A "VERY RELIABLE SOURCE" OF COURSE
Has meanwhile leaked this story to Alex, who summons Susan and presents it to her like a cat with a headless pigeon.
Susan: "Garcetti's pre-emptive strike. Why don't you give it to Georgia? You're still screwing her, right? Most people show preferential treatment to the people they screw. You do the opposite. I find that upsetting."
It's how he stays clean. Think about it.
Alex: "Garcetti's supposedly squeezing Justice Nash off the high bench..."
Susan: "Well, maybe Nash wants out? She's in her 70s and her partner was just placed in assisted care..."
Alex: "Not the story. The story is her replacement. High-level White House source. 500 words by lunch..."
Susan: "Can I stall you on this? How about legal scholars' reactions or..."
Alex: "It's exclusive. Next up is the Post or the Times and we lose it."
She gets him down to three hours; Assistant Russ points out that this would kill Susan's big story -- "No shit, Russ" -- and tries to comfort her.
Russ: "You know, breaking a Supreme Court nod... that's not such a bad story."
Susan agrees: "No. But it's not the story."
Into the kitchen while Elaine's rolling calls, trying to clear Douglas's schedule for the fishing trip and Elaine hangs up to harangue her. First bad idea of the day.
Elaine: "You know, I should be used to it by now, but frankly I was a little shocked by how negative you were last night."
Margaret: "What you were shocked about was that someone in this family dared to tell you the truth. Dougie doesn't have a job without you, T.J. wants to stay on your good side in case he needs a loan -- or bail -- and poor Anne..."
We don't talk about that. Only Margaret notices, because only Margaret knows about that; about what it takes to become a picture in a magazine, when you weren't born there. Paper-thin.
It becomes a war between women. Elaine compares them on motherhood and comes out victorious. Every negative thing she thinks of herself -- or ever has -- comes rushing back and they're all in Margaret's voice. All the way back, to the real murky ugly stuff; the stuff that sounds like a cliché because we've all heard it in our own heads. It's not that we want our parents to die exactly. We just want to move into the house where we keep them. For them to feel safe enough to rest.