Working in a Boston homeless shelter, Nick Flynn re-encounters his father, a con man and self-proclaimed poet. Sensing trouble in his own life, Nick wrestles with the notion of reaching out yet again to his dad.

Jonathan Flynn: Perhaps I'll start a new book. "Memoirs of a Moron."
Nick Flynn: [reading father's letter from a publisher] Your book is a virtuoso display of personality. Unfortunately, its dosage would kill hardier readers than we have here.
Jonathan Flynn: [to Nick] Destiny has brought us together for one fleeting moment. Let's not spit in its eye.
[first lines]
Jonathan Flynn: America has produced only three classic writers - Mark Twain, J.D. Salinger and me. I'm Jonathan Flynn. Everything I write is a masterpiece. And soon, very soon, I shall be known.
Jonathan Flynn: So that's the story you tell of why your mother killed herself.
Nick Flynn: I haven't told it to anyone.
Jonathan Flynn: You tell it to yourself. Those are the best stories.
Nick Flynn: [narrating] He's seen this before. Bums sprawled out from drinking. But he's never actually stood over the blowers - let the hot air seep into his clothes. The air is sucked out of the library. Even on the coldest nights there is too much heat inside. It's another prison, these blowers, because once you've landed you can't leave. Because one step off the blower is cold, hypothermia code, now that you're sodden with steam. The blower is a room of heat with no walls. My father is an invisible man, in an invisible room, in the invisible city.
Nick Flynn: Some part of me knew he would show up someday. If I stayed in one place long enough, he would find me, like you are taught to do when you are lost. But what do you do if both of you are lost and you both end up in the same place, waiting?
[last lines]
Jonathan Flynn: All right Nicholas, you can have it. I bequeath it to you. You have the last word.
Nick Flynn: [narrating] There's a balance between escalating and defusing. Knowing when to step in, and when to back off.
Nick Flynn: Hey buddy, calm down!
[takes a right hook to the face]
Joy: Oh, shit!
Nick Flynn: [narrating] I don't know that balance yet.
Jonathan Flynn: Out of curiosity, why have you not ever asked me to stay with you before?
Nick Flynn: I thought if you try and save a drowning man you might go down, too.
Jonathan Flynn: There exists a striking association between creativity and manic depression. The only important thing, though, is to simply do the work.

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