I haven't been around much, because I was honored to visit Atlanta, Georgia, for the AFSP's/American Foundation for Suicide Prevention's Annual Leadership Conference. Despite the profound tragedies that brought 340 of us together, I was energized by AFSP's life-saving successes, incredible people, and delectable pecan everything (pecan bacon, pecan pie with chocolate, pecan hash browns, pecan...)
Atlanta, Buckhead District - view from the hotel
On another exciting note, I finished editing my book (though I'm not sure I'll ever be finished editing), Woman on the Verge of Paradise. Now, to work on publication and continue revealing snippets here.
This scene takes us to my dorm room at UCLA, freshman year. Times are unsettling. I've just been shaken by the tragic news of my Mom's terminal illness, when I receive an odd phonecall...
A day or two after learning of my Mom’s illness, another unexpected phone-call interrupted my studies. It was a guy. He sounded serious.
“Hi. This is Bob. I’m conducting a research study on the orgasm. It will only take a minute. You’re a student, right?”
“Your age, major, and year in school, please?”
“Eighteen, Psychology, Freshman.”
“Have you ever had an orgasm?”
My face flushed and heart rate sped. “No I don’t think, no.”
“Hmm, really? On a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being ‘not at all interested,’ and 5 being ‘extremely interested’, how interested are you in having an orgasm, say, if you could have one right now?”
I heard they’re good, I thought. “Five.”
“You sound REALLY interested. Is that right?”
Crap. I quelled my enthusiasm. “Yeah, I guess.”
“So why haven’t you had an orgasm?”
I was quick to defend my innocence. “I’ve been dealing with other things, like my Mom’s dying of cancer.”
“Oh. Thank you for your time.”
“Okay bye.” Wait. Don’t go!
Honestly, he sounded like a researcher, and I believed he was. I still think he was conducting a clinical study. But I’m naïve. Had he known who he was calling, and that I could use some stress relief? Had I missed a momentous opportunity? Did I turn him off by telling him that my Mom was dying of cancer? I can see how that might have killed the mood. I’ll never know for sure.