Standing On A Chair

Telling it like I see it…

Rants from the Chair: On What Happens When You Marry Your Shrink – Part 10

Have you ever had times in your life where your entire world changes in what feels like minutes?

This was one of those times for me.

The apartment I rented two blocks from Marcus?  I stayed there two weeks.  I really only spent a couple of nights there since Andrew had rented a hotel room near the beach to be closer because Glendale was a long drive away.  We had graduated to lovers during this time, and boy was I in the clouds with this new love, while a part of me hated to have to let Marcus go.

Andrew decided we needed to live together right away.  He put his house in Glendale on the market, and said he’d been looking at some rentals near the Hollywood Bowl, up Highland Avenue. I’d be “safer” with him, he said, given how Marcus may react when told. 

Andrew decided we should both start taking “mega-vitamins.” He said it was in preparation for “making that baby girl we both want so badly.”  It should stand to reason, then, that the next thing would be, at his gentle suggestion, “I want you to stop taking your birth control pills.” 

We were about to sign a lease on the Hollywood Hills townhouse overlooking Ventura Boulevard and the Hollywood Freeway, when I stood up and freaked out, right there in the living room of the landlords, Mr. Murphy and his partner George.

“Stop!” I shouted.  “Don’t sign that lease yet, please Andrew?”

“Is there a problem with the lease dear?” asked Mr. Murphy as he returned from the kitchen with a tray of finger food, his long red brocade robe billowing as he glided across the floor.  “George, darling,” he called toward the kitchen.  “Bring us some coffee, would you be a dear?”  He glanced at us, rolling his eyes and when George left the room he said, “George is so fucking slow when he smokes dope first thing in the morning.  Gawd my head literally throbs.  Last night was a drunk fest!”  He then settled with a flourish into the stuffed chair across from us and lit a slim, lavender cigarette, inhaling deeply and blowing smoke rings into the strong beam of sunlight that spilled in through a floor-to-ceiling window.

The thin, barefooted and bald man named George who sported a mauve jumpsuit sashayed into the room carrying a silver coffee server.  “Coffee’s already made, Carl. Ah sustenance!” he sang, waving long, bejeweled fingers.

I couldn’t breath.  My heart pounded.  “The lease is fine, Mr. Murphy,” I said.  “I just need to get some air.  Can we take a quick drive before we do this, Andrew?”

Andrew followed me outside to the car.  He opened the door for me, then kind of stalked around to the other side and got in.  When he turned the key, Barry Manilow belted “At the Copa” loudly out of all four speakers.  I turned off the radio.  I hated Barry Manilow.

We drove through the craggy canyons in silence, zigzagging our way up  Mulholland Drive.  I felt so overpowered by anxiety that I couldn’t even appreciate the lush abundance of eucalyptus trees and old California live oaks.

We reached the crest and Andrew pulled the car over to the side of the road, pointing us toward the cliff where the view of  the San Fernando Valley was obscured by a blanket of brown smog hovering in the sky.

He turned to look at me and I said, “What are we doing, Andrew?  This is all happening so fast, I actually feel like I’m going to throw up.”

“You’re having a small anxiety attack, Jill.”

“Not small.  Big.  I am scared out of my fucking mind.  Shouldn’t we wait before moving in together?  We haven’t even had time to really date each other.

Andrew lit a cigarette for each of us.  We smoked together silently except for the noise from a helicopter directly above us, likely looking for illegal crops.

“Jill, look at me,” said Andrew.  “I’m young, and if not attractive, at least presentable.  I am a highly educated, very successful professional.  I am the man who loves you with all his heart, who wants to take care of you and give you a baby.  You’d have to be crazy to pass on a man like me, especially given the fact that for the past four years you’ve been living with a semi-impotent, duplicitous narcissist who is incapable of committing himself to a pet, let alone a woman and a family!”

I got out of the car and walked a few steps toward the ledge.  On the other side of the ridge I could see a thin line of ocean in the distance, barely visible through the mucky haze.

Andrew followed, coming up from behind, encircling me in his arms and pulling me toward him.  “You are no longer my patient, Jill,” he whispered into the back of my neck.  “You are the woman I love and want to marry.  This is a chance of a lifetime for both of us.  Let’s not let it get away.”

I suddenly felt a sense of myself surrendering.  To what, I pretty much wasn’t sure.  But wow.  As baffling as this may seem, what he said was all it took.  I allowed myself to become completely bowled over by this powerful man.  So I gave in and let myself go.

Mr. Murphy and George were thrilled when we returned to sign the lease.

A few days later Andrew moved us into the apartment while I was at work.  As a surprise!  He picked out all the furniture and when I came home from work that first night, I remember wondering why I wasn’t included in that process.  But boy did I let that go quickly.  Things were kind of exciting, and all so very new.

Celebrating our brand new life together in our brand new apartment, we toasted to our future with a bottle of really good champagne, and then Andrew informed me that although he and his most recent wife (No. 2) had been separated for at least two years, they hadn’t bothered to actually get a divorce yet.  He said he would file right away, but we’d have to wait the required six months or a little more before we could tie the knot. 

I remember feeling pretty stunned by that revelation.  “Andrew.  We’ve already started trying to get pregnant.  We could have waited until you were divorced.  Why are you just now telling me this?”

He did not answer my question, but instead he pulled me close and feathered his lips softly against my ear, and then he said, “I want you to call your boss tomorrow and give notice.  You don’t need to work anymore.”

And still, Marcus did not yet know.

Stay tuned for Part 11

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August 30, 2011 - Posted by | Psychotherapy | , , , , , , ,

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