Beautiful Boy (2018) - full transcript

Based on the best-selling pair of memoirs from father and son David and Nic Sheff, Beautiful Boy chronicles the heartbreaking and inspiring experience of survival, relapse, and recovery in a family coping with addiction over many years.

[wind blowing, waves lapping]

So, this is for, uh,

New York Times Magazine?

No. I'm sorry, that...


mm... no, I freelance.

I write
for different magazines,

but this is a personal matter.

A personal matter?

Yes, I'm sorry. Is that okay?

No, it's absolutely okay.

May I ask what-what this is
regarding and...?

Uh, it's about my son.

Okay. How can I help?


There are moments
that I look at him,

this kid that I raised,

who I thought I knew
inside and out,

and I wonder who he is.

He's been doing all sorts
of drugs,

but he's addicted
to crystal meth,

which seems, uh, to be
the worst of all of 'em.

And I guess I'm here

because I just want to know...

all that I can about...

all of it.

Know your enemies, right?



My two big questions are,

wh-what is it doing to him,

and what can I do to help him?

[crickets chirping]

[shoes wiping on mat]

[footsteps approaching]

[door opens]

[light switch clicks]

[David sighs]

[crickets chirping]

[crickets chirping]

[line ringing]

MAN: Marin General Hospital.
How may I help you?

Hi. My son has gone missing,

and I wanted to check
to see if he had...

uh, maybe had been brought in

or-or if-if there'd been
an accident.

Can I have name
and description, sir?

Nicolas Sheff.


He is...

18 years old.

He is just over six feet tall.

About 130 pounds.

Maybe less.
I-I don't know. Um...

He has shoulder-length
brown hair

and green eyes.

Thank you. Please hold.


- Mr. Sheff?
- Yes.

Uh, there's no one
by that name, sir.

Okay. Thank you.


[crickets chirping]

[crickets chirping]

He's been gone for two days.

What do you mean he's gone?

- What's going on?
- I don't know.

- I don't know.
- Two days?

Why didn't you tell me sooner?

Uh, I didn't want
to worry you, I guess.

- I just...
- I'm his mother, David.

Didn't you see this coming?

Uh, no.


No, no, I didn't see it coming.

If I'd seen it coming,
I would've done something.

It was just a question, David.

I haven't been talking with him
a lot lately.

Well, maybe that's why you
shouldn't be giving me advice

in parenting, right?

Fuck, Vicki.

Can we just not blame
each other right now? That's...

Who's blaming who here?

If I hardly ever see him,
it's because he's supposed

to come to I.A.
for the holidays

but always finds a reason
not to come.

Well, that's not my fault,
is it?

[birds chirping]


[baby fussing]

Here's your little brother.


Just support his head.



[Nic and David laugh]

Hi, Jasper.

- Hi, little boy.
- [fussing]

This is amazing.

He's sticking his tongue out.


Hi. Nice to meet you.

- Bye.
- Bye.

- I'll miss you this summer.
- Me, too.

- Okay, write me.
- Write me back.

Work on your French.

- Oui, madame.
- [chuckles]

Have a great summer.

And say hi to your mom.

- Everything.
- Everything.

[engine whirring]

[Daisy squealing]

[dog barking]


Come on.

[Daisy and Jasper chattering
in distance]

[indistinct chatter
and laughter in distance]


- Where have you been?
- Yeah, I just need to sleep,

- all right?
- What have you been doing?

I just need to sleep,
all right? Leave me alone.

Guys, go downstairs.

I'll be there in a minute.

[birds chirping]




- Look, man, I'm-I'm, uh...
- [sighs]

I'm really sorry, all right?
And-and I, uh...

I fucked up,
and it was a mistake, but...

it was a one-time mistake,
all right? I learned my lesson.

I don't want to go through this
shit again, all right? So...

- Let's just go inside.
- No.

They're professionals.

Let's just listen
to what they have to say.

Look, I'm 18, all right?!
You can't force me!


This got out of hand, right?

Don't you think?

Come on.

All right.

Okay. Okay.

I'm doing it for you.

[indistinct chatter]

[siren wailing in distance]

He needs treatment. And fast.

There's still a lot of drugs
in his system.

And, worst of all,
he's in denial.

Um, can you help him?

Oh, yeah. I mean,

a lot of the people here
are not here by choice.

And they have just
as much chance as anybody.

[clears throat]

So, we have a free bed.

So, if you want, we can check
him in for a 28-day treatment

and then we evaluate.


what is your success rate?

On the high end, 80%.

On the low end,


Look, he will have
daily consultations

with a staff psychiatrist
and physician.

We have daily N.A.
and A.A. meetings.

He'll be monitored
very closely.

Thank you.

And last page.



[indistinct chatter]

DAVID: Why are you
always in this room?

You hardly ever come out
of here.

It's like you're a vampire.

I read.

I draw.

You know what we should do?

We should go surfing.


That sound good?

I'm kind of into other things
now, you know?

Reading misanthropes and
seriously depressed writers.

Oh, come on, they're...

they're kind of great,
though, right?

I get it.

It'll pass, though.

It always does.

What does?

The feeling of being alienated
and isolated.

Huh, that really helps.

Thanks for the advice, Dad.


All right. That was...

That came out wrong. I'm sorry.


All right. Your-your idea.


Hey, Dad.

MAN: So, we feel
he's made great progress.

- Right, Nic?
- Hi. -Hey.

- KAREN: That's great.
- DAVID: That's great.

MAN: So we should maybe talk
about the coming weeks, Nic.

Mm. I think I need to...
I think I need

a little bit more time
in rehab. So if it's...

if it's all right
with you guys, I was wondering

if I could stay
in the halfway house here.

MAN: The halfway house
is an open living facility

with follow-up every night,

and we would help him
find a job.

Right. I don't want to...

go to college...

- right now.
- DAVID: Oh?

Okay. Uh, um, and do what?

I think I need
to be independent.

Dad, I'm telling you,
this is...

It's gonna be good.

What is he gonna do,

make coffee
for the rest of his life?

KAREN: You know what,
Frederick told me

that they have friends
that had a son

that did a four-week program
and that wasn't enough

and now he's doing
a year program.

I wish you wouldn't talk
to everybody about it.

What does that got to do
with anything?

To protect Nic.
I mean, at some point,

he's gonna want to get on
with his life.

And maybe it's best that
not everybody knows about this.


Can we not make this about me?

[sighs] All right.

Look, Nic needs some more time.

And that's fine.

- Okay?
- Okay.


Yeah, okay.

[children shouting

- [phone ringing]
- [dog barking]


[dog continues barking]

David Sheff.

WOMAN [on phone]:
Hi, Mr. Sheff.

This is Annie Goldblum
from the Ohlhoff Center.

Oh, yes. Hi. Hello.

ANNIE: Listen,
I am sorry to disturb you,

but I need to inform you
about Nic.


He left the facility today
during free time,

and he hasn't returned since.


I'm sorry, Mr. Sheff,

but please don't despair.

This happens.

[sighs] But I...

I thought you said
he was doing so well.

You should think of this
as part of the process.

Relapse is a part of recovery.

Relapse is part of recovery?

Yeah. It-it's a part
of Nic's learning process.

Well, uh, that's...

that's like saying crashing
is part of pilot training.

Look, he'll be back,
and probably really quick.

[scoffs] Do you have somebody
out looking for him?

It is not our responsibility

once he leaves the facility.

- DAVID: Okay.
- But he is welcome to...

[phone beeps]

["Territorial Pissings"
by Nirvana playing]

♪ When I was

[young Nic singing along]:
♪ An alien

♪ Cultures weren't opinions

♪ Gotta find a way,
to find a way ♪

♪ When I'm there

♪ Gotta find a way,
a better way ♪

♪ I'd better wait

Excuse me.

Have you seen a kid
hanging out around here?

- No.
- No?

Okay, thank you.

♪ Just because
you're paranoid ♪

♪ Don't mean they're not
after you ♪

[music stops]

♪ Gotta find a way,
a better way ♪

♪ When I'm there

♪ Gotta find a way,
a better way ♪

- ♪ I'd better wait
- [thunder rumbles]

♪ Gotta find a way,
a better way ♪

♪ I'd better wait

♪ Gotta find a way,
a better way ♪

♪ When I'm there

♪ Gotta find a way

♪ Aah, aah!

♪ Aah!

- [song ends]
- [Nic retching]

Wow. They don't want
to deal with that.

Hey, Dad, you want
to smoke this?

- Hey, whoa.
- [Nic chuckling]

Wait. What...? Stop.

- Put that away.
- We'll smoke this together.

No, no, no. No.
Are you cra...

- That's crazy.
- Well, I know you smoke.

- Y... Well, yeah. I...
- So let's smoke together.

No, no, no.
Occasionally, like...

- Look, let's smoke to...
let's smoke together. -Listen.

- Or I could just... You know what?
- No, stop it, stop it.

- Stop. Stop.
- I'll just light it here a...

You know what? You're right.

I'll just light it here alone.

- [Nic laughs]
- Don't. Occasionally,

- from time to time...
- Yeah?

I will have a hit or two
at a party,

but it's been a while,
so just...

Oh, okay, so then just smoke...

have-have a celebratory joint
with your son.

N-No. God, come on.

No. No, you're amazing.

You got... you applied
to six colleges,

you got into all of them?


Stop doubting yourself.

Look at you.

Give me that. Give me that.

- [laughing]
- What? [laughs]

Nice-nice hit.
That was a good hit.

[both laughing]

- What?
- Well...

Thank you. This is a nice...

thing to do.


You did a lot of drugs, right?

I, uh...

Yeah, I did my share.

I experimented
with some drugs.

- [laughs]
- I did.

[both laugh]

- But not harmless.
- What, is this...?

There was a guy, and...
No, no.

This is the lecture part?

- Right?
- [sighs] Yes.

Dad, you worry too much,
all right?

- Everyone does it.
- Just be careful.

It's just a little pot.
I'm just partying a little.

It's just... you know,
it's just once in a while.


I deserve to party
a little now.

- "Deserve to party."
- I do.

Look, it just... it takes
the edge off things.

It-it... it-it takes the edge
off of stupid all-day reality.


What is stupid about reality?

You know, just like...

like daily, stupid things
that don't matter.

- Okay.
- [sighs]

You cannot say
dumb shit like that,

or you're gonna start
believing it.


["Sound and Vision"
by David Bowie playing]

♪ Blue, blue, electric blue

♪ That's the color

♪ Of my room

♪ Where I will live

♪ Blue, blue

♪ Pale blinds drawn all day

♪ Nothing to do,
nothing to say. ♪

Thanks for bringing that,


This is my home.

DAVID: A couple of weeks ago,
you told me

that you had only done
crystal meth once.

And the story has to be bigger
than that, right?

- Mm-hmm.
- There's more to it.



We need to know.

We need to know.

I think I always liked it.


Anything. Pot, alcohol,

Ecstasy, cocaine, LSD.

[Nic sighs]

And you've been doing
all of that

for what... years?

A couple years, yeah.

And crystal meth?

Just a couple months.


I don't know.


When I tried it, I felt...

I felt better
than I ever had, so...

I just kept on doing it.

I was worried that you
were smoking too much pot.

Meanwhile, you're out doing
every drug on the planet?

And hiding it and lying?


- I don't know. Um...
- Why?

- Nic, tell me why.
- KAREN: Ease up.

- I don't know.
- I thought we were close.

I thought we were closer
than most fathers and sons.

Yeah, I feel like you're
always disappointed in me.

You're disappointed
I didn't go to college.

Can you blame me?!

Just, uh, not too long ago,

you were reading and you
were writing, and you were on

the water polo team.

And look at us now.

- Dad... -Can you please stop?
- This isn't us.

- This is not who we are.
- KAREN: Just, please,

both of you, stop.

Dad, I'm really sorry
about everything.

Dad, I'm so...

I'm really sorry, Dad.

[David sighs]

- Nic, what you have...
- [exhales]'re gonna find it again.


And you're gonna get it back.

♪ Long afloat on

Ow, ow, ow.

- Ow. There you go.
- ♪ Shipless oceans

[dog barking]

♪ I did all my best

♪ To smile

♪ Till your singing

♪ Eyes and fingers

♪ Drew me loving

♪ To your isle

♪ And you sang

♪ Sail to me

♪ Sail to me

♪ Let me enfold you.






[seagulls squawking]



Hey, Dad.

DAVID [on phone]:

How's New York?

Fine. Good.

Good interview today.

- Nice.
- How are you?

Oh, I'm-I'm doing good. Yeah.

Yeah? You sure?

Yeah. I don't... well...


It's, uh...

What's going on?

Uh, we had this great
group session,

and one of the guys here was
saying he would do anything

for a chance to go to college,
but he can't.

- Okay. -And when we were
talking later, he said,

"You could still go to college.
Don't be an idiot.

Go to college."

I don't know, it's just crazy.

I realized I don't think
I should stay behind.

I love writing.

And I feel like I'm good at it,

and I do it a lot, but...

obviously, there's still a lot

for-for me to learn and...

Anyway, um...

I'd love to give it a go, if...

you know, if it's all right
with you guys.

Yeah. I'll talk to Karen
and to your mom.

Back here.

[quiet, indistinct

[indistinct conversation]

[indistinct talking,
laughing nearby]

Have you met your roommate yet?

Yeah, he seems nice.

He's just in the hall.

I feel for you, though.

[Nic laughs]


No worries. I'll educate him.

[David laughs]

Before you know it, he'll be
listening to John Zorn.



Well, I better get going.

All right.

- Everything.
- Everything.

- [indistinct chatter]
- [wheels rattling]

So, this is a poem

by Charles Bukowski.

Uh, this man saved my life
multiple times, so...

"I changed jobs and cities,

"I hated holidays,

"babies, history,

"newspapers, museums,

marriage, movies, spiders..."

I want to see it,
I want to see it! Oh!


- "English accents...
- Nice. Go, go, go!

"...Spain, France,

"Italy, walnuts
and the color orange.

"Algebra angered me,
opera sickened me,

"Charlie Chaplin was a fake

and flowers were for pansies."


[conversing indistinctly]

by Sigur Rós playing]

- [laughs]
- Come here.


Hi. [laughs]


["Svefn-g-englar" continues,
with singing in Icelandic]

[indistinct chatter]

[indistinct chatter]

Where's your bathroom?

Hey, is there a bathroom
I can use?

Sure, honey.

I'll show you where it is.

Go right up, to the left.

[indistinct chatter, laughter]


[indistinct chatter continues]

[phone ringing]

[phone ringing]

- Hey, Dad.
- DAVID [on phone]: Hey, Nic.

How you doing?
What's going on?

Oh, no, everything's
going great here, yeah.

Oh, hey, thanks for sending
the money.

I really appreciate that.

[laughter nearby]

[indistinct chatter]

[chiming quietly]

DAVID [chuckles]: Yeah,
you always hog the fondue.

Oh, uh, Patrick and Phil
are going hiking tomorrow,

so they'd like us to join them.


Are Jasper and Daisy here,
by any...?

- They're not here.
- No?

- No. -Oh, they didn't
want to see me?

- No, they didn't want to see you.
- Oh, that's tough to hear.

Uh, well, I'm gonna just have
a seat on this couch

and think about that, huh?

- Oh!
- Whoa! Whoa!

Oh, my God!
Oh, my God, it's Daisy!

Oh, Jasper!

Oh, my God, you guys
have gotten so much bigger!

Oh! Oh, my God, you're so...!

- DAVID: Okay.
- Denmark, 1632.

- Oh, no.
- We...

Like to look back
at the history of Hula-Hoops.

So important to, uh,

the culture
of peace and wisdom.

Um, a man

- named George...
- Hoopulu.

- [laughter]
- Was, uh... was, uh...

And he thought...

[mock Danish accent]:
"Well, I'm going to

develop something that I..."


- Hey. Uh...
- [sighs]

Hey. Um...

I was wondering, do you think
I could use your car tonight?

'Cause I just...
I want to go to a meeting.

Oh. You got a meeting tonight?

Yeah, sure.

Y-You good?

[chuckles softly]:
Yeah. I just...

- They're crazy.
- Yeah.

They're really excited
you're home.

- I mean, I'll see you
in the morning, I guess. -Okay.

All right.

[rock instrumental playing]

Yep! Mm!

[mumbling incoherently]

[distorted whirr
of passing car]


Where is it?!

I don't have it!

Where is it?!

I don't have it!

Guys, guys, guys, guys, guys.

Where is it?!

- DAVID: Guys, guys, stop it.
- DAISY: I don't know!

DAVID: Stop. Calm down.
What's going on in here?

She took my money!

DAISY [sobbing]:
I didn't.

DAVID: Okay, all right.
Come on, go downstairs

- and see Mommy, all right?
- You took them!

- [sobbing] -Don't, don't,
don't. Stop, stop.

- I didn't take it, Daddy.
- I know you didn't. All right.

Just go downstairs
and have some breakfast.

Hey, what happened?

[Jasper shuddering]

They're gone.

Okay. Are you sure
you had it in there?

- Yeah. I had them yesterday.
- Okay.

Jasper's savings disappeared.

Yeah? That's weird.

Did you take his eight dollars?


You heard me.

Why would I?

It disappeared, and somebody
has to have done it.

Right, so it's me.

This is fucking ridiculous.

- [stammers, sighs]
- Are you using again?

Am I using again? No.

Are you high right now?

What the f...? No.

- Fuck you.
- "Fuck you"?

Don't talk to me that way.

Are you high right now?


You're not using right now?

Are you using?

No, Dad,
I'm not fucking high right now!


Listen, it was a gamble
to send you to college.

Everybody supported it.

I'm glad that you went.

Relapse is a part of rec...

Relapse is part of recovery.

- So we're gonna get...
- I better leave.

- David?
- Hey.

Just... where-where
are you gonna go?

You can't just leave.
This is ridiculous.

- Come on.
- Will you talk to us?

I mean, really...
we just want to talk to you.

Why don't...
Try to help us understand.

- Or just let us help you.
- All right?

I don't want your fucking help.
Don't you understand that?

- No. -No, you don't.
Jesus Christ, then what

the fuck is wrong
with you, then, huh?

- What the hell is wrong
with you people? -Nic.

- No! You fucking suffocate me.
- Hey.

- Oh...
- You fucking suffocate me!

Whoa, it's us?
We're the problem?

No. You know what,
you're the one who's doing it!

You're the one
who's causing it!

And you're the only one
who can stop it!

Fucking solve it!





[David sighs]

[turns page]

So, this is for the, uh,

New York Times Magazine?

Oh, no.

I'm a... I-I write.

I freelance
for different magazines,

but this is...
this is a personal matter.

- A personal matter?
- Yes. I'm sorry.

- Is that okay?
- Uh, no, it's absolutely okay.

May I ask what-what
this is regarding?

Uh, it's about my son.


DAVID: He's been doing
all sorts of drugs,

but he's addicted
to crystal meth,

which seems, uh, to be
the worst of all of them.

And I guess I'm here

because I just want to know
all that I can

about all of it.

So, uh, crystal meth, uh,

gives the user a feeling
of instant euphoria...

at least, when he takes it.

You know,
but when it wears off,

with a depletion
of as much as 60%

of the dopamine,
the user has to up the doses.

He has to double it, triple it
just to feel something,

causing even more nerve damage,

which, uh, increases
the compulsion to use.

Horrible cycle.


- What's up?
- Hey.

Just doing some research.


Are you hungry?

You want to get something?

Most guys just ask me
for a blow job. [chuckles]

Oh, no. No, I'm just
offering something to eat.

Maybe talk a little,
if you're up to it.

DR. BROWN: Meth changes
the brain physically.

Here we see the loss
of dopamine receptors

in a meth user's brain.

Now, I'm gonna show you
something else here.

Do you see, uh, right here
there are these two red, uh...

- large, red spots right here?
- Yeah.

Okay, what that shows is
hyperactivity in the amygdala.

And the amygdala is a region
of the brain

that is linked
with anxiety and fear.

Here the amygdala is screaming.

What this shows us

is that there is
a biological basis,

uh, that meth users
may be unable...

not unwilling, but unable...

to participate
in normal treatment programs.

I was in rehab, too.

Three times.

Ran away every time. [chuckles]


It was hell.

Wanted to die.

Why was it hell?

All that God shit.

Also, you just don't know
how good it gets

when it gets good.

It's hard to explain.

Feels like cocaine

but multiplied
by, like, a thousand.

Or, like, a million.

What does this mean for Nic?

Look, Mr. Sheff, I...

I don't know
who promised you what,

but the success percentage
is in the single digits.

[exhales, chuckles]


What about your parents?

What about them?

Don't you think
they're worried about you?

Shouldn't you...

let them know that...

They don't care.

Well, I think they do.

What the fuck do you know?

I gotta go.

Oh. Okay.


[indistinct chatter]

- Hey!
- Hey! Hey, now!

[indistinct chatter continues]

[indistinct chatter]

[crickets chirping]





[jazz playing]

[computer chimes]


[computer chimes]

[takes deep breath]

[indistinct chatter]

DAVID: I'm gonna try
some Klingon on you.


[speaking mock Klingon]

- You know what I said?
- May I have a Coca-Cola?

- Exactly.
- [both laugh]

DAVID [chuckling]:
That's it.

That's exactly what I asked.

Can I have a Coca-Cola?

All right.
If you ask me in Klingon,

maybe I'll get you a Coke.

[speaking mock Klingon]


Oh, wow.

This hasn't changed at all.

[laughs] This place.

- Hey.
- So, how you doing?

I'm doing great.

You know, just, um...


just doing
what needs to be done.

What does that mean?

Just being responsible
for myself and...

I've quit on my own,
you know, so...

I got five days now.

I feel like I'm doing well,
but I just need, um...

I just need
a few hundred bucks, though.

Nic, I can't give you
any money.



It's just 200 bucks.
I just need, um...

I just need to get
some shit together.

I want to go to New York.

- New York?
- Yeah.

I need to get out
of San Francisco.

There's too many...

[laughing]: All these
fucking bad vibes here

all the time.

Yeah, I just need
a few hundred bucks.

Why don't we just have lunch
and talk?

- We can do that, right?
- Mm.


How... how's Karen
and, uh... and the kids?

Okay. They ask about you.

It's their step-up next week,
and I know they'd love you...

Dad, you're, uh... you're
guilt-tripping me, all right?

No, I'm just saying...

I should feel horrible
about myself.

I know they wanted you
to be there, that's all.

I'm sorry, Dad.

Um... I just need
some fucking money, all right?

So please just give me
some fucking money.

And then what?
Where does this end?

This is... I got
to see this one through.

This is kind of working out
for me right now.

- I got five days sober.
- It doesn't look

like it's working out, Nic.

Oh, it doesn't look
like it's working out?

- So what, then,
therapy? Huh? -No.

- You can come home.
- No.

- That wouldn't...
- We'll make it work. Please.



- I've been doing some research.
- Been doing fucking research?

- You got to be kidding me, Dad.
- No...

You think that you have this
under control.

- Mm-hmm. -And I understand
how scared you are.

I understand why I do things...
it doesn't make me

any different, all right?
I'm attracted to craziness.

And you're just embarrassed,
'cause I was, like, you know...

I was, like,
this amazing thing,

like, your special creation
or something,

- and you don't like who I am now.
- Yeah?

- Who are you, Nic?
- This is me, Dad.

Here. This is who I am.

You don't like what you see?

You know,
the more I think about it...

Mom should've gotten custody.

Because you always
gotta be fucking

controlling everything
all the time.

You're allowed to be mad
at me, Nic. I made mistakes.

I understand that. I wish
that I hadn't, but I did.

But, God,
what you're saying right now

- doesn't make any sense.
- You're doing this right now!

- You're fucking controlling me right now!
- It's not you.

It is not you, Nic.
It is the drugs talking.

What does that
even fucking mean, huh?

Psychological terror.

- It's what addicts do.
- What the fuck

are you doing right now, huh?

What is this?
What are you doing, huh?

Oh, man.

I didn't want it to go
like this. [smacks lips]


All right.

I should go, Dad.

[Nic sighs heavily]

- Let me... let me book you a room.
- No, Dad.

- At a hotel for a couple of nights.
- No. Dad...

- Why don't we just go get some food?
- Dad, I should go.

Can you say good-bye, at least?

Bye, Dad.

[door opens]

[door closes]

Where does he sleep?

DAVID: Um, don't worry
about that, sweetie.

He's fine.


maybe he has a friend
and he sleeps there.

- DAVID: Mm-hmm. Yeah. Maybe.
- DAISY: Dolphin.

- DAVID: Hope so.
- DAISY: Need "E."


- Can I call him?
- Hmm.

- No. I tried.
- [Daisy speaks indistinctly]

- His phone's disconnected.
- Can I send him a message?

Maybe he'll get lonely
and turn his phone back on?

That's a good idea.

Yeah. Let's try that.

[Daisy speaks indistinctly]

[crickets chirping softly]

- ♪
- [typing]

[vehicle passing by]

KAREN [calls]:

- Yeah?
- [quietly]: Okay. Let's go.

[footsteps approaching]

Hey, Dave, close your eyes.


And... open 'em!

Oh. Wow.


[faint, distorted voices
of children singing]

- [waves lapping gently]
- [faint singing continues]

[voices fade]

[waves continue lapping]

[phone ringing]

[phone continues ringing]


This is Julie Ford at the
Bellevue Hospital in New York.

Is Nic Sheff your son?

Uh, Mr. Sheff,

I'm sorry
we missed each other earlier.

So, Nic is still experiencing
some respiratory depression,

but his vital signs
are returning.

Sir, we're ready for departure.

Okay, okay.

Um... may I talk to him?

- No, that won't be possible.
- Sir, I need you to turn off

- the phone. -Believe me,
we shouldn't wake him up.

- Mm-hmm. -Try again
in a few hours, though, okay?

- Okay. Uh, would you let him
know that... -Sir. Sir.

- Please. -Would you please let
him know that I'm on my way?



[indistinct announcement
over P.A.]

He checked out.


Against doctor's orders.

- No, no, he O.D.'d.
- I'm sorry, sir.

He pulled out the I.V.
and catheter, and left.

How long ago?

Ten to 15 minutes.

I'm sorry, sir.

by the Chips playing]

♪ Darling,
I need your love... ♪


[phone ringing]

- [beep]
- Yes.

[Nic crying]

- [bell jingling]
- ♪ Your love

♪ Darling, I need your love

♪ Darling

♪ I love you so

♪ And I want the whole world
to know ♪

♪ I'll never let you go...

Look, I've thought about it,

and I'm done with drugs.

This is it.

I'm telling you, Dad.

I'm done.

♪ You're all I ever dream of

♪ Never leave me...

And how would that work?

I mean,
after what just happened.

- ♪ Oh...
- ♪ Stay with me

♪ Oh, stay with me,
oh, darling ♪

- ♪ Darling, I need your kiss
- [crying]

♪ Your love I can't resist...

Now, if you're in the area,

evacuation orders and details,

including relocation centers,
can be found on...

DAVID: So, at 3:00,
we have a conference call

with the intake people
in Mississippi.

That's all for now.

3:30, the one in New Mexico.

And 4:00, the one in Oregon.

VICKI: I did some research
on the one in New Mexico.

- DAVID: Mm-hmm.
- They charge $40,000 a month.

You know,
it's not even that well rated.

We'll just skip that one.

VICKI: Listen, if a spot
opens up here in Los Angeles,

maybe that's the best solution
for now.

- I'll hear back from them
in an hour. -Mm.

Give it a rest, David.

Why don't you let me
take over for now?




YOUNG NIC: Will you check on me
every 15 minutes?


♪ Close your eyes

♪ Have no fear

♪ The monster's gone

♪ He's on the run

♪ And your daddy's here

♪ Beautiful, beautiful

♪ Beautiful

♪ Beautiful boy

♪ Beautiful, beautiful

♪ Beautiful

♪ Beautiful boy

Do you want to bring
one of your dinosaurs, too?

♪ Before you cross the street

How about a book?

♪ Take my hand

No? Okay.

♪ Life is what happens to you

♪ While you're busy

- ♪ Making other plans
- You ready?

Hey. Hey.

♪ Darling, darling...

Can I have a hug?


Why not?

Are you mad at me?

'Cause you have to go?


Well... you'll be happy
to see Mommy, though, right?

I want you to know something.

When you come back,
I'm gonna be here...

right... I'm gonna be
right here for you.


And call me when you miss me,
and I'll call you.

Do you know
how much I love you?

If you could take all the words
in the language,

it still wouldn't describe
how much I love you.

And if you could gather
all those words together,

it still wouldn't describe
what I feel for you.

What I feel for you
is everything.

I love you
more than everything.


Yeah, everything.

[jet engines whooshing]

[indistinct chatter]


That's my mom.

I'm really glad
you came to I.A.

You know that, right?

[crying]: You just don't know
what it is to be...

- Please don't do this, Mom.
- Okay.

I'm sorry. Okay.

[Vicki groans]

All I could think about
was you.

I know this must sound
meaningless, but I'm sorry.

I'm-I'm sorry.

Oh, Nicky.

[Vicki sighs]

[Vicki mutters quietly]

You are such a darling.

You know that, right?




Hey, come on, old man!

- You're being so disrespectful.
- I'm not being disrespectful.

You're being so disrespectful.

[both grunting]

- I'm coming for you!
- Oh, motherfucker!

Uh-huh. You about
to look at my ass, baby!

- You about to look at my ass!
- [laughing]

[grunting, indistinct talking]


[objects in box clatter]


[indistinct chatter]

That's what I get for helping.

- [grunting]
- Why'd you pull that hard?

- [laughing]: I'm sorry.
- Why do you hate me?

How does this feel?

Like I'm a real human being.

[indistinct chatter, laughter]

[Spencer coughs, whoops]

NIC: One day,
I tried methamphetamine...

Yeah. That felt good.

...and I thought,

"This is what's been missing."

I felt complete.

Today's a good day.

NIC: Yeah, I've been
chasing that high

ever since.

No matter...

how much meth...

or whatever else I can find
to shoot up into my body...

I do, it's never enough.

[others murmuring quietly]

And I went
to a couple of rehabs,

I detoxed,

they would talk
about disease, sure,


it never clicked.

Until one day
I woke up in a hospital

and someone asked me,

"What's your problem?"

And I said, "I'm an alcoholic
and an addict."

And he said...

"No, that's how you've
been treating your problem."

- OTHERS: Mm-hmm.
- That's right.

I know now I need to find a way

to fill this...


black hole in me.

Anyway, so...

- I'm 14 months clean.
- [others murmuring quietly]

I have a job at a rehab.

It's fulfilling
to help other people get sober.

[others murmuring]

I have a sponsor, Spencer.

Shows me how great
my life can be sober.

And, um, I still have family.

My mom's been amazing.

My dad's been amazing, too.

["Heart of Gold"
by Neil Young playing]

[sighs, smacks lips]

I want them to be proud of me.

♪ I want to live

♪ I want to give

♪ I've been a miner

♪ For a heart of gold

♪ It's these expressions

♪ I never give
that keep me searching... ♪

You all right?

What's wrong? You nervous?


♪ And I'm getting old

♪ Keep me searching for a...

Thank you for marrying me.

Thank you for being
a perfect partner

in an imperfect world.

Thank you for introducing me
to your amazing son.

Uh, I'm here for you,

and I'm here to stay.

Karen, thank you...

for loving me.

And thank you for loving him.


- ♪ Keep me searching
- [whistling, cheering]

♪ For a heart of gold

♪ You keep me searching

♪ And I'm growing old

Looks him square in the eye,
and he says, "Superman..."

♪ Keep me searching
for a heart of gold ♪

- [Karen laughs]
- DAVID: Perfect.

♪ I've been a miner

- [indistinct chatter]
- ♪ For a heart of gold

♪ Ah

♪ Mm.

[dogs barking]

- Hey, good to see you.
- Good to see you.

Hey, Daisy. Hey, Daisy!

Hey, Jazzy Jeff.

What's going on, man?

Hey, man, I miss you more

than the sun misses
the moon at night.

Mm. [kiss]

- Hey, Karen.
- Hey.

Thank you for inviting me.


[Daisy laughing in distance]

♪ Can't steal the way

♪ I fuckin' felt
when I got up today ♪

♪ Well, I guess
you're the judge ♪

♪ I guess you're the king

♪ Of the forever beauty pageant
I'm always... ♪

[indistinct chatter nearby]

NIC: Go, Daisy! Go, Daisy!
Go, Daisy! Go, Daisy!

Go, Daisy!

Hey, honey.

[Daisy laughing]

Go, Daisy, go!

[kids laughing]

[David laughing]

- [Daisy laughing]
- [Jasper grunts]

- DAVID: Nice.
- [playful grunting and yelling]

[Daisy squealing]

Oh! Ah, you!

It's Daisy!

- [David laughs]
- [Nic yelling]



[playful shouts]

[David chuckling]

"If the marker is depleted

"in meth addicts' brains,

"it's likely there is
a loss of nerve terminals

"and the brain damage
is irreversible.

when I tested for VMAT2,

- I found normal levels."
- So that's optimistic.

- Normal levels is optimistic, yeah.
- It's...

- It is.
- Okay.

- No. I'm not...
- I was just checking.

- No, no, that's good.
- Okay.


the fried...

Nic's fried nerve endings

can grow back.

They say it can take
two years, but...

- Two years?
- Yeah.

But that's great, David.

[car door closes]

[footsteps approaching]

- Hey.
- Hey.

- You're kind of late.
- Yeah. It was a great meeting,

and after, we went
to the speaker's house

and watched a video and...

saw my sober sponsee bros
earlier, so...

No phone?

Oh, my cell was dead.

Would you be okay
to do a drug test?

Yeah, I mean, sure.


You understand why, right?

Yeah. I mean, I should've
called to let you know, so...

I trust you... we just need
to have some sort of proof.

That's about as contradictory
as it gets.

- But...
- I know. I know.

I'll do it. No worries.

Nothing to hide.


Hey, you're doing great.

You really are.

By my count, 485 days clean.

Wow. Come on, that's...

I'll just leave it
in the bathroom, right? Okay.

All right.

- Good night, Dad.
- Good night.

- I love you.
- I love you, too.

[gulls calling]

- NIC: All right, Jasper, you ready?
- Yep.

Let's go, let's go, let's go.

Hey. No, no, no, wait.

- Jasper, I don't want you
to go out there. -What?

Mom, we won't go far, I swear!

KAREN: The waves are too big.
It's too dangerous.

But I am a great swimmer.

I've been in waves
way bigger than this.

Yes, I know that,
but I don't want you to...

- Yeah, I'll stay close.
- Nic will stay close,

you see?

Karen, I'm gonna stay...

- I'll stay close.
- KAREN: Nic can go in.

That's fine. You, no.

And that is final.

We'll see about that.

- KAREN: Hey!
- NIC: Okay. It's fine.

It's fine.

Should we just play a game

- Uh...
- Yeah?

Are you a hurfboard?

- [chuckles]: No.
- No?

Are you a hicycle?

- [chuckles]: No.
- No?

Okay. Uh, are you edible?

Not really.

- Not really?
- Not really.

So, sort of.

So, um...

are you a house?

- Yes. How did you know?
- [chuckling]

You know,

I can read your mind.

- [spookily]: Ooh...
- Ooh...

[Jasper grunts]

I know you're a great swimmer.

I'm gonna be there to cheer
for you at your next swim meet.

How does that sound?



Hey, is it weird to see me
after all this time?

Or no?

I guess it was, at first.

- Okay. -I thought
you might be different.

But you're just
the same old Nic.

[Nic chuckles]

by Zola Jesus playing]

♪ This'll be

♪ My last home

- ♪ But this stream
- NIC: All right. Thanks.

♪ Will carry me through

- That was a great weekend.
- Mm-hmm.

- ♪ But this stream
- Bye, Nic!

♪ Isn't home no more

♪ And truth can

♪ Make immune

♪ If it doesn't make you
wiser ♪

♪ Doesn't make you stronger

♪ Doesn't make you live
a little bit ♪

♪ What are you doing?

[cheering and applause]

♪ If it doesn't make you
wiser ♪

♪ Doesn't make you stronger

♪ Doesn't make you live
a little bit ♪

♪ What are you doing?

[cheering, chatter]

- Go, Nic!
- [cheering]

[cheering and applause]

♪ In these parting days

♪ I am losing all my senses

♪ In these timeless days

♪ I can barely see through.

Bye, Nic! Bye, Nic!

Bye, Nic!

SPENCER [over phone]:
One day at a time, man.

Welcome to the real world.

NIC: Oh, I don't want to live
in the real world.

I'm so sick of living in it.

- [exhales] -That's your disease
talking to you, man.

- Oh, I'm trying.
- By trying to isolate you.

Trying to kill you.
You know this, man.

I don't feel like
I have a disease, Spencer.

I feel like...
[clicks tongue]

- Well, you got to. -This isn't
like fucking cancer.

This is my fucking choice.
I put myself here.

Yeah, you did.
You did put yourself there.

Are you gonna let me talk
or what?

Okay? Like, you're a writer,
right? So write.

You're good at it. This is
your day. This is a choice.

- What do you want to do now?
- [whispers]: Fucking...

Once you get high,
you lose all your choices.

- If you get high,
you lose everything. -Right.

All right, so you got
to keep choosing the right way.

- Right.
- That's right.

You choose the right way.

Right. All right, hey, listen,

I'm gonna give you
a call later, all right?

Uh, I-I feel
like I'm gonna do all right.

You blowing me off now?

You gonna call me
and waste my time?

Don't waste my time.
I'm here for you, man.

You know what, look,
I'm having some steaks tonight.

Why don't you come over
for dinner.

- All right, I'll see you then.
- You...

That sounds great.
I'll see you then.

- Yo, Nic, Nic.
- Yes, sir. I'll see you then.

- Nic...
- All right, bye-bye.



[muffled music playing]

[indistinct chatter]

Nic Sheff.

Lauren. What?

What are you...


Wow, it's been a long time.

What-what are you doing here?

[chuckles] Just, uh...



I've been sober for a while,

but I'm seriously looking
to party right now.

[both chuckle]

- [indistinct chatter]
- [man shouts]

[siren wailing in distance]


I got what you need.
We have E, we have pills, man.

We have E.
I told you, I told you.

[light switch clicks]

[door shuts]

NIC: Can you get me
a cup of water and a spoon?


All right.

[footsteps approaching]

- Mm-hmm.
- All right.

- Here you go.
- Thank you.

Cotton and a spoon.

[chuckling softly]

[clears throat]




- NIC: All right, that's it.
- [exhales]

That's it.


[coughs, gasps]



[inhales deeply]

[exhales] Wow.









- [panting]
- [groans]


- [panting]
- [groans, panting]


[moaning, panting deeply]

[birds chirping]

[children laughing
and shouting in distance]


Your call has been forwarded

to an automated
voice messaging system.

At the tone,
please record your message.


It's Dad again.

I feel like you might
have been a little down

when you left, Nic, so I'm here
to talk if you need to.

- [sniffles]
- All right.


So you have no idea
where he is?

VICKI: Uh, Spencer told me
he heard from him.

He was having a difficult time,
but he was pulling through.

But, yeah, he's not at work,
he's not at home.

- He's unreachable on his cell.
- Damn it. Damn it. Vicki,

he left here two days ago.
Why didn't you check on him?

You're supposed to be taking
care of this kid, right?

What the fuck, David?

Who's been taking care of him
the last year?

Well, you could've checked
on him.

I mean, what the fuck
is your problem?

What do you think I do all day?

Besides, we can't run
surveillance on him 24/7.

I think you need to go
to the police right now

and file a missing persons
report, okay?

- Stop yelling at me!
- No, I'm not gonna stop

- yelling at you, Vicki.
- I hate it when you do that.

- Because you're just...
- You're totally crazy.

What are you even doing there?!

- Fucking unfair, David!
- No, no! Listen to me!

- What are...
- [beeping]

[exhales] Damn.



Could you call my phone,

What's going on?

He's gone.

How do we even know
he's in I.A.?

I mean, he could be in
San Francisco. He could be...

he could be in fucking Mexico,
for all we know.

I need to go.

Yeah, but I need you to stay.

Well, Vicki can't handle it
like I...

I don't care about Vicki.
This isn't about Vicki.

Okay, why don't you just relax
and try to be reasonable.

- What? You be reasonable.
- I am being reasonable.

Is this reasonable?!

No! It's not!

How can I be?!

My son is out there somewhere,

and I don't know
what he's doing!

I don't know how to help him!

You can't!

I can't sleep.


You can't sleep?

I can't sleep.


[Daisy whimpers]

Good night, Daddy.

Good night.

♪ Sunrise

♪ Sunset

♪ Is this the little girl

♪ I carried?

♪ Is this the little boy

♪ At play?

Let go!

Airplane flying!

- ♪ I don't remember
- [whooping]

- ♪ Growing older
- Airplane!

Fly away! Fly!


- ♪ When did they?
- Airplane! Push!

♪ When did she get to be

♪ A beauty?


♪ When did he grow to be

♪ So tall?

♪ Ooh...

♪ Wasn't it yesterday

♪ That they

♪ Were small?

♪ Sunrise

♪ Sunset

♪ Sunrise

♪ Sunset

- ♪ Swiftly
- [indistinct chatter]

♪ Fly the years

♪ One season

♪ Following another

♪ Laden with happiness...

- KAREN: No. Uh-uh. Come on, not
you. Come on. -DAVID: Hold on.

- Get back in. Guys, come on.
- Hold on. Hold on, honey.

- Wait.
- Good dog.

- ♪ One season...
- KAREN: What's up?

I thought
Nic was gonna be here today.

Uh, no. Something came up.

Can I call him?

No, no. You can't.

It's not gonna be possible.

Why not?

Because it's not.

Is Nic back on drugs again?

♪ Sunrise

♪ Sunset

- ♪ Sunrise
- We don't know, honey.

♪ Sunset.

[chiming quietly]

[phone ringing]

[phone ringing in distance]

[phone ringing]

[wind chimes tinkling]





All right.

[inhales deeply]


[birds chirping]

[clicks tongue]

[applause and cheering]

[whooping, indistinct shouting]

[buzzer sounds]


[applause and cheering]

Come on, Jasper!

[whistling, whooping,
shouting, cheering continue]



[applause, cheering,
whistling continue in distance]

[vehicle approaching]

[quiet beeping]

You got it?

Oh, fuck. Okay.
Hey, Lauren.

- Lauren, let's go.
- What?

We got to go.

[dog barking]

- What's going on?
- Here.

We got to go.


I think I just saw Nic.


I think I just saw Nic
and a girl running away.



Uh, no. Stay inside.

- Okay.
- No.

All right, no. Stay inside!
I am not kidding, all right?

Stay there.

[door opens]

[Lauren grunts softly]

- Okay.
- [car door closes]

- [whispering]: Shit.
- Never again.

- It's okay. Hey.
- What do we do? What do we do?

It's all right.

[birds singing]

That was so terrible.

Oh, fuck!

[engine starts]

[engine revving]

Nic? Nic? Nic!


♪ All the ladies of court

♪ Gather round

♪ Joining in heavenly fare

[engine revving]

Oh. No. No. No.

- [sighs]
- ♪ Gathering promises

♪ Of future heroes

♪ Showing faith

♪ It is all as you go

♪ Red light and green light
and men in their armor ♪

♪ And fight for the queen
if you dare ♪

♪ It's a long way to go

♪ To test out your mettle

♪ Well, a long way to go

♪ To go down

♪ And I'll write them
a letter ♪

♪ I said forgive
all we've done ♪

♪ Please first
grant this favor, sir ♪

♪ Forgive us quick
or we'll run ♪

♪ Or we'll run

♪ Or we'll run


♪ Or we'll run

Come on!

♪ Or...

♪ We'll run...


- [crying]
- I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry.

[birds singing]


[distant horns honk]


[Nic clears throat]

Okay. Okay.

[line ringing]

WOMAN [over phone]:
911. What is your emergency?

Yeah. Hi. Uh, I got a f...
I'm-I'm with a friend.

She just O.D.'d, and, uh,

I need an ambulance,
I need some help.

Sir, do you know CPR?

Yeah, I'm doing it right now.
I just...

Uh, we... You-you guys,
you got to send an ambulance,

- too, all right?
- What is your location?

Yeah, I don't know.

Y-You-you guys are gonna have
to trace the call.


Sir, are you still there?

- [Lauren gasps loudly, shrieks]
- Sir?

- [Lauren coughs]
- [operator speaks indistinctly]

Sir? Sir?

[coughing, gasping]

- [Lauren gasping, coughing]
- [operator speaks indistinctly]

- [Lauren sighs] -Look up.
- [garbled radio transmission]

Honey, look up for me.

Can you look up this way
over here?

Hey, look, we're gonna need
to take you to the ER.

I-I don't...
I don't want to. I-I...

- We need to take you to the ER.
- I'm fine.

She doesn't want to go
to the ER. She's...

She's... No, she's not okay.
We need to take her

- to the ER.
- But she doesn't want to go.

No, sir, she needs to go!

- [Lauren whimpers]
- Okay?

You have a problem with that,
I can inform the police.

- Goddamn it.
- [Lauren whimpers]

You're gonna come
and meet me, right?

- Yes. Yes!
- You promise?

I love you.

- I love you, too.
- [garbled radio transmission]

- You promise you're gonna meet me?
- Yes, Lauren.

I'll come fucking meet you.
What do you want from me?

- Okay, okay.
- Jesus fucking Christ.

[breathing loudly]

[breathing loudly]

[dialing phone]

[line ringing]

DAVID [over phone]:
David Sheff.

Hey, Dad. It's me.


- Nic?
- Yeah.


Please don't hate me, Dad.

I know I did wrong.

I want to stop,
but please, please, please,

please, please,
please no rehab, all right?

Just let me come home.
You know what?

I realize it's actually
I... I-I need to be home.

You guys, you guys are gonna
give me the strength to stop.

All right?


That's not going to happen.

I wish that I could help you,

but I can't do that.

I c... I can't.

Oh, please help me, Dad.

No, Dad. I just need
a little bit of help.

Please help me.
I want to come home.

All I can tell you
is what you already know.

Dad, why aren't you
fucking listening to me?

- Call your sponsor.
- [crying]: I don't want to talk

to my sponsor now.
I want to talk to you.

Get help.

- I love you.
- Dad, what...

And I hope that you get
your life together.

I love you, too.

I love you.

[phone beeps off]

[insects chirping]


[jagged breathing]


[waves lapping]

[waves lapping]

[crickets chirping]


[insects chirping]

[seagull squawking]

- [sniffles]
- [line ringing]

- DAVID: Hello.
- Nicolas called.

He sounds desperate.

Gonna die
if we don't do anything.


he's gonna die even if we do.

Nothing we do
has any effect on him.

[Henryk Górecki's Symphony
No. 3 plays, singing in Polish]

I failed.

I know you feel ashamed, okay?

So do I.

But you have done great, David.

And Karen, too,
so thank you for that.

You were up for it
when I wasn't,

and I'm not giving up now.


But I can't do it alone.

I need your help.

[Vicki cries]

I don't think
you can save people, Vicki.


[crying]: You can be there
for them, can't you?

Look at this.

I'm done.

- Oh.
- Okay? I...


[Symphony No. 3 continues,
with singing in Polish]

Hey, everybody.

Time to get together.

[crowd chatter]

I... I had a rough week.

Some of you know,
some of you don't.

I, um...

I lost my Frances this week.

She died of an overdose
on Sunday.


I guess I'm in mourning,
but I-I...

I realized something else.

I've actually been in mourning
for years.

'Cause even when she was alive,

she wasn't there.

When you mourn the living,

that's a hard way to live.

And so, in...

in a way, it's-it's...

it's better, I guess.

[crying]: She was a dear,
dear young woman.

I always felt...

I needed to... to stay strong,

that there'd be
some future event,

and I'd... I'd need
all my strength for it.

But there are no events
after this one.

I hope she's not in pain now.

[woman whimpers]

Bye, Frances.

[Karen sniffles]


[Symphony No. 3 continues,
with singing in Polish]



[Vicki sighs]

How's he doing?

The doctor's with him now.

He said it's close to a miracle

Nic survived
with all the drugs in his body.

[Vicki chuckles]

[David grunts softly]

[Symphony No. 3 continues,
with singing in Polish]

[Nic cries]

[Nic sniffles]

[Nic cries]


[Nic sniffles]

♪ Ah

♪ I was somewhere 2000
in a daydream ♪

♪ I was hiding,
I couldn't face it ♪

♪ I used to live my life
in the wind... ♪

♪ I felt out of sync,
audio phasing ♪

♪ Felt like I couldn't
find my place in ♪

♪ Sky shivers, they,
they turn to rain ♪

♪ I turn again

♪ I wish we could heal

♪ I'll take you home,
I'll make you whole ♪

♪ You make me wish
that this wasn't real ♪

♪ Because you're

♪ Oh

♪ You're my treasure

♪ Because you're

♪ Oh

♪ You're my treasure

♪ I used to live my life
in the wind ♪

♪ And I would fly

♪ Wherever you would swim

♪ I couldn't stand by you
or anything ♪

♪ Sky shivers, they,
they turn to rain ♪

♪ I turn again

♪ I wish we could heal

♪ I'll take you home,
I'll make you whole ♪

♪ You make me wish
that this wasn't real ♪

♪ Because you're

♪ Oh

♪ You're my treasure

♪ Because you're

♪ Oh

♪ You're my treasure

♪ Bad habits

♪ And good times

♪ Let's take a risk

♪ On our lives

♪ Don't smile

♪ Just might cry

♪ Go around the roundabout

♪ Like five times

♪ With two scratches

♪ Hard drive

♪ Open up to it

♪ Get me three times

♪ Not lying

♪ Watch the heavens

♪ Goes up

♪ Three times

♪ Watch the heavens

♪ As the sun dies

♪ When breathing
even is a challenge ♪

♪ I don't want
to lose control ♪

♪ I need it, gotta have it

♪ Don't stop clinging,
don't stop clinging ♪

♪ Don't stop clinging

♪ Don't stop
clinging ♪

♪ Don't stop clinging,
don't stop clinging ♪

♪ Don't stop clinging

♪ Don't stop
clinging ♪

♪ Don't stop clinging,
don't stop clinging ♪

♪ Don't stop clinging

♪ Don't stop
clinging ♪

♪ Don't stop clinging,
don't stop clinging ♪

♪ Don't stop
clinging ♪

♪ Don't stop clinging

♪ Don't stop
clinging ♪

- ♪ Don't stop clinging
- ♪ Still alive

♪ Don't stop clinging

♪ Don't stop clinging,
don't stop clinging ♪

- ♪ Don't stop clinging...
- ♪ Still alive...

"Either peace or happiness,

"let it enfold you.

"When I was a young man,
I felt that these things

"were dumb, unsophisticated.

"I had bad blood,
a twisted mind,

"a precarious upbringing.

"I was hard as granite.

"I leered at the sun.

"I trusted no man
and especially no woman.

"I was living a hell
in small rooms.

"I broke things,
smashed things,

"walked through glass, cursed.

"I challenged everything,

"was continually being evicted,

"in and out of fights,
in and out of my mind.

"Women were something
to screw and rail at.

"I had no male friends.

"I changed jobs and cities.

"I hated holidays,
babies, history,

"newspapers, museums,

"marriage, movies, spiders,

"English accents, Spain,
France, Italy,

"walnuts and the color orange.

"Algebra angered me.

"Opera sickened me.

"Charlie Chaplin was a fake.

"And flowers were for pansies.

"Peace and happiness were to me
signs of inferiority,

"tenants of the weak
and addled mind.

"But as I went on
with my alley fights,

"my suicidal years,

"my passage through
any number of women,

"it gradually began to occur
to me that I wasn't different

"from the others,
I was the same.

"They were all fulsome
with hatred,

"glossed over
with petty grievances.

"The men I fought in alleys
had hearts of stone.

"Everybody was nudging,

"cheating for some
insignificant advantage.

"The lie was the weapon,
and the plot was empty.

"Darkness was the dictator.

"Cautiously, I allowed myself
to feel good at times.

"I found moments of peace
in cheap rooms

"just staring at the knobs
of some dresser

"or listening
to the rain in the dark.

"The less I needed,
the better I felt.

"Maybe the other life
had worn me down.

"I no longer found glamour

"in topping somebody
in conversation

"or in mounting the body
of some poor, drunken female

"whose life had slipped away
into sorrow.

"I could never accept
life as it was.

"I could never gobble down
all its poisons.

"But there were parts,
tenuous magic parts,

"open for the asking.

"I reformulated.

"I don't know when...
date, time, all that...

"but the change occurred.

"Something in me relaxed,
smoothed out.

"I no longer had to prove
that I was a man.

"I didn't have to prove

"I began to see things.

"Coffee cups lined up
behind a counter in a cafe.

"Or a dog walking
along a sidewalk.

"Or the way the mouse
on my dresser top

"stopped there,
really stopped there,

"with its body,
its ears, its nose.

"It was fixed, a bit of life
caught within itself,

"and its eyes looked at me,
and they were beautiful.

"Then it was gone.

"I began to feel good.

"I began to feel good
in the worst situations,

"and there were
plenty of those.

"Like, say, the boss
behind his desk.

"He is going to have
to fire me.

"I've missed too many days.

"He's dressed in a suit,
necktie, glasses.

"He says, 'I am going
to have to let you go.'

"'It's all right, '
I tell him.

"He must do what he must do.

"He has a wife,
a house, children,

most probably a girlfriend.

"I'm sorry for him.

"He's caught.

"I walk out into
the blazing sunshine.

"The whole day is mine,
temporarily anyhow.

"The whole world is at
the throat of the world.

"Everybody feels angry,
short-changed, cheated.

"Everybody is despondent,

"I welcomed shots of peace,
tattered shards of happiness.

"I embraced that stuff
like the hottest number,

"like high heels, breasts,
singing, the works.

"Don't get me wrong,

"there is such a thing
as cockeyed optimism

"that overlooks
all basic problems

"just for the sake of itself.

"This is a shield
and a sickness.

"The knife got near
my throat again.

"I almost turned on
the gas again.

"But when the good moments
arrived again,

"I didn't fight them off
like an alley adversary.

"I let them take me.
I luxuriated in them.

"I bade them welcome home.

"I even looked
into the mirror once

"having thought myself
to be ugly.

"I now liked what I saw.

"Almost handsome.

"Yes, a bit ripped and ragged.

"Scars, lumps, odd turns.

"But all in all, not too bad.

"Almost handsome.

"Better at least than some
of those movie star faces

"like the cheeks
of a baby's butt.

"And finally I discovered

"real feelings for others,

"Like lately,
like this morning,

"as I was leaving for the
track, I saw my wife in bed,

"just the shape
of her head there,

"covers pulled high, just
the shape of her head there.

"Not forgetting centuries
of the living and the dead

"and the dying, the pyramids,

"Mozart dead, but his music
still there in the room,

"weeds growing,
the Earth turning,

"the tote board waiting for me.

"I saw the shape
of my wife's head,

"she so still.

"I ached for her life,

"just being there
under the covers.

"I kissed her on the forehead,

"got down the stairway,
got outside,

"got into my marvelous car,
fixed the seat belt,

"backed out the drive.

"Feeling warm
to the fingertips,

"down to my foot
on the gas pedal,

"I entered the world once more,

"drove down the hill
past the houses

"full and empty of people.

"I saw the mailman, honked.

He waved back at me."