DANA FARBER BENEFIT
GEMMA LINZER-COOLIDGE – Lydia Anderson
Hey, Greater Bostonians. It’s me, Gemma-Linzer Coolidge. And you know one thing I fluffing hate? (beat) Yeah, okay, that’s an impossible question for you to answer. Throw a rock and if you hit something, I probably hate it. Most of you probably thought “writing crap advice columns” or “tuna subs” or “Dipshit” and you’d be right. But no, the thing I hate the most is something I’m pretty sure we all hate. And that thing is cancer.
Fuck cancer. (Monty cries). Sorry Monty, no, I can’t downplay that one. Fuck Cancer.
That’s why I’m asking you to support my run to benefit the Dana-Farber Institute. Since its founding in 1947, Dana-Farber has been committed to providing adults and children with cancer the best treatment available today, while developing tomorrow’s cures through cutting-edge research. if you’re able to give anything to help us cancel cancer, please check the link in the show notes, or visit the Greater Boston twitter page.
Thanks. Now enjoy the episode. It’s a good one. I’m in it a lot.
CHUCK OCTAGON – Jeff Van Dreason
Have you ever had to leave something behind that you really loved?
Yeah, umm. My grandparents used to have a lakehouse. And so that was like the thing to do around 4th of July. And that came with a whole set of traditions, you know. Going on my grandfather’s boat, and like, having, you know, barbeque, and the fireworks from the neighbors and stuff? And like..there potentially a little dangerous because the house was so…old?
LIke, it would go up like a…like a pine needle. And just after he died, you know, I mean the house is together because he was maintaining it? So like, with bubblegum and like duct tape. Obviously it was very hard when he died in general, but then it was like that summer we said goodbye to the…the house. And that was really hard, and I also had to…give up traditions.
[Charlie on the MTA plays]
I mean, I’ve built new ones. Umm, with my friends, ‘cause they, growing up, were always made that I wasn’t around for 4th of July. ‘Cause our town really goes HAM on fireworks. It’s “little town, big bang,” is what they call it. Like…
It’s professional grade.
PREVIOUSLY IN — Lydia Anderson
Previously in Greater Boston.
FREED FRIEND POLETTI — James Capobianco
I think I’m going to change my name. Freed Friend Poletti.
OLIVER WEST — Mike Linden
I’ll go relieve Ethan of his current obligations and send him to you.
LEON STAMATIS — Braden Lamb
Melissa shoved Oliver into the Red Rat.
CHARLOTTE LINZER-COOLIDGE — Summer Unsinn
Can we go on a date soon?
NICA STAMATIS — Kelly McCabe
I can’t be there for someone who wasn’t there for me.
ISABELLE POWELL — Jessica Washington
The place? Is Wonderland!
S3 TITLE SEQUENCE
Want it in character voice or real voice?
Uhh…I’ve lived in Lemonster my whole life
Uhh…I live in Milton, Massachusetts
(That’s where I’m from)
I’m from Dorchester
JEFF VAN DREASON
This week in Greater Boston, Episode 36: Division Signs
[Charlie on the MTA fades out]
FUN HOUSE HALL OF MIRRORS
[Sawing / hammering in the distance]
FREED FRIEND POLETTI – James Capobianco
Hmmm. Huh. HEH! What —!
GEMMA LINZER-COOLIDGE — Lydia Anderson
Easy. It’s me, Gemma. I was just checking on you, see how you were holding up.
Where — where am I? Where’s my family? What’s that noise?
The answer to all those questions are related. You’re in the Fun House at Wonderland. Your family is currently remodeling it to fit their energy efficient needs. Hence the noise. Here. Drink some water.
Thank you. Gemma. I’m sorry about your ball. I should have returned it to you right away, but — well, I’m sure you’re going to call me a crazy-headed carrot munching goon or something of the like, but when I first picked it up in the ThirdSight parking lot — it spoke to me and gave me a vision of something. Something that made me think I could save my family, the commune.
The voice was Leon Stamatis. Michael told me all about it. His spirit is trapped inside the ball.
You mean — you believe me? You believe that this is happening to your ball?
You know what’s funny? I do. I really do. The ball always had this weird…comforting effect on me. Ever since I was looking for a new editor….and ….and it landed on Leon’s resume… But I thought you told me the ball was just a piece of trash?
I believed it was. It’s possible the publisher gifted you the genuine article. And then once he realized the full potential of its power, wanted it back. And now he has it, thanks to me. Oh by the goddesses ascended eye, curse my selfishness!
Hey, easy fella. You did what you needed to do for your family.
What’s so humorous?
Our reflections. Look, my needle of a neck with a head the size of Plymouth Rock. Uhhh.
Ah, yes. And this one makes me look comically obese, while here I appear both stout and thin simultaneously!
Right. I was thinking a minute ago…being in here reminds me of working at Third Sight. I spent so much time looking around, created all these distorted impressions of people. I’d zoom in on the exaggerations, the ugliness, the things that stood out, things I didn’t like, things I hated. But my reflection was in that hall of mirrors too, just as distorted and grotesque. And whenever it popped into my field of vision, I’d look away. Focus on the reflections of others. You, for example. Eventually I got so good at averting my eyes, I couldn’t see my own reflection. But when I looked into that ball? I could see myself clearly again. And I know who has it now. And I know I’m going to get it back.
And may the goddess guide you.
The one thing I don’t get. Umm. I free-palmed the ball plenty but never got a whiff of the same crazy voices you and Michael did.
I imagine that’s because the ball is…yours, although I would caution against that particular phrase, honestly.
It may be your ball, but if there’s a spirit of a man trapped inside it, you must ask yourself, does the ball belong to you, or to him?
Time to find out. See you around, Freed Friend. Take care of yourself.
You — you remembered.
Yeah. Little secret? I always remembered.
[Echoey footsteps down a tunnel, distant train and traffic noise]
LAWYER — Rick Zieff
Good morning, Mr. West!
OLIVER WEST-– Mike Linden
Mr. — Sales, is it?
Mr. Lawyer! But please, call me Lawyer.
Yes. If you’ll excuse me, I need to get to a meeting inside Ethan’s lab.
Oh, that won’t be necessary, Mr. West. I’m here to inform you that your presence at the meeting is no longer required.
What on earth are you talking about. I set the meeting up in the first place.
Well, it seems your colleague, Mr. Bespin, is quite upset about what happened when you were, uhh, lab-sitting for him. And as you know, he was quite attached to Wonderland, he’s fighting-mad that you forced him to come here, leaving it vacant for those pesky squatters. Therefore, the Bespins’ have requested to speak with representatives of my association directly from this point forward, and since that would help cut through all the meddlesome red tape and eliminate any needed middle men such as yourself, we have responded to that request with great enthusiasm!
You— you’re cutting me out? But we had a deal!
LAWYER [Handing over document]
So we did! And as you can see here, page 33, paragraph five, line 132, augmented with footnote 41B, we’ve met the obligations of said deal, which is to secure you with a new identity to avoid legal recourse connected with your former misdeeds.
The deal was to ensure Emily won control over Red Line, and I pumped a considerable amount of my personal finances into ensuring that would happen.
Yes! But we never promised anything in return for such an endeavor in writing. We merely gave you a little nudge and permission to finish your work. And we appreciate your work immensely! Once our Association moves our new headquarters into the converted Downtown Crossing station, privatizes your city-run industries, raises the rent on all those cute little Mom and Pop space savers until they’re priced out, renovates commercial real estate, installs our own retail operations in their vacant locations, our profits are bound to soar. Oh, and we’re buying up all those freshly empty rail homes too. We’ll renovate a handful of those into luxury condo show homes, smartly market them to the wealthiest around, and convert Red Line into the trendiest, most desired neighborhood in the Greater Boston area.
[Guinea Pig theme]
You — you conned me. I won’t let you get away with this.
Get away with what, Mr. West? We never broke any laws, after all. You did that for us. Thank you!
My nephew. I need to speak to Emily about my nephew.
Yes, you see, the thing you need to understand is, with Emily being in control of the city now, we want Red Line to project the appearance of a strong, secure, and safe environment. Why, with the lottery attacks still fresh in everyone’s minds, it’s important to put the issue to bed and put everyone at ease. Especially future investors and our desired real estate clientele.
You need a fall guy.
(chuckling) The perfect choice would be the man responsible for the attacks. But unfortunately, he is …no longer with us. Make I make a suggestion? You originally set this plan in motion so that your media empire could profit from your control over this very municipality, correct? Red Line does need a news outlet. A friendly one, at that. We’d be happy to have you involved with that endeavor.
You want me to be your propagandist.
You say tomato, I say tomato.
I — I believe you’re supposed to pronounce that word…differently… in order for it to have the desired effect.
Oh, I did! Couldn’t you hear the difference? Tomato. Tomato.
….yeeees. Of course. I’ll need some time to think this over. In the meantime, if Ethan is so concerned with the state of Wonderland, I suggest you look up who legally owns the property and consider making a deal with them.
Ah, ah, ah. Don’t forget, Oliver West is dead. Dead men don’t hold bargaining chips.
Oliver West is dead, and Oliver West had a will, which he kept meticulously updated in case of any accidents.
I see. Of course, being dead, Mr. West should know that if his estate is handled in accordance with his final wishes as outlined in his last will and testament, all his benefactors will need to be informed of his untimely demise. And the remainder of Mr. West’s assets will be promptly frozen and turned over to the will’s listed estate holders, friends, and of course…family members. So as not to raise any suspicions concerning the undeniable fact of Mr. West’s death. Mr. West must remain dead. To everyone. Always.
But he’ll inherit what I’ve left him.
What you have left to leave him, yes. But he’ll never see his father again. The poor thing.
And of course, Mr. Carington Vandermonte will be penniless. Yes, a fresh start for a new man. A steep price to ensure your child inherits Wonderland, no?
It would be. Except I didn’t leave Wonderland to Ada. Most of everything else. But not Wonderland. It seems I have a lot to consider, Mr. Lawyer.
Please. Just, Lawyer.
Mmm. No. Good day.
[Echoey footsteps walk away.]
Leave something behind that I ever loved? No, actually, I don’t think I remember a time when I had to leave something behind that I loved, but probably sometimes I … I might have lost something. Like, a lost a valuable hat umm…at, uhh, like an airplane? I forgot, I left behind. You know, stuff like that.
I moved, remember, I was staying with my mother and I moved to go stay with my father. So I’ve…I’ve done that before, you know, leaving my mother, course I love her and my little brothers. So. But that’s the only time.
My family, I left home pretty young, and it wasn’t like I left home to go to college, I left home to travel, went away with a hippie boyfriend to Florida, and left my parents and I was really close to them, it was really, really, really hard to do that. I cried and cried and cried. Everytime I came up to visit them, I would leave. I was — I would feel desperate about it. And it was just everything, the house, them, the pets that we had.
I had a pet turtle. (laughing). And, umm.
CHUCK OCTAGON — Jeff Van Dreason
What was their name?
His name was Rango. After like a…a movie character in a animated movie.
When I was a little kid, I went to get a uhh…botox injection for cerebral palsy reasons. And it was like…for a child, a pretty traumatic experience because I was getting a big shot, and, I was used to doctors at that point but like it was a big event, and I was really upset, and afraid it would hurt. And while I was there I left behind the stuffed animal I had brought for like…comfort? And never got it back? So that was like…child traumatic for weeks.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t really take care of him, and there was no pets allowed in our house where we were moving into, so we had to unfortunately give him away.
I…tend to stay very much in an online space, and I find that to be really difficult to move from a…from one group that I’ve felt…uhh…accepted by and like I had a position in, and to try to …to move forward into a new …uhh…space or group that uhh…that I, I feel has a better path forward.
I mean, Ellis and I are still friends. But, I had said that we didn’t work out. And we could but, again, it’s my concern about their safety with my family that’s…made me turn them down.
As…in my adult life, I think the biggest thing I’ve had to leave behind is moving from Chicago, where I was growing up, uhh, to Boston, but honestly that’s worked out really well and I don’t regret it at all. So. (laughing).
And I guess …I didn’t leave them behind, but it feels like I did. I left behind something that would have made me really happy and would have hopefully made them really happy as well.
YOUR HEADPHONES, MY HEART
[CHUCK through the TV, sounding reluctant about his broadcast]
CHUCK OCTAGON – Jeff Van Dreason
…And now that the eviction day is here, Red Line wasted no time promptly and…justifiably… evicting the former citizens who had violated their rail home contracts by barring their doors closed to commuters and other citizens in the name of…economic…terrorism.
CHARLOTTE LINZER-COOLIDGE – Summer Unsinn
Really, Chuck? Really?
When asked for comment on how Isabelle Powell’s exodus impacted her eviction plans, Mayor Bespin asked me to pass on her thanks to Ms. Powell and her followers for making her job easier, adding, and I quote, ‘they shouldn’t get too comfortable in Wonderland.”
GEMMA LINZER-COOLDIGE – Lydia Anderson
CHARLOTTE [turning off TV]
Jesus! You scared the crap out of me. How long have you been in here?
Just now. I need to talk to you.
Okay. Let me just ask you one thing first. And please be honest with me.
Are…are we okay? Like we had that huge fight and then we never really addressed it and now neither of us even have jobs and we have Monty and and we’re living in a theme park and we have a rail home back in Red Line with all our stuff and and and — this whole thing is my fault, Gemma!
No, no it isn’t.
It is and you tried to tell me, you tried to warn me not to just give it up and I didn’t listen to you and now people are getting evicted from their goddamn homes, all because I dropped out of the race!
You don’t know that, there are so many factors that went into this crazy election, between Isabelle’s boycott —
That’s kinda on me too!
—And Emily’s dog whistling, no, no. Baby, please. You can’t put this on yourself. This is on all of us. And I didn’t listen to you either. I haven’t listened to you…for a really long time. And I’m sorry about that. I’m really, really sorry.
What are we gonna do?
You’re gonna figure it out. With Isabelle and Isaiah, the commune, and anyone else who wants to participate. And I know we’re not working, but we’ll be okay for a bit. They’ll help you.
I’m — I’m gonna do something else.
What do you mean? What something else?
Do you remember when we were first dating? And you had that rusty clunker of a car, like, the last piece of crap on wheels that still had a working tape deck.
You used to make me mix tapes.
We made them for each other. And in the summer, we’d take long trips just to drive and roll down the windows and scream bad lyrics into the countryside.
Ah God, I miss that so much.
I never told you this, but one of the first mixes you made for me — there was just something about it. I probably shouldn’t have done this, but every line on every song, it felt like a direct message, from your heart to mine. I absorbed it all in …a really specific way. Probably in an unhealthy way, if I’m being honest. I remember after listening to it, REALLY listening to it for the first time. I was on the train, hm, and I was so caught up with how I felt that I missed my stop. And I stuffed my headphones into my pocket and rushed for the door so I could circle back and walk home. And later that night, I was going to bed, I wanted to listen to it again. So I dug my headphones out of my jeans. And I looked at them and — they were all tangled up like they get when they’ve been in your pocket for too long. Tied together, knotted, interwoven, a complete mess. And I stared at them in my palm like that — and I thought. This is what she does to me. This is how she makes me feel. This is my heart. This is what she does to my heart. And even now, after all this time, that’s still how I feel. Your whole life with me has been an endless supply of beautiful songs on a perfectly sequenced mixtape, with notes and sounds and instruments that never fail to turn me into a knotted, tangled mess.
[Piano / strings music begins to play]
Shh. Let me finish. Because at some point. I failed you, Char. I stopped listening to the music. Because — because I stopped believing I was worth hearing it. And that’s on me. I got so caught up in hating my job that I ended up hating myself. And if there was anything in my life that loved me? I didn’t understand it. And I questioned it. And I shut it out. And that’s exactly what I did to you. And I’m sorry.
No. It’s not. When I saw you succeed with Red Line — I saw a side of you I couldn’t believe existed. It was so good and pure that I couldn’t imagine you wanting it to end. Because I felt this renewed sense of devotion to you that — that should have always been there, but wasn’t, because I was too caught up in my own bullshit to notice it. And it was like… like I could see some sense of self worth for myself in what you were doing. And I clung to that. So when you told me you didn’t want to do it anymore — I didn’t know how to take that.
It’s okay! It’s okay because I know now. I know what I have to do. I’ve known since we broke into that lab and rescued that double F douche right on out of there. (Pause) I can’t stay here, Charlotte. I don’t belong here. I need to go. And fight. And push back against what Emily is doing. It’s what I’m meant to do. I know that now.
What are you talking about?
I mean, it’s like something turned on inside me the other day. The music started playing again. I could stare right through the funhouse mirrors and see myself clearly. I spent a better part of 20 years working with that finicky, fake meat eating motherfucker. Couldn’t stand the sight of him until that built into hatred. For him, for my job, for myself for never leaving. I even convinced myself to hate you a little for not insisting that I leave —
But I — !
I know, I know you did, I know you told me. But I told myself you were only saying that. I told myself I needed to work there anyway. For a sense of stability. For an income. For our future child. But really, it was because I was afraid. Because what if ThirdSight was the best I could do? What if that was all I was capable of? But it’s not. And you know the moment I realized that? Was when I dragged that same tofu chewing boob who used to drive me banana fucking sundae splits who…out of some mad scientist lab. I felt something change inside me. I felt like this was what I was supposed to do and —
—It was probably just adrenaline or excitement and and —
—You’re bound to feel things like that when you’re essentially breaking the law—
I’m telling you that’s not what it was, and please don’t make me out to sound like some sort of criminal. Some laws are meant to be broken. Like Isabelle’s boycott. You know that now better than anyone.
So…what does this mean? What are you trying to tell me?
I’m telling you I’m going back. To our rail home. Bring anyone with me who wants to fight this from the inside. I mean it’s your baby, Charlotte. Hell, it practically started at the exact same moment our son was born. I don’t expect you to run it again, but you pushed for it, you lead it, and everything good about it is yours and I’m gonna bring your baby back around. I’m gonna fight until I win it back for you.
Oh …oh my god. Oh my god oh my god.
I — I used to have this dream. This dream about…Monty. Before he was born. (Pause). Can I tell you about it?
Of course you can.
I — I can?
I want to hear it.
[Creepy dream music plays]
He was just born. We were walking in the desert. And some — some witch or evil wizard put a hex on me. And I couldn’t breastfeed him. He was so hungry. So, so hungry and he cried endlessly. But if I breastfed him? He would …he would grow up to be a monster. A warlord. So I had a choice. I could either starve him? Or I could feed the monster he would grow to be. And I always thought that was about Monty. You know, typical pre-parenting anxiety. But it wasn’t. It was a premonition. Of Red Line.
That’s not what this is.
You’re talking about going and fighting and —
I’m not capable of being a warlord, you know that.
But — so what are you capable of? And what’s Emily capable of doing to you? Me walking away, that was me trying to starve it, kill it. But I can’t do that myself, it’s too big for me now. It’s become this monster and it’s hungry and — and it’s — it’s going to rip you away from me and I CAN’T LET THIS THING I CREATED HARM YOU!
[Dream music ends abruptly]
Shh, shh, it’s okay, it won’t. I promise. It won’t. Listen to me. You and Isabelle and the others needs to lead, need to meet and talk and hammer out a good system that represents everyone. But that’s not me. I need to get myself in some faces and raise a ruckus. Because that’s who I am. But you taught me — with everything you’ve accomplished these last two years — that I need to do it for the right reasons. I need to do it to help others. Even others I hate.
I know. I know, I’m sorry.
I’m so proud of you.
GEMMA (they hug and kiss)
I’m proud of you too. And I love you. And I am going to fight for every single good thing you ever did. And then we’re going to fix the one or two important things you overlooked.
I don’t want you to go.
Look at me. Give me your hands.
[GEMMA pulls something out of her pocket and puts them in Charlotte’s hands].
Will you promise me you’ll come back to me? Come back for your heart?
I promise. But it’s always gonna be yours. No matter what.
[Bar atmosphere / train noise / glasses clinking]
BARTENDER — Graham Rowat
What can I get you?
NICA STAMATIS –– Kelly McCabe
Glass of white wine.
What ya got there?
What’s it say?
Tell you after I get my drink.
[Glass placed in front of Nica, wine is poured]
The city is raising your rent. They’re trying to price you out so they can install some Legion subsidiary chains. Burger Drop. Taco Leak. Pizza Ghost.
Pizza Ghost? The hell is Pizza Ghost?
NICA (sung to Spider-Man theme…kinda)
You know. “Pizza Ghost, Pizza Ghost, we’re the pizza you love the most. Order our delivery, pizza ‘rives mysteriously. Where did it come from? Who the heck knows? You’ll have to ask the…Pizza Ghost.”
So they like break into your house to deliver a pizza?
Ahh…I think it’s like a service where you make a copy of your keys so it can be delivered without you needing to answer the door? I don’t know…
Wanna know something? This country is going to hell.
I’ll drink to that.
FAKE NICA — Kristen DiMercurio
There you are. Finally, I’ve been looking in every Red Line bar all day and night.
Who the hell are you again?
I’m you, kinda, except not.
Right. Where’s your camera crew?
Taking five. I’m on my own.
What made you assume I’d be in a bar?
I spotted you on the news during the evictions yesterday. Hanging in the background. Sporting an “I need a drink” face, clear as that wine of yours.
Yeah. (Sips). I gotta get a new job.
Right, well, about that.
[Drops big contract on the bar]
It’s an offer. I’ve been flying this Inexplicable Bullshit thing solo, but it was designed for a co-pilot. The original idea was to feature you along with your brother. When your brother split, I saw that as a big opportunity and made it a show about finding him. But, uhh, I’m not doing a very good job with that and the producers are getting a little restless. Loved my initiative, they tell me. But the show needs to be building somewhere. And they want to see my, quote, biting personality, interact with someone a bit softer, unquote. So I figured if your brother wasn’t interested, maybe you would be. That was always his idea anyway, have you co-host this thing. So rather than it being Stamatis and Stamatis on the case, it could be Nica and Nica on the case. What do you say?
How would that even work? Wouldn’t it be confusing if there’s a real me and a fake you? Wouldn’t people get confused?
Eh, the producers think it’s quirky and fun. Like a dash of the meta, mixing reality with fantasy. But more importantly, they want the Dimitri storyline wrapped up. They want us to find him. And I figured you probably knew where he was, right?
[Drops letter and slides it to Nica]
What’s this? You revising my contact already?
It’s the letter you wrote Dimitri. I got it from Chelmsworth. I figured you might want to deliver it to him yourself. Or let us do it for you. You tell us, we find him, Inexplicable Riddle solved and you’re on your way to TV fame and stardom.
Well isn’t that what you wanted? This is a long way from monologuing at open mic night, you know.
Maybe, but it’s still a garbage show.
Wow. You ungrateful little prick. Let me tell you something. I’ve been an actress for ten years. Do you know how much garbage I’ve worked on? Sure, I get picky sometimes. I say no to all sorts of work. If someone offers me a part of some braindead female love interest without a mind of her own? If the script is dominated with wonderfully smart and competent men while my role is the cliched, generic cheerleader housewife secretary who shuts up and plays dumb? If the writer gave more insight to the size of my tits than my personality? If some producer hints at some kind of FAVOR in order for a bigger part? Those. Are all. Emphatic. FUCK. No’s. And that’s not easy because that shit is everywhere. But I work, and I survive…with some goddamn integrity. Yeah, this show might be garbage, but at the end of the day, it’s garbage I can just throw away and leave behind without getting its stench all over me. It’s the biggest break of my career, and you’re sitting there, judging me while you take the check of some moneyed ass-hat who wants to buy the world so she can watch it burn from the farthest distance.
It’s more complicated than that.
Oh, sure, you’re so misunderstood. Look, I hate to rain on your parade, but the rags to riches story is only in the movies. You want fame? You gotta earn it. But this out of the blue offer is the closest you’re gonna get. All you need to do is tell me one thing. Where is Dimitri. Or lead me right to him and let us film it, I don’t care. We can kick your first episode off with a dramatic showdown between the two of you. Or not! Let us do it solo. Your call. So what do you say? Do you want to be on TV with me?
What’s your name? Your real name?
You’re shitting me.
Pretty close, right?
Nicoletta and Nichole.
Hitting the town.
Mixing shit up. So what do you say. Do you wanna get famous with me, Nica? What are you afraid of?
[Red Line train picks up speed and drowns out dialogue]
WATER FROM A STONE
[Subway station, people moving]
LEON STAMATIS — Braden Lamb
Of all the people shepherding the Red Line pilgrims to Wonderland, Isabelle waited the longest. There were stragglers, people who needed help pulling their trunks and luggage, small pieces of furniture strapped to their backs with bungee cords and rope. She welcomed them all, told them which transfers to make, said she would catch up with them soon. She held her “EXODUS” sign high over her head proudly, paying no attention to the occasional sneer or nasty remark. She would give it another day. People knew how to read maps, after all. People could find their own way. And there was more work to be done after they settled into Wonderland. Exciting work.
Of course, she had other reasons to delay her arrival.
[Green Line train sound]
After the low turnout on her final day, she texted Isaiah and Omi saying she would be arriving shortly. Plenty of notice for them to meet her at the terminus, help her with all that wide open air on the walk to Wonderland.
Isabelle pressed her hands together as she transferred from lines green to blue. She rode the escalator to the surface and gripped her shawl tight over her shoulders.
[Escalator noise, followed by crowd noise]
And then she saw them. All of them. Hundreds of pilgrims standing outside, waiting. Waiting for her.
PILGRIM — Alex Welch
There she is!
…One of them cried. And then everyone cheered and applauded, startling her so much she almost stepped back and toppled down the escalator. Her mouth hung open. She felt her eyes swell with tears. She could hear her heart beating.
[Cheer breaks out from crowd. Heartbeat noise]
ISABELLE — Jessica Washington
She locked eyes with Isaiah, who was staring at his feet. He looked up quickly and gave her a sorrowful look, shaking his head. This hadn’t been his idea. Omi’s either, based on her expression. These people had wanted to come to meet her out of their own volition. And how could she question that? They’d all decided to follow her here, after all. She couldn’t turn around and chastise them for wanting to complete their journey together.
Guess there’s only one thing to do, then.
[Louder still, over cheer]
Please, please! I’ve got something to say.
Now I don’t mean to liken myself to some great biblical figure. But this little trip of ours reminds me of the Book of Exodus, with Moses leading the Israelites into the land of milk and honey. Not a perfect analogy. I’m certainly no Moses, and the only promise we can expect from Wonderland is one of hard work and struggle, not dairy and sweets. This isn’t gonna be easy.
I always thought it was…especially cruel of God, not to let Moses into the land he struggled to lead his people into. You all know this story? His people are dying of thirst, so Moses talks to God. God says, take this staff, knock it against the rock once. Water will flow and the people will drink.
So Moses says to the people, here’s your water. Make sure to thank God for turning on the taps. Except he knocks the staff twice. And this makes God angry. Angry enough that he does not allow Moses to enter the promised land. No, Moses needs to stand at the border and watch his people enter as he’s stranded on the outskirts. His only comfort is knowing he’s accomplished what he’s set out to do. But he can’t enjoy the fruit of his labor. He can’t celebrate with his people.
And why not? Well. Because God is kind of a jerk.
[Some crowd laughter]
Oh, I know the message we’re supposed to get outta that story. Put your faith in god, no matter what. Obey god, no matter what. Trust god, no matter what.
But what if Moses slipped? What if he just…made a mistake? What if it wasn’t about a lack of trust but about something else? Something more innocent?
Of course. That’s probably not what it was. No. He knocked the first time and nothing happened. And he was afraid. Afraid of looking like a fool, holding a big stick in front of thirsty mouths with no water. So he knocked again, and the water rushed out.
What I’m trying to tell you is — I — in this moment, my idea of god is all of you. It’s people. It’s the goodness in people. The goodness in all of you who heard my words, listened to what I had to say. Despite all the trouble your faith in me brought you, you didn’t waiver. You believed in me. You trusted me.
And despite all that, despite all that goodness, I haven’t put my complete faith and trust in you. (pause) This is my own personal little staff knocking twice against the rock. I can’t cross over into our Wonderland because I can’t. I — I can’t —
I have a condition. Had it since I was young, as long as I can remember. I have…extreme agoraphobia. It’s severe enough that it completely immobilizes me when I’m out in the open, unless I have some help — someone covering me up with blankets, or or coats, their bodies — whatever they have.
I’m — I’m sorry I kept this from you. Smart people told me not to but I was too damn proud to listen. I feared you would see it as weakness. I was afraid you’d think it defined me. And I hoped…if I could be Mayor…in a city that’s so frequently underground….enclosed, protected. Well, that maybe I could get by.
But now. Now that I’m facing this chasm…with all that open air. Now…now that I’m facing all your good, glorious faces? I realize I was wrong not to trust you. Even if you judge me, I — I think that —
[Sound of people moving around, organized, controlled]
The crowd began to shift and move right before her eyes, raising their arms over each other, a human bridge of protection for her to walk safely under.
PILGRIM 2 — Amanda McColgan
FORM A LINE! KEEP IT GOING!
PILGRIM 1 — Alex Welch
Come with us. We’ll take you home.
PILGRIM 3 — Jack Pevyhouse
It’ll be okay.
[Crowd cheers again]
Keep it going! Run to the end to extend the line!
ISABELLE (repeating, tearful)
Thank you…thank you….thank you…
[Pilgrim’s break out in song – ‘This Little Heart of Mine’]
Isabelle walked with a slight bent, ducking her head under shorter sets of arms, bent in their center of all those bodies, with thanks on her face and in her voice, silently wiping away tears as these rebels led her to their new home a half mile away.
Thank you. Thank you, thank you.
[This Little Heart of Mine plays throughout the credits]
JEFF VAN DREASON
Greater Boston is written and produced by Alexander Danner and Jeff Van Dreason, with recording and technical assistance from Marck Harmon.
Thank you to Patreon supporter Rasmus! You to can support us on Patreon at http://www.Patreon.com/greaterboston!
This Episode featured:
- James Capobianco as Freed Friend Poletti (he/him)
- Lydia Anderson as Gemma Linzer Coolidge (she/her)
- Rick Zieff as Lawyer (he/him)
- Mike Linden as Oliver West (he/him)
- Jeff Van Dreason as Chuck Octagon (he/him)
- Summer Unsinn as Charlotte Linzer-Coolidge (she/her)
- Kelly McCabe as Nica Stamatis (she/her)
- Kristen DiMecurio as Fake Nica. Err. Nichole (she/her)
- Braden Lamb as Leon Stamatis (he/him)
- and Jessica Washington as Isabelle Powell (she/her)
- With Graham Rowat as Bartender
and Exodus Pilgrims voiced by
- Colin J Kelly
- Amanda McColgan
- Jack Pevyhouse
- and Alex Welch
Charlie on the MTA by Emily Peterson and Dirk Tiede
Interviews recorded with Greater Boson residents.
Transcripts available at GreaterBostonShow.com
And as always, thank you for listening to Greater Boston.
The city is raising your rent. They’re trying to price you out so they can install some Legion subsidary chains. Burger Drop. Taco…Leak…(laughter).
ALEXANDER DANNER AND JEFF VAN DREASON
JEFF VAN DREASON
These are awful names for restaurants. It’s true.
They’re just the worst. I practiced this so I wouldn’t laugh, I’m sorry. All right, let’s’ do this McCabe. The City’s raising your rent. They’re trying to price you out…(laughter). Sorry. The City’s raising your rent. They’re trying to price you out so they can install some Legion subsidiary chains. Burger Dr— (laughs)
I’m so sorry!
(deep breath) I’m just gonna do this guys.
You got it.
The City’s raising your rent. They’re trying to price you out so they can install some Legion subsidiary chains. Burger Drop. (loses it, laughs).
I knew it!
I knew it!
- Strong Language
- References to kidnapping
- Threatened Extortion
- Threatened Blackmail
- Implied Threats of Potential Violence
- Alcohol consumed
- References to past attempts of sexual harassment
- References of sexism and sexist casting tendencies
- Extreme Agoraphobia
- Burger Drop