There'll come a day
And youth will pass away
What, what will they say about me?
When the end comes, I know
They'll say "just a gigolo", as
Life goes on without me
Louis Prima, Just a Gigolo
October 10th, 2016
Mental Health Offices, Doyle Medical Center
People have always underestimated me.
My whole life I have been looked at, evaluated, and never once given my due. My father thought I was a surrogate penis he could re-live his glory days through, my mom thought I was dangerous, still her son, but dangerous, maybe too dangerous to be out in public with 'normal' people. She never said so, but when you know what fear smells like, you can't ever not smell it.
It doesn't matter how much perfume my mother wears, I know she is afraid of me.
When I went to this school, Freya Larssen underestimated me; she thought I was just a big, dumb piece of muscle, thinking with the wrong head, desperate to climb into her honey pot. Well, to be fair, I was desperate to climb into her honey pot, any even remotely heterosexual male was. She didn't think I was smart enough to score with her, she thought she could string me along just being her thug. And yeah, I did things I'm not proud of. Most guys have done things they regret to score with a girl they want bad.
Sadly, she wasn't worth it, either. Real cold fish that just laid there, but that's another story.
When I decided I wanted to become a doctor, to help these kids sort themselves out, a lot of people laughed right in my face. “You?” they'd gasp around their laughter. “A Doctor?”They're not laughing now, and it's Doctor Cody to that lot. So here I am, in my office, with my white lab coat and a pair of M.D.s hanging on the wall, and people still underestimate me.
I sit and I listen to these kids spin the most outrageous lies because they think a guy the size of a linebacker couldn't possibly have a brain in that great big head of his. I can't help but smile as I listen and I doodle liar on my session notes and try to keep a poker face as one hare-brained excuse gets floated for another. Then I'll just ask an innocent little question and they start talking fast, trying to keep me from seeing through them. Then another little innocent, but only tangentially related to the first question. Then a little, 'but didn't you say...?' and they sit there, caught, staring at me, wondering how I got the better of them.
Heck, there are probably those who are amazed I can properly utilize the word 'tangentially' in a sentence. There are times I wonder if I owe Dr Bellows an apology for the crap I tried to pull here once upon a time.
When I get down, and feeling like nothing will matter, that's when I look at the picture. My wife and her lover, so beautiful and young in those fur coats and I can't help but smile. My future wives, you had signed it, and I feel so special that the two of you picked me. How can I feel worthy of that? How could anybody?
I have tried, baby, so hard to carry on, to pretend nothing is wrong and everything is happy. I come to work and I do the best job I can, trying to save not just lives but minds. It's tough, much tougher than I imagined, like standing in a door way, shouting at someone to come out of the prison they've made of a room and they just refuse. Not that they can't see me, or the door, they just refuse to.
Its cost me more sleep than I care to admit to.
But then there are the kids I can reach, the lives I've saved, grabbed by the scruff of their necks and pulled back from the precipice, those kids make it all worth something. To feel like I've made a real difference. I think I finally get why somebody like Liz Carson would be a teacher.
You know, it's funny. I always thought Melvin Donner hated my guts, but he's turned into a surrogate dad for me. God, I wish sometimes my real father had been half the man he is. I don't have many friends and he's helped me through a lot, been the kind of friend, mentor and sparring partner every man should have. I was honored to be the best man at his wedding.
And weren't the two of you radiant as Ms Dawson's brides' maids?
I don't want you to think I just sit in this office and mope and think about the good old days. I don't have my first appointment until ten, so I have plenty of time to get into work, shake the cobb webs out and get into the right mental place. Sometimes, like today, having a cup of coffee and looking out this window at the kids running to and fro while I imagine I'm talking to you helps me do that.
You know, I was pretty angry when I figured it out. That you would do something like that, so cavalier and so arrogant; I'm not proud to admit it made my blood boil. But then, I realized that's exactly who you are...were... You never gave a thought to your own safety, to your own consequences, you were just spit fire, piss and vinegar and full speed ahead! You saw something that had to be done and you did it, because you could, and it was the right thing to do.
God I miss you baby.
I tell these kids that their little hurts and mental stubbed toes will heal with time and distance and here I am, three years on and this dagger through my heart is just as sharp and raw as it was that day. I am such a hypocrite. You taught me how to love, baby, to really feel for someone else and you saved the both of us, when anyone would have told you we weren't worth the effort.
Back then, they would have been right too, I'm sorry to say.
You know, I can still imagine you sitting in that chair and answering me. You would tell me to get my keister in gear and stop slacking off. That life doesn't wait and there's too much coming at us to spend our lives looking over our shoulders. There was a time I would have agreed with you, but some things, baby, somethings just have to be remembered. You are one of them.
Don't begrudge me a little lost in let's remember.
I wish you were here to advise me about what to do. There are times I want to confront her, to demand to know if she really thought I was stupid, that I wouldn't figure it out. And then I see her with the kids, and I hold her in the night and I realized that it wasn't about her, or even you.
It was about me and the kids.
It wasn't a trick, or a prank, even though knowing you two it might have started that way. But now, God bless her, baby she... You saw it, didn't you? Some how, all those years ago, you looked through all the hate and the spite and the anger and this is who you saw hiding under...imprisoned under Tansy Walcutt. You saw who she would become and you made it your mission to free her.
And when the world needed her and she couldn't answer, you went, and I lost you.
I'm not angry, not any more baby. I'm awestruck that anyone, anyone could be so literally selfless and do what she has done. I don't know how the two of you pulled it off, probably with Kayda's help I'm sure. I just hope that maybe, someday, Tansy will trust me enough to stop hiding behind your face.
We miss you, baby. Even though you're still touching our lives. Well, my first appointment will be here soon. Time to put my own mask on and be Doctor Cody. See you in my dreams, Lanie.