Grace, who practices psychiatry on Manhattan Island, relays a story about one of her patients to the interviewer from Vogue: At a very early point in their relationship, before they were married, her husband told her that she had ugly feet. She accepted this, and having accepted this one instance of rejection, of distaste, she might have, or could have, or should have anticipated that it preceded another rejection, for another part of her body, and thence perhaps for her person.
In other words, this patient, this woman, had an opportunity to anticipate an undesirable outcome, and that opportunity passed her by. This woman should have known, Grace thinks. And Grace thinks that her son is beautiful, and her apartment is unfair, and her husband is an angel; but he seems to have disappeared, and he is not answering his blackberry, and she has never ever ever thought that her husband, Jonathan, would leave her.
Forget Harley Street. The latest design in shrinks is a six foot 250 pound lesbian weight lifter who runs a pub with her bosomy girlfriend, and offers bed, morning after breakfast, and laundry service. This is what the 21st century male patient wants: a powerful, intuitive M.D. who can hoist him effortlessly over her shoulder, tuck him into bed without sexual threat or expectation, wash the blood off his shirt and serve up bacon and egg for breakfast.
Such a shrink, and only such a shrink can handle what the Iraq, the national health service and the Metropolitan police have brewed in ex-Lieutenant Charles Acland, now of London, hateful and harijan: untouchable.
Couples. Kellerman’s shrink narrator is full of meticulous, obsessive, data-driven characterizations of L.A. couples and couplings. Milos and Rick, for instance.
Rick gets his hair trimmed every two weeks at a high priced West Hollywood salon. Milos drives every two months to La Brea and Washington where he hands his 7 bucks + tip to an 89 year old barber who claims to have cut Eisenhower’s hair during World War II.
What makes a couple couple in L.A? What makes couples live and die in L.A. — as couples? Consider Alex Delaware and his exes. They come, they go, they come back, they go….
L.A. kills couples, sometimes permanently.