Once and Again
Ozymandias 2.0

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Niki: B+ | Grade It Now!
In a Whole Lot of Shhh

David, meanwhile, is going over the drawings Rick whipped up at the party. They mutter back and forth about the concept, and then Rick says he "ordered the survey for the larger site." "Oh boy, you really told [Miles] off, didn't you?" David snides. Rick gives him an ends-justifying-the-means spiel and says that such an opportunity "only comes along once in a lifetime." David knows all that, but the project is dealing with a lot of land and involves a lot of red tape. He asks whether Rick really trusts Miles enough to put all the time and money into securing it. Rick starts to say that Miles knows they're watching him...David cuts him off, asking whether Rick trusts Miles, especially with "that much of [their] city." Rick says that's a good argument for them to be "the ones" who handle it. They can "watch [Miles]; they can handle him." David scornfully says, "And you think I have a rich fantasy life." He tells Rick that he's dreaming if he thinks they can handle Miles. David says he doesn't want "to hang around and watch [Rick] build [Miles's] palace." "Well, maybe you could just hang around and watch my back," Rick spits. Somebody should. "God knows somebody has to," David says grudgingly, echoing my very sentiments. It's really starting to scare me, people. Rick tells David that he'll "see in a year -- maybe less" and asks if he wants to bet. "No, I really don't," David answers. "Because I don't want to win."

At home that night, Rick finds Eli torturing his guitar. He reminds Eli that he "really should be studying." Eli's not happy to hear it. Rick gives him the same damn speech my mom used to give me: think of doing something fun as a reward. "Tell yourself 'I'll study this much, and then I can play,'" Rick says. He's about to leave when Eli tells him flatly, "This is my work, too." Rick looks at Eli like he's seeing him for the first time then glances around the room. We follow his view, seeing a keyboard, some scattered CDs, an acoustic guitar. I'm waiting for him to tell Eli to clean up the damn mess. "This is going to be it for you?" he asks. "Is this what you really want?" "Well, I'm good at it," Eli says. I'm still cleaning the Coke spray off my TV. "What do you want for your life?" Rick asks. Eli snaps that he doesn't know what he wants yet. Rick says he understands, and that "there used to be time for a man to wander. Nowadays they throw things at you so fast you don't have time to wonder if it's an opportunity or a trap." I refuse to transcribe the rest of his speech because it involves the use of "fella." Still, Eli is rapt, and he understands what Rick is saying. For the first time, each of them seems to see where the other is coming from. Eli pleads not to have to decide what he wants to do "right now. Not today, or this week." Rick says he's just worried that one day Eli will wake up and find that it's too late -- somebody's already made the decision for him.

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Once and Again




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