Friday, October 24

Beverly Hills Medical Center

Monday morning I went to Terry and Mia's doctor at the Beverly Hills Medical Center. It's on Robertson Blvd, which is where a lot of Britney Spears-Starbucks sightings take place. Despite that, I dressed like a Maury guest: stained sweatshirt and the yellow Sperrys that I got into a habit of wearing in the rain. Soaked, the yellow dye from the shoe would always stain my feet [welcoming jaundice jokes] and whatever leather-derivative they're sculpted from was warped tremendously. They're pretty uncomfortable and very brown.

I had heard stories about this doctor. Because of the high gay population in West Hollywood, which borders Beverly Hills, Terry was recently administered unnecessary Hepatits vaccines because the doctor had assumed my father was playing the anal-field. When Mia was prescribed a daily upper to combat her narcolepsy, the doctor recalled, "Yeah, this stuff is fun. One time I took it and had a little wine and I was a very cheap date."

I was happy to meet the doctor and liked him quite a bit. He had a soothing low voice and a calming demeanor. He was quite a silver fox, too, gay with a big diamond ring. He asked me why I was getting a check up and I didn't want to embarrass myself by saying, "Because I have a hypochondria that is crippling me and haunting my alone-time," so I said, "Because I'm going to Paris and I wanted to go to the doctor first."

This sent him into a long, pleasant story about an 18th- & 19th-century-piano collector he knew in Paris and the drunk adventures they went on. "Typical Parisian," he purred, similar to the way Ben Stein had always purred innuendos at Jimmy Kimmel on Win Ben Stein's Money.

Then he stuck me with the gynecological tongs, which weren't cold and he never referred to them as "duckbills" [the way bad female comedians say that they're cold and get weird nicknames], all of which walked that line between pleasure and inconsequential pain.
"That's a healthy cervix," the doctor complimented.

Afterward the nurses gave me a flu shot, which I obviously won't need in this desert weather, and then a pneumonia shot, which I'd only ever need if I had AIDS [but they can't take any chances, it's WeHo]. Immense heaviness and ache set in on my arm quickly. The nurses then brought in eight shorties to be filled with blood. The first nurse had problems finding my veins [two pricks]. The second nurse also had trouble finding a vein, and then had trouble finding a vein that would reliably stream blood [4 pricks]. Both nurses had huge fake nails, which were uncomfortably dug into my inner arm.
"Remember to put ice on it when you get home," the second nurse said, listening to me whimper. "You're going to get big bruises"

Years ago, I thought the death of FAO Schwartz had come; the Toys R Us in Times Square had installed an enormous, indoor ferris wheel that was attracting all of the tourists and around that exact same time all of the FAO's I knew were closed. The Roosevelt Field Mall one [ha!] remained closed and became an Apple store. However, I had been wrong about the fall of the classy, overpriced-toys giant, and sometime prior to a Christmas, the FAO Schwartz on 5th Ave, across the street from Central Park [and next to an Apple store] re-opened. My friend Tamara and I went to it to steal candy and watch toddlers waddle around on the "Big" piano. On the second floor of FAO were all of the dolls and Barbies. One section was made so little girls could pretend they were picking out a newborn baby; all of the plastic infants were behind glass and wrapped in pink or blue, just like a real, late-eighties hospital. There was even a nurse manning the area, except that of course she was really just a toy store employee in a lab coat. And like most women who work in urban toy stores, the FAO nurses had long, acrylic nails.
"So funny," I pointed out to Tamara. "She's supposed to be a nurse, but look at her hands!" But there I was, in Beverley Hills Medical Center, receiving care from nurses with long, acrylic nails.

After a few hours in the Beverly Hills Medical Center, I was let go. Moments after putting my shoddy Sperrys back on, I pulled some sort of muscle in the arch of my foot. I limped back to our apartment, through West Hollywood, covered in track marks and cradling my left arm. I fit right in.

Meryl Streep -- Mamma Mia [cover]

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