Episode 37 Transcript

37 - Patient #14-A-8 (rose)
By Lauren Shippen

Dr. Bright: Now slowly bring your focus back into the room. And whenever you’re ready, open your eyes. How do you feel?

Rose: Good. Sort of like I just woke up from a long nap. 

Dr. Bright: Did you fall asleep?

Rose: No, I don’t think so. But I was- I guess I got more aware of my ability in a way. 

Dr. Bright: What do you mean by that?

Rose: Well, there’s a certain feeling I get when I’m in someone’s dream. It’s different than while I’m just dreaming myself. 

Dr. Bright: What does it feel like?

Rose: I don’t know how to describe it really. It’s like, when I’m having my own dreams, it’s like I’m wrapped in cotton. It’s warm and a little hazy and safe. But traveling to someone else’s dream, there’s a- a sharpness to it. 

Dr. Bright: A sharpness?

Rose: No- I don’t know if that’s the right word. It’s not- it’s not a bad feeling. It’s more like stepping outside and having cold air hit your face - the change in temperature is noticeable but it’s kind of refreshing.

Dr. Bright: And you felt that way just now while you were meditating?

Rose: Not exactly. More like the edges of it. Like maybe I could slip into that kind of sleep. 

Dr. Bright: The kind of sleep where you dreamwalk?

Rose: Yeah. And I guess maybe I wouldn’t have been able to do anything because there’s no one sleeping nearby, but I don’t know, it still felt like a possibility. 

Dr. Bright: That’s wonderful, Rose. Achieving that kind of control after two sessions is very encouraging.

Rose: Thanks. Do you think that I’ll get to a place where I can totally control it? Where I won’t just fall asleep randomly?

Dr. Bright: I think it’s very possible. The AM believes that your narcolepsy-like symptoms are caused by your ability, correct?

Rose: That’s right. They ran all the usual tests to diagnose narcolepsy but it was all pretty, I don’t know…

Dr. Bright: Inconclusive?

Rose: Right. We did the same kinds of meditation exercises but they looked at my brain while we did it and I guess they were able to tell that tapping into my ability is what makes me fall asleep. 

Dr. Bright: Yes, I saw that it your file. That isn’t unusual for dreamwalkers - the ability will get triggered randomly and that’s what causes the sleeping spells. If you gain better control and choose to flex your ability regularly, you hopefully won’t fall asleep as randomly. 

Rose: Yeah, that’s what they said too. But then I have to choose whose dreams to go into and that can be, well, people can’t control what they dream about so sometimes I drop in on someone’s nightmare or something and then the next day I have to decide whether or not I tell them that I know they’re afraid of ducks or whatever. It’s awkward. 

Dr. Bright: I can understand it might be uncomfortable to see someone’s subconscious like that. But some dreamwalkers gain such excellent control that they are able to use their power without entering the dreams of others. 

Rose: What do they do?

Dr. Bright: Some look inward, and explore parts of their consciousness that their waking brain can’t access. Others go into what they call a higher plane - something above the consciousness of humans. 

Rose: Really?

Dr. Bright: That’s how they describe it. 

Rose: Wow. 

Dr. Bright: But let’s leave all that for the time being and focus on minimizing the disruption to your life. That’s the first step. 

Rose: Right. Okay. 

Dr. Bright: Have you gone back to work yet?

Rose: Not yet. The restaurant has been really good about me taking some time off. But they also don’t want someone working in a kitchen who might fall asleep at any moment. 

Dr. Bright: Yes, I imagine that might be hazardous. 

Rose: I really hope to go back soon. I mean, I can usually feel when it’s about to happen and get out of the way. And even though I’m living with my parents, I’m still so far away from having even the first semester’s tuition for culinary school. And then there’s these sessions- 

Dr. Bright: The AM is subsidizing them. That’s one of the benefits of doing their program. 

Rose: I know, but that’s only for six months, right? I have a feeling I’m not gonna be perfectly in control after six months. 

Dr. Bright: You’re right, I definitely encourage all my patients to do therapy regularly. Mental wellbeing is a lifelong pursuit. But I also know that not everyone can afford the expense. We can work something out when the time comes. But you don’t need to worry about it right now. 

Rose: You’re right, you’re right. Like my dad is always telling my mom: “don’t go borrowing trouble”. Which she never listens to because, well, she knows when trouble is coming. She can’t help but worry about the future. 

Dr. Bright: Anxiety about the future is a natural human impulse. But it doesn’t serve us to dwell on it too much. Our time’s almost up, but do you have any other pressing concerns that you’d like to talk about?

Rose: Um, yes, actually. I’ve been seeing someone for a little while - we’ve gone on a bunch of dates over the past two months, but it’s not really serious. Not yet. And its not that I don’t want to commit, but it’s- it’s hard to really share your life with someone when you can’t stay over or nap with them on the couch, you know? And also, I don’t like lying - I had to tell her I was going traveling for two weeks when I was at The AM and I still feel really weird about it. 

Dr. Bright: Have you seen her since finishing the program?

Rose: Yeah, I have. I like her so much and I’d like to actually make her my girlfriend but I just- even if I’m getting better control and can avoid going into her dreams, I’m still keeping this huge thing from her. So I guess I was just wondering, what do your patients do usually? The AM made everything seem pretty secretive but my family has always been so open about it, at least with each other. My parents always told my brother to not go around flashing it when his ability started, but can I tell people? Is that allowed?

Dr. Bright: That’s not a choice anyone can make for you, Rose. Most of the people I know choose to only tell those closest to them - their immediate family, best friends, spouses, partners. It’s true that The AM doesn’t want atypicals to go around broadcasting it-

Rose: Yeah, they made that very clear. 

Dr. Bright: But it’s your decision to make. I would suggest caution. Not everyone reacts well and it is a very personal thing to share. Make sure you trust the person first. But other than that, it’s really up to you. 

Rose: Okay. I don’t think I’ll tell her just yet but, I don’t know, I really feel like we could be something and this isn’t a part of my life I’m willing to hide from a serious girlfriend. 

Dr. Bright: See? You already know your boundaries - trust your instincts. 

Rose: Thanks, Dr. Bright. 

Dr. Bright: Alright, Rose, we’re out of time. 

[sfx: both standing]

Dr. Bright: Call me if you have any concerns and- 

[sfx: door opening]

Dr. Bright: Mark! What are you doing here?

Mark: I was in the neighborhood, thought I’d stop by. Sorry, I didn’t realize you had a patient. 

Dr. Bright: We just finished up actually. I’ll see you in two weeks?

Rose: Sure thing. Thanks, Dr. Bright. 

Dr. Bright: Bye, Rose. 

[sfx: opening and closing outer door]

Mark: What could she do?

Dr. Bright: What?

Mark: What was her power? I couldn’t pick up on anything. 

Dr. Bright: You’d probably need to be asleep. 

Mark: Ah, dreamwalker. Very cool. 

Dr. Bright: You’re familiar with the ability?

Mark: Sure am. 

Dr. Bright: Mark-

Mark: Where’s the scotch?

Dr. Bright: What?

[sfx: Mark getting scotch throughout]

Mark: Sam told me about it - I was telling her about the Bryant love for dark liquors and she said she didn’t like scotch but she’d only had it once. With you. In your office. That’s very Mad Men of you. Great final season, by the way. Have you seen it?

Dr. Bright:  I can’t say that I have. 

Mark: Oh, you should. It's so good -such good stuff. Just finished it yesterday. Do you want some?

Dr. Bright: I’m okay. Have you done anything this week other than binge watch TV?

Mark: I have a lot to catch up on. Mm, ooh, that's pretty good stuff. 

Dr. Bright: Mark, are you okay?

Mark: I’m fine! Just having a bit of a day. Did you know about the construction happening in the apartment next door? 

Dr. Bright: No.

Mark: That’s sort of rude of your neighbors, isn’t it? To not tell you? I guess you were up and out before it started this morning but it was loud. 

Dr. Bright: I’m sorry, Mark. I can try talking to them about starting later if you want. I know you haven’t been sleeping all that well-

Mark: No, no, it’s fine, I was awake already. It’s just- well they had these big machines - monitors and stuff - in the room where they did the experiments. And they made this really loud, growling hum. Really distinctive sound, you know? 

Dr. Bright: At The AM?

Mark: Yeah, where else? And the construction next door…it just- it kind of sounded like that. So I had to get out of there. Went to Sam’s place but she wasn’t home which is weird. But then I remembered about the scotch, so here I am! 

Dr. Bright: Mark. 

Mark: Don’t be such a mother hen. I promise I won’t make a habit of drinking in the middle of the day. I just needed something to take the edge off- hey! 

[sfx: Dr. Bright taking glass]

Dr. Bright: Nope. You cannot come in here and self medicate in front of me. 

Mark: Would you prefer I do it somewhere else?

Dr. Bright: Mark. 

Mark: Sorry, sorry, I just- like I said, bit of a day. 

Dr. Bright: Are you ever going to talk to me about it?

Mark: Aren’t you supposed to let me take my time?

Dr. Bright: I’m not your therapist, Mark. I’m your sister. And it’s been over a month since you’ve been back. If you don’t want to talk to me, are you at least talking to Sam about it? Or Chloe? Anyone?

Mark: Sam doesn’t push but, yeah, sometimes we talk about it. Chloe knows everything before I open my mouth and then we’re just sitting there staring at each other not talking- it drives Sam nuts. When we go nonverbal, you know? 

Dr. Bright: No one likes being left out. How are things going with you two?

Mark: Good, I think. Slow. Which is good. 

Dr. Bright: You don’t sound convinced. 

Mark: No, no, it’s just- it’s different for me, you know? I’ve always been very jump-in-feet-first with relationships. But Sam’s not like that, which is good, because I don’t know that I’m ready for anything and I don’t- I don't know how to- I think I’m really fucked up, Joanie. 

Dr. Bright: You need to give yourself a break. You were in captivity for nearly five years. It’s going to be hard to adjust. 

Mark: I just- Sam hates going out in public, you know? I mean, she says she’s gotten better about it since starting therapy with you but it’s- well, it’s really kind of nice to just sit inside with her and Darwin and not worry about things. But she’s always suggesting that we go out and do stuff because I’ve missed so much and she knows I love being out and about because that’s what I told her but it’s not- that’s not true anymore. It’s- it’s too overwhelming when I don’t know who is around, or if there are any other atypicals, and I forget- I forget that I can be seen and heard when I’m in public now so sometimes I’m talking to myself and I don’t realize until I notice everyone staring at me like I’m crazy. 

Dr. Bright: Mark, you need to go see a therapist. Someone not me, not Sam, not atypical-related, and talk about this. 

Mark: No, no, no. No more doctors. 

Dr. Bright: Mark-

Mark: I can’t, I can't- I- I- I can’t trust anyone. And Sam can tell, and it’s not fair, because she’s the only- she’s the only one who has any idea what it was like to be alone for that long and I don’t trust her. When she tries to get me to go out for dinner or to a movie, I know she’s doing it because she cares about me and she wants me to be happy, even if it means going outside of her comfort zone, but all I can think about is what her motivations for getting me out of the apartment are. Is she setting a trap for me? Does she want to get rid of me? Does she not want me anymore? And it’s not fair, she doesn’t deserve my suspicion, she’s done nothing but care for me and give me space and time when I need it and I don’t trust her. I can’t. 

Dr. Bright: Do you- do you trust me?

Mark: I have no fucking clue. 

Dr. Bright: Okay. 

Mark: I love you, Joanie. I love you a lot. Nothing will ever change that. But your old buddies really did a number on me. 

Dr. Bright: I know.

Mark: How was your patient?

Dr. Bright: What?

Mark: The girl- the dreamwalker. She doing okay?

Dr. Bright: Seems to be. We haven’t been working together for long. 

Mark: How do people find you anyway? I know Sam saw an ad in the paper but, I mean, how often does that work?

Dr. Bright: Some are referred by other atpyicals, others…

Mark: Others by The AM?

Dr. Bright: Yes. As you said, they occasionally do good work. 

Mark: Why still send patients to you, though? I mean, after everything that happened?

Dr. Bright: I have the necessary training for this work. The AM poured a lot of money into training me, making me effective - it makes sense that they’d want to continue to take advantage of that. Their employees are a big investment. Even the people who leave usually end up being consultants like me. 

Mark: Have you heard from her?

Dr. Bright: No. 

Mark: Seriously? She just backed off completely?

Dr. Bright: Only in the sense that she hasn’t reached out. 

Mark: What?

Dr. Bright: She knows it would drive me crazy- her going completely quiet. This is a classic Wadsworth game. Stop our meetings, stop calling me, stop asking me to come back to The AM, and eventually I’ll go crawling back on my own. 

Mark: She really thinks that would work?

Dr. Bright: She knows that it means I’m spending more time and energy thinking about her than before. If I don’t see her or talk to her, I don’t know what she’s doing. I’m just always waiting for the other shoe to drop. 

Mark: Jesus, what is the deal with you two?

Dr. Bright: What?

Mark: This twisted, mad-scientist mind game shit the two of you have. What does she want from you?

Dr. Bright: Control. I think- looking back on our time working together, I was so caught up in admiring her, in being impressed by her, that I didn’t realize how controlling she was. I thought she was trying to groom me, make me her protege, but the more I think about it the more I think that she was just trying to keep me under her thumb. Keep me from being the competition. 

Mark: God, she’s a real charmer, isn’t she?

Dr. Bright: Mm. 

Mark: How’s Damien doing?

Dr. Bright: Are you sure you want to know?

Mark: Is it that bad?

Dr. Bright: No, it’s- he’s doing better. I’m just not sure it’s healthy for you to have any kind of contact with him right now. 

Mark: Yeah, well, not my therapist, remember? Besides, I don’t have any contact with him. That’s why I’m asking you. 

Dr. Bright: And I’d like to keep it that way, so you need to get out of here. Go see a movie or something. 

Mark: What?

Dr. Bright: Damien is coming by for a session in ten minutes and you can’t be here for that. 

Mark: Do you think he’ll be okay?

Dr. Bright: Honestly, I like him better this way. 

Mark: Joanie. 

Dr. Bright: I don’t know, Mark. His ability to make his own choices has gotten much stronger. He- he only does what I say about twenty percent of the time now. But he still can’t impose his own will on others.

Mark: Have you figured out what happened?

Dr. Bright: I have my theories. 

Mark: Well, such as?

Dr. Bright: Damien’s power is normally an outward one - he pushes his will out to other people. I think when you had your outburst, it got reversed and opened up his brain to incoming signals. Now it’s just about closing his mind back up so that other people’s desires don’t get in. It seems to be working so far. 

Mark: Well, I guess it could be worse. 

Dr. Bright: It certainly could be. He could have full use of his power again. 

Mark: No, I don’t want him to be like this forever. I didn’t mean to break him. I know what it’s like to not be able to feel your own ability. It was like not being able to detect your own heartbeat. Not painful, just creepy. I don’t want that for anyone, not even Damien. 

Dr. Bright: Mark, you don’t- Damien isn’t- do you trust him?

Mark: I don’t know. I did, for the whole summer, but it was because he wanted me to. And now, like- I have no idea. Objectively, cognitively, I know I shouldn’t. But there’s that lingering part of my emotions - just on the surface - that trusts him. I hate it. I hate that he made it so that I can’t even trust my own goddamn feelings. But that doesn’t mean I want to see him hurt. 

Dr. Bright: I know. I’m doing everything I can. I promise. 

Mark: I know you are.  Is he- what's he been like without his ability? Is he happy? Is he nice?

Dr. Bright: Was he nicer to you after?

Mark: No. Not really. He seemed like the same old Damien, but just sapped of color, if that makes sense. 

Dr. Bright: It does. I’ve gotten the same impression. Damien has never been a cheerful person but he seems unhappier than usual, I’ll grant you that. 

Mark: You don’t think he deserves to be happy. 

Dr. Bright: Is there a mind reader in the other room I don’t know about?

Mark: I just know you. 

Dr. Bright: And you’re wondering the same thing. 

Mark: Yeah. I guess I am. 

Dr. Bright: I don’t think Damien’s goal in life is to be happy. I’m not sure he thinks about it very much. To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure what his goals in life are. 

Mark: He just wanted someone to relate to, I think. Someone who could understand his ability, share it. And then it totally back-fired and now he misses the power. He was so mad at me for taking it from him. 

Dr. Bright: He’ll be here soon, you should get going. 

Mark: Right. Just- be careful, Joanie. 

Dr. Bright: I’ve been working with Damien for quite some time now - I know how to handle him. 

Mark: I know, it’s just-  when I got here that first night, and that patient of yours showed up, the empath-

Dr. Bright: Caleb. 

Mark: Right. I felt this really strong feeling and I didn’t know what it was at the time because there were so many people and I was so tired but I’ve been thinking about it a lot and I think it was coming from Damien. 

Dr. Bright: What was it?

Mark: It was hate. 

Dr. Bright: Damien doesn’t hate you. 

Mark: He hates what I did to him. Okay, I should go, I guess. I’ll see you at home later? We’ll order Thai? 

Dr. Bright: That sounds good. 

[sfx: door opening]

Mark: Love you, Joanie

Dr. Bright: I love you too. 

[sfx: door closing, Dr. Bright walking to desk]

Dr. Bright: End of session 2 with patient fourteen. I’ll have to cut out the last few minutes there. A productive session, all in all. I’m very pleased with the patient’s progress but I’m still stumped as to how to make the best use of our time together. I’ve never worked with a dreamwalker outside of The AM. There, we would monitor them twenty-four-seven, even while they were sleeping. It seems silly for Rose and I to take a nap during a session but I’m not sure what other way we can flex her ability. I may have to consult with- well, I’m sure Agent Green will have some ideas. And Rose seems fond of him, for some reason. 

[sfx: click of recorder and new recording starting]

Dr. Bright: Take a seat, Damien. 

Damien: I’m good. 

Dr. Bright: Nicely done. Was that easy for you to resist?

Damien: Very. 

Dr. Bright: How are you feeling today?

Damien: Fine. 

Dr. Bright: Would you like to elaborate on that at all?

Damien: Nope. 

Dr. Bright: Damien, if you don’t talk to me, I can’t help you. 

Damien: You don’t want to help me. You’ve been loving this. 

Dr. Bright: We’ve had our disagreements, Damien, but that doesn’t mean I wish you harm. 

Damien: Bullshit. You forget: I could feel what you wanted. And you didn’t want me to get better. 

Dr. Bright: You could feel?

Damien: That’s right - I’m back, baby. 

Dr. Bright: You’re no longer…

Damien: Subject to the whims of other people? No. Thank christ. 

Dr. Bright: How-

Damien: Yesterday, I woke up and it was like something had snapped back into place. When it first happened it was like- Mark pushed me and everything went black, and when I woke up it was like my brain had been turned inside out. And it’s been like that for weeks. Do you have any idea what that’s like? To have your own mind be a stranger to you?

Dr. Bright: Damien-

Damien: And you’ve just been sitting there, pretending like you were helping me-

Dr. Bright: I was helping you - you’ve been getting better-

Damien: Barely. Sure, I was able to recognize when you were influencing me and maybe resist it but you were never going to help me get my ability back. 

Dr. Bright: And now you-

Damien: Yep. Good as new. 

Dr. Bright: I see. 

Damien: Oh god, look at your face. So disappointed. 

Dr. Bright: It was refreshing to have a different dynamic with you, Damien. 

Damien: A different dynamic? You mean it was refreshing to have power over me. 

Dr. Bright: No, I don’t. I’ve been doing my best this past month to not influence you too much in these sessions. I think I can say with confidence that I did not abuse my position. 

Damien: Constantly checking in on me, not letting me see Mark-

Dr. Bright: Both of which were for your own health and safety. But I never made you talk about things you didn’t want to. Even though you know I have questions. 

Damien: Speaking of which, I have some questions of my own. And now that I’m back to normal-

Dr. Bright: Damien, don’t do this.

Damien: Why not?

Dr. Bright: Was there any part of you that maybe enjoyed the past month? You’ve lived with this ability for a long time. And I know you’ve been curious about what your life would be like without it.

Damien: Maybe I was curious. I’m not anymore. 

Dr. Bright: And you didn’t learn anything from it?

Damien: Oh, sure, I learned stuff. I learned what it’s like to be helpless and weak and, shocker, didn’t care for it. 

Dr. Bright: It’s not weak to rely on other people for help. 

Damien: Is that what you think I’ve been doing? Coming to these sessions so you can help me? I haven’t had a choice. 

Dr. Bright: I didn’t make you come see me. 

Damien: There was no other option. I didn’t know if I was going to get better on my own. That’s not a real choice. 

Dr. Bright: My god, you spend one month without everything going your way and you throw a fit. Welcome to how everyone else lives, Damien. 

Damien: I’m not like everybody else. I never want to be like that again. 

Dr. Bright: I understand that it may have been a difficult adjustment for you, Damien, but don’t come to me looking for sympathy. At least no one spent a year trying to ring out every secret you have-

Damien: You’re my therapist, you’re supposed to have sympathy for me. 

Dr. Bright: If you think that after you kidnapped my brother, I am still your therapist, I have got news for you- 

Damien: You haven’t seemed to mind all that much since I came back-

Dr. Bright: Well, you’re better now, so you don’t need my help anymore. Find someone else to torment.

Damien: Why even help me at all? If what I did this summer was so terrible, why even try to help me get better?

Dr. Bright: Because Mark asked me to! 

Damien: I knew it. 

Dr. Bright: Knew what?

Damien: He cares. Unlike you, who has done nothing but disrespect and resent me-

Dr. Bright: Oh my god- 

Damien: He actually cares. He wants me to get better. Guess I proved you wrong. 

Dr. Bright: What?

Damien: You said I could never make a, um, “meaningful connection” if I continued to use my power on people. You were wrong. God, I love when you’re wrong.

Dr. Bright: You didn’t use your power on Mark?

Damien: Well- no, I mean, I had to to keep him with me, or otherwise he would have- but I didn’t make him like me. I didn’t make him care. 

Dr. Bright: Damien, don’t mistake Mark’s unfailing decency as affection for you. Just because he wouldn’t step over your corpse in the street doesn’t mean he cares. 

Damien: God, you’re a real bitch, you know that?

Dr. Bright: Get out of my office. 

Damien: No, I’m not done yet. 

Dr. Bright: Damien-

Damien: How do I make sure it never happens again?

Dr. Bright: What?

Damien: If I meet someone like Mark, or he loses control again, I can’t let the same thing happen. I can’t go back to that- to that emptiness. Tell me how to fight it. 

Dr. Bright: I have absolutely no idea, Damien. 

Damien: You’re lying. 

Dr. Bright: I’m not. Your ability is working - I want to tell you the truth. But I barely understand what happened with your and Mark’s abilities in the first place. I can’t tell you how to prevent it from happening again. 

Damien: Then who can?

Dr. Bright: I’m sorry?

Damien: You’re not the only one who works with atypicals. And you stopped helping me with my ability a long time ago - you’re never going to help me learn how to get stronger. But there has to be someone out there who can. Tell me who. 

Dr. Bright: Wadsworth. 

Damien: The AM director?

Dr. Bright: Yes. She’s smarter than me. 

Damien: Oh, how’s that for some honesty! Oh god, I missed this. Oh, it just- oh, it feels so good to have control again. You know what, I think I might actually be better at this than I was before. 

Dr. Bright: I’m thrilled for you. 

Damien: Is this a trap? Telling me to go see Wadsworth?

Dr. Bright: No.

Damien: Good. Give me her home address, just to be safe. 

Dr. Bright: I don’t have it. 

Damien: Fine. You know, I think I know someone who does. 

Dr. Bright: Damien-

Damien: Thanks, Dr. B.. Ciao! 

[sfx: opening door]

Dr. Bright: Damien, stay away from Mark. 

Damien: I will. For now. First I gotta go see the wizard. 

[sfx: closing door & click of recorder]

[music & credits]

Lauren Shippen: Episode 37 was written and directed by Lauren Shippen and produced by Mischa Stanton. The voice of Dr. Bright is Julia Morizawa. The voice of Rose is Alanna Fox, the voice of Mark is Andrew Nowak, and the voice of Damien is Charlie Ian. Our music is composed and performed by Evan Cunningham. For more information about the show, special bonus content, and official merchandise, please visit our website at thebrightsessions.com. You can also like us on Facebook, follow us on tumblr, and on twitter @brightpodcast. The Bright Sessions would like to thank Elizabeth Laird, Anna Lore, Elizabeth and Matthew Harrington, Ken Hertz, Ilyssa Adler, Oswaldo Rossi, and Authentic. The Bright Sessions will return in two weeks, on May 10th with Episode 38. Until then, thanks for listening and stay strange.