GEORGE: A lot has happened, changes and drama and …. Everything seems to have ironed itself out, though, right?
HILLY: For the most part. I guess.
DR. SELMAN: What are the changes?
GEORGE: Last time we talked to you was from Rome, when Hilly learned she’d been evicted. But we managed to have a great time, right?
HILLY: Yes, we had a great time.
DR. SELMAN: Whatever happened with Hilly’s apartment?
HILLY: Our attorney filed petitions with the district councilwoman and the police precinct, and they said there was no way they could evict me without having served me. And the next day, the landlord defied them and did it anyway. Took all my stuff.
GEORGE: We met with our lawyer, and Hilly had a major victory in court.
HILLY: George was ready to testify, and my neighbor who takes care of my cat was subpoenaed. But neither of them was called to testify because the landlord’s attorneys decided to settle.
GEORGE: So you won, and you were so happy.
HILLY: Then I went to speak to the attorneys and said, “As part of this agreement, I would like to go back to the apartment and make sure that everything was removed.” They said to me in good faith that everything was removed. I said, “Nevertheless, I’d just like to make sure.” So I went there the next day and brought my friend Paul ….
GEORGE: I should have gone.
HILLY: … and met that Bernard guy from the rental office, and we went upstairs, and 20 percent of my things were still in my apartment, including my great-grandmother’s crystal perfume decanter that she made me—that was in the toilet. And this guy Bernard and his girlfriend were making fun of me, taunting me, and I was sobbing. They were talking in Spanish, saying I was crazy, and I said, “Why don’t you speak the goddamn language of the fucking country you live in so I can understand it!” Finally he said, “You have to get out of here right now.” I had this screwdriver, because I have these glass shelves in the bathroom, because I wanted to take them. Aside from that, there was an Hermès bag hanging—I’m sorry if that sounds elitist or something, but you don’t need to know the name; it’s a beautiful bag hanging there—
DR. SELMAN: Why is it that, if you won the case, you couldn’t move back in?
HILLY: I didn’t win the case—I settled. I agreed to leave there permanently.
GEORGE: But it felt like a victory, right?
HILLY: In a way. I think, ideally speaking, I was imagining that all of my things were neatly packed and moved, and I needed to move out of that apartment anyway, and maybe this is just the way things happen. And I was on 80 milligrams of Prozac, and I thought, “Well, this is good. Everything will be over …. ”
DR. SELMAN: Are you still taking 80 milligrams?
DR. SELMAN: How is that?
HILLY: It’s pretty good! And this other stuff.
DR. SELMAN: Your doctor put you on Lamictal?
GEORGE: To help you sleep?
HILLY: Bipolar disease, he said.
DR. SELMAN: Right, it’s a treatment for depression for people who have bipolar disorder.
HILLY: After I saw Dr. Lamm [ Dr. Steven Lamm, GEORGE and HILLY’s general practitioner], I tried to stop taking 80 milligrams of Prozac and start taking 40, and I kind of had a breakdown or something. Then I thought maybe I ought to wait until this is all over.
GEORGE: By the way, she’s moved in with me, to my apartment.
DR. SELMAN: That was my next question.
GEORGE: Ha ha!
HILLY: So yesterday, I could finally get my stuff back from the ghetto hock place. I went there first on Friday, and I went there alone—it was so scary. They have this partition between you and the person you pay in cash. So that you can’t beat them up or shoot them. I was like, “I have a car service waiting for me—do you really think I’m going to shoot you or beat you up?” And then she got nervous ’cause she didn’t have $10 change, and I said, “I trust you’ll give it to me Monday when I come to pick up my stuff.” It was just so weird and sleazy. Then I went back yesterday—again alone—and had to be there alone from 6:30 a.m. until 9:30 a.m., when the movers showed up with all these men who had pornos called Black Cheerleaders ….
[DR. SELMAN coughs.]
HILLY: But they were nice. And my stuff was in pretty good condition.
DR. SELMAN: Dr. Lamm put you on Lamictal? How many pills?
HILLY: Now it’s two a day.
GEORGE: We also saw Dr. Lamm together for wellness advice. He thinks we should stop drinking.
HILLY: No, he thinks that we need to do this thing where we drink two ounces of alcohol—no more, no less—a day for one month. If you can, then it’s some sign we’re not alcoholics.
GEORGE: So we’ve been living together, and she’s been unable to focus on anything else except for her confiscated stuff—her memory bowl, her Jackie O. books … it’s good she has those back now. But haven’t I been caring and supportive? Be honest.
HILLY: For the most part, yeah.
GEORGE: There have been all these hurdles, and every time we get over the next one, every time we get a bit of good news about your stuff, you would find some reason—you just couldn’t get over it.
HILLY: Yeah, I was depressed. I remember one day telling you when I was sitting there, sobbing, I said, “George, I’m sorry—I don’t think the most insane person on the planet could be taking this many pills and still cry.”
GEORGE: You were also drinking. You were guzzling a bottle of white wine a night, maybe even opening up a second. I told you that after this is resolved, if we’re living together, we have to come up with something else. You said, “I just want to be numb and knock myself out.”
GEORGE: Because other things are going to come up. Last night, after all her 30 boxes had been moved into my apartment, everything safe and secure, she goes, “I think I’m coming down with something.” I said, “Oh no you don’t!” And made her take a squirt of Wellness Formula.
DR. SELMAN: Neither one of you has ever lived with anyone before?
DR. SELMAN: I mean in a couple.
GEORGE: Noooo. I’ve only lived with dudes. Didn’t work out. I was kicked out of my fraternity twice.
DR. SELMAN: So this is a first.
GEORGE: Yes. I think it’s working out. I want to list the positive stuff. I think we’re getting along better. Even though she wakes me up every morning at 7 a.m.—she tries to be quiet, but I wake up, right? And, well, sex—more sex—you know, happening on a regular basis.
HILLY: I’ve been making good snacks for you.
GEORGE: And the place is so clean—and I’ve been cleaning too! I spilled Diet Coke on the kitchen floor, and normally I just would have left it there, but I was like, “Oh no, what’s Hilly gonna say?”
DR. SELMAN: Normally you would have left it there?
GEORGE: I might have done something half-assed.
HILLY: You’ve left cat vomit on your treadmill up to a week.
GEORGE: So I’ll be lounging on my couch, and she’ll bring me this tray of hors d’oeuvres. It’s, um, heavenly. So the downside—
DR. SELMAN: What’s the downside?
GEORGE: This is random, but she doesn’t want to go to this grocery store across the street, Pioneer, because it’s too noisy—people are shouting at each other. She said it’s like being in Thailand.
HILLY: No, no, I didn’t. I said it’s depressing.
GEORGE: But they have good deals there. You can get two two-liter Diet Cokes for $2.
HILLY: But it’s not pretty. If you go to Citarella, they have the Diet Cokes in pretty little vintage bottles.
GEORGE: Her mother says she has a princess complex.
DR. SELMAN: If that’s the worst thing, that she buys—
GEORGE: I got a list. How did you get this princess complex?
HILLY: Well, if I have a princess complex, then you have a Little Lord Fauntleroy complex.
GEORGE: She definitely has been infantilizing me.
DR. SELMAN: How big is the apartment?
GEORGE: Pretty good-sized. There’s a little room that’s my office that I better turn into my bedroom, and she’s up in what she calls her cubbyhole. She’s made it really nice—framed pictures on the wall.
HILLY: It’s like a loft bed space that you have to climb up a ladder to get to, up by the ceiling.
DR. SELMAN: So where’s George sleep?
GEORGE: The couch.
HILLY: It hurts his back.
DR. SELMAN: Why don’t you, uh, sleep together?
GEORGE: We do that when we’re in hotels. Maybe we should try that.
HILLY: It doesn’t seem to work for you, though. The past couple mornings, I’ve left the apartment barefoot and walked to the vestibule to put my socks and stuff on there, because I’m afraid of making more noise. He’s so sensitive to even the slightest sound.
GEORGE: I can’t wear my earplugs anymore because of my sinus condition. Yeah, she’s been incredibly considerate, and yet I think I’ve said, “You’re driving me crazy!” maybe a dozen times. Sorry. [ To DR. SELMAN.] I’d like to kind of confess one thing: I’ve been ruthless about cutting out late nights, but do you think it’s better to take two or four hits of marijuana, just to chill me out every day, maybe two drinks and half a Klonopin? Do you think that’s a better regimen? I know you can’t recommend any drugs, but …. For instance, the other day Hilly broke my iPod. Normally I would have been like, “Goddamn it!” But I just had a little hit of pot and chilled out.
DR. SELMAN: Where’d you get the Klonopin?
GEORGE: Well, I was going to this breathing doctor who gave me Ambien, and I don’t like it at all.
DR. SELMAN: How much Klonopin?
GEORGE: A little yellow pill.
DR. SELMAN: Half a milligram. And the point of taking the Klonopin is what?
GEORGE: Trouble going to sleep.
DR. SELMAN: How long have you been having trouble sleeping?
GEORGE: Couple months. I also do sprays in my nose. Don’t you hear it?
DR. SELMAN: I do. How long have you been congested like this?
GEORGE: It’s allergies, smoking and my cat. I put Breathe Right strips on my nose every night.
DR. SELMAN [ to HILLY]: So you had cats also?
HILLY: Well, one died last February, but I have another one, Sven, who’s staying with my friend Alex in Brooklyn. The thing is, George’s apartment isn’t big enough for two people and two cats, especially with his allergies. Sven is very affectionate and never has a problem with any other animal. But George’s cat Bobbie is really skittish.
GEORGE: She doesn’t even warm up to me sometimes.
HILLY: She’s actually been really, really weird since I’ve been living there. She has this whole new attitude—glaring at me all the time.
GEORGE: Any time we’re lying next to each other, she just stares—
HILLY: She’s jealous—it’s kind of weird.
GEORGE: I think I have a weird thing with my cat. She thinks I’m her mom, but there’s something physical. Do you know what I mean?
HILLY: Well, there is something weird, but I don’t think it’s that weird. I just think she’s suffered from a lot of trauma, and you’re the only person she thinks she can trust.
DR. SELMAN: This is the cat that got raped?
HILLY: And tried to commit suicide.
GEORGE: And almost died after she got declawed at age seven.
GEORGE: Hilly’s paying half the rent. That’s another positive. Aren’t you?
HILLY: So far. Ha ha ha ha.
[ To be continued.]
Prior Articles: George and Hilly published 03/20/06 George and Hilly published 02/6/06 George and Hilly published 01/23/06 George and Hilly published 01/16/06 George and Hilly published 12/26/05 George and Hilly published 11/14/05 George and Hilly published 11/07/05 George and Hilly published 10/24/05 George and Hilly published 10/17/05 George and Hilly published 10/10/05 George and Hilly published 10/03/05 George ’n’ Hilly, Back in Couples, Turn on the Doc published 09/26/05 But Should We Get Married? Part III published 08/29/05 But Should We Get Married? published 08/15/05 Should I Get Married? My Hilly Joining Me In Couples Session published 08/08/05