Wanda: I told him to take the train. I told him to catch the BART. I didn’t know they were gonna hurt my baby. I should’ve just let him drive. I should’ve let him drive, but I wanted to keep him safe. You gotta let me hug him. Please, let me hug him. Please. Please! He didn’t like to be alone.
Cecil Gaines: I had always loved serving. But just felt different now. I didn’t know that an old man could feel so lost. That’s how I felt. That’s how I felt. Americans always turned a blind eye to what we’d done to our own. We look out to the world and judge. We hear about the concentration camps, but these camps went on for 200 years right here in America.
H: Maybe this is one aspect of the work that you’re capable of putting into people’s minds, a critical and analytical framework that otherwise they wouldn’t have. Yet you do it without being overly didactic or telling them exactly how to behave or think. And I have to say I spend a lot of time, um, nowadays when I’m looking at certain situations, I’m brought back to your work somehow. It stays with me, it haunts me, somehow it feeds my–it works as a road map to try and unpack, um, a lot of these kinds of psychological aspects of the domestic that are normally quite hard to reach. When you’re working on something yourself, do you– what are you responding to most profoundly? Is it the place itself, or is it the things that come from your private life that somehow find their way into the work? It’s ridiculous if you get to the point when you’re not even prepared to say anything. . .at all. It makes me feel I’m missing something, or that I’m just, uh–happened to be there. . .at the same time as you. I have no other purpose.
D: I know, but it’s funny because you say that about my work but actually, I find you very withholding emotionally. And you never talk about your emotions or what you’re feeling.
H: That’s a construct. It’s not a– People are different. Some people do, some people don’t.
D: Some people talk about their work, some people–
H: Right, right. Well, then it’s fine. It doesn’t bother me really. I can just–
D: Well, you just said it did.
H: It bothers me a little bit, but I’m curious and I support it, but I’m also– I feel that there’s this barrier. I can be useful to you. I can be useful. I’m not completely–
D: The thing is–
D: I don’t want your input. I don’t want your judgement. I don’t want your ideas. I don’t want your cleverness because it derails me.
H: Then what’s– what am I doing then in the end? I’m just sort of–I’m company.
H: Or something.
D: You’re my companion.
Birdie: I think we are who we are when we’re with the people that make us feel the most alive.
Reverend Cornell Cobbs: Lord, bless this food to our use and us to Thy service. And make us ever mindful of the needs of others for Christ’s sake. Lord Jesus, today we are mindful of the needs of this youth, our grandson, whom Thou, in Thy infinite wisdom, has sent to us. And be he troubled and in need of guidance, or simply a belt to hold his loose-fitting pants up.