To Dust (2018) Script

I think it's been decided.

Baruch atoh adonoy, elohaynu melech ha-olam, dayan ha-emes.

Amen.


♪ Blow wind blow, wherever you may go. ♪

♪ Put on your overcoat, take me away. ♪

♪ You gotta take me on into the night. ♪

♪ Take me on into the night. ♪

♪ Blow me away. ♪

♪ Blow me away. ♪

♪ Mary's on the black top. ♪

♪ There's a husband in the dog house. ♪

♪ In the middle of a shakedown, ♪

♪ I got quiet as a churchmouse. ♪

♪ Put my Raleighs on the dashboard. ♪

♪ Sugar daddy caught a polo-car. ♪

♪ There's no solitary tap dance ♪

♪ way down here. ♪

♪ Blow wind blow, ♪

♪ wherever you may go. ♪

♪ Put on your overcoat, ♪

♪ take me into the night. ♪

♪ Take me into the night. ♪

♪ Blow me away. ♪♪


Last night, it was her toe.

I dreamed the nail had browned and cracked, bent back like a leaf.

The skin was peeled like petals.

Where does this stop, Shmuel?

There are 248 body parts spoken of in the Zohar.

When the Baal Shem Tov lost his wife, do you know how he mourned?

He said, "How am I going to go to heaven when half of me is left?"

Eventually, Shmuel, he remarried.

And when he lost his second wife, the love of his life, he said, "Okay."

I fear for her, Rebbe, how she suffers now.

Tend to your children.

Take care of yourself.

It always begins at night.

Sometimes it's rotting skin.

Sometimes it's a pile of ash.

Tell me, Rebbe, how does she return to the earth?

Maybe you don't think of these things, Shmuel.


Did the neighbors see you?

No.

You need guidance, Shmuelie.

Talk to the Rebbe.

I've talked to the Rebbe.

There are two boys in there.

I know.

I'm not sure how, but get through this.

Leave your coat on the table.

I'll sew it up.

It's already been 30 days.

It's time you should mend it.

Can I help you?

Apologies, sir, but I don't believe we serve your kind.

I'm sorry, that sounded not right.

I mean, we're not equipped to handle the--

Perhaps it's best if we step into the showroom?

My wife died.

I'm very sorry for your loss.

And there are things I need to know.

Our burial societies are not very forthcoming in these matters.

This line of inquiry is particularly not--

Kosher?

How does she dismantle, in the earth?

Uh, well, that depends.

Our unrivaled embalming specialists guarantee a pristine and picturesque viewing experience.

After that, I can't really say we check up on their progress.

Stainless steel.

The discovery of chromium in the mountains of Russia in the late

1700s led to the development of the alloy that we now know as stainless steel.

What about wood?

Wooden caskets are a natural and environmentally sound choice.

Pine?

I can't say it's our best seller.

How long did it take for her casket to dismantle?

Okay, I don't know what your angle is here, guy, but I'm sensing there's not a sale coming, am I right?

No sale.

Yeah, okay, all right, so here's the deal, they're bodies, they decompose, okay?

And the ones in the hermetically sealed containers, sometimes they even fucking explode.

Oh yeah; all the gas, trapped, nowhere to go.

Please, a body, in a box, pine, how does she--

Can I let you in on a little secret there, handsome?

See, I'm just a coffin salesman.

I'm not a fucking scientist.

Can I help you?

Sir?

Hi, hi.

I think I need--

May I speak with a man, please?

Mm, we appear to be out of those.

I see.

Maybe--

Oh, there you are.

Scientist.

Well, who doesn't, really?

So, what kind of--

You can't say.

You know, but you can't--you can't say?

You can tell me. Just--what do you need?

Do you need an astronomer, or a physicist, geologist, ornithologist?

I'm sorry.

All right, come with me, okay?

Organisms feeding on organisms, feeding on organisms, transferring that energy down the chain.

Ecosystems--ecosystems are evolved to, simply and plainly, to create nourishment for new life.

But some of these systems are pretty gosh darn inefficient.

As the energy moves along, there's not enough of it left to sustain these higher and higher trophic levels.

Tropic?

Not today, Stanley. Tropic.

Tropic?

Why tropic?

No, trofic--trophic.

Trophic, just like it's--oh shit.

God damn it, mother fucker.

Is that clear enough? Clear enough for everybody?

Trophic, trophic. Where was I?

Okay, okay, we are like--we're like leaky bucklet--Jesus Christ.

We are like leaky buckets.

We drop our ice cream cones.

We lose crumbs in our flavor savors.

Very inefficient. Very inefficient ecosystems.

Eco.

Ecosystems.

How's that?

Can I help you?

You are a scientist?

I'm a science teacher.

I have questions.

I'm not sure that I'm gonna be able to be of service to you, Rabbi.

I'm not a rabbi.

I have got a faculty meeting very soon.

I'm having some bad ideas in my head.

I just--my wife, she died.

Oh, I'm very sorry.

And these images I'm having--having those, they just--

Things got you down?

They have me real down.

Well, I'm still not sure--

Last night, it was her toe.

The nail cracked, it browned.

Maybe you need a podiatrist?

Look, look, I'm sorry for your troubles, Rabbi, truly.

I'm not a rabbi.

But I have these papers to grade, and I wish you luck, really, friend.

This is sinful that I'm here.

I've just sinned.

I've spent my whole day sinning.

I'm not sure if you can recognize that, Doctor.

Oh, it's not Doctor. I don't--just Professor.

Professor, please.

I don't even know what you're asking.

I fear for her.

I fear her soul is suffering till she returns to the earth.

What's to become of her body?

Sender!

Hey.

Hey.

Mordechai told Motel that Mendel talked to you.

Yeah?

And that you said--your dad said our dad was a dybbuk.

I didn't say that.

I said that your dad ate a dybbuk.

Why did you say that?

Have you seen your dad lately?

Yeah?

And do you know what a dybbuk is?

It's, like, a ghost.

Well, seems like he ate a dybbuk.

You don't eat a dybbuk, Sender.

Everyone knows it comes in and out of the big toe on your left foot.

Fuck you, Moishe. How do you know?

The dybbuk tape. Dybbuk tape?

Dybbuk tape. You don't remember?

Last year, Fivel got caught with a tape.

What's on it?

All you need to know about dybbuk.

Here, this is it. This is the one.

Let's see. This is--yeah.

Pigs?

That's what you're gonna want, yep, pigs.

It says they use pigs because they most closely resemble people when it comes to their fattiness, and their hairiness, and general deliciousness for insects, you know?

I mean, who doesn't like bacon?

Percy the piglet here, he was accidentally crushed by his mum, so they gave him to science.

Okay, let's see. Let's see now.

Fresh, fresh, the fresh stage.

Okay, the body begins to degrade very early on, cells die, tissues break down, and bacteria in the body begin to digest the body from the inside out.

There's not too much visible from the outside in just yet.

Except for livor mortis, a pooling of blood thanks to gravity, and rigor mortis.

You know, arthritis for dead people.

Chemicals in the body are beginning to attract insects and maggots are taking up residence.

The eyes, if they've remained open, will dry out and turn a blackish hue.

Bloat; now the body is beginning to puff up and swell, become engorged.

All the gases and juices are being produced in excess inside the body as the bacteria goes to town.

And nobody's flatulating anymore, so, you know, nowhere to else go.

And the maggots, now at home under the skin, are all sorts of creepy and crawly, which causes more and more swelling.

Skin slippage, gross, is occurring, hair is falling out.

Vessels are now visible, which is apparently called marbling.

Now it gets interesting.

Active Decay.

The body's outer capsule, our earthly coil, skin, muscle, soft tissue, it's all--it's breaking open.

The body deflates, like a popped balloon.

The corpse is putrefying.

Putrefrying?

Putrefry--no, putrefrying, that's funny though.

No, putrefying. It's purging.

And carnivores, if there are any in the neighborhood, are beginning to have a field day.

They eat that shit up.

Whew, advanced--here, advanced Decay.

The body is reduced to tiny bits of skin, and clumps of cartilage and bone.

Mummification is the end result as the remains are dehydrated and desiccated.

There you go.

And how long does this take?

It says, yada, yada, yada, any number of factors can--who really knows, right?

I mean, as concerns your wife.

So, how could one know?

Well, I suppose one could bury a pig, right?

But I don't imagine that that's--yeah.

Thank you for your time.

Of course.

Thank you.


Everything's all right now.

Everything's gonna be okay.

Ecosystem.

It's the name of the chapter, Stanley.

I buried a pig.

What?

I buried a pig.

We're having--we're having office hours here.

A dead pig. Okay.

Should I go?

No, Shmel? Shmel, was it?

You told me to bury a pig, so I buried a pig.

I'm trying to office hour with Stanley here.

You did what?

The other day you told me I should bury a pig.

I told you? Now wait a minute, don't.

Now, listen. Just go, get out.

No, just get out now.

No, wait, wait, not you. Stanley, you.

Chapter 11.

It's a dead pig, Stanley.

Just--just go, go, please.

Now, have a seat.

You're shitting me.

I didn't mean for you to--I didn't tell you to bury a--

What happens now? What?

What do we do now?

We? There's no "we" here.

You told me to bury it.

I didn't tell you to. Stop saying that.

Look, look, I need to--I--where exactly did you do this?

Nobody knows where I--

Excuse me?

I just realized nobody knows where I am.

I used a whole pig, like in the book.

Should have left a note.

Jesus.

Here. Here?

Yes.

You buried a pig here?

A dead pig.

Well, this is--wow.

This is just wrong.

This is just all kinds of wrong.

This is just--did you bring a shovel?

Jesus Christ Almighty.

Well, I don't know what I was expecting.

First of all, I don't condone any of this.

And second of all, where'd you get him?

Szechwan Heaven.

Up on Route 87?

Yeah, they do good dumplings.

Well, Shmel, it's no good.

You're not gonna get a comparable decomp here.

It's no good?

No. All due respect--

all due respect to your wife, I'm sure she was larger than--

How did she die?

Cancer.

And how long till they buried her?

13 hours.

You guys don't waste any time, do you?

Well, it's--this isn't right.

No, it isn't right.

If--if you wanted to do this proper, you would need an ungutted, uncleansed, recently deceased pig, teeming with bacteria and no blood loss.

I assume they didn't bury your wife straight into the earth?

No?

In shrouds.

Just shrouds?

And a coffin.

Was a Cadillac? Pardon me?

Was it--did it have velvet inside?

No, we don't do that.

Wooden, pine, with three small holes in the bottom.

Holes in the bottom?

So--yeah, so that she can touch the earth.

To dust.

Well, if you'd brought me a pig more like your wife, no offense, and buried her like a Jew, no offense, then I think that we would probably be cooking.

But this is a--this is a mockery of science.

Well, this has been--

I'm sorry about your wife.

When your father passed away, I had to tend to his wardrobe, piece by piece.

His bekitshe, his shtriemel, these things I gave to you.

And then the everyday things in a deluge.

His shoes, his socks, Shmuelie, with holes in them.

Such a small thing, no?

Maybe you should start with her clothes.


Noam?

Yeah?

Do you really think Dad ate a dybbuk?

I don't know.

What dybbuk would he eat?

Mama's. That doesn't--

I saw him trying on her clothes.

We need that tape.

Dybbuk tape.

If Reb Goshen took it, then it must be in the room behind his office.

I hope Dad didn't eat her dybbuk.

It doesn't just get lost to egestion.

Fucking Stanley.

Fuck him.

What the fuck?

Oh, fuck, Shmel.

Shit.

Who are you, Shmel?

Just go away and take your pig.

Just leave, man.

Seriously?

The land lady--shut the fuck up!

Oh fuck, pig, man.

Really?

Where did you get this one?

No, no, no, no, don't.

"Officer, Officer, I had no knowledge."

You know, this pig probably has a home, you know?

It might be some young farm girl's pig that you--Heidi misses her pig, Shmel.

Did anybody see you?

I don't think so.

Now listen, I am a professor, and you're a rabbi, and I think that you have seriously crossed the stated boundaries of the professor/rabbi relationship.

I'm not a rabbi.

I'm a shaliach tzibbur.

I don't know what that is.

It's a cantor. I don't care.

I'm a Jew, Albert.

Oh, no shit.

And I just can't. I can't.

I can't--what?

I stole the pig.

It is only fair if you kill it.

What? What?

We have to kill the pig.

I am not hearing this, no, no, no.

Here's what's gonna happen.

You and me, we're gonna pick up this pig, and we're gonna carry it into your Jew wagon, and you are gonna take it home, and then we're never gonna talk about this or about anything ever again, okay?

Killing a pig is not gonna bring back your wife, Shmel.

I know that.

Why don't you go get it some milk?

Over there, there's a mini fridge behind the bar, my kitchen.

How are you? What's your name, huh?

You want some milk? Go get your milk.

Go ahead. Go, milk, milk.

Good boy.

Jesus.

Oh, Jesus Christ.

What are you--you can't slit its throat.

Why not?

Nobody slit your wife's throat.

Well, you are the scientist.

Yes, yes I am.

Oh man, fuck.

Mother fucker.

Thank you for this. For all of this.

Yeah, well, you know, it's just like a tell my students, you know?

You can't always act on emotion.

Sometimes you gotta keep a cool head about things.

You know, be a little more sober.

Whoa. Whoa.

Control your--control your pig.

Shmel! Shmel, the land lady!

The land lady! Whoa, whoa.

Quiet! Shmel, can you help me please?

No, don't.

Don't answer the phone. Don't--fuck.

Fuck.

I said don't answer the--

Hello? It's Albert's residence, yes.

No, I'm not Albert.

Can you hold on just a moment please?


Oh, fuck!

Is this going to be okay?

I don't think anything's gonna be okay after this.

At this pace, we'll be here till tomorrow afternoon.

You could help.

I suffocated a pig tonight.

I think I've made a significant contribution.

Fuck it.

I don't think that's very efficient.

We do this because when we lose a loved one, our whole world turns upside down.

Everything should be much harder.

The shovel is such an ordinary tool, but to bury a loved one, that's no ordinary task.

Well, I suppose that doesn't apply here.

I don't think anything tonight should be harder than it already it is.

Does this pig have a name?

No.

Well, I think we should name him.

I think we owe him at least that.

Harold.

Harold.

What now?

Now? Now we wait.

When did your wife pass?

It's been six weeks, two days.

So then four.

We wait four weeks.

Nice round number.

Shmuel, Shmelke, I know you've been in the woods, the dark woods at night, lost.

But you are mourning her like you would mourn a parent.

Her suffering, what does the Talmud say about suffering?

When it is over?

To be born, is this easy?

To be ripped from the womb, this is painful, necessarily.

Why should it be different when we die?

They are both doors.

One you enter, one you leave.

Maybe sometimes it hits you on the way out.

But to look behind that door, Shmuelie, you will go mad.

Albert, hi. Hi, it's still me.

The machine cut me off again.

Haven't heard from you.

Hope everything is okay.

There's a Hasidic fable about Reb Lazer of Chortkiv, he had a wife--

Yeah, greasy fingers I guess, tuna.

And you just didn't knock it over?

Of course not, Judy. Why would I--

Albert?

Oh, shit. Shmel.

Sir, you are not allowed to be back here.

This is for teachers only.

I'm a shaliach tzibbur.

Where have you been? I left you messages.

Albert.

Look, let me just--can I--let me have a second, Judy.

This is just--this is my spiritual advisor.

Listen, hey, hey, you can't be here.

Then you should answer your phone.

Well, then maybe you should--look, look, I don't know what happened that night.

I'm a professor. I'm an academician.

This is unscientific at best, unethical at worst.

It's a stain. It's a stain.

It's a stain on the academy.

Listen, there's no accounting for what we did.

It was just a wild, exhilarating night.

Primal almost, filled with cock-eyed madness.

What about my wife?

Shhh, quiet Shmel.

Look, I don't think we should see each other any more.

I don't think it's wise.

Well, then, that's it I guess.

I've sinned again.

I spoiled my wife's name.

God forgive me.

And you, Albert, you helped me sin.

I'm a shaliach tzibbur.

I still don't know what that is.

A person who sings in the synagogue.

What, like a cantor?

Look, there is a month-old corpse pig in the woods off Highway 109.

We murdered that animal.

If we don't unearth it tonight on schedule, well, then it's just another grave sin.

Then we slayed that swine for what, Albert?

For nothing!

Shmel, Shmel, you! You made me.

You named him!

Humbert, his blood is on our hands.

Harold. His mud is on my carpet.

Forgive us, for what have we gained?

Just one more dead pig in the world.

Not even eaten by the goyim.

Well, as they say, curiosity.

Curiosity killed the cat--

Excuse me?

Curiosity killed the cat.

Cat?

No. Curiosity killed the pig.

Oh, well, that's right.

That it did.


Ugh.

Oh boy.

I don't see any dust here.

I think that's just a euphemism.

It's just a pig. Yep.

In a blanket!

If I had to guess, I'd say we're just at the bloat stage.

Your wife will be more progressed than this.

This pig must be a saint.

You have to look at this like a coffin time machine.

Think of Harold as your wife a mere four weeks out.

A lot can happen in four weeks.

So, what do we do now?

Now, we wait another month.

A month?

What's in between?

Try not calling so much.

Naftali, but that book down.

Put that book down. That's not why we're here.

But look at this.

Shh.

The Hardy Boys.

This is concerning, Shmuel.

Not just Hardy Boys, but because Noam and Naftali, to mention, are involved in sneaking behaviors.

It's as if they themselves are little Hasid Hardys.

I've not read the book.

Frank and Joe are never up to any good.

And their methods?

Shmuel, it's a good thing I caught them when I did.

Can you imagine what else their young eyes might have seen?

I can't imagine.

When do you think you'll resume your cantorial work?

Reb Plotkin sings like a goat.

Have you been talking to the Rebbe?

I'm talking to the Rebbe.

Okay.

What about the boys?

I'll deal with my boys.

What? That's it?

Shmuel, mend your coat.


Where are we going?

There's something I have to show you.

I don't know why exactly, but your mother, I sense her here.

She always talked about the ocean, remember?

I want you to talk to her.

I've come here to talk to her.

I want you to feel you can do the same.

If you could, what would you say to her?

Talk to your mom.

This isn't Jewish.

No, but it's menschlich.

I'm your father and I'm telling you to talk to your mother.

Tell her you love her.

You're scaring us, Tati.

She's your mother.

Do you not love your mother?

Mom's dead, Dad.

Don't do her disrespect.

Tell her you love her.

Say it.

Say it!

We love her.

Louder. We love you.

Louder! We love you!

Noam?

Noam!

I love you.

Very good, tattelahs.

Very good.

Love you too, Rivie.


I've got you.

I'm sorry.

Your voice, Shmuel.

Let's hear your voice.

Shmuel, kugel?

You have guests.

Where are you?

I know it's early.

I know it's soon, Shmuel, but Leah asked me.

Avi knows a widow from Monsey.

Mama.

Oh, Shmuel.

It's just for you, for the boys.

Might it be the worst thing that maybe you should have more children?

Naftali?

Ready?


Dybbuk? Dybbuk.

Dybbuk?

The cemetery, do you think that's where Tati goes at night?


A chazer bleibt a chazer.

Well, how 'bout that, huh?

I'd say active decay.

Drek!

Huh?

A chazer bleibt a chazar?

What?

Chazer, what's chazer?

It's a pig, Albert.

A pig!

We might as well just picked it up from Szechwan Heaven.

I don't think anybody would order that.

Shmel, buddy, you have to understand.

These things, they decay from the inside too, you know?

It's probably a 24/7 all you can eat bacteria buffet up in there.

This beetle looks hungry too.

I mean, you'd have to scalpel the shit out of it to be absolutely certain, but I'm--

Hey, Shmel, don't get scary on me, please.

This was just starting to feel normal.

You know what this means?

We just wait--

You know what this means?

No. No, I don't.

I don't know what it means.

Can you help me though?

Can you--

All right, you tell me.

What are you after, Shmel, huh?

What is this all about?

I don't know.

What?

I don't know!

Okay, I don't know.

At first, maybe I thought to lose her would be too--too much.

You know, maybe I wanted her here for as long as possible with me in this world that I am in too.

But now, now I just want her to be gone.

Gone!

All right.

You know?

There's a part of the soul called neshemah.

Now that remains with the remains as long as the remains remain.

And as long as it remains, it's-- it's tormented, Albert.

It's tortured.

I just want her gone.

I want her free.

Geez.

Oh, fuck.

Motherfuck.

Okay, well, I don't think that this is--this might--

Okay, okay.

All right.

Here we go.

Okay, Shmel.

Shmel, I need you to bring me some soil from her grave.

Soil? From?

From your wife's grave.

Soil.

About this much. From the grave?

From your wife's grace.

Shmel?

That's not really allowed.

Yes, well, I can see that that would be pushing it.

Shmuelie?

Shmuelie!


Hi, Rivie.

I'm sorry.

Thank you.

So, what we're doing here is we're gonna check the pH of the soil samples.

What does that mean?

Perhaps we can prove that your wife has an advantage over Harold.

If her soil wins, then we can safely assume that she's benefiting from faster decay.

She's ahead, as far as God, or whatever, is concerned.

So, when we put the soda into the soil with some water, if it's hasidic--ah-cidic, it will froth, and whoever froths more wins.

Is this scientific?

Oh yeah, yes. This is very scientific.

Pass me your wife.

Then Harold.

You know, I'm wondering if this is set up properly because--

Just do it.

Yeah, okay. Water and some more water.

Soda.

Okay.

More.

Huh.

Well, they seem fairly equivalent.

Don't bullshit me.

I'm sorry, Shmel.

You know what this means?

I thought it might help.

It means Harold is ahead, way ahead.

No, well, no, that's very, very hard to say.

No. No question, Harold is ahead.

No, no, at the end of the day, you know, fuck it, really.

I mean, this is all--this is an approximation.

Approximation? This is science.

No, there are too many--too many factors.

Factors?

Yeah, factors. The day that she died.

The time she died. The weather--

But the book clearly states that--

The book just shows the stages.

It doesn't give a timeline.

And the book pig, that fucking pig was buried on the ground.

Every body is different.

If you wanna know how a particular body is gonna decompose, that's between it and the earth.

Otherwise it's just--well, it's an approximation.

Then why have you been doing all this, Albert?

I never asked, Shmel.

This is what science has to offer?

This is nothing! It's not nothing.

You've been lying to me.

I haven't been lying to you.

Du kannst nicht auf meinem rucken pushhen unt mir sage class es regen ist.

I don't know what that means.

Don't piss on my back and tell me it's raining.


Dybbuk, get out.

Get out immediately, dybbuk.

Mama?

Mama, get out immediately.

Get out.

Get out from the big toe on Tati's left foot.

And we love you.

We love you, Mama Dybbuk.

Dybbuk Mama.

Now blow the--blow the shofar.

No!


Was it sudden?

It wasn't expected.

I'm sorry.

I'm told you're a shaliach tzibbur.

Yes.

You must have a lovely voice.

Currently I'm not--

What about your husband?

His family owned a grocery.

He was in kollel and I worked at the grocery.

I'm a pretty good cook.

It doesn't get better, you know?

It just gets different, but not better.

It's farfoylt.

Pardon me?

You have children?

I do, two.

Noam and Naftali.

How are they coping?

I don't--

They mourn too, but they're strong.

Stronger than us.

Do you have children?

No.

Lemonade.

It's okay to not be here now.

I'm sorry.

And it's okay to still be in love with your wife.

Hello. Hello.

I'm here to see Shmel Rothenblum?

For?

He's a friend of mine, a business friend.

I'm in--I sell insurance.

Are you Jewish?

Yes. Very, very Jewish.

He's not here right now, so you'll just have to come back later.

I could wait.

Your friend is here, the insurance man.

You can't be here, Albert, you just can't.

Yes, I know. I know, I'm sorry.

The only thing I have, the only thing is my family.

I know. And this world.

Yes, I'm sorry.

And some widow in Monsey, maybe.

In Monsey?

The last threads to cling to.

Yes, yes, well-- You threaten.

I know, I'm very sorry.

Here, look. Look at this, huh?

It's a farm in Tennessee.

Knoxville. Knoxville, Tennessee.

What of it?

It's a body farm.

We go there, talk to my colleagues, see some bodies, and get the answers that we're looking for.

What's a body farm?

Just what it sounds like.

They plant bodies, dead ones. In the ground.

In the ground, on the ground, up in trees for all I know.

And they watch them grow?

No, no, man, they watch them rot.

Pigs? No, no, people.

That's farkakte. No, it's Forensics.

It's a forensic anthropology research facility.

I don't know what that is.

It's official, man, the first of its kind.

And they're grieving?

No, no, no. They're scientists.

Look, when somebody dies, sometimes they leave their body to science.

And some of those bodies, they go here for crimes and shit.

You know, like who did it?

Where? With what?

Colonel Mustard in the kitchen kinda shit.

Where did it happen? How did it happen?

And when did it happen? When did it?

Mustard?

Yeah, man, like how long does it take the body to rot.

In Knoxville?

Mm-hmm, in Knoxville.

I told your mom that I sell insurance.

Who was that man, Tati?

He's a friend.

Where are you going?

Look, I can't tell you what I have to do.

You have to trust me.

And I'm asking your blessing, my sons.

Will this make you better?

I think it will.

I hope it will.

You have our blessing, Tati.

Dybbuk.

We're gonna do right by your wife, man, okay?

We're gonna do right by your wife.

Rivkah.

What?

Her name is Rivkah.

Rivkah?

Thank you.

Thank you, Shmel.

It's Shmuel.

Hmm?

Shmuel.

Shmuel?

Thank you.


You made an appointment, right?

No, no, but I left multiple messages.

Oh yes, yes, hi.

Hi. How are you?

Good. Good.

You?

Good. Good.

We're good. We're good.

We're here to speak with Dr. Worthenheimer.

Haymer.

Haymer, he's a colleague of mine, a fellow academician.

Dr. Worthenheimer's dead.

Dead?

Yeah, that magazine's at least a few years old.

Huh, um--

I'll see if Carol can speak with you.

Oh, great. Yes, thank you.

Hi. Hi.

What can I do for you fellas?

Hi, Carol.

I was very sorry to hear about Dr. Worthenheimer passing.

Yes, it was very unfortunate.

Did he donate?

Yes.

Well, isn't that just like him.

Do you think it might be possible to pay my respects?

Here's Walter.

Ah, may I?

Hey, Old Timer.

You done good.

Harold sends his best.

Did your friend know Dr. Worthenheimer too?

My friend?

Oh, oh, my colleague and I, yes, yes.

No, no he didn't.

He didn't, sadly.

Always had such good bone structure.

My colleague and I are in the midst of some fascinating work of the forensic taphonomical variety, and we would love to discuss it with some degree of urgency.

We have on our hands a woman, mid-40s, slight, passed away, cancer.

Untimely, unembalmed, in a pine coffin.

Three holes bored underneath in keeping with Orthodox law.

She was buried 6 feet under, simply, standard, back in June.

Up in the Hudson Valley.

Is there a question?

What's that body gonna look like right about now?

Where did you say you were from?

Shit, man.

This just wasn't right, Albert.

I know. I know, I'm sorry.

We drove all this way.

It was very unprofessional of me.

I'm sorry. I should never have--

No, Albert. You are a scientist.

She's a scientist.

There should be an understanding.

You're owed some respect.

Shmuel. Don't Shmuel me.

Well, look then.

Fuck!

Look, I'm a science teacher.

I don't--I teach at community college.

And don't say anything because it's the truth.

Fuck!

Look, yes, fuck, okay?

Fuck fucking fuck fuck.

I'm divorced, okay? I'm middle-aged, okay?

But I've accepted my ceilings.

We drove 750 miles here.

We have 750 more miles to drive.

I'm sorry, Albert.

We are seeing the fucking farm.


Pretty high.

Yes, yeah.

We'll just--you go first.

Here.

Yeah, okay, wait.

Now, one, two, three.


What's happening, Shmuel?

Oh, we have to go.

Shmuel, Shmuel, please come down now.

You've gotta be fucking kidding me.

Come down.

Evening, gentleman.

Yes, sir?

What the fuck, pray tell, is this?

Sir, this is not what this looks like.

I don't know what the fuck this looks like.

I can assure you, sir, there's a--

First of all, I ain't no sir.

No, of course, you're not.

I see that now.

I'm sorry.

He hurt himself?

No, he's praying, I think.

He's upset.

This is not--we're decent people.

There's no malice here. No ill intention.

This is an act of grief, of mourning.

Mourning?

Of healing. Healing?

Yes. His wife died.

Is she on the farm?

No, no, no. He's been having nightmares.

Nightmares?

Yes, about his dead wife and her toe.

He has it in his head, I think, that if he can see a real decomposing corpse up close that that will bring him some kind of--that it'll take his night terrors away.

Well, that's some fucked up shit.

Yeah. Yes, it is, very.

Be that as it may--you can stop that now, Shmel.

Well, how she die?

Huh? His wife.

Oh, she died of cancer.

Fucking cancer.

Yeah, yeah, it's a terrible, terrible disease.

Took my mama, my husband, and my youngest, Duvel.

Oh that's--shit, that's horrible.

Fucking cancer.

Fucking cancer.

So that's what this is.

He's in bad shape and I was trying to help him out, trying to help a friend out.

We've been traveling a very, very long way.

But I can't let you into the grounds.

No, no, absolutely.

That would be a mistake.

But if you gentlemen can hightail it the fuck up out of here, I think I can turn a blind eye.

Thank you. Thank you.

Well, what's your friend's name?

Shmel--Shmuel.

Jesus loves you, Shmelshmuel.

Not sure what comfort you would've gotten from them bodies, anyhow.

That up in there is one unholy place.

Some of them people gone in just weeks.

Flat out disappear into the ground.

Weeks?

Weeks, fuckin' Tennessee heat, I reckon.

And the ones they got buried up in them shallow graves, they ain't taking too much longer.

Well, thank you. I didn't get your name.

Stella.

Stella. Stella by Starlight.

That's right.

Thank you.

May he rest her soul.

Shmelshmuel, Shmelshmuel.

Yeah, man.

They were beautiful.

What's that.

The bodies.

Oh, you saw?

Yeah, for a moment.

I'm sorry you didn't.

Well, it was a noble try, I guess.

They were melting into the ground.

Returning to the earth.

A very effective ecosystem.

Yeah. Yes it is.

But what does she serve, Albert?

To what end?

You think of souls, Shmuel.

I don't know about any soul.

But I think that the most noble end for our earthly coils might just be in becoming fertilizer.

Efficient fertilizer.

Winter's coming.

Yes, it is.

The ground will freeze.

Yeah, it will.

That would slow her to a stop.


I've got you.

I've got you.

I've got you.


This is good.

This is good--good soil, Shmuel.

Aren't you gonna--


Well, you know where I'll be.

I'll get you a hall pass.

Thank you, Albert.

Don't--don't mention it.

And, you know, l'chaim.


♪ Blow wind blow, wherever you may go. ♪

♪ Put on your overcoat, take me away. ♪

♪ You gotta take me on into the night. ♪

♪ Take me on into the night. ♪

♪ Blow me away. ♪

♪ Blow me away. ♪

♪ Mary's on the black top. ♪

♪ There's a husband in the dog house. ♪

♪ In the middle of a shakedown, ♪

♪ I got quiet as a churchmouse. ♪

♪ Put my Raleighs on the dashboard. ♪

♪ Sugar daddy caught a polo-car. ♪

♪ There's no solitary tap dance ♪

♪ way down here. ♪

♪ Blow wind blow, wherever you may go. ♪

♪ Put on your overcoat, take me away. ♪

♪ You gotta take me on into the night. ♪

♪ Will you take me on into the night? ♪

♪ Blow me away. ♪

♪ Blow me away. ♪

♪ You gotta blow me away. ♪

♪ Blow me away, yeah. ♪♪