Once and Again
Jake And The Women

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Jake And The Women

We open with Soliloquy Jake telling us about the women in his life: "I'm beset by them. I'm undone by them. I'm in awe of them. I'm in love with them." Referring to the bun in Tiffany's oven, he muses that maybe this time, he'll have a boy. He's distracted by the thud of a dribbling basketball, and glances over his shoulder, where a boy and a basketball hoop have materialized. Jake tosses the boy the ball, and the kid slams it through the hoop. "My man!" Jake beams, bucking bellies with the kid. Suddenly, he's back on the Stool, smiling fondly to himself. "It'd be nice," he says.

Cut to a dimly lit room where pregnant women are scattered around the floor. A woman paces among the bodies, softly encouraging the men to pay attention to their partners' needs. The camera pans over to Tiffany, who eagerly extends her leg and raises her foot. She looks at Jake expectantly. He grunts and obligingly crawls toward her foot, which he rubs and squeezes, the poor man. He stares off into the distance, no doubt wishing he was anywhere but here. He's snapped back to reality at the nudging of Tiffany's other foot. He smiles half-heartedly and starts kneading it.

Soliloquy Jake reminisces that when Grace was a baby, she would always whisper things in his ear, like she was telling him secrets.

Now, not so much. Jake and Grace are in his car, and he's trying to get her to talk to him. She stares resolutely out the window, turned almost fully away from him in her seat. He asks about the play, and she distractedly informs him that it's "okay." He asks how it can be "just okay" when she's "the star." Bored, she replies, "I don't know. It just is." He starts asking about the guy he saw Grace talking to, and that's it for Grace's patience. She snaps that she really wants to hear the song that's on the radio, so if he could just fuck off and die that'd be great.

Unlike most of us, Soliloquy Jake manages to see past the angst to the adorable little girl inside. He says that "daughters have a way of putting you under their spell." He offers whisker-scratching and shoe-tying as key ingredients of this magic.

And speaking of feet (for the last time, I hope), we cut to a TV screen featuring a flying foot-first kick and lots of kung-fu fighting. Jake and Zoe are nestled on his couch, munching popcorn. Zoe watches Jake, amused by the way he chews. She likens him to "a dog that doesn't chew before he swallows." She tries to stuff more popcorn in his mouth, but he seals his lips. Grace climbs onto the couch with them, and Zoe complains that Jake won't open his mouth. Grace suggests tickling under his arms, and proceeds with the torture. The girls launch a two-pronged attack, while Jake cries out for help.

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Once and Again

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