Dickinson – S02E08 – I’m Nobody! Who Are You? [Transcript]

When her poem is finally published to the world, Emily is shocked to discover she has become invisible to the world.
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Dickinson - Season 2

Original release date: February 12, 2021

Emily’s poem is finally published in The Springfield Republican. However she realizes that she’s invisible and spends the day spying on people’s reactions to her work. Depressed with what she finds Emily skips Sue’s salon celebrating her publication and instead finds comfort witnessing Henry’s celebration of his efforts with the abolitionist paper The Constellation. Later, returning to Sue and Austin’s home she makes a horrific discovery.

* * *

I taste a liquor never brewed

From Tankards scooped in Pearl

Not Frankfort Berries Yield the sense

Such a delirious whirl.

Immortality.

Holy shit.

“Inebriate of air – am I – And Debauchee of Dew

Reeling – thro’ endless summer days – From inns of molten Blue

When ‘Landlords’ turn the drunken Bee Out of the Foxglove’s door

When Butterflies – Renounce their ‘drams’

I shall but drink the more!”

Okay, slay.

Indeed. That slaps.

Like, literally, I feel seen.

It is a very nice poem. Who wrote it?

Emily wrote it, Mom.

Who did?

Emily Dickinson, your daughter, wrote this poem which is on the front page of today’s Springfield Republican.

And it’s about getting wasted.

It is not about getting wasted, Ship.

“I taste a liquor never brewed.” I mean, come on!

It’s about the heady intoxication of nature itself, a glory which no alcohol could ever provide.

So, it’s precisely not about getting drunk, except from the high of a sublime emotion.

Okay.

You read too much.

Sorry I enjoy challenging myself.

You are gonna have to accept me for who I am…

No, Ship.

…Lavinia.

We have to accept each other!

No!

I don’t understand.

A poem by Emily. How did this happen?

Is this some kind of accident?

Did Austin enter another contest?

You’re telling me that everyone in this town has a copy of this?

Not just everyone in town.

The Springfield Republican has over 12,000 subscribers.

Oh, my God.

This is so crazy. Emily is famous.

The Lord help us when your father claps his eyes on that.

Well, thank you for asking, but no breakfast for me today.

I couldn’t possibly eat. I am much too excited.

A lifelong dream is coming true.

You see, this poem was a passion project for me.

Years in the making.

I’ve got a busy schedule today, but I do have a few minutes if anybody wants to ask me anything.

I’m happy to speak on my themes, my meter, give you a little window into my process.

Anybody?

Where is Emily?

I guess she’s still asleep.

-I’m right here. -Asleep? No.

I am sure she’s hiding herself in that bedroom, which is what I would do if I were her.

What is wrong with you guys? Hello?

Because Lord knows what’s in store for her when her father sees this.

Father sees what?

What?

What are you hiding there?

How about some breakfast, dear?

Maybe some tea? Some relaxing tea.

I don’t need to relax. I just woke up.

Why are you hiding my paper behind your back?

Give it here, woman. Give it here.

Please.

See, it’s not so bad.

I was afraid you’re going to tell me there was another stock market crash.

I wrote a poem and it got published, and now it’s on the front page of the paper.

Deal with it!

Oh, look, there’s a sale on lace curtains.

Is there? I didn’t see that when I was looking at the paper.

Don’t get too excited, Mrs. Dickinson.

Let me see.

It says, “lower than usual prices.” Lower.

Curtains?

Our curtains are just fine. Look at them.

I’ll just take the paper in the other room.

Give me the paper back, please?

“‘The May-Wine’ by E. Dickinson”?

So this is what you were trying to keep from me.

She’s gone and done it.

Does anybody wanna talk to me about this?

There’s no stopping her now.

I’m so sorry, Edward. This is my fault.

I should’ve kept closer watch on her.

You know what? It’s not too bad.

“Landlords of the drunken Bee Turn the drunk”–

Okay, you guys don’t need to act like I don’t exist. Hello?

She might make this family proud after all.

Oh, my God, am I invisible?

So no one can see me, no one can hear me, no one can feel me.

Maggie!

You can see me.

I forgot to beat the rugs today.

Come on!

Ship, hi! Hello. Can you see me?

Vinnie, I can’t do this anymore.

I am an ambitious entrepreneurial businessman, and I need a wife who supports me.

Ship, I can hear you.

I thought you were that wife, but what I have learned is, you’re not, even though you’re superhot and I love your pussy.

You’re talking about her– He’s talking about her cat.

I’m just gonna have to be a man about this and call it off.

I am leaving you, Lavinia.

Ship, we can all hear you in there talking to yourself.

-I wasn’t just talking to myself. -No, because I’m here.

I was breaking up with you, Lavinia.

Okay, well, too late, because I am breaking up with you.

What?

I can’t do this anymore.

The engagement is off.

You guys.

Yeah, sure.

I’ll just set my clock to 26 hours from now, and you’ll change your mind again.

A day has 24 hours, Ship.

Look, I’m sorry that I didn’t graduate from college.

I guess I’ll never be good enough for you.

I’m literally standing…

You are so insecure, it’s exhausting!

You intimidate me.

What?

You have all these modern ideas, and I just want you to be my traditional, normal wife.

Whoa.

Okay. Well, I’m not normal.

Okay?

I am a twisted, witchy, creative, horny woman, and you can’t accept that.

You can’t accept me!

What is happening?

The vibes in this place are off.

I think it’s still haunted from the séance.

Emily literally saw a ghost.

Oh, my God. Am I a ghost?

You Dickinsons, you’re all insane.

I’d be better off in Nevada, getting horsewhipped by Lola and losing my mind as she performs her erotic spider dance!

The spider dance.

Lavinia, please acknowledge my presence!

One, two, three, four, five…

Or not. I mean…

six, seven, eight.

One, two, three, four…

Vinnie, don’t hurt yourself, now.

…five, six, seven, eight.

One, two, three.

Lavinia? Vinnie?

Vinnie!

I tried to warn you.

What the hell is going on?

You didn’t listen to me.

Who are you and what are you doing in my kitchen?

I’m Nobody! Who are you?

Okay, this riddle is cute, but you’re a ghost and you’re the only one who can see me, which means I’m dead!

I died in the night, maybe.

Okay. That’s cool. All right, I’m cool with that.

It was painless, I guess.

I wonder when my family will find my body.

Maybe they’re upstairs right now, about to pull back the covers to reveal my frozen corpse!

You’re not dead and I’m not a ghost.

Really? ‘Cause you sure act like one.

Appearing out of nowhere, haunting me!

I’m not a ghost. I’m just a mystery.

A mystery?

Wow. Okay.

And I’m supposed to solve you?

You can try.

Look, as enticing as you’re making this, I think I’ll pass.

Kinda have my hands full right now.

It is the biggest day of my life, and I was expecting some, I don’t know, appreciation.

Maybe a compliment or two.

But here I am, literally invisible on the one day when I’m supposed to be the center of attention.

Maybe there’s an upside to your situation.

What do you mean, “upside”?

Well, you’re invisible, which means you can find out the truth.

The truth?

You can find out what people actually think of your poem.

That’s good.

Springfield Republican.

Come on up and get your paper!

Springfield Republican.

Come and get the latest scoop! Springfield Republican!

Thank you so much. Yes, thank you.

That is my poem right there, on the front page of the paper, written by me, Emily Dickinson.

Thank you for supporting the written word. Thank you. Wow, look at that.

Check out this poem. Did you read it?

Yeah, I read it. It’s by a woman. She must be bold.

I think it’s really good.

Yeah, you can tell she’s really smart.

Thank you.

And really lascivious.

Yeah, she wants it bad.

Wait, what?

She lives in this town. We can find her.

No, that’s okay.

Yes. Let’s go to her house.

Let’s go to her house, and let’s jack off in the bushes.

I’m gonna jack off right on this poem.

Fame can be ugly.

I am honestly so happy for her. I am.

Yeah, I really like this poem.

Thank you! Thank you. That is so nice to hear.

I thought it was stupid.

First of all, it rhymes, which I find juvenile.

Well, okay, yeah. That’s true, but–

I mean, come on. Rhyme?

I thought we moved on from that. Aren’t we all doing free verse now?

Well, I think you have to master the rules first before you break them.

Well, she hasn’t mastered anything.

I could’ve written this in my sleep, and it’s putting me to sleep.

So boring.

Well, I actually don’t find it boring…

That’s my girl.

…as much as I find it offensive.

Offensive? Why?

I mean, it’s not even saying anything offensive.

That’s what makes it so offensive. It’s like, have an edge.

Be political or else you’re just wasting our time.

Yeah, you know what? You convinced me.

This poem is dumb, and I am not impressed.

Okay. I love this discussion, but–

Let’s move on with our lives.

Hattie.

What was that?

Another taste of fame.

So, she did the damn thing.

Yup, Emily’s published.

This is the worst day of my life.

Honestly, I love it.

It’s, like, so relevant to now.

So true.

I love it too. I mean, I don’t get it. That’s why I love it.

It’s so deep.

It’s about alcohol.

I heard the Temperance Society is pissed.

People are gonna be writing letters.

She’s gonna need protection.

She’ll be fine.

Hey, don’t you want this?

Here today, gone tomorrow.

So, not what you expected being famous to feel like.

I don’t know what I expected, but this, this is worse.

Come on. It’s not so bad.

Everybody just gets to talk about me regardless of whether or not what they say is true?

Guess you don’t know what it’ll feel like till it happens.

Fame… it’s kinda like death.

But I’m not dead, am I?

No. You’re just…

Invisible.

Many wonderful things are invisible, you know.

What do you mean?

The air we breathe.

The breeze that blows. Love.

I see what you’re saying.

The world runs on invisible things, Emily Dickinson.

You know… you’re right.

I’m like a beautiful perfume.

The notes of a song.

That feeling that you get at the end of summer.

Being invisible… it’s power.

My friend Ben is buried here.

You miss him.

Yeah. I do.

But when I’m standing here, it’s like he’s just invisible.

What does your gravestone say?

I don’t have a gravestone.

But you have a name.

-Do I? -You must.

I recognize you from somewhere. I know you.

I mean, deep down, you must know who you are.

Can’t remember.

Why not?

I forgot everything except…

Except?

Well, there’s a flash… blinding pain.

There’s a great, terrible battle, men everywhere, young men… screaming.

And the smell, the overwhelming smell of metal.

And an explosion… hitting me.

And warming me and freezing me and then… nothing.

I’ve received word from down south and it’s good.

Yes!

Yeah.

The money we’ve secured from our paper sales has reached John Brown and his camp.

Yes!

His men feel optimistic.

They have everything they need, thanks to us and others like us.

Whoo! Yes!

Soon enough, they will carry out their plan.

They will attack… and American reality itself will be transformed.

Revolution is coming.

It’s coming! It’s coming!

And The Constellation is a part of that.

Our money may have bought their weapons, but our words have given them strength.

Yes!

Not everyone’s words. Hattie.

If you have something to say to me, you can say it to my face.

I’m just saying. Your little ghost stories aren’t liberating anyone.

My little “ghost stories” have subtext.

I use the Gothic genre to ask critical questions about women’s experiences, and at least I’m not out here selling the same old minor personal anecdote for the past ten years!

I escaped in a box.

You’re literally a street magician.

Wow.

You’re addicted to telling people you escaped in a box.

We get it. Everyone gets it.

I’m spreading the word about the perils of slavery.

You’re spreading the word so much, it stopped being a way for people to escape.

Hey, enough!

That’s true.

This pettiness here has to stop.

We have to rise above.

The work that we’re doing is not about the ego.

It’s not about who gets the most attention, who gets the most money, who gets to be on the front page.

That is not what we are fighting for.

Is it?

No.

Is it?

No.

No.

What we are doing here is far more important than any of that.

What we are doing here is claiming our right to exist.

Yes.

Our writing?

Our newspaper is changing the world.

It’s changing the entire fate of this country.

And though we may be anonymous today, tomorrow we will not be invisible.

All right.

Yep. Yep.

Will you be invisible?

No.

Will you be invisible?

No.

Will you?

Yes, will you be invisible?

No.

That’s right.

Henry’s right.

We need to celebrate… not bicker.

Amen.

Okay. Right on.

Our subscribers are through the roof.

We are funding a revolution of the mind, the body, the spirit.

Future generations will know a world better than this one because we are rising up.

We are taking control.

Yes! Yes.

And I don’t know about you all but…

I wanna dance.

Damn. You stole that?

Let me look hot.

I brought my fiddle.

Hell yeah.

Freddie’s back on his bullshit.

Pick up the pace.

I’m sure Emily will be here soon.

Whatever.

God, where could she be?

This is the big night we’ve all been waiting for and she just… disappears.

Austin.

Have you seen Emily?

Not today.

Raided the kitchen. There’s not much in there.

Where’s the belle of the ball?

Look, everyone. Mr. Bowles has arrived.

Sorry I’m late.

So where is she?

Emily? She’s been missing all day.

Yep.

Missing? On today of all days?

Why, I thought she’d be swanning around, soaking up all the wild applause.

Hey. How you doing, man?

That’s a nice copy. You get it commissioned?

Copy? What do you mean?

I mean, it’s an excellent replica of the original.

This is the original.

It’s by a European master.

No. No, it’s not.

See, I know the guy who did this.

Yeah, the grass is the tell.

The strokes, they’re not delicate enough.

I paid so much money for this.

What in the world are you talking about?

The painting.

It’s a reproduction.

They told me this was the original.

Well, who cares if it’s real as long as it looks good, right?

Excuse me.

Austin, you can’t leave.

I have to clear my head.

We have guests.

Well, we don’t have Emily, and this party is supposed to be for her, so I’ll go find her.

Emily!

What are you doing here? Come on.

Wow, Austin. You can see me?

Are you drunk?

I don’t know. Are you drunk?

Why didn’t you come to our house?

Because no one can see me anyway, Austin. I’m invisible.

Okay, clearly, I can see you.

Well, you’re the first person who’s been able to see me all day.

Is this some weird psychological reaction to getting published?

I’m nobody, Austin.

You’re somebody to me.

Is that dude really talking to himself?

Yeah, it’s my boss.

What’s his deal?

You don’t even know how many white secrets I’m keeping.

Did you read my poem?

Of course.

I’m so proud of you.

You are?

Yeah. Honestly.

You’re the only thing in my life I’m proud of right now.

Austin, what’s wrong?

Nothing, just believe me.

Your poetry, that’s real. You have something that’s real.

If I had something like that…

Well, I’d be happy.

Hey, Mr. Dickinson.

Austin.

Look. There’s my ride.

Oops.

What’s up, girl?

Hey.

May I introduce to you the great and recently late Mr. Edgar Allan Poe.

Yeah, that’s me. You want an autograph?

Wow. I can’t believe you’re here.

He just died a few years ago.

That’s right, I’m a ghost, the ghost of Edgar Allan Poe.

Died of mysterious circumstances. Very on-brand.

No, you drank yourself to death, bruh.

All right.

Well, you’re here to see me.

Wonderful. Love meeting my fans.

So, nod when I get to your favorite.

“The Raven,” “Tell-Tale Heart,” “Annabel Lee.”

You’re not nodding.

“The Fall of the House of Usher,” “The Cask of Amontillado”–

I’ve only read “The Raven.”

Copy that.

I mean this in the nicest possible way, but I thought that we were gonna drive around and find fans of mine for me to sleep with.

She’s more of a fan of mines, bro.

Yes.

The death of a beautiful woman is unquestionably the most poetical topic in the world.

Can you drop me off at Sue’s?

Who’s Sue? She put out?

Sue is my best friend. She’s throwing me a party.

A literary party.

To celebrate my work because I am also a famous writer.

Really? Who’s your publisher? Wiley and Putnam?

I just published a poem in The Springfield Republican.

I’m sorry, did you say the New-York Tribune?

No. The… Springfield–

He heard what you said.

He’s just being rude.

One poem in a newspaper, you think you’re hot shit.

I mean this with all due respect, I have no idea who you are, and it is too late for me to learn.

My dear young lady, you do not even know what fame is.

Okay, it’s not just one poem.

Oh, yeah?

The editor is publishing more.

They got you.

What?

Fame is an addiction. Get one little taste and look at you, you’re hooked.

And you’ll keep searching for that next high.

Rich or poor. Known or obscure.

But it’ll never be enough. I mean, look at me.

I’m famous as shit and I’m dead as shit.

And I’m rolling around town in Death’s carriage, looking for a woman who will make me like myself.

Till the end of time.

Whoa. Not till the end of time.

You gotta get out of here at some point.

Can you just read me my obituary again?

Oh, my God. Let it go.

Damn. I miss my cousin/child bride, Virginia.

She would have read me my obituary.

Fame… is a bee.

What?

I like that.

I am so drunk.

Should we drop you off?

No.

No, let’s ride around a little longer.

I wanna be fashionably late.

What about you? Got anywhere to be?

Nah, bro. Nevermore.

Sue?

Sue?

Where are you?

That’s where I’ll go.

My words.

Sue.

Sue, you were right. You were right about everything.

I want to be seen by people.

I wanna be seen by you.

Sue?

It’s okay. Nobody’s here.

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