Doctor O: Beth – Session Six


Fortunately, the coroner ruled it a suicide, but I still have my doubts. Ronnie insists Rick took the money and tossed John’s sorry ass off the bridge. My hands are tied. I need Rick. I’ll consider the money an investment, if he took it.

Beth seems to have calmed down. Time heals and brings about more logical thinking.

“How did you react to the coroner’s report, Beth?”

“Before we get started here, I do want to apologize.”

“It’s OK. No harm here. I understand your suspicions, but I hope you realize I’m not the sort of animal who would do something like that.”

“Guess I never realized how far gone John was. They found crack in his system.”

“Sorry to hear that, but I’m not surprised.”

“Worse part of this is we get nothing from his life insurance. Guess it don’t cover suicide. Sucks for the boys mostly. I wouldn’t want that money anyway.”

“Any news on the money you gave John?”

“Nah, I’m sure he paid off his bookie. I ain’t about to go snooping around them sorts. I’m just movin’ on.”


“I was surprised at all the people who showed up at his service. For being such a loser, he sure had lots of friends. The girl he was messin’ with at my place up and quit. Said she didn’t feel right working there no more. Shame. She was a good worker. Told her I didn’t care none about her and John, but she insisted.”

“How is business?”

“All good. Lots of regulars stopped in and offered condolences.”

“So, what are your next steps?”

“My boys are packing his shit up, so I don’t have to deal with that. I don’t know. It might look kinda bad for me to start seeing other men so soon.”

“Whenever you’re ready. Don’t worry about what people think. You’re entitled to move on.”

“I know. So, I was wondering–what got you into this business anyway?”

“Why? You thinking about changing careers?”

“Oh, hell no.”

“Because, I’d trade with you in a heartbeat.”

“Can you cook?”

“Nope, but I can hire someone to cook.”

“Come on, doc, help me get my mind off this nonsense. How’d you get into this?”

“I like to help people.”

“Certain kinds of people, it seems. You like to help women.”

“Well, sure. Guess I don’t respect men as much. I seem to connect with women.”

“Why do you think that is, doc?”

“Maybe because I was so close to my mother and sister.”


“Yes. They’re both gone.”

“I’m sorry. Mind if I ask what happened?”

“My mother lost a battle with breast cancer and my sister was killed by a drunk driver–her husband.”


“It was years ago, Beth, but I think about them every day.”

“I’m sure they’re both proud of you–smiling down from heaven.”

“Thank you.”

“What about your father? You close to him?”

“Not so much. He’s in a senior facility, rotting away like he should.”

“Damn, that’s cold. What’d he do?”

“Once my mother was diagnosed, he left. I was all she had left. I watched her suffer and disintegrate. He’s a coward.”



“I appreciate your sharing, doc.”

“I don’t usually do that, Beth. It’s best for me to keep my personal life outside of these walls.”

“I understand, but this helps me understand why you’re so motivated to help us ladies.”

“Good. Let’s get back to you now. How do you plan on meeting men?”

“Janice says I should do that online dating thing. I don’t know. I hear half the guys on there are lying and the other half are just out to get laid.”

“I’ve heard it’s a numbers game. It’s worth trying. It will get you out meeting more people. Sure you’ll come across a few clunkers. No big deal. Keep your standards high and your expectations low, and you might enjoy it.”

“It would be nice to meet new people, anyway. Heck, maybe I’ll hand out dinner coupons. I can use it as promotion for my restaurant.”

“There you go. You need help filling out your dating profile?”

“Damn, you do that too?”

“Well, I can give you some pointers.”


“Have some professional pictures taken, be honest when describing yourself, and keep it short because most men don’t read anything past the first sentence anyway.”

“Lazy asses.”

“We’re visual beasts, my dear. If I’m attracted to you, I can deal with all kinds of personality quirks. If I’m not attracted to you, nothing you write is going to change it.”

“What if I write that I make a killer lasagna, enjoy waking up my man with a good-morning blow job, and I have courtside seats for the Lakers?”


“I just got pretty, huh?”

“Beth, you’re pretty without all that.”

“I know. I’m gonna work all I got, doc. I ain’t dealin’ with any shit like I did with John. My next man is gonna support me, and I’m gonna rock his world.”

“I like that attitude. Maybe you should put that in your online dating profile.”

“Thought you said men don’t read. I’m just puttin’ up a pic of my cleavage. That should do it.”

“You’re funny.”

“So, I was thinking–how about I bring my friend Janice in here with me next week? We can pick your brain, and you can give us a two-for-one special.”

“I don’t know …”

“Come on, doc. She goin’ through similar shit. I’m sure you can help her.”

“Fine. Why not? Bring her with you next week.”

“I appreciate it.”

“So, your homework this week is to get your online profile ready. I’d like to review it. You OK with that?”

“Sure thing. Don’t you be winkin’ at me; we can’t be mixin’ business and pleasure, you know.”

“All right. If you insist. I’ll see you next week.”

“Thank you.”

Diagnosis: She’s healing and loosening up again. I don’t like sharing my personal life, but it’s an effective way to build trust.

Treatment: Insist she begins dating. Women sometimes open up further when a friend is close by. I’m OK with her bringing Janice. She might become a new client.

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Author of humorous essays about relationships and lifestyles.