The Big C

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The Three Cathy Jamisons

At the door Daphne offers her a crystal, "for healing," and once again Cathy goes stiff with fear, worrying she's been found out. "For you and Sean, and your broken relationship." Anything to interpolate, to be a part of Sean's relationship with his sister. Daphne's weird. She is jealous about things she shouldn't be jealous about. He kisses his sister goodbye -- "Good night, John Boy" -- and she offers them the bicycle. They don't wobble at all. It was built for two.

Andrea finds her there, at the door, watching through the window as Sean and Daphne ride away. "You have a dog?" Not really; more of a stalker. Thinking about birds and stones, Cathy offers her ten bucks to walk Thomas around the block. "Take Adam with you too, but I'm not paying extra for that."

Andrea wonders aloud if Cathy's going through the Change. "When that happened to my grandma, she started acting real strange. Crying in church all the time." Normalcy, they agree, is beyond us all. When they get back to the house, Marlene comes screaming off her porch. Thomas barks his hello, but Marlene is going apeshit. "That colored girl is trying to steal my Thomas!"

Yeah.

Andrea's like, "The fuck?" Marlene offers to shoot her with a rifle, essentially, and things sort of escalate to the point where Cathy comes out to Adam laughing while Marlene tries to strangle Andrea, who swings the old woman around on her back like a ragdoll. It is impressively fucked up, what Cathy finds herself walking into. "Do you know this colored girl?" Cathy is shocked, of course, even further by that, and Andrea tells Marlene to fuck herself, and Thomas is barking, and Adam is laughing, and she sends everybody back to their corners. She apologizes, and Marlene just stares. At the curb, Cathy turns with a tiny secret smile: "Told you to watch your dog." Marlene doesn't have a comeback this time.

The support group, unluckily, is just getting out for a break when Cathy walks by, horrified. They pile on her at the car and ask her if she got the groceries -- "Again: Unnecessary" -- and chortle about how Team Cathy missed her at Group. She taps her pack of cigarettes nervously against her finger, drawing their eyes and making their heads shake. "I'm not sure groups are really for me. I think I'm more the suffering-in-silence kind of gal?" They start in about the smoking, and she is not having it. "Look. I'm dying, people. I mean, you've got to let me have my simple pleasures."

They fight her about the cigarettes, they fight her about Team Cathy, they fight her about Group, they fight and fight and shake their heads and say horrible things like "When life give you lemons, squeeze out a smile!" and finally she has had enough. Her smile since they attacked has been begging for it, to be pushed, to express her resentment for their smothering, hateful love. She shines very brightly, for one moment. This is how it goes:

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The Big C

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