My So-Called Life
Guns And Gossip

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Guns And Gossip

And then there's a little more, as he rapidly declaims to the counsellor, "Has the threat of violence changed the quality of my life at school? No, not really. What do you mean?"

Then Angela is on the couch, back in her black leotard with the flowered something over it, saying, "I just don't see the point of talking about it." The counsellor suggests that sometimes talking makes people feel better, and Angela replies, "And sometimes talking gets people into trouble. You know, people say things about people, and it doesn't always mean it's true." She looks askance, and the counsellor prompts her, "You mean about who might be carrying a gun?" Angela says, "About anything." "Any weapon?" asks Dr. Tunnel-Vision, and Angela snaps, "No! Just about anything anybody says about people. It's not always true." The counsellor regards her, and Angela goes on, choking up, "I just think people want to believe things about people, and so they decide certain things are true, and they don't even ask, and it's not fair. Because you have to live with it anyway." Dr. Tunnel-Vision doffs her glasses in order to underscore her brilliant insight: "But if it's not true, the person could always say that, couldn't they? I think if something is false, people aren't going to keep on believing it! Usually people latch onto things when there's a kernel of truth, and that's when they get into trouble." Angela looks away, chin trembling. Geez, where did this woman get her credentials, DeVry?

Angela lies prone on her bed (in the same outfit she wore in the previous scene) listening to The Cranberries' "Dreams" on her stereo. What the hell kind of moping music is that? How about a little Morrissey, people? Or even Nirvana? There's a knock at the door, to which Angela makes no response, so Patty opens the door and chirps, "Knock knock!" Angela weakly rolls her head toward the door and mutters, "Hi." Patty comes in and points at the stereo, saying, "Mind if I...?" and turns it down a bit, and Angela moans, "Might as well turn it off," and Patty says she likes it, and then strolls around the (huge! gorgeous!) room, wandering over to Angela's desk and opening Angela's copy of The Diary of Anne Frank. Angela watches her, silently. Patty mumbles, "This is hard," and then sits on the edge of Angela's bed and declares, "We need to talk." Angela props herself up as AVO says, "When I was twelve, my mother gave me my sex talk. I'm not sure either of us has fully recovered." Patty says, "Now that you and Jordan are...um --" "Oh my god. Mom! Please," groans Angela. Patty insists, "Angela, I can accept that you have a boyfriend." Angela says that she doesn't have a boyfriend, and Patty wearily allows, "Fine. A pal. A male pal. Whatever word you want to choose. The point is, I'm your mother, and I don't think you're ready." Angela whines, "Mom, please!" Patty soldiers on: "I don't think you're ready! But I have to know if this is what's happening because I don't think that -- that I can keep you from --" Angela covers her ears with her hands and flops down head first, imploring her, "Mom, I beg you to stop!" Patty says, "I need to know that you're using...I mean, I remember how this feels -- I do -- but it's the times that we live in." Angela moans, "Mom, please!" Patty says, "Honey, I know you don't want to think about these things. I know you think you're invulnerable." Angela protests, "I don't think that. You have no idea." Patty delivers the kicker: "You have to use some kind of protection or you are going to be --" "Mom, I'm not having sex, all right?" Angela manages to smile through her frustration as she adds, "Really. I'm not even close. To an embarrassing degree." Patty sputters in relief and humiliation, "Oh! Okay! I'm sorry, honey, I just --" Angela hugs her knees, looking sad again, and Patty says, "I just -- I want you to be prepared when the time comes. Whenever the time comes." Angela takes a gamble on being candid with Patty for once: "It'll never come. Not with Jordan." Patty kindly asks, "Is that what's bothering you?" Angela yelps, "No! Nothing's bothering me!" Patty insists that something is bothering Angela, and Angela whines, "Mom, you couldn't possibly understand or help, so please....I don't mean to hurt your feelings, but just...please?" Patty hugs Angela's head and kisses her cheek and tells her, "I'm here if you need me. You know that." She briskly walks out, and Angela falls over onto her side.

Once again, the great Snuffy Walden blends the chords of the chorus of "Dreams" into the orchestral score, as Angela (in the plaid dress, black tights and wellies...okay, I give up) walks the halls looking chipper until she spots Jordan at the end of the hall, with a couple of his buddies, putting drops in his eyes. She quickly moves to a bulletin board and pretends to study the first-aid notice posted thereon until Jordan appears at her side and comments, "That's good to know about." Angela agrees: "Yeah." Jordan says, "My uncle choked on a chicken bone." The camera zooms around Jordan's shoulder to Angela's stunned face as AVO marvels, "That's when the change happened. Just like that. Somewhere in those few seconds, I knew my life would never be the same." Angela calmly asks, "Did he survive?" "Yeah," Jordan smiles, and AVO says, "I knew then that the rumour was right -- not in actuality, but in my heart, because at that moment, I would have done anything. I wanted him so much." Jordan says, "Look, I didn't say anything about...you know." "I know," Angela replies, and Jordan adds, "I just wanted you to know that." Angela breathes, "Thank you," and Jordan concludes, "Because I'm not like that. I don't -- I don't do that." Angela agrees, "No." Jordan leans against the wall beside her, smiling and musing, "It's so weird, huh?...I mean, the way people talk?" He drops his voice and adds, "I mean, people think we did it!" "I know!" Angela whispers back. Jordan notes, "It's like we might as well have done it anyway, at this point." He leans in closer. Angela stares at his mouth. Jordan explains, "I mean, at least...you know, I mean, if everybody's talking about it already, maybe we, uh...I mean, not to make a big deal out of it, or anything." "Out off what?" Angela asks, though she already knows what he means. Jordan says, "Out of...out of anything." The electric guitars of disappointment start a-strumming as Jordan murmurs, "I mean, if everybody's already assuming it anyway, maybe we should just...." AVO says, "It's amazing the things you notice. Like the corner of his collar that was coming undone, like he was from a poor family and couldn't afford new shirts. That's all I could see. The whole world was that unravelled piece of fabric." Angela -- whose face is so insanely pale it's practically blue -- says, "I think...I have to go." She moves away from Jordan, who says, "Look, I'm sorry if I --" But Angela, bless her, is already walking away, and calls behind her, "No, it's okay!" Jordan calls, "No pressure, or anything." Angela repeats, "I have to go!" and Jordan adds, "You can just think about it!" Wow, how generous! Once she's around the corner, Angela's bravado falls away, and AVO says, "It's such a lie that you should do what's in your heart. If we all did what was in our hearts, the world would grind to a halt."

In the bathroom, Angela splashes water on her face and dabs at it with the end of her woolen scarf. She goes around the corner toward a stall as Sharon comes in with some random groupie. Sharon's saying, "If he, like, knows, and they know that he knows, then I can't believe he didn't tell them. He got a perfect score on the PSAT -- can you believe that? Now he'll be ruined." Okay, she probably isn't talking about Jordan. Random Groupie asks what this has to do with Angela, and Sharon knowingly announces, "Well, that's when they had sex -- her and Jordan? At Brian's house....Can you believe it? Brian watched the entire thing through his kitchen window." Sharon walks toward the stalls, and Angela ducks further into one, concealing herself. Random Groupie says, "I thought you and Angela were really tight." Sharon snorts, "She was, like, my best friend. This whole thing has been really hard for me to accept. But Brian wouldn't lie. So, it's like -- it's like she's this -- it's like she's this compl

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My So-Called Life

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