I’m not sure what I expected, but I think I’d pictured Dr. Dowdy, some elderly gentleman who’ll take you by the hand and say things like “there, there, now.” Dr. call-me-John Milletti doesn’t look any older than Mac. He wears little gold posts in his ears. And he has a beard. A well-trimmed beard, true, but it makes him look like the psychologist at St. Luke’s, the crazy one who comes in once a month, observes the kids for two minutes, and comes up with a bullshit behavior modification plan we can’t possibly follow and wouldn’t work if we did. Prejudgment is unfair, I’ll grant you, but my first impression does little to make me comfortable in an already uncomfortable situation.
Dr. Milletti asks if we’ve finished the questionnaires, and Mac and I hand them in. “Like handing in homework.” I’m trying too hard to ease the tension.
“There will be quite a bit of homework,” says Dr. Milletti, and though he’s joking, it does nothing to help matters. Then he gets down to business. He goes over lists of causes, reviews the tests we’ll need to take, and outlines possible treatment. The words sperm, ovaries, and intercourse uttered any number of times. The words love, caring, and tenderness unspoken.