I sit down in a tiny Manhattan doctor’s office. The walls are covered in so many framed certificates, diplomas and certifications, you might think they were a patchy white wallpaper if you blurred your eyes. The doctor, a Woody Allen look alike, only shorter and far less jocular, starts asking me a few health-related questions. “How long has this been happening?” “Does your family have a history of cancer or disease?” Yatta yatta yatta. Then came the small talk. “So what bring’s you to New York?”
I smile. “Oh, just graduated from college two weeks ago actually, so now I’m–”
He looks up from his computer. “Which school?”
His expression stays the same. “And what now?”
I shift my position in the hard mahogany chair. “Well, that’s what I’m figuring out now. In the process of finding work.”
“Maybe you should have done that a year ago.” He scoffs and goes back to typing on his computer.
“Ah, yeah. I mean I have a job offer for the company I worked for last summer. I just may try starting work in a different industry than that one.”
“Which industry?” He tilts his head and looks over his round, thick-rimmed glasses.
“Film and TV.” I say, a little on edge now.
“Did you major in that?” He asks.
“I majored in History and Science, but I took an advanced screenwriting class my last semester of college.” I say this enthusiastically.
“Your last semester…?” He scoffs again.
“Well, I took the introductory class that first semester. And then got into the advanced class the second semester.” I can feel myself becoming defensive.
“So your last year of college you took some screenwriting classes…?” He says rhetorically.
“I mean, I’ve been doing film camps and classes since I was fourteen-years-old.” This is the moment I’d look back on later and wish I had said something more like: “I’m sorry, DAD, do you not approve?”
“Okay, you can follow me to the exam room.”
I paid $160 for a doctor to touch my boobs and tell me that my life was in shambles. If that’s not a welcome to New York, I don’t know what is.