By Jay Koppelman


psychiatristI wasn’t crazy, I knew that. I also knew that going to a psychiatrist for couple’s therapy is   common in modern society, so I agreed to accompany my girlfriend of over one year with the mutual goal of strengthening our healthy though sometimes fragile relationship. Jealousy had always been our biggest obstacle and as we walked hand-in-hand into the waiting room, we each gave a little squeeze of assurance and settled into a love seat to wait our turn.

We must have waited for some time because when I looked up my girlfriend was poking her head in the office and after a brief conversation she came back to where I was sitting.

“She’s like twenty,” she said, frowning. Suddenly the doctor’s visit might not be so bad, I thought. “Wow. A twenty-year old female shrink. God I hope she’s hot.” No, on second thought, my girlfriend will know if I think she’s hot. That would suck at our first session.

“God I hope she’s not hot,” I thought. “Please make her old and nasty so I don’t fantasize about her in the office or they’ll know. My girlfriend will know ‘cause she’s got that intuition thing and the psychiatrist will know because they just know. They’ll know like when I go into the ice cream parlor where that sexy Goth chick works to buy more miniature spoons and then my cell phone rings. It always rings. Within like seven seconds it always rings.

The office door opened and a nice-looking couple stepped out. “They look healthy,” I thought. “Come on,” my girlfriend said and as we walked in I could see that the psychiatrist was hot. “Just think of her like she’s your sister, man,” I told myself.

She knocked around a few questions like what do we do? Why were we there? Then she looks over the top of her librarian glasses at me and says, “How many sexual partners have you been with?” The shock I felt was the kind where you no longer know what’s going on or where you are or how this could be happening.

“Including her?” I asked pointing at my girlfriend who was now sitting straight up and not blinking. I could feel the breath coming out her nostrils and wondered if the guy who invented dragons had gone through a similar experience. They both stared at me with the strength of united sisterhood. Weren’t there at least some foreplay questions we could touch on before we got to intercourse? Oh, what had I gotten myself into? They knew. I knew they knew. They knew I knew they knew.

They had become omniscient. They were like those people you see on the Discovery Channel who know if you are telling the truth by looking at your pupils. Or were those the guys on the Poker Network? It was all blending together now. “I’ve gotta be honest,” I told them, trying to look at my girlfriend. “Not including you,” I said. “Not including you....”

The room was spinning now and she started to shake me. “Get up,” she was saying. “Get up. It’s us. Our turn, sleepy” and she gave me a nice smile. I pulled myself off the couch and stretched my arms back almost laughing out loud.

We walked into the office and I smiled at the middle-aged doctor who sat before us. “Ha!” I thought. “She wasn’t hot at all.” Things were going to be alright. Nothing could be worse than that. Nothing. She turned to my girlfriend, looking over her thick glasses. “How many sexual partners have you had,” she asked?

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