SCENE 16

 

Scene 16 opens with Richard opening the front door to his home. In the living room are Skeeter and three well-dressed Asian guys sitting in a circle, smoking pot and listening to Bon Jovi. As Richard enters Skeeter is getting ready to take a hit from a beautiful, tall, blue water pipe.

 

Skeeter

to guests

This is Richard, my wayward medical student roommate.

 

The three asian guys greet him with "hello," and "how do you do" spoken in exaggerated chinese accents. Richard waves at the crowd.

 

Richard

Hey fellas.

 

Skeeter takes a hit.

 

Skeeter

holding in the smoke, in high-pitched voice

Richard this is Mike, John, and Bob.

 

Richard is a confused but doesn't show it. The guests are smiling at him.

 

Richard

Really.

 

The phone rings. Skeeter answers it as he exhales all the smoke, and begins to cough like mad. He picks up the phone in the middle of his coughing fit and addresses the crowd before speaking into the phone, so that the caller hears him.

 

Skeeter

to crowd, coughing

God damn, that is some harsh shit.

into phone

Hello?

pause, Skeeter looks at Richard

It's your mom.

 

Richard

I'll take it in my room.

 

Cut to Richard's room. Richard picks up the phone in his rooms and yells at Skeeter to hang up.

 

Richard

Hey mom.

 

Richard sits down at his desk. On his desk is the anatomy coloring book, open to the cardiovascular section with some colored pencils in the spine. Richard subconsciously picks up one of the pencils and throughout the conversation is coloring the book without paying any attention to it. Camera to Richard coloring the book.

 

mom (OS)

Richard this is your mother.

 

Richard

How ya doin, mom.

 

mom (OS)

I have your father on the phone.

 

dad (OS)

Hey Richie.

 

Richard

Wow, a three way call. Since when do you know how to make three-way calls, mom?

 

dad (OS)

She doesn't. I had to explain it to her.

 

mom (OS)

Oh fuck off Ray. Honey, we're concerned.

 

Pause.

 

Richard

About what?

 

Mom (OS)

About you, Richard. You don't sound like yourself lately.

 

Richard

I sound fine, mom.

 

Dad (OS)

Now listen to your mother, Richie.

 

MOM (OS)

You've only been there for a few months and frankly honey you sound malnourished. Are you eating enough?

 

Richard

Come on, mom.

 

DAD (OS)

Listen to your mother, Richie.

 

Richard

Guys, don't worry. There's a Frullati in the school cafeteria.

 

Mom & Dad(OS)

Oh thank god. [MOM]

Thank goodness for that. [DAD]

 

MOM (OS)

Are you not meeting any girls, Richard? I'm sure there are lots of nice girls in your class.

 

Richard

Well it seems that the exam schedule keeps the girls perpetually pre-menstrual.

 

MOM (OS)

Richard!

 

dad (OS)

Richard you're not to use that sort of language in front of your mother.

 

Richard

Sorry. Anyway I'm meeting lots of girls. Can't keep them off me.

 

Dad (OS)

Richard, this is not the time for sarcasm. Are you having that problem we talked about?

 

richard

No, Dad.

 

dad (OS)

Because all of us go through it Rich...

 

Richard

My dick works fine, dad.

 

MOM (OS)

Oh my god!

 

DAD (OS)

angry

Now that's quite enough young man!

 

Richard

Listen I'm sorry guys, but I'm pretty stressed out these days.

 

MOM (OS)

It's all right Ray. Honey, are they working you too hard? Are they making you take too many tests? Do you want me to call the dean?

 

Richard

Guys, I used to make A's. I don't make A's anymore.

 

Silence.

 

Richard

I'm not even making all B's.

 

Silence.

 

MOM (OS)

Well, honey, there's more to life than making A's.

 

Richard

You know I keep telling myself that. But it's a lot easier to believe when you're making A's.

 

Silence. More silence.

 

MOM (OS)

You're still going to be a doctor, right?

 

Richard

What?

 

MOM (OS)

I mean they're not going to kick you out or anything, right?

 

DAD (OS)

Don't pressure him Margaret. The last thing he needs right now is pressure.

 

MOM (OS)

defensive

I'm not pressuring him!

 

DAd (OS)

He's about to fail out of medical school, and what he needs right now is our support.

 

Richard and MOM (OS)

I'm not about to fail out of medical school. [Richard]

 

I do support him you slime!! [MOM]

 

Mom is getting hysterical.

 

MOM (OS)

And what do you know about support, you two-timing cocksucker!!

 

DAD (OS)

defensive

Margaret you know as well as I do that if a man's not getting what he needs at home...

 

MOM (OS)

screaming

Oh is that right?

 

DAD (OS)

That's right!

 

MOM (OS)

Well if you knew how to please a woman, maybe I would have wanted to do something in bed other than listen to you fart.

 

Richard starts to hang up the phone, and though the camera is still to the anatomy coloring book, we know he's hanging up because mom and dad's voices quickly become distant.

 

DAD (OS)

You wouldn't know the first thing about passion, you heartless bitch!

 

MOM (OS)

I hope you die a slow, painful death you...

 

<click>

 

Music continues, louder, as we see Richard's other hand on the book after he hangs up the phone. Hold on Richard coloring the heart for a few seconds.

 

Cut to anatomy lab, almost vacant save a few teams scattered throughout the lab, cramming for the exam. Richard and Taylor are reviewing.  Richard holds up a heart.

 

Richard

amazed

This heart beat for 91 years. For 91 years this heart pumped blood to the farthest corners of his body. Without pause, without fail, without complaint.

 

Pause as Richard marvels at this heart, assuming Taylor is equally incredulous.

 

Taylor

That's amazing Richard. What's even more amazing is that we are going to have to identify every vessel and nerve that supplies this heart on a practical exam.

 

Richard

time to get serious

Okay.

 

Taylor

points to some structure

What's this?

 

Richard

Circumflex branch of the left coronary.

 

Taylor

points to some other structure

Right. What about this?

 

Richard

confused

Um. Where's it going?

 

After a few moments, Richard looks up at Taylor.

 

Taylor

The only one who will hear you ask that question tomorrow is the cadaver, and since their mouths have been ripped away from their faces they won't be able to answer.

 

Richard

looks back down, tries to figure it out

I can't tell. What is it?

 

Taylor

dismayed

I don't know.

 

Richard

Great.

 

They both stare at it a few moments in silence.

 

Richard

Hey, this guy's got a uterus!

 

Taylor

Unlikely.

 

He stares at whatever Richard's looking at.

 

Taylor

I think that's the bladder.

 

Richard

Oh yeah. What's the fancy name for the bladder?

 

Taylor

Detrusor muscle.

 

Richard

Detrusor muscle.

 

Richard closes his eyes, tries to memorize it.

 

Richard

Detrusor muscle. How am I going to remember that?

 

Taylor

You want to remember it forever?

 

Richard

Until the day I die.

 

Taylor recites the mnemonic with great fervor, acting out the parts as necessary.

 

Taylor

I would like you to imagine two neighboring nations at war. After years of rape, plunder and carnage their respective economies fall into such dysfunction that they become unsuitable as a source of cheap labor for American industry, so the United States sends an envoy of diplomats to construct a cease-fire, along with an economic stimulus package. A line is drawn in the sand, with both sides agreeing not to cross that line, in exchange for peace. There is a man, however, who lived in one of these war-torn countries, and who was in love with Brittany Spears. He wrote her a poem every week for much of his adolescence, without reply. Imagine checking your mailbox every day, waiting for a letter from Brittany Spears, a letter that never came. Needless to say he became an anti-american militant, and on the day the war ended he decided he would rather see his country go down in flames than submit to an American-brokered truce. He stealthily made his way to that line in the sand, unzipped his pants, cursed his enemy, and peed across that line. Before he was blown to bits by hostile forces, before he reignited the war, he focused every bit of remaining strength on squeezing his bladder - squeezing his bladder to piss across enemy lines and break the truce. He was the de-trusor.

 

Becker walks by.

 

Richard

Hey Becker, what is this?

 

Richard points back into the tank, presumably at the structure he and Taylor couldn't identify. Becker glances into the tank and knows immediately.

 

Becker

That's the left recurrent laryngeal nerve.

 

Richard and Taylor nod in understanding. Becker pauses, but decides to seize the moment.

 

Becker

What happens if you accidentally cut the recurrent laryngeal nerve?

 

Blank stares.

 

Becker

Vocal cord paralysis. And why would someone accidentally cut the recurrent laryngeal nerve? In other words, in what procedures is the nerve at risk?

 

Blank stares.

 

Becker

Carotid endarterectomy and thyroidectomy.

 

Pause.

 

Becker

The recurrent laryngeal nerve innervates all of the muscles of the larynx except one. Which one?

 

Blank stares.

 

Becker

The cricothyroid.

 

Pause.

 

Becker

The recurrent laryngeal nerve can also be damaged by involvement either with an expanding bronchogenic carcinoma, or by aneurysm of this structure...

 

He points to something.

 

Becker

Which is what?

 

Blank stares.

 

Becker

That's the arch of the aorta, guys.

 

Blank stares.

 

Becker

Don't worry - the test isn't until tomorrow.

 

Becker walks off. Richard and Taylor stare at each other for a few moments.

 

Richard

We should have gotten the aortic arch.

 

Taylor

Keep in mind, that we're better at parties than he is.

 

Richard

Yeah we are.

 

Taylor

We have a more diverse set of interests.

 

Richard

No doubt.

 

Taylor

We're balanced.

 

Richard

0h we're balanced all right.

 

Taylor

So balanced.

 

Richard

We're a god-damned high-wire act.

 

Taylor

We just might fail the practical tomorrow.

 

Richard

Let's go home.

 

Taylor throws the scalpel into the tank. Cut to black.