Really Really Lucky


bella_icon.gif wendy_icon.gif

Scene Title Really Really Lucky
Synopsis Bella has a reason for this "research project' that she's asked Wendy to participate in. Wendy is oblivious and obliges..
Date July 17, 2009

Brooklyn Public Library

The central branch of the Brooklyn Public Library was designed to resemble an open book, two wings stretching out along the bordering streets, with the main entrance located at their hinge. Inside is the heart of one of the nation's largest public library systems; the Central Library alone contains over 1.5 million books, magazines, and other materials. It also contains the Brooklyn Collection, an assortment of references and ephemera that chronicle the history of the borough, and a Multilingual Center for non-English speakers and linguistic scholars. A cafe on the first floor sells coffee and snacks, while a restaurant on the third floor (open weekdays only) sells cafeteria-style meals. Internet access is freely available throughout the building.

Bella Sheridan wishes everyone were as accommodating and helpful as Wendy. The world, she is sure, would be a better place. At least, that's how the good doctor feels about it. She arrived early to the Brooklyn Public Library, so as to select a choice reading room for the private interview. Being half an hour early also gives her ample time to discreetly conceal the recording device she is going to use to record the event; she might well be able to pass it off in the open as 'procedure', but she'd rather avoid the discomfort and self-censorship that can occasionally accompany such devices. Clandestine organizations flourish due to clandestine works, after all.

So once the digital recording device is safely stowed behind a shelf, and after Bella sound checks it to make sure the small but powerful microphone can pick up anything she says, she sets out her notebook and a plate, and some bagels, just to make sure her interviewee can keep her blood sugar at an appropriate level. All things in place, she waits for the arrival of her newest subject. God, she loves science!

Wendy arrives with a faint whiff of nicotine, paint stained fingers, and bright clothing. Torn jeans, a silk blouse of many colors and a kerchief that ties her hair back and sweeps it off her face save for her bangs. "Bella! Good I found it! I walked into about 8 different rooms before I found this one. And I tell you, my registration card is in my back pocket. At the rate things go in this place, I am not keeping it in my wallet, let me tell you that!" In a whirl of color, energy and a really big purse, down flops wendy into a chair.

From out of her personal bag of holding comes a sketch pad and a case filled with pencils of all sorts. Someone's gonna do something while doing the interview.

Bella glows, brushing back a wisp of hair as the whirlwind of Wendy settles in. "Thanks so much for making it," she says, "I thought about asking you to come to my office, but," she didn't want to give away its location, "I didn't want to make it seem that formal. This is as much for my professional curiosity as for my research. I really appreciate it." She shifts in her seat, a sure sign she is getting read to start. Legs cross, a pen wiggles between thumb and forefinger. "So, Ms. Wendy Hunter… tell me about your special talent."

"It's no problem, Doctor Sheridan" Wendy grins, picking out a pencil or two. 'Always glad to help. besides, gives me a chance to sketch you. You have such an etheral look about you. I can locate and identify evolveds from the every day person within a range around me. So far, I think it's like 40 feet? maybe a bit more. It's stronger when they're closer. Like a compass, and an arrow pointing north, save that north is like the evolveds" Wendy's so perky. Out of her purse she pulls out a pack of bubblegum, offering some to Bella before taking two pieces of wrigley's for herself. "If I touch em, I can figure out what they can do. That's a little more trickier, cause if I get one I don't know, I've never felt before. I'm stuck guessing or getting them to tell me what they can do and giving me a name for a sensation"

So /that's/ what she's up to. Bella flushes just a little. "Oh? Well, thanks!" she smirks a little, mostly at her own expense, "Last time I remember being sketched was when some surgical hotshot was trying to play the artist card to get in my pants," she bites her lip in a grin, "Worked too…" But the work has begun; recounting conquests will have to wait. She starts to take quick notes, movements regular, practiced, as she uses her shorthand. "And when did this ability manifest?" Standard stuff, for now…

'Gosh like.. h wow uhmm, I realized what I was feeling, you know, after the guy demolished midtown right, but before then, I can remeber following people around the streets. I thought maybe it was he drugs I was on at the time" Wendy shrugs. "I realize now that it was. But about four years, five now? Something like that" Wendy nods emphatically, sitting in such a way that Bella can't see the paper but the pencil is beginning it's scratchings on the creamy paper.

"What did it feel like, realizing you had this ability?" Bella asks, looking at Wendy with a considering eye, "What did it change about how you thought of yourself? And how /did/ you realize, exactly? Can you remember the moment?"

"Didn't change anything. Well no. Gave a reason for my really crappy attention span sometimes, cause I tend to like, stare off if someone passes close. Didn't feel any different either, other than I finally had a name for what I was going through. My Psychiatrist just thought that I had this sensory disorder. because of the touching."

"The moment though" Wendy leans over, looking at Bella. " A guy i'd just touched, the first one that I knew was an evolved and I knew what he could do. Tom, Tom Macks. Guy I dated who controlled water. I got the nerve after the third date, while we were laying in bed, what it was he did. Hyyyydrokinetic. Said he'd been doing it as long as he could remember. It was like, here's a name to that wet feeling I got whenever I touched him. Was amazing!"

Bella has to forcefully bite back a comment about 'wet feelings' at this point. She may have to hand the recording in to someone in authority, and her reminiscence about that scalpel jockey was quite enough TMI for one session, thanks very much. "Did you then, and do you now, consider yourself 'evolved'? Do you group yourself, as you might be grouped by others, with the increasing population that is dubbed 'evolved'?"

"Evolved is a title, because society has to classify things, put things in their neat little boxes their labels. I'm gifted, be it this ability to discern other peoples abilities, or my art work." Her pencil keeps tracing over the paper repeatedly, occasionally grabbing a different pencil or two or smudging something with a finger. "I'm just a person with an identifiable and useful skill set and as per the law, I'm registered. Proudly. Because everyone should be, Like doctors in the phone book under physician"

Bella smiles at this, "Off the record, I must admit I admire your way of thinking. And I'd love to elaborate, but for now let me say, in pretty much every significant regard, I agree with you," she tilts her head, "That said, you don't, therefore, have anything one might call a sense of 'evolved solidarity'?"

"A person is a person is a person, wether we're black, white, tanned, green, control the light or can read minds. We're all people. Only solidarity I have is with the female of the species and how to deal with guys at rapture who think a short skirt is an invitation to grab an ass Bella"

"Amen," Bella says, with an appreciative nod, "But what about those individuals who /do/ believe in an essential divide? All-evolved groups, or anti-evolved groups? What do you think about an individual who claims there is an insurmountable gap, or feels isolated because their gift is more harmful, painful or obvious?" Examples abound, and Mid-town bears the scars of that reality, so Bella feels no need to offer an exempli gratia.

"What about a schizophrenic? Or a pyromaniac. Or even a person with Tourette's?" Wendy's eyes dart back and forth between the paper and the Psychologist. "I think, they all needed to be treated, the groups, like they deserve to be treated. If you are a passive member and demonstrate passivly, then that's fine. But those who actively seek to harm the people who happen to be different. They need to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law."

Wendy leans forward again. "If they feel isolated, it's because they're the ones isolating themselves. Instead of seeking appropriate help for their particular needs. I'm sure if the government had been more prepared for the coming out of the closet of 'evolveds' She air marks in the air. "then there wouldn't be as much and issue. It comes down to fear. Fear to get help for your ability, fear of those without them being hurt by someone who may not know how to control them. Fear is a great killer. A silent killer"

Bella jots down several notes as Wendy opines. She taps her own jaw with the end of her pen as she formulates her next question. "What was the reaction of friends and family to your 'coming out', to use your term? If there was a variance in the reactions, which ones were most extreme?"

'I got one friend, who won't talk to me anymore, an artist, Jon Parks. He hates evo's. He didn't like it when I pointed out that I was till the same person I was before. Didn't like it even further when I told him that he was one too. I think.. he could do something with plants, not sure. It was a long time ago. My parents were okay with it. I think they're mostly okay. I mean, come on, it's like.. being gay. You don't have a choice, you jsut are. You can accept or you can close your mind and be a bigot. They walked right down with me and helped me register. Hunter communications heir, doing her civic duty. Was proud of them. I think my older brother is a bit creeped, but nothing much has changed. He still loves me. My other older brother, he likes to sit with me in the park and guess what the people I point out do"

"I think I mentioned when we first met how I consider that analogy particularly apt," Belle agrees, "And you with a real, bona fide working equivalent of gaydar," the shrink grins, "This sort of builds off the previous question: Were there any serious changes in your life circumstances, career, relationships, self-image, after your discovery or after your 'coming out'?"

"nooooope" Wendy shakes her head. "None at all. Well no, someone bought my work, a single piece, this sculpture I make, really big. Because it came from an evolved artist and they wanted to support that. Evolved artists. Little bit harder to be in areas that are heavily populated because there's a greater chance that there's gonna be a larger amount of evo's in my range and that's not good. But other than that, my career remains the same. I'm a self employed artist, I'm still me"

More notes, though the total isn't enormous. As someone use to marking down pathologies and complexes, she has only so much to note when the answer is essential 'stuff is still good!'. Bella smiles as she reflects on this fact. "Not to impugn your open-mindedness, but speaking from experience I think your attitude is helped a lot by the sort of ability you have doesn't create social divides. It's what I'd call 'low impact'. Easy for people to contextualize, or just ignore."

'Well, yeah. There is that. It's not like I burst into flame or fly or.. you know, create radioactive emissons and blow up the center of the island. But still. I mean, much like a schizo running around without his lithium, someone running around with very little to no control, is a liability. To knowingly.. walk around with your ability, and accidentally go off? It's different than say someone who doesn't know they have an ability and suddenly, fate decides today is the day to manifest and they hurt people manifesting. The guilt must be terrible. It's why I love my ability. I can //tell people, what they do. They can expect it, if they haven't manifested yet. They can prepare"

Now… how to make this not seem obvious? Bella lifts a brow, "Have you ever considered doing that more systematically? Letting people know so that they can be prepared?"

"I already do. Part of the reason I do portraits in the park. The technopath with us the other night. Alia? She didn't know. I guess I put a name to it. Or she'd just found out. But open up shop and tell people?" Wendy wrinkles her nose a fraction. "Now that seems like work"

This earns a laugh from Bella. "And God forbid you have to do any work!" she says, teasingly, "It might trouble your artistic temperament." The jibe is good natured, and her smile just begs for a return shot.

"Hey! I get the suit on, and the power pumps and I park my ass in a boardroom twice a month. I got a job. I just got one that only requires me to look at numbers now and then and vote. Luck of being born to who I was born. But the hours put into a piece of art" The paper on the pad is ripped off signed, and then slid across the table. A portrait - quickly drawn but none the less frameable quality - looking off to something outside of the frame of reference, a relaxed, inquisitive look on her face. Bella the psychologist. "Are horrendous and there's a reason that they are charged so much for. No ones ever approached me to help. I just do it on my own. Whether folks like it or not"

"Not unlike the luck that gives evolved the powers they have, all accidents of birth," Bella remarks, as the reflection in graphite slides towards her and she looks down at her own questioning face. She smiles, slowly, at herself, then looks up at Wendy. "Thank you, so very much," she brushes the edge of the paper with her thumb, "Art is honored because it is one of those things that true artists would do even if they were offered no recompense. A passion is a passion because you do it selflessly. It's the difference, in a job, between marrying for money and marrying for love."

"But the best of those is when you can do both, when you can find both in one. Is being what you are, doing your job a marriage of passion? Because the money is quite obviously good"

'A veritable fucking wishing well. Be better if I didn't have my eyes though. I'd kill for your eyes" hey, we can't all be perfect. "And i'd kill to have a few more pounds on me, but hey, if wishes were horses. i've heard the mayors son could fix that"

"What would life be if we didn't want something?" Bella inquires, rhetorically, "I like getting really hungry and then eating something I love. Hunger may have started out as an evolutionary tool, but like so many other little quirks in our brains, we've re-purposed them. Desire is just another way we're kept moving," she grins, "I wouldn't trade it for anything, least of all satisfaction."

"Life would be boring if we didn't want for something. We'd sit around and do nothing. we wouldn't squeal with glee when we can finally lay our hands on say.. a pink sequined dress that we've been wanting and finally get" Wendy grins. "Speaking of eating, are we done or is there more, because I'm telling you that there is some sushi over in morningside heights with my name and possibly yours on it"

Bella glances down at her notebook, then closes it with a neat 'thwap'. "I haven't had good sushi in God alone knows how long," she says. She glances at the bagels. Pshaw on high density flour bread. She slips them back into a Ziploc bag, "I think you've proved yourself to be utterly and irrevocably insane. Nothing more I can reasonably do here. Except get some dinner with you." She slides the notebook and bagels back into the book bag, "Shall we?"

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