Balboa Blvd (2019) - full transcript

A young man discovers answers to his past both touching and tragic, as basketball becomes more than a game.

(waves crashing)

- [Shari] My dearest, Marquis,

I'm your mother and I would
like to tell you a story.

A true story.

Your story.

(alarm beeping)

(gentle piano music)

(waves crashing)

(waves crashing)

(hoop clatters)

(basketball thudding)

- Hey, man, how about a game?

- I don't play pick up.

- Just a quick one, till 11.

- Like I said, I
don't play pickup.

- How about a quick
game of horse?

Come on, I just wanted
a quick shoot around.

It's been a while
since I played and...

20 bucks says I win.

- I don't wanna play for money.

- It's too much.

How about 10 bucks?

You can do 10 bucks, right?

- No, I just don't feel
like playing for money.

- You've gotta
play for something.

Let's start with a dollar.

One dollar's not
gonna hurt anyone.

How's that sound?

- One dollar?

Quick game?


(Ray laughs)

- No donkey.

- Okay, okay.

- Let's see what you got.

- All right, old man.

Free throw line.
(basketball thudding)

(hoop clatters)

(Ray laughs)

- And it's on!

(upbeat electronic music)

- [Marquis] All right, okay.

Side arm, one hand,
off the backboard.

- [Ray] Okay, ah!

- I got some old
school in the air, man!

(Ray laughs)

- It's unbelievable.


- Hello.

(Marquis shouts)

Making these crazy shots.

All right, hold up.

I got one for you.

Eyes closed.


Man, so much for a quick game.

Look, I gotta go.

It's getting late.

- It's a forfeit then.

No, we had a bet.

You forfeit, you lose the bet.

You owe me a dollar.

Pay up, kid!

- Man, it's late,
I'm not forfeiting.

- Okay, we'll put it on hold.

We'll resume again
tomorrow, cool?

- Yeah.

- I'm Ray by the way.

- Marquis.

- Like a nobleman.

It's good to meet you, Marquis.

So tomorrow.

We got a deal, remember?

- Yeah, man, tomorrow.
- Yeah?

- Got it.

(gentle music)

¶ Ooh, ooh ¶

- Tomorrow, kid!

¶ Is life ¶

¶ Going down ¶

¶ Is your joy standing down ¶

¶ Are you stuck in a hole ¶

¶ Can't you read or draw
your faces anymore ¶

¶ Life's a puzzle, oh ¶

¶ Life's a headache, oh ¶

¶ Life's a window, you
just need a shade ¶

¶ Oh ¶

¶ Oh ¶

¶ Ooh ¶

- [Shari] My dearest Marquis,
it was on a gloriously sunny

California day when
I first discovered

that you were
growing in my belly.

I remember it so clearly.

It felt amazing to me.

You, this perfect little
nugget growing inside of me.

The moment was almost perfect.

You see, I was laying
in a hospital bed.

My arm was broken,
but they kept me there

because of a concussion.

I had been hit in
the head again.

I was comfortable enough being
there in the hospital bed.

It wasn't an unfamiliar
scenario for me.

At least I could rest.

It was the doctor
that broke the news.

"You're pregnant."

I wasn't shocked,
Marquis, I was delighted.

I fell in love with you
from that very moment.

Then Freddy walked in.

I'll tell you about
Freddy in my next letter.

Always with my love, Mom.

¶ Life's a headache ¶

¶ Oh, oh ¶

¶ Life's a window you,
just need a shade ¶

¶ Oh ¶

¶ Oh ¶

¶ Is life going down ¶

(alarm beeping)

¶ Is your joy standing down ¶

- [Shari] I was so
scared this time.

Not for myself, I'd
become used to it.

He had these large, heavy
hands over my throat,

squeezing so tight that
I could barely breathe.

He'd shake me back and
forth and he was strong.

My head would shake so violently

that I could feel my brain
sloshing about inside my skull,

but that didn't scare me.

I was used to it.

I was scared for you,

my most prized possession.

¶ Life's a window, you
just need a shade ¶

- You're back.

- You're still here.

What a pair, huh?

- What are you eating?

Looks good, you're
making me hungry.

- Just a regular burrito.

- Ah, nah, I don't eat meat.

I got no beef with cows.

- So how come you never
play anymore, kid?

You'd clean up.

- I play people.

- Oh, okay.

Well, great.

How'd you like to
make some quick bucks

putting those sweet
moves to work?

- Yeah, but I don't
really need the money.

- Ah, that must be nice.

Mommy and Daddy take
care of that for you?

Look, I know you
don't have a job.

You're out here all day.

- No, fuck you, Ray!

You don't know me.

Yeah, man, I got a
job and I'm in Uni.

So what if I wanna take
some time to myself, huh?

What's your excuse, man?

Look at you.

- Look.

I'm not judging, alright?

All I'm saying is that
there's a pretty sweet sense

of freedom when a man has some
liquid cash in his pocket.

If not for you, treat your girl.

Oh, you're not gonna
tell me a young man

such as yourself
doesn't have a girl?

What's up with that?

Okay, okay, put it
towards a new pair

of Jordan's or something.

Think about it,
we could team up.

I'd make a great coach.

Everyone could use some
cash in their pockets.

Am I right?

(vibrant music)

Think about it, dollar boy!

- [Player] You ain't got
nothin', you ain't got nothin'.

You ain't got nothin',
you ain't got nothin'.

(hoop clatters)

(basketball thudding)

You ain't got nothin'.


Stupid, stupid.

- Yes!

- That was a great
game, Marquis.

Killer defense, man.

So where does that come from?

Does your Dad play?

- Yeah, he played.

Not well, but he tried.

But he's dead.

He's not my real
Dad, he adopted me.

- I'm sorry to hear that.

- It's okay.

He died three years ago.

Heart condition.

Alright, I gotta go, Ray.

Thanks for the game.

- Okay, yeah.

So I'll see you tomorrow?

Hey, Marquis, don't
forget your winnings!

(hoop clatters)

- [Marquis] That's enough, man.

- [Ray] You gotta
remember, I'm from the 70s.

You know what I mean.

- Shit, how old are you, Ray?

- I'm not that old.

I can still shoot
with the best of 'em.

- Well.
(sucks teeth)

They do say the shot's
the last thing to go.


(gentle piano music)

- [Shari] I had one
other prized possession,

my granddaddy's ring.

He told me it was his
father's before him.

A beautiful gold ring like
nothing I had ever seen.

I wore it around my neck.

It was a man's ring
so it was too big

for me to wear on my finger.

But this one day, with
the sun on my belly,

I'd twist the ring in
my hand and the sunlight

would catch on
the stone and send

sparkling light
all over the room.

God, it was so beautiful.

Looking at the dancing
light, at the ring

on that very moment,
at that very stone

is when I knew I had the
perfect name for you.

You would be called Marquis.

It's the name of the
way they cut the stone.

Did you know that?


I kept this ring safe for you.


- You out here early.

(paper ripping)

- [Shari] My dearest, Marquis,

I awoke to find myself
in the hospital again,

but I no longer felt safe,
like it wasn't the place

for me to rest as it once was.

The doctors looked
at me differently.

I was used to them
seeing my injuries.

Stitching what needed
to be stitched,

bandaging what needed
to be bandaged.

Putting a cast on
whatever was broken.

This time they
kept looking at me

like they were
looking inside me.

But I adored that they
always made a fuss over you.

Checking my tummy,
running tests.

Talking about baby
this and baby that.

I just knew you were okay.

You were strong.

I could feel you
moving about, playing.

One of the nurses heard
me singing to you.

I would sing to you everyday.

But on this day I struggled.

I couldn't remember the words.

(waves crashing softly)

(Ray groans)

- Morning.

- Is it?

- Did you sleep here all night?

Ray, did you sleep
here all night?

Ray, I'm not stupid, man.

Look at you.

You're always in the same
clothes, sleeping outside.

Ray, are you homeless?

- I have a home.

- Where?

- Sydney.

- Sydney, so...

So what are you
doing in Adelaide?

- Just started walking,
I kinda stumbled on it.

- You walked from
Sydney to Adelaide.

Are you crazy?

- Yeah.

Yeah, kid.

Maybe I am.

- So how long did that take?

- I don't know.

I wasn't really counting.

- Ray, are you in
trouble or something?

- What were you reading?

- When?

- Just now.

Just now when I woke up,
you were reading something.

What was it?

- Just a letter from my Mom.

My real Mom.

- Oh.

That's nice.

- That's nice?

Just right away you
think it's nice?

I guess it doesn't
matter that she left me

with nobody when I was born.

Nothing but a name, Ray.


A name I don't know shit about.

I guess it don't matter
that she gave me up

to the system, does it?

I know.

I know, it sounds
clinical, right?

It's not the way a
normal person would

describe an environment
for kids, but you see, Ray.

Nobody cares, man.

It was so crowded.

There were kids everywhere, man.

I remember I had to
sleep in a hallway.

I remember being scared
every night, every day.

Not a word from her or anybody.

They used to tease me, said
I was some kinda alien.

Like how could I be a
real boy if I didn't

have a mother or a father?

Ray, and after 10 years in
that black hole, I came here.

The first letter came, then
the second until now, Ray.

I got this shoebox full
of letters from some woman

on the other side of the world

who never wanted
to know me there.

It's okay, right?

Like you said it, she
was nice enough to write.

- Of course, it matters, kid.

But I'm sorry, I
didn't think that...

- I never opened those letters.

- But you kept them.

- Yeah.

- And now started to read 'em.

- Yeah.

- How was it that you
ended up in Australia?

Instead of with a
family in the States?

- My Dad, Derrick, he was
a Lewis just like my Mom.

They were distant
cousins and he moved

to Australia a long time
ago after he met Robin.

I don't think he knew about me

or even that my Mom existed.

- Robin, she's your Mom now?

- Well, she didn't send me back.

¶ I like to feel the
rain, sun on my skin ¶

¶ I dance how I want to ¶

¶ Oh, oh, oh ¶

¶ Dancing around,
dirt paths I follow ¶

¶ It'll be okay 'cause
I can fly away ¶

¶ Oh, oh ¶

¶ Oh, oh ¶

¶ Oh, oh ¶

¶ 'Cause I can fly away ¶

¶ Oh, oh ¶

¶ Oh, oh ¶

¶ Oh, oh ¶

¶ I can fly away,
I can fly away ¶

¶ Oh, I can fly away ¶

¶ Oh ¶

¶ Oh, oh ¶

¶ I can fly ¶

(seagulls cawing)

(dramatic music)

- It was a pleasure
doing business with you.

- Hey!
- Oh, hey!

- Hey!
- Get back, settle down.

- [Marquis] You fuckin' asshole!

- Settle down.

- Yo, man, yo, why he
gotta treat him like that?

Throwing his weight around?

- Man, I hate people like that!

Picking on kids younger
and smaller than them.

- Just relax, okay.
- Don't tell me to relax, Ray!

It's the reason why I'm here.

It's why my life is so fucked up

because of assholes like
that when I was a kid.

'Cause of bullies
like that, Ray.

Ray, you wanna know what was
in those letters from my Mom?

I'll tell you, my Mom, she
was just a kid when she

started getting slapped around.

She wasn't even old
enough to go to school.

She finally got to
school, she met Freddy.

Freddy carried on
with those beatings.

Man, for years she was like
his own personal punching bag.

Nobody stopped him.

When she'd leave the hospital,
he'd send her right back in.

Beat her, choke
her, you name it.

It wasn't until...

It wasn't until she
was pregnant with me

they told her she had
TBI from all the abuse.

- What's TBI?

- Stands for Traumatic
Brain Injury.

Women suffering from
domestic violence.

Caused by repeated head
injuries and even strangling.

You see, it happened
to my Mom a lot

because Freddy used
to like to choke her.

Ray, you tell me, what kind
of coward does shit like that?

- Jesus, Marquis.

I'm so sorry.

What happened to Freddy?

- Freddy went to jail.

She went to an institution.

She was practically my age now,

going through all of this shit.

- Is that when she had you?

- No.

No, she escaped that place.

If you want to call it escape,

being on the streets
and pregnant.

- And Freddy?

- Freddy was killed in jail.

- That's karma.

Is Freddy your father?

- No, I don't think so.

I mean, she said he
wasn't but she never

told me who was.

- You know, Marquis, it
sounds to me like she

had it tougher than most.

It sounds to me like leaving you

wasn't really her choice.

Do you still blame her?

- I don't know, Ray.

I don't know how I feel.

I feel sorry for her.

I mean, she was just
as alone as I was.

It's like the only person in
this world she had was me.

And the only person
I had was her.

- You ever considered
meeting her?

You gonna write back to her?

- I don't know.

- You know, Marquis.

If there's one thing I've
learned in this life,

it's that you can't reach out
for what's in front of you

until you let go of
what's behind you.

- It wasn't all bad though.

You know, she told me she'd
sing to me all the time.

She'd take me on these long
walks while I was in her belly

down some street called
Balboa Boulevard.

She loved to be around people.

You're not gonna believe this,

but she'd oftentime
stop by the course

and watch the guys play.



No way.

(mellow electronic music)

- I was thinking.

We get bigger games, more money.

- Bigger games?

Yeah, I'm sure that's
something I can organize.

You need money, kid?

- I might one day.

- Tomorrow, Marquis.

(gentle instrumental music)

¶ Today, I feel the same
way as an empty shell ¶

¶ Today, I feel as lonely
as hell in my head ¶

¶ And I'm so tired
of feeling this way ¶

¶ And when I look at you
it makes me realize ¶

¶ I don't even know who I am ¶

¶ But maybe someday, maybe
someday I will find me ¶

¶ So maybe someday, maybe
someday I will find you ¶

¶ But for now I'm
still so lost ¶

¶ And I don't know
what's missing to me ¶

¶ But maybe someday, maybe
someday I will find me ¶

¶ And maybe someday, maybe
someday I will find you ¶

¶ And maybe someday, maybe
someday I will find you ¶

¶ I will find you ¶

¶ And maybe someday I will
find me, I will find me ¶

¶ I know it will
take some time ¶

¶ But I'm ready to
do what it takes ¶

¶ And I know it won't
be easy to find my way ¶

¶ I'll be there ¶

¶ And I know it will
take some time ¶

¶ But I'm ready to
do what it takes ¶

¶ And I know it won't be easy
to find my way out here ¶

¶ But maybe someday, maybe
someday I will find me ¶

¶ And maybe someday, maybe
someday I will find you ¶

¶ And maybe someday, maybe
someday I will find you ¶

- [Ray] Okay, kid, we've
got ourselves a game

- So we playing?

Shit, man.

- I'll be in your corner.

You wanted bigger bucks,
bigger bucks aren't easy.

- That's a
mean-looking dude, Ray.

I don't know, maybe
this was a bad idea.

- A bad idea?

Winner takes a cool grand.

- Damn.

What are the rules?

And what's up with this court?

This ain't no basketball court.

- Don't worry about it, kid.

It's their court, their rules.

Play to 21,
everything's one point.

Winner's out.

Your fitness and quickness
alone should win this.

- I don't know, I don't know.

- Hey, kid, I've got your back.

Just think of me as your coach.

- But what if I lose, Ray?

That's a lot of money.

Do you know how many
deliveries it'll take

for me to save on my end?

- Kid, I believe you
can win this game.

Come on, Marquis.

- Hey, are we going to do this?

- We good, kid?

- Yeah.
- Alright.

Let me stretch.

- Alright.

Yeah, let's do this.

(dramatic piano music)

- Come on, let's go.

Enough of the stretching, kid.

- [Ray] You ready, kid?

- Okay, Big Mike,
make this kid pay.

(basketball thudding)

(man grunting)

- You got nothing.

Come on, you pussy.

I bet you can't drive.

You don't even have a
license to drive, do you?

Do you even have a car?

Get your weak shit outta here.

- Foul!

That's a foul, come on!

- Bring shit.

You fucking watch us in the
street, you little bitch.

- [Ray] Foul!

What, come on!

(lips smack)

(Marquis groans)

Watch this.


In your face!


(man laughs)

I'm gonna give you
nightmares tonight.

Yeah, bitch!

- That's a foul!

Come on!

- Street rules, baby!

What, your boy can't
handle street rules?

- This is absolute bullshit.

(rim clatters)

Come on with this
bullshit fouling!

That's a foul, man, come on.

- It's alright, play on.

- Fuck, time out.

Time out, man, hey!

- Okay, okay, take
your time out.

It's not gonna make
a difference anyway.

(basketball thudding)

- Take your drink, kid.

- I'm about to punch that
dickhead any minute now!

- No, you're not.

- Yeah.
- No, you're not

because it's exactly
what he wants you to do.

He's trying to rattle you, kid.

Is it working?
- No.

- Are you sure?
- Yeah!

- Are you sure?

- Yeah, he's fouling
me when I drive in!

Using his arm on me illegally.

- Yeah, I know, kid.

I'm sorry, I thought it
was gonna be a clean game.

Man, I can pull us
out now if you want.

They're cheating pretty bad.

- No.

No, I wanna finish this!

Look, just tell me how
to get the ball back

and I'm gonna shoot
the damn lights out.

- Nice, that's what I wanna see.

Right, it's 15 zip.

Shut him down now and
that grand is ours.

You smother hum at
the top and he's gonna

have to take you in
post like before, right?

So he's gonna shove you
and push you pretty hard

to make you back down
so take his momentum.

Wait till you feel his weight
and take it from behind

and he's gonna fall
like a big sack of shit.


Then grab that ball and
shoot the lights out.

No drives, okay, just
shoot the damn lights out.

Got it?
- Yeah.

- You got it?
- Yeah.

- Let's get it done.

- Right.
- Get it done.

Come on, Marquis, this is yours!

(man groans)

- Foul!

- Street rules, baby!

- Get up, you idiot.


- This game's mine.

- We'll see about that.

- Damn.


Come on, bitch.

What you got, man?

Fuck, that all you got, man?


(hoop rattles)

(hoop rattles)

- Pay up, pay up, pay up.

Now that's how you
shoot for your life.

- I want a fuckin' rematch!

Fuckin' fluke,
man, fuckin' fluke!

(fingers snap)

- [Ray] Ah, you earned this.

- Nah, that's too much, Ray.

Some of that's yours.

- Okay, but you're gonna
have to convince me.

How about 80-20?

80 because you did all
the hard yacking out there

and 20 for my coaching.

- If you think that's fair.

- That's what an
agent would get.


What do you need all
that money for anyway?

Gettin' a car?

- I wish.

Nah, something else.

Something more
important than that.

- Oh, you're not gonna
tell me about it.

Alright, maybe
when you're ready.

Tell me something though.

Where'd you get your
love of the game from?

- Love?

- Yeah, love.

That's what I saw out
there this afternoon.

You were playing that game
like it was your last.

Played it with so much
energy and heart, kid.

That's love for the game.

- I don't know.

I guess it was right from
when I picked up the ball.

I mean, back when I
was in the States,

when I was younger
at that group home.

I didn't have any friends.

Nothing to do but just play
with that damn orange ball.

I guess it distracted
me from all the shit

that was happening
in that place.

Man, I couldn't shoot,
I couldn't do anything.

I'd just bounce it, bounce
it over and over again.

Just copy what the
older kids did.

Man, it took my mind off things.

Gave me something
to concentrate on.

I lived by it.

- It picked you, kid.

Now it's part of you forever.

- I guess.

You know, Ray, it's like...

It's like my psychologist, man.

It's like therapy
when I need it.

- Therapy?

- Yeah.

Man, Ray, when I'm playing
it's like I can shut the world

out of all these distractions
and stresses and just...

Man, just go somewhere peaceful.

- Yeah.

Yeah, I found my share of
solace in this game too.

It's taught me a lot.

Still teaching me today.

- Are you sad about
something, Ray?

- Sad's an understatement, kid.

Maybe someday when you
tell what you're gonna

do with all that money
I'll tell you about it.

I gotta go, kid.

See you next time,
next pickup, okay?

- Ray, something I've been
meaning to ask you, alright.

You can't say no, okay.

Thanksgiving is right
around the corner and, man,

Robin she tries to keep me
connected with my culture.

It's a pretty big deal.

(sighs) It would be so much
more bearable if you joined us.


What do you say?

A little Thanksgiving, okay?

My place?

- You got a good heart, kid.

I'll be there.

- Later, Ray!

(basketball thudding)



You're Marjorie Goodman.

- No, that's my Mom.

I'm Stella.

- Well, your Mom she's
a new customer of ours.

This is her first delivery.

- Yeah, well, I mean, I saw
your van there other day.

Who could say no to
a van like Green Veg?

- Well, I hope...

- Um, what have you
been listening to?

- No, not the stuff
you're used to.

- Hey, I saw you singing
at the beach the other day.

It was amazing.

- Thanks, but, I mean, I love
all music if you'll let me.


What is this?

- It's MC Hammer, Hammertime.

You're probably not
into 90s music though.

- Are you kidding me?

How can you go past
MJ, Nirvana, Radiohead?

REM, Pepper, Sinead, No Doubt.

- Wait, don't
forget about Tupac.

- Thank you, yeah.
- Biggie.

- Yes.
- Busta Rhymes, DMX.

Oh, I love his voice.

Wait, who else, who else?

- (together) Eminem!


- Wow.

- I told you, I love all music.

- Hey, I hope you
don't mind me asking,

but why were you busking
at the beach the other day?

- My teacher says that I need
to build up my confidence

when I sing so singing to
large crowds is great practice.

- Cool.

- Cool.

- Oh. (chuckles)

I'm sorry, he's your
delivery, Ma'am.

- Thank you, sir. (laughs)


You know my name, but
I don't know yours.

- Marquis.

- Marquis.

- And now I know where you live.

I mean, not like that.
(Stella laughs)

- And, um, you
have my number too.

- Yeah.


Alright, bye, Stella.

- Bye, Marquis.

- [Older Man] You
guys are short.

We're only playing
for full amount.

- You guys wanted the rematch.

That's all we have.

Play us for that or we find
another game somewhere else.

- Hey.

Throw the kid's
shoes in the mix and

that should make us square.

- No way.


Give me a second.

Marquis, we can walk, you know.

- No, shoe or no shoe.

Give me that big oaf again.

- [Ray] We're good!

- Okay, man, we have a game.

(thrilling music)

Come on, Big Mike, teach
thee guys a lesson!

- [Big Mike] Check it, chump.

You know you fluked
on me last time.

- Yeah, yeah, whatever.

- You're going to
school tonight.

- School, you ain't doing shit.

(basketball thudding)

- Take their money!

- [Ray] Come on,
Marquis, shut him down.

(rim rattles)

Come on, Marquis!

- Hey, bitches!

- [Older Man] Suck on that!

- Give me my shoes.

And the other one.

Thank you very much.


- Uh, we got hustled, kid.

They played us good.

- Damn!

I'm better than that.

Shit, I'm sorry, Ray.

That's a lot of money, man.

- Don't worry about it, kid.

It's only money.

There's more important
things in life than money.

- That's all I had.

That's all my savings.

- You win some you lose some.

But we are gonna win It
all back and then some.

- Damn!

- Bye, kid!

I'll setup the next game.

We're gonna win it all back!

(waves crashing)

(basketball thudding)

(hoop clatters)


(basketball thudding)

(hoop clatters)

(dog barking)

(gentle instrumental music)

¶ So maybe someday, maybe
someday I will find you ¶

¶ But for now I'm
still so lost ¶

¶ And I don't know
what's missing to me ¶

¶ But maybe someday, maybe
someday I will find me ¶

¶ And maybe someday, maybe
someday I will find you ¶

¶ And maybe someday, maybe
someday I will find you ¶

¶ I will find you ¶

¶ And maybe someday I will
find me, I will find me ¶

¶ I know it will
take some time ¶

¶ But I'm ready to
do what it takes ¶

¶ And I know it won't
be easy to find my way ¶

- Ray, you okay?

- Yeah.

I'm sorry, Marquis, I thought
I could do this but I can't.

I got a lot on my mind.

Please excuse me.

- Ray, where you going?

Are you okay?

- I'm sorry.

I just miss them so much.

My daughter, Sarah.

She was so beautiful and
vibrant, so full of life.

My wife, Rebecca.

If I could only, If I could
only touch her one more time.

I'd give anything for that.

Rebecca wanted us
all to visit the

Haunted Valley for the weekend.

She did ask me to finish
work early so we could all...

Just, we could all
travel up together.

I was in a meeting...

that afternoon and
I missed her call.

Then she left her last
text and voice messages.

Before I left the office,
I went to call them.

To see how far they had gone.

And she didn't even
bring anything up.

But a strange woman answered
Rebecca's phone that evening.

She asked me if I knew the
woman and the little girl.


In that moment I knew.

And I felt it, I
felt it so much.

Everything in my body felt it.

Paralyzed with fear and loss.

Hurting and grief.

So much grief.

I told her that I
was her husband.

She started telling
me that she was sorry,

that they were gone.

And that it was quick
and they didn't suffer.

It was a fatal
collision with a truck.

And now they're gone.

They're gone forever.

And I will never.

I will never see
them or hear them

or touch them ever again.

Just like that.

My whole life was gone.

¶ Ooh ¶

¶ Ooh ¶

- I'm so sorry, Ray.

- I'm sorry.

I'm sorry, I didn't mean
to bring the mood down.

Thank you, but I'll
just see myself out.

- Ray.


Man, I'm really sorry.

I had no idea.

- How could you?

- See you tomorrow?

- Happy thanksgiving, my friend.

¶ Running slow ¶

¶ Does it feel
like you're alone ¶

¶ It's fine ¶

¶ Don't let it go ¶

¶ You're so right,
don't know it now ¶

¶ Life's a puzzle, ooh ¶

¶ Life's a headache, ooh ¶

¶ Life's a window you
just need a shade ¶

¶ Oh, oh ¶

¶ Is life going down ¶

¶ Is your joy standing down ¶

¶ Are you stuck in a hole ¶

¶ Can't you read or draw
your faces anymore ¶

¶ Life's a puzzle, ooh ¶

¶ Life's a headache, ooh ¶

¶ Life's a window you
just need to show ¶

¶ Oh, oh ¶

- Hi, Stella.

- Hey.

- I wanna talk about my
friend, Ray, if that's okay.

¶ Ooh ¶

¶ Oh ¶

¶ Ooh ¶

¶ Oh ¶

¶ Ooh ¶

¶ Oh ¶

¶ Ooh ¶

¶ Oh ¶

¶ Oh ¶

¶ Oh ¶

- Man, I've been looking
for you everywhere.

How you doing?

- I'm okay.

- It's really good
to see you, Ray.

- It's good to see you too.

What are you reading?

Michael Jordan, "The Life."

That's a good book.

Who's your GOAT?

- Michael Jordan, man.

Too skilled, too athletic, Ray.

- Really?

Young buck like you.

I thought you'd be all
about Kobe or Lebron.

- Nah.

Lebron, not a chance.

Kobe, maybe.

I think he lacks the
speed Jordan had.

I mean, even if you take
away all the media and

marketing hype
surrounding Jordan.

Man, he's still the
best basketball player
we've ever seen.

A real baller.

I mean, you put him on
the playground, on the gym

with anybody, let
him go one on one,

Jordan reigns
supreme every time.

Not even Kobe has a chance.

- I don't know, man.

I think Kobe might win a few.

I think he'd take some games.

- No chance.

Mike had no weaknesses, Ray.

I mean, look, man.

His defense alone would
have beat 'em all.

I mean, his mental
game, Ray, was killer.

- What about Allen Iverson?

He crossed him up pretty good.

- That was one crossover.

Everybody keeps talking
about this one crossover.

He's too small.

Wouldn't have been
able to guard Michael

when he had the ball.

- Okay, what about Lebron?

Lebron, he's bigger, he's
faster, and he's stronger.

Jordan couldn't guard him and he

definitely couldn't guard Shaq.

- Shaq, Ray?

Nobody can guard,
Shaquille, he's too big.

And Lebron.

You forget that
Jordan was also strong

and much quicker
off the first step.

I mean, here's a guy
that took Dr. Jay's dunk

and took it up
another level, man.

He could jump from
the free throw line

and have his head at the rim.

- Okay.

- I mean, he would
smother Lebron and then

use his quick hands to take
the ball from him every time.

- Okay.

- Nah, I don't think
you understand, man.

Jordan is the master, Ray.

Okay, there ain't
nobody in history

or today's game
that could beat him.

(dramatic music)

¶ Ooh ¶

¶ Ooh ¶

¶ Ooh ¶

(Mike grunts)

- That's bullshit.

- Whatever, old man.

You're just as soft as him.
- Oh, yeah.

- I swear we'll see
who the pussy is if you
challenge us, chump.


- [Big Mike] Just get
the fuck off the court.

- [Ray] Okay.

(Marquis screams)

- Shit!

- Fuck!


- Ah, kid, can you still play?

- If he can't play, you guys
forfeit and we take the win.

Sorry, but that's how it goes.

- Don't worry, just give
us of couple minutes

and we're good, oaky?

- You got five minutes,
that's all, or you're out.

- He undercut me, man!

- I know, it's the only
way he can beat you.

It's a cheat!

- Pull me up.

- [Big Mike] He's done.

He can't play.

- Goddammit.

Fuck, man, let's play!

Let's play.

Before it tightens up, let's go!

- Point game.

(thrilling music)

- We cool?

Respect, man.

Take care, kid, I
might see you around.

- That was amazing
stuff, Marquis.

We have some celebrating
to do, don't you think?

- I can't.

I got deliveries
to make for Robin.

You know I can't
miss that again.

Damn, she's gonna be so pissed
that I sprained my ankle.

- [Mr. Lockhart] Mrs. Lewis,
my name is Mr. Lockhart.

I'm calling you from the
Los Angeles Department

of Family Services.

- [Robin Voiceover] Yes.

- [Mr. Lockhart] I'm the
senior caseworker on duty

and I have some news in relation

to your adopted son,
Mr. Marquis Lewis.

- What is it?

- [Mr. Lockhart] I'm
sorry to tell you

that I have some terrible news.

Our office has
been notified that

Marquis's biological
mother, one Ms. Shari Lewis,

was pronounced dead
at 9:30 this evening.

I'm very sorry for your loss.

- [Robin] Can you
tell me what happened?

- [Mr. Lockhart]
There was an accident.

She was struck by a distracted
driver earlier on in the day.

(tires screech)

She was transported to
(car crashing)

a local hospital where
she unfortunately

did not survive her injuries.

¶ Sleep in heavenly peace ¶

¶ Silent night, holy night ¶

¶ Shepherds quake at the sight ¶

¶ Glory stream
from heaven afar ¶

¶ Heavenly host sing allelujah ¶

¶ Christ the savior is born ¶

¶ Christ the savior is born ¶

¶ Mm, mm ¶

- What am I supposed to do now?

¶ Mm, Mm ¶

¶ Ooh, ooh ¶

¶ Ooh, ooh, ooh,
ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh ¶

¶ Silent night, holy night ¶

¶ Son of God,
love's pure light ¶

- I cannot let her
be buried alone.

I've been saving
for a long time.

I have enough for
a plane ticket.

And a headstone.

I mean, it'll be small, but
at least it's something.

- [Robin] I can help.

- No.


I appreciate it,
but I have enough.

I mean, I was gonna
go see her anyway.

- There's something else.

She must have sent it
before the accident.

- Don't worry, Mom.

I'm coming home.

(insects chirping)

This came today.

I can't open it.

- You want me to open it?

- Yeah.

Read it to me, Ray.

- My dearest, Marquis...

A thought recently--

- [Shari] A thought
recently occurred to me.

After all these years
and all these letters

I never once thanked you.

For the life of me, I
just don't know why.

I wonder everyday why
don't you write me back.

I don't blame you for
being mad, for hating me.

I've been selfish, it's true.

I had it in my mind that if
I couldn't give you a roof

or clothes I food, I'd
give you what I could,

and all I could
figure to give you

was my love and your story.

I know it's important for
a man to know who he is.

Most people are...

Oh, I hope everyday
that it's enough

even though I know it's not.

But enough for you to find it
in your heart to forgive me.

To hear your voice,
to read your words.

I thought if I gave
you all that I could

you would know that I love you.

But today it just hit me.

There was something else
that I could give you

that I haven't yet
and that's my thanks,

my most honest
and truest thanks.

Thanks to you for
giving me so much.

It's because of you
that I write everyday

and the writing helps
me work my mind,

which has helped me get
through the worst of my TBI.

You've given me focus.

That focus has led to
purpose and working hard

to get my life back.

I have a job.

It's just a small job,
but I have my own desk

and a boss who laughs everyday.

It's a greeting card company
so laughing's to be expected.

They started me out
as an office assistant

and now I'm writing greetings,
if you can believe it.

So I want to thank you for that.

And thanks to you
I have the hope

that one day I'll know
what it feels like

to wrap my arms around
that beautiful little baby

who is now a man.

Always with my love, Mom.

(birds chirping)

- For as much as it has
pleased our Heavenly Father

in his wise Providence
to take onto Himself

our beloved Shari Lewis.

Her body now committed
to the ground.

Earth to earth, ashes
to ashes, dust to dust.

Mr. Lewis, would you
like to say anything?

- Of course, I blamed you.

I told myself I didn't
care to know you.

Told myself I hated you
for throwing me away.

If you didn't want
me, I didn't want you.

As the years passed
and the letters...

piled up I ignored them.

It was the only
way to punish you.

To make you feel
some of my pain.

It was all that I could control.

But out of a moment
of desperation, I
realized that I...

I can no longer resist you.

I needed answers.

I needed my Mom.

Your letters have
helped me realize

it's not about what
I don't have but

to finally see what I do.

I wrote this letter before I
knew the significance of time.

I never dreamed that
you wouldn't get a
chance to read it.

(gentle music)

That we'd never have
a chance to meet.

There's so much I wanted
to share with you.

I wanted to tell you
about this girl I met,

this beautiful girl, and...

I've been too afraid
to ask her out,

but now I know, I
know not to waste time

and so I'm gonna change that.

I wanted to tell you
about my friend, Ray.

My best friend.

And he's opened my eyes.

He's help me see that
I've been so lucky.

That you've always had the
biggest part of my heart.

And we share this
love of basketball.

And I have to
thank you for that.

Thank you.

Did you know her?

- Yes, I was assigned to
her case when you were born.

- Thank you for
being there for her.

- I'm here for you too
if ever you need me.

Oh, I almost forgot.

This is for you.

She always hoped to
give it to you one day.

- [Shari] At our
most desperate times

when you plead for Him to
hear you, to really hear you,

you hope for a reply, a
sign, something to suggest

that you're not alone.

A sign that you are
in exactly the place

that you're meant to be
in at that exact moment,

but then you also know better.

You don't actually
expect a reply.

You know that's
not how it works.

My life was living
proof that God didn't

much care about my
desperation until that night

when my water broke and
you were born, Marquis.

On a dinky little bus
stop on Balboa Boulevard.

That night, I received a sign
and wouldn't you know it.

My sign was a literal sign.

Illuminated from the
darkness of the street,

propped up on the corner
of a little church.

It read, "Jesus didn't reject
people, neither do we."

(Marquis sighs)

- Hello.


Yeah, I'm out of town.

Hey, Stella.

Do you think it would be okay,

you know, if I take
you out to dinner,

movie, karaoke?


I'm coming home.

- Coming to pay up, dollar boy.

- Holy shit, Ray.

- You scrub up all
right, for an old man.


What's going on with you?

- I'm going home.

- Really?
- Mm-hmm.

You're walking all the
way back to Sydney?

- Oh, no, no.

No, I'm done with walking.

I'm gonna sit back,
put my feet up,

let the Greyhound do the work.

- The bus, okay.

Man, you could see
the path you walked.

- Yeah, yeah, I was
thinking the same thing.

(mellow music)

- You okay?

- I will be, what about you?

- (sighs) Yeah me too.

- I'm not leaving
without my dollar.

- We got a game before we go.

- Well, you better
change that bus ticket.

- Oh yeah.

- 'Cause you ain't goin' home.

- Oh, is that right, is it?

Alright, come on.

- Last time, hurry
your business.

(speaking softly)

- Yeah, yeah.

- Oh, by the way.

Off the head and to the back.

¶ Life's a puzzle, oh ¶

¶ Life's a headache, oh, oh ¶

¶ Life's a window, you
just need a shade ¶

¶ Oh, oh ¶

¶ Is life going down ¶

¶ Is your joy standing down ¶

¶ Are you stuck in a hole ¶

¶ Can't you read or draw
your faces anymore ¶

¶ Life's a puzzle, ooh ¶

¶ Life's a headache ¶