Jack: Just don't give up, alright? You're gonna make it.
Miles Raymond: Half my life is over and I have nothing to show for it. Nothing. I'm a thumbprint on the window of a skyscraper. I'm a smudge of excrement on a tissue surging out to sea with a million tons of raw sewage.
Jack: See? Right there. Just what you just said. That is beautiful. 'A smudge of excrement... surging out to sea.'
Miles Raymond: Yeah.
Jack: I could never write that.
Miles Raymond: Neither could I, actually. I think it's Bukowski.
Maya: Why are you so in to Pinot?
Miles Raymond: [laughs softly]
Maya: I mean, it's like a thing with you.
Miles Raymond: [continues laughing softly]
Miles Raymond: Uh, I don't know, I don't know. Um, it's a hard grape to grow, as you know. Right? It's uh, it's thin-skinned, temperamental, ripens early. It's, you know, it's not a survivor like Cabernet, which can just grow anywhere and uh, thrive even when it's neglected. No, Pinot needs constant care and attention. You know? And in fact it can only grow in these really specific, little, tucked away corners of the world. And, and only the most patient and nurturing of growers can do it, really. Only somebody who really takes the time to understand Pinot's potential can then coax it into its fullest expression. Then, I mean, oh its flavors, they're just the most haunting and brilliant and thrilling and subtle and... ancient on the planet.
Maya: What about me?
Miles Raymond: I don't know. Why are you into wine?
Maya: Oh I... I think I... I originally got in to wine through my ex-husband.
Miles Raymond: Ah.
Maya: You know, he had this big, sort of show-off cellar, you know.
Miles Raymond: Right.
Maya: But then I discovered that I had a really sharp palate.
Miles Raymond: Uh-huh.
Maya: And the more I drank, the more I liked what it made me think about.
Miles Raymond: Like what?
Maya: Like what a fraud he was.
[Miles laughs softly]
Maya: No, I- I like to think about the life of wine.
Miles Raymond: Yeah.
Maya: How it's a living thing. I like to think about what was going on the year the grapes were growing; how the sun was shining; if it rained. I like to think about all the people who tended and picked the grapes. And if it's an old wine, how many of them must be dead by now. I like how wine continues to evolve, like if I opened a bottle of wine today it would taste different than if I'd opened it on any other day, because a bottle of wine is actually alive. And it's constantly evolving and gaining complexity. That is, until it peaks, like your '61. And then it begins its steady, inevitable decline.
Miles Raymond: Hmm.
Maya: And it tastes so fucking good.
Maya: [on answering machine] Hello, Miles. It's Maya. Thanks for your letter. I-I would have called sooner, but I think I needed some time to think about everything that happened and... what you wrote to me. Another reason, um, I didn't call you sooner is because I wanted to finish your book, which I finally did last night. And I think it's really lovely, Miles. You're so good with words. Who cares if it's not getting published? There are so many beautiful and... painful things about it. Did you really go through all that? Must have been awful. And the sister character - jeez, what a wreck. But I have to say that, well, I was really confused by the ending. I mean, did the father finally commit suicide, or what? It's driving me crazy. Anyway, it's turned cold and rainy here lately, but I like winter. So, listen, if you ever do decide to come up here again, you should let me know. I would say stop by the restaurant, but to tell you the truth, I'm not sure how much longer I'm gonna be working there, because I'm going to graduate soon. So, I'll probably want to relocate. I mean, we'll see. Anyway, like I said, I really loved your novel. Don't give up, Miles. Keep writing. I hope you're well. Bye.