Eleanor stares down at her mother, on life support. The EMT guy says they picked her up at the airport. "Sad. Probably somebody's mother. Fucking depressing, that's what that is." She doesn't cry until he's gone, and she says Jackie's name softly, and stares down at the smallness of her mother.
Jackie rushes down the chapel hall, spitting at the Virgin Mary: "Look away!" Standing before the Pill-O-Matic, she looks for another way in, repeating the same things over and over, but it's not working. She kicks the machine, shakes her head at herself, and then punches in her own code. Three little vials of morphine sulfate. Just like Paula. She grins at them, nearly kisses them, and runs off to find a room to drink them in. The first one, there's a guy with a bloody hand -- "Keep that hand elevated," she says after a moment, still doing her job -- and then she heads into another room.
The drums are drums of war. She locks the door behind her and shakes her head. It's happening. It's coming: That rushing in your ears. You've heard it. I've heard it. I hate it. She rolls her eyes, terrified, watching it all come down, and she sits on the floor and stares blankly for a moment, then downs the bottles, one by one. They splash across her face. She shakes her head, woozy, and almost starts to cry, but then her eyes get wide. And glassy. And then she's gone. She falls back on the floor, pale as a sheet, staring at the ceiling. Eddie, Kevin, Grace, Eleanor. A million voices. She's wearing that perfect white nurse's outfit, costume, uniform, crucified on the floor. She begins to sing, just for us.
Someone told me long ago/ There's a calm before the storm...
Sometimes you just want a quiet place. A moment in the silence. When we met her, her life was like that: exceedingly compartmentalized, every box providing respite from the box before. You could live your whole life that way: The sun is warm, the rain is wet, the day is bright, the nights are dark. Everything according to its season.
She sees a vision of what that meant: Grace, tapdancing in pigtails, a suburban plot of land in pastel colors, Kevin dressed like Father Knows Best and Fiona, hopping on one foot with her blue balloon. A sun you don't have to color in; a sun like daffodils. That's what it was like, when she was here. And when she was there, what it was like at All Saints was immensely powerful, and clean, and strong. Pressed whites, sainthood. One of them was healthcare, one of them was cinema, and it didn't matter which. And when the gears ground together, that's what the drugs were for.