INT. ALTON PSYCHIATRIC WARD—CHRISTMAS NIGHT 2007

It’s after lights out.  But Willie is still talking.  You might as well have your eyes closed because it’s in complete darkness.  Just the two voices.  Willie and Marcus.  A story and then a story.  No prayers.  No last words meant to be the last.  Just two men that don’t want to go to sleep—one older than the other—fighting to stay awake and they don’t know why.  Maybe because it’s better than their dreams.

WILLIE

Sounds kind of stereotypical.  Your descriptions.  Almost like you don’t want to believe it so you make it that way.  You’ve made it unbelievable to yourself, but you want me to believe it.  Like a picture at an angle so when you see it it defies gravity.  Like it’s dead and it goes to God somehow…  So you got a quarter for your trouble—7 grams?  And she didn’t have to pay?  You never gave her a name.  So what was lost?  What was lost in her 21 grams?  What was lost if she didn’t even have a name?

MARCUS

Maybe some things don’t go to God.  They stay here—with us.  In how we want to remember it.  Maybe I told it so a white man would understand.

WILLIE

For that you would have to have a sense of humor…  Sarcasm is the last defense of the old, boy.  The last bastion to the denial…  They have church service here.  Interdenominational—for all faiths…  You know why I don’t go?  Because I know I’ll cry and feel all kinds of things and I know now that’s like any addiction an addiction to any drug because it’s the way it makes you think—that’s what you want—you want a cure for your boredom… and you’re just bored…  That’s your sadness.  Not any affront or betrayal—you haven’t been lied to—but that’s what you want.  So you don’t have to believe in your own lies…  You’re a rebel to common sense perhaps because you’ve been taught that way.  Who was your mother?  Your father?  And what came before them?  That’s always something the young have to decide.  And when you decide you’re not young anymore…

MARCUS

You’re talkin’ ‘bout guilt—aren’t you?

WILLIE

Sure… if that’s what you want to call it, but it doesn’t make you special.  You see nothing happens when it happens.  You either go or you stay.  Either way you have friends or at least you’re not alone.  But the only way to make it that way—make it your story is to have no allusions.  Illusions—sure—that’s really all we have, but don’t allude to them.  You gotta make your illusions yours.  Otherwise I don’t buy it.  I don’t buy your story and why you’re here.  You’re just someone else’s story—maybe even hers, and until you realize that your story will never be your own and it can’t go… it can’t go to God that way…  It doesn’t make the dogs bark—you get me?  It doesn’t make me so I want to hear it.  Hear it and drive me crazy.  Because that’s what people really want.  They want us in here.  So they know what’s normal.  You see you ain’t curin’ your boredom.  You’re just curin’ theirs…  Be naked!  Naked and unafraid!  Because that’s it.  That’s the only story there ever is…

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