Sometimes I go about in
pity for myself, and all
the while, a great wind
carries me across the sky.
-- Ojibwe Saying
(Gathered in a hospital room, watching a boxing match on TV.)
Paulie, watching a boxer get hit: It's a life of abuse.
John Schwinn: Well, he is a boxer. Heh.
Paulie: It's the same for everybody. (To Tony:) Look at you, T. You do your uncle a kindness, you get shot for your efforts. You think you got family, but in the end, they fuck you, too.
Tony, to John: He's grieving. His aunt just died.
Paulie: I tell ya, we each and every one of us are alone in the ring, fighting for our lives. Just like that poor prick. (Points to boxer.)
John: Well, that's one way to look at it.
Paulie: You got a better one?
John: Don't get me started. It's complicated...
Paulie: Think I'm stupid?
John: Well, it... It's actually an illusion those two boxers are separate entities.
Paulie: What the fuck?
John: "The separate entities" is simply the way we choose to perceive them.
Tony: I didn't choose nothin'...
John: It's... it's physics. Schrödinger's equation. The boxers, you, me... we're all part of the same quantum field.
Rapper's girlfriend: You ever substitute teach at Carlton middle school?
Tony: He's a rocket scientist, fer chissakes. Bell labs. (Boxer beats on other boxer.) You were saying?
John: Well, think of the two boxers as ocean waves or currents of air. Two tornadoes, say. They appear to be two things, right? Two separate things? But they're not. The tornadoes are just wind, the wind stirred up in different directions. The fact is, nothing is separate. Everything is connected.
Rapper: Everything is everythang. (Raises cup.) I'm down with that.
Tony: Get the fuck outta here!
John: The universe is just a big soup of molecules bumping up against one another. The shapes we see exist only in our own consciousness. (TV picture goes out.)
Paulie: You're so fuckin' smart... fix that TV.
John: (Laughs.) Okay...
Tony: So, Mr. Wizard, you were talkin' about tornadoes. Know what the Indians say about the wind?
Tony: They say that sometimes we go around feeling pity for ourselves, but behind our back a great wind is carrying us.
John: We don't see we're part of a much bigger reality.
Tony: And then we die.
John: Why are you so interested in all this?
Tony: I was in the coma, and I... look, I don't remember nothin'. But before I woke up, I felt like I was being pulled towards something. And I don't wanna go back... Then my wife told me I woke up at one point. I said, Who am I? Where am I going? You know, it makes you wonder. About... heaven... and, uh... hell...
John: That presupposes a duality of good and evil. You know, it gets us back to the idea of separate, opposing entities. You know where I go with that.
Tony: Well, this Bible guy I know says you're going to hell.
John: Maybe he's right. Got my test results back. Laryngial cancer.
Tony: Jesus, I'm sorry.
John: Yeah, I was thinking maybe you could do me a favor, and, uh, you know, what's the term? "Whack me"? Sorry. Bad joke.
Paulie: All I'm saying, [your mother] Livia with all her faults never abandoned you.
Tony: Fer chrissake, Paulie, you know what your problem is? You go around in pity for yourself! You think you got it bad. You're not stuck in some hospital with fuckin' tubes coming out of you. You can eat food like a normal person...
Paulie: T., I never meant to trivialize your situation...
Tony: Well, you gotta get beyond this petty bullshit, Paulie... You... You're part of something bigger. When you gonna learn that?