Stress Positions (2024) Movie Script

[ Siren wailing in distance ]
-[ Sighs ]
I'm going to talk.
Is that all right?
Are you able to listen
if I talk?
Because if you can't,
then don't.
That's fine.
It doesn't really matter
that much anyway,
it all happened so long ago.
And so much else was going on
around the world, of course,
but that summer, my gay
best friend from college,
Terry Goon,
was getting a divorce.
His husband, Leo, had found
newer, better love elsewhere
and was encouraging
my friend to do the same.
Unfortunately, Terry wasn't
really in a good position
to pursue new love.
First of all,
he had nowhere to live.
He happened to be
staying at that time
in one of Leo's
empty properties,
the one we called
the "Party House,"
for reasons which
are probably best left
Now, I imagine
Terry would have liked
to have been living
somewhere else.
He probably would have liked
to BE somebody else,
but he had no money
and nowhere else to go
and was unfortunately
very frightened of the virus.
and more importantly,
he had a nephew
to take care of -- his
sister's kid, Bahlul,
the 19-year-old male model
from Morocco
with a badly broken leg.
He'd fallen off his scooter
that March, in the path
of an oncoming ambulance.
Nobody died, thank God,
but he did get run over,
and was very badly injured.
Now, he and Terry
hadn't ever really spoken,
and they weren't close --
but as you might recall,
the hospitals back then
were out of beds,
and Terry was his nearest
living relative.
Taking him in was
the right thing to do,
so Terry did it --
without telling Leo --
and in order that his nephew
wouldn't find him weird,
or creepy,
my friend would have
set about immediately
getting rid of every trace
of his ex-husband
and the parties
he had thrown in that house.
[ Siren wailing in distance ]
-[ Grunting ]
-Fucking faggot...
[ Mutters indistinctly ]
[ Groans ]
[ Grunts ]
God damn it! God --
[ Grunts ]
-Now, Terry wouldn't
let us meet the model.
[ Gate rattling ]
-And he wouldn't send us
any pictures,
which only made him
more intriguing.
Who was he?
-That poor boy
in the basement...
-Bahlul, may I enter?
-Go ahead.
-The, uh -- Ow!
The Internet is out again.
You watching something?
-Just a DVD.
-I'll be quick.
[ Grunting ]
-What kind of a DVD is it?
-I found it in the player.
-One of Leo's?
-Is that bad?
-I'm so sorry to barge in.
-That poor boy must have
been in so much pain.
I wanted to help.
I am a trained professional.
But I was stuck in Greenpoint
with my partner,
Vanessa Ravel,
a major lesbian
and minor talent,
author of a minor work which
paid for this apartment.
Since that work was based
entirely on my life
and written in my voice
without permission,
I believe it's only fair
that I live here for free.
Of course, nothing's free.
She's vegan.
Everything we eat is vegan.
Nothing's free.
But in the meantime,
I get by, and do my best
to help her out
around the house
while she struggles
to write her follow-up.
-Would you check it now?
[ Beep ]
Okay. Mask on.
I'll go get her.
[ Screen clatters ]
Ow! God damn it.
-The Party House
was really just a shit hole.
Leo always meant to flip it,
but it came in handy
as a place to cheat on Terry.
The Internet is out again.
Come help.
[ Sirens wailing in distance ]
-Coco came with the building.
Thank you, Coco.
Leo? Hi, Hamadou.
Is he around?
Thank you.
Hi, Leo.
Yes, I have received
the paperwork.
No, I have not signed
them yet.
Because I need to read
through them first.
Sean is your lawyer.
[ Bell dings ]
Hold on!
All clear! Leo,
this is intolerable.
I'm trying to work.
I'm trying to GET work.
I did reboot.
Coco, you can come down now.
Pull that up, please.
Pull that up, please.
[ Doorbell rings ]
One second, Leo.
-Delivery for Terry Goon.
-Stand by.
-Of course, it was no
paradise, that Party House.
But it was free.
And free was all
poor Terry could afford
with what he'd saved.
I couldn't find my wallet.
For you.
-Oh. Thanks.
-Be safe out there.
-You, too.
-Soon, Terry would be
on the street
like everybody else,
looking for work.
Which wasn't quite the
outcome he'd envisioned
when he married Leo.
But he was employable.
I mean, he'd never had a job.
He'd had an internship
right after college.
Then he married his boss...
-Leo, I'm putting you
on speaker.
-...and quit.
But Leo didn't quit.
And there were other interns.
-Hot guy?
-Delivery guy.
Is he your type of guy?
Is he a hot guy?
-I don't notice these
things, Leo.
-Well, what did he look like?
Did he have a nice ass?
-You're such a fucking pig.
-You were so friendly.
-I felt bad for him.
-I felt bad for him.
-I felt bad for him!
-Well, if you love him
so much, why don't you
invite him in?
-Even if I wanted
to, he's gone.
-So chase him down.
-Why don't you chase him down,
Leo? Marry him next.
-You know I would!
But Hamadou and I
are in Berlin right now,
and we're having
so much fucking fun.
-Oh, are you?
-Baby, don't we love Berlin?
-Oh yeah, ha ha,
sorry, Terry.
-I'm on speaker?
-Take me off speaker, please.
-Hey, you put me on speaker.
-I'm alone.
-Yeah, right.
-I am alone, Leo.
You left me all alone.
-You're not alone,
you little freak.
When do I get to meet him?
-Your little boyfriend.
-I'm not seeing
the delivery boy.
-Yeah, no shit.
The other one.
-The other who?
-The other one. The model.
The fashion model...?
With the funny name? Balala?
Hello? Karla said you had
a little brown kid
in the basement
with a broken leg. When were
you going to tell me, Terry?
Or did you forget
we're married?
-That's disgusting, Leo.
He's my nephew,
and he's very badly injured.
I don't --
[ Pots clang, crowd cheering ]
I didn't think you'd care.
He's not on Instagram.
[ Pots clanging ]
-Should I go blond?
-If you're gonna do it, do it.
-We look too much alike.
-We don't.
-Call from...Terry Goon.
-Answer. Hi, Terry.
-"Little brown kid"?
I'm working.
-Go work in your room.
-Am I on speaker?
-What's that, Terry?
Little what?
-Take me off speaker, please.
-You're not on speaker.
-Okay, Karla, did you say to
Leo, of Bahlul, that he was
a, quote, "little brown kid
in my basement"?
-[ Burps ]
Who would say such a thing?
-You would.
-Who's there?
-Hi, Terry.
-I would never say
a thing like that.
-Oh, was it your twin?
-I'm still on speaker?
-And anyway,
isn't it kind of true?
-Take me off speaker, please.
-Terry, first of all,
I never speak to Leo.
-Okay, well, Leo said you
said that I had, quote,
"gone out
and found a little brown kid
of my own and
stashed him in my basement."
-Oh my God.
-Stop it! Stop it! Both of
you, give me a break here.
-I am not offended, Karla.
I just want to tell you
that's a very ugly thing
for you to think, or say,
especially to Leo,
who's excited now
and wants to meet him.
-Terry, we all want to
meet him!
-Karla, I'm signing off.
I have to feed Bahlul
his dinner.
[ Sniffing ]
What's on fire?
Coco, what the hell?
Mask, please.
For you.
-But she fixed it.
-Mask, Coco!
-But she fixed it,
Uncle Terry.
Coco fixed the Internet.
Thank you. Coco.
Say thank you, Coco.
-Thank you, Coco.
Out you go. Out you go.
Did she say anything weird
about you being Muslim?
Let's get you cleaned up.
-First, Leo runs off with
a kid named "Hamadou,"
a model,
and now Terry is living with
another model named "Bahlul"
in Leo's house?
That's quite a rebound,
don't you think?
-"Little brown kid"?
-Hey, if I said it,
which I didn't, what should
I have called them then,
according to you?
What is the proper term?
-It wouldn't have occurred to
me to make that observation.
-Oh, come on.
Ha! Of course it would have.
-I'm going for a walk.
-To where? To Jeannie's?
-I don't know.
-Well, when you get
to Jeannie Koletzko's,
why don't you tell her
that your girlfriend
who was born a man says hi!
-Call from...Terry Goon.
-Yeah, hi, Terry.
I'll go kill myself.
Is that what everybody wants?
-I'm not sleeping with him.
He's my nephew.
-Who said you were
sleeping with him?
-You did.
-Leo made that inference
because you hadn't
told him anything.
-So you had to tell him?
-I assumed he knew!
-Well, now he does,
and he's excited.
-Can you blame him?
-What is so exciting
about models?
-First of all,
they're very attractive.
-He's my nephew,
and he's very badly injured!
-That kid needs Axial Release.
-No, Karla! We're isolating!
-Come on, Terry, I can help!
-I have to go ride the bike
before bed.
-Well, don't fall off.
[ Call ends ]
-I found a strange film
down here in the basement.
Is that my mother?
Is that me?
Riding the boat with her
to Uncle Terry's wedding?
Little Bahlul by her side,
keeping his mother company?
She's only onscreen
for a split second.
But the more times
I watch it, the longer
that second gets.
I see the whole day
in that second.
Her whole life.
10 years before the wedding,
she had gone abroad
to Amsterdam
to get away
from everything she hated.
But she hated Amsterdam.
And hated Brussels.
Hated Paris. Hated Nice.
Madrid, she tolerated.
Cordoba, she liked.
A man there said,
why not go further south?
An hour's ferry ride
across the strait,
and you'll be out of Europe
on another continent
and in another world.

She didn't know a thing
about Morocco or Tangier.
But she took his advice.
She liked him.

And before she knew it,
she'd arrived.

She picked a man at random.

"Look," she said,
"I want to see the world.
I'm trying to have
an authentic experience.
I want to know
if you can help me.
I can pay you.
I'd be glad to pay you.
Just be sure
to take me somewhere
without any tourists."
He may not have understood
exactly what she meant,
but he agreed.
That man, my father,
whom she would later marry
and divorce.

But if it hadn't been him,
she'd have found
somebody else.

[ Doorbell buzzes ]

-Vanessa? Apartment 2?
-Is it lamb on rice?
-You know, in Greece,
we have a dish
that's very similar to this,
but it's, um, not over rice.
It's actually
over something else.
But I don't remember.
But it's Greek. And it's good.
And it's Greek.
Like me.
-Are you Greek?
-Yeah. Can't you tell?
-Sure, I can tell.
-What about you?
Where are you from?
-I'm from Flushing.
-No, where are you --
Where are you from?
You know what I mean.
Where does it look like
I'm from?
-Yeah, I'm from Kabul.
How am I supposed
to get you back here?
-Just keep ordering, I guess.
-That shouldn't be too hard.
Hey, can you please help me?
Hey, can you please help me?
-Hey, what's up?
-Can I please use your phone?
-What do you need it for --
You need to make a call?
I'm -- I'm trying to watch
something, man.
-Sorry, brother. Good luck.
-By mid-June,
I still hadn't met the model.
Terry hadn't come
to any protests.
Terry, don't be lame, okay?
Put on a mask,
wake up the kid, and roll
him down to City Hall.
-What's happening
at City Hall?
-What's happening?
We're occupying!
Don't you read the news?
[ Doorbell ringing ]
-One second.
[ People speaking
indistinctly ]
-That's what I told him.
[ Doorbell ringing ]
-Stand by.
[ Karla speaks indistinctly ]
-How is he?
-Delivery guy.
-Why do you ask?
-No reason.
-God. You are such pig.
[ Bell dings ]
-Hey, I am not a pig, okay?
-One second.
-You're the pig.
You're living
in the Party House.
[ Water spraying ]
Hello Coco, I wish I didn't
have to bother you like this,
but I need Internet,
unfortunately, and it
just keeps going out.
I don't know why.
I don't know why.
-Karla? Back.
-Who was it this time?
-That's Coco.
-Who's Coco?
-The mentally ill woman
who lives upstairs --
Oh! Oh!
[ Dishes clattering ]
-Uncle Terry!
What happened?
-Uncle Terry!
-Are you all right?
-Uncle Terry?
-Your neighbor try to
kill you?
-Is everything all right?
-I'm just trying
to water Coco's plants.
-What's that?
-Look! A rainbow!
-Terry, are you there?
What happened?
-I slipped on chicken.
-You what?
-I slipped on chicken.
I can't move.
-Oh my God.
Did you re-herniate
your back?
-All right, shut the fuck up.
I'm coming over.
I'll be there in 20 minutes.
Lie down
somewhere comfortable
and elevate your legs.
-Okay. Okay.
[ Call ends ]

-Why can't I come?
-It's not a tea party,
it's a house call.

Can I borrow that?
Go get arrested.

-Coco, Coco,
I don't care, just go away.
I threw my back out
in the kitchen.
Don't help me.
My friend is coming over.
Buzz her in.
I can't move.

[ Theragun whirring ]
[ Groaning ]

[ Siren wailing in distance ]
-You don't know
how badly I needed this.
Her first day in Tangier,
my mother had to
scold her guide
for taking her to a museum.

"Look," she said,
"I'm trying to have
an authentic experience."
-Take a left on, uh...
-"So no museums."
-Take -- no, keep going
down Fulton.

-He took her to the souk.
Nothing but tourists
at the souk.
"Tarek," she said,
"I feel like I'm not
being taken seriously.

And I don't like
that feeling."

Poor Tarek didn't know
what else to do.
He took her to the masjid.
"And there," she told me,
"there at last,
I had it.
An authentic experience."

[ Siren wailing ]
-Thank you.
Excuse me. Is Terry in?
All right. Thank you.
Wait! Hold the door!
Got it. Thanks.
-After she reverted, one of
my mother's favorite topics
became the hedonism
of the West.
"They're frivolous,"
she'd say.
"They're selfish.
Greedy. They're disloyal.
They have no community."
[ Beeping music playing ]
"No family. No friendship.
All they care about
is shopping.
All they think about is sex."
[ Karla speaking indistinctly
in distance ]
-There you go.
[ Karla and Bahlul speaking
indistinctly in distance ]
That's right. Here we go.
Hold the core.
Center yourself.
Good, good, good, good, good.
You're a natural.
You're very good at this.
-What in the name of God?
-Look who's awake.
-Hi, Uncle Terry.
-Where's your mask?
-Teenagers are immune.
-He's 20.
-Not till 6 o'clock.
-Bahlul, should you
put on a shirt?
-Aren't you cold?
-Strong chi.
-Karla says my body
wants to heal itself.
-You want your lesson,
Uncle Terry?
-Thanks, I'm cured.
-Okay, then.
Shall we all go inside?
-Uh-uh. Absolutely not.
[ Thunder rumbling ]
[ Rain pattering ]
-I wasn't born abroad the way
my mother would have liked.
I was born in New Jersey.
My father had requested
they move back to
the United States.
To protect me from the
influence of my surroundings,
Mama never let me
leave her side.
-Release that.
-Little Bahlul was sheltered,
smothered, and adored.

We never went into the city.
And we had no friends.
Mama couldn't get along
with anyone.
-Now put your hand here.
-Not anyone American.
Stand on your right leg.
Okay. Careful.
-The trouble was
that she was an American.
And I was an American.
And my father was gradually
becoming an American.
And apart from getting more
and more obnoxious...
-Will you put this on the air
conditioner to dry it out?
-...there was
absolutely nothing
she could do about it.
-Oh my God.
Do you drink, Bahlul?
-Why not? Religion?
-I never got the taste for it.
-Oh. Will it upset you
if I drink?
-Of course not.
-Great. And you, Terry?
Grappa for you?
-I'm cutting back.
-Uh-huh. There you go.
But how religious are
you, though, Bahlul?
I mean, has Terry tried
to talk you out of it?
-Why would I do that?
-Aren't you an anti-theist?
Don't you hate religion?
-Terry doesn't talk
about religion.
-That is shocking.
-Why is that shocking?
-No reason,
I just thought
it "poisoned everything."
-There was a time in my life
when I thought so.
Now, I just don't care.
-Why did you then?
-We were at war.
-With "terrorism."
-Well, we were.
-And are we now?
-Now I just don't care.
-You used to care so much.
So much, Bahlul.
So much about
terror, terrorism.
-The "threat
of international terrorism
in our schools and airports."
-You will not believe
what he said about me
back in college, Bahlul,
who he said I looked like.
-Who, Terry?
-Go on, tell him.
-You're not going to tell him?
-Terry said,
that with my shirt off,
I looked "just like
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed."
-You did.
-What kind of a thing is that
to tell a woman, Bahlul!
-I didn't know
you were a woman.
-How could a woman
look so much
like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
with my hairy back and neck,
right, Terry?
-Wait. Who is
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed?
-He...orchestrated 9/11.
-This guy?
-That does not
look like Karla.
-You didn't know her then.
She had all that going on.
-Mediterranean genetics.
-How did you get rid of it?
-I nuked it, baby.
Shock and awe.
-I hate mine.
-I can tell you where to go
to get it zapped off.
-You're fine as you are.
-Hey, didn't Leo pay
for you to go get laser?
-Laser doesn't work on blonds.
-Leo used to like them
slick and smooth back then,
like hard boiled eggs.
Have you met Leo?
-Not yet.
-He would love you, Bahlul.
Be careful.
-You've met Leo.
-Did I?
-You met Leo at our wedding.
-Ah, the wedding.
-The wedding on Fire Island
with --
with your mom?
-It's just so long ago.
-Your mother didn't
like the island.
Have you heard
of "Fire Island" Bahlul?
It's a sort of...
beach retreat
for the children of Sodom,
and Leo has a house there
by the meat rack.
-What can I say?
I shouldn't have invited her.
-It's 6 o'clock. You're 20.
Time for cake.
[ Grunting ]
-You're so womanly, Karla.
-I can't imagine you
as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
-Thank you.
-He's crazy.
[ Conversing indistinctly
in distance ]
-My mother didn't like
the island.
That I do remember.
We should have left.
We didn't.
-Hi, boys.
-Hi, boys.
-Hi, boys.
And what I remember next
is Mama leaping to her feet
before the vows and babbling
as usual about Jahannam
and the brethren
of Prophet Lut.
And I remember
Terry's look of shock
and other people laughing.
[ Both laughing ]
-And then suddenly,
she slipped, and tumbled
off the boardwalk.
She'd say, later,
she was pushed.
One thing is certain.
No one helped her up.
"My brother did nothing,"
she said.
"He said nothing.
He finished the ceremony."
And I remember feeling
so embarrassed on that day
and wanting to forget
the whole thing.
But Mama couldn't let it go.
-Happy birthday
From Uncle Terry
-And me, Karla.
-Happy birthday, Bahlul.
Happy birthday.
-Thank you.
-Welcome to your 20s.

-Bahlul, eat something.
It's your birthday.
-[ Dusts hands ]
What, are you, anorexic?
-I don't think so.
-[ Snorts ]
-Terry, the cake is very nice.
-I thought all models
were anorexic.
-I guess I have
a high metabolism.
-Me too.
-Me too.
-But, seriously,
let's say --
Who's another male model?
-Alton Mason.
-What the fuck?
-He's a male model.
Leo's very into him.
-You heard of this guy --
Alton Mason?
-Okay, let's say
you're on a dinner date
with Alton Mason.
Do you both pretend to eat,
or...what do you do?
-He isn't gay.
-Who? Alton Mason?
-Bahlul isn't gay.
-You aren't?
-He's religious.
-But you're gay, Bahlul.
-Am I?
-He's rel-i-gious.
-It's okay if you are.
-These categories...
-Right. Kids today!
-There are gay Muslims, Terry.
And where you're from,
they throw you off the roof.
-There's no ISIS in Morocco.
-Where is ISIS?
-Iraq, I thought.
-Iraq and Syria.
They're neighbors.
-Fine. But in the Middle East
in general,
they throw you off the roof.
-Morocco isn't
in the Middle East.
-Where is Kabul?
-Not Iraq.
-It's not the capital?
-Not of Iraq.
-Kabul is the capital of...?
-Which, of course,
shares a border with Iraq.
-With Iran, I mean,
where they make every gay guy
get a sex change.
-I don't know
about that, Terry.
-Don't you think Terry should
have gotten a sex change?
-Shut up.
-Sure. I see it.
-Kissable lips.
Womanly hips.
-Fuck you.
-It's not a bad thing.
-If only we could all
live in Iran.
You would have made
a pretty woman, Terry.
Now, sadly, it's too late.
-Is it too late for Bahlul?
-Of course not.
-Would Bahlul make
a pretty girl?
-You're fine as you are.
-Fuck, yeah. Do it, Bahlul.
You'd pass.
And if not, you could wear
a -- um, whatever. "Burqa."
-First of all,
it's not called "burqa."
It's "hijab."
-Hijab is a head scarf.
-Niqab! Fuck!
-What IS burqa?
-Burqa's head to toe.
-And burqa's Taliban.
-Afghanistan, Kabul!
-Where, frankly,
we might just
as well be living now,
with all the sirens,
and the helicopters
and this chaos, and unrest --
-Do you really think I'd make
a pretty girl?
-Fuck, yeah, Bahlul. Do it.
[ Liquid pours ]
You could be a trans model.
[ Slams cup ]
Everybody fucking
loves that shit.
-I don't want to model
-Why not?
-I don't like
being photographed.
-Not everybody's trans!
-Okay, then. Calm down, Terry.
-Go on. Be a woman.
And your mom is going
to throw you off the roof,
then me, then blow herself up
in the meat rack.
But you go ahead
and be like everybody else --
a woman.
[ Table squeaks,
dishes rattle ]
-It's true.
Mama wouldn't like it.
-Oh, come on,
she'd come around.
Who could resist
this little face?
[ Baby-talking ] This little
cute little face.
[ Smooches ]
-Did your mother come around?
-[ Normal voice ]
She would have if I'd been
as cute as you.
-But you're beautiful, Karla.
-You hear that, Terry?
-Did you always know
you'd be beautiful?
-In fact, I did not.
And nobody thought
I would be.
-But you felt like
a woman inside?
-No. Nobody feels that way.
I wanted to kill myself,
and this sort of helped.
-We all feel bad.
That's life.
We live in hell. That's life!
C'est la vie!
-There are ways out of hell,
even if Terry
didn't choose to take them.
Of course, you're not gay,
so you're not in the hell
Terry's in,
which doesn't feel
like hell at first
when everybody
wants to fuck you,
but might later on,
when it occurs to you
that all the sympathy
and hospitality
and kindness ever shown to you
was really more like
a proposition than a favor,
at which point
you might begin to think,
"Hey, what happens to me when
they don't want to fuck me?
What will I be then?
Will I be nothing?"
But you won't be nothing.
You'll be something
worse than nothing!
You'll be somebody
they used to want to fuck,
right, Terry?
-Are you done?
-Because there is no loyalty
in hell, Bahlul.
There is no solidarity,
no family.
There's only daddies, uncles,
cousins, twins, and sons.
And everything's
a meat rack, everywhere's
a cruising ground,
and, frankly,
maybe they deserve
to be thrown off the roof.
But in the meantime --
praise Allah --
there is a loophole.
It's called "women"!
Loving one, or being one,
and I did both,
now I live in society!
Not pig society.
And you're welcome to join,
Only you shouldn't right away
unless it's very urgent,
because you'd get too pretty
too quickly,
and I'd be awfully jealous.
-But you look terrific.
-And anyway, it doesn't
matter, 'cause you're not gay.
-And what about me?
-You're very gay.
-And don't I look terrific?
-Sure, Terry,
you look terrific.
-Yes, Terry. [ Groans ]
-Bullshit! I'm a fat whale!
-People are starving
all around the world.
-What is your point?
-[ Chuckles ]
-I think it's cute
you're both a little fat.
You're not perfect.
You're not models.
But you both have sweet, kind,
honest, American faces.
-I think it's sad
that, someday, everyone
your age will all be dead
and there will be
no more honest faces!
-But, Bahlul, do you really
think I look American?
-Are you not American?
-Is it be Greek!
-You're Greek?
-Half Greek.
-Half Greek IS full Greek!
-I see it.
-From Anatolia,
my mother's very dark.
For all I know, we're Turkish.
-You're not Turkish, cunt!
You're barely Greek!
-What would you know about it,
little Scotty Bowers?
Bahlul, do I not look
Middle Eastern?
-Turkey isn't
in the Middle East!
-That, I know for sure.
-Okay. Me or Terry --
Who would blend in better
in the Middle East,
whatever the fuck that is!
you're less white-looking,
if that's what you mean.
-But neither of you
would blend in.
-Does your mom blend in?
-[ Chuckling ] Oh, no. Never.
-Sounds about right.
[ Cellphone buzzes,
alert blaring ]
I should go. It's curfew, and
my girlfriend's probably
cheating on me.
-It's like we're living
in a war zone.
-We are, Terry.
-We wouldn't need a curfew
if you all stayed in.
[ Siren wailing in distance ]
-Terry says your partner
wrote a book.
-Vanessa? She did. Why?
-I'm writing a book.
-Really? What is it about?
-My life.
-Your life?
-Is that bad?
-Is your life so great?
Why don't you
make something up?
-I don't know how to.
-Sure you do. Just lie.
Lie! Just lie!
Be free!
Fiction is freedom, Bahlul!
How do you say "freedom"
in Morocco?
-That's fuckin French.
-In Arabic?
How do you pronounce
your name?
Bah-lul. Horreya. Horreya.
You like books?
Read this book.
All lies! All lies!
Want me to sign it?
-[ Exhales deeply ]
[ Marker scribbles ]
[ Smooches ]
And if you find,
for whatever reason,
you can't make something up,
just write about me.
Everybody does.
Bahlul, do you have
-I don't have a phone.
-Not even for "Tik Tok"?
-TikTok tracks your movements.
What are you and Vanessa doing
for the 4th?
-Burning the flag!
Denouncing the United States!
-Let's have a barbecue.
Just keep your social distance
between now and then.
-Can Coco come?
-I guess.
-Coco Loco...
-Get home safe.
-Bye, honey.
Get well.
[ Door closes, rattles ]
-Take this. For Vanessa.
-It's got milk in it.
-You eat it, then.
-What am I supposed
to do with it?
-Goodnight, fatty.
[ Smooches ]
Give the boy a kiss for me.
I never fixed you.
-Next time.

There's cake.
You want some?

[ Car passes ]
[ Kissing sounds ]
Excuse me.
What is your name?
-Ronald. Come inside, please.
Do you like basements?
-I can't -- but my bike
is here --
-I'll buy you a new bike --
-Let me lock my bike --
-I'll buy you a new bike!
-I can't --
[ Door opens, closes ]
-Whoa! Hey, man!
That's not your bike!
[ Sirens wailing in distance ]
-What happened next?
After the wedding?
She left my father.
"In my hour of need,
you weren't there," she said.
"You're weak.
You're like my brother."
[ Helicopter blades whirring,
fireworks crackling ]
In fact, she'd never
loved him...
...and was bored.
She woke me up,
and dressed me.
And in the middle
of the night, we left.
[ Door closes ]
"We're going to see
the world," she said.
"The real world.
You'll thank me later.
I wish, at your age, somebody
had shown the world to me."
[ Screen beeps ]
-Just what IS
the "Middle East"?
-[ Groans ]
-Good question!
For the next hour, I'll be
exploring what we mean
when we use that term
and some misconceptions
people in the West
might have about this
beautiful, chaotic,
but fascinating region...
[ Theragun whirring ]
...where so much
seems to have gone wrong,
and where so much
of what has gone wrong
seems to have been our fault.
Now, before we get
any further, though...

[ Car horns honking
in distance ]

[ Birds chirping,
sirens wailing in distance ]
Horreya! Oh -- Aah, fuck!
Hit it, Bahlul!
Did you get it?
-Show me.
Horreya! Oh -- Aah, fuck!
Hit it, Bahlul!
Toss it up!
Horreya! Oh -- Aah, fuck!
Hit it, Bahlul!
Horreya! Oh -- Aah, fuck!
Hit it, Bahlul!
I'm out of data.
Terry, what's the Wi-Fi?
-It's on the router.
-Where's the router?
-In Bahlul's room.
-Look, I made a TikTok.
Oh -- Aah, fuck!
Hit it, Bahlul! not post that.
-Why not?
It's radical.
-It's criminal.
-To post?
-To burn the flag.
-Who cares?
-Uh, the NSA.
-Terry, I've got 90 followers.
-Bahlul is in it.
-Delete it, Karla.
He's been all around
the Middle East with Abigail.
He's probably on a watchlist.
Terry, grow up.
[ Bell dings ]
-One second!
Do not post that.
Put this on.
Coco! Everybody's downstairs.
Wow. You look very nice.
-Horreya! Oh -- Aah, fuck!
Hit it, Bahlul!
[ Airplane passes overhead ]
[ Wind chimes tinkling ]
[ Pen scribbling ]
-I have that notebook.
-We should switch.
[ Bang, firework whistles ]
-[ Gasps ] Oh God.
[ Firework crackles ]
-I read your book.
-Terry has a copy.
Did you like it?
-Does Karla like it?
-Why do you ask?
-She said it was all lies...
Is it?
-All lies?
No. It is not.
-So it's all true?
-It is an "elevated truth."
But, did you like it or...?
-To be honest?
To me, it's not a good book.
-I'll tell you why...
-Oh -- Aah, fuck!
Hit it, Bahlul!
-[ Voices arguing outside ]
[ Theragun whirring ]
-Pew, pew.
Pew, pew.
-[ Argument growing
more audible]
-...This didn't hurt Karla?
-It might have.
-Well, it might not have
if you would have just used
your imagination.
-[ Sighs ]
You make it sound so easy.
-Look, I used to be
just like you -- afraid.
But then I thought, "Who
cares! It's all a fiction!"
Now, I'm free.
-You're free?
-Well, maybe I'm not as free
as you, Bahlul,
because of my position.
-What is your position?
-My position in the world,
and I would think
you'd be more sympathetic,
given where you're from.
-New Jersey?
-Given the -- Yes.
Given the legacy, the history,
of orientalizing fantasies
about the Middle East.
-Morocco isn't in
the Middle East.
[ Bang, fireworks whistle ]
-[ Gasps ] Oh my God.
I apologize.
-It's okay, look...
Just forget about it.
Calm down.
Will you sign this?
-But you hate it...
-You do better next time,
when you follow my advice.
You know, it's me?
Fiction is freedom.
Isn't that what fiction is?
It's freedom...
[ Door opens ]
-Look, everybody!
Coco made a casserole.
Say "Thank you, Coco."
-Thank you, Coco.
-Thank you, Coco.
-Vanessa, can you help me?
Thank you.

[ Theragun whirring ]
-Oh -- Aah, fuck!
Hit it, Bahlul!
Post was not blowing up
the way I thought it would.
Whatever. Fuck it.
Oh -- Aah, fuck!
Hit it, Bahlul!
[ Toilet flushes ]

-Um, before we start, I just
want to say a few words...
[ Door closes ]
Obviously, I would never
call myself a patriot.
Of course...
Oh, Karla, I was just saying,
I'm not a patriot, per se.
And Coco and I...
-Coco Loco.
-...might not quite agree
about the protest movement
or the president
or, uh, the founding,
but even so,
it's nice to come together
with your neighbors
on a summer day,
instead of fearing
and avoiding one another.
[ Chuckling ] Right?
-Uh, because after all,
our sense of "fellow feeling"
has taken a real hit recently
on account
of this nasty virus,
which is real, in my opinion!
And in the -- actually,
Vanessa, if you could help me
with this,
just because of my back --
and, in that of
many scientists,
so, Coco, I really do
appreciate the gesture
of wearing the, um,
regardless of your -- uh...
Although maybe we should
just spread out
to keep our distance
in the yard,
since it is such a big yard?
And go one by one
to serve ourselves.
And not smoke, Coco!
Thank you!
-Vanessa and I form a pod.
I'll just make you a plate,
Okay. Coco, any restrictions?
Is meat okay?
Everything's halal!
Oh, and, Vanessa, there are
vegan sausages for you.
There's vegan mayonnaise,
vegan cheese.
-Thanks, Terry.
-And don't you dare worry,
everything got its own place
on the grill.
-Very sweet.
What a spread.
-Thank you.
And, Bahlul,
can I get you a drink?
-Just some water, maybe?
-Just some water.
Coco, don't hold back.
Eat what you like.
Meat's there,
utensils in the cup.
All right, some water
for Bahlul.
Here we go.
[ Sighing ] Okay.
-You know, I read that,
in Morocco,
people eat with their hands.
-We're eating with our hands.
-Not hamburgers.
-[ Burps ]
[ Dogs barking, pots clanging
in distance ]
Horreya! Oh -- Aah, fuck!
Hit it, Bahlul!
-Coco, what is that?
-You follow me on TikTok,
-Karla, I told you
not to post that!
-[ Coughing, sputtering ]
-It's meat.
-It's meat.
Terry, restroom?
-Oh, no, no.
-[ Coughing ]
-[ Retching ]
-Is it meat?
[ Door closes ]
Are they meat?
Bahlul, what does this
look like?
-Vanessa! Vanessa!
It isn't meat!
[ Theragun whirring ]
Vanessa, it is not meat.
[ Theragun stops ]
[ Door slams ]
It isn't meat.
[ Vanessa retching ]
-It doesn't matter.
-But you believe me?
-I can't cook.
-Nobody can cook.
Terry, do you have
any digestif?
-Okay. What Vanessa needs
right now is digestif.
We'll taste it first.
[ Sighs ]
-Honey, we'll be right back.
Stay right there.
-What? What?
-Terry, wait up.
-[ Retches ]
[ Footsteps depart ]
-[ Laughter ]
[ Sucks air ]
[ Lighter clicking ]

-Is "TikTok" the same
as "Snapchat"?
-No, Terry. Good Lord.
-Leo's always
sending me Snapchat.
-Do you open them?
-Of course not.
-That's probably good.
-What IS TikTok?
-Good question, Terry.
What is TikTok!
But an even better question...
is how your neighbor Coco
can find me on TikTok!
-Well, if she found it, all
I'm saying is, so can the NSA.
-The NSA?
-Anyway, what is the point
of that clip?
-Terry, if you'd been
in the streets, okay,
you'd know
the point is revolution!
Thawra! Horreya!
Horreya. Fag!
Horreya! Oh -- Aah --
[ Video stops ]
-There we go.
[ Cellphone bloops ]
-Come on...
-Who's Ronald?
-Ronald? What's he want?
-His bike.
-What bike? Who's Ronald?
-Says you said
you'd get him a new bike.
Needs it for work.
[ Cellphone bloops ]
-"PS, you need to quarantine.
My uncle has a dry cough."
Who's Ronald?
Did you fuck him?
-Terry, I'm a lesbian.
[ Cellphone bloops ]
-"Maybe you forgot who I am.
Here's a picture."
[ Cellphone bloops ]
My God, Karla.
Fucking exposure.
Oh, God.
Oh, God.
[ Cellphone bloops ]
Put this on.
I'll tell the others.
You need to go.
-But this is fake.
-Just put the mask on, please.
-Who is Ronald...?
-You are unbelievable.
You and Leo...
-Who the fuckin heck
is Ronald?
-Yeah. Who's Ronald?
-Well, honey,
I have no fucking clue!
-Is that grappa?
-You two need to go.
-Terry says we've
been exposed.
-You two need to go!
-By whom?
-His little boyfriend.
-You need to go!
-Oh, Bahlul?
-Bahlul's his nephew.
-You two...
-Nice kid...
-...need to go.
-Let's just get out of here.
-I left my purse outside.
-Okay, I'll fuckin get it.
Call a cab.
[ Whispering ]
Don't say a fuckin word.
-It's nice you're
seeing someone, Terry.
I hope he's all right.
-Why wouldn't he be?
-Doesn't he have COVID?
[ Firework screeches ]

[ Whimpering ]
-Uncle Terry?
-Uncle Terry!
-Uncle Terry?
-Uncle Terry?
-Uncle Terry!
-It's Leo.
-No, no, no, no...
-What's up, Leo?
-Fucking whore.
[ Laughs ]
Leo, why aren't you in Berlin?
-Uhhh, what's that, bud?
-Why aren't you in Berlin?
-I came to join
the revolution!
-But why are you here?!
-Karla invited me!
-You what?!
-I'll see you later.
-No hugs!
-You're going?
-Leo, put a mask on, please.
-Uncle Terry says I gotta.
-Leo, mask. Ahh!
-Easy there.
-Coco Loco...
Give him hell, all right?
-God damn it, Leo.
-Don't let him treat you like
some sort of...
-Car's here.
-All right!
-Did you lose weight?
-Bye, everyone!
-Not back here, I hope.
-Good luck!
-Have fun without me!
-There's more of it
than I remember.

Want some of Daddy's medicine?
-What is it?
-It's good for pain.
-Leo, please.
-Say "I love you, Daddy."
-I don't love you.
-Say it anyway.
-"I love you, Daddy."
-Good boy.
Come, come.

Oh, and Hamadou's coming over.
-To meet the kid, the model.
And he's bringing
his classmates.
-Leo! No!
-You'll like them.
Come on.
They all go to Parsons.
-[ Screams ]
-By the way,
you say that guy's a model?
-Bahlul. Jesus Christ.
-You trying to
make me jealous?
I mean, he's not bad.
He's cute, but "model"?
-Leo, he's a model, okay?
-[ Sniffs ]
-He's a working model.
-Eh, what do I know?
[ Cellphone chimes ]
Oh, shit. Food's here.
-You ordered food?
-Hamadou can't eat this shit.
It's fuckin pork.
-Oh my God.
[ Cellphone rings ]
-Uh, hello? Are you deaf?
Food's here.
-Bahlul, bedtime.
-Hola. Cmo est usted?
-But I'm so pretty!
-Take that off now.
-Yes, either floor.
It's all one house.
-Here, get this out of here.
Let's go.
-[ Coughs ]
-But I was having fun.
I love having fun.
Leo's so much fun.
-You need to wash
your hands, okay?
I'll sanitize the wheelchair.
[ Bottles clatter ]
-What are you doing?
-It's for your stomach.
-That's stealing!
[ Doorbell rings ]
-Shut the door
on your way out!
-It's not for me.
[ Door closes ]
-Oh, sorry.
[ Sirens wailing in distance ]
[ Door closes ]
Hello? Delivery.
-Where the fuck is the food,
you fag?
-[ Whispering ] Jesus Christ.
-Hellooo? I'm starving.
-Uncle Terry,
please open the window.
-Terryyy, may I come in?
-Leo, get out!
-I'm fuckin famished.
-Coming, one sec.

-I was used to
people staring.

Mama and I were
quite a vision on the road.

Then, one day,
I noticed something different
in their attention.

Something desperate
and hungry in the way
they'd look at me.

What was it?
What had changed?
I spent long hours
in the mirror,
trying to understand...
what was it they saw in me?
Who was he, my reflection?

Hello to my reflection.

I liked myself best at night.
In lipstick.
In the dark.
At night, in lipstick,
in the dark, alone.
I saw a possibility.

But on the road with Mother,
I was so rarely alone.
-Lookin for Terry?
-Wrong floor.
-I'm so sorry, miss.
-Call me Coco.
-Okay, Coco. Okay. Sorry.
-Come back anytime.
-For some reason,
I thought, in New York,
I would have
a little privacy.
A little room to find myself.
Away from Mother.
In New York.
I had an uncle in New York.
-Delivery for Leo?
-There you are.
-There you go.
-[ Whispering ] Hey, that's
some fuckin tranny up there!
-Who? Coco?
-Yeah, Coco.
-Oh, Coco isn't trans,
she's just mentally ill.
-What is this, some kind of
fuckin tranny house
or something?
-What do you mean?
-There's a tranny upstairs.
There's a tranny downstairs.
And there was a tranny
on the TV doing this.
Kind of nice, though.
I like em. You like trans?
-Actually...I hate them.
-[ Clicks tongue ] Come on,
they're kind of cute.
Even that one
out there just now.
You know,
the one with the curly hair?
-Who? Karla?
-I hate Karla most of all...
-Look, next time
you see Karla, let her know
that Ronald spent
a lot of money on that bike,
and he needs it for work,
-Just have her call me.
-I'm sorry,
are you Ronald?
-Why, did she tell you
about me?
-One second.
[ Fireworks rumbling ]
[ Door opens ]
-"Your uncle is
a wicked man," she'd say.
"A deviant.
A freak.
He may act normal,
may seem nice,
but he's not
a normal person...
...and he's just pretending
to be nice."
-Is this something
you could use?
It's not a bike,
but it's yours if you want it.
-Sure. Can I try her out?
-Yeah. Go ahead.
-The more she said
against you, Terry,
the more interesting
you seemed.
Can I ask you something?
-I never heard of him.
-Not my question.
But who is Ronald?
-What's your question?
-Did you sign a copy of
my book and give it to Bahlul?
-It's Terry's copy.
-But you signed it...
Why did you sign it?
-He asked me to.
-It's not your book.
-It's my LIFE!
-Don't shout! Please!
I really don't like
you siccing him on me
with all the stuff
about "imagination."
-I have no fuckin idea
what you're talking about.
-"Make it up!" "Fiction is
freedom!" Those are you.
You got to him with all
your little talking points.
-Honey, it sounds like he was
trying to encourage you.
-Would you say
it was encouraging
to shout in someone's face
and interrupt them?
-Sweetie, he's not
from Larchmont.
That's how people
from the Arab world talk,
they're like the Greeks!
-"The Arab world"?
-Oh, stop it!
-"The Arab world"?
-Give me a break.
-I'm not offended, Karla.
He was shouting at me.
-Sweetie, that's just
how they talk,
they're argumentative,
they like to interrupt,
the Greeks, the Arabs,
certain Jews,
it's all the same,
you just don't get it.
-I'm a Jew.
-You're like a Larchmont Jew.
It doesn't count.
Excuse me, sir,
where are you from?
-A Larchmont Jew?
-Where are you from,
my friend?
-I'm from Brooklyn!
-A Larchmont Jew?
-But, like,
where's your family from?
-From Yemen.
-Yemen? That's amazing.
-[ Scoffs ]
-And, um --
And how are things in Yemen?
-Uh, it's not going so well.
[ Sirens wailing ]
-Mama told me
you were wicked, Terry,
without ever really
saying why.
-I'll take it.
-What's your name, man?
-You're a cool guy, Terry.
See you around.

-But I knew why.
And I suspected
she would say the same of me.

I needed a way out.
Mama was getting weird
about the way I looked.

I think she would have liked
to keep me hidden
from the world.
But we were trying
to see the world.
And everywhere we went,
people would tell me
I should model.

"Go on, be a model,"
she'd say.
"Be a freak.
Go live in New York
with your Uncle Terry.
then you'll see what kind
of people work in fashion."

I didn't know fashion.
And I didn't care.
Could fashion get me
out of here, away from this?
I'll take it.
-I hope you have
a great night.
Happy 4th.
Give my best to your wife.
Bye, now.
-Poor guy.
-Who says a thing like that?
-"Poor guy"?
Were you not listening?
His family?
It's tragic! Yemen?
-You say to someone you love
that they're a Larchmont Jew?
-Hey, is your whole family
starving to death in Yemen,
or are they upstate
playing shuffleboard?
-Just what the fuck
do you think life is like
in Larchmont?
-I wouldn't know.
I've never been invited.
Why do you think that is,
by the way?!
What could it be about me
that you don't want
to bring home to Larchmont?
-Oh, you think I had
an easy time in Larchmont
growing up with blondes?
Going to school with blondes?
-You think I had an easy life?
-Tip that driver 20 bucks,
and get over yourself.
[ Muttering indistinctly ]
[ Cellphone clicks ]
-Oh, hey!
Hey, miss!
Miss! Miss!
Can you do me a favor, please?
Could I please use your phone,
-My -- My phone?
Could I use
your phone, please?
I'm dying to use a phone.
-Wh-- what happened
to your phone?
[ Fireworks crackle ]
-It died lady!
I'm begging you!
-[ Screams ]
-"The world is full
of freaks," she'd say.
"Full of freaks and deviants.
You can't trust anyone."
-Hey, what's up?
Can you watch this for me,
-But wasn't this the same
world we were trying to see?
What could I see?
I couldn't sneak out.
Couldn't get away.
We were together
all the time.
-Hey, thanks so much.
-How was I supposed to meet
others like myself?
"Uncle Terry's life
in New York must be
wonderful," I thought.
"He must have
so many good friends."
[ Indistinct conversations ]
-He was so fucked up.
He had his leg up, and he
thought his leg was gone!
And we're like. "Bro,
your leg is right there."
-Oh, he's, like, really tall.
He has really, like,
beautiful black hair.
He's really cute, like you.
He's from Morocco.
Where are you from?
-I'm from Morocco...
That's so fucking cool!
Shut up!
Oh, my fucking God!
That is crazy.
Uh, I'll be right back.
Let me in.
-Not safe.
-I have to shit.
-Shit at home.
-This is my home.
[ Firework explodes
in distance ]
-Put this on, and please
do not touch anything.
-For your troubles.

[ Pills rattling ]
[ Fireworks crackle ]
-Why am I this person?
What was that?
He was enormous.
He had a big beard.
I thought, "This man
is going to rape and kill me."
And you weren't there.
But he didn't.
So what do I know?
I'm from Larchmont,
and I live in terror.
I don't know a thing
about the world.
[ Fireworks explode
in distance ]
Where is Yemen?
-South of Saudi, honey.
West of Oman.
-What the fuck is Oman?
-Where is Yemen?
What is Yemen?
And why should you care?
For the next hour,
I'll be exploring
conditions on the ground
in Yemen, where a civil war
between the internationally
recognized government
of President
Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi...
-Oh, he's getting up.
-...and the northern Houthi
-He's leaving.
-...has raged for six years,
plunging this country
of 24 million souls...
-He's gone.
-...into a vortex of...
-I think he left it
on the stoop.
infrastructural collapse,
and desperate poverty.
-Sit tight.
I'll be right back.
I love you very much.
-...that the UN is calling
the worst humanitarian crisis
of our era.
[ Door closes ]
Now, before I get
any further, though...
[ Cellphone bloops ]
...I want to give
a quick shoutout
to our sponsors at --
[ Cellphone bloops ]
[ Door creaks ]
[ Siren wailing in distance ]

He left it on the stoop.
I'll wipe it off for you.

Here you go.
Good as new.
-Who's Ronald?
-Who is Ronald?
Who is this?
-You read my texts?
-I pay your phone bill.
Who's Ronald?
-Ronald has a crush on me,
and he's a little crazy.
-And do you have
a "crush" on Ronald?
-Sweetie, I'm a lesbian.
-No, no. Right.
It's just, in that case,
your identical twin
owes this kid a bike.
[ Fireworks whistle ]
[ Coughs ]
[ Scooter revs ]
[ Pots clanging in distance ]
[ Toilet flushes ]
[ R&B music playing ]
[ Theragun whirring ]

[ Theragun stops ]
-One day, I was approached
by an American
when Mama wasn't looking.
He said, "You're beautiful.
I work in fashion.
I can help you.
Let me take your picture."
-[ Coughing ]
-"Mama, I'm leaving.
You can't stop me.
But you can give me
your blessing."
[ Camera shutter clicks ]

-[ Gasps ]
Oh, wow. Wow.

Hi, Terry. Happy 4th.
You want some chips?
-Your friends seem nice.
-I said,
"Your friends seem nice."
-Oh, no,
they're not my friends.
They're Leo's friends.
-And how did you enjoy Berlin?
-Berlin was fine. Yeah...
Leo proposed...
-To do what?
-To marry me.

-I have not signed
the papers yet.
Would you?
-If you are sure
it's what you want.
-Yeah, I do.
Before he gets bored.
-Very well.
-Thank you, Terry.
You know, I never got
to meet your nephew.
-Bahlul has an early bedtime.
-Mm. He's a model.
-Yes, he is.
He must be very handsome.
-And he's Muslim?
-Ah. Like me!
-I never thought of that.
-You know, Leo wouldn't stop
talking about him all night.
You know,
about how attractive he is.
Yeah, I've been,
you know, trying to
shut him up about it, but...
-Where is Leo?

[ Men laughing ]
I'm gonna get that paperwork,
but will you just
watch the door?
-Yes. Let me help you.
-[ Grunts ] Thank you.
Hey, Lee?

[ Line ringing ]
[ Cellphone ringing ]
[ Line continues ringing ]
[ Door closes ]
[ Cellphone ringing ]
[ Cellphone ringing ]
Leo? Leo?
[ Mysterious whirring
grows louder ]

Oh my God!
Leo, wake up!
Get up!
Oh, my God, you pig!
You pig!
[ Screams ]
[ Breathing heavily ]
[ Theragun whirring ]
Oh my God.

Come help! Please!
-Whoa, whoa, whoa.
What's going on?
What's going on?
-Help! Get him out of here!
-What happened?
Oh Leo, what have you done?
-Guys, please.
-[ Groaning ]
-I need help at the back.
[ Theragun whirring ]
-Get him out!
-Grab his leg.
Pull him up. Let's go.
Yes, yes, we've got this.
Yes, carefully. Relax.
-Just go!
-I feel alive,
I feel so free
I love to fuck,
I'm a greased-up freak
-Yes, yes.
-I love to bite,
I'm lookin' chic
I'll freak you out,
I'm a greased-up freak
-The door is locked, guys.
-I'm still alive, my hands,
my feet
-We'll go up the stairs, now.
-My blood is flowing
I'm a greased-up freak
I live alone,
you come to me
-Easy. All right.
-Let's make a mess,
I'm a greased-up freak
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah,
yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Greased. Up. Freak.
Greased. Up. Freak.
Greased. Up. Freak.
-[ Whimpering ]
-Greased. Up. Freak.
Greased. Up. Freak.
Greased. Up. Freak.
[ Screen beeps ]
-[ Breathing heavily ]
[ Gasping ]
[ Panting ]
[ Winces ] Ow!
-[ Coughing ]
-[ Panting ]
-He's still my husband.
-Get up, Terry.
-We're still married.
-He'll be fine.
-You don't understand.
If he dies, I get everything.
[ Coughing continues ]
Help me.
[ Straining ]
[ Breathing heavily ]
[ Grunts ]
[ Whimpering ]
[ Siren wailing ]
-"My blessing?
How can I bless you?"
she said.
"I can't even look at you.
You make me sick.
You're killing me."
[ Wind chimes tinkling ]
"It's all my fault,"
she said.
"The half of you that's mine.
And now you'll burn
for all eternity
like Terry
and the other freaks."
-Can I come in? No?
But he's my fianc.
[ Groans ]
[ Water trickling ]
-When I got here,
I tried to reach you, Terry.
You were busy.
So this was New York.
I don't know what I expected.
Magic and adventure?
It was just a job.
I went where I was told.
I knocked on doors, and
smiled, and asked for favors.
I stood in rooms
of beautiful young people
trying to get
their picture taken.
-All right,
maybe over here.
-Yeah, perfect.
Let's shoot here.
-Yeah, this looks like fun.
Ooh, sexy!
[ Camera shutter clicks ]
-Okay, let me see.
Shut up. Let me see.
Okay, yeah. This works.
[ Indistinct conversation ]


[ Siren wailing ]
[ Wheels squealing ]

-Horreya, horreya
Horreya, horreya
-Horreya, horreya
Wad dunya, horreya
Get out of the way!

Hey there's a fuckin
ambulance coming!
Get out of the way!
-Horreya, horreya
[ Bang ]
-[ Screams ]
[ Horn honks ]
[ Fireworks whistling,
crackling ]
-Then I had my accident.
[ Fireworks exploding
in distance ]
Really, it happened
at the perfect time...
-[ Groans, winces ]
-...right as the world
was shutting down.
-[ Breathing heavily ]
[ Monitors beeping ]
-I gave the hospital
your name, Terry.
This time, you took the call.
You took me home.
And, gradually, I understood
what Mama meant.
You weren't exactly wicked,
You were just a loser.
My leg is nearly better.
I'll be leaving soon.
[ Tube clicks ]
-[ Snoring ]
-[ Coughs ]
[ Cellphone buzzing ]
-Terry, is that you?
It's Hamadou.
-Hi, Hamadou.
-I'm at the hospital.
Wait, wait.
Terry, is that you?
-No, it's Bahlul.
-Bahlul, I'm here with Leo.
He's awake.
-That's good news.
That's good news, Hamadou.
-I know. Good news.
Will you let Terry know?
-I'll tell him.
-All right, thank you,
[ Shutters clank ]
[ Shutters clanking ]
-[ Moans softly ]
[ Cellphone clicks ]
[ Cellphone camera clicks ]
[ Floorboards thudding ]
-No community.
No family.
No friendship.
-[ Coughing ]
[ Water hitting window ]
[ Coughing ]
-Coco! Do you love me?
If you love me, help me.

-[ Coughing ]

[ Coughing ]
[ Bag thuds ]
-Thank you, Coco.
[ Crutch clicking ]
[ Door rolls open ]
[ Engine starts ]
[ Door closes ]
Would it be okay if I smoked?
-Of course.
I'll join you.
[ Lighter clicks ]
-Karla was right.
It's not that interesting,
my life.
Tonight, after the barbecue,
I'll go back and rewrite it,
this time full of magic
and adventure.
Why should I be this person?
Why can't I be someone else?
Anything is possible.
Fiction is freedom.
[ Car passes ]
-[ Retching ]
[ Toilet flushes ]
-The night of Leo's
embolism --
4th of July, 2020 --
we ended our relationship.
[ Door slams ]
I don't care
what it looks like.
I don't care
what anybody thinks.
I loved her
more than life itself.
I hear she moved in
with Jeannie Koletzko...
-[ Sighs ]
-...and in a fresh burst
of inspiration,
finished her book.
[ Wind chimes tinkling ]
-[ Wheezing ]
-It's funny with the virus...
Have you seen Bahlul?
-That night,
everybody got it.
-[ Coughing ]
-But nobody died.
-Oh my God! Coco!
Oh my God!
-Except for Coco.

Once he'd recovered,
Leo sold the Party House,
but kept the bed
and wheelchair.
He needed them
for his new fianc.

[ Siren chirps ]
And Hamadou moved on.
I hear he's with a woman now.
A model.

-[ Exhaling sharply ]
-I guess Terry's nephew
got better, and he left.
Terry won't talk about it.
He was always weird
about Bahlul.
-[ Screams ]
[ Breathing heavily ]
[ Cellphone clicks ]
[ Airplane passes overhead ]
[ Bang ]
[ Doorbell ringing ]
[ Screams ]
[ Knocking on door ]
[ Ringing continues ]
[ Knocking continues ]
[ Thud ]
[ Knocking on door ]
-Hey. Excuse me?
Excuse me?
Can we take this?
-The fuck do I care?
[ Doorbell rings ]
[ Knocking on door ]
[ Doorbell rings ]
[ Doorbell rings ]
[ Doorbell rings ]
[ Knocking on door ]
[ Knocking continues ]
[ Shutters clank ]

[ Pots clanging in distance ]