Italian Studies (2021) - full transcript

A writer loses her memory. Adrift in NYC, she connects with a group of teenagers - in conversations both real and imagined - and searches for a way home.

- Hey!
- Hey, babe.

I got lost.

- I'm here now.
- It's fine.



Hi, babe, it's good to see you!


- Do you have a cigarette?
- Yeah.

- Amazing.
- Of course.

I'm trying to hide it
from my husband,

and I can't carry a pack on me,
and I'm just dying for one.

Thank you.
Also, everyone vapes, right?

It's so hard to find anyone
with a cig...

Thank you so much.

Do you remember me?

You don't, do you?

No, I'm so sorry.
I don't. I, no, um...

Was it...
was it a book thing?

It was in New York.
With a lot of my friends.

No, I... I have no idea
what you're talking about.

You don't know Simon?

Simon... Oh! Simon Soga?

Simon Brickner.
He, he brought you.

A bunch of my friends
were there.

And you're definitely not
getting me

confused with someone else?

No. No.

You don't remember Simon?

How is that possible?

Was this, um...

when I lost my dog?

You lost your dog?

Do you forget
all your works

after you write them?

"The more she listened,
the more Claire realized

it didn't matter.

She simply did not speak

the language."

"Does memory even matter?
Syntax or conjugations...

Comprehend that
now she is alone...

There's a certain...

Except for the sounds
in room two, three, four..."

Hey, uh,
can I help you find something?

No. No, just...

...Two dollars. Sorry.

May I help you?

May I help you?

No response. Thank you.

You're welcome, ma'am.

All right, goodb...

He was really conservative...

So, like, so important...


She's bisexual...

In middle school,
I was the herb,

and then high school came,
and, like, everything changed.

That's when, like, everybody
wanted to start talking to me,

and all of that. It all changed.

But that was
going towards, like...

when I hit
my sophomore year, like,

I got poppin', like,

well, I'm not saying that I'm like,
you know, poppin' or anything.

I'm just saying,
people wanted to talk to me

and stuff.

- Do you believe in God?
- No.

Have you been in love?


Are you in love now?

Probably, and it's horrible.

Why is it horrible?

Um, because instead of it being
all, like, sunshine and rainbows,

it's more of, like, a black hole
in the middle of nowhere

that you can't
really get out of,

and then
when you are getting out of it,

you slip back deeper
into the hole.


That's really awful.

But have you ever been
in love before?

Yeah, I think so.
I, um...

You know, I don't know. I...

I don't actually remember that.

Excuse me, ma'am.

Are you Jewish?

- Are you Jewish?
- Huh?

Are you Jewish, ma'am?

- Are you Jewish?
- I don't know.

- What's... What?
- I d... I don't know.

Are you Jewish?

I don't know. I don't know.

Have a... Have a good night.

Have a good night.

...Call and ask if they
can cut me a break, please.

Damn, it's...
It's really like that.

It's a cold world.

Never forget, man.
It's a cold world.

Excuse me, Miss.
Sorry to bother you.

Um, would you like to buy
any of these hot dogs?

- Uh-uh.
- No?

Okay. Like, I'm not
a hot dog enthusiast.

I'm not out here trying to buy
a billion hot dogs.

It's a credit card minimum.


Yeah, they wouldn't let me
get just two. It's ridiculous.


Damn, you're killin' me. Okay.

Um... how about I'll give you
a hot dog for free.

And at the end,

you'll want to pay me
because they're so savory.

I, I think I'm vegetarian.

- Oh, you a vegetarian?
- Yeah.

Oh, damn. Okay.

That's pretty cool that
you're a vegetarian.

I think I'm gluten intolerant,

and I just come here, like...

I know I'm not supposed
to eat the buns,

but I eat the buns anyway, man.
They're too good.

Yo... if you're vegetarian,

why are you eating
at Papaya Dog?


I just wanted
to take a break,

but don't tell them.

I won't tell him.

Why, why...
What do you even put on those?

'Cause they look,
like, very dry.

I put on ketchup and mustard.

That's how I roll. My momma,
my brother, my sister,

they just put ketchup.

Can't fuck with them.

What about your dad?

Man, I don't even want to talk
about my dad, man.

He's an asshole.

Because of what he puts
on hot dogs?

Not because of what
he puts on his hot dogs, man.

Like, I, I wish it was 'cause
of what he put on his hot dogs.

I can't even start, like...

He's just an asshole, man.

That's terrible.

I appreciate you saying that.

I don't really want
to be in that space right now.

Uh, you want to pay me
for these hot dogs?


Yo, but you were,
you were just playing with it.

You were touching it.
You're killing the resale.


No? Mmm.

You want to
buy some weed off me?


Uh, do you want to smoke
some weed with me?

Okay, I respect that.

Um, I'm getting out of here.
Uh, wanna come with me?


All right, cool. Cool!
Damn. Okay.

Very cool.

But you've left your hot dogs.

I'm a vegetarian now.
You've inspired me.

And gluten intolerant.

And gluten intolerant.

I, I'm just all of it.
I can't eat anything.

I'm slowly starving to death.

- Do you have any siblings?
- I don't know.

What? You don't know?


What is...

Maybe, maybe you have some
long-lost siblings

who you don't know.

Yeah. Yeah, maybe.

Maybe I do too,
'cause my dad was fuckin' horny.

- What?
- My dad was horny.

Horny as in, like...?

He's covered in horns.
He's very sharp.

You can't get near him.

Oh, so you mean, like,
maybe he's got off with other people?

Yeah, he's got off
with other people.

You're very warm world.

What is warm world?

Warm world is like, um...

that's like the words,
"I love you."

It's like, like saying,
"I love you."

That's, that's a good example
of something warm world.

Or, you had a bad day,
why'd you have a bad day?

Or when a, like,
a polar bear, like,

nests her cubs, and, like...

makes sure they're warm.

- That's warm world.
- Oh, my God. That's great.

There's an opposite
of that, too.


- Cold world.
- What's cold world?

Cold world is, like,
"Yo, are you cryin'?"

Ladies and gentlemen...

"Man the fuck up.
Why are you crying?"

Cold world is like...

The next uptown
local train is now arriving.

It's like a boot stepping
on another person's face.

- A what?
- A boot.

- What's a boo?
- It's like a heavy shoe.

- Like a big shoe.
- A... Oh, shoe!

You've gotta say the "T", man.
Otherwise, I didn't get it.

- A boot.
- A boot.

Thirty-fourth Street.




I do feel like I just need
to find this girl, though.

- I need to find someone.
- Yo...

Oh, dear. I need to find...
I need to find a girl.

- I need to find this girl.
- Hey, hey, hey.

- We can fin...
- What? Don't touch... Don't.

Was it something
I said, man?

Did I say something wrong?

It's just a little weird
that you need to find some girl.

It's not weird.

Let's just keep walking, okay?

- Yeah?
- Yeah.

Where are we going again?

Uh, we're going to my
hiding spot for my weed,

'cause my mom searches my room.

Where is it?

Where is it?
You'll see. You'll see.

We're really close, actually.

So many people tell me
the exact same thing.

- And what? What's that?
- I don't know.

It's just a little bit
beyond my grasp,

every single time.

But you're close, though.

I'm so close.

Yeah, I so identify with that.

I think it's all just beyond my
grasp too,

and I feel like I'm just
about to get there,

and then it just...
yeah, it slips away.

You don't have it.

I don't.

Nah, but nobody really
has it forever.

I don't remember who I am...

or where I'm supposed to go.

And all of my memories

begin with me walking
among these people, and...

and I don't want anyone
to know that.

Closed. Closed.

- No?
- We're closed..

Hello, how are you?

Hi. Some hot water.

Hot water?
How are you, good?

That $2.50, please. $2.50.

- Oh, I've left my bag at the...
- Huh?

I've left my, my bag at the...

What do you mean
you left your bag over there?

- Why you come if you have no bag?
- I'll come back in a minute.

Can you just gi... 'Cause you
put the water in it now. Can...

I know I put the water,
but why you don't told me before?

- Before I opened it?
- Because I forgot.

I'm really hungry.
I haven't eaten. Can I please...

Everybody's saying
the same thing.

I mean, it's only going to waste if I
go back and come back, and I won't...

I know,
But you should tell me before I opened it.

I know, but I live around the corner.
I'll bring it... I'll bring it in a second.

- This is the first time I know you.
- I'm really hungry.

- No, I can't do it.
- I haven't eaten today,

so can you please just... If you're
not going to give it to anyone else...

You should've told me
before I opened it. No.

You see what you did?
Go bring and come back.

Okay, so, like...

It's me, like,

I'm afraid I'm gonna be
addicted to, like, substances...

like, that are bad.

Like, I don't know, like alcohol
and stuff like that.

Like, I'm afraid
I'm gonna do that.

Um. Yeah,
that's why I'm trying to live...


Yeah, I'm trying to... Um, yeah.
I don't think about that often,

but you know... I, like, stay
away from drinking and stuff.

Is that because of
something in your history?

Yeah, 'cause, like,
family stuff. Yeah.

Aw, I'm sorry.

Yeah. I mean, what can you do?
I mean, it's not like...

I mean,
it's not my fault, but...


Like, I know, like, I know a lot of
people who met in high school and stuff.

I guess, it's more just, like,

I just haven't, like,
felt that way ever.

I don't know. I think
the reason why is 'cause,

like, if love is, like,
a one in a million thing

and I've met 20 people, then,
like, my odds are, like, slim.

So, maybe it'll happen
when I go to college.

- Yeah.
- Or, like...

- I doubt it.
- Yeah, okay. Thank you.

Um, no, I don't know...

Do you ever wish
you could change something

about yourself?

I guess...

my talents or my ambitions.

So what are your talents
and ambitions?

I like, you know, like
artsy types of stuff.

My family's a very career,
like, driven, li...

engineering, medical school
type of family,

so if I could have that
type of interest

in my life,
that would make things easier.

So you wish that you
were interested in engineering,

but wouldn't you wish that your
parents would be the one

- to change what they think?
- Yeah.

Oh, wait.

That makes way more sense.
That makes way more sense.

- Hi. Um, I'm staying here.
- Oh.

I was staying here last night.

Fantastic. I hope you
had a comfortable stay.

Yeah, no, it was, it was,
it was, uh, it was lovely,

but I just, I've, um, I've
mis... I've misplaced my key.

Okay. Um, what room is it?

Uh, it's 234.

And, uh, what's your name?

No, my name isn't
on the reservation.

Whose name
is on the reservation?

I don't know that, actually.

Okay, uh, I can help. Um...

Well, just give me a name.

Can you just... Do you mind
if you just give me the key?

You seem legit.
I want to help you.

I just legally, I can't just...



Hey, I'm sorry to bother you.
Sorry, um,

are you Alina Reynolds,
by any chance?

- Yes.
- Yes. Cool.

You had me in suspense
for a moment. I...

- No, sorry, I don't...
- I've seen you. Uh, sorry.

I'm a big fan of your work.
That's a, I saw you at the...

- Really?
- Yeah. Yeah,

I saw you at a reading, like,
two years ago, a, at Greened-Eyed books,

- for, um, Italian Studies.
- God, yes.

I, yeah. I'm just, I,
It was awesome to see you then.

It's awesome
to see you now. I, like,

that book changed how I thought.

- Mmm.
- It's such a cliché, but it changed what I thought,

like, short stories could do.

You know
all of them well, or, um...

Um, yeah. I probably know them
a bit too, too well.

- I've read, I've read it, like, a bunch of times.
- Mmm.

Well, that's more than I have.

Yeah, I mean, I really love
the whole, like, universe you create

- and how they weave together, and it's, like, very beautiful.
- Mmm.

Are you working
on anything new right now?


- Yes.
- Yeah?

- Yes, I am.
- Short stories? A novel?

- An autobiographical?
- It's a novel.

- Yeah. Mmm.
- Oh, okay.

It'll be great to read you
in that long of form.

Oh, that's nice.

Is, is it sort of also a bildungsroman?
Coming of age kind of...

- Yep. It is.
- Yeah?

It's about, um,
a, a young boy.

- Uh-huh.
- See, who, uh, he really loves hot dogs.

He has this real thing about hot dogs, but he's
just developed this gluten intolerance, so...

I mean, no, that's just, that's how it starts.

- Okay. Tragic for him...
- Uh...

But, yeah, yeah. And he's, you know,
he's fallen out with his parents.

He's, like, really, his mom doesn't
want him to smoke so much weed.

- It's, you know, it's...
- Right.

So hot dogs can be
kind of a coping mechanism.

I mean, the, and he's just
doing dogs and no buns, huh?

That's a good line, actually.

I could use that.

My ex was gluten intolerant,

and otherwise, very tolerant
as a person, but a celiac,

and I gave her
my copy of Italian Studies.

Have not had it returned,

but I lost all my marginalia,
and all of the notes that I had marked up

with your, just, you know,
and every, every story was...

"If only she could understand

the sounds
coming from room 234,

but the more she listened,
the more Claire realized

it didn't matter.

She simply did not
speak the language.

Claire had the door slammed.

For now, she was alone,

except for the sounds
in room 234."

Excuse me. Have
you got a pen I could borrow?


Excuse me.

- That's a library book.
- Yeah.

I'm sorry,
what are you doing?

I'm just signing it.

- Did you write it?
- Yeah.

- Yeah. Yeah.
- Well, good for you.

It's actually, it's actually,

it's not bad, actually.
It's quite good.

I'm sure it's a beautiful book.

I believe you,
and I'm not. I'm not...

This is not to derogate
your book at all, it's just...

The library
is a common resource.

Exactly, yeah. And I'm
just adding to the library.

It's not your book
or my book, it's our book.

I'm making it better
for the library.

The library...
library's for everyone.

Oh. Well, good for you.

Make a splendid edition
to the library...

Sir, shh.
Keep your voice down.


You're a gem.

You know, you're cold world.
You are cold world.

A signed book is warm world.

- I'm warm world.
- Okay. I'm sorry.

I overreacted. Forgive me.

I'm, uh...

I'm sorry.
I shouldn't have said anything.

Mmm. Yeah.

I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry.

"'Lucinda, '
published September 2014

in Conjunctions, volume five,
issue two.

Erin McCloud
spent much of her early life

trying to get lost in herself.

She thought too much, and then
thought about thinking too much,

and then thought
about what others thought

about her thinking too much.

Her editor called the subjects of
the latest piece she was assigned,

'The Kids.'

And she found that amusing

because she was only
a few years older.

But Erin thought nothing of it

when she had to cancel a date
with her boyfriend

because, as she told him,

she was going to see
The Kids play their concert."

♪ Chew me up
And spit me out ♪

♪ I'm not ready to bounce
Outta this bitch ♪

♪ You're alive
And you're on fire ♪

♪ Gotta speak
universal question,

♪ The lyrics is so provocative
This the rapper's apocalypse ♪

♪ This rap is apoca-lit
Dang continent ♪

♪ Showstoppers
And flow rockin it ♪

"She integrated herself
well enough to the teens,

striking a balance between
observation and engagement."

"But then, she was struck into
a state by one of the performers,

a singer named Lucinda."

♪ I smoke to live
But I slow down ♪

♪ I have dreams about those
I don't know anymore ♪

♪ Feels are dull
Brain is null ♪

♪ I've always been too wary ♪

♪ The touched heart
Inevitably breaks ♪

♪ We're all scared to hold it ♪

♪ Once you had it all
I would run when you called ♪

♪ You said we're
Going for a hike ♪

♪ and then you'd
Leave me at the dump ♪

♪ Always known too much
I'm a complex person ♪

♪ They say I'm made of ice
I know now that I deserve it ♪

♪ Summer by Gowanus River ♪

♪ I always knew
You'd pull the trigger ♪

♪ Said you'd
Spend it by my side ♪

♪ Was it me
Who changed your mind? ♪

♪ Maybe if we had more time? ♪

"She searched for Lucinda,

the singer who had so
entranced her at the concert,

but no one seemed to know who
she was, or even remember her.

But maybe it didn't matter.
Even the search was fulfilling."

He forgot the password.

He made it so many times
that I don't remember

what the password...

Oh, my God! Can I see it?

I met this kid from Texas

I want to go to Texas so bad,

because there'd be a lot of
other people that are like me,


He think's there'd be a lot
of other people like you in Texas?

- Yeah.
- Why?

I don't know.

He said that, and I was just,
like, that's interesting.

What's a person like you?

I'm open
to try different things.

That's what I think.


I want to be a person like you.

- Really?
- Yeah.

- Really?
- Yeah.

That makes me feel good.


I never heard that before.



Have you ever been in love?

Yeah. Yeah.

I saw her the first time at camp
and my jaw dropped.

It was...

I had crushes,
but I never knew what lo...

I saw her the first time,
I was, like, oh...

She was all alone.

It was raining, and I was,
like, "Hey, do you draw?"

And I guessed that she drew,
'cause she had short hair.

And I got kicked out
of that camp,

but before, right before I got
kicked out, I came up to her

because we didn't really talk,
but we were interested in each other,

and I was, like,
"Yo, I'm getting kicked out,

but, like, keep doing you."

And then when the program
was over, she hit me up,

and we hung out once the first
time, and my mom left,

and she said her dad died,

and she, we met the first time,
and she told me the story of her life.

It was tragic,

and I just wanted to protect her

and give her blankets
and chicken soup.

And my mom left,
and we were in the kitchen,

and I was, like,
"Can I kiss you?"

And I, then we kissed. And then we...

We did things. And that was fun,

'cause I'd never really done
those things before, you know?

She's going away, though.

She's going to college.

I'm not going to college,
'cause my parents,

they think I'm a bum.

It's just one thing...

When people are special, everyone
tries to get their grubby hands on them

and take some of their,
their warmth and their love,

you know what I mean?

You think I'm special?

Yeah, I think
you're very obviously special.


Because you came with me.
And nobody would.

This is a violation
of social norms,

but you didn't give a fuck
about any of that.

Come on!

So I respect that,
like, a lot.

I really do.


So I'm writing this book.

Uh, no, I've written a book.
I've written a novel,

a collection of short stories,

and, uh, there's one about
a motel and, like, a girl there,

and one about
a girl stuck on a rollercoaster,

and it's mainly
about young people,

and, like, overcoming fear
and weird repressed memories,

but I'm now writing
a, a, a novel,

and it's about teenagers.

- Cool.
- Yeah.

So I just, what I need is
to hang out with some teens.

All right.


No, my biggest fear, I think,
I think about this sometimes,

is I meet a person I like,
and then I invite them to a party,

but there is no party
and they come.

It's just me, and they're like,
"Where's the party?"

And they have expectations coming
in and they see me in my state,

and I think about this,
and also, like,

dropping a baby in a river is,
like, my second biggest fear.

And did you think there
was ever going to be a party?

No, no. There's no party.

Someone handed me their baby,
and I dropped it in a river.

What? No, I mean
with the person you invited?

Oh! No. No,

there something that tells me, something
inside me tells me to invite them to a party,

and I do, and then
I don't have a party,

and then there's just me
and this person,

and they come to my house,
and they see there's no party,

and also, I'm a liar,
and also, I'm a weirdo.

So if you wanted to get
to know somebody,

what would you ask?

Uh, like,
"What's your favorite thing?"

And then, like, the first three
things that pop into your head.

And what are your
favorite things?

Um, well, I've thought about it a lot,
so it's not off, just off the noggin,

but, um, uh, like, dogs,
and trees,

and, um,
hugging people I care about.

- That's beautiful.
- Thanks.

It's fun,
'cause the word "bark"

applies to dogs and trees,

so it's, like, my favorite word.

It's not, actually,
but, like, it's cool.

You know, I don't want
to be seen as someone

who engages in the power dynamics
that boys do, like, you know...

But then, then again,
there's something so cute and harmless

about the feminine
which I aspire to.

I aspire to be harmless.

Oh, you think I'm harmless?

That's not what I meant to say.

What, I'm biol... like, upper body
strength-wise, you know what I mean?

Okay, but I'm th...
I'm thinking

three pieces of bread stacked

is not a bread sandwich

because it's all made out of
the same fundamental ingredient.

That's just, it's just bread.

What about, like, three stacks
of lettuce?

Well, that's just lettuce.

That's not a lettuce sandwich.

Just think about it. There's a world
where you see three pieces of bread,

and you say,
that's three pieces of bread,

and there's a world where
you see three pieces of bread

and say,
that's a bread sandwich,

and to me...

...the latter
is a more beautiful world.

- You've written other books?
- Uh-huh. Just one.

- What was it called?
- Italian Studies.

Wh... What is it about?

It's like a,
a short story collection.

Which one's your favorite?

I didn't get
to the last one, but,

so it could've been that one.
I didn't, I didn't get to finish it today,

but, um...

the "Midland Marines," I think.

Do you forget all your
works after you write them?

Isn't that part of it?

Like, does, does memory
even matter,

- given that we're...
- When I was a kid, um...

- It's like a goldfish...
- Yeah, I used to pretend, um...

I would drink, like, Gatorade or
drink some, like, fancy-colored soda,

and I'd pretend it wipes
my whole memory,

and then I'd close my eyes,
and I'd wake up and pretend

to look at my house
as if I'd never seen it before,

and see how long I could go on,

like, pretending
I didn't know anything

about my house or,
like, my family

throughout all my conversations,
and I thought it was fun.

How long did it last?

I would go
for a long time. The whole day.

But usually when I got hungry,

I would ask my mom
to make me a snack.

I'd get so into it, like,
it felt like I actually forgot.

A new perspective.

It's been an anxious life,
if I'm honest.

- Yeah.
- Um, an anxious kid.

Do you think it's just,
like, brain chemistry?

Yeah, I really do,

and I think that's honestly
really important to realize,

'cause I think that, like,

you've gotta not think
that you're a terrible person

'cause you can't control
yourself as much as you want to,

and you just have to realize

there's a lot in you that's
controlling you through different,

like, ways that you can't necessarily,
like, take over all the time.

♪ Why, why you creepin'
So slowly? ♪

♪ Oh! ♪

♪ I just want you to hold me ♪

♪ Oh! ♪

♪ Play with my hair
And protect me ♪

♪ Oh! ♪

♪ I just want you to hold me ♪

♪ Oh! ♪

♪ Play with my hair
And protect me ♪

♪ Oh! ♪

♪ Ooh ♪

Yeah, that's...

I've gotta
get out of here.

- Yo, Alina. Thank you.
- Thank you so much.

- Heart emoji...
- It was good.

It was so good.

I don't have any
of my stuff with me.

- What?
- What do you mean?

Like you don't have cash?

But you have, like,
like do you have one?

Like a... I mean,
you're here.

- Yeah.
- I j... I have nothing on me at all.

- Did you lose it?
- Yeah, I think... I think so.

I just, I don't have it with me.

Do you have any money?


I guess we all have to...

- There's...
- We're close.

Yeah, can we just,
like... Three twenty-six...

- We're not gonna...
- It's $107...

No, yeah.

Come on, don't say it's okay
if it's not okay.

- No, it's fine.
- Okay. Yeah.

No, there is, I mean, there's,
there is some cash.

♪ Rockabye baby
On the treetop ♪

♪ When the wind blows
The cradle will rock ♪

♪ When the bow breaks ♪

♪ The cradle will fall ♪

♪ And down will come cradle... ♪

♪ Cradle and all ♪

- I write. Yeah.
- Yeah?

Do you like short stories?

I love short stories, actually.
Yeah. Do you have one?

- Yes, I have eight. Yeah.
- Eight? Oh.

- Well, I'm working on a novel.
- Hmm.

But I, I started short stories.

- Hmm.
- It's like a collection.

And this one guy who just smokes lots of
weed and is, you know, confused about...

- That.
- Why the pot-smoking kid?


I don't know,
I'm just genuinely curious,

'cause I feel like it's a
stereotype, and I don't,

I don't know
why people...

That feels judgmental.

No, it's, like, why,
why that perspective?

I don't see
why that's a problem.

I don't think it's a problem.

I just feel like it's not...

original, I guess.

No, I, I mean,
I don't, I don't know.

I'm sorry. Like, I don't, I don't
know what you write normally. Um...

Why don't you just go fuck

- Um...
- Okay.

All right.

She doesn't
need to say why.

I think
she was just asking.

- Hmm?
- I think she was just asking.

- I don't think...
- But why does she have to be like...

Uh, I'm Alina.

And I'm from here. I'm a writer.

Wh... What are your names?

- Taylor.
- I'm Sasha.


- No, you're not Lucinda.
- Yes, I am.

And that's Taylor and Sasha.

- No, you're not.
- Yes, I am.

- Lucinda.
- But you're not.

- I think we should call somebody. Yeah.
- Yeah.

Are... Are you okay?

They bought us
Philly cheesesteaks.

And it's, it's cool,

'cause it's not really
a Philly cheesesteak...

'cause you in Philly,
it's really just a cheesesteak.

So, it's just for the hype?

A New York burger, I guess.
It's like, it's like Chinese food.

- It's a real thing? It could be a thing.
- I don't know.

I just made that up just now.

I mean, there's chopped cheese,
that's all.

That's the New,
that's the New York burger.

That was funny.
That was funny. That was funny.

You hear chopped cheese,
and you were like,

"Oh, yeah. That's New York."

I just want
to be a person like you.

Okay, but y...
you don't know me.

I'm kind of numb to it.

Oh, that makes me sad.

Well, I'm sorry
that it makes you sad.

See, I think you're strong,

and I think you seem broken
at the same time,

and I think that I'm that, too.

Are you?


Yeah. I mean,
I think everybody is...

or at least everyone's broken
in some ways,

and only,
only a few of us are strong.

Well, you're stronger than me.

Why do you say that?
I thought you said I was a harmless woman.

Shut the fuck up.
Shut the fuck up.

I d... I say that because you were,
you were, you were strong enough

to make me see,
or at least engage with me.

I'm not saying that you're, like,
the fuckin' prophet or whatever,

but it's like you were,
you were strong enough to

take my force of whatever it was
and give me sight.

Yeah, but you're doing
that for me too.

You're strong enough
to do that for me.

You're strong enough to do that just
with, just with love,

or just by looking at me,
just by being you.

But, like, ev... everything I do
is, is driven by some sort of desperation.

I've got the problem of seeing
everything I've, I've ever did,

all the bad things I've done to
people and all the ways I'm insecure.

Like, I've gotten into so many
fights when I was...

posturing so much,

I end up getting my ass kicked,
and it's like I just want...

Hey. Uh...

They went back to the house,
but we can walk.

Cool. Yeah.

My friends
are probably sleeping.

Yeah, thanks
for letting me stay with you.

Of course.

"Gowanus Canal." Like, that's...

Oh, it's the name.

Yeah. "Gowanus Canal."

But in the song, I sing,
"Gowanus River,"

which is so fucking dumb...
Because I need it to rhyme trigger...

It was a trigger.

Everyone knows it's... I mean,
it's sort of the same thing, isn't it?

- Yeah, I g...
- It's effectively water.

Yeah, but it's, like,
people know.

I really don't think
you should worry about it.

I'll take it.
My dog is going to ruin it.

- Okay.
- I'll put it in the closet.

His name's Ollie.
He's really cute.

I think you'd like him a lot.

- I have a dog.
- What?

- I have a dog.
- You do? Cool.

- Yes.
- What kind of dog is it?

- I lost him.
- You did?

- Yeah, I have a dog.
- When'd you lose it?

- I have a dog.
- Are you okay?


Yeah, I just am, uh...

There she is.

- Hey. Hey. Hi. Thanks. Thank you so much.
- Not a problem.

Thank you.

Yeah. It's freezing.

Oh, and there was this girl.
She has, like, um, short, dark hair

and we went in this
beach house by the woods,

and she helped me to get home.
Do you know who that might be?

- No.
- Like black hair.

I don't think so.

I was trying to find
her for so long afterwards.

Yeah. All I know is
you showed up with Simon.

Um, he said
that you guys were friends,

and you were an author writing
a book about teenagers, so...

- Really?
- So you were going to research us

- and have dinner with us.
- Did I?

Yeah. Um...

And then I read
your short stories as well.

- You did?
- Yeah. Yeah.

- Uh, Italian Studies and The Veil of Cashmere...
- That's really sweet.

I think
maybe you should talk to Simon.

Yeah? I don't know.

I just, wanted to thank the girl that
helped me, and then move on, really.

It just seemed like
you two were really close.

What's he like?

I don't actually
know him that well. Um...

- Is he okay?
- No, he's fine.

I mean, he's in college
doing his thing now.

Um, I don't know. I still think
he'd want to meet you.

Yeah, I just...

Yeah, I just don't think
I should meet him.

I mean, I know... I think you can
have, like, something special and brief

and you don't have to chase it,
and it remains what it was,

and it'll always be there,
the effect of it, in some way.

I need to protect them,
the people I love,

if that makes sense.

Um, okay. I mean,
not really, honestly, but...

Okay, look, for example,

earlier I was with my husband.
I was late for my husband,

and I know that in the,

in him waiting for me,

the thought would've
crossed his mind

that maybe it's happened again,
or it's happening,

and I hate that.
I hate to be a burden like that,

and, and we've come
so far through it,

and I just don't want
to reopen it, you know?

It's good now, and I just,
I kind of want to keep it that way.