Indignation (2016) Script

Mrs. Anderson?


It is important to understand about dying that even though in general you do not have a personal choice in the matter, it is going to happen to you when it happens to you.

There are reasons you die.

There are causes, a chain of events linked by causality, and those events include decisions that you have personally made.

How did you end up here, on this exact day, at this exact time, with this specific event happening to you?


May our mourners rise.

Today, we mourn the loss of young Jonah Greenberg, fallen in Korea, fighting for his country, at 19 years of age.

Moses Greenberg, please, to recite the Kaddish.



Yeah, sure.

Marcus. Hi, Mrs. Greenberg.

I'm so sorry for your loss. Yes, Marcus.

You're such a clever boy.

Jonah, he always looked up to you.

Maybe not such close friends. But he respected.

We were teammates. He was a really good guy.

Baseball. He enjoyed.


Don't go into this war. For your parents' sake.

You should be a baseball star.

Don't go into this draft.

He's going to college, Miriam.

They keep the ones in college from the draft.

Such a clever boy, Marcus.

A scholarship, is that right?

Yes. In Ohio, this college is.


how will you keep kosher?

Only one thing worse than dyin' by gettin' stabbed with a bayonet, and that's dyin' by gettin' stabbed with a bayonet when you're still a virgin.

And Greenberg was definitely a virgin.

Yeah? I thought maybe you and Greenberg had taken care of each other before he shipped out. Shut up, asshole.

So, when do you report?

Two weeks.

Ah, you'll be okay. You're smarter than Greenberg.

Not as smart as you.

Mrs. Davidovich. Two chickens?

Let me see. Of course.

Markie! Flick two chickens for Mrs. Davidovich, will ya?

Turn them around.

Yeah. I'll wrap them for you.

So what will you do when this one goes off next month?

The Mrs. will help. Like the old days.

I can't keep him here chopping meat like me.

I have to go see Gurevich.

You can close up early.

And bring home some brisket for your mother.

I told you, Dad. I'm going out with Davey and Sam tonight.

You didn't tell me.

I told you! We're going to the pictures.

To the pictures.

I know what you boys are doing.

I heard from Mrs. Pearlgreen, about that Eddie, going to pool halls.

Dad, I'm going to the pictures. I told you.

I'm not Eddie Pearlgreen!

For Chrissake, I don't even know how to play pool!

He took his father's car, drove all the way to Scranton to some special pool hall they have there.

He bets, he gambles... his father says he'll be stealing cars next.

What does Eddie Pearlgreen have to do with me?

Dad, I'm leaving in less than a month.

You think I'm tempted to steal cars?



Everything okay? What's going on?

Your father.

What happened?

He went out. Looking for you.

He was worried.

He's been talking to Artie Pearlgreen again, it got him all riled up.

I think he smoked three packs of cigarettes. Then he went.

What's happening to him, Mom? What's the matter with him?

He's crazy... he's driving me crazy, he's driving you crazy.

It's your leaving. It's all the boys dying, Bennie and Abe in the last war, now this new war, I don't know.

He's worried about you. He's worried about Ohio...

So, there you are.

Yeah, strange, here I am, in my own house.

I've been everywhere looking for you.

Why? Why? Why? Somebody tell me why?

Because if anything were to happen to you...

- Oh, come on... If anything were to ever happen to you.

What is this all about?

It's about life, Markie.

It's about the tiniest mistake that can have consequences.

Christ, you sound like a fortune cookie.

Do I? Like a fortune cookie?

Not like the concerned father that I am but like a fortune cookie?

I can't take this anymore- I can't take this.

You know, thank God I'm leaving.

Thank God! So I don't end up...

What? End up what?

I don't know! I don't know!

Maybe I shouldn't go.


Come on.

You go.

You gotta stop worrying. It's scaring Ma.

You go.

Just... be careful.

Everything's in the envelope. You're in Jenkins 211.

That's behind the men's quad, back towards the gym.

Keys are in there, and check your class schedule, in there too.

And, looks like you're doing a campus job.

The job board is right over there.

Just take a ticket down from the board for the job you want and turn it back in with the form.

I'd go now, otherwise all that's left is the dining hall.

Hi. Marcus Messner.

Hey. Ron Foxman.

That's Bert Flusser.

Where are you from? Newark.

Where's that? New Jersey.


Cleveland, Ohio.

Flusser's from Chicago.

He's... cultured, you'll see.

Oh, yeah? Does Flusser talk?

Oh, I talk all right. I even talk in my sleep.

I have so much to say, so much to share with the world.

Young freshman Marcus Messner, from Newark, New Jersey.

What a surprise to find yourself in a triple with two other Jews.

What a coincidence.

Ronald and I are the only two Jews at Winesburg who are not in the Jewish fraternity.

After all, we are juniors, we ought to be living in style over at Zeta Tau Mu, not bunking with young freshman Marcus Messner.

♪ All of us with one heart With the torch of freedom ♪

♪ March on! March on! ♪

♪ March on and on! ♪

♪ Chi Lai! Chi Lai! Chi Lai! ♪ Bert. Close the door at least.

Ronald doesn't like Negro Communists.

Paul Robeson in particular.

He doesn't like music at all, in fact.

If Dean Caudwell ever heard you playing that commie propaganda, he'd probably toss you right out of here.

Dean Caudwell loves me. Dean Caudwell?

Dean of men.

And a man among deans, if I do say so myself.

In fact he's addressing us in 15 minutes.

Shit. Chapel.

Uh... chapel?

Didn't you read the handbook?

Required. Every Wednesday at 11.

You have to go to at least 10 of them a year if you want to graduate.

Might as well get started today!

To you who join us today for the first time, to you who enter your final year, looking out at the prospect of what may seem to be an uncertain and dangerous horizon, menaced as this country may be by enemies both foreign and native, fear not, puzzle not, hesitate not, for the spirit of Winesburg will animate and fortify you.

And now, Dr. Donehower will lead us in prayer.

Righteous God, who rules the nations, we pray that you guard all the strong young men and women who enter the gates of Winesburg College in the service of greater knowledge and greater strength.

To our fellow Winesburgians currently serving the cause of freedom in Korea...

Order, Arms...

Left Shoulder, Arms...

Order, Arms...

Yes? Call from Marcus Messner.

Yes, I'll accept the charges.

Marcus? Marcus, honey?

Yes, Mom. I'm here.

You sound tired. Are you tired?

No, I'm not too tired. I'm just busy.

Tell me about your classes. Have you gotten any grades yet?

It's only two weeks, Ma.

I have an American History paper due tomorrow.

Hold on, your father wants to talk...

So Markus, what else, what else is going on?

Studying. Studying and working at the library.

And what are you doing to divert yourself?

Nothing. I don't need diversions. I don't have the time for them.

Is there a girl in the picture yet?

Not yet.

You be careful. I will be.

You know what I mean. Yeah.

You don't want to get into any trouble. I won't, Dad. Stop.

That Karpen boy, the army sent him home.

They found that he has flat feet.

Gershowitz gave him a job at the grocery, first thing he's delivering the groceries and crashes the truck...

You're Marcus Messner, right?

I'm Sonny, Sonny Cottler. This is Marty Ziegler.

We're wondering if you have a couple of minutes, maybe head over to the Owl for a soda.

What's this all about?

We're with Zeta Tau Mu. The Jewish fraternity on campus.

We'd love to talk to you about rushing.

Look. I'm sorry. I don't think I'm going to join a fraternity.

Well, you don't have to.

Why don't you just come over to the house for dinner some time?

You can come tomorrow night. It's roast beef night.

You'll have a good meal, meet some of the brothers, and there's no obligation to do anything else.

No. I don't believe in fraternities.

Believe in them? What is there to believe in?

A couple of like-minded guys get together for friendship and camaraderie.

We play sports together, we hold parties and dances.

We share our meals together, it can get awfully lonely otherwise.

You know that out of 1400 people on campus, less than 80 are Jewish?

That's a pretty small percentage.

The only other fraternity that'll have a Jew is the non-sectarian house, and they don't have much going for them in the way of facilities or really anything.

I'm a senior, Marcus. And president of the house.

I don't want to pressure you but some of the brothers have seen you around, they think you'd make a great addition.

They say you seem to be a real scholar.

Did you know that since Zeta Tau was formed just ten years ago, we've won the Inter fraternity Scholarship Cup five times... more than any other house.

Sonny's being modest, Marcus.

He's actually the president of the Inter fraternity Council this year.

Listen, that's great.

I appreciate your coming around, but I'm not going to be joining any fraternity.

Can I ask why?

I, uh... I have my job, I have my studies.

I'm just not in the market for anything more than that right now.

Thank you anyways. I hope you're not offended.

Not offended at all.

I admire your determination.

Give me a ring at the house if you think about it some more or if you need anything at all.

And if you decide to stay for dinner, all the better. Deal?

Sure. Sure.


...But the Puritans faced a particular challenge as, by the 1660s, the first generation began to die out.

So in 1662 the Reverend Solomon Stoddard devised the so-called Half-Way Covenant, whereby members of the community could be half-members of the church if they agreed to abide by its rules, even if in their hearts they could not profess a complete Puritan conversion... Yes, Jack?

So, "go along to get along."

That's right.

By allowing people to stay part of the church, and by extension, the community, the Puritan leaders were able to maintain authority and political continuity. Yes?

Isn't that the same kind of hypocrisy the Puritans claimed to rebel against?

Aren't they doing the exact same thing they accused the Church of England of?

Well, Mr. Messner, hypocrisy is a very strong word.

It is a strong word, but as ironic as it appears, I believe it is a word that accurately describes the political position of the Puritans of the second generation.

Pragmatism might be an even more accurate term.

I do not now fool myself, to let imagination...

...Jade me.

...jade me... for every reason excites to this, that my lady loves me.

She did commend my yellow stockings of late, she did praise them being cross-gartered and in this she manifests herself to my love, and with a kind of injunction drives me to these habits of her liking.

I thank my stars I am happy.

I will be strange, stout, in yellow stockings, and cross-gartered, even with the swiftness of putting on.

Jove and my stars be praised!

I'll be revenged on the whole pack of you!

Flusser's a real star.

You gonna come see this thing?

You know as well as I that Marcus is a scholar.

He hasn't time for frivolities like the theater.

What is it that pivots or turns a person from existence to non-existence?

For myself, perhaps it was the unceasing movement of Olivia Hutton's leg.

That night, I had to stay up til 3 am to finish the homework I didn't get done while I was watching that leg, rehearsing in my head how I would ask my roommate Ron Foxman the loan of his beloved 1940 LaSalle Touring Sedan, building up the courage to ask Olivia Hutton out on a date.

Weekday curfew is 9pm sharp.

Okay. I will have her back by then. Thank you.

Why are you thanking me?

Uh, sorry.

And you're sorry because...?

I'm... just going to sit...

Dear Olivia, You think I've spurned you because of what happened in the car the other night.

As I explained, it's because nothing approaching that has ever happened to me before.

Just as no girl has ever said to me anything resembling what you said to me in the library tonight.

You are different from anyone I've known, and the last thing you could ever be called is a slut.

You're mature. You're beautiful.

You are vastly more experienced than I am.

That's what threw me.

Forgive me.

Say hello to me in class.

You fucker! Oh, I'm not the slut.

It's no fun being in the hospital alone.

I brought these over to keep you company.

It was worth the appendicitis.

I doubt it.

Were you in a lot of pain?

For about an hour or so before I blacked out.

The best part came in Dean Caudwell's office.

He called me in to grill me about changing my dorm I puked all over his trophies. Then you turn up.

It's been a great case of appendicitis all around.

Let me get something to put these in.

Escargot. It's the name of the restaurant.


I have a feeling Marcus Messner has never seen them served or eaten before.

You want to try one?

No. Not really.

So Marcus Messner decided to take Olivia Hutton to the only fancy French restaurant in all of Franklin County.

I'm so sorry. Do you want to leave? Is this alright?

May I please speak to Miss Olivia Hutton?


Oh, Marcus Messner.

Yeah. Yeah sure, I'll wait.

Can I leave a message?

Well, yeah, another message.

I don't mind talking about it. They got divorced.

Irreconcilable differences.

I suppose that's why I left Mt. Holyoke and transferred here closer to Cleveland.

My mother kept the house, but she changed all the furnishings.

Even my room.

It now looks like Marie Antoinette's boudoir, if Marie Antoinette were a slightly crazed suburban woman who wished she were still a teenager.


Thank you.

Thank you.


Relax. You're so intense.

Trust me, I'm trying.

Tell me more.

Not about your classes, or why General MacArthur is insubordinate, or why you're an atheist.

Though you have to admit I got all of that out of you in a mere 20 minutes.

Pretty good seeing as I don't believe you've spoken to anyone for more than 40 seconds since you got to Winesburg, am I right?

Yeah. Yeah, you're right.

I want to hear all about your mother, and your father the butcher, and what it's like working in a butcher shop, and what the girls were like in Newark.

Okay. But first, you're going to have to eat all those snails.

Oh, you think I ordered these just to spite you?

I actually love escargot.

Alright... let me try one.

How do you do this? This one here.

This big guy.

Oooh, okay.


It's chewy.

But good. Very good.

You grew up eating these at home?

No, just at places like these.

My mother insisted; part of my education.

So what'd your father think?

He's a steak and potatoes man. He never approved.

Maybe being a doctor, he thought that snails were unclean.

Or simply un-American.

But perhaps you're onto something, Marcus.

My father washes his hands.

He's always washing his hands. He washes them all the time.


Well, because they're dirty, of course.

It's 55 minutes to curfew. In case you were wondering.

Make a left at the next street.

What happened next I puzzled over for weeks afterwards.

Trying to reconstruct the morals that reigned over Winesburg College, and I wonder how my own sorry efforts to overcome those morals may have fostered so much misunderstanding, even grief.


Even now I continue to puzzle over Olivia's actions.

Hers, and maybe even more so, mine.

I told myself, "It's because her parents are divorced."

I could think of no other explanation for a mystery so profound.

Because in Newark, it was inconceivable that girls like Olivia Hutton could do such a thing, but then again, there were no girls like Olivia Hutton in Newark.

Thanks for the loan.

How'd she run? Hm?

Oh. Oh, yeah, great. Thank you.

She should of.

Next I'm going to be working on the suspension.

It's pretty good, though, huh?


She blew me. She what?


I didn't even ask her for it. She just did it.

Did you ever hear of anything like that ever happening?


Huh. I think it's because her parents are divorced.

Did she tell you that?


I'm just guessing.

She just did it.

We parked near the cemetery...

Okay. Okay. Well, I'm very happy for you.

But if you don't mind, I've got some work to do here.

Oh, yeah sure. Sure.

Just thank you for the car. It wouldn't have happened without the car.

Yeah. You're welcome.

She must have done it before, don't you think?

Could be.

Huh. I really don't know what to make of it.

That's clear.

You think I should see her again?

Up to you.

So we understand you met the Cottler boy.

Esther, what's his name?


Donald Cottler, Donald Cottler, but they call him Sonny.

His aunt lives here in Newark.

When we said where you were, she told us that her maiden name was Cottler, and her brother's family lives in Cleveland, and her nephew goes to the same college and is president of the Jewish Fraternity and captain of the basketball team.

And something else. What else?

President of the Greeks... the Greek system council.

Right, right, right. President of the council.

Imagine that, a Jew, president of the Greeks.

Oh, yeah. Sonny. Yeah, right. He came around.

So what did he tell you?

He made a pitch for his fraternity.

And? I said I wasn't interested.

But his aunt says he's a wonderful boy.

All A's like you.

And a very handsome boy, I understand.

Extremely handsome. A dreamboat.

What's that supposed to mean?

Dad, please stop sending people to visit me.

But you're there all by yourself.

Dad, I can't take any more of this.

But how do I know what's going on with you?

You could be doing anything.

I do one thing. I go to classes and I study.

And I make 18 bucks a week at the library.

And what's wrong with making some friends?

Some Jewish friends?

I... I gotta go. Marcus!

I'm hanging up... Marcus!

Hello, Marc.


Olivia. Hi.

I did that because I liked you so much.

Um, um, um, pardon?

I said I did that because I liked you.

I know you can't figure it out.

I know it's why I haven't heard from you and why you ignored me in class.

So I'm figuring it out for you.

Any other mysteries? No, no, that's okay.

No. It's not okay.

It's not okay with you.

You know, I liked your seriousness, I liked your maturity at dinner or what I took to be maturity.

I made a joke about it, but I liked your intensity.

I never met anyone so intense before.

I liked your looks, Marcus, I still do.

It's just that I've um...


Did you ever do that with somebody else?

I did.

So no one's ever done it with you.

Not even close.

So now you think I'm a slut.

I... No. Absolutely not.

You're lying.

That's why you won't speak to me. Because I'm a slut.

But you did do it before...

This was the second time. But that doesn't make you a slut.

I was at Mt. Holyoke.

I was at a party at Amherst. I was drunk.

The whole thing was awful. I didn't know anything.

And I was drinking all the time.

It's why I transferred. They suspended me.

I spent three months at a clinic drying out.

I don't drink anymore.

I don't drink anything alcoholic and I won't ever again.

This time with you I wasn't drunk.

I wasn't drunk and I wasn't crazy.

I wanted to do it to you not because I'm a slut but because I wanted to do it to you.

Can't you understand that I wanted to give you that?

I think so. I'm trying. Really.

But you can't.

God, what is wrong with you?

I used the razor when I was drunk.

If I had been sober I would have succeeded.

So three cheers for ten rye and gingers... they're why I'm alive today.

That, and my incapacity to carry anything out.

Even suicide is beyond me.

I don't regret doing what we did, but we mustn't do anything more.

Forget about me, Marcus. There's no one around here like you.

You are not a simple soul and have no business being here.

If you survive the squareness of this place, you'll have a sterling future.

Why did you come to Winesburg to begin with?

I came because it's so square.

That's supposed to make me a normal girl.

But you? You should be studying philosophy at the Sorbonne and living in a garret in Montparnasse.

We both should.

Farewell, beauticious man. Olivia.

Olivia! You forgot your allowance.

I will see you at Thanksgiving.

Your mother will join us.

Ah. What employment have we here?

Please, no Shakespeare rehearsal tonight.

Hey! By my life, this is my lady's hand.

These be her very C's, her U's and her T's thus makes she her.

'To the unknown beloved, this, and my good wishes:' her very phrases!

By your leave, wax. Soft! and the impressure her Lucrece, with which she uses to seal: 'tis my lady.

To whom should this be?

Jove knows I love: But who?

Lips, do not move; no man must know.

God damn it, Flusser!

'No man must know.'

What follows? The numbers altered!

'No man must know:' unless this should be thee, Malvolio?

What the hell is wrong with you?

Hey, stop getting all worked up.

How about a little bit of respect, huh?

What? That's from the one that blew you?

In my car?

How about respecting my car by not driving around with some slut in it.


You're in luck. There's a vacancy in Neil Hall.

Mrs. Burgess in Housing can get you the key.

It's rather... rustic.

Oh, and you will need to schedule a chat with Dean Caudwell.

He likes to be informed of these kinds of changes.

Can you come by Monday, say, 2:30?


Volunteers are still needed for Homecoming Weekend.

As you know, last year's defeat at the hands of the College of Wooster broke a winning streak that will require, shall we say, all hands on deck.

I speak on behalf of Coach Blauvelt when I say the bulldog bite can only be commensurate with the bulldog bark.

All of us are responsible...

Olivia. Olivia. Please.

Yes, Marcus?

If... if you could just... sit next to me again in class.

It would really help me concentrate.

It's harder when you're behind me, I keep wanting to turn around.

Okay. Maybe.

Alright. Thank you.

I heard you moved rooms.

Yeah. I had a disagreement with my roommates.

I moved to Neil Hall.

You weren't in Chapel yesterday.

I just needed a break.

I don't know how much more of Dr. Donehower going on about "Christ's example" I can take.

Maybe you could get some kind of waiver for conscientious objection.

Why is that? Because I'm Jewish?

I don't object because I'm Jewish, I object I'm an atheist.

I know.

Thank you for talking to me.

If I talk to you again, maybe you won't have to stand under my window all the time.



I, uh...

You know, it's funny, I don't actually know... which window is yours.

I'm on the third floor, on the left, facing the quad, just for the record.

I rarely see you looking up.

If you're not a Peeping Tom, what's the point?

It just makes me feel as if...

like I'm making... sure you're okay.

Oh, Marcus. I'm fine.

It's you I'm worried about.

You can come in now.

Come on in.

Marcus Messner.

I wanted you to come in so we could meet and find out if I could be of any help to you in adjusting to Winesburg.

I see by your transcript that you're a remarkably gifted student.

First in your family ever to attend college.

Captain of your baseball team at high school.

Scholarship from your temple.

I wouldn't want anything at Winesburg to interfere in the slightest with such a stellar record of achievement.

Neither do I, sir.

Do you see any potential difficulties on the horizon here?

No, sir. I don't, sir.

How are things going with your classwork?

You're getting all you hoped for from your courses?

Yes. Yes, sir.

You're socializing enough?

Yes. Yes, I am, sir.

Thank you, sir.

The only problem is that you seem to have some trouble settling into dormitory life.

Tell me, in your own words, what seems to be the trouble?

I'm sorry. Could you repeat your question, sir?

Calm down, son. Try a little more water.

And no need to call me sir, by the way.

So... what was the problem with your accommodations?

In the room to which I was assigned one of my roommates Would always play the phonograph after I went to bed and I was not able to get a good night's sleep.

I need my sleep in order to do my work.

The situation was... insupportable.

But couldn't you sit down and work out a time for his playing the phonograph that was agreeable to the two of you?

You had to move out? There was no other choice?

I had to move out.

No way of reaching a compromise.

Did you seek the support of your other roommate?

There was no compromise with him, sir.

And my other roommate was not sympathetic.

Are you often unable to reach a compromise with people whom you don't see eye to eye with?

I wouldn't say often, sir.

I wouldn't say that anything like this has happened before.

Really, Marcus, you don't have to do that, calling me sir.

Call me Dean Caudwell, or call me Dean, if you like.

Winesburg isn't a military academy.

I don't mind calling you "sir", Dean.

It says here your father is a kosher butcher.

No. No, it does not.

I remember just writing down just 'butcher.'

That's what I'd write down on any form.

Well, that's what you did write.

I'm merely assuming that he's a kosher butcher.

He is. But that is not what I wrote down.

I acknowledged that.

But it's not inaccurate, is it?

To identify him more precisely as a kosher butcher?

But neither is what I wrote down inaccurate, sir.

I'd be curious to know why you didn't write down 'kosher, ' Marcus.

Sir, if you are asking me if I was trying to hide the religion into which I was born, the answer is no.

Well, I certainly hope that's so.

I'm glad to hear that.

Everyone has a right to openly practice his own faith, and that holds true at Winesburg just as it does everywhere else in this country.

On the other hand, under 'religious preference' I see you didn't write 'Jewish, ' though you are of Jewish extraction and, in accordance with the college's attempt to assist students in residing with others of the same faith, you were assigned Jewish roommates.

I didn't write anything under religious preference, sir.

I can see that. I'm wondering why that is.

It's because I have none.

I don't prefer to practice one religion over another.

What then provides you with spiritual sustenance?

To whom do you pray when you need solace?

I don't need solace, sir.

I don't believe in God and I don't believe in prayer.

I am sustained by what is real. Praying, to me, is preposterous.

Is it now? And yet so many millions do it.

Millions once thought the earth was flat, sir.

Yes, that's true. But may I ask you, Marcus, merely out of curiosity, how do you get by in life... filled as life is inevitably with trials and tribulations lacking spiritual guidance?

I get straight A's, sir.

I didn't ask about your grades.

I know your grades.

You have every right to be proud of them, as I've already told you.

Well, then you know the answer to your question of how I get by just fine.

Well, if I may say so, it doesn't look to me like you get along just fine.

It seems to me as soon as there's a difference of opinion, you pick up and leave.

Is there a problem with finding a solution in quietly leaving?

But look where you've wound up... in the least desirable room on the entire campus.

Frankly, I don't like the idea of you up there alone.

But I did not end up there because of lack of religious beliefs, sir, if that is what you are suggesting in a roundabout way.

Why is it, then?

As I explained to you before, the living arrangements I was given were intolerable.

Tolerance appears to be something of a problem for you, young man.

I've never heard that said about me before, sir.

There appear to be several things you've never heard about yourself before.

But before, you were living at home, in the bosom of your childhood family.

Now you are living at Winesburg as an adult, and aside from mastering your studies your task is to learn how to get along with people and to extend tolerance to those who may not be carbon copies of yourself.

Tolerance? How about extending some tolerance to me, sir?

I don't mean to be brash or insolent but what exactly is the crime I have committed? Here? Today?

So I've switched rooms.

Is that considered a crime here at Winesburg?

Has anyone said it is a crime?

You display a fondness for dramatic exaggeration.

It doesn't serve you well.

It is a characteristic you might want to reflect upon.

Now tell me, how do you get along with your family?

I see from the form here, you also have no siblings, so it's just you and your parents at home, if I'm to take what you've written here to be accurate.

Why wouldn't it be accurate?

I was accurate when I wrote down my father is a butcher.

He is a butcher.

It isn't I alone who would describe him as a butcher.

He would describe himself as a butcher.

You described him as a kosher butcher. Which is fine.

But that's not grounds for intimating that I've been in any way inaccurate in filling out... If I may interrupt, Marcus.

How do you three get along, from your perspective?

That's the question I asked.

You, your mother, and your father: how do you get along?

A straight answer, please.

My mother and I get along perfectly well. We always have.

So have my father and I for most of my life.

From my last year at grade school until I moved to Winesburg I worked part time for him at the shop.

We were as close as father and son could be.

Of late there's been some strain between us.

Strain over what, may I ask?

He's been unnecessarily worried about my independence.

I think it has to do with many of my cousins having died in the last war.

You say unnecessarily worried about you because he has no reason to be?

None at all.

Is he worried, for instance, about your inability to adjust to your roommates here at Winesburg?

I have not told him about my roommates.

I did not think it was important.

Nor is 'inability to adjust' a proper way to describe the difficulty, sir.

I do not want to be distracted from my studies by superfluous problems.

I wouldn't consider your having to move out of your room a superfluous problem, and neither would your father, I'm sure, if he were apprised of the situation as he has every right to be, by the way.

But be that as it may... have you gone on any dates since you've been to Winesburg?

Uh, dates?


Uh. Yes. Yes, I have.

A few? Some? Many?


Just one?

Sir! I object to being interrogated like this!

I do not see the purpose of it.

These are my own private affairs, as is my religious life and my social life and how I conduct it.

I have broken no laws, I've caused no one injury or harm, and in no way have my actions impinged on anyone's rights.

If anyone's rights have been impinged on they are mine.

Sit down please, and explain yourself.

I also object to having to attend chapel forty times before I graduate in order to earn a degree.

I do not see where the college has the right to force me to listen to a clergyman of whatever faith, even once, or listen to a Christian hymn invoking the Christian deity, given that I am an atheist who is, to be truthful, deeply offended by the practices of organized religion.

I am altogether capable of leading a moral existence without crediting beliefs that are impossible to substantiate and beyond credulity.

I take it you are familiar, Dean Caudwell, with the writings of Bertrand Russell.

Bertrand Russell, the distinguished mathematician and philosopher, was last year's recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature.

The work of literature in which he was awarded the Nobel Prize is his widely read essay entitled "Why I Am Not a Christian."

Are you familiar with this essay, sir?

Marcus, please sit down...

Sir, I was asking if you are familiar with this very important essay by Bertrand Russell.

I take it that the answer is no.

Well, I am very familiar with this essay because I set myself the task of memorizing large sections of it when I was captain of my high school debating team.

Now, if you were to read this essay, and in the interest of open-mindedness I would urge you to do so, you would see that Bertrand Russell, undoes with logic that is beyond dispute the first-cause argument, the natural-law argument, the argument from design, the moral arguments for a deity, and the argument for the remedying of injustice.

Having studied these arguments, I intend to live my life in accordance with them, as I am sure you would have to admit, sir, I have every right to do.

Please sit down.

I'm sorry.

I see here that you are studying to be a lawyer.

On the basis of this interview, I think you are destined to be an outstanding lawyer.

I can see you one day arguing a case before the Supreme Court, and winning it.

I admire your directness, your diction, your sentence structure, even if I don't necessarily choose to admire whom or what you choose to read and the gullibility with which you take at face value rationalist blasphemies spouted by an immoralist of the ilk of Bertrand Russell, four times married, a blatant adulterer, an advocate of free love, a self-confessed socialist dismissed from his university position and imprisoned during the First War by the British for what in plain English I would call treason.

What about the Nobel Prize!

I even admire you now, Marcus, when you hammer on my desk and point to me so as to ask about the Nobel Prize.

You have a fighting spirit.

I'm sorry, sir. I didn't know that I pointed. I didn't mean to point.

You did, son. Not for the first time and probably not for the last.

But that is the least of it.

To find that Bertrand Russell is a hero of yours comes as no great surprise.

There are always one or two intellectually precocious students on every campus, self-appointed members of an elite intelligentsia who need to elevate themselves and feel superior to their fellow students, superior even to their professors.

Nonetheless, that is not what we are here to discuss.

What worries me rather is your isolation.

What worries me is your outspoken rejection of long-standing Winesburg tradition, as witness your response to Chapel attendance, A simple undergraduate requirement which amounts to, on average, little more than a few minutes per week of your years here.

In all my experience at Winesburg I have never come across a student who objected to that requirement as an infringement on his rights.

What worries me is how poorly you are fitting into the Winesburg community.

To me it seems something to be attended to promptly, and nipped in the bud.

I can't take any more of this.

Sir, I think I'm going to vomit.

Excuse me?

I feel ill. I think I'm going to vomit.

I cannot bear being lectured like this.

I am not a malcontent. I am not a rebel.

I have the right to socialize or not socialize with whomever I see fit.

Furthermore, your argument against Bertrand Russell is not an argument against his ideas based on reason but an argument against his character, i.e., an ad hominem attack, which is logically worthless.

Sir, I respectfully ask your permission to stand up and leave now because I am afraid if I don't I am going to be sick.

Of course you may leave.

I just ask that you reflect on why leaving appears to be the only way you are dealing with your problems here.

I'm genuinely sorry if you think I've been wasting your time.

Leaving is not how I cope with my difficulties.

I strongly object to you saying that, Dean Caudwell.

Well, at least we got over calling me 'sir.'

Marcus. Just one last thing.

I have the impression from your application that you're a talented baseball player.

Would you give a thought about going up for the Winesburg team?

I played for that team myself when I was a student here.

Dean Caudwell, my high school had the worst team in the league.

I don't think I could play at this level.

The pitching would be a lot faster than what I'm used to, and I don't think choking up on the bat, the way I did back home, is going to solve my hitting problems at this level of competition.

So you're saying you're not going out for baseball because of the competition?

No! I am saying that I am realistic about my chances for making the team...


I was always a light sleeper, though I never could remember my dreams or even whether I had any dreams.

But for that day, and night, and day... what with the anesthesia, I slept a great deal...

I remember vaguely thinking I was married to Olivia Hutton.

I remember us sharing a bedroom, of me going off to work, an argument we had over dinner, of a long drive through a series of small towns, and then us reaching the ocean, and a cabin by the ocean.

It's strange, being dead, as I am now and have been for I don't know how long...

"if" now' can be said to mean anything any longer... that I remember those dreams as accurately as anything I actually experienced in reality.

Good morning.

You're in the hospital, son.

You had your appendix removed. Just in the nick of time, the doctors say.

I had my what?

Your appendix out.

Your dean, from the college, Mr. Caudwell, was just now here.

I sent him home - didn't want to wake you.

He's called your parents. They know you're fine.

Your mother will be here in a few days.

And you're to call your father. But first...

I need you to do some business for me. Into this.

Dear Marcus, I can't see you.

You'll only run away from me again, this time when you see the scar across the width of my wrist.

Had you seen it the night of our date I would have honestly explained it to you.

I was prepared to do that.

I didn't try to cover it up, but as it happened you failed to notice it.

It's a scar from a razor.

I tried to kill myself.

That's why I went for three months to the clinic.

It was the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas.

The Menninger Sanitarium and Psychopathic Hospital.

There's the full name for you.

My father the doctor knows people there.

Where will you be able to see these best?

I see them best in your two hands.

I see them best with you standing right there.

Just stay like that for the next couple of days.

What are they giving you to eat?

Jell-O and ginger ale. Tomorrow I start on the snails.

You seem very chipper.

I am.

Can I see?

My stitches?


Is the wound draining?

Is that tube dangling down there a drain?

I don't know. I suppose so. Yeah.

What about the stitches?

Well, we're in a hospital.

What better place to be in when they come undone?

You are odd, you know.

Odder than I think you realize.

I'm always odd after I have my appendix taken out.

Do you always get as big as this after you have your appendix out?

Never fails.

Of course we shouldn't.

We could both get thrown out of school for this.

Then stop.


"I shot an arrow into the air.

It fell to earth I knew not where."

Excuse me.

Oh, my God. What is she going to do now?


What do you mean "nothing"?

How can you be so poised about all this?

One call to the dean, and we're out.

How do you know she's going to do nothing?

She's too embarrassed to.

I don't understand how you can be so...

So what?

Under control. So expert.

Oh, yes, Olivia the expert.

That's what they called me at the Menninger Clinic.

But you are.

You really think so, do you?

I, who have eight thousand moods a minute, whose every emotion is a tornado, who can be thrown by a word, by a syllable, am 'under control'?

You are blind.

Do you hate me?

No. I don't hate you.

I think maybe you hate me.

Maybe you should.

Will you come tomorrow?


I need to see you walk to the end of the hall and back with this.

Then you can use the bathroom yourself.


Oh, hey Sonny. So Caudwell sent you?

Yeah. yeah. It's something we do at the house, volunteer.

He said you gave the okay to go into your room and get your books.

I basically grabbed everything off the desk.

Quite a room you got there.

Yeah, it's deluxe.

It was like a medieval inquisition.

Except he was smiling most of the time.

I think that's what annoyed me the most.

You mind?

Yeah, dig in.

So you mixed it up with old Dean Caudwell?

He's actually not such a bad guy, he's just a blowhard.

He didn't make you move back in with that moron Foxman and that queer Flusser, did he?

Huh? Uh, no. See?

But then, he started grilling me about my beliefs, my social life, my principles. Mainly about Chapel.

I tried to explain to him as clearly as I could, as rationally as I could, why the chapel requirement is unjust.

I don't... I don't know how you and your fraternity brothers take all that Christ stuff, week in week out?

Chapel? Who goes to chapel?

You pay somebody to go for you and you never have to get anywhere near chapel.

Is that what you do? What else would I do?

You know, I went a couple of times freshman year.

They had a rabbi once, so I had to go then.

Otherwise it's Caudwell and Donehower and all the other great Ohio spiritual leaders.

So how much do you pay?

For a proxy? Two bucks a pop. That's nothing.

That's not nothing.

Look. Figure you spend 15 minutes getting off the hill and over to the church.

An hour of subjecting yourself to chapel, and knowing you, you're seething with rage the entire time, Mm-hm.

You're probably another half hour afterwards still seething.

That's a hundred and five minutes, times forty, that's...

Four thousand two hundred minutes that's 70 hours.

Yeah. Right. And that's not nothing!

Alright. So how does it work?

Well, the guy you hire takes the card the usher hands him at the door, and when he hands it back at the end he's signed your name on it.

That's it. You think a handwriting specialist pores over each card back where they keep the records?

No. All you have to do is pay somebody.

Yeah, but who? Plenty of brothers willing to do it.

And it's work. I'll find somebody if you want me to.

I can even try to find someone for less than two bucks.

And if this person shoots off his mouth? Then what?

You're out of here on your ass.

No one would do that. They'd be out, too.

Look, it's a business, Marcus.

Clearly Dean Caudwell knows what's going on?

Caudwell's the biggest Christer around.

He couldn't imagine why people don't love listening to Donehower instead of having the hour free every Wednesday to jack off in their rooms.

That was a big mistake you made, bringing up chapel with Caudwell.

Hawes D. Caudwell was the idol of this place.

Winesburg's greatest halfback in football, greatest slugger in baseball, greatest exponent on earth of all things Winesburg tradition.

Meet this guy head-on about this stuff and he'll make you into mush.

You go around guys like him, Marcus.

You keep your mouth shut, your ass covered, smile... and then you do whatever you like.

Look, don't... don't take everything so seriously.

You might find this is not the worst place in the world to spend the next four years of your life.

At least you're not in Korea.

Plus... you've already located the Blowjob Queen of 1951.

That's a start. I don't know what you're talking about.

You mean she didn't blow you? You are unique.

I still don't know what you are referring to.

Olivia Hutton.

Look, blowjobs are at a premium in north-central Ohio, as you can imagine. News of Olivia has traveled fast.

Don't look so puzzled.

Uh, I don't believe this.

What's not to believe? Hm?

She sounds like a bit of a nutcase. There's nothing wrong with that.

I wish there were more of them around.

I'll pick you up on Saturday. That's when you're getting out of here?

You okay? Do you want me to call the nurse?

No, no, I'm fine. I'm just in a little bit of pain. I'm okay.

Yeah. Okay. I'll see you Saturday.

I'll set you up with a cot at the house.


Now, I want you to tell me everything.

Everything? Everything about what?

About you. I want to learn all about you.

I want to know what made you you.

What about what made you you?

You first.

Well, I guess the shop made me, if anything did.

Though what was made exactly I can't say I entirely know anymore.

I've been in a very confused state of mind ever since I hit this place.

Thank you.

It made you hard-working. It gave you integrity.

Oh, did it? The butcher shop?


Well... let me tell you about my father.

Let me tell you about what he gave me in the way of integrity.

We'll start with him.

Oh, good. Story time.

Well, every week, the fat man would come into the store and he'd pick up all the fat.

And the fat itself was stored in a garbage pail.

After the fat man came, I would take this can out front of the store and I'd wash it out.

So one day one of the pretty girls from my class came up to me

"and said," I stopped at the bus stop across the street from your father's store

"and I saw you cleaning the garbage cans."

So, I went up to my father and I said "Boss,"I always called him "Boss,"

I said, "Boss, I can't clean the garbage cans anymore."

You were ashamed?

No. No, you see, that's what he thought.

To me, it was practical.

How am I supposed to ask them out, if they know that I clean the cans?

Well, you asked me out.

But you didn't see me clean the garbage cans.

I could have guessed.

So what did your father say? Did he let you off the hook?

No. He said, "What, you're ashamed?"

What are you ashamed of? All you have to be ashamed of is stealing.

Nothing else.

"Clean the cans."

He could have told Big Mendelson to do it.

Big Mendelson? Mm-hm.

He worked there too until things slowed down.

Boy, did he have a nasty mouth on him.

He belonged in the back, trust me, in the refrigerator.

I thought he was hilarious, but we had to let him go.

What did Big Mendelson do?

Well, on Thursdays, my father, he would come back from the chicken market, he'd dump all the chickens in a pile and people would come in and pick whatever chicken they wanted for the weekend.

Anyway, this one woman, Mrs. Sklon, she would always come in, she would pick up a chicken and she would smell its mouth and then smell its rear end.

It got to the point that one day Big Mendelson couldn't contain himself.

He said, "Mrs. Sklon", could you pass that inspection?"

I swear I've never seen anybody get more mad in my life.

She picked up a knife, tried to stab the big guy.

So that's why your father had to let him go?

Well, he had to. He had to. By then he said lots of things like that.

But about Mrs. Sklon, Big Mendelson was right.

She was no picnic not even for me, and I was the nicest boy in the world.

Oh, I never doubted that.

For better or worse that's what I was.

Am. Are.

You had humble origins. Like Abe Lincoln.

Honest Marcus. Working side by side, every day with your father.

He was, mm, he used to be, something great. That's true.

Used to be?

He is.

So what about your father?

He's a doctor. What kind of medicine?

You ever see him working, at his office?

My father? There's nothing to tell.


Nothing. Nothing at all.

Surely there's something.

Marcus... practice tact.

You know, I can give you a recommendation.

For what?

A summer job. At Anker's Flower Shop.

You're a natural.


You have a guest.


I don't know what it is.

Is he sick? Does he have something?

Markie, I think he's losing his mind.

You know how he was with you on the phone about the operation?

That's how he is with everyone, about everything, all the time!

At the store, he's yelling at the customers.

And my God, in the car, in the truck, he's been driving around Essex County all his life and suddenly everyone on the road is a maniac except for him.

The horn, he honks the horn from the second we leave the driveway.

We're losing customers, Markie.

They all go to the supermarket now, and who can blame them.

People call, I take their orders, make some conversation.

He used to like that I talked to the customers.

Now he grabs the phone from my hand, "You want to talk to my wife, you call at night, not during business hours," and he hangs up.

What's happened, Markie?

Have I been living all these years with a time bomb?

All I know is that... something has made my husband into a different person, into a monster.

You should have told me, Mom.

You should have told me how bad it was getting. I'm sorry.

Why should I bother you? At school, with your studies?

Take him to a doctor. Take him to Dr. Shildkret.

Maybe he can give him something to calm down.

He won't go. He refuses to go.

There's nothing wrong with him. It's the rest of the world that's in the wrong.

Then you see Shildkret.

Mom, you're as strong as a person can be and you've become a wreck. He's killing you.

Oh, Markie. Darling.

Should I? Can I possibly?

I came all this way to ask you.

You're the only one I can ask about this.

Could you possibly what? What?

I can't say the word.

What word?


Oh, Ma. You're in a state of shock.

You don't know what you're saying.

You've been married to him for 25 years.

You love him. I don't!

I hate him!

I sit in the car as he's driving and screaming at me and I hate him and loathe him from the bottom of my heart!

That is not true.

Even if it seems so, it's not a permanent condition.

Just see Dr. Shildkret, please, at least as a start.

Do it for me.

I'm seeing a lawyer.


Yes. I've already seen him.

I have an attorney.

So you met in American, you said.

American History to 1865.

I'm also taking Principles of American Government, but Olivia is just in American History.

That's why she brought the textbook. So I could study.

Your son, Mrs. Messner, is a star student.

He always asks the most interesting questions in class.

I wouldn't be surprised if Professor Sundquist weren't a bit intimidated by Marcus.

Marcus has always been a straight-A student.

It's because of that he has been awarded the scholarship.

And you, Miss Hutton, do you... are you enjoying your studies?

I enjoy the books, yes.

I'm going to be a French Literature major.

French literature?

Is this something of which your parents approve?

Well, my father is a very practical man.

But he hasn't suggested any alternative, so I have to assume that he believes, from a practical perspective, that it would be a waste of his time to think about it.

And your mother, Miss Hutton.

Oh. My mother isn't very practical at all.

But she has visited Paris, and loved it, so I think I should have her vote if it should come to it.

It sounds like you have a very democratic household. That's very American.

Yes we are - American.

Though as a student of American civilization, Marcus, you must remember how Benjamin Franklin once defined democracy?

Democracy, he said, is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.


Marcus, I won't divorce him.

I'll bear him. I'll do all I can to help him.

I'm sorry I even allowed myself to have such thoughts.

I'm sorry I told them to you.

The way that I did it, here at this hospital, with you just out of bed and starting to walk around on your own, that wasn't right. I apologize.

I wasn't thinking of you.

Marcus, you appear so strong, you are in so many ways, that I forget you are a boy, a very sensitive boy.

A boy who loves and honors his father.

You can cry, Markie. I've seen you cry before.

I know I can. I know...

I just don't want to.

Thank you. Thank you, Ma. This is a great relief to me.

I couldn't imagine him living all alone... it was unimaginable.

Don't imagine it.

But now I must ask for something in return.

Because something is unimaginable to me.

I never asked anything of you before.

I never asked because I never had to.

Because you are perfect where sons are concerned.

All you've ever wanted to be is a boy who does well.

You have been the best son a mother could have.

But I am going to ask you to have nothing more to do with Miss Hutton.

Because for you to be with her is unimaginable for me.

Ma... Markie, you are here to be a student and to study the Supreme Court and to prepare to go to law school.

You are here so someday you will become a person in the community that other people look up to and that they come to for help.

You are here so you don't have to be a Messner and work in a butcher shop for the rest of your life.

You are not here to look for trouble with a girl who has taken a razor and slit her wrists.

Wrist. She slit one wrist.

One is enough.

We have only two, and one is too much.

Ma, you don't understand...

You think I don't understand? You don't.

You don't understand. Markie, I will stay with your father But for this I am offering a deal.

Markie, the world is full of young women who have not slit any wrists - who have slit nothing. They exist by the millions.

Find one of them.

She can be a Gentile, she can be anything.

This is 1951. You don't live in the old world. Why should you.

Date anyone you want, marry anyone you want, do whatever you want with whoever you choose... as long as she's never put a razor to herself.

A girl so wounded as to do such a thing will wipe out everything before your life has even begun.

Ma, you don't understand.

It's not as serious a relationship as you think.

Serious? She is serious for you, because she is suffering, she is weak.

And weak people, Markie, weak people are not harmless.

Their weakness is their strength.

A person so unstable is a menace to you, Markie.

And she is a beautiful young woman, she looks like a goddess.

Obviously she is well brought up.

Though maybe there is more to her upbringing than meets the eye.

You never know about those things, about what goes on in people's houses.

When the child goes wrong, look to the family.

Regardless, my heart goes out to her.

I pray for her. I have nothing against her.

But you, you are my son... and my only child.

And I am your mother, who will, who must, do anything for you.

Do you understand?

I understand.

I understand.

And that means you will promise, no matter the tears, the pleas from her, no matter, you promise, this will end now.

You promise?

I promise...

I promise.

By late 1747, Celeron was marching with over 200 French troops and a party of Indians down through Pennsylvania.

And then Southwest, over here to the Ohio country, reaching Pickawillany where the Ohio and Miami rivers meet and where Celeron engaged with the Miami Indian chief known as Old Briton who he threatened for continuing to trade with the British.

I have a wonderful weekend planned.

Going to Kenyon with some brothers.

That prick Harding just sprang another paper on us.

There goes my weekend.

Harding? What are you complaining about?

Had it last year. I have it upstairs somewhere.

That'd be great. You know I still owe you for that Nestrick paper from last year.

No problem, anytime.

Sonny says you're in the market for a proxy at chapel.

I got it all out of the way by the end of sophomore year, and I just polished off Kessler's last three, so I'm a free agent.

Sonny says you're on scholarship.

I'll cut my fee to a buck and a half. Deal?


By definition, the slope is given by m, which is the change in y over the change in x, or delta y by delta x.

Yes, I'm trying to reach Miss Olivia Hutton? Is she there?

Uh-huh. Yes, that's me. I left word yesterday.

I know.

What was that?


You mean she's visiting home?

Is Dean Caudwell free? If he has a minute.

Why don't you have a seat and we'll find out if he can see you.

Dean Caudwell, Marcus Messner is here.

Bring him in.

You look well, Marcus.

Maybe lost a pound or two but otherwise you look fine.

Dean Caudwell...

I don't know who else to turn to about something that is very important to me.

I didn't mean to throw up here, you know.

You fell ill and you were sick and that's that.

Lucky we got you to the hospital in time.

What can I do for you?

I'm here about a female student.

She was in my history class. And now she is gone.

I told you I'd been on one date, it had been with her.

Her name is Olivia Hutton.

Now she's disappeared.

I would like to know what happened to her.

I'm afraid something terrible happened.

And I'm afraid I may have had something to do with it.

What is it you think you did that makes you think this?

I took her out on a date.

Did something happen on that date you want to tell me about?

No, sir.

Dean... I'm 'Dean' to you, please.

The answer is no, Dean Caudwell.

Nothing happened that I would like to tell you about.

Did you impregnate this young lady, Marcus?

What?! No!

You sure? Absolutely sure.

She wasn't pregnant as far as you know? No.

You didn't force yourself on Olivia Hutton?

No, sir. I did not force myself on her.

She came and visited you in your hospital room, did she not?

Uh, yes. Yes, she did, Dean.

According to a member of the hospital staff, something occurred between the two of you at the hospital, something sordid occurred that was observed and duly noted.

Yet you say you didn't force yourself on her.

I had just had my appendix taken out!

That doesn't answer my question.

No sir, I did not.

I've never used force on anyone in my life.

I've never had to.

"You didn't have to." May I ask what that means?

No. No, you can't.

Dean Caudwell, this is very hard for me to talk about.

But I do think that whatever happened in the privacy of my hospital room was strictly between Olivia and myself.

Perhaps and perhaps not.

Especially in light of the circumstances.


Olivia Hutton had a nervous breakdown, Marcus.

She had to be taken away in an ambulance.

I really don't know what goes into a nervous breakdown.

You lose control over yourself and your emotions, like an infant.

You have to be hospitalized and cared for like an infant until you recover, if you ever do recover.

The college took a chance with Olivia Hutton.

We knew her mental history, the relapses, the electroshock treatments.

But her father is a Cleveland surgeon and a distinguished alumnus at Winesburg, and so we took her in at Dr. Hutton's request.

Things didn't work out well for any of us.

They especially didn't work out for Olivia.

She is where?

At a hospital specializing in psychiatric care.

She can't possibly be pregnant, too.

Time will tell.

It's not me.

What was reported to us about your conduct at the hospital suggests it could be, Marcus. I don't care what it suggests.

Dean Caudwell, I will not be condemned on the basis of no evidence.

Sir, I resent once again your portrayal of me.

I did not have sexual intercourse with Olivia Hutton.

I have never had sexual intercourse with anyone.

Nobody in this world could possibly be pregnant because of me.

It is impossible!

Marcus, it is possible...

Oh, fuck you it is!

To what do we owe this outbreak of moral laxity?

To what do we owe this shameful fall from grace, and from Winesburg tradition?

A drunken brawl outside The Owl this weekend.

Two students suspended for cheating on their mathematics mid-term examination.

Let there be no mistake, as God looks scornfully down upon this assembly today, he regards a community that has lost its way.

God's all-encompassing vision will from this day forward find ample supplement with a renewed and reinvigorated supervision from me and from the entire administrative staff.

Let there be no mistake about that.

I wonder if everyone, after they die, remembers all the little details and decisions they made, all the reasons they ended up ending the exact way they did.

That's how I am...

I remember, and replay those things, even if I can't remember how long I've been remembering... maybe it's been forever.

And I speak to everyone...

Ma, Pa, Olivia, everyone, even if they've been dead already a million years, but I keep speaking to them. Forever...


Can you hear me, Olivia?

Can you hear me when I tell you that it's okay, whatever it is, that it's okay?

Because someone did love you.

At least I think that's what it was.

And you should know that.

You should know, Olivia.

You should know.

Mrs. Anderson?


Your pills.