What Happened Was... (1994) - full transcript

This darkly humorous film explores the personal psychic landscape of two lonely New Yorkers. Jackie and Michael are coworkers at a large law firm, who decide to meet at Jackie's for dinner one night. As this 'first date' plays out, the audience is guided through a mental minefield of disappointment, desolation, and desperation. Their conversation, with its awkward 'small talk', slowly reveals their unhappy lives....

Hi, it's Jackie. Leave me a message
and I'll call you back.

Who is it?

Hello, who is it?



You're early.

I guess.

Have you been waiting out there

Just a few seconds. I heard music.

Yeah, I was just listening.

I didn't know I couldn't
hear the bell, so...


I know what that's like.


Come in.

That light's kind of Twilight Zoney.

Sorry, they won't fix it.

Oh, no harm, no foul.

- This is nice.
- Thanks.

Really nice.

Can I take your coat?

No, I'm OK.


I got this for you.


Wine, huh?

I don't know what you like but...

This looks great.

Let's have some.

Oh, you don't have to open it.

You don't drink?

No, you can save it for another time.

You don't have to open it, you know,
just because I brought it.

No, let's, uh, let's have some.

This is a real view.

Yeah, it's probably why
I stay here, you know?

I need to see the city and the

How long have you lived here?

Oh my God, could it be, I think 5

Here you go.

I didn't know if you'd be here or not.

What do you mean?

Well, I saw you in Grayson's office,
you know, at 5 and...

You didn't know I'd get here
so early and...

Well, you know, I just...

I just left a few minutes early so...


You got dinner going already?


Nothing too fancy.

I hope you like seafood.


It's just the word "seafood".

It gives me the creeps.

I guess.

I don't know if it's a genetic thing
or you had a

traumatic experience
when you first hear a word,

But some words embarrass you,
you know, like

"ritzy" or, you know, "spigot".

You know, most French words?

- But the scallops.
- I love them.

Oh, good.

Hate the word.


Just kidding.


Jeez, you know, these things scare

Oh, well, they're pretty safe.

Do you know how they work?

Yeah, it's the uh...

you know, it's the...


Yeah, it's the waves. You know, they
go in, they heat the food up it's...

it's the waves.

No, no, not exactly.

You see, microwaves are powerful
low-frequency electromagnetic waves.

When they strike an organic

they make the molecules vibrate,

vibrations heat, that's how they

Oh. That's pretty cool.

Do you like science?

Uh, yeah, sure.

I guess.

Especially those animal science
kinds of things. You know, the...

the nature specials.

The nature specials are great.

You know, when the animals do all
those kinds of things?

You know, birds?

Are really dinosaurs.

A bird.

No, no, when the big dinosaurs
went extinct

the little ones survived.

And, and, uh,

You see, birds and dinosaurs
both have hollow bones

and the feathers have really just
evolved from scales.

I always thought that was
really amazing.


That's pretty cool. Where did you
learn all this stuff?

Um, I read a lot and...

I just remember stuff.

I love reading.

And books.

Like, I remember all
the telephone numbers

of all my friends from grammar

- Oh yeah. Like, um...

My friend, Mickey Hobart...

His telephone number was 869-3740.

Are you sure?

What do you mean?

I thought it was, actually, it was

How do you... I don't know how

I'm just joking.

Oh, yeah.

It's funny.

See, I remember telephone numbers
by memorizing the uh...

the form or the pattern
for the number like...

Mickey's is 37403 from 7 is 4 so...

Yeah, but...
- What?

Well, if you're going to go
to all the trouble

like, to remember
the equation, you know...

And all the ways this equals that

wouldn't it just be easier to like
remember the number?

Or write the number down?

You see, the brain,
by subdividing the task,

increases the retention.



I get it.

Are you sure? See, 'cause if you have
a pencil and paper...

I get it. Thanks.


The brain's amazing.

What's in there?

Oh, that's my dressing room.

Where do you sleep?

Oh, this.

You know, it's uh...

It folds out. It's uh...

You know, you can...You can see
in those apartments.

It's wild, isn't it?

It's so strange. Sometimes I'll be
on a subway, you know,

and I'll look out the window

at the crowded sidewalks or...no

I'll be on a bus

looking out the window
at the crowded sidewalks

and it's like, it's hard for me
to believe sometimes

that I have, you know, a life.

You know, it's like, I'm going through
all this stuff and it's like

we're not all just
like extras, you know?

- You mean like in a movie?
- Yeah.

It's like, I don't know,
we're not really here.

We don't really have lives.

Well, I'd have thought that you

feel real and everybody else
was an extra.

Yeah, but...

No, no, not really.
It's not the same thing.

- Sorry.

No, it's just all those apartments,
you know, it's...

It's so, uh...

- Yea h.

Are you all right?

I'm fine.

I don't know. It's just just weird
having you here, that's all.

What do you mean?

Well, I mean, you know, we've

we've always been in the office,

- You know, all the time in the office.
- Yes, in the office.

And so now, here you are.

I mean, you know, we talk and
we laugh every day.

You're so funny.

You know how you know someone
one way

for like months and months and this
this it's just wild, you know?


It's very pleasant here.

Do you want some more wine?

I didn't know if you drank.

Uh, sure, I'll have...

I don't drink that much, you know.

Just sometimes at night,
sometimes on the weekends.


What's your place like?

- Oh, my apartment?
- Yeah.

It's just an apartment. It's a one
bedroom on the east side.

Oh, on the east side, huh?

I like the east side.

I used to live on the east side.

But um, It started getting on my

Oh yeah, mine didn't have a view.

I couldn't live without a view.

I mean, I need to see the city
and the people.

To the extras.

To the extras, right.


I love being in on those meetings.

What meetings?.

You know, like with Sanders today
when you were giving him a hard time.

I wasn't giving him a hard time.

What are you talking about?

You do it to him all the time.

Oh, well.

Paralegals aren't supposed to have
opinions according to Sanders.

At least you get to open up your

which is more than
his executive assistants, right?

Is that what they call
the secretaries now?

Yeah. That's what it says
on my paycheck.

I guess this is a lull.


It's funny, you know, I always know
what to say in the office.

Yeah, the office.

So, um...

So, where did you grow up?

Long Island.

- Oh, wow, really. That's just..
- Oh, excuse me.

I hope this comes out OK.

Oh, right, scallops.

So I made this on the weekend and,

and I, uh, froze it.

I make all my meals on the weekends
and I microwave them during the week.

It's very strange.

It's like on a Saturday or Sunday
when I'm cooking,

It's like I'm making four or five
meals all at once.

Yeah, it's ready. Are you still hungry?

Oh, sure.


I don't know. Maybe we should wait.

Oh, no. Let's eat.


- Yeah.
- OK.

Did you want your glass?

Uh, yeah, please.

Yeah, it's so strange to be
making all this stuff.

It's like when I'm done, the week is
over. I can't really explain it.

Oh, I hope this comes out OK.

What I do is make all my meals
on the weekend and

and I microwave them during the

It's very strange.

So strange to be making all this stuff

It's like when I'm done,
the week is over.

I can't really explain it.

Um, so...

Do you have brothers and sisters?

What makes you ask that?

I don't know, we were talking about
where you grew up and...

Oh, right. Well, uh...

Yeah, I have uh...

Seven brothers and sisters.


Yeah, five brothers and uh...

Two sisters.

- Big family.
- Yeah.

Big family.

Never a dull moment. All that shit.

This is really good.


You know, sometimes the freezing
and the reheating of food

makes things better.

Scallops are like that.
That's why I chose this one.

It's like a cryonic dinner.

That was a joke, wasn't it?

It's taking me a while but
I think I'm starting to get you.


You know, they uh...

They say all kinds of things
about you, right?


Your partners.

Really? Like what?


They say that you have
this weird smirk on your face.

Like you're making fun of them.


They call you Mr. Strange.

That's fascinating.

I mean, just some of them.

I just tell that you're insecure.

What do you mean?

Well, you know.

I thought that someone should
say something 'cause

You know, they see us
talking all the time.

Oh, so you're trying to help me.

Oh. I don't know.

I think it's kind of sweet
how you're insecure.

Well, I don't see myself as insecure

and you really don't have to go
around apologizing to those jerks for

for something that I haven't even

Yeah, but I mean...

I mean, you do like to smile
and laugh a lot

when people say things that the...

wrong moment or

maybe not at the wrong moment but

when no one else is laughing, right?

It's called a sense of humor.

I find life amusing.

I especially like

being called that at Cantville,
Keller and Jacobson.

You can say that again.

-1 was...
- You are, aren't you?


Well, you know, I just said,

"You can say that again."

I just thought that maybe as a joke
you might say it again, right?

No, I wasn't.

You're so funny.

But that was really funny
with Sanders today.

Oh, it's not hard. He's such a
slow-moving target.

You should have seen his face

when he opened up that envelope

from the opposing attorney
and it was his own brief.


I don't know, how did you get the

to send the opposing attorney
all of Sander's evidence in the case?

I mean like couldn't they have
arrested you or something?

See, what I don't get is that they
sent it back without even opening it.

They don't care about what's
right or wrong in these cases.

It's completely rigged.

It's like junior high school.
It's like a big club.

They're going to fire you
eventually, you know?

They feel guilty about me.

Because they know I'm right.

If they'd fire me,
it would only prove their own guilt.

I wouldn't be too sure of that.

You know, I save their asses daily.

That's what they're paying me.
They're not going to fire me.

You know...

When I first got to the firm,

I thought that you were one of

one of the partners.


You know, the way you walked

talking to everybody, I thought you
were one of the lawyers.

This is a joke, right?
You're kidding me.

I mean in a good way, you know?

You seem


And of course, the way that you
dress differently from

the other paralegals.

Oh. It's just an old suit.

Yeah, well, none of the other
paralegals wear suits.

You don't think I wear suits so that
people will think I'm a lawyer, do you?

I don't know.
I never really thought about it.

'Cause it would kill me if I thought
I was anything like those guys.

Maybe I should wear those
button-down shirts

with the khaki pants and the
desert boots, all that shit.

No, you're not like them.

Were you disappointed I was just
a measly paralegal?

I don't care about that. I'm just

that it was funny seeing you after

you know, that's all.

You shouldn't encourage me, you

Why not?

What are you going to do?


I'm an executive assistant.

Right, as we established.

Well, I made it to Manhattan.

Manhattan's great.

You know, I've lived in this apartment
building for over five years

and I've never had
a conversation with anybody?


And some of them
I don't even say hello to.

- Wow.
- Where did you grow up?

Just outside the city in Westchester.

That must have been great, huh?

Yeah, it was OK.

I always wanted to live in Manhattan.
I don't know why.

I can't explain it really
but, you know...

You know when there's just
something you gotta do? It's like...

Something you just...

gotta do?

You know what I mean?

When I was thirteen,

I listened to the Beatles song
"She Loves You"


Ah, it's crazy...I shouldn't...

- Never mind.
- Come on, tell me.

Well, during the song, I kept hearing

my name over and over, you know,


What are you doing?

Oh, I...

I was just trying to fit "Michael" in...

with the words like you said.

Oh. No, No it was...

Subliminal. It was

Deep...it was part of the song and

I don't know. I can't explain it.

That's cool.

So why are you looking at me
like I'm crazy?

I'm not looking at you like
you're crazy.

I think that's sweet.

What was that?

I was just...

I just never told anybody about that.

Yeah. No, I know. I understand
'cause you know

I had something like that
happen to me once.

- Oh, really? With the Beatles?
- No

Not with the Beatles.

I mean, it wasn't so dramatic.

But uh...
Yeah, it was something like that.

'Cause when I was a kid,
I loved The Iliad.

See, I wanted to have a, uh...

A heroic life, you know, life of action?

Was that a good book? I never read

The best. We used to have
these big fights with

garbage can covers and wooden
swords and

I used to beat everybody.

That's the international sign

-for wooden sword play.
- Oh.

I had a very high tolerance to pain.


So, where did you go to college?

This technical school in the Bronx.

It was free because 1 was a resident.

Oh, I thought you were from Long

Yeah, I was born in Long Island but
I moved around a lot.

Where did you go to school?


You mean, The Harvard?

Yeah, it's no big deal.

I always wanted to go to a real

Like uh...

An Ivy League school
or something like that.


My parents they didn't want me to.

You see, they wanted me
to work for my uncle.

And I said that I'd never do that.

I'd rather kill myself first.

Wow. Harvard.

I hated it. It was stupid.

You shouldn't say that.
People would kill to go there.

People do kill to go there.

Excuse me.

It was totally...

It's taken me years to overcome the
effects of that place. It was totally...

You know, racist and sexist and

Well, I'm impressed.

Don't be.

I watch you at work, you know?

You do, do you?

You're doing something, aren't you?

What do you mean?

You keep writing things down.

Writing things down?

Yeah, you did it just before.
It's in your jacket pocket.

Oh, that. I'm...

Just taking a note.

I knew it.

You know, I was saying to myself

He's doing something. He's, he's...

Writing something. He's writing
something like a...

Like maybe a book?

Oh, no, just...


Did somebody say something about a


But that's what you're doing, right?

I don't really uh...

Want to talk about it 'cause uh...

Come on, you can tell me.

Well, I don't really like to...

- Talk about it 'cause uh...
- I'm not going to tell anyone. Trust me.

- Well, you'll have to promise that...
- I promise.

Well I'm writing uh...

It's going to be a book.

Wow. That is cool.

I'm writing a book about lawyers.

Really? What's it about?

Well, it's going to be called
“The Business of Justice...

A lot of people handling me
wanted me to call it

"Justice for Sale"
but that's too commercial.

It's a wrong way. This is not an axe-
grinding kind of book.

It's about uh...

How money drives the system.

How right and wrong and good and

have become relative terms
in relation to

the economic weight they carry.

I'm writing about all those lonely,

damaged, crippled people...you
know, the people that make

this country what it is.

The things I've seen
working at that firm.

They're going to be pissed off at you.


What, you're not afraid of
what they can do to you?

What are they gong to do to me?

I don't have anything.

I'm the kind of person that thinks

why be in a museum

and look at paintings if
you can paint your own painting?

I mean, do things for yourself.

Do you have somebody come in and
sleep with your wife for you?

Do you pay somebody
to eat your foocl for you?

Do things yourself.
That's what life's about.

There's so many people doing
things they hate.

And people running the country who all
they care about is keeping their jobs,

and not doing their jobs. And there's so
little real love in the work that I see.

I've been...

I've been in many

in camera sessions. In camera.
Do you know what that means?

No, I...no.

"In camera" is Latin.
It means "in the room“.

It means that anything said
in the room has to stay there.

If you don't understand something,
just ask.

Yeah, I know, I know but they,
you know, they...

They get upset with me
whenever I do so...

You can't let them do that to you.

You have to get over that.

Yeah, I know, you're right.

I've got this little tape recorder.

With the things I've recorded, I'm
going to blow them out of the water.

I can't believe that.

It's like I've worked for...

in offices, you know, for years but

I've never even bothered myself
to get involved.

I don't know. I guess I just

you know, feel responsible.

Yeah, I know, I know.

I guess it's different for you.

What? Do you feel intimidated?


I guess it must be like uh...

A background thing like
where you grew up.

Something like that.

You mean like the Harvard thing.

I was just kidding.

It was a joke.


You uh...

You must have read a lot of law


- Law books.
- Oh, law books. I went to law school.

Oh, you went to law school, huh?

Yeah, but I didn't finish.

Well, what happened?

I mean, if you don't mind me asking.


I had enough credits.
I mean almost enough.

To graduate.

Well, you just left?

It was an act of personal protest.

Against the system.
I couldn't take it anymore.

I had to take a stand.

You're amazing.


You want some dessert?

No, I'm pretty full.

You want some coffee?

Oh, uh, no.

You want something to drink?

I've got some hard stuff.

Oh, like drugs.

Oh, but that was really good.


You know, I just

threw it together over the weekend.


So, you're writing a book
about the firm.

Well, no, it's not really about them.

You've been working on it a long

Almost 15 years.

You've been at the firm that long?

Oh, F10, no, no.

Only 13.

Oh, 13 years. Oh my god!

That's like a kid's whole lifetime.

I mean, you know, like if a kid...

You know, if a kid...

So, you must have

written a lot of it already.

Yeah, I'm almost done.

That's so exciting.

I'm just doing what I have to do.

Well, maybe I could help you.

Oh, I don't know.

Are you afraid I'm going to screw it
up for you or something?

Oh, no, nothing like that. It's just...

Well I'm probably gonna...

end up losing my job. And I couldn't
expect you to lose yours 'cause...

I'll end up with a book.



I guess.

You know that Sanders case?

The one I was telling you about?

It's about this young kid.

And there's this guy who's

obviously abusing the kid.

And he's using the firm to get

It's completely disgusting and...

The lawyers at the firm know

what they're doing is wrong
and they keep doing it.

And they couldn't need the money.
How much money could they need?

And they know this is
never going to end and...


I'm recording the whole thing.


I'm going to write about
those lonely, damaged,

and crippled people and...

And even if I only help a little bit,

then I'll feel like I've done some

God, it even sounds like a book
when you talk.

I shouldn't, you know...
I'm telling you about too much.

No, no, I mean...

It's great to hear you talk about
something that you're excited about.

I think it's important to have
a sense of history.

When I think about where I am...

I feel OK.

Think back on the 19th century.

These doctors and lawyers and

politicians and people getting rich

and seeming famous, I bet

if you asked people back then

who'd be remembered, they'd come
up with a list of people that

you'd never heard of.

A huge percentage of
the people we honor today

were completely obscure back then.


Van Gogh and

and Emily Dickinson and Schubert.

You know, and just...

makes me laugh when I think about
those self important people.

The partners at the firm who...

They'll be dead soon and

no one's going to mention their
name again ever. Even in contempt.

Well, what about their families?

Well, that doesn't mean anything.

I mean, who else are they going to
talk about?

That's happenstance.

No, I...

I don't think people feel that way
about their families.

Well, you want to be...

part of Keller's family? Imagine him
being like you father or your

-brother or...
- Your husband?

No, I couldn't imagine that.

I bet if you gave people in his family

the choice, they'd dump him in a

I'm talking too much about this.


What do you mean?

I'm only joking.

It's really good to hear you talk
about something you're excited about

I guess because I never talk about it,
when I get going, it's hard to stop.

Guys do that when they're scared.

Oh, I'm not scared, it's...

I just feel like I have
something to say.

I mean, not like the other lawyers
at the firm.

Well, do you see me inviting them
home for dinner?

-1 didn't mean it like...I was...didn't..
- Trust me, I don't.

I can't believe the kinds of
relationships that people have.

It's amazing the things
that people settle for.

Like if you're walking along the

and you see a couple?

And it's hard to imagine them
sleeping together?

Right, like your parents.

My parents?

Not your parents.

Well, what do you mean?

Forget it.

Well, you don't have to apologize.

All right, well, like when I

was younger and I was growing up

I was learning about the facts of life
and all that

It was always hard for me

to believe that my parents actually

did it.

It kind of creeped me out.


So you think I'm projecting my
parental incest fantasies

on the authority figures at work.

You're joking with me, aren't you?

Who, me?

That's so cool.

So, do you want something else?

No, I'm OK.

What? Did I say something?

Oh, I just never tell anybody
what I'm doing with the book.

What book?

Right. It just makes me nervous.

I don't know what you're talking

Well, anyway...

Yeah, I do a little writing too.

- Really?
- Yeah.

Well, it's just since I've come
to Manhattan.

- Like plays or novels?
- No, just stories.

Wow. That's really interesting.

Yeah, I don't tell people either.

Like you.

Well, maybe not like you 'cause
it's not like I have anything

to say like you.

I don't want to seem like a snob
or anything but...


I'm actually embarrassed by

by writing stories.


All right, I'll tell you.

You see, I write children's stories.

You know, kid's stories.

Bed time kinds of things.

I just feel kind of stupid.

You shouldn't.

A lot of great writers

They write children's stories

like Stevenson and

Tolkien and Swift.

Oh, yeah.

I never really thought of that.

Maybe you could show them to me
some time.

You know that uh,

I was attracted to you because
I thought you were a writer?

I mean, I never meet writers, right?

I went to some of those poetry

I read about a couple of years ago
in the [Village] Voice.

But I didn't know what anybody was
talking about. It was crazy.

And this guy hit on me and
I felt so stupid I had to leave.

Then I bought that magazine,
The New Yorker.

Do you know that magazine?

- Yeah.
- Yeah.

I never opened it up,
you know, I felt so...

I was so afraid that
somebody would find it

on my coffee table so 1 hid it.

But I like lyrics.

I don't get some of it sometimes but

I think it's cool. Do you like lyrics?



I go to work every day, you know?

On the weekends I write these
little stories, you know?

I'm really lonely and I
miss my family and everything.

Well, I call them and...

They never know what to say to me. They
feel like I'm not the same person.

Well, you know families.

But I really enjoyed growing up
with my brothers

and sisters and everything, you

It was one of those big family
kinds of things and everything.

Oh, God.

- I'm really going on, aren't I?
- Oh, no, no.

You dying over there?

No, I'm fine.



But I like music.

To me,

that's where some
of the best writing is.

Like I said, before, you know?

You know, lyrics?

Sometimes I go into used record

just to sit and read the words
to the music.

Oh, you mean like librettos.


The librettos.

I like Air Supply.

Do you know that group from

And Deep Purple.


With Deep Purple it's not so much the
words, it's more of a musical thing.

I used to go to all their concerts
when I was younger, and I'd go crazy.

That's when I was living in

in Queens before I moved to

I was still wastetressing.

I mean waitressing.

And you know, all the people
I used to hang out with

They didn't go so much
for the words or the music.

It was more like the drugs.

The fooling around on the beach
after the concert.

God, I wonder where
all those people went.

There were zillions of them. Zillions.

Waitresses, secretaries that I used to
hang out with.

We used to do all that kind of stuff.

I'd love to hear
one of your stories sometime.

Well, I mean, I could read you one.

Oh, you mean now?

No, not now. I don't know.
Maybe some other time, right?

Why don't you?

You're just saying that.

I'd really like to hear one.

YOU mean it?

You have to stop being so insecure.
I'd really like to hear it.




I can tell by your face
you don't want to hear this.

Oh, no, no, I want to hear it.

- You sure?
- Yeah, yeah.


- What happened was...
- What's the title?

That is the title.

“What happened was" is the title?

That's kind of funny.

- What's so funny?

No, no, no, it's great! It's really, go

You know, maybe this isn't a good

No, come on, don't be stupid.

I didn't think I was being stupid.

I didn't...

I didn't mean it like that.

I'd love to hear it, please.

Go on.

- You sure?
- Yeah.


"What happened was.

By Jackie.

- You know, Jackie Marsh.
- Yeah.

Go on.

The Buick Regal screeched out of
the Bangon Tavern parking lot.

Felix was drunk again.

In his lap

bobbed the head of one of
the topless dancers from the club.

Up and down

they were going about 90 when

Excuse me.

The Buick Regal hit the endless curve
and lost control.

Sparks lit the black nowhere
countryside, revealing a house.

The car flipped as it reamed
through the front yard.

The head came

flying out of the car.

As it exploded in a whoosh of fire.

A fat woman tumbled out of
the burning house.

Her nightgown in flames.

Her skinny husband crawled

after down the front steps
looking for his glasses.

Minnie and Wallace Meany.

The topless dancer was being
body bagged

when from behind the house
came the sound of crying.

And even though he couldn't see a

Wallace said,

“Jeez, is that a baby?"

"Yeah, isn't it yours?"
asked the fireman

"No, me and Minnie..."
trailed off Wallace

Minnie and Wallace were childless
in their middle age.

And at the insistence of Wallace,

they adopted the baby girl
and called her

Mini Minnie.

The real trouble started when
Little Minnie got to be a teenager.

Big Minnie got too fat
to go out of the house.

So Wallace got a job selling
baseball uniforms to

little league teams across the

Big Minnie sat in bed

and yelled for her food.

And made little Minnie go
to the mall to rent videos for her.

Little Minnie was walking home from
the mall late one night.

When a voice came from the


“Mini Minnie,"

"1 know where you came from,
Mini Minnie."

Minnie was always tortured by not
knowing where she came from.

So she crept into the weeds

"You know where I came from?"
asked Minnie.

Just then a dark figure grabbed
Minnie and pulled her to the ground.

“If you want me to tell you,

you must let me do whatever
I want to you." hissed the voice.

"No, please, can't you just tell me?"

"No, I need the inspiration."

"I really need it bad."

So Minnie gave in.

He did whatever he wanted to her.

Awful, unspeakable things.

But worse was what he said to her.

“Your mother would lay before any

at any time and was
always having babies.

But she hated the children.

And she needed to hide her pregnancies
from her foolish husband.

She hid them by getting really fat.

And when the babies were born

she didn't know what to do
with the babies.

But being hungry all the time,

she ate them."

"Oh, no, no" screamed little Minnie.

"Yes, yes, that's what she did.

Until one night,

when she was having her last baby,

there was a car crash that stopped
her from eating her baby.

It crawled away during the

"You mean, Minnie is my real

"Yes" hissed the voice

as he violated her over and over

"No, she can't be." screamed Minnie.

The dark figure ran off
leaving Minnie lying in the swamp.

She got up and went out to the road

and hitchhiked away.

She worked her way north
as a topless go-go dancer.

She was always athletic.

After many nights, Minnie finally

found the site of the old Meany

She dug through the burned timbers

and in the basement, beneath a
charred chrome Buick Regal insignia

she found a pile of baby bones.

She began at that moment her quest
to bring Big Minnie to justice.

She worked her way back to Florida
dancing at the same clubs along the way.

But she started having an awful

It was so awful it even began to hurt
her dancing.

She would wiggle so fiercely,
it scared the men in the clubs.

The owners would warn her but
she would reply,

"I can't control my dreams."

When she got back home,
Little Minnie burst in the front door.

Big Minnie screamed,
"Where have you been?"

“You never came back
with my videos or my food."

Little Minnie rushed at the huge
woman in a fury.

Little Minnie grabbed Big Minnie's
face and screamed,

"1 have something
for you to eat, Mother."

Little Minnie pinned Big Minnie down

shoved all the baby bones
down her throat.

Big Minnie died.

Choked on the bones of the children.

Little Minnie ran away to Miami

where she worked in clubs for

Every night she would wake up
screaming and crying from her dream.

At the end of the summer,

Little Minnie came to see Wallace.

When he heard her coming, he
jumped up

and they hugged each other crying.

Wallace begged her to stay.

So life went on for a while with
Little Minnie living with Wallace.

She worked at Bob's Big Boy
hamburger joint.

They went duckpin bowling,
like in the old days.

But she kept having her dream.

Over and over.

About her twin sister.

She and her sister were unborn twins
in Big Minnie's womb.

Through the walls of Big Minnie's
body, she could hear fighting

between Wallace and Big Minnie.

Her twin was really scared.

And stuck her little fingers
in her little ears.

But Little Minnie listened.

She knew there was only one way
for her to live.

So she went over and talked to her

She calmed her down

and told her that she should go out

everything would be OK.

Her twin sister was so scared that
she agreed to go.

In the dream, her sister was born.

And Little Minnie hid inside Big

listening to Wallace kill her sister.

Later that night, Little Minnie
snuck out of Big Minnie

and was born secretly.

She crawled into the walls of the

and hid.

She lived there for months.

Late at night, she'd sneak out and
eat from the leftover food.

It was very lonely

living in the walls of the house.

That is, until the night of the crash.

Right at that moment,
Little Minnie woke up.

And standing over her
was Wallace smiling at her.

He came closer and whispered,

"I know what you've been

When Little Minnie heard this,
she jumped up.

Wallace stood up,
laughing like a maniac.

"Dance for me, Minnie.“

"Dance for me like you dance for all
those men."

"You and me

we're the same, Minnie.“

“We're killers.“

“You killed your twin sister.
I know all about it."

“And I know you killed Big Minnie."

"Poor, old, fat Big Minnie."

"Come back and be with me."

"We can be happy-"

"You knew all about us."

"You always knew."

“You know..."

"You know, you were almost a year

when you were found during that

that fire."

“You know you lived
in the walls of our house."

"It all adds up."

“You were good at math
in school, I know."

"Come back to me."

Minnie cried,

"I'll never come near you."

"I'd rather be dead."

"But you already have, Minnie."

“Don't you remember that night?"

"The swamp?"

"When I told you where you came

“What do you mean?" cried Minnie.

And in a voice that Minnie

Wallace continued hissing.

"I know where you came from."

"No." screamed Minnie.


"Now be a good girl and come to

Minnie turned and ran out to the

She quickly hitched a ride.

But his time she headed west.

The place where people go to forget.

She go-go danced her way west.

End of Chapter One.



That was a children's story?


Didn't you like it?

That was great. Um...

- It was just...
- What?

So grown up. You know, the car
crashes and the you know...

the topless bars.

Have you ever read the Grimm

Not lately.

Well, you should.
It's pretty heavy stuff.

Topless bars?

Worse, much worse.

That was wonderful.


You know, I have fun doing it.

That's the most important thing,

I think it's important to do something
with the work.

To have people hear it.

I guess.

I think you should publish.

No really, I mean through my
publisher, the one I'm working with.

I'm sure I could hook you up
with someone.

I've been offered substantial
advances but I'll probably hold out.

The longer you refuse to sell,

the more control you have
over your book.

Like they'll say they love your book

then you find out all they were
really interested in was the

title or stuff about girls or...

I've been working with publishers
for years and

they feel that I'm really ready
for my success.

I told them I won't do talk shows.

I hate those things.
I'd never do Letterman.

The guy doesn't get it. I'd never
become part of the problem.

I'm not going to become
another Jimi Hendrix.

He wasn't ready for success
and it killed him.

But maybe I'll do radio interviews
but no TV.

What is it?


Don't you want to publish?

- You shouldn't be scared. A lot of...
- I've already published.

What do you mean?

I have a publisher.

- You have a publisher?
- Yeah.

It's just a small company but, yeah.

How did you do that?

Oh, it was really cool.

One day I was reading this magazine

that said that these guys were
looking for unpublished works.

And so I sent them
a copy of the book and

and they read it and really liked it.

And they said that they couldn't
sell a lot of copies but

they could sell a few and we could
see what would happen.

It was the happiest day of my life.

For me.

So I went down, I sent them the

they read the book and

and yeah, they ended up doing the

But you got an advance, right?

No, well actually, I had to put up
a little money for

the rights or some
legal fees or something.

But they did a really great job.

In fact they even let me
design the cover myself.

They said not everybody was allowed

design the covers themselves but
they liked my design so...

It's never going to make the New
York Times bestseller list but..

That's pretty good.

Do you want to see it?

Oh, sure.

I keep all my stuff under here
because of my dreams.

Your dreams.


This is really beautiful.


Have you sold many of these?

No, not many.

Why not?

I don't know. I just thought it was
more important to get it printed.

So nobody's seen this?

I sent one to my parents.

What did they say?

We don't talk very much.

What are you laughing at?

Oh, nothing. Sorry it's just uh...

You know, it's families.
They miss so much and then you...

And then you write a story like that.

Like what?

I don't...you know...

crazy and violent.


Yeah, I never really thought about it.

Yeah, families, huh?

I just had to get away from mine.
It was too much noise.

Mental static.

You know, sometimes I

I walk through that door.
It's like I can finally breathe.

I don't have people's thoughts
banging into my head.

Doesn't it get lonely or boring?


Remember I told you
I used to run around a lot.

Oh, right.

Party girl.

Yeah, don't remind me.

The things I've done.

Like what?

I was young.

You know, when I first came
to Manhattan,

I couldn't believe it sometimes.

Even if you never go to
any of the cultural shit

or any of the plays or anything.

It's an amazing town. You can feel it.

Do lawyers...

I'm sorry. It's none of my business.


Well, they must, you know...

Come on to you or, or...

You must have gotten some
harassment or pressure or...

Yeah, it happens.

But you deal with it.

What are you..are you thinking
that I've like...

slept with some of the lawyers
from the firm?

Oh, no.

Because I haven't.

I mean, I was just..you know...

I mean, only a couple of times.


Would you relax? I'm only joking.

I haven't gone out
with any of them, really.

Because you said you had a wild life.

Yeah, well, I'm sure
you did all that kind of stuff.

Like what?

Like go crazy.

I guess I did
in my own way but it wasn't...

I'm sure it was fun at the time.

Not really.


Now I want to just

come home.

With your lonely apartment.

You know what it's like.

Uh huh.


You know, I think...

I, uh, I better...

I have a surprise.

A surprise?

Sit down!

But I, uh...

What are you...

And close your eyes. It's a surprise.

What, what are you...


But it's

it's not my...it's not my birthday.

I know. It's my birthday.


Well, it's really Sunday but
I decided I would celebrate tonight.

Aren't you going to wish me a...

- Oh, happy birthday.
- Thank you.

Oh, I need a knife.

You want some coffee?

No, no, I'm fine.

If I had known...

I told you last week and
the week before. Twice.

Oh, right. I'm not so good
at that kind of thing.

That's OK.

I didn't get you a present.

You didn't?!

Would you relax? I'm only joking.

I never celebrate. I saw this cake
today and I had to buy it.

I didn't bring it out to break
your nuts or anything.

Oh, no, I'm not getting nuts.

Well, you should see your face.

I'm not like a lot of people.

My face doesn't have much to do
with what I'm feeling.

I wasn't going to bring it out

if I didn't think things were going well
and I thought things were going well.

I just remembered.

I have some champagne in the

It's been in there
for a couple of years

but I'm sure we could open it up
in a second.

And I have this new tape.

It's a new band but

You'll probably really, really love it.

I'm sure you will.

Because you see, I've got my girlfriend now.
She turned me on to it.

What I did was recorded it from her

'Cause I don't have a CD and

I thought that it would be a really
good idea...you could probably...

Anyway, so. . .so, anyway.

What are you doing?

It's getting really late and...

It's Friday night.
What are you talking about?

I'm under a lot of pressure
with my publisher.

This is a joke, right? You're so funny.

I have a deadline with my book.

But it was really great getting
together after all this time.

And the food was really great.

Yea h, the seafood.

Right, the seafood.

So uh...

Don't forget your jacket.

Oh, right.

Anyway uh...

And especially it was great to hear
your story and read your book.

Is something going on, Jackie?

I don't know. Is there, Michael?

I don't know. You seem uh...

What is it?


But what?


You sure?

I thought you might want to stay.

Oh, you mean, you mean uh...

Forget it.
I shouldn't have said anything.

Oh, no. I didn't...I wasn't trying to...

Let's just forget I said anything, OK?

Why don't you go before
I humiliate myself even further?

You haven't humiliated yourself.

Thanks, I feel much better now.

No, wait, why don't we...OK let's...

Let's talk about it and get it clear.

- Let's get clear and try to figure...
- Let's let it go. Okay, let's let it go.

We can try...

We'll forget about it
in the morning and uh...

You know, I'll see you at work
on Monday.

Well, I feel terrible now.

Yeah, well, dates are weird

This is a date?

You'd like everyone to think

that you don't know what's going on
but you know what's going on.

You know very well that I liked you
a lot and this was a date.

If I had known that you feel that

Don't tell me that
you wouldn't have come.

I hope I haven't done anything
to mislead you.

You haven't done anything.

I liked you and I'm sorry I liked you.

I'm very flattered that
you feel that way about me.

Flattered?! Are you fucking kidding

If you don't want to get involved,
it's your choice, right?

But don't tell me this never

That I got this all wrong,
that I made this up.

Don't you tell me that I made this

Why don't you just let me try
to explain to you.

That's it. Get out.

I just want to tell you...
if you just let me try to explain.

Just get the fuck out of here!

Well... Um...


I don't do this.

I said, I don't do
this kind of thing anymore.

I didn't quit law school.

I had to leave. I was almost done.

And then

I started to...

I couldn't get out of bed in the morning
and everybody's voices started getting

louder and louder and
I felt smaller and smaller.

So, finally I was falling all the time.

See, I carry this briefcase everywhere,
you know, writing notes all the time.

And I get home and I put the briefcase
on the hall table and I never open it.

See, I don't write.

I haven't written anything in years.

And I don't have a publisher.

You know what I do all the time?

I watch TV.

I get home and I...

I get my dinner and I sit in front
of the TV and tell myself it's OK

to watch for a while because I'm

You know, right after dinner and

after dinner I get the

TV guide and check and see if
something's on

and I watch one program, like a good one,
like a science special or something.

But I'll watch what ever's on.

Even if I've seen it before.

'Cause it fills this void in me.

'Cause nobody ever told me what to

So I watch all night hoping
it tells me what to do.

I don't talk about anything
I haven't seen on TV.

I didn't read about birds or

It's like something broke in me

a long time ago.

I don't know what it was and it's
too hard for me to keep trying.

I know a lot of things
I want to do with my life.

And I'm so far behind now.

I'm never going to catch up.

I just wish that someone would tell me what to do.
That I should sit down,

That I should eat something.

And afterwards

Afterwards though

Answer my questions,
tell me how to do stuff

and if I screw up it's okay 'cause

that's what people do.
Screwing up's a good thing.

It's good and...

And then they'll tell me
to go to bed and go to sleep.

You know, it would be okay
tomorrow. We'll do something...

...else and we'll have fun.

I'm sorry.

You know uh...

I lie in bed at night and I'm staring
up at the ceiling and it's like

the only thing that's gotten me
through lately

is the thought that I'd see you at

At first I thought, “oh

I just liked you

'cause you know you were so much


Making jokes at those guys' expense

and them not knowing it and then

and then

you'd smile and you'd look at me

and I'd understand.

I don't know what happened.

It's like...

At one point, guys just

stopped asking me out.

I don't know if it was because
of my age or

because maybe I

I gave off this serious vibe.

It's probably that.

It's funny, you know?

You finally grow up,

you finally figure out who
the hell you are,

and just when you've got something
interesting to give,

they're not interested anymore.

So, I probably knew you wouldn't
come through for me.

I should have known,

When the smartest,


funniest guy, who's a paralegal

who does the xeroxing in the office,
I should have known that you are

you are where you are

because you want to be there.


we all are where we are because

we want to be there, right?

It's getting late.


I need to sleep.

Yeah, right.

Do you want to get together again
outside of work?

You mean like on a date?

Yeah, I was thinking maybe next

So this was a date?

Yeah, I'm asking you out
on a date next Friday.

After all this?

Uh huh.

Listen, why don't you

why don't you think about it next week
and then you can ask me then, OK?

I don't need to wait.

Don't do this to me again.

- I'm just asking you out on a date.
-1 don't think so.

You can always change your mind.
Any time you want.

You just say the word. I know it's going
to be uncomfortable at work but...

I just said, ask me next week.

But I was thinking
'cause we've been talking...



So, I'll see you at work.

See you at work.


I don't know what to do.

What am I going to do now?

Just go home, Michael.

Everything will be okay.

Yeah, right.

I'll see you.

See you.