Doctor Hoffman will see you now
Emma was thrilled when Dr. Hancock asked her to be his assistant one summer before she entered her last year in medical school.
“What will you be doing?” her sister Nomi asked her when she came home in the beginning of the summer to inform her family that this summer she would be staying in Columbus and gaining knowledge, credits, and a small paycheck by working side by side with Dr. Mitchell Hancock.
“I assume, grading papers, working on some labs, and helping him with class ideas for the fall,” she said.
“Maybe you will be helping him host his famous therapy lessons for the football players?” Nomi said.
“What?!” answered her little sister.
“Dr. Hancock was featured in the Columbus Dispatch as one of the top ten Buckeye fans. He has provided therapy sessions for the players, coaches, their families, and probably the other nine great fans,” Nomi pointed out.
“How do you know all that?” an astonished Emma asked her sister, totally in awe that she knew something that Emma did not.
I read the story after your brother-in-law, to be, told me about it. He’s a huge Buckeye fan, too. Alas, he didn’t make the top-ten list.”
“Wow,” replied Emma. “I hope none of the sessions deal with dumb jocks.”
Emma would not eat her words with that remark.
Dr. Hancock was a smart man. A very smart man. One of the ways he always upgraded his seats or parking spot or amount of tickets he had in his hot little hands for all Buckeye games was to offer all sorts of free therapy sessions to the players, coaches and boosters of Ohio State football. Inside Ohio State football nation, he had a special nickname.
They called him the ‘the Hustler’.
“The things I received to trade are incredible,” he said when he told Emma what her first duty was going to be that summer.
Yuck, she thought.
“You will learn a lot and see the maestro at his best,” Mitchell said, beaming. “Or would you rather be grading boring papers and listening to boring clients moan and groan about fate?”
“I want to be a great psychiatrist like you,” Emma said.
“There is only one me and if you want to be almost as good as I am, because no one will be as good as I; then do as I say to do and do as I do,” Mitchell said.
I found out what arrogant means, she wrote in her diary later that night.
Emma was not looking forward to her first session with Dr. Hancock. He had given her a dossier on each of the clients that he would be holding an appointment with and she assumed she would be listening to nothing but jock and locker room talk based upon all the press clippings about the particular patient that Emma was going to sit in on.
How wrong she was after the first patient came and went.
I am really underestimating this man. He is a genius! She thought as she left Dr. Hancock‘s office and walked to the student union for some lunch. As she made her way, she thought back on the session.
The jock, who she had just heard gush his guts out, was the quarterback for the Ohio State football team and was nothing like all his press clippings or other stuff in his file.
“That’s why I gave it to you, to throw you off track in your thinking,” Mitchell later told Emma after they had become lovers.
There was nothing in the pile of press clippings about the quarterback’s commitment to his little brother. This item came out during his therapy session. The file was full of information detailing his size, his speed, his arm strength, his ability to shed tacklers, his touchdown to interception ratio and a hundred other items about star football players and their love of the game.
Emma didn’t care one iota about that stuff.
But compassion she did care about.
And this kid had it, and Dr. Hancock had to write up a report for the NCAA to prove that it was true.
The NCAA was investigating Ohio States’ football program for possible wrongdoings that would cost the quarterback his scholarship and Ohio State a chance at playing for the national title.
“I don’t understand?” Emma had said to Mitchell after they made love.
“I’ll explain it, but you have to realize that the NCAA is more complicated than the United States tax code,” he said.
Emma excused herself to go to the bathroom. She always had to go to the bathroom after intercourse and found out that when she talked to other women about it, the majority always went to the bathroom before they screwed.
That’s funny Emma, I always go to the bathroom after I screw, too,” Mitchell yelled to her as Emma hurried to the bathroom.
Much, much later after Mitchell left this world for good, Nomi would jab Emma about the fact that the going to the bathroom remark by Mitchell was about the only thing that the two had in common after the marriage went south and only if they were sleeping together. Nomi had a pet name for why she and Emma (and other women) went to the bathroom after they screwed. Nomi called it ‘post vagina depression’. Emma thought that her sister’s pet name was clever, but not medically or mentally correct at all. But very funny, as she wrote in her diary.
In what Emma had read about the star quarterback, from Mitchell’s notes, there was nothing she hoped anybody would have in common with this young man with what he had endured.
Emma learned that the player never knew who is father was. “Is there a star black athlete who does?” Mitchell had asked the player- – when the quarterback had bemoaned this fact (about not knowing who his father was) during a therapy session. To make matters worse, his mother was a crack whore of the worst degree.
“She used to pick me and my little brother up at school in a different minivan every day. There would be all sorts of people in the van with her. White women, black men, gay people, Hispanic people — anyone who she could suck on the pipe with. There was always room for two little black boys, and they would toke on the pipe right in front of us. That smell still bothers the fuck out of me today. I can always smell it,” the quarterback said in the first session that Emma was allowed to sit in on.
“What does it smell like?” Mitchell asked.
“Burning rubber to me. Burning plastic to my little brother. When I re-smell burning rubber, I break out in hives and become a zombie,” the quarterback said.
“We have to stop that,” Mitchell said.
“You’re not kidding. The other day, someone peeled out of the parking lot after practice and the smell from the burning rubber made me stop in my tracks and then start itching like crazy. I was waiting to turn into a zombie, but I was able to fight it. I was in front of a lot of people,” the quarterback said dejectedly.
“Ok, so others saw this. What did you say to them?”
“Don’t lie about something you had no control over. Tell the truth. You cannot begin to get over this trauma until you recognize the truth and feel free to state it,” Mitchell explained.
“Then it will go away?” the quarterback asked (hoped).
“No, it will begin to go away. Think of it this way. You are on your own half yard line and have ninety-nine and a half yards to go to win the game. That is where we are right now,” Mitchell said.
“I like how you use words Dr. Hancock,” the quarterback stated.
“It was a great analogy if I do say so myself.”
“What’s an analogy? I liked the word we.”
And then Dr. Hancock went in for the kill.
“Kid, you will smell burning rubber again. Your little brother will smell burning plastic again. The key is being honest with yourselves about who was responsible for picking you up in a van with a bunch of strangers smoking crack cocaine, and that key wasn’t you or your brother.”
“But we could’ve, should have saved her,” lamented the star quarterback.
“How does an eleven and five year old do that?” Dr. Hancock asked his patient. “By the way there are worse smells than burning rubber and burning plastic. Emma have you smelled worse things?”
Emma was not only surprised to hear her name called, but also to have a question directed her way.
So was the quarterback, who now sat up from the couch and stared at Emma.
“Why yes,” she said meekly.
“Did it remind you of someone toking on a crack pipe?” the quarterback asked her innocently.
“No. Luckily, I do not know what that smells like. It was an electrical fire in my dorm room that happened when I was a freshman at Wittenberg. Just smelled awful! The stink was there for days even though I bought and lit incense for a few days,” Emma reported.
“Isn’t incense when there is sex between family members?” the quarterback asked.
Dr. Hancock broke out into a hearty laugh and explained the difference to the quarterback, who then started blushing.
Emma had never seen a black man blush, but she had held her laugh and felt good about that. Although later, when taking a shower, she remembered that comment and broke out in laughter.
“There is something worse than burning rubber, burning plastic, an electrical fire and lighted crack cocaine,” Mitchell said. “Follow me.” He walked to the sink area in his vast office as both Emma and the quarterback followed him.
Mitchell took out a scissors and turned to face Emma. “You have very long hair and the qb (quarterback) and I have zilch. May I?” he asked her as she nodded yes, and he gently cut a small amount of her long dark hair and held it in his hand.
Mitchell cut the lock of hair like he was performing delicate surgery. He then opened a drawer near the sink and produced a lighter. He put Emma’s hair in the sink and lit it.
“Now, doesn’t that smell worse than what we have talked about?” he said to both of his experiment watchers.
“Horrible,” said Emma as she held her nose.
“Sure glad crack didn’t smell that way,” the quarterback said as he went to a window to open it in order to get fresh air in and the stink out.
“I hope that you don’t throw up again if you ever smell burning rubber, because now you know not only the truth, but you also know that there are worse smells out there,” Mitchell told the quarterback as he went to a cabinet and produced an aerosol can of lilacs scent and sprayed the office for a few minutes. “This will get that sulfurous smell out.”
“There is sulfur in our hair?” Emma asked.
“Someone was asleep in science class,” Mitchell said with a smile. “Is there anything else you want to talk about when it comes to your mother and her addiction?”
The quarterback had returned to the couch and was lying very comfortably on his back. He nodded yes.
“Go on,” urged Mitchell.
“One time I had been picked up by the local cops who knew that my mother was a crack head. I was on my way back from pee-wee football; I think I was eleven or twelve. Even back then I was damn good at football and everyone knew it. The cops picked me up because they knew my mother was out looking for drugs and wanted to take me out for food, knowing that I would be going to yet another foster home once my mother was rounded up. They also wanted me to bring some food home to my little brother. I asked them about my little brother and the cop told me that he promised that my little brother and I would not be split up. They also said they wanted to just talk football with me. They wanted to see me succeed, because I was a special athlete and they believed that they could help. We stopped at the first McDonald’s, and it was right next to a gas station. My stomach was growling, and I was looking forward to the meal when I spotted my mother’s minivan at the gas station. The idiot in me screamed ‘there she is,’ and the cops instantly knew what I was talking about. They pulled their car to the darkest spot of the parking lot and told me to wait until they got back. Of course, I only waited a few seconds before I got out of their car and went to spy on what they were doing. There was no way I was going to warn my mother, because then I would get into trouble and possibly cause others to get hurt. I had seen enough of that shit. So, I crawled as close as I could to the next parking lot, kneeled between two cars and watched what was going to go down.”
“Want some water?” Mitchell asked.
The quarterback nodded yes.
Mitchell made a motion for Emma to get him some. Emma went to the dormitory style refrigerator that Mitchell had in his office and took out three ice cold bottles of water. She was thirsty and was guessing that Mitchell was too. She gave them both a bottle and sat down in her chair hoping that the quarterback’s story would continue to tug at her heart.
She wasn’t disappointed.
The quarterback continued after drinking his bottled water in one quick gulp. “I could see that the van was empty. Both the cops did, too. They started looking for my mother and any of her friends. My eyes followed theirs. At first, I think they thought the car had been left there, but then one pointed to the gas tank cover. It was open, so all our eyes turned to the little booth where customers went to pre-pay for their gas. There I saw my mom and her ‘new best friends’,” the quarterback said before he was interrupted by Mitchell.
“‘New best friends’? I have never heard that term. Can you explain it to me?”
“Sure. My mom used to bring her druggie friends to our house all the time. My brother or I would ask her what happened to her other friend who was here yesterday. She would tell us that the current person she was with was her ‘new best friend’,” the quarterback pointed out.
Mitchell smiled and nodded for the quarterback to continue.
“They were all pitching in to probably pre-pay for some gas, some smokes and something to drink, when at the same time, and the cops spied them — they spied the cops and ran from the booth right past them and were amazed that when they grabbed, all they got was air. The crack heads hopped into the van and took off. What amazed me was that my mother had the presence of mind to close the cap, and shut the gas tank cover before she jumped into the driver’s side. I knew that the cops were going to race back to their car and pursue. Remembering what they had told me, I had to get back into that car before they saw me. If you think I’m fast now, you should have seen me run back at this time. Not only did I sprint ninety percent of the way, the last ten percent I skated right into the back seat, and like my mom — in one fluid motion I opened the door and jumped in,” the quarterback said with a big smile on his face.
“Skated?” queried Mitchell.
“Oh, I had my football cleats and I learned that if you got a good enough sprint going you could just glide over a parking lot on those metal cleats.”
“You wore metal cleats in football?” Mitchell asked astonished.
“I lived in a very rough part of town,” the quarterback said with a shrug.
“Okay. Then what?” Mitchell asked, shaking his head, while thinking of the injuries metal cleats would create during any football game.
“The cops never missed a beat in getting into the car, starting it up, flashing their lights, putting on their seat belts and directing me to put on my seat belt. The one thing they didn’t do was call into the radio about what they were doing. That’s because they were trying to help me. Unfortunately, my mother didn’t see it that way and started on a car chase that should have been in a movie starring Vin Diesel. The cops couldn’t believe how good of a driver my mother was,” the quarterback said, again with a huge smile on his face.
“What did they say?” Mitchell asked.
“Wow, that broad is really a good driver.”
Mitchell said nothing and it was Emma’s turn to smile.
“We were in a car chase for what I thought was hours, but in reality it was only minutes. The cops cornered her, and she slammed on the brakes and spun the car around facing us. Her companions jumped out of the doors and windows as soon as she put the minivan in park. She started racing the engine. The cop who had been driving, put the cruiser in park, and got out. As he was getting out, his partner asked him what he was going to say. The cop replied that he was going to ask her to get into the back seat with me and that his non-driving partner could drive the car back to our house. He walked up to the car and my mom threw the transmission into drive and tried to run him over. She missed him by six inches and flipped me off as she sped by. They took me to my home where they got my little brother and took us to who they thought would be the perfect foster care parents for us… Ohio State Alumni,” the quarterback said.
“And because you are now playing foster care adult to your brother, that is where our trouble begins,” pointed out Mitchell. “How do you feel about this investigation?”
“It’s fucking stupid,” the quarterback replied.
“Why do you say that?”
“Because I’m only doing what is right for my little brother. I mean, Dr. Hancock you know what I have been through. For my little brother, it’s been worse,” the quarterback said as his tears came to the corners of his eyes.
“Why do you say that?” Mitchell asked him as he handed him a box of tissues.
“Because I’m the quarterback! He’s just a kid who everyone compares to me. He can’t be me, only I can be me. You have taught me that Dr. Hancock,” the quarterback said.
And what the quarterback had been doing, which prompted a full blown NCAA investigation into Ohio State football was well known through Buckeye land as:
“Pathetic,” screamed the headlines from the Columbus Dispatch.
“A witch hunt,” said the headlines from The Cleveland Plain Dealer.
“Defies logic and compassion for others,” said the official Ohio State fans web site.
Only The Youngstown Vindicator thought the investigation was sound. But since most Buckeye fans referred to that paper as The SPINdicator, nobody paid attention.
The Ohio State University president said via a press release “This controversy will be investigated to the fullest extent.”
This is why the quarterback was lying on his back in Dr. Mitchell Hancock’s office with Emma Everly watching and listening.
The quarterback was raising his younger brother, and it was the NCAA’s belief that the quarterback was raising him with the help of goods and services not from family members, which means that the quarterback and Ohio State football would be violating all sort of rules, laws, and regulations about what a student athlete can and cannot accept. The enemies of Ohio State football thought that the quarterback was receiving all the goodies to help raise his little brother from either selling football merchandise or accepting lots and lots of stuff from football boosters. The problem shot through the roof when the 24/7 mass media picked up what the quarterback was doing and even more stuff found its way to the quarterback and his little brother’s off –campus apartment.
The president of the school, the athletic director and the head coach wanted a different sort of investigation that would vindicate the quarterback and their program; as well as make them look good and the NCAA petty.
Enter Dr. Hancock.
Not only did Mitchell help the young quarterback clean his mind about his own wrongfully felt guilt about his mother’s addiction, Mitchell’s report and findings got the quarterback and the school a waiver for accepting gifts of clothing, food, blankets, household furnishings, coupons and anything else that could help a young man raise and protect his younger brother in the hostile world of celebrity.
Because that is what happened to the quarterback once Dr. Hancock’s Ohio State football protection plan went into maximum overdrive.
“I just circled the wagons and waited for the cavalry,” Mitchell told Emma after they had slept together for the first time.
“All those connections you made really paid off didn’t they?” she stated.
“And don’t forget the truth,” he added as he rolled her over on her back and made love to her again.
The Ohio State football family wasn’t the only kindred that paid attention to Dr. Hancock. So did the mass media, and more importantly, so did a member of the inner circle of the man who controlled the Boston Red Sox baseball club.
Even though 22 years separated them both, Emma and Mitchell were at one point physically attracted to each other.
Mitchell Hancock was tall, lanky, and completely bald. He had suffered from male pattern baldness at such an early age that his third wife had suggested he shave his head, because she thought he would look that much more distinguished and also stand out in a crowd of men with hair. Mitchell liked the idea of standing out and followed that wife’s advice. When he first came to Ohio State, he actually painted the Buckeye logo on his head at his first game! He never did it again, because other professors said it took away his authority and swagger. Mitchell never wanted to be accused of that ever again, so he refrained from painting his head no matter how much Buckeye football fever he caught.
He had light green eyes which looked comfortable behind the black horned rimmed glasses that were his trademark after his bald head. His skin was naturally dark. To Emma, it seemed that in order to get his face tan, all Mitchell had to do was gaze up to the sun for a few minutes. He was lean and never ate a lot. He had no special dietary needs, just a metabolism that seemed to keep on working at the same pace no matter what age.
He really only had one cosmetic problem –his teeth looked terrible.
Bloody British terrible! Emma wrote in her diary.
Mitchell didn’t care and he didn’t suffer from halitosis. He brushed his teeth; he just hated going to the dentist.
Emma always thought this odd, because Ohio State had a fabulous dentistry school and Mitchell could have had his teeth repaired for peanuts.
But he never did.
Emma was of stocky build. She had pointed breasts that made them appear larger than they were.
“Torpedoes,” Nomi called them.
“Easy for you to criticize: you got perfectly round ones,” Emma replied.
But that is what they looked like, and Emma came to like the fact that her breasts were differently shaped without being surgically enhanced.
They also had huge nipples, which Dr. Mitchell Hancock really liked.
I think he was never breast fed, Emma wrote in her diary.
Mitchell was so into suckling her nipples, that Emma said if he wasn’t more gentle, she wouldn’t allow him to put his mouth anywhere near them.
Mitchell started being very gentle.
Emma had long thick jet black hair which she always wore up or in a ponytail, unless she was going out. Then, she let it down. Her eyes were dark and looked darker due to her rather milky white complexion.
Her only defect as she saw it was that her lips were thin, and for a woman with such thick and dark hair, her thin eyebrows looked like they belonged on someone else or as she wrote in her diary I should just snip my hair and paste it to where my eyebrows are supposed to be.
Emma was a smart woman. Sometimes she knew she wasn’t being smart. That is what she was thinking when she was going over the files of the second football player that Mitchell was seeing as a patient and was going to allow her to sit in on. Emma wasn’t questioning the information in the player’s files. She was questioning her own intelligence and judgment in already sleeping with Dr. Hancock after such a short time in knowing him. She decided to ask her big sister. After all, Nomi was married to an older man and when she was younger her MO was sleeping with older men. Why not get her input?
“If you like him, what’s the problem?” Nomi replied to Emma, after Emma had spilled the beans, as they say.
“Nothing I hope,” Emma said.
“The one thing I can warn you about is to watch out for what I call the ‘opposite affect’,” Nomi warned.
“What is that?”
“At times when you think the older guy should be acting older, he acts younger. At other times, when he should be acting younger, he acts older,” Nomi pointed out.
“Do you have an example of each one sis?” inquired Emma.
“Sure I do. Sex is what you think he will be an old fuddy-duddy about — last about thirty seconds and rolls-over and falls asleep. No way! It’s like he is back to his teenage years because they have a younger woman to please. On the other hand, when it comes to going to movies, music, books, television and things like that, I thought that he would be all for trying new things. No way! It’s always some excuse about ‘not getting it’ or he just ignores your interest in pop culture,” Nomi said.
Emma already knew about the sex part and her nipples ached just thinking about Mitchell’s obsession with them before she laid down her law. “Thanks for the insight,” Emma said as she hung up the phone. As far as the other part of her sister’s equation -– she thought Mitchell was way too cool not to want to learn and do new things.
Time will tell, she wrote in her diary.
It always does.