Doctor A is from South India, of Teleguvaara descent. Her thin wispy hair is mostly gray, but it is streaked with black, tendrils of obstinate youth that cling to her skull. She wears dowdy blouses in weird colors, like pumpkin and hunter green with black or gray slacks. She always looks tired and I can tell that she is counting down the days until her retirement. Doctor A has seen me through Paxil (tremors), Prozac (green emptiness, the color of her blouse), Wellbutrin (lust with a heaping side dish of rage), and finally, calm Zoloft. She’s put me on Klonopin while I deal with anxiety. Kpin helps me sleep, and there’s a gentle benzo fog. It’s supposedly addictive but the feeling is so subtle that I don’t think I’ll get hooked. I can still feel the anxiety simmering beneath the fog, a lava flow underneath a steamy blackened crust.
One time, at the old, now-abandoned psychiatric hospital near where I live, I was in a waiting room with another patient. This waiting room had old children’s furniture in it, low tables and tiny chairs, a rocking horse, smudged building blocks and faded stencils of cartoon characters.
The other patient asked me who I was waiting to see.
I told her.
She replied, ‘Old crazy Doctor A, huh?’
Doctor A is kind of crazy, with her wild hair and befuddled manner. But she has a nice smile.