Transcript for Episode 9: Leaps of Faith

 

COLD OPEN

Interviewer—Jeff Van Dreason

There’s going to be this referendum, and if it gets approved, if people vote yes on it, the Red Line is going to not be part of the MBTA anymore, it’s going to be its own independent city. So people will live on it, there will be businesses down there, on the platforms, in the cars, and in the stations themselves.

What are your thoughts on that?

Female Interview 1

I think people like to feel like they have the right…that’s like…That is privilege right there. I think that is, they’re focussed on so many other things, they’re thinking about building a city in the Red Line? Like, that is that privilege right there.

[Charlie on the MTA begins]

That is unfair. And I don’t mean to target out anybody, but you…we all know who probably proposed that nonsense, so…

Interviewer

Go ahead an tell me.

Female Interview 1

White people. I am sorry! But that is that white privilege.

[laughter]

PREVIOUSLY IN GREATER BOSTON

Julia Propp

Previously, in Greater Boston

Charlotte Linzer-Coolidge—Summer Unsinn

You need someone. To give shape to your message. To give an image to your vision. To tell the story of what Red Line will be. I know how to create that scene, that complete narrative in a single, perfectly realized location.

Mallory—Johanna Bodnyk

How was I supposed to know that this guy couldn’t hack it on a mid-grade coaster? Pff. I mean, pregnant ladies go on the Whirl-O-Don. They’re not supposed to, but we had this one ladies who was totally pregnant just a week before. She was so badass, she made being preggers look good.

Extinction Event Poletti—James Capobianco

There’s a note: “Danehy”

Nica Stamatis—Kelly McCabe

What?

Extinction Event

That’s it. Just “Danehy.”

Nica

I get it. I…I have to go.

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

This week in Greater Boston, The Mayor of the Red Line draws a crowd in “Rally at Park St.;” Mallory recounts her political awakening in “Over and Down,” and Nica sends a message to Dimitri in “The Puzzle Box.” All of that in Episode 9: Leaps of Faith.

[Music ends.]

CHAPTER ONE: RALLY AT PARK STREET

[Station noise fades in]

Intercom voice 1

Attention Red Line Passengers. We are experiencing moderate delays delays. [Inaudible] to Park Street.

Intercom voice 2

The next train to government center is now arriving.

[Chatter]

[Escalators]

[Turnstiles]

Intercom voice 2

The next Green Line Train to Cleveland circle is now arriving.

[Train arriving]

Intercom voice 2

Next stop, Park Street.

[Train departs]

Intercom voice 3 (Rusty)—Jim Johanson

Coming up next, Park Street Station. Park Street station is next. Red Line commuters, there is a rally on the Red Line platform. Rally at Red Line. Rally at Red Line for Red Line commuters. Referendum rally. Rally for the Red Line Referendum. Platforms will be crowded due to the Red Line Referendum rally, featuring The Mayor of the Red Line. The Mayor of the Red Line will be speaking at the rally on the Red Line Platform. If you’re attending the rally, please leave room for people who need to board the Red Line train.

Intercom voice 2

Entering Park Street. Change here for the Red and Orange Lines. Doors will open on both sides.

Rusty

Watch the doors, the doors are closing. Watch the doors, the doors are closing.

[train doors close]

[platform noises]

[jazzy buskers noodling]

Narrator—Alexander Danner

Charlotte felt a tightening that might very well be her first contractions. But she didn’t have time for that. She was not going to have a baby today. Today she had a press conference to orchestrate. A public rally at the Park Street station, downstairs on the Red Line platforms. The baby was a week past due already, but Charlotte was determined to last another two, until after the election, after the results had come in, and everything was settled. Until then, she had work to do.

The Mayor looked up at her from his desk, where he was working on last-minute adjustments to his speech—a speech he would not bother to print, not bother to bring with him to the rally. He knew it by heart already, even as he made his changes. He always knew it by heart.

Are you okay?” he asked.

The Mayor of the Red Line—James Capobianco

Are you okay?

Narrator

She had let slip her discomfort she realized, allowed some small expression of distress to cross her face. And of course he had noticed it. He always did, always worried that he was working her too hard, asking too much. Each time, he reassured her: when the time came, she would not be replaced. She would not lose her place of honor in his administration. He had known from the start that she would need a leave, and he respected that, respected that she would need to see to the needs of her body and her baby. And when she came back, her place in his administration would be untouched, preserved for only her.

The Mayor

This shouldn’t even have been possible. Any of this. When I started gathering signatures, I really only thought I’d be driving attention to infrastructure investment. Getting the initiative on the ballot was only ever going to be a conversation point. A rhetorical tactic. It never would have gone past that. It never would have been a thing people seriously considered. There wouldn’t have been press conferences or opposition groups. You made it real. You made it a movement. You turned this whole crazy idea into a vision. I hope you realize that. Everything we’re doing now is because of you.”

Charlotte Linzer-Coolidge—Summer Unsinn

If you want to give me credit, at least wait till we win. We’re still down in the polls. 47% opposed. 44% In favor.

The Mayor

9% undecided.

Charlotte

9% undecided. Let’s hope they make a decision soon. Most people who walk into a voting booth undecided, vote “no” reflexively. On anything.

The Mayor

Just so long as you understand, Charlotte: if we lose, that’s on me. But if we somehow manage to actually win, I’m putting all the blame on you.

Charlotte

We’re going to win. I’m ready for it.

Narrator

That had been three days ago. Since then, they’d picked up one more point in the polling, and the twinges in her cervix had gotten harder to ignore.

Charlotte

I’m fine.

Narrator

I’m fine,” she assured him now, meeting his gaze. She said she’d just been thinking about the camera angles. Wondering if she should have provided a taller riser behind the podium. He smiled at her and shrugged. Whatever she had provided would work just fine, he said. He had no doubt. And anyway, it was too late to worry about it now—it was time to get on stage.

[Crowd chatter & cheering]

She had chosen Park Street deliberately, for the staging possibilities it offered. She had set the Mayor’s podium on the central platform, between the two tracks, accessible to both inbound and outbound trains.

[Processional brass band music plays]

Key supporters would be lined along the platform behind him, with general audience filling out the side platforms, to be dramatically removed from the frame every time a train came into station. Reporters would stand centrally before the podium, with full view of The Mayor and his supporters behind him, and the trains coming and going along the periphery of their shots. It would be dynamic and commanding.

The Mayor was in high spirits when they arrived. He took his spot with a smile to the crowd and a bow to Charlotte, a gentlemanly appreciation for the work she had done to get him there. He was a natural with an audience, and he knew it.

[The Mayor gives his stump speech from Episode 2 in the background]

All those years of teaching, and he was the kind of teacher students liked, charming even when he was off on some bizarre tangent that carried him miles from the course outline. He knew how to bring it back, bring it home, bring it to a point that resonated. And he certainly wasn’t bothered by the noise of the trains. He was used to that, used to making himself heard over the thrum of engines and the screech of rails. And when the noise drowned him out, he just smiled beatifically, like he was hearing the song of angels, the comforting white noise of home.

The baby wriggled inside Charlotte through the whole speech. It was just the noise exciting it, she told herself. The baby was most definitely NOT maneuvering itself into birth position. It was NOT preparing itself for egress.

[applause]

The baby was just applauding. It just knew a good speech when it heard one.

Charlotte herself watched The Mayor from behind the lectern, with the other dutiful supporters, at the very back of the arranged audience. She stood behind the supporters even, wanting the cameras to catch more of the faces unaffiliated with the campaign than of hers, the paid administrator.

[Gasps]

[Chaotic drumming]

And so when the crowd facing the other direction gasped, she was one of the few who had no idea why at first, even though she was closest to it. She felt the movement, the solid sound of mass landing right behind her, then moving off quickly.

[Sound of feet landing, then running.]

She turned just in time to see the continuance of the motion, a young man running across the platform, then leaping into the air, turning a somersault, and landing cleanly on the opposite platform, across the tracks.

[Continued running and jumping.]

Narrator

Christ.

Charlotte

Christ.

Narrator

A fucking free-runner.

Charlotte

A fucking free-runner.

Narrator

And then the baby kicked. Hard. So hard it actually hurt, pulled her eyes back from the free-runner, turning away from the crowd to wince and clutch at her bruised side. And so she was the only one facing away from the commotion, toward the Alewife platform where the free-runner had come from, rather than the Ashmont platform, where he had landed.

[Train approaching]

[Drumming grows increasingly chaotic]

And she was the only one watching when the second boy started dashing across the platform, right toward Charlotte, looking her right in the face as he charged. All she could do was shake her head, no you dumb-ass, but he wasn’t listening, wasn’t interested in her wild, dissuading gestures.

He had too much to prove.

[Loud thump]

[Crowd gasps]

[Train keeps coming]

CHAPTER TWO: OVER AND DOWN

Interviewer—Jeff Van Dreason

Seven News. Were you there at Park Street?

Commuter 1

Fuck off.

Interviewer

Did you see what happened, were you there?

Commuter 2

No.

Interviewer

Seven News. Were you there? Were you downstairs at Park Street? Were you at Park Street?

Mallory—Johanna Bodnyk

Yeah, I was there, I saw the whole thing. I mean, you’ve seen the video, right? The good one, the one that got the whole thing from start to finish. That was me. I videoed that. Jojo’s my cousin. Stupid fuckin’ Jojo. He’d been talking about it for months. He’s kind of semi-pro with the whole free-running thing. He doesn’t actually compete, because he thinks that’s bullshit. It’s his art, right? So he don’t wanna commercialize that shit. But he *could* compete. If he wanted to. Which he doesn’t, ‘cuz he keeps it pure.

Anyway, I haven’t had much to do these past few months, since Wonderland shit-canned me, so Jojo’s taken me on as his personal videographer. I follow him around when he’s got a thing planned, and he keeps me in beer and chinchilla chow.

Anyway, Jojo’d wanted to make that jump for ages. It was just too tempting. I mean, even if you’re not a freerunner, who hasn’t gone down there and thought, “goddamn, I’d like to jump over that?” It’s just one of those things, right? If you live in Boston, if you’re you or me, or any other Masshole who’s ever gone down into Park Street Station, it’s your patriotic duty to think you’re totally the guy who could make that jump. But none of us is stupid enough to really try. We know it’s stupid. We know we can’t actually do it, even if we think we can.

Jojo, though…Jojo is stupid enough to try.

That wasn’t the day we’d been planning to go for it, though.

[Busker music plays]

We’d been scouting spots for a different run, something Jojo’s been planning up on Beacon Hill. I talked him out of running John Kerry’s place. He wanted to do something high profile, and I get that, and I’m all for showing your balls, right? But not, like, when you could seriously get shot for it. You know? Don’t fuck around with the Secret Service dudes. And Jojo was all like, “Mallory, when have you ever seen a Secret Service dude up there?” And I was all like, “Dude. They’re fuckin’ *secret*. I mean, it’s like totally right there in the goddamn name.” And Jojo obviously had to grant my point on that one.

So he was feeling shitty on the way home because we hadn’t settled on anything, but when we got down to Park Street, it was crazynuts! There was a huge crowd all at one end watching up the middle platform. There was a whole thing set up there, and a guy was talking from a podium, like some kind of busker, except everyone was actually paying attention. And I realized it was that guy, The Mayor of the Red Line. He was making a speech about this referendum thing, like he wants the trains to make their own city, some crazy shit like that. But he’s got all these supporters, including this pregnant lady who’s standing right behind him, lip-synching his whole speech like she knows every word of it.

And there were reporters, like the news had cameramen and everything. And when I saw that, I knew it was just too much for Jojo. He wanted high profile, and here it was. He said “Mallory, I’m going for it,” but he didn’t even have to say that, I already had my camera running.

But there was this douchebag asshole standing right there, you know the kind we’ve got three quarters of the year, fucking four-year Sox fans from Ohio, with his cap on backwards, and already half drunk cuz class let out almost an hour ago.

And that guy’s all, “going for what?” So I told him, “Jojo’s gonna jump the gap.” And he’s all like “No fuckin’ way,” so I’m all “Yes, fuckin’ way, Jojo’s the real deal.”

And then he’s like “Well big shit if he does, anyone could do that,” so I told him to shut his fuckin’ motherfuckin’ piss-hole mouth,” and just gave Jojo the signal that I was on him and ready to go. So Jojo went.

And it was awesome! He took a little running start, not that much because the platforms aren’t that wide, but it was enough. And he kicked off when he hit the yellow line, which is perfect cuz it’s got those big pungie things for traction.

And he goes up and over, flipping in the air, coming down neat as silk sheets on the other side, and then he just keeps going, hits the next yellow line and does it again, up and over, until he’s all the way on the Ashmont/Braintree side. And then I’m like, “shit, he’s gonna miss the train,” because the intercom is already announcing that the next train to Alewife is approaching, which means you’ve only got sixty seconds till boarding, and there’s way too big a crowd for him to get through to the stairs, up, over, and back down again in time.

And I know what you’re thinking, he could have just jumped back over. But Jojo wouldn’t do that when he knows the train is already coming. He’s stupid, but he’s not *that* stupid.

But then Douchehead McShitbrain is all, “you think that’s so great, just watch this,” and I realize he can’t let Jojo have his moment, he’s gotta try to match it, because he really is that stupid. And he goes for it. Takes the run, hits the yellow line, and jumps.

He made it maybe three-quarters of the way, and in the video, even though his back was to me, you can see the moment when he realizes what a fucking moron he is, because he starts pedaling his legs, like he thinks maybe if he just runs hard enough on the air, then maybe he won’t hit the tracks and die like the fucking little bitch that he is. And he doesn’t stop pedaling his legs until his face hits the edge of the opposite platform, and after that he just lies down there bleeding from his face.

And I seriously thought that was the end of him. I mean, the train’s already coming, we’ve got like 45 seconds. No one even saw him go down because they were still watching transit security take Jojo into custody, and even if they had, who’s going to risk their lives for this loser?

And then next thing I know, that crazy-ass pregnant lady is jumping down onto the tracks! And I realized I knew her, sort of. She was the same lady who used to bring her little baby bump to Wonderland to ride the roller coaster, only now she’s got a huge-ass baby bump, and she’s saving a frat bro’s worthless hide while we all stand around and watch.

[Train approaching]

And then she seriously tossed Douchy McShitbrain right over her shoulder, like I don’t even know how, except that she’s got all that crazy baby-juice adrenaline power going. And by then, people realized she’s down there, heaving McShitbrain’s dead weight up onto the platform, but now she can’t get herself back out, and the intercom has already announced that the next train to Alewife is now arriving, not just approaching, which means you’ve got not even thirty seconds till boarding. So then the crowd stars scrambling, with folks up on the platform making chains to drag her straight up out of the pit, right just as the train is shooting in, and then I lost sight of everyone.

And I’d recorded the whole fucking thing. I couldn’t even believe it. I know I’ll never see anything like that again, but fuck, I am so psyched that I had my camera going, cuz otherwise no one would ever believe me. Well, other than that the news crews were there too, and they got most of it, but not as much as I did, cuz I was right down at the part of the platform where it was all happening.

[applause]

But I’ll tell you this much: if that crazy badass bitch is out here telling me she wants me to vote, then motherfucker, I am getting my ass to that voting booth.

Fuckin-A.

INTERVIEW MONTAGE

Interviewer—Jeff Van Dreason

If you could wake up tomorrow and make a new law for the entire Greater Boston area, what would the law be about?

Female Interview 2

Oh my gosh, please don’t smoke cigarettes. I hate the smell of cigarettes, it makes me so nauseous.

Male Interview 2

No Uggs.

Interviewer

Like the boots?

Male Interview 2

Yeah. It would either be that or no more spitting. Because everybody spits, I think that’s gross.

Male Interview 1

Speed at your own risk. Just go as fast as you want.

Interviewer

No speed limits?

Male Interview 1

Yeah.

Female Interview 3

I don’t know. I mean, God, you’re giving me so much power, and I’m gonna say something stupid like, when you’re going to the train, like, everyone should be mindful of everyone else around them. Which means they shouldn’t be too shovey.

Female Interview 4

Be more polite. [laughs] Around people. Don’t be so rude.

Female Interview 2

What’s another good law. Like, you shouldn’t always be loud, but I’m really loud myself too. Especially in school, when people don’t listen to me.

Female Interview 3

But they also shouldn’t just lollygag in front of you. Like people have a habit of shoving to get around you, and then they’re in front of you, and they’re just texting or slowing down, and I’m trying to get to a certain spot on the T.

Female Interview 6

Work, Monday through Friday, no weekends.

Interviewer

Nobody would have to work on the weekends?

Female Interview 6

Yep.

Female Interview 5

I would say a better background check for people who want to receive some kind of card saying they can carry weapons.

Female Interview 8

If you find a metered spot in the morning, you can stay at that spot all day. You don’t have to move, you can stay there just as long as you keep feeding the meter.

Male Interview 1

Yeah, for a while there’ll be more accidents, and then everyone will get used to it.

Interviewer

Or…the people that don’t will die off.

Male Interview 1

[Laughs]

Interviewer

[laughing]In horrible accidents!

Male Interview 1

[laughing] Exactly!

Female Student 2

No salads.

Interviewer

No salads?

Female Student 2

I really hate salad so much! I feel like I’m eating grass, like…

Female Interview 3

No lollygagging.

Interviewer

No lollygagging.

Female Interview 3

Or pushing!

Interviewer

Or shoving.

Female Interview 3

Yeah. Pushing, shoving, or lollygagging.

Female Interview 4

We get the message. That’s it.

Interviewer

[laughing]

Interviewer

But then what if you wanted to go somewhere or do something? Like if you wanted to go to the movies or something? Or a Red Sox game.

Female Interview 6

Oh, except for entertainment…[laughs]…industries!

Interviewer

Well, alright.

Female Interview 2

No, it’s not like, you know when you eat it, it’s not like, oh, like. Like Olive Garden salad.

Male Interview 7

A new law…umm…it would probably be, I don’t know, take a day out and enjoy the person that you love the most.

CHAPTER THREE: THE PUZZLE BOX

[Subway door chime]

[Subway doors close]

Intercom Voice 1

Charles, next stop.

[Train running]

Intercom Voice 4—Jeff Van Dreason

We apologize for the delay in service, rally at Park Street, rally at Park Street, delay in service. Charles MGH is next, Charles next. Doors will open on the right. Charles.

[Train pulling into station.]

Nica Stamatis—Kelly McCabe

Dear Demitri,

[Longfellow Bridge environmental noise]

I’ve read the letters you sent to Leon. From Oregon. From somewhere out in the ocean. It sounds like you’re having a hell of a time. A real adventure. I’ve never met a Sasquatch hunter. I’ve never been on a submarine. I probably never will. I hope you’re taking lots of photos. We should have set you up on Instagram before you left. We should have bought you a camera. That should have been my present for you, instead of that stupid Dr. Seuss book. I thought that was so funny. You still had all six copies people gave you when you finished high school, all of them thinking they were so clever. So I figured I’d get you lucky number seven. Magic number seven. What a gag.

[Farewell to Nigg fades in.]

I’m a fucking idiot.

If I’d realized you were really going that time, I’d have gotten you the camera. But you’d announced your departure so many times before. The last time you declared you were heading out for Adventure, you were gone three weeks, and never made it past Kennebunk. I figured you might make it to Toronto, this time. I figured you’d be back in a month, with some charming anecdotes about hitchhiking through farm country, squatting in abandoned barns, eating too many canned beans. I figured you’ve have a nice little vacation. I figured you’d come back home.

I just assumed you were as much of a coward as I am.

Do you remember the ice mountain from when we were kids? They’d dumped it in Danehy Park after the blizzard, too much to keep piling on the curb, too much for the sewers to handle. They steam-shoveled it into trucks, and carted it off to the soccer field, and left it there, a twelve-foot landmark that you could see from the other end of the park. “We need to climb it!” you’d said. Leon was horrified, pointed out how filthy the snow was, tainted with road grime and dog pee.

We’ll find a yeti!” you countered, expecting such rewards to overshadow the risks of dog pee. Leon rolled his eyes at you, and told you Yeti weren’t real, and even if they were, they’d be on a mountain top in Nepal, not a trash heap in North Cambridge.

But up you went.

When you got to the top, you turned around, automatically putting out a hand to help up whoever had followed you. But no one had. Not Leon. Not me. I’d wanted to. I wanted to see the world from up that high, imagine myself a famous explorer, first to reach the peak of Everest, reporters gathering round to hear my story. But I was too scared. It was so high up. And so unstable. Would it support my weight? Would it collapse beneath me? I wasn’t ready to take that chance.

And I was right, Dimitri. I was right. Because you’d barely been up there half a minute before you vanished, straight down, into the ice. Leon went right up the wall, no hesitation. You fell down, Leon flew up. He dropped onto his belly, reaching down as far as he could into the hole to pull you out, and when he couldn’t reach, he started to dig. Great scoops of ice dug out with only his hands, flung from the mountain to the ground below, where they bounced off my boots. After the first few throws, the ice starting coming down with red stains. He hadn’t brought his gloves.

[Music ends]

Other people rushed past me. A dad who’d bought his kids to play on the little playground in the corner of the field. A lady who’d been jogging the path through the park. A couple of scary teenaged boys we’d steered clear of because we’d seen them smoking weed on the hill. They all came running, went right up the mountain to help Leon to help you. I saw them all go. I felt the breeze of their passing shift my coat as they ran past. I stood and watched. All of them up there on their knees and their bellies, digging away the ice and snow. Eventually, the dad took Leon by the ankles and lowered him down into the pit. The others helped him pull Leon back up, with you clinging to him. All of you came sliding down the mountain, Dimitri blue and blubbering, the dad using his scarf to bandage Leon’s hands. The stoners threw each other high fives, then left the scene before the paramedics could show, just in case the cops came too.

You were both on the news that night. The boy who almost died and the fearless brother who saved him. “What were you thinking?” they asked Leon. Do you remember what he said? He said, “My brother’s an idiot.”

No one ever asked me what I was thinking. Why would they? I didn’t do anything. I didn’t almost die. I didn’t save anyone’s life. I didn’t even help.

[Farewell to Nigg reprise.]

Here’s what I was thinking: I should have been in that hole with you. I should have climbed the mountain and fallen into the mountain beside you. We could have escaped the mountain together, back to back in the pit, pressing our boots into the walls, spider-crawling our way out. It would have been glorious.

But I didn’t. I stood at the bottom watching you go, watching you fall, watching you get saved by Leon and a crowd of strangers.

Is that the moment you gave up on me? Was it that early in our lives, right there in Danehy Park?

It wasn’t, was it? It should have been. And deep down, I think you always knew it. But you kept trying right up until the end. You kept giving me one more chance, and then one more chance, and then one more chance, every time an opportunity to make up for Danehy Park. Even at the party, you asked me to come with you. Twelve hours off from leaving forever, and still you tried to convince me to drop everything and run away. You offered me a place in your story. A partnership in your adventure. Did you really mean it? Did you really believe that I might say “yes?” That I had stopped being a coward?

Was that my last chance? Was *that* the moment you gave up on me?

Is that why you haven’t written to me at all, only to Leon? Leon, who would never have believed half your stories. Who would have said there’s no way you’re really on a submarine, you must be making it up, playing one of your games, feeding us unsolvable mysteries, like when you cut the answer pages out of his book of riddles. He said the same thing about the puzzle boxes you left us. I tried to solve it, you know. Not right away. Not the day your left, or the week you left, or the month you left. But after six weeks, eight weeks, when it started to come clear that you had really gone this time, had really left us behind. I finally broke down and tried to open the puzzle box. I hoped it might hold a clue to where you’d gone. But I could never do it. I spent weeks, missed days of work to sit home trying to solve that box. I managed to change its shape, sliding panels, turning whole sections of it over. It was a cube, a pyramid, a rhombus, a cross, and the thing that rattled inside it sounded different notes depending on the different configurations of the box. But the box never opened.

Of course you never got it open,” Leon told me. “He doesn’t want you to get it open. He just wants you to try.”

[Music ends]

So I did. I tried. I’m trying. But I don’t think I’ll ever solve your puzzle. And you won’t even talk to me. And I don’t know why I’m writing this to you. I have no way of sending it. No way that will actually work. But I’ll do what you do when someone is out at sea—I’ll put it in a bottle, and carry along the Red Line to Charles MGH. I’ll get out there, and walk out onto the Longfellow Bridge, and from there I’ll toss the bottle out into the Charles River, and hope that somehow it carries this message out to the right part of the ocean, wherever you are.

Because here’s what I need to tell you, Dimitri:

Leon died.

You missed the funeral.

And I’m fucking pissed at you.

I hope you get this.

Love,

Nica

[corks bottle]

[throwing sound, followed by splash]

[Longfellow bridge noise fades out]

DEAR DIARY 3

[Book opens]

[sound of writing]

Tyrell Fredericks—Arun Sannuti

Dear Diary, October 25th.

The strangest thing happened in my darkest hour. I stood at the center of the Longfellow last night and I waited for one last red line to cross my vision. But the trains were delayed thanks to some rally being held in Park Street station (that’s right — in the actual station).

Finally, I gave up. I grew cold. I gazed at the water. I wondered if the fall would even be adequate. I would soon find out.

And then I saw her. A woman, about fifteen feet away from me. She was scribbling a letter, ripping through pages in a frenzy. I recognized her from a seance held at work just earlier that afternoon. The last straw for me, in fact. EE ordered me around like some psychic drill sergeant.

The woman finished writing, rolled her papers, slid them into an empty wine bottle, corked the bottle and tossed it into the Charles. Hard. She had a good arm, actually. Might be an athlete.

I walked up to her because I simply had to inquire — who was that message for? Why was she sending it in such an aspirational method?

But then I noticed she was crying and shaking. She looked at me, no recognition. I glanced towards her thrown bottle. “Better not jump in after it,” she mumbled. “God knows I won’t be able to save you.”

It wasn’t her words that chilled me. Stopped me. It was the bizarre optimism of the act. A message in a bottle. I mean, can you believe it? And she flung that bottle with purpose. She wanted the intended recipient to see what she had written. She honestly believed that this was the best method of delivering her words. I saw this in her arm. In her throw. In her tears.

Perhaps now I’m mythologizing this strange woman and her even stranger act in ways that have led me astray all my life. But the truth is, she saved me. Somewhere out there, in the endless ocean, there is a message waiting for someone to read it. And for now, for me, that is enough. Just enough.

-Tyrell

CREDITS

[Farewell to Nigg]

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

Please consider supporting Greater Boston on Patreon. We are nearing the end of Season 1, with just three more episodes to go. We plan to keep producing monthly mini-episodes while we’re on our between-season break, but if we can hit our next milestone goal on Patreon before the season finale airs, we’ll double that schedule to deliver a new mini-episode every other week until the show returns in full.

You can also help the show by leaving us a review on iTunes or social media.

In order of appearance, this episode featured:

Alexander Danner as the narrator,

James Capobianco as The Mayor of the Red Line,

Summer Unsinn as Charlotte Linzer-Coolidge,

Johanna Bodnyk as Mallory,

Kelly McCabe as Nica Stamatis and

Arun Sanutti as Tyrell Fredericks.

Also featuring Jim Johanson as Green Line Operator and Jeff Van Dreason as the Red Line Operator.

Interviews recorded with Greater Boston residents.

Charlie on the MTA is performed by Emily Peterson and Dirk Tiede. “Reels” and “Farewell to Nigg” 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.

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

Johanna Bodnyk

And that guy’s all “going for what?” And then he’s like, “Big shit if…” laughs.

[giggling]I can’t really do this voice!

And that guy’s all…

And that guy…

And that guy’s all going for…[laughs]

[Everybody laughs]

And that…

ahem.

And that guy’s all “Going for what?”

CONTENT WARNINGS

  • Strong Language
  • Extreme peril
  • Suicidal intent
  • Reference to illegal drug use
  • Criminal mischief
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