That Effin Scene
Item 1. Many things have happened. That is a professional, award-winning writer observation. Feel free to print this blog out, cut out that sentence with scissors, and, I don’t know, shove it into a fortune cookie so it sounds profound.
Item 2. I have just been spoken to, spiritually, as a writer, by Grey’s Anatomy. I feel confused, afraid, and a little dirty. Okay, a lot dirty—because I want it to be true. I’ve been binge-watching on Netflix, which is the 21st century version of that scene in movies where you type a line, hate it, know you’re a fraud and no one will ever love or respect you, rip the paper from your vintage Smith Corona typewriter, crumple it into a ball, and fling it at the vintage metal wastebasket that’s already overflowing with an encyclopedia of previously hated lines.
Call Guinness—I might have just written a world-record run-on sentence. Take that, James Joyce. Ulysses my Aunt Fanny.
Sorry. Major digression.
In the scene, this woman, who is the faux-affair red herring for Derrick Shepherd, aka McDreamy, pours herself a cup of coffee, screams a very actorly scream of frustration and breaks the cup in the industrial sink of the nicest breakroom anyone has ever seen. She thinks she’s alone, but of course, McDreamy is just lurking there in the doorway, despite the restraining orders. He asks, “What’s wrong?” like this is the 15th broken cup he’s seen today and he’s just so broken-cup-world-weary he can barely keep his eyes open.
They do the whole it’s-nothing-oh-it-must-be-something dance and she spills her guts in the appropriate dramatic fashion—“I swear it, Mom. I’m getting that supporting role Emmy this year.”
She doesn’t. But he has a chance. So he slides his butt into a perfectly positioned stool and says, “Do you know why you feel like that?” She answers with her best Stanislavski method pout. To which he responds, “It’s because you’re close. You’re very close to a break through. I’ve been there. It’s tedious. It takes patience and concentration. And you want to break through so bad that you have to break something.”
Not even close.
At least part of the reason I feel dirty.
Because I want it to be profound. Because it’s the struggle with this effin scene I’ve been writing. And rewriting and rewriting again. Trying, failing, cursing, giving up, and trying again to get right.
And failing a sinkful of broken coffee mugs’ worth. Which brings us to…
Item 3. I can’t tell you about it yet.
I’ve run outta words for this blog.
Blame Shonda Rhimes.