But that’s nice, isn’t it, in a way? To know we all have our place.
Tell ya what I think. And I’m not a psychiatrist or anything but I do think a lotta people today have this tendency, tendency to brood about stuff, which, if you ask me, is, is, is — well, short answer, it’s not productive. And what I’d say to these people, were I to have a degree in psychiatry, I think my advice would be maybe, get up offa your rear end and do something.
Bev: Well, you’re being ugly, and I don’t like ugliness.
Russ: — private matters, matters that are between me and the memory of my son —
Bev: I think his mind has been affected, I really do.
Russ: — and if the two of you want to talk about Kenneth on your own time, if that gives you some kind you comfort —
Bev: And what’s wrong with comfort? Are we not allowed any comfort anymore?
I tell you, I don’t know what I would do without a friend like Francine here, and on a Saturday, I mean she is just a treasure. What on earth are we going to do up there without her?
Now, Russ, you know as well as I do that this is a progressive community.
Karl: It’s a colored family.
Jim: Sorry, don’t we say Negro, now?
Karl: I say Negro —
Jim: Well, it’s only common courtesy, and I’m —
Karl: — I say them interchangeably —
Jim: — not trying to tell you how to conduct your business.
Karl: — and of course I said Negro to them — No I think we both know what you’re doing.
Karl: Bev, they are one hundred percent. And if I don’t know how much time any of you have spent in Hamilton Park, but Betsy was waiting in the car and I can tell you, there are some unsavory characters.
Karl: But in the case of Gelman’s: I think there was some mistrust at first, having been Kopeckne’s Market for such a long time, but in the end of all Murray Gelman found a way to fit in.
Bev: And they hired the Wheeler boy.
And fitting into a community is really what it all comes down to…Now, some would say change is inevitable. And I can support that, if it’s change for the better. But I’ll tell you what I can’t support, and that’s disregarding the needs of the people who live in a community.
Karl: And what happened to love thy neighbor? If we’re being so principled.
Bev: They would become our neighbors.
Karl: And what about the neighbors you already have Bev?
Bev: I care about them, too!
Karl: Well, I’m afraid you can’t have it both ways.
Bev: Francine and I have, over the years, the two of us have shared so many wonderful—remember that time the squirrel came through the window?
Francine: Yes, I do.
Bev: That was just the silliest—the two of us were just hysterical weren’t we?
Karl: I think that you’d agree, I’m assuming, that in the world, there exist certain differences. Agreed?
Francine: What sort of difference?
Karl: That people live differently.
Karl: From one another.
Francine: I agree with that.
Karl: Different customs, different…well, different foods, even. And those diff—here’s a funny—my wife, Betsy, now, Betsy’s family happens to be Scandinavian, and on holidays they eat a thing known as lutefisk. And this is a dish, which I can tell you...is not to my liking at all. It’s...oh my goodness, let’s just say it’s gelatinous.
Jim: —You do find differences in modes of worship. If you take First Presbyterian. Now, that’s a church down in Hamilton Park and I’ve taken fellowship there and I can tell you, the differences are notable.
Jim: Not a value judgment. Apples and oranges. Just as how we have our organ here at Saint Thomas, for accompaniment, whereas at First Presbyterian, they prefer a piano and, occasionally…well, tambourines.
Bev: What’s wrong with tambourines?
Bev: And for all we know this family could be perfectly lovely.
Karl: Well, that’s hardly the point, is it?
Bev: Maybe it’s a point to consider.
Karl: Bev, I’m not here to solve society’s problems. I’m simply telling you what will happen, and it will happen as follows: First one family will leave, then another, and another, and each time they do, the values of these properties will decline, and once that process begins, once you break that egg, Bev, all the kings horses, etcetera—
Russ: If you honestly think I give a rat’s ass about the goddamn—
Jim: Okay. Okay.
Russ: —what, ya mean the community where every time I go for a haircut, where they all sit and stare like the goddamn grim reaper walked in the barber shop door? That community?
Karl: My wife is two weeks away from giving birth to a child.
Russ: Where, Bev stops at Gelman’s for a quart of milk and they look at her like she’s got the goddamn plague? That the community I’m supposed to be looking out for?
And Francine walking in at nine in the morning to find him there. You be my guest, Karl. You go ahead and tell those people what kind of house they’re moving into and see if that stops ‘em, because I’ll tell you what, I don’t care if a hundred Ubangi tribesman with a bone through the nose overrun this goddamn place, ‘cause I’m through with all of you, ya motherfucking sons of bitches. Every one of you.
I think they’re all a buncha idiots. And who’s the biggest idiot of all to let yourself get dragged into the middle of it? Whatcha gonna be now, the big peacemaker come to save the day?...Let ‘em knock each other’s brains out, for all I care. I’m done working for these people two days from now, and you never worked for ‘em at all, so what the hell do you care what they do? And now I am going to the goddamn car.
Bev: What about this chafing dish? Did you see this dish?
Albert: Well, we got plenty of dish—
Bev: Not one of these. Francine told me.
Albert: Well, that’s very kind of you, but—
Bev: She said you didn’t have one and somebody should take it and—
Albert: But we don’t need it, ma’am.
Bev: —make use of it, so if you let me just wrap it for you.
Albert: Ma’am, we don’t want your things. Please. We got our own things.
Albert: Trying to explain to you.
Bev: Well, if that’s the attitude, then I just don’t know what to say anymore. I really don’t. If that’s what we’re coming to.
Lindsey: Can I say? We talked about renovation. We discussed it. Because these houses are so charming and I know it’s a shame — but when you figure in the crack in the sub-floor and the cost of the lead abatement — and in a market like this one? It just made more sense to start from scratch.
Tom: Right. But: the Owners Association has a vested interest — Kevin and Lena call me up last month, they say Tom, we’ve got this problem, these people are planning to build a house that’s a full fifteen feet taller than all the adjacent structures…and I think we’d all agree that there’s a mutual benefit to maintaining the integrity — the architectural integrity…of a historically significant…neighborhood.
Lindsey: And you know, the thing is? Communities change.
Steve: They do.
Lindsey: That’s just the reality.
Steve: It is.
Lena: And some change is inevitable, and we all support that, but it might be worth asking yourself who exactly is responsible that change?
Lindsey: I’m not sure what you—?
Kevin: Wait, what are you trying to—?
Lena: I’m asking you to think about the motivation behind the long-range political initiative to change the faith of this neighborhood….I mean that this is a highly desirable area…And I’m saying that there are certain economic interests that are being served by those changes and others that are not. That’s all.
Steve: The history of America is the history of private property.
Lena: That may be —
Steve: Read De Tocqueville.
Lena: —though I rather doubt your grandparents were sold as private property.
Steve: Ohhhhh my god. Look. Look. Humans are territorial, okay?
Lindsey: Who are you?
Steve: This is why we have wars. One group, one tribe, tries to usurp some territory — and now you guys have this territory, right? And you don’t like having it stolen away from you, the way white people stole everything else from black America. We get it, okay? And we apologize. But what good does it do, if we perpetually fall into the same, predictable little euphemistic tap dance around the topic?
Kevin: You know how to tap dance?
Steve: See? See what he’s doing?!!
Lindsey: Maybe quit while you’re ahead.
Steve: No. I’m sick of — No. Every single word we say is — is — is scrutinized for some kind of latent — Meanwhile you guys run around saying n-word this and n-word that and whatever. We all know why there’s a double standard but I can’t even so much as repeat a fucking joke that the one black guy I know told me —
Steve:… Are you “offended”?
Steve: Neither am I.
Lindsey: You can’t be offended, you moron —
Lindsey: — because you’ve never been politically marginalized, unlike the majority of people in the world —
Steve: How can a majority be marginal?
Lindsey: — and, by the way, all women, everywhere, and it’s your classic white male myopia that you’re blind to that basic fact.
Lena: Why is a white woman like a tampon?
Lindsey: Why is what?
Lena: It’s a joke.
Well you’re being an idiot. And in case you hadn’t noticed, the rest of the world has begun a more sophisticated conversation about this topic than you apparently are qualified to participate in at this incredible moment in history. I mean, I used to date a black guy. So what? I mean, seriously. Steve. Wake up.
Lindsey: Well, I want to say this: I want to say I feel angry. And I’m basically kind of hurt by the implication that’s been made that, just because we want to live as your neighbors and raise a child alongside yours, that somehow, in the process of doing that, we’ve had our ethics called into question. Because that is hurtful.
But you know, I think things are about to change. I really do. I know it’s been a hard couple of years for all of us, I know they have been, but I really believe things are about to change for the better. I firmly believe that.