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.