It's not about the house.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Here's Where It All Goes To Hell

continued from the post below

So we're about to begin. But it's coming on 2:30 now, and I'm supposed to pick up Johnny at quarter to four. So before Dr. German puts anything into my mouth, I ask him how long he thinks that this might take.

"Oh," says he. "This is a four-hour appointment. Re-treat. Four hours. The appointment is 1:00-5:00."

"But it's," I say, "and we haven't."

And this is where I start to cry.

"Didn't anybody tell you?" Dr. German asks me.

"No," I whimper. And it's not true that I'm actually crying yet. But it's coming. I have to get out.

"This is the point I usually ask people if they have to go to the bathroom," says Dr. German. I am a terrible person for having suspected he might be a masochistic freak.

So I grab my (okay, sometimes they're useful) cell phone and I follow his hastily-explained directions to the ladies' room. In the stall, I dial Johnny. Then I remember that I think it's disgusting when I hear people talking on their cell phones from the bathroom stall, so even though I'm not really peeing anyway, I wander out. And then out of the bathroom all together, because it doesn't seem very couth to be chatting while someone else tries to pee.

Larry answers. I was actually calling Larry -- Johnny's boss -- but usually when I call Larry's cell phone he knows it's me and hands the phone to Johnny. But of course I'm calling from my cell phone, which I've never done before, so he doesn't know it's me and so he answers.

"Johnny?" I say, too distraught to recognize a voice.

"No," says Larry, "this is Larry. You've called Larry's cell phone."

"Oh," I say, "can I please speak to Johnny?"

Larry heaves a gut-busting sigh and says, "He's in another building..." He's pissed that I called. His girlfriend calls him a dozen times a day, but he's pissed that I called his phone for Johnny for the second time in eleven years.

"You don't have to get him," I say, "can you just -- here's the deal." And I told him.

"You're not going to be out of there till six?" he says. And while you may think this sounds like sympathy for me, it isn't. He's pissed.

"No," I say. "Can you tell him, please? And can you ask him to call George?" Because, remember, the car wouldn't start this morning and George is supposed to be coming at 5:00 to have a look.

"But what--"

"I don't know, Larry. I have to go back in now." Because if I talk about this any longer, I will have a temper-tant for real.

And I hang up.

I get back to the room and Dr. German's in there, but he leaves again for something. Maybe to let me collect myself. While I sit and wait, my cell phone rings. I know it will be Johnny and it is. Talking to him, telling him he's going to have to figure out his own way home because Larry's being a dick and won't give him a ride anywhere, makes me actually really cry for good. But what can I do?

At least Dr. German isn't back yet. I've collected myself and I'm sitting in the seat, reading my book, when suddenly I realize that I've just been crying and it's going to be a couple hours until I can blow my nose again. I look around for a tissue -- doctor's offices always have a box of tissues somewhere -- but all I see is a paper-towel dispenser. Apparently dentist's offices don't always have a box of tissues somewhere.

Just as I heave myself up off the seat to get myself a length of paper towel to blow my sniffly nose, Dr. German walks back in. He's so embarrassed, he acts like he caught me with my pants down.

"I'm sorry I don't have anything softer," he says. "Do you want me to go get you some toilet paper -- er, I mean, a tissue?"

Somehow, I love him for the fact that his brain went straight to the toilet roll. We know I have a predilection for that sort of thing.

to be continued

(and, for some reason, I feel compelled to inform you that, for all the times it occurs in this continuing-stoooory, I have not yet managed to type the word "continued" without an error in it. I've fixed them all, to this point, but I'm done. Obviously I have some sort of hangup, and I might as well just share.)


jen said...

Pretty much? This is why I'll let the teeth ROT OUT OF MY HEAD. They're all sistahs, Wil.
I hate the dentist. I hate the dr.s too. Not for the actual things they do to you, but for the HOURS OF ANTICIPATION you have to endure to get to the PROCEDURE! GAH!!
I hope you are feeling okay...I kinda got a little sad for you in the end with the Johnny and the Jackass and the crying...

Sandy & Michael said...

what an epic tale! I hope it ends well. And you still have two more of these appointments, oh dear :(