Melissa Joffe

Period 2 11/21/04

Name: Emily Woodman

Name: John h. Fitzgerald

Relationship: Therapist/ Patient

Conflict:

1) She wants to help him and he doesn't want to be helped

2) She wants to get paid and he wants to leave

3) She wants to know what is wrong and work through it and he wants to be left alone

Physical description:

John:

John is a teenage boy of sixteen years old. He is tall, about 5'10, and slender. He stands a bit hunched over and looks as if his body is gradually drooping more and more as time passes. His arms hang down as he walks; his shoulders pushed forward only an inch or so. John's hair is dark brown and unruly, it sticks up four inches off of his head in all directions. His eyes are also brown, but lighter than his hair, they seem to be glazed over and shiny, like they were recently wiped with Windex, shiny, clean, and sterilized. His nose fits with his face; it isn't long or short and has a small bump towards the top noticeable only while gazing at his profile. John has plump lips that are a chapped pale pink. His skin is also a bit pale and he has a slight sign of facial hair. A small brown spot lies right above his jaw as well as on the bottom of his chin. The clothes that john wears do not stand out, his outfits consist of thin, worn out tee-shirts, usually grey, green, blue, or black, and mildly loose jeans or khakis. He also wears a much worn out nave hooded zipper jacket.

Emily:

Emily is in her mid-forties and measures at 5'6. Her skin is slightly tanned and she has a few freckles dappling her nose. She is mid weight and wears a size eight. Her eyes are a grayish-blue; they seem to rise out of her skull, damp hills with shadows beneath them. Emily's face shows wear; she has lines beneath and beside her eyes and the creases that she has from smiling and frowning are deeper than they once were. Ash blond on the ends and tips of her short bangs and darker at the roots, her hair is bobbed above her shoulder and thick. Her lips are thin and are covered with faded rouge lipstick. She has a small round chin that creases beneath her lips. She generally wears knee-length dark suit-skirts or pants with a knit sweater subdued blouse. She walks with her head held high and likes to look people in the eye.

Where the scene takes place:

The lights are dim in the small square office. A series of tall book shelves line the back wall. On the left is a mahogany desk with stacks of books, papers, office supplies and a telephone lay. There is a chair behind the desk, but also one in front of the black leather button couch that lies parallel to the left wall. The carpet is beige, but there is also a small round rug on the floor next to the couch. The off-white walls hold scattered paintings and framed degrees and awards. The room seems to have an air of uneasiness, and comfort at the same time.

Best/ Worst thing:

John:

In the supermarket, John was told by his mother to hold his sister, Susie's, hand and watch her. John was twelve, Susie, four. He turned around for a second to grab a bouncy ball to play with and when he turned back around Susie was gone. He screamed her name and got his mom but couldn't find her. Two weeks later Susie's body was found in the east river. John felt guilty and blamed himself for her death.

The best thing that has ever happened to John is getting laid. He was at a party and for some reason unknown to him, a cheer leader, Katy Brown to be exact, hit on him. One thing led to another, they were both intoxicated at the time, and they ended up having sex. He had a great time.

Emily:

Emily's mother struggled for many years, towards the end of her life, with breast cancer. After various treatments: chemo, radiation, and many unsuccessful herbal remedies, her mother died,

Although Emily had long-since divorced her husband, she still held custody of her eight-year old daughter, Rachel. Her happiest moment in life was when she held her daughter in her arms for the first time at Lenox Hill hospital. She was shaken and astounded at the glorious being she had created.

Letters:

John:

Dear Dr. Woodman,

I've been thinking about a lot of things, many that you probably won't understand, I don't even understand what goes on in my mind, not fully. Well, here's the thing, I don't think that I should be forced to see you. You get paid to listen to me every week, and I talk about nothing every time. You listen to me talk about my life, but all we do is talk, talking doesn't change anything, it doesn't change the outcome or the process in which anything happens, talking serves no purpose. I have to come to you, really, because my parents don't want to deal with me. They don't want to deal with me, so the send me to you, and you listen to their problem talk about nothing, it does nothing, but it gets me off their chest and they feel that they're doing something good for me. It frustrates me that because they can't handle their son, they toss him out for an hour a week and they pretend that everything is fine, that's all they do, is pretend. And I take my pills; I take the goddamn pills every day to make them, to make you think it's all ok. Truth is though, that one day it'll really all be ok.

Sincerely,

John

Emily:

Dear John,

I'm concerned about you. I'd like to speak with your parents soon to discuss a few issues regarding your future treatment. I've noticed, in our recent discussions, that you seem to distance yourself from people; you perceive them to be below or above you, never level. This hinders your ability to create relationships, you seem to be afraid or threatened by other human beings and all you do is observe their actions from a distance. I'd like to try hypnosis with you to see I we can find the causes of this friction. Also, I've been considering upping your dosage of medication, a slight increase of ½ more than what your current prescription is. I look forward to our next session, and John, please consider what I've said. I appreciate it.

Sincerely,

Emily

Personal History:

Emily:

Born:

Emily was born at Queens General Hospital in New York on March 9, 1959.. Her Mother was in labor for ten hours and her father, though he stayed the whole time, fainted at the sight of all the blood when she was born. He regained consciousness shortly after, approximately five minutes, just as he was asked to cut the cord. Her mother, Rachel, said it was the most painful and rewarding experiences of her life.

Family Relationships:

When Emily's mother died her family fell apart, they drifted because Rachel was the one who held them together. Her Father, Ray, remains in the house he shared with Rachel, though seldom does he get visitors other than Emily and her brother, Sean. She loves her father dearly and checks on him at least once a week. Her relationship with Sean, however, is not so easy. Since they were young, Sean and Emily bickered constantly. They fought about everything, and still do; the two are incapable of coming to any kind of agreement. Sean and Emily see each other on holidays, when a few members of the family get together (those who they're still in contact with). Emily doesn't talk to most of her cousins or aunts and uncles on a regular basis and those that she does stay in touch with are quite peculiar or disagreeable. Uncle Frederick, for example, finds tapping her rear end frequently quite amusing.

Education:

Raised in Queens, Emily attended Jamaica High school for four years until she graduated. She moved on and was accepted into N.Y.U, later receiving her PhD in psychology. Emily is fascinated by the human mind and enjoys studying people and trying to help them.

Employment:

She works as a psychiatrist in a high rise building in Manhattan. Every morning she enters her office at nine a.m. and waits for her secretary, Sheila, to arrive with the keys, Emily always forgets and Sheila is almost never on time. Sheila, then, reads Emily her appointments and Emily waits for the patient to arrive. Usually, too kill time she reads a book on politics, though she is a psychiatrist, Emily love politics.

Beliefs:

Emily was raised as a conservative, though now, without her mom or husband dragging her to temple, she still celebrates the Jewish holidays but, hardly ever goes to temple.

Good friends are family. If you know someone who loves you when they don't have to, hold on to 'em tight as you can.

Emily is a registered democrat, though she is a strong believer in voting for the candidate, not the party. She reads and watches endless political commentaries and articles and formulates her own opinions about different issues. In this past election, she voted for Senator Kerry, though truthfully, she was not satisfied with either party's candidate.

Loves:

Emily loves spending time with her daughter, either at a carnival, at a party, or at home, she loves spending time with Rachel. When Rachel is with her father, Emily prefers to stay in her apartment and sip coffee all day; she enjoys being able to relax. Also Emily likes to ski in the winter, last vacation though; Rachel fell from the chairlift and broke her wrist, so she's been a bit scared to go up again.

Hates:

She doesn't like to admit that she has any pet-peeves or great hates, but like everybody she does. Emily can't stand it when people bite their nails, it drives her crazy. She also doesn't like it when dishes aren't put in the washer, but left inside of the sink. She has trouble with her brother, they can never agree on anything. Most of all, Emily hates one girl from her old middle school who once took tucked her skirt into her underwear and took pictures as she walked down the hall. They were friends but this betrayal pronounced them enemies. She also hates dictators, as they are never good, all dictators should be replaced by a better form of government, not necessarily that of the United States, but a government that they created, cultivated and nurtured to their liking.

Dreams:

Like most, Emily did not end up where she planned. In fact, when asked the question of what she wanted to be when she grew up, nine year old Emily said marine biologist, a vocation quite different from a psychiatrist. Now, at forty five, Emily dreams of raising her child and working in the white house, supporting her country the best she could.

Accomplishments:

Emily graduated from N.Y.Uat the top of her class with a degree in psychology; she also gave birth to a gorgeous little girl, and enjoys her work.

Economy/Money:

Very well off. She works hard for her money and it works hard for her. Emily earns well over a hundred thousand a year. She and Rachel share an apartment on the upper east side of Manhattan and although money is sometimes a bit tight, enjoy their lifestyles.

John:

Born:

John was born on October 2, 1988, in Queens's general hospital in queens. He was a sea section baby; his mother had eaten a sandwich earlier in the day and with sea sections, the mother to be isn't supposed to eat in case anesthesia is needed during surgery. She was lectured to by the doctor on her irresponsibility of eating a sandwich, and by the next morning she was the proud owner of a baby boy.

Family relationships:

John has a strained relationship with his parents, Jim and Lily. He doesn't talk with them about much, or at all for that matter, unless he is really interested in something. Jim and Lily try very hard to communicate with their son, though, since it is too much to handle by them selves, they sent him for help. John's other sister, two years his senior, Margaret and he quarrel constantly, but agree on a regular basis on various topics. He blames himself for the death of his younger sister Susie and thinks that his whole family does as well.

Education:

John attends a private high school in queens and takes the subway everyday. There he likes to watch people's actions and guess why they do the things they do and how they feel or what they tell no one. He feels sorry for some, envious of others, but most of all he feels alone and apart from them.

Employment:

John doesn't work; he doesn't need or want to. It is a choice that took him no longer than five seconds to make.

Beliefs:

John's parents are Christian. He doesn't believe in god, but is searching for proof of his existence. He won't believe unless he has proof.

John has a few close friends: two guys by the name of Tom and Jerry. He believes that people are complex and cannot be figured out so easily, though he tries to.

John doesn't follow the elections, he can't vote, it happens anyway, and he has no power to change anything.

Loves:

John has trouble, he loves his family, he does, they fight all the time, but he loves them dearly. He also loves writing and painting. He love to write short stories and essays, also painting, it's easy and fun for John.

Hates:

John is incapable of doing math, he hates it, and it is his weakness among many others. John can't stand people who look into the mirror every minute, or who think only of their appearance. He also hates peas, they thoroughly gross John out.

Dreams:

John dreams of being a writer. He loves writing and painting is a close second. He would like to show the world how his mind works and what goes on in his head.

Accomplishments:

So far, John does not feel as though he has accomplished anything. He has succeeded in becoming nothing yet, he is not happy and although his grades are high, he puts no effort into them, so he doesn't consider them accomplishments.

Economy/Money:

John does not work. He is part of an upper middle class family and doesn't worry much about money as he doesn't buy much these days. His parents invested money and though they had gone through dry spells, earned a bundle from smart investments.

Monologue:

John:

Everything is so confusing. People are so confusing. They are never one thing, I wonder what I seem like to everyone else. It's strange to know how others perceive me to be, probably some whack job who's kind of smart. Oh well, I guess that this world is one of constant judgment. We judge each other all the time. Why does it matter, we are who and what we are, and we're all people-we're different, but we are all people. They treat each other so badly, I can't stand it.

I wish I could f---- Katy again; she was so drunk she probably doesn't even remember.

It's so hard, life is so goddamn hard. Everything is grey and complicated and when I figure one thing out another problem pops up so quickly. I'm seeing things dance across the screen in my head. It's amazing, it really is, my head is spinning and I'm seeing flying pictures dance across my mind.

I really don't see the point at all. Life is difficult. We struggle forever, looking forward to the next part and then, we die alone. We die alone, without god, without our family or friends, we die alone.

The after life does not exist, I'd like to believe it does, I really would, but the logical part of me knows that when I die, I'll disappear. I won't be reincarnated, nothing will happen, ill just fade slowly from the memories of those who knew me and then when they die, I will be forgotten.That's it, I guess.

Emily:

I have to go pick up Rachel from school after work. She'll kill me if I'm late again. She's so sweet, I'd hate to see that disappointed look on her face again, I should make it up to her and buy her an ice-cream, and the way to her heart is through her stomach.

My patient is late, again. I don't know how I can help this kid. He's smart, and on anti-depressants, but the thing is that all I do is act as a provoker, I ask him questions and he answers them talking to himself. I don't know what to do to help him. He thinks about things a lot, his mind has lots of tunnels being dug through it.

Plot structure:

John says he doesn't see the point

He stands up and walks to the shelf

He lies down

She crosses and uncrosses her legs

She asks questions

He answers previously stated questions

Wheels

Scene 1:

Time: Afternoon in autumn

Place: The office of Dr. Emily Woodman, Manhattan building

The lights come up on stage and we see a boy of sixteen years old sitting on a button leather couch, slouched with his sharp, pale elbows propped up on his knees. Across from him, sitting on a chair, is a woman in her mid-forties with ash blonde hair, her face in a seemingly fixed understanding expression; her legs are crossed as she sits in a skirt and a sweater, balancing a small notepad on her lap and lightly gripping an expensive looking pen, the kind that is given as a gift from a colleague or supervisor. The boy begins to speak, as if following routine.

John stated in a matter of fact, flat tone: I just don't see the point.

John stands up, walks across the room and begins to finger the bindings of the sterile leather books on the dark mahogany shelves.

Dr. Woodman calmly and rationally as she was formally trained to do: The point of what?

John: People run around in circles, like tiny mice on shiny red plastic wheels going nowhere and running anyway.

Dr. Woodman again calmly, but this time her voice is projecting false concern: Do you include yourself with them? Do you think that you are going nowhere as well?

John he pauses to think for a moment, then in a soft tone he speaks with mild bitterness evident in his voice, like he is frustrated with the insipidness of the questions that he is being asked : I suppose. It's all meaningless, really.

Dr. Woodman: So, you think that life is meaningless?

John: It is if you run on a wheel.

He walks back to the couch and lies down this time, resting his head in the palms of his dry and flaky hands and crossing his ankles as he rests them on a cushion.

Dr. Woodman concerned: Are you running on a wheel?

John: I don't know, I go over it all in my head repeatedly, over and over and I still can't come to a logical conclusion. Often I do think that, occasionally I don't. But, I guess that even though I refuse to believe it, I do know the truth. I'm just like them; I'm just like that person you see on the street-corner, the one wearing headphones to block out the noise, whose just jogging in place, waiting for the broken light to change, until finally they get fed up and cross the busy street only to be hit by a big SUV.

Dr. Woodman: Do you think about death a lot?

Dr. Woodman crosses and uncrosses her legs while flipping through a notebook in which she is taking notes, she then gently lays her hair out of her eyes and returns her attention to the lined paper in front of her briefly before looking up.

John quietly and subdued, shifting in his seat: It makes me think of Susie.

Dr. Woodman trying to make him understand: It wasn't your fault

John sighing as he speaks, whimpering almost, his sentence is rushed: I turned around, I wasn't paying attention to her; I wasn't paying attention.

Dr. Woodman: Don't blame yourself, it would have happened anyway.

John guilt literally popping out of his eye sockets: No, it wouldn't have. I looked away for a second and she was gone. It kills me! It's entirely my fault, if it weren't for me she'd still be here, she'd still be her, not just some rotting body lying in the ground. All alone, she died alone, she was so little, and she deserved a lot better. I guess that every one does die alone; I just wish that she didn't have to.

Dr. Woodman: You couldn't have prevented her death; it was out of your hands.

John speaking cautiously: I have to pay attention.

Dr. Woodman: To what?

John: Everything.

Dr. Woodman: Why?

John almost inaudibly: Because I don't want to die alone.