Otto doesn’t know how to live. He spends all his days hiding in his room in an aging residence hotel. You see, ever since an accident to his head as a child, Otto has been the slow-witted innocent. His older unmarried sister Miriam lives with him and takes care of him. She worries that Otto will never have a chance to experience life. How can he if he never leaves his room?
However, unbeknownst to Miriam, at night Otto sneaks out and spies on the various inhabitants of the hotel. There’s beautiful Angie, the thrice-divorced young pregnant woman; Mr. George, the embittered old Chop Suey circuit singer; Bennie, the young college bookie who’s gotten in over his head; Mrs. Catherine, the kindly old woman who keeps a room ready for her dead son to return; and Buddy and Lila, the newly wedded couple who spend their days inventing new ways to make love.
Everything changes for Otto when he overhears his doctor telling Miriam that he will soon die. Otto makes a momentous decision and decides he will venture out of his room to say goodbye to his “friends,” these people he has come to know through his midnight observances. Only Otto doesn’t really know them. He has only imagined he is part of their lives, play acting from the shadows that he is participating in their world.
It is into this world invented of loneliness that Otto sets out to bid farewell to “friends” who do not know him. It is an all night odyssey that will teach Otto about death, love, birth, truth, and the mystery of being alive.
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