Joan of Arcadia
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Pools of Sorrow, Waves of Joy

Joan walks into a church and over to the table of candles. She looks up, vaguely uncomfortable, and sighs, "Okay, God," as she picks up a match to light a candle. Frink: "She should just put out her finger and light one. That'd be cool." Me: "Not The X-Files, here." As she ignores Frink's suggestion, preferring the conventional method, she asks quietly, "Why put us in a place where we get to know people and love them and then they're gone...and we don't know if we ever get to see them again?" A creepy, older, bald guy wearing a black suit and plain black tie walks up next to her and says, "Interesting eulogy, Joan...unorthodox." The guy has the air of an undertaker. Joan: "This is a mad creepy look." He smiles, which makes him look a little less creepy, and says, "Death is a dividing line." Joan: "I don't need God to tell me that death is a dividing line! Everybody knows that. What we don't know is what it divides us from." Undertaker God replies, "One of the necessary mysteries." Joan: "Last night when I dreamt about Rocky and he told me to read the obituaries, that was you, right?" Undertaker God nods. Joan: "And when I saw him at the funeral?" Undertaker God: "No. That was between you and Rocky." Interesting. Joan gets weepy-sounding again and says, "He looked happy. Does that mean he's in a better place?" The only response from Undertaker God is one of those "you know I can't answer that" looks. Joan complains, "Oh, yeah, well, someday. Be patient." Then: "How soon will I know, exactly? February 5, 2066? Waitdon'ttellme!" She adds, "Like you would even tell me." He gives her that jazz about "there's nothing [he] could say to make her understand." Hmm...if you're God, isn't it within your power to give her that understanding? Can God make a rock so big...? Joan bursts out, "Oh, come on! God, try me! Give me a hint." He replies, "I leave hints all over the place! I'm all about hints. Like Adam appearing in your dream." She asks for a quick look into the big picture: "Then maybe I could be good at this!" He finally relents: "As you wish, Joan."

Then it's like she's there alone, staring into the middle distance, and she hears a brief cacophony of human suffering and hatred: shouts, gunfire, screams of anguish. The screen whites out, and then suddenly Helen's in the church trying to rouse her. Joan's lying on the floor of the church as her mother asks, "Joan? Honey? Can you hear me?" Joan murmurs, "Who needs the big picture? Not me. Hints are good enough." Helen: "Honey, you're babbling." Joan: "I'm babbling?" Helen asks if she fainted as Joan gets up, saying, "No. I don't know." She says she's fine. Helen gets more solicitous and Joan gets more peevish, snapping a bit, "I'm fine, Mom, I'm fine." Helen objects that she didn't eat anything this morning. Joan tries to hush her, but Helen carries on: "The stress of the funeral, plus Adam...this is why I try to get you to eat!" Joan: "Mom, I'm having a horrible day! Can you please be nice to me?" They walk out bickering as Helen pleads with her to eat a little bran. Joan: "Bran? What?"

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Joan of Arcadia

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