Thursday, February 28, 2008

5 Months Ago

I watched the navigation system as the blue line guiding us down the highway shrunk. 4 kilometers remaining. Everything will be fine. Left turn in 3 kilometers. I can’t believe this happened. 2.5 kilometers remaining. Every increment bringing us closer to some strange reality that had yet to sink in. Back and forth, I convinced myself of many things during that 45 minute drive.

Left turn ahead. The script called for rain and as we coasted those final few tenths of a kilometer, small droplets hit the windshield. It was annoyingly cliché and had the radio been on I’m convinced an indie-rock soundtrack would have played us down Derry Road. As soon as we came upon the one-and-a-half storey red brick building, I knew there’d be no neurotically quirky, inappropriately attractive interns inside waiting to save a life. This building harboured no miracles. It was surreal in the way these things are.

In a frantic, last-ditch mind-fuck, I craned my neck straining to hear Zach Braff yell “Cut!” before trying everything from another angle, a better vantage point. It makes you want to call out for a writer to rework the scene, maybe move the whole thing to a restaurant or country club; perhaps it will end with a party instead of this. Because this can’t be right. Viewers won’t like it, they won’t believe it, and it isn’t November Sweeps. This arc is too big for September. It’s just too early in the season.

I tried not to notice the ratty Canadian flag flying at half-mast as we pushed through the doors. The halls were eerily quiet and poorly lit, the way hospitals appear on TV. Every soundstage that ever made me cringe (the creepily under-lit interrogation room, the offensively tidy third grade classroom, the much-too-large Manhattan bachelor pad) laid itself out in front of us as we walked towards the emergency room. Green with that monotonous droning beep-beep-beep, quaint in the way small-town antique shops are, every poster on the wall appeared meticulously chosen by a set-dresser. I stepped over non-existent cables and wires and swear I heard a young starlet call for makeup.

But this wasn't the stuff of Must-See-TV, there’d be no Emmy's won at season’s end, Isaiah Washington would abuse none of his coworkers today, not here. This was a place where hardworking doctors did all they could, but the denouement would play out sadly and without the pleasure of craft service.

1 comment:

  1. This story kind of scares me...I'm hoping it's fiction, but I think it's not.