1x06 - memories

ELAINE:

Okay. Here we go. Gotta knock this one out, and then it’ll be done. It’ll be over, and it’ll be done, and, and, and.

Elaine here. My turn.

Look, I’m not–

I don’t know if I can give anything productive to this conversation, just. I’m–I don’t want to be a part of this, I don’t feel like I’m a part of this. I don’t feel like I’m a part of anything, necessarily, I’m.

I’m a background player. That’s all. And I don’t mind it! I’m–I like it. Prefer it, honestly, to this, to this–sci-fi bullshit, AJ called it, when he dropped by yesterday. He–he needed a vent session. He called it a salt sesh, which–no. I won’t do that. Maybe it was ironic? But he wanted a vent sesh. And his family doesn’t really “do” “those.” And he’s a sweet kid. He deserves a vent sesh.

Can I pull off sesh?

But anyway. I prefer not doing anything to sci-fi bullshit. And I haven’t–It was never really my thing, I was more of a sitcom girl. Like, good ones, obviously, but.

And then, I’m–I’m living in this, which is ridiculous, and–

Teresa’s back. That’s important to say. Just cuz–it happened an hour ago, I’m not sure if all of you know. Well. You’ll know by the time I put this in the folder, but. It’s important that I share what we know now, right? That’s–that’s how storytelling works.

Teresa woke up in her bed this morning. I was on my way back from work, and she called me, just cuz–we saw this stuff first, we kinda. We bonded over that, in the beginning.

And she asked me if I noticed that the sky was blue, rather than the normal olor.

I said, Teresa, you’ve been gone for two weeks, no one’s been able to find you, the sky is always blue, y’know, I went through the motions. Told her everything that’s happened since she went away. Angie had a class this morning, so she doesn’t know yet.

And Teresa is just–she’s insistent that I’m lying to her, that Angie or someone is just playing a joke, and she says that, no, she–that’s how the town got its name, Elaine, our sky is weird. Because of the circle.

I know you’re new here, she says, but come on. This is, like, pre-moving here stuff.

And I–I didn’t know how to react, so I just repeated, I said, she’s been gone for two weeks, and that we’re all so worried. That we’ve all been losing our minds looking for her, that–

[Sigh]

And Douglas is sitting on my lap right now and he’s my only hope for some sense of grounding in this life. Yes you are. Yes you are the only thing holding me back from going into panic.

He’s a sweet boy. The sweetest boy. If Teresa weren’t allergic, I’d bring him over, but–no.

I’m concerned, is the thing. I know–I don’t know these people as well as Rob might, but I’m still concerned.

I’ve been doing some digging, on–on the town’s history, this morning. Wikipediaing, and what have you.

I can’t find anything. I just—I can’t. It’s. All I can find is Facebook groups for, like, yard sales and swap meets and support groups—and I’m gonna go to the swap meets, don’t get me wrong, but they’re just—they’re not important to the cause at hand.

When I was at boarding school, my sophomore year roommate would always go on these deep mystery-solving dives—there was a still unsolved murder that took place on campus thirty-something years ago, and she dedicated herself to ending it. And—

And we’re not friends, or anything, so I can’t, like, reach out, say, hey, girl, it’s me, from high school, uh, I’m being haunted by a ghost maybe, and there’s also time travel, no big, so—how’s med school? Y’know? Can’t do that, that’ll—that’ll make me seem crazy. I’m not in contact with anyone, from back then. It wasn’t, like—not for a lack of trying, I just. Everyone else was closer, I sorta fell out.

But that’s not relevant to the point at hand, which is that Teresa, who is a friend of mine, who’s a smart kid, who’s back, is convinced that the world is wrong.

And I don’t think that the world is wrong. I think—well, maybe I’m the crazy one, maybe I’m the one who’s misremembering the sky, maybe I’m the one who’s gone, but. Look. Listen. I—I don’t know what’s going on. I really, honestly, never have. Like, for my whole life. I’m smart, sure, but I—not in the way where I know other people’s experiences. In the way where I know my own. Where I know how to navigate my life. Not the kind of smart where I can handle weird sci-fi bullshit. Y’know? I’ve secondhand watched a lot of sci-fi, and I. Do not care for it. In the slightest. At all.

Which is, like, sacrilege, in this group. I like fantasy, usually, it’s just—never been huge on sci-fi, ‘cept for the big stuff. Star Wars, etcetera. It’s just not my thing. Is it a crime? No. It isn’t. Please stop trying.

So, here’s the thing about boarding school murders—cuz that’s where my brain keeps going, with this, because that’s the closest thing I have to mystery hunting in the past. Because I did help, yeah. I—I didn’t have many friends, okay, I was new, I was shy, I didn’t do sports or anything, like—I needed friends, and I had this opportunity, so. I stole a video camera from my film class and I helped make a documentary. Look. They can’t get me for it now, I have a masters. So.

We would sneak out into the woods out by the dorms and we’d just—we’d film recreations of the murder. A student killed her—well, we figured out that it was just her friend, but my roommate thought it might have been either an athletic rival or a romantic partner–which I shut down fast, like, look, I am all about gay people doing things, unless they are murder.

And we’d do this every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday night, around three AM. I didn’t sleep much at age sixteen. I don’t sleep much at age twenty-five, even, but, like—I get more, now. So that’s really good. But irrelevant. And my roommate, whose name was Janice Potter, she was from Georgia and she hated that about herself, and—like, sure, cool, whatever, one Tuesday night, when I was busy building sets for the musical, she went out by herself, with the camera, and—I was walking back to the dorm, and I saw her lying in the woods with a broken leg. And I—I brought her to the infirmary, said she fell while taking pictures of the set build for the newspaper. She wasn’t even in newspaper, we—we barely had a newspaper. But the nurses didn’t care, they just needed to tell her mother something.

And the next morning, she didn’t remember going out. I think it was trauma, or something, but I had to go to the hospital with her, because I could recall events and nobody else could. It wasn’t great, and I had to lie a bunch to doctors, which I think is a crime, maybe, which—like, the amount of time that it took me to get that social energy back was—maybe eighty seven years. I’m still getting that back.

But that’s what I keep coming back to, that night in the hospital, when I just stopped giving a shit about the murder, about the mystery, and I just started caring about the people. That’s where I’m at, with this.

I don’t care about some government conspiracy, or alien invasion, or—parallel universe, or—

Wait, yeah, that’s it. there’s some parallel universe shit happening. There we go, proof that you find things as soon as you stop looking. I am basically unstoppable, and, guess what? I’m never gonna die.

But that’s not the point. Whichever one of you all wants to figure out the semantics, feel free, but. I’m not caught up on that.

Here’s the point: Teresa is alive, and she’s back, and we need to take care of that first. We can focus on the parallel universe, which–look, I’m too excited about this not to share. But you guys have to prove it. Cuz I’m not doing that.

Look, so, we’re talking–

[there’s just static. there are syllables, sure, things close to words, but there aren’t words like there were before. there’s just this static.]

I’m assuming that got cut out, like–like Benji got cut off, like AJ got interrupted. But, hey, I–I got it. I’ll email you.

I’m gonna head over to the dorms, bring Rob with me—she’s asleep right now, but I’m—I’ll wake you up in a sec. You’ll hear the in retrospect, like, oh, that’s why my beautiful future-wife who I love was so happy even though a friend of ours may or may not be an amnesiac. God, you’ll think, I love her. I’ll make you coffee so you don’t hate me when you wake up, but—you’ll get it in the future.

I know it’s scary, right now. But we got this, I feel like it for the first time, like there’s relief, rather than dread or worry or aliens in my brain on loop, it’s—

We’ve got this.

Here’s my wrap up. Because we all do these, I guess. Some words.

There’s something terrible in trying to solve a mystery, there’s something—I don’t know. It feels wrong, to be solving a mystery you’re not supposed to. For example, Janice Potter isn’t on Facebook. I’m not going to try and figure out why. I don’t want to know what I don’t need to know, I want to know that people are safe and good and—and not being abducted into parallel universes or whatever we’re calling it.

There’s something perfect in actually solving a mystery, there’s something—

You know how it is. I’m not gonna get all literary. That’s Rob’s job.

Just got a text from Angie with “SHE’S BACK” in all caps, with seventeen heart emojis. It’s very sweet, very nice, very good. It’s cute. That’s what this is worth, that’s—that’s what’s worth celebrating. Benji’s already responded, so’s Charlotte, and—

This is the light at the end of the tunnel. Let’s get out of it.

Okay, that’s bad, that’s clichéd. I can do a better closer than that. We need a better one-liner than that. I can’t come up with a good one, but–I want you all to know that I can do better and I will do better in the future with any and all one liners. I’ll probably come up with twenty as I drive to the dorms, so, uh, venmo me if you want one. Please. I do need payment for my non-sequitirs.

Cool.

Love you, bye.