Ep. 16 - COMM185: Communication Theory
Pandora is fielding phone calls, and, as always, the microphone is listening.
[[Theme music "Medusa" plays]]
Pandora: [distantly] Come on, Carlos, I just asked you to move! You were standing in the way of the door! Oh, don’t you snort at me!
[[Sfx: closes door]]
Sorry about that, Hades. I asked Carlos to move and his world ended. He is the fussiest Minotaur I ever met. Also the only Minotaur. ...Oh, yeah, I'm just getting to the radio room....I don't know, it's sort of like having an office, right? Besides, Aphrodite is in our dorm room right now and she gets nosey....Don't ask if she “approves” of us that makes me feel like we’re courting. Aphrodite will be fine. Don't try to change the subject!...Hades, you're going to have to tell me sooner or later!...Seriously? We are on the phone right now, you can just tell me! Are you that paranoid about saying it aloud? [Sighs] Ok! Ok. You can text it to me. Weirdo.
[[SFX: Phone chimes]]
Per-suh-phone? Oh! Persephone! Ok. I think that was a reasonable mistake. Also you just said the name aloud, so that whole circus was pointless. [Laughs] Come on, bud, loosen up! You have to start putting things in the universe, you know? ...Well, I don't know what it means exactly but I think it's like...saying your goals aloud make them more likely to be reached....Well, your FACE doesn't sound right. Gotcha.
So what do you know about Persephone? ...Its reconnaissance! I know you aren't trying to seduce anyone but I'd, personally, myself, at least like to know a little bit about this person you're enamored with. Throw me a bone....Yeah I figured he was a boy. Y’know. Pronouns....He’s whose brother? Demeter? Yeesh....Nothing! Demeter is just intense....Wait, if Persephone is a freshman, why don't i know him? ...How sheltered can he be on this campus? ...Ah. Demeter doesn't happen to like you, does she? ...Uch. Not great. ...She sure sounds like...something. Anyway, we’re not in love with Demeter! Tell me more about Persephone. [pause, small laugh] No! Sorry, I'm not laughing at you, you just sound happy talking about him. Its sweet. [Teasing] Am I embarrassing you? Awwwwww--
[[SFX: Distant, evenly spaced beeps]]
Ahh- just a second Hades I'm getting another call. Just a sec--
Hey, bud, can we finish this later? I should take this. [Laughs] Ok. Pet Cerberus for me. See ya!
[[SFX: Tapping phone, cutting off beeps]]
Hey, is everything ok? ...What? Aww, come on, don't-- [sighs before saying robotically:] Hello, you have reached Pandora Wordsworth, may I ask who’s calling? ...Dad, I have caller ID, the formalities are completely unnecessary. [sighs] Ok, ok, have it your way....So is everything alright? ...I mean, you're not one to call, Pop. I'm pretty sure moths flew out of my phone when your number popped up. Do you need something, orrrr…? ...Oh...really? No! No, that's-- yeah, school is going ok. It was rough at first, but I don't know, I feel pretty good. Keeping my grades up, yeah. Studying and everything. [Laughs] I figured you weren't too worried about that. I was the only kid I knew at elementary school who designated her own homework time....I have a radio show now. Yeah, I'm like, president of the radio club! Crazy, huh? Who’d've thunk? Basically, I host a show and sometimes I interview people and sometimes I just kind of talk. It's not super popular or anything, but people listen, so it's really cool. I'd...probably still do it if no one was listening, though. You know me: having projects and stuff. And I've, uh...I've made some friends. Which is new. Never my strongest suit in academia. It’s nice, it-- [laughs] did your mental CD get scratched, Pop? You're just repeating noises now. [Realization] ...You're not listening, are you, Dad? [says in monotone:] Yeah turns out everyone here has superpowers and I take magic classes and I've just made friends with a guy in charge of death....Nothing, huh? Huh....What do you need, Dad? Dad, come on, this-- just be honest. I have, like...a paper to write and stuff, so...let's not waste both of our time, ok? ...Nope, there's no way I'm giving you access to my bank account. No....Because frankly it would be a terrible idea! Two words, dad: yacht club....Isn't the college experience supposed to be me asking you for money? ...You don't have to guilt me, Dad, I do that fine on my own....I’ll transfer two hundred bucks to you guys, ok? Today. Ok....Yeah it's been real swell talking at you. Uhhhh-huh. Bye.
[[SFX: Taps phone to hang up]]
[huge exhales] You're fine, you're fine, it's ok. Rise above.
[[SFX: Taps phone]]
Hey! This is Pandora. Wordsworth. From the radio. Sorry, I know its probably sort of weird that I'm calling. I got your number from...doesn't matter. I just thought I would call and….um...I...don't really know. ...it's a funny thing, cause, uh, my dad just called, and, uh...I don't have a punch line for that. I guess I'm the figurative punch line. I always feel pretty miserable after calls from home….I don't know if you know what that's like. And I don't know why I thought you'd want to hear about it. I hate talking about my home and everything but sometimes I get so overwhelmed I feel like if I don't talk I'll just explode into tiny, emotionally unavailable pieces, you know? ...I'm trying to be better. It's hard. I'm not sure if trying is good enough....I dunno. That's not why I called. [Laughs] I don't know what I would have done if you answered. I guess I wouldn't have had time to think about it. It wouldn't have mattered too much. I just like talking to you....Oh my god, What am I doing? Delete the message, delete, delete, delete-- [holds breath, then a sigh of relief] God. What am I doing?
Is this how it's gonna be, microphone? Just you and me, at the end of all things? ...Probably.
I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,
And Mourners to and fro
Kept treading - treading - till it seemed
That Sense was breaking through
Emily Dickinson wrote that. She was also a hermit who didn't tell people things. Sometimes our role,models choose us, Microphone, not the other way around.
To be honest, Microphone, I think you’ve been the best listener here. Maybe the best one I've ever known. Which is pretty sad, since you're an inanimate object. Or maybe you hate listening to me too and I'll never know. God, is weird that thought made me sad?
I wish it was harder to make me sad.
...Oh boy, should not be alone, should not be alone! Talking to microphones and on the verge of reciting the Dickinson canon. I need to get out of here.
...did that light just blink?
Ok, time to go.
[[SFX: Door opening]]
[["Medusa" begins to fade in]]
Hey, Carlos? Carlos, I hear you walking around down there. I'm sorry I got snippy with you. Will you forgive me if I give you my granola bar?
[[Sfx: Door closing]
[[Theme song "Medusa" plays]]
Raeanna Nicole Larson: Mount Olympus University is an original story conceived and written by Raeanna Nicole Larson. Sound editing done by the intrepid Luuk Van Hoomissen. Our icon was designed by the incomparable Jess Reed. Music by the industrious Teddy McKrell, whose works can be heard on soundcloud under teddymackerel.
The role of Pandora is played by Raeanna Nicole Larson.
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[["Medusa" fades out]]