Dr. Gold

This is a memoir excerpt about a doctor I suddenly had to flee under the cover of one night after seeing him for five years. I started to think he wanted me to be his girlfriend. I could no longer ignore his creepy behavior. This scene is our first meeting.

The second and last shrink I went to had an office on Sixth Avenue. Would a city doctor be on the ball? Dr. Gold was a real pill pusher. As soon as I arrived at his office, he wanted to switch me from the Stelazine to an atypical—a drug that could cause weight gain of upward of one hundred pounds—seriously. I had no symptoms, and his knee-jerk reaction was to tell me, “Everybody’s doing it.”

I felt like he wanted to experiment with me, yet what could I do? I refused his request. He took one look at me and said, “Oh, so you’re Italian. I don’t want to mess with you, right?”

At this point I needed a new prescription, so time was running out on finding a psychiatrist. Dr. Gold would do for now. He would see me every two months at 11:00 a.m. on a Tuesday, so I had to take off from work. I had researched him via an online database and had found out he had been in practice since 1979.

Dr. Gold had a furry beard and wore a cheap white shirt and beige slacks. You could tell that his clothes were low rent, and I wondered why, considering that he was paid the big bucks. The intake was nothing unusual, and I began to rise from my seat when the visit was over. Or so I thought it was over.

Now he popped “the question.”

“Are you in a relationship?” he asked in his own version of a doorknob question. Only I was the patient who dreaded that he turned this knob. It was out of the blue, and I didn’t understand what he was getting at.

“Oh, no, I’m not.”

“You’re not in a relationship?” His gold-flecked brown eyes looked at me curiously.

“No. I fly solo now.”

“Don’t you think it would be good to be in a relationship?”

“I haven’t found anyone suitable.”

“You should consider it.”

I thought it odd that he cared about this yet let it be, even though as a devout feminist I was pissed off that he felt that being in a relationship was the only measure of my success. He had glossed over everything else I told him and instead focused on this.

“Wouldn’t you like to be in a relationship?”

“I’m busy with school right now.” I didn’t want to stare at him because his eyes glinted in a crazed way, so I looked at the exit door.

“Don’t you want to be in a relationship?

I wanted to tell him that I thought I’d better go, only he had yet to write out the prescription. He repeated the question (as if it mattered) a couple of different ways and finally gave up and took out his pad to write on.

Finally, I was able to snatch it from his oily fingers.

Once outside I noticed an Ann Taylor across the street and ducked in. I tried on a green lawn dress and imagined that I was a movie star. When all else failed, I believed in the power of good clothes to transform my life. With retail therapy so easy, I could tell it would be very expensive for me to continue seeing this shrink.

Left of the Dial Amazon Page

Advertisements

Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She owns a resume writing and career help business. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and a fitness buff.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s