February 5th, 2012
Dr. Martin P. Stevens Psychiatrics
Martin S: How are you today, Jerome? I trust your weekend was well. And here we are today, Monday, amid a new storm of events and precautions, measures to take, urges to do well, and face the grim colorfulness of life…
Jerome P: Today was better to me than most.
Martin S: Well, let’s hear about it!
Jerome P: It wasn’t more eventful, or meaningful; it just had less bullshit in it than other days.
Martin S: So, we shall hear about it!
Jerome P: Martin, just because you’re my psychiatrist does not mean I need to indulge you in everything, does it? I mean, talking about how my day went is something I can do with a friend, or a colleague, or my mother.
Martin S: Some interesting swings of emotion there, old buddy. I like how your voice when up when you said, my mother. Let’s talk about your mother. How is she?
MS: I take it, she’s still under treatment?
JP: She’s been taking everything very well, but I don’t see her coming out of this one.
MS: Well we can only assume that the radiation treatment did not help her, so this is the alternative, Jerry. Don’t be so negative about it. I know it’s hard watching her go through this every two weeks, but if you just –
JP: I don’t want to talk about this.
MS: Alright, well, how’s work? Did you meet halfway about that racial stuff with your boss?
JP: Work is ahhhhh bitch. I cannot talk to these brokers any longer, I’m losing my mind. A black man like me needs some time to chill out and boogie once in a while. And I apologized to my boss , yes. But that doesn’t mean I don’t hate him for what he did to me; he humiliated me in front of the whole faculty and expected me to take it calmly…I flipped out, got suspended from work, and I apologized. That’s it.
MS: But you’re still angry.
JP: Yes I am still angry.
MS: Need I remind you of this fragile, shaky economy we mingle in, Jerome? Of all the freaks and geeks taking over this country and making it a living hell for the middle-class and makes failures and heroes out of the lower class and poor? How you should appreciate the fact that you have a job? A job that pays you enough money to eat well and g-
JP: I appreciate being alive, Martin. But I do not appreciate my job.
MS: Your depression stems from this perspective, Jerry. Don’t you see? You’re not valuing the merits of hard work enough. You’re nearing 40 and you still want to party.
JP: Well what about you, Marty-The-Party? Arrested seven times on disorderly conduct, possession of class D substances with intent to distribute, at least half-a-dozen times in jail, where you sang Waylon Jennings tunes until they ripped you out to appear before a bewildered judge? All of this within a period of four measly years at UMass? It’s a miracle you even have patients.
MS: Yeah, I partied. But I went to medical school and straightened myself out, Jerome.
JP: You still do all the same things you used to do though, Marty. Do any of your patients know what you do on the weekends? How much money you spend? At the strip club alone? How much blow you snort? Has anyone ever seen you out and about?
MS: There was this one time, I was out and about, down on Sewall Street somewhere having drinks with Paul, maybe it was Rafferty’s or McGuinness’s Pub or some place…But we’re in there getting hammered with the hot, 18-year-old bartenders after they had closed the doors at 2 AM on Friday night, Me and Pauly just getting cocked for free. So we’re sitting there, getting real close with these two hot smokin’ barkeeps right? The one that I was talking to, Renee, jumps over the side of the bar, and walks past me. On her way to the jukebox, she pats my bum alarmingly. She puts on “Pour Some Sugar On Me” and immediately takes her clothes off, the other girl following. Now they’re both naked, coming on to us, and suddenly Renee pulls my jimmy out and starts sucking on it, and the other girl Nina starts sucking on Pauly. And we’re just looking over at each other occasionally, on the brink of maniacal laughter, like two heartless piece-of-shitfaced guys would do. Pauly’s girl Nina is sprawled out on the bar sucking on Pauly’s dick, while Renee is on her knees sucking mine, and Nina’s ass is just right next to me, in my face, so I stick my face into her ass and start making a raspberry, jolting my head from side-to-side, as Renee continues to suck my dick, and just at that moment – someone walks in the bar.
JP: Oh, boy…
MS: It was Peggy Keenan, man. The Peggy Keenan who had been in therapy with me for five years, knew nothing about me, just like most of ‘em don’t. She walked into the bar to the four of us going at it like this.
JP: Yeah? And?!
MS: She froze up when she saw me. She looked like a wreck. She looked seven times drunk from the last seven bars she walked into. I knew this woman very well. Manic alcoholism-driven depression and insomnia. She got down on herself because she drank so much, which made her depressed, which in turn made her want to drink more; a vicious cycle of which I was well aware of through our weekly sessions together. And after she realized it was me, she began to break down crying, painful crying shrieks before basically falling out the door she came in, backwards. I immediately clamored when I saw her, but she was out the door, running hysteric down the street before I could even get Renee’s lips off of my slowly submerging penis.
JP: Goodness gracious, Marty.
MS: I know. Pretty terrible.
JP: So I’m guessing that was the end of your professional relationship with her?
MS: Yep. She never called, and neither did I. But that’s probably the only time any one of my patients has ever seen me shitface-house-drunk and off of my rocker.
JP: I cannot believe you’re my psychiatrist.
MS: I’m your friend Jerry. First and foremost. I’ve known you for almost 15 years now. The only thing that makes me your therapist is that you pay me 120 dollars an hour to do so.
JP: - which also depresses me.
MS: How so?
JP: Well, you basically get paid 120 dollars an hour to attentively listen to what someone has to say, before or after asking questions involving variables in their life that they’re struggling with. Then you employ various ways for the patient to deal, or manage these tough variables when confronted with them in their daily routines. My point is I COULD DO THAT. I’m not insulting your medical knowledge, but I get paid 15 dollars an hour, plus commission for hunting, scouring and perusing this land for abandoned properties, pouring over credit records and potential mortgage applicants, trying to get a hold on how to hold an offer but also what to do with an offer, and accounts and receivables, and cleaning the desks at night, running errands for an otherwise ungenerous and racist boss, coming in late so I don’t have to be part of the cattle-like, schoolboy-like faculty entry to the dungeonous building, amidst a swell of panning “hellos” “heyhowareyas” “howyadoins” “mornings” “what’sgoinons” “what’supmans”, passing from ear-to-ear….But I didn’t want to put up with those three extra years and become something like a doctor, or a lawyer, because I guess I figured it was copping out. But I have mixed feelings toward you, because I envy your success and stability, but I look at you, and know you close enough to know what your workload consists of, and I KNOW THAT I COULD DO IT. All the notes you take, that you basically just read and decipher, and refer to books and medical reference for guidance on a matter, all the while never having to talk to anybody except for what must be your 13th receptionist, each one more tawdry and sluttier than the last. So I envy you, yes. But it pisses me off.
MS: Fuck you, Jerome. Go home. Our time is up.
JP: Our time is not up.
MS: Fuck you, bro. I got Sandy Welker waiting outside.
JP: There’s five minutes left on the clock.
MS: Boy, oh, boy, Jerry. You finally have something you want to say five minutes before the session ends. Great. What is it, old buddy. For once, tell me something that’s really bugging you.
JP: I guess I just want to say, that I admire what you do, Martin. The way you’ve managed to create a successful career for yourself, while also remaining single, solid, stupid and senseless, putting your body through hell on the weekends and returning to earth 7 AM Monday morning. You’re 39 years old, Dr. Stevens; don’t you think you ought to slow down already? Maybe, marry one of these receptionists of yours?
MS: You know what Martin? It’s like this: When I was in high school, my best friend Craig’s older brother John was the shit. He was tail-back at St. John, straight-A student and the biggest wild party animal you’ve ever seen. This kid could consume a quarter keg solo, blow half-an 8-ball off a skinny hooker’s ass all in one line, with nothing to eat and nothing clear to drink, and get up the next morning to ace two quantum physics tests and win a regional championship football game. He’s now nearing 50, living in Stow with his old lady and two daughters, and I asked him once; seen him at the lake fishing not too long ago; I asked him, “Hey, Johnny, do anyone of the old hometown folks ever still ask you about the ‘secret to success’ or ‘what it means to be a man’ or whatever?” He laughed and then said yes. And I asked him, “Well what do you tell them?” and he said, “Well, Marty I had a physics teacher who put it all in perspective when he said ‘Flowing water never goes bad’. And to me, that means that no matter what the consequence, just do it. There is no impossible. I always said, there has to be way where I can be totally professional one minute and then do and live exactly the way I want the next minute. And have these two different streams flow in and out of each other smoothly. I didn’t plan for it. I just did it. Hangover, not hung over, high on acid, or in high-heels, I always got up for work the next day, and I always drank consistently, keeping the tolerance up.
JP: Ha. I see.
MS:……Oh! And drink water and stretch. The two secrets of life right there.
JP: I’ll see you next week, old buddy.
MS: Keep smokin’ that weed, Jerry, it’s good for that depression.