The Trouble with Bliss (2011) - full transcript

A comedy/drama about 35-year-old Morris Bliss, who is clamped in the jaws of New York City inertia: he wants to travel but has no money; he needs a job but has no prospects; he still shares an apartment with his widowed father; and perhaps worst of all the premature death of his mother still lingers and has left him emotionally walled up. When he finds himself wrapped up in an awkward relationship with the sexually precocious, 18-year-old daughter of a former classmate, Morris quickly discovers his static life unraveling and opening up in ways that are long overdue.

My friend N. J.
Once told me there are

seven defining
moments in a person's life.

The challenge is figuring out
which ones they are.

You know, I know you.

I feel like I know you too.

We're... connected
or something.

Well, I know I know you, but...

... But not from today.

Mmm... not from now
and all this.

Before today?

Five times.


You married?

No, that's my mother.


Why is the picture so old?

She died when I was a... kid.

People do that, I guess.
Dying, I mean.

My grandmother did.

Made the post, actually,
the way she died.

She accidentally hung herself
opening her front door.

Wow, I remember that.
That... was your grandmother?

So she... ?

Yeah, she wore her keys on a
shoestring around her neck.


Did you read all of these?

Is your last name, like, Barnes & Noble
or something?

Wait... five times. What do you
mean... we've met five times?

Five times.

Oh, I know this guy!

We studied him in school.

He's from, like, Britain
or England or somewhere.

You study Ruskin in school?


We study a lot of
different stuff, so...

Why not this guy, right?
I mean, he's famous.

He... liked little girls.

I mean really little girls.

That's what my teacher
said, younger than me.

He stopped loving them
when they started to grow.

He died a virgin.

Well, I didn't say
that he loved them

the same way
that you just did me.

You know...

Some girls in my class shave.

Do you think that
I should shave?

What? You don't want me now?

It's just...
It's time for you to go.

Go? I don't have to go.
It's only four!

Ohh! What's with the map?

It's nearly six.

What were the five times?


Stefani, you have to go.

What are the pins for?

They're all places I've gone.


You've been
to all those places?

No, not yet.

They're places I plan to go.


Spain. Why Spain?

Homage to Catalonia.



It's, uh, George Orwell.

And here?

Prince Edward Island.
Anne of Green Gables.

Sheltering Sky, Paul Bowles.

You've really gotta go.

How 'bout you buy me cigarettes

because I don't have any money.


No cigarettes.


Mmm. Really, you gotta go.

Daddy's comin' home.



My father's name is Danny,
he lives with me.

Does he tuck you in at night?

Shake your pee-pee
when you're done tinkling?

You gotta go.

I was just funning with you.

It's what couples do, you know?

They fun with each other.

It was outside that comic
book shop, Forbidden Planet.

What was?

First time I saw you.


That one time
I was with my dad.

Your dad?

Yep. You guys were, like,
best friends in high school.

Best friends... me and your dad?

Stephen Jouseski.

Stephen Jousesk?

Yeah. He yelled,
"hey, Twisted Bliss, "

and then you raced
into the store.

Jetski? Your Jetski's daughter?

Well, his last name's Jouseski.

It's mine too. Also my mom's.

Buy me cigarettes.

He's your dad?



What's that for?


Oh, I need you to
buy them for me.

I thought you said you were 18.

Well, I am, it's just
I don't have any I. D. ,

and those Deli guys are
assholes about carding.

It's time to go.

You know what I don't like?

Shoes, please.

I don't like the fact
that you're so old.

It's gonna be kind of hard
having a boyfriend

who's so much older than me.

By the time I'm 21
and we can go to bars together,

you'll be... I don't even know.

But you'll still be
a lot older.


Is that daddy?


And, yeah, that's why
you need to go.


You afraid that daddy
won't be happy to see me?

Danny, and, yeah, I'm mean... .

No. I don't think right now is
the best time to introduce you.

- He's older.
- Oh, older. Older than you?

Ooh. He's one of those
200-year-old guys

you've got to carry around and
bathe and feed and stuff?

Does he wear one of
those giant diapers?

Stephanie, really,
you've got to go.

Wait! Are you coming with me?

Yeah? It's me. Let me in.

Listen, go to the Bodega around the
corner right here on First Avenue.

Mr. Charlie's
is the name of the place,

is the name of the guy
behind the counter,

and tell him
Mr. Charlie sent you,

and he'll sell you cigarettes.

Wait. You want me
to tell Mr. Charlie

that Mr. Charlie sent me?

Charlie's, with an "s. "

Time to go.

Wait. No.

When am I gonna see you again?

Because this weekend
is awful for me.


I don't know, maybe Monday?

Stromboli pizza, after school?

Okay. Don't play with me.

And call me?

- Call me often.
- Okay. I will.

Tell me you love me.

Stephanie, come on.

Tell me.

Okay. I love you.

And you're sorry for...
being so crabby.

I'm sorry I was crabby.

Now, give me a kiss.

A real one.




Ahh... oh! And I
left you a present!

A-a surprise.

Surprise? What is it?

Oh, can I keep the change?

Change? Yeah, sure. Keep it.

- What... what's the surprise?
- Monday, stromboli pizza. Don't forget.


Hey, daddy, how was your day?

What the hell have you
been doing in here?

I buzzed and I buzzed you.

I was in the bathroom.

Now, what I'm smelling here...

I mean, you had
all day to do that,

and you wait till
I'm coming home.

Well, if you hadn't
lost your keys. Again.

Besides, I had that interview.

Yeah, so... When do you start?

We're still working out
the details.

Soon, though, I hope.

Good. 'Cause I can't keep
giving you an allowance.

Did you take care of
those things

that I asked you
to take care of?


Did you get the groceries?

Well, no.

Mail the letters?

Not yet.

Well, please tell me that you
got the keys made for me.

At least tell me you did that.

It's on my to-do list.

What the hell have you
been doing all day,

aside from stinking
the place up?

I had the interview,
daddy, I told you.



Right. Let me go
take care of that stuff.

What are you waiting for?

Well, the thing is, I kind of
spent the money you gave me.

"Kind of spent it"?

I spent it.

On what?

Well, I had the job interview,

and I spent it.


And the groceries?

Okay, then. Uh, thanks daddy.

Should have seen
what I just saw.

Yeah? What's this?

- Clear shot.
- Clear shot?

Standing at the top
of the stairs,

all sexy and smart-ass-ish.


Had a clear shot
of her womanhoodliness.

No panties.

She called me daddy.

"Hello, daddy. "


Wow is right.

Got a good smell of her
as she passed by.


I'm gonna go take care of
those keys before they close.

Yeah, do that.

Ah, Mr. Charlie's!

- Hello! Hello!
- Hey! Has a woman... ?


- I haven't even asked you...
- Ah, yes, I know.

- Well, did she... ?
- No!

- When did she... ?
- No, Mr. Charlie's. The girl. No problem.

I tell her come any time,
all the time.

A friend of Mr. Charlie's
is a friend of Mr. Charlie's.

She's your daughter, yes?

Daughter? She's a...

No, she's not my daughter.

Ohh. Understand.


I'm sure you do.

Uh... never mind.

Mr. Charlie's no shop?

Uh, no, not right now. Later.

Ah, yes, later, Mr. Charlie's.

That'll be $5. 75, Morris.


I can never find my key.

Right. Trouble getting it in?


Happens a lot. Sometimes
just doesn't want to go in.

Oh, uh, no. It's new.

I usually don't have trouble.

Right. Well, maybe some lube.

- Excuse me?
- The lock.


Hey, is that a good magazine?

Well, the makeup tips and
sex advice are all wrong,

but the hairstyles and how-to-lose-weight
articles are pretty good.

"Bananas cure everything

from PMS to menopause. "

I didn't know that.
Did you know that?

No, I didn't. I was
actually talking about

the travel magazine, though.

Oh. Oh, right.

It's my husband's, George's.

He never reads it.

Oh, here, have it.

I don't even know
why we get it.

You travel much?

Uh, yeah, I travel. A lot.

Or... I plan to travel.

I haven't been anywhere
yet. Soon, though.

Right. What are you doing
Sunday at five P. M. ?

Nothing... I can think of.

Great. Um...

Uh, let me ask you,
do you, uh...

Do you eat that...
what's that stuff called?

- What stuff?
- That Mexican stuff.

- Tacos?
- No, no. Tomatoes and onions.

- Comes in a bottle. It's all chopped up.
- Salsa.

Yeah, right. Salsa.
You eat salsa?

Not often...
But, yeah, I eat it.

Oh. Well, great.

You want to make 125 bucks?

Mmm... what do I have to do?


Oh, well, next to nothing.

I need you for a focus
group for a new salsa.

You just have to look at some
print ads and make some comments.

Sure, yeah, I could do that.

Right, right.


Troy, right?


Uh, Morris Bliss.



... With wings and feathers,

birds can travel almost
anywhere they want.

What drives them to migrate?


What guides their path?


Without their instincts,
they would be lost,

blown off course,

but, fortunately,

their instincts
are strong and...



We need to talk.


I'm outside.

Geez. What, do you
sleep in your clothes?

Yep. I do.

What's up?

Don't worry, I'm not pregnant.

I realize things.

Now that I'm 18,
I realize things.

I realize that...
I like you a lot.

I really like this Morris and
Stephanie thing that we have,

but I realize that this,
our you-and-me,

is not gonna work out.

I have plans, you know?

You just aren't part of 'em.

I'm not a part of your plans?


What kind of plans
are you talking about?

Owning my own Subway
sandwich shop, for one.

Be... be serious.

I am being serious.

This boy in my class,
Flabby Robbie,

his dad owns a Subway
on 23rd and 7th Avenue,

and it makes a ton of money.

He actually gets them delivered
to school for lunch.

That's how he makes
friends... free sandwiches.

That's the only reason, actually,
why people like Robbie.

He's kind of sickening.
His hands are always sticky

like he just sneezed
in them, or worse.

Oh, Christ!

What? A rat!

Is that a rat? Oh, my God!
I think that's a rat!

- Where?
- Kill it, kill it, kill it!

Stephanie, get off me!

Oh, my God!

It ran down that way.
I saw it run.

Oh, God.

I hate rats.

Worse than horny cousins,
you know...

- The way you've got to fight 'em off.
- Right.

We had this rat once in
our apartment building.

Used to hang out
in front of the door.

Used to look through the peephole
to make sure I wasn't watching.

It was like he smelled the frozen
pizzas that my dad was cooking up.

The super wouldn't do
anything about it,

so my dad, he had to put
out those sticky traps,

and then the other ones,
you know,

the kinds that snap.

But rats are smart. This one was
smart, because nothing worked.

So, one day, the rat
is scratching at the door.

My dad got so angry
that he grabbed a mop

and he went and he
killed it himself.

He killed it with a mop?

Well, he tried to.

He was naked
except for his underwear,

and the rat was sitting there with
this "what do you want?" Look.

My dad went and hit it
with the mop,

but it was one of
those sponge mops,

so it didn't really
hurt the rat that much,

and the rat went
running down the hallway.

My dad chased after it,
and he...

Gave it a good wallop,
you know, real hard.

I guess the rat got
hooked on to the mop.

The tail or something got
wrapped around the handle,

and so, as my dad
yanked at the mop,

the rat went flying up in the air,
doing flips and twists and...

I guess, for a split second,

for a tiny split second,

that rat came
face level with my dad.

Came up right here.
Looked him dead in the eye.

My dad says he's never
seen so much evil

as he saw in that rat's eyes.

And then the rat, like,
fell down the bannister

and was hitting his head,

When my dad went to go
look, the rat was gone.


I probably don't mean
that much to you, do I?

Just... another girlfriend,

one of probably three
zillion that you've had.

Three zillion's
on the high end.


What other plans do you have?

Oh, I have lots of plans.

None that I fit in.


It's just... You don't seem.

I don't seem what?

You know, you just don't seem.

What does that mean,
"I don't seem"?

Before I forget,

I got you something, a gift.

You got me Brie?

No, it's cheese. French, I think.
It's expensive stuff.

Where'd you get it?
Mr. Charlie's.

You bought this
at Mr. Charlie's?

Well, I didn't exactly buy it.

You stole it?

Yeah. But it was because

he didn't give me change for
that 20 that you gave me.

He kept saying, "problems,
problems, no change. "

Mr. Charlie's never has change.

No change? Yeah, well,
I went in there, you know.

I made up for it. I did
a little extra shopping.

He knows who you are.
He knows I know you.

So? He stole from me first.

And besides, it's not like we're
gonna go back there again.


Okay what?

I don't know. Just okay.

Give me a kiss.

Sure, that fits
into your plans.

I don't want
to ruin your plans.

No, no, no. I'll make you fit.

- Where you going?
- Guess what I'm thinking.

What are you thinking?

I'm thinking... That...

Maybe my plans have changed.

I'm thinking that
maybe you're part of them.

May 23rd.

What's may 23rd?

Prom. Monday, stromboli pizza.

After school. Don't forget.

Who's the girl, man?

Where you been all week?

What's with the bad tux?
You gettin' married?

No, man. And that's a blessing.

A pure blessing.

Buy me a beer?

I been riskin'
my life all week.

One beer.

Mama's, man.

Saved my life.

What the hell's a "Mama's"?

It's what saved me
from the Cindi.

Saved you from the what?

Help yourself.

It's all about economics, man.

How people spend money.

What they spend it on.

It's all about the way people
spend other people's money.

The way I'm always
buying you a beer

'cause you're always broke?

I'm not broke, man,
just frugal.

You keepin' a tab?

Like Medusa in a mirror,

the economics of Mama's
broke the curse of the Cindi.

I have no idea
what you're talking about.

Mama's is a buffet
up in Harlem.

The Cindi was my fianc?e.

Your fianc?e?

Why do you think
I got the tux, man?

I was getting married today.

You were getting married, and
you didn't even tell me?

It all happened so quick, man.

You could have called.

You could have said, "Morris,
I'm getting married. "

I've known the Cindi
since Sunday.

I met her at church.

Six days ago?

I like to think of it
as a week, man.

A week can be a long time.

Rome was ravaged in less.

The seven days' war changed the
landscape of the middle east.

Yeah. Lot of destruction.

It was the six days' war that
happened in the middle east.

God created the world
in a week.

What's important...
it didn't happen.

I was saved.
I didn't get married.

We had a 4:00 appointment with
the judge today to get married.

The hottest thing man.

Cindi and I,
really into each other,

like plaid on polyester,
morning, noon, night.

Her place is in Harlem,
so we go to Mama's for lunch,

a pre-wedding meal.

Mama's, best buffet
in the city,

$4. 25 a pound buffet,

except chitlins, which cost more.
Great stuff.

So... at the buffet,

she loads up on rice and beans.

Rice and beans, nothing else.

Not the ribs, not the greens,
not the pulled pork, nothing.

Just the cheap,
heavy stuff, man.

Her meal ended up
costing seven bucks,

all for a plate
of rice and beans,

and I'm the one paying for it.

'Bout to get married
in less than three hours,

and suddenly I saw it all.

Saw the true colors
of the Cindi.

I broke it off then and there.

I mean, how could I marry a
woman who has no problem

paying seven and change,
all for beans and rice?

Get two more?

So, uh...

Who's the 15-year-old girl I saw you with?
Is she stalking you?

Eighteen. Stalking? No.


'Cause this turning
into a gift or a threat.

- Remember Jetski?
- Jetski?

Guy from high school.

- Kid with the harelip. Spit when he talked.
- No, no, no.

Oh, I know who you mean.
Yeah, Jetski.

The guy's an asshole.
He used to work at

the movie theater
on 12th street.

He tried to sell me popcorn
he swept off the floor.

The guy's a real asshole, man.

Well, that girl you saw
is Jetski's daughter.

Your girlfriend
is Jetski's daughter?

- She's not my girlfriend.
- Thank God for that.


Because if she was, I'd have
to tell you to dump her, man.

My advice would be
to dump her, quick.

So, you're not dating her?

- No, I'm not dating her.
- But you slept with her?

Look, I just met her today.

Yes or no, man,
did you sleep with her?

Yes, I slept with her, but
it's not like you're thinking.

- Really?
- Really. Listen.

I was looking for
a present for daddy.


You have something
on your face.

Other side.

Hey, have you listened
to these guys?

They rock, but I want to show
you something even better.

She came on to you.

Yeah, but just let me finish.


I want to see your place.

I don't know you.

My name's Stephanie. Stephanie!

But... I don't know
who you are.

You don't like me?
Why don't you like me?

Oh, I like you, I like you,
I just don't know you.

I know you.

I know you, I know
you, I know you.

Dump her, man.
Tell her it was a mistake,

tell her it was an oversight.

You make it sound
like it requires

a congressional investigation.

Basically, man, you had sex.

Two fancy animals
doing what animals do.

An act of nature. I'd get out

before emotions get tangled.

End it before it gets messy.


Yeah, it's me, daddy.

No shit, it's you.

Come here, Morris.

What the hell are you
doing out so late?

I was out with N. J.

Did you buy the groceries,

or did you take
the money I gave you

and spend it on
something useless again?

I'll get 'em.

No, whoa, whoa, whoa.

How old are you, Morris?


Know what I was doing
when I was 35?

I had a son,

a wife,

an apartment of my own.

A job.

See what I'm saying?

Not really.

I was living.

I understand, daddy.

Oh, no, I don't think you do.

I made choices.

Each and every step of the way,

I made a choice.

It wasn't made for me.

I make choices.


I wonder what your mother would
think about your choices.

Stephanie, listen.


Hi, Stephanie.


Hey, Stephanie, it's me.

This is ridiculous.

Hey, Stephanie!

- Twisted Bliss!
- Ah! You missed me, huh?

Jetski, Jetski.

I ought to wax
your tugboat, Bliss!

- I've missed you too.
- Jetski!

- What are you doing?
- Jetski?

Sweet baby Judas, Bliss!

No one calls me Jetski anymore.

I ought to take you
down for that, man.

You know I hate that nickname!


Twisted Bliss!

How you doin', buddy?


Yeah? This is a reunion, Bliss.

This is great.

How... how you been?
How's things? Things good?


Well, it's good seeing you.

Oh, man, it's good
seeing you too, man.

You know... You know what?

We should go out
for some beers sometime.

Or, better yet, maybe you could
come over and meet the family.

You'd love my daughter!

What... what are you doing here?

Oh, man, this renovation...

my show.

I'm the foreman, in charge
of this whole project,

which is already screwed,

and we haven't
even begun, but...

that's life, I guess. You
make plans, and life happens.

But... you've got
to get it done, right?

You've got to push through.

Right. You've got
to push through.

Do you remember
the Bloody Eagle brigade?

I tell my wife and daughter
that story all the time, man!

No, I don't.

Aw, come on, Bliss,
the Bloody Eagles!

Remember? You and me,
all the hijinks?

You, Morris the Professor,
coming up with the plan.

Me, the Axe,
getting the job done.

Remember all the shit
we used to pull?

Twisted Bliss and the
Bloody Eagle brigade.

Man, we were
famous in high school!


You remember the time
that we put the, uh,

the black shoe polish
on the toilet seats

in the girls' locker room,

or when you, the Professor,

superglued Mr. Arnold's
chair to his desk?

- You remember that?
- No.

Aw, come on, Bliss.

Actually, no,
I really... I don't.

The Bliss!

And Stevie J. !
The Bloody Eagles!


- Sure.
- Oh, I miss that, you know?

All those times, you know?


Now's now, you know?

So, I have a wife,
teenage daughter.


I make good money, but...

What do you do? Where... where...
where are you working?

I'm between jobs.

Let's. Do. Brews.

How 'bout tonight?

Let's get some cocktails
and catch up...

- Tonight, bro!
- Tonight? Eh...

Thing is, I gotta
watch my cash right now.

Bliss! Why didn't you tell me?

I could have got you on here.

You should have
talked to me last week.

You know what?

Tide over.

Till you get goin' again.

- Oh, no, I can't take this.
- No, no, no, no.

Take that.

One Bloody Eagle to another.

So, you want to see
what this place looks like

before we tear
the shit out of it?


Bloody Eagle, baby! Yeah!

Oh, yeah.

I haven't been in here
in six months.

Restrictions, permits,

wife suing the husband
for cheating,

husband's suing the wife
for being ugly.


I don't get it, you know?

I mean, when you say you're gonna
do something, you do it, right?

- You stick to it.
- Yeah, right.

I mean, just... your word.

- I don't understand these...
- Jesus.

This is your one warning:

Leave or suffer.

Hey, who the hell are you?

You guys can't be in here.
This place is off limits.

We've been breached.

Excuse me?

Remember the Maine.

It's the Alamo, dumb-ass!

- Let's just crack some heads.
- Ignition!

Ow! Ahh! Mother of God!

I'm out of here, Jetski!

I hear you. Sweet baby Judas!

The place is gonna burn down.

Oh, no, they won't be so lucky.

Burning to death would be a
blessing to those people.

Be the only way to
get rid of the smell.

Ohh! You know what?

I'm calling the cops, get 'em
to crack down on this shit.

Wait, Bliss.

I have an idea.

There's three kinds of trouble:

There's regular trouble,
real trouble,

and then there's the
trouble that you're in.

No, you listen. I'm
not talking to you,

but if I was talking to you,

I would tell you how ridiculous
you look in this picture!

There is a reason muscle shirts
are called muscle shirts.

It's because you're supposed
to have muscles to wear them.

My grandmother had
bigger arms than you.

Where did you get this?

What do you mean,
where did I get it?

It's my dad's.

You know... your old high
school buddy, remember?

Oh, by the way, my
mom is just thrilled

that you're taking me to prom.

You told her?
Of course I told her.

I mean, I didn't tell her
who, but, yes, I told her.

Prom is a big deal.
It's like... a wedding.

But she said I couldn't go.

Uh, well, that's unfortunate.

Not until I ask my dad.

Not really until they meet you.

Which is kind of funny,

being that you're friends
with my dad and all.

Do you like chicken?

That's all my mom
knows how to make.

It might be better if you
just eat before you show up.

Look, Stephanie,
we need to talk.


Well, I was talking
to my friend N. J. , and...

- And... ?
- And he said I should...


He said I should...

That I should find out what color your
prom dress is gonna be so I could...


Pink. It's my favorite color.


There's a lot of things
you've got to learn about me.

One of 'em is that...

I get really pissed off when you
don't answer my phone calls.

I gotta go.


Monday. Stromboli.
Don't forget.



Damn it, Morris!


Ohh! It's me, daddy.

Wah... I know it's
you, goddamn it.

You scared me.
Where are you... ?

I don't want to know.

I'm helping out a friend.


Making a choice.

Stay low, Professor.

Keep your head down.

- Stephen, where are you?
- It's the Axe. Call me the Axe.

- Axe?
- I'm over here.

- Where?
- Here.

Get down, Professor.
We're covert, remember?

Oh, God, I hate heights.

I'm having second thoughts
about this, Professor.

Maybe I should have
called the cops.

We can do this, Axe.

We're the Battle Eagles,

The Bloody Eagles.

I'm freezing up, Professor.

I don't know if I can
go through with this.

You made a commitment. You've
got to follow through.

Just find your inner strength,

just like that time you
killed that rat with a mop.

You didn't freeze up
then, did you?

You followed through.

I told you about that?
I told you about the rat?

Let's go over the plan again.

Wait. When did I
tell you about the rat?

Hey. We're the Bloody
Eagles, right?

Right. Let's do this.

- Let's do it!
- Yeah!

This is bullshit.
They're not coming!

Yeah, we've been waiting here for
something like 12 hours straight.

- I'm hungry.
- No, they're coming.

They're not coming.
They pussed out, the big...

What was that?

It's them.

No cops sound like that.
That sound was like...

It sounds like revenge! Aahhh!

Professor, I'm down.



Remember the Alamo, assholes!

Goddamn it, Professor!
We did it!

Bloody Eagle, baby!
Taste our talons!

My wife was the first
woman I had sex with.

Can you believe that,

The first,
and probably the last.

She got pregnant that
first time we did it,

middle of senior year.

What are the odds of that?

When I'm lucky...

It's always with bad luck.

Oh, man.

You should see my daughter.

She's a beauty, but...

I just don't feel the same
about her anymore, you know?

It's like...

It's like she's
all grown up, you know?


Fathers and daughters.

It's not the same as
fathers and sons. It's...

Fathers and sons.

You ever...


You ever felt that
you were waiting?


Waiting on what?

I don't know. Just... something.

It's like at the end
of Moby Dick,

when Ishmael is out there
in the middle of the ocean...

with nothing. Just...

waiting for something
to come along and save him.

What the hell are you
talking about, Bliss?

I don't know, man.

Just talkin'.

So what happens?


With this guy.

The guy in the middle
of the ocean. I mean...

Is he saved?

Yeah, he's saved.

By his best friend's Coffin.

Damn, Bliss.

What's wrong with you?

You know what you
need, Professor?

- What?
- You need...

Some woman action.

You got a girlfriend,

You need a girlfriend.

I should get goin'.

You hungry? You want
to have breakfast with me?

You want to grab some breakfast?
I'd like to have breakfast with you.

I'd love to, but I can't.

It's Sunday morning.
What do you got?


Well, Stephen, it's been good.


- It's Axe.
- Right.

And no, Professor,
it's been great, man.

It's been great!

You don't think
that shit matters?

You've got a lot to learn
about this business.

Things don't happen
like you see on TV.

Life isn't that pretty.

Shit happens, and then
you're pushing 40,

some more shit happens,
and you're pushing 70,

then some more shit happens
and you're dead!

Most of this shit
is just shit...

day-to-day bullshit that doesn't
add up to much of anything.

- You think... ?
- Forget it.

Thank you all so much
for your comments.

- I'm sure that our time...
- Even talking about salsa gives me cramps.

Thank you.

I'm available any time you need
me for one of these things,

especially if we actually
get to eat some...

Thank you, Duly noted.

So, uh, Morris, um...
You gonna get some dinner?

Uh, no, I was just
gonna head home.

Oh. Good. Me too.

We can share a cab, right?


There you go.
And keep the change.

I got it, I got it.


Uh, right, I was thinking,

uh, I don't want
to go home yet.

- Well...
- Drink, right?

Uh, sure. There's a
place right down there.

Oh, right.

Hey, I was wondering
if you could help me.

You see, my friend Morris,

he lives in the building.

Your friend?

Yeah, my friend.

Cheers. Thanks
for the focus group.

Tell me something interesting,

something about yourself
that few people know.

Well... I'm half Greek.

Mmm. I knew there was
a reason I liked you.

Mediterranean men know how
to handle women right.

You have a way with women.

Tell me something else.
Tell me a story.

Tell me about
your first concert.

My first concert? My first
concert was Liberace.

Right, right.

No, really.

Really. Liberace, Bob
Hope, and Bruce Jenner,

all on one stage, one night.

Bruce Jenner... you mean the
guy from the wheaties box?

The olympian. Him.

You almost had me!

I thought you were serious!

I am serious. My mother took me.
I was 12.

I was too young to appreciate
the oddness of the whole thing.

I had no idea
who these people were

or what it was
we were about to see.

That, and I was angry
with my mother then.

Oh, I can't think of a time I
wasn't angry with my mother, right?

And she died, right?

Now I don't know
who to be angry with.

How'd she die?

How does anyone die?
Something stops.

Something doesn't stop.
Cancer. A car wreck.


But it's all good, right?

I'm not saying things are bad.
I'm not complaining.

I just... wish things
could be clean and clear,

with smooth edges.

Right. Why can't I just bolt off
witty lines when I need to?

No, you speak well.


I speak well.


But tell me something:

Something you like about me.

I like your, uh...


And I like you, right?

I like you a lot.

Me and Georgie had a terrible,
terrible fight last night.

I stormed out of
the house, right?

I stayed with my friend who
lives on 88th and Lexington

in this tiny little place
she claims is a one-bedroom

but really is just
a glorified studio

with a Pullman kitchen.

I'm sorry.

You know what
frightens me the most?

Not being appreciated.

At home, I don't
feel appreciated, right?

That, and turning shabby.

I don't want to be
like a couch.

I don't want to get worn
and run down and lumpy.

I don't want to wake up one
day and realize I look used.

You know what happens
to shabby couches, right?

You... you've seen them,
right, on the street?

They get junked.

We shouldn't be doing
this right here.

- I want to see your place!
- Nah, daddy's home!


I mean, Danny,
my father. He's home.

Oh. Kinky. I like it.

It's just... mmm...
He's not well, so...

Oh, right.

Oh, that's so sweet of you,
taking care of him.

Is he medicated?

- Yeah, he is.
- Maybe he won't notice!

No, it's just, um...

I... it's really tempting.
I just...

Oh, wait. Shh, shh, shh.

I think it's George. I swear
he's got a GPS on me.

Maybe you should go.



Hey, I hope
your dad gets better.

Yeah, thanks!

- N. J. ?
- I found it, man.

- Found what?
- The woman.

The one. My life, man.
The reason to go on.

Two days ago, you were getting married.
What happened to that woman?

That was years ago, man. Two
things happened since then,

two important things, but I
gotta get running. I gotta go.

I gotta get packed. Packed?
Where are you going?

Montana, man.

Montana? What's in Montana?

Me, and the one. The woman.

To think, she's... she's been in
your building this whole time.

- Who lived in my building?
- My Bliss, Bliss.


Hattie Rockworth.

Hattie Rockworth?


Morris, come on in here.

Found these in the bathroom.

Know they're not mine.

You don't wear these, do you?


Please tell me
you don't wear these.

Nope, they're not mine.

I'm not running a hot-sheet
hotel here, you know.

This is not where my
money's been going, is it?

She's not coming.


Who's not coming?

Shit! Yeah, right, who.


Sorry about the coffee.

Look, she's not coming.
She told me to tell you that,

and to meet her tonight out front
of the Velvet Cigar Lounge,

7:00, okay?

And she said you'd buy me a
pepperoni slice and a root beer.

I'm not buying you anything.

Personally, I think you
two are perfect together.

You're both really gross!

What's up with the outfit,
you join the rodeo?

When in Rome...

What's that supposed to mean?

Montana, man.

It's what they wear in Montana.

It's what I'll be
wearing when I herd.

Herd what?


Check this out.

Hattie gave it to me.

Is it a tapeworm?

It's a Red Thread.

I'm in the cartel. I'm in.

Come on. I want
to show you something.

Come on!


So... what you're telling me

is there's a secret cartel...

Yeah, the Red Thread.

... that controls the
world's energy resources

and runs an international
sex trade...

- And this Maddie woman...
- Hattie.

... Hattie, who you met yesterday
while waiting for me,

is now the new love
of your life,

who you're running
away to Montana with,

introduced you to her father,

who runs the North American chapter
of the cartel, the Red Thread.

Yeah. That's him.

He's sponsoring you to become
a full-fledged member,

which merely entails you
initiating a coup

in some third-world country.


That's okay. It took me a few
minutes to digest it all too.

But look at this.


Here. Look from here.

- And I'm looking at... ?
- Right over here.

"Sex street, tail market. "

The highest-grossing sex
trade market in the states,

but we're getting
raided tonight,

so we have to move operations.

I gotta go. I wish you...

Luck with it.

You don't believe me, do you?

What? Of course I believe you.

Yeah, just like I believe you
went to Cuba last summer,

or that Nigerian
terrorist training camp

you visited
two christmases ago,

or the time Bill Gates called
you to ask your opinion

on one of his products.
Of course, I believe you.

Wait a minute, maybe I'm
being a little sensitive,

but I think I'm detecting
some harshness in your tone.

- Really?
- Yeah.


N. J. , I love
to hear your stories.

It's fascinating.

It's hard to believe that
one guy could be so lucky

to meet so many famous
people, travel the world,

without ever leaving
the East Village.

Oh, what about your little map,

all the places you plan to go.

'Least I've done
something, man.

Yeah, lied.

You remember how we met?

I saved your life, man.

That day in the pool,
you were a rock

and I was Mark Spitz.

I pulled you up, man!


Morrie, old buddy,
what are you doing here?

You smoke cigars?

Oh, no. I'm just
waiting for... someone.

It's nice seeing you.

Hey, wait, wait, wait, wait.
Where are you going?

Bloody, Eagles, baby.
We need to have that drink.

Yeah, I'd love to, but
I'm waiting for someone.

Oh, yeah? Waiting on a girl?

Yeah, a girl.

Yeah, is she, like,
super fly, super hot?

Yeah! Look,
I've got to take off.


What are you doing here?

Stalking you.

- Really?
- Bliss!

Where's your manners?
Who's this pretty little filly?

So, after last night,
after our drinks

and all that...
Talking... we did,

what you said
really sank in, right?

- What'd I say?
- Right, like you've forgotten?

No, really. It really
cut me to my soul,

so this morning I woke up and
thought, "you know, Andrea",

time for something new. "

An adventure, right?

Sounds like the Professor's
finally gotten tenure.

Uh, I'm the Axe.

I'm sure the Professor's
told you all about me.

So, I'd love to do
some more talking,

but George gets really jealous.

- George is here?
- Yeah, he's just getting our coffee.

George, over here!

I bought him that
shirt as a joke,

but he loves it.
He wears it all the time.

Ha ha ha!

- George, you remember Morris, right?
- No.

Yes, you do. I had drinks
with him last night.

That's why I came home so late.

- George was upset about that.
- This is the guy.

Yep. This is my little Bliss.

His father's real sick.

Professor! Your dad's sick?

- You didn't tell me that.
- This is the guy.

Georgie, we talked about this.

Um, so, uh, drinks again,
right, and more talk.

Drinks. Right.

And talk.

Don't forget the talk.

Talk. Right.

All right, we've got to run.
Say goodbye, Georgie.

You're the guy.

Mnh! Bloody Eagle, baby!

Heh heh heh!

Bet you gave her a taste
of your talon, huh?


But be careful with
that one, Professor.

I know you're flying
high right now,

but little Georgie,

he looks like he could
clip some wings.

- You know what I'm saying?
- Hello, daddy.

What were you guys looking at?

Um, Stephanie, um, you remember
my good friend Morris.

The Professor.

The Professor.

You teach. I'm having some
trouble in my classes.

Maybe you could tutor me.

You're having trouble in your classes?
Why didn't you tell me, sweetie?

You didn't ask.
What do you teach, Professor?

I'm not really a Professor.

What are you, then?

He's a Bloody Eagle, Stephanie.

I told you all
about him, remember?

I might need a reminder.

We had this gang
in high school.

Oh, right, I remember. You were
best friends in high school.

You did everything
together, everything.

Who is that woman
that you were talking to?

- Nobody.
- Nobody.


She didn't seem
like she was a nobody.

She seemed like she was
probably a somebody.

Sweetie, here. Why don't
you take a few dollars

and go get yourself and your
friends some ice cream,

okay, sweetie?
'Cause the Professor and I,

we have some business
we need to talk about, okay?

Does mom know
you've been drinking?

You know she hates it
when you've been drinking.

Stephanie, I'm the adult here.

Morris is also an adult.

Yes, the Professor
is also an adult.

I'm just a child.

You are a child. Correct.

But I won't always be a child.

Stephanie, what's
gotten into you?


It's been nice

meeting you.


She's my own daughter, and I
don't even understand her.

I mean, she's acting like...

- I don't know.
- A woman?

Exactly. She's
acting like a woman.

And pretty soon, she'll be
going out on dates with boys,

and... God, I don't even
want to think about

what happens after that.

Can you believe she has
a date to the prom?

Some guy.

She's bringing him over
for dinner tomorrow night.

- Really? Tomorrow?
- Yeah, and I will wax his tugboat...

If he even thinks
about touching her.


I mean...

She's a good-looking
girl, right, Professor?

I mean, you wouldn't kick
her out of bed, would you?

Ah, sweet baby Judas,
what am I sayin'?

You're a Bloody Eagle.

But that would be...
Weird, right?

- Yeah. Weird.
- Yeah.



Axe. Call me Axe.


I've got to get going.

But what about that girl
you were waiting on?

Yeah, well,
Bloody Eagles, right?

Ha ha! Bloody Eagle, baby!

- Stephanie...
- Your place. Now.

Who are you dating,
me or my dad?

And who is the tramp?

Not here. Come on.

Oh, wow, we're going up to your place?
What about daddy?

Morris, have you seen my keys?

Oh. Hi, daddy.

Oh, I see.

Not now.

Ow, you're hurting me.


It's okay. I kind of liked it.

Look, Stephanie,
this isn't working.

What isn't working?

This. Us.

You and me.

Are you breaking up with me?

'Cause it sounds like
you're breaking up with me.

No, I mean, it wasn't...
It's just... it's not...

Did my dad put you up to this?

Jetski? Are you kidding me?
He can never know.

Why not?

It just wouldn't...

I don't think your dad
would understand.

Look, I like you. I do.

You're fun, and...

And what?

Stephanie, it was
a mistake, an oversight.

We had sex.

Two fancy animals
doing what animals do.

An act of nature.

I think...

We should end the relationship
before the emotions get tangled.

Your emotions
are getting tangled?

Well, yeah, kind of.

And when you see me, you can't
control the animal in you?

Something like that.

It's okay.

You know, you remind me
of this puppy I once had.

He'd always whine for me
when I left

and hump my leg
when I came home, but...

I always loved him

until he got ran over by a car.

I don't think you're
understanding what I'm saying.

Oh, no. I understand.

You took your map down.

Yeah, I just... It was time.

Do you remember that
first time we met?

Do you remember
the way I kissed you?

Do you remember
what we did after?

How can I forget?

The sex.

I feel like...

One of those
chocolate Easter Rabbits.

All hollow inside.

It's all part of
growing up, I guess.

"Just two fancy animals
doing what they do. "

Well. What doesn't kill you...

... only makes you stronger.

Nice knowing you, Professor.

Keep the change,
and pop the trunk.

Thanks. Have a safe trip.

Since when do you take cabs?

I don't talk to strangers.

N. J. , come on.

Let me help.

Don't expect a tip, man.

So you're really going out to
the Wild West to herd buffalo?

Buffali, man, I told you.

- Sorry, I forgot.
- Forgot?

How 'bout not believed?

I believed.

Come on, let me buy you a beer.

Let's not leave on a bad note.

Okay, give me a minute.


I got it.

Keep the change.

Where the hell
did you get that?

Hattie's dad. Little
walking-around money.


Five hundred bucks?

You have been keeping
a tab, huh?

Eight hundred dollars.

Don't get greedy on me, man.

There's no way
I owe you more than that.

- This is all real?
- What's real is real, man.

So the guy who was always broke

is now a member of
some big money cult.

Cartel, not cult.

And not broke, just frugal.

It's real. I already told
you what the initiation is.

I gotta prompt a coup in
some third-world country.

If you can't pull it off?

Style counts for a lot.

A guy can get in
strictly on style.

Guy's going for
initiation tonight.

Knocking over Zambia.
Hattie will tell you.

Yeah, when do I get
to meet this Hattie?

You been sending her
checks every month,

or at least your dad has.
She owns your building.

She owns my building?

That and about
50 others in the city.

Her family's got the kind of
money that other money stops...

And stares at.

I'm calling you out, Bliss!

- Isn't that Jetski?
- Yep.

- He's calling you out, man.
- Thanks. I heard.

I got a score
to settle with you!

You gonna need help on this?

I don't think so.

Got your number,
I'm gonna punch your ticket!

You sure? He seems
pretty pissed,

but then again
I'd be pissed too

if you were screwing
my 15-year-old daughter.


Hey, Bliss...

Dude, you coming out, or am I
gonna have to drag you out?

Thank you.

One thing I learned
in Calcutta,

if he takes a swing at
you, lean into the punch.

When have you ever
been to Calcutta?

She told me everything, man.

She told me all about
the two of you.

You betrayed me, Bliss.

A fellow Bloody Eagle,
and you betray me?

You know what... ?

She doesn't love you, Bliss.

Read it and weep, fellow Eagle.


Excuse me? "Okay"? Okay what?

What's okay?! Just... just okay.

You. Us. Stephanie.

Do not. Say. Her name.

- I just meant...
- Don't try taking my daughter from me.

- I haven't taken anything.
- You took her virginity, man.

I didn't take that.

Oh, okay. Okay,
you're calling her...

I'm not calling her anything.
All I'm saying...

Don't take her from me, Bliss.
You hear me?

Do not take my
daughter from me.

Do not take my daughter
from me, Bliss.

Do not take her.

- Stephen, I'm...
- Shut up!

And stay away from
my family, man.

Bloody Eagles!

That was weird, man.

You got something on your face.

No. The other side.

I'm bleeding.

Why didn't you lean into
it, like I told you?

Morris, this is Hattie.
Hattie, this is...

... Morris.

Oh, your face is bleeding.

Have we met


You... live in my building.

She owns your building, man.

I own some things,

but my family,
they own other things.

I know you, though.

No, you don't.

Your face is still
bleeding, by the way.

Saturday, the construction
site, is how I know you.

I think you must have
gotten hit really hard.

You've got me confused
with somebody else.

Yeah, you don't look
so good, man.

Jetski did catch you
pretty bad, huh?

Yeah, you're right. He did.

I'll send you
some buffali hide.

Keep safe.

Yeah, you too.



- Andrea.
- Right. Oh, that looks like it hurt.

Listen, um...

I was talking to
Georgie last night,

and... I told him everything.

- Everything?
- Right.

And he was upset about it,
but I explained everything,

and he has something
he wants to tell you, so...


Like she said, I was pissed,

and when I'm pissed,
I usually hit things.

Look, George, I...

I'm talkin' here.


Like I was sayin',
I was pissed,

but Angie explained it
all to me, and I wanted to...

go ahead.

I want to say... Thank you.

You're welcome.

Good boy, Georgie.

So, I-I was
explaining to Georgie

that I was telling you how I
was feeling unappreciated

and how you...

encouraged me to...
express myself to him.


I certainly appreciated
it last night!

Just... stop!

I just wanted to say
thank you as well,

for listening...

And talking.

Any time.

Anyway, we've got
to run, right?

And a paper too.

This place is huge.

N. J. !

Ouch. Jetski did punch
your ticket, huh?

Fancy animals, right?

Well, at least your
face stopped bleeding.

Yeah, it did.

So this is it.

This is it.

Hey, how's Mr. Charlie's?

I don't know.
I went to the supermarket.


That first time we met,

you were the rock.
I was Mark Spitz.

Didn't I save you?

One thing I learned
in prison in Haiti, man...


... keeping 100% true to a tale

isn't what's important.

What's important is the story,

the moral, whether it
lingers and lives on

after it's been told.

That, man,
that's what's important.

Yeah, it's important.

Page 12.


Page 12.



Son of a bitch.

Happy Birthday, dad.

What the hell happened to you?

I made a choice.

Bad choice.

You remembered.

And... you finally
got the groceries.

Some things take time.

Aren't you gonna open it?


Oh, my God.

Where did you find it?

You like it?

Your mother and I used to
listen to this all the time.

I can't believe you remembered.

You okay, dad?


I'm fine.

You, uh, you might be
interested in that.

It's your mother's.

Letters I wrote to her
and she wrote to me,

and pictures.

I was, uh...

I was about your age
when she died.


I'm sorry. I...

I never really...

Your mother's death must
have been very hard on you.

You were... you were
just a child.

I was 14.

I understood.


This was, uh...

This was her last
hurrah, so to speak.

Trip to her homeland.

Who's that in
the picture with mom?

Oh, it's your aunt Kristina.

Whatever happened to her?

She got married,

had a kid, and...

Went back to Greece.

Do you have her number?


I'm going.

Got everything?

Think so.

You need anything before I go?

I'm good.

Okay, then.


Oh, Morris.

Have you seen my keys?