Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Dr. Saul Lieberman would have made a great pediatrician because of the way he talks down to everybody. I don't want to say I feel like a child when I go in for a session with Dr. Lieberman, because I'm 55 years old. But I will be the first to admit that I caught myself sucking my thumb, twice already this month, while gazing at his photograph.

And I don't wish to infer that Dr. Lieberman is anything but the town's best psychological counselor (excluding just a handful of others) for the money, with the good doctor holding his own in the very important area of affordable rates and promotions, topping himself this year over last by incorporating bargain basement days and a redeemable coupon system, with the chance to earn sky miles, if, you have the closest guess of how many orange slices are packed into the huge jar he brought from home.

Looking back, as Dr. Lieberman has repeatedly, forcefully asked me to do, I realize now that as a teenager and an adolescent, even when I was a child of 5 or 6, if my memory serves me, I possessed and maintained a fairly sophisticated spiritual world view, in which the Jews take the lead at the end and hold on, just nosing out their millions of competitors before the ground finally opens up and swallows the enemies of Israel and her God, who is God. How do I know this, how does the "gentile dog," as Dr. Lieberman refers to me in jest, have such a fucking corner on truth? Well, if he could actually relate to insanity, which he swore he could while huffing his brains out on his days off. I told him though exercise would make him forgetful and irritable at first, with the telltale blue lips, he ought to stay with it while he "cashes in all the chips" and with God's help elevates his fucking mood.

I, for one, commend my friend, Dr. Lieberman, for such dedication and persistence, though he has a long, long way to go and miles to go before he gets to go to sleep, unless, as he said, he decides to take a few shortcuts to resolve the black dilemma of life and the accompanying voices of his guardian angels in leather, one of which he said broke the skin, rather badly, in an experimental new technique called self exploitation and then finally peace. I can't wait to get started.

A feisty man, when he isn't worn out and slightly bluish from his growing participation in Huff-a-thons, Dr. Lieberman has questioned my take on Christian hope as it is found in the Torah, rather strenuously, always playing the devil's advocate to piss off the stragglers, he says, to push them, which I applaud. He calls it his small contribution to overcrowding, which, again ... shows how plugged in he is to current events and the special needs of prison lifers and rape victims, whose present lives, he very astutely and compassionately notes, are shit. With Dr. Lieberman, honesty and an absolute devotion to low-voltage remedies, especially in cases of chronic greed, paper-retention disorder and non-compliance.

He asked me what I thought the number one problem with Jews is today, always while standing with his hand resting on a big lever, a gift, he says, from former colleagues whom he said one by one must have given into their shared wanderlust. My answer perplexed him, as it was one he had never previously had to endure. I told him the devil was real, that evil was real, and that people with mental illness don't see and hear things from God because they're mentally ill, but because they have suffered and become humble and God would help them and use them, in their dreams -- which is a remark I have heard, one which is usually accompanied by explosive and extended laughter, sometimes he explained was a method to disarm the client and have them find humor in life, just before he releases the trap door to allow in a much larger and non-nonsense version of the smaller monkey.

Their feces jungling was my favorite stunt of the day.

"Is that the only problem you have with Jews?" Dr. Lieberman asked recently. I could tell he was holding back his emotions.

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