When I was a kid my father came up to visit me in the little beach town my mom and I were living in at the time. He lived in L.A. I remember watching him jog up and down our street in his Gold’s Gym sweatshirt as he went on and on about how great it was to breathe clean air. He couldn’t get over it. Before then it had never occurred to me that breathing would feel different depending on the air quality. I thought about what it must be like to be raised in something toxic and then suddenly be introduced to something clean.
That’s what inspired me to write the scene between Mercy and Brad in JUST ONE LIE when she’s explaining to him how, after a life time of criticism and utter rejection from her family, it felt to perform her music in front of an audience for the first time:
“I could feel the…the approval and the love of that audience. It was actually tangible. I mean…okay, you don’t always know when you’re breathing in smog, right?
“I guess not,” he says, clearly thrown by the seeming non sequitur.
“Trust me, you don’t–otherwise everyone in LA would be gagging every five minutes. But when you breathe in the air at the beach it just feels cleaner and you do notice that. It’s like all of a sudden you realize, oh, this is what it’s supposed to feel like to breath.”