60.5 F
Seattle
Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Where Did They All Go?

All the professionals I usually count on to protect me from the seen and unforeseen consequences of time, life, and reckless living seem lately to have abandoned me to the vagaries of an existence without their comforting presence. 

My doctor, lawyer, accountant, shrink and banker have left me in the lurch, due to retirement, career change, relocation, even a midlife crisis that led one of them to shave his beard, buy a sailboat, and take off for a round the world cruise with his much younger girlfriend.  My attorney, tired of unfunny jokes about sharks and other bottom feeders, became a massage therapist.  My doctor took the gold watch or whatever they give him  for 40 plus years of dedicated service and went off to a third world African country to continue his good works. My shrink finished putting her kids through college on the money I paid her over the years and sent me a nice note reminding me that in a pinch, I could always call the crisis hot line. 

My car mechanic closed up shop, as the towing company I called to get my suddenly inoperable car out of the express lane told me, in the same conversation in which they informed me that I would have to pay another fee not to just dump it in front of the construction site where the garage used to be. My accountant turned me over to a junior partner who informed me in  no uncertain terms that she would no longer accept delivery of a grocery bag full of scribbled receipts and credit card receipts on which I’d claimed a number of chancy (her word, not mine) expense claims. Even my vet disappeared – her office is now a marijuana shop, although at the door they still have a jar full of treats. And my banker, the one who used to put my book reviews in my loan portfolio in lieu of more liquid assets, quit after the latest merger; I see her happily scooping ice cream at a West Seattle deli, and she looks a little plumper but much happier.

What will I do without a doctor who knows that when I show up at his office in early June with unspecified complaints I can’t accurately describe but don’t fit the depression questionnaire that I’m suffering from Black Anniversary because both my parents passed away then, who doesn’t believe in sleeping pills but writes me a script for Restoril every time I’m in the final stages of finishing a book, because he knows I can’t get it out of my head at night? 

And speaking of books, was it a nice thing that my agent told me she was weeding out her list, and since I haven’t published anything since her agency merged with a bigger one, I probably should look for a new one. And what will I do without my long-time accountant, who wrote off my life on  my taxes, especially the fun parts like trips to exotic places and dinners and theater tickets with editors and agents, and always asked to see them described them in print just in case they needed justification? How will I manage without my shrink, who I haven’t seen in years but whose very image, conjured up in difficult times, consoles me while her internalized voice reminds me that I already know everything I need to get through this.

Yes, I know, loss is a part of life, and I don’t begrudge the greener pastures they’ve all, presumably, gone off to.  But just like the college freshman who worries that his parents won’t be able to manage without him, that they’ll fall into a slough of sadness because I’m gone, I wonder if they’ll miss me.  And meanwhile, I’m looking forward to meeting the people who’ll replace them.

Photo by Victoria Heath on Unsplash

Jane Adams
Jane Adams
Jane Adams has spent over two decades researching and reporting on how Americans live, work, and love, and especially how they respond to social change. A graduate of Smith College, Jane Adams holds a Ph.D. in social psychology and has studied at Seattle Institute of Psychoanalysis and the Washington, D.C. Psychoanalytic Foundation. She has been an award-winning journalist, a founding editor of the Seattle Weekly, and an adjunct professor at the University of Washington. She is the recipient of the Family Advocate of the Year award from “Changes,” an organization devoted to improving relationships between parents and adolescent children.

3 COMMENTS

  1. good commentary on an aspect of aging seldom discussed. Along with the loss of experts to lean on is the wholesale exit of role models. Is that why some folks import them from other centuries — Like Ramptha?

  2. Perhaps the error is in believing that they were ever “your” professionals. After all, the Boomer self-centeredness that leads one to believe that one can possess an army of professionals leads those same professionals to believe the same thing about themselves.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

LATEST

Overtime pay for arts workers: the debate continues

"I believe that if right now there is a huge increase in salaries forced by the government, the organization I know best will have to do the very thing that will kill it: cut its quality."

Exploring the Guns-Race Connection

It’s no wonder that gun rights, racism, white nationalism and issues of masculinity continue to swirl together in a toxic brew.

Hip Portland Confronts Its Nihilists

Portland has not become a micro version of Hong Kong; most of the activity is not directed against a repressive government. It’s primarily a staged event for social media, used to recruit for a motley assortment of fascists and white nationalists on the right and masked and violence-prone pushback on the left.

REVIEW: “Seattle’s Medic One: How We Don’t Die”

Before Medic One, Seattle firefighters had responded to thousands of medical emergencies. But residents needed a faster and more effective life-saving service regardless of their location or ability to pay, and there needed to be an equitable way to cover the costs of this new service.

Two Writers: One Bernadette

If ever a film was sure to raise cries of “It’s not like the book,” Where’d You Go, Bernadette? is that film.

TRENDING

Overtime pay for arts workers: the debate continues

"I believe that if right now there is a huge increase in salaries forced by the government, the organization I know best will have to do the very thing that will kill it: cut its quality."

Exploring the Guns-Race Connection

It’s no wonder that gun rights, racism, white nationalism and issues of masculinity continue to swirl together in a toxic brew.

Hip Portland Confronts Its Nihilists

Portland has not become a micro version of Hong Kong; most of the activity is not directed against a repressive government. It’s primarily a staged event for social media, used to recruit for a motley assortment of fascists and white nationalists on the right and masked and violence-prone pushback on the left.

Two Writers: One Bernadette

If ever a film was sure to raise cries of “It’s not like the book,” Where’d You Go, Bernadette? is that film.

A Better Way to Run Seattle Elections?

We aren't getting better-quality candidates. The coming city council is likely to have five of nine rookies. Everyone runs with 50 shades of blue, contrary to the hopes of the conservatives who pushed through this reform. Voters tune out.