Well... Go on, tell me.
You wrote a short story for the school paper.
It was called "The Girl Who Was Ept."
As in the opposite of inept.
It blew me away that you invented a word- a three-letter word- that described an entire personality.
Now you're a hostess- at the same restaurant where I work.
Pretty amazing, don't you think?
So this is why you asked me- if someone who wasn't feckless was full of "feck".
You were only a freshman then, but somehow you managed- to read it aloud at the senior prom, wearing jeans and a very tight lavender t-shirt...
If I recall.
Mary Ellen Langley at the prom!
I thought you were the coolest girl I'd ever met.
Don't cross that line, Smokey Joe.
Don't worship me. How'd you do it?
How did you get the senior class- to invite you to speak at the prom?
And the name is Jeff, incidentally.
Nice to make your acquaintance.
Stop that right now.
I bribed them, I paid them money.
Why else do you think- they'd do the bidding of a pipsqueak?
I stole 2.000 dollar from my parents.
I bought a really cool German mop-
I saw advertised on an infomercial.
And I bribed the class president- with what was left over.
Your parents never caught on?
I stole the money over time, in small increments.
They actually kept a lot of their savings- in a mattress.
That's a metaphor, right?
No, is the truth.
They actually did stuff their money in a mattress- for a few years, during the good years.
I don't lie.
You have to believe- everything I tell you is the truth.
So that means your uncle is really a drummer in a band?
And he's good.
He's in town recording a new record.
I'll take you to the studio with me, if you'd like.
Let's not go home yet.
Let me take you to church.
Well, yes, it's a church, but they haven't had- a congregation or a pastor in years.
They simply leave the door open, wide open, 24 hours all day.
Is kind of some place people go to now- just to meditate.
Is a little slice of heaven.
What's the name of this church?
The Church of the Open Door.
It really is.
Why do you want to take me to church?
What do you want from me?
Vaseline lip balm.
I just want to hang out with you, maybe hear some of your other short stories.
You want to hear stories?
But if you want anything else, you'll tell me, right?
I have to pee.
I can't believe you just said that to me.
That's such grownup talk.
Oh, you don't pee?
Where are you going to pee?
Behind that tree.
Oh, give me a tissue?
What do you need a tissue for?
To wipe my vagina.
You are a curious young man, aren't you?
What are you gonna do now?
This is unbelievable.
You should just quit while you're ahead.
It was kind of a creepy idea anyway.
Yeah, I suppose.
Why did you think I would have a package of tissues in my pocket?
I could probably name everything you carry around- in your pockets by now.
And that just breaks my heart, just a little bit.
Maybe it's nice there's a church like this- at least the idea of it.
Next time I'll take you to visit
"The Holy Church of the Nice People."
There isn't really, is there?
No, but there should be, don't you think?
Churches with literal names...
..."Our Holy Mother of the Often Confused."
"Our Lady of the Occasionally Gullible."
The last time I attended a Halloween party, I went dressed as a road.
Well, everyone had to go dressed as an inanimate object.
Two girls I worked with came up with the idea, applied the black face makeup, dressed me all in black, attached two yellow strips of fabric- down my front and up my back, white rectangular pieces of cloth- represented the lane dividers, Matchbox cars applied with Crazy Glue.
The only other time I wore makeup- was when I was a sophomore in high school.
I played Jeff Crowell in a production of "Our Town."
Auditioning, winning the role, rehearsals.
Best weeks of my life.
I was accepted - not by my peers, but by seniors.
Yes, like you.
So, anyway, the morning of the first performance I awake with a searing fever-
103 degrees- but nothing could have stopped me from getting on that stage.
Even my parents, who tended to be a little over-protective, also encouraged me to go.
That's how sorry they felt for me.
I was blazing up, but I was so happy.
When I arrived backstage, I had stage makeup put on.
It felt so cooling, so healing.
There's no other way to describe it.
...I remembered my line.
Hey, want to hear- the very spookiest thing that ever happened to me?
Once I needed a soldering iron.
Not the point.
My Dad has this amazing array of tools- in his basement office- for someone who seldom builds anything.
Anyway, he also keeps our family's home movies- and prints of digital photos in the office.
The family's unofficial archivist.
So, I'm scouring the place for the soldering iron- is not that small-
I move some prints out of the way, and I find dozens of shots of my Mom... topless.
Freaked me out.
Did you ever ask him about them?
Are you kidding?
Did the pictures excite you?
Oh, my God! I couldn't eat for days.
Well, did you ever ask him about them?
Oh, my God!
Well, I don't know.
Is just kind of... Oedipal, that's all.
Is so scandalous.
Well, the way you often act is so...
You've got some skeletons in your closet after all.
Is good to know.
I was scared shitless after that for weeks.
Your parents were strict?
...I knew it would crush my Mom if she knew I'd found them.
Don't be so sure.
What you did wasn't wrong, was it?
Just an innocent discovery.
My Mom asked me to pick it up for her.
My Mom's a peach.
If she wants a drink, I'm gonna get her a drink.
Stop! What? Why?
Stop the car! Quick! Stop the car!
Are you sick?
Sick? Are you kidding? It's an open house.
I never knew this house was here.
I could do something with this house.
It's not bad.
For 300 thousand, we could buy two houses.
I want to design museums.
Did you know that?
Gehry-like office buildings.
I want my name on cornerstones.
But if I were into building houses I'd build a house like this.
You just love anything with open doors, don't you?
They're only asking 375.000 dollar.
What a steal.
All right, Donald Trump, let's buy it.
I used to want to be a writer.
Her hair was the color of marmalade.
Her hair was the color of marmalade.
But is not even a short story.
No, but it's pity.
It's got "pith".
Do you ever feel underrated?
Like as a writer?
No, like low self-esteem.
What don't you like about yourself?
I was thinking more in terms of your physical being.
You can do something about loneliness.
I have variccele.
What is variccele?
I can't tell you.
Where is it? I can't tell you.
Is it contagious? No.
What about you?
Mind your own business.
My mom sells furs, loves them.
Loves what she does.
My sister hates her for it. Animal cruelty shit.
It doesn't bother you?
She likes what she does.
That's all that should matter to anyone.
And your Dad?
He's got a green job.
And for the record, I call him my step-dad.
Drives him nuts.
He stutters and sputters when I call him that.
And normally he's a very erudite, you know, articulate man...
Makes me laugh.
Not in a mean-spirited way, but it does make me laugh.
Like the way I laugh when I hurt myself, stub my toe or bang my skin against a piece of furniture.
Some kind of perverse defense mechanism, I guess.
When I want to make him laugh, I call him a leprechaun.
He likes that better.
Lord only knows why.
Now we can buy the house and move in and be happy.
What time is it? You're stalling.
Look at the garage door... at the light.
But it smells like castrol in here, and you're stalling.
You're hurting me.
You've been flirting with me since the day we met.
I like you.
Don't you like me?
Don't you want to?
...I don't know if I... can.
What do you mean? You can't?
I think I have Peyronie's disease.
Is a severe curvature of the penis.
And, well, I think that mine is...
...when it's... aroused.
Wait, someone told you is severely curved?
Why didn't you tell me about that- when I asked earlier?
Have you seen a doctor about it?
I wonder what kind of examination that would entail.
Don't laugh. Look it up.
Why haven't you tried to kiss me?
I've never been with a woman before.
In any way, shape, or form.
I've never kissed... anyone.
I've wanted to make love to you.
Your clothes were clinging to your body.
I had never seen someone sweat so much in my entire life.
I couldn't even imagine how it was possible.
So much sweat!
That turned you on?
You should kiss me.
That was your cue.
That was nice.
Look, I know I can be crude and crass...
You've always liked me, haven't you?
I think that's accurate.
I want to have sex with you. Tonight.
And I'll be angry if we don't.
Make a move. Is your Mom home?
Convention in Chicago this weekend.
Open the garage door.
Isn't this the way it looks in porn?
Yes, it is.
You don't have Peyronie's Disease.
Isn't this your sister Maura's room?
I don't want to spunk up my own sheets.
You should put something on.
It's cold down here.
So there is something wrong with my penis.
You have a beautiful and kind of large penis.
You should be very happy.
Where is your sister Maura?
Staying with her best friend Irina this weekend.
Someone likes jam with their caffeine.
My Mom's a collector. She likes variety.
What are you looking for anyway?
I'm just trying to remember everything in case this is the last time I'm ever here.
You'll be here again.
We used to have an array of electric typewriters all over the place, too.
Collecting them was my Dad's hobby.
He took them with him when he left?
He was somewhat desperate to collect history- before history became too expensive.
Why he chose typewriters is anyone's guess.
You're sort of following in his footsteps...
Studying environmental causes, wildlife protection.
...I want to do it better than he does.
Just a little bit better, you know.
Put him in his place.
My French minor, that I'm good at.
Can I look at you?
I mean... just... look at you.
No, you might still be dripping out of me.
You should take a shower. You're all salty.
Take one with me?
Be up in a minute.
Hey! What's varioccele?
Varicose veins in the scrotum.
I thought so.
You all feelin' all right?
Let's get on this here!
I'm gonna make chili.
That's what you want to do?
That's what I want to do.
Don't you carb up before a big run?
Is just as good after a run.
You do sweat a lot.
Secret ingredient is lime juice.
Don't tell anyone.
Can I take you to Patisserie Palate- for dessert after dinner?
Okay, but I have to be home early.
I have homework to finish.
Happy Independence Day.
It's a little wacky, too.
I get off work at five this afternoon.
Can I sweep you off your feet tonight?
I'm actually going to stain a new table I made myself.
I bought some beautiful teak- at this really cool, old junkyard in Cedar Rapids.
You can get all kinds of wood there.
It's like the wood fairy drops off a new cord every day.
Little wooden orphans looking for homes.
It's as easy as apple picking.
Well, I'd love to help you.
I'm not going to sleep with you tonight.
Why would you want to help me, you know, stain furniture?
Because you're my friend.
That's what friends do, right?
I don't think it's a good idea.
Why did you even bother? What?
A table for two, please.
Uh, yeah, right this way.
Um, do you live around here?
I don't recognize you.
Is mostly regulars we get at this hour.
No tourists, actually.
And you traveled 4.000 miles just to visit Iowa City?
Will this be all right?
Well, it will be if you two join us.
I felt we were interrupting something when we arrived.
It's against restaurant policy.
We'd love to.
Are you visiting someone?
Yes, our niece is enrolled in- the creative writing program at the university.
And we suddenly craved Iowa Pork Tenderloin.
Carla, would you please bring the women two Iowa Pork Tenderloin.
And to drink?
Michelob will do.
Two Michelobs, Carla, and can you bring some water for the table?
Excuse me, I'm being rude.
My name is Katherine, and this is the aptly named Eve.
It's actually Evelyn.
I'm Jeff, and this is my friend Mel.
Oh, how do you do?
Are you traveling from the UK on your own?
We're scarcely on our own- even though we're both widows.
We share everything now; We even share a single bed.
Although we always request twins when we holiday- so as... not to raise eyebrows.
We first met on our most recent honeymoons, not on our first.
So, we are widows squared.
Are there any men in your lives now?
But we're making fast friends, right and left, on campus.
Although Iowa doesn't have enough pubs.
I have a pub back home, fifth generation.
Is the oldest existing pub in Wimbledon.
It must be incredibly exciting there- during the tennis tournament.
We go off to Galway on holiday that fortnight.
Eve gave up bar-tending years ago.
The profession has never been the same- since your second husband passed.
We go through husbands like kidney stones.
Luckily for me I have my Dad's longevity genes.
He's still with us, her Dad, 105 years old.
He's my inspiration.
Is probably why I have followed in his footsteps.
The history is that he was apprentice- to the local locksmith.
It was in... In Islington.
You see, the business was handed down to her.
Everything in England is handed down.
That's why everything is...
So old, like us!
So, I became a collector of keys.
A key expert.
And I opened the first- museum of keys in the United Kingdom.
Can you imagine an entire museum dedicated to keys?
Important keys, historic keys, keys that open doors whose secrets- have been kept at bay for so many centuries.
We have one original key- used by ancient Egyptians dating back three millennia.
One room houses keys just to prisons.
One has keys to the boudoirs of monarchs.
This will make you blush!
Act your age, you old hedonist!
There's one room that simply teems- with keys that unlock chastity belts...
...and the history of daughters of royalty.
And one room features keys that would open bank vaults- before the introduction of cylinder locks.
Your museum sounds amazing.
What kind of people does it attract?
Oh, you'd be surprised.
Mathematicians, ex-convicts, entire families, of course.
We used to distribute plastic keys- to toddlers as souvenirs, but...
Before the health minister forbade the practice- for fear the little tykes might swallow them.
One room - our favorite room - house the keys to one's heart.
We encourage our visitors to bring their own love letters- and to donate one letter to this very...
After Eve closes the museum in the evening, and after we feed the cats, we retire to this most joyous of rooms- and we read the letters.
We read the new letters, we read some of the old favorites.
Reading them gives us hope for the future of mankind.
Without that hope, we'd simply...
We'd simply close the doors to the museum- and throw away the key. La-la-la.
Opium is involved.
Don't think unkindly of us.
It's our one shared weakness.
What's the name of the museum?
The museum of the Open Door.
Would you excuse me please? I have to use...
To the loo? Certainly, my dear.
Pop off. Thank you, thank you.
She's so happy.
She's dying, my dear.
Cancer, you see.
The visitation is ravaging every vital organ in her body, save for her heart.
She has a strong, remarkable heart.
She's dying an ironic death.
She's been the picture of health her whole life.
Her only vice is sex.
Oh, she'll carry on about prurience and such drivel.
But behind closed doors she turns into Anais Nin, or so I hear.
Sex bored me.
Oversight, I suppose.
But Eve has remained active.
She never eats sweets, she only drinks tea, she grows her own vegetables.
I eat sausage biscuits with sugary caffeinated beverages- at the Starbucks on Coronation Street almost daily.
And Eve will sit patiently by my side- watching me devour one after another, never complaining.
But she will not be lured.
I consume steak at least twice a week, and I love a good chardonnay, or four.
And I smoke cigars, Cuban cigars.
She has cancer.
She's my bloke.
We'll stay in America- a little longer than usual this time, I think.
I think she wants to pass here.
Don't let on you know.
And please don't tell me you're sorry.
You barely know us.
I'd better go see to that old nuisance.
They're so alive.
I couldn't get a word in edgewise.
They were charming.
Maybe it's just not your day...
Why did you say you'd go visit their museum?
Kind of a stupid thing to say, don't you think?
I was inspired. Why did you even bother?
It hurts. Is wonderful.
I told you there are many women in your future.
Ask! They'll say yes.
They know that your family is affluent, that you'll be following in those footsteps.
And your hair is so cute they'll want to comb it.
And you have amazing ambition.
It's all a turn-on.
But it doesn't turn you on.
That day was a turn-on.
You belong to that day.
It was a whole other brand of excitement.
It was... The day was a screamer.
You made me happy the other day.
You made me feel really good.
Today somebody else made me happy.
Who made you happy today?
Eve and Katherine.
Would you give your sister a ride to work?
I can't. Irina's here.
It's okay. How am I gonna get home?
Hey, why am I your friend?
I mean, what's wrong with me?
Because most of your friends have- growth deficiencies- or they're calorically-challenged.
But, hey, you know, whatever it is that makes you feel superior, that is okay by me.
Because some people might deny it- but most of us do have a need to feel superior to someone.
But that still doesn't explain why I like you.
You like me because...
...deep down, you're very maternal.
And you like the fact that I look at you- like most kids would look at a sparkly object.
What's this number on the top of your Facebook page?
The number of days is been- since I last talked to my father.
Well, he's going to see it someday.
I'll bet he figures it out.
Oh, I see. Okay.
I haven't "friended" him yet.
Don't be retarded.
Oh, hey, um, guess what-
I'm finally going back to college.
Proud of me?
Where are you gonna go?
I'm gonna enroll at Ames to study music history.
Because... I've gotten really into music lately.
I've joined the church choir.
That's not church.
Wow, you're so angry.
I'm just worried about you.
The Satanist realizes that man and the action and reaction- of the universe is responsible for everything- and doesn't mislead himself- into thinking that someone cares...
All right. You made your point.
But it kind of makes sense though, right?
I mean, you literally worship Satan.
No, we worship an ideal.
I'm sorry. Is none of my business.
Don't mock me. Is not pretty.
I'm gonna get you a book by Anton LaVey.
I think it will help you.
It doesn't help everyone, but it will help you.
I just wish he hadn't worn a goatee.
It's not even a religion. It's a philosophy.
You know, like, for fuck's sake, it's a social club.
A social club with a choir and a cantor called Satan.
Anton LaVey is the head of my church.
I mean, look...
At least it's motivated me to go back to school- and to sing in public.
You should go to school.
Enroll in Clinton.
You'll meet some men there you'll like.
The odds are good, but the goods are odd.
You should lose your virginity.
Sex is great, you know, fuck anyone who tells you otherwise.
It's that simple.
Learn what you like, control it, and it will help you appreciate every day of your life.
That is so morbid.
I mean, we're only 22 years old.
Why should I not enjoy every day of my life- just because I'm 22 years old?
Besides, haven't you heard- that idle hands are the devil's playthings?
Well, I should know, according to you.
You just make it sound so impersonal.
Yeah, sometimes it is. So what?
Come to this party with me.
I don't like loud music.
No. The music's mellow.
I won't drink.
Neither will I. Yes, you will!
Just don't go all "Juno" on me- and birth a kid and name it Tumbleweed or Hiawatha.
Oh, my God, you know what it says here?
It says, in Austria and Germany- fetal weight must be at least 500 grams- to count as a live birth.
Imagine the pain that spremies endure?
Jesus kills babies, Jesus is a baby killer.
Are you not happy that you have a uterus?
I'm happy I have a clitoris.
How much did it hurt... the first time?
It didn't hurt at all. I was drunk.
I vomited. I remember what that felt like.
Vomiting is, by far, is the most vile of human functions.
I hate it. I don't do it anymore.
Is a choice and I choose not to.
I wanted to feel the hurt.
I didn't want to miss any of it.
Do you know what I read on Wikipedia?
Did you know that champagne was first- introduced to the world by a winery in Illinois?
No, it wasn't.
There's a town, or a province in France called Champagne.
No, I say Illinois.
Trust me on this one. No, you're wrong.
Do your parents know about- this little Satanio obsession of yours?
We're not gonna talk about that.
Why don't you trust me?
You don't tell me your secrets.
You don't level with me about your coven.
And I'm supposed to follow your sex advice?
No, you're right, you're right. That's not fair.
I'm gonna have to think about that one.
We need to...
...have something to give us hope, you know?
Because, you and me, we were born into a swirl of quicksand.
Let's just... forget about it.
Who made God?
That's enough, really.
What are you doing here?
Hey, Mel. Hey, Daddy.
Maura, your step-dad is here!
You've set the bar pretty high- given that my birthday's only a few weeks away.
How are you gonna top yourself?
I love you.
I'm at Vivien's.
Sure, I'll pick it up on my way home.
Even after ten years he can still surprise me.
You know that storage facility- you always thought was a money pit?
Proof positive that I was an egomaniac.
Fortress of a pack rat?
Yeah, well, anyway, I finally agreed with you.
I told Robert to send all it's contents to the dump.
If he found anything salvageable- he could sell it on Ebay for a 50% commission.
He said, fine.
You know what that sly, old fox did?
He made a living archive out of the treasures of my life, in that space.
He even installed a mini-fridge, a battery-operated coffee maker, and a recliner.
How's that possible?
There's barely room to stick an arm inside that toxic mess.
You always told me it was a waste of money.
I never even visited my... stuff.
Deep down I agreed.
I was afraid if I ever really foraged through it- all I'd find were just old tax returns, faded receipts...
Decades-old trade journal interviews I'd done, on paper as brittle as my opinions.
He found my grade school report cards, slides my parents took of my brother and me, our whole family...
He found my brother's will, which I'd always been too ashamed- to tell George I'd misplaced.
Your daughter mocked you for that.
Yeah? Which one?
I'd shelled out over 20.000 for that space over 20-odd years, and he's finally made it worth every dime- an investment instead of a regret.
He's remarkable. A big gold star for him.
I love him so much.
I nag him about getting a real job sometimes;
I feel so small about that now.
He does a lot of things like this...
Surprising things at completely unexpected times.
I gave myself a paper out. I've got to get a band-aid.
You realize your first response to severing your finger- was to apply Chapstick?
I know, I know. I can't live without this stuff.
Don't mock me.
...I'm looking for a new doctor, an internist.
But not yours or Robers.
Can you recommend any really good ones?
Male or female?
...Isn't it terrifying how we trust our bodies, our well-beings, to strangers- simply because a piece of parchment hangs on their wall?
We trust people for less.
Maura's begun reading romance novels.
Until last week she was reading Kant, and, for fun, Margaret Atwood.
Now she's reading Nora Roberts and Rosemary Rogers.
She bought a Kindle so I wouldn't tell the difference.
What are you doing?
I'm trying to talk to you about Maura.
Is not like you to be so disingenuous.
You're with Robert now...
Why do you still do this?
Why? Does it make you angry?
Now who sounds disingenuous?
I can't explain it.
I don't know why you and I create this exceptional chimera, why I have no sexual interest in other women.
But you do trigger all of my senses, all at the same time.
Sight, sound, touch...
I could still love you.
You still have the knack of making a woman feel electrified.
No. Just you.
Want to do it again?
Why do you still pay child support for Maura?
It's insulting to me.
Are you trying to buy off unhappiness?
I'm not unhappy.
Save it for a rainy day- for when you and Robert split up.
You threaded that one through the eye of a needle.
No, nothing's changed.
I still love him, Viv.
I meant to ask you earlier if you were seeing anyone, but...
...Not until the girls are gone.
But the girls aren't gone.
So you know my little sister, Mel?
Don't you think Mel's a tomboy?
I don't know...
Now that you mention it.
What do you think?
It's okay if it's not for you.
And if I think it's soulless, you won't like me anymore?
Who said I liked you before?
You think I'm boring.
Do you think you're boring?
Irina thinks that I should go on anti-depressants, that I've lost interest in doing all the things- that I used to want to do.
Like... be Margaret Sanger.
Like follow in her footsteps?
That's not boring... That's insane.
I just wanted to be an original.
Mel... I mean, Maura, you need a personal guidance counselor- the way other people have personal trainers.
Let me give it a shot.
Why would I let you do that?
I can't even see you.
You're nothing like Mel, are you?
Do you remember your dreams?
Mel and I used to share a bedroom, and every morning before we went to school- we would tell each other our dreams.
And when I got my own bedroom I stopped dreaming.
So, to compensate, I started fantasizing.
I mean, every time I'd go to the bathroom-
I'd imagine that I was the new host of TRL.
Or that I was guest hosting for Kelly Ripa, except none of the guests ever showed up.
I mean, not even Regis showed up.
Only Margaret Sanger.
You must have spent a lot of time in the bathroom.
Like two peas in a pod.
I knew the two of you would hit it off.
I'm not flirting.
I'm looking for a new doctor.
No, a real new doctor.
Isn't it amazing how to just trust a doctor- because they have diplomas?
How to just trust a doctor?
Okay, no, I mean, how we trust strangers, or something like that.
I'm not thirsty.
I'm a big fan of trust.
Trust me, Maura, have another drink.
Our freedoms are restricted only by the availability- of those professions we're allowed to choose...
...the only rule there is.
Are you happy now? Who said that?
Hey, my Dad is a fag.
Her Dad is bi.
Hey, you're smart, right?
So what do smart people want to be when they grow up?
Have you ever seen "Gone With the Wind"?
Oh, that makes me angry.
You said angry.
I meant sad.
Liar! You are a big, fat liar.
Why did you ask us if we'd seen it in the first place- if the answer was gonna make you mad?
Angry. Never mind about that.
But my whole life changed- with one line of dialogue from that movie.
One of the characters talks about the land, dirt, the soil.
How they're the only things in the world- worth working for, and worth fighting for, and worth dying for- because they're the only things that last.
There's such reverence and sensuality- in that moment.
That's the day I decided to dedicate myself to the land.
Decorate it with dignity, with verve and imagination forever- something like that- as an architect.
There's this book called "Experiencing Architecture."
It's my bible.
I'm planning to intern- at an architectural firm starting this fall.
Well, that's very pretty, but I thought you were gonna be a writer.
I do write, as a hobby.
But you can't make a living as a writer anymore.
Not if you're good.
And it comes too easy.
I prefer challenges.
Maybe I'll find time for writing and architecture.
When half my brain is in repose, the other half can go into overdrive.
You know, you don't have to work so hard.
She's already so into you.
You know, what's wrong with just one thing?
I mean, one thing that you're just ultra-passionate about.
There's not enough passion in the world as it is.
I'll just have to make up for the lack of it.
Wow, what a big ego you must have.
Everything has to be big, bigger, biggest...
More, most, most-est.
Look at me, stare at me, live in me, work in me, be me!
Somebody has to build things.
Architecture is one of the few democratic things there is.
From the pyramids to the I.M. Pei museum in Qatar.
Maybe there's too much architecture.
Too many mausoleums, crematoriums...
Headstones? That's architecture, right?
Is too much.
Too many ghosts inhabit buildings.
The Museum of Sex in New York-
Architecture or erection?
That's something my father would say.
Ah, the old man. Touché!
You sure do know how to hurt a fella.
My mother said that the best sex- she ever had in her life was with my father.
How is that possible?
Are you a fag?
No, I'm not gay.
Don't be shy.
Move your hand. You're making her uncomfortable.
You just referred to me in the third person.
I've never made Maura feel uncomfortable about anything in her life.
That's pretty impressive, if it's true.
It's a lie. It's a lie.
Maura, come on, please drink.
Hey, what can I get you?
I'm drinking Arnold Palmers.
Why can't you get your own drink?
It's the name of the drink.
Okay, what is it?
Ice tea and lemonade.
You're kidding. Well, who is he?
Who? Arnold Palmer.
A Canadian architect. No shit?
No, I'm lying.
He's one of the great golfers of the 20th century.
Are you kidding? Is the truth.
See, I thought you were into trust.
I'll stick with Arnold Palmers.
I can't drink alcohol. I get sick when I drink.
So do I! It's no fun!
Yeah, not for me either!
Okay, you're cute, I think the two of you- should spend seven minutes in the closet.
Do you want to?
No... I mean, not really.
I'm a virgin.
Go, I'll stand guard.
Like a sentry.
No, like Arnold Palmer.
Look, alcohol or not, you are all manned up.
I think the two of you should definitely tickle testicles.
I'm gonna go get us another drink, and I hope not to find the two of you here when I get back.
In Times Square, there's a building...
...It's got a plaque.
It says, Eugene O'Neill was born here in 1888.
That building is now a Starbucks.
Nothing lasts forever.
What are you doing?
I don't really feel like dancing right now.
Your friend said that your Dad is bisexual.
Why do you call him a fag?
He is a fag.
Is this how it works in here?
You're gonna interview me?
I can't even see if you're in here with me.
Is like truth serum in here.
You can say anything in here.
I might not even be here.
No one can see you in here.
You can't even see you.
My uncle, Chris, he's my mother's brother.
He's a musician. I know. I met him.
He once told me that the only thing- that kept my parents together as long as they were- was their... sex life.
That it had nothing to do with Mel or me.
How do you know my uncle?
I thought your mother told you that?
Should we stay in here?
Is there anyone else out there?
I've never had sex before.
Do you think you know what to do?
Do you have a condom?
I'll pull out.
I've never had sex before either.
You're gonna tear me apart!
You should stop.
You should stop.
What are you doing now?
You should go. You should go!
I should stay!
Is too late. You're ripping me.
Why are you so angry?
Please don't touch my necklace.
I can't see you in here.
How can you tell that I'm angry?
I'm not angry.
It's okay if you want to go now.
Are you sure?
What do you want me to say?
Can I get you anything?
I can see if they have anything in the kitchen.
Don't laugh, but I'm a pretty good sous chef.
I'd really like to try.
Let me just stay in here with you for a minute.
Is that customary?
Why the fuck did I do that?
I was just too ashamed to leave.
It was like shock.
I can't believe that he came inside you.
I did take the "morning after" pill.
And he told me that it was his first time, too.
Gave me a lot to think about...
It was surreal.
I wasn't drunk.
How could you not have been totally tasted?
I wasn't drunk.
I have a high tolerance for alcohol.
I must have shoved like eight drinks...
I don't get drunk. Okay?
Did you see his dick?
It was too dark.
Did you kiss?
Not on the lips. No, I don't think...
You know what...
I bet you could keep him if you wanted.
Like a pet?
I almost want to ask if he was any good.
Isn't that kind of what you're doing?
No, there was, I guess, a moment when he was talking, that I imagined him being romantic.
He talked a lot.
Did you throw up?
Do you still want me to... tell you about my parents?
No, not anymore.
I'm gonna take a nap.
I can't let you in.
Martin, come on in! The door's open.
Excuse me! I'm Jeff. I work with Mel.
I... work with Mel.
Don't be embarrassed.
You're supposed to protest.
Ah, I don't care. Who are you?
A friend of...
Oh, you're the aspiring architect.
Well, are you or aren't you?
Wow... They're beautiful.
Don't con me.
I can be rabid. It's not pretty.
I'm not... conning you.
Is not a cedar closet, that's for sure.
Why don't you keep the furs in your store?
I display and I sell by appointment only.
Eliminates the middle man.
This is my store.
You're in my store.
So, like... Tupperware?
You can purchase Tupperware in stores nowadays.
Doesn't that sometimes make you feel...
You're not, are you?
A little bit.
Mel really isn't here just now, and I feel a little uncomfortable.
A little bit.
Is 50 degrees in that vault, Excuse me- that closet, year-round.
Funny thing is my body temperature- generally runs one to two degrees higher than normal.
Do you know what a lapidary is?
My father was a lapidary.
He loved precious things, too.
My father was...
You're an only child, right?
She likes you.
Only child? Yes?
Siblings teach one another about rejection...
About how to handle it.
About how it passes with time, about how time is our friend, not only our enemy.
I tend to forget about that one myself, more than I should.
You really love furs, huh?
I import them, I sell them.
I'm very good at it and very successful at it.
Even today, even in this economy, I'm very successful.
Kind of ironic, though.
My ex-husband tests homes- for energy efficiency combustion potentials.
Whoever said opposites attract it's out to lunch.
You've always wanted to sell them?
Like that was your goal in life?
Since high school.
My parents bought me a sable coat- for my 14th birthday, and overnight I was hot stuff.
Suddenly I was the cool kid in school.
People I barely knew before that, people I barely knew, knew me, telling me how good I looked in fur.
I was actually turning heads.
After a while it just clicked.
Before that I never knew how to handle compliments.
What a buzz, self-assurance.
I went with it with a vengeance.
Never look a gift horse in the mouth.
What did you study in school?
Mel told me that Maura is not going to college.
You know Maura, too?
Of course you do.
Can I get you a drink?
It's too early, isn't it?
Don't you ever have lunch at 3:00 PM instead of 1:00 PM?
Or dinner at 3:00 PM?
Flexibility is a virtue.
Maybe this isn't a good time.
The more I drink, the more successful I've become.
I know that's not a rational analogy- and that there's no scientific proof, but it's true.
And until I face failure, I'll probably keep drinking.
Maybe you should take up smoking then, too.
When conversing with grownups- a good rule-of-thumb is to think before you speak.
Safer still, keep your mouth shut.
You'll generally learn something important.
And when you speak, make sure that what you say- doesn't make the other person feel bad- about themselves or about you.
And never apologize.
Touch the furs.
What do you think?
Is okay. Talk.
They feel... good.
Not very PC to say that though, is it?
People are dishonest about what feels good these days.
Mel told me they were beautiful.
My mother used to make her own dresses.
There were always bolts of fabric on the bed.
My ex-husband used to covet old typewriters.
When did you and Mel first meet?
A few years ago, in detention.
She was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen.
And I was so shy that it was painful- for me to even say hello to her.
But this one day in detention, she was sitting behind me.
And I turned around- and she said she couldn't get her shirt buttoned- the button near the wrist, at the cuff- and she asked me to help her.
My hands were shaking.
And I'm sure that she noticed- but she never said anything about it to embarrass me.
She just smiled, and I turned back to the white board.
I never did get it buttoned though.
That barely qualifies as a meeting.
You don't still have a crush on her, do you?
Do you have a girlfriend?
Funny you should ask.
I'd never been with a woman before this week.
Then this is quite a red-letter week for you, isn't it?
We're not talking about my daughter, are we?
An older woman.
Vice President of the restaurant chain.
How did it feel?
It felt great...
For a day.
And then it hurt.
She dumped me.
Had you known her for long?
We were just becoming friends.
This feels good to me.
Go sit down.
Do you consider yourself a generous person, Jeffrey?
Can I call you Jeffrey?
Let me tell you about generosity.
Let me tell you about my ex-husband.
He's a generous person.
When I met my husband, my Dad was entering an advanced stage of dementia.
My Dad had me when he was 50.
How abusive is that?
...I needed to put my father in a nursing home.
I had the money, but I couldn't find anything in the area- that wasn't straight out of Cuckoo's Nest.
The waiting lists were sadistically long.
And I cried myself to sleep, exhausted every night, willing people who were occupying beds- intended for my father, to die.
So Martin... That's my ex's name, Martin.
Martin, after only three dates with me- and one meeting with my Dad, Martin buys a 12-bed nursing home...
For my father.
Martin bought it and he still owns it- and it's going to be mine someday, I don't know how a bed became available- in such a short time, but we got my Dad in there in less than a week.
The morning we were to move my father into the home, the ambulance we'd booked to pick him up was late.
It plowed into a snowbank.
So we waited, the three of us, for another bus.
And while we waited...
Martin bathed my father...
...and changed my father...
...and wiped my father.
The day I met Martin- he told me he would always take care of me.
But most people break promises and vows.
Values and intentions- are sideswiped with abject carelessness- as easy as one might step on an ant, so, I didn't put much stock in it.
Until that day...
On that day I knew Martin was the real McCoy.
...I was able to put up with his dalliances, with his ambivalence towards my vagina, with his lip-locked kisses...
Just because he was kind to my father...
To a man, to a stranger, to my father.
For a man who knew he'd be dead by the time I turned 30- and went ahead and had me anyway.
Generosity can be a freaky thing.
I'd have been pissed.
Did I say something wrong?
...I'm about to put your penis in my mouth, and you have the presence of mind- to critique my personal life.
What shall I do now?
How can you make love to him?
Because he's the best lover I've ever had.
And part of me wants him back.
And part of me wishes I'd never had you and your sister- because I think that's what scared him away.
I hate that last part, honey, but it's there.
I lost my virginity.
How do you feel about that?
Is that really all you have to say to me?
What you say to Mel- when she told you she lost hers?
She never told me.
As far as I'm concerned she's still a virgin.
I can't decide whether or not I was raped.
Are you hurt?
I don't want to remember any mistakes I made.
I think you might know him.
He works with Mel.
I don't want to make it any worse for you.
We can take measures.
His father is a lawyer. He'd rake me over the coals.
I want to put it behind me.
A calculated risk.
A classic example of trust gone awry.
I want to go far away from here.
I want to close my eyes and pick out- a random spot on the globe and go there...
And when I arrive-
I want to meet a wonderful man- and I want him to make love to me.
That's all I want.
I want you to have that, too.
I'm still gonna go to the gynecologist tomorrow though.
Were you ever raped?
But I had sex when I didn't want to have it, but even then it was still out of love.
What can I do for you now?
I wish I could tell you it was something dramatic, like...
...I began to drink like a mop- when I first discovered your father's secret.
But I knew before we were married.
And he made me feel like I was protected, and that's the worst thing that can ever happen to a woman, the worst thing, the worst.
You know what impressed me the most about Daddy- on our first date?
He never asked my age; It never mattered to him.
And I drank through both pregnancies from time to time.
And I don't care, and I won't harbor any guilt over that.
Who was he?
The guy, the man?
Irina told me that sex was great.
It's so good.
Look, I figure I've got about ten thousand days left.
Days are fleeting.
They demand constant attention.
Years... are ephemeral.
The concept of a year is beyond most people's capabilities, but a day, 24 hours- is the most relevant thing in the world.
You can always remember what you did yesterday, but you can almost never remember- what you did a year ago today.
That's crazy talk.
I want another relationship.
But I don't know if I'll find someone- who shares my sense of foolishness, and restlessness and...
...I don't know if I'll find someone like that in time.
Mom... That's bullshit.
You got two great kids.
You think your sister's great?
Yeah. I do.
And she is.
I told Irina everything that happened.
I just remembered something else.
He... said he wanted to cook for me.
Something about being a sous chef.
The guy. When?
I don't remember exactly... When it was over.
Isn't that strange?
And he also mentioned a book- before, at the party.
I checked it out.
He's a fake.
Tell me something really bad that happened to you.
Because I want to know what to do- if anything bad ever happens to me again.
Hey, is me.
What are you doing right now?
She's my daughter.
I still have a responsibility to my daughter.
She's 22 years old.
Twenty-two is a number.
This isn't about sex.
It's about acting like a stinking drunkard.
It is socially, morally, and physically indefensible- and it's not going to be my daughter.
This is the first time in her life- where she hasn't been solely culpable- for deserving severe punishment.
What are you going to do to her?
Here's how it happens.
I let her see which strap I choose, and then I advise her- on the duration of her punishment.
Maura, show him the permanent effect- of the strapping I'm going to mete out.
I didn't see...
No, you didn't see.
You've had a very busy week, my friend.
Don't call me your friend.
You can learn so much more by listening than by speaking.
I hate myself for having to do this.
We won't press charges, Maura won't press charges...
But we can make sure that something like this- never happens again.
We? Maura and I.
Maura understands this, even if you don't.
Don't what, my friend?
This is your doing.
I could have you sent to prison.
Is that a threat?
I am a parent. This is my home.
It is not a court of law.
Maura's a good girl.
She's a good daughter, and I love my daughter.
And this misjudgment on her part, this misdeed, her shaming herself, abetted by your coercion, will be addressed, and her behavior corrected.
And she will still love me and I will still love her, and she will understand, and she will have done penance.
And it will be over and done in 30 minutes.
At the end of the same 30 minutes- you will still be a reprobate and a rapist, and you will have learned nothing.
I'm her father.
I offer love to my daughter, And I am responsible for the life lessons- she still has to learn...
...from time to time.
Less as time goes by.
And because of you- she will receive a very firm beating.
Please don't be a monster.
How dare you?!
What about Mel?
She was amused- by a very stupid, pitiful boy.
Vivien makes her own choices, and I respect all of her choices.
You're an overachiever, aren't you?
A permanent record- flashing with extra-curricular excellence.
Advanced placement achievements, mentoring those younger than yourself.
But don't you think that's sad?
I think that's sad.
You're all over the map.
You've got no focus.
You've left yourself no room.
You're a recipe for utter mediocrity.
You've obviously no sense of obedience, no grasp of insight, you've had no guidance whatsoever.
Did you know that Mel buys her Mom her liquor?
Not all of it.
Is not your fault entirely, my friend.
And get that look off your face.
The look that says, "I'm a victim."
Would you like to stay?
It's possible, it's appropriate.
I'm not going to humiliate her like that.
Maura, would you like to describe for our friend- the punishment at hand?
Or to describe how you're feeling now?
How you'll feel later, afterwards?
I think you should stay.
Daddy, don't. Please.
She'll receive a glass of brandy first.
It will help with her breathing later.
This is a big, fucked-up practical joke, right?
Go upstairs, Maura, and prepare yourself.
Not yet. Please, Martin.
Get out, Jeff.
You don't want to be here.
Is going to hurt.
Don't hurt her.
One more date, Mel, and all of this would have never happened.
Where did you get this thing?
Did you have to buy it?
No, don't tell me. I don't want to know.
It's on loan...
From my barber shop...
You love putting on a show, don't you?
We didn't make light of it.
They're my daughters, you're my wife.
I gave him an opening; He didn't take it.
You shot him down right from the start.
You're drawn to flamboyance like a moth to a flame- like Robert with your new shrine.
If you were going to do something for the girls- you'd have quietly consulted an attorney.
Why were you crying earlier?
You scared me to death over the thought- that I might be hurting you in some way.
I thought you might pass out.
You know what it reminded me of?
Fourth grade, Tench Phillips.
The school bully.
Yes, his name was actually Tench.
I don't know how, but at age eleven, he knew I might be gay.
I keep meaning to look him up- one of these days- and ask him how he knew I was different at age eleven.
Anyway, he would torment me from dawn until midday sun.
The threats he would make were paralyzing.
I became so anxious...
...I wet my pants running home from school once...
...running from imaginary footsteps.
Still, he was gonna kick my ass.
So, since I knew it was coming, sooner or later, I summoned...
...I don't know, not courage, but some sort of perverse form of mental self-preservation.
And I sought him out.
I cried in his face.
I screamed at him and I begged the school bully- by reputation if not by deed-
I begged Tench Phillips to beat me up.
I was almost lusting for it.
But he wouldn't do it.
He just turned... and walked away.
The worst thing about that moment was that, he gazed into my eyes- with a look of utter boredom.
I was trembling and hyperventilating and...
...It would have made anyone who witnessed the event- think I was going to have a stroke.
My gym teacher, Mr. Davis, he witnessed it.
And the next day he took my under his wing.
He was straight as an arrow, married to another teacher from the high school, the drama teacher.
They took me to plays- dramas, not musicals- to museums.
Sometimes even asked me to out class to take me to lunch.
I was his pitiable protégé, and...
He was... my friend.
God, he saved me.
But more than that, he taught me how to protect someone.
I wanted to be that guy, for you.
I wanted to be that guy in your life.
My dad used to take me to baseball games- all the time.
Little league games, major league games, trips to Florida to spring training camp.
He thought if I had a son it might come in handy.
Well, I like baseball, so you messed that up.
It was silly o'clock in the morning- when I arrived today.
I never thought I'd find you anywhere- but under your blanket at that hour.
I heard you and Mom.
I couldn't sleep.
Mother tells me- your reading habits have shifted of late- romance novels.
They're easier. Less time-consuming.
Why is your time suddenly so compromised?
I used to worry all the time, and now I worry even more.
So, I had to make time for the additional worry.
...why do you have a different name for Mom- every time you refer to her?
Henry James, Fitzgerald, they're also romance novelists.
But you know that already, don't you?
It's killing me to have to impose- some uncomfortable formality in conversing with my daughter.
I saved someone's life this week.
What are you talking about?
I was accompanying a friend- from Children's Emergency Services- on a house call.
He was returning two young children to their parents.
I took one look at the squalor...
...and I wept.
You gotta stop weeping so much.
I asked my friend to stop at a Home Depot- so I could get a smoke alarm and a...
...carbon monoxide detector.
As soon as I activated them, the C.M. Detector went off.
The levels in that house- would have killed those kids by morning.
So that's four lives.
You're a hero.
I don't know if that means- you're proud of me, or merely stating a fact.
I so want to impress you, I so want to be your father.
I'm a very goal-orientated person.
I had no one to set goals for before you and Mel came along.
There's no expiration date.
I'll never give up.
Give me just a little more leeway.
Is almost 7:30.
We've been together almost the entire day.
Wasn't so bad, was it?
See you later, Dad.
...I never know what to say to you, and you never talk.
Well, stop crying.
I'm sorry. I never have fucking tissues.
...I think I want to go back to school, but I think I also want to go to Europe first.
You saved those issues of National Geographic.
Dad used to cherish, didn't you?
But I don't want to leave Mom.
Maybe I should take her.
What about Dad?
I think I want to meet his... partner.
I met him.
What's he like?
He's into sports.
He's a bit of a prima Donna- but he can be funny about it.
He's not very ambitious, but he loves everything about Dad.
I mean, he spoils Dad rotten.
What's he look like?
Does he have any kind of a job?
I saw them playing catch one morning.
They woke up early- and they did yard-work together- and then they started playing catch.
Were they any good at it?
I couldn't tell.
On the second night I was there I couldn't sleep.
So I walked down to the kitchen in the middle of the night, and Robert came downstairs.
And he cooked me an egg-white omelet.
And Dad came down too, to keep me company...
Or to keep Robert company.
I couldn't ever decide- which option I preferred to believe...
Dad helped me with my homework that weekend.
And he and Robert threw a cocktail party- and introduced me to everyone.
This was all in one weekend?
Yeah. I felt suffocated.
I wanted Mom.
Do you know I used to do dope?
Our very own "Laura" from "The Glass Menagerie"- smokes weed?
Well, not anymore.
Nor do I blow coke, or drop acid, take amphetamines, opiated hash...
Oh, my God! Stop!
My ears are bleeding.
You know, I remember one night I had to meet someone- to go buy... pills.
It was 1 AM, and I took Mom's car.
And it was winter- and the roads were just encrusted- with this layer of black ice.
And I was high before I even left the house.
I picked up my stuff.
But on the way home I smashed the car...
...right into a tree.
I was fine, but I was high.
So I just left the car there- like it was a parking space, and, um...
And I remember the streets were deserted.
I was so tired.
I just walked home, walked up the stairs, and passed out.
And then the cops came.
Where was I?
Asleep... in bed.
They asked Mom if the car was hers- and told her where it was.
And then Mom came into my bedroom...
And I was dead to the world- but I guess I displayed enough signs of life- that they decided I would survive.
And they just let me sleep it off.
I was 15.
It should have been a wake-up call, but it wasn't.
Drugs took the edge off.
They sent all my usual miseries packing.
And without them, I...
...just stopped talking to everyone.
Mom should have gotten such big points- for what she did that night- talking the cops out of taking me in.
But I couldn't... I couldn't even appreciate it.
...I really need you to be my friend.
We should send Jeff like a thank you note or something.
You should send one to Mom.
Sorry. All thumbs.
Can you help me with this?
Good afternoon, ladies and gents!