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[Oprah Winfrey] To be a best-seller for over two years...
a story has to really connect with people.
And Tuesdays With Morrie resonates with everybody.
- [Director] Action.! - I think we all relate to Mitch.
His life is just, shhhk... going by too quickly.
And then he was blessed to stop and find his old teacher Morrie.
And even though Morrie was dying, he taught us about living.
All oflife is about teaching and learning.
When you learn, teach. When you get, give.
Life is filled with Morries. We all just need to look around.
Come on, you guys!
- Excuse me, kids. - **Live, baby, live **
- **Now that the day is over ** - Hello, love.
- Yeah. - How're ya doin'?
- **I got a new sensation ** - See ya, man.
Hey, Katie. How are ya, dear?
**In perfect moments ** [Continues, Indistinct]
[Man Narrating] Among other things, many other things...
my old professor loved to eat.
There he is! What do you say?
**Sleep, baby, sleep **
[Narrating Continues] He especially liked tongue.
I'd say, "Morrie, that's disgusting. " He'd say, "I'm sorry you think so.
I also like cole slaw. Can you handle cole slaw, Mitch?"
- Excuse me. - Near the top of the list of things he loved was dancing.
Subtitles downloaded from www.OpenSubtitles.org
- [Man Yelling] - He had his own way of dancing.
He'd do the lindy toJimi Hendrix.
He'djitterbug to... name a band... Nine Inch Nails.
- Pardon me. Here you go, boy. - What you got, Professor?
Hey, just put it on. You're gonna love it.
**I can't top the letter "M" You're not a... ****
[Music Changes, Crowd Murmuring]
Wait a minute. Wait a minute.
[Crowd Murmuring, Laughing]
[Mitch Narrating] One ofhis favorites was the tango.
His own version, of course. Wherever it came from...
- Come on, join in! - it wasn't Argentina.
Moments like that...
he could live in forever.
In the summer of 1994, he began to notice a few things:
- Professor. - shortness ofbreath...
legs giving him a little trouble.
But what do you expect at 77?
[Mitch Narrating] The dancing stopped forever in the summer of 1994.
- [Students Chattering] - Should we do something?
That was when Morrie got his death sentence.
Whoa! Whoa, whoa, whoa. Man, when they fall apart...
these guys really fall apart, don't they?
This ugly, or is this ugly? I knew it.
[Man] Everybody's on the floor. The coaches are out there.
Oh, my... Walter, it's Mitch. I gotta change the column.
I've got to change the column, Walter!
[Mitch Narrating] I knew nothing about what happened to my old professor.
I hadn't seen him since graduation day 16 years ago.
I promised I'd keep in touch, but I got busy dancing my own dance.
It's a zoo... Walter, it's a zoo here. Just hold a space for me, okay?
Give me a break! Have I ever missed a deadline?
- [All Yelling] - Janine, hi. Did I wake you, honey?
- Everything I did I did on deadline. - It's crazy here.
- Everything. - I just wanna say I love you and I'm sorry.
Coach said no media until he talks to the team.
Should've talked to them before the game.
Yeah... No, we definitely have to talk, I know. Hang on one second.
- [All Yelling] - Baby, I gotta go. I love you. Bye-bye.
[Man] No press.!
Coach, Coach. Coach, what did you say to the team? Did the word "discipline"come up?
- [Laughter] - How about the word "maturity"?
[Mitch Narrating] Sports are always in season in this country...
and I covered them all...
living in planes and hotels with a laptop and a cell phone.
I might never have known what happened to Morrie if I wasn't always doing six things at once.
Janine, come on. Because I've been in love with you for seven years.
Doesn't that... Yeah, but in my book, that is a commitment.
Yeah. Do we have to talk about this now?
This is the only thing we ever fight about.
Yeah, because look at what marriage does to people.
I'm not watching it. It's just on.
Look at what marriage does. Look at our married friends. Look at our divorced friends.
Look, I'll be back in Detroit tomorrow. We'll talk about this then, okay?
Yeah, well, I'll make time.
- [Laughing] - [Ted Koppel On TV] Just who is Morrie Schwartz?
And why, by the end of the night...
are so many of you going to care about him?
Janine, hang on one second.
[Announcer On TV] This is ABC News Nightline.
- One second. - Reporting from Washington, Ted Koppel.
[Ted Koppel] Tonight, Morrie... Lessons on Living.
Morrie is going to die.
He suffers from a disease called ALS...
better known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
Morrie Schwartz is a retired sociology professor...
from Brandeis University who is dying of ALS.
Morrie does not have long to live.
I'm on the last great journey here, one we all gotta take.
Maybe I can teach people what to pack for the trip.
- [Click, Dial Tone] - Janine? Hello?
Or maybe my dying can be of value...
something we can all learn from, like a... a human textbook.
I've been a teacher all my life. You think I'm gonna quit now?
[Woman On Phone] Detroit Free Press. How may I direct your call?
[Woman #2 On Phone] Thank you for calling the Detroit Free Press.
I'm just getting to work. Let me call you back, okay? Very good. How are you?
- Mitch, tomorrow's page. - Oh, excellent.
- Congratulations. - On what? The column? It was all right.
A little rushed. Oh, it's official, huh? Baseball strike is over.
Yeah, which means I need you in Florida for spring training.
You thought it was rushed? It read terrific.
- I mean congratulations on your sweet little TV deal. - Thank you.
- Walter, local TV, one show a week. - Books and the radio show...
- Take 20 words out. - My column comes first, Walter.
- How many hours you got in your day? - What difference does it make?
- You're spreading yourself a little thin. - As long as I deliver.
You think you can find time to write a piece for the strike ending tomorrow?
- [Answering Machine] Hi, this is Janine. - It's a personal call.
- Say hello toJanine for me. - Please leave a message. [Machine Beeps]
Hello. Hello, it's me. Will you pick up, please?
[Sighs] Janine? Janine, you have to talk to me sometime.
Will you pick up the phone, please?
[Sighs] All right. Um...
I'll, uh... I'll come by work, I guess.
I love you.
Great column today, man. So, we finally got baseball back, or what?
I think the fans should go on strike.
- [Men Laughing] - What's up, you guys?
Oh, hold it for a second. Something's not right here.
Take a break for a second, ladies. Mitch, make yourself useful. Give me an F-sharp.
- F-sharp. - [Striking Note]
- Hey. - Hey.
I've been trying to call. Are you, uh, ever gonna talk to me again?
I was talking to you last night... you and the TV...
and then I sort of got the idea that you didn't want to talk.
I got some bad news last night. A guy I used to know...
A teacher of mine back in college is sick. He's gonna die.
Oh, Mitch, I'm sorry. Were you very close to him?
I used to be, yeah.
Uh, okay, y'all, let's try this.
[Sighs] We both gotta work on our phone manners.
I love you.
I love you too.
[Man] Okay, let's just pick this up, ladies.
[TV Sportscaster, Indistinct]
It's not just Morrie. I haven't kept in touch with anybody from college.
The reunions, the mail... Who's got time for that stuff?
Well, I wish I had a teacher like that.
No, he was more than just a teacher. He was... what... like a force.
At this basketball game once, we were all chanting...
"We're number one! We're number one," right?
So I see Morrie a couple rows down, he's eyeing us, he's giving us all this look.
All of a sudden he stands up and says...
"What's wrong with being number two?"
He actually wanted to discuss that right in the middle of the game.
- Thank you. - Thank you.
Made a really big difference in my life, and I never even thanked him.
Well, you talk about him as if he were already dead. You could still go see him.
He's in Boston. When am I gonna find time to go to Boston?
Well, make time, if he meant that much to you.
You're on the road half your life. Why can't you make time for one trip to Boston?
- Why are you getting upset? - Why do you have such a problem making time in your life...
- Hey, you're that guy Mitch Albom, right? - Yeah. Hey...
- Hey, man, I read your column every day. - Thank you.
- I've got an idea for a column. - Guys, I'm in the middle here.
- Gotcha. Hey, we'll talk later? - I get ideas all the time.
- [TVSportscaster, Indistinct] - [Sighs] Anyway...
the truth is, it's too late.
All these years I haven't sent the guy a postcard. How am I gonna face him now?
- [Crowd Cheering] - Mitch, think...
Hey, think of him. Think about how much it would mean to him.
At least call him.
In hockey last night, with the play-off berth at stake and visions of the golden cup...
[Mitch Narrating] I lived on the phone, made dozens of calls a day.
Why couldn't I make one to a dying man?
The simple answer was guilt, but it was more than that.
I was afraid of seeing him now.
I had a thing about death.
- Here's my buddy! - Hey!
Hey. You're one of the special ones, Mitch.
You're gonna keep in touch, you gotta promise me.
- I promise. - [Mitch Narrating] I failed that promise.
- [Phone Ringing] - I also had a thing about failure.
- [Janine On Phone] Hello? - Hey, it's me.
- Hey. - Well, you were right. I can't work.
I can't even think here. I gotta do something. About Morrie, I mean.
- Are you gonna go see him? - Yeah, it's one trip to Boston.
- Quick little visit, say I'm sorry and say good-bye. - [Sportscaster, Indistinct]
Well, roll back the tape. Let me hear the playback again.
- [Sportscaster Continues] - Okay. Mm-hmm.
- [Tires Skidding] - Oh, damn it!
- What? - No, no, no. I just spilled some coffee.
Go-Go ahead. Let me hear the playback.
Yeah, I'm listening. That sounds fine. Just go with that.
- What? Take three? - Yes. Is there a lot more?
- Seven takes. - You know what? We're gonna have to do this, uh, later.
Sorry. Dropped my keys.
It's Mitch. Mitch Albom?
I called. I-I spoke to your wife.
I don't get a hug after 16 years?
My ol' buddy, you came to see me at last.
Well, I see you still like to eat as much as ever.
Oh, boy, dig in, huh? Help yourself.
Come on. Make yourself comfortable.
- Okay. - Looks great.
- [Clears Throat] - [Phone Ringing]
Well, you look great. Really.
- Really. The same. - Morrie? Excuse me. Can you talk?
No. Get a name if you could, Connie, 'cause I'm with my buddy now, huh?
I spend half the day on the telephone.
Now that I'm dying, people are taking more of an interest in me.
Ah, big celebrity now. How's that feel being a big TV star?
I mean, you know, you were always interesting, but, uh...
I thought so.
This-This one class... Do you remember this, Morrie?
Um, you didn't say anything. You remember that? You just stared at us.
- Hmm. - We all trooped in with our notebooks ready...
waiting for you to start casting pearls, and nothing.
Five minutes go by. Ten minutes.
We started panicking. "Why isn't the guy saying anything?"
Finally, after like... I think it was 20 minutes of that...
and we really can't take it anymore, you say, very quietly...
- "What's happening here?" - Exactly right. "What's happening here?"
That's exactly what you said. You were making a point about silence.
What is it about silence that makes people uneasy, huh?
Why do people only feel comfortable when they're filling the air with words?
Should I tell you what it's like? Dying?
That's another subject that makes people uncomfortable.
We'll get to it later. You know, right now I gotta go to the commode.
Are you up to, uh, giving me a hand?
Well, now wait a minute. I better get Connie. It takes an expert.
- [Bell Rings] - [Morrie] Connie, uh...
You know, dying is just one thing to be sad about.
Living unhappily, that's another matter.
See ya in a minute.
- [Sighs] - Are you happy in Detroit?
Yeah. Best town to be in for a sportswriter.
Football, basketball, baseball, hockey, you name it.
Are you giving to your community?
I-I... They're nuts for sports.
You know, that's what I give 'em every day in my column.
Are you at peace with yourself?
[Chuckles] I... I can't complain.
Uh-huh. What happened to the music?
Wasn't that your passion, to be a great pianist?
Yeah. Yeah, I gave it a shot, then I grew up.
You grew up, huh?
Married with kids?
- Uh, no. - Haven't found anybody to share your heart with, huh?
No. Yes, I have. Definitely.
Oh. Not enough to get married?
Uh, no. Well, y-yes. I mean, you know, someday.
But, uh, just when we're both ready.
When you're both ready? Has she got a name?
- Janine. - Janine? That's a very beautiful name.
SoJanine shares this "when we're both ready" thing with you?
I can see, Mitch, that we're gonna have a great deal to talk about.
- What are you writing? - One more question.
- Yeah? - You know anything about this disease that I've got here?
This Lou Gehrig's disease?
It melts ya like a candle, you know?
In my case, from the bottom up.
[Straining] My legs... went first.
Hands will be next...
and eventually it'll get the whole body.
But you know what I dread?
Someday soon somebody's gonna have to wipe my ass for me.
But... I'm a lucky man.
- You're lucky? - Yeah.
I've still got time to learn...
time to say good-bye to the people I love...
and time to teach my final course.
- About dying? - Not about dying! About living!
When you know how to die...
you know how to live.
No, no, no, no, no. Well, you can't do that, can you?
- Let me hear it again. - [Toilet Flushing]
- [Morrie Grunting] - [Connie] I got you.
Dave, you know what? I-I can't do this right now. I'm really sorry.
Yeah, I'm leaving for the airport in five minutes. Can I call you from the car?
Yeah, just give me five minutes, okay? Thanks a lot, man.
- [Phone Beeps Off] - [Morrie] Those were my dancing days.
- Did you ever see me dance? - No.
I saw you do a lot of things, but, uh, never dance.
That's too bad, because they tell me it was something to see.
- I'll bet. - Why don't you keep it?
- Oh, no. Are you sure? - Yeah.
You remember that nickname you used to give me?
- Okay, here we go. - Coach. I called you Coach.
- Yeah. - [Connie] Easy. Easy. Okay.
Somehow I could never call you Professor Schwartz.
Well, I liked being called Coach.
Maybe I should've gotten a whistle. [Chuckles]
- What's the matter? You gotta go? - Yeah.
- Well, you'll be back. - Well, I don't know, Coach.
Uh, Detroit is 700 miles, you know? It's a bit of a time problem.
Well, uh, let me show you something about time.
[Takes Deep Breath]
[Whispering] One, two, three, four, five...
six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve.
Went to 16 last week.
A kid like you... I bet you go to 100.
You know, it's a good thing to count your breaths now and then.
Keeps you from putting things off. Come here.
I'm still your coach. You promise me...
that you'll come back to see your old coach, huh?
[Mitch Narrating] I promised.
I tried not to think about the last time I promised.
[Engine Starts, Phone Rings]
- [Phone Beeps] - Hello?
- [Man On Phone, Indistinct] - Yeah. No, I have time now. Let's hear it.
[Mitch] What are the truly important questions in life...
and where do we go to find the answers?
There are many paths on which to seek the truth. Me, I go to press conferences.
Today in his humble high school stadium...
I will know the answer to the question of questions:
What college will two-time all-state quarterback Shawn Daley...
choose to pursue his higher education?
And maybe play a little football.
All you guys been coverin' my career...
know that I have a dream, which is to play in the NFL.
I been real careful lookin' over all my scholarship offers...
to choose the best one to make my dream come true.
Shawn, what are you planning on getting your degree in?
Well, I'm only gonna be there two years, then I'll go pro.
- [Cheering] - [Indistinct]
I mean, I mean, of course I'm gonna study hard...
and improve my education, see what happens.
And the truth shall set you free, or make you a first-round draft choice.
The college I've chose to go to is...
The moment of truth is here, folks. On every lip is one prayer:
" Please, God, let it be us."
[Shawn On Tape] I mean, I mean... -
- Sounds like another good one. - Hmm? I'm hungry too.
Two minutes to deadline. We'll go to dinner. Two minutes.
Can you believe a major press conference for a high school jock?
Wonder what Morrie would think of that.
I know what he'd think. What kind of message does that send...
to kids who actually crack a book, study their butts off and get scholarships?
And who's gonna hold a press conference for them?
- Mitch, I'm going to my place tonight. - Wherever you wanna eat.
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Where you goin'?
It's okay. Keep working. I'm just tired. I'm gonna go.
What are you talkin' about? We're goin' to dinner like we always do. What's the matter?
Nothing. I have a session tomorrow. I just want to go home.
If we lived together, you'd be home, but...
Two minutes to deadline, okay? You have a career. You understand deadlines.
I'm a backup singer. That's not a career, it's a job.
You could have a great career if you really wanted it.
- I don't know what I want. - You're too good to be singing backup.
Mitch, that's not what I'm talking about.
I can't just keep going on like this, you know, waiting for you to fit me in. I-I...
I gotta just think about what I want. And so do you.
Sorry. I did not mean to get into this now. I'm gonna call you later.
- [Phone Ringing] - Janine, please don't go. Janine, wait.
- Can... Obviously, we need to talk. - [Pager Beeping]
Obviously, we will talk. I just need one minute, okay?
Please. I love you. It's coming in one minute. One minute!
God. Please, just give me a second. Please.
[Tapping Keyboard, Sighs]
- [Phones Ringing] - It's just not a good time, Mitch.
- Any other time, I'd say okay, take a few days off, relax. - No, you wouldn't.
- We got play-offs, we got tennis, spring training. - I know.
You wanna take some time, why don't you cut back from one of your other jobs?
- Walter... - Do you people work here? I want you on the road, Mitch.
Walter, I need to be here. It's personal, okay?
Oh, Janine. The marriage thing again.
I could recommend a hell of a counselor. We got divorced anyway.
- Walter, can I just... - Look, Mitch, I need you. Detroit needs you.
I'm sorry about your problems, but you know what? The world doesn't stop.
- Okay. - No, no, no. Come on. No ground rules.
[Mitch Narrating] I left Janine with promises.
We'd talk. We'd get help as soon as I got back.
- Meanwhile, Walter was right. The world didn't stop. - I'll see you Friday.
Guys, have you got time for a couple questions?
Guys... Sam, what happened in the fourth quarter?
Danny, was your knee bothering you?
[Mitch Narrating] I remembered my promise to Morrie...
but when would I find time to keep it?
The strike wasn't about money. It was never about money.
Gee, how- how did we miss that?
It was about our worth as human beings.
Our self-worth isn't being validated.
But you're not a player. You wouldn't understand.
[Bat Hits Ball]
[Mitch Narrating] America had become a bazaar of self-help.
Books, TVshows, hundred-dollar-an-hour experts...
all of them with answers to the big important questions.
This is the final call for Boston, Arista Air flight 211 now boarding, Gate 103.
[Mitch Narrating] What did Morrie think of that?
He wasn't in the self-help business.
He was standing on the tracks with death's locomotive whistling toward him.
His mind had become a lightning rod for ideas.
He saw things with incredible clarity. I wanted that clarity.
I thought I had it once.
Who I was, what I wanted. What had happened to me?
[Woman] This is the last call for Boston, Arista flight...
Excuse me. Excuse me. I'm sorry. Excuse me.
****[Male Quartet Singing]
**I love thejava jive and it loves me **
** Coffee and tea and thejivin'and me **
**A cup, a cup, a cup, a cup **
* It's hot, look out *
**I lovejava sweet and... **
You almost missed the funeral. No, it was Morrie's idea.
A living funeral. He said he didn't want to wait till he was dead...
for people to say nice things about him.
- Go on in. - **A cup, a cup, a cup **
* I love coffee and tea *
**I love thejava jive and it loves me **
** Coffee and tea and thejivin'and me **
**A cup, a cup, a cup, a cup **
Now listen, you've all said such beautiful things.
Believe it or not, now I want to talk.
- Oh. [Laughs] - All I have is a voice.
- We know, Dad. We know. - That's-That's not me.
That's from W.H. Auden, my favorite poet.
- We know that too, Dad. - Oh, okay.
"All I have is a voice...
"to undo the folded lie...
"the lie of authority...
"whose buildings grope the sky.
" No one exists alone.
" Hunger allows no choice to the citizen or police.
"We must love one another...
Iove one another...
- Thank you. - [All Sobbing]
Thank you. I'll see you soon.
- It was lovely, Morrie. - Good-bye. Be well.
- [Woman] Thank you. - I know I should've called.
I'm stealin' time from my boss here.
You missed my funeral. Never mind. You'll catch the next one.
**Another day **
- **After I've called on you to speak ** - Thank you.
**And you would say ** [Continues, Indistinct]
- You're not sayin' much today. - What's wrong with silence?
- [Laughing] - [Bike Bell Rings]
You know what I miss? Springtime on campus, huh?
- That was always the best time. - Yeah, for you professors, maybe.
To us lowly students, spring meant one thing... cramming for finals.
Oh, yeah. Beautiful day like this...
and we made you spend it buried in a book.
Throw down your books! You have nothing to lose but your grades.
- Coach, you ever wish you were young again? - Nah.
I've been young. I know how miserable it can be, being young.
Oh, push me down there, huh?
Aging isn't just decay, you know? It's growth.
So how come nobody ever says, "Gee, I wish I were old"?
Because this culture worships youth. Me, I do not buy it.
I've had my time to be 22. This is my time to be 78.
So, you were never afraid of getting old?
Oh, the fear of aging... You know what that reflects, Mitch?
- Lives that haven't found meaning. - [Students Chattering]
- The light changed. - Oh.
[Morrie] Mitch, stop here.
- This is where I used to dance. - " Dance Free"?
- Yeah. - No wonder they went out ofbusiness.
Not that kind of free, Mitch.
I used to think if I couldn't dance, I couldn't live.
[Morrie] Sometimes I see myself dancing, and I think...
"Wow.! Oh, boy.! I don't have ALS after all.
"It's-It's a big mistake.
It's all part of a lovely fantasy. "
Butjust for a minute.
Fantasy is useful. You can learn from it.
But, uh... this...
this is what's real, and I accept it.
But is it really that easy? I mean, don't you ever feel sorry for yourself?
Oh, good... Oh, you bet. God, I...
Usually, in the morning... you know, before everybody gets up...
I get so... angry...
and so bitter.
I just... What the hell did I ever do to deserve this?
Where's the fairness? What...
[Sighs] And I cry and I...
And then I detach.
It's over. That's it.
All over. No more.
I just look back on how I've been feeling, and I say...
"Well, that's self-pity, and that's enough of that for today."
- Just like that you stop? - Yeah.
That's all the time I give it. Start thinking about the day ahead, you know?
The people that are gonna come to see me...
the stories that I'm gonna hear and all the stuff I'm gonna learn.
- Like from you, Mitch. - From me?
There's a place that I've got to go now, Mitch.
I hope you can handle it.
Yeah, I think the chocolate almond was the best of all, but they don't carry it.
How you doin', Morrie? You ready for a good beatin'?
- Hey. - Hi.
Hi there. You ready for a beatin'?
****[Tape: Woman Singing Opera]
- You oughta get a zipper. - [Connie] I know.
If I ever learn how to sew.
- Oh, hey, Mrs. Schwartz. - Oh, please.
Call me Charlotte, Mitch. Did he ever stop talking?
[Chuckles] No. I was afraid I was gonna tire him out.
Oh, he never gets tired if he's got friends to talk to.
I'm so glad you came back. You were one of his favorites.
- You going back to work? - Just for a couple of hours.
[Sighs] I hope you'll come again.
[Morrie] Charlotte, wasn't that a great funeral today, huh?
- What a turnout.! - [Laughing]
How does he do it? How does he stay so cheerful all the time?
Well, sometimes the nights are difficult for him. They really are.
- [Morrie] Charlotte. - Coming, dear.
[Morrie] Every time Aldo works me over...
I feel like he's given me an extra couple of days.
[Laughs] You like massage?
- Uh, not really, no. - No?
Oh, boy, I revel in it.
You know what's funny? Some people just don't like to be touched.
I always found that rather odd.
When we're babies, we live to be touched...
to be held, cuddled by your mother...
We never seem to get enough of that.
We need it so badly. I... [Crying]
- Have a, uh... - Yeah. You okay?
Yeah. I cry a lot. Maybe you noticed.
- Do you cry, Mitch? - Uh...
All this makes you uncomfortable, doesn't it? I... The crying and touching.
I see you look away. [Sniffs]
I guess I'm just not really a touchy-feely guy.
- Yeah, it scares you. - Doesn't scare me.
Yes, it scares you. All this does.
Everything we're talking about... death, dying.
There is a reason why people don't talk about these things.
- Hmm? - To spare people's feelings.
To spare people's feel... I never have understood that.
How can you spare someone's feelings by denying them?
- [Grunts] - What, you got a plane?
No. You're not the only one who has to use the commode sometimes, you know?
Mmm. Days like this, you used to hold classes outside.
Uh, today is Tuesday. Tuesdays I used to hold office hours.
Oh, right, tutorials, when you'd rip apart my papers.
- [Chuckles] And we'd talk. - And we'd talk.
You were the first grown-up who ever talked to me who wasn't a relative.
And we're still talking.
Only maybe you think what I'm talking about doesn't apply to you now.
You know who I forgot to ask you about?
- Your girlfriend with the beautiful name. Uh, Janine, yeah. - Janine.
- Now, am I ever gonna meet her? - Oh, I don't know, Coach.
- Uh... - "I don't know, Coach."
- [Laughing] - Uh... maybe.
Maybe. You still don't know how to say good-bye, do you, still?
Come here. I'll show you.
[Laughs] Oh, Mitch.
I'm gonna get to you one of these days, boy.
- Yeah, yeah, yeah. - Yeah, yeah, yeah.
What, did you forget something?
When can I come back?
Office hours are Tuesdays. We're Tuesday people, Mitch.
[Door Closes, Engine Starts]
[Announcer] That's a nice first serve by Sergio...
[Mitch, Reading] "Love. What is love, anyway?
"Can anybody tell me what that word really means?
"The temperamental U.S. Open champ waxed philosophical as he denied he was having an affair.
"'We're not in love. We're just friends.
Love is what I feel for my god and my wife. "'
- [All Laughing] - You didn't see the ball!
[Mitch] There he goes again. This guy's not having a good week.
[Sergio Shouting In Italian]
How do you guys sleep at night, eh?
- Some of them sleep with their wives. - [All Laughing]
That's it. Media out! Out, all of you! Out! Out!
Get out of my life.! Out.! Out, out.!
- [Laughter] - [Reporter] Oh, my God!
Hey, Mitch! Hey, why don't you clock out already and come over and join us?
- Come on. - I'll be there in a minute.
- [Dialing Cell Phone] - Very mature.
- [Laughing Continues] - [Phone Ringing]
Hey, I didn't wake you, did I? I just wanted to hear your voice.
No, I was gonna call you. I, uh, I've been doing a lot of thinking.
Yeah, so have I.
Mitch, I don't think we should see each other anymore.
- [Raucous Laughter] - What?
- Whoa, wait a minute. Wait... Let me just... - No, no, just let me say this.
I can't keep pretending that we're ever going to be a real couple...
because I know in my heart that we are never going to be.
- Please don't say that, Janine. - Mitch.
This is so hard, but I can't wait anymore.
We just don't want the same things.
That's not true. I love you. I...
I know you love me. And I love you.
[Crying] But I need more than that.
- Okay. - [Reporter] Oh, my God.!
Can we please just not do this on the phone?
I-I will get a plane. I will come home tonight.
No, Mitch, don't. I won't be here. It's too late.
- Janine. - I can't be with you anymore.
Hello? Janine? Hello?
Hey, mystery woman.! He's sneaking her out.!
Mitch, come on, let's go.
- Mitch, get the lead out! - I'm coming. I'm coming.
- Hey, Sergio! - [Shouting Continues]
- [Tires Screeching] - What the hell am I doing?
[Dispatcher On Radio, Indistinct]
It's all right, sweetheart. I'm here. I'm right here.
God bless you, sweetheart.
- Ta-da! Food man. Hey, Connie. - Hey.
Is that Mitch? Must be Tuesday.
It's Mitch. How ya doin', Coach?
I hope you haven't eaten already, 'cause I got some very good stuff here.
- Ah, what do you got? - I got...
- Ahhh. - I got pita bread, nice and warm.
- Yeah, good. - I got apple cobbler.
And I got... I got that.
- Ugh. - You remembered.
Oh, you don't forget somebody eating tongue. No, no.
It's like repressed memory. It actually attacks me in the middle of the night.
- What is that? - Well, if you're gonna keep giving me...
this meaning of life stuff, I want to remember it.
- I'd like your voice. - When I'm dead?
- No, don't say that. - Mitch, I'm dying.
- It's been established. - Yeah, yeah.
[Sighs] That's a pretty big machine, huh.
Must've cost you a fortune.
You know what? This is a stupid intrusion. I'm gonna put it away.
Hey, you still don't understand. I want you to remember...
and I want people to know my story.
That's a very nice machine. Now, put it back. Go on.
- Okay. - All right.
Now do you want to hear a real tragedy?
I can't eat tongue anymore.
But I'm gonna save it.
Maybe I should have it mounted and hang it in my study, huh?
Okay. So I made a list of subjects for you to talk about.
All the heavy stuff... death, love, marriage, family.
Oh, all of the stuff that you're scared of. Huh.
- Things I want to hear you talk about. - And you're scared of.
Why be ashamed? Everybody's afraid of those things.
Add fear to the list.
You don't seem to be scared.
I told you, I have my early morning moments.
Did you ever know anybody who was dying?
Yeah, I had an uncle. Mike. He was young.
He was more of a brother, really.
Testing, testing. [Clears Throat]
Mike taught me football, taught me music, taught me how to drive.
[Chuckles] We used to drive around this empty lot for hours.
Yeah, he was 42 when he died. Cancer.
And you never talked about it?
We did what people do, you know? We pretended nothing was wrong.
- Hmm. - That's actually when I gave up music, when Mike died.
- Oh, yeah, when you grew up, huh? - When I woke up, Coach.
Saw I better get moving if I'm gonna make anything out of my life.
Well, you made a big success. I always knew you would. But you ran.
Did you ever stop to think about what you're running from?
[Turns On Recorder, Clears Throat]
Okay, what do you want to tackle first here?
Death? Love? What about marriage? That's a good one.
- Stickball. - Stickball?
- Yeah. Did you ever play stickball? - Uh, no.
Kids don't play stickball anymore, really. I played Little League.
They don't play anymore? Oh, that's too bad.
Stickball was what all the slum kids played.
You know, where I grew up. Manhattan, the Lower East Side.
- [Children Chattering] - A broom handle and a rubber ball was all you needed.
You could play anywhere.
Best place to play was right outside the candy store my mother ran for the landlord.
[Woman Shouting In Russian]
- My mother was only 25. - Moyshe!
- But she was sick as long as I could remember. - Moyshe! Moyshe!
I felt if I ignored it, maybe the sickness would go away.
What happened to her?
She went to the hospital, and she died there.
They sent us a telegram.
My father couldn't read English, so I had to read it.
[Reading In Yiddish]
[Morrie] That's how I learned that my mother had died.
I've still got the telegram.
It's all that's left of my mother, except memories.
So you grew up with your father?
My father... He was an immigrant from Russia, a very silent man.
He never showed what he really felt.
After my mother died, he... he'd come home from work...
when he could get work...
and he'd never come in the house.
He'd stay outside, read the newspaper...
until he knew I was asleep.
What was he feeling? See, I never knew.
What... Was he in pain? Was he suffering? I...
All I knew was that... that I needed his love.
I needed him to hold me so I wouldn't be so afraid.
Never got it, though, did you?
No. Not from him.
He remarried about a year later.
[Morrie] 'Course I resented her at first. I pushed her away.
But she was a wonderful woman.
And from her, after I stopped being such a little smart-ass...
- ** [Singing In Yiddish] - I finally began to get the love that I'd been missing.
** [Singing Continues]
[Mitch] What about your father? Did things get better?
[Morrie] He did something...
God, I found very, very hard to forgive.
He said I had a new mother...
and that I should forget.
He wouldn't even let me talk about my mother.
It was like she'd never existed. [Sobbing]
- Need help here. - I think we should stop.
No. I want you to hear this.
My father was afraid of love.
He couldn't give it, and he couldn't receive it either.
- Maybe that's worse. - Morrie, we should stop.
Not letting ourselves be loved...
because we're too afraid of giving ourselves to someone we might lose.
- Um... Connie! Connie! - [Hissing]
Ahh. Connie! Connie!
You're okay. Okay.
- [Groaning] - That's it. Okay, breathe.
Good. Good. Okay. You're okay.
Where the hell are you? You're supposed to be in New York for the play-offs.
Yeah, I'll be there tonight, Walter.
Oh, it's only the play-offs. Hey, what is this number? How many jobs have you got?
It's got nothing to do with work. I just...
- I thought that the column came first. - This is personal, okay?
I just need a little bit of time...
You have time for everybody but me.
- I got plenty of guys here dyin' to write a column. - What is that supposed to mean?
- You think Detroit can't live without you? - Why don't you find out.
You know that comp time you've got built up? I suggest that you take it.
- You do whatever the hell you want to. - Well, fine, I will.
[Connie] Here we go.
We'll soon have you back in your chair.
Okay, I'm just gonna get your feet clear.
One. Okay, you're all set.
Connie. Connie, show me how to do that?
- Mm-hmm. - Okay. Come on over here.
Okay, now bend down.
- Slide your arms under his like you're lifting a log. - Okay.
- Okay, now he can't help you at all, honey. - Like this?
- Yeah, it has to be all you. - All right.
- Now lift. Okay. - [Morrie Groaning]
- Sorry. I'll get it. - Okay, let him move.
Okay, okay, good. All right, I got ya.
- I got ya. Okay. - [Groaning Continues]
- Okay. - You got him.
- Sorry. You all right? - Oh, yeah.
Sorry. I'll get better at it.
Don't look so sad because I'm gonna die, Mitch.
Everybody's gonna die. Even you.
But most people don't believe it.
They should have a bird on their shoulder.
That's what the Buddhists do.
Just imagine a little bird on your shoulder...
and every day you say, "Is this the day I'm gonna die, little bird?
" Huh? Am I ready? Am I leading the life I want to lead?
Am I the person that I want to be?"
If we accept the fact that we can die at any time, we'd lead our lives differently.
So every day you say, "Is this the day?"
- Hmm? - One sec. One sec.
Okay, go ahead.
[Morrie On Tape] If you did have a bird on your shoulder...
you wouldn't put off the things closest to your heart.
[Mitch Narrating] I didn't need the recorder to hear his voice anymore.
It was always in my mind now.
I thought ofhis helpless weight in my arms as I lifted him... -
that frail, failing body...
and the voice, the spirit inside...
at its ruthless mercy.
- [Muttering] - And time whooshing past...
like thejet stream outside my window.
And notjust for Morrie.
I'd taken Morrie's advice. I'd put a bird on my shoulder.
O-Oh, yeah. Come on in, baby. Let's hear it back.
- Oh, hey, Mitch Man, I didn't see you. - Hey.
- So, what do you think? - Oh, I couldn't hear it. I was outside.
No, no, no. I mean, about her going solo. No more backup.
- She didn't tell you we're gonna lay down some tracks? - Get outta here.
Oh, yeah, man. She's got the voice. I mean, all she needs is the "want to. "
Very nice, baby. Let's hear playback.
- Hi. - Hi.
** Where is that worn-out wish **
** That I threw aside **
- This sounds great. - ** What **
**My lover needs ****
Can we go someplace after this? I really need to talk to you.
Mitch, we broke up. Don't do this, please.
- Good night, guys. - I think it's great, you goin' out on your own.
Well, I'm singing. That's enough for me.
- Uh, so I've been seeing a lot of Morrie. - How's he doin'?
He's amazing. When I'm with him, I don't want to be anywhere else.
I don't even take my cell phone with me anymore.
- That is amazing. - Uh, he's made me think about a lot of things.
- [People Laughing] - And, uh...
Well, he always asks about you. He really wants to meet you.
Will-Will you come with me to see him next Tuesday?
- Mitch, how can you do this? - I want you to get to know him the way I do.
How can you just... blow in and expect me to come back into your life...
- as though nothing's happened? - Something has happened.
Look, Janine, I have something to say to you...
and I really can't do it here.
W-Will you come home with me? Please?
I can't. I'm sorry.
- Janine, come on. Please. - Morrie sounds wonderful.
He's done something for you. I can see that.
And I wish I could've met him. But it's just too late.
- Janine? Janine, please. Can we just talk for once? - [Engine Starts]
A few months ago, Shawn Daley, 18, a hot college prospect, had a brilliant future.
Cut to last night: Sports car, drinking, drugs, tree.
- Well, you know the story. - If they cancel my scholarship, it's like my life is over.
- I'm dead. - Yeah, right, Shawn. You're 18, in perfect health.
You maybe blow a scholarship, and you think you're dead?
You got your whole life left to screw up in, you stupid idiot.
On his way home from yet another night of toasting his success...
Shawn crashed his new GTO "jockmobile" into an innocent tree.
Shawn, who managed to squeak past his SATs...
had no such luck with his drug and alcohol tests.
With no daily deadlines, noJanine, I had lots of time on my hands.
I thought of Morrie counting his breaths, what time meant to him.
[Morrie] Work, money, ambition. We bury ourselves in these things.
But we never stand back and say, "Is this what I want?"
[Mitch] Unless somebody teaches us to.
[Morrie] We all need teachers, Mitch.
- Why'd you become a teacher? - I needed a job.
Lots of jobs pay better than teacher. You could've been a doctor or a lawyer.
I hate the sight of blood. And I hate lawyers.
[Laughs] So what made you become a teacher?
[Coughs] Well, you think there's only one reason why we do things?
[Coughs] In a way, because of my father.
- Your father? - Yeah. It's...
- Is this him? - Yeah. Yeah.
Well, he doesn't seem like the kind of guy who would encourage you.
He didn't. He tried to get me started in his trade.
- What did he do? - Sewed fur coats together, when he could find work.
There was this... factory. It was a sweatshop.
Third Street and Avenue B.
- Still remember the address? - I will never forget that place.
It was the only work he knew, and he hated it.
- But he wanted you to work in it? - What could he do?
Hunger allows no choice.
[Workers Shouting In Foreign Language]
I'd hear him complain to my stepmother. How he was cursed at, belittled.
Always pushed to do more, and denied the money he had coming.
That was my father's world.
It was going to be my world too...