The Mess He Made by Matthew Puccini

A man goes to a clinic to take an HIV test. The next 15 minutes are the longest of his life.

Filmmaker Matthew Puccini tells the story of Jude, a man who spends 15 minutes waiting for the results of a Rapid HIV test in a small-town strip mall.

Jude sits in a clinic and gets his finger pricked. He asks how long the HIV test will take — 15 minutes. He’s tense.

As he takes his seat in the waiting area, he asks the man next to him for a cigarette. The man doesn’t smoke. So Jude walks across the parking lot to the convenience store for a pack of reds and a lighter.

He smokes to take his mind off the situation.

His phone rings. The man on the line wants to talk, but Jude hangs up. He messed up and might have changed Jude’s life.

There’s still some time left.

Jude picks up a birthday card and some cake. His phone rings again. It’s a little girl. He says he’s coming, he’s just grabbing some things at the store. Then, he asks if she’s finished her homework.

It’s her birthday tomorrow. He tells her he’ll pick her up from school tomorrow and take her to mini-golf.

When she asks if dad can come, Jude begrudgingly says if he wants to. She goes and asks, but dad says he’s not sure if he can go.

As Jude leaves, he sees a police officer giving him a ticket for parking in a handicap spot. He explains he’s had a hard day and just wasn’t thinking. But she gives him the ticket regardless.

He sits back in the waiting room. A man next to him asks for a cigarette and he gives him the rest of the pack.

Then, Jude is called in and gets the results.




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