Transcript for Mini Episode: My Name is Lily of the Valley

[The sound of someone metal-working, welding, hammering into iron, bending metal]

[Knock on a large metal door]

FREED FRIEND POLETTI James Capobianco

Lily?

LILY OF THE VALLEYLucille Valentine

EEE! NOOOO PLEASE DON’T, please don’t come a single step closer!

FOX FOSSIL JENKINSCaleb Del Rio

You told us to get you in the morning and it’s the morning so — 

LILY

I know I know I know but I don’t want you to see what I’m working on yet, okay? It’s a surprise. 

FOX FOSSIL

Well don’t tell us it’s a surprise! If it’s a surprise now we know to expect a surprise and that ruins the surprise!

LILY

Yeah well okay fair, but you don’t know what the surprise is so it’s still a surprise!

FREED

Yes, but the tension of the inevitable surprise has been deflated thanks to you forecasting the expectation of some kind of impending revelation. And given that we’ve found you in the midst of your metal artistry, it’s only natural to assume that — is that — is that tin and rebar? 

LILY

You rascal! No peeking! 

[Metal door closes. Silence]

FOX

It was totally tin and rebar. 

FREED

I know. My favorites!

[Pause. Metal door opens and then shuts]

LILY

Ahem. You saw nothing. Say it, please!

FREED & FOX
We saw nothing.

LILY
Good! And warm morning to you, family members! We’ve been asked by the Council to look over the grounds for gardening potential. I have to admit, I don’t have a lot of faith we’ll find fertile growing grounds. The soil’s been treated with something that makes the dirt tough. It feels like that horrid material they use for American football fields. 

[Footsteps on grass]

FREED

We were told there may be some suitable soil somewhere near Fermentation Island. 

LILY

Oh really? Did one of the Red Lineans tell you that? I wouldn’t expect they’d know much about gardening. 

FOX

No, it was Lily of the Small Urban Community Garden. 

LILY

Oh. (giggles) Well. Despite her name, Lily of the Small Community Garden doesn’t know dirt about dirt.

FREED

You’ve never been one to slight another family member. Did someone put a bug on your vegan crumpet this morning?

LILY
Oh, you’re right, but it was all in good fun. By the way, do you know where Lily of the Small Urban Community Garden is working these days, Freed? 

FREED
I confess I do not.

LILY
She’s at the brand new baseball stadium in Braintree. Red Line. 

FREED

I had no idea Lily of the Small Urban Community Garden was an admirer of what many consider to be the national pastime. 

LILY

I don’t think she is. She’s doing it for the same reason you worked at ThirdSight.

FREED
I see. I wish she didn’t need to concern herself with capitalist ventures like that. But —

FOX

But the family needs income to survive, Lily. It would be wonderful if we could get by on our art, on our gardening, on our projects, but you know that’s not practical. The family honors those of us who selflessly set aside their own ambitions in order to — 

LILY

Oh, I know. It’s just — doing it for our family is one thing. But I’m not sure that’s what Lily is doing it for anymore. To be honest, I’m not sure what any of us are doing anymore.

FREED
I admit, living amongst this monstrous carcass of capitalist fantasy is a disgusting idea. But I do find pleasure in repurposing it for our communal needs. 

LILY

Well, you know I’m all about my three R’s. But some things just need to be thrown out.

FOX

Are you that unhappy about the family joining up with the community here?

LILY

It’s not that I’m unhappy. It’s more that I’m just sad. I believe there’s strength in numbers, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have concerns. Before I was welcomed into our family, I never had a supportive network of people who accepted me for who I am, or allowed me to pursue my art. I didn’t have people who really believed in me. And it’s nobody’s fault, but things are changing, so I’m worried about what we all might be giving up. And for what. Plus? Well. Never mind. 

FOX

No, no, no, I can’t never mind, I can never ‘never mind,’ I always mind. Please. Tell us what.

[Footsteps stop]

LILY (sighs)

A few family members. They’re ….they’ve…

FREED

They want to leave. 

LILY

They’re thinking about it. Yeah. 

FREED

Who?

LILY

I swore not to tell. They don’t want to make a big dramatic thing out of it because they’re concerned it may influence some of the family who are happy here. This just isn’t what they signed up for. 

FOX

I know this is different, I know it’s hard, but it’s also exciting. Sitting on the Council, I get the sense that everyone is actually excited to learn from us, from how we govern and manage the family? Think about how we could bring about real change and growth.

[Pause]

LILY

What about here? Does this land have gardening potential? 

FREED

Far too dry. Not fertile in the slightest. 

LILY

Mmm. My thoughts exactly. Let’s keep looking. 

[Pause as footsteps on grass resume]

FOX

Did something happen recently, Lily of the Valley? Do you want to talk about it? We’re here for you, always.

[Music – “Lost Civilization” plays]

LILY (bitter chuckle)

Nothing new. Nothing in particular. I’m sorry, loves. I’m just…tired, and like I said, sad. But I’m not naive. I’ve lived my whole life waiting for the other shoe to drop. Whether it’s our family, the commune, whether it’s someone who hates me for who I am – every single moment holds the potential for the unthinkable, so I’m forced to think about the unthinkable on a regular basis. I felt safe and loved with all of you. We were in this together, for each other. And now? Now we’re looking outward and — and it’s hard for me to just embrace it, because I can’t trust everyone we’re supposed to be embracing. I went to discuss this with Particle Physics the other day and on my way to their dwelling, I stopped into that makeshift coffee shop the Red Lineans set up. There were new faces in line, people who have just arrived to Wonderland. These people are my allies. They’re my neighbors. But they’re not my family. I want to work with them, I want to trust them. But there’s that other shoe hanging in the air, making me wonder if I can. I want to walk up to each of them and be comfortable saying, “My Name is Lily of the Valley, how can we work together to ensure a better future for all of us?” I could do that with any member of the commune, even if we don’t always agree. Can I do it with the Red Lineans? Could I do it with all of them? Any of them?  

[Music fades out]

FOX

Are you — thinking of leaving too, Lily of the Valley?

(Pause)

LILY

I don’t think I could ever leave you, loves.

FREED
And yet?

LILY
I — I haven’t decided. 

FREED

This …this is all my fault. 

LILY

This isn’t about you, Freed, this is about me. 

FREED

If I hadn’t been so devoted to the publisher, if I hadn’t decided to try and help Isaiah Powell, if I had done what those monstrous Legion cronies wanted me to do?

LILY

You did most of those things because of the good person you are. You worked hard for the family for years, doing something you hated out of love for us. I’ll never forget that. (Pause) But — while we’re on the subject, there is something I’d like to discuss with you. 

FREED

Of course.

LILY

Your name. 

FREED

My new name? Do you not care for it?

LILY

It’s your name, so of course I love it, because I love you. You know we’ll always respect whatever you chose your name to be. Whatever you want it to be. 

FREED

It sounds like there may be a ‘but’ coming. 

LILY

But…

FOX

But — well, obviously, you change it a lot, Freed.

LILY

Which is your right, of course. 

FOX

Yeah, and it’s fine! I mean, we’ll never tell you not to. 

LILY

We’ve both changed our names too. 

FOX

Hell, I’ve changed mine several times.

LILY

It’s not that you change it a lot. Who cares? Your name is whatever you want it to be. But there were times in the past when you changed it that didn’t feel particularly…well intentioned. I know, for example, why you *said* you changed your name to Panda Bear. 

FOX
Or Extinction Event. Or even Dipshit.

LILY
But a lot of that felt like it was motivated out of issues you were having with coworkers. And when you were talking to us about those relationships, I feel like some other motivations may have slipped out. Like you were changing it… just to spite them.

FOX
Or in the case of Dipshit, because you were feeling a sense of self-loathing from being rejected by them.

LILY
And then you’d complain about people not accepting your name changes at work. And that’s understandable, to a point. But …that’s every day for people like Fox and me, Freed. And our names are wrapped up with so much more than just causes or office politics. Our names are wrapped up with our identity. They’re wrapped up in who we are, as trans people.

FOX
Don’t get us wrong. If you change your name, people should respect your name change. But if you change your just to spite coworkers? And they forget it? That’s one thing. But when people forget our names?  Or refuse to use them?

LILY
It’s like we don’t exist to them. It’s like they’re rejecting us. Rejecting our existence.

FOX
Do you understand what we’re saying?

FREED

I do. I’ve — I’ve been reckless. Selfish. I don’t think I realized how much I was unloading on all of you. And I didn’t even consider how any of that would make you feel. Fox Fossil, Lily of the Valley, I am so sorry. I am so sorry for being so wrapped up in myself that I failed to consider how these types of careless changes would have made you feel. 

LILY

Don’t apologize. Just — if you end up changing it again, think about what’s motivating it. And if people don’t accept it right away? Just remember what we’re dealing with.

FOX
All the time. 

FREED

May I — may I consult you both, if I ever think about changing it again?

LILY

Of course you can. We’re always here for you. 

FREED

Does that mean you’ll stay, Lily of the Valley?

LILY

I will. For now. 

[Pause]

FREED

I don’t mean to be confrontational, but you do realize you mocked Lily of the Small Urban Community Garden’s name earlier in this conversation, correct?

LILY

Heh. You got me, Freed. I apologize. I love Lily and I love her name. I won’t mock it again. 

FOX

What about here? For the garden, I mean?

LILY

Hmm. (pause) Good moisture. Even has some minerals. This feels pretty good to me. Yeah! About as good as we’re going to find, I think.

FREED

I have the seeds. Let’s dig in. 

[Sounds of shoveling dirt and planting as the music fades in for the credits – “Lost Civilization” plays again]

CREDITS:

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

This mini-episode features:

Lucy Valentine as Lily of the Valley

James Capobianco as Freed Friend Poletti

and Caleb Del Rio as Fox Fossil Jenkins. 

Charlie on the MTA is performed by Emily Petersen and Dirk Tiede. 

Sensitivity reading services for this episode were provided by Lucy Valentine. If you’re interested in hiring Lucy as a sensitivity reader on trans issues, you can contact her on twitter @SeverelyTrans.

COOKIE:

CALEB DEL RIO:
Are you good?

LUCY VALENTINE: (laughing)
Yeah, I’m fine.

CALEB
Okay. I’m gonna start this line over. Sorry, Jeff.

LUCY
I’m not. (Laughter)