Transcript for Episode 3: Professional Prognostication

TRANSCRIPT FOR EPISODE 3: PROFESSIONAL PROGNOSTICATION

Content warnings at end.

COLD OPEN―INTERVIEW CLIP

Interviewer – Jeff Van Dreason
What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever worked?

Male Interview 1
I dunno, I’ve done a lot of weird Craigslist stuff because of, uh, fixing cars and stuff. But they’ve been pretty weird sometimes. I’ve met a lot of strange, strange people. Like just doing some brake jobs for some people who’re like psychopaths, like losing control mid-conversation kind of thing, so uh… One guy…[laughs]…wanted me not to fix his car, but just to hang out and be best friends.

[Charlie on the MTA instrumental fades in.]

‘Cause he didn’t even have a car. But he, like, insisted, he left voicemails and kept asking. All the time. It was really funny.

Interviewer
Did you do it?

Male Interview 1
No, absolutely not. He was, he was stage-three killer. I did not trust him whatsoever.

PREVIOUSLY IN GREATER BOSTON

Lydia
Previously in Greater Boston:

Narrator – Alexander Danner
Leon Stamatis died on a roller coaster. He muttered a single word:

Leon Stamatis – Braden Lamb
Nope.

Narrator
Then preemptively expired. He understood the need to be proactive. That was why he had begun job-hunting.

Gemma doesn’t want to hear about dreams either.

Gemma Linzer-Coolidge – Lydia Anderson
Dreams, uuuuugh.

Narrator
Dreams are a thing she deals with at work.

Gemma
Don’t tell me about dreams.

Narrator
If she didn’t have to go to work, Gemma says…

Gemma
If I didn’t have to go to ThirdSight…

Narrator
She would sleep until noon.

Gemma
I would sleep until noon.

Narrator
They had long debated which of them should carry the child they both wanted. When Charlotte’s company shuttered, it seemed sensible to let that make the decision.

TITLE SEQUENCE

Multiple Voices

Braintree
Arlington
Peabody
Haverhill
Lowell
Alright.
Fall River
Cambridge
Quincy
I can’t say that one without a ridiculous accent, it’s just impossible
Arlington
Framingham
Newton
Lynn
Worcester
This is
Framingham
Waltham
Quincy
Arlington
Revere
Waltham
Somerville
Arlington
Leominster
This is
Haverhill
Medford
Brookline
Somerville
Cambridge
This is
This is
This is
Greater Boston

EPISODE CONTENTS

Narrator – Alexander Danner
This week in Greater Boston, Gemma receives an anniversary gift from ThirdSight Media, and immediately begins plotting its destruction, in “The Crystal Ball;” Leon applies for a job from beyond the grave in “Will and Determination;” and Michael is not quite as down on his luck as he thinks in “Guy Without Truck.”

[Intro music fades out]

In Episode 3: Professional Prognostication.

[Sitar music fades in.]

DEAR PERSEPHONE

CollegeGrad – Mike Linden
Dear Persephone―I’ve been offered an amazing job, but it’s on the other side of the country. Should I go? I’m a Taurus. Sincerely, CollegeGrad in Levittown

Still Trying – Laura Cunningham
Dear Persephone―My husband and I have been trying to conceive for over a year without luck. What rituals can we perform to improve our chances? Thank you, Still Trying in Waltham

Conflicted – Ben Flaumenhaft
Dear Persephone―My palmist tells me that I will have a long life, but my spirit medium disagrees. Who should I believe? Best regards, Conflicted in Cleveland

HauntedOverhead – Jeff Van Dreason
Dear Persephone―A mysterious brown stain has been spreading out across the ceiling in my kitchen. Do I have a poltergeist? Thank you, HauntedOverhead in Dorchester

SuspiciousUndies – Sam Musher
Dear Persephone―I found a strange pair of panties with a phone number written on them in my husband’s underwear drawer. They’re not even my size! Please ask the spirits if he’s having an affair. Regards, SuspiciousUndies in Newhaven

Overwhelmed by Everything – Jim Johanson
Dear Persephone―What should I do!? About anything!? Please help, Overwhelmed by Everything in Patchogue

[Sitar music fades out.]

CHAPTER ONE: THE CRYSTAL BALL

Narrator – Alexander Danner
Gemma Linzer-Coolidge was lost in contemplation of the offending object, a simple glass ball, flat on one side, so as not to roll, etched with Gemma’s name, the date, and the ThirdSight Media logo. They hadn’t called it a glass ball when they pulled it from the pneumatic tube that had ferried it down to the break room where everyone was gathered for the presentation. They called it a crystal ball. That’s the proper sort of gift from the publisher of magazines about astrological investment, and psychic psychiatry, and other such predatory flummery. But crystal is expensive, hardly the sort of thing you give an employee for a mere twenty years’ service. Still, her colleagues drooled over it with envy, especially Gerald Poletti, a particularly vacuous pudding-head she had the misfortune to manage.

The card that accompanied the crystal read “Congratulations. Here’s to twenty more.” It was signed, “with regards from ThirdSight Media.” The people upstairs didn’t need to bother with names.

Gemma would have preferred to let that anniversary go past unremarked, but Tyrell in human resources wouldn’t allow it.

Tyrell Fredericks – Arun Sannuti
We can’t let your contributions go unappreciated!

Narrator
But really he just wanted an opportunity to arrange a party, get everyone out of the office and into a kitschy restaurant for an hour or two. He’d encouraged Gemma to invite her wife, but she never even mentioned it to Charlotte, who was pregnant and shouldn’t be eating germy flash-frozen pseudo-cuisine. Gemma hadn’t even brought the glass memento home; she just left it at work, sitting atop a stack of unread resumes.

The question now was what to do with it; or, rather, how to do away with it.

[Gong]

[Didgeridoo music]

Gerald―or rather “Earth Man,” as that was the name he insisted everyone actually call him―would be horrified by her intentions, and so she would be sure to let details of its fate slip to him after the fact. Heat was her first thought―it wouldn’t burn, but she was sure it could melt. That’s how glass was shaped in the first place, after all. But it was a solid ball, nearly four inches in diameter; that much glass would require an awful lot of heat. How much heat would it take to do more than scorch the surface?

[Music gets weirder]

Gemma supposed she could ask the ball itself how best to destroy it. She could wave her hands above it, mumbling prognosticatory incantations until it clouded over ominously, before revealing hazy images of its own demise.

Tyrell
Ask it the sex of the baby!

Narrator
…Tyrell had urged. She’d immediately stuffed it in a drawer, earning an indignant huff from Earth Man. She didn’t care. Her incipient child wasn’t fodder for any ThirdSight bullshit fortunetelling.

But simply hiding the toxic thing in a drawer wasn’t sufficient. There was the obvious; she could simply shatter it. Hell, she could take care of destruction and dispersal in a single move if she just took it up to the roof of her office and chucked it out into the parking lot on a sufficiently windy day. Quick and easy. She’d do it after hours, when everyone had gone. No sense hurting anyone. Well, maybe Gerald. That wouldn’t be so bad.

Of course, destroying the thing on company grounds carried its own risks.

[Music fades in whistles and tinklings]

It was bad enough that she was avoiding her work. She was supposed to be reviewing those resumes, selecting a new managing editor. It wouldn’t help her status as an employee in good standing if she were to lob symbols of her professional ties from the roof of the office. She’d be suspended at the very least, and only if she were exceptionally lucky. Twenty years of service counts for something, though doesn’t it? How far does that stretch the limits of what you can get away with?

[Music ends.]

She’d been at ThirdSight since her college internship, nineteen years old, with never another job in her adult life. Long enough to feel the taint of association spread all through her, twenty years of writing flagrant lies for steadfast rubes. It was not enough to simply manage the publications, to coordinate the credulous writer with their credulous readers. She was expected to demonstrate her expertise, her psychic talents, through articles of her own. It saved money after all―a contributing editor was already salaried, no need for freelance fees or royalties. And so she wrote, god help her, a monthly psychic advice column: “Dear Persephone.”

[Sitar music resumes]

At least they had allowed her the dignity of a pseudonym.

She responded to desperate letters as though she had something to offer beyond common sense disguised in the veneer of stupidity that her readers desired. And it was easy. Intoxicating. Fun, even. She had no power save dishonesty itself, but that was enough to change peoples lives.

Dear CollegeGrad―The stars indicate that solid opportunities are hard to come by in these difficult economic times. Travel is recommended. Take the job.”

Dear StillTrying―Simple rituals are best. Your fertility follows the moon―tracking your personal lunar cycle will allow you to better time your efforts”

Dear Haunted―The poltergeist is in your pipes. Call a plumber.”

Dear Suspicious―The spirits say he clearly has a secret that he needs to discuss with you, but suggest that you should ask him, instead of them, for the details.”

[Sitar music fades out]

More than anything, she hated that she sometimes forgot to hate. And now she had this repulsive glass ball to serve as monument to her lies.

[Gong]

[Didgeridoo music resumes]

Smashing the ball seemed too easy. Unsatisfying. She wanted there to be a Step Two, something more involved than just watching it blow away. She would almost rather go all the way back to her original whimsical thought, which was to take it to the nearest candlepin bowling alley and hurl it down the lane. Maybe it would break against the goofy wooden pegs, and maybe it wouldn’t. Either way, it would be off into a new life.

But she didn’t want it to have a new life. She wanted it well and truly dead.

Again, she thought of asking the ball, of shaking it violently until it coughed up wisdom. “Dear Persephone―what should I do with the physical embodiment of my failures? I’m a Pisces.” She wasn’t about to try such nonsense. She’d sooner eat the thing than give it the satisfaction of actually using it.

What would happen if you swallowed glass powder? she wondered. Was it safe, if you ground it finely enough? She could mix it into the dough for a loaf of bread, or a batter for cake, then eat the whole thing, allow her own body to churn the glass into shit, then send shimmering turds down the pipes to join all the other detritus in the cesspool. That would unequivocally satisfy her yearning for metaphor. But again…was it safe? She was in a destructive mood, sure, but not self-destructive.

So, how then could she be free of it? She was back once again to an inane and brutish smashing. For the time being, she reconciled herself to its uninterrupted existence. She had potential employees to screen. It had to be done. She thought of her responsibility, if not to the company, then to that soon-to-be person in Charlotte’s belly.

[Music ends]

She tossed the ball onto her desk, defeated.

[Sound of a heavy ball rolling across a hard surface]

It rolled until it collided with the stack of unread resumes, which toppled over, scattering across the floor.

[Sound of papers fluttering, followed by the heavy ball landing on papers on the ground]

The ball followed the papers down, struck the floor with a solid thump, and finally came down on one of the resumes, magnifying the name beneath it across the full breadth of its spherical surface.

Leon Stamatis.

Well,” thought Gemma. “That’s a decision made, at least.”

INTERVIEW MONTAGE

Male Interview 4
The weirdest job was, I guess cleaning the bathroom at my job. Cause I never did it before and it was kinda…nasty.

Female Interview 4
The Charles Hotel in Cambridge. This lady was from India. She asked me for a cup of tea. And the cup of tea was in front of her. “ummm….okayy.” So I went to grab it, and I give it to her. So I…so she told me she was wealthy, she was rich. And pretty much everyone does the things for her. So I learned that…not to judge just because someone is telling me what to do in the moment, so I just analyze first, and then I understand.

Female Interview 2
I think it would be as a junior counselor. I actually had this one girl who was like picking her nose, and she showed me her booger, and I was just like “alright, well, umm…okay, if you’re that comfortable with me.” And she like just left it there, and I didn’t know if she wanted me to like touch it. Like she was like putting it really next to me, and I was just like “you’re gonna have to sit down, because it’s not normal to be picking your nose in front of people.”

Male Interview 2
We did a job all the way out in Norfolk. It was this lady who lived right next to like a lake or something. It was during the winter, so the tide had risen when, um…the water…like before…um…this is before it froze. And so, um, all of her carpet got wet, and it was like that for a while, and it was really moldy. And so when we went in there, it just completely smelled disgusting. And the place was just trashed. I think that was the oddest job, cause it was out in the woods! I didn’t…I didn’t trust it.

Male Interview 6
Working for Dunkin’ Donuts. I have all kinds of character come in. Ah…from the state trooper that want, um…waste time in there, drinking coffee and donuts and looking out the windows, to the bum that want to get shelter from the cold, in this cold time, you know, winter time.

Interviewer
Mm hmm.

Male Interview 6
So that’s…that’s a weird place.

Interviewer
Lots of different people…

Male Interview 6
All different characters.

CHAPTER TWO: WILL AND DETERMINATION

Leon Stamatis – Braden Lamb
Dear Ms. Linzer-Coolidge,

[Sound of typing]

I am writing in response to your advertisement seeking to fill an open Managing Editor position at ThirdSight Media, as posted on WriteJobs.com. You will find my responses to your “Core Spirit Questionnaire” below, but first here is some background on my professional history.

I began my employment with Moebius Highway as an editorial assistant in 2005, after receiving my Masters Degree in Writing and Publishing from Emerson College. I have been steadily advancing my career within the company ever since, and am currently employed as Managing Editor of Trucker Monthly, a lifestyle magazine dedicated to serving professional drivers, most particularly big rig cross-country truckers. I am proud to say that Trucker Monthly experienced a 10% increase in readership at a time when the other titles in our line have seen across-the-board declines.

I am certain that I can bring similar growth to the publications of ThirdSight Media by targeting an untapped audience of potential readers similar to myself: people who are not by nature given to supernatural views of the world, but who nevertheless feel an instinctive need to perceive some guiding principle that keeps the world coherent, rational, and constant. Something to fend off the impending future.

To be blunt, the future terrifies me, as does anything unfixed, unknown, or unpredictable.

For this reason, I am a thorough and organized worker. I maintain a tight schedule without ever missing a deadline. To veer away from established plans is unconscionable to me, a fact that may frustrate my friends, but which never disappoints my employers. I am a consummate planner, observing the philosophy that choices should be made in advance and then adhered to, epitomizing the spirt of deliberate decision-making.

[Clock ticking]

However, I also see the concept of fixed destiny as a palatable substitute, being no less efficient in anticipating future events. I reject the notion that free will and pre-determinism form a dichotomy. Will and Determination are not opposites. They are both agents of structure, equally pitted against the corruption of chance and chaos. Some would argue that both are illusions. Perhaps that is so, but illusions have power, even after they’ve been dispelled. Just as the placebo effect is undiminished by awareness of the placebo, illusions offer comfort even to those who recognize the lie.

Take, for example, the concept of time. There is a gentleman I have encountered on the subway who has introduced me to certain facts about our understanding of time. You might call this man a street prophet, or an itinerant philosopher, though most call him “The Mayor of the Red Line.” He is something of an expert on the history of trains and our relationships to them. Which brings us to the history of time.

Time appears inviolate. We are always in this moment, all in the *same* moment, because we cannot be otherwise. We forget that the simultaneity of moments is a modern invention, one, like so many others, mandated by the needs of industry.

Prior to the railroads, time was subjective.

[A second clock begins ticking]

It might be 2:30 PM in Boston, but 2:47 in New York. Each city kept their own clock, their own local measure, with no compulsion whatsoever to reconcile the two. Time was a chaos of individual perception.

[A third clock begins ticking]

The railroads could not function in such chaos. A train arrived one minute and departed the next, without lingering long enough to acclimate to local time.

[A fourth clock begins ticking]

Passengers needed to know when to be at the station. If the train was to depart at 3:00, then everyone in every city along the line needed to agree on when, exactly 3:00 was.

[Sound of a locomotive]

And so the railroads result time as a universality, setting a clock in every station, and every clock in sync.

[Three clocks fade out, leaving only one]

And that new definition of time bled outward to every city the railroad touched. Thus armed with standardized time, that industry proceeded to invent the greatest tool of prognostication the world had ever seen―the train schedule.

[Steam whistle]

The train schedule is a magical thing, an addictive fiction, a prophecy that compels its own fulfillment. And this compulsion toward predictive certainty has taken hold throughout our lives, throughout our days, as the organizing principle of a livable life.

As an example, I offer my own habit of plan-making. I keep a detailed digital calendar, accessible from any networked device, and meticulously updated throughout my day.

[Locomotive fades into distance, leaving only clock ticking]

If my calendar states that I will be in a particular place on a particular day at a particular time, I treat that prediction as a resolute fact. I take great solace in the immutability this tool gives the shape of my future.

I am not a fool. I know full well that however ironclad my resolution to see events unfold as I’ve laid them out, other factors are at play. My train might be delayed. I might get sick. Other people might simply decide not to adhere to the plan we’ve all agreed to, an uncouth but all-too-common behavior.

But by treating such plans as unchanging, I am forced to anticipate contingencies and prepare for them. I monitor all transit advisories, all health advisories. I note the personality quirks of those I make plans with, and account for their various styles of unreliability. I plan for where they will be, rather than where they *say* they will be. I adhere to my goals not because the world is inherently so predictable, but because by believing it so, I make it so.

This is what I would bring to ThirdSight Media: the perspective of the rational self-deceiver, and a set of strategies for appealing to that deliberately superstitious audience.

My responses to your Core Spirit Questionnaire are as follows:

Question 1: I am a Taurus: a stable, security-minded worker, with a strong preference for consistent rather than dynamic environments.

Question 2: I have never had a prophetic dream, although I would welcome the experience.

Question 3: I habitually carry a two-dollar bill. I received it as a child, along with my first wallet, and have moved it to each new wallet I’ve received in succession.

Question 4: Blue, but not primary blue. Grey-blue, like slate.

Question 5: Yes, should communication from beyond the grave be possible, I am willing to sign a 10-year posthumous employment contract, including but not limited to communication via spirit board, manifestation in ecto-photography, and attendance at all department meetings conducted in a seance format.

Thank you for your consideration. I have enclosed my complete resume for your review; I believe it will demonstrate that I am a capable and steadfast employee. I hope to hear from you soon, so that we may further discuss the skills and experience that I would bring to ThirdSight Media.

Regards,

Leon Stamatis

CRAIGSLIST AD

Truck-Wanted Ad – Mike Linden
Wanted: Guy with truck.

Must not ask questions. Do not need help moving. Just need you and your truck for a few jobs a month. Must be discreet. Must be able to work with an extremely flexible schedule, available on the fly. Must be okay with night driving. Must be a teetotaler. No drinkers, smokers, mischief makers or ne’er-do-wells. Truck must have recently passed inspection. Truck must not rattle or make any other loud extraneous noises other than the common noise of a common truck which is running at full common capacity. Truck must be completely gassed up at the start of every job. Truck bed must be empty at all times, except when in use by us for the job at hand. Truck must be from an American company, not one of those foreign atrocities. Truck must be black. Truck must be clean, inside and out. No fast-food wrappers or cigarettes in the dashboard ashtray. Truck must not have a single spot of rust. Truck must contain pleasant interior odor at all times. Truck must have been purchased in the last five years. Truck must be truck, not a van, not an SUV or one of those other piss-poor excuses for a truck which are really just cars.

Truck.

Pay commensurate with experience.

[Jaunty tune (Shove that Pig’s Foot a Little Farther in the Fire) begins playing]

CHAPTER THREE: GUY WITHOUT TRUCK

Narrator – Alexander Danner
Michael Tate had no time to grieve. His best friend had died on a Wonderland roller coaster only twenty-four hours earlier, and all Michael wanted to do was lie on Leon’s couch, down an occasional shot of whisky, and maybe start crying again every fifteen minutes or so. That plan felt about right to him. But before he could do any of that, Michael needed to find a job.

Moebius Highway had been good work for him. Especially with Leon there to guide him past the hazards of office politics, or to spot his mistakes before anyone else and gave him a chance to fix them. Michael shouldn’t have been so surprised when it came to an end. Everyone knew the publishing industry was in trouble. Leon survived the layoffs while Michael didn’t, and for once there was nothing Leon could do to forestall Michael’s catastrophe. But when Michael’s money ran out, Leon offered to take him in, for as long as it took to get back on his feet.

Michael Tate – James Oliva
It’ll be fun! Like sharing the dorm back in college!

Leon Stamatis – Braden Lamb
I don’t need fun.

Narrator
I don’t need fun,” Leon had chided. “I just need to know you’re okay.”

Leon
I just need to know you’re okay.

Narrator
Six months later, Michael was still sleeping on Leon’s couch, and Leon was dead. Michael had to find a job fast. Today. Without Leon, no one was paying the rent. So he couldn’t cry for Leon because he didn’t have time for crying.

[Music fades out]

Right now, he had to figure his shit out. He needed to get back on the job boards, back on the phone.

Michael
But first I need a sandwich.

Narrator
But first he needed to make a sandwich.

[Music cuts back in]

There was still some chicken cutlet that Leon had fried two days earlier. Michael could save money on food if he carefully planned his progress through the perishables before delving into the pantry and freezer. Fried chicken cutlet on Italian bread. Accompanied by two shots of whiskey.

He felt steadier after that. Ready to face Craigslist. He’d already applied to all the publishing job, writing jobs, editing jobs, all the real jobs for which he had any qualifications. His only remaining recourse was to the Etcetera jobs: environmentalist street harasser; post-modern guerrilla muralist; guy with truck. He had already guinea pigged for a bladder control study, drinking four ounces of pickle brine every two hours around the clock for a week. It had been a good week―he’d earned enough to fully restock Leon’s fridge. But there wasn’t much left even in that occupational pot luck.

[Cell phone ring]

He perked up when he heard the phone ringing, but realized that it was Leon’s phone, not his own. People still called Leon. He let it go to voicemail.

[Voicemail beep]

If Leon were here, he’d give Michael a pat on the shoulder and tell him to go pound the pavement.

[Music fades out]

Leon
Go out there and pound the pavement.

Narrator
In exactly those words even, “pound the pavement…”

Leon
Pound the pavement.

Narrator
…like he was living in the 1940s, or whenever it was people said things like that. Michael checked his breath and decided to wait an hour before talking face-to-face with any potential employers. But since he already smelled boozy, he might as well have one more shot.

[Music cuts back in]

He could see Leon scowling at him from beyond the veil. And why shouldn’t he? It had been Leon who intervened the first time Michael’s drinking got out of hand, six months into his freshman year and just about five minutes shy of flunking out. “You have to visualize your next move,” Leon had said.

Leon
You have to visualize your next move. And the one after that.

Narrator
And the one after that.”

Leon
Where does this move leave you?

Narrator
Where does this move leave you?” Just like when he tried to teach Michael to play chess. Chess had been too much for Michael. Solitaire was more his speed. But he did it. He visualized his next move. Maybe not the one after that, maybe not that far. But he’d gotten gotten dry before the semester was out.

He wished he hadn’t kicked over Leon’s chessboard after dropping Nica at her place last night. He wished he hadn’t thrown his deck of cards out the window. Now look at him. He’d gone to the window fifteen minutes later, hoping he could get his cards back, hoping they’d stayed in the box. No luck. They’d blown out over the whole yard, much of the deck blown right back against the house, where the cards stuck to the damp siding. He reached out and plucked a four of spades from beside the window, the only card within arm’s length. “You can’t do much with just a four of spades,” he reasoned. So he poured himself a drink instead. His first. In over a decade.

[Music fades out]

Why had Leon gone to the effort all those years ago? Why confiscate Michael’s bottles, stage an intervention for some kid he barely knew? And why had it worked? What possessed Michael to listen to this dour fussbudget who wanted to take away his party? But he *had* listened. And he kept on listening for the next four years, to any advice Leon had for him, whether he was optimizing his class schedule or asking out Melinda Moskawitz. And so long as Michael kept taking Leon’s advice, things turned out more or less alright.

So now, what? Now who would tell Michael not to down another shot? No one would. And there it went, while the ghost of Leon shook his head.

Ghostly Leon
You know what, Michael? Go ahead. Just for tonight, do what you need to do. Wreck yourself if that’s what it takes.

[Music cuts back in]

Narrator
Michael lifted his glass in salute to the ghost of Leon’s irrefutable sagacity.

Ghostly Leon
But just tonight, Michael. Tomorrow, my alarm clock is going to wake you up at 6:30 AM. You won’t ignore it. You’ll get up off the floor, and pick up your plate and your empty bottle and your shot glass, and my chess set. At 6:45, you’ll clean the puke from the throw rug. At 7:00, you’ll start coffee brewing, then get into the shower. At 7:20 you’ll start writing my eulogy.

[Music fades out]

You’ll put your suit on at 8:00, and by 8:30 you’ll be on your way to my funeral. Go to my funeral, Michael. You go there and you look at me laying there, and you take that in. By noon, you stop being a jackass, and you get on with it.

And one last thing: Check my voicemail. In the morning, after you shower, but before you leave, listen to the messages, okay? It’s important.

Narrator
Michael woke up on the floor beside the couch, one leg on the coffee table, and one tangled in the cord to the vacuum cleaner. The alarm was ringing out from Leon’s bedroom. It was 6:32. Michael was already running late. He disentangled himself from the vacuum and got to his feet, briefly, before slipping on the sandwich plate and crashing back to the floor. The plate shattered against the opposite wall, and the shot glass rolled under the couch to join the black knight and a handful of pawns.

Michael hunted down a broom and dustpan. He was determined to follow Leon’s advice. As he always did.

To the letter.

By 6:53, he’d started cleaning up his vomit. At 7:10, he put on coffee and took himself to the shower.

At 7:25, he sat down with his coffee and his laptop, meaning to write what he needed to write, his remembrance of his friend, his final farewell to the most indispensable person in his life.

But first, he checked Leon’s phone.

The message was from a woman name Gemma.

Offering Leon a job.

Michael wasn’t Leon, but he’d answered the right phone, and that was close enough.

By 8:45, he was out the door.

[Music cuts back in]

CREDITS

Alexander Danner
Greater Boston is written and produced by Alexander Danner and Jeff Van Dreason with recording and technical assistance from Marc Harmon.

In order of appearance, this episode featured: Alexander Danner as the narrator, Arun Sannuti as Tyrell Fredericks, Braden Lamb as Leon Stamatis, Mike Linden as the Truck Wanted ad, and James Oliva as Michael Tate. Also featuring Laura Cunningham, Ben Flaumenhaft, Mike Linden, Jim Johanson, Sam Musher, and Jeff Van Dreason as Letters to Persephone. Interview clips gathered from greater Boston residents.

Charlie on the MTA is performed by Emily Peterson and Dirk Tiede. Shove that Pig’s Foot a Little Farther in the Fire is recorded by Adrienne Howard, Emily Peterson, and Dirk Tiede. Some sound effects used from public domain and creative commons sources.

You can read episode transcripts at GreaterBostonShow.com. Or access transcripts annotated with author commentary by donating to our Patreon campaign.

If you enjoy Greater Boston, please consider rating us on iTunes. You can follow us on Twitter @InGreaterBoston.

Greater Boston is written in part at The Writers’ Room of Boston, a non-profit workspace for Boston-area writers. Find out more at WritersRoomofBoston.org.

COOKIE

Ben Flaumenhaft
Overwhelmed by Everything in…Pa-chog.

Sam Musher
Overwhelmed by Everything in…Pa-chogue? Sorry, I should have asked you about that one, what the hell is that?

Alexander Danner
That…that is Patchogue.

Sam Musher
Patchogue!

Jim Johanson
Overwhelmed by Everything in Patch-a-gogue.

[Group laughing]

Marck Harmon
That’s the best one yet.

Jeff Van Dreason
No one knows how to say that.

Alexander Danner
PATCHOGUE!

Want to read a transcript annotated with author commentary by Alexander & Jeff? Contribute to our Patreon campaign, and you can see annotated transcripts of every episode!

Content Warnings

  • Strong language
  • Adult themes
  • Depictions of binge drinking/alcoholism
  • Brief scatological humor.
  • Note: Ingesting glass powder will cause severe internal harm! For real, don’t do that!

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