Wednesday, my cousin Nancy told a story that, like all her stories, should be an episode in her own HBO series.
Tata: Are you seeing a therapist?
Nancy: I just started seeing a new one I really like, but she lives in this town where one of those dead teenager movies would take place. Have you ever heard of Roosevelt?
Tata: No. Where is it?
Nancy: That’s the thing: it’s right off 130 and no one knows where it is. It’s creepy and like time stopped. I drove out to her house and there was a flock of crows sitting on the roof. So I’m sitting in my car, looking up the spirit animal significance of crows.
Tata: What? No, don’t do that! You like her?
Nancy: I was seeing this awful man. I went to him because he had a therapy dog. All of my doctors are women so I thought I’d give this guy – I don’t know. But then I didn’t like the dog. I thought he looked dirty and he didn’t like me either. But I love dogs. The doctor had all these issues and I couldn’t talk about certain things with him.
Tata: You couldn’t talk with your therapist?
Nancy: He kept telling me I would benefit from going to Landmark Forum.
Tata: Get out!
Pete: What’s that?
Pete: What’s EST?
Tata: It’s a cult.
Nancy: You remember my friend Meredith I just went on vacation with? She’s a therapist and she said that is soooo unethical. He should not be doing that.
Tata: So now you’re seeing a bad man with a dirty dog. It’s like going to the train station.
Nancy: I didn’t like the guy. I don’t like men doctors and his dog was – I don’t know. I pictured myself lying on the couch, stroking the dog and talking about my issues, but this was nothing like that. I don’t even think he was a therapy dog. Do you know what I mean? We sort of avoided each other. And of course I couldn’t talk to the therapist. He was kind of a round guy with a Santa beard and he wanted me to join a cult. I didn’t like him at all.
Tata: What – ? So why were you going there?
Nancy: I kind of got used to Rusty the dog. I didn’t really like him, but I got used to him. Week after week, I sort of thought I was making progress and then I went on vacation and when I got back there was a framed picture of Rusty on the desk and the therapist didn’t want to talk about it.
Tata [trying desperately to breathe]
Nancy: So I never went back.