Stage to her hospital room dives onto the bed and

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stage to her hospital room, dives onto the bed, and throws up into a large plastic washbasin.) Oh, God. Oh. Oh. (She lies slumped on the bed, fastened to the IV, which now includes a small bottle with a bright orange label.) Oh, God. It can't be. (Silence) Oh, God. Please. Steady. Steady. (Silence) Oh-Oh, no! (She throws up again, moans, and retches in agony.) Oh, God. What's left? I haven't eaten in two days. What's left to puke? You may remark that my vocabulary has taken a turn for the Anglo-Saxon. God, I'm going to barf my brains out. (She begins to relax.) If I actually did barf my brains out, it would be a great loss to my discipline. Of course, not a ft:w of my colleagues would be relieved. To say nothing of my students. It's not that I'm controversial. Just uncompromis- ing. Ooh- (She lunges for the basin. Nothing) Oh. (Silence) False alarm. If the word went round that Vivian Bearing had barfed her brains out ... Well, first my colleagues, most of whom are my former students, would scramble madly for my position. Then their consciences would flare up, so to honor my memory they would put together a collection of their essays about John Donne. The volume would begin 32 w T with a warm introduction, capturing my most endearing qualities. It would be short. But sweet. Published and perished. Now, watch this. I have to ring the bell (She presses the button on the bed) to get someone to come and mea- sure this emesis, and record the amount on a chart of my intake and output. This counts as output. (SUSIE enters.) SUSIE: (Brightly) How you doing, Ms. Bearing? You having some nausea? VIVIAN: (Weakly) Uhh, yes. SUSIE: Why don't I take that? Here. VIVIAN: It's about 300 cc's. SUSIE: That all? VIVIAN: It was very hard work. (susiE takes the basin to the bathroom and rinses it.) SUSIE: Yup. Three hundred. Good guess. (She marks the graph.) Okay. Anything else I can get for you? Some Jell-0 or anything? VIVIAN: Thank you, no. SUSIE: You okay all by yourself here? 33
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i' 1:1 ·.1 ,j il !1':1 ,'1'.11'.11 1 II ... ijl' IIi;; 11:.',11111 lli:li .. ,II II: I :;]', ,Ill MARGARET EDSON VIVIAN: Yes. SUSIE: You're not having a lot of visitors, are you? VIVIAN: (Correcting) None, to be precise. SUSIE: Yeah, I didn't think so. Is there somebody you want me to call for you? VIVIAN: That won't be necessary. SUSIE: Well, I'll just pop my head in every once in a while to see how you're coming along. Kelekian and the fellows should be in soon. (She touches VIVIAN's arm.) If there's anything you need, you just ring. VIVIAN: (Uncomfortable with kindness) Thank you. SUSIE: Okay. Just call. (susiE disconnects the IV bottle with the orange label and takes it with her as she leaves. VIVIAN lies still. Silence) VIVIAN: In this dramatic structure you will see the most interesting aspects of my tenure as an in-patient receiv- ing experimental chemotherapy for advanced metasta- tic ovarian cancer.
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  • Spring '14
  • Dolkart,Judith
  • Vivian Bearing, Miss Vivian Bearing

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