DOCTORS SURGERY; INT; DAY
It’s a rather dingy looking walk-in clinic, the chairs are worn, and there is a grimy tiled floor. Its afternoon, it’s not crammed but still busy. People are sitting in seats nursing there various illnesses. There is a queue of seven to the main reception. The person at the front steps forward another person leaves.
The head of a receptionist can be seen behind a desk. She’s in her 50′s, quite large and wears a sour expression. She does not look up from her computer when talking to patients. The man in-front of her is wearing a knitted three colour hat on one side of his head, he has a green tie-die t-shirt and under his arm he carries a small bongo. The receptionist looks him up and down.
Garry; Garry Yakvell
Receptionist; Where are you registered?
Garry looks nervous.
Garry; just one sec it’s….
Receptionist audibly sighs.
Garry; it’s, back in Chester. Urm, Oak… Surgery. That’s it! Oakfield surgery.
Receptionist; Well done. And why are you here?
Garry pauses for a moment. The receptionist looks at him, strumming her nails on the keyboard loudly.
Garry; I think, I think I may have … (he leans in and whispers something)
Receptionist; (spoken) Herpes. (She types it into the keyboard)
Garry has gone red, he’s distributing his weight from foot to foot.
Receptionist; Sit down, a doctor will see you shortly.
Garry looks down to the ground and scampers to a seat.
The Receptionist nods angrily at the next person; They’re in there early 20′s, quite smartly dressed. They don’t move.
Receptionist; (almost yelled) Next!!
Stanley walks to the desk as if in a trance.
Receptionist; (snappy) Yes.
He looks at her, eyes wide. Then closes them before speaking.
Stanley; I’d like to see a doctor, please.
Stanley; (confident) Stanley.
Receptionist; Second name
Receptionist: And where are you registered, Mr Bates.
Receptionist; Windytops Clinic
Receptionist ;( quizzically) That’s less than ten minutes away. Why don’t you go away and make an appointment at your registered practitioner.
Stanley; (pause/uneasy) I need… I would like to see someone today, they had no appointments.
Receptionist; (snippy) you’ll be waiting for hours, not to mention wasting valuable time at this walk-in considering you have your own doctors!
Stanley remains silent, he doesn’t move.
Receptionist; (curt) Very well, if you insist. What needs to be seen to so urgently?
Stanley; I’d, rather not say
Receptionist; I’m afraid unless you give me a reason I will not be able to book an appointment.
Stanley; Can I just see a doctor
Receptionist; Certainly not. You’re keeping everyone waiting.
Stanley remains silent;
Receptionist: (snooty) if you’re not going to give me a reason, I’m going to have to ask you to leave.
Stanley; (murmured) It’s, It’s…
Receptionist: Speak up!
Stanley; I, It’s, well I…
Receptionist: Really now!
Stanley’s fiddling, he’s shooting nervous glances at the floor. He looks back at the Receptionist.
Receptionist; Are you going to say or not?
Stanley;(quietly) I want to end my life. (Louder) I think I’m going to top myself and I thought that just before I did I could see a doctor.(frantic) An maybe just maybe there would be a way out, one that I can’t see (quieter, to himself) I don’t think there is anything …
Receptionist;(unfazed) I don’t believe any of our doctors will be of use. We only deal in physical ailments Mr Bates.
Stanley’s hands fumble, he breaths quickly in through his mouth. He does this again and again. He’s hyperventilating. He looks back at the queue behind him, realising they’ve heard, he looks down to the ground.
Stanley looks at the door then down to the floor. He can hardly breathe. Without making eye contact he heads to the door, hand outstretched for the handle a few seconds early.
Garry the colourful guy who had been in-front of him in the queue is sitting near the exit.
Garry; You alright dude?
Stanley just shakes his head, grabs the door handle and exits. The door is left open, three seconds go by. It closes.
He’s at home. His room is small, there are few decorations; a digital clock, a guitar in its case can be seen under the bed. The bed doesn’t have a sheet and the pillows aren’t in covers. On the pillow is a tiny soft toy octopus. Other than a bit of clutter the room is relatively tidy. One poster of Red hot Chilli Peppers is on the wall askew. On the other side of the room there is a desk. Above the desk is a window letting in light. Open on the desk is a letter.
‘Notification of none-attendance, we have sent you this letter to warn you that if you do not contact us with in the week we will discontinue your….. ‘
He pushes the letter out of the way and into a heap of other letters. He picks up a large thick book on ‘Advanced Syntax’, rips out a page as close to the spine as he can and opens a draw. He clumsily takes out a pen, his hands are shaking. He starts to write.
‘Dear Friends, family’
The pen doesn’t show up well on paper. He stands to reach a shelf on his left and takes down an art sketch pad, it’s thick with dust. He goes to write again.
‘Friends family, I unfortunately wish to inform you. ‘
He scribbles it out, rips it up and tears out another page. His hands are shaking less.
‘Friends family, I know these are only words, they are now all that I can…
He crosses it out and scruples it in a ball.
His room is darker. The curtains have been closed. You hear what sounds like a front door close softly. The door to his room is shut. His phone is on his bed. It’s an old phone with a dim screen that can be seen even when not in use. He has one message, and it’s been left open.
‘Sorry, I’m really tired, had a long day at work. How about you call me tomorrow? P.S I don’t think that…’ no more of the text can be seen without scrolling.
The little octopus that was on the pillow has gone. On the desk the ‘Art Pad’ is open but it has only a handful of sheets in it. Heaped up on the desk in scrunched balls are the rest of its pages. Allot have fallen to the floor. Right in the centre of the desk is one flat page, it’s been written on in smooth neat handwriting.
Friends, family. Not that you necessarily do, but if for any reason you should think yourself responsible for what I’ve done, then I want to make sure you know that you’re not.
I’m not sorry. The choice was mine to make. I know it will undoubtedly hurt you but living because a few people would be sad I died wasn’t enough.
I won’t go into the details; they don’t really matter, besides there isn’t really a set reason. I know I don’t show it, but I get unhappy allot. And when I do, it’s not just a case of the mild blues, It feels as if all the air in the world is filled with dread, and each time I take a breath I’m inviting more and more of it in.
I started feeling better for a bit, but now it’s back. It’s been like this ,on and off for years. I used to be more rubbery though, so when I felt rock bottom I’d bounce back. But lately I’ve stopped bouncing, and though I’ve given climbing a fair try, I’m exhausted.
It’s not that I believe I’d never feel happy ever again, it’s that I know that even if I did, I’d end up feeling empty eventually. And I can’t bear the thought of spending one more day this wretched. I just need to make it stop.
I’m sorry that I’ve written you all one message, but the thought of writing everyone a personal letter is really more than I’m capable of.
Best wishes. I don’t mean that frivolously. Know you were all very dear to me. The good memories I have, of which there are many, I owe mostly to the time I’ve spent with you.
I really do hope you get more out of life than I have.
All My Love
To die would be a marvellous adventure, don’t you think?
No, I don’t.
I think it would be the end of a marvellous adventure.
Ah, but what if you weren’t having a marvellous time?
Then it would be the end of a terrible adventure.
But it would also be the end of all adventures.
You don’t know that!
Your right I don’t
So you admit I’m right!
No. I just admit to not knowing or not if I’m right.
You’re making no sense!
Maybe that’s better than making sense but being wrong.
Actually you may have a point, Though I don’t understand it.
What do you mean, that’s ok?
You don’t need to understand to know what I mean.
That’s true. You’ve got me.
So let the adventure begin?
The one you were talking about!
He’d have to die though!
Yes, but you said he’d have a marvellous time!
I don’t know that!
Then why did you say it?