Work in Progress (2019) s02e09 Episode Script

Hey, Dad

Previously on Work in Progress If something comes up during the week that you'd like to talk about, or you don't understand, just jot it down.
Everything's fine, everything's okay.
Go back downstairs, okay? Grandpa and I loved this album, and we'd listen to it all the time.
I just wish you were around more.
Killed any therapists lately? Okay Hey, man.
Six fucking feet.
It's your father.
- Dad? - Hey, kid.
I think it was this one time when I was really sick I think it was strep, I'm not sure, but I had a really high fever, and my mom just held me.
We were in this old blue, upholstered, ugly as fuck rocking chair that we had, um, just waiting for the fever to go down.
Through the scariest part of the night, her hand on my forehead.
Either that or the one time I missed Halloween, and she took me out trick-or-treating the next day.
Carter to psychiatric services.
I was a skeleton.
And Mom made the costume.
Uh, she had sewn white bones on this old black PJs that I had.
What about your dad? What about what about him? Abby McEnany? Just follow me.
He wasn't there.
He was never fucking there.
There's not one memory you can think of? I know that brain of yours - has already pinpointed - Thank you.
which journal.
- Which box.
- Okay.
My father was around sometimes.
But he was also not around a lot.
And if you're looking for some proof that he was around We're not.
This is about experiential, formative touchstones.
The moments, the places, the people that shaped the way you see yourself in the world.
The memories that come back to you when you think, - "Who am I? - Thank you.
Who made me me? Why am I the way I am?" Hey, Dad.
Hello, daughter.
Hey, Dad.
You got somethin' on your face.
Ooh - I got something on my face, huh? - Yup.
- Did I get it? - All right.
- How about now? - You fuckin' idiot.
Good donut, right? The best.
This place seems nice.
So? What do you want to know? Come on, Dad.
There's a reason you asked to see me, and not Alison or Carol Lynn.
Well, I'm your father.
I should be looking after you.
Edward Claire McEnany, I am a 46-year-old human adult.
Well, I I never thought or never believed that I would end up here.
But what I mean to say is I wasn't planning on botching things up and being here right now.
Well, luckily for us, environmentally-friendly cars are not in your wheelhouse.
Damn newfangled cars.
They don't make 'em like they used to.
Whatever happened to dependability? Dad, they are dependable.
Just not the way that you had hoped.
So what do I want to know? I have no idea.
Okay, Dad, why don't we think about it this way? What would you say to me if you were the one here visiting me after I had tried to kill myself? You'd want me to get help.
See doctors, try meds, anything that would help me get better.
"It's your health, kid.
" - Yeah, but - But what? I don't understand the difference.
Are you saying it's different because you have some big career and a family? No.
You need help.
And if you're too ashamed to get it, you're just gonna end up back here, or alone in some hybrid.
Dad, I love you, and your family loves you, and we are not ashamed of this or you.
The only thing we're thinking about is figuring out what we can do to keep you alive.
Okay, how? I can't tell you that.
You just told me I needed to forgive my dad.
Abby, I said finding a way to forgive him would be beneficial to you.
I can't.
He's ashamed of my fatness.
He believed that no one could ever fall in love with me.
I'll have you know I was not born a self-loathing, whiny cunt.
Okay? I come by it very honestly.
Abby, did you ever think of the possibility that your father was afraid? Oh, look at that.
We're almost out of time.
Dad, do you remember sitting with me in my intake interview for that OCD FDA drug trial? And you heard me tell that psychiatrist at Berkeley about all the shit that was going on in my brain and how I was anxious every single moment? And my hands were bloody because I'd washed them raw.
That's the only time I can remember when I spoke, and you didn't say a word.
Which I'm sure was very difficult - Very difficult, yes.
- Right.
But I remember looking straight ahead at that doctor and not ever looking at you because I was so scared.
Because I told him that I wanted to kill myself.
And at the end, I looked at you and you had tears in your eyes.
And I felt like for the first time in our relationship that you heard me and really understood.
Well, I have a feeling I'll be forced to face that at some point.
All right, we're gonna try this again.
We're going to - Re-frame.
- Re-frame, thank you.
You have been given this amazing gift to finally confront all of your shit.
Ooh ladies and gentlemen And gender-queers and nonbinary folx.
Yes, what she said.
Introducing therapy's hype woman.
Holy shit, I would fuckin' kill that job.
Remember when we were in Boston, on the rare weekend day you'd be home, and you'd be so tired that you would take these long-ass naps.
And you'd be fuckin' lying there arm over your eyes, mouth wide open with a little bit of drool right here.
Hey, Dad.
Dad? What's wrong? I love that memory.
Well, I I look at Mike.
I wish I'd been there for you and Aly, the way Mike is for Meg and Matty.
Yeah, Mike is an amazing dad.
And you also were never home.
But because of your hard work, you paid for my college and I'm not up to my neck in debt.
I always had a roof over my head, food on the table, clothes on my back.
And Dad, when I got sick, you and Mom had the means to find me care.
And to pay for that care, and if you didn't, I wouldn't be here talking to you today.
Now I understand why we were always moving.
Was that hard? I know it was hard.
It's not like I ever asked.
Actually, Dad, studies show that a lack of stability in a kid's life does wonders for them.
Look at me.
Hello, class.
I'd like to introduce you to your newest classmate.
Her name is Abby.
And she's moved all the way from Columbus, Ohio.
Providence, Rhode Island.
Jolly, jolly, jolly old London! Hi, Abby.
The uprooting was hard.
Realizing there were so many friends you were never gonna see again.
Hold on a second.
I spent the night at your house once, right? But for the life of me, I can't remember your name.
It's Meaghan Jones.
No, nothin'.
You owe me a dime.
I don't owe you a dime.
You owe me a dime, bitch! This is getting to be embarrassing.
Well, it's gonna get a lot worse so buckle up, sweetness.
Yeah, Dad, it was hard.
But it doesn't matter.
If it did do one thing, I think it helped my ability to reset and rebuild, see beyond endings.
You know, maybe just a little.
I was sorry to hear about you and Chris.
Aly told me a bit.
He seemed nice.
He was.
What what happened? Okay.
There was this bitch at work who gave me a fuckin' jug of almonds.
And I was standing there.
I was I was looking at the almond.
And I just wanted to hurl it as far as I could, and walk out into traffic.
But I didn't want to be this shattered bag of bones in one of those full-body casts that you see in the cartoons.
And then this random guy walked right up to me on the street.
Are you supposed to be like one of those robot statues or something? What? But my brain was completely fried.
And then he was all Uh, you gonna eat that? No.
So I wandered home Suit yourself.
I was like, discombobulated.
And I thought I knew what was going to happen.
What I was gonna do.
But this pipe burst in my apartment and ruined like all my journals, so I had to move them that night.
By the time I got back home, I was wrecked.
And my brain just shut down.
It's like that extra almond threw everything out of whack.
It broke the pattern just enough.
And then the next day, Campbell's dog Ethel died.
She moved in with me.
She's my best friend, Dad.
There we were holding each other up.
But we didn't know exactly how we were even doing that.
It's like all this random shit that kept happening to me was keeping me alive.
Get the fuck out, you fucking cunt dog.
Oh, my God.
What a little bitch.
Excuse me.
And Campbell and I, like, fell into this routine and all of a sudden, that was it.
One day, I couldn't see into tomorrow, and then I could.
I'm so sorry that I didn't know what a hard time you've been having.
When he dumped me he said I was a lot.
And he's not wrong.
Well, your mom almost left me a couple of times.
Really? I'm not that easy to be with either.
Fuck! - Hey, Mom.
- Oh Abby? What time is it? I'm sorry.
I'm a bit late.
Did you see your father out there? Dad? No.
Well, go get some sleep, dear.
I had always thought those walks were because of stress or insomnia.
Well, that's part of it, but just a small part.
When did this all start? Long time ago, 15, 16 years old.
Back in Missoula, it came on pretty hard.
And I did this thing where I used to take take long walks after school, dinner, homework, chores, whatever.
I needed to get out of the house.
Just get away, you know.
And each night, I'd go further and further.
Let the lights from town recede a little bit more.
I fantasized about some accident happening to me, like falling off a cliff or getting hit by a car, or attacked by an animal or something.
And I'd come back some nights with borderline hypothermia.
I was obsessed with disappearing.
I ached to blink out of existence.
What happened? Dad's liver failed and your grandmother packed us all up, moved to Minneapolis.
Flight instinct.
And remember, this was not too far off from when her brother shot himself.
I think she shoved me into every extracurricular activity that she could find.
Thought it would distract me from, you know, what went on with my dad and my uncle.
But what it did was it gave me something to distract me from myself.
Which was pretty precarious, and at times untenable, but it worked.
And it was like that through med school.
Actually it's always been like that.
Jesus, Dad.
Well, I remember the time your mother and I were taking this long trip Dad, I cannot understand you.
And that fancy-ass plaque-fighting fluoride foaming out of your damn mouth is not helping.
You're such an idiot.
Now I'm an idiot? This is not news.
I've been telling you that for years.
Why do they hate me, Grace? I'm not trying to brag, I'm not trying to be a big shot.
I have the, you know, that, uh quality great comedians have, and I'm talking about the one element that is crucial to all delivery of comedy material.
I'm talking about, of course Timing, timing, timing! - I feel good tonight.
- Night! Timing is very important.
Well, I have another surprise for you.
Another gift? Oh, I'm sorry.
You thought I was giving you the speaker? You're a fuckin' idiot.
This is Bluetooth, Dad.
And you would never get it.
What a rip.
All right.
This thing is the thing I'm giving you.
The very first therapist I ever really connected with was Dr.
She gave me a toy, just this little thing.
But it became a touchstone.
Almost like a religious icon for me.
And if I held it, and really concentrated on it, it helped calm my mind.
I I think I understand.
So I wanted to give you something like that.
Just to remind you you are not alone, and show you that you can get to tomorrow.
- Volume one.
- Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow.
- My little lady.
- What can I say? I was a little bit obsessed.
I am still workin' on it.
This was Christmas.
Oh, my skeleton costume.
That was, uh, an unusual phase.
I'm not sure you'd call it a phase.
I mean, I was the president of my kindergarten nihilism club.
Forty years later, and you still can't pronounce the word.
Sticks, that one.
I remember that Halloween, you were, uh, you were sick that Halloween with an ear infection or something.
We let you trick-or-treat the next day.
What the fuck are you talking about? You weren't there.
The hell I wasn't! Who do you think provided all of those full-sized Nutty Creams? Are you serious? - I had no idea.
- You were an easy mark.
I was trusting.
Not anymore.
Now I know why.
So you went to all the houses ahead of me then? Well, you didn't think it was weird that they all gave you full-sized Nutty Creams? I thought it was weird the first couple times they did it.
But the rest gave me fucking oranges.
That shit was heavy.
Well, how was I supposed to know you'd keep going? Are you kidding? They're full-sized Nutty Creams! Well, I only bought a couple of candy bars.
I had to think on my feet.
I was hoping all those oranges would slow you down.
That costume was a funny thing to fixate on.
You know, I didn't give it much thought until you made me widen the mouth on the mask so that you could wear it every day.
I mean, talk about Fellini-esque.
I totally remember that.
It was around then that I started to sense that you were like me.
And even though that broke my heart, I was glad that we were in the same boat.
Dad, you're gonna be all right.
You're gonna get through this.
And I'm gonna be here.
I I don't think I can do this.
Dad, yes, you can.
Abby Listen to me.
Hour by hour, you get through the day.
Okay? It's gonna be all right.
You're gonna be all right, I promise.
- I love you, Dad.
- I love you too, kid.
It's gonna be okay.
Abby, what're you thinking? Everything.
I'm overwhelmed by everything.
My mind is filled with worry all the time.
And I just feel like my body and my brain just are fucking shutting down.
Like I barely even have the energy to just fuckin' sit here and form words.
Abby, how long have you been in therapy? Why? Just a question.
I don't know Thirty-five years maybe, I don't know.
That's great.
How is that great? You know what that tells me, Doctor Franklin? That proves to me that none of this shit is ever gonna end.
Abby, you're not gonna like it when I tell you this.
No, it's never gonna end.
But the reason I asked that question is to try to put it in perspective for you, for you to take a moment and look back on all that work, all you've overcome to get to this moment right now.
Because all that hard work doesn't go away.
It'll never go away.
Yeah, so, Aly, I think that's about it.
I did tell him, uh, that he needs to start thinking about things day by day, and you know he hated that.
Abby, I I want you to know how strong and amazing I think you are for doing this.
Uh, well, you know I'd do anything for him.
I know.
Me too.
Try and get some sleep, okay? Okay.
- I love you.
- I love you too.
Well, fuck.

Previous EpisodeNext Episode