Seneca Reads Nell's Letter After She is Dead
(March 1976)

Before Seneca comes into the apartment, we see the fire burning, and hear Nell reading the letter in voiceover, "Darling Seneca, you're reading this, and so I must have left you. Oh my dearest, are you very lonely? I hope not. I don't want you to be." The camera pans out to show more of the dark room, as she contines, "If things turned out as I feared they would, I know you kept your promise to me. I know you let me go. Oh Seneca, knowing that and knowing that you'll be reading this one day makes me so sad..."

Nell's voice does not stop reading as the door slams as Seneca comes in, and he goes into the bedroom to find the letter, just where she had said it would be, in the dresser. She goes on, "...because I've left you for a while, and more because my leaving must have been a torment for you. It must have been so difficult for you of all people to let me go easily and peacefully. You've always fought for life so heroically." Seneca goes into the other room and turns on a lamp and begins reading as her voice continues to narrate what the letter says. "Thank you for giving up your heroism so I could find my peace. Now, dare I ask another promise? Darling, let me feel that as you read, you will find comfort and joy in the fact that no matter what, in spite of everything, we loved each other well. That thought comforts me, so that I am at peace about what happens next as I write this to you. I have loved you so, I do love you now, I will love you forever.

"Now then, there are several things you can do for me, if you would." He sits down by the fire as he contines reading, "Plant a tree for me in Boston, no place in particular, just somewhere in Boston. I'll know where it is - no plaque, no memorial, I want it to be a tree that radiates life only. Oh, you might avoid planting it in the Common; there are quite enough trees there already." Seneca smiles at this point. "Next, I want my ashes put out to sea, no more, no less.

"And finally, there's the problem of the money: my money, which is our money, which you wouldn't touch, which I know you don't want now. Please use it, Seneca, to give something back to New York from me." Nell's voice stops reading as Seneca gets up and goes out onto the balcony. He then begins reading again, and Nell's voice says, "This is the place where I've been happiest and most truly alive, and this is the place that brought us together again. Use the money so that somewhere, somehow, the quality of life here is made better for someone. How and when is up to you. You'll know it when you find it.

"Be happy, my darling. Be loved. I will wait for you. Nell." Seneca looks off sadly at the skyline as the scene fades to black.

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