(Tamara, back turned to Jeremy is washing dishes. Jeremy, sitting on couch, hears cellphone ringing, looks and sees that it is his cousin Becky. Answers)
Becky: "Hi yourself. (Coyly) So how are you getting along over there?"
Jeremy: "We're OK"
Becky: "We're OK, are we? (pause) You're something else. So you pretty much like Southern girls once you get over that initial fight-upon-meeting thing you do, huh?"
Becky: "Are you ready to get back to reality? You know, you only have a couple of days left and you still haven't seen your Mom."
Jeremy: "Yeah, can you come pick me up?"
Becky: "Say hi to 'Little-Miss-Book-Signing-Assistant for me."
(Jeremy closes phone. Looks over and sees Tamara has stopped washing dishes and appears to be crying, he walks over and silently holds her from behind.)
***last scene with Tamara here
(Jeremy comes out of Tamara's house. Old squeaking screen door opens, then closes hard against door spring. Jeremy gets in car, avoids looking at Becky. Looks out car door, back at screen door of house, fiddling with handle.)
Becky: "Are you OK?"
Becky: "Is Tamara OK?"
Jeremy: "I shouldn't have come back."
Becky: "I'm sorry."
Jeremy: "Everything is so thick here. The air. The people. My past. It's like I'm re-living it with different characters. (pause) And everything smells like barbecue."
Jeremy: "At home, none of this matters. As long as you do your job, laugh at the right time, at the right jokes. (pause) It's much... thinner."
(Becky looks and finds gum in purse.)
Becky: "I hate to bring this up, but do you feel like going over and seeing your Mom right quick?"
(Jeremy flips his head back against headrest. Stares at car hood.)
Becky: "Look, I tell you what. I have some friends at work throwing a picnic this afternoon - they're as plastic as anybody your bound to meet up North - let's swing by your Moms place, get all the hugs out of the way, then I'll take you over there, OK?"
Jeremy: (hesitates) "OK"
Becky: (makes face) "First I'm going to get you a bath - you don't smell like barbecue."
(Becky starts engine.)