George and Hilly

world gurleys George and HillyDR. SELMAN: Nice to see you guys!

GEORGE: What’s it been?

DR. SELMAN: Four months.

GEORGE: I don’t know where to begin. I’ve been out two nights in a row really late—not a big surprise, right?—and earlier in the week, I had this new attitude, that I was through with it, that I was over nightclubs and young people.

[GEORGE’s cell phone goes off. It’s a text message that reads, “let’s go get whiskey. i’m thirsty.”]

HILLY: We moved to Roosevelt Island.

GEORGE: It was her idea and the place is spectacular. It’s had a mostly positive effect on our relationship.

DR. SELMAN: Are you able to sleep there?

GEORGE: I was just going to say, that was my big problem, even before Hilly moved in with me. I sleep like a baby in the new apartment. My cat’s allowed in my room, she can walk around, say hi, but she can’t spend the night. I just crack the window, turn the fan on, slap on a Breathe Right, squirt in some nasal sprays and emollient, pop a Singulair, maybe a Zyrtec and I’m fine. No more Klonipins.

DR. SELMAN: And you have a beautiful view?

GEORGE: Sometimes I don’t even leave my room and just stare out the window. We pity Manhattanites, even that hedge fund guy who lives on top of the Time Warner building. We’ve been playing tennis—six courts right outside our door.

HILLY: And we can play until 11:00 at night.

GEORGE: And our apartment—I rarely leave it and that’s becoming a problem.

HILLY: And the kind of people Roosevelt Island attracts—a friend of mine went for a bike ride on Roosevelt Island and it was so strange, because you see completely opposite ends of the spectrum. She rode past a beautiful family of people speaking French, these adorable perfectly-dressed angelic children, and then right beyond them, there was a group of people having a big cookout and my friend heard shouting, a wife or girlfriend yelling at her boyfriend or husband: “All you do is sit around and drink all day and watch the game!” and it was kind of ghetto-like. And you have all the people who are in rehabilitation on the island, tons of wheelchairs, and there’s one nice guy who lives on a gurney—“the Gurney Man.” And then there’s “Party in a Wheelchair,” he’s kind of like Radioman but in a wheelchair, with James Brown blasting. Every time you see him, it’s the same thing, in the middle of the ecological sanctuary, this protected garden like space—beautiful wildflowers, and you’ll see a child flying a kite, and seagulls will fly over—and here comes Party in a Wheelchair, zooming past at Mach speed. The other day I got on the tram, and it was packed, body to body—and it was kind of hot, it was gross—and the doors shut, and I realize there is a guy in a wheelchair on there, and he had one of these machines that says insults, profane insults: `Fuck you! You’re an asshole!’ I can’t remember the other one, but over and over, the entire ride. Finally, the tram landed and everyone was like, “Oh, phew,” and I got on the little red shuttle bus that takes you to our building—he got on there, too, and he kept on playing this thing the entire time.

GEORGE: What song?

HILLY: What? Not a song, it was insults.

GEORGE: Oh right. Sorry, wasn’t listening.

DR. SELMAN: So you moved there in June?

GEORGE: We got off to kind of a rough start, some serious money issues, and a number of fights. But I really think we’re getting along much better. I wouldn’t have said that in July. Hilly’s paying two-thirds of the rent now. I’m in this phase now—from 15 to 21, I was a party boy; then 21 to 23 I started becoming hungry for knowledge, a wannabe intellectual, reading a lot, and then 23 to 30, that was all about work, and 30 until 38, I was hedonistic, and now that’s kind of ending. Now I just want to know more and get more and more smart and enlightened—I sit around and watch educational videos.

DR. SELMAN: You just said that you were out late for the last two nights—how does that fit in with what you just said?