Chicago Heights (2009) - full transcript

Nathan Walker is a young man living in Chicago Heights, Illinois, many miles south of downtown Chicago. He finds himself entwined every day in the lives of his neighbors. They're polite, friendly, down-to-earth people. But in any community, individuals have their own private passions that their neighbors will never know. Each has a dark secret, a disappointed dream, a fervent hope, a spirit-breaking fear. We accompany Nathan while he comes of age and observe with him as the layers fall away from this seemingly random array of ordinary people who, below their practiced, Christian surfaces, are extraordinarily human.

(crickets chirp) (cow moos)

(glass breaks)

(air whooshing)

♪ I'm gonna walk around
Zion one of these mornings ♪

♪ I'm gonna walk around
Zion one of these mornings ♪

♪ I'm gonna walk around
Zion one of these mornings ♪

♪ I'm gonna walk around
Zion one of these mornings ♪

♪ I'm gonna start troubles
over one of these mornings ♪

♪ I'm gonna start troubles
over one of these mornings ♪

♪ I'm gonna start troubles
over one of these mornings ♪

♪ I'm gonna start troubles
over one of these mornings ♪

♪ I'm gonna see my mother
one of these mornings ♪

(rain splashing down)

(thunder crashes)

(footsteps sloshing on floor)

- Look at you.

Soaked to the skin.

- Did you see?

- Did I see what?

- Nothing, sir.

(doors slam shut)

(pensive music)

- [Narrator] In his bed,
the writer rolled over

and laid quite still.

♪ I lay quiet even still ♪

He had done some hard living

and his heart flooded.

♪ I have done some hard living ♪

The idea got into his mind,

that he would sometime die unexpectedly.

♪ My heart floods ♪

♪ I know I will die in an unexpected way ♪

♪ But I'm alive in my
bed, perfectly still ♪

His body was old and
not of much use anymore,

but something inside of
him was all together young.

Perfectly still he lay, turning
matters over in his mind,

trying to make sense of
what had happened to him.

(typewriter keys clacking)

♪ Perfectly still ♪

He had counted the world's
finest writers among his friends.

He had been a mentor to many.

♪ I'm just like a bird, I am born ♪

He had given the blessing of success

to the best-known writer in our time.

But the younger writer
had betrayed him so deeply

that he could not bear to think about it.

The younger writer's work would
be remembered and revered,

while his own best work,

"The Book of the Grotesque,"
remained unpublished.

The writer never found the
courage to seek a publisher,

but I saw the book once

and it made an indelible
impression on my mind.

♪ In the beginning when
the word was young ♪

And though now he blended one place

with another in his memory,

the places where his life changed course

still haunt his mind.

♪ But no one, no one, no one really knew ♪

♪ If his name was true ♪

♪ Perfectly still ♪

♪ I lay, I lay ♪

(motorcycle engine purring)

- Everything springs outta nothing

and flies forward to infinity.

Who could figure this out?

The one who made this shit.

And He, and He alone, is going to get it.

It's true, a little philosophy
makes you an atheist.

But go deeper and your
mind moves to religion.

When you look at the chain of things,

you start talking providence,

you start talking deity.

- [Narrator] He had known
people, many people,

known them in a peculiarly intimate way,

that was different from the way

in which you and I know people.

When he wrote about them
now, he did not know

if he was drawing from memories or dreams.

People were truly a blend in his mind,

some blossoming, silent,
stark, and beautiful.

♪ Perfectly still ♪

♪ I lay perfectly still ♪

Others adrift, passing into oblivion,

utterly lost to him.

♪ Perfectly still ♪

(people chattering)

They were all grotesque,

all of the men and women
the writer had ever known

had become grotesque.

Although Elizabeth Walker was still young,

some obscure disease had
taken the fire from her.

When she was able to be about,

she did the work of a chambermaid,

among beds soiled by the
slumbers of fat traveling men.

Her husband, Tom Walker,

tried to put the wife out of his mind.

The place in which he had
begun his working life

so hopefully, was now a mere ghost

of what a boarding house should be.

Tom Walker always thought of
himself as a successful man,

although nothing he had done

had ever turned out successfully.

As he went spruce and businesslike

through the streets of Chicago Heights,

he sometimes stopped
and turned quickly about

as though fearing that
the spirit of the house,

and of the woman, would
follow him even here.

- Even though I die,

I will in some way keep
Daveed away from you.

I ask God for the privilege.

No, I demand it.

God, you can beat me with your fist.

I'll take any blow you deliver,

just as long as you allow
him to express something.

Something for both of us.

♪ There are times that
I feel so sad inside ♪

♪ 'Cause I don't know which way to go ♪

♪ I really wonder, yeah ♪

♪ And though it came, you'd say to me ♪

♪ Is this real ♪

♪ Did I ever have a choice ♪

♪ 'Cause a dream just doesn't come ♪

♪ A dream that never comes ♪

♪ A dream that never comes ♪

♪ A change is coming ♪

♪ A change must come ♪

- [Narrator] Chicago Heights is an excerpt

that stands 33 miles outside
the shadows of the skyscrapers

of the city that is its namesake.

City gives way to country here,

residents of the Heights
live under the flight path

of a constant stream of jets
departing Midway Airport.

♪ Don't know which way to go ♪

♪ But I had to fall, yeah, yeah ♪

♪ I can't go on, and on, and on, and on ♪

♪ Living this way ♪

♪ 'Cause a change has got to come ♪

The grotesque were not at all horrible.

There was the mother, the
father, the son, the teacher.

One of them was a man of God.

Pastor Curtis Hartman was a
man filled with the spirit,

but embattled by forces he
could not comprehend or control.

- Give me the strength and
courage to do Your work, Lord.


In the beginning, when
the world was young,

there were a great many thoughts,

but no such thing as a truth.

Does the flame of your spirit
really burn in me, O Lord?

Give to me the strong
sweet current of Thy power.

Make Thyself the thunder
in my voice, in my soul.

Make the people tremble
before the spirit of Thee.

My God, make manifest in me...

(bedsheets rustling)

(glass bangs on table)

Thank you, dear.

- My daddy will be here in a few days,

so I'd like us to make sure
to keep the house clean.

- Yeah. Yes, dear, that's very nice.

(pen scratching on paper)

Man made the truths himself.

Each truth was a composite of
a great many vague thoughts.

All about in the world were the truths,

and they were all beautiful.

(book slams shut)


(papers crumpling)

(footsteps on floor)

- Mom feeling any better?

- [Elizabeth] You are here way too much.

You need to go downtown
every now and then.

- [Nathan] We went to Taste of Chicago.

- [Elizabeth] You need to go
downtown and look for a job.


I know you hear me, son.

- Good night.

(door clicks shut)

(clock ticking)

(Elizabeth cries)

- There is the truth of virginity,
and the truth of passion,

of thrift and profligacy,
of carelessness and abandon.

Hundreds and hundreds are the truths,

and they are all beautiful.

(choir vocalizing)

And then the people come,

and each one of them, as they appear,

snatches up one of the truths.

And some, who are quite strong,
snatch up a dozen of them.

When a man takes a truth
and calls it his truth,

and tries to live his life by
it, he becomes a grotesque,

and the truth he embraces
becomes a falsehood.

And it's the truths that
make the people grotesques.

- [Narrator] The pastor wondered,

even as he was carried by
the spirit of the Lord,

if the neighbor woman could hear him,

if his voice was carrying
a message into her soul.

Someday, he felt, he would reach her.

Yet he knew she was very
far gone in her sin.

(Elizabeth breathing laboriously)

(clock ticking)

(dog barks)

- There's nothing for you here.

You need to go downtown.

(pen scratching on paper)

- We must take hold of the devil's desire.

We must break our lust like
we break in a new horse.

- [Narrator] In the soul of
the minister a struggle awoke.

For wanting to reach
the ears of Kate Swift,

and through his sermons
to delve into her soul.

He began to want, to also to look again

at her elegant figure.

(Elizabeth breathing laboriously)

(pen scratching on paper)

- There was a mission.

You know, I came here to start
something new, and I can't.

There's a reason I...

Well, something else, you know.

There's a woman coming.

(birds chirping)

Aye, Miss Tracy, she
did not come in my time.

You might be the woman.

Oh, it would be like fate to
stand here in your presence,

for once on a night like this,

when you are just only a child.

(pensive music)

All of Nathan Walker's
experiences with girls

had been furtive.

He believed he was in
love with Helen White,

a girl he knew in his church.

♪ Nobody, nobody, nobody knows ♪

He knew Louise Trunnion better,

as she had stayed for a
time in New Walker House.

♪ Who am I, who am I, who am I ♪

- Nathan!

Nathan, hide me, please. (laughs)

♪ Nobody, nobody, nobody knows ♪

♪ The last soul on a summer night ♪

♪ The last soul on a summer night ♪

♪ Nobody, nobody, nobody knows ♪

♪ Who am I, who am I, who am I ♪

(door chime clangs)

- Evening, Mr. Williams.

- [Narrator] Nathan feared women a little.

The fear sprang from a story told him

by Mr. Wash Williams,
another boarder in his house.

- Heard you were married.

S'pose you were and your wife's dead, huh?

- All women are dead.

My mother, your mother,
the mother's we make.

- [Narrator] Rumors had
it that Wash Williams

was such a tortured soul that
he had set fire to himself.

To Nathan, he seemed
at one moment hideous.

In the next, handsome.

At one moment, blindly hateful.

In the next, eloquent, poetic.

- On the day I got married,

I got a promotion and a raise.

We got a house and I was gonna pay it off

over several years.

I was in love.

I saved my virginity
until after I got married.

- Diggin' in your dirt again, are you?

- Seeds.

(paper bag rustles)

(birds chirping)

I loved her.

Me? I don't claim not to be a fool.

I still love her.

- [Margot] Watch your hands,
honey, I just took a shower.

- I found out she had
lovers, three bastard lovers.

I didn't say a goddamn thing!

I just took her to her mother's house.

I had money in the bank
and I gave her that.

Her mother sent for me,
she called me on the phone

and told me to come to
her house in Rockford.

Her mother took me in the
living room and just left me.

And my body was just trembling.

I hated the man that I
thought had wronged her.

I was tired of living alone

and I just wanted her back.

I thought if she just reached out

and touched me with her hand, I'd faint.

I ached to forgive.

Then her mother made her.

- [Margot's Mother] The
Neighbors and everybody in church

will be out there! - No.

- Her mother made her.

- You goin' out there!
- No! No!

(loud strike)

(cord slams to the floor)

(door slams)

- [Margot's Mother] No! No!

- I know all about the woman,

though she's never crossed my path.

I know all about her
struggles and her defeats.

Out of her defeats has been
born a new quality in woman.

I have a name for it, I call her Calla.

Made up the name when
I was a true dreamer,

before my body became vile.

It means the quality of
being strong, to be loved.

Be Calla, little one.

Dare to be strong and courageous.

That is the road, venture anything.

Be brave enough to dare to be loved.

Be something more than
man or woman, be Calla.

Ah, I haven't lost my faith,
I brought it to the place

where I realize my
faith is too unfaithful.

(wood creaking)

(birds chirping)

The days are long here.

♪ Nobody, nobody, nobody knows ♪

♪ Who am I, who am I, who am I ♪

♪ Nobody, nobody, nobody knows ♪

♪ The last soul on a summer night ♪

- [Narrator] Although no
one in Chicago Heights

would have suspected it,

Kate Swift's life had
been very adventurous.

It was still adventurous.

Day by day she worked in the classroom,

but on weekends she was 30 miles north,

on the streets of Chicago, walking alone.

Hope and desire fought within her.

In the five years since she
had come back from her travels

to settle in the Heights
and become a teacher,

she had been compelled to go downtown

and walk half through the night.

- These little epiphinal moments

- [Narrator] In her classroom
at State University,

she was cold, stern, and far too honest.

- Nothing beyond right now,
- Yet in an odd way,

very close to her students.

- Not living, not dying, nothing.

Who are you going to be?



Reverend Right?

Mr. Wrong?

- [Narrator] Kate had
known her share of men,

but their company generally tended

to make her miss her solitude.

- Nathan Walker has written
something brilliant.

- [Narrator] Kate Swift's mind was ablaze

with thoughts of Nathan Walker.

- If he sets his mind.

- [Narrator] In something
he had written as a student

she thought she had
recognized a spark of genius

and wanted to blow on the spark.

- Nathan, why don't you come up here

and share some of your story?

It's called "The Torrents of Summer."

(Nathan clears throat)

- Three days is too goddamn long

for a boy not to visit his sick mother.

- [Nathan] Dad, what's wrong with that?

This is what I like to do.

- [Tom] You can't make a
living writing, Nathan.

- [Nathan] I can be a writer.

You gotta work with your
hands and your mind.

Writing books? You don't
make money off that.

Nobody I know makes money off of that.

(feet shuffling)

- [Nathan] That's what I like to do.

- Nathan, you gotta wake up.

You go on for hours without
hearing when you're spoken to.

What the hell's bothering you?

- [Nathan] I just wanna be a writer.

- You'll get over it.

You're not a fool.

You're Tom Walker's
son and you'll wake up.

(door slams)

(footstep on floor)

(heavy breathing)

- I've gotta do something.

There's something threatening my boy

and I gotta stop it.

How dare that man?

I thought they've got
something special between them.

(bicycle wheel ratcheting)

(somber music)

♪ Nobody, nobody, nobody knows ♪

- It must be so exciting.

You get to go all around the world

and see all different kinds of people.

- It's really not like that.

It's just as dull as can be.

Actually, I'm only doing it
until I move back to Michigan

and then I'm moving
back in with my parents.

You know, we all need
something magical in our lives,

I hope you get your magic.

♪ The last soul on a summer night ♪

- [Narrator] In her younger years,

Elizabeth had her share of adventures.

Many of them in a forest
of Christmas trees

in summer storage under
Pastor Hartman's church.

- Someday, I'm gonna travel
around the world, just like you.

- Of course you will.

- That was so good.

(Elizabeth moans)

♪ Nobody, nobody, nobody knows ♪

♪ The last soul on a summer night ♪

♪ On a summer night ♪

- [Narrator] Her adventures
ended with Tom Walker.

- What's wrong?

- It's like you suddenly
became a little boy.

When did you become a teen? (laughs)

♪ Nobody, nobody knows ♪

♪ Who am I, Who am I, who am I ♪

♪ Oh, oh, oh ♪

♪ Nobody, nobody, nobody knows ♪

♪ The last soul on a summer night ♪

♪ The last soul on a summer night ♪

(Elizabeth screams)

♪ The last soul on a summer night ♪

(knock on door)

(scissors clatter to floor)

- Just a minute.

- I'm going to get out of here.

I don't know where I'm gonna go,

or what I'm gonna do,

but I'm going away.

- So, you gonna go
downtown and make money.

- I guess I can't make you understand.

I wish I could, but there's just no use.

I just want to go away and
watch people and think.

I wanna be a writer.

I suppose it won't
happen for a year or two,

but I've been thinking about it.

For sure, I'll go away
and I'll be a writer.

♪ You don't have to leave Chicago ♪

♪ I don't know, ya, ah ♪

♪ Just gotta leave you ♪

- [Singer] Hey, let's cut that again

'cause I'm losing my rhythm.

(train rails clattering)

Ready, let's try it again.

♪ You don't have to leave Chicago ♪

♪ I don't know ♪

♪ But you gotta make it ♪

♪ You gotta leave you ♪

♪ Yeah, oh, you don't
have to leave Chicago ♪

♪ I don't know ♪

♪ You gotta make it, y'all ♪

♪ You gotta leave you ♪

♪ Come on, say it one more time ♪

♪ You don't have to leave Chicago ♪

♪ I don't know ♪

♪ But you gotta make it ♪

♪ You gotta leave you ♪

(drummers drumming)
♪ Let me tell you, yeah ♪

♪ Just got to, oh ♪

♪ Gotta leave you ♪

♪ Oh, oh, oh ♪

♪ Oh, yes, you gotta ♪

♪ You got to leave you ♪

♪ Yeah ♪

♪ You got to, yeah, yeah ♪

♪ Gotta leave you ♪

♪ Oh. yeah ♪

♪ You gotta leave you ♪

♪ You got to leave you ♪

♪ He's got to, yeah, yeah ♪

♪ You gotta leave you ♪

♪ You ain't got to leave, you know ♪

♪ You gotta leave you ♪

♪ Come on and let me
hear you sing it loud ♪

♪ Oh, yeah ♪

♪ You gotta leave you ♪

♪ Yeah, yeah ♪

♪ Gotta leave you ♪

♪ He's got to leave ♪

♪ Gotta leave you ♪

♪ Chicago Heights ♪

♪ You gotta leave you ♪

♪ Got to leave ♪

♪ You gotta leave you ♪

♪ Oh, yeah ♪

I like that. (laughs)

(street people chattering)

(rain splashing down)

- Louise.


- You think you're better than me?

- No, Louise.

I think you're real pretty.

(glass bangs on table)

(lips smack)

(chair creaks)

(chair slams floor)

- Thank you, Jesus. Thank
you, Jesus, thank you, Lord.

Thank you, Jesus, thank you, Lord.

It would be wrong for you

to think of your minister
as a man set aside,

and intended by nature to be...

Lead a blameless life.

I am beset by all the
temptations that assail you.

I've been tempted.

I have surrendered to temptation.

But it was only by the hand of God,

placed beneath my head,
that I was raised up.

And as He raised me,

so also shall He raise you.


Do not despair, for in your hour of sin,

turn your eyes to the sky,

and you will be saved
again, and again, and again.

(chair taps floor)

I do not want to kiss Kate Swift's body.


♪ Wake up, yeah ♪

♪ Children, wake up ♪

♪ Wake up ♪

♪ Wake up ♪

♪ People ♪

♪ People, wake up ♪

♪ Walk into, yeah, the light ♪

♪ Walk into the light ♪

♪ Hey, yeah ♪

♪ Oh ♪

♪ Oh, oh ♪

What you want?

I wanna fuck Kate Swift

I wanna fuck Kate Swift

No, no, no.

I am a child of God and He
must save me from myself.

Please, Father, do not forget me.

- [Narrator] The pastor
pleaded now with God

to give him the power
to ignore his window.

And to stay with his
servant in his hour of need.

- Humble servant in his hour of need.

- If you wanna be a writer,

you've gotta talk to your reader.

Keep it simple, draw on nature.

Think in circles, not in lines.

Plot does not matter,
character is everything.

Writing is easy, all
you do is sit and stare

at a blank screen until the drops of blood

form on your forehead.

A writer must possess
the courage to express

what others fear to express.

(rain patters on the roof)

Make love to words.

Make love to me.

- Oh, Miss Swift.

(birds chirping)

(water pouring)

- You think you're better than me?

(Nathan moaning)

- Oh, Helen.

(rain pouring down)

♪ You gotta leave you ♪

♪ Oh, yes, he's got to ♪

♪ You gotta leave you ♪

♪ Yeah ♪

♪ He's got to ♪

♪ Hey, hey ♪

♪ You gotta leave you ♪

♪ Oh, yeah, hey, hey ♪

♪ You gotta leave you ♪

- You put her there.

This is Your fault.

What have I done?

Why tempt me now?

(wind blowing)

I'm a married man.

And my wife is ashamed of passion.

I've been cheated.

A man has a right to expect living passion

and beauty in a woman.

He has no right to forget he's an animal.

I will see this woman.

And I will let myself think thoughts

I have never dared to think.

- You don't have to leave Chicago Heights.

You have to make Chicago
Heights leave you.

What's the use?

It'll be 10 years before
you begin to understand.

Oh, God.

Nathan, you're a student.

No, no.

- Professor Swift, what's wrong with you?


Stupid! Come on.

- Oh, yeah.

Here we go.

Oh, my God!




Oh, God.

(feet shuffling on sidewalk)

Son, the ways of God are beyond human...

He's so...

The Virgin Mary appeared to me
in the body of a naked woman.

Do you know Kate Swift?

She might not be aware of it,

but she is a messenger of God.

Bearing a message of truth.

Do you know what that means?

I'm delivered.

I'm delivered!

Have no fear!

I'll see you in church on Sunday.

(footsteps tapping on sidewalk)

- [Narrator] Nathan Walker
rolled about in the bed

on which he had laid in the
afternoon hugging the pillow,

and thinking thoughts of Kate Swift.

The words of the pastor,

who he'd thought had gone suddenly insane,

rang in his ears.

His eyes stared about the room

and he tried to understand
what had happened.

Over and over he turned
the matter in his mind.

Hours passed and he began
to think it must be time

for another day to come.

- Do you know Kate Swift?

She might not be aware of it
but she is a messenger of God,

bearing a message of truth.

- [Narrator] Then he slept.

And in all Chicago Heights,
he was the last soul

on that summer night to go to sleep.

(typewriter keys clacking)

(somber music)

♪ Nobody, nobody, nobody knows ♪

♪ Who am I, who am I, who am I ♪

♪ Nobody, nobody, nobody knows ♪

♪ The last soul on a summer night ♪

♪ The last soul on a summer night ♪

He assured himself that
of memory and the moment,

those two distinct realms in time.

Memory ranked first,

no matter how fragmented and grotesque.

Memory is a colander of experience

through which only manifestations
of the truth may pass.

(wind blowing through leaves)

(rain patters on the roof)

(birds chirping)

The story of Dr. Reefy and his association

with Mrs. Elizabeth Walker
is a very curious story.

It is delicious.

Like the twisted little apples,

they grow in the backyards
of Chicago Heights.

The apples have been taken
from the trees by children.

On the trees are only a few gnarled apples

that they have rejected.

One nibbles at them
and they are delicious.

Into a little round place
at the side of the apple

has been gathered all of its sweetness.

Only a few know the sweetness
of the twisted apples.

After his wife's death,

Dr. Eli Reefy worked all day, every day.

Alone in his home office
on Black Hawk Drive,

near Lincoln Highway, the
therapist worked ceaselessly

building up something
that he himself destroyed.

Little pyramids of truth he
erected and after erecting

knocked them down again.

That he might have the truth
to erect other pyramids.

Dr. Reefy had a habit
of writing little truths

about people on scraps of paper.

He stuffed the truths in the pockets

of his one tweed jacket.

When the pockets were filled

he dumped them out upon the floor.

Mrs. Elizabeth Walker and Dr. Reefy

began what we shall
characterize as an odd courtship

on a summer afternoon.

When he met her she was
already fatally ill,

but she came to life in his presence.

- I had come to a point in time in my life

when prayer became necessary,

so I invented gods and I prayed to them.

I didn't say my prayer in words

nor did I kneel down.

I sat perfectly still in my chair.

It was an experience that
I really can't explain.

Though I suppose it
happens to men and women

in all sorts of places.

(fan whooshing)

(knock on door)

- [Narrator] Always, there was something

Elizabeth saw blindly,

passionately, the hidden wonder in life.

And all the babble of words that fell

from the lips of the men
who opened her presents

in that perpetual
Christmas under the church.

She was trying to find

what would be for her the true word.

- [Man] God. You are beautiful.

Oh, my God. You are beautiful.

(Elizabeth moans)

Oh, my God. You are beautiful.

Oh, my God. You are beautiful.

God. You are beautiful.

- [Elizabeth] I don't think anybody else

ever truly loved me.

- [Man] Oh, my God. You are beautiful.

- [Elizabeth] You saw exactly
who I hoped and wanted to be.

- You must not try to make love definite,

it's a divine accident of life.

If you try to be sure about it,

you're gonna be disappointed.

(door slams)

- I went to bed last night
and I started thinking.

I thought about you going
up with all these people,

these drifters passing through the house.

- I'm just fine, father.

- I'm worried about you, Elizabeth.

Marriage isn't what it's cracked up to be.

Don't do it.

You'll be stuck here in Chicago Heights

the rest of your life.

- And then I was married and...

just didn't work out at all.

Maybe I just knew too much
about him before then and...

maybe I just found out
way too much about 'em

during that first night.

I'm such a damn fool.

It wasn't Tom Walker that I wanted,

it was marriage.

I didn't like 'em.

He always smelled like paint.

Look, I'm not a ho, but
there were so many stories

around Chicago Heights about me.

It was cloudy one day
and a storm was coming.

Black clouds made the green of the trees

and the grass standout,
so that the colors...

The colors hurt my eyes.

The thoughts had began to come,

and I just wanted to get away from 'em.

So I began to peddle harder

and I wanted to go at a terrible speed.

I wanted to get out of town.

I wanted to get out of my clothes.

I wanted to get out of my marriage.

I wanted to get out of my body.

I wanted out of everything.

I peddled hard.

I peddled hard.

I peddled so hard that
my legs began to hurt,

and when I couldn't
peddle any more I got off

and I fell.

I fell on the ground and it... (crying)

I just wanted to run away from everything.

But I wanted to run towards something too.

Don't you see, darling?
Don't you see how it was?

I cried all the way home.

- You are a beautiful, beautiful woman.

(newspaper smacks step)

So beautiful.

(Elizabeth gasps)

(door slams)

(Elizabeth crying)

- [Narrator] The thing that
had come to life in her

as she talked to Dr. Reefy died suddenly.

Along the street she went

with the blood still singing in her body,

crying so hard that she
feared she might fall.

- [Elizabeth] Okay. (crying)

(train whistle blows)

- [Narrator] The sick woman

spent the last few months of her life

hungering for death.

Elizabeth faded one day in
August in the year when her son,

Nathan, was becoming a
man, but was still so young

that he had but little
sense of what was happening.

Only time would give him that.

(rain pouring down)

Before she died, Elizabeth
laid paralyzed for six days,

unable to speak or move.

And with only her mind and her eyes alive.

For three of the six days she struggled,

thinking of her boy,

trying to say some few words
in regards to his future.

And in her eyes there
was an appeal so touching

that all who saw it kept a
memory of the dying woman

in their mind for years.

(claws clicking along the floor)

(rain pattering)

(floorboards creak)

(footsteps tap on floor)

The body under the sheets
was long and in death

looked young and graceful.

To the boy, it was unspeakably lovely.

He began to think that the body before him

was breathing and alive.

In the dining room with his dead mother,

the young man began to have thoughts.

His mind hungered for life
the way his mother's mind

had hungered for death.

He closed his eyes.

(rain pouring down)

(thunder rumbles in the distance)

(Nathan moans)

(Nathan cries)

(floorboards creak)

- That's not my mother in there.

That's not my mother in there.

(hopeful music)

(alarm clock beeps)

♪ Where do we go from here ♪

♪ When all we have is fear ♪

♪ How do we dedicate ♪

♪ If we don't have the faith ♪

♪ How can we consecrate ♪

♪ When we are too afraid ♪

♪ We need a new world ♪

♪ A change on Lincoln Highway ♪

♪ We need a new world ♪

♪ A change on Lincoln Highway ♪

- [Man] Where do we go from here?

♪ Where do we go from here ♪

On this Lincoln Highway.

♪ If all we have is fear ♪

How can we dedicate?

♪ How can we dedicate ♪

When we have no faith?

♪ When we don't have the faith ♪

How can we consecrate?

♪ How can we consecrate ♪

♪ A place we want to be safe ♪

♪ We need a new world now ♪

♪ We need a new world ♪

♪ A change on Lincoln Highway ♪

♪ We all need a ♪

♪ We need a new world ♪

♪ A change on Lincoln Highway ♪

♪ Where do we go from here ♪

♪ Where do we go from here ♪

♪ On this Lincoln Highway ♪

(knock on door)

- Professor Swift?

I wrote another story.

- That's good.

- I want you to read it.

- No.

I'm sorry, I can't.

- But I just wrote-

- I'm sorry.

♪ We need a new world ♪

♪ A change on Lincoln highway ♪

- Fornication, twice a week.

♪ Come sing ♪

♪ Oh, yeah ♪

♪ We need a new world ♪

♪ A change on Lincoln Highway ♪

♪ We need a new world, yeah ♪

♪ We need a new world ♪

♪ A change on Lincoln Highway ♪

(train whistle blows)

(birds chirping)

(train station PA blares)

- [Narrator] The young man
riding downtown began to think,

but he did not think of
anything very big or traumatic,

things like his mother's
death, his adventured departure

from Chicago Heights, the
uncertainty of his future life.

The serious and larger aspects of his life

did not come into his mind.

He thought of little things.

Nathan Walker closed his eyes,
and leaned back in his seat.

One looking at him

would not have thought
him particularly sharp.

He stayed that way for a long time

and when he aroused himself later

and again looked out of the train window.

The excerpt of Chicago
Heights had disappeared

and his life there had
become but a background

on which to paint the
dreams of his manhood.

(dramatic music)

♪ Someone broke my heart and ♪

♪ Tore me apart ♪

♪ Someone told a lie ♪

♪ That a man should never cry ♪

♪ Now I'm so much older ♪

♪ And my heart has grown colder ♪

♪ I can see ♪

♪ That it was a lie ♪

♪ But this is what I had to do ♪

♪ Wake up, children, wake up ♪

♪ Come on, wake up, y'all ♪

♪ Wake up, uh-oh, people, wake up ♪

♪ Walk into the light ♪

♪ Walk into the light ♪

♪ Oh, yeah, yeah, oh ♪

♪ 'Cause what I had to do is wake up ♪

♪ Wake up, children, wake up ♪

♪ Wake up ♪

♪ Wake up ♪

♪ People ♪

♪ People, wake up ♪

♪ Walk into the light ♪

♪ Walk into the light ♪

♪ Hey, yeah ♪

♪ Oh ♪

♪ Uh-oh ♪

♪ Oh ♪

♪ Uh-oh ♪

♪ Oh ♪

♪ Uh-oh ♪

♪ Oh ♪

♪ Uh-oh ♪

♪ Oh ♪

♪ Walk in it ♪

♪ Walk into the light ♪

♪ Hey, yeah, oh ♪

♪ Oh ♪

♪ Oh ♪

♪ Uh-oh ♪

♪ Do it ♪

♪ Oh ♪

♪ Yeah ♪

♪ Oh ♪

♪ Uh-oh ♪

♪ Yeah ♪

♪ Walk into the light ♪

♪ Oh ♪

(hands clapping)


♪ Wake up, children ♪

♪ Walk into the light ♪

♪ Oh, you stop lying, everybody ♪

♪ Oh ♪

♪ Oh ♪

♪ Oh ♪

♪ Uh-oh ♪

♪ Yeah ♪

♪ Oh ♪

♪ Oh, uh-oh ♪

♪ Oh ♪

♪ Walk into ♪

♪ Walk into the light ♪

♪ Walk into the light, yeah ♪

♪ Oh, oh, uh-oh ♪

♪ Oh, oh, uh-oh ♪

♪ Uh-oh ♪

♪ Walk into the light ♪

♪ Oh, you don't have to keep killing ♪

♪ Oh, oh, oh ♪

♪ You don't have to
leave Chicago Heights ♪

♪ Oh, oh, uh-oh ♪

♪ Oh ♪

♪ Walk into the light ♪

♪ Oh, yeah ♪

♪ Wake up ♪