Love Is

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Love Is[1]
The Other Side
Original Broadcast Date
Joe Frank
Serious Monologue, 55 minutes
Preceded by: Home (Remix)
Followed by: Windows

It was ten in the morning, he was in an airport waiting to catch a plane to Chicago.

Love Is is a program Joe Frank produced as part of the series The Other Side. It was originally broadcast on October 3, 1999.


David, a businessman, is waiting for a flight at 10 AM at a Chicago airport. He talks to his son, Jeff, on the phone about his little league game, then to his wife, Barbara, to tell her how much he misses her.

After the call he helps an old lady he hears, or imagines hearing, mumbling insults at him when he turns away. She faints, soils herself, which makes him dizzy. He goes to a bar and drinks for until about 5:30. Watching a baseball game on TV, he thinks about how poorly Jeff plays.

Leaving the airport, he sees Barbara, wonders what she's doing, if she's cheating on him. He follows her at a distance. Eventually he sees that it's not Barbara.

The cab he takes crashes into an ambulance. In another ambulance, on the way to the hospital, David remembers taking Jeff to a scifi movie, how he got mad at him because he cried. He arrives at Hillcrest hospital[1], where his Uncle Jack, head of neurosurgery, tells him he has untreatable lymphatic cancer.[2] Jack sends David to a clinic that does an experimental treatment, in Westminster[3] The chief surgeon there is in a Santa Claus suit (It's early September.), opens his briefcase on a pool table, pulls out 'geological survey maps, EKGs, oceanic depth charts, bone scans, tidal logs of the California coastline, astrological charts, x-rays and cat scans, and vials of blood and beakers of tissue' - and a satellite picture of David and Jeff at a county fair next to a Ferris wheel: Jeff had gotten a nosebleed riding on it; David hated him for being a sissy.

23:40: A woman, who sounds like she's in a club, talks about how much he likes love and kisses; Dooley Wilson's 'As time goes by' plays in the background; we hear crowd and street sounds, a couple arguing in Spanish.[4]

25:10: 'I'm an A&E Channel kind of gal…' says a woman to a man at a noisy bar. They banter.

40:20: Joe recounts falling in love with a woman walking by, pulling a cello. He imagines growing old together. After she passes he's relieved she got out while there was still time.[5]

43:00: 'Love is like being ground to death in a huge coffee mill…' - Joe analogizes love with a series of gruesome images.[5]

46:10: The segment from 23:40 repeats.

47:30: Joe noodles on the piano,[6] speaks in a parody French accent with a woman. She speaks some actual French and sings. They flirt.

Legacy Synopsis

The first half of the program is a narrative monologue. Our protagonist has a strange encounter with an old woman who insults him and then dies while in line at the airport. He reflects on his son's failure at baseball. He sees his wife waiting to meet an other man, follows her, discovers it is someone else. He remembers being harsh when his son was frightened at a scary movie. He's told that he has terminal cancer and is offered an experimental treatment. A surgeon dressed in a Santa Claus suit fills a table with instruments from various fields. The man finds a photo that shows his contempt for his son, and he feels that he deserves death.

The rest of the program is a montage of short pieces, broken with the passage in which a woman says "Kisses are wonderful" and a couple fights in Spanish set against "A Kiss is Still a Kiss."

  • A man and woman talk in what sounds like a crowded bar. A discussion of TV shows, the A&E channel, the shallow depth of youthful philosophy, restraining orders.
  • Joe imagines a lifetime with a cellist who passes on the street.
  • Joe and a woman sing playful ad-lib songs in English and French at the piano.



  1. the old lady at the airport had asked David if he were a physician because she knew a physician at Hillcrest who wore the same kind of shoes
  2. He says, 'While you were unconscious we performed a number of diagnostic tests.' but David was conscious after the accident, felt himself up, decided he didn't have any serious injuries.
  3. 'a small Northern California town about four or five hours north of here'. Westminster is in Orange County, south of LA. David never got on his flight, so how did he get from Chicago to 4 or 5 hours south of a town in Northern California?
  4. originally aired in To The Bar Life; re-used in Where Will It End?.
  5. 5.0 5.1 re-used in Love Prisoner
  6. Sounds like