The Big C
Taking Lumps

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Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
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Unhealthy Competition
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"Do you want to learn about history?"

Cathy produces from her backpack a treasure trove of inappropriate VHS tapes. At home, there isn't even a machine to play them on; her husband Paul cared more about the technological curve, clearly, than the AV department at school. The best toys. Here, there's a machine to play them all. They're a part of history; they are history. Relegated.

One day there will be no machines left that can play them. The earth's electromagnetic field itself will wash them clean, like river rocks. And anybody who sees their cover will wonder but they won't really understand. They might hear stories or watch on DVD or whatever they'll make up later, but these particular tapes are history. Entire stories nobody will never really watch.

"I didn't know how many of these dinosaurs I had sitting on my bookshelf," Cathy chuckles. Now those shelves are clean, she can dust them and put whatever she likes on them. Some of the other shelves were getting cluttered and sometimes when she'd look at them -- to be honest, sometimes when she was in another room entirely -- she'd wonder what to do about it. How to clear it up. Many of the books were gifts. Most of the books are hers. Adam might read them, one day. Climb inside her stories.

"Fatal Attraction. Is Michael Douglas an innocent victim, or is boiling the bunny his just reward for a cheap, illicit, extramarital affair?"

One of the girls complains that she's spoiled the ending, but her mind is elsewhere. Counting her bunnies, one by one, making sure none of them are being boiled for her cheap, illicit affair. Wondering if death balances everything out. Thinking about a spree.

Andrea's noticed, when she's not staring out the window at her painter, just how often Mrs. Jamison leaves the room these days. To make copies, she says, "I'm going to go make some photocopies," always. Cathy doesn't deny it.

"I've got things to duplicate. You're missing the credits."

Behind the school stage, among costumes and dropped-away props. Detritus and flotsam of a million years of pretending, behind the curtain where everything happens. Where people like Cathy belong.

"What's this?" says Lenny, caressing her.

"My lower backside," Cathy laughs, but he inclines his gaze.

"Ah. No, you have a... You have this little bump?"

She pulls his hand away, so gently he doesn't realize it; she yanks at one of the many skirts she's bought recently. Here, behind the scenes, behind the curtain. It found her. "I get these little skin cysts sometimes, it's like hereditary, actually, so I'll make sure I get it checked out. I realize this all isn't very sexy..."

She's shivering. "I find everything about you sexy," he says. They get back to work.

Dr. Mauer makes fun of Cathy for meeting him in such a plebian place as his medical offices, given their history. Given Amanda Montgomery.

"I would have expected to see you next in a hot-air balloon, or midair on a trapeze!"

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The Big C

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