High Maintenance (2016–…): Season 4, Episode 1 - Cycles - full transcript

[HBO] HD. 'Cycles.' Season 4 Premiere. The Guy finds a lost dog; Yara considers her parents' relationship; a singing telegram has a chaotic workday.

It's not all kitchen scraps.

It is one-third
kitchen scraps.

It is two-thirds browns,

which are leaves,
hay, straw, sawdust.

But, you know,
we're low on browns

'cause folks don't
bring us browns.

So who's our browns guy?

Chick: Well,
we get donations from the woodshop,

but, you know, we're
always in need of browns.

All right. Let's see
what we can do about it.

Chick: We used to
have a compost guru.

- Ernie.
- Oh yeah?

He set this whole operation up.

He educated all the gardeners,

on greens, on browns, ratios,
you know, all of that.

And then, there was
one Sunday and he was...

He was comin' in
and he was carrying these

coffee grounds from
the café across the street,

and he stopped right there.

Right there.

And we just all said, "What's the
matter, Ernie? What's the matter?"

And, uh,
he didn't say anything.

He just looked at us
with his bug eyes

and then he just
keeled over and died.

Oh my God, that's so sad.

Yeah. But you know what?

He was very excited about
being compost when he died,

and he got his wish.

- So that's nice. Yeah.
- The Guy: Yeah, that's nice.

- I didn't know you could do that
with your remains. - Oh yeah.

But he's not
in this compost, is he?

Oh. He's all over
the garden!

You're joking, right?

Yeah. Yeah. I'm joking.

- Okay.
- Mm-hmm. I'm jokin'!

- Funny.
- (phone chimes)

And so it begins.

All right, Chick.

I gotta go see
a man about, um...

- Chick: A horse?
- Sellin' him some weed.

- Oh. You're welcome.
- Uh... Thank you, Chick.

Is this your dog?

Oh my gosh.

Oh, you're a very
sweet dog, aren't you?

Oh, you're one of those.


I know your type.

All right, well.
Listen, I'm gonna go, okay?

See you around.

Whoa, hey! Dude.

Hey! What are you doin', dude?
That's not safe.

Hey. Why are you
following me?


Dude, why are
you following me?

- (barks)
- (laughs): What are you doin'?


(sighs) All right.

(dog barks)

You're the most presuming dog
that a human could know.

Come on, get out of the street.

You're fuckin' crazy.

Season 04 Episode 01

Episode Title: "Cycles"

Nancy Updike: She's ready
to have everything recorded...

Ira Glass:
How is she planning to?

Nancy: ...including the composting,
whatever sound that makes.

Like, I don't know
if we'd wanna watch her die,

but the conflict with the
family, that's a story, like...

Have we done something like
recycling, but in like a broad sense?

- Ira: Recycling as a metaphor.
- As a show.

Emanuele Berry: Well, like,
what about actual recycling stuff?

Like, do you guys know about
the recycling in this building?

- Wait. They don't recycle the recycling?
- Nancy: There is none.

No. I thought
that was true.

- There just isn't recycling.
- It's sorted downstairs.

- It's not!
- (laughing)

Sean Cole: We think we're
recycling and we're not recycling.

We're living a lie.
We are all...

Nancy: You're the only one who still
thought that there was recycling.

- Elna Baker: No, I didn't know that.
- I've known this for a while.

- I thought we all knew that?
- Elna: I didn't know that.

I thought
we all knew that,

but I do like that
some people don't know.

It feels like telling them that
Father Christmas is, like, not real.

Ira: Which is the one thing
you can't say on the radio.

You can't say that Santa isn't real on the
radio, we run across this every Christmas.

Sean: Warnings before
a Santa-is-not-real set.

Well, screw that then!

Elna: Wait. What if we did
a "It's Not Real" show?

- Yeah.
- Yeah.

Okay, so there's this test
that's a BDSM test,

like a kink test,
uh, and I took it,

and I found out
I'm a rope bunny.

- (laughing)
- Oh, God.

You said that like
it's a thing!


What is a rope bunny?

It's somebody who likes
to be tied up during sex.

Zoe: I feel like that's
like a lot of women.

- Lily: It's like a personal...
- Bim Adewunmi: You see?


But then anyway,
it turns out none of it's real.

Like the BDSM community...

Wait, wait, wait.
But I just wanna understand.

You're saying
you took a test.

It told you
you're a rope bunny.

Now you find out
the test is not real.

So are you not
a rope bunny?

Um... I don't wanna...

I don't know why
I'm any saying any of this.


I'm going back to recycling.

Okay, can I just
pitch recycling.

What about like, like,
recycling a relationship?

Like somebody who comes back
to a relationship.

I don't know what
that's like at all.

- Ira: Do you have that story?
- Sean: No, I'm not getting...

Well, my, my, uh... My parents
lied to me about getting divorced.

- Ira: Wait. Seriously?
- Yara: Yeah, yeah. Um...

When I was 17, my mom and dad,
they got legally divorced,

but they didn't want to tell me

until after I graduated
high school, so...

they pretended to stay married.

But wait.
They still lived together?

Yara: Yeah, they still lived together,
and they pretended to stay together.

Anyways, at my graduation,
when I got my diploma,

and I was walking back
to my chair,

I look up to my parents,

and they're sitting
in the bleachers and, uh,

they're not looking at me,
they're fighting.

You know, I don't even know
if they saw me graduate.

And, uh, all of a sudden
I see my dad,

he storms off away from my mom, and he
goes up to the top of the bleachers.

He says that he must've leaned
against a railing that was loose

because, uh, he ended up falling
on to the cement, 30 feet.

- Ira: What?!
- Yara: Yeah, and he lived!

He lived. He lived.
Um, and my mom,

who I felt like had completely
given up on my dad,

uh, she made the choice
to nurse him back to recovery.

- And, uh... and they remarried.
- Woman: Oh wow, that's crazy.

- Ira: Wait. That made them fall
in love again? - Yeah. Yeah.

- No!
- Wow.

- It had a happy ending.
- Woman: Yeah.

- I like a happy ending.
- Aw.

Ira: Would they talk
about it like on tape?

- Do you think they would tell the story?
- Yeah.

- Sure, yeah.
- Ira: Sold. Movin' on.

Yara: Yeah, Dad,
this is really exciting.

It's a really big deal for me.
It's my first story on the radio.

Yara's Dad (over phone):
Oh, what is it?

Well, I wanna tell the story about
when you fell off the bleachers.

Yara's Dad: I don't
think that's a good idea.

Dad doesn't wanna talk.

He asks me to talk to Mom
before talking to him,

which leads me to believe that Mom
has some information that I don't.

- Maybe there's some...
- Woman: We have to go!

- (couple arguing)
- Just, I... Stop! Stop.

I really like
the happy ending, period.

So is this a story
about how vulnerability

opens us up to love,
question mark.

Or is it about accepting,
accepting people warts and all?

- (keyboard clacking)
- (Yara muttering)

Mami, it's a really
beautiful story.

Yara's Mom (over phone): That's a
very painful time of my life, mija,

and I don't wanna go there.
Listen, I'm happy for you

- but I like my privacy and respect
that, okay? -(door buzzes)

Yara: Please,
can you just think about it?

Yara's Mom (over phone):
The answer is no. I'm sorry.

All right. I gotta go,
I gotta go. He's here.

Yara's Mom: Okay.
Give Owen a kiss for me.

- Have fun.
- Okay. Bye.

- Hi, Smoothie!
- Hey, Smoothie.

- How was your flight?
- Good.

- Ah. Thank you for these.
- Yeah.

- They're like five bucks a pop out here.
- Oh, my God.

- Your place is really coming together.
- Yara: Thanks, Smoothie.

Oh, my God, I gotta tell you the
coolest thing happened at work today.

Oh, hey.
Happy anniversary.

Happy anniversary, Smoothie.

- (Owen moaning)
- Yara: Okay. Aah.

(bed squeaking)

Owen (panting):
All right.

- (Yara sighs)
- Owen: Woo.


Oh, I think my mom regrets
remarrying my dad.

What makes you say that?

Something she said
on the phone.

You need anything,

Nah, I'm good, Smoothie.

- How are we gonna celebrate
tonight, dinner? - Sure.

I don't want to get
dressed up though.

I'm fine with
whatever you want.

Uh... you want to just
get stoned and order in?

Sounds very romantic.

Cool. I'll text him.

Honestly, I didn't
even like the, the prequel.

But I'm saying, if you're
gonna, like, do that franchise,

you should probably
fuckin' step it up.


You're kind of heavy.
You know that? Whew!

How are you back there? Comfy?

This is Bushwick.


(both howling)

- Yara: Are you finished yet?
- Owen: So many questions.

"I enjoy feeling like a prey
hunted by a predator"?

What the fuck is that?

- Yara: (laughs) It's a thing.
Don't knock it. - I don't get it.

Uh, I think I'm done.

- Uh, I am...
- Yara: I can't wait for this.

...99 percent vanilla.

- Mm-hmm.
- Ninety-five percent daddy-mommy?

- Yara: Okay, Daddy.
- (both laugh)

And 95 percent rope bunny.

Elna got rope bunny too.

- What about you?
- (door buzzes)

A hundred percent hunter-prey.

- Owen: Really?
- Mm-hmm.

- Hello? - The Guy (over
intercom): Hi. I got a dog with me,

but she's nice.
Is it okay?

Oh yeah, sure!
Bring her in. That's fine.

- Owen: Really?
- What? It's just a dog.

This is why I go
to dispensaries.

- (dog barks)
- Both: Hey.

Oh, sorry
about that.

- Hey. Relax.
- (dog barks)

Hi. No, it's okay.

Hi baby!

What happened to her eye?

The Guy: I don't know.
She just started following me,

- and then, uh... I don't know,
I got Annie'd. - Yara: Aw.

I got same old... indica,
sativa, cartridges,

all of which you like.

I want a dog so bad.

- Since when do you want a dog?
- Yara: Since always!

I've seriously been
thinking about it.

Owen: Yeah,
but you work all the time,

and this place is
way too small for a dog.

Oh, wait, you think
I'd be a bad dog owner?

No. I'm not saying that.
I'm just saying

that it's a cute dog and
now you're having pet FOMO.

- Fear of Missing Ohho.
- (Owen laughs)

- You like that?
- Owen: Yeah, that's a good one.

- The Guy: It's a terrible joke.
- (Yara laughs)

Um, do you have any, like,
beef jerky or anything like that?

I mean, it's highly processed.
I don't think, like,

- it's good for a dog.
- Right. Right. Cool. Cool. Cool.

- Owen: Right.
- Cool, cool, cool...

Okay, a hundred and twenty.

Owen: I know I'm
terrible at gifts,

but I think
this time, I...

- nailed it.
- (Yara chuckles)

- Happy anniversary. Yep.
- Mm-hmm.

- Hey, I'll be the judge of that.
- Yeah?

I saw it and it totally
reminded me of you, so.

What's wrong?


What's wrong?

- Oops.
- Oh...

(laughs) Is this why
it reminded you of me?

You're fucking
kidding me?

(both laughing)

Actually, it's
a really funny story.

I'm sorry.
Well, I'll take care of it.

- What?
- I'll take care of it.

Take care of it...


- Fuck. Hold on.
- What?

No, I'm-I'm sorry.
I'm just having like a...

like a stoner moment. Um...

Okay. Can I, can I tell you?

- Uh...
- Owen: Yeah.

All right. So my-my mom...

she didn't have a choice,
she had to take care of my dad

because she's a woman,
and she's supposed to be a caretaker.

And if she didn't do it,
then he would have been pissed at her,

and then I would have
been pissed at her too,

and everyone would have
been pissed at her.

I mean, everyone may have been
pissed for like a little bit, but...

No, no, no, no. Still...

It makes total sense.

If I take care of you,
then no one will be mad at me.


I mean, that's...

I don't think that's how
it is anymore, though...

Owen, come on, please. That's how it
is for women. You don't know how it is.

Yeah. But, I mean, you and your mom are
like... two totally different people.

It's different times and...

Yeah, but I was
literally conditioned,

my whole life,
to believe that my purpose

was to nurture
and support a husband.

And the only way that I could
justify not doing that was by...

working really hard and making
something really important.

And so, I became
this workaholic.

And I'm pretty much
the same as my mom then.

Like, like, I have to...
I have to do something

so that people will love me.

No, I mean, you don't have to do
anything for anyone to love you.

I love you, Smoothie.

Well, yeah, I know.

I know, and that is
totally on purpose like...

God, you are...

You are nothing like...

I mean, you don't even need me
to take care of you, like...

You're literally in nursing
school, you're a natural caretaker.

And your-your ambitions...

Your ambitions are smaller.

Like I genuinely believe that
you're the only person in my life

who is a man who will
not take away my purpose.

God, and that is so great.
That is...

that is so good for me
because it's safe.

(keyboard clacking)


Why ouch? What are
you talking about?

I mean, you just said my
main selling point is that...

that I'm not ambitious.

- And, you know, I can... - Wait.
No, no, no, no, no, no, no.

First of all, you're the one that
said you didn't want to be a doctor.

- And then, I can just take care of you.
- Yara: I was just quoting you.

But I work my ass off, so...

Yeah, I know, we both
work our asses off.

What I'm saying is that you're not
like my dad and that's a good thing.

It's not a codependent

(sighs) It's not about being
your dad or not being your dad.

It's the fact that you just
said that like I'm-I'm nothing...

Are you fucking kidding me
with the mic?

- You're fucking recording this?
- I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

You just laid out on me
and then this is what I get?

I'm sorry. I'm stoned.
I'll turn it off.

Well, yeah.
You're definitely fucked up.


Can I ask you
some questions or...

- does it go one way?
- No. Sure. Of course.

What did you get me
for our anniversary?


Happy anniversary, Smoothie.

(microphone clatters)

(door slams)

- (banging on door)
- Come on, Leyla.

It's been 20 minutes.
Let's go!

- Um, I called it after her.
- I gotta be at work by 10:00.

- It's 9:45 right now.
- What?

Arnold: Bah-gock!
Where's Kyra?


You can have custody

when you buy more than one
set of sheets for your home!

Man (over phone): You don't know what's
going on with my body anymore, Kyra.

I've been looking all over
this farm for Kyra!

Is that you? Bah-gock!

(in the melody of "Old MacDonald Had a
Farm"): ♪ It's your birthday, here we go ♪

♪ I heard you're 49 ♪

♪ No one's getting
younger now ♪

♪ You're runnin'
out of time ♪

♪ With a hemorrhoid here
and a bad back there ♪

♪ Better get yourself
better medical care ♪

♪ Old Miss Kyra's 49
and runnin' out of time! ♪

(laughter and cheering)

Man (over phone): What the
fuck is going on over there?

So fun. So colorful.

- Great face.
- Thank you.

Honestly, thank you.

Honestly, I work for tips.

Oh... okay.

- Well, let me go see about that.
- Yes. Thank you.

Chicken's got a full day.

Excuse me.
Can I use your restroom?


Arnold (mutters): Fuck.

- (elevator dings) - Automated
Voice: Doors opening. Open to enter.

- Woman: Hi.
- Man: Hello.

Automated Voice: Doors closing.
Doors opening.

Open to enter.



This isn't
a changing room.

Sir, people fuck
in here! Okay?

I'm just trying
to get ready for work!

Get off my dick!


♪ I'm a trouble alone, one ♪

♪ I'm trouble to you, two... ♪

You scared me.

These balloons
aren't sized well.

You're trying
to sabotage me!

Where's Barbara?

I see you.

♪ Happy birthday to you... ♪

Stop filming me.


- I'm a baby!
- (crowd laughing)

♪ When I sing
"my darling spinning top..." ♪

♪ Kids all say they love you,
Happy anniversary ♪

- Yee-haw! Come on now, give me a tip!
- (laughing)

Or at least let me
change my pants!

I see you with that lasso!

♪ How sweet, my chubby
little Twinkie ♪

♪ This dog looks like
a Twinkie ♪

♪ You have a backpack
full of Twinkie ♪

♪ My doggy backpack
full of Twinkie ♪

- ♪ My chubby one-eyed
doggy ♪ -(dog howls)

See you later, man.

- Zack?
- No.

(to the melody of "Bingo"): ♪ Your
girlfriend knows that you're a dog ♪

♪ And cheated
like a lame-o ♪

♪ It's time to go ♪

♪ 'Cause you're a ho ♪

♪ She threw your shit
out the window ♪

♪ 'Cause you're
a fucking bozo ♪


Now how about a tip?

Wow, man. You got
a whole thing going on.

Yeah. Come on, tip me.

I'm not Zack.

I'm sorry.

Why would you let me
get through the entire song?

I was into it, man.
You got somethin'!


♪ Your girlfriend knows
that you're a dog... ♪

You don't have to sing.
You don't have to sing.

Come on,
Jane paid for the song.

Well, I heard it so,
thank you, I guess.

Listen, man.
I don't get paid if I don't sing.

- So just let me get... - Sorry,
am I supposed to worry about you?

- Fuck you!
- You know what? Jane was right.

You're a fucking bozo!

I understand why
that mix-up happened now.

Hey, man.
You were good. Here...


(to the melody of "Bingo): ♪
There was a man on Instagram ♪

♪ Who was suffering
from FOMO ♪

♪ FOMO ♪

You thirsty, baby?

Let's have some drink!

(cell phone chiming)


Yes, yes. That was me.

Uh, thank you so much
for calling me...

Okay. Wow.

Um, is there a family?

Okay, well,
thank you for calling.

Okay. Bye.



(whispers): Fuck!


Excuse me.

Excuse me. Excuse me.

Come on!
Kids' daisy chain?

There are nine million people
in New York!

- (balloon pops)
- (car alarm honking)

Arnold: Oh, no. Shit!

(car alarm continuing)

- Arnold: Bathroom?
- You've gotta buy something.

Yeah, doi!
I'm gonna buy something!


(panting rhythmically)

(up-tempo dance music playing)


(exhales sharply)







(music tempo slows)



- Ah!
- (music continuing)



- Yeah.
- (music fades)

- (water splashes)
- Oh my God! (chuckles)


- (sighs)
- (phone chimes)

Oh, that sounds fun.

(Arnold sighs)

I'd give it a minute.

Thank you so much.

And sorry about earlier.

I had to poop.

I've been there.

- What would you like?
- What do you like?

- The blondies are amazing.
- I'll take one of those.

And a latte, with
four shots of espresso.

You got it.

Owen: Are you fuckin'
kidding me with the mic?

You're fuckin'
recording this?

Yara: Oh I'm-I'm sorry.
I'm stoned. I'll turn it off.

Owen: Yeah,
you're definitely fucked up!

Can I ask you some questions?
Or does it go one way?

No. Sure. Of course.

Owen: What did you get
me for our anniversary?

Happy anniversary, Smoothie.

(microphone clatters)

(sighs, murmurs)

Chana Joffe-Walt:
Yara, are you okay?


We're not talking.

- (murmurs)
- David Kestenbaum: I'm sorry.

All right.
Wanna go around?


Susan Burton: I mean, it's really
different than the story you pitched.

I mean, it's not really about
your parents anymore, you know?

- (all agreeing)
- Ira: What happened...

What happened
to the idea of you

getting your parents on tape
talking about this?

Well, I...
I tried to talk to my mom but, um...

she didn't wanna talk,
she didn't wanna do it.

And so, Owen and I started
talking about it on tape.

And, um...

Yeah, it led to this.

David: I'm trying to think how
it works without your parents.

Like maybe it could go in like a
wrong-ending show or something?

Chana: You seem like
you're being very genuine

and expecting a response
from him that is different

than the one he gives,
and it feels surprising when it happens,

when he says ouch,
but, yeah, I feel like we'd need

more setup to understand
what that moment means.

Robyn Semien: Do you think
she could write it though?

Like what if she just wrote through all
of the story of what her parents did.

Chana: Maybe, but you would
write about your parents though.

I think you'd have to write
about your parents' story.

I couldn't like... I didn't actually
understand what was going on.

But I think it's
kind of amazing that...

like, sorry... It's kind of amazing to
hear a breakup unfold in real time,

in this accidental way, and that to
me felt like, oh, that's special tape.

But because I was so lost
at the beginning,

the fact that it turns and
suddenly you're fighting.

I'm like, I'm still trying to
catch up to the first conversation.

Ira: Yeah, I have
the same feeling.

I just think it's one
of those things where

a big important thing happened,
you have this dramatic moment on tape,

but I just think it's not
gonna work as a radio piece.

And I'm sorry.

Yeah, okay.

- It's okay...
- Hey, I'm looking for Yara.

- Arnold: Yara?
- (laughing): Yo! What?

Um... Yara,
I have a singing telegram from Owen.

(all exclaiming)

Oh, my God.

♪ You know the bed
feels colder ♪

♪ Being here alone ♪

♪ I still have dreams
of us older ♪

♪ Doing anything we want ♪

♪ You think you got
the best of me ♪

♪ You think I gave you
my best parts ♪

♪ And you think everything
good is gone ♪

♪ Thought you seen
me broken down ♪

♪ Thought that I'd
come running back ♪

♪ Smoothie, you know me ♪

♪ That's what this is ♪


(Arnold vocalizing)

♪ 'Cause what doesn't
kill us makes us stronger ♪

♪ Be a little kinder ♪

♪ Help each other be better
than on our own ♪

♪ I love to see you
be inspired ♪

♪ Rub your feet
when you are tired ♪

♪ To me you are the feeling
of being home ♪

♪ I love you
as you are-a ♪

♪ You're Yara ♪

♪ And to me you
are a star ♪

♪ Let's stay together,
Smoothie ♪

♪ Stay home
and watch a movie ♪

♪ Or tie me up
like a rope bunny ♪

♪ I love you
as you are-a ♪

♪ You're Yara! ♪

(cheering and applause)

- Arnold: Look who's here!
- Elna: Wait. Is he here?

- Woman: Oh.
- Elna: Oh, my God, that's him.

Is that the boyfriend?

All: Aw!

Ira: So when you
came to New York,

what did you think you
were going to be doing?

Not this.

I moved here with my BFA,
and I just wanted to perform,

and this is one of the jobs
where you get to perform.

I don't have the privilege
of not working.

- This is what I do.
- I don't know.

Like, how often
is it good?

(sighs) You know.
I'll say this:

Every day is different, every day is
hard, but it has its moments.

Ira: The way I think
of Arnold's job

is like the weirdest
recycling job ever.

Taking these songs,
changing them around a little,

and performing them in a
setting they were not made for.

Repurposing them for this audience
that usually does not want them.

Honestly it's hard to imagine
a tougher room,

a more hostile crowd than the one
that Arnold faces, day in and day out.

Good girl.

Ira: But he shows up with
these unwanted songs,

- and he is not embraced.
- (dog howls)

It's like he's disposable.

Until finally,
not very often,

the true love that lives inside
those old songs finds a home.

- This is FOMO.
- Hi, FOMO.

She'll be hanging out
with us this summer.

That makes me happy.

Yeah. There you go.

- Hey, what are you doin'?
- I'm doin' a little...

- Come on! Come on, come on! - All right,
all right. Thank you so much. Thank you.

- Oh dang! Got it!
- You weren't kiddin' around.

- (grunts)
- Got it.

And God knows I have to say

that lots of stories that
we do here on the radio,

is only by diving into
the darkest feelings,

the worst moments a person
possibly goes through...

that we get to anything
worth hearing.

And what makes it
kinda beautiful

and it's a little corny,
but it's true,

is how random it is.

So often it's just like this
random moment, you know?

You see something on the curb
that nobody wanted.

You realize like,
oh, that can be mine,

like that is mine now.

Like this moment of random
greatness pops into your day

that was otherwise
monumental garbage.

That's our show today:

People going deep
into the trash,

hoping to pull out
something good.

From WBEZ Chicago,
it's This American Life.

I'm Ira Glass.

Stay with us.

(breathes deeply)

Perfect. Do it again?

("Sans Cesse, Mon Cheri"
by Domenique Dumont playing)


(woman singing in French)


(woman singing in French)