Once and Again
The Awful Truth

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The Awful Truth

Cut to Jake inside Phil's, pacing around among the boxes and saying into his cell phone, "Yeah, well, congratulations...I don't 'sound' anything! How do you expect me to sound?" He glances up as Tiffany walks in, and seizes on her as an excuse to hang up, saying he has to take her to the drug store. "That's so psychic! I do need something from the drugstore," Tiffany chirps. "I hate my life!" Jake moans, rubbing his forehead. Tiffany admonishes him, "Don't say things like that in front of the baby, even if it's just in jest!" Jake sighs and says, "That was Judy. Insecure, attention-deficit-disordered Judy informing me that she's taking this place over." Tiffany's jaw drops. "She's turning Booklovers into a bookstore-café," Jake adds, and Tiffany's jaw drops even father. "Well, I'll give her this: it's a great idea," Jake mutters, a little bitterly. Tiffany swells with pride behind him. "It is?" she asks. "Yeah, well. Anyone can have one great idea," Jake smolders, wondering when the hell it's his turn. He turns, suddenly steamed, and asks, "You know what she just asked me?" "To run the café," Tiffany mumbles to her big round belly. "If I'd run the café," Jake fumes. "Over my dead body! I'm serious! I'll dig ditches first." He sees Tiffany opening her mouth to speak and cuts her off with, "Absolutely not!" She lumbers up out of her seat and says, "You know what, Jake? She needs you. Maybe this is an opportunity to achieve something!" Jake considers this for a second but scoffs, "Yeah, right." Tiffany tries a different tack, relating some lesson from the I Ching about "how you think you're being totally humiliated, but..." Seeing Jake's lack of interest, she falters, saying that it's a really good lesson, anyway. She waddles back to her seat and picks up the book she carried in. Jake asks what it is, and she tells him she bought herself a book of baby names. She looks at him and holds up the phone, waiting for him to swallow his pride.

"Jake," Soliloquy Jake reads. "Form of Jacob. The supplanter or substitute." He looks at the camera, dismayed. Yeah, it's not exactly heroic, is it?

Cut to the high school, where we see Stoltz sitting at his desk in an empty classroom, grading papers. "Mr. Dimitri? Can I just ask you something?" Grace asks, barging into the room. He nods distractedly. "Just because someone's life doesn't seem interesting to you personally --" He wheels his chair over to a filing cabinet and rifles though a dictionary. "You don't think you're interesting?" he asks absently. "No!" she says, wondering why he's such an idiot. "I'm saying you obviously don't think I'm being honest enough --" This gets his full attention, and he holds up his hand with a "Wait! Wait wait wait wait wait wait. Honest enough?" He pretends to wrestle with the concept for a second and says, "What's 'enough'?" Grace is getting frustrated and says, "I just can't believe --" "What? What can't you believe?" he asks mildly, looking over a paper. Grace says she can't believe she's the only person in the class who isn't being completely honest. He studies her for a second and then reaches over and opens one of his drawers. "Who calls you 'Gracie'?" he asks. Puzzled, Grace says her mother does, sometimes. Stoltz holds up her journal and asks why Grace is "letting her come to class. Why [is Grace] letting her write [her] journal." Grace is really lost, now. "My mother?" she asks. "No, Gracie," he clarifies. He says he's not interested in what Gracie has to say; he wants to hear from Grace. He'll live to regret those words, I'm sure. To drive home his point, he says, "Augie Meyers plays keyboards on the latest Dylan album, and he is amazing, but I am August." Grace says she just doesn't "think it's fair" that he's coming down on her, and he basically lets her know that nothing is fair, and that's what she should write about. He asks what would happen if she let herself say the thing she's most afraid to say to the person she's most afraid to say it to. "And then write about it. Only, don't clean it up. Don't make it presentable. Don't be Gracie. Be in a state of grace. Because that's what 'Grace' means. Grace is about what's sacred. And that's the truth." He holds out her journal, and she reluctantly takes it, looking like she expects to get an electric shock.

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Once and Again

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