FedExMan: Craig Anderson?
Craig: Yeah, that’s me.
FedExMan: Just sign here. Ok, great. Have a nice day.
(Opens package to find a phone ringing inside)
Morpheus: Hello…Craig? Did you sign for this? Where’s your brother Neo?
Craig: I’m sorry?
Morpheus: Do you know who this is?
Craig: Mike Keenan?
Morpheus: Guhhh…No, Craig, it’s Morpheus. I’m looking for Neo. Can I speak with Neo?
Craig: Neo’s not here. He’s doing another crap romantic comedy with Sandra Bullock. Can I take a message?
Morpheus: You’ll have to do. Damn it.
I’ve been looking for you…Craig. I don’t know if you’re ready to see what I want to show you, but unfortunately you and I have run out of time. They’re coming for you, Craig, and I don’t know what they’re going to do.
Craig: Dude, Neo’ll be back in like an hour.
Morpheus: There’s no time, you stupid back-up goalie.
Craig: What the hell do they want from me?
Morpheus: They want you start tonight, against the Islanders, on the road, Craig.
Craig: I can’t do that! I suck! What about Vokoun? He’s our goalie! I just sit at the end of the bench and wear my lucky hat.
Morpheus: But your GAA is better than his, Craig. So is your save percentage. We don’t have time! Meet me at the Adams Street Bridge. Tonight. Before the game.
Craig: We’re in Long Island! I don’t know my way around this place!
Morpheus: My God. You whine a ton for being a veteran netminder. Fine. Lower concourse, 5PM. Near the Auntie Anne’s booth.
Morpheus: At last. Welcome, Craig, to the Nassau County Coliseum. As you no doubt have guessed, I am Morpheus.
Craig: It’s an honor to meet you?
Morpheus: Sit. I imagine that right now you’re feeling a bit like Alice, tumbling down the rabbit hole. Hm?
Craig: Sure, whatever you say. Can I go warm up now?
Morpheus: I can see it in your eyes. You have the look of a goalie who accepts what he sees on the depth chart because he is expecting to wake up. Ironically, this is not far from the truth. Do you believe in fate, Craig?
Morpheus: Why not?
Craig: Because I thought my fate was to spend my career in Chicago. I grew up in Park Ridge, Illinois. My family came to every game. My high school girlfriend left me when they traded me to crappy South Florida for nothing more than a 6th round pick. Fate sucks. I don’t believe in fate. That much I know.
Morpheus: What you know you can’t explain. But you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life. That there’s something wrong with this team. You don’t know what it is but it’s there, like a Jokinen skate blade to the neck. It is this feeling that has brought you to me. Do you know what I’m talking about?
Craig: Clearly, no.
Morpheus: The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us, even now in this very room. It is in your goalie pads, and in the showers. Some would say that it can even be found in the lucky cross your wear underneath your shirt on days that you start in net. In fact –
Craig: So the Matrix is gay?
Morpheus: No, you imbecile. You are a back-up goalie, nothing more. Vokoun’s got this job locked for years, and you’ll get traded for some younger, mediocre goalie in the next 18 months. Maybe Mike Smith, who knows. You were born into this role. And unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself. This is your last chance, Craig. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue – (fumbles around in pockets) – hang on…
(it appears Morpheus has forgotten to bring his brightly colored medication)
Morpheus: Fuck. Ok, let’s improvise, Craig. You eat the buttered pretzel, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the cinnamon sugar pretzel, you stay in net against the Islanders, and you blow people’s minds, Remember, all I’m offering is the truth, nothing more… Follow me… Apoc, are we online?
(no longer hungry, Craig Anderson throws a 53-save shutout against the Islanders.)
Morpheus: You see? You are a One.
Craig: Don’t you mean The One?
Morpheus: No, you’re still a backup, but at least you know the truth now.