Today was C day. Day for counseling. After the past few months, weeks, days, hours and minutes (don’t get me started on the seconds) Bill had set up an appointment to start the ball rolling and we would begin counseling. Well actually today was all about intake. To see if we deserve counseling? See if we had fundage for the session? Who knows? The appointment was at 6PM. I left work early, which was something I hadn’t been able to do for the past few weeks.
Timed it so I’d be able to stroll down Fifth Avenue and still smoke my cigar. You see, I do have my priorities straight. Also picked up some of the last remaining packs of Gauloises in Manhattan. In midtown yet. Someone was asleep at the wheel of the van driving to Sloan Kettering.
Got on an ‘R’ train to 14th street. Being rush hour it was crowded and being that I caught the train around Macy’s made it even more crowded. I didn’t mind much. I did have some apprehension about the session. Got to 11th street in the Village and went into the building. Got on a elevator with 3 other people in need of therapy. We all got off on the same floor so that’s how I knew.
As I approached the window to register, Bill appeared as the woman behind the glass was about to ask if there was someone else with me. Bill said yes, and it was him. Which was nice, because it was him with me.
The woman behind the glass came out and gave Bill and me some clipboards and forms to fill out to begin the intake process. Usual name, address info. Piece of cake. After we handed them in Jamie Jones showed up. She was our intake person. Nice, probably a grad student.
She walked us through a buzzing door and walked us to a large walk in closet. She sat us both down and said that she was going to see us one on one so somebody had to go and wait in the waiting area. I volunteered. I looked at Bill who looked uneasy about the whole thing. I tried to reassure him that it was going to be alright, it’s not going to hurt.
I don’t think I reassured him. I sat and read a New York Times Magazine from November. I read an article about genetic (genomes?) medicine and a disease affecting Amish and Mennonite children in Pennsylvania Dutch country. It was well written and I was engrossed. Then I read about Darwinian Literature. Also fascinating. I thought Bill’s intake was going to be 45 minutes but it seemed to be running long.
I was getting concerned when Bill finally came out. He looked even more uneasy that he did when I left him an hour earlier. I tried to let him know that everything was going to be ok.
I followed Jamie Jones into the walk in closet and sat on her couch. She had a few questions, starting out with where was I born? Hackensack Hospital, Hackensack NJ. So far so good. I was on top of things, answered questions truthfully and intelligently. Added a touch of humor when I felt it was needed. Talked about my education, or lack of it. My mother’s death. Crying. Drugs. Alcohol. And Bill. All the major issues in my life. My relationship with my father. My anxieties and worries.
It ended and Bill and I walked out. We talked a lot about the session, where we are going in life, and how we are going to go through life together even if it kills us. Bill treated me to a steak at Arthur’s Steakhouse in Hoboken. It was nice, not too many people like on weekends. We were able to have a pint each. Actually a pint and a half since Bill couldn’t finish his.
That’s what love is, finishing your partner’s pint of Guinness. It was a deep discussion and we both seem to be looking forward to where it might lead. Objectivity and subjectivity. That is what it’s all about. That and a half pint of Guinness.