Episode #6

Notes: Scene changes and character actions are in italics.

Most of us inhabit at least two worlds, the real world, where we're at the mercy of circumstance, and the world within, the unconscious, a safe place where we can escape. The Maxx shifts between these worlds against his will. Here--homeless--he lives in a box in an alley. The only one who really cares for him is Julie Winters, a freelance social worker, but in Pangaea, the other world, he rules the outback and is the protector of Julie, his jungle queen. There, he cares for her, but he always ends up back in the real world. And me? Old Mr.Gone? Only I can see that the secret which unites them, could destroy them. I could be helpful--ah, screw it--I think I'll have some fun with them first....

On a bridge

Sarah: I tried to see the whole dance episode and losing Jimmy as a good experience for a writer to have. I could sorta see his side of things and I guess I was happy that I didn't off him. Even though in that moment it was kinda cool to feel things my dad must have felt. But dad isn't here, he's gone and even though mom is here, she isn't really. Not for me anyway. I guess in every food chain, someone has to be at the bottom. I guess in everybody’s life there's a point where you're stuck, and can't turn back. A time where you have to make that big decision--so I decided to go see a movie. The movie was pretty weak. It was about this woman who sleeps with this old wrinkled guy for money and then she feels bad about it. But not half as bad as her husband feels, it was pretty silly.

Julie: Excuse me?

Maxx: It was sexist

Julie: Geez Maxx it was just a movie. Can't you ever relax? We go to a movie and your knee is jerking so much I can't even hear

Maxx: Not only did it semi-endorse prostitution but did you catch the bit about the ditzy secretary reading Faludi’s book Backlash?

Sarah: It was Julie and the old bum from the underpass. Which meant this was all getting too weird.

Julie: Oh hi Sarah. What-what are you doing here?

Sarah: Nothing. Well, see you guys later. I was hoping to escape before Julie remembered she was on a mission from god to save me

Julie: Say kid

Sarah: Crap. It was too late.

Julie: You want to go to the aquarium?

Maxx: They've got squid

Sarah: Well, it would drive my mom nuts if I ran off for hours with Julie and her hobo boyfriend. Okay sure. Which is why I did it, I guess.

Julie: Okay kids, next stop the aquarium car gets rammed Son of a...

Sarah: It was the car jackers Jimmy told me about only this time they're in spotted underwear

Guy: Freeze meep ah ah sucker

Maxx: Julie wait, something’s wrong sees man is an Iz in disguise

Sarah: Uh oh, I know that look in his eyes, he's seeing things again! Maybe he thinks those guys are little blue men or something. Maybe he'll do something stupid, like, grab their guns or pull them into the car, or something. This is a lot different then the story Jimmy told me about him fighting the carjackers. That was cool, this is ulgy. People getting their hands crushed right before my eyes. Ripped from knees to sternum, their heads popping like grapefruits, it makes me feel sick. Even if it does sorta make an exciting climax to the story. And then, when he died, he didn't even look human at all. points gun STOP!

Maxx: Sarah?

Julie: Put the gun down Sarah

Sarah: No! Nothing makes sense! And if it does make sense, then it's all gotta stop. See, I'm just like you daddy, there's nobody in charge. Adults run everything and nothing works. I have no control and unlike you Julie, I am sick of running from myself. I'm gonna do it! Okay here's the point in the story where I throw the gun away and I have this cathartic revelation that suicide is wrong. That life's worth living and everything’s okay. Ya know, all that crap. And that's why this story doesn't work, because I just don't buy it. drops gun

Julie: Nobody buys it, that's not why you should go on

Sarah: Why then?

Maxx: Because things will change, you'll change

Sarah: But what about right now?

Julie: Right now, you wait.

Underpass

Sarah: So that's my story. I still go down to the underpass sometimes--to talk to Maxx. I thought once I decided not to kill myself, things would be better but I still feel just as empty as ever.

Maxx: Pain lasts kid, its how you know you're alive. Sometimes I think this whole growing up business is just pain management.

Sarah: You get that one out of a fortune cookie or something?

Maxx: Very funny. Pain. Julie runs from hers, mine follows me through nightmares and you're wading through yours.

Sarah: Waiting?

Maxx: No, wading.

Sarah: Oh

Maxx: Nobody said it was easy kid

Sarah: I don't know if the Maxx ever really knew my dad or not, but he knew me enough to say that he did. Maybe that counts for something. God, that sounds awkward. I'll never be a writer.

On a stoop

Kid 1: My dad says he's a monster, a psycho

Kid 2: Well, my mom says he's a working class hero. A vengeful fighter working for maximum justice, that's why they call him the Maxx. I think he's a space alien and his whole planet was killed off by space pirates and while he was fighting them he crashed on Earth.

Kid 1: Nah, I bet he's a secret artificial government experiment with plastic muscles and steel bones.

Maxx: Well maybe, but maybe he's just a normal Joe who got caught up in things. Who's in out of his depth.

Kid 2: But then how come he's so big then? And so tough.

Maxx: Suppose he was just a guy with a crappy job and no future and one day he found a mask and when he slid it on it hit his brain like lightning. He woke up in a place that was sorta like Australia and sorta like the beginning of time and he was a hero there, with a costume and the strength of 20 men. But when he came back to this world, he was trapped in the mask and his whole life was gone.

Kid 1: I guess that could have happened

Kid 2: Then how did he get his claws if he wasn't a secret government experiment?

Maxx: He got that in the savage dreamland. He thrust his hands into boiling lava and when they were changed, made invulnerable, stained, tempered by the sulfurous rock.

Kid 2: Hmm...I like the alien story better. I bet he lives in a vast secret headquarters with a bunch of secret assistants and a funny Chinese cook and a deadly cyber lab that--

Kid 1: Nah you know that's not real enough. All real heroes are demented loners who live in the sewer and eats stolen linguini

Kid 2: And every night he arises from his own grave to fight crime with his MaxxPlane, MaxxCycle and MaxxBelt

Maxx: Sounds good, but I think he's just another homeless bum living in dumpsters and drifting from shelter to shelter. He can't hold down a job and he's got no real friends, he can't even tell sometimes how much of the life he lives is real and how much is the dreamland. He tries to do good, but mostly, he breaks things and screws up.

Kid 1: Nah, that's too much of a downer mister

Kid 2: I think he's got no fear and he lives in a fortress of shadows--oh geez look it Ken, it's Jerry the crack head.

Jerry: Uh hi ya kids, got anything for old Jer?

Kid 1: Uh, no, we don't have any money today Jerry. Honest

Kid 2: No, we're not gonna give in to you anymore! The Maxx wouldn't. I'm not afraid and I'm gonna kick your butt.

Jerry: Wha'cha gonna do kid? Taunt me to death?

Kid 2: One

Jerry: Maybe I got a knife, maybe I know where you sleep at night

Kid 2: Two

Jerry: I can kill you, I can like kill your folks, I can-

Kid 2: Three

Jerry: I...can...I...Maxx shows his claws AHHH!

Kid 1: We did it!

Kid 2: We scared him off!

Mom: Kids, supper. Get in here and wash your hands you two and stop hanging around that old bum.

Kid 1: Oh mom, we were just talking

Kid 2: What's cooking?

Mom: Sloppy Joe's and peanut butter milkshakes. How's that sound?

Kid 1: Excellent!

Mom: Good and then I went you guys to do your homework

Kid 2: Aw mom do we have to?

Mom: YES, You don't want to end up cold and alone a curb somewhere now do you?