• Andrea Klassen

3. "In a World Where..." Transcript

1. WHO WOULD I BE?


(ONCE MORE OUR NARRATION AMBIANCE: A SOFT, DECONSTRUCTED VERSION OF THE THEME TUNE, TODAY TAKING ON A MORE SOMBER TONE)

NARRATOR KATE

I think a lot about alternate universes. Not just the kind in fanfiction where it's like, what if this character was an Olympic pro figure skater instead of an international spy? Or if all these superheroes were in a zombie apocalypse--

(

A LITTLE LAUGH)

--or, or your favourite paranormal park ranger was secretly a werewolf.

I do think about that stuff a lot too: How would the characters I love stay the same? How would they change? How much can you take away or switch around before you lose something essential? Nature versus nurture... versus zombies.


But I think about it for me, too. What if I'd grown up somewhere else? What if lending my pencil crayons to Erin Walker in Grade One actually had made me her new best friend? What if I'd said that funny comeback in the moment, instead of thinking it up 15 minutes later? Which moments would change me? And would the moments of change be as obvious as they feel when you're imagining another universe for a person on TV?


(FADE FROM NARRATION AMBIANCE INTO...)

2. MEET WHITNEY

(A SMALL BEDROOM. WHITNEY, DELIVERED TO US VIA LAPTOP SPEAKERS SOUNDS A LITTLE BIT CANNED/REMOTE.)

WHITNEY

-and the head of the entire department said he really liked my idea!


KATE

Oh wow.


WHITNEY

So on top of pulling the rest of the conference together, we're going to have to find sponsors for the executive lounge-


KATE

Right.


WHITNEY

I don't know if anyone else in the intern pool has any background in fundraising, and, Jesus, it's not like I can count on Greg to do anything--


KATE

Yeah, no, that guy sounds like a douchebag.


WHITNEY

The biggest douchebag.


Oh! I didn't even tell you about what he tried to pull on Jamie during our first peer review--


(NARRATION AMBIANCE RESUMES)

NARRATOR KATE

I met Whitney Chadhar in Grade Three. We had to do projects on dinosaurs in class and she was the only other person who thought the ichthyosaurus was cooler than the triceratops. We've been best friends ever since.


We go to different universities now but every summer and Christmas break we've come home and picked up like before -- hanging out in our bedrooms until stupid o'clock in the morning watching bad movies and reading way better fanfic while we get hopped up on sugar like we're still 14 and can't legally drink.


Well, most summers. This year she got an internship in Toronto for this company that does... um. I'm not sure if it's finance stuff or -- marketing?


God, uh, imagine an AU where I'm a good friend.


(NARRATION BACKDROP DROPS OUT)

WHITNEY

So how are you doing out there?


KATE

I don't know, the usual. I'm thinking about this fic based on the new Selkirk ep -- like, now that they've confirmed this whole curse on Tony's household thing makes him sort of immortal -- I mean, until it kills him anyway -- I was thinking of doing maybe a 5 + 1 fic where--


WHITNEY

Was the new episode last night already?


KATE

It was on Tuesday.


WHITNEY

Really?


KATE

Ok, you have like six day planners too many not to know this.


WHITNEY

Only four, don't shame. And I'm at least two episodes behind anyway.


KATE

Do you need me to come out there and fight your bosses until they give you some free time? Because I will. With my fists and... and my superior coffee making skills...


WHITNEY

I mean... you should come visit me out here.


KATE

I -- I thought were coming home before we went back to school.


WHITNEY

Yeah, for a few days, but you know mom and dad are going to want to see me for at least some of that.


KATE

Right.


WHITNEY

And I want to show you around out here. It's a really great city. There's a board game cafe near the office -- that has to appeal to your nerd brain, right?


KATE

No, yeah, that's cool I guess. I just... I don't even know if I could get the time off.


WHITNEY

You could come near the end of the summer. You're going to have quit around then anyway.


KATE

That's true...


WHITNEY

And you have to at least one fun thing with your last summer before graduation. We might not get a lot more chances to just hang out like we used to


KATE

Christmas.


WHITNEY

...think about it, okay?


KATE

Okay.


WHITNEY

For real?


KATE

Yeah. I -- I will.


Promise.


WHITNEY

You didn't answer my question before.


KATE

Huh?


WHITNEY

How are you?


KATE

(NOT FINE)

I'm fine.


WHITNEY

Wow, really sell it to me, Kate.


KATE

I'm learning so many things I didn't want to know about what people think it's okay to do in public bathrooms. Soooo, that's cool?


WHITNEY

Thanks for reminding me never to complain about working overtime.


Hey, you know Riley's working at that pizza place downtown again.


KATE

Oh yeah.


WHITNEY

You guys should get together. Swap war stories. Do you still have her number?


KATE

Hmmm. Uh, maybe.


WHITNEY

What?


KATE

I mean, she was was always more your friend than mine.


WHITNEY

Kate.


KATE

Whitney.


WHITNEY

What does that even mean?


KATE

I don't know. Nothing.


WHITNEY

Kate.


KATE

...it's just weird not having you here.


Ugh, no -- forget it, sorry --


(CUTTING OFF WHITNEY'S ATTEMPTS TO INTERJECT/OBJECT)

Nope -- no -- it's cool -- I'm glad you're having a good time out there. It sounds really cool. And -- ah, shit, it's later than I thought it was. I have to go to work.


WHITNEY

I miss you too, nerd.


Let let me give you her number before you go?


KATE

Fine, Mom.


WHITNEY

You wish. Get a pen.


3. REALISM? IN MY AU?


(NARRATION BACKDROP FADES IN)


NARRATOR KATE

Okay, here's a deeply shameful admission: Before this summer, I used to imagine what it'd be like to be in one of those AUs where everyone works in a coffee shop.

Yeah. That dream died a final death about--


(INTERNET BACKDROP: THE CROWDED, EXPANSIVE HALL THAT SEEMS TO GO ON FOREVER, STRUNG THROUGH WITH MORE SOFT NOTES OF MUSIC)

COMPUTER VOICE

--post, Saturday, May 30.


SOUND: NEW POST NOISE

KATE

Scenes from a realistic coffee shop AU, part 219 of infinity.


(FULL PODFIC FANTASY. WHERE THE COFFEE SHOP APPEARS SPARE AND INDUSTRIAL IN REAL LIFE, HERE IT'S FULL OF LIVELY CUSTOMER CHATTER, STEAM WANDS HISSING, COFFEE BURBLING. THE AMBIANCE IS, IF ANYTHING, OVERLY COZY, LIKE STARBUCKS HAS BECOME THAT CUTE HOLE IN THE WALL PLACE THAT ONLY SEATS THREE PEOPLE ON STOOLS.)


GARRETT

Got a test coming up?


TONY

Huh?


GARRETT

You've been in here four times today -- that usually means university student. Unless there's some other reason you don't want to sleep tonight.


TONY

I mean, I could think of a few reasons--


KATE

At that moment, the flirty one-liner Tony had spent half an hour rehearsing in the coffee shop's bathroom mirror was interrupted as the person in line behind him did what could only be described as a full-on body check before thrusting their credit card at Garrett's face.


(KATE ADOPTS A LOW VOICE)


Don't block the register, asshole. Large coffee, black.


GARRETT

Uh, um. Y-yeah--


TONY

Talk to you... um, later?


KATE

As Garrett opened his mouth to reply, the espresso grinder and the blender fired up in unison.


SOUND: MUCH GRINDING, ONLY FADING OUT UNDER KATE'S LINES

(INTERNET BACKDROP RESUMES)


PS: There are coffee grounds in my bra right now and I am never doing a co-worker a favour again.


SOUND: NEW POST

KATE

Scenes from a realistic coffee shop AU, part 564 of infinity.

(NEW PODFIC FANTASY. WE'RE OUTDOORS IN A CITY. FAINT TRAFFIC, LIGHT NATURE. MAYBE A BIRD, DISTANTLY.)

SOUND: PACING FOOTSTEPS

KATE

Tony was pacing again. Garrett had said to meet him out here on his break -- which was supposed to have started five minutes ago. He checked his phone again. Six minutes, now.


SOUND: A HEAVY DOOR OPENS

Garrett

(EXTREMLY MUFFLED)

Hey.


TONY

Hey, how's...


KATE

It was hard to know where to look first. The ham and cheese wrap Garrett was trying to devour seemingly without the use of his hands, or the still dripping t-shirt plastered against his chest.


SOUND: HEAVY DOOR SHUTS, UNDER THE FOLLOWING LINE

KATE,CONT.

Garrett let the door to the shop slam behind him, and the puff of air that motion kicked up gave Tony something entirely less pleasant to consider.


TONY

(TRYING NOT TO INHALE)

...what's that smell?


GARRETT

(STILL EXTERMELY MUFFLED)

How bad--


KATE

Garrett frowned, and swallowed enough of the wrap in one go that Tony could see it move down through his throat, snakelike.


GARRETT

How badly do you want to be able to keep ordering food and stuff from here?


TONY

I usually just get the iced tea.


GARRETT

So, I spilled some, ah --


Okay, so you know how if you leave milk at the back of the fridge for long enough you get, like -- not really cheese, but this lumpy stuff that--


TONY

Yeah, I think I changed my mind.


(PODFIC FANTASY DROPS. INTERNET BACKDROP RESUMES FOR GOOD)


KATE

Scenes from a realistic coffee shop AU, part --


SOUND: PRIVATE MESSAGE RECEIVED NOISE

COMPUTER VOICE

New private message from user hella--enchanted


ELLA

Sorry you're having a rough day at work. Or maybe just sorry about customers in general. I remember what retail is like. If you don't mind saying -- what happened with the coffee grounds?


-Ella


KATE

(A SMALL, WORDLESS NOISE -- SHE'S TOUCHED AND A BIT SURPRISED)

SOUND: TYPING (IT FADES OUT UNDER THE LINE AFTER A MOMENT, AROUND "...and I GUESS")

KATE

(A LITTLE AWKWARD TO START, WARMING TO IT)

I was--


I was grinding coffee for a customer and I guess I set the bag in the wrong place. ...and now I know that if you shoot coffee grounds at the floor with enough force they can really bounce everywhere. Zero out of 10, do not recommend.


And hey...


Thanks for asking. Getting you message really brightened up my day.


SOUND: MESSAGE SENT NOISE.

SOUND: A BEAT OF SILENCE, THEN MORE TYPING.


KATE

I'm Kate, by the way.


SOUND: MESSAGE SENT NOISE


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