I have a new client, Natalie. She’s sixteen, precocious, and a dead-ringer for Merritt Wever, who plays Edie Falco’s high-strung protogee in Nurse Jackie.
If you look at Natalie funny, she threatens to kills herself. She was, in fact, threatening suicide only hours after arriving at the treatment facility. I’ve been around enough suicidal-ideating girls that I have pretty good radar for who’s serious and who’s not. Natalie’s suicidal ideation struck me as more theatrical than imminent. Plus, it was Friday afternoon and I was tired. So it was not exactly my finest therapeutic hour.
“You’re not going to do that here,” I said, more as a warning than a reassurance.
She sighed, and fixed me with a slightly patronizing look.
“Are you worried about liability?”
I kind of fell in love with her in that moment. She continues to bust my chops on a daily basis. You can’t get away with anything with Natalie. Like the time when I was rendered temporarily tongue-tied after listening to her describe how every mentally ill, drug-addicted relative had abandoned her.
“You don’t know what to say, do you?”
It was a statement more than a question. And I didn’t stand a chance of faking it.
“You’re right,” I said. “I don’t know what to say.”
* * *
I was perhaps more flattered than I should have been when Natalie told me, in our last session, that I looked like a rock star’s wife.
“Really?” I asked. “What rock star do you think I’d be married to?”
“Steven Tyler,” she said, without a moment’s hesitation.
“Steven Tyler?” I mused, trying to imagine what it would be like to be in bed with Mr. Big Ten Inch.
“Steven Tyler,” she said, definitively.
* * *
Natalie has been on point with just about everything, but Steven Tyler is where she and I part ways. However, her speculation about my next husband got me to thinking:
If I were to acquire another, and God willing, final life partner, who would I choose?
I couldn’t come up with just one. I came up with several for whom I have the hots, in different ways. Each possesses a quality I can’t do without.
Intelligence and wit.
Good with children.
Successful yet socially-conscious.
Raw sex appeal.
If plunked into a blender, these guys would puree themselves into my ideal next husband. A tall, frothy order, perhaps, but a girl can dream.
And you? Who is your ideal life partner?