Transcript for Mini Episode: You’ve Gotta Be Sittin’ Me 2

EMILY PETERSON
Alright. One, two, th–

[Demo version of Charlie on the MTA plays]

 

VOICE 1
This is…

VOICE 2

This is…

VOICE 3
This is…

VOICE 4
Greater Boston. 

[Phone ringing. Blip/beep]

LOUISA ALVAREZ [Voice message] – Julia Propp

Hi, this is Louisa Alvarez. I’m not available at the moment but will return your calls within 24 hours.

[Longer beep]

GEMMA LINZER-COOLIDGELydia Anderson [Phone filter]

Hey. It’s me. Your old pal. Gemma. Gem-dawg. G to the emma. Are you like screening your calls or something? You know I went to fight the good fight against capitalism and fascism and robots and capitalist-fascist-robots, right? This phone call could be an emergency, or the last time you’ve ever heard from me! What, you afraid I’m gonna ask you to break the law again? That was only when we were cops! Now that I’m an actual law breaker there’s no way in hell I’m doing that.

I probably shouldn’t say all this over the phone.

Anyway, I was curious if you could babysit for us. Charlotte and I need to see each other bad. A normal dinner. Out. Away from…trains and hippy city carousels. We don’t even care if you wanna take Monty out on another investigation adventure. Why not, right? He loved it last time, wouldn’t stop farting about it for days. Hey, ask Michael! You guys would be a dynamic duo. Okay, call me back and let me know either way. If you can’t do it, I guess I could just ask him. Thanks!

[Beep]

[Sound of a rocking chair, cooing toddler]

MICHAEL TATEJames Oliva (singing to tune of ‘hush little baby;)

…And if that mayor takes off one day, mama’s gonna run Red Line her way…

…And if that city’s run on trains, mama’s gonna need all of her brains…

…And if she resigns because it’s too much, Red Line’s gonna be run by a …lady who sucks…

LOUISA (whispering, chastising)

Michael!

MICHAEL (whispering)
Sorry.

…And when that city starts to fall apart, people gonna run to an amusement park…

LOUISA (whispering, simultaneously)

Hey…hey!

MICHAEL (whispering)
Hey! 

…And when that lady screws up a lot, she’s …gonna…. install a buncha cheese robots…

LOUISA (whispering)

He’s asleep! You’re good! 

MICHAEL (whispering)

Okay. I don’t – I don’t. I think if I just move right now it’s going to seriously going to undermine everything…

LOUISA (whispering)

Shift…shift him into my arms. 

MICHAEL (whispering)

This is one of those moments in the movies when you need to hand off the package. It’s giong to seem like I’m moving at a very slow pace. 

LOUISA (whispering)

Just just just. Okay. Here. One, two, three…

MICHAEL
…and a half, okay. 

[Delicate moving, lots of whispered commands like, ‘careful, move your arm there, shift your weight, hold on!’ Etc]

[Monty stirs, LOUISA and MICHAEL inhale sharply]

[LOUISA lowers him into bed. It’s like a bomb is about to go off. Slight toddler cooing / whimpering, settling down, sleeping]

[LOUISA and MICHAEL exhale slowly and leave the room].

MICHAEL

Raising kids is hard, I guess. Not sure I’m cut out for this.

LOUISA
You did just fine.

MICHAEL
You know, I was going to sing Rock-a-bye-baby. But then I thought about the lyrics to that thing? Like, they could make a horror movie out of that. They’re gonna adapt it soon. And turn it into its own franchise about children falling from the trees and crashing to the ground. 

LOUISA (laughing)
Totally could.

MICHAEL
It’s frightening actually.

LOUISA (laughing)

You’re – you’re really good with kids, you know?

MICHAEL

Oh. Thanks. I guess. I’ve always gotten along with them.

LOUISA

Do you want them? I mean not now. You know, some day?

MICHAEL

I…think so. Yeah. I don’t know. I guess so. It kinda – go back and forth on that a little bit. What – okay well what about you? What do you — ?

LOUISA

Oh. No no, not for me. 

MICHAEL

Oh, that’s cool.

LOUISA (chuckles)

Hahahaha.

 

MICHAEL

…what?

LOUISA

You don’t usually hear just like, “cool,” after you say you don’t want kids. People, you know, they get weird about it.

MICHAEL
Oh. Yeah. I could see that, sure. I guess. I mean – I’m assuming it’s important in a relationship, you and Wendell talked about it, right?

LOUISA
Eh, a little bit. He’s – what he says is having children doesn’t seem like something you can be wishy-washy about.

MICHAEL
Oh yeah, you – you can’t just be like on the fence about it, you gotta you know, sure.

LOUISA
And and and …truly, he (laughs) he wouldn’t admit this? But he pretty much thinks his songs are his children.

MICHAEL (shocked laughter)
Louisa!

LOUISA
He’s such a goober. He’s such a GOOBER! The funny thing is, I – I don’t know, I kinda love it when he says shit like this. I mean, his sincerity.

MICHAEL
Aww.

LOUISA
Okay, I don’t wanna talk about it. I don’t wanna – changing the subject. Nope no no. Changing subjects!  (Goes to grab a present) Here. I got you something.

MICHAEL
What, no, you didn’t have to do anything – 

LOUISA
Why do people say that? It’s a gift. You never *have* to give anyone a gift. 

MICHAEL
I mean it’s not my birthday or anything. 

LOUISA
Michael — 

LOUISA
Sometimes it’s more about the giver than the person getting gifted. 

MICHAEL

Oh. (thinking) Ohhh.

LOUISA

Okay, look, uhh. I got a letter from you last week. The one you told me you wrote before…before Dimitri — 

MICHAEL

Yes.

LOUISA

I …couldn’t open it. 

MICHAEL

Why?

LOUISA

I …don’t want to know that version of you.

MICHAEL

What version of me?

LOUISA

The person who almost…who I couldn’t have…(pause) Do you know how much it bothers me that I couldn’t find you?

MICHAEL

Louisa, I didn’t want to be found. Not for a while, anyway.

[On Golden Responsibilities plays]

LOUISA

Michael, you almost died. I almost *lost* you. I couldn’t find you and I hate that you were right there, struck in that stupid office the whole fucking time and you seem surprisingly calm about the whole thing And I can’t just check the mail and read a letter from that version of you, the version I not only couldn’t find, but couldn’t save. Like …like if the worst happened, that version of you would be stuffed into my mailbox rubber-banded, mixed in with bills and insurance ads and Market Basket coupons. 

MICHAEL

I’m sorry. I…I wouldn’t have written it if I thought…I mean, if I didn’t think —

LOUISA

I know.

MICHAEL

I wanted to say goodbye. 

LOUISA

But I can’t hear that now. Because you’re here. And I need you to be here a little longer before I even begin to introduce myself to the version who almost wasn’t. 

MICHAEL

I know I might seem like none of what happened bothered me? Part of that is just putting on a brave face, you know? And part of it is just being grateful that I’m still here. Part of it is just not wanting to burden anyone with how I feel about it. Because it’s complicated. As much as I regret what happened at the end, I needed to be alone for a little while. I needed to figure out how to continue without…well, without. Without — 

LOUISA

Leon?

MICHAEL

Yeah. I kinda just need to find my own way, you know?

LOUISA

I understand wanting to find your own way. But as much as it pains me to say it, nobody ever finds much of anything on their own. (Pause) You can let go of him a little while hanging on to parts of him that are important. I did. 

MICHAEL

I’m afraid that — I’m afraid the temptation will be too great. It kills me that he’s still out there in some form but — but if I were to try and interact with him?

LOUISA

I know.

MICHAEL

I’m sure it sounds crazy.

LOUISA

It doesn’t. I believe you. 

MICHAEL

Those letters. They were the last things I wrote. They had a purpose. And ever since what happened? I’ve been having a hard time finding that again. It feels like I got too close to the end, got infected with…not existing. Nothing seems as important as it once did. I mean, the Underground needs me, but I come into the office every day and sit at the computer and poke at the keyboard and eventually play solitaire. I have to keep busy, I have to keep my mind occupied. But …but part of my writing method before was all about channeling Leon. Even if I only keep some elements of that method and expand on it, I need to do that in a way that makes sense for me. On my own. A way I’m going to like. And that’s been hard. 

LOUISA

Well. Open this. Maybe this will help give you a little direction. 

[Michael opens present, pulls out a piece of clothing – Trencoat theme plays]

MICHAEL

Oh…oh my god. A new trench coat. It’s beautiful! 

LOUISA

I know you lost your last one in the Octobacle. And I know you were attached to it. You need to get out there and shake some people down. Get some information. Have some conversations. Start some investigations. Find some stuff out. And then the writing will hopefully come out of that. (Pause). I’ll help if you want.

MICHAEL

You already have. (Sniffs away tears) I love it. I love it so much. Thank you, Louisa. 

LOUISA
Just don’t get yourself lost again, okay? And if you do, give me better clues to help me find you. And nothing in Klingon! Deal?

MICHAEL
Pagh lay’ chenmoH jIH!

LOUISA
Uh, yeah. Speaking of which, there’s a new season of Discovery that came out while you were away. Shall we catch up while the kiddo sleeps?

MICHAEL
Uhh, sure. But I haven’t watched the first season yet. 

LOUISA
Really? Just too busy?

MICHAEL
I’ve uhh — yeah, to be perfectly honest, I was never really into Star Trek.

LOUISA
You’re kidding me.

MICHAEL
No?

LOUISA
So not only did you learn a fake alien language from a TV show, you learned a fake alien language from a TV show you don’t even *watch?*

MICHAEL
There were only so many books in Oliver’s office. I read them all. A lot! I didn’t realize you were a fan?

LOUISA
I wasn’t. But you sent your Klingon tube, and we went to the convention to nab Phil. And I had to do research for intel and figured you were a fan anyway so I watched a bunch of episodes and imagined us checking out the new ones together once you were back so then ended up getting super into it and I even like imagined you reacting to certain surprising twists in the episodes and — and — oh, you’ve gotta be shitting me!

MICHAEL
You’re welcome?

LOUISA
Laughter. 

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

This episode episode featured performances by:

  • Julia Propp as Louisa Alvarez
  • Lydia Anderson as Gemma Linzer-Coolidge
  • and James Oliva as Michael Tate

Charlie on the MTA recorded by Emily Peterson and Dirk Tiede. 

On Questions of Discipline and the Naivete of Flowers (Act 1) by Lloyd Rogers

Trenchcoat Theme by Jeff Van Dreason and Jim Johanson

Space Voyage theme by Eli McIlveen

Transcripts are available online at greaterbostonshow.com

COOKIE

James Oliva (singing to tune of ‘hush little baby in a Tom Waits impression)

…And if that mayor takes off one day, mama’s gonna run Red Line her way…

…And if that city’s run on trains, mama’s gonna need all of her brains…

…And if she resigns because it’s too much, Red Line’s gonna be run by a …lady who sucks…

JULIA PROPP (giggling)

Michael!

JAMES OLIVA (whispering)

…And when that city starts to fall apart, people gonna run to an amusement park…

…And when that lady screws up a lot, she’s …gonna…. install a buncha cheese robots…

JEFF VAN DREASON
The funny thing is, this really sounds like a Tom Waits song.

ALEXANDER DANNER
I know!

ALL
(Laughter)