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Doctors

Katie, age 17, takes a job at a doctor's office and learns about life and love --- and the end of both.

“Robert,” Paula sought and held his eyes. “When was your last fix?” “C-couple days ago.” Robert blinked beseechingly, head bobbing, unshaven, lips twitching downward. Katie thought guiltily of Emmett Kelly the clown. “Okay.” Paula patted his shoulder. “I can give you something to help you feel a little better.”

Robert had lost the ability to keep himself clean. His pants were stiff and creased with dirt, his bare feet blackened. Dull brown hair hung lank across his shoulders. He stared out from deep sockets, dropping his eyes quickly if they met Katie’s. “His disease is extremely virulent,” Dr. Guyton sometimes remarked. Dr. Ritter’s lemon-sucking expression betrayed his opinion of the disease theory of addiction. “Dr. Ritter worries what Robert might do if he gets really desperate,” Paula told Katie. “Plus, his patients are afraid.” “Oh, Robert isn’t the only one Dr. Ritter’s patients complain about,” Katie said. “Did you see those two girls with their heads shaved?” “They’re in some cult. Well, anyone can get sick, Katie,” Paula said at Katie’s shudder of distaste. “Dr. Guyton is sure the little one has leukemia, but he wants to run more tests. She thinks she just has mono. Doctor says she won’t live out the year.” Katie was becoming accustomed to the presence of death, which had once so awed and terrified her. Death was not only abroad in Vietnam, exploding in gouts of earth and blood. It was also a quiet part of office routine, a penciled notation in a chart. But here, people didn’t exactly die; rather, they “expired.” Several patients had expired since Katie came to work there; people she had greeted and chatted with.

Script Excerpt
Written by:
Format:
Short Story
Starring Roles For:
A young Alicia Silverstone
A young Winona Ryder type
Alec Baldwin
In the Vein Of:
The Interns
The Paper Chase
Ten Inch Hero
Posted:
05/29/2012
Updated:
12/19/2020
Author Bio:
I'm a produced screenwriter. I graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in English. www.lindaboroffauthor.com

I wrote the feature film, Murder in Fashion, about the killing of designer Gianni Versace by serial killer Andrew Cunanan. The film played at theatres and festivals and was reviewed in the NY Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/22/movies/22murder.html?_r=0

I collaborated with producer Don Murphy (Transformers, Natural Born Killers) on the script "Fast Fade" on the life of tragic film noir actress Barbra Payton.

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