I sat in a long leather chair, you know, the type that they have at the dentist. While I am glad Dr. Lufbow was able to see me today I regret wearing shorts. Whenever I move my legs, the leather sticks to my skin. So for the past few minutes I haven’t moved and now my legs are sweaty.
To my left there is a plaque hanging on a brown wall naming Dr. Lufbow as ‘The Most Controversial Plastic Surgeon’ in all of Los Angeles. To my right is a bookshelf that is littered with Garfield comic books along with a few medical journals.
It is just as I begin to rearrange my legs that Dr. Lufbow enters the room, greeting me with his famous line, “Let’s cut that ugly out of you.”
As he walks towards me with his hand stretched out I notice that he isn’t wearing a ‘shirt’ under his lab coat. Instead he sports a neon fish net that suffocates his black chest hair. Before we can shake hands, he pulls his hand back and runs it over his baldhead.
“To slow,” Lufbow says with a chuckle. He then takes a seat in the leather chair behind me, and rolls himself so that we are now eye to eye.
“Mr. Rivers,” Lufbow begins, “How much has your life changed since we decided to decrease your hair line?”
I reach and felt the top of my head, “My life has become a lot easier. The time I spent getting ready in the morning is cut in half now that there’s less hair to work with.” I said.
“Well that’s great.” Lufbow said. He then turned himself around and grabbed my chart, which was lying on the ground. Lufbow spun back around and began going through it, adding the occasional ‘mmhmm’ and ‘oh okay’ as he perused my history.
“On your chart the nurse mentioned that you want to sculpt a few areas including the area around your waist, belly and the neck.” Lufbow said.
“No, that’s not right.” I said.
“If that’s the case,” Lufbow said standing up, “then please excuse me while I go have a chat with Denise.” Lufbow walked towards the door.
“Wait.” I said. “Your uh nurse, Denise. I gave her the wrong info, because I was embarrassed about the work I wanted to get done.” Lufbow stopped walking and slowly turned around.
“Why would you do such a thing? We are here to help you.” Lufbow said.
“It wasn’t meant to be personal, I-I, just wanted to speak with you and only you about it.” I said. Lufbow came back and sat down in his seat without taking his eyes off me. Trying not to look into his green eyes, I looked at his nose.
“Get your eyes off my nose and look at me,” he told me.
“Fuck, he knows,” I said to myself. Beads of sweat began running down my legs and onto the leather chair.
“Do you know what I would have done had you not stopped me?” Lufbow asked.
I opened my mouth to answer, but he continued, “I would have gone out there and,” Dr. Lufbow suddenly stopped. He looked down and took a deep breath. “Your lie would have cost me a lot of money in an out of court settlement with Denise. I think you should go, our time here is done.” Dr. Lufbow said.
“Please Dr. Lufbow, I need this work done.” I said.
“How can I do work on someone I do not trust, huh?” Lufbow said.
“I’ll do anything, tell me how I can get your trust back,” I said.
“It’s not just my trust. It’s the trust of my entire practice. You lied to one of us, you lied to all of us.” Lufbow said.
My head began to sink after hearing these words.
“However, you were enough of a man to stop me from going to Denise and you admitted your lie.” he said. Lufbow then spun around in his seat a few times before stopping and staring at me.
“I am going to ask you this once. Do you want me to do work on you?” Dr. Lufbow said.
“Yes, please. I need it.” I said.
Lufbow got up out of his seat and headed towards the door once again. Before grabbing the handle, Lufbow stopped and said, “Jimmy, if you would, please go to the center of the room and strip down to your birthday suit.”
He was out the door before I had time ask why.
Jumping up, I started undoing my belt. I kicked off my shoes, took my shirt off and then used my shorts to wipe the sweat off my thighs as I slid them off. My clothes were now on the ground and the only things on my body was my golden chain and white socks.
Four minutes went by as I paced around the room wondering what the hell was going on. Then, there was a knock and then Dr. Lufbow entered the room.
“Come on in everyone, there’s enough room for all of us.” Dr. Lufbow said.
He came into the room first and was followed by an old woman smoking a cigarette, two young men carrying laptops, and Denise.
“Jimmie Rivers, this is the Lufbow Team. Babs is the secretary… Hey! Get your hands to your sides. You’re not hiding anything today.” Lufbow said.
Slowly, I moved my hands from covering my genitals to the sides of my hips.
“Anyways, she sees everyone and makes appointments. Joey and Stanley here are the social media interns, and finally, Denise the nurse. You know, the sweet and innocent lady you lied to.” Lufbow said.
After a puff on her cigarette, Babs with her raw voice said, “Mr. Rivers, you lie to me I’ll put this cigarette out in your ass.”
“Jesus Babs. This is about Jim getting our trust back. We’re not gonna torture him.” Dr. Lufbow said.
As I stood there, these people were looking me up and down.
“I just want wor…” I said before getting cut off.
“Zip it Jimbo, we are currently judging you. I’ll tell you when to speak.” Lufbow said. At that point Joey pulled out his phone and snapped a picture, and showed it to Dr. Lufbow.
“Fix the lighting up a bit, but that’ll look real nice on the gram.” Lufbow said.
Babs, who was on her second cigarette, shook her head and went back to sucking ash.
“Let’s try it again from the top James.” Lufbow said. “What do you want me to do on your bod?”
“Um, I my. Ha ha ha. Well you, uhh.” I said. My face felt like it was on fire. The ground was all I could look at.
“This is just pathetic,” Denise said.
“Look at me Mr. Rivers.” Dr. Lufbow said.
When I looked up, he waited until I stood up straight, and began to speak. “Jimmy, my main man. Tell us one thing you want to change about your body and then everyone will leave. Just one thing.”
Inside my chest I felt light. My heart was beating faster. “My thumbs,” I whispered.
“What did he say?” Babs croaked.
“My thumbs,” I said a bit louder.
“What about your thumbs.” Dr. Lufbow said
“They are too fat.” I said.
“And what do you want to do about it?” Denise.
“I don’t know,” I responded.
Dr. Lufbow approached me to get right in my face. “Listen you son of a bitch,” he said while grabbing my thumbs. “Tell me.” He said.
Going above Dr. Lufbow’s intensity, I screamed, “My thumbs are too fat and I want you to fix them.”
“Keep going.” Lufbow said.
“They look like fucking toes. Co-workers don’t let me use their pens or invite me to lunch because my hands creep them out. I want a normal life.” I said.
The room went quiet. Babs dropped her cigarette on the ground and twisted her foot to put it out. Looking up, Babs clapped once. A moment went by of silence, before she clapped once again. And then she clapped again.
Denise followed and clapped just a little bit faster than Babs. Joey and Stanley joined in making the pace faster.
Babs, Stanley, Joey and Denise all looked at me. Their clapping was now in unison and getting faster.
“Ohhhhhhhh!” Lufbow said as he joined the clapping. By now, all of the staff was clapping as hard and has fast as they could in unison. I joined in the clapping for the very end.
Just as the clapping began, one by one the clapping slowed down until we all had smiles on our faces. Dr. Lufbow shook my hand saying, “You made a real break through, good job.”
Babs, Joey, Stanley and Denise followed his lead by coming up to shake my hand. After each handshake, I felt my insecurity melt away and replaced with a true feeling of acceptance. With all the hoopla, I lost track of where Dr. Lufbow was and wanted to thank him personally.
Before I could turn around, I felt the sharp pinch in my neck. I feel to my knees as a warm sensation radiated through my body. My mouth was the first thing to go limp, so yelling for help was out of the equation. Every time I blinked my eyelids became heavier and heavier. The last thing I remember is being strapped into the leather chair.
“Mr. Rivers don’t worry. We’ll take care of those thumbs for you. Sleep tight, liar.” Dr. Lufbow said.
End of Chapter 1