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Roy's watch invention is awesome, man, AWESOME!!!! He's pacing, 20 minutes into his session, 15 after I insisted he sit because he's destroying the "chill" I've finally achieved after an earlier hour's histrionics.
"The chip implanted in your wrist would be synched with your watch. You'd set the watch for however many hours you wanted to be awake. Then, ten minutes before you wanted to sleep, your watch would KNOW and send impulses to your brain! Through your wrist!"
I secretly wish this invention existed, so I could affix it to Roy's wrist and set it for 20 minutes ago.
In the cab on the way to my place, he pulls me on top of him. I think this means we're going to "make out". I decide to be the man, and make a move.
"No," he says, indicating that I should just rest on him. I do.
Once home, I warn him I'm "out of commission" for punctuation-related reasons. It's okay, he says. He just wants to sleep.
Odd, but sweet.
Later I learn through a mutual friend that this is his "thing". He's a serial literal-sleeper.
It's not so sweet anymore. It's not even odd. It's just stupid.
When I moved, I unearthed an old cloth-bound address book, and amused myself by paging through it and finding information relating not only to many people I'd long forgotten but also to people whose names mean nothing to me now.
Many belonged to guys I either fucked or made out with or who the hell knows what. Most were covered with scrawled words, in felt-tip or ballpoint (letters gone over several times to make them bolder). "ASSHOLE!!!" "LOSER!!!" "TOTAL DICK!!!"
Yes, guys once good enough to warrant a place in the book and my pants. And then & they weren't.
"Why don't you just do laundry once a week?"
Linda either doesn't hear me or pretends not to hear me. Either way, she won't turn from the window, where she's been standing looking out at the rain ever since the start of our session 20 minutes ago.
"Pick a day, any day, and stick with it. Your method is wasting your time."
Her method: Sudsing only the crotches of her underwear and then blow-drying each pair individually, every night.
For once, can't one of my patients come to me with a desire to slit her wrists? I want something meaty!
Okay, gentle readers (how very Ann Landers of me, yes?), so for the next few entries I'm going to delight you with tales of a sexxxual nature. I know this isn't the "norm" for me, as I don't like to divulge anything that personal. However, these tales are not necessarily personal. I won't divulge if they are true or not or if they happened to me or someone else or if they are a hybrid of fact and fiction (and friction!). I will leave that to your imagination. I apologize oh so humbly, in advance, for any perversion contained therein.
Rebecca is lying on the rumpled bed, on her back, her legs up in a "V". The victory, it seems, is Steve's, because he has managed to consume an entire lunch from between her naked thighs. Baba ganoush, hummus, and even a falafel ball or two, all smeared or pressed there, and carried to his mouth either directly or via warm pita.
For dessert, he inserts a thin stick of milk chocolate "elsewhere" and commands her to push it out, "like, you know", directly into his hands. Moments later he smushes it on his lips, and he ruins his pants.
Timothy works in the mattress section of a middle-of-the-road suburban department store. Most customers merely sit on the edge of the beds like coy virgins and bounce several times to test the springiness. Sometimes young couples will lie down next to each other like newlyweds who haven't yet consummated their marriage, and Timothy will invite them to "have at it." None of them do, but most of them laugh way too loudly and quickly vacate not only the bed but the entire department. Several times, however, he has encouraged them to "wet the bed", and they do so without flinching.
Norman hands Rachel a shopping bag, directs her to the darkened bathroom, and tells her to take off all her clothes and put on what's inside the bag. He allows her one minute. And no, she cannot use the facilities even though she's been on the train for two hours and is "dying". It's not his fault, after all, that she fears public restrooms.
One minute passes, and he orders Rachel to step out. The see-through plastic pants are so tight around the waist and ankles that it brings tears to her eyes.
"Now. Go," he says. "Fill the pants."
Ray is not a doctor, but he has quite the array of medical equipment in his tidy Midtown West condo. Ray is very dashing and wears shiny cufflinks, so he has no trouble finding women who will accept his generous offer of a free examination.
Every woman, on the pre-printed "history" form she fills out pre-examination, indicates that she does not enjoy gynecological procedures. Yet none of them complain when Ray eases their feet into stirrups, pries them open with a speculum, fills them with vanilla pudding, and then spoonfeeds them, saving the last lick of the spoon for himself.
It's not that I'd forgotten how tall he was. Of course not. I knew he was a foot taller than I am and a very good four inches taller than most other tall guys I knew. It's that I'd forgotten how his tallness made me feel. How it made me nervous, for reasons I don't know and thus can't articulate. How it excited me, again for reasons I can't identify. How it made me happy, just to see my tall friend after 11 months of not seeing him, and to still be excited by something as simple as his height.
Maria is in my office, walking along an imaginary balance beam. Twice she teeters, flails her flabby arms, and focuses on a horizon beyond the confines of my office. Twice she gasps to the point of near-asthma as if she'd be plunging several feet rather than zero inches to possible paralysis and certain humiliation.
At first I invite her to sit. Then I suggest she do so. When she's still doing this, 15 minutes into her session, I command. She still defies me, so I join her on the beam and perform a perfect headstand on it. She dismounts immediately.
In 14 minutes, it will be midnight, and Tanya will immediately cease cramming room temperature McDonald's French fries into her slobbering maw. If she is mid-chew, she will spit the mashed-up potato bits inhabiting her mouth into the enormous, sticky-rimmedBig Gulp cup on the filthy table before her. Because midnight signifies the onset of Tanya's "I'm Going On A Diet And This Time I Mean It" diet, Chapter 26. There will not be a Chapter 27. Next year there will not be a Goodbye Forever To All Bad Food night. This time next year she will be thin. She will.
What do you do when coffee's just not cutting it anymore? There was a time when a big cup would kick my ass, but now it's barely touching it with a pussyfoot toe. And Red Bull? May as well be Hawaiian Punch. Maybe it's time to move on to espresso -- doppio, trippio, quattro, whattyaknow?
I clearly need to belly up to something more potent. Something that can not only kick my ass but send it clear over to the other side of the Hudson, where it will then ricochet off the river bank and back over to Riverside Drive.
Just once, Kenneth would like to date a woman whose cat does not have a name that in some way describes it. To amuse himself, he comes up with names for the women instead. Here is an abridged list from the past year alone:
- Mittens and Joan ("Bulbous Thumbs")
- Snowball and Mindy ("Gigantic Wart Hidden by Bra Strap")
- Mr. Meowy and Charlotte ("Spider Veiny Thighs")
- Blackie and Susan ("Uneven Tits")
- Squishface and Petra ("Scrawny, Low-slung Ass")
"Why are all these women so predictable?" he asks his dog, Thor.
"Beats me, TinyCock BadBreath ThinningHair," Thor says.
How difficult is it to watch television or see a movie without popping some sort of snack food into your slackjawed maw every literal two seconds, the activity as unconscious as breathing?
The scritch-scratch of someone's hand rustling around inside a popcorn "tub", the crinkle and crackle of cellophane as it's removed from an oversized candy box, the shake-shake of that same box into an impatient hand waiting to collect the candy to then pop it, noisily, into a greedy face-hole. And then the wet squish or soft crush or hard crunch of whatever's being masticated.
Shut the fuck UP.
My patient Cynthia invites me to the opening of her installation, "Whore-schach Test", at a gallery downtown. "Chelsea's not ready for my art," she says with a sniff and a literal nose-raise.
"Chelsea doesn't deem a pastel triptych of an overbearing 'Welcome Back, Kotter' character worthy of its walls?" I say. Her grimace indicates that the homonym isn't lost on her.
She explains, yet again, the significance of using menstrual "paint" in her life's work. "It's my life blood," she says, without irony.
I tell her I have to attend a breast-pumping that night and won't be able to attend.
I wonder how long the mylar balloon on my desk will last. "Happy Birthday," it says, way after the fact. I can't decide if it's being jaunty and sweet-spirited or desperate and pathetic. (I'm leaning toward the latter.)
I have a feeling it will last until I can't look at its face anymore. But therein lies the problem. I anthropomorphize the balloon so much that I think it HAS a face. And I cannot destroy anything I deem ALIVE. (No, not even an insect.)
Still, it is tempting to take a pin and just get rid of it. (So tempting.)
"I read that Karen Carpenter weighed108 pounds when she died," Marla says. "That's not that thin. When I was anorexic, back in high school, I got down to 82 pounds. I was much better at this stuff than she was."
She blinks dismissively and nibbles at the edge of a Nilla wafer. I don't allow snacking during sessions, but for Marla I make an exception. (One wafer lasts an hour.)
I fight the urge to say that apparently Karen Carpenter was a much better anorexic because she "won" by dying. And wasn't that the goal of the whole enterprise, anyway?
They told us their names were Biff and Skip -- '50s fratboy names that suggested blond crewcuts, letterman cardigans, fresh-scrubbed faces, athletic bodies piled into a sputtering old convertible jalopy on the way to the big bonfire and clambake. And we believed them. At least I did.
I was 19 and still stupid. Even though you would've thought I would've learned by then that even the nicest of guys would say the most ridiculous garbage to get what they wanted. But somehow they knew that Laurie and I, naÃƒÆ'Ã‚Â¯ve little Jews both of us, wanted a taste of the EXOTIC!
In order to lift myself out of a strange sort of melancholy, I remind myself of little things that give me great pleasure. This is a hokey undertaking that makes me want to keck just by thinking about it, so actually seeing it in print (or on-screen) makes it that much worse.
Tiny stuff that makes me hap-py:
- Just-sharpened pencils
- Well-written email
- Finishing a bar of soap and starting a new one
- Putting on boots
- Kissing what's-his-name
- Any dog, anywhere, any time
- Iced coffee
And now, back to undirected anger and loathing.
Darren fancies himself a modern-day Prince Charming. Forever searching for true love, wherever his daily travels take him. Most of those travels find him on the "1" train, where, if his friends are to be trusted, the loveliest ladies can be found.
Problem: Darren's friends aren't picky. They're content with the large-bottomed. Darren's own love must possess a bottom that not only doesn't overflow from an orange subway seat but doesn't even fill it. From this sole criterion he won't budge.
This should be easier than finding a dainty lady foot to fit a glass slipper, but alas, 'tis not.
The sofa is blue, polyester-shiny, and ragged. A flimsy brass-poled torchiere stands in the corner. The girl's fingernails are way too long (fake) and French manicured and parts of the white tips are wearing away. Her underarms are fleshy and speckled with ingrown hairs and irritated stubble. The guy, scrawny, is wearing hemmed denim shorts and an oversized team jersey and sporting a reddish-blond mustache and goatee.
My running commentary brings all of these nauseating details to D's attention as he scrolls across and down the screen. "Jesus Christ," he says. "I'm never looking at online porn with you again!"
Once you make the conscience choice not to be a petty baby, you pretty much feel liberated. It's amazing how something that is so "common sense" took me so long to figure out.
I even went so far as to take a vow with myself. Alone in my apartment, I proclaimed, aloud and with ebullient conviction, that I would "stop being an asshole". Then I asked myself, "Are you sure?" To which I immediately responded, with even more vehemence, "Yes!" And sealed the deal with a group hug with myself, from which I quickly broke free due to self-conscious awkwardness.
Two vague memories from third grade that, now that I think about it, 35 years later, may not be true, after all:
- I choked on a marshmallow while in a car, wearing my brownie uniform, and someone (my stepfather?) picked me up, held me upside-down (by my feet?), and shook me like a sock until the marshmallow ploofed out of my mouth and I was saved from certain embarrassing death.
- I kissed pre-pubescent cutie-pie heartthrob Tommy Berdini by the dome-shaped monkey bars on the elementary school playground.
But oh they're both so glamorous, I really hope they're true!
Voluptuous Anya, in Daffy's dressing room, holds up two sets of lingerie. Which one do I like better? They are both nice, I say, and her boyfriend will love either. She wants me to choose, and removes her regular clothes to model these frilly things for me.
Anya is bent over at the waist. Her skin is creamy and as smooth as butter. It takes a great amount of effort not to stare directly (thank god for peripheral vision). And even more effort not to reach over and give her firm and seemingly pliable ass a good smooshing and slap.
All brides are not beautiful. Same goes for babies. And baby-brides. Most baby-brides, in fact, look silly in their veils and don't have the dexterity yet to properly grasp bouquets, so they wind up (inadvertently, because babies aren't willfully rude) tossing them prematurely, thus ruining the day for the clump of single girls desperately jostling each other to catch them. Also, baby-brides cannot be trusted to not smash the wedding cake -- not only in their own faces but in the faces of their baby-grooms. This always leads to awkwardness, and, sadly, in way too many cases, almost instant divorce.
Phyllis props primly on the sofa's edge and breathlessly recounts the details of her busy weekend. It's 10:00 Monday morning, my first session for the week, and the caffeine I quaffed 15 minutes earlier hasn't had a chance to work its magic.
"So, you scooped some hair off the salon floor after your haircut on Saturday," I say. "Then what?"
"Well, naturally, I couldn't wait to get home," she says. "So I could do this." She thinks nothing of unbuttoning her blouse to the waist and showing me bits of hair glued to her bony sternum.
And it's only Monday.
Have you SEEN the cover of the latest "W"? Holy moly, mackerel, and fuck! Cameron Diaz is, as I'm sure the kidz no longer say (did they ever?), "smokin'"! She never did much for me as a blonde, but now, as a long-haired brunette in a white dress? Excuse me while I sprout a dick and watch in amazement as it stands at rapt attention, waiting for me to take matters into my own hands (or hand). She's so classy this way, though, that I wouldn't want to make a mess of the cover. That'd just be rude.
I get inordinately happy when I order food for delivery, especially if I can place the order online and thus don't have to actually talk to someone. There's something about waiting for my dinner, anticipating its arrival but not knowing the exact time. Knowing it will arrive hot, in separate containers (plastic or aluminum) in a brown bag inside a plastic bag, fresh from the restaurant, direct to my doorstep. And I can eat it in my pajamas, with my hair atop my head like Pebbles Flintstone. Ahh, yes. This is one of the best things about New York City.
Thank you for reading my 100 Words this month. I hope you enjoyed your stay. This makes it four years that I have been doing this, every month, without interruption, without fail. I believe I deserve some sort of acknowledgment for this. A medal perhaps (foil-wrapped chocolate!), or a plaque, or maybe even a trophy (with handles). Not a parade, though, because that would be a bit too self-aggrandizing and expensive, and produce too much litter what with the ticker-tape, confetti, and piÃƒÆ'Ã‚Â±ata crepe paper. Please feel free to drop me a line (firstname.lastname@example.org) to congratulate me on my achievement.
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