Olivia stumbles upon Mellie rummaging for something in the back her of walk-in room sized closet.
Mellie: I’m looking for my hooch. You didn’t drink it did you, Olivia? While you were sleeping in my bed like Goldilocks?
Mellie: I…hid it…all over back when…after the funeral. (Mellie pushes a bench over to another alcove of the closet to reach and search a shelf) Now it’s like…emergency supply.
Olivia: I should go.
Mellie: (Laughing) You’re gonna need the hooch. All the hideously long days and nights you’re about to spend hosting ridiculous galas and balls. (She climbs up to another shelf on the opposite side) Standing by his side…your teeth smeared with Vaseline so your smile stays wide and bright like you’re some kind of wax figure. Haaaaa! Yesss! Ohhhh. (Mellie has found her hooch) Trust me. This stuff?…is the only thing that’ll get you through. (She struggles to open the Mason jar) The lady lunching, the curating, tedious CAUSE you have to come up with and pretend to care about. (She gets the jar open) Do you like to decorate, Olivia? Come winter time, do you find little snowflake ornaments and golden pine cones just adorable? I hope you do, cause those 111 Christmas trees don’t just design themselves. Haaaah. (She exhales, breathes deeply for a moment, the offers a sip of hooch to Olivia) What the hell, you want some?
(Olivia blankly stares back)
Mellie: I didn’t poison it. See? (She sips the hooch and feels the burn) MMM! Hah hah hah hah. (Mellie extends the offer again)
Olivia: I don’t want any.
Mellie: Mmmmph. You don’t get to say what you don’t want. Not in here. Your wants? Your needs? Nobody cares anymore. All that matters from now is him. You will make so many sacrifices and compromises. You won’t even feel like a real person anymore. You will be unrecognizable. You think you’re going to be able to keep that little business of yours up and running? That group of THUGS you got workin’ for ya? What, you think you’re gonna find a place for them here…on your staff…in the White House? I don’t think so. The moment he takes your and and presents you to the world, you get dropped in a cage and you are trapped. The amount of bile you will force yourself to choke down…Haaah. But, like I said…(lifting Mason jar)…that’s what this here liquid gold is for.
Olivia: To feel numb.
Mellie: Oh honey, nooo. Living here…in this prison, that’s what makes you feel numb. THIS is what makes you feel normal. (sips hooch, shudders at the burn) Huh-heh. (she stands, walks to Olivia, smiles and inhales) When you go back down to the Oval…and you sit next to Fitz, I hope you know what you’re really fighting for. (She walks past Olivia and exits the closet)
(Olivia stands contemplating Mellie’s words)
Mellie: (Giggling, she steps back in the doorway) Oooohh n’ whatever hooch you dig up around here…(serious, yet sad)…consider it my parting gift. (she exits and leaves)
(Olivia stands alone in the corner of the hollow vastness of the room sized walk-in closet)