Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Higher Ground (2018) Movie Script

The following
presentation is rated pg.
This presentation deals
with mature subject matter.
Viewer discretion is advised.
[Reporter]: Hurricane Katrina
has now been
officially classified
by the national weather service
as a category 5 hurricane,
and initial estimates of
damage here are staggering.
Numbers released this morning
by the federal emergency
management agency
say the death toll may
reach as high as 1500,
with a missing persons
list exceeding 700,
and tens of thousands
of displaced and
homeless victims
preparing to leave behind
everything they loved
about the big easy,
to begin a new life
somewhere down the road
that will be anything but easy.
[Woman]: I'll take another one.
They tell me to "go
here," so I go here,
then they say, "go
there," and I go there.
Now I'm back here.
So I'm sitting
down, is that okay?
Yes, ma'am.
I'm Violet roussard.
I think I know you.
You're that handyman
from the seventeenth.
Yes, ma'am.
You fixed the railing
in the choir loft
at Saint amboys.
How'd it do for you?
It did us fine, until
this unnatural disaster.
[Organizer calls]:
All right, folks!
I'm gonna be passing out a
displaced-persons fact sheet,
and that's for everybody ready
to get on the next bus!
Where's it going?
Um... maybe
Houston, or Colorado,
somewhere west, man,
I'm not exactly sure,
but we'll get you outta here.
All right, if you're
still waiting to meet up
with missing family members,
you've gotta put your name
on that board over there.
The bus is leaving
in five minutes!
You lose anybody?
I didn't have anybody to lose.
Thanks, sweetheart.
I've never seen
anything life this in my life.
Gonna make my
world a better place
I'm gonna keep
that smile on my face
I'm gonna teach myself
how to understand...
[Gabe writes]: "Dear Hattie,
"this is Gabe.
"I told you I don't talk much,
"and I sure don't write much,
"but I want you
to know I'm okay,
"and I hope you are, too.
"They put me on a
bus to somewhere,
"and I don't know
where I'm gonna end up,
but I know what's
gonna keep me going..."
...make myself
a better man...
"my music, and remembering you."
...a better man's never been the same
I want to know you well
This could be good
but you can never tell
So come on, come on
last week, she
was alive and well,
and now she's gone.
It's hard to believe
Eleanor has stamped
her last passport.
Norman, are you okay?
Everywhere I look,
I see Eleanor.
Eleanor's coffee cup,
Eleanor's blender,
Eleanor's potato.
Eleanor's potato?
Oh, yeah, she
always wanted a pet.
What do you say
we keep the blender in the dlo?
Oh, and if anybody
finds her recipe
for her kombucha smoothie,
please let me know.
Norman, would you
organize the inbox
for the incoming supervisor,
and Rita,
would you distribute the
contents of the outbox?
Ms. Mcinerney,
please pack the personal items,
and, uh, I shall...
Oh, look, the kombucha
smoothie recipe!
Ooh, let me see!
"One part bee pollen,
honey, and some..."
This has your name on it.
Well, hello there.
"Oliver, this found
its way to my inbox,
"obviously intended for the dlo.
"Check out the postmark
and return address.
"Can't wait to hear
the story behind this.
Speaking of which, I hope
your date on Saturday goes..."
over P.A.]: Outgoing...
It says, "to the one
and only Hattie."
The address is obscured by
multiple attempts to deliver.
It says, "no such
address," "return to sender,"
"address unknown."
Well, I can try to
remove the ink,
but we risk losing the
address in the process.
Eleanor mentioned
a return address?
Well, it's not really
a return address.
It's just "Gabe, a mile high."
Cute and clever
return addresses.
Will they never learn?
"From Gabe, a mile high."
Well, that's obviously
a reference to Denver,
the mile high city,
which narrows
it down to... Rita?
Ooh, 760,000 people.
We could always just look
for "the one and only Hattie."
It's already been
marked for return.
We are bound to begin there.
Thank you.
evacuation regulations
"require all displaced persons
to limit personal
belongings to..."
Rita, the postmark was...
September 5th, 2005.
That's right around...
Hurricane Katrina.
1.5 million people were
evacuated from Louisiana,
and 6,000 people
were evacuated to Colorado.
Gabe didn't write a return
address on that envelope.
Because he didn't have one.
"Dear Hattie,
"this is Gabe.
"I told you I don't talk much,
"and I sure don't write much,
"but I want you
to know I'm okay,
and I hope you are, too..."
[Song ends]
Welcome to Hattie's backstreet.
I'm Hattie. What can I get you?
May I please have a ginger ale?
May you please
have a ginger ale?
Yes, you may please
have a ginger ale.
Are you hungry?
Like Sunday after church.
I hear you.
You leave that to Hattie.
Now, that's a toolbox?
You got a musical
saw in that tool box?
I'm sorry? Wh...
Everybody sings for their
supper on Tuesdays, baby.
You've gotta sing
or play something.
You're not shy, now, are you?
Most of the time.
I think... I think you're
holdin' out on me.
So, when I get back
with your chicken, your
grits, and your oysters,
you'd better be up
there doin' what you do,
because I know you do something.
I used to sing a
little back in the day.
I had a feeling.
How about you, miss
Hattie, do you sing?
I sing a little.
But if the music's
good, I dance.
A toolbox.
Maybe he's a carpenter.
A carpenter who's a musician.
Or a musician who's a carpenter.
See, that's what makes
New Orleans so special.
It's... it's not about
what you do for a living.
It's about the living you do,
the music you make,
the food you love.
My cousin, Vernon,
moved there last year
so he could be in a
band and be a pastry chef.
Oh, really? I didn't know that.
What does he play?
The spoons.
Pressing on.
"I was so tired that night.
"I'd just built some porch steps
"for a man in the lower ninth,
"and all I wanted to do was
sit and rest myself a while.
But, well, you've got a
way with folks, Hattie..."
[Gabe singing] when the music
starts to playin'
she slides out on the floor
Dancin' without a partner
swayin' on the two and four
there's a rhythm
in her footsteps
and a flower in her hair
a smile on her face
'cause she's in a place
you know she
don't have a care
she ain't looking
for no lover
she ain't looking
for romance
she just wants to dance
She just wants to dance
Go on and let the girl dance
baby, she just
wants to dance...
[Oliver reads]: "An hour before
"I was the loneliest
man in Louisiana,
"but standing up
there and singing...
It was like I'd always
had the music in me..."
[indistinct P.A. announcement]
Oh, my goodness, I'd forgotten.
I'm supposed to meet
my father at noon.
Why don't we finish
packing up here
and regroup after lunch?
What are we going to
do with Eleanor's potato?
Oh, well...
Can I keep it?
Norman, we were simply tasked
with clearing and retaining
postal-related items.
Shane got a blender.
Well, yes, but that's not...
We'll take very good care of it.
Those things are
so untidy,
and, uh, if left untended,
they produce an odor,
that regulations
clearly state...
I will change the water
every day, I promise.
Just look at these little faces.
[Rita]: What do you think?
Oh, dear.
You think there's
enough light here?
Just think of it as a pet rock
with the potential
to be a side dish.
They've already
named it charlene.
What about over here?
That's a good sign, actually.
How so, Ms. Mcinerney?
[Quietly] Well...
They're not ready
to formally take
the next step in
their relationship,
so they've found a way
to create a sort of
family with a surrogate...
I really need to leave now.
Okay, say hi to your dad for me.
Oh, and, um... Oliver?
I see that we're back to
saying "Ms. Mcinerney."
Yes, uh, well...
I think it might be more
important than ever
to keep things... professional
at work.
But come tomorrow night,
I fully intend to
call you Shane...
Ms. Mcinerney.
Welcome to my retirement!
Oh, uh...
I wanted to talk
about something.
You know, I wrote that list
of things I wanted
to do when I retired.
Travel, learn Italian,
work in a garden.
And then I realized
that those things
would be a lot more fun
if I didn't do them by myself.
Oh, well, naturally.
I'm not much of a
gardener, it's very messy,
but I do love to
travel, of course...
I'm talking about
needing some... company.
Female company.
I-I dated a little, you know,
after your mother left us,
but nothing serious.
But now I'm settled
here, and, uh...
I may not be old yet,
but I will be someday.
I don't want to do it alone.
I see.
Well, uh, there is a
book club at my church,
or we could find
a seniors' group...
Or I could just...
Walk over to Kate and
ask her out right now.
She's, uh...
In charge of the
butterfly garden,
and I'm handling the vegetables.
And you are telling
me this because...
Well, let's face it,
we're different people.
When I make a decision, I act.
And I know you don't
like to rush things,
and it's taken you a while to
get things going with Shane,
and so I just,
I don't want you to feel awkward
if I actually...
Move a little faster than you.
[Laughing] Well...
Dad, Shane and I are
going out tomorrow, so...
Well, there you go.
That's great.
Yeah. Okay.
Nothin' to worry about then.
Well, she could be
an "Irish cobbler,"
or a "chieftain"...
Ooh, or a "viking."
She's definitely some sort
of early variety of heirloom.
She's definitely not
your average potato.
- Nope.
- Listen to this.
Almost 400,000 people
evacuated New Orleans
when the levees broke.
And a lot of them are
still living in Colorado,
because they can't
afford to move back home.
Or they didn't have
a home to go back to.
I wonder if that's what
happened to Gabe.
[Door opens] I'm back, everyone.
Sorry to keep you waiting.
Hey, how's your dad?
He's fine.
Doing some volunteer work.
Making new, uh, friends.
I thought we might get
back to, uh, that letter.
Oh, Shane's already
got started on Gabe,
and we've been
working on Hattie.
Yeah, I can't lift the
ink from the envelope
without erasing
Hattie's address.
We even tried "Norman
dorman's revelation solution."
We might want to start
going back through
some old phone books.
Ms. Mcinerney?
It's not looking good.
All we've got is some
guy named Gabe,
who walked into some
sort of establishment,
like a blues club,
and sang a song,
and had a good meal.
And fell in love.
You think so?
Oh, well, uh, where were we?
"I'd always had the music in me,
but I'd forgotten what
it was for until you."
He's obviously falling in love.
Well, not necessarily.
I mean, maybe he just thought
she was being
really encouraging.
Well, I disagree.
"I know what will keep me going.
Remembering you."
If Gabe wrote one love
letter, maybe he wrote more,
hoping one of them
might get through
all the chaos after Katrina.
And if Hattie received
just one of those letters,
then perhaps they
found each other.
Ergo, find Hattie, find Gabe.
Of course, if they're
not together...
Hattie might still
have information...
Got something!
New Orleans yellow
pages 2004 to 2005,
there's a club called
Hattie's backstreet blues,
45 St. James street.
"Try our famous oysters.
Open mic night every Tuesday."
Nothing's coming up.
All right, give me a second.
Yellow pages 2006, 2007...
Um... yeah,
there's nothing listed at
all after hurricane Katrina.
Because it's gone.
It's not hopeless.
If Hattie's place was destroyed,
then she may have applied
for a federal relief loan.
And if that's the case,
then I can hack into any
number of government records...
[clears throat] Ms. Mcinerney,
I am quite confident
that you and your
computer could infiltrate
the deepest galaxies
of cyberspace,
but please,
don't say anything we
might have to repeat in court.
Fair enough,
but we still have to find
her last name somehow.
Any ideas?
I once got my name
in the newspaper,
sort of.
You did? I didn't know that.
I don't talk about it much.
And the charges were dropped.
You were arrested?
It was just a
misunderstanding at the zoo.
I was actually trying
to return the penguin.
Wait, I remember that story.
That was you?
Yeah, "man cleared in
runaway penguin escapade."
I was the unidentified man.
Norman, you're a genius.
Here we go,
from the New Orleans
times picayune,
August 10th, 2002.
"also petitioning
the city council
"in support of the
proposed traffic light
"was local business owner
"Amelia grey Hatfield,
proprietor of Hattie's
backstreet blues club."
Of course, Hatfield!
Hattie is her nickname!
Ooh, I wish I had a nickname.
I'll think of one.
Excellent work, Ms. Mcinerney.
Well, now the fun starts.
I've got a search program here
that I can adapt to
filter for old records,
or relief applications,
or evacuee lists,
anything Katrina-related
that might help us see
where Hattie may have ended up.
Now we just have to wait.
No, no, no, no...
Eleanor's kombucha recipe.
I think I left it in the box
of old reader's digests
that I had Norman throw out.
I'm sorry. What did I do?
I'm sorry.
No, it's not your fault.
Now I'll never make
one as good as hers.
I'm sorry, Ms. Mcinerney.
I know how much
that "kumbacha" recipe
meant to you.
Forget it.
I need chocolate.
Serious... Serious chocolate.
It feels so decadent
to be having dessert
in the middle of the afternoon.
Well, reets,
somewhere in the
world, it's dinnertime.
Yeah, I'm working
on your nickname.
Oh. Let's keep working on it.
[Chuckles awkwardly]
Uh... reetster?
Uh... reety-reety?
Uh... reets-meets?
[Groaning] No...
That's bad.
It's running every name
registered with the
city of New Orleans
during the weeks after Katrina,
and if that doesn't work,
I'll move on to state
and federal records.
I think...
We should read on
a bit while we wait.
Oliver O'Toole
breaking protocol.
What is that all about?
I'm, um...
Not sure.
Ramon, what are you doing here?
Yeah, what are you doing here?
Well, I have great news!
I am the new owner
of the mailbox grille.
[Laughing in delight]
Are you kidding me?
Why? Why?
It is a marvelous venue!
And I have great plans for it.
I see...
A Sunday brunch.
A mailbox Martini menu,
and, of course, we must
improve on the jukebox, eh?
Oh, that's right, you
know a lot about music.
can Ramon listen
to the rest of letter?
He might be able to hear
something that we don't.
Oh, I don't...
"I know you could've gotten
somebody else to fix the bar,
"but maybe you could
tell I needed the work,
and the company..."
Darn this thing.
I can come back
and fix that tomorrow.
That'd be fine by me.
But it needs a special hinge,
and the good ones
are hard to find.
I know.
People come
and people go
they take and they give
and they build you
up just to let you down
that's just the way it is...
'Cause all I
need is one friend
to get me through the day
one friend who
never goes away
only one friend
to understand
and never let me down...
[Oliver reads]: "And I
have a confession to make.
"I could have fixed
that gate in one try.
"But the truth is, that
was the first time I'd sung,
"or even smiled that
much in a long time,
"and it felt so good,
"I just didn't want to leave.
"So, I pretended
"I couldn't find the
right parts to the hinge.
But nothing ever
gets by you, Hattie."'s you I appreciate
send me on my way...
Kissed me on the lips
and said "have a nice day"
she had me right
where she wanted me
you know what
I was in a trance
she said, "ain't nothin'
wrong with Texas
but I'd really love
to go to France..."
It's no secret I don't care
gonna shout it
out everywhere
love my baby hot,
cold, fast, or slow
love my... Uh-oh.
In the evening in my bed
I hear voices in my head
There you go.
Good as new.
[Knock on door]
We're closed!
Hurricane's coming.
It's gonna be a big one.
I lived through Camille.
I can get through this one.
I'm sure you can.
I was thinking maybe you
might like a little company.
I could close up early,
We could weather
it out together.
I have lots of food...
And lots of ginger ale.
Well, I'll see you tomorrow.
[Oliver reads]: "The next
day they made us evacuate,
"and then the levees broke,
"and Hattie, I tried
everything I could
"to get back to you,
"but I couldn't even get close.
"I lost my home,
I lost my toolbox,
"I lost everything
but my guitar.
"But my only regret
is waiting too long
"to tell you how I feel.
"I kept thinking I
had tomorrow...
"Somebody on this bus
thinks it's going to Denver,
"and if that's true,
"then you'll know how to find me
"if you want to,
'cause I'm gonna do
what you taught me to do."
What did she teach him to do?
Yeah! What did
she teach him to do?
I don't think that's
mentioned anywhere.
Neither do I.
"I'm going to do what
you taught me to do.
"I'm gonna find
my higher ground,
"and I'll be there
every Sunday morning,
"waiting for the
rest of my life.
"And I promise,
"if there's another
bus to Denver,
"and you get on it and find me,
"I'll never lose you again.
Always, Gabe."
You were right.
He was in love.
No matter how
many letters he sent,
they all went to a place
that doesn't exist anymore.
12 years,
and so many hearts
are still broken.
Well, we're trying to
mend at least one of them.
I found her.
Amelia grey
Hatfield is listed as...
and presumed dead.
[Rita]: Poor Gabe...
Poor Hattie.
She was waiting for him,
but he never came.
And he's out there
waiting for her,
but she's never going to come.
Perhaps he's given up by now.
True love never gives up.
You must find this Gabriel.
This is...
This is very upsetting.
At times like this,
all I can do is pray,
and, of course, eat my
mother's famous pozole.
"Priority mail pozole"...?
Excuse me.
Leave it to Ramon to
take lemons and make...
Well, I hate to say it,
I mean, I really
hate to say it, but...
Ramon's got a point.
You don't just stop
loving somebody,
especially if you've been
lonely your whole life,
and then, one day, you walk in,
and you meet somebody
who makes you laugh,
and sees all the
good things about you,
makes you feel special...
We thought Hattie
would lead us to Gabe.
Now we just have
to find another way.
We are the postables.
We have wide powers
of postal discretion
that we haven't even used yet,
right, Norman?
Then that's what we'll do.
And we'll start first
thing Monday morning.
[Rings doorbell]
Good evening, ms... uh, Shane.
Good evening, Oliver.
You look beautiful.
Thank you.
Our conversation yesterday
put me in mind of
a small jazz club
on Pearl street.
I thought we might
start there for drinks,
then we have a table
at montaldo's at 7:00.
Well, that sounds just...
That's funny.
Your tie.
You tied it in a windsor.
But you only wear a
windsor on wednesdays.
It's a beautiful night.
Would you like to walk?
I'd love to.
[Thunder rumbles]
Have you ever noticed
every time we try and
have a nice evening,
something happens?
Maybe god's trying
to tell us something.
And that would be...
Table for two?
Oh, hi.
[Laughing together]
yes! You don't agree?
No, it's apples and oranges.
Jazz is not about the
notes that you hear,
it's about the notes
that you don't hear,
and with the blues, it's
not about what you hear,
it's what you feel.
It's rhythm and truth.
It's pain, set to music.
That's very profound
coming from a woman
who drinks "kambacha"
in the afternoon
and martinis at night.
Give me your pen.
It was my grandfather's.
It's perfect.
Now, watch and learn.
You're gonna have
to open your mind
and use your imagination.
I can do that.
When I close my
eyes, and I listen to jazz,
this is what I see...
Surprise, and light,
crazy possibility.
But when I close my eyes,
and I listen to
the blues, I don't...
I don't see it...
I just feel it.
And sometimes, it's full,
sometimes, it's empty,
sometimes, it's broken.
But it's always...
It just always feels so...
Painfully but exquisitely true.
I imagine.
Very good.
Did I pass the course?
May I have my pen back now?
There may be a test later.
I'm afraid we missed
our reservation.
I have no doubt
we'll make it back
to montaldo's someday,
at some point.
You know the porch
swing you gave me?
Of course.
Well, remember it
was a little off-balance?
I thought I'd fixed
that. Is it still off?
It just has a
little... Squeak now.
Maybe I should
take a look at it.
That would be nice.
Earlier on,
you said something about, um...
Well, you said
something about god.
Well, it's like you said,
just that every time
we try to go out,
something seems to happen.
Maybe... god's trying
to tell us something.
Hmm, interesting,
and, um, what do you
think he might be saying?
Maybe he's saying
that this is crazy,
you and...
Oh, my goodness!
Oh, I'm okay. I'm okay.
Are you all right?
Shall we call a cab?
We could...
But then I'd have to let go.
[Car horn honks]
Shall we walk?
What are you thinking about?
I was just thinking
about how I almost quit the dlo.
You did quit, more than twice.
But I didn't, because...
[Porch swing squeaks]
You got a squeak in this thing.
What are you doing here?
Mr. Marek.
Sorry to drop in like this,
but could we...
Could we speak privately?
This isn't a
personal visit, Shane.
There's a crisis in D.C.,
and I need you there now.
Well, tonight.
What? Are you crazy?
It's a crisis situation,
I need the best
hackers in the business,
and I need somebody
who knows the usps.
Has our security been breached?
I can...
Neither confirm nor deny,
yes, I remember.
Look, you gotta
trust me on this.
You need to go
inside, pack a bag,
grab your passport.
We've got a plane waiting for us
at Buckley air field.
How long will this...?
I don't know,
maybe a few weeks?
You are the best at what
you do, Ms. Mcinerney.
Rita has a key.
And the Rose bush,
it needs to be
trimmed back, or else...
I will handle things.
I will handle things.
Just call us with your address
and I'll forward
your mail until you...
We're gonna have to
go radio silence on this.
That means no calls, no texts,
no emails, no regular mail...
Yes, but surely...
Once they're broken
up into their teams,
they're gonna be incommunicado
for the duration.
Now, we really gotta roll.
[Clears throat]
I'll be back.
Of course.
I really enjoyed our walk.
So did I.
Promise me that
you'll find Gabe.
But tell him not to be
too hard on himself.
He didn't have to say it.
She knew that he loved her.
She knew.
I will tell him.
Her passport?
Will she be safe?
I'd die before I let
anything happen to her.
[Porch swing squeaking]
[Rita]: This is charlene.
We adopted her,
but we're a little confused
on how to take care of her.
Well, it looks like
there are some buds.
That ought to sprout
in two or three weeks.
Once they get some
leaves, it will be time to plant.
Plant? In the ground?
Somewhere else? Away from us?
You want her to grow, right?
Oh, I think we want her
to have every advantage.
Then you wait for the
sprouts, and then you plant it,
and the sprouts
make baby potatoes.
I knew that.
I just... I didn't think charlene
was that kind of potato.
It's the great circle
of life, Norman.
You just have to treasure
every moment you get.
Thank you, Mr. O'Toole.
Hey, if I'm going to help
raise your little potato,
you might as well call me Joe.
Oh! Joe!
[Rita]: Oh, Oliver.
Can you sign these priority
mail requests for me, please?
What brings you here?
I brought you guys some
veggies from my garden project.
That's very thoughtful of you.
Yeah. We did a spring
harvest this morning,
and I've got some spinach,
and some cabbage,
and some Kale here.
Oh, Kale. Wonderful.
Can I ask?
Um, sorry?
I did it.
I asked Kate out.
And she said yes.
And we went to the movies,
and then we grabbed some dinner,
and then we
talked half the night.
And then she asked me
to go to the big band concert
at red rocks next
Saturday night.
Things are...
Moving right along, hmm?
Mm-hmm. Yeah.
And how was your date?
My evening with
Ms. Mcinerney was...
Without precedent.
Rita? Norman?
A priority today
is to locate the
author of this letter
and return to sender.
I now believe that trying
to locate the addressee
will sadly prove unfruitful.
Oh, I thought Shane
was looking into this.
I, uh...
Have some news. To
share with all of you.
I'd better get going.
Norman, you might want to
put the potato down for this.
Shouldn't we wait for Shane?
Is not coming.
[Norman]: I don't
know what's worse.
Having your date hijacked
by an incredibly handsome
man from the clandestine services,
or having him be
her ex-boyfriend.
Oh, the waiting for her
to come back, Norman,
that's got to be the worst.
And without tech support,
how are we supposed
to find Gabe?
We don't have
anything left to go on.
Well, we still have us.
We'll think of
something then, ree-ree.
[Chuckles doubtfully] Uh-uh.
Well, that's a new one.
"Homeland security
stole my girl."
Or did you... Let her go?
It was her decision.
does she know how you feel?
Shoot, do you know how you feel?
When we were lost
up on that mountain
last month,
and I almost lost,
uh, everything...
After that, I told
her how I felt.
Actually, I told her how I felt
about being ready
to feel something
about how I feel.
And she followed that?
Well, I was as clear
as I know how to be.
And I kissed her.
It was brief, but, uh...
Very, uh...
If you get another
chance to kiss her, son...
Take your time.
None of business
gettin' all of my concern
tried to put out the fire
but the flame's
still burning
oh, and as she pleases
she comes and goes
she's got the
wind in her hair
oh, she never
ceases to hurt me so
does she really care?
Is she ever comin' home?
Is she ever gonna phone?
Another night alone
has anybody seen my girl?
Has anybody seen my woman?
California to Tennessee
send my baby home to me
home to me...
Where am I going?
Oh, what am I gonna do?
I know I'm not crazy no,
no, I'm just hooked you
so go on and
use me endlessly
but could you let me know
when you need
me hold me close
and baby, don't let go...
Norman, come here, come here!
There's little sprouts.
Aw, they grow up so fast.
Oh, dear.
- How's it going?
- Any luck?
I'm sorry to say,
but without Ms. Mcinerney's
advance search protocols,
it's taken us four weeks
what she might have
accomplished in a day.
Yeah, I'm still filling
out request forms
for evacuation rolls from 2005.
Maybe... we should try
all the churches in Denver?
Remember he said something
about "every Sunday morning"?
That's 1057 churches, though.
No, I know it's a lot to ask,
but I made a promise to...
Uh... myself.
I-I can't give up on this.
...has anybody seen my woman
from California
to Tennessee
send my baby home to me
home to me...
My friends,
Maria Gloria
Patricia's pozole...
Kate and I came here last
week and had it. It was great.
Ooh... Ooh, it is spicy.
It kind of gives you a...
A lift, sort of a zip.
Oliver could use
some of that.
He must be missing
the beautiful Shane.
Uh... if we're being honest,
we're a little
worried about him.
I am, too.
Every night we leave the office,
he's still there,
sitting at his desk,
staring at her blender.
[Sighs] The blender
she never got to use.
In my family, we
have a tradition.
If a friend is in trouble,
we surround him
with "the three ps."
and "poker."
I love poker.
and if everybody folds,
then the last man
holding gets the pot,
and he doesn't even
have to show his cards.
How is it that you know
so much about poker?
Well, I'm actually
a Blackjack girl,
but I'm pretty much
banned from every casino.
You know,
photographic memory,
counting cards... [chuckles]
You look like a general here.
I was. Briefly.
A small, obsolete republic.
You were a matador?
Just to pay my
way through school.
Oh, Norman,
can you grab the cheese wheel
from the counter, please?
You are a very
fortunate man, normando.
How long have you
two been together now?
Oh, uh... just over
a year, I guess.
You know, in my country,
you'd be married
with twins by now.
Everyone had twins there.
Well, uh... We do have, um...
A potato.
How is ovilear doing?
He seems a bit lost.
Well, I think your
money's safe tonight.
But at least he's
getting out a little.
This is nice.
The glory days of alternative
Latin garage punk grunge.
I'm a blues man, myself.
Whatever happened to
that fellow in the letter?
The man from the hurricane?
Oh, we tried everything,
but we never found him.
Did you try music?
How do you mean?
Musicians are magnets
for other musicians,
and as you know,
I'm bringing live music
to the mailbox grille.
Thursdays will be jazz night,
Fridays are alternative Latin
garage punk grunge night,
of course.
But Saturdays...
Are blues night!
If Gabriel is in this town,
trust me,
if we play it, he will come!
[Song ends]
We've asked everyone
if they know a blues
musician named Gabe,
but nobody does.
Yeah, Ramon was so sure
that the word would get out,
and Gabe would show up
as long as the music was good,
well, this is only
the first night,
and the band was excellent.
My friends...
I want you to meet
big Joe Hopkins,
Denver legend.
He might be able to
help you in your search.
Oh, thank you.
We love your music.
This is a great spot.
We need a place like this.
Ramon says
you know every
blues player in town.
We all kinda know each other.
You wouldn't happen
to know a gentleman
by the name of Gabe
from New Orleans?
What's his last name?
Well, that's all we
have, just Gabe.
Doesn't ring a bell.
But Ephraim Beals
is from Louisiana.
He plays over at
the e-flat lounge.
Oh, yes, we've, um...
Uh, I've been there.
Oh, I haven't been
back to New Orleans
since Katrina.
Haven't got the money,
don't have the heart.
I'm very sorry.
So, who is it
you're looking for?
A man named Gabe, he
plays a guitar and sings.
He was evacuated to Denver,
so we were hoping
he still plays at a
club somewhere here.
'Course, folks don't
use their real names.
Like sunny Jack,
bad boy baker,
and the 52-80 man...
Folks just don't know
who they really are.
Well, uh...
Thank you very much for trying.
It was a pleasure to meet you.
I really like your music.
It's very positive,
considering how sad it is.
[Chuckles awkwardly]
Well, here, take one of
my cds home with you.
Oh, thank you.
Oh, "walk a mile in my blues."
That's very clever.
"Walk a mile in..."
in my...
Wait, what was that you
said about the 52 man?
The 52-80 man?
Cat's a real mystery.
Only plays his guitar
on the steps of
the state capitol,
one day a week.
Would that day be Sunday?
Every Sunday.
Folks call him
"52-80" 'cause of the...
Because the altitude
of the state capitol is...
exactly 5,280 feet,
- which is...
- A mile!
[Gasping in delight]
[Gasps] Found it!
Return address is...
"Gabe, a mile high."
What time is it?
Um... 1:15 A.M.
It's Sunday morning.
Oh, I hope he's there.
Do you hear that?
[Distant singing] way or another
we're gonna
find higher ground
well, you might be deaf
or you might be blind
but you put the
message right in your mind
might look like a plan
or a coalition
or it might be god trying
to get your attention
might be god trying
to get your attention
oh, yeah
Man, oh, man,
you all spent all this time
looking for me?
That's our job.
I'm afraid it was necessary
to read the letter
in order to locate you.
Then you know about Hattie.
Not much.
We were able to ascertain
that the backstreet
blues club is...
I tried to call a few times,
but I finally figured
it got wiped out.
But I did write a
few more letters,
hoping that maybe Hattie
had a forwarding address
or something.
I've still got hope.
I figured
you gotta have hope.
Wait, so you've been
waiting all this time
for Hattie to find you?
12 years is a long time.
There was something really
powerful about that lady.
You know, when she
put her mind to something,
nothing could stop her,
and that's what I'm counting on.
What do you mean?
One night we stayed
up all night long,
and we talked, and we talked,
we talked about everything.
She got me talking
more that night
than I've talked my
whole life put together.
I told her how I
had a good life,
and I had a good wife,
and a baby girl,
and how a grease fire started
in our apartment building
and took it all away,
while I was singing and playing
down in the quarter...
They were killed in a
fire in our apartment.
I'm so sorry.
I even heard the
sirens on their way
faintly in the distance.
You know, I didn't
put it together.
Of course, you don't
think it's your house.
But it was, and I just lost it.
I haven't played
another note since.
I haven't played at all...
Till I came in here.
You're gonna see them
again someday, baby,
you know that.
But for now,
you gotta hand all
that over to the lord,
and you gotta keep singing.
That's what you were born to do.
What you need is vision.
And it is hard to get vision
down here in the ninth ward.
So you gotta get
to higher ground.
You know that funny little
hill up in couturie park?
The one with the
little wooden lookout
you gotta climb up to?
Believe it or not,
that is the highest
point in New Orleans.
53 feet above sea level.
Every Sunday morning,
I stand up there, and
I watch the sunrise,
and I count my blessings,
and before you know it,
I feel like I am
standing a mile high.
And when you feel a mile high,
anything is possible.
When that bus
brought me to Denver,
I really had a hard
time getting on my feet.
It took a while.
You know, so I come
up here every Sunday,
a mile high,
on these steps,
and I count my blessings,
and I wait.
Did you ever think about
going back to New Orleans?
This is where I told her I'd be,
and I'm a man of my word.
You know, what if she
got one of my letters,
what if somehow, one of
them got forwarded to her?
You know,
what if it came
late, like this one?
What if she comes, and I'm gone?
Uh... Gabe, um...
The truth is...
I'm not sure how
to tell you this, but...
The truth about Hattie is...
The truth is,
every letter that
comes to our office
is a sacred trust,
and we will not rest
until we have used every
means at our disposal
to try and deliver it
to its intended
recipient, or, uh...
Or we've determined
the whereabouts
of that recipient.
With your permission, of course.
You got it.
I can't promise anything,
but then again, uh...
We are a mile high,
so anything is possible.
Good afternoon, may
I speak to someone
regarding disaster
relief payments
to victims of hurricane Katrina?
Well, might you
be able to direct me
to someone who can?
No, no, she was listed as
missing and presumed dead,
we cannot find a death
certificate recorded
with the clerk of
Orleans parish...
When I'm with you
feels like heaven...
You're an angel holding me
sweet, sweet
lovin' sets me free...
And in my
wildest imagination
I could never
never, never imagine
loving me as
much as I do you...
So, uh, still no
word from Shane?
Not until she's released
from her assignment.
What if... Mr. National security
isn't interested
in releasing her?
Well, considering our last date,
I believe, if she
could come back,
she would.
You know, son,
one kiss doesn't
make a contract.
But, hey, what do I know?
Kate and I broke up.
Oh, no.
I'm sorry.
She took up with the
fertilizer salesman,
moved to durango.
There is... No
accounting for taste.
Or whatever.
Right there. You see that?
[Explosion rumbles]
[Warning sirens wail]
Yes, hello. My name is Oliver...
Due to the high volume
of calls at the present time,
your waiting time is
approximately 26 minutes.
Thank you for holding.
Due to the high
volume of calls...
Well, it may be winter
it may be fall
and I might have plenty
or nothing at all
baby, I'm gonna be there
whenever you call
And every morning
every evening
every day I think of you
The way you loved
me through and through
The way you loved me...
Let us toast
next Saturday's
blues night headliner,
the mailbox grille presents
the 5280 man himself.
To Gabriel.
To Gabe.
[Everyone]: To Gabe.
You guys still
looking for Hattie?
We've looked everywhere.
Volunteers of america,
the American red cross,
the federal emergency agency.
It's very frustrating,
especially since we don't
even know if she's alive.
"Presumed dead" is
only a presumption.
Nobody knows exactly how
many were lost in Katrina,
or even where all the
survivors ended up.
Shane would have found a way.
You know, I'm starting
to feel really guilty
about not telling Gabe
what we know about Hattie.
But you don't know
anything, right?
Perhaps it's time
we told him that.
No man should
have to wait forever
for someone who's
never going to come.
Uh, excuse me, I'm out. Sorry.
I'm out, too.
[Sighs heavily]
I have a confession to make,
and you can fire me for it,
and I'll understand.
What are you talking
about, Norman?
I'm not very good
at keeping secrets.
The bad ones hurt my heart.
A few sundays ago,
I went to the capitol
steps to see Gabe, and...
And you told him about Hattie?
I didn't have to tell him.
He kinda figured it out
when he saw my face.
He said that deep down inside,
he always suspected
that if Hattie's club was gone,
that probably
meant she was, too.
But that wasn't going
to stop him from...
"Keeping the
faith," he called it.
And when I left, he
picked up his guitar,
and he started singing again.
You do know, the
definition of insanity
is doing the same thing
over and over again
and expecting a
different outcome?
Waiting for your
mother to come back,
and waiting for your
wife to come back,
Waiting for Shane to come back?
Maybe standing on
those steps is insane.
Maybe it's the only
way that Gabe knows
how to keep Hattie alive.
All I know is,
when I walked away,
he was already
singing a new song,
and it hit me.
Well, you and I, Oliver,
we have a lot more to hope
for than Gabe does now,
but he's the one
out there singing.
I don't know what to do.
Well, I know what I'm gonna do.
Can you keep a secret?
A good one?
I'm looking out my window
feelin' kinda blue
I ain't heard from my baby
did she find somebody new?
So I called up her number
but her number
had changed...
Hi. I'm Oliver O'Toole
to see Steve marek.
And I screamed out her name
and I said "hey"
"hey, hey, hey, oh, my...
He's out of the country.
Thank you.
I was told you were
out of the country.
When you show up
without an appointment,
I'm out of the country.
Where is Shane?
She's out of the country.
You told me you
would keep her safe.
She's safe.
How do you know,
if she's out of the country?
Or you are.
Who exactly is in
the country right now?
Okay, look...
Mr. Marek...
I have an employee
who hasn't reported
to work for three months
with no paperwork to
support her absence.
Unless you can provide
compelling reasons
to the contrary,
I would like my
employee back now.
You can't have her back,
she's critical to the mission.
Oh, I'll bet she is.
Listen, Oliver, I
understand your situation...
No, you don't.
And that situation has changed.
We were out of the country.
We had to turn in our laptops,
and tablets, and phones.
We couldn't carry anything
that could be
tracked, or hacked,
or compromised.
There are means
by which you could
have contacted us
while still maintaining privacy.
A postcard. A letter.
A burner phone...
The point is that
I still would have
been breaking the rules,
and you, of all
people, should...
Wait, how do you know
about burner phones?
Sometimes, we
watch action movies
on poker night.
Poker night?
Action... who's "we"?
Norman, Rita,
my dad,
[Laughs] I would give
anything to see that.
Apparently not.
what I am doing here right now
is really important.
And there's still work
that needs to be done.
Are you sure?
That's what Steve says.
Well, then it must be true.
Do you really think
that if I could go
back to Denver,
I would spend one
more minute here?
I don't know about
having a chance,
but I know you have a choice.
Can we change
the subject, please?
Did you find Gabe?
I promised I would,
and we did.
That's great,
because I have
news about Hattie.
I couldn't stop
thinking about her,
so every chance I had,
I would run a new
search for old tax records,
or old employment records,
anything that I could
think of, really, and...
I found something.
I think she's alive.
An a.G. Hatfield
spent three days
trapped in the superdome,
and then evacuated to Houston,
which is probably why
she dropped off
the rolls in Louisiana.
Now, from what I can tell,
if it is her,
it seems that she started
over again in Austin.
I only have a street address,
but no number.
I was gonna follow up
when this was all over,
but now that you're here...
I hope she was
worth waiting for.
So do I.
[Cell phone ringtone chimes]
No cellphones,
no contact, hmm.
Oliver, it's a dedicated
phone just for...
I'm sorry.
I have to get back.
Of course.
You have no choice.
I would like my
pen back, please.
Of course.
I mean, I was
going to give it back
when I came...
Goodbye, Ms. Mcinerney.
What would you say
if I had a friend,
here in Washington,
a highly-placed official
with the usps division
of cyber security
who informed me that the crisis
which occurred three months ago
was resolved over
three weeks ago,
and that the release
of all emergency
consulting assets,
such as yourself
was at the sole discretion
of your team leader?
If that were true, Steve
would let me go home.
Why would a man
who obviously cares
so much about you
let you go if he didn't have to?
I ask myself that all the time.
I made that part up,
about the
highly-placed official.
I know.
It was a pretty
good bluff, though.
I learned it playing poker.
But I can't lie to you.
I know.
I'm just wondering if Steve can.
Tell me the truth.
Am I here because you need
me, or because you want me?
What kind of a guy flies
all the way down here,
and then leaves without
getting what he came for?
The kind of man that lets
me make up my own mind,
but I can't do that
unless I have all the facts.
The crisis is over.
I could shut down your
part of the operation,
but I don't want to.
For security reasons
and for personal reasons.
Do you really think
that delivering old letters
is as important as some
of the world-changing stuff
that we do here every day?
Are you really telling me
you want to throw all that away
for a squeaky porch
swing in Denver?
[Sighs heavily]
You wanna know the truth?
I'm still in love with you.
Welcome to Texas.
Pardon me, is this,
uh, Hattie's place?
Well, that depends.
I'm Hattie, and
this is my place.
I'm Oliver O'Toole,
and I'm from the United
States postal service,
and I have a letter for you
that's taken a
long time to deliver,
I'm afraid.
I hope you remember him,
because he certainly
remembers you.
Oh, my lord.
Are you telling
me he's still alive?
If your problems
won't go away
and you're worried
night and day
hand it over
get on your
knees and pray...
Are you okay, Norman?
Uh, Oliver should
be here by now.
Well, he said he was
bringing us a surprise,
and it's got to be Shane,
and you know how
sometimes she can be late.
Oh, look, there he is!
Oh, and there's, uh...
Somebody that's not Shane.
Well, that is a surprise.
Hand it over
give it up give it over
hand it over
get on your
knees and pray...
Ain't no mountain
you can't climb
no answer that
you can't find
[Hattie singing along]
...You can't find
all you need is
a hand to hold a hand to hold
it'll heal your body
heal your body
feed your soul!
I knew you were coming.
[Laughing in delight]
- Come sing with me.
- What?
Come sing with me.
We thought the
surprise was Shane,
but this is... Almost as good.
[Hattie and Gabe
singing together]
hand it over...
Give it up give it over
give it over...
hand it over
get on your
knees and pray...
[Gabe]: You said
you wouldn't stop
looking for her
until you found her,
and you kept your word.
Well, that's what we do.
We're the postables.
Yes, you are.
[Hattie]: Thank you.
You're welcome.
That's it?
She just gave you your pen,
you left,
and she went back to Steve?
Well, it could have been worse.
He could have been
a fertilizer salesman.
Oh, I think, in a way, he is.
You need a ride?
No. I think I'll walk a little.
Well, be careful.
Stay on the main streets.
I know, dad...
I know you know,
but you're still my kid.
I just don't want
to see you get hurt.
And what about you, hmm?
You heard the song.
"Hand it over."
I love you.
I love you, too.
A triumphant night, no?
And it's not over.
Ah, yes, the finale.
You are leaving?
He'll do just fine.
You ready to go?
You remember the
first time we met?
Of course I do.
At the terminal annex
during the Christmas rush.
Yeah, but the first time
that I saw you was here.
Yeah, I was standing
right here, a-and, um,
you walked in,
well, you... tripped...
And I said to myself, I said,
there's the girl you're going
to sort a lot of mail with."
Aw, that's so sweet, Norman.
That's why I thought this
would be a good place to...
I-I think I finally came up
with a nickname for you.
Oh, Norman, I've
been thinking about it.
Maybe I'm just meant to be Rita.
Rita moonriver haywith.
I-I didn't know that.
Oh, well, you know, my parents.
Hippies. Right.
Anyways, how about...
Will you marry me?
Yeah, I want us to get
married and be together forever,
and have more than...
And have a place
for them to grow...
I'm talking about kids
now, not potatoes.
I got that.
And, um...
I have a-a ring.
I must have left it
in my other pants.
I-I changed my pants
so I'd look nice when
I, um, gave you the ring.
it has a gold owl on it,
and it's got small...
Well, tiny diamond eyes, and...
Yes, Norman.
Yes, I'll marry you.
Thank you.
I-I don't think...
That I'll make you as
happy as you make me,
I'm going to try every
day for the rest of my life.
Oh, Norman, you're
going to make me cry.
That's okay,
just this once, right?
Just this once.
I love you.
I love you so much.
Do you want to stand up now?
Yeah, okay.
[Excited laughter and
cheers from inside]
- We're gonna get married!
- We're getting married!
- To each other!
- Yes!
None of my business
gettin' all of my concern
tried to put out the fire
but the flame still burns
oh, and as she pleases
she comes and goes
she's got the
wind in her hair
oh, she never ceases
to hurt me so
does she really care?
Is she ever comin' home?
Is she ever gonna phone?
Another night alone...
Has anybody seen my girl?
Has anybody seen my woman?
send my baby
home to me, home to me...
"One part kombucha,
"two tablespoons of bee pollen,
one half teaspoon
fresh chopped ginger."
"Two parts kombucha,
one part ginger ale?
One ounce raw honeycomb."
Ginger ale?
It... added
a certain effervescence
that balanced the...
Subtle earthy tones
of the honeycomb.
I'm still experimenting,
but I'm getting closer, I think.
How are my roses?
I had to cut them back.
You have to do that
if you want them to
bloom to their full potential.
You moved my desk.
It was temporary.
I mean, uh, it was...
Well, I mean, it, uh, was...
Steve says you never
really say what you mean.
Well, I have quite a few
very sincere things
to say about Steve.
You were right about him.
He's not a bad guy,
but he's... [sighs]
I won the high school
regional chess championships
three years in a row.
So, you mean you're
competitive, too.
Didn't I just say that?
And tell me again
why you moved my desk?
It was hard to
look at every day.
So, you mean, you missed me.
I mean what I say when I say it.
Although I don't
always say what I mean
when I do say it,
I mean it.
For example,
when I once said
I hoped our first date
wouldn't be our last,
that was a true and
transparent statement
that, if we had have ever
actually completed a first date,
would subsequently
have been borne out
in action.
Assuming you were in agreement,
which, given your
extended absence,
you might understand
my assumption
that your intentions and
mine were not in concert.
If you are suggesting
that I didn't miss you...
And I might be the
only person on earth
who understands
what you just said...
I wrote this one on the plane,
with your pen,
and talked about kissing you
on the step,
and the second one I wrote,
with your pen,
after we landed,
and told you that I...
I wish I'd never left.
[Voice breaking]
And the third one...
The third one is
about how afraid I am
that I can't do what
they need me to do.
And the fourth one
is about how i'm...
I'm afraid I'm gonna die
before I can see you again.
And the fifth one
is about deciding
to survive it all
so that I can come back
to this crazy, stupid place.
And now you've moved
my desk, and you...
I thought of you every day.
I know that might be hard
for you to believe, but...
You'd be surprised.
How have you been?
Norman and Rita are engaged.
[Laughs in delight]
And, uh, my father fell
in love with a lepidopterist
who ran away with
a fertilizer salesman.
Some people just don't
know what they have.
That is true.
So, what do we do now?
I am going to make you
the perfect "kumbahcha..."
[Together]: Kom-bu-cha...
smoothie, and...
And you are going to
read me all of your letters.
That could take all night.
So, you think you've found
the perfect...
Kombucha smoothie recipe, huh?
Oh, well, it's, uh...
It's about the
secret ingredient.
Well, I'm gonna
make my world
a better place...
"Dear Oliver,
"when we lifted off
and flew into the clouds,
"I realized that you have
made a believer out of me.
"It was no mistake
that I was transferred
"to the dead letter office
instead of direct line
operations." [Chuckles]
"We could not have begun
dancing together so long ago
"without learning
the steps we needed
to find our way
back to each other..."