Marty has tried all kinds of tactics to get Alyssa to shake that expression, to smile, look relaxed, or at least look like nothing serious is wrong. It doesn’t help that Jeremy is a natural at seeming natural. Adding to the problem is Marty just being himself. From long or short distances, Marty resembles a short, plump, tanned vampire with feathered brown hair. He stares at Alyssa the same way he stares at everyone: With unblinking, pin-hole eyes, a grinning mouth that is perpetually open as if his lips can’t close over his large teeth.

Marty turns his full attention on whoever is talking, even moves in closer, seemingly without moving his legs. He studies and nods ever so slightly, encouraging one to say more with little grunts and slow lip-licks, as if every word brings him closer to a feast. Meanwhile, his hands rub one another at a ball in front of his chest.

For someone who doesn’t want to be looked at, Marty is a nightmare. I could tell from the moment Alyssa arrived on set with Jeremy and the Army relations trio, she was forcing herself to do this. Forcing herself to get up that morning, shower, put on clothes, comb hair, toothbrush, car keys, give your name, shake the hands, nod, listen, nod, stand in light, smile, say words you don’t believe into a black hole that absorbs you whole.