[Ambient noises and jazz drones and play throughout fade up. Someone handwriting a letter. A typewriter. A computer. The typewriter jumps to a new line, producing a DING noise].
TYRELL — ARUN SANUTI
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you want to help someone who is clearly struggling or in pain, but helping them would force you into an unethical position?
[Police sirens wail in the background, police cars roll by]
I recently read a statistic. Most crime happens out of severe societal need, or lack thereof. Someone needs food or to provide for their family. Poverty or other social barriers prevent the meeting of those needs, so the impoverished turn to crime because crime seems like the only alternative. When faced with the choice of beginning a life of crime or simply doing nothing, what choice does one really have?
[Police cars end]
Wily in Watertown
[Monk drone fades up]
LEON — BRADEN LAMB
While I’ll never encourage you to actively participate in a crime for several reasons, I sympathize with your conflict about making a difficult, personal choice. When weighing your options between helping someone or potentially tarnishing your own morals, always ask yourself two questions: which of my options will do the most good? Which of my options will cause the most harm?
Don’t forget to factor in your own peace of mind into that equation. Your well being matters in all of this, but the fact that you know that other people matter just as much, or possibly even more, means you’re beyond capable of making this decision.
[Monk drones end]
AUTUMN — BETH EYRE
Is there a spell, chant or potion that forces someone see the world as it is?, Not simple, not black and whites but extremely complicated?
[Distorted pneumatic-tube noises ring out in the background]
A year ago I told my husband I wanted a separation. Ever since, he’s become obsessed with work and I think it’s all my fault. I suggested we spend some time apart because I wasn’t happy. We were living two lives that just happened to run parallel, two cars traveling the same speed down one never-ending highway. I wasn’t ready to take an exit yet. I thought it was possible we could one day merge, be in the same lane again. But I took the underpass because I needed space. I needed to ride alone for a while.
Ever since then, my husband has been distant, not only to me but our son. I begged him to help me raise our child regardless, to remain in my life as a parent. He seems to think that if he pours enough energy into his work, I’ll see how important he is, as if my only issue with him stemmed from a lack of respect. He seems to feel that if he makes his career more legitimate and important, I’ll welcome him back with open arms.
I do want him back, although I’m not sure if it’s as a wife or a co-parent, or a friend. He seems to take the word separation a bit too far. My son and I hear from him only when he dispatches crudely written messages delivered via bizarre, outdated apparatuses. How do I get him to see that I need space but need him here at the same time? How do I get him to see that I love him while still needing time to decide if I love him? And when do I finally admit defeat, tell myself this isn’t worth trying to salvage anymore?
Perplexed in Providence
[Monk drones begin]
I hate to be blunt, but as you consider whether or not you should leave your husband for good, ask yourself this: hasn’t he already left you?
[Drone music crescendos and then fades, monk drone fades out, “Haul the Cold Away” fades up].
NICA — KELLY MCCABE
You never answered my first letter. Maybe you’re really busy. Maybe you’re having a tough time coming up with a way to help me. Maybe you got the sense from my first letter that I didn’t really want your help. Maybe I scared you away. Maybe you’re wrestling with your own inner Ben Affleck. Maybe it’s too hard to see that you’re not the Matt Damon you want to be either.
I understand. I always liked Matt Damon better too. Maybe it was the roles he played, you know? Ben Affleck just seemed a little too unlikable in everything. Just a little too willing to do the types of things people shouldn’t do.
Maybe you’re wondering why I created this bad boy Ben Affleck. I’ve been kinda wondering that too. I think the reason is, I didn’t really like the Matt Damon I’d become.
[Desert walking sound. Desert wind picks up]
The Matt Damon I’d become was like the one in that movie where he’s just walking around in the desert the whole time with Ben Affleck’s brother. And then they get lost and they freak out and pass out from dehydration. And then Matt Damon strangles Ben Affleck’s brother. In the end, Matt Damon makes it out okay but you can tell he kinda hates himself now.
That’s sorta how it is with me. When you become that kinda Matt Damon, the kind that escapes the desert but hates what the desert did to him? All you care about is not being that kind of Matt Damon anymore. And the more you do to become like bad boy Ben Affleck, the deeper your hate grows. It’s the type of desert that you can’t escape.
Olive in Gardener
[Howling desert wind]
CREDITS — ALEXANDER DANNER
Greater Boston is written and produced by Alexander Danner and Jeff Van Dreason with recording and technical assistance from Marc Harmon.
You can help Greater Boston to reach new listeners by rating and leaving a review in iTunes.
In order of appearance, this mini-episode featured: Arun Sanuti as Tyrell Fredericks, Beth Eyre as Autumn West, and Kelly McCabe as Nica Stamatis.
Drive the Cold Away by Adrienne Howard, Emily Peterson and Dirk Tiede. Some sound effects and music used from public domain and creative commons sources.
Episode transcripts will be posted online at GreaterBostonShow.com.
And be sure to check out Beth Eyre’s wonderful funereal comedy Wooden Overcoats.
[Drive the Cold Away fades out].