SCENE 9

 

Scene opens in hallway outside carrels. Richard and Taylor coincidentally exit their carrels so that they end up right next to each other in the hall. Richard lights up a bit when he recognizes Taylor.

 

Richard

Hey! Great party the other night.

 

It takes Taylor a moment to recognize Richard.

 

Taylor

Glad you had a good time. Didn’t mean to yell at you – you sort of caught me with my pants down.

 

Richard

Hey, no problem.

 

Taylor catches a whiff of Richard and grimaces.

 

Taylor

Man, did you jump in the tank or something?

 

Cut to wide shot outside that includes the door Richard and Taylor are about to come out of and a Willed Body Program van parked at the loading dock. Though we can’t see details, Dale is manipulating a cadaver’s foot, which is on a stretcher sticking out of the back of the van. A few moments pass, then the doors to the carrels open, Richard and Taylor emerge, laughing about something – they have developed some rapport in the intervening offscreen minutes. Cut to Taylor and Richard.

 

Richard

Yeah, I’m not sure I’m going to like anatomy but I’m looking forward to embryology.

They stop on the platform, Taylor is looking at Dale

Doesn’t that start tomorrow?

 

Taylor has lost track of Richard because he’s distracted by what Dale is doing.

 

Richard

Taylor?

 

Richard catches on that Taylor is staring at Dale and the van and so he takes a look. They’re both looking now, Richard squints the “what in the fuck?” squint. Cut to Dale and the van. The lower extremities of a cadaver are protruding from the back of the van, and Dale is painting the cadaver’s toenails a brilliant shade of red. Cut back to Richard and Taylor. They’re both still staring.

 

Taylor

That is one weird dude.

 

They start walking again, toward the parking lot.

 

Richard

Do you think he took a job working with dead people because he’s a weirdo or is he a weirdo because he took a job working with dead people?

 

Taylor

No no, people migrate to where they belong.

 

Richard

Well the job doesn’t help any.

 

Taylor

No doubt, but society funneled that man to his work, and you’re going to watch society do the same thing to your classmates. In a few months people are going to start talking about where they’re going in medicine.

 

Richard looks at Taylor as if to say, "how do you know?"

 

Taylor

I was a first year student last year.

 

Richard

embarrassed

sorry.

 

Taylor

It’s okay. I definitely need to do it again.

 

Richard

hesitatingly

Aren’t you worried about your residency chances?

 

Taylor

What do you mean?

 

Richard

You know, don’t you want to get a good residency?

 

Taylor

What constitutes a "good residency?"

 

Richard

thinks for a moment

I have no idea.

 

Taylor

Do you find it funny that you just finished your third day of medical school and already you're worried about getting a "good" residency, which you can't even describe?

 

Richard

Hey, I just feel lucky as gravy to be here. And I don't have to describe a good residency to know how to get one.

 

Taylor

laughing, impressed

True enough. So you feel lucky to be here, eh?

 

Richard

Shoot, I can't compete with these braniacs, I'm just a normal guy the admissions committee took pity on. I think they have a normal guy quota to fill or something.

 

Taylor

I'm sure you're right, but you'd do best to keep that sort of honesty to yourself.

 

Richard

Why?

 

Taylor

It becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. When you openly doubt your abilities, those around you doubt your abilities. Then they treat you like someone of doubtful ability, which reinforces your perception of yourself.

 

Richard

So if I pretend to be a genius...

Taylor

chuckles at this

You would think that would work but turns out that bragging makes you look like an idiot, too. Not that that stops anyone.

 

Richard and Taylor have arrived at Taylor's car. Taylor rests on it and they continue their conversation in the parking lot.

 

Richard

so...

 

Taylor

So don't say anything. Med students are so insecure about their  intelligence, if you don't give them any clues they will assume you're smarter than they are.

 

Richard

I don't want anyone to think I'm smarter than they are, I just want to be a doctor.

 

Taylor

Why?

 

Richard

Richard thinks a moment

I want to help people?

 

Richard looks at Taylor expectantly, halfway hoping he'll buy it. Taylor closes his eyes and shakes his head.

 

Taylor

No.

 

Richard

It's plausible.

 

Taylor

Yes, it's plausible.

 

Richard

So how do you know it's not true?

 

Taylor

It doesn't matter if it's true, it's still a load of shit.

Richard looks at Taylor, a bit annoyed at his philosophy

Let me tell you a story. Once upon a time there was a handsome prince and a beautiful princess, and after dating for a few months the prince tried to convince the princess to get on the pill. The prince's obstetrician father had given the prince all these reasons to present to the princess as to why going on the pill was a smart idea - decreased cancer risk, lighter periods, the thoughtful prince had a dozen reasons. The princess, however, was unmoved. Though she could not dispute the prince's arguments,  she didn't have to: she knew that the prince did not want to use a condom.

pause

The same can be said of all med students.

 

A campus policeman pulls up in his car and rolls down his window.

 

cop

Move along, gentlemen.

 

Taylor

a bit confused

This is my car.

 

Cop

There's nothing to see here.

 

The campus policeman rolls up his window and drives off.

 

Taylor

Where was I?

 

Richard

Condoms.

 

Taylor

Right. The point is that medicine satisfies too many non-altruistic motives to credit the altruistic motives. If physicians weren't so glorified and well-paid, that you want to help people would matter. But they are, so it doesn't.

 

 Richard

I don't think everyone here is so cynical.

 

Taylor

There's no doubt about that. You going to happy hour?

 

Richard

I don't know.

 

Taylor

You should go; in a few weeks no one will be going out anymore so you have limited opportunity to socialize with your exciting new classmates.

 

Richard

 

I have to come up with some excuse to tell my roommate so he won't come with me.

 

Taylor

Hey buddy, you're in med school now, and that gives you access to the world's most failsafe alibi.

Richard

And that is...

 

Taylor pops off his car, slaps Richard on the shoulder, and opens up his door.

 

Taylor

I'll see you later man, I've gotta go study...

 

Taylor closes the door and drives off. Cut to Richard staring at Taylor driving off. Cut to black.