Tarnie is sitting on a plane, flying home from her vacation on the West Indies. Scott is on a film location scout in Angola. Herb has been diagnosed with testicular cancer in Glasgow. May is being hunted by an unseen presence.
Tarnie briefly considered ordering a rum, as the two Malaysian flight attendants wheeled the cart past her seat. The minature bottles clinked musically.
"Lighter?" The gruff, elaphantine businessman on the window seat next to her enquired.
"Nope," she replied "I just quit."
"Good for you," he grunted. She saw his hands begin to quiver.
Why shouldn't I have a drink? After all, this entire trip has been soaked in booze. Booze and horrible discos.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your captain speaking" The pilot's voice sounded muffled and tinny. Tarnie could barely make his customary speech out
"He will see you now"
The lady at reception was not Glaswegian, Herbert was positive. For the previous half an hour he was trying to guess where she was from, originally.
"Yep... You're gonna need sit down for this one, Herbie." Fear gripped him.
"Christ. Ah, Christ. Is it... what is it?"
"It's what talked about." The doctor replied. He was fond of short sentences. Herbert said nothing. He had his hands in his hair, his heart was hammering against his chest.
"Herbie, look. It's 2012. We aren't in the dark completely any more. It's going to be a fight, no doubt. But treatment is a lot more viable than what you may have heard."
He wanted them to check again. Not that it was a simple case of checking. If he had to summarise this past year, he would call it "the year of the waiting rooms."
63 - year old ball cancer patient, that's me now.
The civil war was over, and the city was putting itself together. Luanda was "the Paris of Africa," whatever that meant. Scott adjusted his viewfinder's lanyard for the hundreth time. Sweat dripped down the back of his button-up. He could feel his skin burning in the afternoon sun, and wished they scouting team had arrived to the cafeteria earlier. The airconditioned room was packed with noise and colour.
"Portugese chicken," Andrew the insufferable screenwriter emphasised the word "Portugese" like he was making some kind of meaningful point.
Scott sighed. It was too hot for Hollywood writer bullcrap.
"Aren't you eating anything, buddy?"
"Not hungry. Andy, why did you have to write a movie set in Angola? Look at this city. I'm worried it's going to fall down overnight. Where are we going to shoot?"
Andrew put down his chicken wing and licked his fingers.
"Honestly? The wife wanted me to write it. The director pushed me into coming. I'm regretting it every day. Next movie I write... It's going to be all greenscreen."
"Then I look forward to not working with you again. Those movies tend not to need a good location scout."