John From Cincinnati
His Visit: Day Seven

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Mr. Sobell: C- | Grade It Now!
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Shaun Gone? Yawn.

The passage of time has done nothing to quell Freddy's anxiety over his dream, though Palaka's constant yammering about how it's too nice a day to sit inside probably isn't helping matters. "Wanna play shuffleboard?" Palaka asks, innocently enough; Freddy belts him in the stomach. So that'd be a no, then. "Don't you know, something bad is going to happen?" Freddy exclaims. Like Palaka suffering his third debilitating injury in about six days? No, that's not it. "I halfway think that pain-in-the-balls retired ex-cop oughta stick his donkey nose in," Freddy mutters, as Palaka continues to writhe on the carpet. Okay, that's the solution to what's troubling Freddy. Now if he would just share us the source of the trouble, we'd be getting somewhere. Palaka offers to go get Bill; Freddy makes a motion like he's about to give Palaka's stomach seconds. Palaka wisely decides to go to the beach where the only thing belting him in the stomach will be the warm California sun.

So to sum up what's happened in the first eighteen minutes of the program: Cass sees a video that's terribly upsetting, although we're not sure what's on; Dwayne gets an email that's terribly upsetting, although we're not sure what it says. Freddy has a dream that's terribly upsetting, although we don't know it is about. Clearly David Milch is pioneering the new don't show/don't tell school of storytelling.

Jerri and Dwayne are pulling into the Snug Harbor parking lot, with Dwayne protesting that he'd just as soon not be involved at a "nuts-and-bolts" level with what he and Jerri are doing. And what would that be? As Jerri explains it, they're going to talk to Butchie "about this fucking guy" -- presumably John, though for all we know at this point it could be Linc -- before Jerri "goes and scares the bejesus out of Cissy." It was a nice plan, and it all would have worked out beautifully were Cissy not already in the Snug Harbor parking lot, delivering Mitch's possessions to his new home. "I guess Mick's right again," says Dwayne. Mick? Which Mick? Mars? Mantle? Mouse? "Jagger," Dwayne mumbles, after Jerri gets out of the car to talk to Cissy. Ah -- "You Can't Always Get What You Want," I'm guessing. Although at the pace the exposition is going this week, I would also accept "19th Nervous Breakdown."

Speaking of breakdowns, Cissy appears to be in the midst of one. "I'm moving my husband in here," she bellows at Ramon -- "So I see," he says calmly, and with a noticeable look of relief that Cissy isn't moving in herself -- before tossing the suitcase and kicking it a couple of times. That's when Cissy spots Jerri: "What are you doing here?" she says, not altogether warmly. "Surfing," says Ramon -- he's speaking to Dwayne, who's about to knock on the door to Butchie's room. "We need to talk," a very concerned Jerri tells Cissy. Well, by all means, let's cut away before we can find out what about.

Back in the run-down bar, Cunningham is involved in a spirited exchange of views with his Teddy Bear. "You are insatiable today," Cunningham scolds his stuffed animal. "One final illuminating tidbit" -- it'd be the first -- "and then we must leave." So Cunningham launches into the story about how theatrical impresario Daniel Frohman built an apartment above the stage in the Lyceum Theatre, so that he'd have the best seat into the house. Cunningham has his bear feign falling asleep -- I know how you feel, Mr. Bear, I honestly do. Cunningham scolds his bear's rudeness and then goes back to his reverie: "To think...that this place could be the setting for some building up of the spirit." Say, maybe a troupe of roving players could establish themselves there -- it was so interesting the last time that happened. And with that, the jukebox starts playing "The Tennessee Waltz," and we hear a disembodied voice that sounds like it's coming over the radio: "Mr. Cunningham, Mr. Cunningham, good evening to you, sir. Mr. Cunningham, thank you so much for letting me run a tab. That's so kind. That's so gracious of you." Cunningham looks pleased. The voice continues: "You faggot cocksucker." Cunningham looks unpleased. "Look at him. Look at him walk over there like he's a normal fucking person. Yeah, don't go out and suck a fast prick in the alley, pal, before you can." By this point, Cunningham's jaw has set, as the voice continues: "Mr. Cunningham, good evening...You look very well. You almost look like a human being. Congratulations on imitating a human being, you fucking faggot." Whether this is a vision or the self-loathing dialog that goes on in Cunningham's head all the time, it's very sad and affecting. Fun fact: that voice your heard was apparently David Milch's, so I feel I have special insight now as to why Cunningham looks so upset -- I know what it's like to have David Milch shower me with abuse...usually around 9 PM Eastern on Sundays.

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John From Cincinnati

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