My Own Country (1998) - full transcript

"My Own Country" tells the story of an East Indian doctor who settles in Johnson City, Tennessee. The doctor's name is Abraham Verghese, and he specializes in infectious diseases. It's 1985, and AIDS is spreading from the big cities to the rural areas. Abraham takes AIDS as his personal crusade and is soon well-known for his compassion and non-judgmental treatment. He soon becomes overwhelmed with patients from the surrounding states, which strains his marriage.

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---
( woman vocalizing in Indian
dialect )

( woman vocalizing in Indian
dialect )

Man:
I WAS BORN IN ETHIOPIA
TO INDIAN PARENTS WHO HAD COME

HERE TO BE TEACHERS.

( camera shutter clicks )
Man on radio:
SEPTEMBER 12,

1974, EMPEROR HAILE SELASSIE
OF ETHIOPIA HAS BEEN OVERTHROWN

BY DERG, A COALITION OF
MILITARY GENERALS WHO WISH TO

REMAIN NAMELESS.

Man: ONLY SIX MORE HOURS
BEFORE THE END OF CURFEW.

YOU WANT TO BUY US A DRINK,
INDIAN BOY?

SORRY. I HAVEN'T GOT ANY
MONEY.



( clanging noise )
STOP THAT, MAN, STOP THAT.

( gunshot )
WHEN YOU'RE FORCED TO LEAVE

A COUNTRY YOU ONCE CALLED HOME,
IT CHANGES EVERYTHING.

YOU CAN'T APPRECIATE THE SIMPLE
PLEASURES OF LIFE, YOU ENVY

PEOPLE AROUND YOU WHO CAN.

I WENT TO INDIA TO STUDY
MEDICINE.

I WANTED TO BECOME A DOCTOR
BECAUSE OF SOMERSET MAUGHAM'S

OF HUMAN BONDAGE,
A BOOK THAT
MADE MEDICINE SEEM THE MOST

ROMANTIC OF PROFESSIONS.

Teacher: YOU MUST LEARN TO
USE ALL YOUR SENSES.

YOU, SIR. WHAT DOES DIABETIC
COMA SMELL LIKE?

Student: ACETONE, SIR.

TYPHOID FEVER, VERGHESE.

FRESHLY BAKED BREAD, SIR.



SCROFULA. VADIVEL.

UH, AMMONIA, SIR?

WRONG. STALE BEER.

I THOUGHT YOU OF ALL PEOPLE
WOULD KNOW THAT.

NEVER FORGET, INSPECTION, THEN
PALPATION, THEN PERCUSSION,

AND FINALLY, AUSCULTATION.

WHICH IS OUR LEAST IMPORTANT
INSTRUMENT?

Students: THE STETHOSCOPE,
SIR.

AND WHY IS THAT?

BECAUSE, SIR, BY THE TIME YOU
HAVE LOOKED, FELT AND PERCUSSED,

YOU SHOULD KNOW WHAT YOU WILL
HEAR.

SIR.

HEY, MOHAN, LISTEN TO THE
LECTURE VADIVEL GAVE THE U.S.

CONSUL.

WHAT A VISIONARY.

WHAT PASSION!

TELL HIM, VADIVEL.

"SPARE ME THE CRAP," HE SAID,
"ABOUT COMIN' BACK TO SERVE

YOUR COUNTRY.

WHY'D YOU REALLY WANNA GO?"
SO WHAT DID YOU SAY?

I SAID, "SIR, CRAVING YOUR
FINE INDULGENCE, I WANT TO WORK

IN A DECENT TEN-STORY HOSPITAL
WHERE THE LIFTS ARE ACTUALLY

WORKING!

I WANT TO BECOME A GREAT DOCTOR.

PRACTICE REAL MEDICINE.

PAY ALL MY TAXES, AND NEVER COME
BACK TO THIS WRETCHED TOWN

WHERE DOCTORS OUTNUMBER FLEAS,
AND THE AIR IS NOT FIT TO

BREATHE!"
YOU ARE LAUGHING?

LAUGHING?

THE BUGGER REJECTED MY VISA.

HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY,
MY BLOODY BUM.

YOU BUGGERS THINK IT'S
THAT EASY?

A BLOODY COW PATH TO AMERICA
DOESN'T LEAD TO GOOD HOSPITALS

FOR FOREIGNERS LIKE US,
UNLESS YOU'RE WILLING TO CLEAN

THE BLOODY TOILET.

YEAH, YEAH, WE KNOW YOU KNOW
EVERYTHING THERE IS TO KNOW

ABOUT AMERICA.

SHUT UP, BASTARD.

MY COUSIN TOLD ME.

HIS COUSIN.

HE SAID WE FOREIGN MEDICAL
GRADUATES ARE A BLOODY NUISANCE,

A PROBLEM, THAT WE'RE LIKE
TRANSPLANTED ORGANS.

LIFE-SAVING BUT REJECTED,
BECAUSE OF BLOODY FOREIGN

TISSUE.

AS THEY SAY IN AMERICA,
TOUGH SHIT.

♪ MALAIKA
NA KU PENDE MALAIKA

MALAIKA
NA KU PENDE MALAIKA

NAMI NIFANYEJE
KIJANA MWENZIO

NASHINDWA NA MALI SINA WE
NINGEKUOA MALAIKA

PESA ZASUMBUA ROHO YANGU
PESA ZASUMBUA ROHO YANGU

NAMI NIFANYEJE
KIJANA MWENZIO

NASHINDWA NA MALI SINA WE
NINGEKUOA MALAIKA

NASHINDWA NA MALI SINA WE
NINGEKUOA MALAIKA ♪

Abraham:
JOHNSON CITY,
TENNESSEE, 1985.

THE SAME YEAR A YOUNG MAN FROM
NEW YORK CAME HOME.

( country music on radio )
I CAN HEAR THE RADIO PLAYING.

I CAN PICTURE HIS PARENTS
WAITING FOR HIM.

HIS MOTHER COOKING HIS FAVORITE
FOOD.

( shivering )
Man: CODE BLUE, CODE BLUE!

Doctor: CLEAR!

CONTINUE CPR.

BICARB, EPINEPHRINE, I WANT
A SECOND I.V. LINE.

OKAY, CLEAR!

GO, GO, GO.

OKAY, HE'S COMIN' AROUND.

GOOD WORK, PEOPLE.

UH, I'M SORRY TO HAVE TO TELL
YOU.

YOUR SON HAS AIDS.

BUT HOW?

HOW COULD HE GET THIS?

WELL, HAS YOUR SON BEEN
HEALTHY IN THE PAST YEAR?

OH, YES.

DID HE EVER USE INTRAVENOUS
DRUGS?

LORD, NO.

IS HE MARRIED?

NO.

HE LIVE ALONE?

NO, HE HAS A FRIEND
IN NEW YORK.

A MALE FRIEND?

YES.

WE'VE NEVER MET HIM.

OH, LORD, IS THAT HOW HE GOT
THIS?

ARE YOU TELLING ME MY BOY'S...

A QUEER?

OH, MOTHER, DO YOU HEAR THIS?

DO YOU HEAR THIS?

DO YOU HEAR THIS?

( both weeping )
Abraham:
WORD SPREAD LIKE

WILDFIRE THROUGH THE HOSPITAL.

ALL THOSE INVOLVED IN HIS CASE
AGONIZED OVER THEIR EXPOSURE.

SOME MONTHS AFTER THE YOUNG MAN
FROM NEW YORK DIED, I RETURNED

TO JOHNSON CITY, WHERE I HAD
BEEN AN INTERN TWO YEARS AGO.

I WAS BACK NOW AS THE HEAD OF
INFECTIOUS DISEASES.

NO ONE CAN UNDERSTAND WHY THE
HELL ANYBODY WOULD LEAVE BOSTON

FOR TENNESSEE.

WHAT'D YOU SAY?

ABRAHAM WOULD SAY, "I'M GOING
BACK BECAUSE OF THE PEOPLE IN

TENNESSEE.

THEY'LL GIVE YOU THE SHIRT OFF
THEIR BACKS IF YOU'RE THEIR

FRIEND."

ABE'S A GOOD OL' BOY.

THAT STEPHEN, HE'S GONNA BE ONE,
TOO.

SO, DOC, YOU A FULL-FLEDGED
SPECIALIST NOW?

YOU CAN SAY THAT, YEAH.

I SURE AS HELL HOPE THEY'RE
OFFERIN' YOU A DECENT WAGE.

IT COULD BE BETTER, BUT IT'S
NOT BAD.

I'LL BE AT THE V.A. MOSTLY,
AND ALSO THE MIRACLE CENTER.

DO A SPOT OF TEACHING, SOME
RESEARCH.

NOW THAT YOU'RE A BIG SHOT,
I DON'T SUPPOSE YOU'D BE

INTERESTED IN RIDIN' A VINTAGE
TRIUMPH BIKE.

( laughs )
I HAD A FEELIN' IN MY BONES

YOU'D BE BACK, SO I DIDN'T SELL
IT.

KEPT HER OILED AND GREASED FOR
YA, RUNS REAL GOOD.

THANK YOU. THANK YOU.

YOU CAN THROW ONE HELLACIOUS
PARTY HERE.

( men laughing )
Allen: ... AN ASS LIKE THAT!

GETTIN' IT STRANGE, ALLEN?

GETTING IT STRANGE?

I'M GETTIN' IT STEADY.

HONEY, I'M HOME!

♪ MOVE YOUR SWEET LEGS
OVER HERE

I'M A-READY FOR MY BACK RUB ♪
BUT FIRST, RAJANI, FIRST.

I'M A-READY FOR MY BACK RUB ♪
BUT FIRST, RAJANI, FIRST.

YOU KNOW, RAJANI, I'VE ALWAYS
ENVIED PEOPLE LIKE YOU.

YOU CAN GO BACK HOME TO INDIA.

IT'S ALWAYS THERE FOR YOU.

I WANT THIS LITTLE GUY TO HAVE
WHAT I NEVER DID-- A PERMANENT

HOME.

I ENVY YOU SOMETIMES.

MY WORLD IS SO SMALL.

ALL I HAVE HERE IN AMERICA IS
YOU AND THE BABY.

BUT YOU, ANYWHERE YOU GO,
YOU'RE AT HOME.

YOUR FRIENDS ARE YOUR FAMILY.

IT SCARES ME SOMETIMES.

SORRY TO BE LATE.

I'M DR. ABRAHAM VERGHESE,
THE NEW HEAD OF INFECTIOUS

DISEASES.

VIKRAM NAIR.

THIS IS SHAHAIN ALI,
JOHN OKRI, AND ALBERTO RAMIREZ.

GOOD. IS THERE ANYTHING YOU
WANNA KNOW ABOUT ME?

WHAT MADE YOU CHOOSE
INFECTIOUS DISEASES AS

A SPECIALTY?

THAT'S VERY UNUSUAL.

I LOVE BEDSIDE MEDICINE.

IN AMERICA, IT'S A LOST ART.

I DON'T SUPPOSE ANY OF YOU
INTEND TO DO ANYTHING AS

OLD-FASHIONED.

SO, WHAT ABOUT AIDS?

AREN'T YOU AFRAID?

IT'S MY ONLY CHANCE TO PLAY
HERO.

( people talking quietly )
IF YOU DON'T STOP SMOKING,

YOU'RE GONNA BE IN TROUBLE.

WELL, HERE I AM, FOUGHT FOR
MY COUNTRY, YOU FOREIGNERS COME

OVER HERE, TELLIN' US WHAT TO
DO, MAKIN' MONEY OFF US.

I'M GONNA WRITE MY CONGRESSMAN.

YOU DO JUST THAT.

HEY, DOC.

Y'ALL GET ME AMERICAN DOCTORS,
JUST LIKE HER.

I'LL SEE WHAT I CAN DO.

HI, ABE.

OOPS. I MEAN, DR. VERGHESE.

IT'S NICE TO HAVE YOU BACK.

SADIE, CAN I HAVE A QUICK
WORD, PLEASE?

YOU SHOULD BE USING GLOVES.

YOU KNOW THE NEW RULES, DON'T
YOU?

I KNOW, I KNOW, BUT I KEEP
FORGETTIN'.

BESIDES, I CAN'T DRAW BLOOD WITH
GLOVES ON, 'CAUSE I CAN'T FEEL

ANYTHING.

YOU'LL JUST HAVE TO LEARN,
SADIE.

YOU'RE PLAYING WITH FIRE.

THERE IS NO AIDS AROUND HERE.

I MEAN, LOOK AT THAT OLD
BLOWHARD.

DOES HE LOOK LIKE A DRUG ADDICT
OR HOMOSEXUAL TO YOU?

ABE!

HI.

I AM SO EXCITED YOU'RE BACK!

OH!

AT LAST.

WE HAVE AN AIDS EXPERT IN TOWN.

THERE'S SO MUCH IGNORANCE HERE.

AND WE'VE BEEN FEELIN' THE
PINCH.

FEWER PEOPLE HAVE BEEN DONATIN'
BLOOD, 'CAUSE EVERYBODY THINKS

THEY'RE GONNA CATCH SOMETHIN'.

SO I GOT THIS VIDEOTAPE ON AIDS
THAT I'VE ALREADY SHOWN TO SOME

CHURCH GROUPS IN TOWN.

WILL YOU COME AND TALK WHEN
I SHOW IT AGAIN?

ALL RIGHT, OLIVIA.

BUT WHAT ABOUT THE GAY
POPULATION HERE?

WE OUGHTA SHOW THE TAPE AT
THE CONNECTION.

THANK YOU FOR REMINDIN' ME.

WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THAT?

THE CONNECTION?

IT'S A GAY BAR.

( Indian music plays )
I CAN'T DECIDE WHICH SHIRT

TO WEAR.

THIS IS A SMALL TOWN.

WHAT IF ANYONE SEES YOU GO IN
THERE?

YOU KNOW WHY I'M GOING.

I'M NOT TALKING ABOUT MYSELF.

I'M TALKING ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE.

YOU KNOW HOW THEY TALK.

AND AS AN INDIAN, YOU'RE NOT
EXACTLY INVISIBLE.

NO, NO, IT'S TOO LATE NOW.

I CAN'T LET OLIVIA DOWN.

HELP ME.

WHY BOTHER? GO NAKED.

( laughs )
( disco music playing )

THIS IS DR. ABRAHAM VERGHESE.

HE'S A SPECIALIST IN AIDS.

NOT EXACTLY.

MY SPECIALTY IS INFECTIOUS
DISEASES, AND AIDS HAPPENS TO

FALL...

WHATEVER. YOU'RE STILL MORE
OF AN EXPERT THAN ANYBODY ELSE

IN THIS TOWN.

WHAT CAN I GET YOU TO DRINK?

COULD I HAVE SOME WATER,
PLEASE?

BUBBLES?

TAP IS FINE, THANK YOU.

LET'S PLUG IN.

YOU CAN PUT IT ALL IN THE
BACK.

THAT MAN USED TO WORK AT THE
7-ELEVEN NEAR MY OLD APARTMENT.

Narrator on tape:
ACQUIRED
IMMUNE DEFICIENCY SYNDROME.

IT'S A BIG NAME WITH EVEN
BIGGER IMPLICATIONS.

WE WOULD ESTIMATE THERE ARE
APPROXIMATELY A MILLION PEOPLE

WHO'VE BEEN INFECTED WITH THE
VIRUS.

OUR FEAR, THAT WE MAY FACE AN
EPIDEMIC, IS CERTAINLY

JUSTIFIED.

THERE HAS BEEN A SUDDEN AND
RAPID SPREAD OF AIDS TO

THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE IN THIS
COUNTRY.

SOME 50% OF THESE PEOPLE HAVE
DIED.

GENTLEMEN, AND LADIES,
I GIVE YOU DR. ABRAHAM VERGHESE.

I'D BE HAPPY TO ANSWER
ANY QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE.

WHAT ARE THE CHANCES OF
GETTIN' AIDS HERE IN JOHNSON

CITY?

IF YOU WEAR A CONDOM, IT
SHOULD BE EXTREMELY LOW.

WHAT IF YOU DON'T, OR YOU
HAVEN'T?

( giggling )
IF YOU DON'T, IT DEPENDS UPON

HOW MANY OF YOUR PARTNERS WERE
INFECTED WITH THE VIRUS.

IT'S A BIT LIKE RUSSIAN
ROULETTE.

IN PLACES LIKE NEW YORK, SAN
FRANCISCO, BOSTON, MOST OF THE

CHAMBERS WILL HAVE BULLETS IN
THEM.

IN JOHNSON CITY, I JUST DON'T
KNOW.

WELL, I MEAN, LET'S SAY YOU
WERE REAL CAREFUL, AND, UM...

AND YOU TRUSTED SOMEONE,
ONLY TO FIND OUT LATER THAT

THAT SAME PERSON WAS CARRYING ON
WITH JUST ABOUT EVERYBODY.

AND, UH, AND HE WAS THE ONLY
PERSON THAT YOU'D BEEN WITH.

IS HE HIV-POSITIVE?

THAT'S WHAT I DON'T KNOW.

HE LEFT FOR ATLANTA.

BUT LAST I HEARD,
HE WAS... HE WAS SICK.

IN FACT, I THINK...

I THINK HE'S DEAD.

ALL OF A SUDDEN, THE VIRUS
WAS RIGHT IN OUR MIDST.

HOW MANY OF YOU HERE
HAVE TAKEN THE TEST?

THE TEST IS FREE, AND COMPLETELY
CONFIDENTIAL.

AND PLEASE, COME BY MY OFFICE
AT ANY TIME.

WHAT WAS COMMON IN SAN
FRANCISCO AND NEW YORK WAS

UNKNOWN HERE.

IT WAS LIKE WE WERE IN
A DIFFERENT TIME ZONE.

I GOTTA RUN.

YOU GO AHEAD AND STAY FOR
A WHILE.

YOU MAY ONLY GET ONE CHANCE TO
SEE THIS.

♪ YOU KNOW FOREVER
IS JUST AN ILLUSION

COMIN' AND GOIN'
IN EVERY DIRECTION

NO SIGN IS SHOWING ME
WHICH WAY IS RIGHT

NOT GONNA WORRY
AND MAKE THE CONNECTION

IT'S TIME TO GET TO
THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT

SO I'LL DANCE
AND I'LL PRANCE

DUST OFF MY FEELINGS
AND TAKE THEM FOR A RIDE

AS I GLIDE
AND I SLIDE ♪

NEGATIVE, NEGATIVE,
NEGATIVE, NEGATIVE.

WHEW! THANKS.

THAT'S AMAZING.

WHY SHOULD YOU BE SURPRISED?

THIS IS RURAL TENNESSEE, NOT
SODOM AND GOMORRAH.

THIS MEANS WE CAN CONTAIN IT.

AIDS HASN'T YET REACHED OUR GAY
POPULATION.

THEY'RE THE ONLY HIGH-RISK GROUP
AROUND.

I FELT A SENSE OF URGENCY
THAT I HAD LACKED BEFORE.

I STARTED TO SPEAK EVERYWHERE.

I'D LIKE TO HEAR THE VIEWS OF
THE CONGREGATION ON THIS MATTER.

( clears throat )
HASN'T THE REVEREND JERRY

FALWELL SAID THAT HOMOSEXUALS
ONE DAY WILL BE UTTERLY

ANNIHILATED, AND THERE WILL BE
A CELEBRATION IN HEAVEN?

Preacher: AMEN.

MA'AM, WOULD YOU RATHER
BELIEVE MR. FALWELL OR THE

BIBLE?

THE GOOD BOOK SAYS, "JUDGE NOT
LEST YE BE JUDGED."

I BELIEVE THE BIBLE ALSO SAYS,
"LOVE THY BROTHER AS THYSELF."

AT LEAST THEY QUOTED ME CORRECT.

CAN'T YOU STOP NOW?

THIS ISN'T BOSTON.

IT'S SO EMBARRASSING.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF A CHILD
OF OURS TURNED OUT TO BE GAY?

DON'T SAY THAT.

RAJANI, ALL THOSE GAY MEN AT
THE CONNECTION ARE ALL SOMEONE'S

CHILDREN.

I HOPE THEY'RE LISTENING.

I HOPE THAT, WHILE THEY'RE
CHANGING CHANNELS AND FLIPPING

THROUGH THE PAPER, THEY'LL SEE
THE MESSAGE, 'CAUSE IT'S THE

ONLY WAY THEY'LL STAY ALIVE.

THERE'S NO DRUGS FOR THIS.

I CAN'T OFFER ANY CURE.

CAN YOU UNDERSTAND THAT?

I'M SORRY. I DIDN'T MEAN TO
LECTURE YOU LIKE THAT.

YOU'RE FORGIVEN.

( humming )
♪ NA KU PENDE MALAIKA

( humming )
♪ NA KU PENDE MALAIKA

( humming )
( continues humming )

SO, RAJANI, IS THE BABY
KICKING?

JUST LIKE A FOOTBALL PLAYER.

OH, SO NICE.

RAJANI, HOW IS YOUR HUSBAND
AND HIS AIDS?

RAJNITI, HOW ARE YOU?

ARE YOU EATING THE ALMONDS LIKE
I TOLD YOU TO?

YES, MRS. ALAM, I'M EATING
SEVEN ALMONDS EVERY MORNING,

JUST LIKE YOU SAID.

GOOD, GOOD, GOOD.

WHAT CAN I GET FOR YOU TODAY?

THREE PACK OF CHILI PEPPER.

AND TWO KILO BASMATI RICE.

I GIVE YOU DISCOUNT ON FIVE
KILO.

HI, MAMA.

HI, GORGEOUS.

SEE HOW THE GENERATION HAS
CHANGED?

CAN I HAVE MY RICE, PLEASE, THAT
I ORDERED LAST WEEK?

Woman on answering machine:
DR. VERGHESE, THIS IS MATTIE

VINES FROM VIRGINIA.

I'M VERY UPSET ABOUT MY BROTHER
GORDON.

I'LL JUST BE REAL HONEST WITH
YOU.

GORDON HAS HIV FACTOR.

COULD YOU CALL ME AT HOME
AT 555-8009?

IT'S URGENT.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

MY FIRST AIDS PATIENT IN
TENNESSEE IS ON HIS WAY.

MATTIE'S BROTHER.

ABRAHAM!

I'M SO GLAD YOU COULD COME SEE
US SO QUICKLY.

MATTIE, IT'S GOOD TO SEE YOU.

I HEARD YOU WERE BACK IN
JOHNSON CITY, AND I SAW YOU ON

TV, THAT'S HOW I KNEW TO CALL.

I HEARD YOU WERE AT THE LAB
WHEN I GOT BACK, BUT I MISSED

YOU.

I WORK AT THE LAB CLOSE TO
HOME NOW, WHICH IS GOOD, NOW

THAT GORDON'S BACK.

LET ME COME STRAIGHT TO THE
POINT.

MY BROTHER GORDON'S BEEN SICK
A LONG TIME.

I MEAN, A VERY LONG TIME.

BUT HE IS REAL SICK TONIGHT.

SO WHEN DO YOU THINK YOU
CONTACTED THE VIRUS?

WHAT DO YOU MEAN?

YOUR TEST SAYS OCTOBER, 1985,
BUT DO YOU THINK IT COULD'VE

BEEN BEFORE THAT?

I GUESS I MUSTA GOT THE VIRUS
IN '80 OR '81.

AND HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN
FEELING POORLY?

MONTHS. NO, YEARS.

I WAS SICK FOR SO LONG AND,
AND LOSIN' WEIGHT...

EVEN BEFORE I CAME HOME.

AND WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN
FEELING SINCE YOU GOT HOME?

TIRED AND FEVERISH.

I STAY COLD ALL THE TIME,
AND THEN, I'LL SUDDENLY BREAK

A SWEAT.

OTHERWISE...

OTHERWISE, I'M DOIN' PRETTY
GOOD.

OKAY, GORDON.

I'D LIKE TO EXAMINE YOU NOW,
IF I MAY.

OKAY.

WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO ADMIT
HIM.

HE'S ANEMIC, HE NEEDS
A TRANSFUSION, HE HAS YEAST IN

HIS MOUTH, AND I CAN HEAR RALES
IN BOTH LUNGS.

HONEY, DON'T YOU WORRY ABOUT
A THING.

GORDON, I THINK YOU NEED
TO BE IN THE HOSPITAL.

I DON'T WANNA BE IN THE
HOSPITAL.

CAN'T YOU JUST GIVE ME SOME
MEDICINE AND SEND ME HOME?

IT'S NOT THAT SIMPLE.

THERE'S NO TWO WAYS ABOUT IT.

YOU DO WHAT THE DOCTOR SAYS.

DON'T YOU WORRY ABOUT GORDO.

WE'LL TAKE VERY GOOD CARE OF
HIM.

I'LL COME BY AND SEE YOU IN
THE MORNING.

IN THE MEANTIME, GET SOME SLEEP.

I'M GONNA STAY RIGHT HERE.

I BROUGHT MY THINGS.

THAT PICTURE WAS TAKEN RIGHT
BEFORE I FOUND OUT ABOUT MY

BREAST CANCER.

YOU HAD CANCER, MATTIE?

I BEAT IT, THANKS TO GOOD
LUCK AND THE GOOD LORD ABOVE.

I TELL YOU, BAD LUCK JUST HAS A
WAY OF STRIKIN' OUT OF THE BLUE.

WHEN GORDON CAME HOME, IT WAS
LIKE ANOTHER TEST GOD WAS

GIVIN' US.

IT'S LIKE HE'S SAYIN, "OKAY,
LET'S SEE WHAT YOU ALL CAN DO

NOW."

AND I TELL YOU WHAT I'M GONNA
DO.

THERE'S NO TWO WAYS ABOUT IT.

I'M GONNA PLAY THE LORD'S HAND.

GORDON'S YOUR ONLY BROTHER,
RIGHT?

NO, THERE'S THREE OF US.

HERMAN'S THE OLDEST, HE WAS THE
HEAD OF THE HOUSEHOLD WHEN PA

WAS AWAY, THEN ME, THEN GORDO.

WE WERE TOUGH KIDS, HERMAN AND
ME.

ONLY GORDO WAS A SICKLY ONE.

POOR KID WAS IN AND OUT OF THE
HOSPITAL FROM THE TIME HE WAS

FOUR YEARS OLD.

HE HAD THE CROUP, HE HAD
BRONCHITIS.

AND HE HAD THEM FITS.

I THINK HE WAS 14 WHEN THE FITS
JUST WENT AWAY.

SUDDENLY, HE PUT ON INCHES.

HE DEVELOPED A STYLE.

HE BECAME THIS DAZZLING,
DAZZLING CREATURE.

IT WAS NOTHING SHORT OF
A MIRACLE.

HE WAS A VERY GOOD-LOOKIN' YOUNG
MAN.

♪ THERE YOU ARE
LIKE A DREAM FROM AFAR

NO OTHER VISION WILL DO
MY ONLY PASSION IS YOU

EVEN WHEN I'M FEELIN' BLUE
THERE YOU ARE ♪

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, I'D LIKE
YOU TO MEET THE TWO PEOPLE IN

THIS WORLD WHO HAVE MADE MY LIFE
WORTH LIVIN'.

MATTIE, MY SISTER, AND MY MA...

VISITIN' US ALL THE WAY FROM
PREACHER'S CREEK, VIRGINIA.

( applause and cheering )
DANCE WITH ME, MATTIE.

ONE YEAR, GORDO DID NOT CALL
ON MOTHER'S DAY.

THEN MAMA'S BIRTHDAY CAME AND
WENT, AND STILL NO CALL.

IT WAS LIKE HE JUST DISAPPEARED
OFF THE FACE OF THE EARTH.

FOR FIVE YEARS, WE DID NOT KNOW
WHETHER HE WAS DEAD OR ALIVE.

( woman humming )
( gasps )

HEY, MATTIE.

WHAT YOU DOIN'?

MA!

WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?

WHY HAVE YOU NOT CALLED
ALL THESE YEARS?

( Gordon laughing )
MA! MA!

MAMA, I'VE COME HOME.

Mother: THANK YOU, LORD.

( Gordon laughs )
GORDON?

HEY, PA.

HALLELUJAH.

OH, OH, MATTIE, LOOK WHAT
I GOT YOU, LOOK WHAT I GOT YOU.

( Mattie exclaims
wordlessly )

Mother: PRAISE THE LORD!

PRAISE THE LORD!

DANCE WITH ME.

GORDON, ARE YOU ALL RIGHT?

SHOULD I CALL THE DOCTOR?

NO, I'M OKAY.

OF COURSE HE'S ALL RIGHT.

HE'S JUST TIRED FROM ALL THAT
TRAVELIN'.

WE'RE JUST GONNA HAVE TO PUT
SOME FLESH ON HIM.

I KNOW I AIN'T BEEN MUCH OF
A FATHER, AIN'T BEEN AROUND

THAT MUCH.

BUT NOW THAT YOU'RE HOME,
THINGS ARE GONNA BE DIFFERENT.

WHAT THINK YOU, WHEN YOU GET
RESTED UP, WE GO INTO BUSINESS

TOGETHER.

I'VE BEEN THINKIN' ABOUT ROOFIN'
AND TILIN'.

WOULD YOU LIKE THAT?

YEAH. THAT'D BE GREAT.

MA.

THANK YOU, MA.

( weakly ) HEY, MATTIE.

WHAT YOU DOIN'?

FOR YOU.

YOU'RE ALWAYS COLD.

( breathing heavily )
MATTIE, I'M SICK.

CAN YOU HELP ME?

ANY CHANGE IN HIS FEVER?

NO, SIR.

WHAT'S THAT?

HE SAID HE LOVED CHOP SUEY,
SO I GOT HIM SOME.

HE SAID HE LOVED CHOP SUEY,
SO I GOT HIM SOME.

COME ON, CLYDE.

( grunts )
OH.

NOW, LOOK, Y'ALL, JUST LOOK AT
HIM.

WOULD DEPRESSION OR NERVES
DO THIS TO A GROWN MAN?

WOULD THEY MAKE HIM LOSE WEIGHT,
HUH?

JUST LOOK AT HIM.

LOOK AT HIM!

WOULD NERVES MAKE HIM STOP
TALKIN' AND BECOME LIKE A BABY

OR LOSE WEIGHT OR HICCUP FOR
WEEKS?

COME ON, KIDS.

YOUR HUSBAND'S CAT SCAN
INDICATES A GLOBAL DETERIORATION

OF ALL COGNITIVE FUNCTIONS.

CAN YOU SPEAK IN PLAIN
ENGLISH?

IT MEANS HIS BRAIN HAS
SHRIVELED.

IT'S THE SORT OF THING WE FIND
IN 70-YEAR-OLD PATIENTS WITH

ALZHEIMER'S.

WELL, HONEY, I HATE TO BURST
YOUR BUBBLE, BUT CLYDE'S

A 35-YEAR-OLD TRUCK DRIVER.

IT AIN'T LIKE SOMEBODY PUT HIS
BRAINS IN THE DRYER AND JUST

LEFT IT RUNNIN'.

HAS HE EVER USED INTRAVENOUS
DRUGS?

KIDS, WHY DON'T YOU WAIT ON
OUTSIDE?

THAT'S IT, GO ON.

I'LL BE RIGHT OUT THERE. GO ON.

NOW WHAT?

HAS HE EVER USED INTRAVENOUS
DRUGS?

NO, NO. HE JUST DRINKS.

HAS HE EVER HAD SEX WITH
ANOTHER MAN?

OH, HELL, NO.

HELL, YES.

WHAT?

YOU'VE HAD SEX WITH MEN?

YEP.

OH, HE DON'T KNOW WHAT HE'S
SAYIN'. THEY GOT HIM ALL

PUMPED UP.

I LIKE SEX, VICKIE.

YOU KNOW I DO.

WITH MEN? CLYDE? YOU LIKE
SEX WITH MEN?

YEP.

YOU TWO-TIMIN' PERVERT.

MRS. TALLEY.

YOU HAD SEX WITH MY SISTER,
TOO, DIDN'T YOU?

DIDN'T YOU?!

ANSWER ME, CLYDE.

DON'T THINK I DON'T KNOW IT,
YOU TWO-TIMIN' SON OF A BITCH.

MRS. TALLEY, PLEASE.

PLEASE.

YOUR HUSBAND SHOWS SIGNS OF
AIDS-RELATED DEMENTIA,

ALTHOUGH I HAVE TO TEST HIM TO
BE CERTAIN OF THAT.

I ALSO SUGGEST WE TEST YOU,
AND YOUR SISTER, AND ANYONE ELSE

YOU FEEL WOULD BE APPROPRIATE.

OKAY.

SHIT.

HAVE YOU WASHED YOUR HANDS?

YES, RAJANI, I WASHED MY
HANDS, EVEN THOUGH IT'S NOT

PASSED THROUGH TOUCH.

I DIDN'T RECOGNIZE THIS PERSON
NEXT TO ME.

I DIDN'T REALIZE THAT RAJANI
WAS MERELY FRIGHTENED,

AS ANY WIFE OR EXPECTANT MOTHER
WOULD BE IN THOSE DAYS WHEN WE

UNDERSTOOD SO LITTLE ABOUT
AIDS.

I NEVER THOUGHT OF HOW DESERTED
SHE FELT AT HOME, WHILE I WAS

OFF PLAYING HERO.

I WANT YOU TO THINK OF THE
IMMUNE SYSTEM LIKE AN ORCHESTRA,

AND THE CD4 CELL LIKE THE
ORCHESTRA CONDUCTOR.

NOW IF THE CONDUCTOR BREAKS DOWN
OR COLLAPSES, THERE IS TOTAL

CONFUSION.

AND THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WITH
AIDS, AND THE BODY IS LEFT

VULNERABLE TO EVEN THE SIMPLEST
INFECTIONS.

BUT HOW IN THE WORLD DID
OUR GORDO GET IT?

YOU KNOW HOW HE GOT IT, MAMA,
DON'T YOU?

ALL I KNOW IS, THE GOOD LORD
DID NOT BRING HIM BACK JUST TO

TAKE HIM AWAY AGAIN.

I DON'T BELIEVE HE HAS THIS AIDS
THING, OR NOTHIN' LIKE IT.

HE'S GONNA GET BETTER.

I JUST KNOW IT.

CHESTER MEWS AND LANGDON
ARWOOD.

THEY WANTED TO BE SEEN TOGETHER.

I FIGURED YOU WOULDN'T MIND.

THEY WANNA BE EXAMINED.

I'VE ALREADY GIVEN THEM
THE BLOOD TEST.

ALL RIGHT.

THIS MOMENT, THIS WAITING ON
THE THRESHOLD OF NEW PATIENTS,

WAS ONE THAT I WOULD COME TO
KNOW WELL.

I'M DR. ABRAHAM VERGHESE.

LANGDON ARWOOD.

I'M CHESTER MEWS.

GOOD TO MEET YOU.
HAVE A SEAT.

WE'RE FROM ABINGDON.

WE'RE HERE FOR THE AIDS TEST.

I'D HAVE HAD IT DONE THERE,
BUT LANGDON REFUSED.

HE SAID HE DIDN'T WANNA BE
THE TALK OF THE TOWN.

NOT THAT WE'RE NOT ALREADY.

DOES ABINGDON HAVE A MEETING
PLACE LIKE THE CONNECTION?

OH, LORD, NO.

I WISH.

LANGDON, HAVE YOU ALWAYS
BEEN GAY?

YES, THOUGH I TRIED TO BE
STRAIGHT.

I WAS HAVIN' SEX WITH CHESTER
WHEN I WAS SEVEN.

BUT I KEPT TELLIN' MYSELF
IT WAS WRONG.

SO HE GOT MARRIED AND HAD
THREE KIDS.

YOU LEFT TOWN. WHAT WAS
I TO DO?

YOU GOT MARRIED FIRST.

THAT'S WHEN I DECIDED TO LEAVE.

SO YOU WERE CHILDHOOD
SWEETHEARTS, HUH?

SAY THAT, YES.

ARE YOU STILL MARRIED?

OH, LORDY, NO.

NO, I FINALLY HAD TO ADMIT IT.

I'M ABOUT AS STRAIGHT AS
A THREE-DOLLAR BILL.

CHESTER CAME BACK FROM NEW YORK
'CAUSE I WAS SO ALLURIN',

AND, UH, I GOT DIVORCED.

WE SET UP HOUSEKEEPIN' GOIN' ON
TWELVE YEARS NOW.

HOW OFTEN DO YOU HAVE
ANAL-RECEPTIVE INTERCOURSE?

NOT OFTEN ENOUGH.

CHESTER!

HAVE YOU HAD OTHER PARTNERS
IN THE RECENT PAST?

YEAH. CHES.

ON WEEKENDS, WE LIKE TO HAVE
WHAT WE CALL RECREATIONAL SEX.

WE LIKE TO DRIVE UP
THE INTERSTATE TO TRUCK STOPS.

THEY COME FROM EVERYWHERE.

WE CALL 'EM, WHAT IS IT?

PICKLE PACKERS.

OR PECKER PICKLERS.

ARE THEY GAY?

LORD, NO. NO.

THEY JUST WANT RELIEF.

AREN'T THERE WOMEN TURNING
TRICKS AT THESE PLACES?

YEAH. YOU BET.

WHY WOULDN'T A TRUCKER GO
WITH A WOMAN IF THAT'S WHAT HE

WANTS?

FOR ONE THING, HE'D HAVE TO
PAY FOR IT.

LORD KNOWS, HE WOULDN'T LIKE
IT HALF AS MUCH.

CHESTER, I'D LIKE TO EXAMINE
YOU NOW, IF I MAY.

YEAH.

WOULD YOU LEAN BACK FOR ME,
PLEASE?

OKAY, LOOK UP. RIGHT UP.

CAN YOU TAKE YOUR SHIRT OFF,
PLEASE?

CAN YOU TAKE YOUR SHIRT OFF,
PLEASE?

YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND, DOC.

I'M NOT WORRIED ABOUT ME.

I'M WORRIED ABOUT HIM.

HE'S BEEN REAL TIRED.

SOMETIMES AT NIGHTS, HE...

HE BREAKS INTO A COLD SWEAT,
AND HE CRIES IN HIS SLEEP.

WILL YOU TAKE CARE OF HIM, DOC?

I LOVED HIM SINCE WE WERE SEVEN
YEARS OLD.

HE IS MY LIFE.

I WOULDN'T WANNA LIVE...

( sobbing )
OKAY, HONEY, COME ON.

IT'S ALL RIGHT.

IT'S ALL RIGHT, HONEY.

I PROMISE YOU I'LL DO
MY BEST.

WHEN THE RESULTS COME IN, WE'LL
PLOT OUT A STRATEGY, OKAY?

OKAY.

IN THE MEANTIME, PLEASE TRY
NOT TO WORRY.

YOU ALL RIGHT, SWEETHEART?

LORD, I'D DIE FOR A MAN TO LOVE
ME LIKE THAT.

OH, I'M SO SORRY, HONEY.

I GOT CAUGHT UP AT THE CLINIC.

I'LL JUST RUN UPSTAIRS AND TAKE
A SHOWER. WON'T BE A MINUTE.

SAME GYM, SAME PEOPLE.

OH, DIFFERENT HOST.

NO BLOODY BOOZE.

HELLO, SIR. VIKRAM, HI.

MEET MY WIFE.

RAJANI, THIS IS VIKRAM, ONE
OF MY INTERNS.

NAMASTE.

IS THIS YOUR FIRST TIME HERE?

YES, SIR.

YOU'LL NEED SOME OF THIS.

RAJNITI! HOW ARE YOU?

SO YOU'VE GIVEN UP DANCING.

AHA, THAT'S JUST FOR NOW.

WE WERE HOPING YOU WOULD KICK
OFF THE CULTURAL PROGRAM AT

THE INDIAN INDEPENDENCE DAY
CELEBRATION.

SARYUJI, I HAVE STOPPED
PERFORMING.

I FEEL TOO OUT OF TOUCH IN
THIS COUNTRY.

NO MUSICIANS, NO COLLEAGUES.

NOW I ONLY DANCE FOR MYSELF.

VERY SELFISH OF YOU,
DEPRIVING US.

SMILING, LADIES.

SMILING, SMILING, SMILING.

VERY GOOD.

SO, HOW IS AIDS, VERGHESE?

OH, PICKING UP.

I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU ARE STILL
RENTING THE HOUSE FROM V.A.

SUCH FOOLISHNESS.

YOU MUST BUY.

I LIKE OUR HOUSE, AND WE HAVE
THE MOST WONDERFUL GARDEN.

YES, YES, YES, THAT IS RIGHT,
BUT WHAT ABOUT EQUITY?

ABRAHAM, LET ME TELL YOU
SOMETHING.

IT'S BECAUSE OF YOUR
SPECIALTY...

IN SWEDEN, THORACIC SURGEONS
AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES

SPECIALISTS GET THE SAME SALARY.

THAT IS WHY WE DON'T LIVE
IN SWEDEN.

GENTLEMEN, GENTLEMEN,
GENTLEMEN, THIS WAY, PLEASE,

PLEASE, PLEASE. BE HAPPY.

SO THE UROLOGIST REMOVED
REAGAN'S PROSTATE, RIGHT?

REAGAN SAID TO HIM,
( imitating Reagan ) "IS

EVERYTHING OKAY, DOC? WILL
THE PLUMBING WORK WELL NOW?"

( interns laugh )
UROLOGIST SAID,

( Indian accent ) "SIR,
EVERYTHING'S PERFECT.

YOUR BLADDER'S FINE.

YOUR PENIS IS 100%.

YOU CAN GO OUT AND FUCK
THE COUNTRY FOR ANOTHER

FOUR YEARS!"
BUT, LIKE, WHEN YOU'RE SEEIN'

YOUR PATIENTS, DON'T THEY, LIKE,
SEE YOU AS A FOREIGNER?

I MEAN, LIKE, ISN'T IT HARD
OVERCOMIN' THAT?

ACTUALLY, NO.

IT WORKS THE OTHER WAY AROUND.

THEY TELL ME THINGS THAT THEY
WOULDN'T TELL A WHITE DOCTOR.

THEY FEEL... THEY FEEL I WON'T
JUDGE THEM.

MAYBE THEY FEEL I HAVE NO RIGHT
TO JUDGE THEM.

MY TEST CAME BACK POSITIVE,
DIDN'T IT?

YES.

YOU'RE WHAT'S CALLED AN
ASYMPTOMATIC CARRIER, VICKIE.

YOU HAVE THE VIRUS, BUT YOUR CD4
COUNT IS HIGH.

ALMOST NORMAL, IN FACT.

HOW LONG WILL I LIVE?

IF YOU QUIT SMOKING, YOU
SHOULD BE AROUND FOR SOME TIME.

WHAT, A YEAR?

TWO YEARS?

TEN YEARS?

THIS IS STILL A RELATIVELY
NEW DISEASE.

DON'T BULLSHIT ME.

IF YOU DON'T KNOW, JUST SAY SO.

THERE'S A LOT OF RESEARCH
BEING DONE.

I'M SURE THEY'LL FIND A CURE.

WHEN?

WHEN?

I DON'T KNOW.

WHAT ABOUT MY SISTER?

SHE'S POSITIVE, AS WELL.

OH, MY GOD, I KNEW IT.

I KNEW IT, I KNEW IT.

I'M SORRY.

OH, ME, TOO.

ME, TOO.

MOM?

SO WHAT IS OUR CD4 COUNT,
DOC?

LANGDON'S 500.

YOURS, I'M AFRAID, IS ONLY 30.

HEY, WHAT THE HELL, HUH?

( telephone rings )
SAY, DOC, WILL YOU HAVE

A COFFEE WITH ME?

NOW?

FORGET IT. SORRY I ASKED.

NO, NO. OF COURSE I WILL.

WHERE DO YOU WANT TO GO?

( both laughing )
SEE, DOC, I GOT NO REGRETS,

YOU KNOW.

I MEAN, I HAVE NO ONE TO BLAME
BUT MYSELF.

I'VE HAD MORE SEX THAN TEN
HETEROSEXUALS WOULD'VE HAD

IN A LIFETIME.

I WAS IN NEW YORK IN THE HEYDAY
OF BEIN' GAY--BATH HOUSES,

FIRE ISLAND, AND ALL THAT.

OH, HO, HO, HO.

I MEAN, WE FUCKED LIKE CRAZY.

AND NOW, HERE WE ARE.

I DON'T BELIEVE IT'S
A PUNISHMENT FROM GOD OR ANY

OF THAT CRAP.

I DO AGREE IT'S THE CONSEQUENCE
OF A CERTAIN LIFESTYLE.

BUT IF I WAS TO BE REBORN,
I'D WANNA COME BACK GAY.

I MEAN, NO INSULT TO YOU, DOC,
BUT MOST STRAIGHT MEN ARE

BEER-GUZZLIN' SLOTHS, AT LEAST
FROM AROUND HERE.

WHAT WAS IT LIKE FOR YOU
WHEN YOU WERE GROWING UP?

OH, THE USUAL. I HAD TO HIDE,
PRETEND I WAS STRAIGHT.

PRETEND TO LAUGH WHEN SOMEBODY
TOLD A FAGGOT JOKE.

WHEN I GOT TO NEW YORK,
WE STARTED A GROUP CALLED

THE GAY LIBERATION FRONT.

ALL OF US WERE YOUNG, FULL OF
REVOLUTIONARY SPIRIT.

I MEAN, WE WERE OUT THERE IN
YOUR FACE ALL THE TIME.

SO WHAT BROUGHT YOU BACK
TO TENNESSEE?

I MISSED LANGDON SOMETHING
AWFUL.

WHICH IS WHAT I WANNA TALK TO
YOU ABOUT.

YOU SEE, HE'S NEVER REALLY BEEN
GOOD ABOUT TAKING CARE

OF HIMSELF.

WHEN I GO...

WOULD YOU KEEP AN EYE OUT
FOR HIM?

ABRAHAM?

HMM.

ARE YOU SEXUALLY ATTRACTED
TO GAY MEN?

WHAT?

YOU HEARD WHAT I SAID.

I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU'RE ASKING
ME THIS.

I'M JUST CURIOUS.

ALL OF A SUDDEN, YOU SEEM VERY
COMFORTABLE AROUND THEM.

YOU'RE RIGHT.

IN A STRANGE WAY, I'VE COME TO
LEARN MORE ABOUT BEING A MAN

FROM GAY MEN THAN FROM STRAIGHT
MEN.

REALLY?

MEANING I'VE LEARNED THERE
ARE OTHER SIDES TO BEING A MAN.

THE ABILITY TO APPRECIATE THE
ARTS, TO REALLY LISTEN TO WOMEN

AND BEFRIEND THEM.

YOU'RE NOT TURNING SWEET ON
ME, ARE YOU?

THAT'S NOT THE POINT.

LISTEN, WITH GAY MEN, YOU'RE
LOOKING AT MEN WITHOUT THE

INFLUENCE OF WOMEN.

MEN WHO ARE NOT CONDITIONED BY
WHAT WOMEN WILL ALLOW,

WHAT WOMEN WILL ACCEPT.

MEANING WHAT?

MEANING THE SEXUAL LIFE OF
A GAY MAN IS PERHAPS WHAT

ALL MEN WOULD LIKE, IF LEFT
TO THEMSELVES.

VARIETY OF PARTNERS, ANONYMOUS
SEX.

EXCEPT THEY CAN'T GET WOMEN
TO AGREE, SO...

IS THAT WHAT YOU'D REALLY
LIKE?

BY THE WAY, THE ANSWER TO
YOUR QUESTION IS NO.

I'M ATTRACTED TO YOU.

I DON'T HAVE TIME TO WORRY
ABOUT WHAT THE NEIGHBORS THINK.

HAVE YOU HAD ANY NEGATIVE
REACTIONS FROM ANYONE?

IF THEY GOT ANYTHING NEGATIVE
TO SAY, THEY SURE BETTER NOT

SAY IT TO ME.

SOME WOMEN FROM OUR CHURCH HAVE
COME BY AND BROUGHT FOOD.

NOT THAT GORDY WANTS TO EAT
ANYTHING.

ALL HE CAN THINK ABOUT IS TO GET
BAPTIZED.

Gordon:
LAST NIGHT, I SAW
JESUS.

♪ ... BE UNBROKEN
BY AND BY, LORD, BY AND BY ♪

I WOKE UP, AND THERE WAS
THIS CLOUD AROUND MY BED.

I WASN'T DREAMIN', MIND YOU.

MY EYES WERE WIDE OPEN, AND
I COULD SEE MAMA LAYIN' THERE.

♪ WILL THE CIRCLE
BE UNBROKEN... ♪

AND A VOICE SPOKE OUT OF
THE CLOUD.

"EVERYTHING WILL BE ALL RIGHT,
GORDON."

AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT...

AND A HAND REACHED OUT
TO ME...

HALLELUJAH!

AND I JUST KNEW IT WAS HIM.

I'M READY TO DIE, MATTIE.

I KNOW HE'S WAITIN' FOR ME ON
THE OTHER SIDE.

I KNOW HE'S WAITIN' FOR ME ON
THE OTHER SIDE.

THAT'S MY COUSIN GRACE TOOTH
WHAT DONE THAT.

Y'ALL ARE GONNA THINK I'M AWFUL,
BUT WHAT THE HELL?

SEE, THERE'S MY COUSIN GRACE.

SHE WORKS HERE AT THE HOSPITAL.

SHE DONE TOLD EVERYONE IN
CHESTER HOLLER THAT CLYDE AND

I HAVE AIDS.

PEOPLE AROUND HERE ARE SO DAMN
INQUISITIVE.

THEY WOULDN'T HESITATE TO STOP
A FUNERAL TO ASK WHAT DECEASED

THE CORPSE.

ANYWAY, GRACE AND HER HUSBAND
ANDREW, THEY BEEN GOIN' TO

THIS HOLINESS CHURCH.

I NEVER GO NO MORE.

I CAN'T TAKE ALL THAT BABBLIN'
IN TONGUES AND HOLY SPIRIT

STUFF.

OH, THAT SCARES THE SHIT OUT
OF ME.

BUT CLYDE, NOW THAT HE'S SICK,
HE'S BEEN WANTIN' TO GO.

SO GRACE STANDS UP IN CHURCH,
SHE TELLS THE WHOLE GODDAMN

CHURCH THAT CLYDE HAS AIDS,
AND WOULD THE CHURCH BE WILLIN'

FOR HIM TO COME THERE 'CAUSE HE
VERY MUCH WANTS TO.

DID YOU OR CLYDE ASK HER
TO DO THAT?

HELL, NO! SHE JUST TOOK IT ON
HERSELF TO DO IT.

AND BY THE WAY, THE CONGREGATION
SAID NO.

THEN THEY CAME TO MY HOUSE
TO TELL ME THIS.

I JUST SAID TO HER, "YOU LITTLE
DUMB ASS. WHO TOLD YOU TO GO

TALKIN' LIKE THAT?

HOW WOULD YOU FEEL IF THE
SHOE WAS ON THE OTHER FOOT?

DON'T YOU EVER SET FOOT IN
MY HOUSE AGAIN OR I'LL JACK SLAP

YOUR ASS TILL KINGDOM COME."

"WELL," ANDREW SAYS, "WE'LL COME
VISIT OUR COUSIN CLYDE ANY TIME

WE PLEASE."

THAT'S WHEN I PICKED UP
THE POKER AND WENT AFTER HIM.

BUDDY, HE LIT ON OUTTA THERE
LIKE HIS PANTS WERE ON FIRE.

GRACE WAS JUST STANDIN' THERE.

I GOT SO MAD JUST LOOKIN' AT HER
FACE, I WENT AFTER HER WITH

MY FISTS.

I DROPPED HER WITH ONE SHOT,
THEN I SAT ON HER AND JUST GIVE

IT TO HER.

BUST A FEW TEETH, I RECKON.

WHOMPED HER REAL GOOD.

REMIND ME NOT TO MESS
WITH YOU.

OH, DOC, I'D NEVER DO THAT TO
SOMEONE WHO DIDN'T DESERVE IT.

VICKIE, WOULD YOU MIND
REMOVING YOUR BANDANNA, PLEASE?

I NEED TO DO A FULL EXAMINATION.

OH, I'M REAL ASHAMED
ABOUT THIS.

OH, I'M REAL ASHAMED
ABOUT THIS.

I DID IT.

I DIDN'T MEAN TO.

I JUST SAT IN THE TRAILER AND
YANKED IT OUT A HAIR AT A TIME.

THERE'S NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED
OF.

YOU'RE UNDER INCREDIBLE STRESS.

IT HAPPENS.

THERE'S EVEN A NAME FOR IT.

IT'S CALLED... CRAZY.

NO, IT'S CALLED
TRICHOTILLOMANIA.

IT'S NOT FAIR.

IT'S NOT FAIR.

I KNOW IT ISN'T.

DOOCHIE.

HEY, MATTIE.

DOOCHIE, I WANT YOU TO OPEN
UP THAT CASKET.

HMM?

WELL, MATTIE, YOU SAID YOUR
BROTHER WANTED A CLOSED CASKET.

HE WANTED IT CLOSED FOR
EVERYBODY ELSE, BUT I WANNA

SEE HE LOOKS ALL RIGHT.

YOU GO AHEAD AND OPEN IT UP.

GO AHEAD AND OPEN THE BOTTOM
HALF OF THIS CASKET.

OH, WHITE SUIT, THE WHITE SUIT.

SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER.

HIS FAVORITE.

DOOCHIE, WHY DON'T GORDON HAVE
ANY SOCKS ON?

MATTIE, WE DON'T USUALLY
PUT NO SOCKS ON.

I DON'T WANT GORDON GOIN' TO
HEAVEN WITHOUT ANY SOCKS.

YOU GO GET HIM SOME SOCKS
RIGHT NOW.

DOOCHIE! EH?

WHAT IN THE WORLD DO YOU
THINK YOU'RE GONNA CATCH

FROM HIM NOW?

YOU DONE PICKLED HIS BODY.

THERE'S NOT A BUG IN THE WORLD
THAT'S GONNA SURVIVE THAT.

WELL, MATTIE...

OKAY, JUST PUT HIS SOCKS ON.

OOH! DOOCHIE!

TAKE OFF THEM CAMPIN' GLOVES AND
YOU PUT HIS SOCKS ON RIGHT.

YOU THINK THIS IS THE LAST TIME
YOU'RE GONNA BE CALLED UPON

TO DO THIS?

NOW I WANNA SEE YOU DO IT.

OKAY. GET...!

ALL RIGHT, ALL RIGHT.

LET ME HELP YOU.

THIS IS WHERE HE WANTED
TO BE BURIED.

THIS IS WHERE I'D WANT TO BE
BURIED, TOO.

THAT'S MY PLOT.

( phone ringing )
DR. VERGHESE.

DOC, CHESTER'S VERY SICK.

HE'S VERY, VERY SHORT OF
BREATH, AND HE'S RUNNIN'

A FEVER OF 104.

DR. VERGHESE, HE'S TURNIN'
BLUE ON ME.

LANGDON, LANGDON, CALM DOWN.

CALL AN AMBULANCE, TELL THEM TO
BRING YOU TO THE MEDICAL CENTER.

COME STRAIGHT TO THE EMERGENCY
ROOM, AND I'LL MEET YOU RIGHT

THERE, OKAY?

DOCTOR, NO MACHINES, PLEASE.

NO MACHINES.

WHY?

BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT HE TOLD
ME, NO MACHINES.

WHEN DID HE TELL YOU?

JUST NOW?

NO, NO, A LONG TIME AGO.

DID HE PUT IT INTO WRITING?

NO.

( Chester gasping )
GET A GOWN, GOGGLES AND MASK

READY FOR ME.

SHOULDN'T WE CALL AN
ANESTHETIST?

WE HAVE NO TIME TO FIND ONE
WHO'LL WORK ON AN AIDS PATIENT.

THIS IS DR. VERGHESE.

THESE ARE CHESTER'S BROTHERS.

CAN I TELL THEM WHAT'S
GOING ON?

TELL 'EM EVERYTHING.

CHESTER IS VERY SICK.

HE HAS AIDS.

RIGHT NOW, HE HAS A BAD
PNEUMONIA, SO I HAVE TO PUT HIM

ON A BREATHING MACHINE IN THE
NEXT FEW MINUTES OR HE WILL DIE.

BUT LANGDON TELLS ME CHESTER
HAS EXPRESSED A DESIRE NOT TO BE

PUT ON THE MACHINE.

HE SAYS HE NEVER WANTED TO BE
ON NO MACHINES.

WE NEED TO DISCUSS THIS.

WE HAVE NO TIME. I NEED TO GO
RIGHT BACK IN.

THEN PUT HIM ON THE BREATHING
MACHINE IF YOU HAVE TO.

DO EVERYTHING YOU CAN.

( Langdon weeping )
WE ARE HIS FAMILY.

WE ARE LEGALLY RESPONSIBLE
FOR HIM.

LANGDON, I HAVE TO GO IN.

( whispers ) CHES.

I HAD, WHEN IT CAME DOWN TO
THE FINAL MOMENT, GIVEN

CHESTER'S BROTHERS THE POWER OF
FAMILY, NOT LANGDON.

I, TOO, HAD BETRAYED BOTH OF
THEM, BUT THERE WAS NO TIME

TO LOOK BACK NOW.

BRING HIM DOWN.

( gurgling sounds )
COME ON, ABE, YOU CAN DO IT.

YOU CAN DO IT.

BAG HIM.

HELLO.

ALLEN, I NEED SOME HELP.

SADIE, DID YOU KNOW
INTUBATION WAS INVENTED BY

A PHYSICIAN NAMED O'DWYER
AS A LIFESAVING MEASURE IN

DIPHTHERIA?

MM-MM.

IT IS, THEREFORE, AN
INFECTIOUS DISEASES PROCEDURE.

YEAH, RIGHT.

I'LL KEEP THAT IN MIND.

( pager beeping )
( phone ringing )

DR. VERGHESE, YOUR FRIEND
ALLEN CALLED.

YOUR WIFE'S BEEN ADMITTED.

YOU'RE NEEDED IMMEDIATELY.

I WAS TOTALLY AT THE MERCY
OF GOD OR NATURE.

GIVEN ALL THAT I HAD SEEN
RECENTLY, ALL THE SUFFERING,

ALL THE SADNESS, AN EASY,
UNCOMPLICATED BIRTH SEEMED

ALMOST TOO MUCH TO HOPE FOR.

I DIDN'T HAVE TIME TO BUY YOU
A CIGAR.

CONGRATULATIONS, DOC, IT'S
ANOTHER FINE SON!

LOOK AT IT THIS WAY, DOC.

WITH A BOY, ALL YOU HAVE TO
WORRY ABOUT IS ONE DICK IN TOWN.

WITH A GIRL, YOU HAVE TO WORRY
ABOUT ALL THE DICKS IN TOWN.

WITH A GIRL, YOU HAVE TO WORRY
ABOUT ALL THE DICKS IN TOWN.

WHERE WERE YOU?

I'M SORRY. I'M SORRY.

I WAS AT AN EMERGENCY, AND
I RUSHED RIGHT OVER.

SWEETHEART, I'M SORRY YOU HAD TO
GO THROUGH THIS ALONE.

LET'S MAKE THIS A NEW BEGINNING.

I PROMISE YOU, THINGS ARE GONNA
CHANGE. THEY'LL CHANGE.

I'LL WORK HARD TO MAKE THINGS
BETTER FOR US.

FOR THE KIDS.

DON'T YOU WANT TO SEE JACOB?

WHERE IS HE?

HE'S RIGHT BEHIND YOU.

Woman on P.A.:
DR. VERGHESE,
CODE BLUE. DR. VERGHESE, CODE

BLUE.

GO, BUT YOU HAVE TO TAKE
STEPHEN WITH YOU.

COME ON, STEPHEN.

COME ON, BABY.

CLAIRE. CLAIRE!

HE'S HAD ANOTHER AMP
OF BICARB.

STOP CPR.

HE'S ASYSTOLIC.

THERE'S NO OUTPUT.

WE'VE BEEN GOIN' AT THIS
LONG ENOUGH.

LET'S CALL IT.

THANKS, EVERYBODY.

I DIDN'T THINK HIS HEART WOULD
QUIT SO QUICKLY.

I REALLY WANTED TO GIVE HIM
ANOTHER FEW MONTHS.

WELL, THEY'RE ALL GONNA DIE,
AREN'T THEY?

THERE'S NOT MUCH POINT TO THIS.

CAN YOU TELL ME WHAT'S THE
POINT IN KEEPING 90-YEAR-OLD

PATIENTS WHO ARE BRAIN DEAD
ALIVE?

OR IF YOU WERE IN THE SAME BOAT,
WOULD YOU LIKE AN EXTRA YEAR

OF LIFE?

OR WOULD YOU THINK THERE'S
NO POINT TO THAT?!

OR WOULD YOU THINK THERE'S
NO POINT TO THAT?!

PICK YOUR BATTLES, ABE.

PICK YOUR BATTLES.


MALAIKA
NA KU PENDE MALAIKA

MALAIKA
NA KU PENDE MALAIKA ♪

( humming )

INGGE KU OWA MALAIKA

INGGE KU OWA MALAIKA ♪
( baby crying )

( Abraham humming )
( phone ringing )

STEPHEN, CAN YOU GET
THE PHONE, PLEASE?

THANK YOU.

YES?

ABRAHAM, IT'S SARAH PRESNELL,
FROM KENTUCKY.

I'M SORRY TO BOTHER YOU AT HOME,
BUT I HAVE A SAD, SAD SITUATION

HERE.

A WONDERFUL MAN I KNOW,
LLOYD FLANDERS,

IS INFECTED WITH HIV.

NOBODY BUT ME, NOW YOU,
KNOWS THAT HE'S INFECTED.

NOT EVEN HIS SON AND DAUGHTER
KNOW.

I CAN'T TREAT HIM.

I'M WILLING TO TREAT HIM, BUT
EVERYBODY HERE KNOWS HIM.

HE'S A PILLAR OF OUR COMMUNITY.

HOW DID HE GET IT?

HE HAD A HEART ATTACK.

THEY DID OPEN-HEART SURGERY
AND GAVE HIM A TRANSFUSION,

JUST WEEKS BEFORE THEY STARTED
SCREENING BLOOD.

SO YOU WANNA SEND HIM OVER?

TONIGHT, IF IT'S OKAY
WITH YOU.

OKAY. RIGHT. VERY GOOD.

MR. FLANDERS?

OH. DR. VERGHESE.

OH, I'M JUST DELIGHTED TO
SEE YOU.

HOPE, THIS IS DR. VERGHESE.

SO NICE TO MEET YOU.

ADMIT THEM. I'LL FILL OUT
THE FORMS LATER.

YES, DOCTOR.

THANK YOU.

ALLOW ME.

THANK YOU.

OH, IT'S EASIER FOR THE QUEEN
TO SLIP OUT OF BUCKINGHAM PALACE

THAN IT IS FOR US TO BE GONE
FROM HOME.

SARAH TOLD YOU ABOUT OUR
SITUATION, DIDN'T SHE?

YES, SHE DID, MR. FLANDERS.

CALL ME LLOYD, SON.

ALL RIGHT, LLOYD.

NOBODY NEEDS TO KNOW WE
HAVE AIDS.

WE?

WHAT?

I GAVE HOPE THE VIRUS.

WE THOUGHT YOU KNEW.

BABY KEPT ME AWAKE TILL NOW.

I THINK IT COULD BE COLIC.

AS WE WALKED DOWN THAT
CORRIDOR, I FELT AS IF THEY

WERE MY PARENTS.

OR A FAVORITE UNCLE AND AUNT
WHO WERE SICK AND NEEDED

MY HELP.

AND I FELT GUILTY.

I MEAN, I NEVER ESCORT MY
PATIENTS UP TO THEIR ROOM.

I NEVER CARRY THEIR LUGGAGE.

WHY WAS I DOING ALL THIS?

MAYBE BECAUSE I, TOO, THOUGHT
THEY WERE INNOCENT VICTIMS.

MAYBE I ALSO HAVE A BLIND SPOT.

EAT. ABRAHAM.

I WONDER WHAT LIES THEY HAD
TO INVENT TO TELL THEIR

CHILDREN.

I WISH THIS DISEASE WAS GONE.

THAT YOU WERE NOT SO CLOSE
TO IT.

IT'S KIND OF BECOME WHO YOU ARE.

STEPHEN, JACOB AND I ARE LOSING
YOU TO IT.

I WISH IT WAS GONE, TOO.

( baby crying )
BUT IT'S NOT GOING TO, IS IT?

( baby crying )
BUT IT'S NOT GOING TO, IS IT?

OH!

MR. FLANDERS.

HOW WAS YOUR DAY?

THE SAME.

ALWAYS THE SAME.

PLEASE.

HOW ABOUT YOU?

OH, FINE.

YOU KNOW, I CAN'T HELP
WORRYING.

WHY?

IT'S SUCH A LONELY BUSINESS
TO CARRY THIS BURDEN.

I'M SURE YOUR CHILDREN WILL
UNDERSTAND.

YOUR CHURCH MEMBERS.

IF ANYONE IN OUR COMMUNITY
KNOWS, NEXT TIME HOPE AND I GO

TO CHURCH, IT'LL BE AN EMPTY
CHURCH.

I THINK YOU'RE WRONG.

I HAD A PATIENT HERE WHO HAD THE
SUPPORT OF JUST ABOUT EVERYBODY

IN HIS CHURCH.

I WORRY ABOUT HOPE.

WHO'S GONNA LOOK AFTER HER
THE WAY SHE'S LOOKED AFTER ME?

AFTER I DIE, I DON'T WANT HER TO
SUFFER THE STIGMA OF AIDS.

WE HAVE NO IDEA HOW OUR CHILDREN
WILL REACT TO THIS.

HOW WILL OUR SON-IN-LAW FEEL
ABOUT US BEING WITH HIS

CHILDREN?

IT SEEMS SUCH A SHAME TO BE
WASTING SO MUCH ENERGY ON

KEEPING UP THIS SECRET.

THE TWO OF YOU ARE SO ALONE--
ABRAHAM, I DON'T THINK YOU

UNDERSTAND.

WE ARE NOT ALONE.

THE ONE UNSHAKEABLE PRESENCE
IN OUR LIFE IS CHRIST.

I PERSONALLY BELIEVE THAT THIS
VIRUS IS FROM HELL.

IT IS NOT FROM GOD.

AND I MEAN TO FIGHT IT WITH ALL
I HAVE.

OH, IT'LL GET ME IN THE END, BUT
NOT WITHOUT A FIGHT.

I WILL NEVER GIVE IN. NEVER.

WHAT?

NOTHING.

LIKE HELL, NOTHIN'.

( trailer rattles )
THAT'S JUST CLYDE TURNIN'

IN BED.

YOU COULD FEEL A TICK BURP
IN HERE.

IT DON'T TAKE MUCH TO SHAKE
THAT TRAILER.

HOW ARE THINGS BETWEEN YOU
AND HIM, VICKIE?

ARE YOU STILL ANGRY WITH CLYDE?

WELL, I CAN'T GET ANGRY
NO MORE.

SEE, I LOVE THE MAN.

CAN'T HELP IT.

I ALWAYS HAVE.

COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO, I LOST IT
WITH HIM, THOUGH.

I WAS AT THE STOVE, FIXIN'
OATMEAL, WHEN HE PIPES UP,

"HELL, I THINK I MIGHT JUST GO
AROUND AND GIVE THIS TO AS MANY

PEOPLE AS I CAN, SEEIN' AS HOW
SOMEONE DONE GAVE IT TO ME."

I WAS SO SHOCKED, I ALMOST HIT
THE FLOOR.

I HAD THE OATMEAL IN MY HAND,
IT WOULDN'T HAVE TAKEN MUCH FOR

ME TO FLING IT AT HIM.

BUT I SAID, "CLYDE, YOU DONE
ALREADY PUT THE DEATH SENTENCE

ON TWO PEOPLE.

DON'T YOU DARE THINK ABOUT IT,
OR I'LL KILL YOU MYSELF, YOU

SON OF A BITCH."

I ASKED MYSELF, WHAT WOULD
IT BE LIKE TO BE IN VICKIE'S

SHOES?

COULD I HAVE REACTED LIKE
SHE DID?

WOULD I HAVE HAD HER COURAGE?

Clyde: CHANGE CHANNELS.

CHANGE CHANNELS!

SPEAK OF THE DEVIL.

I BET HE'S MESSED HIS PANTS,
TOO.

CHANGE CHANNELS!

OKAY, CLYDE.

CHANGE CHANNELS!

OKAY, CLYDE, I'M COMIN'.

I'M CHANGIN', I'M CHANGIN'.

CALM DOWN.

THERE.

THERE'S BUGS BUNNY.

THERE HE IS.

HOW ARE YOU TODAY?

CLYDE?

ZOO.

HE STARES AT THE TUBE DAY
AND NIGHT.

IF I TURN IT OFF, EVEN WHEN HE'S
DOZIN', HE WAKES UP MADDER THAN

A WET NEST OF HORNETS.

I WANNA GO TO THE ZOO.

WE'RE ALREADY THERE, BABY.

OH, ONE OF MY PATIENTS
STARTED THIS SUPPORT GROUP

FOR PEOPLE WITH AIDS.

I THOUGHT MAYBE YOU AND CLYDE
COULD TRY ONE OF THEIR MEETINGS.

I DON'T KNOW HOW MUCH CLYDE WILL
GET OUT OF IT, BUT IT MIGHT

HELP YOU.

WHAT, YOU WANT ME TO SIT
THERE AND TALK WITH A BUNCH

OF QUEERS?

TRY IT. THIS DISEASE IS TOO
MUCH TO CARRY ALONE.

HELL, I AIN'T CARRYIN' IT
ALONE.

EVERYONE IN THIS HOLLER KNOWS.

I WISH THEY DIDN'T, BUT THEY DO.

HEY, DOC, YOU EVER SEEN ONE
OF THESE?

IT'S CALLED HEARTS A-BUSTIN'.

IT'S ALSO CALLED SWAMP DOGWOOD,
BUT I DON'T CARE FOR THAT MUCH.

HEARTS A-BUSTIN'.

THAT'S PRETTY MUCH HOW I FEEL
SOMETIMES ABOUT WHAT'S HAPPENIN'

TO ME.

ABRAHAM, YOU'VE GOT IT NOW.

NO, NO.

( screaming )
I'M A DOCTOR.

A SCIENTIST TRAINED IN
PROFESSIONAL DETACHMENT.

ALL THE USUAL POSTURES SEEM LIKE
A JOKE IN THE FACE OF AIDS.

SOMETIMES, I FIND MYSELF
THINKING, WHAT IF I WAS

A CARDIAC SURGEON?

WHAT IF I EARNED A MILLION
DOLLARS A YEAR?

WHAT IF I WAS A RADIOLOGIST
WHO PIPES MUSIC THROUGH INTO

HIS OFFICE, AND HAS A GAME OF
GOLF READY FOR HIM EVERY

AFTERNOON AT THE COUNTRY CLUB?

YOU KNOW WHAT I BELIEVE,
ABRAHAM?

I BELIEVE THAT IT WAS PART OF
CHRIST'S INTERVENTION, THAT WHEN

WE CAME TO JOHNSON CITY FOR
TREATMENT, WE FOUND YOU.

TO US, YOU'RE LIKE A MESSENGER
FROM ANOTHER WORLD.

TO US, YOU'RE LIKE A MESSENGER
FROM ANOTHER WORLD.

MY LIFE IS SLIPPING DOWNHILL
FASTER THAN I CAN HANDLE.

I CAN'T SEEM TO JUGGLE IT
ANYMORE.

MY CASELOAD.

MY WIFE.

MY SANITY.

RAJANI TREATS AIDS LIKE IT'S
A MISTRESS THAT'S TAKING ME AWAY

FROM HOME, SO I CAN'T EVEN
TALK ABOUT IT WHEN I'M AT HOME.

I FEEL AS TAINTED BY THIS
DISEASE AS MY PATIENTS ARE.

YOU KNOW, WHEN I CAME HERE
TWO YEARS AGO, I...

I FINALLY THOUGHT I'D FOUND
MY OWN COUNTRY.

NOWADAYS, DEATH SURROUNDS ME.

ALL THE JOY HAS DISAPPEARED.

I KNOW HOW YOU FEEL.

I MYSELF HAVE LOST ALL LIBIDO.

WHAT WAS ONCE AN ACT OF LOVE
AND JOY...

AN ACT OF LIFE,
HAS BECOME AN ACT OF DEATH

FOR ME.

THERE'S NOTHING FOR ME NOW...

BUT HORROR.

( sobbing )
( Indian music playing )

( crying )
YOUR PATIENT VICKIE CALLED

AN HOUR AGO.

HER HUSBAND CLYDE...

JUST PASSED AWAY.

I COULD THINK ONLY OF ALL
THE INEVITABLE CALLS TO COME,

AND I WANTED TO RUN.

I'VE BEEN MARRIED TO THE MAN
FOR SO LONG, GOD, I COULD READ

HIS MIND.

I SAID, "IT'S ALL RIGHT, HONEY.

GO ON. IT'S ALL RIGHT.

GOD LOVES YA.

GO ON, CLYDE."

AND THEN, HE OPENED HIS EYES
AS IF HE'D SEEN OR HEARD

SOMETHING RIGHT ABOVE HIM,
AND, OH, THAT WAS IT.

I WANNA THANK YOU, DOC.

GOD, YOU'VE ALWAYS BEEN THERE
FOR ME.

OH, VICKIE.

VICKIE, VICKIE.

VICKIE.

YOU'VE NEVER BEEN SOMEONE I'VE
THOUGHT OF AS A PATIENT I'M PAID

TO HELP.

YOU'VE ALWAYS BEEN MORE LIKE
A SISTER TO ME.

A VERY BRAVE SISTER.

WELL, WE ALL GOTTA DIE
SOMETIME, RIGHT?

HMM.

OH, GOOD TO SEE YOU!

OH, YES!

DR. VERGHESE, I'D LIKE YOU TO
MEET MY GRANDDAUGHTER

WILHELMINA.

HELLO, WILHELMINA.

HI. CAN I GO IN AND SEE
GRANDDAD?

HE'S WAITIN' FOR YOU. GO ON.

I TOLD THEM.

I TOLD THEM THE TRUTH.

YOUR SON AND DAUGHTER?

YES.

I DIDN'T WANT LLOYD TO DIE ALONE
WITHOUT OUR FAMILY BY HIS SIDE,

SO I MADE THE DECISION.

DIDN'T TELL HIM.

WENT TO THE PHONE AND CALLED.

COME IN AND MEET THEM.

I THINK I'M READY TO GO HOME,
ABRAHAM.

THAT'S FINE WITH ME.

DR. VERGHESE, WE APPRECIATE
WHAT YOU DO HERE.

IT'S JUST THAT, AIDS PATIENTS
ARE SUCH A BIG DRAIN ON

OUR FUNDS.

THIS CHESTER MEWS, FOR EXAMPLE,
COST US $85,000.

THE LIST DOES GO ON.

WOULD IT BE FAIR TO SAY THAT
PART OF THE REASON WE HAVE SO

MANY AIDS PATIENTS IS BECAUSE
OF YOUR REPUTATION?

ARE YOU SUGGESTING WE TURN
THEM DOWN?

AS A COMMUNITY HOSPITAL
WHICH TAKES PUBLIC FUNDS,

ARE YOU NOT OBLIGED TO ACCEPT...

NO, I'M NOT SAYIN' WE SHOULD
TURN THEM DOWN.

I JUST DON'T KNOW THAT WE SHOULD
GO OUT OF OUR WAY TO ATTRACT

THEM, EITHER.

DR. VERGHESE, YOU'VE DRAWN
PATIENTS FROM THREE DIFFERENT

STATES TO THIS HOSPITAL.

RIGHT NOW, I HAVE 82 CASES
IN A SMALL TOWN IN THE MIDDLE

OF NOWHERE.

IN FIVE YEARS' TIME, YOU'LL BE
LOOKING AT 600 CASES,

AND THEY WON'T ALL BE GAY.

AND WHEN THIS DISEASE STARTS
KILLING STRAIGHT PEOPLE,

I HOPE YOU'RE READY.

LET'S SEE. LET'S SEE IF AIDS
JUST DISAPPEARS LIKE THEY HOPE

IT WILL.

THEY ACTUALLY THINK I'M BRINGING
AIDS TO THEIR HOSPITAL,

DISRUPTING THEIR PRECIOUS
BOTTOM LINE, THEIR BIRTHING

SUITES, THEIR ONE-DAY SURGERY
CENTER, THEIR HIGH-TECH

MONEY-MAKING RUBBISH!

JUST BECAUSE I'M NOT A PROFIT
CENTER, MY PATIENTS SIMPLY

DON'T MATTER.

HELL, IN OTHER HOSPITALS, THEY
GOT... THEY GOT WHOLE TEAMS

OF DOCTORS.

HERE, I'M TREATING 82 PATIENTS
ON MY BLOODY OWN!

RELAX, DOC.

HAVE A BEER.

YOU GOT ANYTHING STRONGER?

UH-HUH.

I WANNA GET SMASHED.

ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP.

GIMME ONE OF THOSE.

I DIDN'T KNOW, ALLEN.

I DIDN'T KNOW.

I DIDN'T REALIZE HOW DEVASTATED
I WOULD FEEL TO WATCH MY

PATIENTS DIE.

MAYBE IT'S TIME TO LEAVE.

TAKE A BREAK, FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE.

START FRESH SOMEPLACE ELSE.

I DON'T BLAME YOU, DOC.

I DON'T SEE HOW YOU DO IT
DAY AFTER DAY.

HELL, I BLOW AN ENGINE, IT
BREAKS MY HEART, AND IT'S JUST

AN ENGINE, IT'S NOT A LIFE.

NO, I CAN'T SAY AS I BLAME YOU.

YOU KNOW, I WOULDN'T WANNA
SEE YOU GO.

( playing guitar )
♪ DO YOU LOVE ME?

DO YOU LOVE ME?

YEAH, DO YOU LOVE ME?

DO YOU LOVE ME?

DO YOU LOVE ME?

YEAH, DO YOU LOVE ME?

DO YOU LOVE ME?

OH, HEY, HEY, HEY
YEAH, YEAH ♪

( humming )
♪ DO YOU LOVE ME?

DO YOU LOVE ME?

DO YOU LOVE ME?

DO YOU LOVE ME?

DO YOU LOVE ME? ♪
MERRY CHRISTMAS, DOC.

( baby crying )
STEPHEN, DO YOU KNOW WHO CAME

LAST NIGHT?

DO YOU KNOW WHO CAME LAST NIGHT?

SANTA CAME LAST NIGHT.

HE CAME DOWN THROUGH THAT
CHIMNEY, AND HE SAYS, "HO HO

HO!" AND YOU KNOW WHAT HE
BROUGHT FOR YOU?

ISN'T THAT WHAT YOU WANTED?

YOU WANT TO OPEN IT NOW?

NO. NOT YET.

YOU DON'T WANNA OPEN IT NOW.

STEPHEN, STEPHEN, I WANT YOU TO
BE A GOOD BOY.

GIVE MEENA AUNTIE MY LOVE,
AND WISH HER A MERRY CHRISTMAS

FOR ME, OKAY?

OKAY.

WHERE'S MY KISS?

SEE YOU ON MONDAY, DA-DA.

SEE YOU ON MONDAY.

DRIVE CAREFULLY.

CALL ME WHEN YOU ARRIVE.

I WANTED TO CALL OUT TO HER,
BUT DIDN'T KNOW WHAT TO SAY.

WORDS COULDN'T FIX US.

OUR LIVES HAD CHANGED.

THE STRAIN IN OUR MARRIAGE
HAD BECOME FAMILIAR.

I HAD LIVED FOR SO LONG IN
A CULTURE OF DISEASE THAT I'D

BECOME A STRANGER TO MY OWN
FAMILY.

BECOME A STRANGER TO MY OWN
FAMILY.

HI.

HIYA, SADIE. WHAT'S NEW?

WELL, LAST NIGHT, I WENT OUT
AND GOT MYSELF A LITTLE BLACK

DRESS. CREPE NUMBER.

THAT'S WHAT'S NEW?

I HAVE THIS MIRROR ON MY
CEILING, AND I LOOKED AT MYSELF

IN IT.

DAMN, IT MADE ME HOT.

I'M IN THE PHONE BOOK.

I FELT LIKE A DEATH CAMP
INMATE.

IN THIS SETTING, WHAT DID
A FRIENDLY FLING...

A QUICKIE, MATTER?

( muttering ) CAROL.

CAROL.

YES, SIR.

DO YOU HAVE YOUR CAR TODAY?

UH-HUH. WHY?

WILL YOU DRIVE ME?

I WANT TO TAKE ALL THE PATIENT
RECORDS HOME.

WHY?

CAROL, HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED
WHERE OUR 80-ODD PATIENTS

HAVE COME FROM?

UH-UH. I CAN'T SAY I HAVE.

THINK ABOUT IT.

TWO YEARS AGO, THERE WAS NO AIDS
IN THESE PARTS.

THE ENTIRE GAY POPULATION
TESTED NEGATIVE.

SO?

SO, I DON'T KNOW, BUT I HAVE
A HUNCH, I'M GONNA FIND OUT.

YEAH.

YEAH!

ALL THOUGHTS OF THE LITTLE
BLACK DRESS HAD FADED.

ABRAHAM.

WHAT'S ALL THIS?

TAKE A LOOK AT THIS.

I'VE JUST DISCOVERED A PARADIGM
WHICH MIGHT BE TRUE FOR OTHER

RURAL AREAS, AS WELL.

HIV IN TENNESSEE IS LARGELY AN
IMPORTED DISEASE, IMPORTED

TO THE COUNTRY FROM THE CITY.