SCENE ONE: IT IS A COUPLE OF DAYS AFTER LISANNE CAME TO DINNER AND JACK IS STILL FEELING SICK. HE'S LYING ON THE SOFA IN THE APARTMENT. HE HAS AN ICE PACK ON HIS FOREHEAD AND A THERMOMETER IN HIS MOUTH. JO COMES TO THE DOOR.
JO: Jack.... Jack.... JACK!
HE GETS UP BUT HE IS IN PAIN.
JACK: ARGH. Just a minute, I....
JACK: Coming, coming.
HE OPENS THE DOOR AND JO COMES RUSHING IN.
JO: Oh just look, just look at you.
JACK: Why, am I worse?
JO: No, just the opposite. Jack.... oh son, I think we have a cure.
SHE GIVES HIM A BIG HUG.
JACK: A cure?
JO: Yes, oh yes. You're going to live. Oh son, you're going to live.
JACK IS PUZZLED. JACK SITS DOWN AND JO TURNS ON THE TELEVISION.
JO: Okay, okay, this is it. Now just listen, just listen.
JACK: I thought this had something to do with a cure.
JO: You know I was just sitting in my apartment and I was watching TV and suddenly Dr. Raymond came on and the words barely came out of his mouth and I knew.
JACK: You knew what?
JO: I knew that you could be saved. I knew that there was a cure.
JACK: What, you knew that just from hearing Dr. Raymond?
JO: Yes! Isn't it wonderful?
JACK: Yes, it's certainly something. It's something alright.
JACK GETS UP TO TURN OFF THE TV.
JO: What are you doing?
JACK: I'm turning off the TV. It's just a television show and we have to remember that.
JO: This isn't just a television show. This is Dr. Raymond.
JACK HIDES HIS FACE FROM THE TV.
JO: Now you listen, you listen to what he has to say Jack.
THEY BOTH SIT AND LISTEN TO DR. RAYMOND.
DR. RAYMOND: (On TV) Okay, now we're going to open up our phone lines for those of you with questions. Our toll free number here at the studio is 1800-555-LIF.
JO: See I told you, I told you he could help you Jack. Call him. Call him .JACK: This is ridiculous. No, this is ridiculous. We have to understand and realize that this is out of the question. I WILL NOT CALL DR. RAYMOND.
SCENE TWO: A SHORT TIME LATER, IT SEEMS THAT JO PERSISTED AND WON. JACK IS NOW ON THE PHONE.
JACK: Hello I'd like to speak to Dr. Raymond. (Beat) What do you mean he's not available? He just said call in and.... (Beat) Oh well of course it's a taped show. Yes, I understand, yes. Well just put me through to him anyway and.... (Beat) What do you mean? (Beat) He is?
JACK LOOKS BACK AT THE TV AND IS PUZZLED.
JACK: Now wait a minute, I'm looking at him right here. He certainly looks fine to.... (Beat) Yes, I understand. Well there certainly must be someone else there that I can talk to. I mean the point of this thing is call in and you can get.... there must be some other doctor there who I could.... look this is my final chance buddy. Get a.... what.... hello.... Hello !
JO: It's okay. Son?
JACK KEEPS BANGING THE PHONE.
JO: It's okay.
JACK: It's not okay. Dr. Raymond is dead.
JACK: He's dead. He's been dead for years. I mean some doctor you turned out to be.
JO: Well there's got to be another doctor who understands alternative medicine. We'll just find one.
JACK: You know something? This is a sign. This is a sign. I'm not meant to live a long and productive life. I'm meant to die early.
JO: Now Jack, don't talk that way. I mean there is going to be a cure.
JACK: Huh, huh, yes, there will be a cure. There absolutely will be a cure in about a hundred years and by that time I'll be the proverbial handful of dust. Now please excuse me while I go and meditate on this situation.
JO: Wait a minute, wait a minute. Now there's got to be somebody, some doctor, at University Hospital that understands alternative medicine.
JACK IS SITTING ON THE SOFA AND JO IS LEANING OVER HIM TALKING SO THAT HE CANNOT POSSIBLY MEDITATE.
JACK: I'll meditate, right. (Beat) Well as a matter of fact, yes somebody does come to mind. I think, ah, Carly Manning is an alternative....
JO: Carly knows alternatives?
JACK: Well yes, she's.... she's into that new sort of thing. Unfortunately I'm not so I'm not going to go talk to her.
JO: For Jennifer and the baby?JACK: No, not for Jennifer, not for the.... wait a minute. You've caught me being selfish again. That's another mark in the ledger book. Alright.... alright. I will go for Jennifer and for the baby. Just for record, I will go see Dr. Carly Manning.
SCENE THREE: JENNIFER IS STILL DOWN AT THE HOSPITAL TALKING TO CARLY AND SHE MENTIONS THAT JACK IS STILL SUFFERING FROM SOME STRANGE ILLNESS AND MARCUS CANNOT FIND ANYTHING WRONG WITH HIM. WHILE THEY ARE TALKING, JACK ENTERS.
JACK: Dr. Manning, I'm glad I found you. I was looking all.... over.
HE SEES JENNIFER.
JENNIFER: Jack what are you doing here?
JACK: Imagine finding you here, yes.
JENNIFER: Well I had my doctor's appointment. You knew that. What's going on?
JACK: What's going on is I was.... I was looking for Dr. Manning to help me with some research on a story.
JENNIFER: Oh really, what kind of story?
JACK: A story about.... um.... well about doctors. About doctors and medicine and the.... and the hospitals that they work in.
JENNIFER: Oh Jack, that's wonderful.
SHE GIVES HIM A HUG.
JACK: What's so wonderful about it?
JENNIFER: Well I'm proud of you. You're finally working on a serious story again.
JACK: Oh yes, yes. Yes it's very serious.
JENNIFER: Well I'm not going to keep you. I'm going to go.
SHE TURNS TO CARLY.
JENNIFER: You know if you need to talk anytime.
SHE TURNS BACK TO JACK.
JENNIFER: And I'll see you at home.
SHE GIVES HIM A GOODBYE KISS.
SCENE FOUR: JACK IS TALKING TO CARLY, HE WANTS TO GET INFORMATION ABOUT ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE, IN HOPES THAT IT WILL CURE HIM.
CARLY: Okay Jack what can I help you with?
JACK: Actually this has nothing to do with a story. This has to do with.... something I didn't want to talk to Jennifer about.
CARLY: Okay, what's going on?
JACK: I'm sorry to drag you into this but I really had no choice. I understand you're the only person who really has any.... any knowledge in this area. This....
CARLY: What area is that?
JACK: Ah.... alternative medicine. (Beat) I understand you know a lot about it. I need to find out everything I can.
CARLY: Well I'm not surprised and actually I think that's a great idea for you.
JACK: You do?
CARLY: Oh yeah, alternative medicine may be just the thing for someone in your condition.
JACK: I hope you can help me. I've tried everything else.
CARLY: I know. Marcus told me.
JACK: He told you.
CARLY THINKS ABOUT WHAT JACK JUST SAID.
CARLY: (Thinking) Oh no, he's really embarrassed about this sympathetic morning sickness stuff. I shouldn't have said anything.
SHE THEN ANSWERS HIM.
CARLY: You know what, don't worry about it though because no one else has to know.
JACK: (Thinking) You're kidding. Everybody in this hospital knows I'm dying. The only one who hasn't been told is me.
CARLY: So what exactly did you want to know Jack?
JACK: (Thinking) As if you didn't know.
JACK THEN ANSWERS HER.
JACK: Well it's.... really rather simple. I.... I've tried traditional medicine and it hasn't seemed to help.
CARLY: (Thinking) Do you honestly think it would? This so-called sickness is all in your head.
SHE THEN ANSWERS HIM.
CARLY: Why don't we go to my office? I can lend you some books.
JACK: That would fine. I'm ready to do anything I can to stop this.
CARLY: I don't blame you. This must be a real inconvenience.
JACK: (Thinking) Inconvenience? I'm dying here and you're talking inconvenience.
HE THEN ANSWERS HER.
JACK: Yes, it certainly is.
CARLY: Okay, let's go.
JACK: (Thinking) Wait a minute, what if she tells Jennifer about this? I don't want her to know I'm dying.
HE CALLS OUT TO HER.
JACK: Dr. Manning.... ah.... let's just decide right here now not to tell anyone else about this, especially Jennifer in her delicate condition. I just don't want to upset her.
CARLY: (Thinking) Upset? She thinks you're acting ridiculous.
SHE THEN ANSWERS HIM.
CARLY: I understand completely.
JACK: (Thinking) I can't believe this. Her best friend's about to become a widow and she's smiling.
HE THEN ANSWERS HER.
JACK: Well I'm glad we understand each other. Thank you very much.
CARLY: Okay, come on.
JACK FOLLOWS HER TO HER OFFICE.
SCENE FIVE: JACK ARRIVES HOME AFTER SEEING CARLY AND SETS UP FOR HIS NEW THERAPY. HE PUTS IN A CASSETTE TAPE AND TURNS IT ON. SCREECHES AND MOANS START TO SOUND OUT AND IT'S OBVIOUSLY WHALES COMMUNICATING WITH EACH OTHER. JACK FROWNS AT THE HARSH NOISES BUT LEAVES THE TAPE RUNNING ANYWAY. HE SETTLES BACK WITH A BOOK CALLED, "ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE AND YOU." HE BEGINS TO READ THE FIRST PAGE.
JACK: "The unique and soothing sounds that the whale makes in the deep have been proven to help the body to achieve harmony."
JACK PUTS HIS FINGERS IN THE CENTER OF HIS FOREHEAD.
JACK: Alright, I'll just concentrate on the harmony here.
THE WHALE NOISES SCREECH OUT OVER THE APARTMENT.
JACK: (Talking to himself) Harmonize, harmonize with the sound of the whales.
SUDDENLY A SIREN SCREAMS OUT AND JACK SITS UP. WHEN HE REALIZES THAT THE SIREN IS PASSING HE LIES BACK DOWN.
JACK: Yes, just take a few deep breaths and concentrate....
THEN HE HEARS A DOOR SLAM AND SITS UP AGAIN.
JACK: What.... damn it. I mean.... darn it. I just.... come on Moby.... come on Moby.
HE JUST GETS SETTLED BACK DOWN WHEN JENNIFER ENTERS.
JENNIFER: Hi Jack.
HE SITS UP IN FRIGHT.
JENNIFER: What in the world?
SHE HEARS ALL THE WHALE NOISES.
JACK: You're early. What the hell are you doing here? I mean what are you doing here?
JENNIFER: I have a better question. What are you doing here?
JACK: Ah, nothing. Ah, you mean here, in this place?
JENNIFER: Yes, what are you doing?
JACK: Ah, well, I just.... I just stopped to get a tape actually. Ah, some easy listening music and apparently I got the wrong one. I was hoping it was The Beach Boys.
JENNIFER: It sounds like a bunch of beached whales. What is going on Jack and don't tell me nothing because I know better.
JACK: Well perhaps I can explain to you over, ah.... lunch.
SHE GOES TO THE KITCHEN TO PREPARE LUNCH AND HE DECIDES TO HELP.
SCENE SIX: JENNIFER IS STANDING AT THE BENCH UNWRAPPING A CHEESE SLICE. THE FRIDGE IS RIGHT BEHIND HER.
JENNIFER: Butter, please.
JACK: Certainly, I.... certainly, if you....
HE CANNOT OPEN THE FRIDGE BECAUSE SHE IS IN THE WAY.
JACK: Jennifer, I think this town ain't big enough for the three of us if you know what I mean.
JACK: Perhaps you could move.
THE DOORBELL RINGS.
JACK: See if someone at the door has a little bit of lubricant.
JENNIFER: Oh stop it, I'll be right back.
JACK OPENS THE FRIDGE AFTER SHE GOES TO THE DOOR. IT IS LISANNE HOLDING A LARGE GIFT BOX.
JENNIFER: Lisanne, hi.
LISANNE: Hi. I just wanted to stop by and thank you both again for last night.
JENNIFER: Oh, ah, well you didn't have to do this.
LISANNE: Well I really wanted to. I did.
JENNIFER: Oh please, come on in. Jack look who's here. Lisanne.
LISANNE: Thank you.
LISANNE: Hi Jack, it's nice to see you. Listen, I got you something so that you don't have to share your plate anymore when company comes over.
SHE OPENS THE GIFT BOX AND SHOWS THEM BOTH A NICE DINNER PLATE.
JENNIFER: Oh my goodness, that's really sweet of you. Look at this Jack.
JACK: Yes, that's very sweet.
LISANNE: Well I'm very glad that you like it.
JACK: You know something, we would.... we would like you to join us for lunch but we only have one sandwich. Unless you'd like some of the leftover green tuna noodle casserole.
LISANNE: Oh no, no, that's quite alright. I have a very important meeting that I need to get to at the hospital anyway.
JENNIFER: Ah, well, thank you for stopping by and thank you for the dishes, really.
LISANNE: You know actually I also came by to give you some good news.
JACK: Well we can always use more of that around here.
LISANNE: Good, good. Listen I talked to your creditors and we are very very close to closing that deal for The Spectator.
JACK: You.... are?
LISANNE: Oh absolutely. It's just a matter of time before they accept my client's deal. So you'll be completely free of your debt.
JENNIFER LOOKS ALMOST SICK AND JACK PUTS ON A FAKE SMILE.
LISANNE: Well I will keep you posted on everything and thank you again for dinner.
JACK: Thank you.
JENNIFER: It's really happening. It looks like we're going to lose The Spectator.
JACK LOOKS REALLY WORRIED.