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#101 : La Mort

Captures de l'épisode

Los Angeles, la veille de Noël. Nathaniel Fisher, propriétaire des pompes funèbres Fisher & Sons, meurt dans son tout nouveau corbillard, heurté par un bus municipal. La tragédie vient gâcher les vacances du fils, Nate, de retour de Seattle. Il doit non seulement affronter la mort de son père, mais aussi rassurer les membres de sa famille, fragilisés : Ruth, sa mère, qui est la plus touchée, son frère David et sa sœur Claire. La seule chose de bien qui arrive à Nate est Brenda, une femme qu'il vient de rencontrer dans l'avion, avant d'apprendre la mort de son père.
Face à la gravité de la situation, David n'est pas amusé par les avances de Matthew Gilardi de la Corporation Kroehner, une conglomération de pompes funèbres qui cherche à racheter l'entreprise des Fishers.

Titre VO
Pilot

Titre VF
La Mort

Vidéos

Scène inédite: Claire et Nate en voiture (VO)

Scène inédite: Claire et Nate en voiture (VO)

  

Photos promo

Les funérailles de Nathaniel

Les funérailles de Nathaniel

David apprend comment préparer un corps pour les funérailles

David apprend comment préparer un corps pour les funérailles

Nathaniel assiste à ses propres funérailles

Nathaniel assiste à ses propres funérailles

Un moment difficile pour la famille Fisher

Un moment difficile pour la famille Fisher

David et son petit ami Keith

David et son petit ami Keith

Plus de détails

PUBLICITE – Spot publicitaire pour le corbillard Royal Millenium : une femme élégante et vêtue de noir présente un corbillard à la manière du Juste Prix. Le slogan : « L’être qu’on aime mérite mieux ce qui se fait de mieux ».

Los Angeles, le matin de Noël, journée ensoleillée. Nathaniel Fisher chante « I’ll be there for Christmas” en conduisant son corbillard. Son portable sonne, c’est Ruth sa femme. Elle lui demande d’aller chercher le lait de soja que Nate, leur fils, boit d’habitude. Ruth s’aperçoit en parlant à Nathaniel qu’il fume. Nathaniel tente de démentir, Ruth lui dit qu’il mourra dans d’atroces souffrances mais surtout qu’il empeste le nouveau corbillard. Nathaniel finit par céder et jette sa cigarette par la fenêtre.


CUISINE DES FISHER – David dit à Ruth, sa mère, qu’ils n’auraient jamais du lui laisser conduire ce nouveau corbillard.


Pendant ce temps, Nathaniel, après avoir raccroché, se penche pour prendre une nouvelle cigarette dans la boîte à gant. Il ne voit pas le bus qui arrive droit sur lui. C’est le choc, le bus emboutit le corbillard.


CUISINE DES FISHER – David continue ses reproches, il pense que l’achat de ce corbillard est du pur gaspillage. Ruth lui répond que Nathaniel souffre du retour d’âge et qu’elle préfère ça plutôt qu’il ne la quitte pour une autre femme ou pire pour un homme…David semble peu apprécier la dernière partie de la phrase. Il quitte la cuisine et va se préparer pour la présentation.


AEROPORT LOS ANGELES – Nate discute avec une inconnue rencontrée lors de son vol. Elle lui propose de lui faire une séance de shiatsu durant son séjour à LA. Nate lui dit que son père va venir le chercher, elle lui propose de le raccompagner. En fait l’inconnue lui fait comprendre qu’elle aimerait concrétiser leur rencontre sur le champ.


FISHER, salle de présentation – Dave parle avec un homme qui vient de perdre sa femme, il le félicite pour son travail. Dave lui dit que désormais elle repose en paix. Ce à quoi l’homme répond : « Si jamais il y a une justice, elle ramasse de la merde en enfer ».
Le portable de Dave sonne. C’est Claire, sa sœur. Elle veut savoir si Nate est arrivé et que s’il n’est pas là elle a d’autres projets pour célébrer Noël. Dave la sermonne et lui rappelle que cela fait une occasion de se réunir. Après avoir raccroché Claire dit : Fucking Boyscout !


AEROPORT – Nate et l’inconnue font l’amour dans une remise de l’aéroport.


FISHER, cuisine – Le téléphone sonne. Ruth apprend que son mari vient d’être tué dans un accident de la route. Hystérique, elle jette le téléphone, jette les plats, tous les objets à sa portée. Elle pousse des hurlements. David, alerté par ses cris, remonte et voit sa mère assise parterre sanglotant. Ruth : « Il y a eu un accident, le corbillard est bousillé, ton père est mort.


AEROPORT – Nate et l’inconnue s’embrassent fougueusement. Elle lui dit que d’habitude elle ne fait jamais ça. Elle ne veut pas lui dire son nom. Le portable de Nate sonne. C’est David qui lui annonce la mort de son père.


CHEZ LES AMIS DE CLAIRE – Une pièce enfumée et en désordre. Plusieurs jeunes sont affalés sur des chaises et le canapé. Gabe, un ami de Claire lui propose de prendre des amphétamines, Claire accepte. Le portable de Claire sonne, elle apprend elle aussi la terrible nouvelle. Complètement défoncée, elle rentre vite chez elle pour aller authentifier le corps de son père.


VOITURE DE L’INCONNUE, la nuit – Nate la remercie de le raccompagner. Elle lui répond qu’elle n’est pas pressée d’aller au carnage de Noël chez ses parents. Elle lui parle de sa famille qu’elle semble subir. Elle demande à Nate si sa famille est pareille. Nate « On est assez normaux, ma mère veut tout régenter, mon frère veut tout régenter aussi… » Il parle de son père qui de par son métier leur a interdit toutes les activités « dangereuses » : concert, rafting…


VOITURE DE CLAIRE – Claire est en plein délire psychédélique. Quant à Ruth elle est bouleversée. Alors que Claire tente de se maîtriser, Ruth lui demande brusquement si elle a des relations sexuelles ou si elle prend de la drogue. Claire est héberluée mais elle arrive à lui dire que tout va bien.


FISHER, salle de présentation – Alors que David surveille la présentation, une jeune femme vient l’aborder, plutôt collante elle lui énumère tous les enterrements auxquels elle a assisté. Pendant qu’elle lui parle, David part dans son imagination : il voit cette femme qui lui dit : Ton père est mort, T’iras pas en fac, tu seras avec des cadavres et des tarés comme moi pour toujours ». Dave revient à la réalité et se met à hurler au milieu de la salle, faisant sursauter tout le monde.


HOPITAL DE LOS ANGELES – Nate et l’inconnue arrivent et retrouvent Ruth et Claire. Ruth, apercevant la jeune femme, demande à Nate qui elle est. Nate est embarrassé car il ne connaît même pas son nom. Voyant cela l’inconnue se présente : Brenda Chenowith. Ruth demande ensuite à Nate d’aller identifier le corps de Nathaniel car elle ne s’en sent pas le courage. Il accepte. Claire essaye de lui parler pour lui dire qu’elle est sous acides, Nate réagit violemment : « Si t’as un mauvais trip, prends sur toi ». Pendant ce temps Ruth demande à Brenda comment elle a rencontré Nate, Brenda lui répond qu’ils sont dans le même cours de cuisine.


MORGUE – Nate rentre dans la morgue et aperçoit aussitôt le « fantôme » de son père. Nathaniel lui dit « voilà ce que tu as fui toute ta vie, personne n’y échappe ». L’identification terminée, Claire et Ruth vont à leur voiture. Nate est encore dans le couloir avec Brenda, il la remercie de l’avoir conduit. Brenda : « Ca m’a permis d’éviter mon propre enfer ».


VOITURE DE CLAIRE – Nate dit à Claire de ralentir. Voyant qu’elle ne l’écoute pas, il lui crie dessus et lui dit de s’arrêter. Il sortent de la voiture et se disputent, Claire lui répétant qu’il n’est pas son père.


CHEZ LES FISHER – Dave attend dans les escaliers. Dès que Nate, Ruth et Claire arrivent ils leur demande où est le corps. Ils lui disent qu’ils n’ont pas pensé à le ramener. Dave est furieux, en guise de bonjour il agresse Nate en le traitant d’apprenti-caissier. Voyant la dispute arriver, Claire les interrompt : « Vous n’avez qu’à mesurer vos bites qu’on en finisse ».


HOPITAL – Dave vient récupérer le corps de son père à la morgue.


PUBLICITE – Spot qui vante les mérites du fluide Living Splendor rendant l’aspect velouté des tissus encore vivants.


FISHER, sous-sol – Retour dans le passé : on voit Nate, enfant, rentrer dans la pièce où son père restaure un cadavre. Dave, déboule come un fou dans la pièce un pistolet en plastique à la main. Nate semble pétrifié. Il s’enfuie quand son père lui donne des gants pour qu’il touche le cadavre.
Retour au présent : Nate est dans la pièce de restauration. Il observe Rico qui s’occupe d’un corps. Quand Rico l’aperçoit il se jette dans ses bras, tout joyeux. Puis retenant sa joie, il lui fait ses condoléances. Dave, lui aussi présent, le remercie d’être venu le soir de Noël. Rico : « Je devais bien ça à M. Fisher ».
Le téléphone de Dave sonne : c’est Keith, son petit-ami qui lui dit de ne pas trop manger car il lui réserve un dessert hyperdécadent et gras. Dave, gêné, sort de la pièce pour continuer sa conversation. Il annonce alors à Keith la mort de son père. Keith lui propose son aide et lui dit de ne pas affronter tout seul, mais Dave refuse.
Pendant ce temps, Rico et Nate discutent. Rico lui annonce que Vanessa, sa femme, est à nouveau enceinte.


CHEZ LES FISHER – Claire est assise dans le salon, Nate lui propose d’aller faire des courses.


SUPERMARCHE – Le portable de Nate sonne, c’est Brenda. Peu à peu la discussion s’envenime quand Nate du fait qu’elle « baise avec un inconnu dans un aéroport ». Brenda lui raccroche au nez.
Claire lui demande de rentrer. Il s’énerve contre elle : « Je peux être tranquille une seconde !! », Claire s’énerve à son tour et jette un melon parterre. Ils finissent par se jeter dans les bras l’un de l’autre.

PUBLICITE – Spot pour un mastic cosmétique qui rebouche les plaies. On voit une maquilleuse s’occuper d’une femme morte assise sur un fauteuil.

CHEZ LES FISHER, le lendemain matin – Nate se rend dans la cuisine. Claire et Ruth y sont déjà. Claire se rappelle le jour où son père a refusé d’aller récupérer le chien en peluche qu’elle avait jeté sur le toit. Ruth s’énerve et lui demande si elle n’a pas de meilleurs souvenirs de lui. Elle part dans une crise, jette son torchon : « C’était un homme bon ! » et elle quitte la pièce.


FISHER, sous-sol – Dave restaure le corps de Nathaniel. Le « fantôme » de Nathaniel apparaît derrière son épaule. Il râle car il pense que Dave est incapable de le restaurer convenablement. Dave lui reproche d’avoir sacrifié sa jeunesse pour l’entreprise. C’est à ce moment que Rico rentre dans la pièce et aperçoit David qui parle tout seul.


FISHER, salle de présentation – Nathaniel gît dans son cercueil. Nate demande à Claire si elle est toujours défoncée, elle ne le sait pas. Nate lui dit qu’il se sent comme un étranger, qu’il n’était pas préparé. Claire s’énerve : « Prends ma place ! au moins toi tu t’es tiré ! ». Nate lui parle alors de sa vie qu’il estime ratée : un appartement temporaire, un boulot temporaire, pas de relations durables, et le pire de tout : 4 dents dévitalisées.


Ruth se prépare pour la présentation dans sa chambre. Elle aperçoit Nathaniel dans le miroir assis sur le lit. Nathaniel : Je sais tout, je suis au courant »


Keith arrive en uniforme. Dave se précipite sur lui et lui demande pourquoi il est venu. C’est à ce moment que Ruth les rejoint inquiète de voir un policier. Dave lui présente Keith comme un ami et un partenaire de squash.


Ruth se rend près du cercueil, elle craque aussitôt. Dave l’amène dans une pièce annexe pour la calmer.


Nate raconte à Claire un voyage qu’il a fait en Europe quand il était à l’école. Il a assisité à un enterrement dans une île en Sicile. Il se souvient de vieilles siciliennes qui pleuraient, hurlaient sur le cercueil. Nate dit qu’il trouve ça plus sain que cette cérémonie pleine de retenue.


FISHER, pièce annexe – Ruth pleure, Dave essaye de la réconforter quand Nate rentre à son tour. Ruth se met à hurler « Je suis une pute ! , j’ai trompé votre père ». Elle leur raconte alors sa liaison avec un coiffeur. Dave dit que ce n’est pas le moment de raconter ça et sort de la pièce pour trouver du réconfort auprès de Keith. Nate reste avec sa mère, il l’écoute. Ruth lui dit qu’elle a terriblement honte car maintenant Nathaniel la voit.

CIMETIERRE – Cérémonie. Nathaniel assiste à ses propres funérailles. Il est assis sur le toit du corbillard, un soda à la main.
Tout le monde jette chacun son tour de la terre sur le cercueil à l’aide d’une « salière ». Nate ne supporte plus cette retenue et prend la terre avec ses mains. Dave essaye de l’en empêcher, Nate s’énerve et se met à crier qu’il ne supporte plus cette aseptisation de la mort. Ruth décide de faire pareil que Nate, elle s'agenouille et se met à jeter machinalement de la terre sans s’arrêter. Elle pleure.


Claire aperçoit Nathaniel sur le toit de la voiture, elle lui sourit.


L’enterrement fini, Dave agresse Nate, il lui reproche d’être parti et de l’avoir laissé s’occuper de tout. Nate : « Si t’as pas choisi ta vie, faut t’en prendre qu’à toi ! ». Vexé David lui demande de rester en dehors, ce qu’il a fait depuis des années.


Alors qu’ils se séparent, un homme accoste David. C’est un représentant de Khroener, une chaîne funéraire. Il propose à Dave de racheter leur affaire. Dave très remonté le menace de le frapper.


Brenda arrivé peu de temps auparavant va rejoindre Nate. Elle lui demande si il tient le coup. Nate : « un père mort, une mère pute, un frère qui me hait et une sœur camée, je te bats ». Brenda lui donne son numéro de téléphone pour qu’ils sortent un soir.


Dave va chez Keith. Complètement sonné, il se jette dans ses bras. Ils s’embrassent.


FISHER, le lendemain matin – Nate se rend à la cuisine. Ruth le prend dans ses bras en lui disant qu’heureusement il était là. Elle lui demande si il peut rester encore quelques jours. Nate accepte.


RUES DE LOS ANGELES – Alors qu’il fait son footing, Nate aperçoit son père assis sur un banc. Puis il le voit monter dans un bus. Nathaniel ne quitte pas Nate des yeux, lorsque le bus s’éloigne, il le salue d’un geste de la main. Nate reste immobile, en sueur, le regard rivé sur ce bus qui s’en va au loin…

Commercial #1

 

A woman with a black dress and gloves advertises a black limo. Classical music plays in the background.  Announcer (Female): Sleek, sophisticated, seductive...The new Millennium Edition Crown Royal Funeral Coach. Because your loved one deserves the very best in style and comfort... 

 

Act One

 

Scene One: Limo/Fisher Kitchen

 

NATHANIEL FISHER, SR. drives a limo, cigarette dangling out of his mouth. "I'll Be Home for Christmas" plays on the radio.

 

Nathaniel, Sr: (sings) I'll be home for Christmas. You can plan on me. (The cell phone rings. He lowers the radio and answers.) Nathaniel Fisher.

 

Outside shot of funeral home with sign that says "Fisher & Sons: A Family Tradition for Over Forty Years." Inside the kitchen, RUTH, NATHANIEL's wife is chopping vegetables. Their younger son, DAVID, sits at the table.

 

Ruth: Nathaniel? It's Ruth. Did you take your blood pressure medication today?

Nathaniel, Sr.: Yes.

Ruth: Don't lie to me.

Nathaniel, Sr.: I took it. What do you want me to do? O.D. on it?

Ruth: Oh, I just realized. We don't have any of that soy stuff... natraxe, you know, since you gave up milk. I don't know what it's called.

Nathaniel, Sr.: Why not just cut some milk with tap water? I'll never know the difference.

Ruth: Look, if you don't want to go, I'll go. It's not as if I don't have enough to do already.

Nathaniel, Sr: I'm kidding. I'll get some, but it has to be after I pick up Nate at the airport. I'm already running late. (He inhales on his cigarette.)

Ruth: Nathaniel, are you smoking?

Nathaniel, Sr.: Nope.

Ruth: Yes you are. I heard you.

Nathaniel, Sr.: I'm not. No, I'm not.

Ruth: Look. Forget you'll give yourself cancer and die a slow and horrible death, you should not be stinking up that new hearse.

David: I told you not to let him take it.

Ruth: (to David) Like I could have stopped him. He's every bit as proud of that thing as your fool brother was of that damn motorcycle he had in high school. And who still has a pin in his foot? (Nathaniel crosses his eyes.) Nathaniel, people want things to be nice when there's a funeral. They don't want their loved ones riding around in something that smells like an ashtray.

Nathaniel, Sr.: Alright, alright. Look, I'm quitting right now, I promise. (He drops the cigarette out the window.) I'll see you tonight.

 

NATHANIEL, SR. hangs up the phone and leans over to take another cigarette. He bends over to light it, taking his eyes off the road. Just at that moment, a bus smashes into the side of the car his hearse and pushes it, as "I'll Be Home for Christmas" plays.

 

Scene Two: Fisher Kitchen

 

Ruth cuts her finger on the knife.

 

David: That new hearse was a total waste of money. There was nothing wrong with the old one.

Ruth: I think your father is having some sort of midlife crisis.

David: It would have made so much more sense to invest in re-paneling for the chapel or adding coffee bars to the slumber rooms.

Ruth: Well, I'd much rather he buy himself a fancy new hearse than leave me for a younger woman, or a woman my age for that matter, or, heaven forbid, a man, like my cousin Hannah's husband did. God sure has dealt that woman some blows in this life.

David: Mom, can I do anything to help?

Ruth: No, no, honey. I'm fine. Besides, don't you have a viewing tonight? You should probably be getting ready.

David: Right. (He kisses RUTH on the cheek.)

 

Scene Three: Airport

 

NATHANIEL FISHER, JR. or NATE, the eldest son of NATHANIEL and RUTH gets off the plane, talking to another passenger, a woman named BRENDA CHENOWITH. He does not yet know her name. They are in the middle of a conversation.

 

Nate: So, I enjoyed talking to you about that whole shiatsu thing. I hope that pans out for you.

Brenda: You should let me work on you sometime.

Nate: (writing on a small piece of paper) Well, here's my cell number. I'll be here until the 29th. Here ya go. (looking around) Huh, my dad is supposed to meet me here.

Brenda: I could give you a ride.

Nate: That's alright. I'm sure he'll be here soon enough.

Brenda: I wasn't talking about that kind of ride.

 

Scene Four: Viewing in the Slumber Room/Claire's Car

 

DAVID and an old man, MR. DOYLE, stand by an open casket, where a dead old woman, MRS. DOYLE, lies.

 

Mr. Doyle : You've done a nice job. She looks so peaceful.

David: Well, she is at peace now.

Mr. Doyle : If there's any justice in the universe, she's shoveling shit in hell.

 

DAVID's cell phone rings.

 

David: Excuse me. (into phone) David Fisher.

 

His younger sister, CLAIRE FISHER, a 17-year-old junior in high school, is driving her car, also a hearse.

 

Claire: David... Claire. Is Nate there yet?

David: Nope.

Claire: I thought he was coming in tonight so we could do that whole forced Christmas eve family thing.

David: Well--

Claire: Because there are some really excellent parties I could be going to.

David: Claire, this is one of the few times a year we're all together.

Claire: Alright, alright. Don't get all Pat Robertson on me. I'll be there. I just... I have to drop some stuff off at a friend's house before I head over. Okay? Bye. (Hangs up.) Fuckin' boy scout.

 

Scene Five: Utility Closet at the Airport.

 

NATE and BRENDA are having sex with their clothes on.

 

Brenda: This is kind of disgusting.

Nate: Disgusting good or disgusting bad?

Brenda: Disgusting very good.

Nate: You're so fucking hot.

Brenda: You're so sweet... Shut up and fuck me.

 

Scene Six: Fisher Kitchen/Viewing

 

RUTH takes her pot roast out of the oven and the phone rings. She answers it.

 

Ruth: Hello? This is Ruth Fisher. Yes. I'm his wife. What is this about? What?!

 

She throws the phone across the room, and then does the same to the pot roast.

She begins to scream and shriek, throwing and hitting things. Meanwhile, DAVID and the mourners hear her in the other room.

 

David: (to the mourners) Excuse me. (He goes to the kitchen.) Mom, what the hell are you...

Ruth: (sitting on the floor) There's been an accident. The new hearse is totaled.

Your father is dead. Your father is dead, and my pot roast is ruined.

David: Oh, my God.

 

Scene Seven: Utility Closet/Fisher Kitchen

 

Brenda: (massaging NATE's back) You carry a lot of tension around in your lower back.

Nate: (laughs) Not as much as twenty minutes ago. (They kiss.)

Brenda: Just so you know, I never do this.

Nate: Oh, yeah. Me neither. (They kiss again) So, are you ever gonna tell me your name?

Brenda: Probably not.

Nate: Why not?

Brenda: Because I'm a realist.

 

NATE's cell phone rings.

 

Nate: That's my father looking for me. (answering phone) Hey, Dad. Oh, Dave. Hey. Merry Christmas. Of course I'm OK... Couldn't be better, in fact... What?

David: (in the kitchen) I'm so sorry, Nate. I hate to have to be the one to tell you.

 

Scene Eight: Gabriel's Basement/Fisher Kitchen

 

CLAIRE sits in the basement of her boyfriend, GABRIEL DIMAS. Other people their age are sitting around them on the couch and the floor, getting high off bong hits. GABRIEL takes a hit.

 

Claire: This is just speed, right? Promise me this isn't crack. Because I gotta spend tonight having Christmas Eve dinner with my demented family and it's gonna be weird enough without me being high on crack.

Gabriel: No. It's just crystal meth. It just makes everything burn a little bit brighter. And it makes sex like totally primal. Here. It's alright. (He hands her the bong.)

Claire: (lights the bong and inhales) Oh, well. It's too late now. (A cell phone rings.) It's mine. (into phone) Hello? David, hi. Hang on a second. (She goes into the next room.) So is Nate there yet?

David: No, he's still at the airport. Claire, I've got bad news.

Claire: (listens to what David has to say) What? Um... Yeah, sure. OK. I'm on my way. (Stunned, she walks back to where her friends are.) I have to go.

Gabriel: No fuckin' way.

Claire: Excuse me. (Gets her bag.)

Gabriel: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. You're coming back, right?

Claire: Uh, I don't think so. My dad just got hit by a bus, and it broke his neck, and he's dead. (Some of the kids laugh.) I gotta go pick up my mom and take her to the morgue so she can identify his body. (She starts to laugh too, and then stops.) No, I'm not kidding. This is actually happening. And now I'm high on crack!

Gabriel: Crystal.

Claire: Whatever! So I guess this whole hellish experience I'm about to go through is just gonna burn a little brighter now, right? Great! Thank you! Fuck!

 

Scene Nine: Brenda's Car, nighttime

 

BRENDA is driving NATE.

 

Nate: You really didn't have to do this. I could have just rented a car.

Brenda: It's OK. You're in no shape to drive, and frankly, I'm in no hurry to get home to my family's annual Christmas Eve massacre. Parents who stayed together for the children, but really because they got off on tormenting each other so much. Manic depressive brother who always chooses the holidays to go off his medication. Oh, and an ancient Springer Spaniel who's completely blind, deaf and incontinent. What about you?

Nate: Uh, actually, we're pretty normal. My mom's a control freak. My brother, well, he's a control freak, too. And my sister, well, I left home right before she was born, so I never really knew her that well, but she's kind of wild like I was.

Brenda: Was?

Nate: (laughs) My dad really rode my ass when I was a kid. He'd just buried this girl who drowned, and buried this dipshit loser who O.D.ed at a Flock of Seagulls concert, and suddenly I'm not allowed to go to concerts for a year.

Brenda: Your dad worked in a cemetery?

Nate: How could a man who's so fucking scared of everything, who never had an accident or even a speeding ticket in his entire fucking life... how could he have a car wreck?

Brenda: Are you mad at him or the fact that we're all gonna die?

Nate: Are you a shrink?

Brenda: No, God! No! No! Both my parents are. So what else do you wanna talk about? The weather? Or the fact that we both just fucked a perfect stranger and that we both lied when we said we never did that?

 

Scene Ten: Viewing

 

DAVID is surrounded by mourners at the early evening viewing. A few are talking to him.

 

Man: Wonderful service.

Woman: Yes, it was very nice.

Man: Should we...?

Woman: Yes, dear.

 

Out of nowhere, DAVID screams at the top of his lungs!

 

Again we see the viewing service. DAVID's screaming was a fantasy in his head.

 

Woman #2: She looked so peaceful.

David: You're welcome.

Woman #2: Wonderful job.

 

DAVID looks incredibly uncomfortable.

 

Scene Eleven: Claire's Car

 

CLAIRE is driving RUTH, her mother, to the morgue.

 

Ruth: Did you know that before you were born, funeral homes ran the ambulance business?

Claire: No.

Ruth: Hearses were the only vehicles that could transport people lying down.

Claire: Wow.

Ruth: Your father used to joke about that: “Just drive him around the block a few more times; we won’t need to stop at the hospital.”

Claire: You're kind of freaking me out right now.

Ruth: Claire, are you having sex?

Claire: What?

Ruth: Doing drugs?

Claire: Why are you asking me this right now?

Ruth: Your father is dead. I can't even remember the last time you and I talked about anything important. I need to know you're OK.

Claire: Yeah. Believe me, I'm OK, considering.

 

Scene Twelve: Viewing

 

TRACY MONTROSE BLAIR, a very chatty and annoying woman, approaches DAVID.

 

Tracy: Do you work here?

David: Yes.

Tracy: I wanted to compliment you on the music. I've been to three other funerals this year... cancer, stroke, pediatric leukemia... and the music is always that same, sad organ music. It reminds me of those soap operas my mom used to watch before I started kindergarten. Oh, God. You're probably too young to remember that. (She flirts with him.) Anyway, I so prefer this light, classical, you know, chamber orchestra stuff. It's so spiritual, but doesn't seem so dated, or depressing. I studied musical appreciation.. (Her real voice fades out, and DAVID fantasizes what she is now saying.) You think I'm really boring, don't you? Well, get used to it! Because now that your father is dead, you can forget about ever going to law school. It's just you and dead people and freaks like me for the rest of your life!

 

This time, DAVID really does let out a loud scream! Everyone around him is shocked.

 

Scene Thirteen: Hospital Hallway

 

RUTH and CLAIRE sit outside the morgue. NATE and BRENDA enter.

 

Nate: Mom, Mom, I'm so sorry. (He hugs RUTH.)

Ruth: Who's she?

 

For a second he is at a loss, but then she says...

 

Brenda: Brenda Chenowith.

Nate: Brenda Chenowith.

Ruth: Oh.

Nate: Brenda, this is my mom, Ruth Fisher, and my sister, Claire.

Claire: Nate, can I talk to you for a second?

Nate: Yeah, yeah, just give me a minute. Mom, you already do the--?

Ruth: I can't. I've seen too many dead people in my life. They're work. I won't see your father that way. I need you to do it.

Nate: Oh.

Claire: Nate, I need to talk to you now, please, it's urgent.

Nate: Alright. (He and CLAIRE go into the next hallway.)

Ruth: So how did you and my son meet?

Brenda: In cooking class.

 

NATE and CLAIRE talk in the next hallway.

 

Claire: I have to tell somebody. I am tweaking.

Nate: Yeah. We're all upset.

Claire: No, I'm high on crystal. I smoked some with some friends before David called me.

Nate: You did what?

Claire: Don't worry. It's the first time, but I think I'm having a meltdown and I can't tell if it's Dad being dead or the crystal, but I'm really scared.

Nate: You cannot do this to me right now.

Claire: Don't be such a narc. We smoked pot at Thanksgiving.

Nate: Look, I have to go identify our dead father's body. I'm sorry you're having a bad drug experience, but deal with it!

 

Scene Fourteen: Morgue

 

NATE enters the morgue with a DOCTOR. The DOCTOR takes out NATHANIEL, SR.'s body.

 

Doctor: Well?

 

NATE looks up at the DOCTOR, but instead sees his father standing before him.

 

Nathaniel, Sr.: Well, well, the prodigal returns. This is what you've been running away from your whole life, buddy boy. Scared the crap out of you when you were growing up, didn't it? And you thought you'd escape. Well, guess what? Nobody escapes!

 

Doctor: Well?

Nate: Yeah, it's him.

 

Scene Fifteen: Hospital Hallway

 

Nate: (entering the room) OK, let's get out of here.

Ruth: How'd he look?

Nate: Dead.

Ruth: Will there need to be a lot of reconstruction? David's not that skilled at the really hard stuff. Federico usually does that. He's quite gifted. You don't think we'll have to have a closed casket, do you? I would hate to send that message.

Nate: What message?

Ruth: That we're not equipped to handle a major restoration or that we're not proud of our work.

Claire: Mom. Can we talk about this later? We should really get Nate home. He's probably exhausted. Let's go. (CLAIRE and RUTH exit.)

Nate: Um, thanks for driving me here.

Brenda: Please, just avoiding my own hell. I'm a big coward.

Nate: Me too. I don't know if I can handle this.

Brenda: Well, you're about to find out. I wish you the best, Nate. Goodbye.

 

Scene Sixteen: Claire's Car

 

Nate: Claire, you're driving too fast.

Claire: This isn't fast. You wanna see fast? (She accelerates.)

Nate: PULL OVER!

 

CLAIRE pulls the car over to the side of the road. CLAIRE and NATE get out.

 

Nate: Listen, do you do a lot of drugs?

Claire: What? No. And it's none of your business.

Nate: Yes, it is my business. Look, you were driving like a maniac back there. You could have gotten us all killed.

Claire: What the hell is this? You're not my father! Look, you split as soon as you could. You don't even know me, so don't start thinking you can tell me what to do, OK?

 

CLAIRE goes to the passenger side seat, NATE takes over the driving.

 

Scene Seventeen: Entrace Hall of the Fisher Home

 

CLAIRE, RUTH, and NATE enter the house. DAVID, who was waiting for them sitting on the stairs, stands.

 

David: So, where's Dad? Downstairs already?

Nate: He's still in the morgue.

David: You didn't bring him back with you?

Ruth: Oh, dear. It didn't even cross my mind. We should have taken the van so we could bring him home. I'm sorry. That was very stupid of me. (RUTH goes upstairs.)

Nate: Nice going, Dave. Like she doesn't have enough to feel bad about right now.

David: Things have to be done. Federico's downstairs ready to start. Every second that we wait will only make Dad’s restoration more difficult. But you wouldn't know about that, would you, bag boy?

Nate: Bag boy? I am assistant manager of organic produce at the highest buying food co-op in Seattle.

Claire: (passing through right between them) Jesus, pull your dicks out and measure them, and let’s get this over with!

Nate: What were we supposed to do? Throw Dad in the back of Claire's car?

David: It is a hearse! (takes his cell phone and calls the morgue) Yeah, hi. It's David Fisher. Yes. I'll come pick up the body.

 

Scene Eighteen: Claire's bedroom

 

CLAIRE watches "Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol" on TV. RUTH enters with a plate of food.

 

Ruth: I made you some dinner.

Claire: I'm so not hungry.

Ruth: We have to eat, Claire. We didn't die!

 

Scene Nineteen: Morgue

 

DAVID and the DOCTOR lift up NATHANIEL, SR.'s body.

 

Doctor: Ready? One. Two. Three.

 

DAVID straps the body to the gurney.

 

Doctor: I'm really sorry, man.

David: Thanks.

 

Commercial #2

 

We see a finely toned and muscled, naked, dead man.

 

Announcer (Male): For a body that's firm, yet flexible. For skin that begs to be touched. For the velvety appearance of actual living tissue, top morticians rely on Living Splendor Enbalming Fluid. Living Splendor: Only real life is better.

 

Act Two

 

Scene One: Fisher Basement/Keith's Apartment

 

NATE, as a little boy, enters the basement of his house and walks in on his father working on a corpse. NATHANIEL, SR. is smoking a cigarette. His ashtray sits on the corpse's chest.

 

Nathaniel, Sr.: Hey, buddy boy. Come on in, it's okay. Say hello to Mr. Bloomberg. (indicates the corpse) There isn't anything to be afraid of, Nate. Mr. Bloomberg is dead. I'm getting him ready so his family can see him for the last time and say goodbye to him. It'll make them feel better. That's what Daddy does.

 

DAVE, a younger little boy, enters the room and pretends to shoot his dad with a gun.

 

Dave: Bang!

Nathaniel, Sr.: (pretends to be shot) You got me! (to Nate, showing him a pair of rubber gloves) You can touch him, if you wear one of these. Believe me, he won't mind. He won't care.

 

NATE runs out.

 

NATE snaps out of his flashback. He is standing in the prep room, in the basement, and sees FEDERICO DIAZ working on his father's corpse.

 

Federico: Nate! What's up? (He shakes NATE's hand.)

Nate: Hey, Rico.

Federico: It's good to see you. Oh, really sorry about your dad, man, but, you know, when your time is up, it's up, right?

David: (referring to Nathaniel, Sr.) How's he doing?

Federico: So far, so good.

David: I really appreciate you coming in on Christmas Eve, Federico.

Federico: It's the least I can do for Mr. F. Everything he did for me. I'd be up all night, anyway, putting together all this useless shit Santa Claus is bringing my kid, you know?

David: We don't use that kind of language in here. Show some respect. (to Nate) You need something?

Nate: No, I just, um--

 

DAVID's cell phone rings.

 

David: (answering phone) David Fisher.

 

We see KEITH CHARLES in his apartment. He is a strong, bald, black cop, with a small mustache. He is also DAVID’s lover.

 

Keith: Hey, listen, I just want to remind you: don't eat too much with your family tonight, alright? Because I am making you something totally decadent and fatty for dessert.

David: Hold just a second, please. (He goes into the next room.) Hi, Keith. I'm sorry, I can't make it.

Keith: Why not?

David: Because my father was just killed in a car accident.

Keith: Oh, shit, David, I'm so sorry. What can I do?

David: Nothing. Thanks. I have to stay here.

Keith: Listen. If you need anything, don't hesitate to call me.

David: Sure.

Keith: I mean it, David. You don't have to go through this alone.

David: I've gotta go.

 

Back in the other room, FEDERICO is showing DAVID some pictures of corpses he has worked on in the past.

 

Federico: OK, here it goes. This is the one I'm most proud of. (Shows NATE a picture of a dead husband and wife, with serious bullet wounds in their faces.) The husband, OK, got fired, flipped out, shot his wife point blank in the head, right? And then turned it around and shot himself in the mouth. Some seriously closed casket shit, right? Now look at this. (Shows NATE a picture of the same couple, after he has worked on them. They look perfect, as if they are sleeping.) Huh? Hah! Hah! Like the bride and groom on top of cake! And then we cremated them. What a fricking waste. (showing NATE a picture of his young son) Actually, this right here is my best work.

Nate: Wait a minute. This kid was just born like last month.

Federico: Be four fucking years old in April. Can you believe it? Shit! Oh... Vanessa's pregnant again!

Nate: Hey, you stud! (laughs)

Federico: (laughs) Hey, it wasn't planned. But, you know what, neither was this one, and he's the best thing that ever happened to me. (Kisses the picture.)

David: (re-entering room) Keep an eye on those chemicals, Federico. We don't want him to burn.

 

Scene Two: TV Room

 

CLAIRE is squeezing glue on her finger, letting it dry, and peeling it off. NATE enters.

 

Nate: Hey. Where's Mom?

Claire: She went to bed.

Nate: Was she feeling any better?

Claire: Yeah, Nate. She was on top of the goddamned world.

Nate: Hey. (He tries to touch her arm. She shoves him off.)

Claire: Where's David?

Nate: He's downstairs working.

Claire: On Dad?

Nate: Yeah, well, him and Rico. Said not to wait up for him. We should just try and get some sleep.

Claire: Yeah. As if that were a viable option.

 

NATE gets up and walks into the kitchen. He reads a note on the fridge that says, "OJ, cantaloupe, half and half, soy sauce for Nate."

 

Nate: Do you wanna go to the grocery store?

Claire: Yes. Anything to get out of here.

 

Scene Three: Grocery Store/Chenowith Home

 

BRENDA is standing outside her parents' house, by the pool. Inside, we can hear people yelling at each other. BRENDA's mother says, "You are always belittling..." BRENDA picks up her cell phone and calls NATE. Meanwhile, NATE stands in the produce aisle of the local grocery store. Except for CLAIRE, one WORKER and him, it is completely empty of people.

 

Nate: (answering phone) Hello?

Brenda: Well, it's about to start raining frogs here. How are things on your end?

Nate: God, I'm glad you called.

Brenda: Really? Why?

Nate: I don't know. Because you have a calming effect on me.

Brenda: Uh huh. Are you familiar with the psychological term "projection"?

Nate: Are you familiar with the psychological term "blow me"?

 

BRENDA laughs.

 

Nate: Come on. You're up with all that psychobabble. Rebelled against it every chance you got, still do, and that includes having sex with strangers in closets at airports.

Brenda: And you think you're not easy to read? Coasting by on your looks and charm isn't working like it used to, but you have no idea what else to do, because you've never had to learn. Any woman with half a brain looks at a guy like you and thinks: "Good for a hot fuck”, but, believe me, that's it.

 

She hangs up.

 

Nate: I--

Claire: (approaching Nate) Nate, can we go home? I've really got to take a shower.

Nate: Oh, God, Jesus Christ, am I not allowed to have even a single moment to myself?

 

CLAIRE throws a cantaloupe onto the floor.

 

Nate: OK. It's OK. What can I do?

Claire: Nothing. No one can do anything.

 

She collapes into his arms, crying.

 

Worker: (approaching them) You'll have to pay for that cantaloupe.

Claire: WILL YOU FUCK OFF?!

 

Commercial #3

 

We see a dressing room type mirror befitting a Hollywood starlet. Said Hollywood Starlet is a corpse, on whom an assistant is putting on make up.

 

Announcer (Female): She looked her best every day of her life. Don't let one horribly disfiguring accident change that. Use new Wound Filler Cosmetic Molding Putty. Now faster-setting and self-sealing. To help make masking unsightly wounds a breeze.

 

Act Three

 

Scene One: Nate's Bedroom

 

Cars rush quickly down a street. All of a sudden, a huge bus appears out of nowhere, crashing into the screen... NATE awakes from his nightmare with a start.

 

Scene Two: Fisher Kitchen, breakfast-time

 

CLAIRE sits at the table, eating breakfast. RUTH is standing by the sink as NATE walks in.

 

Claire: Ma, you remember that stuffed dog I used to have and dragged it around till its ears fells off, and then you made new ears out of a dishtowel? I hated that dog after that, and I threw it up on the roof. (She laughs.)

Ruth: No.

Claire: Then I wanted it back, and I begged Dad to go get it, but he said no; if I'd really wanted it, I never would have thrown it up there in the first place.

Ruth: Your father did so many wonderful things for you and that's all you can think of right now?

Claire: I just remembered.

Ruth: (yells) He was a good man!

Nate: I'm going running.

 

Scene Three: Basement

 

DAVID is working on his father's corpse. He is filling the wounds on his face with Wound Filler, from the commercial. Suddenly, NATHANIEL, SR. appears.

 

Nathaniel, Sr.: Oh, no, you're doing me? You're the worst one we've got.

David: Thanks, Dad.

Nathaniel, Sr.: Where's Federico?

David: It's Christmas morning, he's with his wife and kid. He'll be in later.

Nathaniel, Sr.: Oh, couldn't this wait? I don't want you ruining my face.

David: It's a little late for that.

Nathaniel, Sr.: Not funny.

David: I need to stay busy right now.

Nathaniel, Sr.: So go reorganize some files, or develop a new bookkeeping system. That's what you're good at. You never really had an aptitude for this stuff.

David: I know. What did I do with my life? I went to school to learn exactly how to do this stuff. Other kids my age were going to frat parties. I was draining corpses and refashioning severed ears out of wax.

Nathaniel, Sr.: Thank God I didn't lose an ear. I can only imagine what you'd do with that.

 

FEDERICO walks in and hears what DAVID says.

 

David: I did it all for you. I did it to make you happy, you ungrateful son of a bitch.

Federico: Um, Dave, yeah, I just wanted to let you know I was here.

 

DAVID looks extremely embarrassed.

 

Scene Four: Street Corner

 

NATE jogs through the cemetery, for a while. Eventually, gets a bottle of water and reaches the corner where his father was hit by the bus. He sees a bus approach. He steps in front of the bus and is hit. The bus driver runs out. NATE smiles as he lies on the street, blood pouring out of the back of his head. Blackout. A white light appears at the end of a long tunnel, through which NATE travels. He finds himself in the morgue, where his father’s naked corpse and the naked corpses of three other men, are sitting up, smoking cigarettes and playing poker.

 

Nathaniel, Sr.: We'll deal you in next hand.

 

NATE looks up at the bus, which passes by.

 

Scene Five: Nathaniel Sr.'s Viewing

 

NATHANIEL, SR. lies in the open casket. DAVID stands beside it. Meanwhile, CLAIRE and NATE are sitting together on the couch, staring at the other mourners.

 

Claire: Well, I'm about to jump out of my skin.

Nate: Don't, I'm just barely holding it together. Are you still high?

Claire: I don't know. Am I sweating?

Nate: I don't know. I am.

Claire: This is too fucking weird. It's been like three days. I'm still stuck in Zombie World.

Nate: This is all happening to you.

Claire: Fuck off.

Nate: Sorry, but you're not the only one who wasn't prepared for this. I came home expecting to sleep late and chow down on Mom's cooking for six days, and now I find myself feeling like I'm not even a part of this family.

Claire: Well, I'd trade places with you in a heartbeat. (off his look) What? At least you got out of here.

Nate: I live in a shitty apartment, which was supposed to be temporary. I work at a job, which was also supposed to be temporary until I figured out what I really wanted to do with my life, which apparently is nothing. I have lots of sex, but I haven't had a relationship last more than a couple of months. I don't even have the self-discipline to floss daily. I've had four root canals. Four. I am 35. I've had four root canals. I'm gonna be one of those losers who ends up on his deathbed saying "Where'd my life go?"

Claire: No, you won't. You'll be saying, "Where the hell's the morphine?" I'm just trying to cheer you up.

Nate: I've spent my whole fucking life being cheerful.

 

A CHATTY MOURNER, female, approaches them.

 

Chatty Mourner: I am sorry about your father, but he's in a much better place now.

Nate: (rudely and loudly) You are so right about that.

 

The CHATTY MOURNER looks horrified at him, and walks away.

 

Nate: Who the hell is that?!

 

Scene Six: Ruth's Bedroom

 

RUTH stands in front of the mirror, putting on her earrings. All of a sudden, she sees NATHANIEL, SR. sitting on the bed, behind her.

 

Nathaniel, Sr.: I know, Ruth. I know everything.

 

Scene Seven: Nathaniel Sr.'s Viewing

 

The CHATTY MOURNER is now talking to FEDERICO. NATE and CLAIRE are still on the couch, DAVID is still standing beside the casket.

 

Chatty Mourner: I've known the Fishers for years from church.

Federico: Mm hmm.

Chatty Mourner: You know them too?

Federico: Yes, yes, I work here.

Chatty Mourner: Oh, you work here.

Federico: Mm hmm.

 

KEITH enters the room in uniform and approaches DAVID.

 

David: What are you doing there?

Keith: Just got off duty. I came to pay my respects to your father.

David: You never even met my father.

Keith: Exactly. And you've met my parents how many times now? Christ, we just spent the weekend at their house.

David: Don't do this to me, Keith. This is not your high school reunion.

Keith: I'm sorry.

David: This is not the time for you to be political.

Keith: You think that's why I’m here? To be political?

David: Would you keep your voice down?

Keith: What is this? We can fuck each other, but I can't be a shoulder for you to cry on?

David: I'm not crying.

Keith: So what am I? Am I just sex to you?

David: Jesus! Do we really have to have this conversation now? Oh, shit! Here comes my mother.

 

RUTH enters the room and approaches DAVID.

 

Ruth: I'm so tired.

David: I know, Mom. It's exhausting.

Ruth: (noticing Keith in his uniform) Is something wrong?

David: No, nothing's wrong. This is Keith Charles. He's a friend of mine. He came to pay his respects to Dad.

Keith: It's nice to meet you, Mrs. Fisher. I'm really sorry about your husband.

Ruth: You're friends with a cop?

David: We play racquetball together.

Ruth: Oh. (to Keith) Nice to meet you. (to David) I'd like to see your father now.

 

The camera returns to CLAIRE and NATE on the couch.

 

Claire: Who's that cop?

 

The camera returns to the CHATTY MOURNER and FEDERICO.

 

Chatty Mourner: My aunt Shirley was laid out here.

Federico: Aunt Shirley, huh?

Chatty Mourner: Mm hmm.

Federico: Hmm.

Chatty Mourner: Shirley Hamilton. Terrible accident. Lost her ear.

Federico: Oh, yeah! Yeah! I know Shirley! I remember Shirley!

Chatty Mourner: Really?!

Federico: Yes, yes. I was the person who sewed her ear back on. That was me.

Chatty Mourner: Really?

Federico: That's my work.

 

The camera returns to RUTH, who begins to cry. DAVID leads her away to a room behind a curtain, off to the side. The camera then returns to CLAIRE and NATE.

 

Nate: What, she's sad, so he has to get her out of sight?

Claire: They always do that the second someone starts to lose it. They take them off into that room. It makes all the other people uncomfortable, I guess.

Nate: (loudly) This is not about the other people.

Claire: (quietly) Volume.

Nate: (as Nate makes his following speech, we see on the screen the scene which he is describing, and we see Nate as a younger man) When I went backpacking through Europe after I quit school, I went to this island off the coast of Sicily, this volcanic island. And on the boat over, there was this pine box. Somebody from the island who was being returned to be buried there, and there were all these old Sicilians dressed up all in black, waiting, just lined up on the beach. And when they got that coffin to the beach, these old Sicilian women just went apeshit, screaming, throwing themselves on it, beating their chests, tearing at their hair, making animal noises. It was just so--so real. I mean, I'd been around funerals my entire life, but I had never seen such--grief. And at the time, it gave me the creeps, but now I think it's probably so much more healthy than--this.

Claire: That cop is hot.

 

Scene Eight: The Room Behind the Curtain

 

Ruth: (crying) Oh, David. David.

David: I know, Mom. It's gonna be OK. It just takes time.

Ruth: I've done a terrible, terrible thing.

David: What?

Ruth: I've done a terrible thing.

Nate: (entering the room) What's she doing?

David: She's fine.

Ruth: (amidst tears) I'm not fine. I'm a whore! I was unfaithful to your father for years and now he knows, he knows!

Nate: Uh--

Ruth: I met a man at church once when your father didn't come with me.

David: Mom--

Ruth: And he invited me for coffee. He said he liked my hair. He's a hairdresser, a widower. Well, they divorced before she died, so, technically, I guess, he's divorced. He invited me to accompany him on a hike.

David: This is really not the time.

Ruth: I didn't even have the right shoes. I wore sandals.

Nate: (overlapping) Maybe she needs to just get this out.

David: Well, I don't want to hear it.

Ruth: I used to love hiking when I was younger, and being outdoors. I always wanted to take you kids camping, but your father would never leave the business. (angrily) Well, I can tell you, I went camping with this man from church several times! Told your father I was visiting my sister, whom he never thought to call!

David: Can you even begin to fathom the impropriety of this? Your husband is lying in a casket out there.

Nate: David, she’s grief-stricken, OK? Fuck propriety!

Ruth: We don't say that word! (sobs)

 

DAVID leaves the room.

 

Scene Nine: Nathaniel, Sr.'s Viewing

 

KEITH stands near the casket. CLAIRE approaches him.

 

Claire: Did you know him?

Keith: No. Did you?

Claire: He was my father.

Keith: You're Claire?

Claire: Yeah.

Keith: Keith Charles. I'm a friend of your brother’s.

Claire: Of Nate's?

Keith: No, David's.

Claire: David's friends with a cop?!

Keith: We play racquetball together.

Claire: David plays racquetball?!

 

DAVID approaches them and pulls KEITH aside.

 

David: (to Claire) Excuse us. (to Keith, in the corner) Do you want me to cry on your shoulder? Fine. My mother just confessed she was having an affair.

Keith: Wow.

David: Yeah. With some hairdresser. Who likes to hike. Now fucking Nate is in there, playing Mr. Sensitive with her, while her dead husband lies in the next room. It's disgusting.

Keith: Hey, breathe. Alright? You're gonna get through this.

David: Oh, I know. I'll be the strong one. The strong one. The dependable one. Because that's what I do. Everyone around me will fall apart, because that's what they do.

Keith: Don't you get exhausted being so hard on everyone... and yourself?

David: Oh, shut up. She met him at church.

Keith: You met me at church.

 

DAVID and KEITH both laugh. KEITH puts his hand in DAVID's hair, DAVID pushes it off.

 

David: Hands.

 

CLAIRE has watched this whole scene, unbeknownst to them. She smiles, as she realizes the truth about their relationship.

 

Scene Ten: The Room Behind the Curtain

 

NATE is holding RUTH.

 

Ruth: I didn't even realize how lonely I was, or how long it had been since a man touched me like that.

Nate: Well, loneliness is a terrible thing.

Ruth: I'm still a woman, you know.

Nate: Yes, I know.

Ruth: And now your father sees me, and God sees me. He knows everything. I'm so ashamed.

Nate: You didn't do it to hurt anybody. You were lonely. I'm sure Dad forgives you.

Ruth: And God doesn't?!

Nate: Oh, yeah. Yeah. I'm sure He does, too. (They hug.) Look, it's OK. Everybody forgives everybody for everything.

 

NATE's cell phone rings. He reaches to answer it, but RUTH begins sobbing even louder, so he doesn’t get it.

 

Scene Eleven: Chenowith Kitchen

 

BRENDA is standing in her parents' kitchen by herself, trying to call NATE. There is no answer, so she hangs up. She goes to the fridge and takes out a jar of olives. She eats one and her brother, BILLY, enters, sobbing. He goes to the fridge, looks for the olives, and starts rattling the fridge and crying when he can’t find them.

 

Brenda: Looking for the olives, honey? They're right here.

 

She takes an olive out and reaches out to give it to him. Instead, he takes the whole jar from her and leaves.

 

Commercial #4

 

We see an entourage of young dancers against a white background, like something out of a Gap commercial. "Shake Your Booty" is playing on the soundtrack, and the kids are dancing and shaking things that look like salt shakers.

 

Announcer (Male): Ashes to ashes and dust to dust is easy as pie with Franklin's New Leak-Proof Earth Dispenser. Say goodbye to soiled fingers forever! Only from Franklin Funeral Supplies. We put the "fun" back in funeral.

 

Act Four

 

Scene One: Cemetary, Nathaniel, Sr.'s Funeral

 

The entire Fisher family and friends stand before the coffin. FATHER JACK stands before the crowd, saying the prayers.

 

Father Jack: In the midst of life, we are in death. Of whom may we seek for succor, but of thee, O Lord, who for our sins are justly displeased? Thou knowest, Lord, the secrets of our hearts. Shut not thy merciful ears to our prayer, but spare us, Lord most holy, O God most mighty, O Holy and Merciful Savior, thou most worthy Judge Eternal. Suffer us not at our last hour through any pains of death to fall from thee.

 

A man approaches the coffin and presses a button. The coffin begins to sink into the ground. All throughout this, NATHANIEL, SR., sits on the top of a hearse, watching the funeral, while smoking a cigarette, and sipping on a Hawaiian drink.

 

Father Jack: To the sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life, to Almighty God we commend our brother, Nathaniel Samuel Fisher, and we commit his body to the ground. (He takes an earth dispenser like the ones from the commercial, and sprinkles onto the coffin.)

Nate: It’s like he's selling popcorn.

Father Jack: Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. The Lord bless him and keep him, the Lord make His face to shine upon him and be gracious unto him. The Lord lift up his countenance upon him and give him peace.

 

He hands the earth dispenser to DAVID, who sprinkles some earth. It is then passed down to every family member, who sprinkles, until it reaches NATE. He puts it down on the ground, and walks up to and around the coffin, facing the crowd. He lifts up a fistful of dirt from the ground. DAVID comes up to him.

 

David: (whispers) Nate.

Nate: No! I refuse to sanitize this anymore.

David: This is how it's done.

Nate: Yeah? Well, it's whacked. What is this stupid saltshaker? Huh? What is this hermetically sealed box? This phony Astroturf around the grave? Jesus, David, it's like surgery. Clean, antiseptic, business. He was our father!

David: Please don't do this.

Nate: You can pump him full of chemicals. You can put makeup on him, and you can prop him up for a nap in the slumber room, but the fact remains, David, that the only father we're ever going to have is gone. Forever. And that sucks, but it's a goddamned part of life, and you can't really accept it without getting your hands dirty. Well, I do accept it, and I intend to honor the old bastard by letting the whole world see just how fucked up and shitty I feel that he's dead! (He throws the fistful of earth onto the coffin.) God damn it!

Father Jack: Um... Amen.

Ruth: Wait.

 

RUTH lifts up a handful of dirt and throws it on the coffin. Then another, and another, and another. She begins sobbing and crying, as her hat falls off, and she continues to throw the dirt. DAVID goes to stop her.

 

Nate: Let her.

 

He holds DAVID back. RUTH weeps openly and hugs NATE. DAVID stands by and watches.

 

Father Jack: Let us pray. (The congregation repeats the following.) Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name--

 

As FATHER JACK and the congregation say the prayer, we see BRENDA walking past the limo and approaching the service. Meanwhile, CLAIRE sees her father sitting on the limo and smiles. The prayer ends.

 

NATHANIEL, SR.: (clapping and cheering) Amen! Amen!

 

CLAIRE smiles again.

 

Father Jack: The Lord be with you.

 

Scene Two: Cemetary, after the service

 

David: Mom, Federico is gonna drive you back, OK? I just need to go over a few details with Nate. We'll be right behind you.

Federico: There, there, Mrs. F.

Ruth: You have such delicate hands, Federico. Like a statue or an illustration in an antique book or one of those little ceramic hands they use to display gloves.

 

FEDERICO smiles and nods. The two leave together.

 

David: You wanna be the Alpha dog, is that it? You're coasting towards midlife with nothing to show for it, and now you wanna come back and be the rock for this family to lean on? Fuck you.

Nate: That is not what I'm--

David: You want to get your hands dirty? You sanctimonious prick. Talk to me when you've had to stuff formaldehyde soaked cotton up your father's ass so he doesn't leak.

Nate: Jesus!

David: Yeah, well I'm sure you just would have tossed him out with the garbage. It may seem weird to you, but there is a reason behind everything that we do here. We provide people with a very important and sacred service at the darkest time in their lives, because maybe they don't want to make a spectacle of themselves. Because maybe they'd prefer to grieve in private.

Nate: Why? Why does it have to be such a secret? It's nothing to be ashamed of. Dave, please.

David: You know nothing! Nothing! You had a responsibility towards this family and you ran away from it, and you left it all for me.

Nate: Whoa. Don't blame me if you're not living the life you want. That is nobody's fault but your own.

David: OK, fine. Just do me a favor, OK?: you got out, stay out.

 

He walks away from NATE and is soon approached by MATT GILARDI.

 

Gilardi: Excuse me, excuse me, Mr. Fisher, sir, if I could just get a moment of your time.

David: What?

Gilardi: I'm from Kroehner Service International. I need to talk to you about the advantages of joining our family of death care facilities.

David: I don't believe this.

Gilardi: Sir, if you could just hear me out--

David: We're not selling. Now get the fuck out of here!

Gilardi: We wouldn't change the name of the business and, of course, we would retain you as a salaried manager.

David: Look, I really want to hit somebody right now, and it might as well be you. (GILARDI stops and DAVID walks away.)

Gilardi: I'll call you when you've had some time to recover from your loss.

 

Scene Three: Cemetary, other section

 

CLAIRE smokes a cigarette. NATHANIEL, SR. sits near her on a lawn chair, also smoking a cigarette.

 

Claire: You're really lucky, you know that?

Nathaniel, Sr.: You kidding? It was over in a second. I didn't have to be afraid of it. I didn't even have to think about it.

Claire: No more bullshit.

Nathaniel, Sr.: No more responsibility

Claire: No more having to care.

Nathaniel, Sr.: No more boredom.

Claire: No more waiting to die.

 

NATHANIEL, SR. laughs.

 

Scene Four: Cemetary, yet another section

 

BRENDA approaches NATE.

 

Brenda: Hi. Well, after four days with my family, I'm ready for shock therapy. I'm just waiting to see if my HMO covers it.

Nate: Aah.

Brenda: How's it going with you?

Nate: Oh, it's great. Great. You know? My father's dead, my mom's a whore, my brother wants to kill me, and my sister's smoking crack. Who could win? Four days ago, I was a relatively happy guy. Now, it's like I don't even know who that guy was. I'm a fucking mess, if you wanna know the truth, but I think you're already aware of that.

Brenda: Well, here's my number, if you ever want to, I don't know, go out on a real date. You know, where you buy me dinner before I put out.

Nate: (laughs) Ah hah.

Brenda: Maybe I'm one of those women that meets a man who seems emotionally conflicted, no relationship skills, and I figure, hey, it's for me.

Nate: You know I don't even live here, right? I live in Seattle.

Brenda: See, that just makes you more attractive.

Nate: Really?

Brenda: Oh, yeah.

Nate: Hah. Well, I also happen to be a serial rapist. Got ten nurses buried under my house.

Brenda: Now you're making me wet.

 

Scene Five: Keith's apartment, that night.

 

DAVID knocks on KEITH's door. KEITH lets him in. DAVID is shaking and crying. He hugs and kisses KEITH desperately on the mouth.

 

Keith: Hey. Whoa. Whoa.

David: I need--I need--

Keith: Hey.

 

KEITH now kisses DAVID on the mouth.

 

Keith: It's OK. It's OK.

 

Act Five

 

Scene One: Nate's Bedroom

 

We see another flashback of when NATE and DAVID were young kids. They play in the front yard, as NATHANIEL, SR. sprays them and the grass with a hose. RUTH sits on the front porch steps and laughs. They are all a happy family. NATE wakes up.

 

Scene Two: Fisher Kitchen

 

NATE enters the kitchen, where RUTH is standing.

 

Nate: Good morning.

 

They hug.

 

Ruth: Thank God you're here.

Nate: Yeah, well, of course I'm here.

Ruth: What do you want for breakfast?

Nate: I'm going to go for a run. I'll eat when I get back.

Ruth: Nate, you don't have to go back to Seattle right away, do you?

Nate: I guess not. I could make a few calls.

Ruth: Thank you.

Nate: Yeah, sure.

Ruth: Just for a few days.

Nate: OK.

 

Scene Three: Street Corner

 

NATE jogs past the cemetery, again gets water, and again stops at the bus stop, but this time at the other side of the street. He sees NATHANIEL, SR. sitting on a bench, reading a newspaper. NATHANIEL, SR. gets onto the bus, and looks out the window, and sees NATE. He waves to him and smiles. NATE waves back. NATE watches passerbys and smiles at them.

 

END CREDITS.

Kikavu ?

Au total, 18 membres ont visionné cet épisode ! Ci-dessous les derniers à l'avoir vu...

stephane25 
17.02.2018 vers 17h

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05.10.2016 vers 15h

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