Rewatching “Empire of Light” (e7). During the scene at the Olive Garden when Nancy slaps OA, French is right there immediately and asks if she needs to get out.

I didn’t notice the first time, but he is so rigid and his voice is trembling when he asks her, and it reminded me of the scene after he found out that Homer had sex with Renata.

This boy is so used to being the parent, and so used to being the protector, that when anything happens to one of his friends it throws off his entire physical and mental state. This boy, who is so good and responsible, would never just leave work on a dime. But when his friend’s safety is in danger, he becomes a different kid. Willing to do anything to help– in the worst way. I guarantee you he was holding back on screaming at Nancy so hard he was shaking. Imagine OA’s hand in his, and of course she could feel him shaking.

Now imagine what he would do if he found out Steve had been taken to Asheville? Or that Buck was being misgendered at home???? Imagine what this boy is capable of now that he has the movements???


Three Illinois Central passenger trains at Kankakee, Illinois, August 1964:

Top: The City of Miami

Middle: The City of New Orleans

Bottom: The Green Diamond

Photos by Lawrence and David Barera