Paterson (2016) Script

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Mm. Mm.


I had a beautiful dream.

We had two little children.


If we have children, would you like it if they were twins?

Mmm. Mm-hm.



Sure, why not?

One for each of us.


We have plenty of matches in our house.

We keep them on hand always.

We have plenty of matches in our house.

Morning. Morning.

Hey, man.

We have... plenty... of matches in our house.

We keep them... on hand always.

Currently, our favourite brand is... Ohio Blue Tip.

Though we used to... prefer Diamond brand.

Morning, Donny.

Ready to roll, Paterson?


Yeah, but you gotta know more, tell me.

Well, Hurricane Carter, he was a famous boxer.

And he lived right back there. Paterson, baby.

He looked just like Denzel Washington, too.

They locked him up.

Why'd they lock him up?

They say he shot some people up with a shotgun in a bar and all that.

I know he didn't do it.

Then they finally let him out, right?

Yo, years later, though. But yeah.

You think before all that, Hurricane Carter ever shot somebody?

I don't know.

What are you gonna be for Halloween?

My mom found this picture on Instagram of these kids, they were shadows.

So they crept up next to kids, other kids, and they used to spook 'em out and look like shadows.

One year, I was actually a subway surfer.

You can buy that one?

Um, no, I built it.

Love Poem.

We have plenty of matches in our house.

We keep them on hand always.

Currently, our favourite brand is Ohio Blue Tip.

Though we used to prefer Diamond brand.

That was before... we discovered Ohio Blue Tip matches.

They are... excellently... packaged sturdy... little... boxes... with dark and light blue and white labels with words lettered in the shape of a megaphone, as if to say even louder to the world, "Here is the most...


"match in the world, "its one and half inch

"soft pine stem

"capped by a grainy

"dark purple head, "so sober and furious

"and stubbornly ready

"to burst into flame, "lighting, perhaps, the cigarette

"of the woman you love

"for the first time."

Dante Alighieri.


Because of the bake sale this weekend, I thought that if my cupcakes sell really well, it might be kind of a sign.

Sign of what, honey?

My dream!

To have my own cupcake business, of course.

Oh, that'd be nice.

Thank you for dinner. You're welcome.

I made these myself. What do you think?

Oooh, yeah. That's really good.

I painted them.

I like how all the circles are different.

Was your sandwich for lunch okay?

Yeah, it was a really great sandwich.

Good. I'm glad.

Did you get a little writing done?

I did, yeah.

You know, darling, I really think you should do something about those beautiful poems.

They should belong to the world, you know?

The world? Well, now you're trying to scare me.

I am not! I'm serious, you big dumbbell.

Do you think having such wonderful feet helps you as a bus driver?

Driving that huge machine?

Mmm, yeah, maybe.

Does somebody need Daddy to take them for their nice little nightly walk?

Just remember. What?

Cupcakes. We could be rich from cupcakes.


I'm ready for that.


Oh, come on, Marvin.




Thank you.

Hey, Paterson. Right on time.

Hey, Doc.

Look what the dog dragged in.

How you doin', Paterson? Sam. Good to see you.

Good to see you.

I don't think you ever met my brother before.

He lives in Philly.

This is my brother, Dave. Oh, wow.

Uh, nice to meet you. You too. You too.

So, uh, Sam and Dave...

Our folks are big soul music fanatics, so that's, that's their story.

Oh, I see.

And you know that Dave Prater from the original "Sam and Dave" used to live right here in Paterson.

Oh, yeah, I know. Got him right here, baby.

On the wall of fame.

Well, it was nice to meet you. You too. You too.

Well, Paterson, my friend, how's life doin' you?

Uh, it's... you know, no complaints. You?

You know. Same old, same old...


Yo, Doc, the Rutgers game is on.

You're never gonna get a damn TV in here?

Hell, no!

Okay, okay, I'm just asking.

I'm getting my ass kicked today.

Who you playing?


Mm. Mm.



You look beautiful.

I was dreaming that we were in ancient Persia.

And you were riding on an elephant.

A big, silver elephant.

A silver elephant? Yeah.

You looked so beautiful.

Did they have elephants in ancient Persia?

I don't think so.

Not silver ones, anyway.


"Here's the most beautiful match in the world,

"so sober and furious and stubbornly ready

"to burst into flame, "lighting, perhaps, the cigarette of the woman you love

"for the first time, and it was never really

"the same after that.

"All this will we give you."

That is what you gave me.

I become the cigarette and you the match or...

I the match and you the cigarette, blazing with kisses... that smoulder toward heaven.

Morning, Donny.

Ready to roll, Paterson? Yeah.

Everything okay?

Well, now that you ask, no, not really.

My kid needs braces on her teeth.

My car needs a transmission job.

My wife wants me to take her to Florida.

But I'm behind on the mortgage payments.

My uncle called from India and he needs money for my niece's wedding, and I got this strange rash on my back... you name it, brother.

How 'bout you? I'm okay.

Okay, well, have a nice day. Okay, you too.

Yeah. I doubt it.

You know the... that cute little brunette from the, uh, from the doughnut place?

Yeah, yeah. She's pretty hot.

Yeah. Turns out she lives in my neighbourhood.

Yeah. The other day, I come home from work.

I'm, you know, tired, I'm having a beer, all right?

I hear a knock at the door.

I open it and it's her! Really? Oh, man!

She is all made up, looking, like, really good.

So what happened?

Well, we just talked there at the door for like a while, you know, and she was, like, laughing a lot.

She was, you know, making eye contact, you know...

I... She wanted to hang out. So then what?

Well, we just, you know, we had, like, a really nice conversation and then, you know, I was really tired and everything.

I hadn't really showered or anything, so she left.

She left?

Yeah, but you know...

I mean, I know what she wanted. Right?

Yeah. Yeah, for-for sure, Jimmy.

These females are outta control.

Right. You know?

Yeah, yeah.

They're out of control.

Yeah. Well, I had a similar thing happen last week, man.

Oh, yeah? Yeah, check this out.

I'm at Larry's barbecue party on Sunday, right?

Larry had a barbecue? Yeah, the barbecue party.

And, uh, I'm just standing out there on the deck, right?

And I'd already eaten a lot, and I'm just having a beer, right?

And you know that blonde friend of Larry's girlfriend, um, Rita?

I'm not sure you met her. I don't know Rita.

Well, she is, like, super hot! Right?

Oh, yeah. And just like, stacked too.

Just beautiful curves. Like an animal.

And, you know, she comes over to me and she asks me what I'm doing later!

All right. Yeah, right?

Yeah, so we talk for a little while.

And, uh, she was like, really flirtatious too, man.

Okay. You know. Yeah.

And finished my beer, and, oh, man, you know, I had to get up early for work the next morning and all that, so...

You split? Yeah.


But it was... it was cool, though.

Uh, I mean, I knew exactly what she wanted, right.

And I got her number, too. She gave me her number.

So did you call her?

No, not yet. No. Mm-mm.

No, cos I figured I'd wait a couple of days.

All right. You know.

Okay. But I should call her, though.

Yeah. I should.

You, uh, you workin' late tonight?


Yeah, I need the overtime. Yeah, me too.

Another One.

When you're a child, you learn there are three dimensions... height, width and depth.

Like a shoebox.

Then later, you hear there's a fourth dimension... time.


Then some say there can be five... six, seven...

Are you okay down here, honey?

Uh, yeah.

Yeah, I'm finished for now.

Now, darling... you have two important things to talk about before you and Marvin go out for your walk.

Oh, okay. Two important things.

One's about you and one is about me.


One is about your writing, and you know what it is.


Please. Please make some copies.

You know that I know that your poetry is really, really good.

And that some day, you might just decide to let the world get to read it.

Laura, I really don't... No.

Look me in the eye for a second. Look me in the eye.

You are a great poet.

All your poems are still in that one notebook.

Your secret notebook.

My secret notebook, yeah.

So will you finally just go to the Xerox place or something?

Please. Just do it.

It would take about ten minutes to make a copy of your entire secret notebook.

Well, I think it'd take a little longer than ten minutes.

Okay. Okay. 15 or 20 minutes.

I would even do it for you.

Baby, I've been asking for a year, at least.

Yeah, you have.

Well, maybe I can do it this weekend.

You promise?

Y-Yeah, okay.

Thank you. I'll feel so much better.

What was the... What was the thing about you?

Well, it's not as important as that, but...

I've been thinkin' about music lately, and, and then I saw this guitar on YouTube that Esteban demonstrates.

And it's in black and white. It's called the Harlequin.

And it's so fantastic that I think I really need to learn to play the guitar.

And it comes with... comes with lessons and DVDs and instructions, so in no time at all, I could be playing away and realising my dream.

I... Which dream is this?

Don't be silly. To be a country singer.

Maybe even a big star, like one of the greats like Tammy Wynette or... or Patsy Cline.

And I can wear black and white and have my own distinctive style.

I have a very strong visual style, as you know.

Yes, you... Yes, you do. Yes, you do.

Yeah, definitely.

Well, y-you really need this guitar?

Oh, yes. And they say it's so important to learn new things as you get older.

And, well, music, you just don't know where it could lead.

And it's only a few hundred dollars.

I know it's expensive, but we can pay a little each month and free two-day shipping.

A few hundred dollars?

It comes with lessons, instruction books, a tuner and, um, extra strings and a hard case and everything.

Well, I think, um, maybe...

Maybe you could be, uh, a country singer some day.

Really? Yeah.

I wouldn't put it past you.

Oh, honey, thank you!

Thank you. I love you.

And I love you too, handsome.

Who's going out with Daddy?

Who is my good boy going out with Daddy?

Marvin's going out with Daddy.

Yes. Who is going out with Daddy?

Yes, good boy. Good boy.

Oh, look at that. Look at that right there.

That's cute, right? That's an actual creature.

Hey, yo!

Yo, my man, let me holler at you for a minute!

Hey, yo, that's a English bulldog, right?

Uh, yeah.

Yo, I told you, man. Them dogs are poppin' right now.

Yo, that dog mad expensive, right?

Yeah, well... expensive to feed.

You hear this guy, yo?

Nah, I feel you, though, but, man, dogs like that get jacked, y'know what I mean?

Like, dog-jacked, my G. You feel me?

Oooh, hear that little guy, man?


Well, it gives me something to look forward to, then, I guess.

All right, money.

Hey, yo, be safe out here, a'right?

And cuff that dog. It's real out here, bro.

All right.

I'm gonna cuff you, Marvin.

Okay, Marvin. Don't get dog-jacked.

Paterson, I got something weird.

Maybe for the wall. Maybe... What's this?

You know this cat? Iggy Pop?

Oh, yeah, Iggy and the Stooges.

"Paterson, New Jersey Teenage Girls' Club

"names singer Iggy Pop world's sexiest man."

"June, 1970." Does it go up?

Uh, yeah. Sure, why not? It's Paterson.

All right.

All right. Iggy Pop on the wall.

Iggy. Hey, Doc?

Who's that, who's that, right next to Uncle Floyd holding the guitar?

I finally got you. Well, that's new.

But that's Uncle Floyd Vivino's little brother Jimmy.

He's a band leader on the Conan O'Brien show.

That's a little past my bedtime.

Hey, Marie. Another ginger ale?

Thanks, Doc. You know Paterson, right?

Umm, not really, but... we've seen each other.

Hey, Paterson. Hey-hey-hey, Marie.

You drive the bus, right? Yeah, I do.

Your name really Paterson, or they just nickname you that?

Uh, no, my real name is Paterson.

Well, that's kind of crazy, right?

Yeah. Right.

Oh, shit.

Everett still not gettin' it.

Not yet, the numbskull.

I've been breaking up with him for two weeks now.

What am I gonna do?

Marie, baby, I need to talk to you.

No! Please.

Just talk to me for a few minutes.

No, Everett. We've talked enough.

More than enough. Please.

Hey, Paterson. Hey, Everett.

Thanks, Doc.

Man, what would you do?

You love somebody... more than anything in the whole damn world.

You... worship her.

You don't wanna be alive without her and... she says she doesn't want you.

You're just...


Damn, brother. You should be an actor.

I am an actor.

Oh, yeah, that's... that's real funny.

A man dying of heartbreak. That... that's hilarious.

No. We are sympathetic.

Have another drink, Everett, on the house.


Good morning.

You up? Uh-uh.

Another One.

When you're a child, you learn there are three dimensions... height, width, and depth.

Like a shoebox.

Then, later, you hear there's a fourth dimension... time.


Then some say there can be five, six, seven...

I knock off work, have a beer at the bar.

I look down at the glass and feel glad.

All right, watch out, watch out, watch out...


I'm in the house.

It's nice out.


Sun on cold snow.

First day of spring or last of winter.

My legs run up the stairs and out the door, my top half here writing.

Hello, darling! Hello, honey.

I'm painting! Hello, Marvin.

I see that.

What do you think?

Doesn't it make everything more interesting?

Yeah, it's very interesting. How was your day?

Eh, the usual.

Get any writing done?

I did, a little, yeah.

I'm working on a poem for you.

A love poem?

Yeah, I guess if it's for you, it's a love poem.

It's kind of inspired by our, uh, Ohio Blue Tip Matches.


Does it mention the little megaphone shape the letters make?

Y-Yeah. Actually, it does.

How beautiful.

I can't wait to read it when it's done.

I also painted new shower curtains. You should see them.

Oh, okay.

You know what else I did today?

You, uh, planted an unusual vegetable garden in the back yard?

No, silly! That you have to do in the spring.

Oh. No, I ordered my present that's from you.

P-present that's from me? What?

The guitar! The Esteban Harlequin model.

Oh. I'm so excited.

It comes in two days.

I didn't get to speak to Esteban on the phone, though.

Well, I'm sure he's really busy, honey.

Don't make fun of me. Hey, look out, though, cos Nashville, here I come!

Look out, Nashville!

I'll get dinner ready!

We're having something new!

What is it? Quinoa!

It's like a grain, sort of like couscous, but different.

I read that it came from the ancient Incas.

A-And it's really good for you.


We're having quinoa, Marvin.

# They call me Paul Laurence Dunbar

# Huh, no, they call me Paul Lawrence Dunbar

# I wear the mask #


No ideas but in things.

# They call me Paul Lawrence Dunbar

# A paradox of stray shots and gun bars

# I shoot the gift, no gun charge, I run yard

# You millionaires get killed here, I'm slum, dawg

# Who wanna squab? Well, then, en garde

# Just one God

# And I don't spar with the sub-human or sub-par

# Mmm, see I go hard when it jump off

# KO rappers, a slow rapper get bumped off

# I'm proactive. Them bad habits done rubbed off

# Now y'all have 'em

# Negroes with attitude, whole squad is all Madden

# All Madden...

# So Staten

# So... #

Hey, pugsley. What're you lookin' at?

Ah, I'm guessin' this is your human ball-and-chain, right, pimpin'?

Yeah, sorry, I didn't mean to eavesdrop, but I think it's something really interesting that you're working on.

Yeah. I'm still workin' on it, you know.

I'm trying to figure out how... how to spit it out.

But thanks, I really appreciate that.

Your laboratory?

Wherever it hits me is where it's gonna be.

Ah, well, good luck. Thank you.

Yeah. Thank you. Appreciate it.

Later, pimpin'!

A'ight! Peace!

# Just call me Paul Lawrence Dunbar #

All right, sit.

...he comes back with a shotgun.

Now the bear comes over, taps him on the shoulder, knocks the shotgun out the way, and does the same thing.

So he's sittin' like this, look at this bear.

He does not go back. Well, he goes back.

First, he goes out and gets a bazooka, puts the bazooka on his shoulder.

He walks out there, the bear comes up, taps him on the shoulders and says... you don't come here.

I like how you smell when you come home at night.

What do I smell like? Mmm.

You smell faintly of... of beer.


How do you say his name again? It's like Gae-tan...

It's Gaetano Bresci. That sounds interesting.

Yeah, he, um, he co-founded this anarchist newspaper here in Paterson, but it was in Italian, um, called La Questione Sociale.

La Questione Sociale. Yeah.

He was born in Italy, but he lived here.

He was a weaver, an anarchist weaver.

This was in the 1890s.

And at that time in Italy, people were starving.

When they demonstrated, this Italian general had them fired upon with, like, muskets and cannons, which, of course, resulted in a bloody massacre with, like, a hundred people dead.

Was Gaetano Bresci there?

No, he was here in Paterson.

But when he heard that the King of Italy, King Umberto the First, decorated this fucking general for bravely defending his royal house, Gaetano Bresci went over to Italy somehow and he shot Umberto the First four times with a revolver.

Whoa. Did they kill Bresci?

No, they captured him and they put him on trial with, like, a famous anarchist lawyer and everything.

But since there was no capital punishment in Italy at that time, like 1900, I mean... nor is there now.

You can't be a member of the European Union if you practise capital punishment, of course.

Yeah, not like here. Yeah.

Anyway, they sent Gaetano Bresci to, like, this prison island where they put all the other anarchists, and after, like, a year, he was found dead in his prison cell.


Well, yeah, most likely by the guards.

But, there's a possibility that he committed suicide.

Whoa, Gaetano Bresci.

Do you think there are any other anarchists still around in Paterson?

You mean besides us? Not likely.

Hey, what time is your first class?

It's at 10:00.

Wanna grab a coffee? Sure.


When I wake up earlier than you, and you are turned to face me, face on the pillow and hair spread around, I take a chance and stare at you, amazed in love and afraid that you might open your eyes and have the daylights scared out of you.

But maybe with the daylights gone, you'd see how much my chest and head implode for you, their voices trapped inside like unborn children fearing they will never see the light of day.

The opening in the wall now dimly glows, it's rainy, blue and grey.

I tie my shoes and go downstairs to put the coffee on.

It's all warmed up for you, Donny.

All used up's more like it.

You okay?

Well, since you asked, no, not really.

My mother-in-law is moving in.

The cat got diagnosed with cat diabetes.

And the medicine, you know, it's all so expensive.

And now, my daughter started taking violin lessons and I'm losing my mind with the sound of that.

What can I say, Paterson?

Oh, sorry. Oh, just my burden, I guess.

My particular burden. Okay.

I'll see you tomorrow.

Excuse me. Are you okay here, all alone?

I'm fine. I'm just waiting for my mom and my sister.

She's upstairs, in that building over there.

Do you mind if I sit down till your mom comes down?


Yeah? Yeah.

Are you a bus driver? Yeah.

Do you ever drive one of those accordion buses?



No, I just drive the regular ones.

Did you ever drive a fire truck?

No, just, uh, buses and cars, and, uh, I drove a big truck a few times, but, uh, that's it.

Are you, uh, interested in poetry?

Uh, actually, I am, kind of. Really?

Yeah. I write poetry.

I keep it all in this notebook.

Secret notebook.

Oh, you're a poet. Yeah.

That's great.

Would you like to hear one? Sure, sure.

It doesn't really rhyme, though.

That's okay. I kind of like them better when they don't.

Yeah, me too.

Okay. This one's called "Water Falls".

Two words, though, like that.

"Water Falls", okay.


"Water Falls".

"Water falls from the bright air.

"It falls like hair, "falling across a young girl's shoulders.

"Water falls, "making pools in the asphalt, "dirty mirrors with clouds and buildings inside.

"It falls on the roof of my house.

"It falls on my mother, and on my hair.

"Most people call it rain."

That's a beautiful poem.

You really liked it? Yeah, I really do.

I think it's beautiful.

"Water Falls". Thank you.

It doesn't rhyme exactly.

No, but the first two lines do, in a nice way.

And some nice little internal rhymes too, I think.

Internal rhymes.

Oh, my mom's done.

That's my sister. We're twins.

It was nice to meet you.

Nice to meet you too. Nice to meet a... nice to meet a real poet.

Do you like Emily Dickinson?

I do, yeah. She's one of my favourites.

Awesome, a bus driver that likes Emily Dickinson.

"Water falls from the bright air,

"falls like hair,

"falling across a young girl's shoulder."

I'm so excited to see what you'll think.

Some fresh basil. I grew it myself on the windowsill.

W-we're having pie for dinner?

Yeah, but a dinner pie.


What do you think's inside?

Uh, inside the secret pie?

Uh, I don't know. Fish?

No, not fish, silly!

Want me to tell you? Uhh, yes, please.


Cheddar cheese and Brussels sprouts.

Seriously? Yeah, baked into a pie.

Doesn't it sound delicious?

You love Brussels sprouts and you love Cheddar cheese.

I do, yeah. No, that sounds very original.

Is it a new recipe you found?

No, I made it up.

Secret pie.

I made a small one for Marvin.

He really seemed to like it.

Mm-hm, secret pie.

Honey, I'm glad you like it.

Speaking of secret pie, I wanted to tell you something about your secret notebook.

What? Did you ever hear of the old Italian poet called Pet-ra-rch, is that it?

Mm, Petrarch. He perfected the sonnet.

Um, I read online that one of his early books of poems was called The Secret Book.

Just like yours.

I didn't know that.

You read that?

You just happened upon it online?

And also that he wrote all his love poems to a beautiful girl called, ta-dah, Laura.

That's true.

So you have many things in common with other great and famous poets, you see.

Do you like it there? It's the waterfalls, your favourite place.

I'm not sure.

Yeah, it's nice there.

So remember, you promised to finally make copies of your poems this weekend.

I will, as soon as I have some free time.

You promised me. This weekend.

I will, no, I promised.

So why don't you recite me something?

Just a few little lines, maybe from the love poem.

Well, I can give you a few lines I didn't write.

Are they by your hero, Carlo William Carlos?

William Carlos Williams.

I know, darling. I was teasing.

No, it's a poem by a... by a girl I met.

A girl you met?

Yeah, no, like a little girl.

Like a t... like a ten-year-old girl.


She was on the bus?

No, I met her on my way home from work, near the old factories.

She was waiting for her mom and her sister and... and I noticed she had a notebook of poems, and she read one to me.

From her own secret notebook?

Yeah, exactly.

The picture of the falls made me think of it.

I just remember how it started.

"Water falls from the bright air, "falls like hair, "falling across a young girl's shoulders."


Almost like one of yours.

Did she have long hair?

Uh, she did, yeah.


Laura, what's all that flour and stuff for?

For my cupcakes, remember?

Saturday is my turn on the baking booth in the farmer's market.

I remembered this morning that, oh, my God, it's the day after tomorrow.

I have so many cupcakes to make. Oh, my!

You don't like your pie? No, I do, yeah!

Our own Romeo and Juliet.

Or, maybe, more like Antony and Cleopatra?

Speaking of Romeo and Juliet, Abbott and Costello.

Look, Lou Costello has got to be the most famous person from Paterson.

Yeah, probably, yeah. I mean, he... he's got that statue and he's got his own park.

Right, I mean, Alexander Hamilton has a statue, others got statues but not their own park!

Hell, even Fetty Wap don't have no park.

Yeah, Lou Costello.

I wonder where Bud Abbott was born?

Uhh, that I know.

Jersey, also.

Asbury Park. Uh, 1895, maybe.

You knew that? Oh, hell, yeah, man.

I know a lot of shit about a lot of shit.

And Lou Costello.

"Who's on first?" Uh, who's on first, what's on second, I don't know's on third... Wait, who's on first?

Who's on first?

Who's on first?

I'll tell ya who's on first.

And I'll tell ya what's on second too.

But you ain't gonna wanna know.

I can explain, sweetheart.

No, let me explain.

That is my cookie jar money.

That is money I've been saving up so I could get my hair fixed to go to your damn niece's wedding.

That is my money. Mine!

I promise, I will replace it.

I will replace it after this weekend's chess tournament.

Chess tournament?

Doc, you gonna need a chess tourniquet if you don't put that damn money back.

You okay, Doc?

Paterson, you still don't got a cell phone?

Uh, no... no, I don't want one.

It would be a leash.

What about the better half? She got one?

She's got one, yeah. And a laptop. And an iPad.

She doesn't want you to get one?

No, no, she's okay about it.

She understands me really well.

Lucky guy.

You don't listen to me at all!

The friendship can be folded into something greater.

I don't want to fold it into something greater!

Hey, Doc, what d... what does Abbott and Costello have to do with, uh, Romeo and Juliet?

Wait, wait, wait, please. Everett!

I would rather drop dead.

Is there anything we can do?

Nah, I always say, don't try to change things, or you'll make them even worse.

Good morning! Morning.

You're up late, honey.

Your silent, magic watch didn't wake you up.

Yeah, it was a little late today.

Well, some days, something inside just doesn't wanna get up.

Ever feel like that?


Oh, my. I have so much to do.

I know it's silly, but I'm so excited about the new farmer's market.

Because if my cupcakes are a big sensation, then I might be on my way to a very successful business.

That would be amazing, honey.

And you know what else?

My guitar should arrive today.

My Harlequin guitar, direct from Esteban.

Is Esteban gonna deliver it personally?

Who knows?

Mmm, smells good.

I like your technique.

The Run.

I go through trillions of molecules that move aside to make way for me, while on both sides, trillions more stay where they are.

The windshield wiper blade starts to squeak.

The rain has stopped.

I stop.

Morning, Donny.

You okay?

No, not really.

You don't even wanna know.

I go through trillions of molecules that move aside to make way for me, while on both sides, trillions more stay where they are.

The windshield wiper blade starts to squeak.

The rain has stopped.

I stop.

On the corner, a boy in a yellow raincoat holding his mother's hand.

I think it's probably best if we, uh, stand as far away from the bus as we can.

It's not gonna catch on fire or anything, is it?

It could explode into a fireball!

Oh, no, ma'am. It's just an electrical problem.

What's gonna happen to us now?

Are we stranded here?

Oh, no, no, no. Another bus will come get us shortly.

Dear God.

I think we'll just gather up over there, if you don't mind, thank you very much.

Okay, people. Let's join the rest of the passengers, if we could.

Did we run out of gas? No, plenty of gas.

It's just, uh, an electrical problem.

Sabotage, probably.

Okay, let's... let's come over here.

Another bus will come get us in a minute.

Okay everyone, I... I apologise again for this inconvenience.

I think it's best if we wait here for a few minutes and, uh, I'll call now for a replacement bus.

Don't you have a smartphone? Uh, no, I don't.

I don't, not with me.

Would you like to use my phone, Mr Bus Driver?

Oh, if you don't mind. Thank you.

So, what's gonna happen to this bus?

Um, well, a... a big truck is gonna come and tow it back to the depot.

Awesome. Thank you very much.

I can't wait to see the truck. Okay, I'll just be over here.

I apologise again.

Hi, this is Paterson, bus 23, I have a situation.

Third, second and first.

Third, second, first.

Pluck all those strings together.

There you have your first chord.


Just sit down, darling, for a second, and listen to this.


# I've been working on the railroad

# All the livelong day

# I've been working on the railroad

# Just to pass the time away #

Well, that's as far as I got so far.

But it's pretty amazing, right?

For someone who never played before?

It's very amazing.

You just learned all that today?

Yeah, from these instructional DVDs.

And I've been baking all day too.

Well, I'm very impressed.

Isn't she beautiful?

Yeah, you two were made for each other.

What's it called again? The... the Jester?

No, the Harlequin. Harlequin.

And thank you, my love.

You look a little drained.

You're home a little late.

Was your day okay?

Well, it was until the bus broke down.

The bus broke down? Was it dangerous?

No, it was just, uh, just sputtered out.

It was an electrical problem.

Electrical problem?

Could it have exploded into a fireball?

No, no.

It's just an old bus.

Well, I think they should get their best driver, who's also a great poet, a brand-new bus.

It's the least they could do.

The city of Paterson?

Not likely.

Well, honey. I'm just glad you're okay.

Maybe you should get a smartphone.

Just for emergencies.

You know I don't want one.

The world worked fine before they even existed.

I know, darling, but sometimes they make things easier.

Honey, since the kitchen's a mess with all my baking going on, couldn't we order out?

Like, a pizza?

Pizza's fine with me. Great.

Then after dinner, while you and Marvin go out, I could practise just a little more.

I wanna learn the rest of that song, at least.

The Harlequin.

So what'd they do? Send a mechanic, uh, on site or tow the motherfucker or what?

Yeah, yeah. They come and tow it back to the depot, and they send a replacement bus for the passengers.

Man, that could've been a lot worse.

Damn thing could've exploded into a fuckin' fireball!

Hey, Doc, if you're not doing anything tomorrow, they're having the new outdoor farmer's market again.

And I know for a fact there's gonna be some fantastic cupcakes for sale in the bakery booth.

Oh, tomorrow's, uh... tomorrow's Saturday.

I got that big chess tournament goin' on over there in Camden.

Oh, right, right.

Okay, well, good luck.

Yeah, thanks.

Hey, fellas.

Hey, Marie. Hey, shortie.

How you and, uh, Romeo doin'?

Please, Everett!

And we're not doing.

If anything, he's acting worse.

But I think the key word is acting.

Well, how well do you really know him?

We've known each other since we were kids.

And I really do care about him.

It's just... this whole girlfriend thing was a big mistake.


It's cool. He just needs to act out.

He's always been that way. He needed some kind of drama, and then he gets over it.

He's not gonna do anything crazy, is he?

If you ask me, everything he does is crazy.

Speak of the devil.

Baby, I need to talk to you for a minute.

Everett, why can't you just forget about me?

Because I am in love with you. Well, you can't have me.



Okay, then nobody move!

If I can't have you, then I guess nobody can.


Stop acting crazy.

Crazy? You wanna see crazy?

I'll show y'all crazy!

Smooth move, Paterson.

You damn chucklehead.

Comin' in here. Clearin' out my place.

I oughta kick your black ass.

Without love, what reason is there for anything?

Thanks, Paterson.

That was very heroic.

Yeah, wow. Okay.

I don't know.

If it wasn't for you, crazy motherfucker might have shot himself to death with a piece of foam.

Good morning.

What time is it?

It's Saturday morning, baby. Oh.

You were out a little late last night.


There was, umm... an incident at the... at the bar.

Incident at the bar? What happened?


Oh, a guy had a gun. What?

Well, he had what I thought was a real gun.

And he threatened this girl and...

Oh, my God! He threatened a girl?

He threatened to shoot himself.

All because he's in love with her.

It's complicated. Anyway, I tried to stop him and I knocked the gun away and turns out it was a toy gun that shoots little foam pellets.

Sure looked real, though.

Oh, honey.

Oh, that's so frightening.

You acted so heroically.

I told you that place could be dangerous.

I mean, anyone could just walk in there any time with a shotgun or something.

Now you see what I mean?

Yeah. Yeah.

But it was only... it was only a toy gun.

Why are you up already?

It's Saturday.

I have to get my cupcakes to the farmer's market.

Remember? I do now.

I smell cupcakes.

Mmm, still smell a hint of beer.


This looks fantastic, baby.

Thank you. Thank you.

Who's sitting in Daddy's chair?

Who's sitting in Daddy's chair, huh?

William Carlos Williams?

Oh, no, uh, Carlo William Carlos.

Will you read me that one I love so much?

"This Is Just To Say"?

Comin' up.

"This is just to say

"I have eaten the plums that were in the icebox

"and which you were probably saving for breakfast.

"Forgive me.

"They were delicious, "so sweet and so cold."

Oh, I love that poem. Yeah, that's a good one.

And some of yours are just as good.


Now, remember your promise.

I promised.

I better get going.

Could you put the rest in the boxes?



This is the last of 'em.

Oh, thank you. Thank you. Oh, wow.

All together like this, they look great.

I'm so excited. Good.

Okay, they should be good, if you just drive slowly.

Yeah, yeah. I... I will.

You're not taking him with you?

Oh, honey, I can't.

Maybe you could take him for a walk later, huh?

Love you.

Yeah, love you.

All right. Come on, Marvin.

Come on, Marvin. Can't we stop here for a second?

Pumpkin My little pumpkin, I like to think about other girls sometimes, but the truth is if you ever left me,

I'd tear my heart out

and never put it back.

There'll never be anyone like you.

How embarrassing.

Honey? Down here.

How'd it go? Oh, honey, I'm so happy!

You won't believe this, but I made $286.


My cupcakes were a huge hit.

Everyone's talking about them.

That's fantastic.


$286 cash money, baby.


I know it's no big deal. It's just silly cupcakes.

But I'm quite proud of myself.

Oh, yeah, you should be.

Can we celebrate?

Uh, yeah, sure. What should we do?

First of all, I'm gonna treat. Okay.

I'd like to go to dinner and then go to the movies.

We haven't gone to the movies in so long.

Uh, yeah, no... no we haven't. What should we see?

You know that one theatre at the mall now shows old scary movies on Saturday nights?

We could see an old scary movie.

I'm gonna get changed and get ready.

I'm very proud of you.

And you, my little man.

You're gonna have to stay here and guard the palace.

Honey, should I change my shirt?

That'd be nice.

This is so much fun.

It's like, you're living in the 20th century.

This is Mr Parker, Lota.

How do you do? Don't be afraid.

How do you do?

Mr Parker has come to us from over the sea.

She's a pure Polynesian.

The only woman on the entire island.

Well, uh, I'll leave you two young people together.

I've got work to do.

Won't you sit down?

You come from the sea?

Well, around it. Three days on an upturned lifeboat.

You go away? Tomorrow morning.

I wish you would not go away.

Oh, that's very nice of you, but I must.

You'll come back? Again?

Well, I don't know.

How does it happen that you're the only woman on this island?

Did, uh, Dr Moreau bring you here?

Pardon me if I seem to be too inquisitive.

Quickly, please!

Get out!

They're vivisecting a human being.

They're cutting a living man to pieces.

Now I know about his natives.

They're his victims.

I did love it that it was in black and white.

Yeah, yeah, I haven't...

I haven't seen a black-and-white movie in a long time.

My favourite part was when the lead guy kissed the wild panther girl.

You look... you look like her.

You do. You guys could be twins.

Well, thank you for treating me to dinner and a movie.

I'm happy I could.

We should do it every weekend. Yeah.

Now that you're the cupcake queen of Paterson.

Cupcake queen of Paterson.

I love it.

Thank you.

What is this?


Marvin, did you do this?

Oh, my God!


It's your notebook.

It's what?

Your poems.

Honey, I'm so sorry.

I don't know what to even say.

You... you usually keep your notebook down at the basement.

I guess I left it up here on the sofa.

That stupid dog.

He's gotta be put out in the garage.

Honey, it's so early.

It's Sunday.

Please, come back to sleep.

Please, baby.

I will, I will, baby.

Ye... Go back to sleep.

I don't like you, Marvin.

Marvin, didn't I put you in the garage?

No, it's okay, I let him back in when I went outside.

No, he's going back out there!

Come on, Marvin!

No! You're staying out there!

I wish you would have read me some of your most recent poems.

Maybe I could've remembered them.

It's okay.

They were just words...

written on water.

Baby, I'm so sorry.

I saved all the pieces.

Maybe, somehow, they could be puzzled back together, with a computer programme, or something.

Is there anything I can do to cheer you up?

Should I play you the song I've been learning on my guitar?

Oh, no, that's okay.

Th... I appreciate the offer, just, maybe, not right now.


Maybe you just wanna be left alone?

Should I go out for a while?

Oh, n-n-no, no. No, it's okay.

Maybe I'll go out.

Take a little walk.

Paterson. It's you.

Hello, Everett.

I'm sorry about the other night.

I kinda lost myself.


It's okay. Are you doing better now?

Yeah, I guess so.

You okay?

You look a little low yourself.

Yeah, yeah.

I'm okay.

Well, it's like they always say.

"The sun still rises every mornin' and sets every evenin'."

Always another day, right? Yeah.

So far.

So far, yeah.

So, I guess I'll see you around, then.

Yeah, yeah, take care. Yeah, you too.

Excuse me, please.

Allow to sit?

Uh, yeah.

Yeah, sure. Thank you.

Excuse me.

Maybe not acceptable behaviour, but may I ask if you from here, in Paterson, New Jersey?

Am I?

Uh, yeah.

Yes I am. I was born here.

Excuse me again.

But, are you knowing the great poet, William Carlos Williams?

Here in Paterson, New Jersey?

Well, I'm aware of his poems.


May I ask if you too are a poet of Paterson, New Jersey?

Uh, no.


I see.

I'm a bus driver, myself.

Just a bus driver.

A bus driver in Paterson.


This very poetic.

Well, I'm not so sure 'bout that.

Yes. This could be poem by William Carlos Williams.

Did you know interesting French artist Jean Dubuffet was meteorologist on top of Eiffel Tower, Paris, in 1922?

Very poetic. Yeah.

Yeah, Jean Dubuffet.

Yeah, he was, uh, he was a meteorologist.

This I learn from poem by your interesting poet, Frank O'Hara of New York City.

Yeah, I read that, too.

I like Frank O'Hara.

The... the New York School.

Ah ha.

I guess you really like poetry, then?

I breathe poetry.

So, you write poetry?


My notebooks.

Ah, yeah.

My poetry only in Japanese.

No translation.

Poetry in translation is like taking a shower with a raincoat on.

I see what you mean.

I hope this isn't, um, inappropriate behaviour, but may I ask what you're doing here in Paterson?

I come here to see city of your interesting poet, William Carlos Williams, who lived and make his poems here in Paterson, New Jersey.

As you know. Yeah, yeah. He lived here.

He was a doctor.

Ah ha.

"Ah ha," what?

Also Allen Ginsberg is growing up here.

Also Paterson, New Jersey.

Yeah, that's true.

I leave here tomorrow.

Nice to meet you.

Oh, nice to meet you. Are you... you're going back to Tokyo?

No, Osaka.

Oh, Osaka. What I meant. Have a good trip.

Thank you.

I'm sorry. Oh.

A gift.

A gift?


Sometime empty page present most possibilities.

Thank you. That's very kind of you.

Excuse me!

Ah ha!

Ah ha.

The Line There's an old song my grandfather used to sing that has the question, "Or would you rather be a fish?"

In the same song is the same question but with a mule and a pig,

but the one I hear sometimes in my head is the fish one.

Just that one line.

Would you rather be a fish?

As if the rest of the song didn't have to be there.

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