I thought of praying the group planned a mass escape and commandeered their bus; however, I was never taught to pray. Mother told me reading the Wall Street Journal is better than reading the Bible. Since I didn’t know how to pray, I decided to operate by a tried and true psychologist and patient principle, if a patient is one minute late, the patient is charged for the session and the psychologist cancels the session. I intuitively learned this principle from my filthy rich Uncle Jeffrey Feathering. Uncle Jeffrey, Mother’s older brother and mentor, pulled me aside at my tenth birthday party and said, “Martin, I going to give you the secret all the filthy rich people keep to themselves.”
I said, “Are you drunk, Uncle Jeffrey?”
Uncle Jeffrey said, “Yes, I am wasted. How could you tell? Never mind. I am going to tell you the secret before you have your bar mitzvah.”
“I’m not Jewish, I won’t have a bar mitzvah,” I said.
“It doesn’t matter, you look Jewish.”
I said, “No I don’t. I’m not circumcised. I’ll be eventually discovered when I take a high school physical.”
“Jeffrey, my boy, you’re still young. Choose a different obstetrician. Get circumcised.”
“I don’t want to be circumcised. I’m happy the way I am.”
“You need to see a Jewish lawyer to get you a special dispensation.”
“Can I skip the bar mitzvah until I decide if I want to be a lawyer or a doctor, Uncle Jeffrey?”
“Brilliant thinking, Martin. You’ll have to skip your bar mitzvah. Are you disappointed?”
“Do you get lots of money at a bar mitzvah?” This is a question filthy rich kids always ask.”
“Tons, that’s why I suggested it,” said Uncle Jeffrey taking another glass of wine off the tray of the beautiful woman carrying the tray of drinks around to the guests at my party. No kids were invited to my party because Mother said she can’t stand the noise two or more children make when they are together.
“We’ll talk about the bar mitzvah at next year’s party. Here’s the secret of the filthy rich people. If it feels right, it is right. It doesn’t matter if everybody else thinks it’s wrong. It only matters what you feel. This way, Martin, you can do whatever you want to do, whenever you want to do it, and not feel guilty.”
“Really?” I asked.
“It’s what filthy rich people have done for centuries. The poor haven’t caught on, that’s why it’s such a closely guarded secret. I got to be going. I want to see if the beautiful waitress will have sex with me.”
“What will Aunt Emily say?” I asked.
“She’ll say, Jeffrey if it feels right, it is right. Do you mind if I go shopping?”
“Wow. Thanks Uncle Jeffrey.”
That’s how I came to this way of thinking. Uncle Jeffrey gave me the keys to the castle. Now I understand another of Mother’s maxims, rules are for the poor, money is for the rich.
My conscience spoke, “Do you believe all the crap your Mother tells you?”
“Who are you? Where are you?” I asked.
“I’m your conscience. I tell you what’s right of wrong.”
“I’m calling Mother. She told me not to talk to strangers who are not rich. Get lost.”
“You need some serious rewiring,” said my conscience.
Before I could offer an counter argument, I heard J’s voice, “I’m going to say it once, that’s all. Amber, slip this sweatshirt and sweatpants over your outfit.”
Amber pouted, “What’s wrong with a mini baby doll outfit? Can we let Doctor Sanderstuff decide if I can wear it?”
“Sister, you can wrap a frail male ego and a mind that can’t function when the libido is engaged around your little finger and impress them with your silicone, but I’m calling the plays. Think of me as the team coach and Doctor Sanderstuff as my star player. Now, all of you drag your butts into group. The doctor is waiting for you.”
My precious love called me her star player. What does this mean? Is she telling the group we are in an exclusive arrangement? I’m ready to fly with my Venus as my navigator. She didn’t have to protect me from Amber, I have the moral fiber of a … I couldn’t come with an image that fit. What’s wrong with Amber modeling for me? She probably want’s my opinion if her outfit will help her find future employment when she’s fully released from prison. I’m going to put in a good word with Mother about Amber. Nicole could use some help.
“Have you thought this one through?”
“Why are you back? I thought you left,” I asked my conscience.
“I go where you go.”
“I don’t remember you ever being with me before.”
“I was always with you, but you stuffed me so far back into the recesses of your consciousness I couldn’t see daylight.”
“I was happy when you were stuck back there. Why didn’t you leave well enough alone,” I said.
“You opened the door to my prison and let me out when you fell in love with J. Now, I’m free and I’m going to torment you until you get your act together.”
“Did falling in love do this?”
“I’m afraid so,” said my conscience.
“But, Uncle Jeffrey said, “If it feels right it is right. I think I’ll give Amber permission to take off her sweatsuit. She can’t see you and only I can hear you.”
“Are you sure you want to do this? How will you feel if you spend the night with Amber?”
“How will you feel when J asks you how you enjoyed your night?”
“Who’s going to put that question in her head? You wouldn’t?”
“Oh, yes. I’ll make sure it goes off like an alarm clock and it will ring until she answers it.”
“Okay, the sweatsuit stays, but you are no fun. No fun at all.” Between J’s voice and my nagging conscience, my hopes for an early work day were dashed.
J opened the door. She stood there looking like Aphrodite. My sex goddess.
“Are you okay, Doctor M? Who were you talking to?” J asked.
My mind slammed into a brick wall at one-hundred miles an hour. My gaze riveted on God’s masterpiece. If it were true that tongues could be tied, mine was braided into a thousand tiny knots.
J kept the group in the outer office. She came over to me and bent over to speak so only I could hear. Her breath was as sweet as the fragrance of honeysuckle. Her skin as smooth as a new born baby’s skin.
“Ouch. Why’d you do that?” I said after J smacked me on my cheek.
“You’re losing it. You’ve got to get out of the love funk. Stop being obsessed with me.”
“I can’t help myself. Will you take a selfie and text it to me so I can have a tattoo made of your image on my heart? Ouch.”
“Earth to Double M. It’s group time.”
I heard J mutter a prayer, “Dear God in heaven, why me? I’m a hard working black woman. I go to church every Sunday. I honor my mother and father. I was the first in the family to graduate from high school and college. I don’t lie. I don’t cheat on my taxes. I’m kind and respectful to most people. Why did you put this man in my life? He is a burden almost too much to bear.”