#10 (70 seconds): A horse in surgical gear stands close to an operating table. The few lamps propped close by seem too weak to explain the sweat on his long face. The medical tent around him is tight and dark. On the table, a hamburger breathes through a ventilation tube. The hamburger’s legs have been damaged in such a way that they might be salvageable in a different setting but are not in this one. Part of the hamburger’s body is missing and a long incision has been made in his side. The horse stares for a long time at the space just to the left of the table, then looks around. Voices shout from far off but in this tent he is alone. Obviously tormented, he takes up a scalpel and leans into the hamburger. After a moment the beep of the heart monitor, so regular that we hadn’t noticed it before, becomes one long tone.
#11 (15 seconds): A child in a Santa suit stares into the camera and repeatedly says, “I’m so tired.”
#12 (104 minutes): A woman walks along a row of cubicles, then turns into an open door. “Hey!” she says to the man inside. “What did you need?” “Yeah,” he says, nervous. “I thought,” he says, obviously pulling together all his courage. “Maybe after work we could,” he says, hoping she’ll finish the sentence for him. She doesn’t.
Later in the evening, he leaves the office building alone and trudges toward the parking lot. At home, he opens his computer and types an email to his boss requesting ten days of vacation. He then checks his bank account and finds a somewhat impressive but not exciting sum. He opens a desk drawer and digs through receipts, pencils, unopened mail, until he finds a credit card. He stands and walks toward the door.
Some time passes and the apartment is quiet. Then the door opens and the man lumbers in with two bulky computer monitors stacked in his arms. He unloads these onto his living room couch, then goes back outside. He comes in with two more, and these he places next to each other on the living room floor. He takes the monitors from the couch and places them next to the others in a tight arc, then goes back outside.
Days pass. When we see the man again he is surrounded by a circle of monitors stacked on monitors, by an igloo of monitors. The monitors are so closely packed that the living room is only visible in cracks. The hum of electricity is so strong that we imagine it vibrates the fluid in our eyes. The man fingers a power strip and the dim screens around him all glow to life and suddenly he is seated cross-legged on a sidewalk adjacent to a gorgeously rendered park. The sky is clear and the people zigging around the park are happy and energetic. A Frisbee cuts through the sky over the man’s head and bounces off the hood of a small imported car, which skids to a halt. A young woman gets out, takes the Frisbee from the street, approaches the man, who is still seated on the sidewalk. “Is this yours?” she says, and doesn’t believe him when he says it isn’t. A 95-minute romantic comedy then plays out as the woman sends her live-in boyfriend to the man’s apartment, which is now a house, then sends a friend, then sends herself. Toward the end, when the man has finally won the woman’s love, he reaches to touch her shoulder and tips over one of the monitors forming her jaw. The entire scene holds except for one hole where her face should be and through which he can see a pair of old cereal boxes standing next to his kitchen sink.