Saturday, September 19, 2009

2003: A Year of Transitions

I have nostalgic memories of the year 2003. I'm not precisely sure why that is. I think perhaps the reason is that I turned 50 that year. Fifty is a transitional age, I suppose; the year 2003 was a transitional year for me in some ways.

One of my former psychiatrists, Dr. Lawrence C. Sack, MD, died on August 5, 2003; his office was located on the second floor of my apartment building. I remember the note Dr. Sack's son, Robert Sack, MD -- also a psychiatrist --left on Dr. Sack's office door advising his father's patients of Dr. Sack's death. I remember so clearly the Saturday following his death. I lay on my couch all afternoon, stared into space, and listened to the slow movement of Beethoven's ninth symphony again and again. I was devastated by Dr. Sack's passing.

My apartment building opened up its new fitness room, and I started using the elliptical machine for the first time. I remember it was around the time of the Iraq war, specifically the fall of Saddam Hussein. I remember watching coverage of the Iraq war on the TV in the fitness room.

I turned 50 on December 23, 2003.

I started writing letters to my friend Brian Brown in about April 2003, leaving the letters on the hard drive on the public access computers at the library. Brian used to be the branch manager at the library. He later lied to the DC police, saying he never read the letters -- and that he just happened to read the one letter I wrote to him in which I called him a fag, in April 2004. Ha!

Brad Dolinsky, MD, moved into my building (apartment 600), and we became friends. He's now moved to California. He never writes. He never calls.

My apartment manager David Castleberry left and we got a new manager.

My apartment building was redecorated. The lobby was totally redone. A new faux marble floor was installed. The halls were painted, and molding was installed on the doorways to all the apartments.

Elizabeth Joyce, the front desk manager at my apartment building, went on vacation in July 2003 and never returned. She retired at the end of her vacation. Tim Norton replaced Elizabeth Joyce, then Mardi replaced Tim.

I saw Dr. Israella Bash as my case manager for the first time on about May 3, 2003. She said: "Why aren't you working? You can work. I'm not saying you can work as a lawyer. Lawyers work 70-80 hours a week. But you can work as a paralegal. It's a sin in the Jewish religion not to work." I said, "Dr. Bash, where are you from?" She said: "Israel. I'm a fifth generation Israeli."

My therapy with Dr. Nancy Shaffer ended in early 2003. I had started to see Dr. Shaffer in September 1999. I started seeing Meghana Tembe at the George Washington University Center For Professional Psychology in early 2003.

I remember Yom Kippur so clearly. It was a beautiful, warm late summer day: Monday October 6, 2003. I visited the Madison Building at the Library of Congress. October 6 was also a Monday in the year 1986; it was the day Craig W. Dye started working at Hogan & Hartson.

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