Hi, sir. Just this.
Four. There you go.
Furthermore this indemnification clause...
...clearly states that there will be no injunctive relief.
And our client's chances of being rewarded...
...financially are minimal at best.
I'll finish it tomorrow.
Can I be blamed for feeling that things were a little strange that night?
You don't expect a power outage in the spring.
Not without a storm first.
When you're tired and it's a long day and you're trying to get home...
...you tend to feel all these little disconnects...
...as the slow trajectory of a collapsing civilization.
At least that's where I go.
"In the suburbs, we live in nature."
That's a quote from my realtor, the selling phrase she used...
...when Diana and I first looked at this place.
And you do see deer, rabbits, crows.
But we don't live in nature.
That's the point of the suburbs.
You live apart from humans.
And you're protected from what's wild.
Go on, get out of here. Go on!
Go on, get out!
I had quarreled with my wife.
We did this thing where we would play at sexual jealousy.
But anyway... Or I played at it...
...and she was my accomplice.
After 15 years of marriage...
...jealousy was the reliable stimulant.
Let's be honest. When your spouse gets jealous, it's flattering.
The blood stirs, the heart pounds.
...and we'd have sex.
Or as Diana would say provocatively we'd fuck.
And it works. The guy you were coming onto all afternoon.
Until it doesn't. Obviously, I wasn't coming on to him...
Oh, yeah, obviously.
Well, Diana, anyone within 10 feet could see what was going on.
Well, who was watching? It was a conversation.
I witnessed the whole thing, Diana.
You were practically issuing him an invitation.
Only in your peculiar imagination, Wakefield.
Meanwhile, you'll chat up any woman who even looks at you and I'm the one who...
No, no, no. You made a very suggestive remark.
I made an amusing remark. Oh, amusing?
Everyone laughed but you.
Well, I failed to be entertained by watching my wife...
...come onto a guy in a Polo shirt.
I was replying to something he said. Something stupid if you must know...
God! I am so sick of this... this constant surveillance.
You... no, you have muzzled me to the point where I can't carry on a conversation...
...with other parents. I barely relate to people anymore...
You were relating to him. What do you not see?
Do you think I'd be even remotely inclined to start something up with anyone...
...given the relationship we have?
All I want...
...is to get through the day.
That's what I think about. Just get through the day.
Why go in there now?
Just to endure another predictable scene with my wife.
Soon enough, they'd all be asleep.
You know, frankly I was totally bewildered by this situation I had created for myself.
Diana would probably think I'd been with someone else.
Not that I had ever given her a reason to doubt me in 15 years of marriage.
Oh, my God. It would be the weakest of tactics...
...for me to walk into my house...
...and try to explain to her the perfectly rational sequence...
...that led me to spend the night in the garage.
You know, another woman might have saved my supper plate in the refrigerator.
But I lived in Diana's judgment.
It shone on me as in a prison cell...
...where the light is never turned off.
The immediate solution?
Postpone my entrance 'til my wife had gone off to work.
Rush, rush, rush.
The bus is here, girls.
Hey, hey, hey, hey. They forgot their lunches.
Girls, girls, lunch.
They're gonna be late again.
Bye-bye, girls. Have a good day.
Okay, love you.
The first call would be to my office.
No, he hasn't come in.
Well, no, he didn't say anything.
Well, he left around the usual time.
Oh, yes, of course, I will.
What are you doing now?
Surprise, car's still there.
The plot thickens.
After a few calls to her friends...
...wouldn't it seem reasonable to expect...
...that the assistant curator of the county museum...
...would depart for work?
I realize this is a common enough complaint.
But there are times when I feel I've spent my life just waiting for my wife...
...to get ready to leave the house.
You got to be fuckin' kidding me.
What the hell?
Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute.
No checks were missing.
Why, why! Where could he be?
There's the hubs?
No wonder you want him back. He's a stud.
Our town police are well-paid and polite...
...and not so different from the rest of us...
...in their distant relationship to actual crime.
Nobody mugged him or anything.
What? What am I, a travel agent?
I guarantee he's at the strip club right now hangin' around.
Here come the water works.
But then God help us.
The widow, Babs.
Right on cue.
Do you ever shut up?
No, no, no, no. Don't cry, don't cry.
No. He's not worth it.
There you go.
I have big broad shoulders, darling.
And if you need to cry, you just lay your head right here.
Like a fuckin' linebacker.
I'll be here for you.
But, darling, now is the time that you need to protect yourself.
Financially, I mean.
He could wipe you out.
Oh, no, no, no. Mommy...
...the bank accounts are secured.
Look, look, look. You see?
If Howard was going to leave me...
...wouldn't he have cleared out all the accounts?
But he didn't.
Well, just give him time. He will.
Oh, God, I wish I had a high-powered rifle right now.
That woman could be up here for two days.
At this juncture, it seems fair to point out...
...if your spouse had seemingly vanished, would you go off to work as usual?
Are daily matters so very goddamn urgent at the local county museum?
Or was that desperate call to the police a tactic...
...calculated to embarrass me?
Leave it to Mrs. Wakefield to turn a rather amusing sidestep...
...into prima facie evidence of Howard's thoughtless behavior.
I was naive...
...and condescending to her mother.
I lacked interest in her work.
Or I wasted perfectly beautiful full weekends watching football games.
And if she was such a feminist...
...why did my opening a door for her or helping her on with her coat...
...matter so goddamn much?
Standing there in the clear light of day...
...I could see.
Diana felt that she had married the wrong man.
I ask you what is so sacrosanct about a marriage and a family...
...that you should have to live in it day after day...
...however unrealized that life may be?
Who hasn't had the impulse to just put their life on hold for a moment?
I ask you.
Oh, my God, that looks good.
What are you two doing laughing?
Here's the conspiracy.
It's all a little too convenient, don't you think? Oh, yes, I agree.
I think she's totally guilty.
She murdered him.
Ben Jacobson, attorney at law just stoppin' by for a little deli.
You're not fooling anybody.
I say, without shame...
...I'd given not a single thought to anyone at work.
And the documents I carried away with me.
Documents, vital to a very lucrative case we'd been preparing.
All of that was pretty remote now.
...I've got my own little deli going here.
Oh, my God.
Here I am.
Make her the victim.
Oh, please. They've hardly been abandoned.
People, I'm right here.
Oh, I see.
Here it is.
Making your play, Ben?
Go on, go on, go on. She's hurting.
Give her your hanky, be a gentleman.
Oh, my God.
He took out his phone. What an ass.
A husband doesn't just vanish, Mrs. Wakefield.
Howard Wakefield is on this earth.
Or under it.
And only you, madam, know which it is.
Are you accusing me of making a game of this?
I assure you my frame of mind was quite rational.
May I remind you I was eating actual garbage to survive?
Come on back.
Come on, honey, come back, come back. Come back, come back, come back.
There you are.
About my wife's deliberate nudity.
Apparently it's a side effect of her...
...having once been a modern dancer.
Briefly. I feel compelled to add.
Who exactly are you trying to attract out there?
No one can see me and if they can, I don't care.
Clearly. Strutting around this house on full display.
Would it kill you to put some clothes on in front of our girls?
No, I'm not gonna teach our daughters to have shame about having a body.
What if I started parading naked around them?
What'd you think about that? Hey, look at me!
Daddy's naked! Mr. prude-o in the nude-o.
Hey, look at me, I'm going to work naked! Right, right, right.
Would you get away from there? There's no one there, Howard.
Seeing my wife in the nude...
...oddly enough usually got me thinking about money.
I've only a slender amount of cash with me.
And if it's my intention to vanish completely...
...using a credit card is out of the question.
I could pre-date a bank check and cash it somewhere, yes.
But that might signal to Diana that my disappearance was pre-meditated.
Which, I don't know, seems unnecessarily cool.
It's not difficult to run away.
People ditch their families all the time.
But if this were a simple abandonment of wife and children...
...I'd have written Diana a note...
...taken my car out of the garage...
...driven to Manhattan, checked into a hotel...
...and walked to work in the morning. Easy. Anyone can do that.
But you'd still be the same person.
This is different.
...I no longer seem to require those things that only days ago were so indispensable.
The armor of a clean shirt, the smooth shave...
...credit cards, cellphones, clients.
There will be no more getting on that train.
I'll take nothing more from her.
Nothing from that house.
I'll sustain myself like a castaway.
I'll become the Howard Wakefield I was meant to be.
Oh, please. You've imagined doing this yourself. I know you have.
But what about the twins you ask?
No regrets there.
In their current phase our girls generally think of me...
...as some kind of unfortunate oddity...
...who embarrasses them in front of their friends.
Believe me, I'm seeing more of these two now...
...than I have in months, if not years.
And I'm sure it's not lost on you.
Though I might have left my wife...
...I'll still be able to keep an eye on her.
There we go.
Did I ever miss the conveniences of home?
Our neighbor, Dr. Sondervan, is a known authority on Down syndrome...
...and other developmental disorders.
When he began to board some patients a few months at a time...
...I stood up for Sondervan when our neighbors petitioned against him.
My spirited defense of Dr. Sondervan and his young charges...
...for once gave me the moral high ground with Diana...
...who naturally took the opposing view.
Howard, really? Do we have any idea what goes on behind those gates?
And the apparent answer to your wife is...
...not too goddam much.
Morning's a little social interaction.
Evenings conclude with a hot shower.
And who can argue with that?
There you are.
That's so easy, isn't it?
In every marriage, there's a division of labor.
Mine and yours. By Diana's artful calibration...
...her tasks occur only inside the house.
Children, cleaning, provisioning.
Oh, which means shopping. Lots of shopping.
But anything external, the roof, the gutters, the chimney, trash...
...you know, servicing the cars, that's all left to me.
Her duties end at the door. And of course, any labor accomplished outside the house...
...is invisible to my wife.
Paying the bills, invisible.
Property taxes, life insurance...
...home insurance and of course, our mortgage.
All faithfully and invisibly...
...taken care of by one Howard Wakefield.
Now quite possibly deceased.
One, two, three, four, five.
Who the hell is this?
Oh, my God. Ben Jacobs.
Oh, yes, yes, yes.
Coffee? Cookies? Come on in.
Oh, he's gonna need some whitener for his coffee, Diana.
Excuse me, you don't have any soy milk, do you?
Of course, she's got soy milk. She's got everything.
Please, Ben, please...
...tell her about your tragic lactose intolerance.
All the bloating and flatulence.
Little pro-bono work on behalf of the firm.
How nice of you.
I'm impressed With my attorney Bernie I'm impressed With his influential friends He's got very big connections And I follow his directions You know, I never used to sing.
I think that's worth noting.
If I sign this...
...it's declaring my husband absentee.
What if I don't sign?
Would it make him any less absent?
You've got to be kidding me.
Right away with the...
Come on, honey. Show him the door. Show it.
Oh, Ben, you're such a douche.
She is totally out of your league.
That's for you, dickhead.
Absentee or no, it's a victory, I guess...
...to know I've still got possession of my wife.
Which reminds me, I believe you're aware that Diana was something of a dancer.
By the time we met, of course, Diana's brief flirtation with the stage...
...had been replaced by the occasional evening bar class.
While she pursued a graduate degree in art history...
...and complicated her life in the usual ways.
Did I tell you she was involved with someone else when she started seeing me?
Dirk, Dirk Morrison.
Without touchin' the dime or the bottle...
...and usin' only one finger, get the dime into the bottle.
We met in the city through an alumni mix and hit it off.
A few years later, my firm did some work for his capital investment firm.
I thought you were smart.
I guess he'd say we were friends.
Where's the $5? Well done. I didn't bet you $5 on that.
There was nothing Dirk couldn't turn into a competition.
Fuck, yeah! What else you got? I can't hear ya.
Thank you very much.
And I'm not defending my own actions but Dirk's competitiveness...
...brought out a certain quality in me.
So before your very eyes...
...I'm gonna make this widget...
...leave this bottle without touching the bottle...
...or the widget in any way.
Should we stand back?
I had never had a thing for dancers myself...
...but somehow Dirk's intense interest in Diana...
...gave me ideas of my own.
Hi. Oh, hi. Diana.
Yes, of course. Hi. How are you? Hi.
At first, she wouldn't go out with me.
I'm seeing a good friend of yours.
Dirk Morrison. I'm... I'm dating Dirk.
The thing to remember is I'm a litigator by profession.
I have a talent for persuasion.
Not that she ran to Dirk with the news.
I had just been made a senior partner at the firm.
Dirk was grinding away at Wall Street. So busy people, right?
It took a while for Dirk to find out.
Howard, you are jokin' right now?
No, no, she...
...she wanted to get out and I thought great. So we went for a bike ride in Central Park.
It was nice. Little lunch at the... at the boat house.
That is total bullshit. Here. Here's your light beer. Cheers.
I mean, let's be serious, it's not as if anything is happening with you.
That's bollocks. Howard, we have a thing.
We... we have an understanding.
An understanding? Yeah.
Dirk, I mean, you're not even fucking her.
Last week, you told me not to rouse her. That means... Jesus.
A woman like Diana cannot be pushed. You need to gain her trust.
Wait, did you... did you tell Diana that I gave you permission to ask her out?
What? Just tell me.
No. Come on, Dirk. She was just not happy.
She didn't wanna tell you what really happened.
She's protecting you.
I lied, of course.
Diana was torn between us.
The drama went on for, God, for weeks at least.
Why she'd never gone to bed with Dirk...
...was I had made my move early on in time to hit it off.
But in those early weeks she wasn't sleeping with me either.
Till I made a genius and I mean genius strategic move.
I mean, whatever she's telling you, she is certainly not asking me to back up.
Not at all.
What she says...
...is that she really cares about me.
What? That is Diana...
...the queen of mixed signals?
Hey, maybe she's playing us both.
You know, in bed last night she started talking about moving in with me...
...and I went seriously? I'm thinking, I really like you...
...but aren't we moving a little too fast with this?
Wait, wait, wait, wait.
She... she's not...
She's... she's not sleeping with you?
Yeah, of course.
What? She didn't say anything to you?
Oh, my God.
I knew Dirk would do something stupid.
Wait, wait, no. Stop.
Stop it. Within hours, it had all played out.
Hey, how are you?
How is it? Is it bad?
Yeah, I know.
I'm so sorry.
No, no, no. I'm sorry.
That feels better.
Just leave it there a second.
I have never seen this side of him before. This violence.
I'm not so surprised. I've known this guy a long time.
Has the swelling gone down? No.
That's even more better.
And thank you, Dirk Morrison.
Would I have wanted her if she weren't my best friend's girl?
Was I just jacked up by the competition?
...it did occur to me about a year into the marriage.
But by then, your wife is pregnant.
She's carrying your child.
And God, I don't know.
She was just so beautiful.
All over again.
It makes you go a little crazy and stuff.
That gorgeous round belly.
It awakens this whole other level of...
...well, fear, I guess.
You wanna capture her somehow.
You see, this is how they get you.
They maneuver things to that point where you feel like everything in your life...
...is suddenly precious.
And simultaneously, totally precarious.
It just slams you.
The realization that everything with any meaning...
...anything you love could just be taken away in some random event.
Anything could happen, right?
If I had left her in the conventional sense...
...if I had divorced her...
...no one would blame my wife if she began entertaining hoards of men.
But by simply vanishing...
...I placed Diana in a, let's say, a distant category.
Till it's known what's become of her husband...
...Mrs. Wakefield remains not quite available.
A power move.
Am I intentionally frustrating her?
Not at all, my love.
I'm sure you have vivid memories of what you're missing.
I know I do.
I just want you to want me...
...as much as I want you.
When people are leaving for summer vacation they put out more trash.
Cleaning up the fridge never fails.
The tell-tale signs.
There's always ice cream.
Every two weeks, residents here put out the good stuff.
Whatever isn't strictly garbage.
By 2:00 a.m., anything usable is gone.
Gleaners. Russians from the south end of town.
I'm not being a baby. I'm just not going up there.
Yes, you are. I'm saying you have to.
You know what, I don't have to listen to you. Yes, you do.
No, come on. Mommy said you have to. I need your help.
No way, there's spiders up there. Can you just...
I don't have on shoes. Neither do I.
I'm gonna get splinters. And I won't?
Okay, we'll both go. Okay.
I blame myself for getting lulled into the domestic routine.
Day after day, so much is the same.
Week after week.
And one day, routine goes to hell.
Diana couldn't be taking the girls on our usual summer trip to the cape.
How could she possibly afford it this year?
Diana had very little coming in these days.
Would she really damage our savings...
...just to loll around on the beach...
...in her very small bikini?
God, the three of them.
I'm trying to track the exact moment those three became the opposing team.
How do you do?
How was... how was school?
The many times I've listened under the windows of this house...
...have I heard my name spoken even once?
So, why am I still concerned about their financial situation?
I'm the one who's impoverished, goddammit.
Scrounging every meal.
It's hot as blazes in this attic.
It's glaringly obvious that my wife herself will come up here tonight...
...to carry away those essential vacation items...
...that Howard Wakefield, devoted husband...
...had so obediently opened his wallet to provide.
That's what I've made of myself.
A fuckwit prisoner of all time.
Here we go.
Son of a bitch!
It's a shame.
She isn't back. She's getting stuff into the car.
How many bags? Hold up. I got the chairs.
I'm coming, I'm coming. I brought us a go cup of coffee.
Is it just me or is it oddly relaxing when the wife goes out of town?
You know, maybe it's summer but...
...I find I'm becoming lax about keeping up with events.
Look at you.
"Luckiest guy on Wall Street?"
Goddamn right he is.
What's amazing is that old Dirk and I...
...ended up in the same line of work.
Dirk Morrison, junk man.
Scavenging the remnants of what? Pizza chains and supermarkets?
Buying, raiding, flipping.
Take the money to him. There you go.
Good job, sweetheart.
Do I ever worry that someone might recognize me...
...on one of these expeditions to town?
Coming home early from the cape.
She could show up any moment.
Oh, believe me, I can knock out countless variations.
It's endlessly entertaining.
You do realize, I hope, that none of this is a rejection of my wife...
...or... or suburban life or any of that.
You see, I never left my family.
I left myself.
I stepped into the wild.
Into that primal arena, a beach vacation in Cape Cod...
...only pretends to supply.
But in the primal world, there's one law.
We are food to one another...
...or we are not.
That's it. End of story.
You know how in late summer there's always that first night of Autumn.
That familiar chill.
Normally, I welcome the change of seasons.
But this time, well...
...I no longer have a pair of shoes.
No, no, no, mine. Mine, hey!
Hey, hey, no, no, no!
Come... come on.
...it's very important...
...that you don't tell anyone that you saw me.
It's a secret.
Suppose they do tell someone, those two next door.
I should leave.
Diana will be coming back soon.
My daughters coming up the stairs to put their vacation gear away.
I should go sleep in the woods.
Those are toe shoes for ballet.
You know, ballet?
Yeah, that's you. Look here.
You know who that is?
Who is that?
Yeah. Yes. That's Emily.
You know what that is?
That is a bicycle pump.
You use that to put air in your bicycle tires.
Here, let me... let me show you. You see, there we go, see.
You take this part... Have I mentioned the loneliness?
Just like... feel the air?
I give up. Let's get Emily. Come on.
Now this is a very important piece of equipment.
You have a hole... When you are alone for so long...
...you forget the simple human exchange.
Snap that into place. Voila.
Listen, Herbert, Emily.
Don't come back here again...
...or I'll have to leave.
Okay? Do you understand?
It's our secret. Remember?
Good, Herbert. Our secret.
Remember, Emily? Don't tell anyone.
And I mean it. Don't come back.
They'll never be able to keep their end of it.
The sensible thing would be to abandon this place.
No question. I'd have completely stranded myself.
She's taking dance class again.
She seems a little tired tonight.
The kids are running her ragged.
They're looking more like Diana these days, don't you think?
Hey, check this out.
I like her wearing her hair long like that.
Have a safe drive. Bye. Bye.
Taylor, Gelly, I think these ninja's might belong to you.
When did that happen?
What do you say when you knock on the door on Halloween?
Good morning. Good morning?
You don't say good morning.
- Trick or treat! Trick or treat!
There's no point denying it.
They're much happier without me.
She's buying the cheaper cuts of meat.
Saving her pennies.
Suppose she has to sell the house?
How far am I willing to let this go?
Then again, it could end at any moment.
I could be exposed.
...if I did go back, I mean...
...how would I begin?
How does a man in my situation explain himself to his wife?
She'll think I vacated my senses.
If anything, I've come into my senses fully.
My God, I can see it so clearly.
I've constructed the whole thing.
The jealousy, the resentment...
...the selfish urgency.
Howard is victim.
Howard is persecutor.
There's no one there, Howard.
Howard has mastered the world.
That was my prison.
That's what I've escaped.
Leaving me where now?
An outcast of cosmos.
I'll tell you this. You can think whatever you like.
I love my wife now as I've never loved her before.
So I'm guessing Thanksgiving dinner...
...will be at Babs' house this year.
And you know what that means.
Zilch-o for me in the leftovers department.
Who am I kidding?
A family of ten could eat for weeks off what my neighbors throw out.
This stuff will keep forever.
The whole attic's like a goddamn refrigerator.
Unfortunately, Howard Wakefield had ignored some basic repairs.
What about when it starts snowing?
Diana will think she has a prowler.
Stupid. They're not home. Go inside where it's warm.
The first catch of the game... he's going for another first down.
And with our Black Friday sales going on throughout the entire weekend...
...you can find savings for the entire family.
Want some wine?
Here. Just take a little... just a little sip.
"The quality of mercy is not strained.
"It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath."
Your whole life you hear that quoted.
I never got it till now.
Mercy... is not something you ever get to request.
Not strained means not forced.
It's given freely.
Thank you, Herbert. Thank you, Emily.
Just a gift drops from the sky.
Blessing him that gives and him that takes...
...if I remember correctly.
Thank you. The giving and the taking all in one.
Okay. Thank you so much, Caleb.
We'll see you in June? July? June? Okay.
Supposed she had recognized us.
You could have lost her right there, pal.
I mean, the shock of it. To look into Diana's eyes.
Her eyes that I've seen into countless...
...countless times, to look and to see nothing.
I had no idea how one-sided this relationship had become.
Where should I dump daddy's clothes? Put everything in the car.
They're emptying my closet.
I'll be right back.
Just put the oven on, would you, please? 350.
Alright. Close the door.
Am I a coward...
...afraid of facing her rejection?
Or am I just resolved to see this thing through?
And by this thing...
...what the hell do I even mean?
Gone is the provider...
...the family man, the litigator, the husband.
All that remains is the lover.
I love her because she belongs to me.
And I love her because she doesn't.
And I know if I come in from exile there's every chance I'll lose her.
On the other hand...
...I know this look she has...
...from deep memory.
My wife, infatuated...
...eager to please...
...trusting that every word is true.
Why wouldn't she seek a little tenderness?
I'm not saying I welcome this.
I'm saying I understand.
Mom, can you get scissors? Yeah, yeah, yeah, hang on.
Just leave the tree by the steps, okay?
Company for dinner?
Who can it be?
A city feller?
Not much to conclude from that.
My, my. Coffee and dessert in the living room.
This is a special evening.
Oh, my God.
Son of bitch.
Then again, who else would it be?
The unfinished business.
They've compared stories...
...revived the past. Jesus.
He's told her everything by now.
At last, the great fraud has been exposed.
You do understand that this was the music of our courtship.
If he's the one you think you want, my love...
...it seems only fair to give you the choice this time.
Forgive me if I don't stand and watch...
...as another man lays claim to your affections.
What happened to the burberry coat that... that was here?
It was sold yesterday.
There. Thank you.
It seems remarkable that I still know how to drive.
Strange to be subject to rules again.
You forget God awfulness.
Buildings stacked up like that.
People in endless replication.
Impossible to imagine I worked here once.
That I could ever work here again.
One thing at a time, Howard. Construct it.
First the thrift store, then the haircut.
And now I can pass through this door.
First that and now this.