around and look and see the police coming and he
jumps down!
And there he is down there.
He ain't dead from the fall.
And then he was conscious.
He heard in the distance the sound of an ambulance coming.
And, uh...
he was going...
The Doppler effect!
What do you want to hear, kid?
I don't care as long as it's vibrating
and dug downtown.
Man, what a sax!
This gun is my legislative gun!
Now I get it.
It's "This gun is my legislative branch."
Now, that's good. That's good.
Hey, could you put this in the box for me?
Come on. Give me a break.
What do I look like? A mailman?
Fucking Christ!
I don't believe it. That dude just stole my car!
Did you see him?
That's my car!
That's my fucking car! Oh my God!
That dude was wild style! Oh, no, man!
You better get your ass out of here
before he snags that up, too!
Is this the car?
Yup. This's it.
What's your name again?
Allie. Aloysious.
Man, what do you want?
I'll give you 800 dollars for it.
Ah, it's worth more than that. I could get more than that for it.
Go ahead.
800 is all you can give me?
I need the money. Okay.
Going on the boat, too?
No, I just got here.
Where you from?
From France, from Paris.
You born there?
Yeah, I was born there. Were you born in New York?
Yeah, but I'm leaving.
Yeah, I had to leave, too.
How come?
See, I had a lot of trouble, so I have to get out of Paris.
And now my friends are crying.
See, I never cry.
'Cause I know when things change, I have to go somewhere.
And now I think that New York is going to be Babylon for me.
Well, that's where I've got to live.
Think I would like it in Paris?
Yeah, Paris wouldn't be a Babylon.
I just got a tattoo the other day.
Oh, yeah?
I kind of wanted to get one before I went away.
I got a tattoo here last year.
What's it say?
It means "mommy."
Oh, you have a diamond shape?
Very good.
I got to go. It's my boat.
I got to go, too.
I was thinking about the note I
left her when I got on the boat.
But how can you explain something
like this to someone?
I'm just not the kind of person that
settles into anything.
I don't think I ever will be.
Isn't really anything left to
explain that can be.
And that's what I was trying to
explain in the first place.
Just not like that.
I don't want a job, or a house, or taxes
although I wouldn't mind a car, but... I don't know.
Now that I'm away, I wish I was back there
more than even when I was there.
Let's just say I'm a certain kind of tourist...
A tourist that's on a... permanent vacation.