It was seven o’clock in the morning in the spring of 2016 and normally I would have been standing in a circle with the other warehouse employees, being assigned my duties for the day. Immediately after the huddle, I’d begin by completing the daily safety inspection of my forklift. On this Monday morning, however, I was going to be inspected. At any moment my name would be called, and I’d follow a nurse into the next room to prepare for a colonoscopy.
No one looks forward to having a camera, regardless how small it is, pushed up their nether regions, but if it can reduce the risk of colon cancer, it’s worth the temporary discomfort. I just wanted to get it over with. If the doctor said I was clear, I wouldn’t have to undergo the procedure again for ten years.
I checked my smartphone to pass the time, hoping for an e-mail that didn’t invite me to complete a survey, or remind me of a relative’s birthday. I was hoping for an e-mail from an editor or a producer. I’ve been writing for over twenty years and I’m always waiting for replies for the short stories, essays and screenplays that I submit. I work in a warehouse to pay the bills, I write because it’s my passion.
One of the television and film companies I had recently submitted a script to was in South Africa. Modern technology has opened up markets around the globe for writers; you can contact companies through their websites and then submit your work by e-mail. Before the internet became a reality, researching writing opportunities in Africa and submitting scripts would have been much more difficult, perhaps impossible.
As the nurse called my name, I put my smartphone away and walked through the door. A few minutes later, after changing into a hospital gown and answering a few questions, the nurse wheeled my bed into a room with a large monitor on one wall. With the help of some mild sedation to help me relax, the procedure wasn’t nearly as uncomfortable as I had anticipated. So there I was, it was a beautiful spring morning and I was looking at the inside of my colon.
Meanwhile, a producer was preparing to send a response from Johannesburg. It was decision time, either the producer was going to make an offer or reject my script.
The procedure was over in less than twenty minutes and my colon was fine. An hour and half after I arrived at the Colon Cancer Screening Centre I was back at the main entrance, waiting for a family member to pick me up. When I looked at my phone, the first thing I noticed was that I had received an e-mail from the film and television company in South Africa.
As I read the politely worded e-mail, I couldn’t help but smile at the irony of the situation.; it had taken less time for the e-mail rejecting my screenplay to travel from the other side of the planet, than it had taken for the camera to travel through my colon. The wonders of modern technology….
Copyright © 2017 By J. Paul Cooper