Masters of Sex Episode Scripts

N/A - Story of My Life

Previously on Masters Of Sex We've decided to begin our work on dysfunction with male impotence.
I'm just like those guys, in the you know, dysfunctional way.
Are you going to join me? I may have overdone it.
I'm not sure I'd be of uh, much use.
I thought you were going home.
We decided we didn't want anyone else doing the treatments.
I've spent most of my life pretending you don't exist.
If people would ask me, I'd tell them I was an only child.
I want my brother back.
Look, we got a couple of witnesses who saw the truck drive by and saw Leonard get dumped out the back.
And so I was wondering if maybe you saw anything.
If there are other witnesses, why are you talking to me? What was his name? Your first? I'd remembered his name.
Paul.
But wasn't your brother We had this creek that ran behind our house and we'd catch frogs and have them race.
Who is the best psychologist in St.
Louis? - Lloyd Madden, maybe.
- Let's call him.
We can give him the basics of Barbara's case.
No reputable physician would consent to giving a medical opinion on a patient they haven't met.
You cannot expect me to sit down with a complete stranger, a-a man.
I'm sorry, Virginia, I can't.
My brother and I, we would spend every day down there chasing frogs and as we got older, the games they changed.
That's I think everything.
My story.
I don't know how this works.
I've never done this before so Do you ask me questions? How can I help you? Why are you here? Well, I suppose, I would like to know how to put what happened to me in its proper place, to not think about it all the time, every day.
It's a process, Barbara.
Not a checklist.
Of course, but if you had any specific suggestions You know what's interesting about your story? Your voice, when you tell it.
Those are difficult things you're speaking of-- being sexually abused by your brother.
Your mother finding you and him together and yet never speaking of it.
The judgement and rejection you felt from her, the repulsion you felt for yourself.
And one might expect the telling of such terrible things to summon up some very strong feelings-- pain rage sadness.
But it didn't for you.
It was almost as if you were describing something that happened to someone else.
Well, it didn't.
It happened to me.
And I'm sorry that I wasn't emoting enough, but Were there tears when it happened? Yes, of course.
A 12-year-old girl-- she cries when she's being penetrated for the first time.
Were you that 12-year-old girl? Yes, I told you.
Then why not say "I"? "I cried.
" Well, I did.
And I've cried plenty in telling the story, maybe not tonight, but I have.
Hmm.
To whom have you told it? Just a friend Someone who wants to help but does not know how.
Someone who doesn't know what to do besides just listen to me as I go on and on.
Perhaps you keep reliving your experience because each time you're hoping it'll have a different outcome.
So how would you rewrite your story, Barbara? I can't.
- It happened.
I can't change it.
- What if you could? Where would you begin? What would you say to make it end differently? I don't know.
I guess I-I would tell my brother to stop? That's right.
Say it.
- Stop? - As a little girl.
Not as a woman.
- Stop! - Yes.
Yes, find that voice.
Speak as your 12-year-old self.
Imagine telling your brother what you wanted to say then but couldn't.
Start there.
Libby, take a bow.
She really is the best cook! Isn't she, Bill? She is, indeed.
Well, I used to be more adventurous, but Johnny's going through a phase.
Nothing but buttered noodles.
You know how picky children can be.
Oh, well, you don't yet, but you will very soon.
All systems go for Wednesday? Libby, Frank got me a fondue set a few Christmases ago.
Oh, I just love fondue.
Still in the box! He didn't realize-- Oh, I'm so sorry.
Not at all.
I thought it was just melted cheese.
Turns out there's a-a lot of booze in the recipe.
It's nearly half wine.
Well, if I can't offer anyone seconds Oh, let me help you there.
It really was delicious.
Libby, thank you.
A clean plate is the best compliment.
Would you look at that? I thought I would go to my grave before I saw Francis eat a green vegetable.
Oh, nowadays he'll eat salad, even.
I could never get either one of them to eat fish, no matter how much sauce I used to disguise it It's a very handsome house you have here, Bill.
It burns off, doesn't it? Sorry? The wine.
The alcohol content.
When you heat it up, ethanol evaporates when it reaches a boiling point.
It's basic science.
Nevertheless, we don't bring liquor into the house.
So, is this a problem for you? Being around this? Not today.
Although mom seems a little tight, don't you think? No.
I think she's happy.
I didn't know you had friends in St.
Louis.
Not friends exactly.
And they're Frank's, not mine.
I'm glad Bill's agreed to meet them tomorrow night.
You mean, he wants them to meet Bill.
And I don't blame him for wanting to show off his accomplished big brother.
It's so wonderful having them both together.
I don't recall ever seeing her drink.
Well, she never drank scotch, which is what dad had around the house.
Now she likes the occasional Tom Collins or two.
Or three? Show of hands for coffee, please.
Oh, I left some files in the office over the weekend.
Oh, no! You're leaving now? Can't it wait? I have a patient early tomorrow, um, woman with a complicated medical history I need to review.
Well, why don't I go with you? Keep you company on the drive.
Oh, that's a fine idea.
That neighborhood is bad enough in the daytime, as Libby certainly can attest.
My God, such a harrowing story.
Not necessary, sit.
Enjoy dessert.
I caught a whiff of it earlier.
You are in for a treat.
It's a rum cake.
I didn't realize.
I made a rum cake.
Which I'm sure will be sensational.
I'll be just fine with coffee.
Did you see what's going on downstairs? No.
Really? You didn't notice dozens of young women in sashes and tiaras down in the lobby? It's the Miss Buoy of St.
Louey pageant.
I guess I must've been preoccupied.
Just so happens, I was a pageant girl myself.
Runner-up, Miss Teen Fayetteville.
What did the winner have that you didn't? An uncanny resemblance to Veronica Lake.
Ah.
God, I hated those things.
I never would've done it if my mother hadn't forced me to sign up.
My mother could be a little deaf when it came to listening to me.
I should've just said "No.
" Loud enough for her to have really heard.
No! And what's got you so preoccupied? Where are you coming from? Oh, uh, family dinner with my mother.
Mm, how was that? Why don't you take your dress off? Come over here.
And why don't you take your pants off and come over here? I was looking forward to, uh, taking care of you tonight.
Where's the fun in that for you? I enjoy watching you enjoying yourself.
That's becoming standard operating procedure these days.
Well, for a change of pace then, why don't we reverse the arrangement? Why don't you lie back and let me take care of you? I've, uh, I've I've just come from Libby.
But you said dinner with your mother.
She went early and Libby and I-- I see.
Does that happen a lot? Her to me? Or from me to her? Never mind.
I shouldn't have said anything.
No, I should not have asked.
Maybe we should just take a rain check tonight.
I'm just curious, how did you get my number? Well, Miss Dimello said you came highly recommended by, uh by Judge Tillinghast.
We go way back.
Way.
Apparently, he had some very nice things to say about you.
Said you took initiative.
Always found creative solutions.
- You're very imaginative.
- And flexible.
The judge said, "Flexible.
" Oh, yes, very flexible.
Gymnastics as a kid.
And you're clear about what the job is.
Blow job, hand job, whatever it takes to get the job done.
It's not that this guy's pecker has never worked, is it? No, he's had some unfortunate interactions with women that have left him, uh, non-functioning for the past few years.
You've dealt with men like that suffering erectile dysfunction for an extended period of time? Impotence is a working girl's bread and butter.
Am I right, Kitty? Oh, sure.
See it all the time.
Now, Mr.
Linden is the, uh, nervous type.
A gentle approach may be most effective, but we'll leave that to your discretion.
Oh, speak of the devil.
He's a certain charm, Kitty, wouldn't you say? I've seen worse.
I don't know, Dr.
Masters, it's a really nice offer and everything, but if you wanted to let me know I was doing a good job, some extra cash at Christmas would be great.
- Is it hot in here? - This isn't a bonus.
It's an opportunity to participate in the work.
Aren't I already participating? As a subject.
Is that a good idea? I mean, to cross that line.
Isn't it best to maintain some professional objectivity? That's outweighed by the value of having an insider participate, you know, someone like you who's observed the subtle nuances of sexual arousal and can speak to them personally.
I need a little air.
But-- but why do I have to do it with a girl like that? How else are we to eliminate the question of your partner's sexual competence? In a controlled experiment, there can only be one variable.
So we need to partner you with a woman whose-- whose sexual competence is not a factor, someone who's-- who's come across this problem before, often, and has some ideas of how to treat it.
I am-- I am I am offering you the chance to be a pioneer.
You know, like, um like Wilbur Wright flying over the heads of the doubting French at Le Mans.
There's film of that, you know.
A year later, 1909, first aerial shots.
There's history to be made here, Lester.
What made you look up, Mrs.
Masters? Well, um, the sound of the truck, - the squeal of the tires.
- And how close would you say you were to it when it passed you? I guess the distance from here to about there? How's your vision, Mrs.
Masters? Can you read the sign there? "The law of the land is our demand.
" Are those letters about the same size as numbers on a license plate, wouldn't you say? Well, I didn't-- As I said, the truck went by so fast.
I saw that it was old and blue, uh, with an engine that had a terrible rattle to it.
Uh, by the time I got in my car and turned the corner, um, I saw mister, uh Sorry, I forgot that poor man's name.
Gilroy.
Leonard Gilroy.
Mr.
Gilroy-- on the curb.
It was a distressing sight, wasn't it? A man bound and gagged, his body thrown to the curb like a sack of grain.
It was terrible.
Had you ever seen anything like it before? No.
It shakes a person up, doesn't it? Rattles you? You know, when I'm rattled, I forget things-- details.
You know, maybe there are a few you forgot.
She can't help, Marcus.
She didn't see it happen.
- She wasn't an eyewitness.
- No, I didn't hear Mrs.
Masters expressly say that, Robert.
- Well, I-- - I wanna make sure you understand the stakes here, ma'am.
Before you commit to an answer, the stakes might jog your memory and cause you to recollect the situation differently than when you and Robert first spoke.
For example, you might recollect that you were already in your car when that truck passed you, but you were just a second behind it when you turned onto Slocum, close enough to see that the first three numbers of the license plate were 2-8-9 right before you saw Leonard Gilroy thrown off the back of that truck.
It would be very helpful, Mrs.
Masters, if you recollected that.
Because I'm sorry to say that the St.
Louis Police Department thinks people with your color eyes see better than people with my color eyes.
What are you doing? We have a patient coming.
I know, vaginismus, right? Dr.
Masters said it was okay.
I haven't documented a single vaginismus yet.
We are seeing a woman, Lester, not a dysfunction.
She's just beginning treatment.
She's self-conscious enough as it is without a camera trained on her.
But Dr.
Masters said-- I'm saying that it's too soon.
Out.
Vaginismus is the loss of control over the muscles of the perineum and the outer third of the vagina.
These muscles contract spastically in response to entry or even the suggestion of entry.
Couldn't it be a holiday? Doesn't it sound like a holiday? The feast of vaginismus! Uh, Virginia has explained to you the importance of a vaginal examination? Yes.
Have you've been penetrated before? Uh, when I was very young, yes.
Without difficulty? Dr.
Masters means physical difficulty.
We understand that there was a difficult emotional component.
Uh, when-- when he first put it inside me, it-- it hurt, and there was a little blood.
And after the first time? Uh, the-- the pain was lessened.
But then once I realized that the circumstances were inappropriate-- Does he know who I was with? He does.
After that, the intercourse stopped, and then years later when I tried to have relations-- vaginal relations-- with Gil-- my fiancé-- it was as if I had closed up entirely down there.
Okay, so what we're gonna do today is, uh, help you understand how your body has been responding, how the muscles constrict physically to prevent penetration.
So, first, I will be inserting a dilator into your vagina.
T-today? Now? We're gonna go very slowly, very gently with lubrication.
All right.
And then, uh, once the dilator is inside you, you're gonna feel yourself clenching around it.
Uh, but without the back and forth of intercourse, the muscles will relax and begin to comfortably accommodate it.
Don't mind me.
Barb, we don't have to do this today.
No, no, no, no, I want to.
I-- - I wanna get it over with.
- All right.
Deep breath.
I'm gonna go very slowly.
I'm sorry! No, no, I can't, I can't, I can't, please.
No.
I don't know what's wrong with me.
Why don't we just give Barb a few moments to herself, shall we? You know how I feel about this, Bill.
We are only treating one half of the problem.
Yes, the half we can do something about.
Every patient with sexual dysfunction is going to experience some kind of distress.
It's the distress that brings them here.
Yes, it is terrible for them.
And yes, it is hard to stand by and watch.
But are we gonna turn them away when we have the means to treat their physical symptoms? We are clearing the way for her to have intercourse that she is psychologically unprepared for.
And why do you assume that some kind of emotional breakthrough is gonna relieve her physical problems? We can offer a practical treatment, Virginia.
Anything else, and we are out of our depth.
Now let's go back in and try again.
I'm-- I'm trying to remember the last time something that I said mattered this much.
I could send those men to jail, couldn't I? I don't think so.
You think the system's that corrupt? That the eyewitness testimony of an upstanding member of this community wouldn't be enough to indict them? Well, maybe someone else's.
Just not yours.
What's wrong with my testimony? You ever lied before? Yes.
Of course.
Who hasn't? White lies.
White lies, huh? What did you do? Someone once make the wrong change in your favor and you didn't correct 'em? You tell your girlfriend you like her hairdo when you didn't? Are you insulting me? You made a left turn onto Slocum? Uh, that's right.
With the light or after the light had changed? With the light.
There's no traffic light on that corner.
It's a stop sign.
Yes, well, under the circumstances, a person could forget that.
Well, how'd you happen to remember the license plate, Mrs.
Masters? I mean, you had to make visual note of that before you saw anything unusual.
I just It stuck in my mind.
Uh, 2-8-9, because that was my street address when I was a child-- They can check that, so it better be true.
Is it true? No.
So I-I instead I could say Well, what should I say? You seem real flustered, ma'am.
Are you flustered? - I-- - You saw a man bound and gagged and thrown from the back of a truck.
I mean, what did you do? Did you stop the car and get out? - No.
- You just drove off? - Yes.
- Ah.
To a police station, I'm assuming.
No.
You saw someone commit a crime, a despicable act, and you didn't drive straight to the authorities to report it? Well, I am doing that now.
I am-- I am here now.
The defense will eat you for lunch, Mrs.
Masters, and pick you out their teeth.
You'll do us more harm than good.
It ain't worth it.
Well, then, why did that lawyer-- Mr.
Gabler-- ask me? Because he doesn't know you.
Oh, and you do? So I'm not a good liar, as if that is something to be ashamed of.
So I don't have a criminal record like some people.
You know, when I was, uh, 17, I threw a brick through a plate glass window of a service station and stole a set of tires, just 'cause they was fine and I wanted 'em.
Now, it was stupid.
You know, I was a stupid kid, but I wanted something I couldn't get any other way than by taking it.
Now I don't want things that don't belong to me anymore, but the things that do, the things that I'm entitled to that someone says I can't have, oh, I'm gon' get them anyway I can.
You came to me.
You asked for my help, and I am here and I am willing to give it to you.
And now you don't want it? Now it's not It's not good enough for you? I'm not good enough for you? You're a careful woman, Mrs.
Masters.
And I'm guessing you-- you came to a complete stop at that stop sign, you looked both ways, you signaled, you drove on, hell, you didn't get out of the car.
Now we need a different kind of person on that witness stand.
Now it was real good of you to wanna help, and we thank you kindly for your offer, but we'll make do without it.
You just go on home, ma'am.
I'm embarrassed.
Don't be.
You were both very patient.
I'm sorry that I made it so difficult.
I'm doing the right thing, aren't I, by trying to fix myself? I know it's unfair of me to ask you, because what are you supposed to say? Thank you.
I think that we can help you.
We're going to try our very best.
I wanna believe you.
I I have trouble trusting people.
Of course you do.
People have let you down, taken advantage of you.
People close to you.
Maybe even the person closest to you.
My brother, you mean? What would you say to him if you could? Well, we still talk.
Not about what happened.
But he lives in Chesterfield.
He just got divorced again.
Again, again, it's third time.
What would you-- what would you have wanted to say to him when you were that little girl, but you couldn't because you were too afraid? Like what? Like "Stop.
" Did you ever tell him to stop? I don't know.
I-I must have, right? Well, what if you were-- What if you were to say it now? Out loud? Tell him now but say it as your 12-year-old self.
Stop.
Like that? Certainly not acting Adorable.
He just tucked himself right under my arm.
I can tell he was dropping off, so I skipped ahead a bit.
Oh, Johnny will never let you get away with that.
Did he make you go back? And then insisted on turning the rest of the pages himself.
Did Bill want a boy? Um just a healthy baby, he said.
Frank says that, too, but I know he wants one.
The giveaway is when you see your husband with your friends' kids, isn't it? How he jokes with the boys, but doesn't quite know what to say to the girls? Yes, I suppose.
I'm glad they're going together tonight.
It was important to Frank that he introduce Bill to his crowd.
Well, he may find that his brother can be a little on the taciturn side.
Oh, that's perfectly okay.
Really, no one there expects him to say a thing.
Why would that be? Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path.
Those who do not recover are people who are not completely willing to give You said we were meeting friends of yours.
And here they are-- Total strangers, most of whom know me better than I know myself.
It's my birthday, Bill.
I want you here to celebrate it.
It's your birthday in March.
My sober birthday.
They're gonna give me a chip and let me tell my story.
I want you to hear it.
but many of them do recover.
They have the capacity to be honest.
You must be Lester.
Come on in.
It's very nice to meet you, Miss-- Kitty.
Miss Kitty, like on Gunsmoke.
The proprietress of The Long Branch Saloon in Dodge City? Although everyone knew Miss Kitty wasn't really a barkeep as much as she was a prost-- It's okay.
You just relax.
We're gonna have a good time tonight.
Nothing is going to happen that you don't want to happen.
What if I don't want anything to happen? Now why would you say that? Don't you think I'm pretty? Pretty? Oh, yeah.
Yes, you're very pretty.
My sister has your hair color.
Okay, see, now that's not a great ad to go down, Lester.
Why don't we just try having a normal conversation? Maybe we could start by you telling me what you like? The French New Wave.
About me.
Um, that's a very lovely blouse.
Oh, thank you.
Well, it's very silky.
Do you wanna feel how silky it is? I can tell from here.
To be honest, it's a little constricting, a little tight around the bust area.
Wow, um, I should tell you my heart's beating very fast.
Oh, may I take that as a compliment? I think it's paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia.
It's what killed my father.
Very recently.
I'm so sorry.
Now, Lester, what's the worst thing that could happen here? I could drop dead.
Well, let's pretend like I'm a doctor.
A cardiologist? Okay, a cardiologist.
You'd trust a cardiologist, wouldn't you? Depends on where he went to medical school.
Well, I went to the best medical school in the world.
And I studied more things than just the heart.
But ultimately, you'd have to pick a specialty.
Oh, it was very difficult.
Because it turns out I'm good at everything.
Patients can lie down on my exam table and I can diagnose their problems.
And I use my magic touch to heal them.
Doesn't that make medical school superfluous? I instinctively know where to press, where to squeeze, where to stroke, and where to lick.
Won't you let me show you, Lester, how I can bring men back to life? Hi.
I'm Frank, and I'm an alcoholic.
Hi, Frank.
I'm very grateful to be here tonight.
Been practicing that move since I was 8.
Disappearing acts have always been my specialty.
Not just coins or cards.
I had this trick when I was a kid, I could make myself disappear, I could sense trouble coming with just-- From the way my dad came through the door.
Shazam! I was out the door and down the street telling Mrs.
Magavern jokes, helping water her tomato plants so she'd invite me to have supper with her family before anyone at my house had even missed me.
After a while, I decided to up the ante.
You know, teach myself to disappear without ever going anywhere.
I could be sitting at the dinner table and my dad would be telling me what he thought about me Taking tap dancing lessons or any extra helpings.
Getting a B in biology.
"Your brother never got a B.
" And, uh, presto, I was gone.
Some tricks get easier the more you practice, but this one got harder, took more and more effort, uh, to make it look simple.
After a while, I needed a-a fearless assistant to help me pull it off.
And I found lots of them-- Brandy Sherry Scotch Bourbon Gin.
I always thought I was just born with this natural gift.
It wasn't until I quit drinking, until my sobriety allowed me this, uh magnificent clarity that I realized I'd had a teacher all along.
My dad-- the greatest magician of all time.
He could make things vanish like that.
His approval My mother's smile The fun of a baseball game you'd been waiting for all summer.
I'd do one thing to disappoint him-- blow a line at the Christmas pageant, strike out with the bases loaded, and, uh, and, uh, afterwards, he wouldn't let me get in the car.
He'd make me walk home, once in, un, once in a heat wave, once in a snowstorm.
I watch his car pull away, I'd see him get smaller and smaller as he drove into the distance until Poof.
He was gone.
Without saying a word, just by his example, he taught both of his boys how to vanish.
Didn't he, Bill? Ta-da.
I'm not sure what you mean.
"What else"? That was good-- that finding your voice exercise-- I think that really helped.
So I was hoping you had another suggestion.
I see.
So you're done with that part? Well, I imagined what I would've liked to have said to my brother.
You said to do that.
I did it.
So what do I do now? You seem very intent on moving through this process as quickly as possible, Barbara.
Well, do you blame me for that? For wanting a little piece of mind? That's why I'm here, after all.
You're asking "If I blame you.
" I meant-- I know that you don't blame-- It's a-- it's a figure of speech.
It's familiar to you, though, isn't it? To feel blamed? Judged? Misunderstood? You felt that from your mother, you said.
And your, um I'm sorry-- your fiancé? Gil.
Yes.
Who else? Mm.
No one, really.
Have you ever withheld some truth about yourself because you feared someone's judgement? There-- there was someone that I was close to, my boss, actually.
She died a few years back.
I was afraid of her finding out something that I'd done, which, she did, by accident.
I was-- I was seeing a married man.
And how did your friend react to that? She let me have it.
But the situation was-- It wasn't entirely as she understood it to be.
Lillian, uh, Lillian saw things in black and white and this relationship There was a lot of grey area in-- in that relationship.
So she judged you more harshly than you felt you deserved.
Yes.
And yet you say, you anticipated her judgement.
So clearly you had a sense of what her objections would be.
Well of course.
Yeah, I-- He was married.
And that bothered your friend? And not you? I never saw myself as a threat to the man's wife.
Because? Because I never wanted to marry him.
So that was the only way you posed a threat if, uh, you wanted this woman's husband for yourself? Yes.
So why did it end? I'm sorry? Well, if you weren't concerned about this man's wife, what caused the relationship to end? Gil.
I met Gil.
Leona'd take ages to get ready.
So Frank and I'd wind up sitting in the living room waiting for her to make an entrance, and in the meantime, he'd be trying to make me laugh, doing all these crazy routines, most of which he just stole off the TV.
One day he knocked on the door and my sister answered it, all smiles and batted eyelashes, "Oh, Francis.
" And he said, "Actually, Leona, I'm here for Pauline.
" So how 'bout you and Bill? Oh, um, uh, I was working as a medical secretary.
Uh-huh Uh, we-- we didn't get married right away, but only because he was so busy with his practice.
Uh, we fell in love very quickly.
He was, um, he was so charming.
I know.
The Masters charm.
I, for one, was blinded by it.
It's probably what prevented me from seeing the signs for so long.
Signs of Frank's drinking? It's embarrassing what I missed, really, things I just chalked up to his having a big personality.
But, God, the mood swings, the impulsivity-- A new car, a new house, a new medical partnership.
He got sloppy toward the end, though, couldn't keep his story straight, the lies-- Where he'd been all night, why he couldn't make love, and then, of course, there was the visit to the ER where he almost died.
And I said, "It's the bottle or me.
Pick.
" You really think you would've walked away? You would've done the same thing in my position, Libby.
No one expected me to draw the line, honestly, I think most people considered me as a bit of a ninny.
I'm sure that's not true.
I was! You wouldn't recognize the person I was before.
I was the go-along gal, the laugh you could always count on.
I didn't wanna make waves, didn't ever wanna upset anyone.
Mmm, I tell ya, it felt good to do something no one thought I was capable of.
He thought I saved his life, but really, I was saving my own.
So, Dr.
Masters does not want to go up in size today.
We're just going to see if the insertion itself is less painful, and if you can tolerate the same dilation for longer.
So how was the soreness after? I went home and took a warm bath like you said.
And you took the pain pill? I followed all your instructions.
Good.
That's good.
Including talking to Paul.
I-I-- Saying those things to him.
Wait, uh, do you mean you spoke to him in your head? Or in person? We met.
No, I meant-- The suggestion was that you-- you think about what you would have liked to have said back then.
You-- you said to talk to him, so-- No, the idea was to imagine the conversation.
Well, I did not have to imagine one because he lives 20 miles away, and we met for dinner like we do sometimes anyway.
And? "Remember when?" I-I said.
"Do you remember that time when we" I could've said, "went sledding on Bergen Hill" for all it upset him.
- Did he deny it? - No, no.
Not at all.
But he remembered it different.
He said that it was my idea.
That's absurd, Barb.
Of course he's going to say that.
No, no, no, it-- no, it-- it wasn't like that.
He-- he didn't accuse me.
He just He reminded me.
I-I-I forgot that there were these triplets that moved in across the street from us that summer.
And every morning he wanted to go off with them.
And I wanted him to stay home, play with me.
Just with me.
And so I invented this game to keep him interested.
And it worked.
You don't know that that's what happened.
It makes sense, Virginia.
If he had violated me, how could we be so close? How could I want to see him be happy? Barb, these things are complicated.
I'm just learning myself how complicated.
I want to remember this is his fault because I wanna be absolved of responsibility for how my life has turned out.
Being alone.
For not being able to love someone in a way that is not shameful and dirty.
What if it's my fault, Virginia? What if I did this to myself? You know in Sunset Boulevard how William Holden's dead floating in the pool and telling the story at the same time? That was me.
Splayed on the bed, hovering above it all at the same time-- victim and narrator.
Come on, now.
Isn't that a little overstated? I'm telling you, I was completely disassociated from my body.
In my head, looking down at myself thinking, "What's going on down there? What is she doing? Where's she touching me? Has this woman ever pulled taffy for a living?" What was she doing exactly? Was it all manual stimulation or-- or oral as well? Why are you writing any of this down? Nothing happened, all right? I flopped.
Literally.
Even if you didn't achieve an erection, Lester, it's still of clinical value.
You know, it allows us to rule out techniques that weren't effective this time but next time you'll be open to other techniques.
Oh, no.
No, no, no.
There's-- there's not gonna be a next time.
Lester.
Can't you find another guy in my situation to be your Guinea pig? You say we're everywhere, right? I want you to stay with this, Lester.
I can't.
The single variable thing may work for the study but not for me.
For me, I need just two people figuring it out together.
Not an expert and a novice.
Just a man and a woman equally matched even if they both happen to be inept.
That'd be tantamount to the blind leading the blind.
Not if they're already a couple.
If they know each other's bodies, have feelings for each other.
So many subjects have come through your door.
Don't you know a couple like that? Gini.
Lib.
What are you doing here? Oh, well, I'm-- Can I get a refill, please? May I join you for a second? Oh, I'm sorry, Lib, I really should head back upstairs.
I won't take up much of your time, okay, just Well, I'm stalling, really.
I'm trying to screw up my courage.
Uh, to do what? Can I tell you after I know how it turns out? In case I chicken out? Of course.
Now I really should get going.
Let's just say that I could use some of what you have in abundance-- nerve.
Really, Gin, I keep thinking about when you first started working with Bill at Maternity.
How you just walked into his office without any experience and-- and yet you demanded to be taken seriously.
What made you think that you could do that? It was-- It was not courage, if that's what you're thinking.
What was it then? False sense of entitlement, maybe? Recklessness? Stupidity? - Come on.
- Libby, I I don't read instructions.
I just take things out of the box and I plug them in.
To hell with consequences.
To hell with the blown fuses.
The fingers almost lost in the spinning blade.
That's ridiculous.
I look at you and you're one of the bravest people that I know.
You just see what you want and you you go and get it.
Don't do that, please.
I mean it.
Don't, uh, don't hold me up as an example of anything.
Now I really need to get upstairs.
We have patients.
Of course, you go.
Uh, we have your wife scheduled for a capping this afternoon.
Did I get the time wrong? She'll be here.
Uh, I was hoping to have a private word with Bill.
Oh, Dr.
Masters, Dr.
Mason is here to see ya.
I'm sorry, did you say "Mason"? Yeah, that's right.
In my office, please, Frank.
- My name's not-- - My office.
Is there anything you'd like to say to me about last night, Bill? You're hoping for an apology? You don't think your abrupt departure calls for one? Oh, it seemed an appropriate response to a bait-and-switch.
You were hardly introducing me to some friends.
I was reintroducing myself to you.
I needed their support.
It's in rooms like that I found the courage to tell the truth.
My truth.
Well, which is it? The truth or your truth? Maybe if you stayed and listened-- I already knew the whole story.
The sadistic father, always teaching his son a lesson in humiliation.
The kid who left home to become a doctor to make a career out of saving lives, having barely been able to save his own.
I knew it because it's my story, Francis.
And maybe AA's allowed you to appropriate my experience as justification for your overindulgence.
What?! Or maybe you truly are deluded, you know? All that alcohol has played tricks on your mind.
Now just a minute-- I fumbled a 4th down That was me he pulled out of the car, me he made walk home in the rain, me his tire splattered with mud as he pulled out of the parking lot, me who knew there was a beating waiting for me when I got back home.
And you were in the backseat, little brother, watching me through the rear window.
You saw it happen to me.
What makes you think the same thing didn't happen to me after you were gone? That I was your replacement? Because if I thought that was possible, I I never would've left you behind.
No, you-- you were the apple of his eye.
He'd show you off in front of company, make you perform.
For Christ's sake, he gave you his name.
What father skips over his firstborn to gave his second son his name? A son of a bitch, that's who.
That's what he was to both of us.
You tunneled under the wall.
I went over it.
We both escaped! Look, whatever you need to believe to keep yourself on the straight and narrow.
I'm healed, Bill.
That's what the truth does.
You just have to be brave enough to face it.
Oh, I see.
I see.
So the point of dragging me to that meeting wasn't really to share insights about yourself, was it? Who did you really think you were in that story, Bill? Me? Or him? Think about it.
No, there's nothing-- there's nothing to think about.
He left you, and you left me.
I don't blame you for it.
I did.
But I understand now.
And I forgive you.
We got heat out above the 8th floor in Pruitt.
That's at least 600 people.
May I help you, Mrs.
Masters? I was coming to ask you the same thing.
I was wondering if you could use my help.
You wanna volunteer? Yes.
What can you do? I can type.
I can answer phones.
I can stuff envelopes.
We need someone to make a sandwich run.
What can I get for you? I'm fine.
Really? Nothing, huh? Usually I'm playing catch up with you.
Does it help? You to be here with me? I don't know what you mean.
Does drinking help to relieve your conscience about what it is we're doing here with each other? About what it is we're-- we are doing to Libby? Libby? Where is this all coming from all of a sudden? Isn't the question why hasn't it come up sooner? I want to know.
What things have we told ourselves that make it possible to do what it is we've done here in this room? It's not as if you've told me that you don't love your wife the way a married man strings along a mistress.
- Well, I-I do love her.
- I know.
I love her, too.
She's been a wonderful friend to me.
I almost wish that there was something that I could point to, some terrible thing that she had done to me that would justify what it is I've done to her.
But there's nothing.
What do you tell yourself, Bill, that makes all of this okay? Jesus, Virginia, what's the matter with you? I don't know.
But maybe there is something wrong with me, with both of us.
- I wanna talk about this, Bill.
- Why? What's the point? What does this endless self-examination accomplish, except to make everyone who engages in it miserable? The past is past.
You can't change it.
You can poke at it and prod it, but you cannot change it.
So you move on.
You do your best, which is what I've done.
I-I can move ahead with certainty that I have never made a decision with the intention of hurting anyone.
Then you're a fool.
You don't think any of this would hurt Libby? I don't intend for her to find out.
I see, so as long as she remains oblivious I weighed what she did not know against the value of everything we are trying to accomplish here! No, no, we have a greater purpose, Virginia.
The study-- The study! It hasn't been about the study in years, Bill.
When is the last time we noted a session? Used a stopwatch? Added up anything besides our bar tab? We cannot pretend that there is any point to what we are doing here beyond our own physical pleasure.
What we do in this room does not make a damn bit of difference to anybody but us.
It will.
You can say that, but-- We are not gonna find the cure for dysfunction in an exam room.
We're not.
We can diagnose individual conditions, we can rule out underlying issues, but we're not gonna find answers pairing impotent men with prostitutes, wives with husbands whose sexual techniques have made them frigid.
It's gonna take subjects that understand sexual response, who-- who know each other's body-- What are you saying? That this is research that you and I should undertake here? That this is important enough to justify what it is we've done to Libby? You can't treat a sexual dysfunction theoretically.
It's practical work.
It is trial and error.
Yes, I'm aware of that.
Then tell me, Bill, what sexual dysfunction are you proposing we treat? Mine.