‘This week’s exercise is about viewpoint. Please choose one of the scenarios below, and TWO of the viewpoints. Write the scenario twice, once from each view point. Don’t make it too long this week – aim for a few hundred words.’ (Exercise from The Book Analyst Facebook Group)
So, Mr Sharp, What brings you here today?
You had a letter from my optician.
should i sit here? should i take my coat off?
he looks bored. wearing a suit. i should look smarter.
[sits on edge of chair, picks at skin of edge of thumb]
frayed old jeans, grey hoodie, what’s the point?
[shuffles paper, looks on laptop, reads]
He looks worried.
Looks younger than he is.
Eight years older than me, though.
Shaggy brown hair, needs a haircut.
[runs hand through hair]I need a haircut. Better hurry up, I’m running late.
Ah, I see. Some headaches. How are they now? Much the same
blinding pain, stops me sleeping,
painkillers don’t make any difference
snapping at Kelly, can’t think, can’t sleep,
now i can’t see
[looks at field test results]
Shit, that looks bad.
So I think I should refer you to the consultant.
referral? that can’t be good. what does he mean?
[heart pounds, pupils dilate then constrict]
[Waits. Watches his face]
Can I take some blood today too?
what does he need blood for?
[starts to roll up sleeve]
Is this right?
Great. Give me a moment.
[washes hands, hunts for needles]
Where are the bloody things? No-one puts anything back. Brain tumour for certain. Shit.
Don’t get many of those in. Mind you, I’ve only been here a year.
what does he want blood for? bloody doctors, never explain themselves.
Right, hold out your arm. Easy now.
[pierces skin with needle, adds vial, watches blood fill the vial.] OUCH!
Nice firm skin, good veins. That’s filling up nicely. Thank god he’s not another old lady.
[breathes. tries not to look at needle. looks. looks away, looks again as vial fills.]
shouldn’t have to watch as my blood leaves my body. i feel sick.
[slips vial into plastic envelope.
fills in form. starts to type letter]
he won’t meet my eye. he knows it’s bad
it’s a tumour, isn’t it? say it, say it.
How long will it be?
I’ll make sure I mark it as
[turns back to screen. types]
[shifts on chair]
i was right. Priority. Urgent. i can’t breathe
is that another sign that …
i’m going to die.
Poor guy. I don’t know what to say to him
Is there anything else?
I hope not. I’m running late.
he’s not looking at my face.
has he seen something serious?
what’s more serious than a brain tumour?
i’m going to die. i’m going to die.
No, that’s all. Thank you.
Thank god that’s over. Got to make up time.
Bloody hell it’s Mrs Smith next. Intractable varicose ulcer.
What a morning. More old ladies, same old, same old. Should have trained as a consultant.
7 minutes thank you.
why did i fucking thank him?
He’s practically handed me a death sentence.
I absolutely love how this reads Antonia – just the right ‘dose’ (if you’ll escuse the pun…) of humour in a dark place. Such a clever way to write 2 viewpoints.