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Transcript

A brown woman wearing a yellow and pink t-shirt with the word ‘FROYO’ across the chest and a similarly-styled bandana wrapped on her head stares up wide-eyed at a cascade of white flakes drifting down from the ceiling.

NARRATOR: I have never seen snow before.

Close-up of the woman’s face, still tilted up and staring wide-eyed at the falling flakes.

NARRATOR: The closest I’ve been to seeing snow was when a bag of coconut flakes burst in my arms.

A smiling coconut flake lands on the woman’s nose and says ‘Ayy’.

NARRATOR: On the day that I kind of saw snow, I also lost my job. I knew this would happen, but all I could think about was snow.

The angle widens to medium long-shot, showing the woman in profile, staring up, holding the burst bag of coconut flakes behind a froyo counter. A customer stands at the counter with his tub of froyo waiting to be served. He looks bemused, with one hand raised saying ‘Uh… hey?” to catch the woman’s attention.

NARRATOR: But this isn’t about snow. Or working in froyo hell. Or how or why I lost my job.

The scene moves to the woman’s bedroom. She is laying spread-eagle on the floor, naked, crying and looking at the ceiling, surrounded by Pringles chips, a candy wrapper, her discarded froyo uniform and a maroon jumper.

NARRATOR: Actually, no. I’m going to be real here. The whole point of whatever these comics are gonna be is to be real, so in honour of the desperate newly graduated version of me

The woman shifts her gaze from the ceiling to look directly at the reader and says ‘Thanks’.

NARRATOR: It’s comforting to know that when given the option to earn and be bullied, or be jobless but not be in a weird as hell workplace, I chose to get out. But this isn’t a comic about that either. Nah. This is about how I well and truly hit ROCK BOTTOM.

The background bursts into vibrant colour behind the woman, pinks and yellows. The woman looks at the reader and shouts ‘AGAIN?!”

NARRATOR: Yes, again.

Scene change: the woman is at her university graduation, wearing formal robes and a square academic cap.

NARRATOR: A bit of backstory. I graduated back in February.

WOMAN: They fucked my name up and I corrected them ON. STAGE.

NARRATOR: Yes, yes you did.

Scene change: It’s daytime and the woman is laughing, running gleefully away from a smiling university building, both hands up in the air doing the sign of the horns. A paper trail flying behind her in the wind spells out ‘BYYYEE’.

NARRATOR: And 4 months before that, I threw in my last assignment.

Scene change: the woman is sitting comfortably across an armchair, legs hanging off the side, face turned toward the reader. The armchair has an inscription across the top: ‘Property of my psych  <3 [love heart icon].

NARRATOR: Now what was happening in that period?

WOMAN: This is where it gets fun.

NARRATOR: Not really.

Scene change: the woman is back at her university graduation.

NARRATOR: I was living in denial.

The woman is wearing her formal robes and a square academic cap. A very, very pale old white man wearing glasses and a red doctoral Tudor bonnet stands next to her holding a sign that says ‘[star icon, dollar sign]Enjoy your debt [dollar sign, star icon]’.

OLD WHITE MAN: Are you really doing this?

WOMAN: Yep.

Scene change: the woman is perched on the capital part of a Greek Ionic pillar in the sky. She is hugging her knees to her chest, wearing a square academic hat and an aqua choli with a sari draped over her shoulder, the end of it drifting up in the breeze in a look reminiscent of the Statue of Liberty. Her face is turned to the reader.

NARRATOR: Now without getting into a lot of detail, my years of schooling and uni could be best described as sketchy.

WOMAN: Everything is okay!

NARRATOR: I couldn’t wait to be out of it.

The column of the pillar is revealed to be made of precariously stacked textbooks.

NARRATOR: As much as I hated those years, they did provide a type of structure for living that I never had to work on. But I was ready, right? As if life would be so difficult without the support of 20 years of institutional education…

The column topples over, books flying in all directions.

NARRATOR: Right?

WOMAN: Oh dear.

The woman starts flailing in the air as she falls from the pillar. Books fall around her.

NARRATOR: There was a void in my life, and I wasn’t coping at all. And naturally, I tried to fill that void with unnecessary shit.

Mid-close up of the woman’s torso and face as she looks up at the tail material of her sari, which is forming a half-circle over her head.

NARRATOR: For example, I put myself through a super useless dating experience. It’s thanks to past romantic flops, that I managed to get out of something awful.

Close-up of the woman hands grasping the half-circle of sari material in the sky.

WOMAN: Come on…

NARRATOR: On top of that, I shoved myself into social exile.

The woman’s hands manage to grab the ends of the sari, forming a parachute.

WOMAN: YES!

NARRATOR: …again. Ah. Yes pals, I went back on 2 years of intensive therapy to return to my old crying in the bathroom at parties ways.

The scene angle widens. A purple, yellow and green striped hot air balloon carrying an older brown couple appears to one side. The full length of the woman is shown as she parachutes downwards using her aqua sari.

NARRATOR: While avoiding all my troubles worked fine for me, my parents were dealing with their own version of rock bottom. The kind where they both had lost their jobs. All in all, none of us were having a good time.

The woman’s mother calls out to her from the hot air balloon.

MOTHER: We still have some space up here, baby.

The woman looks pissed off, still mid-air and parachuting down.

WOMAN: EVERYTHING IS OK.

NARRATOR: Without sounding too whiny, there were things that were present in my life that were not there the last time I made my way to rock bottom. For one thing, for the first time in my life, I had some real, loving, honest friends. Deep inside all the mess, I still had a goal. And of course, I still had a roof over my head. And Wi-Fi. I guess it shows that even when shit gets bad you still deserve GOOD THINGS.

Back to a close-up of the woman, now looking down as she falls.

NARRATOR: I should have taken it easy, but no. I took one more shot.

Birds-eye view of an anthropomorphic island, lush and green with a pink nose, surrounded by ocean. The island appears to be asleep. The woman is parachuting right towards it.

NARRATOR: And I threw myself into the workplace from hell.

WOMAN: I am not supposed to be here!

NARRATOR: Why?

The island opens its eyes and smiles maliciously.

ISLAND: Welcome home.

WOMAN [not visible]: NO!

NARRATOR: Because I was scared.

The woman curls into herself, trying to change the direction of her fall.

NARRATOR: And it sucked. You see for me, being scared meant not having control. It meant being powerless.

WOMAN: I am not going down there! I have worked too hard to go there!

NARRATOR: And I didn’t want that.

The woman manages to change direction slightly.

WOMAN: HA! NOT THIS TIME!

NARRATOR: For all my trash talking, I was scared of living the life I wanted to live.

The wind pushes the parachute back down in the direction of the island.

WOMAN: NO

NARRATOR: I was scared of the responsibility that came with it.

The woman’s sari-parachute gets caught on a sharp rock ledge with vibrant green foliage at its base as she finally descends onto the island. The woman struggles to hold on as the material rips slowly. A pair of eyes hidden in the shadows of a tiny cave at the top of the rock peer at her.

WOMAN: No!

NARRATOR: I was scared of starting over.

Close-up of the woman’s hands desperately grasping at the rock ledge, trying to get a good grip and climb back up.

WOMAN [not visible]: Come on, come on, you can do this!

NARRATOR: And it’s not that starting over is a bad thing.

The angle of the scene changes to a top shot. The woman looks up at something we can’t see, panicked, academic cap lost in the fall and sari torn. Below her is a deep, black abyss. She’s clinging to the rock ledge; a pair of green, root-like fingers on the rock are almost touching hers.

WOMAN: No! Not you! I made it so far! No! Fuck!

NARRATOR: It’s just that starting over has another name. Rock bottom. I mean the location isn’t all that bad either.

The green fingers are revealed to belong to a creature, whose hair and clothes are made of leaves and whose skin is the colour of the island’s trees. She’s crouched on all fours, looking at the woman still clinging to the edge of the rock with empathy.

TREE CREATURE: And you will make it again.

The tree creature pries the woman’s fingers off the ledge. The woman starts to cry.

WOMAN: It’s gonna hurt again! I don’t wanna hurt again!

NARRATOR:  It’s the getting there.

Close-up of the tree creature gently holding the woman’s hands, which are now off the rock.

NARRATOR: You see…

TREE CREATURE [not visible]: Let go, I’ll be there.

WOMAN [not visible]: O-Okay…

The woman, crying, begins falling down into the black abyss.

WOMAN: Fuck you.

NARRATOR: No matter how many times you go there, or what leads you there

The woman falls further down, growing less visible as the darkness envelops her.

TREE CREATURE: I know. I’m sorry.

NARRATOR: The one thing that always stays the same is how you –

*CRASH*

– bright and sudden lettering against the black.

Four pairs of eyes shine in the darkness of the abyss. The woman’s eyes are wide as she says ‘Hey’ to the others with her in the dark.

NARRATOR: To be continued.


This post first appeared on Scaffold Comic.

Soolagna Majumdar
Soolagna Majumdar is a Perth-based, Kolkata-born creative working as an illustrator and graphic designer with a penchant for exploring Big Mood through comics, illustration and the like. She is also a Gemini and the proud mother of 5 rats.

About Author

Soolagna Majumdar is a Perth-based, Kolkata-born creative working as an illustrator and graphic designer with a penchant for exploring Big Mood through comics, illustration and the like. She is also a Gemini and the proud mother of 5 rats.

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