IT STARTED OUT INNOCENTLY ENOUGH
I look up and it is a young lady, walking into my office. She has to be in her early twenties. A punk rocker or too late to the party punk rocker type. Her purplish black hair, her arms, covered in red, blue, green and yellow tattoos have me in a trance. Her right nostril has a small ring and was wearing ripped up jeans complete with a red black shirt. She has not a longboard, but a skateboard and had a fake fierce look to her. She is a white young lady so from the vantage point of not a licensed physician, but a black man steadily approaching my thirties, I had to ask myself, what the hell was her deal?”
“Good afternoon.” I said, shuffling through my files looking for her name. “Robin Sloane?”
“Hi.” She replied with.
“Is that you?”
“Yeah, that’s me. Doctor Richard Anders?”
“You’re looking at him.”
We stand there in silence for a moment as I cannot help but inspect her a bit. I like to know who I am dealing with when I meet someone from the first time. The problem is this young lady comes across as nearly unreadable. Within a minute and a half of meeting her and hearing one word uttered from her mouth I could see that her mask is so thick that I had my work cut out for me. All patients are different. Some come in with a goal in mind and work with me to achieve that goal. They know that they have issues. To put it bluntly, they know that they are f****d up and are only here to receive help. These are the patients that get the most out of therapy as they are taking it up as though it was a class requirement to graduate from college. Then, there are people who come here for one reason or another. Court orders, parents, they saw some celebrity talking about the benefits of therapy. Maybe they saw Kati Morton and thought that every therapist would fit that style. These types of patientswere always the hardest to work with as at the root of their problem, they truly did not know what they wanted. They come in and say tome nonverbally “Okay, I’m here. Fix me. Why am I not healed yet?”
“Please.” I started, having no time to allow this to linger any longer. “Take a seat.”
Robin sits down on the chair as she faces me. Doing her best to give me a blank stare. However, her legs tell the real story. People like to say that the eyes are the windows into the soul and this is truth. Yet, the legs spill a lot more than what people give them credit for.
Crossed and rubbing together? Anxious much? No bends in the knees and just sitting straight? Who are you trying to please? One leg crossed on top of the other? Would you like some wine with your cheese? Sitting wide open be a boy or a girl as your legs stretch out from side to side? I’ll grab you a beer. Her knees are tilted inward as her ankles gently shook.
“Robin, is this your first time in therapy?”
“Okay. What made you want to start seeing me?”
“I thought you looked cute in your bio picture.”
“I meant why do you want to see a psychologist.”
“Oh, sorry. Mind is in the gutter. I…”
She trailed off after that, raising slight concern in me that she broke right before my eyes. I am not equipped to deal with those kinds of malfunctions. I look at her and see that she is still breathing, hence she is still with me. This is not uncommon with patients who have experienced a great deal of trauma in their lives. Wanting to be in the chair is one thing. Being able to utilize it? That is
where some elbow grease must be applied.
“Take your time.” I told Robin even though was taking more than enough of her time.
“It’s rough to talk about what’s happened to me.”
“Please, go on.”
Robin put her face into her palms, swaying from left to right. Part of me desires to go and comfort her. But that was not in my job description. All I am allowed to do is sit in my chair with my pen, pad and hold space. Hold space as she begins to lose it. It has to be one of the most helpless positions one can be in.
“If this is too much for you, we can try again another time. Perhaps…”
“No, no, no.” Robin said, taking her face out of her palms, tears fading into the pore of her cheeks. “This is expensive. I’ll talk. My father, my father… he raped
me when I was kid.”
A normal person would be more than taken aback by this sort of revelation. Shocked would be a better way of putting it. Sadly, today it is not uncommon to come across young women who had a sick father. It was a sad state of affairs. I come in contact with young men and women who were r***d as children while I was logging my hours in graduate school. These were people that because of something that they had zero power in are now considereddamaged goods.
“How old were you when first this happened?”
“It first happened when I was five.”
“This happened repeatedly?”
“How long did this go on?”
“Until I was 12.”
I want to throw up. The fact that this young woman can stand here right in front of me and say any of this was nothing short of a miracle. Her mere essence has become a sight to behold. Holding it together I begin to write down some quick notes as I slowed down my breathing. Picturing seven years of hell is brutal.
“You’ve already got a lot of inner strength. How old are you?
“Just turned 21.”
“Nine years now since it’s ended, correct?”
“How much to do you think about it?”
“Everyday. I just can’t help it. It won’t go away.”
After speaking for a bit more Robin’s first session ended, I escorted her outside. Looking at her, I could already see small shifts in her. Her posture straighten out, her chest has puffed out, and I can sense her hiding a smile on her face. If she could withstand all the bullshit that she has already had to deal with in her life thus far, she is going to be more than fine. She has endless potential.
“I hope that you found that helpful. My apologies if I didn’t go any deeper.”
“No, it was helpful. Looking forward…to more.”
“Until next time.”
Robin jumped onto her skateboard and was off. What a mystical creature. As I stand there in her afterglow I receive a tap on my right shoulder. To my left stands Zoey Lagasse. Doctor Zoey Lagasse. She is a psychologist who at age 31 had already achieved an immense amount of success. She was a regular contributor to Psychology today. She had been on the Today show and live
with Kelly and Ryan. Last year she won the Jean Nicod Prize. She had just finished up writing her first book “the mind first, then the body and soul.”
To put it simply, she is one badass b***h.
When you compare that me, I am a mere rookie. Twenty-six and it is only my first week in the practice. I was not too far removed from grad school as that
scotch after breath faintly rang. According my professors and DoctorJohnathan Hanks, owner of the practice, my PH.D thesis book showed a great
deal of promise.
Whatever that amounts to.
“Having a moment there, Doctor Anders?” Zoey said with her natural sexuality spilling out of each syllable.
“Just seeing her off.”
“Don’t get so attached to patients.”
“Who said that I was?”
“Just advice. Take it or leave it. You see potential in a patient and then the next day they overdose. It’s a part of it.”
Another thing about Doctor Lagasse is that she has become quite jaded. The success that she had made her see the field in a radically different way. With all the attention that she has received came more and more people who desperately wanted her to treat them. With that she had been more exposed to different kinds of people than most psychologists normally would. Nowadays, there is not much that could surprise her. She has bear witness the craziness of humanity several times too many.
“Are you still not over Martha? Graduate school is your past. What about your future?”
“You’ve psychoanalyzed yourself; you can handle it.”
“So that’s why I did it. To get told to get over shit..”
“All I am saying is, you can’t keep yourself locked up forever. You can open the window you’ve been keeping shut.”
“Sounds nice. In due time.”
“There is never a better time and you know it.”
Pure talent. I cannot say that I am sure if she is this blunt with her clients are not. Regardless, she certainly puts you into a corner with logic. She has this way of making sure that you know that you were not doing the most optimal thing without making you feel like an idiot. It was a skill that very few people possess. Balancing two ends of a scale perfectly.
“Okay, I’ll bite. What is the big deal? What’s so special about tonight?”
“It’s not a matter of it being special. It’s a matter of it being Saturday night and you want to b***h out.”
“That vocabulary of yours must have made you famous.”
“What did the trick was I wasn’t a boring bitch.”
“Can’t accuse you of that.”
“So, what’s it going to be? Are you in? Or are you just going to crawl inside your prison, I mean apartment?”
“Hey, The Godfather part three is on AMC tonight. How bad could that be?”
“Are you just scared of those parasites that the news talked about?”
“What? The things that they “Demons”? No Doctor Lagasse, I am not scared of them.”
“It’s okay if you are because I totally am. I mean, what the hell are those things? And if they are inside a human you wouldn’t even know?!? It could be anyone.”
“Fortunately, they live underground so we should be good.”
“See, we need someone as levelheaded as you at the party. So, come. Please. For me.
The way that Doctor Lagasse’s eyes lit up when she said those words caused a slight electric shock to the heart. While she has shown nothing but kindness to me, on the flipside she seemed to be taking quite the interest in me at this point. Whatever the case was, she was making it harder for me to reject the offer. Her tactics were on point.
“I promise it will be fun! If it is not, I’ll order you a lyft back to your jail cell, I mean, apartment.”
“Do I ever joke around?”
‘Is that a trick question?”
My hand was swiftly brought into a handshake right after Doctor Lagasse swiped it up. Her shake, while not too firm, has some force behind it that I was not expecting. Looking at me with a devilish, yet childlike smile that could not be broken off her face. What a persona that she enjoys to play.
“That’s a yes.” She said with too much pride.
“Why? Because you forcefully shook my hand?”
“You were on the fence anyway. Just hurried along the process. Text me your address. I’ll pick you up at nine.”
Doctor Lagasse walked away as I pictured a Lioness walking off with her gazelle. The energy that she held was fuel that lit an inextinguishable flame. Her body was fit. Her face soft, yet serious. Her voice, firm and assertive. Her eye contact was strong yet engaging and welcoming with her blue eye. She wore makeup, but it was subtle enough that you could have a glimpse at some of her imperfections. And she walked with a purpose no matter where she was. If Billy Joel had met her; he would have written a song about her.
Back at my apartment I start getting ready for this party. I am not so sure how nice it is going to be, so I figured a nice white button up, dress shoes, slick jeans and a lean leather coat would do the trick. A good look. But also had that “just threw it on” kind of vibe that I was going for. Was I trying too hard? Eh, perhaps. You can just never know with these. So, shooting for the middle feels like the way to go tonight.
My cellphone goes off. Doctor Lagasse is on the other end. She has already arrived thus ending my deep existential of if I need to wear a tie or not. I have to say, she is overall, one cool customer. While one could place a bet on this entirely possible that this was all an act and she is just as if not more neurotic than most normies out here. But if that is the case, then she is a great actress,
which is cool in its on right.
Leaving my apartment, I rushed down the stairs then calmly walked out of the door. Doctor Lagasse sits behind the wheel of a blue convertible Mustang. Top was up, unfortunately. It must have been cleaned recently as the car looks rather sleek. Wearing a fine black one piece, her jet-black hair was straight which compliments her sophisticated, sexed up look.
“Get the hell in here!” Dr. Lagasse yelled out. Making my way to the passenger seat, I notice more little things about her. She has a little buddha bobble head on her dashboard. There was a classic Garfield stuck on you doll on her passenger side window. A skull was in the middle of her steering wheel. Her floor mats were Pee Wee Herman. And Jack Skellington dangled from her rear-view mirror.
“Love the car.” I spat out, which no artifice I might add.
“Thanks. Got him two years ago.”
“Him? What’s his name?”
“Oh, like the car from Fullhouse?”
“Exactly like the car from Fullhouse! You watched that show?”
“Everywhere you go, everywhere, there’s a heart.”
“So, real talk. The covers down?”
The sound of the covers going own as Dr. Lagasse cranked her engine, pressing the gas on thatV-8 engine and the song Hotel California came on I cannot not help but get swept away in the experience. When you live in a city like Los Angeles, or just California in general, getting caught up in your day to day life is what it is all about. That is the “business” or rather the“busyness” of life for you. Society is a house of cards that can get knocked over at any time. But while it is up there are nights like tonight that remind you of how special this landscape is. How much history is all around you? How lucky you are to be where you are.
We get on the freeway and head from Beverly Hills onto Sunset Blvd. Sunset is nowhere near where it was in its glory days. From the 40s and 50s being fueled by classic movies partying it up at the chateau marmot. To the 60s and 70s where rock and roll tok over. To the 80s where metal and glam was all the rage. After that, it just died off. Still, it is filled with classic Hollywood plasticity.
When you pass by the comedy store you can hear the wall whisper something about Robin Williams. The Viper Room has an aurora that could only be described as edgy. Driving up the hills feels as though you are going into another world. In a way you are. A lot of people like to say that about Beverly Hills. Certainly, that applies to Rodeo Drive. However, I reside in a decent
overpriced apartment that was barely in Beverly hills. I am not living it up in some McMansion. Up in the Hollywood Hills, even the poorest person appears to be a baller down below.
“Doctor Anders.” Doctor Lagasse started. “Why all this? Why not just become a paleontologist?”
“I came from a fucked-up family. My dad was a glorified con artist and got our family into dire financial straits. Figured that I needed to understand why they were like that helps others avoid that.”
“You should be grateful.”
“Never heard that before.”
“If you’re family had been some basic family from middle America, you would have never reached the heights you have.”
“I guess you can say that in their own way, they drove me to success.”
“Putting an end to your family’s line of crazy? Great driving force.”
Pulling up into the driveway the house radiates divinity. A long snake like driveway that leads to a modern looking two-story home. The chic white that the home has been painted with screams perfection for the light that is reflected off it. With the home sitting on the edge, you can see a coyote taking a walk. I knew that Dr. Lagasse was doing well. But I didn’t realize that she is big enough to hang with the likes of these types.
As she parked, it cannot be helped but look at her. She turns and looks at me. We both paused, looking at each other. It was a weird moment. As colleague, the sexuality has to be turned down once clocked in. Add in your typical everyday life and there is no room for get to know yous. So, when you do get to be two normal people together on a Saturday night, well, the truth of the dynamic between the two of you flows.
“Can I help you?” Dr. Lagasse asked, breaking the ever too long pause of tension.
“You ready to go in?” I rolled off.
We exit the car and walked up to the front door. It is unlocked as Dr, Lagasse pushes it open. On the other end lays a world of pure bougie. You see a glass door that led to this swan white like pool where people were gathered. In the kitchen a bunch of people are gathered, making some amazing drinks. By amazing I meant Blue Label and Cokes. Margaritas with Tears of Llorona.
As I stop by to make myself a Blue Label and Coke, out of the corner of my eye I spot a man approaching Doctor Lagasse. He has this delayed frat boy look to him. A lot like someone who is stuck from a glorious past at U.C Fullerton. His hair cut is so non offensive that Freddy Jones would make fun of him to his face for it.
“Yo! Zoey!” Cried out this guy who forgot what year it was.
“Fred? Is that you?” Zoey said. Of course, this guy’s name is actually f*****g Fred.
“Nice seeing you again!’ Fred said giving Zoey a warm hug. I was still left wondering just who the hell this guy was.
“So, Fred, I want you to meet my colleague, Doctor Richard Anders, Fred Silverstone. Fred, Doctor Anders.
“Nice to meet you.” I said, extending my hand for a handshake.
“Likewise.” Fred said, returning my request for a handshake with a fist pump. Like a true douche.
“How do you two know each other?” I asked, looking to get out of engaging directly with Fred.
“We met at a medical convention Miami.” Zoey answered, turning her attention towards Fred.
“I never thought that you would be out here.” She said, twirling locks of her hair.
“I just moved out here.”
“Wait, no way?!?”
I know that I of all people should know about practicing the art of psychological projection, but what the hell? We just walked through the door and she meets up with some guy that she probably had a random one-night stand in Miami with. Are my odds that terrible? If we had walked in minutes sooner or later, he would have stayed where he belonged. Locked inside her distant memories.
“We should get some coffee sometime.” Fred stated. “You know, catch up.”
“For sure.” Doctor Lagasse replied, smiling ear to ear as I rolled my eyes.
“I’m going to mingle a bit.” I stated, having seen enough.
“Huh?” Doctor Lagasse uttered.
“I’ll just let you two catch up alright?”
I pat them both on the back and walked away. Petty? A little. But man, I am not wanting to deal with that. I was happy to be here after all. Things appear to be lit and it was only rolling out. It is not her fault that Freddy Jones Jr cameout of nowhere. But I am not going to be the guy that has to stand by and watch someone do their work.
After I chugged by Blue Label and Coke, I pour myself a shot of random tequila and chase it down with a bottle of Dogfish flying dog. Then someone passes me a blunt that is going around. The rush that I have is a little baby version of speed balling I suppose. Without the cocaine, h****n, rock & roll and groupies. Nevertheless, that quick dash has me feeling better in an instant.
By chance I turn my head to the left and coming from the right is a woman who, to put it mildly, is breathtaking. She is tall, fit, blonde, and has silver eyes. Her red lipstick resembles Jessica Rabbit’s and her hair is top notch. Leather boots, a leather hat, leather jacket and a leather skirt. She has a necklace that looked like a used Rottweiler’s change. That is what I meant by breathtaking. Either that or she was a “damn” kind of woman.”
Right as she begins to walk towards me, I grab the nearest unopened beer and brought it right to her face, stopping her dead in her tracks. She looks at me, then the beer, then back at me and then the beer. She smiles, takes the beer and begin to drink it. Feels like one of those super bowl commercials.
“Uh yeah, thanks for that.” The mysterious and gorgeous woman said as sipped on her beer.
“Of course. You looked like someone who I used to know.”
“Is that so? Who?”
“My apologies, I meant someone that I’d like to say I used to know one day.”
That was either are effective or a strike out worse than Casey at the bat. I look at her face for any signs of a direction. She cannot help but begin to smile over that and let out a chuckle. It is great how some lame words could be gold to someone’s ears at the right moment. It was all of matter of timing and setting.
“What is your name?” She finally asked.
“Doctor Richard Anders.’
“No s**t? You’re a doctor?’
“Not a medical doctor.”
“How did you know the nickname that my mother gave me?”
“Guess it felt appropriate.”
‘And your name?”
“Lynn. Lynn Taylor.”
“Well Lynn Taylor, it was lovely to give you that beer.”
“What do you mean? Where are you going?”
“Guess I’m boring?”
“Don’t take it personally.”
I smile as she cannot help but at least let out a smirk. Most guys come across as eager to me and just want to rush the process. Maybe I am just different but I enjoyed the chase aspect of it all. The toying that could be done when you have her hanging on your every word. For me, it is a necessary piece of the attraction puzzle.
Once we begin to go on a bit one thing lead to another and we found ourselves outside sitting on a pool chair. She gets on lap as the two of us were completely lipped locked. Out of the corner of my right eye I can see that there is a new moon as that same coyote walks by. I can’t be sure if new moons meant something good or good bad. But tonight, I did not mind the darkness in
the night’s sky. Lynn then begins to back off a little bit, as my alcohol and w**d fueled confidence eased off me with her.
Lynn points her finger to the left. As I turned my head to left, I see a group of people staring at us. Did not even need to completely turn my head to the right to see not one, but two groups of people who were enjoying the show. Just needed some of Orville’s best. People have always been freaky. When a couple of people were having a good time they of course had to stare and make the lady feel uncomfortable. How rude.
“We can go upstairs.” I said, not caring how that sounded.”
“Wow, forward. Lynn responded.”
“Not to rush anything. I just felt that we were having a good…”
Grabbing my cheek, Lynn looks into my eyes before kissing me softly. Once she released my lips and looked into my eyes again, I am caught up with the swirl of her vortex. She has briefly led me into another dimension that is not of this world, but within her clutches. As nebulous as that sounds, there really is no other way to describe it.
We then find our way into one of the guest bedrooms. It is as though we were in a roomy hotel room. The bathroom is huge, with a hot tub and shower. Bath robes and towels galore. The bed had silk pillows. There is even a hotel like telephone right on the nightstand. The artwork in the bathroom has to be more expensive than my college tuition.
I plant her onto the bed as we begin to make out. I take off my pants, moving onto taking hers off. She then decided to flip herself on top of me, effectively pinning me down. Once she took off her shirt I had no objections. She began to look at me as if I was prey that she had wanted to possess. It was no different to how I was looking at her just an hour an half ago.
“Where are you from?” Lynn asked
“That you weren’t from here.”
“What was the giveaway?”
“You end your words and sentences sharply. Out here, we like to drag them.”
“It’s that surfer vibe.”
“Must be. Anyway, I guess this is it?”
“What do you mean?”
“I’m sorry, I’m new at this.”
“New at what?”
“s**t, it was going so well before!”
I try to free myself, claws came out of Lynn’s fingers. I gaze up and what I see terrifies me to the bone. Lynn’s eyes have come red and devilish. Bat like ears popping out of her head. Wings that are bat like out of her back. Oddly enough, she still looks attractive. If this were some sort of role playing, amazing reveal. Sadly, it does not look as though I am in store for such it.”
“You’re a demon?”
“s**t, they warned me about making the victims suffer.”
‘f**k, let me just get this over with.”
She lunges for my neck as I turned, resisting with all my might. And it took all my might because Lynn is stronger than an ox on steroids. She then crouches up on top of me as she continues to dig in her claws. Those claws hurt worse than an angry feral cat going at you. I want to let go. But I know once I do, I am a treat.
“Because you were nice.”
“So, I get eaten?”
“Then let me ask you. What do you want?”
“What do you want?”
“Thanks for putting me under the g*n like this!”
“I’m serious, tell me. What is it that you want?”
What the hell is she trying to pull? To embarrass me before she dived in and feasted on my lower intestines? Is she genuinely just curious as to who she is attacking? Or is this some way out? All these thoughts rushed through my head as it became increasingly difficult to breathe. To state the obvious, she is
leaving me no choice but to go her way.
“I…I…I want love!”
Looking down at me, she softens her grip. She flips me over and stares at me smiling. When I would watch those Nat Geo videos of a tiger hunting a deer, I always thought the tiger was cool. Though, I would wonder how the deer felt. It must have sucked being caught by the tiger and outside of an act of God having no way out. Sad thing was that nine times out of ten, it was the deer’s own damn fault.
Sucks when you’re the deer.
“Is that the truth?”
“Yes! The honest shameful truth!”
“Okay.” Lynn said as she leaned in to whisper “I want love too.”
I am confused by that moment as she lunges at me from the side. All I was see was a bright white light. I am not sure if I died or not, but I never been here and have also never been so at peace before. In a way, I am content with what just happened. Sure, it would suck if I died. But, if I did die, why be upset?
Coming to, I find myself in a bed inside the emergency room, Doctor Lagasse, right next to me. An older male doctor hovered above me, observing my movements. Doing a quick body scan, I feel fine. Someway, somehow, I had escaped Lynn’s clutches. And here I am, with Doctor Lagasse no less. It appears this just been one hell of night once upon a time in Hollywood.
“Doctor Richard Anders?” The older doctor said.
“Doctor Bert Hopkins. You suffered a cut with a great deal of blood loss. You were unconscious for a few hours as well. If not for this lovely lady, you and I
wouldn’t be speaking if you know what I mean?”
“Yeah.” I said as I turned over to Doctor Lagasse who smiled at me.
“Yeah, I do.”
Doctor Lagasse and I leave the hospital as I start to regain my strength. Feeling some pep in my step, I feel lucky to be alive. I do not know what all exactly happened. However, to be here right next to Doctor Lagasse works for me. Smelling something, something that forces me to stop dead in my tracks. Doctor Lagasse turns around and looks at me as if there is a ghost among us.
“Doctor Anders, you okay?”
I stand there frozen. What I am smelling is blood. And I feel driven to go, find it and consume it.
This is new for me.