Princess Cyd (2017) Movie Script

911, what's your emergency?
Yeah, um, could you please
send someone to 452 Meredith Lane?
We have, um, some,
some bodies here.
Do you need medical?
Um, no, no, ma'am.
All right, so the parties
are deceased?
- Yes.
- Are you safe?
Yeah, we're the neighbors.
We, we heard some shots
and came over and...
Is there anyone
else in the house?
Just a little girl.
She's upstairs with my wife.
Okay, someone will
be there right away.
Thank you.
- That's it.
- That's it.
Nice, girls, nice.
I don't know,
I just feel like when
these so-called skeptics
of any and all...
religious faiths,
spirituality, metaphysics...
whatever you wanna
call it,
are tempted to shut
the idea out completely...
I think that it's important that the
question be asked, what is the difference
between the material that they talk
about and study and meditate upon,
and the spirit
which we talk about
and study and meditate upon.
Is there actually a difference?
Or is it really just...
a different way
of thinking or of seeing?
And I'm not so sure
that there is a difference.
Anyway, these are just...
they are some of the ideas
that I hope
come across in the novel.
All right, I'm, I'm out of words.
I'm sure that's not true.
But that does
bring us to a close.
So I wanna thank you all
for being here
and a very special thanks to Miranda
Ruth for making time for us.
You're welcome.
I need to take this. Excuse me.
I just think
getting away would be good for her,
good for both of us, actually.
We've been going at each other
a lot lately.
And she's interested in Chicago
for college, so yeah.
Well... I'm not sure how exciting I'd
be but of course I'd love to have her.
- Um, how long?
- I don't know. Couple of weeks?
That would be fine. Um...
When were you thinking?
As soon as possible.
Okay, yeah, um, yeah,
we can make that work, sure.
...opportunity for
some literary contest...
- Family.
- Everything okay?
Thank you. Yeah.
Oh, my God!
You grew up. Hey.
Oh, welcome, sweetheart.
- Thanks.
- Um-hmm, come on then.
- How was your flight?
- A little bumpy.
- Yeah? Oh, can I get that?
- Oh, no, no, no, thanks, I got it.
You were little
when you were last here.
You probably don't
remember this place.
I do... now.
I live upstairs. So why don't you
come on in, we'll get you settled.
- And here it is.
- Oh.
Small but it's cozy.
The light is brilliant
in the morning.
And a chair in the corner makes
for a really nice reading nook.
Oh, I don't really read.
Well, there're some real gems on the
bookshelf if you decide to give it a go.
Do you have WiFi?
I do. Uh, RalphWaldo
is the name of it.
- Okay.
- And the password is...
all caps...
Hawthorne with an e...
eighteen fifty.
And that's the year that The Scarlet
Letter was... you don't care.
Got it. Thank you.
That's the year The Scarlet
Letter was published?
Yeah, yeah.
- Cool.
- Are you hungry?
Uh, yeah. A little.
Um... well, just get settled
and whenever you're ready
come down and we eat.
This was your mom's room,
by the way.
Hey, I'm just about ready.
Um, you can go take a peek
out back if you like,
I think that's where
we're gonna eat lunch.
Do you eat potato salad?
Oh, shit!
- What?
- Are you vegetarian?
- I'm sorry. I have...
- No, no, no, no...
- You're not?
- No, I'm kidding.
You're so bad.
Your dad told me that you were thinking
about coming up here for college?
- That's exciting.
- Yeah, maybe.
Um... it depends on where
I can get a scholarship.
Well, your mom went to DePaul, of course,
and that's a good one... and, um...
UFC, University of Chicago, that's
where I teach occasionally.
Although, they're a little nuts
there so...
...might want to
avoid that one.
Okay. Will do.
What about you? Um, how's...
books, how's books and stuff?
Books and stuff are good.
I've been doing
I feel a lot of press
for this new thing,
uh, this novel...
- Hmm, what's it called?
- In the Dawn.
- What's it about?
- Oh, really?
Well, it's about...
It's about this woman
named Jacqueline,
and on her 50th birthday, she...
- You sure you want to hear this?
- Sure.
Um, what else are we gonna talk about?
Good point. Um...
So on her 50th birthday,
she starts to become
extra sensitive to the sun,
um, it starts to affect her...
her relationships,
her friendships, her work...
Uh... well,
I'm not sure how much
you really want
me to tell you...
- but...
- You can tell me all of it.
That's no fun.
Well... isn't that, like,
what you're supposed to do
with stories?
Well... yeah,
but I mean when you...
worked for two years on the
heart of it...
Okay, but I'm not gonna read it.
Fair enough.
Um... well, come to find out
she's been doing a lot of...
research on, uh, on this
condition called photo phobia...
Is that real?
It is, but in my version
it's a little heightened.
Um, anyway, so she...
she's doing this research
and then she realizes
that it dates back centuries
in her own family and, uh...
it's original name,
Aether Evaisthis'a,
actually comes from a Greek god.
- So, she...
- Oh, you write fantasy?
No, no, I don't write fantasy.
A lot of my work has some...
some metaphysical themes
and some spiritual themes
but it's realism.
- Um... it's true...
- Sounds like fantasy.
No, no, it's not. It's...
Um, so... she, uh,
decides to go Greece
to get to the bottom of this...
and then when she gets there,
she gets into this...
Be good to see
where your mom came from, huh?
- Hey.
- Hey, doll!
We could have rescheduled. I didn't
mean to mess up time with your niece.
Oh, no, no.
She's running some...
We may never see her again.
I haven't seen her
since she was...
She must have been eight,
that's right after the funeral.
I heard she was there
when it happened.
Yes, fast asleep but...
yeah, she was in the house.
She plays soccer.
Whatever will you talk about?
Ha, I...
That's the thing, I'm scared.
And she seems funny,
she's smart but...
I don't know,
hopefully she likes me.
Rest assured.
So, okay. Where did we...
Where did we leave off?
Uh, part two,
chapter one but we can
backtrack if you've got
any structural...
How is our timing?
When are you showing this...
I told them late summer.
- Oh!
- Yeah.
Well, then, it'll be fine
'cause I really think
the second half, it's just more
about what can come out...
- Rather than any drastic...
- Right, any drastic changes.
Uh... but I will say
if we can back it up...
I thought we might
want to zero in...
If we can back it up
to the end of part one...
I just think it's sort of...
No, it's these two opposing
problems that are dividing the book
a third of the way in.
the inner part one's characterization,
they're beautiful...
They really are,
but I mentioned that last week
I just think that
the information is just being
kind of clunkily laid out.
Right, which I personally
disagree with.
Right, but that's why
you have come to your
brilliant writer friend Miranda.
- For her ideas.
- I have indeed.
- Just so we're clear.
- And we are.
So you're starting with this
beautiful study momentum
at the top of part two with DeAndre
and the trail of the journalist.
This is the smoothest most
energized passage in this book.
And then you do
earn in chapter 12,
this breathing space,
this nice patient
lull that relaxes
and speaks to us.
But once the journalist,
I don't know what his name is...
- Earnest.
- Once he throws himself off the bridge,
leaving DeAndre alone,
I think
that's when the book is telling
you, you need to move.
Just move, move, move.
So the philosophical tangents
in parts two and part three,
they probably just need to go.
That's my biggest...
I know, I ca... I can't believe
that I'm saying that.
Who are you and
what have you done with Miranda?
- Hi!
- Hi.
- Uh, I think I'm lost.
- Where're you trying to be?
- Raven something...
- Ravenswood?
Yes, but there's something else.
Uh, yeah, yeah, that's it.
East of the bridge. You're
actually in the right road.
Just head straight west
a few blocks.
It should start
to look familiar.
Okay, thanks. Thanks.
I didn't say the ending
wasn't justified. I just said
it doesn't currently work.
Because of the tangents?
Possibly but it's also possible that
it doesn't work despite the tangents.
Good lord.
I... Hey!
Hey, sorry.
I can go back outside.
No, no, no, no, no.
We were just having a discourse.
Uh, Cyd,
this is my friend Anthony.
- Hi.
- Hiya, Cyd.
Anthony is an old
writer friend of mine.
"Old writer friend,"
how flattering.
Old Pulitzer Prize nominated
writer friend of mine, how's that?
Anthony is
a well-respected journalist,
writer of non-fiction
and now he's writing a novel,
That's what we were discussing.
Now he has to go talk about
the election on television.
- Cool!
- I'd rather be doing anything else.
Um, I'm gonna go take a shower.
I smell bad.
Okay, there are towels right
outside the door on the shelf.
- Nice to meet you, Cyd.
- Yeah, nice to meet you too.
- See you Friday?
- Uh?
Oh! The soiree?
I haven't even told you about that yet.
All in good time. Yeah.
I'm out. Thanks for this.
It's really good, Anthony.
Anyway, my thoughts are my thoughts.
It's your book.
I know.
- How's Brandon?
- Oh, he's fine. He's fine.
He's with his mom this week.
Take him to his first Cub's
game for his 15th birthday
- but he doesn't know it yet.
- Aw! He'll love that.
I think so.
- See you Friday.
- Bye.
So what's the deal
with your friend?
The deal?
Uh, well...
Anthony and I went to the
University of Chicago years ago
when we were grad students.
Then we became fast friends.
So, no romance?
What? Oh, my God! No, no.
Why, why do you ask?
Just curious. He seemed nice.
He is and a brilliant mind.
He's handsome.
He is. You should see his son.
This beautiful boy.
He's gonna...
swoop up all the ladies...
one day or the man or both.
Anyway, he's married,
um, technically.
What about you?
Do you have a boyfriend?
- Yeah, kinda.
- Kinda?
Mmm, wonderful.
Anything else
I can get you ladies?
No! I think this is fine.
- Thank you, Sarah.
- My pleasure, Ms. Ruth. Enjoy.
She's wonderful. She's so sweet.
- So much food.
- I know.
Are you sure you don't want
something other than just water?
- Oh, yeah. I'm fine, thanks.
- Good for you.
So did you come here
a lot growing up?
Oh, yeah.
We came at least once a week.
Your mom and I would get
pretty sick of it.
- But, uh... now I love it.
- Cool.
- So, uh... so the boy?
- What? Oh.
Yeah, I don't know. I mean, we've
been hanging out for a while.
- His name's Josh.
- Josh.
He's fun.
- Is he cute?
- Yeah, he's pretty hot.
He's a good time.
Well, that's great. That's...
I'm so sorry to interrupt. Oh,
I see you just got your food.
Would you mind
signing this book?
I ran all the way home
to get it.
- Oh!
- We love you.
- Oh, sure. What's your name?
- Jennifer.
Do you live in the neighborhood?
Yeah, this is one
of our favorite places.
I don't want to take much of your
time but I just want you to know
how much I admire your work.
Oh, thank you. That means so much to me.
Thank you.
- Here you go.
- Thank you.
- Have a great night.
- You, too. Thank you so much.
- That's never not weird.
- It's pretty cool.
So I finished two-thirds
of the essay.
I finished...
uh, for some of them,
I mean, I just revised because they
were in magazines or whatever.
But, to be honest...
I already miss fiction.
It's just... It's so different.
You know?
On the one hand, you're just...
trying to lay out the material
as elegantly as possible
but then, on the other hand,
you're actually making...
the thing and I... I suppose that's
not actually accurate but I just...
Hey. I found one of your books.
Which one?
Valley of Their Shadows!
Borrow it.
- Good night, Cyd.
- Night.
- I'm really glad you're here.
- Yeah, me too.
- I'm not boring you, am I?
- No, no. It's fun.
- Okay, good night.
- Night.
- Hey.
- Hi, love.
There's some juice
and some muffins downstairs
if you want and some coffee too.
Thanks. Uh, I was actually gonna lay
out in the backyard if that's okay.
Um... Yeah. Absolutely.
Cool. Could you put some
sunscreen on me?
- Sure, of course.
- Thanks.
- Did you sleep well?
- Yeah, that bed's super comfy.
It is, isn't it?
That was mine, growing up.
- Really?
- Uh-huh.
Your mom's wasn't
quite as comfy but...
she... wanted to take it
with her anyway.
Think it ended up
in your old house.
So is this where
you write all your books?
It is. Yeah.
Okay. I think I got ya.
Is that good?
- Yeah. Thanks.
- Yeah.
Do you ever wish you moved away?
Like... tried other cities?
Once upon a time...
You don't have to stop listening.
I was, um,
just getting some fresh air.
You mind?
No. you want to lay out with me?
Oh, no. Thank you. I, uh, I don't
even think I own a bathing suit.
- For real?
- Yeah, I don't...
Yeah. No.
I read some of your stories.
- You did?
- The short ones.
Oh, God. That was forever ago.
- What'd you think?
- I liked them.
- They didn't seem that old.
- Oh, good. That's the idea.
All the characters kinda seem
stuck in their own head.
Well, that's part of the interior
nature of the form but I can...
And they're either single, or
divorced, or drifting away...
Well, Tess's happily married.
- And Joan is dating...
- I mean most of them.
You write a lot about religion.
Like, religious people.
Yeah, yeah, I guess I do.
Like, there's that one woman who's
a nun or whatever and then...
there's the one
about the preacher's wife
- and then...
- Don't forget the witch.
Yeah, yeah, I was gonna say
the one about the witch.
Clair's an athlete.
- I didn't get to Clair.
- Yeah, she's a tennis player.
And Dose is a scientist.
Does the, um...
Does the religious thing seem
like a hindrance to you?
I mean, I don't know
if you and your dad...
We don't go to church.
No, but it didn't bother me. I think it's
interesting that there are such people.
- Religious people?
- Yeah.
Yeah. There are a lot of them.
- Are you?
- I am. Yeah.
- We weren't growing up.
- Like what kind?
Um... Well, I go to the Lutheran
church over in Andersonville.
So you really believe in like
a heaven and hell and all that?
You know, I don't know. I...
I believe in grace. I believe in...
some sort of a...
a complete meaning somewhere.
I don't really
know anything else.
So what's the difference then
between you and like an agnostic?
I just think I...
I just believe so very strongly
in a great unknown somewhere.
And to deny the...
Yeah, like a great unknown
or whatever but...
You really think we're gonna see
my mom again?
You really, really think that?
She didn't believe that...
Did she?
- Hey.
- Hi.
- You new to town?
- Hmm? Oh, yeah.
No, um... I'm visiting my aunt.
- Where from?
- South Carolina.
Where's your accent?
I don't have one. Um,
my dad is from New York
and I was born in Maryland
and we moved around a little...
I can hear it in there
a little bit.
No, you can't.
I can. I totally can.
But I'm not gonna
fight with you.
- I'm Katie.
- Cyd.
Cool. Thank you.
Hey, I get off in about
ten minutes if you wanna...
I don't know,
go for a walk or something?
- Hey.
- Oh, hey.
- Okay. Nice to see you again.
- You too.
So what have you been
doing with yourself?
Um, I've just been chilling
at my aunt's house.
Uh, trying to explore
a little bit, go for a run.
- Your aunt cool?
- Yeah.
She is. She is a writer.
- What's her name?
- Miranda Ruth.
- No way!
- You've heard of her?
Yeah, she is a big deal.
Oh, weird, cool, cool.
Yeah, um... She lives in the
same house she grew up in,
which is kinda strange.
- It's a nice house though.
- Yeah?
So you have your own apartment,
that's pretty sweet.
Yeah, right when I hit 18,
I was out.
- I live with my brother.
- Cool.
- So, South Carolina, huh?
- Uh-huh.
- You shell shocked?
- What? Come on, that's pretty lame.
Okay, you're right.
It is. Sorry.
Um, my dad got a job there
once my mom died, so...
Sorry. How old were you?
- Like, eight.
- What does your dad do?
I don't really know.
Financial stuff.
- You get along?
- Um, no, not really.
It's part of the reason why
I want to get away, honestly.
He is, like, always home
and he's super depressed so...
I hear that.
- I thought you were working.
- They sent me home.
- What's up, Katie?
- Is that Tab?
What's going on?
It's like a Thursday.
- Hanging out.
- Hi, no!
- Put me down. No!
- Dude, put my sister down.
- What's up?
- Hey.
Um... This is Cyd. She's
visiting from South Carolina.
South Carolina?
Isn't that... It's...
I'm just gonna go change. We might go
up to the roof. My room is back here.
- Nice pants, Kate.
- Fuck off!
You can sit on the bed
if you want.
Sorry, I don't have like...
a chair.
Sorry about these guys.
They're pretty lame.
- That's okay.
- Don't look.
- Huh? Oh.
- Just kidding.
You can look if you want to.
- Whoa!
- Yup.
This is nice.
- Are they making a movie?
- I guess so.
So are you in college?
Or is that coffee shop thing
that you want to do?
Hell, no.
That is not what I want to do.
I'm not in college yet. I'm taking
a break to figure shit out.
So what do you want to do?
I don't have a fucking clue.
I wanna not rush things.
That's what I want to do.
So what about you?
What's your deal?
Um... I play soccer...
I hang out with my friends.
That's about it.
- You play soccer?
- Yeah.
That's fucking hot.
Oh, we'll get out of your way.
Oh, no, no, uh...
This is gonna seem really weird
but we actually need
a boy and a girl slow dancing
in the background.
Would you guys
be willing to do that for us?
- Actually...
- No, wait.
- Uh, yeah. What do you want us to do?
- Oh, wow. Thank you.
So, yeah, if you can get yourselves
at the center of the roof.
Yeah, that's perfect.
And now, I'm gonna shout action,
when I do, just be in love.
You got it.
So we did. We danced.
And they never knew
that the he was a she?
No, I guess not.
Well, maybe she is a he.
Yeah, maybe so.
- Guess what I did today?
- Um... Wrote an essay.
Shut up, no. I laid out.
Oh, my God! You did!
I did! I, I did also write an
essay actually but I laid out.
You did have a swimsuit.
You knew you did.
I didn't. I had no idea.
I didn't even remember, I had to
dig it out. It was, it was purple.
And it fit! And that is a real
deal miracle, Miss Atheist.
It is impossible that it fit.
- I want to see it.
- Um, I'll show you tomorrow.
We can get a little tan
before the soiree.
Oh, God, I have to remember to
call the caterer tomorrow morning.
Yeah, so wait.
What is this thing?
Oh, right. Uh, so second Fridays
of every month I have a soiree.
Academics, writers, church
friends, normal people and we...
we eat, we get drunk,
we read, we, we tell stories.
Hmm. I didn't bring anything to
wear to something like that.
Well, that's okay.
It's totally casual. Um...
I, I could take you shopping...
tomorrow if you want,
we could get something cool.
Nah, that's okay, thanks. I'll go to the
thrift store, ask Katie or something.
- Can she come?
- Uh...
- Sure.
- Cool.
Ugh... I hate my feet.
Oh, you have nice feet.
Oh, God, look at mine.
Let me see.
Yeah, but yours are prettier.
Oh, yeah. You're right, they are.
So what time does this thing
start tonight?
Um... People usually start
showing up around six,
doesn't really get going
until about seven.
- Will Anthony be there?
- Always.
Do you ever have sex?
- Do you ever have sex?
- Oh, I'm sorry is that...
No, no, no, no it's okay.
It's... Wow.
Um, sure, sure I do.
- Really?
- Yeah.
When? With who?
- I have... I've had sex.
- Yeah, I know. We've established that.
I'm just trying to think.
- Aunt Miranda?
- What, I'm trying to think!
It's been forever, hasn't it?
Uh... Well, there was this...
Uh, well, there was a guy at,
um... at a hotel...
- Uh-huh.
- a lit convention.
In 1992.
- No! Sorry. Sorry.
- Ow!
Yeah, but, uh... No, it's, it's...
It's been about five years.
- What?
- Yeah. Shit.
I was 11.
Damn it!
Well, I did... I had...
I had a very... I had a
very long time boyfriend,
so I wanna... I wanna put
that out there but...
It didn't work out.
That was that. And there
have been some other...
There've been some other chaps
here and there but otherwise...
So, you have no interest
in doing it again?
Do what?
I don't know, like, date.
No. Not really.
Um, sex?
I don't know. Um...
I, I... I really haven't thought
about it... to be honest.
- Can I tell you a secret?
- Yes, you may.
I... kinda wanna
have sex with Katie.
- What, is that weird?
- Not at all.
How do I do it?
How do you... do... Uh, don't ask me.
You have to google that.
Okay. Will do.
Yeah, your, your mom had a,
a little fling with a girl once.
- Really, she did?
- Yeah.
It was lovely.
Oh, God. Oh, my God. Hi!
Hey, Ridley, I... I'm sorry. I... I
totally forgot that you were coming.
Do you want me to not...
No, no, no, no, you can do your thing.
Um, this is Cyd.
She's gonna be staying
a couple of weeks with me.
- Hey, Cyd.
- Hey.
This is Ridley.
He's the son of some very dear
friends of ours round the corner.
So, and he sometimes comes
to second Fridays.
Are you coming tonight?
- Sure am.
- Good.
Whose stuff is this?
- Fucking Tab moved in.
- Why?
- He lost his apartment I guess.
- Thanks.
Honestly, I don't have much.
Except for this one dress I used to
wear to church. You want to wear that?
No offense, it's a little...
- Yup, thought so.
- Sorry.
Um... dressywise I don't really
have anything else.
Except the tux I wore to prom.
Do you want to wear that?
- You ready?
- Yeah.
Oh, my God!
Hey, little lady,
what's your name?
Are you sure you don't
want to come to the party?
No, I'm good.
Can I call you later?
Please, please, pretty please.
- Ooh...
- Hello! Hello!
Oh, thank you so much
for bringing all that.
Yeah, no problem.
You look very nice.
Oh! Thank you. It's, um... It's
just this little... Thank you.
- Is there more outside?
- Yeah. Lots.
- Did you get some sun?
- What?
Um... uh, yeah, I, I, I,
I laid out with...
with Cyd in the grass and I,
I got some... I got some sun.
- Some music?
- Uh, yes, yes, yes, yes.
Where's Cyd?
She went to see a friend
about an outfit.
- A friend already?
- Uh-huh.
A friend friend?
Oh, wonderful
and how long were you there?
I had a week...
Such a great time of the year...
You can go to Princeton.
Absolutely, yes.
I mean, I think that's wonderful.
We have these
East Coast connections...
- Hi.
- Hi.
- Is this okay?
- It's perfect.
It's amazing...
- Welcome.
- Thanks.
Come on, let me
introduce you to everyone.
- Oh, and this is my niece. This is Cyd.
- Hi.
Cyd, this is Ms. Evergreen,
Anthony's mom.
Hi, pleased to meet you.
- Welcome.
- Thank you.
- My friend Thompson.
- How're you doing? Good to meet you.
- He is also at the university with us.
- Okay.
- I'm Jack.
- Jack, pardon me.
- Hi.
- Of course, and this is his wife.
- Hi, Cyd.
- Hi.
And of course,
you remember Ridley from our...
- Yeah.
- Yeah.
- Nice tux.
- Thanks.
I have an idea.
Need a little bit of color. I don't want
people to think you're the caterer.
I love it.
Thank you.
- You like it?
- I like it all. Charming.
- Thank you!
- Have you ever been in Chicago before?
No, it's my first time.
Oh, then we'll have to go to that city.
It's a beautiful city.
We were rivals. She was a prosecutor.
I was a DA.
That's so cool.
Oh, we should also add
that I was married.
Yes, so, in any case
we knew we had to wait
until one of us retired
so we could successfully
make a go at it.
- You worked on the same case?
- Cases.
That's incredible.
So you were both married to men?
Um, yes. I was a widow when we
met, I was a widow early on.
Bettie was married, got divorced later.
That's where he came from.
So you liked it and you didn't?
What, being married to men?
Are you asking if we like dick?
I did. She didn't.
I do.
Dick is not terrible, is it?
It's not terrible, it is like
the opposite of terrible.
So what are you into, hon?
Oh, um... I...
like... everything.
...and he goes outside
to go on his little date to the dance
and in two seconds,
he comes back in and he's like,
"Mama, her parents left.
We need a ride."
Right. I don't think
that's exactly what happened
but whatever.
Oh, shut up.
I drove you on all your dates.
Yes, you did and I love you, Mama.
Thank you.
I can drive you two,
if you wanna go somewhere.
Where's J?
Thought he was coming home.
- He got himself a date.
- Really?
- Some girl at work.
- Weird.
We were supposed to hang out.
How are you?
- Fine. How are you?
- I'm good.
I'm sorry for making fun of you in
front of your friend the other day,
when I like picked you up
and spun you around.
- So what are you up to tonight?
- Don't know.
Let me know if
you wanna hang out.
Uh... okay.
This is a story
about a woman who burnt
her own house down.
- Not true. Okay.
- No, sir. This is very true.
- Okay, okay.
- This is very, very true. 1968.
- Cincinnati, Ohio...
- Mmm, no, no, no cellphones.
Oh, sorry.
Sweet... sweet Cincinnati.
Dolores... mother of four, worked
for the Ohio insurance company.
Husband left her
for another woman.
Left her alone in that house
with four children.
Three boys, one girl.
One day,
someone knocks on her door.
She opens it to find a very nice
seeming young man standing there.
He is new to town. Works for the paper.
Looking to rent a place.
Money is tight for them, see?
So she moves into
her daughter's bedroom,
gives the nice young man
the nice room
just till he gets off
the ground here.
Good Christian man.
Not a concern in the world.
Couple of days later, she catches word
a woman in Columbus was murdered.
- Ooh.
- By a devil worshiper.
- And he got away.
- Woo! Oh, dear.
Oh, don't worry.
I don't think it's true.
What... did you say?
I said, "Yeah, you know, I think
I read about that somewhere."
Damn right.
Is she okay?
Yeah, she's, uh, just pregnant
so she's really sensitive.
- Whoa! Hey! Congratulations!
- Congratulations!
No! No...
- I didn't. It just came out.
- Bravo.
- Should we tell them what it's gonna be?
- No! Zip it!
"There's a certain
slant of light,
winter afternoons,
that oppresses,
like the heft
of cathedral tunes...
Heavenly hurt, it gives us.
We can find no scar,
but internal difference,
where the meanings are.
None may teach it, any.
'Tis the seal despair,
an imperial affliction
sent us of the Air...
When it comes, the landscape listens...
Shadows hold their breath
When it goes, tis like the
distance on the look of death.
- Emily Dickinson.
- Yeah.
I have... a memory, an impression
when I read this poem.
Did you ever get the feeling
when you were a child
the end of August when the first
little chill comes in the evening,
and you're thinking, "School starts"?
End of summer blues.
"Behind what we think of
as the Russian menace
lies what we do not wish to face
when they regard a negro.
Reality, the fact that life
is tragic.
Life is tragic simply because
the earth turns
and the sun inexorably
rises and sets,
and one day, for each of us,
the sun will go down
for the last, last time.
Perhaps the whole root of our
trouble, the human trouble,
is that we will sacrifice
all the beauty of our lives,
will imprison ourselves
in totems,
taboos, crosses,
blood sacrifices, steeples,
mosques, races,
armies, flags, nations
in order to deny
the fact of death.
The only fact we have.
It seems to me that one ought to
rejoice in the fact of death,
ought to decide indeed
to earn one's death
by confronting with passion
the conundrum of life..."
"We sat looking off across the
country watching the sun go down.
The curly grass about us
was on fire now,
the bark of the oaks
turned red as copper,
there was a shimmer of gold
on the brown river,
out in the stream, the
sandbars glittered like glass
and the light trembled
in the willow thickets
as if little flames
were leaping among them.
The breeze sank
into stillness..."
"His soul swims slowly as he heard the
snow falling faintly through the universe,
and faintly falling like the
descent of their last end
upon all the living
and the dead."
James Joyce, The Dead.
Hmm. Thank you.
- Hey
- What the fuck, man?
I was wondering if you wanted to
sit on the bed with me.
It's not that, it's a couch.
Get the fuck out of my room.
- Couch, yeah.
- No, get the fuck out of here.
- Come sit on the couch...
- Tab!
Get out of my room!
I thought I'd share a little bit
of nature from Ralph Waldo Emerson
on this lovely summer evening.
"To speak truly,
few adult persons can see nature
At least they have
a very superficial seeing.
The sun illuminates only
the eye of the man,
but shines into the eye
and the heart of the child.
The lover of nature is he
whose inward and outward senses
are still truly adjusted
to each other;
who has retained the spirit of infancy
even into the era of manhood.
His intercourse with heaven and earth,
becomes part of his daily food.
Crossing a bare common, in snow puddles,
at twilight, under a clouded sky,
without having in my thoughts any
occurrence of a special good fortune,
I have enjoyed
a perfect exhilaration.
I am glad to the brink of fear.
In the woods too,
a man casts off his years,
and at what period
soever of life,
is always a child.
In the woods,
is perpetual youth."
You lost.
It's not about blinking.
- It's about smiling. No smiles.
- Okay, okay, okay, I'll do it again.
That might've been a tie.
- So glad you could come.
- Oh, thank you for having us.
- Wonderful meeting you.
- And you as well, thank you.
And congratulations, I hope
you can come back next month.
- Absolutely. Bye.
- We'll see you there.
- Where's Ridley?
- I think he and the girl are somewhere.
- Oh, good God!
- Well, it happens.
You know, I... I'll go get them.
I'm sorry, um...
- I...
- Cyd?
- Is Ridley in there?
- Yeah.
Ridley, your mothers
are looking for you.
- Hi.
- Hey!
- Where'd you disappear to?
- I was upstairs.
I think Aunt Miranda
is mad at me.
She'll get over it.
She was telling me
about your son.
Yeah, he's something else.
She also said
you were technically married.
Oh, you just got the whole
rundown, didn't you?
Uh, true. Um, separated.
We're through
the thick of it though.
You're getting back together?
No, no, no, no, I mean, um,
like through the initial
burst of it all.
Yeah, we're moving forward
and Brandon's been
a real saint about it.
So... maybe once
the dust settles you could...
I mean... would you ever
consider dating Miranda?
Anthony, did you want to take
home those cream cheese things...
- Yeah.
- ...for you and Brandon.
Yeah, let me come in
and grab those.
All right.
And that is Second Friday.
Pretty crazy.
- Did you have fun?
- Yeah.
Everyone was super nice.
Can I help you clean up?
Um, sure, if we can just get
everything in...
this general vicinity.
We can deal with it tomorrow.
I'm pretty exhausted.
Yeah, me too.
I'll check the back porch.
It was cool to hear everybody
read and swap all the stories.
- And you like that?
- Yeah.
I liked that one, uh, story
that that one woman told...
- Um, Cornelia.
- Yeah, was it true?
Probably not.
I liked yours.
- My what?
- That thing you read.
Oh, the part you heard?
Well, there was more.
Yeah, I'm sorry. I...
It's fine...
It is... No, it's okay... It...
No, I don't wanna be
that relative that's...
It's... It's really more
about the smoke.
I just, I don't like it in the
house, and I, it's not...
I'm sorry.
It's okay, really, it's...
- It's fine.
- Okay.
Do you want anything else
before I put this food away?
No, thanks. I'm good.
- Um, I'm gonna call Katie.
- Okay.
Oh, I might... have half a
piece more of Anna May's cake.
You sure you don't want
some cake?
No, thanks.
You know, maybe if you had sex
once in a while,
you wouldn't want
to eat all the time.
I'm really sorry.
That came out super nasty.
Let me just say something
real quick.
- I really am sorry.
- No, no, no, no.
That's okay but I need you
to listen to me, okay?
Yeah, I wish that I could...
I could share with you
the utter joy it brings me
to spend three hours
on a Saturday afternoon reading
Emerson or Melville
or Virginia Woolf...
or discussing T. S. Elliot
or James Baldwin
with a dear friend until dawn.
The fulfillment that I get
from going to church,
from reading theology, from
reading science, from praying...
but I can't... because I am me
and you are you.
I can't relate to you
the total fulfillment
that I get from these things.
It's impossible.
I know...
And I understand,
you're finding your own joy.
You're engaging your own stuff,
that's great.
That's how it should be
and it's a beautiful thing.
But hear me.
It is not a handicap...
to have one thing
but not another.
To be one way and not another.
We are different shapes and ways
and our happiness is unique.
There are no rules of balance.
- I'm sorry...
- Don't be sorry.
But I got a quarter of a century
on you, Cyd.
So, let's just...
enjoy ourselves.
Okay? Let's just thank...
respect each other's selves.
Hey, stop talking.
I guess I just feel like...
Are we done in here? 'Cause I
really need to be done in here.
Did you get all the bottles?
- Yeah, everything's cleared.
- Okay, thank you for helping.
- I'm gonna go upstairs.
- Okay.
You don't have to come. I'll
just call you when I get out.
No, I'm coming.
Uh, she wanted me to text her,
not to buzz her.
Oh, hi, sweetheart.
Are you okay?
I'm sorry. I didn't mean...
Let us in.
Are you okay?
Um... He finally passed out.
- What happened to his nose?
- I punched him.
I'm sorry to make you come over.
I feel so stupid.
Don't be silly. Are you okay?
- Yeah.
- Katie?
Are you okay?
- Yeah.
- Did he hurt you?
I... tried to go out and
he wouldn't let me leave.
He was acting really weird.
I don't want him to wake up.
You can probably go, it's fine.
No, you should go get your things.
You're gonna come with us.
What the fuck?
Cyd! Cyd!
- I'm Miranda.
- Katie.
- Cool room.
- Thanks. It was my mom's.
Read it. Read it.
Read it.
- Read it.
- Wait. Really?
Yeah, why?
I don't know, I guess... you
don't really seem like a reader.
Fuck you, what does a reader
even seem like?
- Yeah.
- Oh, my God.
Holy shit, your aunt wrote this?
I read this in middle school.
Wait a minute. I know that book.
Wait, Aunt Miranda wrote that?
Uh, yeah.
Is that the one about the baby
born in a castle...
The hotel that used to be
a castle, yeah.
And her parents treat her like
a princess and she
starts to develop powers...
Yeah, and she thinks she's magic and
you don't know if it's real or not.
Kind of bad ass.
- What?
- My name.
- That would be correct.
- Wait a minute, let me see that.
- Hi.
- Is she okay?
Yeah. She'll be okay.
- You okay?
- Yeah. I'm fine.
Okay. Good.
I found this.
My mom used to read this to me,
didn't she?
She did.
You were way too young for it.
You fell asleep every time.
Well, she did it anyway though.
She did it for herself.
She loved that book.
You named her after me?
Check the date.
It's the other way around.
- When do you go back?
- Thursday.
What will I do without you?
Probably what you did last week
before you knew me.
What will we do until then?
Whatever we want.
...if you're doing something...
...I feel like
it's kind of like...
Oh, sure. Um, hey.
One of you is free to use
my shower if you'd like to.
Yeah, I'm just gonna do some emails.
Oh, hey, I'm, uh...
I'm giving this talk in a Q&A downtown
if you'd like to come with...
Who're you talking to?
- Oh, I got burned, didn't I?
- Let me see.
Oh, shit. Yes, you did.
- Okay. Okay.
- Did I?
- No, you're good.
- Good.
I'm a little gross.
So... I had a brother.
He was like
12 years older than me.
He had a lot of mental problems
or whatever and just
a lot of issues.
And he and my mom and my dad
used to get...
into these really big fights.
They thought about sending him away
to military school or whatever but...
they never did.
One weekend when I was really
little and my dad was away...
and after I'd gone to bed...
my brother and my mom got into
this really big fight and...
He shot her.
Oh, my God!
And then himself.
Somehow I slept through
the whole thing.
And the neighbors found them
before I could so I was...
Anyway, that's the story.
Feel free to relax in
here until we're ready for you.
We'll probably hold the house
for about five or ten minutes
just so we can fill up.
So you have plenty of time.
You can help yourself
to some snacks
and if have any questions,
I'll be right up the hall.
Thank you, honey.
This is interesting.
- Do you want some?
- Hell, yeah.
Trail mix, Aunt Miranda,
you're so big time.
I'm not that big.
Well, maybe, just a little.
Hello? What?
Okay? Are you sure?
It's okay.
Uh, well, I'll come home soon.
Why don't we start
with a simple question.
Are there any simple questions?
I don't think those exist.
Where do your ideas come from?
You would think
that I would have a quick
straightforward answer
to that by now,
but I don't.
You know, I'm tempted to give the
standard... answer that they...
They come from everywhere. They
come from different places...
A feeling of relative...
a place, other works of art,
a concern...
What kind of concern would give
way to an idea for a book?
A concern of the spirit,
I guess.
A kind of unrest.
But I suppose if I'm being
completely honest...
uh, I can't say
that in their essence
that they come from
outside at all.
They come from me.
They are... me.
Each one of them...
sort of... me...
And I was working at the library when I
discovered your book of short stories.
The title of which just fell out
of my head, I'm sorry.
- The Valley of Their Shadows.
- That's the one, thank you.
There were some about those women that...
gave me strength.
How thoughtful, how engaged with
the bigger picture or something...
going through life
with such patience...
and curiosity...
despite seemingly
relentless hardship...
It reminded me of the women in my life...
who I love... a lot.
My grandmother recently...
I don't have a question
uh, I guess I just wanted
to thank you...
for honoring them.
Well, thank you.
That... that means a lot.
Anyone else?
We have time for one more.
Thank you.
- Hi! Wow!
- Hello, young lady.
That's my aunt. My aunt Miranda.
Um, anyway, I...
I wanted to ask you what your
greatest pleasure in life is.
Like... joy?
There they are.
- Welcome, ladies!
- Thank you.
- Hi.
- Hey, how're you?
- Good, how are you?
- Hey, Cyd.
- Hi.
- Cyd, of course you know,
- and her friend Katie.
- Hey, how're you, Katie.
Uh, well, uh, help yourselves,
we got food...
drinks, we got good people,
good weather... Hey, Brandon!
- What?
- Who you calling what?
Come over here, this is Miranda's
niece, Cyd, that's her friend, Katie.
- Hi, sweetheart. How's your summer going?
- Good.
He's 14. He's 14. He's 14.
Hey, you guys,
let me take your picture.
Yeah, yeah, sure. Come on.
Let's all squeeze in tight here.
- Got it.
- Thank you. Hey, let's get a bite.
Look, I got hamburger,
I got chicken,
I got Polish sausage,
got chicken bots...
Hey, how's the grub?
Burger overcooked...
Oh, you got the hotdog.
Well, hotdog is excellent, I can't
really speak for the burger.
Yeah, I can. They're overcooked.
- Um, fuck it.
- Fuck it.
You were right, by the way,
the other day.
About what?
Um, part two and three...
read back through it,
what you said kinda clicked.
Oh, good.
Well, as long as it's for
the book and not for me.
Oh, you know I do it all
for you, don't you?
Hey, I gotta go pick up my brother
from work. Watch Priscilla for me?
Yeah, sure.
Isa, do you know Miranda?
I think we may have met
once or twice at a UFC thing.
- But hi, nice to meet you. I'm Isabelle.
- Miranda, nice to meet you.
I'm actually a fan,
love the new one.
Oh, thank you so much.
Definitely, thank you.
- Don't let 'em get into too much trouble.
- Define trouble?
Oh, shut up.
She's lovely.
She lives around the corner.
That's her little girl.
So is there...
any potential there?
We'll see.
Hey, no, no, no, no. That's
not for playing with. Hey!
Maybe you should
visit me sometime.
- Seriously?
- Yeah, why not?
What would your dad think?
Who cares?
Columbia, South Carolina.
What's it like?
It's fine. Come and see.
Hey! Are y'all girlfriends?
Maybe so.
Yeah, they are!
- Cyd?
- Yeah, who's this?
It's Miranda.
Oh, hey, you're calling me!
I am.
I just, I wanted to, uh, to
check in and see how you were.
I'm at the beach
with my toes in the sand.
Oh, that sounds nice.
Okay, girls, let's go.
Oh, am I calling you at a,
at a bad time?
Um... No, it's okay, I've soccer practice.
Uh, it's about to start.
Oh, okay, uh, all right, well,
you go and play your heart out
and I just,
I just called to say hello.
- Yeah, thanks for calling.
- Of course.
I miss you... I love you.
I love you too.
Okay, well, have,
have a great practice.
I'll talk to you later.
Okay, that sounds good.
All right, bye-bye.
- Bye.
- Let's go, let's go!