Transcript for Episode 5: Geography Lessons

COLD OPEN—INTERVIEW CLIP

Male Interview 6

What the Red Line…the Red Line…I see the Red Line as more of a…people that take the Red Line are… It’s my theory though, of people that take the Red Line is the people that have more money. Okay, you’re going to Cambridge, Harvard, and you’re going the other way to Mattapan, where the big houses are. And people that take the Orange Line are the poor people. So…I don’t really care too much about the Red Line, much! Um…

[Charlie on the MTA begins]

If they want to leave, then let them go, cause I don’t really pay too much attention to the Red Line anyway. I don’t take that line. So that’s not my line. My line is not the Red Line.

PREVIOUSLY IN GREATER BOSTON

Jeff Van Dreason

Previously in Greater Boston

Narrator – Alexander Danner

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

Michael needed to find a job. The message was from a woman named Gemma. Michael wasn’t Leon, but he’d answered the right phone.

At Harvard, the Mayor of the Red Line boards, a rumpled old man in a tweed suit. An eccentric.

Dimitri Stamatis – James Johnston

By the time you receive this letter, I will already be gone. I walked down to the pier to see the ocean. That’s where I met the man who owns a submarine. With love, Dimitri.

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

Gemma takes Michael on a tour of the office in ThirdSight Media and Environs. The Mayor of the Redline reveals his secret origin story in Subterranean Mobile Communities. And Dimitri writes home about his sub-aquatic adventures in Karaoke in International Waters.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Samuel St. Eberhauser–Mike Linden

Dear Editor,

In the June, 2015 issue of Political Prognostication, your numerological analysis regarding the political prospects of the current crop of freshmen senators was very revealing. However, in your analysis of Senator Thom Tillis (R), North Carolina, you incorrectly spelled his first name as “Tom” T-O-M rather than as “Thom” T-H-O-M, which of course produces very different results. Rather than 3, Sen. Tillis’ personal number should be correctly listed as 11.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Susannah St. Eberhauser

Nashua, NH

Norberta Simmonds—Sam Musher

Dear Editor,

This is just to let you know that I am unsubscribing to your worthless rag immediately. Political Prognostication used to be a respectable magazine, but your June 2015 prediction that Kirk Cameron will never be a serious presidential candidate is such biased nonsense that it reveals your whole gaystapo agenda. You’re just another branch of the Democrat party’s libtard propaganda machine.

You can rot in hell.

Norberta Simmonds

Topeka, KS

Ernest Kellerman—Jeff Vand Dreason

Dear Editor,

I am enclosing in this letter an interesting leaf that I found while walking through a nature preserve outside Segundo late last fall. Perhaps you will find it informative.

Regards,

Ernest Kellerman

Phoenix, AZ

ThirdSight Media & Environs

[Insipid corporate training video digital music begins]

Gemma Linzer Coolidge—Lydia Anderson

Thanks for coming in early today, Michael.

Michael Tate—James Oliva

Yeah, it’s tot…

Gemma

Mike? Michael.

Michael

Ah…

Gemma

Okay. So, I’m going to show you the office, introduce you around, get you situated with everything you need to know about ThirdSight Media.

Michael

Cool. So…

Gemma

So, the first thing you need to know about ThirdSight Media is that it’s entirely full of shit.

Michael

Uh…ha…

Gemma

All of it, all of us.

Michael

Uh….

Gemma

The magazines are full of shit, the articles are full of shit, the publisher, the editors, the employees—every one of us, full of shit.

Michael

Oh…

Gemma

I assume you’ve taken a look at some of our products, seen the calibre of investigation we engage in…

Michael

[clears throat awkwardly]

Gemma

…reporting on spectral viewings, numerological prediction, all that kind of thing.

Michael

Uh huh, yeah, well…

Gemma

And either you already believe in that muck, or you’re going to have to pretend to believe in it, but either way, you’re going to be full of shit, just like the rest of us.

Michael

[Laughs awkwardly]

Gemma

So I hope you’re okay with that.

Michael

Uh, well, ye…yeah, I guess.

Gemma

Second thing: this is my office. If the door is closed, I’m busy, so don’t knock.

Michael

Yeah, sure.

Gemma

If the door is open, knock anyway. I might still be busy.

Michael

Mm-hm.

Gemma

Usually I’m busy, so don’t expect much handholding.

Michael

Um.

Gemma

Notice my office has one of the pneumatic tubes that carries messages to the publisher’s office.

Michael

Oh…

Gemma

There are a couple of others around, but your office doesn’t have one of those. There’s a reason for that. You won’t have much dealings with him.

Michael

Who’s…?

Gemma

The tubes are for him to talk to us, not the other way around. Usually, he talks to me and then I talk to you so that he doesn’t have to talk to you.

Michael

Ah, wait…

Gemma

I know how that sounds. The reality is not any different from how it sounds.

Michael

Yeah, okay, well…

Gemma

Down here is your office, which you can decorate if you like, if you want to make yourself feel “at home.”

Michael

Yeah, ummm…

Gemma

I assume you’ve got an actual home of your own that you’d much rather think of as “home.”

Michael

Uh, well…

Gemma

But fuck, what do I know? You’ll be sharing your office with Pandabear Poletti.

Michael

Ah…

Gemma

…and no, before you ask, “Pandabear” is not his real name, but it’s really how he introduces himself, because he’s a hippie new-age dipshit…

Michael

Oh.

Gemma

…and also because he thinks it’s cute to name himself after an animal so profoundly ill-suited to being alive that it singlehandedly disproves the entire concept of intelligent design. But he likes it, so we humor him.

Michael

Yeah, uh…o-okay.

Gemma

We’ve got a strict quota of one stupid cutesy nickname per office, though, so you’re just Michael, got it?

Michael

Yeah, well…

Gemma

Good.

Michael

I…

Gemma

Anyway, the two of you will be working together closely, as you’ll be on sister publications.

Michael

Oh, great.

Gemma

Pandabear edits Financial Futures, which intersects with issues you’ll be covering in Political Prognostication. So try to get along.

Michael

Cool. Yeah. Um…

Gemma

Back this way is the break room. Table. Chairs. Put your name on your lunch. No one will steal it either way, because every single person in this office has some stupid, artificial dietary restriction that makes it all but impossible to cater an office lunch event

Michael

[laughs nervously]

Gemma

…but I like to see some accountability for lunches that get left in the fridge all week.

Michael

Okay, well…

Gemma

Don’t leave your lunch in the fridge all week.

Michael

Ah…

Gemma

Either eat it or bring it home or throw it away. This isn’t difficult, I don’t know why people need it explained to them.

Michael

Hmmm.

Gemma

Those are vending machines. Put money in and garbage falls out. There’s also a Keurig, if you like piss coffee.

Michael

Well…

Gemma

If you don’t like piss coffee, there’s a Starbuck’s downstairs and across the street, or an actual for real, knows-how-to-make-coffee coffee shop right around the corner.

Michael

Ah!

Gemma

I recommend that one. This office is human resources.

Tyrell Fredericks—Arun Sannuti

Hello!

Gemma

That’s Tryell Fredericks. Yes, hi Tyrell.

Michael

H-hellow.

Gemma

You’ll spend a couple of hours with Tyrell later, going over all of the inane paperwork and irrelevant minutia, so be ready for that.

Michael

Ah…

Tyrell

It’s not irrelevant!

Gemma

He might ask if you want to have a welcome party.

Michael

Oh, yeah, that’s…

Gemma

Say “no.”

Michael

Oh. Okay.

Tyrell

Awwwww.

Gemma

Down here we have the supply closets. The first closet is the usual office stuff. Paper clips, pens, squeezey stress balls.

Michael

Mm.

Gemma

We do ask that you not take more than one squeezey stress ball per week, so try to make it last.

Michael

Uhh.

Gemma

For a while, we were exceeding our squeezey stress ball budget like crazy, so we’ve had to ask everyone to start self-monitoring. We’d rather not have to put more enforceable restrictions in place, so just be aware of how quickly you’ll go through them.

Michael

Uhhh….

Gemma

You’ll need to spend some time familiarizing yourself with the second closet. It contains all of the tools unique to our field. Tarot cards, tea leaves, dice, rabbit’s feet, all that sort of thing.

Michael

Oh…yeah…um

Gemma

You’re probably familiar with some of it at least passingly…

Michael

Yeah, well…

Gemma

but it gets pretty esoteric.

Michael

See, the…

Gemma

The in-house style guide offers some guidance for pairing divination forms to editorial content topics…

Michael

What?

Gemma

…but there’s plenty of room for creativity. The readers love when we pull out some really obscure form to describe and demonstrate…

Michael

So, ah…

Gemma

…so feel free to dig in. Coming back around this way, we have the library. This includes back issues of all our publications, digital and hard copy, along with the third largest collection of occult and new age texts in New England.

Michael

[laughs] Well…

Gemma

Your I-ching, your dream dictionaries…

Michael

Right.

Gemma

…your tarot reading manuals—all of that is right here.

Michael

Ah, I—I don’t even know…

Gemma

You should expect to put in a lot of time learning this material.

Michael

Well, yeah, that’s…

Gemma

Our readers are well-versed and insanely pedantic, and expect us to be a kind of occult counterpart to Nate Silver with the level of precise and obsessive analysis we get into.

Michael

Ahh….okay. Yeah.

Gemma

Get a detail wrong, say “three of cups” when you mean “seven of wands” or whatever, and you’ll get a hundred angry e-mails about it.

Michael

Aw, geez, well…

Gemma

So read. Then practice. You can use your office, or if you need to spread out materials, you can book one of the conference rooms.

Michael

Okay. Cool.

Gemma

Every Friday, we have a lunchtime demonstration, where one of us gives palm readings or phrenological exams or whatever. That rotates through the staff. You’ll be at the very end of the rotation, since you’re new, but you’ll want to prepare for it.

Michael

Maybe, uhh…

Gemma

You can sign out materials from the supply closet to work with at home if you want. Make a party of it, if you’re friends with the sort of people who go in for that kind of thing.

[music ends]

So that’s about it. Welcome to ThirdSight Media.

Michael

Yeah. Cool. Ummm…

DIARY ENTRY — 9/17/2015

[A large book opens]

[Sound of pen writing on paper]

Tyrell Fredericks—Arun Sannuti

Friends always warned me not to overly trust a single individual, not to mythologize someone in a way that would cripple me if my perceptions turned out to be false.

But this fellow at work I wrote about before? The one who smells like turnips freshly pulled from the soil? The one so confident in his identity that he changes his name like he’s changing a pair of his pleated kakis? He fills my life with such wonder and purpose. I’ve turned a corner. And it’s all thanks to PB.

He listens to me. He respects me. He understands my place in the office. He understands the order I bring to our employees here at TS. He writes me daily, usually to report on his dealings with that party-pooper of a woman, the one who refused to let me organize a celebration for her work anniversary. Can you imagine? Who wouldn’t want to take pride in their career?

No matter. I believe I may have finally filled out the perfect HR report. With PB’s documentation in hand, I sent my findings upstairs earlier today. And real change is in the air, change stemming from my hard work and dedication. I can feel it.

I even told PB that I may have altered the report in his favor ever so slightly.

And do you know what he did in response? He reached out and stroked my cheek. Gently, like a baby would his mother.

Oh, to be wanted. To be useful.

-Tyrell

[Writing stops]

[Heavy book closes]

SUBTERRANEAN MOBILE COMMUNITIES

[Soft, irregular drumming begins]

Narrator—Alexander Danner

Professor Paul Montgomery Chelmsworth tried to walk away from tenure. Really he did. After his accident at Harvard station, his fall onto the tracks, his public trauma plastered all over the Globe, the Metro, the Herald (that last taking a particular delight in the schadenfreude of a liberal professor stumbling blindly into the path of an oncoming train), he thought that should reasonably put an end to his career. He hadn’t even shown up to the tenure meeting.

So it came as a terrible surprise when a congratulatory letter on University letterhead arrived in the mail two weeks later. He had been granted tenure in absentia. It didn’t matter that he’d dodged the meeting. He had filed all the paperwork already. Signed all the documents, secured his testimonials, completed his years of service. The meeting was just a formality. And in light of recent events, the committee had decided the formality should be waved.

Welcome to your permanent position.

And he did mostly liked teaching, the classroom part, anyway, the discussions with eager young minds. He figured he’d give it a go. Show up to class. Make a career of it.

And he did show up to class, with a curriculum of his own devising, an Introduction to the Sociology of Mobile Communities. He walked his students through the syllabus he had painstakingly prepared. He began his first lecture, a description of itinerant tent cities during the great depression, and oh god he’d lost his will to go on before he was even halfway through 1932.

The Mayor of the Red Line—James Capobianco

This just isn’t working for me.

This just isn’t working for me,” he announced, and walked out of class. There were some murmurs of annoyance and some murmurs of amusement, and then some of the students, fifteen or so, got up and followed him out the door.

Chelmsworth continued walking with that small contingent of his class in tow. Just around campus at first, engaging students directly—those officially enrolled along with any others he happened across. Socratic dialogue!

[Soft drumming fades out.]

[Rim shot/busker-style drumming fades in]

He could be a wandering scholar! He took his lectures to the cafeteria, or the swimming pool, or the observatory, lecturing to whomever would stand still long enough. The University wasn’t happy about this, but they could never quite find him to tell him so.

And so they never even noticed when he took himself off campus entirely, down into the subway. Some of his students still followed him, turning up for flash mob lectures on off-peak commuter trains. The ones who found him passed his class, got the paperwork signed in person, after taking in an impromptu dissertation on train-board society; There were social strictures here, he argued, norms of enforced non-engagement. Of feigned non-recognition. It was practically the exact opposite of a community, he realized. It was an anti-community.

But it was also an anti-community that refused to adhere to its own rules. So long as the train ran as usual, the passengers sat in stone-faced isolation, but any variance from that norm immediately changed them. If the train was delayed, all joined together in griping, sometimes even the conductor offering wry discontent over the intercom. If a novice passenger expressed even the slightest confusion, the nearest passenger would emerge from their shell to offer guidance and directions. If a parent carrying a small child entered a crowded train, a seat would be immediately vacated by some young man who had seemed oblivious in headphones until a needful passenger appeared.

If students failed to turn up, that didn’t dissuade him. He lectured anyway. He lectured to those about whom he was lecturing. He spoke to the people of their own lives. He became a fixture of the Red Line. An authority on its quirks and social contracts. And he enforced those contracts when needed, shaming able-bodied passengers when no one rose to allow an elderly, or injured, or pregnant passenger to sit. He scolding impatient passengers who crowded the door before exiting passengers could egress. Mediating disputes before they could escalate into onboard altercations.

He intervened once when a drunken cohort in Bruins jerseys harassed a homeless guy who’d been dozing at the end of the train. “Go home” they told him. “You’re stinking the place up for decent people,” they told him, oblivious to the Budweiser miasma of their own breath, their own clothes. “Get out of here. Get a job. Get some deodorant.” The old man just looked down at his hands, fingers clasped between his knees and said nothing. Anything he said would get him punched.

Professor Chelmsworth didn’t hesitate.

[Drumming escalates]

The Mayor of the Red Line

How dare you! How dare you come here with expectations and edicts? This is not your home. This is not your Red Line. This is our Red Line! Where are you going with your sporting costumes, your Bostonian cosplay? Are you going all the way to Alewife? Do you have a car there? In the parking garage, waiting for you, to take you back to Waltham? Or Natick? Interlopers! Tourists! Colonizers! You have no rights here! You have no foothold! We welcome you into our space, and you repay us with rudeness! You spit on our sofa! You vomit in our vestibule!

This is not your Red Line. This is our Red Line!

And I decree that you are disinvited.

Get off my Red Line.

Narrator

The trio of hockey fans were briefly taken aback, but they were not likely to be put off by a disheveled professor’s righteous ranting. And they turned to him, beer and blood in their eyes, ready to tell Prof. Chelmsworth just how little they thought of his decree.

The first person to stand up behind him was a woman in scrubs who’d boarded at Charles/MGH, looking exhausted, but not looking exhausted now.

Medical Commuter—Sam Musher

Get the fuck off my Red Line.”

The second one up was a beefy shaved-headed high-school kid, in a Bruins jersey himself, but no question which side he stood for.

Bruins Commuter—Jeff Van Dreason

Get the fuck off my Red Line.”

A young woman in a sharp suit, a guy with dreadlocks and an art bag, an old lady pushing a wire cart full of groceries, all of them join in.

Various voices joining at intervals

Get the fuck off my Red Line.”

[Crescendo of commuters shouting “get the fuck off my Red Line”]

Narrator

When the train stopped next, at Porter Square, the commuters circled the hockey fans, crowded them out, two full stops early, left them standing on the platform looking confused as they peered in through the windows from the other side of the closing doors.

[Drumming trails out.]

And then everyone returned to their seats. No one bothered to say another word, not to each other, not to anyone, save Prof. Chelmsworth himself, who checked on the man at the center of all this, the sleepy-eyed gentleman in tattered clothes who still hadn’t looked up from his hands.

[Soft drumming resumes]

Homeless Man—Ben Flaumenhaft

I’m alright. Thank you. You’re a good mayor. Best mayor we ever had.

Narrator

Professor Chelmsworth smiled at that, almost started to laugh.

But then he thought about it.

Mayor.

Yeah.

But you can’t be a mayor if you haven’t got a city, he decided.

It was time to secede.

INTERVIEW MONTAGE

Interviewer—Jeff Van Dreason

If I’m headed to the state house, how do I get there? On foot.

Female Interview 3

Where are you?

Interviewer

Here.

Male Interview 4

Um.

Female Interview 1

Um.

Female Interview 2

Um.

Male Interview 1

I’m horrible with street names.

Female Interview 2

Okay, you would walk up…Berrrrrrkley St….

Male Interview 5

Go up Tremont. All the way. All the way up.

Female Interview 2

You would walk all the way to the lobby. Get out. And then…I’m not sure if the street is Appleton?

Female Interview 3

Keep going. It’s going to, uh…

Male Interview 1

Umm.

Female Interview 4

You gooo tooo…you walk to, um…

Female Interview 3

And you stay on it, and you go…It’s going to turn into Charles St.

Male Interview 5

I forget where you, you make a left onto one of the streets, I forget where.

Male Interview 4

I don’t know the street, but…

Female Interview 1

Where are we going?

Female Interview 3

When you go down that street, right there, you would go over there

Male Interview 5

I go by landmarks.

Interviewer

Landmarks

Male Interview 5

So…I’ll be great for cross-country.

Female Interview 6

Yeah, I suck at directions.

Interviewer

Do your best.

Female Interview 6

Park Street. [laughs] Oh, no…!

Interviewer

So, just get to Park Street?

Female Interview 6

[laughing] Yup!

Female Interview 4

You gooo tooo…you walk to, um…

Male Interview 1

I literally use GPS every time. Oh, I just go, by…because I can’t read street sights, so I just go by visual.

Male Interview 5

So…you go past the Washington Monument…

Interviewer

[laughs]

Male Interview 5

…past Niagra Falls…

Female Interview 4

Straight down to, umm…

Male Interview 2

Um…

Male Interview 4

And then you keep walking straight.

Interviewer

But you don’t know how to get to Park St. from here?

Female Interview 6

Red Line!

Male Interview 5

Make a left at Boston.

Female Interview 3

And then you watch out for some lights, cause there’s one light that’s really crazy, cause it’s where the Mass Pike goes.

Male Interview 4

And then you keep walking down. If you keep walking down, you go…

Female Interview 5

You take that left…no, I’m sorry, right, onto Clarendon St, and walk straight up.

Interviewer

[laughing] Make a left at Boston!

Male Interview 5

Make a left at Boston.

Interviewer

Okay.

Male Interview 5

And eventually…eventually you’ll hit Canada.

KARAOKE IN INTERNATIONAL WATERS

[Sonar ping]

[Sonar ping]

[Spanish Ladies begins playing]

[Sonar ping]

[Sonar ping]

[Sonar ping quieter]

[Sonar ping quieter]

[Submarine hull creaking]

Dimitri Stamatis—James Johnston

Dear Leon,

You must be wondering how it is possible that I can write to you from aboard a submarine. I would imagine that even receiving this letter will make you doubt my adventures. But let me reassure you—I am exactly where I say I am, far beneath the water’s surface, inside an iron vessel, searching the ocean floor. But our Captain Starkey believes strongly in the importance of crewmen sending handwritten notes to their loved ones, and so he has established an elaborate system for realizing this goal. He has stocked the submarine with a supply of writing paper and pens, as well as a high definition flatbed scanner for digitizing our personal notes.

But the Captain is not content with photographic duplicates of our handwriting; he transmits all the files via satellite to an expert forger he has stationed on the mainland. This man recreates our letters in true ink on paper, and in our exact individual hands. He then addresses and stamps them, and posts them off to our families. That is what you now have in your hands Leon—not the actual letter that I have written to you, but an exact duplicate of it, created by a professional handwriting imitator named Willard Maltby.

[Spanish Ladies ends]

[Sonar-like music begins]

This is just one example of the remarkable lengths to which Captain Starkey has gone to ensure the comfort of his crew aboard the submarine. I can see why he views this as necessary; this is not a military vessel. Although some significant portion of the crew have naval backgrounds, they are all now civilian employees. They owe their captain no loyalty save what loyalty he pays for. He pays them well, but still, he must also see to their comfort and contentment aboard ship if he is to keep them focussed on achieving his goals. And when your goal is to find the lost city of Atlantis with the aid of a skeptical crew, ensuring loyalty takes a bit of extra effort.

And it does seem that I am the only member of the crew who signed on out of a genuine interest in the mission itself. Oh, some of them believe in it, certainly. The odd sailor who claims to have seen merfolk swimming alongside fishing trawlers off the coast of Greece, or old attendants who have spotted strange trident-stamped coins in the private quarters of past captains. But even the believers have no interest in finding the city itself. “If they wanted to be found, we wouldn’t have to look so hard,” says one. “They know our history,” says another. “They know what it means to be discovered by white men in boats.”

Just last night, for instance, he arranged a party for us, providing not just alcohol, but a state-of-the-art karaoke rig. Nica would have adored the show, all of these rough men and women so eager to get up in front of an audience and sing pop songs and ballads—and in a baffling concoction of languages.

[Russian pop music begins]

It’s amazing to hear a trio of Russian sailors sing Oh Danny Boy in Japanese, to the delight of Irish and Japanese observers alike. This was followed by a Canadian singing Material Girl in Spanish, then two Americans performing Oh Canada in German. The evening peaked with a quartet of Japanese and Finnish sailors positively killing it with a rendition of Back in the USSR performed entirely in Esperanto.

[Sonar-like pop music fades out]

[Russian pop vocals begin]

I couldn’t imagine how this performance was even possible. How did these sailors all happen to have such knowledge of each others’ languages, each others’ music?

[Russian pop song fades out]

They laughed at my marveling. “We do this every year!” said one of the Finns. This was their seventh voyage and their seventh karaoke competition. The team of Finns and Japanese was declared this year’s winner by unanimous vote, and Captain Starkey awarded them a fine bottle of whiskey.

An hour later, most of the crew were passed out in their bunks, save the few who had missed the party because they were on shift and sober, in case of emergency. Only Captain Starkey and I were left, enjoying the first opportunity we’d had since setting out to talk about our true reasons for being here, in this place, so far from ordinary life. I told him about you, and how you had no interest at all in anything unknowable, how the least bit of true evidence would turn you around completely. “That’s what I’m after,” I told him “A way to introduce Leon to the satisfaction of wonder.”

He laughed like it was the most absurd plan he had ever heard. It was only then that I finally asked him his own goal.

It’s the same as any man who goes exploring,” he said. “When I find Atlantis, I’ll make my fortune.”

[Submarine creaking]

I was shocked. I know I can be naive at times. But could he really do all this just for money?

But you must already have a fortune,” I pointed out. “You own a submarine. You pay an entire crew.”

Well, yes, sort of,” he said. “I had a fortune. But I spent it on a submarine.” He shrugged. “We occasionally find some worthwhile salvage, an old sunken galleon or cargo ship. I keep very little of that. Mostly I use it to keep the crew coming back each year. They’re happy, though. Even if I never find Atlantis, I’ll be able to say I gave a dozen old sailors a comfortable last leg in their careers. That’s worth something, I think.”

I took myself to my quarters after that, feeling deeply conflicted. Starkey had dampened my enthusiasm for our shared voyage.

[Spanish ladies in minor key begins]

I thought I had found in him a kindred searcher, rather than a mere hobbyist and speculator. It is not the sort of company one hopes for in the defining moments of one’s life, as the discovery of a lost civilization must be. Not for the first time, I found myself wishing Nica had joined me at my outset. I miss her motivating energy as much as I miss your critical skepticism. Both are tools whose lack I feel sharply.

My quarter mate, one of the Canadians, Claude Beaudry, inquired about my dilemma using some strained maritime pun—perhaps something along the lines of “what’s troubling your waters?” I confessed my concern over the captain’s cynical motivations.

Well, that’s nothing to worry over,” Claude assured me. “We’re never going to find it.”

As Claude was one of the men who had expressed certain belief in the lost city’s existence, I was surprised by his pessimism about our chances.

Well that’s easy,” he said. “Just think about what it is we’re looking for.”

Atlantis,” I replied, as we all knew what our goal was.

Now think about where we’re looking for it,” he pushed, as though this were the pivotal point. I couldn’t see what he was getting at—we were looking under the ocean, of course.

Yes,” he said. “But *which* ocean?”

[Sonar ping]

Leon, I tell you, I have never felt such a fool in my whole life. We set sail from Oregon. My own geography has never been as strong as yours, so you have probably already reached the conclusion I only just made. You probably realized it ages ago.

[Sonar ping]

[Spanish ladies in minor key fades out]

We have been looking for Atlantis in the Pacific.

[Sonar ping]

We are in the wrong ocean.

I will write again soon.

With love,

Demitri

[Sonar ping]

[Spanish ladies begins]

CREDITS

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

You can support Greater Boston and gain access to behind-the-scenes production updates by donating as little as $1 per episode to our Patreon campaign.

In order of appearance, this episode featured:

Lydia Anderson as Gemma Linzer-Coolidge

James Olivia as Michael Tate

Arun Sannutti as Tyrell Fredericks

Alexander Danner as the narrator

James Capobianco as The Mayor of the Redline

Ben Flaumenhaft as the homeless man

and James Johnston as Dimitri Stamatis.

Also featuring Mike Linden, Sam Musher and Jeff Van Dreason as Letters to the Editor. 

Interviews recorded with Greater Boston residents.

Charlie on the MTA is performed by Emily Peterson and Dirk Tiede. “Spanish Ladies,” by Adrienne Howard, Emily Peterson and Dirk Tiede. Drum tracks by Jim Johanson.

Some sound effects and music used from public domain and creative commons sources.

Episode transcripts will be posted online at GreaterBostonShow.com.

If you enjoy Greater Boston help spread the word by rating us on iTunes.

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

Male Interview 5

Because Boston really is the greatest walking city. Because everything is in like a four or five-mile radius.

Interviewer

But you can’t tell me how to walk it.

Male Interview 5

No I can’t.

Content Warnings

  • Strong language
  • Brief use of particularly stupid slurs alluding to sexual orientation and developmental disabilities
  • Depictions of drunkenness
  • Depictions of bullying/homeless abuse
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