Silent Sea

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Silent Sea[1]
The Other Side
Original Broadcast Date
November 12, 2000
Debi Mae West, Larry Block, David Rapkin, Joe Frank
Karma Style, Improv Actors, 55 minutes
Preceded by: Karma Crash
Followed by: Mystery

When I'm away from home, I repeatedly check my answering machine with my cell phone to see if she's called.

Silent Sea is a program Joe Frank produced as part of the series The Other Side. It was originally broadcast on November 12, 2000.


Joe checks for calls and e-mails from Kate[1] constantly, is disappointed and relieved when there are none. He imagines her with a younger, smarter, better-looking, more-talented, more compatible man. He imagines spying on her to figure out whom.

3:40: 'I have been wondering frequently of late…' - T. S. Eliot reads from his poem 'Portrait of a lady'.

4:40: Larry says that we are sometimes drawn to self-destructive things, quotes Ionesco, 'I reject death.'

5:10: Joe asks whether the one feature that distinguishes us from primates is the opposable thumb. Someone (David Rapkin?) answers nonsensically in an unnatural voice. Then he talks more nonsense about an encounter with a highway patrolman.

7:00: Debi, Dan, and Suzanne[2] go to a Halloween party (not on Halloween). Debi and Suzanne are going as Dan's 'vampiress angelic love slaves' on leashes in skimpy outfits. Dan hands over Debi's leash to a few different guys Debi likes. She goes out for drinks with an Italian guy. They make out at 4 AM.

15:20: 'And youth is cruel, and has no remorse…' - T. S. Eliot reads more from his poem 'Portrait of a lady'.

16:20: Joe imagines driving to Kate's church, joining her in her pew, going away with her, traveling the world, forever, because they can't figure out how to get along at home.

19:20: Unnatural-voice says some self-contradictory things and other nonsense.

23:10: On Halloween Debi, Dan, and Suzanne dress up the same, watch the Greenwich Village parade. Debi watches from a coffee shop on 6th & 13th[3] A lot of men pay attention to her. Dan & Suzanne go home early. She picks up a German guy (or vice-versa) at a club. They make out for an hour on the dance floor; he was the best kisser she had ever met.

29:00: 'I grow old… I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled…' - T. S. Eliot reads from his poem 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock'

30:10: Larry talks about what he would do before he would kill himself. He imagines stealing a kayak and paddle and kayaking up the Hudson. He imagines living in a sailboat in a funky marina south of San Pedro[4]

35:40: 'O Light Invisible, we praise Thee!…' T. S. Eliot reads from his poem 'The rock'.

38:50: Debi and Joe talk. She's applying lotion. She belongs to a big world peace organization. They chant, which makes her more peaceful in the world. She describes their meetings. She says that she dealt with her diagnosis of breast cancer (which turned out to be a mistake) better because she's chanted for 14 years. Joe chaffs her for thinking chanting makes her more powerful, cured her cancer.

45:10: Larry recounts fantasies of taking the bus to a place he's never heard of in Montana.[5]

46:00: Joe says he sometimes wonders whether making a different decision at one moment in time could change his whole life. He imagines watching a movie of Kate's life, whether he would have understood her better, that they could have a better relationship.

48:20: 'And I have known the arms already, known them all--…' - T. S. Eliot reads from his poem 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock'

49:30: 'Because I do not hope to turn/Desiring this man's gift and that man's scope…' - T. S. Eliot reads from his poem 'Ash Wednesday'[6]

52:10: 'No more my lord…'

Legacy Synopsis
  • Joe imagines stalking an ex.
  • Program is cut with readings of T. S. Eliot's "Portrait of a Lady", "Ash Wednesday", "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock"
  • Larry Block talks about death.
  • Discussing philosophy with crazy preacher character, Jesus stopped by traffic patrol.
  • Debi Mae West talks about a Halloween party.
  • Joe talks about following an ex into church, travels with her forever.
  • Preacher character recites koans then spirals into nonsense.
  • Larry discusses alternatives to suicide, stealing a kayak and paddling up the Hudson river, boat fantasies.
  • Debi's further party adventures.
  • Further Poetry reading.
  • Debi chants for world peace, talks talks about her cancer misdiagnosis as a miracle.
  • Joe imagines watching a film of his ex's life.


Additional credits

The original broadcast credits state: "With Debi Mae West, Larry Block, David Rapkin, and Joe Frank. Poetry by T. S. Eliot. Production by JC Swiatek and Bob Carlson. Music consultant: Thomas Golubić. Production assistance: Esmé Gregson."


  1. Joe never says the word 'Kate' in this episode. It's only clear from the context of the preceding shows that it's her.
  2. Debi recounts Dan & Suzanne's marriage in The Future
  3. I can't make out the name.
  4. Cabrillo beach? Fish Harbor? Only ocean is south of San Pedro.
  5. He mentions a similar notion in The Nature Of Things.
  6. Jack Kornfield quotes 'Ash Wednesday' in Karma (Part 7)