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- Joined: Feb 05, 2010
This is a piece I uploaded long ago, but I think sickness and the things that ail us become common patterns in our lives, perhaps one of the most common kind we encounter. Patterns some of us can't break, but want so desperately too.
INT. Bathroom - Morning
A man in his mid 20s stands in front of his bathroom mirror staring expressionless into the glass. He has just woken up. His hair is disheveled; He’s in boxers and a plain white t-shirt. He opens the medicine cabinet behind the mirror to reveal each row of each shelf filled with neatly arranged bottles of pills. He takes 7 bottles down, and removes a single pill from each, placing the bottles back in their appropriate place. He lines each pill (in a different color) in a row on the edge of the sink, swallowing the first, then the last and alternating with an obvious pattern in mind. He then proceeds to vigorously wash his hands.
INT. Waiting Room – 2 hours later
A nurse enters
“Hey Noah, are you ready to come on back?” she says with a smile, waving him through.
He’s on a first name basis with everyone in the office due to his numerous visits. The nurse leaves him in a cold operating room. The doctor comes in shortly after.
“Hello Noah, how are we feeling today?”
“Not well, I…still feel sharp pains...I can’t sleep through the night…I think I may have an ulcer…”
Noah says all of this making very little eye contact, never looking up from the floor. The doctor shakes his head at Noah’s remark.
“The upper GI we took last week came up negative, you don’t have an ulcer. I think your acid reflux is just acting up again.”
“..but nothing’s changed, I don’t feel any bet..”
The doctor interrupts Noah midsentence.
“We’ll just try a new medication, and follow up on things in a couple months.” He says with a wink, walking out.
“..I don’t think that will….work..”
The door closes as the doctor leaves. Noah leaves the room and stops at the receptionist’s desk to schedule his next appointment. As he begins to walk towards the door he views a beautiful blond sitting in the corner of the waiting room. She catches his glance and nervously looks back down towards her feet.
INT – Doctors’ Offices and a Book Store - Montage: We see people talking in each shot of the montage, but we don’t hear them (music playing over montage?)
We see a few shots of Noah in many different places, mostly other doctors’/specialists’ offices. We see him seated, not speaking, only nodding as a neurologist is talking and pointing to a diagram of the human brain.
Next, He’s with a chiropractor, we see Noah lying on his stomach wincing as the doctor applies pressure to his shoulder.
Then In the book store looking at medical journals, “diagnose yourself” style books, and a few self help books, one entitled “She’s Not the One: Moving On.” He leaves the book aisle and heads to the book store restroom to wash his hands.
Finally, He’s at the pharmacy picking up a wide array of prescriptions. The pharmacist is trying to squeeze them all into one small bag, but quickly notices there are far too many bottles to do so and throws them all into a larger paper bag. He shrugs, looking at Noah and hands him the bag.
INT. A small pub - Evening
Noah sits uncomfortably at a table in the corner nursing a glass of water. A man in blue scrubs walks in scanning the bar for Noah. He finds Noah and sits across the table from him
“With all of the medication…..I can’t drink alcohol.”
He nods, “Right, right, I should have assumed as much.”
The man catches a waitress’ attention and orders a long neck.
“How are you, how are things going?”
“…I think I have an ulcer, my doctor says I don’t, but I feel like I may…and my sleep pattern is still a mess I seem to be..”
The Man interrupts him.
“I’m not talking about how you’re feeling, how are YOU? Have you been getting out much? Are you seeing anyone?”
“I went to a few appointments, and…I..uh went to the bookstore yesterday.”
The waitress hands the man his beer, he thanks her.
“I’m worried about you, Noah. It seems like the few times I’m able to actually get ahold of you are the only times you leave your house, are you still hung up on Kelly?”
“She won’t return my calls, I haven’t heard a thing. I sent letters…left messages…”
“You’ll find someone better, someone more understanding.”
“She wasn’t that bad, she was sweet….I just should have..”
“You’ll find better.”
Noah nods, though he’s obviously not convinced.
“Listen, I have to meet Karen for dinner, here ya go.”
He slides a medication sample across the table to him.
“You know, it’s highly unethical for me to do this, it’s new, it’s a trial, it might at least help with your migraines.”
“I’m your friend, Noah, I just wanna look out for you, I’m not another one of your specialists. We were college roommates, we’re friends, don’t forget that, pick up your phone every now and then.”
“I’m sorry, you’re right.”
The Man interjects again.
“Although, even in college, at times I felt more like your doctor, always being probed for medical advice”
“I’m sorry, I’ll call you.”
The Man stands up and leaves cash on the table for his drink. He pats Noah on the shoulder.
“Please do, take care of yourself, don’t let your many ailments control your life. Get out there.”
Noah walks to the bathroom to wash his hands as the man exits the pub. We see the bathroom door swing behind Noah as he enters.
INT – Psychiatrist’s office – The Next Day
Noah’s sitting in a small round chair with faded green, leather upholstery. The room has an aged wood grain paneling covering the walls, it’s very disorganized. An older man, balding, and wearing a sweater vest sits across from Noah behind a desk. He’s jotting notes down on the margins of the paper in front of him. He glances over his thin rimmed glasses while questioning Noah.
“So it appears your other health problems remain unchanged? The migraines, stomach pains, joints, the works?”
“Well I can’t do a whole lot for you there, but we can keep working on other matters, straighten out your head a bit.”
He offers Noah a quick smile and nod.
“Your hands are still a bit red, haven’t made much progress there?”
He looks down at his dry hands.
“Standard OCD, we’ve known about it. We’re working on it. We’ll get there. Aside from that, how have you been feeling?”
“My migraines are poun….”
The psychiatrist interrupts
PSYCHIATRIST: “I mean YOU, Noah, how are YOU.”
He points to Noah’s chest.
“You must always worry about your emotional well being above everything else, are you getting out more?”
“Well….I had a drink with a friend yesterday.”
Noah wets his lips and appears to be struggling to find something to say.
“We can deal with your condition, depression, your anxiety, the works, more importantly, you can. There’s more out there for you. You can’t cling to your past regrets and you can’t cling to the idea of being ill.”
As the Psychiatrist speaks, Noah looks at him with a blank face, clearly somewhere else in his head.
Montage: EXT. – Park
We quickly flash to a shot of Noah in a park at a picnic scene with a brunette. She’s wearing a red dress, they’re both smiling. In the background we still hear the Psychiatrist speaking, but it’s indistinguishable as his voice fades out and we’re left staring at Noah and the brunette. She’s playfully dancing barefoot while Noah watches, laughing. This is a Noah we haven’t seen before. She throws herself back onto the blanket and into his arms. She looks up into his eyes.
“I love you.”
“I love you too.”
Same Montage: INT – Apartment
The park scene fades to black and quickly rolls in to a scene of the couple in Noah’s apartment. She’s shouting as Noah sits on the edge of his bed looking defeated. She opens the medicine cabinet and begins throwing the bottles at Noah.
“Pills! Everywhere! Your bathroom’s a pharmacy! What’s wrong with you?!”
He sits on his bed without saying a word, without moving, he stares at the wall. She begins to stomp out of the room.
“And you’re out of soap again!”
INT. – Back to the Psychiatrist’s Office
The Psychiatrist’s voice starts to fade back in as we see Noah coming back to reality.
“Noah?...are you listening to me?”
“We’re gonna increase the dose of your medication, see how it works for you.”
“There’s plenty in your shoes, Noah, you’re never alone.”
“You’re fine, you’ll be fine.”
The two men stand and shake hands, Noah exits.
EXT – Pharmacy – Later that day.
From the street we watch Noah walk into the pharmacy.
As Noah approaches the counter he bumps into the blond he spied in the waiting room the day before. He accidently knocks a bag full of pill bottles from her hands, the same sized bag as the one he received the day before.
“I’m so sorry….I should watch where I’m walking..”
“It’s okay…I wasn’t paying attention…and I just didn’t see..”
They both shuffle to place the contents back into her bag. Noah looks up into her face while she’s still looking down at the floor collecting bottles, he quickly glances back at the floor. Once his head down she glances at him. They fill the bag and she quietly leaves, Noah walks back towards the counter to fill his prescription, still watching the blond as she walks away.
INT – Night – Noah’s bedroom
Noah is staring up at the ceiling, laying in bed. He rolls over to see a framed picture of he and the brunette from the picnic scene. He opens the drawer of his night stand, shoves the framed photo in the drawer and rolls over.
INT – Bookstore – The Next Day
Noah is thumbing through books in the Self-Help aisle. He reaches for a book titled “A Better You.” A woman’s hand grazes his, reaching for the same book, it’s the blond.
NOAH and BLOND in unison:
They catch one another’s eye, this time they don’t look away. Each smile shyly. As they’re smiling we hear a line from Noah’s friend repeated.
“You’ll find someone better, someone more understanding.”
The blond nervously giggles, Noah wrings his dry palms.
“This book…is nice too…”
She sheepishly hands him a paperback below the book they each reached for, the book’s titled “Finding Forever: A Guide to living a happy and hopeful life.” He takes the book from her hand and looks at the back cover.
“There’s plenty in your shoes, Noah, you’re never alone.”
INT – Bathrooms – Split Screen
The scene changes to a split screen of Noah and the Blond in their own separate bathrooms. On the left side of the screen Noah is swallowing his pills, on the right the Blond is doing the same. Noah appears the same as we saw him at the beginning of the script, hair disheveled, just woken up. The Blonde has also just gotten out of bed, her hair is messy, she’s wearing shorts and a white tank top. On the left Noah is now washing his hands, on the right the blond is brushing her hair. She alternates sides and we can see her mouthing numbers as she counts each stroke.
We join the two back at the bookstore. Noah breaks the silence.
“Hi, I’m uh…I’m Noah.”
They both smile, still nervous.
Every raindrop falls in hopes of building an ocean.
(I've had a single line of this written for awhile, but was still trying to figure out where to go with it, after reading through Joe's lyrics to "Nothing Big" again, I got inspired and knew where I wanted to take it. Here's my extended interpretation inspired by the original.)
I don’t wanna take you out dancing on the weekend. I wanna push the couch out of the way and waltz across the living room floor with you, laughing.
I don’t wanna see that romantic comedy playing at the movie theater together. I wanna watch that video I took of you snoring and run through the house while you chase me, trying to pry it from my hands.
I don’t wanna sleep peacefully through the night next to you. I wanna anxiously toss and turn, waiting for morning to come when I can see you again, messy hair, morning breath and all.
I don’t wanna discuss Oriental Art at that new museum exhibit together. I wanna argue in the aisles of Pier 1 about whether or not a stone Buddha statue is appropriate décor for our kitchen, knowing you’re right, it’s not.
I don’t wanna make reservations for us at fancy French restaurants. I wanna cook burnt pork chops for you and pretend neither one of us knows how awful they are, but we will, every single time.
I don’t wanna join you for a long walk on the beach. I wanna talk about taking long walks on the beach so much that we’re too tired to leave the house by the end of the discussion.
I don’t wanna map out vacations with you. I wanna get lost on back roads I thought looked like shortcuts just to give us more time to spend together, lost, but well on our way.
I don’t wanna gracefully skate before you at the ice rink, I wanna slide across the kitchen floor in my socks to you, hoping you can manage a smile when I lose my balance and fall on my back.
I don’t wanna get us tickets to the opera. I wanna pound on the bathroom door when you sing too loudly in the shower, because nothing sounds worse, or better.
I don’t wanna buy the perfect dream home for you, I wanna spend years fixing squeaky gates, building shelves, painting walls, and spraying wasp nests around a home that’s too small, too old, and never quite finished, though we never stop trying to make it just right.
I don’t wanna just be in love with you. I wanna work on loving you more each day, little by little.
Nothing big. Just me and you.