Monday, November 30, 2009

Crosstown by taxi in rain

Crosstown by taxi in rain. The driver had a gym bag on the passenger seat. He was talking on his personal cellphone. Hung up & said to me, "I gotta stop at the corner for a second." He pulled up in front of a corner store, opened the passenger side window, & a guy walked over & handed the cabbie some money, the cabbie reached in the bag & handed the guy a few packs of Newports. Had a little side business going, but if you want the cheaper ciggies, you have to wait until he's driving in your part of town. As far as I'm concerned, I didn't see anything.

At the clinic, the receptionist told me my shrink had opened his own waiting room away from the main one. The main room had Oprah on TV. I went to the new room, no TV, a woman took my appointment paper & handed me a card that said she was a licensed social worker. She didn't seem to be doing any social work. "We have coffee," she said, pointing to a drip machine & pot I could smell contained old & burnt brew. Fortunately, I'd brought a Smithsonian magazine. I was the last patient. We rushed through. I couldn't identify the WQXR classical music he plays softly. Game I play every appointment. He asked me if was drinking. He always asks that. "I don't drink," I said once more. Never been my thing. It was my mom's thing, which is why he asks, & it didn't give her the personality of Elwood P. Dowd. The last time I was anywhere near tipsy was three years ago, slurping champagne from a bottle at the WFMU Christmas party in celebration of a staffer's engagement. I remember the most recent time I was more or less drunk: A warm summer night in the early 90's, drinking Long Island ice teas on the balcony of a friend's condo in South Brunswick, a neighbor yelled at us to shut the hell up. I slept it off on her couch & the next morning her husband, who had conked out early & snored loudly, made silver dollar pancakes.

Afterward, I walked the 15 minutes downtown in a drizzle to the Main Library. I had a list of three books, all available, checked out a total of five, walked across the street & caught the #52 bus, which drops me a block from my apt. I should use that bus more often. The 6:15 bus, near the start of its route, was nearly empty. If I get on the wrong #52, it takes an alternate route away from my neighborhood, & I'd have to get off as far away as the walk I was avoiding. Also, the little, clean Dunkin' Donuts by that stop near the main library & courthouse closed & moved two blocks away into a gas station across from the hospital, Same conscientious owner as the regular DD by the Branch Library. It'll do fine at the new location.

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