Once and Again
A Dream Deferred

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Niki: D | Grade It Now!
A Dream Deferred

"Come on, Lily," says a disparaging female voice. For once, not mine. It's Judy. We've caught the sisters bickering in the bookstore. Judy, it seems, is trying to sell Lily on the idea of installing a coffee bar in the bookstore. Because god knows, there's a shortage of coffee purveyors and the people are starting to get desperate. Lily pooh-poohs the idea, stating, "I don't want to sell coffee, or brew coffee, or contribute to this insane obsession with coffee." Just so we're all clear: she's saying that she doesn't want to sell coffee. Their back-and-forth is interspersed with shots of a young shoplifter. You can tell he's a thief because he's skulking about, looking incredibly guilty, and keeping a close eye on Lily and Judy. Lily continues her assault on the café world by attacking "those dry hard cookies." Judy makes an impassioned defense on behalf of biscotti everywhere, but Lily's not listening. She's spotted the skulker stuffing a hard-cover book into his knapsack. The kid makes for the door. Lily's fast on his tail. She beats him to the door, and instantly the kid is begging her not to call his parents. Lily's in fine form, however, teeming with righteous indignation, and she launches into a lecture on the consequences of shoplifting. The kid hangs his head and opens his bag. Lily grabs the booty out of his hands and he asks if he can leave. Looking at the book's cover, Lily's expression softens a little. The kid shuffles uncomfortably, looking everywhere but at her. Lily asks him how much money he has. He tells her $2. She orders him to give it to her, and my first thought is that it's extortion, but then she hands him the book and tells him to come back with another $18. Judy looks incredulous. Lily's never let her off the hook that easily, and her only crime is sleeping with men too soon. Lily shoos the kid out the door, and Judy promptly asks, "What the hell was that?" Lily wordlessly pulls a copy of the book off the shelf and hands it to Judy. The book in question is How Do I Know If I'm Gay? Judy points out some of the finer points of retail as a concept, such as giving away the merchandise sort of defeats the purpose. Lily is adamant that the kid will pay for the book. Hey, she married Jake. She has a penchant for delusion. Judy patronizingly informs her, "Gay people can be shoplifters, too." Lily snaps that Judy would have given him the book, too. Judy insists she "would have made him suffer more."

B/W Lily remembers Judy accusing her of stealing Monopoly money when they were kids. She denies the charges, but I'm not convinced. She looks way too pleased with her bad, bad self.

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Once and Again




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