A couple tries to keep their relationship alive while undergoing a difficult surgical procedure.
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by Matt Musgrove
The opening dialogue can be playfully improvised.
Just hold still.
Oh right, thank you, that's what I
need to do. You know exactly what I
Well, your hands are shaking.
Well, they're not supposed to.
First time doing this procedure?
Feels like it.
Jesus, I've never seen you shake
like this before.
You must be special.
Uh huh. I'd help calm you down, but
I can't see what you're doing right
It's better if you don't know.
Well that makes me super
I've made the incision.
Oh -- okay. You already did it?
Does it look bad? I mean, what does
it look like? I'm -- is --
it's fine, I'm fine.
You're very fine. Everything's
okay. It's not the incision I'm
This area above your collar bone -
looks like it's been -- and I could
be wrong - but it looks like some
sort of...Danger Zone?
You're the worst.
No, my professional opinion is you
need to be careful with this area,
you could get extremely turned on.
Uh huh, keep talking cowboy.
Don't go. Please.
Why do you do that? Everything was
light and flirty and fun, then the
guilt trip. We've talked ad nauseam
-- you have to be okay with this.
You'll be fine. The kids will be
fine. We've prepared, we've talked
- I know. This isn't my first
choice. But the tired cliche "shit
happens" is at our door and you
have to be okay with it. Let's just
chill and enjoy this little time we
have, here, now, please?
You understand where I'm coming
Yes. I get it. And I hate to say it
but it's a little selfish.
Selfish? You're my
And you need to be okay with being
alone. You have to stop. I'll be
fine. My parents will be there if
anything goes wrong. So. Let's --
Blank slate. Look at me.
That's better. And you're a liar, I
don't even have my wig and makeup
Well it's true.
And you're too sweet.
Does it hurt when I do this?
No, it feels okay.
Nope, I don't feel anything.
Alright you can kiss my neck if you
want. No one's here...
Keep it professional sweetie.
Oh I need to keep it professional?
Mr. Danger Zone.
And Doctor patient fantasies are
Come on, we've watched --
Okay, wait. Before you do that --
Now I'm feeling weird. Just give me
a sec. Okay you can hold my hand
Only when you're ready.
Mh hm. Go ahead.
A hum of a machine.
I don't like this.
It's okay sweetheart. Keep those
hazel eyes pointed up. Don't look
Remember when we gave blood after
9/11? You were a champ with that
I was quite proud of myself. YOU,
on the other hand, passed out.
There you are. There's that smile
and relentless digging I've grown
to love. No. I was woosey, that's
all. I felt woosey, how many times
can I say woosey for you to
understand the non-pass-out state I
was in was woosey. The nurse, or --
are they? Are they nurses?
I think they're volunteers.
She immediately unhooked me, after
I filled half the damn bag.
It's not funny. A grown ass adult
with a juice box and half a pint of
blood missing. And they threw it
away. 'Cause I didn't fill the
stupid thing? It's not right.
It was perfect. You were nauseous
and dizzy, and I saved a life.
I took you for granted.
Why do you say that?
Throughout my thirties. Definitely
in my twenties. I was always
looking ahead at my career and
challenges, and the kids. It's hard
to know the value of what you have
when life's on autopilot. But
that's what you do -- that's what
you have to do. You have to look
ahead. Because you were always
there. The bad, the good.
Maybe I didn't take you for granted
-- I don't know what I'm trying to
say. I'm boring myself just talking
about it --
No this is good.
That right there, was the most I
think you've ever opened up to me --
Now it's too late.
And now it's too late.
The machine sound powers down.
Well, that's it.
Look at that. I survived.
Okay, now what're you doing?
You know what I'm doing.
Please just walk me through it.
Needle and sutures.
Ugh, the needle.
I need to let go of your hand for a
I know. Just for a second.
It doesn't hurt. Just feeling
I'm talking to myself.
Thank you for doing this for me. I
know this must be excruciating.
Yeah it's pretty rough. But you
wanted me to do this before you
left. So, here we are. The hardest
thing I think I've ever done in my
(frog in throat)
Well, I uh, I'm done. Thanks for --
I can attempt to do your nails,
hair, and makeup, it's not my forte
but I can do a bang up job at
making you look like Ru Paul --
Oh sweetheart, I'll keep my
dignity, thank you. You can give me
a foot rub though --
And this isn't the last time.
I'm not leaving till tomorrow. We
still have the going away
The last time it's just us.
I love you. Don't let this destroy
you. Let's say I decide to come
back in a few years. Would I want
to see you unhealthy, depressed,
peeing into bottles, surrounded by
cats? Would you want that for me?
I know, I'd want you to be happy
and live an amazing life.
You know I do this for a living
Then do it. Psychiatrists see other
psychiatrists, doctors see other
doctors, funeral directors --
Just because you're an expert
doesn't make you immune. Please
listen to me on this, listen to
yourself. Go see someone okay?
I know, but it'll never go away.
No it won't. And it'll come in
waves. But you know what helped me
through my Mother's death? I looked
in the mirror and really asked
myself. "What do I want? Not you,
not the kids, not my Dad. What do I
want to do for me? Watch a movie?
Start a garden? Exercise? Be with
friends, listen to an audiobook,
play a game or puzzle? Anything for
my mental health." And I don't mean
be selfish, in any way. Once I
figured out my mental health I was
able to be there for all of you.
I did things that made me happy and
guess what. Every day I started
feeling a little better.
No. Stop saying "I know." Listen to
me. Do something nice for yourself.
A little bit everyday. And what a
relief I won't be there to nag you
along the way.
What would make you happy?
Have you stay. And nag me.
Take my hand again. Feel my cheek.
Touch my lips. I'm already gone
sweetheart. And I love you so much.
I wish I could see the funeral and
everybody there. I'm sure you
pulled all the strings to make it
beautiful. And I don't mean my
(smiling with tears)
You want to brush my hair?
Yeah, I'd like that.
I'm going to go now alright?
Have an amazing life sweetheart. Be
good to yourself. Keep moving
forward. And have fun for fuck's
Yeah. I will. It just hurts.
I'll keep moving forward.
You still there?