Friday, February 17, 2017

sixtynothing episode 18 Emmy's Appendix


FADE IN
HELEN IS WALKING ON HER TREADMILL IN FRONT OF TELEVISION WITH TRUMP PRESS CONFERENCE ON AIR. SHE INCREASES THE SPEED AND THEN LOWERS IT WHEN HER BREASTS JIGGLE.  HER PHONE RINGS.

HELEN (on phone)
Hi Emmy.  I'm on the treadmill and out of breath so I'll call you right back....What?

HELEN TURNS OFF TREADMILL, JUMPS OFF, PACES

HELEN
It's on the lower right side of your abdomen?

HELEN
How long has it hurt?  Listen, stand up and raise your right leg from the hip.  Does it feel better?  Em, it sounds like appendicitis.  Listen.  Right now, and if there's no one to drive you, take an ambulance, go to the hospital.  Not urgent care.  The hospital emergency room. Right away.  Seriously Em.  It really sounds like appendicitis.  I'm going to try to book a red eye.  If it's just gas or you're constipated or something I'll cancel but it really sounds like appendix.  Call me the minute you see the doctor. I'm going to try to find a flight.  Go right now.  Right now.  Call me as soon as you know anything.

CUT TO
IAN WATCHES HELEN PACK.

IAN
You've diagnosed this by phone?  And even if it is her appendix, it's a common procedure. She's twenty one.  She's got lots of friends there.  I don't see why you have to rush off. You're not a doctor Helen.  She's a grown woman....

HELEN'S PHONE RINGS

HELEN
Hello?...Oh hi Brandon.  Yeah, I thought it was her appendix....gosh, they're prepping her already? Good god.  Tell her I'm on my way when she comes to.

HELEN (to Ian)
There's a huge hunk of smoked salmon in the fridge and a bowl of green beans. Don't just eat the fish. Eat the beans too. There are brownies in the freezer but don't eat too many of 'em.   If I'm gone for more than a few days I'll have Terry or Inez bring you more food. Will you drive me to LAX or should I take the bus from Union Station?

IAN
Is it those green beans with the yogurt?  I don't like those.

HELEN
No, it's the ones with onion and tomato.  Eat them.  We should leave in about twenty minutes.  I'll do some oatmeal for you in the pressure cooker.  Don't forget it's in there. You'll have Fido to keep you company.

IAN
Fido and I will both be bereft.

IAN PUTS HIS ARMS AROUND HELEN AND THEY EMBRACE.

CUT TO
HELEN BOARDS A CROWDED AIRPLANE, LUGGING A CARRY-ON

ANNOUNCEMENT
Our flight is completely full tonight ladies and gentlemen.  We'll get in the air sooner if you take your seats.  If the overhead bins are full ask a flight attendant to check your bag.

BLONDE MODEL TYPE IN FRONT OF HELEN (TO FLIGHT ATTENDANT)

There's no room for my bag but I have a tight connection.  I don't have time to check it.

SEVERAL MEN IN ADJACENT SEATS PERK UP, A YOUNG MAN JUMPS UP, REMOVES HIS OWN BAG FROM THE OVERHEAD AND REPLACES IT WITH THE BAG OF THE ATTRACTIVE YOUNG WOMAN, HANDING HIS OWN OFF TO FLIGHT ATTENDANT.

HELEN (to flight attendant)
I have a tight connection too.

NO ONE VOLUNTEERS TO HAVE A BAG CHECKED.  THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT TAKES IT FROM HELEN

FLIGHT ATTENDANT

I'll squeeze it into first class for you.

CUT TO
HELEN IS IN A MIDDLE SEAT BETWEEN TWO OVERWEIGHT PASSENGERS. SHE WEARS HEADPHONES AND HAS HER HOODIE PULLED DOWN TO SHIELD HER FACE.
  
SFX-A CAT IN A CARRIER YOWLING FROM THE SEAT BEHIND HELEN.  A BABY SCREAMING FROM TWO SEATS UP.  HELEN TAKES A PILL.

FADE TO
HELEN PULLS HER HOODIE DOWN FURTHER.  THE CAT CONTINUES TO YOWL AND THE BABY SCREAMS. HELEN TAKES ANOTHER PILL.

SFX (VOICE FROM BEHIND HELEN)  

I think the cat just pissed.

HELEN BURIES HER HEAD BETWEEN HER KNEES

CUT TO
HELEN DASHES IN TO EMMA'S HOSPITAL ROOM. EMMA IS PALLID AND HOOKED UP TO AN IV. BRANDON DOZES IN A CHAIR NEXT TO THE BED. HELEN TAPS HIM GENTLY AND HE STARTS.

BRANDON
Oh hi Helen.  It went fine. She's OK.  She'll be so happy you're here.  She's been stirring a little but she's not awake yet.

EMMA OPENS HER EYES AND WINCES

EMMA
Ow.  Hurts.

HELEN
It's OK.  They'll get you something for pain.

EMMA (starting to cry)
Mommy!  Oh Mommy,  It hurts.  Ow. Ow. Ow.

HELEN KISSES EMMA AND MURMURS
It's OK baby.  I'm here.  It's all OK. 

A DOCTOR TAPS SOFTLY ON THE DOOR FRAME AND ENTERS

DOCTOR GREEN
Hi.  Emma, you did just fine.  Is this your mom? I'm Dr. Green (HE EXTENDS HIS HAND AND SHAKES WITH HELEN AND PATS BRANDON ON THE SHOULDER)

DOCTOR GREEN
The nurse will be right in with some pain meds.  You said you're not allergic to codeine right?

HELEN
No, she's not.  

DR. GREEN
And I know she takes some mood stabilizers.  

HELEN
Yes, she takes Lithium and Depakote. I'm not sure of the dosages.

BRANDON
Actually, she just started on Vraylar.  She's titrating.  She's down to 100 mgs twice a day on the Depakote and up to 4.5 mgs on the Vraylar.

DR. GREEN
Let's get her pain managed and make sure her tummy's not upset before we start her back on the psychotropics.  Go ahead and bring those from home. The pharmacy here will charge a bundle,  If she's stable later in the afternoon go ahead and start her back on her meds.  I'll check back in later. She'll be fine.  Really.  Right Emma?

EMMA, UNCONVINCED. NODS HALF HEARTEDLY.  THE DOCTOR EXITS

BRANDON
I've got a class at two that I really can't miss.  I'm going to drop you at Emma's to get her car if that's OK.

HELEN
Good.  Thanks.  I'll bring her meds back too.

EMMA
Mommy. My car needs gas.  Bad.  It's on fumes, so gas it up right away.

BRANDON (SOFTLY, BENDING OVER EMMA)
I'm gonna drive your mom now.  She'll be back soon.  I'll be here right after class but text me if you need anything.

HE LOWERS HIMSELF TO KISS HER. EMMA SPUTTERS AND THEN RELEASES AN ENORMOUS STREAM OF VOMIT WHICH COVERS BRANDON'S SHIRT.

CUT TO
BRANDON, HAVING REPLACED HIS SHIRT WITH A HOSPITAL GOWN, DRIVES A LATE MODEL BMW Z4. HELEN IS IN THE PASSENGER SEAT.

BRANDON
I know I stink but I think it's too cold to open the windows. Sorry.

HELEN
It's not bad. This is a spectacularly beautiful car Brandon.

BRANDON
Yeah.  It was my mom's.

HELEN
Oh, she upgraded?

BRANDON
I wouldn't put it that way.  She died eight months ago.

HELEN
Oh my God!  Emmy said nothing about this.  I can't believe it. I am so sorry.

BRANDON
I asked Emmy not to tell you.

HELEN
Oh?

BRANDON
My mother took her own life.  She had a long history of mental illness. 

HELEN
Jesus.  Oh Brandon.  I don't know what to say.  I can't imagine anything more devastating. 

BRANDON
She was in and out of institutions forever. Her family was ashamed and thought it was some sort of character flaw. Em's real lucky.
We thought you would think it weird that we got together about a month after my mom died. And to tell it, it does sound weird.

HELEN
I don't know Brandon.  Maybe she was right to wait to tell me. I'm ashamed to say that I can't promise that I would have been particularly magnanimous.

BRANDON
Understood. It's not like I have a mental illness fetish or anything.  I came back to school a few weeks after the suicide. Everyone felt terrible.  I could tell. They wanted me to feel better but no one knew what to say. Then little Emmy bounds up to me in the dining hall one day.  She looks me right in the eye and says, "I'm bipolar. I want to talk to you about your mom."

HELEN
That's my Emmy.  Very direct.  

BRANDON
Yeah.  Must get it from her father.

THEY BOTH LAUGH.  BRANDON PULLS UP TO EMMA'S HOUSE.

BRANDON
Cat is there.  She'll give you Emmy's keys. The drugs are in the bathroom.  Remember Vrylar, Depacote and Lithium.  Cat is going to stay at her boyfriend's so you have her room.  There are clean sheets on the bed. And the car has a full tank.

CUT TO
EMMY IS IN HER OWN BED, PROPPED UP ON PILLOWS, WEARING HER PUSSY HAT AND A T-SHIRT THAT SAYS "Nevertheless, she persisted." HELEN ENTERS WITH A BOWL OF SOUP, SITS DOWN BESIDE EMMY ON THE BED AND OFFERS EMMY A SPOONFUL. 

EMMY
Will you teach me to make chicken soup before you die?

HELEN
Maybe.

EMMY
I can't believe that you knew it was my appendix?

HELEN
You know what bubbameister is?

EMMA
A Yiddish beermaker?

HELEN
No.  It means "old wive's tales."  Grandma knew all these odd things, which always sound totally crackpot but are always right. Like if you have abdominal pain and it's relieved by raising your right leg it mean appendicitis.

EMMA
And that thing where if someone is choking you make them hold their arms straight up in the air?

HELEN
Yeah.  That was from Grandma too.

EMMA
I remember you'd make everyone at the table hold their arms straight up too so I wasn't as embarrassed. Brandon said that he told you about his mom.  Are you mad I didn't tell you?

HELEN
It was a big shock.  And I couldn't very well have told you to break it off with the boy whose mom killed herself...

EMMA
Oh, you probably would have. Plus, you loved George.

HELEN
Yes.  I loved George.  I thought Brandon was sort of neurasthenic but I guess that the poor thing was just sad. I see how things are playing out with you and Brandon now and how you guys take care of each other. I have to admit that your instincts about yourself are more acute than mine.

EMMA
Ok.  Now I want you to say it explicitly. Say "You were right and I was wrong."

HELEN
I just spent nine hundred bucks on a last minute fare so that won't be happening. Don't say anything to Pop by the way. I told him I used miles.  Brandon comes from money, doesn't he?

EMMA
Heaps and heaps.  So even if he does have some sort of Freudian mental illness mother-girlfriend thing you love him to death.

HELEN
Do you really think Mommy is that shallow Emmy?

EMMA
I knows it.

CUT TO
BRANDON IS CURLED UP AT THE FOOT OF EMMA'S BED. BOTH OF THEM ARE ASLEEP.  HELEN ENTERS AND TURNS OFF THE LIGHT.