"Just buck up, Leon. I'm fine, really. No, I'm happy. Just like you." Cathy Jamison has made a truly terrible mistake; she will rectify that mistake and she will bust a move. Away from Leon and Sheila and the rest of them. Mitchell, who has found his voice. Cathy Jamison cannot chillax here; these are not her people. They are their own people, a strange hungry tribe who take the cliché and turn it around on itself: Not being authentic, not really telling the truth so much as a new kind of lie. Nothing here for Cathy Jamison, who only wants the courage to be honest, to be angry. To be just one Cathy Jamison, with no secrets at all.
In the morning Cathy scrambled eggs for her son Adam; she's still in her dressing gown when Leon and Sheila appear at her door. A bowl, a vat, a good six quarts of casserole, plastic-wrapped, reflecting bright smiles. Leon calls her friend; Sheila assures her that nutrition is very important for her "fight." She's Stage IV: They will have noticed her hair. They know what it means. She's not treating it, not in the usual ways, which makes her even more alone.
"How did you people find me?" They laugh. There are three Cathy Jamisons in the Minneapolis phone book this summer. She assures her that she has plenty of food. A good life. She doesn't want charity, that's her crazy brother. She just wants to raise her son properly and leave on a high note.
"You don't have a choice in the matter," they say. "We are gonna care about you, even if you don't care about yourself," they say. "We're Team Cathy!" they say.
Cathy Jamison assures Leon and Sheila that she has plenty of people, she already had people, she doesn't need more people. She has a team, she doesn't need a new team. They apologize: It's too late. She's stuck with them. They've seen it all before. "Have a positive and light-filled day!" they say, and go away again. They are desperate to help; they need her to let them help. Helping is all they have. She's performing at Stage IV, they're better off than she is.
Cathy Jamison knows the feeling. She knows all the tricks. She's surrounded herself with just such obligations. Team Paul, Team Sean. Team Adam. The way helping feels like power; how easy it is to convince yourself that you're doing the right thing when really you're just desperate to be needed. How people twist and turn and try to avoid the trap. She knows how they'll come at her, and keep coming. Passport to a whole new life of being harassed and helped and condescended and patronized and terrorized. So that they can feel better for a moment.