INT: A BASEMENT(ˈbāsmənt)

Kyle is talking to his brother Zack about his recent move back home.

Well, I seem to have ended up here again. I forgot how much of a crappy(ˈkrapē), dead-end town this is. It’s so weird(wi(ə)rd)-I went to the city to follow Izzy’s dream and I just hated(hāt) the whole place. I hated being so far away from you and Dad and Aaron(ˈe(ə)rən) and Kim. I hated the faceless sea of strangers walking everywhere all the time, rushing past my apartment like spawning(spôn) salmon(ˈsamən). I hated being a thousand miles(mīl) away from all my friends and being surrounded by people I didn’t know. But the little stuff was the worst. I’d go get a burger(ˈbərgər) and all I could think about was Mike’s Burgers down on Ninth Street. I don’t even likethat place, I just couldn’t get it out of my head. Or I’d be walking to work and every single person I passed looked like someone from here. I kept thinking I saw my old professor(prəˈfesər), or Karen(kəˈren), or Jacob(ˈjākəb)…every day. Like being reminded of how alone(əˈlōn) I was in a crush(krəSH) of people.

I started thinking about how I missed this place. This house with the disgusting(disˈgəstiNG) old carpet(ˈkärpit) and the endlessly ticking(ˈtikiNG) grandfather clock and this pit(pit) of a basement. This quaint(kwānt) little town with the white clock tower and the temperate(ˈtemp(ə)rət) winters. I loved Izzy but she was just one person, you know? How was I supposed to balance my love for a single human being against my whole life? I mean, did she really mean more to me than my family and all my friends and the home where I grew up?

So here I am. And it’s just so…quiet(ˈkwīət) here. Everything closes by nine o’clock(əˈkläk). I wake up alone and I go to the same coffee shop and it’s always Diane from high school serving me and everyone is married now.

At least I don’t see random former acquaintances(əˈkwāntns) plastered(ˈplastərd) all over the faces of strangers anymore. Instead I just see Izzy, all the time, out of the corner of my eye. I see her red(red) curls(kərl) bouncing(ˈbounsiNG) and I hear her big, brassy(ˈbrasē) laugh(laf) everywhere I go.

Did I choose wrong, Zack? Maybe she did mean more to me than everyone and everything else in my life. Or maybe whatever I choose, I’ll always be split and half of me will live one place and the other half will just miss wherever I’m not and it’ll hurt like this for the rest of my life.