June 23rd, 2010


My shrink has moved her office outside of town. Today was my first visit to her new office.

Have I ever mentioned that:

1. I have a fear of new places.

2. I have no sense of direction.

3. I am dyslexic about reading maps.

4. I have a fear of getting lost.

So, you can imagine my general feeling of all encompassing dread as I set out to it this morning, armed with general directions from my shrink and very specific directions written out by Rome Girl using Gooogle maps.

Obviously, even though it should only take me about 40 minutes to get there, I left two hours early, because having more time keeps the crazies somewhat in check.

Of course I get lost about three times along the way but I eventually arrive and realize I'm about 40 minutes early for the appointment. So, I decide to walk around a bit.

That's when I realize how utterly terrifying the environment is. It's a suburb. I haven't been in a suburb in years.

It was quiet. There were no cars driving along. There were no people walking down the street. And, I'm not sure why, but the scariest thing of all is that the sidewalks were equipped with beautifully painted benches every block or two.

Those empty benches with nobody sitting in them scared the living fuck out of me. I started wondering if anyone had ever sat in them. I wondered if something bad would happen to me if I sat in them to smoke a cigarette and read my book.

I kept walking. I wanted to keep moving to get somewhere, to see some people. I couldn't find anything. No stores. No cigarette shops. No cafes.

How do these people eat? How do they live with the quiet? Every time a bird chirped I felt like running and never looking back.

Finally, I noticed a big building that had a parking lot with cars in it. I figured I'd found some civilization. There was no sign on the door, so I looked in the windows.

It was some kind of hospice. All I could see was a large room with elderly people on beds or hobbling around on walkers. All of them looked like they were in the process of dying.

I backed away slowly, not wanting any of them to see me. The neighborhood itself felt like death and now I was seeing death and didn't want to get infected.

I made my way back to the office. There was only five more minutes to wait to buzz the door. I lit a cigarette. I looked at the bench. It was hot, I was tired. I wanted to sit on the bench.

I didn't.

My session with my shrink ended up lasting a long time.

You Are Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile

It still amuses and somewhat shocks me that I can find videos of Rome Girl when she was a child on YouTube.

This is from an NBC special she was on when she was about nine.

She's the one who sings the solo that starts with "Who cares what they're wearing." For most of the scene she's on the far left of the screen.