Calling Doctor Doyle
Probably everyone has lived through a period of time when they don't want to be who they are. My time came after my marriage broke up. I really hated myself in every way, and I hated the world too. I had few job skills, few friends, and uneasy relations with my family. A friend of my mother's who worked at Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh found me a job, finally, in Mercy's file room. It was in the basement of an old brick building that later was torn down.
As much as I hated practically everything and everybody then, I liked wearing a white medical coat over my clothes at work. It provided a hiding place for me. I was a white-clothed body with a head and feet. Under the white coat I wore men's jeans, bought at Kaufmann's Department Store.
Yes, I was so angry with the whole world and everybody in it including myself that I refused to wear women's clothes. They represented all that is phony; most importantly, it was a way of rebelling against my mother, who wanted me to be 20 pounds thinner and going out on dates. So for a year and a half I wasn't going to wear dresses or skirts or ladies slacks. Under the white lab coat were the jeans and baggy shirts, and on my feet were sensible, clunky shoes. The only other thing I liked then was my apartment, a jewel at $135 a month, clean, close to the food market and to the bus stop.
So I went along like this for a few months, speaking very little to anybody, miserable and furious except on the weekends when I could spend all my time either walking around Oakland or sitting on my couch that turned into a bed at night. I had a beautiful plant window where the sun shone brilliantly on the plants given to me by one of my aunts. My plants meant everything to me, my plants and my stereo system, and sometimes I'd spend all day on a Saturday or Sunday, listening to my favorite records and bathing my plants, washing their leaves.
In the hospital there were many people, of course, but to me they were ghostly. They meant nothing. They rushed around, doing their jobs, filling out forms, taking care of patients, answering phones. There were doctors too, of course; they came into the record room to do their dictation and sign their patients' charts. That's how I first met Andrew Doyle.
Andrew was not tall and had the kind of physique that I love-broad shoulders, a full chest, a pot belly, stocky legs, and "burnt orange" hair. That's what the Crayola Company calls a mixture of dark orange and brown, "burnt orange."
Because I was feeling dead inside, something sparked within me when I noticed anybody or anything that I thought I could like or love, inanimate objects as well as people. When Andrew Doyle came down into the basement of Mercy Hospital to finish his dictation, he smiled at me and asked me in a deep voice where he needed to go to do this. As a rare coincidence, that day I wasn't wearing my lab coat. The men's jeans I did have on, but I was wearing a form-fitting jersey; and young Dr. Doyle's eyes went straight to my breasts. Later on in our romance I playfully accused him of falling in love with my breasts, then my mouth and hair, not me and I didn't want to be a sex object. This was one of the many signs I gave him that I was in the mood to make love. When he put his arms around me and began to kiss me, he would ask if I didn't want to be a sex object now. But I would be already warm and ready for him and I didn't feel like talking.
After Andrew got a look at my breasts he went to the dictation room. An hour later he emerged and came up to my desk.
"I've always seen you wearing a white lab coat," he said, looking at me directly in my eyes. "Why aren't you wearing one today?"
"They're all dirty and in the wash," I replied. All my defenses were up but not totally; Andrew's eyes, an individual and odd color of hazel, seemed to be looking straight at my heart and soul where I was aching and torn.
"I don't know how to ask you this…" he began.
"Then don't ask it."
He continued to grin, never taking his eyes away.
"OK. Then when do you get off work?"
"Then I'll be waiting for you at Smiley's at ten after. Don't make me wait too long."
I didn't want to go to Smiley's and meet this Dr. Doyle. I hated all men. And Smiley's was on the edge of the Hill district, a black men's bar. But I couldn't stop myself, I had to go. Probably, I thought, it was some awful kind of practical joke, thought up by Dr. Doyle and the other young doctors. However, I had skin like an elephant's; I had just survived the death of my father and the breaking up of my marriage to my college boyfriend. The only think I could think of was that I would be hurt in some way, robbed or raped. Oh well, I thought. Here goes nothing.
Dr. Doyle was waiting for me in a booth in Smiley's. He was grinning.
"So. You decided to take a chance and meet me here. Sit down, please."
I looked around me. It was dark in there, smoky, full mostly of black men. Some great music was playing on the juke box; a few white people were there. The world didn't explode because I was in a bar in the Hill district.
Upon being asked what to drink, I asked for a Coke. I don't like alcohol. He asked for a beer.
"I like that," Dr. Doyle said. "I like that you do your own thing and you don't feel obliged to do what others expect."
"Look, what do you want from me? I'm an angry, fat woman with serious issues about men AND women, in other words I hate everything except the apartment where I live. Is this a practical joke of some kind? Come on, get it over with, you asked to meet me to prove something to your doctor buddies."
Andrew drew a breath and turned pale. "Do you really think that I would do something like that? Look, for one thing, I know you're angry and sad. It is so very obvious. But fat? Are you crazy? You have the kind of body that every man desires deep within his soul! Large, well-formed breasts, a small waist, curving hips, a fantastic ass. Every time I see you I wonder why you cover yourself with those lab coats that make you look like a refrigerator with a head. Today-except for one other time-is the first time I've seen you without the coat. I just couldn't help myself, I had to ask you to meet me."
"You mean this, don't you?" I asked.
He gave me another look from those heavenly hazel eyes that seemed to see all.
"Yes. Yes. I do mean exactly what I said."
There was silence.
"My father died suddenly in 1968. Then I got married and the marriage fell apart in 1973. I feel dead and people don't mean anything to me anymore."
"Laurel, can I hold your hands?"
I let him take them between his. He told me my hands were so cold and he was going to warm them up. Then he asked me to describe for him this apartment of mine that was the only thing I liked in the whole world. I told him about my plant window and my stereo system. That was how it began.
We had been out together one night, one of the few nights off he had, and we'd had a fantastic time, dinner in Shadyside, then to a club to listen to live jazz. This was our third date and I was actually wearing a dress, one of my old ones from when I was first married.
I had decided to let him into my apartment that night. For the first two dates, I stood in front of the door and met him. Andrew understood, didn't question this, but his eyes lit up with joy when I opened the door and let him in.
Thoughtfully he surveyed the little world I'd created in which I could hide from the outside; he looked at the posters on the walls, the kitchen shelves where I had placed my books, the big white sheet of cardboard I'd hung in the kitchen where I wrote my favorite quotations. He was quiet. It frightened me a little.
"What's the matter? Don't you like it?"
"Laurel, I love this place. I've never seen anything like it. All the girls I've met and gone out with don't have books, art, plants, and quotations on the wall. I feel at home here already."
He came near me and asked if he could put his arms around me. I was trembling and I nodded my head, yes. He began kissing me, very tentatively, the kind of kisses that could be called "question kisses" because there was something held back. He thought I might push him away.
I hadn't been kissed in such a long time; it was as if there was ice in my heart and it began to melt. I brought him to the couch and we held each other so very tightly and began kissing "for real." There was no fear left, no hesitating. After a while we pulled away from each other.
"Laurel, oh Laurel, oh please, please let me make love to you. I've wanted this for so long; I used to see you down in the basement at Mercy looking so forbidding and miserable and covered in this square-shaped white coat, it almost resembled a coffin. I knew, I just knew, you were under there someplace."
"Andrew. I haven't made love for a long time. I hope it doesn't disappoint you."
No more words. We shed our clothes, pulled the bed out from under the couch, and threw ourselves onto it.
It was a night of little sleep, where few words were spoken. After kissing me Andrew discovered my breasts. He sighed when he held them in his hands and buried his face in them joyfully. When he stroked them and touched my nipples and I quivered, he looked at me.
"Beautiful breasts with delicate pink nipples that are so sensitive to touch. I don't know how to say this without sounding corny but you are the woman I've imagined for a long, long time."
It had been agreed nonverbally that we would make love all night-it was a Friday night so I had Saturday in which to rest and Andrew had one of his sparse nights off also.
He told me to lay on my back and allow him to "discover" me. He didn't even have to ask, I was completely letting go of my pain, anger, the bleeding of my soul. I turned myself over to him. He spent a lot of time stroking and playing with my breasts, almost laughing with delight at their shape and silkiness, the shy pink nipples that were lovely to touch, that gave me exquisite pleasure. He stroked the rest of my body with his slightly rough hands, touched and kissed inside my elbows, my hands, even my feet. I felt like a goddess and I was moaning so much that I couldn't talk. Then he entered me easily; he had aroused me so much, made me so wet that the juices were seeping out onto the sheet. Life had been icy and miserable; I arched my back and cried out and our fucking didn't last long; we came together and he collapsed onto the bed beside me.
Then I took control as he lay there, getting to know his body, his lovely male smell, the curly auburn hair on his chest. He got a second erection quickly and I jumped up eagerlyand sat on it. He held my breasts and sighed with pleasure and joy. This second time there was more time to play; he fondled my nipples with his fingers and I leaned down to kiss him; I had an orgasm sitting there on him and he gasped.
"Oh. OH my God. I've never been inside a woman like this while she comes. You can't imagine…"
But he was unable to speak anymore; I reached behind to stroke his balls and he came to a second climax.
We didn't fall asleep until dawn, exhausted, fulfilled, sweaty, having fucked away my irritations and hatred and isolation and his loneliness as well.
Andrew loved games, secret words, and codes. He loved keeping our romance separate from where we worked but at the same time finding ways to be together. Oh he was naughty, a genuine bad boy which of course increased my desire for him.
Andrew knew about a room on the third floor of the hospital where the other young interns and doctors took their lovers for a "quickie." So we developed a code; when he would come to the file room to dictate, he would quickly hold up three fingers which meant that the third floor room was free. Then I would ask if I could take my break. Because this arrangement was dependent on certain factors to work smoothly, we weren't always successful. I didn't always get my break when I wanted it, and one time I got up to the third floor to find another couple using the room and Andrew standing to one side, mournful. When that happened, Andrew looked quickly around, pulled my pants down and pushed me firmly against the wall. He took out his penis which was heavy and engorged and stuck it into me and we came, standing like that up against the wall.
"If you were fat," Andrew remarked, "we couldn't have done that, you know. I had to lift you up a little to put my cock into you."
As a thank you gift for saying this, I pushed him into a dark closet in a corner where nobody went-it was full of cleaning supplies and other junk-and kneeling before him (something he adored so much it drove him mad), while keeping eye contact with him, I unzipped his pants, took hold of his penis, and sucked. Andrew was so hysterical with pleasure and surprise that he had to hold onto a chair to avoid falling.
After cleaning ourselves up and straightening our clothing-no more stiff white lab coats for me; I was wearing a form-fitting pink dress-we exited the closet as we heard a voice over the loud speaker saying "Calling Dr. Doyle…"