Empathy No. 006
06/29/02, Apt. 3:45 PM (approx)
ELEANOR: Lloyd! I wasn't expecting you to-
LLOYD: I should have called ahead, sure, but I was in the area on an errand and the mood struck me to drop by.
ELEANOR: Oh, I'm...I'm acting like there's something wrong with that. You know, it's just that I never get company, so the place isn't really ready for guests.
LLOYD: Now, you have to know that I'm not going to judge you, Ellie.
ELEANOR: Of course I know that.
LLOYD: You're a little self-conscious anyway? I know, but I couldn't resist myself.
ELEANOR: Now I'm just being rude, huh? Um...Roderick's in the other room working on a story, you don't want me to get him, do you?
LLOYD: No, not right anyway, let's not disturb him. Another story, huh? I'm not going to get over that kid of yours having work in print. But this visit...it's more about you.
ELEANOR: Oh? I thought you were just here on an errand.
LLOYD: I was here on an errand with a dressmaker friend of mine. Take a look at...this. What do you think? Good for a July wedding?
ELEANOR: Lloyd, this is too nice. I told you, you don't have to spend money on me like that.
LLOYD: Okay, first: This friend of mine owed me a favor, so I got a break on the price. But even at full price, Ellie, it's worth it. You've never had this experience before, so we're going to make it special. Now back to that question: Do you like it? Because we can always get something different.
ELEANOR: Lloyd, it's great. There's just nothing else to say about it.
LLOYD: I'm very glad to hear that. You know, there's nothing wrong with thinking about yourself just a little bit.
ELEANOR: I know.
LLOYD: You've been sacrificing most of your life. It's not a sin to be happy, Ellie.
ELEANOR: It's not that, it's...there are certain things I'm not used to, I guess.
LLOYD: And if I ever cross some line then I hope you'll tell me, but I'm going to insist on this. It's probably best if I keep this back at my house, just for convenience.
ELEANOR: Of course, I don't think Roderick would be too comfortable seeing it anyway.
LLOYD: Really? He's not happy?
ELEANOR: He says he's fine, but I know him, and I know what that means.
LLOYD: Believe me Ellie, all of us are going to do our absolute best to make your son feel at home. He's going to be family as much as you are.
ELEANOR: I think that's part of what's making him nervous.
LLOYD: I really do have to leave, but I should say hello to him first. Hope he won't mind.
RODERICK: Oh, hello, Mr. Levitt.
LLOYD: Good afternoon, Roderick. How's it going?
RODERICK: Uh...everything's fine.
LLOYD: I understand you're working on another story. Anything I can read, or are you one of those secretive types who doesn't want anyone to see a work in progress?
RODERICK: It's really just a page and a half so far, there's, uh...not much to see.
LLOYD: Well, I guess I'll have to read it when everyone else does, then. Oh - your mother told you about the barbecue, right?
ELEANOR: No, I forgot to mention that...Lloyd and his family are having a 4th of July barbecue, and we're both invited.
LLOYD: It'll give you a chance to meet the kids, some of the neighbors...I've told a lot of people about you. Both of you.
ELEANOR: That's great! I've...well, we've both wanted Roderick to meet his future siblings.
LLOYD: And they're eager to meet you. But no pressure, Roderick, it's not like we want you to entertain or anything.
RODERICK: Of course not...
LLOYD: You don't have plans, do you?
RODERICK: No, of course I'll go.
LLOYD: Well, all right. In that case, I'll let you get back to you work, and Eleanor, you can get back to your bad. I'll see the two of you on the 4th.
ELEANOR: He's very considerate, isn't he?
ELEANOR: It's been a long time since we've been to a real barbecue. You know, there are going to be a lot of people there, but I don't want you to feel like you have to do anything.
RODERICK: I should just be myself.
ELEANOR: Right. I'll let you get back to your work, and I'll let you know when dinner's ready, okay?
RODERICK: Yeah. Thanks, Mom.