"This morning I was thinking how great it was when Carl brought me my cappuccino in bed, how lucky I am to have him, and how kind he has been to me since I got sick. And it's just really opened us up as a couple." Built for two; the passport to a life. Cathy stares at Leon, trying not to weep for him, trying not to run screaming from the room. He speaks so fast, he does the work, he knows what is required in this group. Cathy's not as good at it and Leon must remind her, to mirror him.
"Shit, sorry. Um... Uh, well, okay. You... You seem happy?" He calls out a hallelujah, he grins and shakes and smiles and nods his head, brittle and terrified and alone, resenting Carl, resenting his strength and his beauty and the sadness behind his eyes and resenting most of all the resentment he thinks might be there too. Carl, who got himself a passport too, the day Leon got sick.
Cathy can't take her eyes off the poster, the happy rainbow in a bright blue summer sky. Walking in here, performing at Stage IV, bringing the dark clouds with her. Leon is terrified that she sees something else; Leon needs her to validate this for them, it is a project and an exercise built for two:
"Yes, I am! I'm happy! Cancer's made me happy!" He laughs, shrugging, sweet. "That's ironic."
It's Cathy's turn. She seems anxious, Leon thinks. She is nervous, in her own way. She rode here on her bicycle and walked into a room full of death where the people smile brighter than they do on the outside, and congratulate each other on their positivity; where everyone is afraid of letting everyone else down, opening the door, letting it walk in among them and bend the ceiling black.
"The truth is I... I haven't told anyone that I'm sick. I mean, besides this roomful of strangers. So I think that's why I'm here, just to try and... Just to try it out. I don't think anyone I know could handle it."
She knows they couldn't. She knows they'll have to, but she putting her toes in. Her laugh goes quiet and then falls away. The truth: That this room is just practice. A passport to the horrible thing she knows she has to do, to every single person she loves. Just to try it out.
"You seem really sad," says Leon, finally, as his face falls apart.