0146 - In which Lee is not okay. - 2020.07.20



Oh, Caleb. You're so bad at this.

Caleb, of course, means well. They're concerned for Lee's wellbeing, and quite rightly so. As Zoa points out, Lee is not okay. Lee might actually benefit quite a bit from Caleb's help.

And Caleb wants to be helpful, of course. No doubt they wanted to be helpful to society when they joined the military. They wanted to be helpful when they left the military. We, the audience, know this about Caleb. Caleb is helping-others-oriented. They're just socially awkward. They're not a bad guy, by any stretch of the imagination.

Except, wait... no. We can stretch our imagination that far. Especially given the physical disparity between Caleb and Lee, what with the traditional power dynamic between people with big barrel chests and people without (physical sex notwithstanding), and the power dynamic between lighter-skinned people and darker-skinned people (genetic background notwithstanding). It is, in fact, quite easy for us to imagine Caleb being a threat to Lee. It's quite easy for Lee to imagine it, too.

This is something I've had to come to terms with, as someone who is, by all appearances, a straight white cisgender able-bodied man. Heck, even independently of those factors, I naturally have a "mean mug", a "resting murder face", if you will. I can't help it! Many people in my life have said that they were intimidated by me when we first met, and it was only after they got to know me that they realized that I'm two hundred pounds of marshmallow under a scary Halloween mask.

Your good intentions don't mean squat, folks. You scare people. Yes, you, the person reading this - someone, somewhere, is scared of you, scared of what you are, scared of what you represent, scared of the things you can do. You often cannot help people until you get to know them, or, at least, show them that your intentions are benign. Caleb has, thus far, failed to do this.

It's interesting how Lee obviously feels no threat whatsoever from Zoa, despite the fact that Zoa is, objectively, far more dangerous.


0146 - 2167/07/06/15:54 - Lee Caldavera's apartment, therapy couch.
CP (yelling from offpanel): In my defense, I didn't know it was a therapy session until you... until you were a ways in!
Zoa (also offpanel): And I just assume I'm privy to this stuff at this point.
[Lee Caldavera's apartment, front door.]
LC: Zoa, you're fine. Caleb, you've just been standing there?
CP: I uh... I've been talking with Zoa. Digitally.
LC: Why?
CP: You... didn't say goodbye. Or tell me to leave.
[Lee Caldavera's apartment, LC is peeking around the corner.]
LC: Oh, okay, sure, how silly of me.
LC: Goodbye! Leave!
CP: Right. Sorry. I mean, I just came to see if you were okay, but... right. Leaving.
Zoa: ....in Caleb's defense, you're not. You're not okay.
LC: I don't need a diagnosis from you!
Zoa: Not even if my diagnosis is that your mood swings might be levelled out by regular sexual-
LC: Especially not that!