The Letter

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Heathen: C+ | Grade It Now!
The Letter

Carter and Abby sit at a dark, totally deserted diner, probably Doc Magoo's, and giggle about heartwarming Mark Greene anecdotes that will keep him shiny, bald, and alive in their hearts. Or, Abby's still hammered. "A crate?" she sputters. "Greene gets a crate of live lobsters for a periocardiocentesis?" Carter nods. "Every Memorial Day," he grins. Abby takes a sip of water, and we see an empty plate and what looks like an ice-cream sundae dish. Abby snorts that she gave the Heimlich to a kid at the zoo and didn't even get thanked. "I've been working up to a fruit basket," Carter jokes. Oh, please, let Abby remember this and send him a fruit basket after they sleep together the first time. I'd love to watch him try and figure out the symbolism of some fresh bananas and grapes. Suddenly, a glimmer of recognition flashes in Abby's face. "Is this the surf-and-turf we had on the roof?" she asks. "That was good!" She cracks, but half-seriously, that they shouldn't tell anyone Mark is dead so that they keep getting the lobsters. Wow, that's callous. I like it. Then, Carter says something stupid: "That's a survivor talking," he nods. What? Maybe he means she's so hardened by life that she can make non-jokes about eating a dead man's lobsters. I don't know. I didn't like that line.

The diner waitress interrupts to ask if they want anything on the breakfast menu. They don't. But her interjection allows for a serious-sounding pause that changes the mood of the conversation. While Carter stares absently out the window, Abby screws up her courage and blurts, "It started on my birthday." Carter doesn't realize what she's saying at first. "I didn't start drinking when Brian hit me," she confesses. "I started drinking before that. And I probably wouldn't have been stupid enough to open the door if I hadn't been." Carter listens. I feel like that's a big admission for Abby, but Carter sort of blithely ignores it. "Self-pity excuse," he says, but he's smiling. "It's one of my better ones," Abby grins. They realize it's 6 AM, and Abby groans that she's on duty that night. She tiredly puts her head on the table. "You sober?" Carter asks. "Ugh, unfortunately," Abby moans through a curtain of hair. Carter tries again to take her to a meeting, like, Carter, you're not carrying a club and you're not wearing caveman rags, so stop trying to drag Abby around town by the hair, okay? Abby waves off his attempt and says it's not the right time -- she needs sleep. "But if you quit bugging me, I promise I'll go later," she says glibly. "When?" Carter presses. "Before my shift," Abby says vaguely. I would think the best way for him to handle this is to be there for her, let her talk about why she's drinking again instead of passing judgment on it, and subtly help lead her to the realization that she wants to go to an AA meeting. She'll only resent the meetings if he keeps shoving her toward them.

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