Josh has a case of FRAIDS. For the past six months, he’s had a purplish thing on his chest, and all of a sudden he thinks it may be Kaposi’s sarcoma. Because of all the recent publicity, Josh started thinking about all the women he’s slept with, wondering who was most likely to give him AIDS.
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Josh now realizes that Chloe was deceiving him for six months and he feels both sorrow and rage. For example, he and Chloe had a running joke that she was having an affair with The Refrigerator, the Chicago Bears football player: “How could she have joked about being with The Refrigerator the night before when she really was with this other guy?”
When I saw the self-addressed stamped envelope from the Florida Review, I could tell by the thinness of its contents that they’d accepted my story. The editor said it will appear in their summer issue and they’ll pay me $90. After six months and a dozen rejections, this story finally got accepted.
It was 20 years ago, also on the Friday after Thanksgiving in 1966, that I had my first appointment with a psychiatrist. Boy, was that a fucked-up 15-year-old who walked into Dr. Lipton’s office. I remember some of the questions he asked me: “Do you smoke pot?” (when I said no, he asked if I was socially retarded) and “Do you like girls?”
Superstitiously, I would always imagine every conceivable disaster before an event, and I’d drive myself crazy, hoping that would take away any real disaster. How many times in my life have I approached a situation that made me anxious and got so crazy beforehand that reality could never have been so bad?