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: I'm not retarded anymore. Tom Warshaw
: Oh really? Pappass
: Really. Tom Warshaw
: When did that happen? Pappass
: Aww, 1984. Sometime in the spring. I went from retard to mentally handicapped. And then in 1987-88, I went from handicapped to challenged. I changed again. I'm probably changing right now, you know. Who knows what I'll be next?
: My story starts where ever man's story starts: with mom.
] Tom Warshaw
] My name is Tom Warshaw. I'm an American artist living in Paris. I've lived here for 30 years with a secret nobody knows. My son, Odell, is turning 13 today. And for his birthday, I'm gonna tell him my secret. Tom Warshaw
: I'm gonna tell him, "You know how in old movies when the bad guys want to break into a safe? There's this one guy, the safecracker, who puts his ear up to the lock and listens as he dials the combination, listening for what they call in English, the tumblers. Because when the number is right, there's a click, and he knows with the click, he's breaking in. Well, in a man's life, there's a tumbler too. And I think that number is 13, when there's a click and a boy breaks into manhood. And the safe of his life open up and Shazam, there are all the riches of what a man can hope for and hope to be." Tom Warshaw
: What I want to say to my son is, the opposite thing happened for me when I turned 13. Instead of opening, the safe locked shut on me. Because of certain things that happened, I couldn't hear the tumblers anymore. Now that he's turning 13, I'm hearing the tumblers again. Maybe it's like we're becoming men together.
: [from her apartment window
] Tommy. Tom Warshaw
: [from the rainy courtyard
] Lady. You have a beautiful face. Bernadette
: Tommy, we did what we had to do - didn't we? Tom Warshaw
: [just staring back
: It's alright. She understands. Your poor mama. She understands a boy have to go away before he come back. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Tom Warshaw
: [breaks down in tears
: Run, Tommy. Tom Warshaw
: I don't have to run anymore. Lady, I can walk now. Bernadette
: I know you can walk. And I know you can dance. But I'm sayin' this is a bad neighborhood for a lone white boy. Now, run.
[mocks running with her arms
: Run! Run! Run, Tommy! Tom Warshaw
: [turns and goes
: You forgive me, Pappass? Pappass
: For what? Look at you, Tom-ass. Tom Warshaw
: What? Pappass
: Look at you. Tom Warshaw
: Look at what, Papp-ass? Pappass
: You have the dad face now.
[pushing out an old man jaw
: My dad died... a lot of sleeps ago. Cancer ate him, just your dad. Cancer is the crab on the horoscope. Crab dinner, "$6.95, all you can eat." Tom Warshaw
: Sorry, Pappass. Pappass
: It's okay, 'cause the crab ate all the hard parts first, the mean parts. The parts that hate me being retarded. Just before he died when he was only mostly dead, he was *so* nice. 'Cause only the soft parts were left. He was the nicest guy in the world. He hugged me, and he told me over and over, he loved me, he loved me, he loved me. Tom Warshaw
[patting his knee
: I hate seafood. You know, Tommy, sometimes I think the crab ate me while I was still in my mom's belly. I think it are all my smart parts. Do you think that's what happened, Tommy? Tom Warshaw
: No. Pappass
: No? Tom Warshaw
: I think you got plenty of smart parts, Pappass. Pappass