I just got a brand-new iPhone-11, and a new phone number for my new life. No sooner had it been activated then I heard the Star Wars theme song ring tone. I said, “Hello.”
Worried Female Voice (WFV): Is this Dr. Jungfreud, the psychotherapist?
ME: No, sorry. You have the wrong number.
WFV: Is this 555-456-6549?
ME: Yes, it is.
WFV: That’s Dr. Jungfreud’s number.
ME: No, it’s the new number I just got with my new phone, please don’t call again. There is no Doctor here.
WFV: Okay, sorry.
Star Wars theme in my back pocket.
Ordinary Male Voice (OMV): This is Jim Bleak. I would like to make an appointment with Dr. Erikson Jungfreud please.
ME: I’m sorry, you have a wrong number. I just got this number, the doctor must have changed his, maybe you can Google him.
OMV: I know he told you to say that, he doesn’t want to see me. All I want to do is continue therapy with him. I’ll be cooperative, I won’t ever spit at him again. Please give me an appointment.
ME: Seriously this is not Dr. Jungfreud’s office. He now has a different number.
OMV: Fuck you very much. Tell the son-of-a-bitch doctor I hope he rots in hell. It’ll serve him right if I jump off a bridge.
“Well, that wasn’t a happy camper,” I said to my cat. All my contacts were transferred from my old phone to my new phone. I decided to answer calls only from people I know.
Star Wars theme.
Nope, no one I know. I let it go to voicemail. Damn! (I know, curiosity killed the cat.) It’s from my area code. “Hi Erik, this is Janie, I know you wanted me to come in to touch base with you, it’s been three months and I’m doing well. I am going to save the $200 dollars and cancel my appointment for next Wednesday. If I get into any trouble, I’ll call you. Thanks for everything.
I am glad Janie is doing well, I wondered if I would hear from her again. I decided to Google the doctor.
The Journey of the Mind-Soul has a Dr. Michael Erikson who studied Jung. That’s as close as Google could come. I thought duh, hasn’t every shrink studied Jung? At least I hoped so.
Psychology Today’s find a therapist had no listing either.
Star Wars Theme. Finally, someone I know, someone who got my text with my new number.
ME: Hi Jeff.
JEFF: Hi Jack, tonight’s game is off. Ed has the flu and Mike is out of town. I’ll see you next week.
Star Wars Theme.
Oops, force of habit, I picked it up.
FRANTIC WOMAN’S VOICE (FWV): Dr. Jungfreud, I’m a new patient and I really need someone to talk to. Could I have an appointment?
I sipped some of my second Martini.
ME: I don’t have an office, but I do answer some questions by phone. There is no charge right now. Would you like to tell me more?
FWV: The other day, I went to a co-worker’s birthday party, there were so many people there I didn’t know. I froze, I spent the whole time petting the dog.
ME: (fixing my third Martini) What were you afraid of?
FWV: I’m just so scared, I feel lost and empty, there’s a void in me.
ME: Have you had lunch?
ME: Eating a good meal can fill up some of that void, and it tastes good. Have a big glass of wine and follow it with a helping of tiramisu.
FWV: How can that help my social anxiety?
ME: If your mouth is full you can’t say anything stupid.
FWV: That’s ridiculous. I am constantly worrying about things that might happen.
ME: What if they don’t.
FWV: What if they do.
ME: You’ve got me there. How does that make you feel?
FWV: My anxiety is crippling me. I feel no joy in anything anymore.
ME: Have you tried a fidget spinner? It’s quite soothing.
FWV: You are a blithering idiot.
She hangs up. She couldn’t slam the phone down, a disadvantage of cell phones.
Star Wars theme.
CALM BUSINESS-LIKE VOICE Dr. Jungfreud, this is your answering service. A James Bleak left a message for you. He said: “Tell Dr. Fuckhead I’m on the top of the Brooklyn Bridge and unless he comes here in one hour, I’m going to jump.”
ME: Oh my god, I’ll be right there. Where’s my coat, I need coffee…❏
Bett is a retired teacher who has two grown children and lives with three cats, one of whom thinks she is a dog, and as Bett is never quite sure who she is either, they get along great.