[Act 3, Scene 1 : Amy Barksdale's house in San Francisco. Front shot of Daria sitting on a couch, holding a tumbler with a transparent brown liquid, looking dubiously at the glass.]
Daria I don't know about this. I've never had anything to drink like this before.
Amy Trust me, it'll help. [passes glasses to Jane and Trent, then sprawls down on another couch] OK, now that that's done with, I can get started. Prepare yourselves for a tale of death, divorce, anger, and betrayal. It all started in 1978, about a year after Helen and Jakes' first child was born.
Daria Excuse me? I thought I was their oldest child. I mean, at least Mom's oldest...
Amy No. [shakes head] They never told you about Apollo, I guess. I know Helen never really got over what happened to him.
Jane Wait a minute. Let me get this straight. Daria has an older brother named Apollo, that she never knew about?
Amy Had. I'm about to explain that. [flashback sequence, shot of hippie Jake and hippie Helen. Helen is holding an infant.] [voiceover] They'd been married only a few months when Helen got pregnant. She took off from the college she was studying at and tried for a time to be the perfect mother. Or at least what she thought the perfect mother would be like.
[vo]Shortly after Apollo's first birthday, She and Jake were coming back from a Grateful Dead concert [flashback scene: Jake driving VW minibus with Helen in the passenger seat holding Apollo, and with some other flower children types in back] to the group house they lived in, when the van Jake was driving was hit by a semi that was trying to pass them. The truck swerved out of control and both ended up in a ditch on the side of the road. [flashback sequence : brief flashes of images from the accident as occurs]
While Helen was only minorly injured, Jake ended up with a concussion and a compound fracture in his left leg. All of the other passengers were killed, [flashback scene : a graveyard, panning down to a grave marker reading, 'Apollo Freedom Morgendorffer'] including Apollo. [Scene continued : pan up to image of Helen crying, Jake in wheelchair, also crying]
[vo continues] At first, Helen tried to help Jake as he recovered [shot of Helen pushing Jake's wheelchair]. But as time passed, she became more and more bitter. When the police report refused to place responsibility for the accident, Helen grew withdrawn. She couldn't make up in her own mind who was to blame, and she started to blame everybody: the trucker for being so careless, Jake for being stoned, herself for not having been more careful with her child. She began to blow up at Jake on a daily basis [shot of Helen berating Jake], and eventually [shot of door slamming shut] she walked out.
After they separated, Helen went back to school full time, quitting the paralegal job she'd taken with the ACLU. She moved to mother's place in Westchester for a time, commuting into Manhattan to study at Columbia. She also switched from civil liberties to tort law. She was frantic to try and find some explanation for what had happened, someone she blame other than herself for her's son's death.
[shot of a small classroom] While she was at Columbia, she took a class on photography on the advice of a professor - something about understanding photographic evidence. The class happened to be taught by a professional photographer named Jock LeSalle [closeup of Jacques].
[scene returns to the living room, front shot of Daria]
Daria That name sounds familiar.
Amy It should. Here, [handing Daria a book. cover reads : One Hundred and Twenty Hours in Las Vegas by Thomas Hunt Lee.] have you ever read this before?
Daria Yeah I have. Wait a minute. You mean the 'Frog Cameraman' who was supposed to be 'covering the story' with them?
Amy That's him, though he doesn't like to talk about it. He didn't think much of Lee, it seems, or his lawyer either.
Daria I can understand that. It's funny reading about that kind of thing, but putting up with it in real life can be ugly.
Amy [looking slyly at Jane] Oh? Been experimenting a bit, huh, Jane?
Jane Don't look at me.
Daria No. A couple of months ago, we went on a camping trip, and everybody except me ended up eating some hallucinagenic berries. I had to call for a helicopter rescue team.
Amy Jake must have chosen the berries, huh?
[voiceover, flashback scene] Any way, if I recall what Helen told me, one of the assignments was some fluff thing about taking pictures of young children. Helen was developing the shots she took when she suddenly broke down crying. Jock took her out of the room and they ended up talking. Apparently his kindness meant a lot to her. I can understand it, since both Mom and Rita had been giving her a hard time about the accident and about Jake every chance they had. She started seeing him regularly, and eventually she moved in with him.
The problem was, she was still legal married to Jake. She finally was going to file for divorce when Jock told her that he'd be leaving the country on assignment when the semester ended. Helen was completely shattered. She went to the Dean's office the next morning and made a huge noise about one of the instructors have an affair with a student, and in the end both of them were kicked out for good.
[Back in living room : sound of the phone ringing]
Jane Yo. Should some one get that?
Amy [picks up phone, hangs it back up, then picks it up again and leaves it on the table] Don't worry. It some idiot from the office. I tell them not to call me at home and they never listen. Back to the story.
[voiceover] A few weeks later, Helen realised that she was pregnant. She tried to get in touch with Jock, but the only thing she could find out about him was the adress of his parent's ranch in El Paso, which was his legal residence after he inherited it. Defeated, she returned to Jake and tried to get her life back in order.
I'm not sure if Jake really knows that your not his daughter. He was in rough shape after all that had happened,and was drinking and smoking pot heavily. He probably figured it out eventually, but I think he didn't really want to know, at least not after Quinn was born. I'm pretty sure Helen never told the whole story to anyone but me and Mom, if only because she didn't want Rita to find out.
She refused to move back into the group home this time. She was trying to finish her law degree, and arranged for Jake to get a full time job as a salesman. They found an inexpensive home not far from the college and...well, you know the rest, most of it anyway.
[Front shot of Daria, staring at the now-empty glass]
Daria I don't know what to say. I always assumed that Mom's thing about sending me to El Paso was just another attempt to grind me into submission. Until you called today I never knew that Dad really wasn't my biological father. I mean, uh, Jake. Whatever.
Jane Talk about having the rug pulled out from under you.
Amy I know this has to be hard for you.
Daria Well, yeah, but it sort of also explains a lot. I mean, I love Dad and all, but there was always something wrong about it, like I didn't really belong. In some ways this makes a lot of sense, [pause] but its also really scary.
Trent Don't worry about it, Daria. You'll always have a place where you fit in. Right, Janey?
Daria Its not really that. Its just, I feel like my whole life has been wrong until now. Now I know what's been missing all these years.
Amy I'm sure you'll need some time to thing about it. No problem. The gallery showing isn't until Saturday, so we've got three days before you have to confront this. In the meantime, I've cleared my schedule out for rest of the week, so why don't we do the tourist thing here in San Francisco?
Daria Tourist? I don't know... it sounds too much like acting like a hopeless idiot. On purpose.
Amy Trust me, you'll like it, all of you. After all, this is San Francisco. If there's any place you'd belong, its here.
[End of Act 3]