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11/06/2007

Exchanges that took place only inside my head

SCENE: Phlebotomy room, morning.  Antiseptic smell.  A large vinyl-covered chair dominates the small closet of a room.

JULIE, an attractive shapely woman in unattractive shapeless sweatpants, enters.  She sits in the chair and pushes up her right sleeve.  The PHLEBOTOMIST bends to wrap a stretchy blue disposable tourniquet around Julie's arm, then freezes at Julie's exposed pulse points and sniffs ostentatiously, catching scent of Julie's bewitching perfume.

PHLEBOTOMIST
(dazed)
That scent you're wearing...

JULIE
(archly)
Yes?

PHLEBOTOMIST
Chanel?

JULIE
(musical laugh)
No...
(suddenly serious and throaty)
...Julie.

FADE TO BLACK

TITLE, IN WHITE OVER BLACK:

d e s p e r a t i o n

VOICE-OVER
(whispering)
Ahhh...the smell of it.

...

SCENE: Exam room, a few minutes later.  Standard gynecology examination table, ultrasound machine.  Dim lighting establishes either a thrumming undertone of intimacy or a better view of the low-resolution sonogram monitor.  Julie has removed her unattractive shapeless sweatpants and expensive lace boy shorts and now arranges herself suggestively astride the stirrups.  The white paper covering the table rustles as Julie effortlessly slides her perfect heart-shaped derrière down the table.  The DOCTOR moves in, gel-capped ultrasound probe gleaming blue in the half-light.

DOCTOR
Now relax...relax...this won't hurt a...

The doctor stops short, noticing the giant palm-sized green bruise on the milk-white flesh of Julie's inner thigh.  This touch of the gruesome throws Julie's luminous, otherworldly, pantsless beauty into stark relief, and it is impossible for an observer to remain unmoved.

(choked voice)
That bruise, Julie...Was it...Lupron?

A long pause.  Then,

JULIE
(turning her head to one side, closing her eyes before answering)
A lady never tells.
...

SCENE: An immaculate room in Julie's house, that same day.  Early afternoon sunlight bathes the scene, making Julie's artfully tousled cap of auburn waves shine.  She is doing something purposeful but kind of refined, like maybe cultivating orchids or decorating petits fours or, no, I know what, making tiny fitted ribbon-trimmed gingham caps for her neat rank of PIO vials when the phone rings.

Julie picks up the phone.  SPLIT SCREEN, with Julie on one side and a NURSE on the other.  The nurse, a matronly woman with dark, compassionate eyes, is holding an old-style phone handset, curly cord visible, and wearing a spotless white smock and a classic nurse's cap, perhaps with a red cross front and center, but perhaps simply a neat navy blue stripe along its edge.  (WRITER'S NOTE: Opt for the stripe if the red cross will alienate non-Christian audiences — it is a priority to protect our international distribution options, even if it means sacrificing a bit of my hard-won artistic integrity.)

NURSE
Good afternoon, Julie.  This is Nurse Constance in Minnesota.

JULIE
(after a pause)
Oh!  Oh, hi, Constance.  I was just surprised to hear your voice — usually it's Prudence, Faith, Hope, Joy, or Relaxed Positivity who calls.

NURSE
(warmly)
Yes, but this time I won the no-holds-barred nurse-on-nurse throwdown and I got to make the call.  Julie, I have good news for you.

JULIE
(carefully putting down her 1" square of red-checked gingham)
...Yes?

NURSE
Yes.  It turns out your donor responded very quickly and very well to the medications.  Not only will she be triggering tonight with what we estimate is a good 40 mature follicles, there are approximately $14,000 in unopened, unused, unexpired medications left.

JULIE
Huh.  That's kind of amazing, considering that I only initially paid like $2,000 for them.

NURSE
I know, right?  So anyway, glossing over that entirely, what would you like us to do with them?

JULIE
Can you hang on to them for me?  I'll pick them up when I'm there for transfer so that I can give them to my friends.
(pauses, considering)
Um...it is legal for me to do that, right?  Just dole out powerful fertility drugs by the handful, without a license, without prescriptions?

NURSE
(laughing heartily)
Of course it's not!  We all know you'd never do that.
(holding phone handset away from her face and winking theatrically into its microphone, her broad, pleasant face contorting comically)

JULIE
...Yyyyyeah.  Great.  Okay!  Now I really must go.  Suddenly I find I have a lot more wee gingham caps to make.
(eyes narrowing)
And lace!
(look of sudden burning intensity)
There must be lace.

FADE TO BLACK

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