The Girl on the Train (2013) Script

You're not real.

Weren't your eyes green?

And your hair?

You weren't what I thought.

A real person would never say that. That proves it.

You weren't what I thought. Weren't your eyes green?

That proves it. A real person would never say that.

I get to make it whatever I want. That proves it.

A real person would never say that.

The things is, even after everything, I wanted to believe.

Duct-taped to a chair, inches from oblivion, I still wanted to believe her.

It's a myth that we use only 5% of our brains.

Ask anyone who's lost even the smallest bit.

No, we use pretty much all of it, and usually that's not enough.

We never catch the turtle who sits on the turtle who sits on the...

Yeah.

It's turtles all the way down.

A lot to learn.

A moment too late.

Are you ready?

What did you have for breakfast this morning, Mr. Herzman?

Who cares about that?

I'm just getting sound levels.

Ham and eggs, like every morning.

Ok.

The trains were hell.

But even hell has levels.

Some are in the middle of the car, and they're probably not going to make it.

The heat from the bodies... Their hell is worse.

But my father pushed me to the edge.

There wasn't a window there, but there were slats, and through the slats sometimes a breath of fresh air.

Heaven.

We stopped at a station somewhere.

Standing still is worse than moving, even if you're moving to something bad.

A bit of light hit my eye, so I squeezed closer to the slat.

Then suddenly... a beautiful face appears... with innocent blue eyes.

An angel.

But I didn't believe in angels, even then when I was a boy, certainly not in this place.

The Herzman story had been featured in a local paper and was picked up nationally.

Before they knew it, they had a book deal, and there was talk of a movie.

I thought it'd make an interesting documentary.

History Channel? That kind of thing?

Yeah.

Internet says you make movies.

Normally. I prefer fiction.

Why is that?

It's more believable.

I was late, as usual, hustling to make the 9:40 to Hudson where the Herzmans lived.

In the city, you're always in a hurry.

Gotta get to that meeting, business lunch, the ATM.

People are just obstacles, inconveniences.

And every now and then, a face you can't get out of your mind.

Who is this person, and how did our trajectories cross?

What histories does she bring, and what myths might we create... if only given the chance?

And you want to say something, but you can't find the words.

You're just not that guy.

So she'll always be a face among faces, a cipher.

You'll never talk on the phone, recognize her scent.

You won't face each other over a bistro table, taste the Malbec, learn each other's favorite color.

She is, in short, every girl you'll never know, never love.

Better never to have seen her at all.

Now you understand the ancient wisdom...

Rip out the offending eye.

Except I'd captured her in my camera.

And like that, she was gone.

I was getting some B-roll, and she was just a face across the platform.

No reason to believe you'd ever see her again.

There are physicists who believe there are universes like ours... but with one or two things changed.

I thought maybe there was a universe where we might meet.

I didn't think it'd be this one.

Other universes?

Yeah.

That what you believe?

I find it comforting.

For simplicity's sake, let's keep to this universe.

It was a little girl, maybe five or six, with pretty blonde curls.

She peered at me through the slat, a boy only a little older than she.

What must she have thought of this train... and its strange cargo?

We looked at each other, only inches away, but it might have been different continents.

Then she made a quick motion, and her small fingers pushed through the slat.

She dropped something into my palm, and a moment later, as if the universe had known that this moment had ended, the train started up again.

I looked down at my hand, and I saw that she had given me... the little gold cross from around her neck.

There is always a moment when your life changes, though you may not realize it at the time.

The words spoken, the light falling across someone's face in a certain way, the moment you realize you're in love or out of it.

History has turned on its axis, and you will never be the same.

Right there.

Was she getting a speck out of her eye or dabbing at a tear?

That touch, however small, turned into flesh and blood for me...

A soul with a past, a life with an arc.

A pretty girl on a train is one thing, a crying girl a whole other matter.

I wasn't sure if it was the same girl I'd seen before.

She looked different.


Are you ok?

Sorry. You just... You seemed upset.

You know, trains can make people sad.

It's like in all those country-western songs.

Country. Right.

There's always a train, and there's always someone sad.

No. No one's called it country and western in 30 years.

Well... Your lens is showing.

It's my job.

If you're a private eye, you suck at it.

Nothing surreptitious. I'm shooting a documentary.

Is it on now?

Camera shy?

Who are those people who believe a photograph captures your soul?

Aborigines.

Pretty sure they're wrong.

What's it about? Your movie.

I guess you could say it's a love story.

I thought documentaries were nonfiction.

That would be cynicism?

You think just because something really happens, it isn't fiction?

I was pretty sure this wasn't your average girl on the commuter line.

She give you any personal details?

She had a way of turning your questions around.

You thought you were talking about her... but you were really just talking about yourself.

Why were you crying?

You tell me.

I get to make it whatever I want?

Sure.

Ok.

Seven years ago, you met a man on this very train.

You got to talking, but you never exchanged more than first names.

He gets off at Poughkeepsie.

As he steps onto the platform... you realize you should have gotten off with him.

He was the guy. He was your one chance to escape the wheel.

But the train's already moving. You've missed your chance.

So you spend weeks looking through the Poughkeepsie directory, but you've only got his first name.

Which is?

Bob, unfortunately.

If only it were Zebediah.

You call every one of the 373 Roberts, Bobs and Bobbys.

I would never call a Bobby. With no luck.

But every day for seven years, you buy your ticket, you get on the train, take it to Poughkeepsie, and then you turn back and head home alone.

Next stop will be Westport. Westport Station in two minutes.

That is such a guy story.

Yeah?

I wouldn't spend that much time tracking someone down if they murdered my mother.

So you're really not gonna tell me?

You know, the difference between trains and planes is, on a train, if you don't like the conversation, you can change your seat.

Or get off at the next stop.

Shouldn't ask for your number then?

Let me see your hand.

You gonna tell my fortune?

That's easy.

You'll know moments of joy. You'll lose what you love. You'll die.

Can I get a second opinion?

The other thing about trains is, you get to see the world passing in real time.

When you're eight miles up, you can convince yourself... you're still the same person when you get off.

So, a million questions without a questioner, a hundred replayed nights.

How do I find myself in this sweaty bed?

Who is this person beside me?

Why are there more scars than I remember wounds?

Right. Memory is flawed.

But isn't memory all that knits our moments of existence... into a sense of self?

Of course, philosophical questions lose power... when you're staring at your own mortality.

It's one thing to know you're going to die at some point... in the indeterminate future, another to watch the clock wind down.

And, yeah, I'm not the only dead guy in the room.

So you went back to work?

I had to finish the project.

But now you had a name.

There were no Lexi's in Westport.

There were three Alexandras, but none of them were her.

When we got to the camp, everything is very simple.

A man points left or right, and you live or you die.

For my mother and sisters, death.

I was big enough to work, so my father and I go to the right.

I still held the little cross in my hand, but I saw that they were taking every little piece of gold they could find...

Rings, bracelets.

You could only keep the fillings in your teeth.

That they took when you were dead.

I decided then and there... that I would hold on to the little cross the girl had given me, no matter what.

I slipped it under my tongue.

Having a mission, even if it's only in your mind, keeps you alive.

When I wasn't working, I found myself wandering the streets.

I would think I saw her maybe a dozen times a day.

Somehow, I'd always wind up back at the same place.

I remembered an old photo I'd seen somewhere.

Watch things in real time, and it's easy to believe we're part of the world, that our motion is more than random, our presence more than accidental.

But a long exposure reveals the truth.

We're just ghosts, illusions we perpetrate in ourselves.

So a guy's getting his morning coffee and paper.

In line in front of him, he sees this vision.

Gorgeous. I mean, right out of the swimsuit edition.

And she's buying a lottery ticket.

He's smitten. Can't get a word out.

He lets her get away.

The next day, he goes back to the store and he asks the owner, "Do you know the girl who bought the lottery ticket?"

And all the English this guy knows is, "You buy something or get lost."

Right?

Well, our boy figures people are creatures of habit, so he finds himself the nearest coffee shop, plants himself where he's got a view of the store, figuring sooner or later she'll come by for her ticket.

He gets obsessed.

Days turn to weeks. Seasons change.

He shows up late for work. He's unavailable for his friends.

But wouldn't you know it. The day he finally decides to give it all up...

She shows up.

Turns out she was out of town.

Let me guess. He never makes his move.

Why?

He sees the future.

They'll have their affair, and in time it'll be no more than that...

An affair.

He can anticipate the purr of her throat, the scratchy quality of her voice in the morning.

He closes his eyes, and he can almost smell her.

It'll be good, but they have about as much chance... of making it in the long run as she does of winning the lottery.

Because good is never perfect.

In his fevered mind, he's realized... the unbridgeable distance between real and ideal.

So he would rather let her walk away with her sad lottery ticket.

He would rather let her live in the purity of his imagination... than succumb to the spectacle of flesh and blood, scent and sorrow.

He's lost something, sure...

Another conquest, maybe even an enduring relationship.

But think what he gets in return.

He will forever be the man who waited in the snow and rain... day after day for the lottery girl.

He will be the one who walked away... at the moment his dream was realized.

He will be mythic.

You want to know what really happens?

Sure.

He's out of that coffee shop so fast, he sloshes his half-caf latte on his hand, extra hot.

He almost knocks her over, they strike up a conversation, and they begin dating.

Two kids and a summer home in Montauk?

Lasted eight months. "It's not you, it's me." That kind of thing.

What? Don't be smug. He gave it a shot.

My version would've lasted forever.

Now I know your secret.

Didn't know I had one.

You'd rather have a great story than a great love.

You didn't think it was odd running into her like that?

I guess I wasn't thinking at all.

What?

I haven't quite figured out if you're a victim or a suspect.

Well, I suppose you could pretty much say that about anyone.

And the lottery ticket?

She won.

You try to find me?

There are no Lexi's in Westport.

I didn't say I lived in Westport.

You gotta give a guy a fair chance.

I found you, didn't I?

You look different.

Different day.

What color was your hair?

Here's the thing about two people meeting on a train.

If they know they'll always be strangers, it frees them.

You can create me any way you want, and I'll never disappoint.

I could ask you to kill for me, and I won't know if you'll carry it out.

We have no reason to lie to each other... unless the lie is prettier than the truth.

We're no longer on the train.

No?

How did you find me?

Don't tell me you're one of those New Age types who don't believe in accidents.

You're not gonna ask me to kill someone, are you?

Why don't you show me what you do.

Can I get you a pain pill for that?

Actually, the pain helps me remember.

Sisters at Saint Jude's would agree with you.

Catholic school?

You bet.

Her patron saint.

I held the cross under my tongue... until there was a bloody sore.

I ate with it... like that.

I slept with it.

Eventually the pain fades and the callous appears.

My father only made it a few weeks.

One morning he refused to work, and they beat him to death with their rifles.

Bullets were too expensive.

When I was young, my mother used to tell me this story when things got bad.

"The world ended when Jesus hung on the cross," she'd say.

And all of history is just a dream... in the last instant of a Roman centurion's life.

Coffee?

That's when she asked you to tail Carl Pruitt.

Not at first.

I knew she was hiding something, something from her past.

It wasn't so much what she said...

It was the way she said it?

More the way she didn't say what she didn't say.

You some kind of cop detective?

Yeah.

You don't look like cop.

Yeah? What's a cop look like?

Better dressed.

Guy cheating on his wife. I seen it all right here.

Yeah, I bet you have.

Nothing like stories from cab driver.

One guy tries to strangle hooker in backseat. I say, "Not in my cab."

He say, "I give you big tip."

So what'd you do?

I throw him out. He strangle on street, his business.

Not in my cab. People fucking, ok.

A big tip covers it. Killing?

Yeah, I get it. Not in your cab.

You can bet you.

That's him.

Want to hear strangest story ever?

Does it involve dwarves?

Dwarves? What?

Somehow they always seem to involve dwarves, and they're never true.

This happened 100%.

My brother, he's fucking this girl two years.

Met in spinning class. You know, bicycle doesn't go nowhere?

Only women in these classes. My brother joins for women.

So he's fucking this girl. One night she asks, can her friend join in.

My brother is like winning lottery.

Of course. More is merrier.

Let me guess. The friend is a man.

Man? You crazy? Is more beautiful than one my brother is fucking.

Big tits, everything. So they have wild night.

Everything is on menu, soup till nuts.

My brother thinks he died straight to heaven.

In the morning, I get call. He wakes up, everything's gone...

Girls, wallet, flat-screen.

He calls police, but nothing to do.

Her cell doesn't work no more.

She's gone from spinning class like she never exists.

Let me get this straight.

She's with him for two years so she can steal his TV?

His whole house. Lucky she left him his underwears.

I tell you it was crazy story.

He never found her?

Every day he sees her.

On subway, walking down street.

But never her. One woman he followed for half an hour.

She called police.

My brother is never same. Stopped spinning classes even.

So she had you playing detective?

It wasn't until the next time I saw her that she asked me.

The time in the camps... stands outside normal time.

The time in the camps...

The time in the camps... stands outside normal time.

Hello?

Can you meet me?

Where I grew up everything was flat, even the cities.

This seems more honest.

Eye to eye with everyone... you can convince yourself we're not that different.

Step over a homeless guy to get to your penthouse, you know better.

Grow up poor?

Shows?

My mother was always getting mixed up with the wrong guy.

Father got out before I was born.

Can't say I blame him.

You ever try and find him?

I heard he had an uncle in the east.

That's why I came out here originally.

He wasn't much use though.

You still close to your mother?

I grew up using her as a model of who not to be.

When I was about seven, she finally seemed to get her life on track.

Stopped drinking, met a guy from a wealthy family.

She always wanted me to be provided for, so he agreed to put something aside for me.

It was good for a while. For a while.

He never laid a hand on me, but I decided then and there I would never be a victim.

It's important to keep promises to yourself.

Isn't it?

This the photo she showed you?

I knew I was gonna do what it took to help her.

At first it's, "You know you like it rough, don't you, babe?"

Makes you feel like you're always the one at fault.

If I hadn't done this, hadn't said that.

You look in the mirror one morning and realize... it's not only your mother's eyes you've got, it's the bruises around them.

Is that why you called me?

I called you... to get drunk.

That when she told you she was married?

Not in so many words.

More the way she didn't say what she didn't say?

So who was she?

The one who got to you.

What makes you think there was only one?

Devil takes many forms, but there's really only one.

You should've been a priest.

Not an option for a woman.

I'd make a terrible nun.

There's always one who sets the standard.

For most guys, it's the girl in college who barely knew they existed.

There were a couple of those, I guess.

It's just as well.

If you'd gathered the courage to talk to her, you would've noticed her teeth aren't perfect.

Her eyes are slightly askew.

You ever notice how it's always those quirks... we find the most charming in the beginning... become the most irritating over time?

What about you?

I'm more comfortable on this side.

As long as there's no tape in it.

It's digital. No tape.

It was high school, backseat of his car.

I wish I could be more original.

He plays it cool, a little smile on his face.

But in that smile is a world of expectation and sadness.

The flower is beautiful, but it dies.

The girl is fertile, but she will age.

They won't find each other in an old age home at the sunny edge of the world.

Won't wind up in L.A.

This is their moment, and they better take it.

If there's anything you need to tell me... about your relationship with this young woman, now would be the time.

I needed to know if it was possible to know...

I needed to know if it was possible to know someone...

- I love you. Really know someone.

I always have.

I wanted to know what was real...

Our souls were born together at the beginning of time.

And what was just some kind of image of her in my head.

I love you. I love you. I always have.

Our souls were born together at the beginning of time.

I love you. I always have.

I always have. Our souls were born together at the beginning of time.

Our souls were born together at the beginning of time.

I love you. I love you.

Our souls were born together at the beginning of time.

It wasn't in college. We met at the museum.

Impressionists?

How'd you know?

You always find the best women in the impressionist wing.

We went out a couple of times.

She invites me back to her place, and we're sitting on the couch.

When she gets up to throw a log in the fire, I notice a slight stiffness in her step.

Somehow that tiny sign of age... made her real for me.

She was perfected by her imperfections.

And in that moment, I can see the future.

We will move together into the bright haze, fighting age and decay, losing gloriously.

I will come to love her cancer scars, her arthritic knee.

And I know that sex and love are just animal things, the genes liking what's good for them.

But maybe there's another possibility.

If love is more than the sum of its parts, maybe we are more than the sum of our parts.

But there's another future.

She will leave me, or I'll leave her.

I'll feel the pain but only for a while.

And I know that if I ran into her a year later, she won't be someone that I could imagine falling in love with.

In fact, I'll question that I ever did at all.

So which future did you choose?

Sometimes the scorpion stings you, even if it means he'll drown too.

When I was little, my mother told me about the saints.

Saint Jude was always my favorite.

Patron saint of lost causes.

Why did you really call me?

I agreed to help her out with Pruitt, but there was a condition.

She still hadn't told me why she was crying that day I met her on the train.

He was a brave man once.

He was in Cuba on business during the revolution.

Somehow he managed to convince both sides he was with them.

He infiltrated the guerrillas on behalf of the government, told the revolutionaries he was gathering intelligence for them.

Both sides suspected he was C.I.A.

I think eventually even he didn't know what the truth was.

One time he was able to warn a village about a coming attack.

About a dozen families escaped.

Do you have chocolate?

I need you to do this for me, Danny.

What will following him with my camera give you?

Ammunition.

Not everybody has a double life.

Not everybody has a secret.

That's where you're wrong.

You assumed the elderly gentleman was her great uncle?

I imagine he was just some old-timer she used as a prop.

She was very good with stories.

That's when you agreed to follow Carl Pruitt.

He was a criminal defense lawyer.

I knew he'd have some unsavory associations, but I didn't think much of it.

You were led to believe this ammunition... was for a potential divorce proceeding?

She never actually mentioned divorce.

Right.

The way she didn't say what she didn't say.

About a week in, it started to get interesting.

That was the first time you saw James Fenetree?

Well, we weren't formally introduced, but, yeah, that's him.

Of course we already know that.

For the record, I didn't leave her.

So, sometimes the scorpion gets stung too.

You replay the last weeks and days looking for a reason.

Did you say something wrong, commit some callous act?

Can it really be so fragile?

Or you can move on.

Envy those couples who've been together so long... they can't remember why.

In the land of the one-eyed, envy the blind.

With the Americans approaching, they were in a hurry... to finish up with us.

Finally it would be my turn.

I thought back to the little girl by the train.

In a place where evil seemed so big...

Also so small, so everyday...

I believed... that this one little act of kindness saved my life.

I had to know that there was something else, some people existed who could be good and kind.

You didn't notice anything odd about the picture she showed you of Carl Pruitt?

Not exactly a family portrait.

That's taken with a telephoto lens.

Well, she doesn't like getting her photograph taken.

Right. The aborigines.

I guess I took a lot on faith.

Well, I thought all you movie people were atheists.

Only when it comes to God.

In the morning, so much excitement.

The camp guards have disappeared.

People are running around.

The Americans have liberated the camp.

They had hot food for us...

Just some broth with a little meat.

But it was so long since I had had anything so hot and good, I ate it so quickly that the little cross came loose, and I almost choked.

Just think about it...

If after all I'd been through I had choked... on this kind gift.

I took it out of my mouth... and hung it round my neck.

A Jewish boy wearing a cross?

I got tired of explaining.

So if they thought I'd converted, let them.

I'd seen Pruitt go into the building a couple of times, so I decided to get a better look.


Ever seen him before?

His name's Spider.

Of course.

Carl represented him a few times.

He's required to do a certain amount of pro bono work.

And Spider?

He's a provider. Drugs, girls, you name it.

Carl likes to get paid one way or another.


Are you asking for the time?

Do I need some kind of wrist band?

It ain't part of the club.

I wasn't getting past this guy anyway, so I figured I'd come back another night.

He had to take a break sooner or later.

You didn't think you might be getting in over your head?

Ever try and jump off a moving train?

If there's anything you need to tell me... about your relationship with this young woman, now would be the time.

I thought I wasn't a suspect.

Yet you're willing to walk into a potentially dangerous situation... armed with a video camera.

I guess I wanted to know what was real... and what was just some kind of image of her in my head.

I needed to know if it was possible to know someone, really know someone.

It seemed very important.

My wife died last year. Thirty years.

I got the call I'm usually the one making.

Car accident.

Funny thing is, she wasn't even supposed to go out that night, but she did go out.

She was going out to see the guy she was screwing.

For weeks I bounced between anger, hurt, loss.

The hardest thing was jumping from one feeling to the next.

I couldn't get a foothold.

So finally I decided to pick one emotion.

I tried to remember who she was... and why I loved her.

And then when the dark feelings would rise, I would...

What do you call it when you turn lead into gold?

Alchemy.

I'd take everything about her, even the things I hated, and I'd tell her in my mind how that made me love her... because that's what made her who she was, even the flaws.

I see it every day.

Love a person half your life, then wake up one morning... and you can't find a single thing about them not to hate.

I've seen women carved to ribbons by men... who two days ago would have jumped in front of a truck to save.

I wasn't gonna let that happen.

I wasn't gonna turn gold to lead.

Did it work?

Sometimes.

You know, there's a tab on the camera menu, you can turn off the tally light?

That way the suspect doesn't know he's being recorded.

You're good. You share. I share.

Was it true?

Didn't Jesus say, "What is truth"?

Actually, I think it was Pilate.

Eventually I made my way to New York.

I found work with a relative who sold small gifts, religious trinkets from the church.

He always made fun of me anyway.

"The goy," he called me because of the cross.

"Go out and sell the saints."

So every day I went to the cart out on Coney Island.

I couldn't believe how happy all the people were... just for nothing, for some cotton candy... and a few silly rides.

This happiness was more foreign to me... than the new language.

One day I'm pushing my cart... when this pretty young woman approaches to buy something for her niece.

I hear she has an accent, so we start talking German.

I never talked about my experience... with a Gentile, certainly not a German.

But she was so kind, so gentle, I let her know I was a Jew.

She could figure out the rest.

So much was different between us, and yet it was so easy to talk to her.

I never forget her smile.

Finally she buys a trinket, and I reach down to put it in a bag, and the cross comes out from under my shirt.

Her eyes get very big... like two blue pools of water.

"Where did you get this?" she asks.

I don't want to tell her the whole story, but of course she already knew.

"Why is a Jewish boy wearing a cross?"

It seemed like forever.

Neither of us said a thing.

Then there are tears in her eyes.

"I was punished when I told my parents I had lost it."

I had found my savior, the little girl whose kindness had seen me through impossible times.

I left the cart right there on the boardwalk, and we walked for hours, just talking...

Two people so different.

It was like we'd known each other our whole lives, which, of course, we had... in our imaginations.

Seeing the worst that people are capable of, I had also seen in her the best.

Now that I'd found her, I promised her, promised myself, I would never lose her again.

And I've never broken that promise.

I was wrong.

You don't want to choose between a great love and a great story.

You think that's what this is about?

I woke up one morning, and I saw my mom standing over the kitchen sink, and suddenly I knew what hell was.

You see the world, but you're not in it.

People walk by your grave, laughing, alive, forgetting you.

But still you remain, a bead of awareness in a universe of uncaring.

But what if there's a way out?

What if there's a bridge to just one moment, a story, a sentence of our lives?

Do we become a part of that story?

Does that become our eternity?

I don't know why I didn't tell her about the Herzmans.

I wonder if it saved my life.

She took the cab down with me.

The idea was I'd collect the footage and we'd meet later in a diner.

You should have fought for her.

You thought it was her imperfections that you loved, but it's really just the story.

Makes you into a nicer guy... than the one who would've left her for someone younger.

The great lost love has its appeal, even to a girl like me.

Stories don't age and die.

You can tell them over and over.

Problem is, they always end the same.


Seriously, man, what the fuck were you thinking?

Fair question.

I mean, what did you expect?

Damned if I know.

Damned if you don't.

Good one.

Yeah? Well,

take it to the grave.

What am I doing here?

Hey, man, you chugged in here on your own steam.

It was a rhetorical question.

I was asking myself.

I know what "rhetorical" means.

No disrespect.

You know what I like about vampire stories?

The good ones, anyway.

I couldn't begin to guess.

The victim has to invite the vampire in.

I think I might have misjudged you.

It's a common mistake.

Did you really think you could have her?

Think she'd ever show you her real self?

I guess I wasn't thinking.

That's where you're wrong, partner.

You think too much.

Girl like Lexi, she isn't about thought.

She tell you what floats her boat?

Tell you to grab her hair, push her face into the pillows?

Tell you she likes it rough?

I just had a funny thought.

Wouldn't think you'd be in a laughing mood.

About a patron saint for lost causes.

Yeah, that's one of her raps.

Unlike you, I don't imagine I'm the first man she's told that to.

Probably not the first to wear this around his neck either.

You always believe women when they tell you you're their first?

Actually I never believe that.

Well, there's hope for you yet.

You know, of course, that's a scorpion.

And your name's Spider. Why do you...

Why have you got a scorpion tattoo?

You do have a right to remain silent.

Hey, I'm just saying. Just saying.

In the end, does all that smarts really pay off?

I mean, look where I am. Look where you sit.

Doesn't that strike you as funny?

Well, not funny.

I have this theory about smarts...

That it gets in the way of seeing things.

What? Did you think she cared?

Just what I thought.

Only a smart guy could be that fucking stupid.

Here's another smart guy. See how fucking smart?

So, want to hear the plan?

Our girl asks you to get some dirt on old Carl over there, which isn't hard to do.

He's much more interested in pain than women.

What's the difference?

But you wind up falling for her.

Decide you have to have her.

She brings that out in a man.

Let me guess.

I kill him.

See? Those smarts again.

Why do I kill him if she's going to leave him anyway?

Hang on a minute.

Because he put a fucking nail through your hand.

Of course, I'd been following Pruitt, collecting all this footage, so it had a certain logic.

Spider.

Scorpion.

Whatever your name is. Arachnid!

You like pain or something?

Look, I know smarts has its limitations, but dumb won't get you very far either.

Seriously?

You really think you're gonna end up... on a paradise island with her?

You really don't know what's what, do you?

She's not real. No?

She only shows you what she needs to.

See, a man like you will never get what she's about.

Upper West Side pussy.

Think I don't know you?

You walk the line, afraid to give the littlest offense.

Tell them what they wanna hear, fuck on their schedule, tiptoeing nine paces behind them.

You're right, hoss.

She'll never be real to you.

Just about done here.

And you thought the nail was a good idea because?

He pisses me off.

So let me get this straight.

He kills Carl, and then he hammers a nail into his own hand.

Carl fucks him up with the nail, but he gets himself free.

He does Carl with the knife, and Carl has just enough left in him to put a bullet between his eyes.

What did I say about improvising?

Where is he? I want to see him.


I've waited a long time.

Who the fuck are you?

Jesus.

Now he's dead.

He didn't know you.

You have the gun?

Cold as they come.

Why didn't he know you?

No. Let me.

You sure, babe?

He's my responsibility.

There's my girl.

Come on. You can do better than that.

If it makes a difference, I'm sorry.

Can't blame the scorpion for stinging you.

What was that she said?

About living out an alternative future in the last instant of your life.

...future in the last instant of your life.

Is that what all this has been? Is that what this is?

Are you always the last to realize you're already dead?

...always the last to realize you're already dead all along?

Maybe I should have been paying more attention.

Well, that was the death that flashed before my eyes anyway.

No. Let me.

There's my girl.

For the record, I never liked it rough.

He pisses me off.

You weren't what I thought.

You're exactly what I thought.

He won't be needing it.

So where will you go?

Someplace warm.

Who will you be when you get there?

You invented me as much as I invented myself, Danny.

The vampire can't enter without an invitation.

I knew he didn't come up with that line himself.

You want me to tell you it was real for me?

That I loved you if only for a moment?

That's why you're alive and Spider's dead.

Ok.

I love you.

I always have.

Our souls were born together at the beginning of time.

I can't tell you anything you don't already know.

I believe you.

Will you remember me?

Safe bet.

The thing is, even after everything, I wanted to believe.

Duct-taped to a chair, nail through my hand, two dead guys on the floor, I still wanted to believe her.

Homo creditus. Man the believer.

Pretty fucking stupid?

Just overmatched.

They're smarter than us. You know that.

At least you're not one of the dead guys on the floor.

Does that make me a suspect?

I don't think you killed Carl Pruitt.

And I don't really think that she ever expected you to take the rap.

My guess is her plan was to get rid of Pruitt and Spider at the same time.

So why use me?

What Spider lacked in moral clarity, he made up for in street smarts.

He knew somebody would have to take the fall for Pruitt.

Well, she convinced him it was you... so he wouldn't know it was him all along.

But why kill Spider?

I guess she had a short fuse on this kind of thing.

Tell you she likes it rough?

She was never married to Carl.

He didn't seem to know her.

He knew her.

But I decided then and there I would never be a victim.

The mother was married to him.

He killed her.

D.A. went for manslaughter.

Carl claimed she came at him with a kitchen knife.

He was acquitted.

She never said she was married to him.

What?

Or that he was the one who beat her. She just...

You look in the mirror one morning and realize... it's not only your mother's eyes you've got, it's the bruises around them.

She just...

She just let me fill in the blanks.

Turns out the mother insisted that Carl set up a blind trust for Lexi... before she'd marry him.

Carl stipulated the trust wouldn't go into effect... until he and the mother died.

She always wanted me to be provided for, so he agreed to put something aside for me.

She cleaned out the trust three days ago.

I imagine she hooked up with Spider as a way to get to Pruitt.

He'd represented him on a couple of drug beefs.

Once Spider laid a hand on her, his fate was set.

You knew all along.

Be nice if we could see the rest of the room.

Well, I'll be more careful next time I drop my camera.

You will get me the footage that you've been collecting?

So I'm free to go?

I am curious though.

Earlier you mentioned something about that couple, the Herzmans.

Something you never told her.

I didn't want him to do this. Never.

I was in the camps, just as I said.

And I saw many trains pass by with prisoners.

But I never even saw Morris.

That day on Coney Island was the first time we met.

We fell in love and were married.

The important parts are true.

But the story of the girl with the cross? Your angel?

That I made up.

It was just a trinket he was selling.

I thought it was so funny, you know, a Jewish boy selling crosses.

I've worn it ever since.

But it's not even real.

Of course it's real. It's just not real gold.

When the book publishers did their fact checking, they found that the dates and places didn't match.

Morris came clean, but of course he lost the book and movie deal.

Why'd he do it? For the money?

Not exactly.

It was a wonderful story. It made people happy.

But it's not true.

Agh! It made them feel good.

Do you care when you read a novel that it didn't really happen?

Are you angry at Shakespeare because Juliet never said those words?

Our love is real. Fifty years.

That part is real.

So what's more important?

I gave them something beautiful, and now it's gone.

Is there too much beauty in the world?

Believe me, where I was there wasn't so much beauty.

A story like this would've given those poor souls... more hope than a hundred gold crosses.

That's why I was on the train when I saw Lexi the second time.

I was on my way up to do the follow-up interview with the Herzmans.

You will get me that footage.

You're welcome to it. She never let me shoot her.

Maybe she was right after all.

About it capturing your soul.

She asked me if I'd choose the great love or the great story.

But is there a difference really?

In the end, you aren't who you think you are.

You're who I perceive you to be.

In the world of matter, you are uncontrollable, unpredictable, a babble of random motion.

I capture you in a net of words, and you are known, if only for a moment.

We imagine we create words.

But what if they create us?

This is the secret poets know.

Words are incantations weaving magic spells.

If the word initiated the universe into existence, what will close it?

Why didn't I tell Detective Martin?

I guess I was never purely victim or suspect.

You could say I was an accomplice of sorts.

Check my heart.

Why did I give her the memory card, let her keep her soul?

Why did I go back there, knowing?

Sometimes you just have to find out how the story ends.

Of course, I did back it up to my hard drive.


I really do miss our conversations, Danny.

But this time I'm just going to have to imagine your side.

In a way, it's just as well... since we can't ever really know each other, can we?

Men and women, people and people, we're all alone in the end.

But maybe that's ok.

It's what makes us hope and fear and sometimes love each other.

It's what keeps us awake at night... and makes us pull the blankets over our head against the glare of morning.

It's the throbbing in your brain at 4:00 a.m. as you look for the bathroom... in some stranger's apartment to piss out the chemicals from the night before.

It's fingers scratching across tiles, my knees pointed at the ceiling, my back arched like a cat's.

Love is a religion, a denial of death, a descent into fiction and improbability, a lighting of candles, a bridge to the impossible, a lunatic babbling on the uptown I.R.T.

It is this tenement basement with its stink of cockroach and death.

It is Jesus above Rio.

...denial of death.

It is sex and it's withering.

It is blood on the floor.

You will kill for it and die for it.

It is hope and the death of hope.

You'll open its shroud and see your face etched in dirt and sweat.

It fills you and empties you in the same heartbeat.

A bridge to the impossible.

It is hope and the death of hope.

Love without sex is life without death.

Sex without danger is God without the devil.

If you can't risk being damned, don't imagine you can ever love.

Love straps your arms to the cross, drives nails through your hands and feet.

Love is the spear that pierces your side... and the blood and the gall that splashes to the ground.

It is a rag of vinegar pressed to your lips... and the thorn pushed into your scalp.

It is a desert mirage, an echo in a cave, your own words returning to mock you.

It's every great painting you'll ever see... and the way we know art from the scratchings... an elephant can make with his trunk.


Hard center or soft?

Soft.


Never much cared for the hard center.

Nor I. shafiqul islam saddam