Thursday, January 29, 2009

South Beach Shrinkage

When your parents tell you that the circumstances under which you totaled your car make for a good "blog story," you know, well, that you have a good "blog story."

I had a 2:30 with the shrink, Dr. Melnick yesterday. His office is about 10 minutes from my house, just north of South Beach. Traffic in South Beach is always a bitch. The scooter-ers, bicyclists, speed freaks and old bags make for one big traffic clusterfuck of a neighborhood. Look away for one second and you've hit a pedestrian. Or, in my case, rear-ended a pickup truck on Alton Road. I looked away for a nanosec, looked up again and found myself too close for comfort with the Chevy Silverado in front of me. My car crumpled up like a piece of aluminum foil, which is what it's "supposed to do" to protect the driver.

I hop out of the car, apologize to the truck driver—who's of course pissed off—and drift into that dreamy 'oh, here we go again' mental state that I'm familiar with intimately. It's hot as hell out, and I'm wearing velour Juicy pants, a thick Lucky hoodie and a tank underneath that's too low-cut to enable me to remove the hoodie. Not to mention the fact that my hair is spiked up about four inches, I'm wearing no makeup, my prescription Chloe aviators, the whole nine. I'm looking hot. I call Shrink on his cell, tell him what's happened.

"Where are you exactly?"

"Alton and 20th in front of Wachovia."

"Okay, I'll drop these scrips off so you can have them."

"To the pharmacy you mean?"

"No, I'll come to you."

Five minutes later, Shrink pulls up and parks behind our little wreck.

"This has to be a first—"

"Well, you booked the time. . ."

We'd already called the cops and knew they'd take their sweet ass time getting to the scene.

I'm a little unnerved, pacing around.

"Come sit down," he says.

So I sit down next to him, he whips out the prescription pad and we proceed to have our session on the steps of a ghetto apartment/hotel building on Alton Road. He's assessing the damage to my car, I'm fretting about how I'm going to get a rental in time to drive home for mom's 60th bday weekend tomorrow. He writes out my scrips, hands me the paper; I give him all this insurance info that I need him to input for me to get reimbursed.

"Okay, well I've got a 3 p.m., but you're okay?"

"Yes, thank you soo much. This is why you're the best doctor ever."

"So, I'll be checking the blog for this I'm guessing?"

"Yeah, definitely."

He leaves and about an hour passes with no signs of la policia. The other driver, Jesse, had made the first call. So natch, I put in the second.

"Yeah, hi, I know the other guy who called said it wasn't an emergency, but I'm in Cancer treatment and my head's hurting, so you know I'd like to get to the doctor eventually, so can you put it in as like kind of an emergency?"

She tells me it hasn't been dispatched yet. I tell the dude Jesse what I told her, and of course he becomes a lot more pleasant to deal with. I feel justified in pulling the Cancer card, and I did (and still do) have a pretty bad headache. I call 911 again, whine again and this time she tells me they're on the way. We see a police car pass us and pull over in the wrong place. Finally he turns around and, not taking any chances, wild-haired, wild-eyed Steph waves the car down from the middle of Alton. The cop is—I kid you not—a gay character right out of central casting. I swear, this man's arms wouldn't extend all the way down; they were in perma-arm-wrist-bend mode.

I'm already in talks with the insurance co and tow truck co, multitasking as it takes Chip 1 and Chip II—who was clearly just bored cruising around South beach and decided to join Chip 1—about 45 minutes to fill out the police report. I call Laura who's willing to pick me up on her scooter. The cops leave, the tow truck comes and then Laura. After the luck I was having, I was a little nervous about being transported home via scooter, but it was a smooth ride.

Sooo, today. I wake up early as the insurance company had told me they reserved an Enterprise car for me and I just had to go pick it up this a.m. I had an 11:30 gyno appointment for a transvaginal ultrasound—the earliest and best device we have nowadays at detecting ovarian cancer. I've had to cancel on this doctor twice before. And it would be nice to know that everything down there is kosher (not that I have any reason in particular to worry, just routine maintenence when you're BRCA+).

Of course Enterprise has no cars. Of course the insurance operator made the reservation in Jacksonville, where my agent is even though I told him I lived in South Beach. Of course I have to cancel on the doctor again. Now I'm still feeling lightheaded, have no car—only a reservation—for tomorrow and am a little overwhelmed at packing, as usual. I'm also hoping the v-jay-jay will be patient with me for another month.

But a shrink who makes roadside assistance calls? Now that my friends, is surely something only this coconut can boast.