Little More Than a Man



Scene Title Little More Than a Man
Synopsis Constantine reflects upon an awful feeling; the feeling of being merely mortal.
Date March 15, 2009

Filatov Clinic - Constantine's Room

Adorned only simply, this room is the perfect size for the sleeping quarters of one or two and little else. Besides a simple, metal-framed full bed against one white wall and small, faux-wood dresser at its foot, there is little else of note in here other than a simple, cloth-covered but comfortable arm chair. The window is covered by a black sheet instead of curtains and an unimpressive rug covers part of the hardwood floor. The closet, normally closed, hide only clothes and the doctor's assault rifle. For all the impressive cabinetry in the clinic proper, Constantine's personal life seems decidedly Spartan.

Were their surroundings different, things might have gone differently. Were the circumstances different, things might have gone differently.

Bathed in the light of his examination room and accompanied by the sharpest scalpels and strongest drugs, Constantine Filatov is God, giver of life and dealer of death. His patients look upon him with a mixture of awe and fear, for of all men on Staten Island, he is the closest to unraveling the secrets of life and death themselves.

But half-illuminated by the lamp in his bedroom, accompanied by his bulldog and the intermittent beep of an aging EKG, Constantine Filatov is little more than a man, preserver of life and ultimately helpless before death, should it come knocking. His patient does not look upon him at all, for as many secrets of life and death he has unraveled, he has not unraveled them all. He has not uncovered the secrets he most needs at this hour. He is cast from divinity and omniscience, reduced groping in the darkness for an answer.

In his bed, Eileen Ruskin lays silently, the only confirmation of her continued life the intermittent beep of the EKG and the refusal of Ranger to leave her side, laying on the bed next to her. Maybe the former is unnecessary, for she has not needed a transfusion of blood substitute, oxygen or even invasive surgery, the slow steroid-and-nutrient drip in her arm being more than enough to keep her alive. But only alive; even the greatest doctor alive can't bring her out of her slumber without resorting to his more radical treatments. Treatments he will not force on the young woman.

Gently, cautiously, he removes the bandage covering Eileen cheek, silently inspecting the dead flesh underneath, familiar in color and appearance from another era. Even in a new country, his past never seems to be far behind him. A few moments later, clean gauze is applied to the injury, affixed with white medical tape. The tissue is dead, necrotic, and there is little else he can do about it. "This wasn't intended," Constantine says. Hearing is always the last sense to go, and he knows that even with things under control, it could go at any time. "It just happened."

Ranger sighs, perhaps in some sort of agreement. Pulling his chair next to the bedside, the doctor turns off the lamp and consigns himself to the darkness. Accompanied by the barely audible snoring of his bulldog and the intermittent beep of an aging EKG, Constantine Filatov sits silently by Eileen Ruskin, feeling for the first time as a physician, impotent.

Little more than a man.

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